BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Catherine Gourley

molly

 

Title: Welcome to Molly’s World * 1944
Author: Catherine Gourley
Publisher: Pleasant Company Publications
Ages: 9-11

Synopsis:

 
Molly McIntire was a nine-year-old girl growing up on America’s home front during World War Two. In 1944, America had been at war for three years. For girls like Molly, life had changed. Fathers were away at war, mothers went to work, and children gave up allowances, sugary sweets, and even some of their toys for the war effort.

 

Why you should read it:

 

I’m currently researching this time in American history for book three of a historical fiction chapter book series I’m working on. I have no interest in the bloody details of war, but have an almost insatiable thirst for information about the lives of the people who lived through them. MOLLY’S WORLD, a part of the American’s Girl Collection, gives a most detailed insight into the life of a child during the mid 1940’s. To someone like myself who knows very little about this particular war, I feel like a kid in the candy store and someone has just said I can have one of everything! This book is definitely a wonderful addition to any home library.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Gianna Marino

 

Houses

 

Title: Too Tall Houses

Author/Illustrator: Gianna Marino

Publisher: Viking

Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Rabbit and Owl lived in two small houses on top of a hill. They were good neighbors and good friends until one day…

Why you should read it:

 

The illustrations in this book are absolutely stunning! Ms. Marino puts vibrant detail into her artwork and her characters seem to leap off the page. TOO TALL HOUSES is a story about two friends with very different personalities. Rabbit enjoys growing vegetables in his garden while Owl loves to gaze at the forest just beyond their little houses. But one day Rabbit’s eagerness to have plenty to eat prevents Owl from enjoying the view and a contest begins to see who can outdo the other. It will take a little push from Mother Nature to make the two friends realize that there are more important things in life than who has the tallest house on the hill.
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Vannetta Chapman

 

Murder.jpg

 

Title: Murder Freshly Baked

Author: Vannetta Chapman

Publisher: Zondervan Publishing

Ages: Young Adult to Adult

 

Synopsis:

 

The Amish Artisan Village of Middlebury, Indiana, might be the last place you would ever expect to find a murderer. But Amber has been managing the Village for decades and there’s nothing she hadn’t seen. Or so she thought.

 

Why maybe you should read it:

 

I’m not usually a cozy mystery reader…I leave that genre to my sister. But there was something about the cover of this book that captured my attention so I thought I would give it a try. I mean what’s not to like, right? A cute Amish village where fresh baked goods are on the menu along with a slice of murder topped with a mystery.

Unfortunately, for me, this third book in the series didn’t exactly wet my appetite for more cozy mysteries. The beginning chapters of MURDER FRESHLY BAKED were very confusing to me with the introduction of so many different characters. I don’t know if it would have helped to have read the other books in the series first, but since I didn’t know who these characters were, it was challenging to feel connected to them.

I’m sure Ms. Chapman’s book would be a fine read for someone else but for me, MURDERR FRESHLY BAKED didn’t quite fit this reader’s palette.

 

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

 

**Rating scale**

 

 5 out of 5…grab it!

 

 4 out of 5…think about it.

 

 3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

 

 2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

 

 1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Sally M Walker

 

winnie

 

Title: Winnie
Author: Sally M Walker
Illustrator: Jonathan D Voss
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Ages: 7-9

 

Synopsis:

 

Who could care for a bear? The remarkable true story of a bear that one day became a household name and the soldier who cared for her.

 

Why you should read it:

 

I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t heard of Winnie the Pooh, but I don’t think everyone knows the Winnie character was based on a real, live bear. Ms. Walker’s book is based on the true story of a bear rescued by a soldier. The soldier, Harry Coleburn, decides to raise the bear and forms a friendship lasting several years before Winnie finds a new home at the London Zoo.

As a writer of creative fiction, I found the authenticity of this story fascinating as I’m sure readers of all ages will be interested in finding out the history behind the classic stories of Winnie the Pooh.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Margaree King Mitchell

 

jed

 

Title: Uncle Jed’s Babershop
Author: Margaree King Mitchell
Illustrator: James Ransome
Publisher: Alladin Paperbacks
Ages: 9-11

 

Synopsis:

 

Everyone has a favorite relative. For Sarah Jean, it’s her Uncle Jed. Every Wednesday night he comes over to her house to give her daddy a haircut and a shave.

What makes Uncle Jed special is his dream of opening his own barbershop one day with shiny sinks, real barber chairs, and outside, a big, tall, red-and-white barber pole. Even when life’s hardships and unexpected family emergencies get in the way, Uncle Jed never loses sight of his dream.

 

Why you should read it:

 

Sometimes it takes an oldie, but a goodie to remind us of what’s important in life and that’s our dreams. During a time when the spotlight is on diverse books, it’s nice to discover a strong story spotlighting the love and devotion of an African American family during a time of social unrest.

Illustrator James Ransome creates realistic portraits of a family struggling through the times right before the Great Depression and author Margaree King Mitchell touches our hearts with a poignant story of one man’s dream fulfilled almost before it was too late.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: David A Adler

Satchel.jpg

 

Title: Satchel Paige Don’t Look Back
Author: David A Adler
Illustrator: Terry Widener
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc
Ages: 9-11

 

Synopsis:

 

Satchel Paige as one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He wanted more than anything to make it into the “big show” but hen he began his career in the 1920’s, African Americans were excluded from the major leagues. That didn’t stop him from playing until he got the chance he’d been hoping for. And that was just the beginning…

 

Why you should read it:

 

Growing up and all the way through high school I played softball whenever I got the chance. Whether as a part of neighborhood kid gatherings or physical education roundups, I was good as shortstop or second base. But growing up in the 60’s & 70’s, I’d only heard of the great Babe Ruth…not Satchel Paige. Now kids of all ages can learn about one man’s determination to make the world look beyond the color of his skin to see his amazing talent as one of the best pitchers the game of baseball has ever seen.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 4 out of 5…think about it.

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Daisy Corning Stone Spedden

 

titanic.jpg

 

Title: Polar The Titanic Bear
Author: Daisy Corning Stone Spedden
Illustrator: Laurie McGa
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Ages: 9-11

Synopsis:

A young boy’s toy bear begins a journey all the way from the shelves at F.A.O. Schartz toy store in New York City to far off places halfway around the world before ending up on the Titanic. Will Polar and his young master make it off the great ship alive?

Why you should read it:

During my research for my own creative nonfiction book about the Titanic, I came across this cute book based on the true story of a toy bear’s journey around the world. Young readers will not only learn about a little boy named Douglas Spedden, but will also have a peek into the lives of the rich during the Edwardian era where the latest adventure was a gangplank away.
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!