Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Fighting for the Forest by P.O'Connell Pearson - ADVISABLE


Fighting for the Forest by P. O’Connell Pearson, 197 pages.  NON-FICTION Simon and Schuster, 2019.  $18.  

Content: Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.  

BUYING ADVISORY: MS, HS – ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE  

During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the American people that he would help the country economically and environmentally.  One of his best-known programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps which provided jobs for young men and helped improve National Parks and taught classes for farmers so they would know how to rotate their crops.  Starting with an explanation of the country’s fall into the depression and the idea to start the CCC, this book builds up to the CCC’s work mostly in Shenandoah National Park.  

My grandparents were cooks for the CCC in Yellowstone National Park during the Great Depression, so I was highly interested in this book.  I was disappointed that more National Parks weren’t discussed, but by concentrating on the Shenandoah Park I feel like the author paints a detailed enough picture that I could imagine what was going on in other places.  There are a lot of cool pictures included and side stories discuss minorities and the challenges that these CCC projects caused down the road.  This would be a great read for U.S. history teachers.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson    

This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada - HIGH


This Vicious Cure (Mortal Coil, #3) by Emily Suvada, 404 pages. Simon Pulse, 2020. $20. 

Content: Language: R (100+ swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: R.  

BUYING ADVISORY: HS – OPTIONAL  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH  

Cat exists without her body and is trapped in a computerized loop.  With hope of gaining a body and helping her friends finally rid the world of Cartaxus and it’s confusing mission, Cat has to find a way to exist in the real world.  Working with her friends, Cat fights against time and technology to try and save humanity.  

I enjoy this series and was highly satisfied with the ending.  Cat is easy to cheer for and her friends are just as likable as Cat.  The dystopian setting is well built and intense.  The violence includes gore and creative violence that is upsetting.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson       

Monday, August 3, 2020

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo - OPTIONAL


Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo, 326 pages. Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan), 2019.  $18.  

Content: Language: PG-13 (59 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: G.  

BUYING ADVISORY: MS, HS – OPTIONAL  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE  

Lucky is a sixteen-year-old K-Pop star who is rising in popularity, but losing her connection to her audience and her music.  Jack is an eighteen-year-old who knows he wants to pursue photography, but his family is pressuring him into banking.  Jack takes side jobs of taking tabloid-worthy pictures of popular people, so when Lucky gets lost evading her bodyguards in pursuit of a hamburger, Jack sees a story.  Jack persuades Lucky to spend the day with him and he will show her Hong Kong, but what he doesn’t expect is to fall for Lucky.  

This teen romance explores the idea of following your dreams and respecting others.  Jack and Lucky had good banter, but there isn’t much action going on.  They move from one location to another throughout the book, with the predictable conflict of Lucky finding out Jack’s motives hanging over them.  Cute romance, but nothing new. 

Reviewer, C. Peterson

Saturday, August 1, 2020

D-Day: The World War II Invasion that Changed History by Deborah Hopkinson - ADVISABLE


D-Day: The World War II Invasion that Changed History by Deborah Hopkinson, 350 pages.  NON-FICTION Scholastic Focus, 2018. $17.  

Content: Language: PG (9 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13.  

BUYING ADVISORY: MS, HS – ADVISABLE  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE  

This account of D-Day builds from the time that D-Day became an idea for the allied forces and moves through the battle and the effects for the overall war.  The planning and logistics of the battle are explained but interspersed throughout are stories about individual soldiers.  Sidebars, photographs and added stories help explain terms and positioning of the armies throughout the book.  

This is a comprehensive, yet readable history for young adult readers.  I enjoyed the human-interest aspects of the book because it was easy to imagine what it was like for the soldiers.  The perfect blend of battle action, history and individual’s stories. It looks daunting because it is text heavy, but it is so well written I couldn’t put it down.  The content does include war violence, including paratroopers who are impaled and shootings.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson        

Larkin on the Shore by Jean Mills - OPTIONAL


Larkin on the Shore by Jean Mills, 310 pages.  Red Deer Press, 2019.  $15.  

Content: Language: R (16 swears; 2 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG.  

BUYING ADVISORY: MS, HS – OPTIONAL  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE  

Larkin is a sixteen-year-old who had a bad year in school, so for the summer she is moving to Nova Scotia to live with her grandmother.  Larkin feels lost and broken, but she slowly builds a relationship with her grandma and befriends a boy named William who has his own secrets.  As Larkin helps her grandma with her bookstore, she begins to feel herself coming back, but then someone starts a fire at the bookstore and Larkin begins to uncover clues as to who might have started it.  

I like Jean Mills writing because her character development feels real and she makes empathetic characters.  If not for the “f’ words, this would be an advisable read.  I loved how Larkin’s family supported her and let her work through her problems without judgement.  This was a feel-good read.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson