Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy

Centered in Chinatown, Vancouver in the 30s and 40s, this book follows one Chinese Canadian family and their struggles with finding their own identities in an ever changing world. Told from the perspective of the three children, you watch them struggle to straddle two worlds and learn to navigate life beyond their sheltered Chinatown neighbourhood. This book encompasses a look at what Chinese immigrants had to deal with, their economic hardships, and the discrimination they faced daily.

The reviewer enjoyed the book and recommends that you head to your local branch to grab your copy today!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Missing Pieces by Jerry B. Jenkins

13-year-old twins, Bryce and Ashley Timberline seem to find mystery and adventure wherever they go. So, when they find out someone is playing mailbox baseball in their town they set out to find the culprit. The twins are convinced that their stepsister’s boyfriend is to blame and are determined to prove it. Can they solve the mystery?

The Red Rock mysteries series is fast paced, faith based, and sure to keep even reluctant readers on the edge of their seats. The reviewer loves how these books are always action packed and full of suspense. Stop in at your local branch to grab a copy from this junior fiction series today!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Thirteen year old Sal is on a road trip of discovery with her grandparents. They are following the path her mother took from Kentucky to Idaho when she left them months earlier and Sal doesn’t understand why her mother has not returned to them as she promised. As they travel toward the place where they last heard from her, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe and how her mother left her family as well.

This book is so descriptive and draws you in to the story of Sal’s life and her love of everything outdoors. She is so different from her uptight friend Phoebe; it makes you wonder how they could have ever been friends. The bond between them is shared as they both have the most important person in their life leave them for reasons they cannot understand. Sad but funny, it is an excellent story for young and old.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

On the Proper Use of Stars by Dominique Fortier

This book tells the story of Arctic explorer, John Franklin, his crew and his ships, the Terror and the Erebus after they left England for Canada in 1845. They expected to stay away only three years by which time they would have discovered the North West passage through the Canadian Arctic.

In elegant prose the author, Dominique Fortier, used actual historic documents to support the exploits described in her novel. She enriched the characters and action with detail, and included rare hints of subtle humour to lighten the grim conditions under which the seaman endured.

The skillful writing style and subtle humour made this book a pure pleasure to read.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale is the code name for a female WWII war hero who made 27 trips across the Pyrenees, guiding downed fighter pilots to Spain to escape Nazi territory.

In this historic fiction novel we follow two French sisters who lived in France during the Nazi occupation during WWII. The older sister is more timid and does her best to keep her daughter safe while being forced to billet Nazi officers. Vivienne’s best friend is Jewish and her husband is a prisoner somewhere in Germany. The younger sister, Isabelle, is much more impulsive; she joins the resistance and becomes “the nightingale”. 

The story begins with one of the sisters receiving an invitation to an event where French war heroes are being recognized. We don’t know which sister it is until the very end, but we do know that only one survives.

The reviewer has read books and seen movies about male war heroes, but this was the first time they had read any tribute to the women on the home front who endured so very much.