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Wishtree

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate.

Publisher : Feiwel & Friends; (September 26, 2017)
Language : English
ISBN-10 : 1250043220

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Review by Amazon:

Trees can’t tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all.

Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.

Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, this is Katherine Applegate at her very best―writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view.
This book has Common Core connections.

 

Well, if you know me, you know I love trees.  It would be impossible not for me to pick up a book about a “Wishtree”.   What is a Wishtree?  It’s a tree, that once a year, on May 1st people young and old write a wish on a piece of paper or rag and then tie it on the Wishtree.

Some wishes are silly, and some are very heartfelt.

The story is about this tree, the animals that live in and on it and the new family that moved into the house by the tree.

It’s a young person story (8-11) but I enjoyed the authors writing so much in The One and Only Ivan, that I had to see what she did  with a tree!

It’s very enjoyable. Many can read this in one (or two) sittings.  Her writing makes you feel things.  Feel good. Feel sad. Even feel mad. It’s a really nice change from my normal reading.  It’s almost like she can get inside of you and know how you would feel at any point in her writing.  The young kids today are lucky to have her.

Crenshaw

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate.

 

Publisher : Square Fish; (September 26, 2017)
Paperback : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250091667

 

Amazon Review

 

In her first novel since The One and Only Ivan, winner of the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.
Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?
Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary. This title has Common Core connections.

From the same author of The One and Only Ivan comes a totally different book. In many ways I found this story very sad. But, yet this family had a lot of love to pull them through “the rough times” of not having enough money to pay the rent or bills.  It was all to familiar to me. 

On a different note. I never had an imaginary friend.  And if I did, I was to young to remember.  Truth be told, I could use one Now!

Remarkable Creatures

 

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.

 

Publisher : Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 26, 2010)
Language : English
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 0452296722

 

Amazon Review:

 

From the New York Times bestselling novelist, a stunning historical novel that follows the story of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, two extraordinary 19th century fossil hunters who changed the scientific world forever.

On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary learns that she has a unique gift: “the eye” to spot ammonites and other fossils no one else can see. When she uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious community on edge, the townspeople to gossip, and the scientific world alight. After enduring bitter cold, thunderstorms, and landslips, her challenges only grow when she falls in love with an impossible man.

Mary soon finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth, a middle-class spinster who shares her passion for scouring the beaches. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy, but ultimately turns out to be their greatest asset.

 

For me, this book is a “reread”.  When I first read it was in 2011, ten years ago!

Every now and then programs on tv include Archeologists that dig up “history” in Egypt.  I love watching it and I think I get as excited about the smallest find as they do!  From time to time I remembered this book.  The ladies are not Archeologists but look for fossils along the seaside.

Of course back in the 1800’s women were not thought to  have intelligence enough to even know what they are looking for.  But, trust me, they do.

They begin to find skeletons of “monsters” never before seen or known about.  Still they received no recognition for finding them, cleaning them  and putting their bones back together to see what they even looked like.

It’s a lesson in history.

It’s a lesson in the difference between the poor and the rich.

It makes you want to walk the beaches with them and find something “Remarkable” !

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate.

 

Publisher : HarperCollins; Illustrated edition (May 5, 2020)
Hardcover : 352 pages
ISBN-10 : 0062991310

 

 

Amazon Review

 

Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!

 

Katherine Applegate has written these two books (The Only and Only Ivan) for young people.  Book number 2 (The One and Only Bob) began a little slower for me, however, I was enjoyable enough to keep reading, and I am glad I did !  The second half of the book was exciting  and touching and well worth the wait!

I know that The One and Only Ivan was made into a Disney Movie a few years ago, but I’ve never seen it and am disappointed that it’s not a dvd that I can buy.

These 2 books wind up really “feel good” books.  Excellent for children and for old adults that need a break from reality!

Diamonds and Dust

Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges.

 

Publisher : Little G Books; 2nd edition (January 11, 2016)
Publication date : January 11, 2016
Print length : 263 pages

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

When a horrific murder takes place on a dark night in 1860’s London, it changes two women for ever. New light is cast upon past lives they thought they knew so well, and suddenly their futures become intertwined.

The death of her uncle will leave eighteen-year-old Josephine King an orphan, an heiress and the owner of a priceless diamond, The Eye of the Khan. For Lilith Marks, a chance finally arises to end her life as a highly paid prostitute and to prove herself as a serious businesswoman.

Set against the backdrop of the great gas-lit city, the two women are drawn together in their quest to discover just who killed the man they both loved.

Diamonds & Dust is a page-whizzing narrative, with an intricate and absorbing plot that entices you through the teeming streets of Victorian London. If Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all washed up on a desert island, they might have come up with something like this.

 

When I got this book I didn’t realize there were many more to come!  Having said that, I do consider this book a “stand alone” story.

To me, it was very enjoyable.  I love almost anything that takes place in”old England!”

You should take a chance on it and read it!!

Thank you Cath, for suggesting it to me!

The One and Only Ivan

 

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

 

  • Publisher : HarperCollins; 1st edition (January 6, 2015)
  • Paperback : 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0061992275

 

 

 

Amazon Review

 

This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.

The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author’s use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).

 

Sometimes, without even realizing it, you need something different.

Sometimes it might be as simple as reading a book that you wouldn’t think is for you.

Sometimes, it could be a book for a child.. or a young adult. Just so you don’t really have to even thing of what you are reading.

And sometimes that book is so good you can’t put it down.

Sometimes, you just need simplicity in you mind for a while because you are stressed with everyday life.

May I recommend “The One and Only Ivan” ?

I promise..it’s a book about animals, and… it’s a feel good book.

The Gaslight Stalker

 

The Gaslight Stalker by David Field.

