Web Wednesday: Updates

Gosh, it feels good to be book blogging again!  I’ve still been reading, but not at my normal volume, and not all diverse, but I do have some reviews to start going up again.  We are still in the thick of things, so I didn’t have much time to read OR post, but if you have any posts you’d like me to read link them in the comments!

If I add anything that is backdated I will let you know by adding to this post or (if it’s a long time after this post) making a new one with links.  Thanks for continuing to read even as I didn’t have much new content in July.

Meanwhile, today I read a post by Kristen Twardowski about Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress.  She points her readers to an interview with Carla by the New York Times.

What jumped out at me the most while reading this interview was this question:

Is there one book that made you a reader?

I often talk about my favorite book, which is “Bright April,” by Marguerite de Angeli. It was about a young African-American girl who was a Brownie with pigtails. And that was me. It was the first book I remember where I really saw myself. I think books are so important as windows to other worlds, but they can and should also be mirrors. For young readers to see themselves in something important like a book, that really makes an impression.

I’ve never heard of this book before, but you can believe it’s high on my TBR now!  Amazingly, there doesn’t seem to be a modern reprint of this 1946 classic, so it’s not widely available.

After a little searching, I was able to discover one branch library that does have this book, however it is marked library use only (unusual for a fiction book), so I suspect that it is in the rare book collection.  This will take a bit more investigation to see if it is possible for me to read it in the library, or if I would need to arrange an appointment to see it, or if it’s not available to the public at all.  It would involve some traveling and a time commitment on my part, so it may be a while before you hear more about this.

In the meantime, I did discover a sweet blog with many pictures from the book, to whet your appetite as we wait for the favorite book of the Librarian of Congress to be reprinted.

Another fascinating website to peruse is the National Library Service, an initiative to provide library services to the visually (and in some cases physically) impaired.

 

Hiatus

Dear Readers,

ColorfulBookReviews will be on hiatus until August, as my family currently needs me.

I do have some reviews scheduled to go up, but they need final editing and/or photos, and I’d rather spend my limited computer time reading your posts and commenting than stressing about trying to meet my normal posting schedule.

Most likely I will back-date the posts I had planned for the next two weeks.

My Apologies,

CBR

Review: The Lucky Few

The Lucky Few: Finding God’s Best in the Most Unlikely Places by Heather Avis.
Zondervan, HarperCollins, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2017.
Adoptive parent memoir, 223 pages.
Not Leveled.

This is the story of one woman who couldn’t become a mother even though all she yearned for was motherhood.  This is the story of her three children, and the journey she and her husband went through to bring them home and accept them as forever family.

The Lucky Few

This was a fairly light and quick read.  (I finished it in a few hours, your mileage may vary.)  I think if I didn’t know so many people in situations very similar to hers, this might have had more impact.  As it was, I felt like she kept the story extremely positive and glossed over a lot of the harsh realities.  However, that makes sense given that the goal of this book is to reach as many people as possible.

In parts it is more obvious than others that Avis was extremely lucky.  She glosses over the birth family of their daughter Truly Star, which makes sense because she is quite young yet and not ready to decide if she wants to disclose that information to the world.  She has close and loving relationships with the birth families of her other two children.  That’s fairly unusual, especially the birth family reaction to her.  Perhaps it’s a different scenario because they have Down Syndrome as opposed to other challenges.

Continue reading “Review: The Lucky Few”

Adoption: A Primer

Many people go their entire lives without a thought to adoption or foster care.  Perhaps they see a story on the news or have an acquaintance that decides to care for non-biological children.  When fostering and adoption cross their path, well-meaning people think “what angels they must be” and “gosh, I could never do that.”  (You don’t want to know what ill meaning people say to a parent or child’s face.)

Thus, I’m taking a moment to educate.  In America, there are 3 main types of adoption:
domestic – an American child removed from the home or placed for adoption at the parent’s request.
international – a foreign-born child placed for adoption
kinship – an American child under the physical custody of a family member other than their biological parent, often a grandparent.
Kinship adoptions can be informal (not processed through the court systems) and are often overlooked by a crowded system, or relatives ashamed to admit the parent cannot care for the child.  As a result, these parents are less likely to have access to needed services and support.  Some forms of kinship can later be overturned by birth parents.

No matter what form of adoption, each one begins with a trauma – the separation from birth parents.  In some adoptions, that is the only trauma, and it is followed by much joy.

Continue reading “Adoption: A Primer”

Graphic Novel Review: Malice in Ovenland

An original, #ownvoices can’t-miss middle grade graphic novel.

Malice in Ovenland by Micheline Hess.
Rosarium Publishing, Greenbelt, MD, 2016.
MG speculative fiction, 126 pages including extras.
Not yet leveled.

Lily Brown is not going to camp this summer, or on a fancy vacation.  She’ll be staying home, eating her mom’s new ‘healthy’ organic cooking, caring for their plot in a community garden, and doing extra studying.  Her mom goes away for a weekend and Lily’s almost done with her chore list when she loses an earring inside the oven and discovers a magical world where they aren’t too happy about the sudden lack of grease in her family’s kitchen.

Malice in Ovenland cover resized
Malice in Ovenland by Micheline Hess.

There’s no way that my summary has done this book justice.  There are so many things going on here, and everything is wonderful. This is a book that kids love to read, and that parents can feel good about their kids reading.

Continue reading “Graphic Novel Review: Malice in Ovenland”

Review: Children of the Fire

“The southwest wind in Hallelujah’s face blew pieces of flaming cloth and chunks of blazing hay high above her head.” page 33

Children of the Fire by Harriette Gillem Robinet.
Aladdin Paperbacks, Simon and Schuster, 2001.  Originally published 1999.
MG historical fiction, 134 pages including author’s note.
Lexile:  590L .
AR Level:  4.0 (worth 4.0 points) .

In 1871 Chicago, Hallelujah wants nothing more than to watch one of the fires burning around the city, but has no idea how one of those fires will change her life.

Children of the Fire cover

I hadn’t been reading much historical fiction so I impulsively bought this.  We’ve visited Chicago, so I thought it might make a good family read-aloud.

The cover was so irritating.  Why did they include the rich white girl?  Once I started reading, I also noticed that Hallelujah’s hair was wrong on the cover.  In the book it specifically states that her sister redid it into loose braids, not twists (and the cover looks more like ponytail poofs to me)  A large theme of the book is that Hallelujah is able to blend in with different groups because she wears a simple dress, but custom-made shoes, is the daughter of a slave, yet can read and write.  Different people see her in different ways.

Continue reading “Review: Children of the Fire”