Friends of Liberty by Beatrice Gormley is a chapter book about two girls living in Boston during the early years of the American Revolution. One of the girls (Kitty) is from a wealthy Tory family, and the other girl (Sally) is from a more modest family that supports the revolutionary leaders. Although the girls are friends with many interests in common, as the events unfold, Sally must decide what her priorities are and what she believes about the political situation. Further, Sally and Kitty’s friendship is tested as they encounter new struggles.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It seemed like a perfect girls book. I think I would have really liked it when I was young because of the issues of friendship and the difficulty of making decisions, especially having to choose between friends and family. It is hard to imagine the situation that Sally was in, but the book seems to bring it to life.
I had intended to give this book to my young son to read — he is a good reader and he enjoys learning about the American Revolution. I’ve decided not to at this time, mostly because the issues of conflicting loyalties is a difficult one for the young child to understand. Maybe in the future he’ll be able to weigh in with his opinion. For now, though, I would recommend it to 8-12 year old girls interested in historical fiction.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers for review consideration.
Five Children and It by E. Nesbit is an Edwardian children’s adventure originally published in 1902. There are no parents or guardians to stop the fun, and the children know where to find fun! In this adventure, four children and their baby brother come across a sand-fairy, who is able to grant them wishes that last until sunset. But the sand-fairy does not like to give them wishes, and when the children make wishes, things don’t turn out as nicely as they’d hoped! (more…)
Raisin enjoyed reading the early chapter books about a word-loving girl named Daisy. In Daisy’s Defining Day by Sandra Feder, Daisy discovers the joy of alliteration and finds herself as she seeks out the perfect alliterative title for herself. As she searches for some fun phrases to enjoy, she also learns a few lessons about friendship and how to deal with people who think differently from herself. It’s a fun excursion into language, and it is also a nice story for a child who, like my son, does not always think about what other’s think since the world seems to revolve around themselves!
Similarly, in Daisy’s Perfect Word, another book in the series, Daisy learns that her teacher is getting married so she wants to find the perfect word to share with her as a wedding gift. As she goes through her days, she writes her favorite words in a notebook so she will remember them. It’s a fun search for a favorite word and I loved her ultimate discovery!
Raisin enjoyed reading these books. I believe he would like to make his own search for alliterative phrases and “perfect words.” After he read them both, he asked me if there are any more Daisy books! He wants to visit her world again. I’d like to as well!
Note: I received a digital review copy of Daisy’s Defining Day.
Strawberry has developed a love for reading. It’s not surprising, given the number of books by which she is surrounded. What I’m finding somewhat amusing and annoying is that right now she has a very definite preference for what books we read together: she wants the ones she has read before, and if I try to read something else (to Raisin, for example), she gets very mad and throws a book and has a fit. I suppose this is perfectly normal for 17 months old. (more…)
Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Little, Brown, August 2013) is a poetic biography of the two influential civil rights individuals who together shared a message during the March on Washington in 1963. Brian Pinkney’s illustrations are sweeping and colorful, bringing the reader in to the tale of two talented individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr., is obviously the more well known of the two, but I loved how the lives of both were weaved together. Martin spoke and Mahalia sang. It is a vivid reminder that each has a talent, and both could use that talent to share the gospel of freedom and encourage Civil Rights. Ms Pinkney’s text throughout brings an added talent to the story: that of poetry. I loved the rhythm of the text as I read it.
The picture book culminates in the March on Washington, with the “I have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahalia Jackson’s performance at that historical day. I loved how powerful that moment felt as I read the picture book. I had to find the videos of the events to compare. Unfortunately, the audio recording is pretty poor for Mahalia’s song, but it must suffice.
I’m reviewing this now in anticipation of the fiftieth anniversary of the August March on Washington. What a special summer that was for Civil Rights!
Note: I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher of Martin and Mahalia for review consideration.