 

Publisher : Sapere Books (March 1, 2018)
Publication date : March 1, 2018
Print length : 198 pages

 

 

Amazon Review

 

London, 1888

Whitechapel is full of the noise of August Bank Holiday celebrations. Everyone is in high spirits until a woman – Martha Turner – is discovered brutally murdered.

Her friend, Esther, a lowly seamstress turned female sleuth, is determined to find the killer.
A young police officer, Jack Enright, takes the lead on the case, and he and Esther soon embark on a professional – and personal – relationship.

When another murder is committed and whispers of a slasher calling himself Jack the Ripper start flowing through the London streets, the search becomes even more desperate.

The police are on the wrong track and the young couple take matters into their own hands, and soon find themselves navigating through London’s dark underbelly.

Can they find the murderer before he kills again? Will anyone listen to their suspicions?
Or will this dark presence continue to haunt Whitechapel…?

 

A smaller book that was quite enjoyable.  I’ve read a number of books about Jack the Ripper but this one is different, which makes it a break from all the others.

When I got this book I did not realize that there were more books in the series.  I am interested in reading the others but am so far behind in all the books I have that I have not read, that I think for now they will just go on “ye ol’ wish list”!

It’s fast reading and only 198 pages so easy to carry to the beach or any restful place you might go.  It’s also available as an E book.

 

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss.

 

Publisher : Gallery / Saga Press (June 30, 2020)
Paperback : 464 pages
ISBN-10 : 1534427880

 

Amazon Review:

 

Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club foil a plot to unseat the Queen and race to save one of their own in this electrifying conclusion to the Locus Award winning trilogy that began with The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club…especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucina van Helsing, Mary Jekyll, and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished—and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes!

As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and the Empire?

In the final volume of the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with impressive wit and insight” in a starred review, the women of the Athena Club will embrace their monstrous pasts to create their own destinies.

 

This is the final book of the adventures of “The Athena Club”, using the same main characters , and adding yet another to the menagerie .

After book 2, which was quite large, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read more, but, she drew me in making much of it about Egypt and Mummies. I enjoy watching shows on Egypt and Archeologists , so this book put me in the same frame of mind.

Of the 3 books I think book one was my favorite.  The author used characters that I had not read about before and as the book moved along (all 3) there would be conversations between the “girls” that were not going to be part of the book that was being written about their adventures. I found that quite original.

Over all I liked this trilogy. I think a big part is I like when names are used in a book that I already know..”like Sherlock Holmes?”… “but of course! “

I know I am reading slower each year because I need surgery on my eyes.. but I will never just stop reading!

Virginia Dare and the Ratcatcher by Michael Scott

ASIN : B08CD3P745
Publisher : Delacorte Press (March 30, 2021)
Publication date : March 30, 2021
File size : 3709 KB
Print length : 64 pages

Amazon Review:

Nicholas Flamel appeared in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series—but did you know he really lived? And he might still be alive today! Discover the truth behind Michael Scott’s New York Times  bestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel with “Virginia Dare and the Rat Catcher,” an ebook original short story.

Long before she ever met Josh and Sophie Newman, the immortal human Virginia Dare faced down an ancient evil on the soil of the New World colonies. And without her strength, the Twins of Legend might never have had a world to save at all.

Now, that lost story is told. .

The infamous Rattenfnager, the Pied Piper of Hamlin, has come to the East Coast of the Americas. But while in Europe he earned his living as a ratcatcher, he now carries with him an ancient and incredibly powerful flute—one that he plans to use to seize control of the new colonies, and eventually the entire continent. Only, Virginia Dare stands in his way, and she has a flute of her own.

Another great short story from my favorite author Michael Scott!!

This one was quite the adventure! I doubt, no matter who I was, I would NOT have volunteered to help!  A quite scary and unpredictable story.  But, each of these short stories that Michael Scott writes gives you more insight into the different characters of his books …. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series, which I loved and have read more than once.

I do hope if you have never read them that you at least look them up on Amazon and see their reviews and find interest in them.  They are listed for Young Adults… but at 77 they STILL keep me reading them.  Most likely because the author is such a good writer!

 

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss.

 

Publisher : Gallery / Saga Press; Reprint edition (April 9, 2019)
Paperback : 736 pages
ISBN-10 : 1481466542

 

Amazon’s Review

 

In the sequel to the Nebula finalist The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of mad scientists from literature embark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for all.


Mary Jekyll’s life has been peaceful since she helped Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the Whitechapel Murders. Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankenstein, and Mary’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London, and although they sometimes quarrel, the members of the Athena Club get along as well as any five young women with very different personalities. At least they can always rely on Mrs. Poole.

But when Mary receives a telegram that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped, the Athena Club must travel to the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rescue yet another young woman who has been subjected to horrific experimentation. Where is Lucinda, and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter? Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, and Justine reach her in time?
Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom, the Athena Club embarks on a madcap journey across Europe. From Paris to Vienna to Budapest, Mary and her friends must make new allies, face old enemies, and finally confront the fearsome, secretive Alchemical Society. It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinies.

 

This is book 2 of a trilogy. The first book hooked me in..called The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.  I like mysteries and detective murder books pretty much.  This one was different and enjoyable.

When I first read the names of the main characters  (Rappaccini, Moreau, Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde it was easy to fall into reading a mystery that used so many names that I recognized! I thought it was very original and although it took me all month to read, it was not the fault of the book.  A lot of the time I didn’t feel well, the floaters in my eyes would not let me read over a 20 or 30 page chapter. Etc.  excuses I know but, you just know that if you read when feeling badly you won’t retain what you read!  sigh.   Now I have book 3 to begin!  Book 3, ” The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl” is a much more “normal sized book” lol.  

I hope if you choose to read these books that you enjoy them!