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Reviews - GoodReads.com

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This is a group for library patrons and staff to review books they've read and share what they are currently reading.


Non-Fiction Reviews: (View All)

  • Mao and Me
  • Author: Chen Jiang Hong
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: Teton Co Call No: J 951.056 Chen J
    Julia's rating: 4 stars

    I've long been intrigued with the cover of this book and its placement in the library. A book about growing up in China under Mao - for children? I wondered.

    Finally, I sat down to read this curious picture book. And, I am so pleased that I did because this thoughtful, informative and sometimes sad book serves as yet another reminder that children's literature is simply not just for kids. And, that picture books may not always be aimed at the youngest of children.

    The story, written and illustrated by Chen Jiang Hong, is a memoir about the author's life growing up before, during and after Mao's Cultural Revolution. It's a beautiful story about traditions, family and survival, while also a bracing reminder about sacrifice, survival and mortality. The illustrations are magnificent, too.

    I would recommend this book for high school students - and anyone older - interested in learning about modern Chinese history. It's a brief look but one with depth and scope.
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  • Great Big Book of Children's Games
  • Author: Debra Wise
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: J 796 Wise D.

    Kay's rating: 3.5 stars

    This is a good resource for parents, grandparents and early childhood & elementary teachers. The games included in this book will get children moving and will take them outdoors; perfect for summer time fun.
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Fiction Reviews:(View All)

  • 100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, #1)
  • Author: N.D. Wilson
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: TLC Call #: J CD BOOK WILSON

    Chris’s Review: 4 Stars
    12 year-old Henry goes to visit his relatives in the country when his parents are kidnapped in South America. Now in the middle of nowhere Henry wants to learn to play baseball, but fears he may not be any good. All plans for a “normal” life in the country are shattered when Henry discovers there are dozens of “cupboards” in his attic bedroom…portals to different dimensions just waiting to be explored…except for the black door which Henrietta (one of Henry’s cousins) is infatuated with. Henry has a terrible feeling about that one…and he may just be right.
    For the most part 100 cupboards is a delightful read/listen, starting slow but humorous and picking up speed later on to become a great adventure. Uncle Frank is rather random and funny, Henrietta is often annoying, but makes things happen, and the youngest cousin blabs whatever is on her mind, very unlike her well mannered oldest sister. I didn’t get the sense that Henry has a very strong emotional attachment to his parents (perhaps because they weren’t in his life that much). The ending was rather unexpected and a great hook for a sequel. Great for young readers 9-12 who like humor and travel to make-believe lands.
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  • The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1)
  • Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: TCL CALL #: J PLAYAWAY BOSCH P

    Chris’s Rating: 3.5 Stars
    The only thing worse than not knowing a secret is—knowing one. This story follows two kids, Cassandra (whom we assume is a survivalist) and Max-Ernest (who might be quite the talker)…Really it must be put in the above terms, because although something like the story must have happened, names and details (perhaps even personalities) were probably changed to protect the children’s identities…for this book is most definitely centered around a secret…a secret the author is only telling because he (I assume he’s a he) can’t keep a secret. Anyways, the two children try to find the reasons behind the death of a magician, the book of smells, and the kidnapping of a social outcast from their school. In doing so they run into an ancient society seeking the secret to immortality…for themselves…not for the children, whom they’d as soon knock off it they pose a threat to their plans.
    If you need your book to have plenty of details and reasoning behind it…this is not the book for you. The secret book is perhaps a mix of A Series of Unfortunate Events (Snicket) and the Alcatraz Smedley (Sanderson). The author begins by letting us know that anything and maybe everything that is written has been changed (because it must be kept a secret) but that is surely happened as it really did. While the author interruptions and lack of detail on some points is sometimes annoying, it can be appealing at the same time. I listened to the recorded MP3 version and the reader did a great job. The book (and corresponding series) is likely to appeal to 9-12 year old readers who like mystery (with randomness) and puzzles.
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