Friday, November 18, 2011

Now For Books...

I went yesterday and did my big grocery shop for Thanksgiving.  Thank goodness that's over!  Grocery shopping is not my favorite thing, but I love to cook and I must feed my family therefore shopping is a

Now I'm looking forward to a great weekend including two basketball games for my daughter and  a date night with my hubby!  Then next week my husband's off ALL week, and my daughter only has two days of schhool.  There's nothing better than a week spent with my two most favorite people in the world!  It's one of the reasons I so love the holidays...lots of extra time with the ones I love.

Now for books...

My daughter was totally into Goosebumps during the month of October, but I told her she needed to switch and read something different after Halloween.  So the month of November has been full of Nancy Drew.  I loved Nancy Drew when I was little. 

Her class has been studying about the pilgrims and Native Americans at school this month, so I suggested she read The Island of the Blue Dolphins this week while she's off, and she seems pretty excited to do it.  I'm looking forward to hearing her thoughts.

As for me I'm still reading Secret of the Night Ponies.  It's a cute little book, and I expect to finish today.  I've been busy, so it's taking me longer to read it than I wanted.  I'm not sure what I'll read next.

Any suggestions???

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Childhood Favorite Reread: Island of the Blue Dolphins

Source:  Goodreads

From the back cover...
"Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock know as San Nicholas Island.  Blue dolphins splash in the water surrounding it, sea otters play in the kelp beds, and seabirds roost in its crags.  Once, Indians also lived on the island--until one day they decided to leave and sailed to the east.
A young girl was left behind.
Karana is that girl.  Year after year, she waits for the ship to come back.  But it never does.  Finally, she realizes she must make a fateful choice:  follow her people on her own or remain alone on the island for the rest of her life."

Scott O'Dell
Source:  Goodreads


I read lots of books as a little girl, but only a few stand out in my memory all these years later.  Among them are The Mona Lisa Mystery, Anne of Green Gables, and the book featured in this blog, The Island of the Blue Dolphins.

I have always known I loved The Island of the Blue Dolphins, and I've mentioned it to my daughter several times.  But I realized that I had forgotten a lot of the story having read it more than twenty years ago.  I recently purchased it for my daughter, and I was excited to reread it.  I'm so glad I did. 

It is such a wonderful story of bravery, survival, hard work, and making the best out of life no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.  It is full of beautiful scenery and animals.  Her friendships with the animals and her love she feels for them is my favorite thing about the book.  If you have a child that is an animal lover I believe she would enjoy this book.  There are some serious and sad parts in the book though nothing inappropriate.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Thoughts On "Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller"

Source:  Goodreads

Sarah Miller
Source:  Goodreads

From the back cover...
Annie Sullivan was little more than a half blind orphan with a fiery tongue when she arrived at Ivy Green in 1887.  Desperate for work, she'd taken on a seemingly impossible job--teaching a child who was deaf, blind, and as ferocious as any wild animal.  But Helen Keller needed more than a teacher.  She needed someone daring enough to work a miracle.  And if anyone was a match for Helen, it was the girl they used to call Miss Spitfire.
For Annie, reaching Helen's mind meant losing teeth as raging fists flew.  It meant standing up when everyone else had given up.  It meant shedding tears at the frustrations and the triumphs.  By telling the inspiring story from Annie Sullivan's point of view, Sarah Miller's debut novel brings an amazing figure to sharp new life.  Annie's past, her brazen determination, and her connection to the girl who would call her Teacher have never been clearer.


Oh how I loved this book!

I have always loved the story of Helen Keller and what she was able to overcome in her life, but I knew very little about Annie Sullivan.  So when my daughter bought this book at her last school book fair I knew I'd read it eventually.  I'm so happy I did!

Almost every day, I tell my daughter that she can do anything if she's willing to work hard, and that the most important thing is to never give up no matter how hard it gets, or how may times she fails.  If you just keep trying you will eventually succeed.  This has been true with lots of things in her, softball, basketball, singing, all takes hard work and perseverance.  I hope this is something she will carry with her throughout the rest of her life, and "Miss Spitfire" is a perfect illustration of this idea.  I think all young girls should read it.

Even though I'm an adult I love to read children's books.  They just make me feel good, and with my recent illness I longed for something to make me feel good and inspire me.  I've been in a reading slump lately, so I wanted something easy to read as well.  "Miss Spitfire" was just what I needed.

In the back of the book there are pictures of Helen Keller, Annie Sullivan, and places mentioned in the book.  There is a timeline and lists of books, online sources, and videos that will give you lots more information about Helen Keller and her beloved Teacher, Annie Sullivan.  One of the books I'm particularly interested in reading is "Teacher" written by Helen Keller about Annie Sullivan.

Source:  Goodreads

Helen Keller
Source:  Wikipedia

Annie Sullivan

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
Helen Keller

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
Helen Keller

“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to--a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”
Helen Keller

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My First Win...Thanks Callapidder Days!!!

I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to Katrina at Callapidder Days for the awesome book I won during her first Fall Into Reading GiveawayFall Into Reading is an awesome reading challenge Katrina hosts every year to inspire us all to finally get to those books we've been meaning to read for so long, and make some much needed progress on those ever growing "to be read" lists!

The book I won was Reclaiming Lilly by Patti Lacy.

Source:  Goodreads

Goodreads Summary...
Gloria's relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman's apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer...or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?

Thanks again Katrina!!!