Sunday, August 27, 2017

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Author: Marta McDowell
Illustrations: Helen Sewell, Garth Williams
Publisher: Timber Press
Publication Date: September 20, 2017

I don't know if any elementary students still read Little House on the Praire by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but even if the books were already about 40 years old when I first read them, I was so enamored with life on the plains of America in the early 1900s. Laura Ingalls Wilder, born in 1867 wrote her first book in this series in 1932. It is about their early life as well as her husband's life in Farmer Boy. I guess I just liked that her life was so different from mine as a young girl growing up in a large urban city in Hawaii. Wilder's life was just so different from mine. Her praire and fields were as large as my ocean.

This book brings me back to that reading by giving a lot of the backstory to those books and including similar types of illustrations.

What I really find interesting about this well researched book is that it brings the series alive again by weaving in tips on how to grow the plants and vegetables featured in the Praire series as well as how to actually visit the places even 150 years after Laura Ingalls' birth. The historical and contemporary photographs just make this so appealing to me as an adult. Thank you to the authors and illustrators for the journey of nostalgia.

An advanced copy made available by Net Galley and the publisher for an honest review

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Nightschool: The Weirn Books


This manga 4-book series starts off in a day school that becomes a night school at 6pm for other worldly teens (weirns, werewolves, vampires oh my). I only have two of the four books but the books follow Alex, a homeschooled weirn who enrolls in the nightschool when her sister, who worked at the nightschool disappears.

If you like manga, but hate that the Japanese manga make you read backwards, this one is for you. If you cannot afford the manga series that seem to come out weekly for years, this one ends at 4.If you love the character styling of manga where everyone looks androgynous and European, this is for you. 

I liked the story enough. It fit the category of manga, cliff hangers and all. I think it taps into the fascination with non-human teen characters. Is it a keeper? No, but it's a reader. Find a public library or a well-stocked English classroom and just borrow it. 


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