Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman is a strange, dream-like story. It is a story told by a father to his children when he took too long to go to the store and get some milk. When he came home with the milk, the children asked why it had taken so long. The remainder of the book is a clever and ridiculous story that the father tells in order to convince his children that he had been gone for good reason.Continue Reading
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (originally published 2012) is an amazing nonfiction account of the Titanic disaster, drawn directly from first-hand accounts written by the survivors of the Titanic crash, as well as the letters and notes of those who did not survive.
What most impressed me by Ms Hopkinson’s account was the amazing readibility of the story. She quoted from first-hand accounts throughout, but it never felt dry. Instead, she provided a clear framework for why the ship was so incredible, the events leading up to the crash, the crash itself, and the aftermath of the disaster. The people who’s stories she shared became real. I could not help becoming emotional as I imagined the moments of realization among the passengers and crew as they realized the painful fact: the ship was going down. Continue Reading
Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky by Sandra Dallas is an appropriate book for reading just before our country’s Independence Day. It focuses on a Japanese American family during the early part of World War II, when thousands of people of Japanese descent were relocated to special “camps”. It is about the discrimination against Japanese, but even more, the main character must come to terms with what it means to be American and if she is happy with her place and the opportunities before her.Continue Reading
George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl (originally published 1981) is a book I never got to enjoy as a child, but since I have always loved Roald Dahl ridiculousness, I knew this would be a fun one. In fact, my son was the one who originally checked it out (fresh off of a reread of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). After he finished it, he could not stop talking about the funny parts of it. I knew I had to give the brief volume a read!
In this story, George is tired of his complaining Grandmother that he must care for every afternoon. He decides to concoct a new medicine that will stop her whining once and for all. I love the ridiculous magical effects! First, his medicine makes her grow too tall, and then his medicine . . . well, I could tell you, but that would spoil the fun!Continue Reading