Monday, August 21, 2017

A Night Divided by: Jennifer A. Nielsen

I cannot even begin to imagine what it was like for families living in Berlin after WWII.  However author Jennifer A. Nielsen in her book A Night Divided, has given me some understanding of the plight of many families during this time period.

I could not put this book down!  You are immediately drawn into the drama of Gerta and her family being divided by the Berlin Wall.  Her father and brother, Dominic, were on the West side of Berlin for a few days and when the wall went up on August 13, 1961 Gerta, her mom, and her brother Fritz were home on the East side.  Their family and many others were now unable to be together.  Gerta's father had been very vocal about his feelings about the government in the East so their family was being closely watched.  They learn that their home is bugged by the government so they are very creative in how they communicate while at home.

When Gerta spots her father on a lookout on the wall she sees him acting out a moves to a song he would sing for her at night.  She believes that her father wants her to dig to the other side of the wall.  It's been four long years since the family was separated and she convinces Fritz to help her dig the tunnel where their father was able to communicate to them through a mysterious delivery of a map.  They are running out of time because Fritz is almost old enough to be placed in the military and he doesn't want to be in the military.  They also learn that even their close friends can be now spies and enemies while an enemy might really be a friend.  Who can they really trust?  Soon their mother is helping with the digging which makes the work go much faster.  Will they make it out alive?  Will they see their father and Dominic?  You will need to read this ASAP to find out!

I have a favorite quote from this book as well.  Fritz tells his sister Gerta "Courage isn't knowing you can do something; it is only being willing to try".  Gerta was willing to try whatever she could to get her family reunited even if she didn't make it she would try.

I really loved this book and appreciate my new found knowledge about Berlin during this time in our world's history.

After reading this book spend sometime with your family.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Thursday, August 17, 2017

7 ate 9 by: Tara Lazar

I am looking forward to sharing this book with my students, I'm sure they will love it as much as I do.  7 ate 9 written by Tara Lazar is a delightful book with an interesting mystery to solve and lots of fun plays on words.

Private "I" has been hired by 6 who is afraid that she will be the next victim of 7 who 6 is convinced ate 9!  Private I begins his investigation interviewing all the numbers he can find.  He also finds a small bit of help from a letter friend of his.  I'm not going to give away the ending, but I know you and your children will love this book.

I laughed at the text as well as the delightful illustrations done by Ross MacDonald.

After reading this book it will probably be time for some math homework.

Happy Daily Reading!
Deanna

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Distance to Home by: Jenn Bishop

Jenn Bishop's book The Distance to Home is one I won't soon forget.  In fact, I'm sure I will always remember the Donnelly family.

Quinnen loves baseball both playing and watching the local minor league team the Tri-City Bandits.  However, this baseball season is not like previous seasons.  Quinnen isn't playing and her family will be hosting a player from the Bandits.  Quinnen and her parents are dealing with the sudden death of Haley, Quinnen's older sister.  Without Haley cheering for Quinnen she doesn't feel that she can ever play the game again.  As Quinnen gets to know the player staying with her and other players on the team she begins to talk about her sister.  She hopes to talk about her more at home as well.  Everyone at the Bandits' ballpark is happy to see Quinnen and as the season continues the entire Donnelly family begins to heal.  Hopefully Quinnen will enjoy a future as a baseball player.

The chapters go back and forth between the current summer and the summer before, when Haley was still living.  I liked exploring the differences of the two summers and found that it made the family's story easier to understand.

I think anyone who enjoys baseball will enjoy this book.  We all have family and friends who love and care about us just as the Donnelly family does...getting to know the Donnellys through this book will be good for anyone as we can all relate to family life.

After reading this book go out a play a game of baseball!

Happy Daily Reading!
Deanna

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by: Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction.  Her new book Clayton Byrd Goes Underground does not disappoint especially if you enjoy music, specifically the blues.

Clayton loves to play his Harp with his grandfather (Cool Papa Byrd) and the Bluesmen.  They meet at a local park and play the blues to the delight of all those in the area.  When Cool Papa
Byrd suddenly passes away Clayton feels lost.  His mother didn't approve of what her father did and she doesn't want Clayton to follow in his footsteps.  She sells all of Cool Papa's belongings which angers the mourning Clayton.  When he gets in trouble at school and mom continues to not understand he decides to find the Bluesmen and travel with them.  He runs away finding himself on a subway and playing his harp with other young men who are dancing for money.  Clayton's talent gets these boys more money than they get on their own and they try to get him to stay with them.  More trouble follows before he finds his way back home and finally can mourn his grandfather and hopefully move forward with his family.

I enjoyed the story of Clayton and what I will remember from this book is that we need to listen to one another.  Families go through changes adding members, losing members, etc... be there for each other, really listen and help one another.

After reading this book listen to some blues music.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna