Monday, 30 January 2017

Randy Pausch: Author of 'The Last Lecture'

Happy reading

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Tutti's Promise

Tutti's Promise
Author: K Heidi Fishman
ISBN: 9780990843016
Publication date: April 2017

Hi Everyone,

Tutti's Promise is an amazing story of a young girl and her family as they fight to survive the Holocaust.  It is written from the point of view of the child.  This is what captured me.  I have read many books on the Holocaust survival and they have all be brilliant bringing out stories of strength, endurance and survival beyond human belief.  I found Tutti's Promise to be all this, and more, as a child's account of her parent's courage and strength unveiled. 

Amongst all the trials, Tutti's father is able to buy her a doll of which he places all the money they have into the head chamber.  Tutti is then given the doll for her birthday.  Along with the doll comes the promise and challenge of never letting the doll from her protection, no matter what the circumstance.  I was touched by this.  As lists are placed on walls with the names of prisoners destined for the gas chambers, the last thing one would want would be their child screaming over a doll.  But, this was the family's future survival source.  As a mother I thought of what I would have my children do.  One then quickly realises the hope of the father and mother, and the strength of a daughter no matter how young.

The father amazed me in this novel.  He never gave up trying every resource available to him as he endeavoured to keep his family in the right places.  He managed to just scrape through many events. The family also struggled to keep extended family together, but never stopped in the effort to bring each family member back together.  It was a story that showed unbelievable family strength and connection.

For any middle grader, this book is a brilliant piece of history that will far exceed many history texts in the education of Holocaust survival.  The writing from a childs perspective, gives strength to the story.  The photos at the end show the family, Tutti, and her doll, all bring a sense of life to the book.  I would like to see this book used as a piece of educational history by teachers presenting the topic which remains a bit of history that continues to be told and shock every generation.  This is a piece of history that needs to be learnt from so it never surfaces again, to any degree, in the future.


Friday, 27 January 2017

Booktuber of the month

Hi Everyone,

I have chosen 'A Dash of Ash' as my booktuber for January.  She has a ceretain character about her presentation, not just the same traditional booktuber voice to her clips.  She also has a variety of clips which keep her channel fresh.  The main thing that I like about her channel is the frequency in which she posts.

The above two clips are from her channel and the link will take to more of her videos.  I love seeing other people express excitement over their bookshelves.  I also like the Owlcrate opening clips.  I wish we had book boxes like this on my country but no, not yet.  Maybe it is something that I should be suggesting to our national publishers... mmm thinking now 🤔.

Take a journey over to A Dash of Ash's channel and check out what she is doing.  She has a good range to show you and I'm sure there will be something that will inspire you there.

Happy reading

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Rose under fire

Rose Under Fire
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Read by: Sasha Pick
ISBN:  9781486203659

Hi Everyone,

This took an extremely long time to listen to, 11 hours, 37 minutes to be exact.  I listened in disbelieve as I became engulfed with the lives of these characters.  Rose Justice is believed to have crashed her plane in part one.  I found part one pretty normal in the way of novels.  Part two on the other hand transported me to Ravensbruck, a Nazi women's concentration camp.  There, I practically lived with the women as I listened to their stories.  Even though I have read many books of Jewish survival, this one is different.  Rose Under Fire managed to take me inside the camp, into the lives of these women.  I had never hear of the 'Rabbits'.  I hadn't realised such experimentation that went on.  I was shocked to even think it all possible.  As I write this, I re-envision the story and pause to think about the lives of the millions of prisoners, and sit almost speechless.

As the book evolves, the war ends and the women are left to survive out in the world.  They have to tell the world what happened.  They had promised to 'tell the world'.  This proves harder than they thought.  Each get their day court but struggle to show the scars.  They struggle to even get on the stand.  I felt for these women all the way through the book.  They made friendships deeper than any I have ever known.  They had nothing left to hide as they were stripped of every dignity in the presence of each other.  They cradled each other through the experience. 

This is fictional but extremely historical as explained at the end of the book.  I think it is one excellent piece of literature that will grace shelves around the world for many years to come.


Rose Justice is a young pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War. On her way back from a semi-secret flight in the waning days of the war, Rose is captured by the Germans and ends up in Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi women's concentration camp. There, she meets an unforgettable group of women, including a once glamorous and celebrated French detective novelist whose Jewish husband and three young sons have been killed; a resilient young girl who was a human guinea pig for Nazi doctors trying to learn how to treat German war wounds; and a Nachthexen, or Night Witch, a female fighter pilot and military ace for the Soviet air force. These damaged women must bond together to help each other survive.

In this companion volume to the critically acclaimed novel Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein continues to explore themes of friendship and loyalty, right and wrong, and unwavering bravery in the face of indescribable evil.

Happy reading

This was available from: Book depository, and fishpond

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This poem was taken from:
Great Short Poems, edited by Paul Legri
ISBN: 9780486110288
Dover Publications. Inc.

 Happy reading

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Lily and the Fairy House

Lily and the Fairy House
Author: Jane Tanner

Coming to you with the approval of 'Kitty' ...

Hi Everyone,

I wish I had this book as a little girl.  It is the most beautiful story and picture book that I have ever come across.  I have to share with you some of the illustrations.

This is where  Lily makes the Fairies a swing out of ribbon. 

Here Lily has made a tea party for them.

The whole book is like this!  Lily decides to make a home for the fairies who she believes live in the garden.  She waits quietly for them to arrive.  She then makes friends with them.  The story is extremely sweet and caring.  There is a gentleness to the book that makes me smile.  The illustration are simply beautiful, capturing the essence of a fairy world.  I have to give this book my highest accreditation.  I haven't come across it in the book shops, so I went on a search and found it can be sourced through Whitcoulls and Paperplus


Lily knows that fairies live near the gum tree. She has created a fairy house with a rose petal bed and a gum leaf table, and today she is preparing a fairy party ...But will the fairies come and play? Lily and the Fairy House is pure wish-fulfilment, a magical fairy book for girls of all ages. The perfect companion to the bestselling Isabella's Secret.

Also available from: Book depository, Amazon, and Fishpond

Happy reading

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Find a window!

Hi Everyone

I love quotes and poetry, as I keep sharing.  Now I have discovered apps that enable me to be creative with them too! 

It is pouring with rain here.  Yes, it is meant to be summer but some how we have been invaded with a weather bomb.  That doesn't mean I can't find a way to enjoy the last of the holidays.  I have the fire going and my creative side looking for book quotes.  Today I remembered someone talking about doors always seeming locked and I can remember the talk venturing onto using a window instead.  I don't know if this is already a quote out there, but I like this concept.  I hope you find some meaning it too.

Happy reading

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Author: Lorraine M.L.M
ISBN: 9781539189428

Hi Everyone,

I loved this book right from the very first page.  There seems to be mixed views on Amazon about SeQuence, but I really enjoyed it.  I enjoyed that it was different from a lot of  the other YA books lining the shelves.

The first chapter was one of the best chapters (for me that is).  It had me reading slow, than reading fast paced as the action sped up.  I felt there was an ignorance towards Alessia's problems that was determined to be fixed with counselling and medication.  This is such a normal occurrence in today's society and it is one that annoys me to the bone.  So, I felt for Alessia and connected in a way that I wanted to save her. 

Then, she ends up in the water and finds herself in a new world.  This new world is beautifully described.  I love the graphic descriptions written in each chapter of SeQuence.  The ability Lorraine M.L.M has to 'show' the reader (me) each scene is brilliant.  The descriptive language is what kept me turning page after page as I envisioned this new glorious world.  While I was studying, one of my writing papers, I was continually told to 'show' what was in my mind.  I didn't, at the time, understand what was meant or required as I worked to present more depth in my writing.   As the papers progressed, and hence my writing, I grew to love the visual impact of writers with such an ability to present worlds to my inner-most mind.   I wish  my tutors had given me examples of such writing used in SeQuence.  For me, this was the influential factor or my continual enjoyment of SeQuence.

I will read the rest of this series.  Without a doubt I will be recommending it to our library as the cleanness and balance of adventure, mystery and love impressed me.  I need to know where Alessia and Dante go from here.  What happens to them and their world?  I am hoping the second book gives me more twists and action that will leave me wanting to know more, again.

Official Book Trailer available on Youtube


This was available from: Amazon, Fishpond and Book depository

Sunday, 15 January 2017

What do you think?  For many it takes a life time to consider being one's self.  Then there are the many who have to consider who 'yourself' is behind all the people pleasing.  I think that being 'yourself' is a journey, as we discover who we truely are through lifes ups and downs.

Happy reading

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Everything I need to know...

Everything I need to know about love I learned from a Little Golden Book
Author: Diane Muldrow
ISBN: 978-0-553-50875-8

Hi Everyone,

You are never too old to receive a Little Golden Book for Christmas.  I have just proved it!  I was given this book by my precious sister, and I love it to bits.  More so because my sister gave it to me than anything, but also because of the reasoning behind such a gift.

Our mother got one of these books for us nearly every week.  We read the books with passion.  We re-read the books to younger children when they visited, and when I was in my baby-sitting days.  I copied verses from these little books into my special little poem book which I spent hours writing into.  I also traced many of the pictures!  The Little Golden Books have a special place in my heart and it is obviously the case for my sister.

I have sat down with this book in hand, many times since Christmas.  I have smile in reminiscence at the pictures.  My sister and I have laughed over the stories we can remember.  She remembers different ones from me, which I find interesting.  Every time I open this little treasure I smile at a different picture. 

For everyone who grew up with the Little Golden Books I present the Little Golden Book that will grace my bookcase... forever.

Just a little sneak peak from inside my copy 😊

Happy reading

This was available from: Book depository, Fishpond and Amazon

Thursday, 12 January 2017

2017 and nothing's changed!

Welcome to 2017...

This was my favourite poem in high school

and after reading hundreds,

maybe even thousands of poems,

it remains my favourite.

This year I will endevour to break this trend -

and I may just find one which will replace

Robert Frost's,

that still touches a place in my heart

everytime I read it.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

100 Cupboards

100 Cupboards
Author: N. D. Wilson
ISBN: 978-1742743424

Hi Everyone,

I actually read 100 Cupboards before Christmas and then got sidetracked amongst the other books I was given.  It was a delay of thought, more than anything.  I wanted to digest the concepts in this new fantasy world, or was it still our world I was reading within?

Henry is another one of the protagonist characters, that grace many of the children and young adult books, who has lost their parents and gone to live with their Aunt and Uncle.  The reason I write this is that my daughter commented on it.  She is questioning why so many middle grade and young adult books take the main character out of their parents care, to be alone.  She has a point.  This is what our young readers are questioning.

Anyway, Henry goes to live with his Aunt and Uncle.  The mystery behind his parents is revealed later in the book, and does form part of the storyline.  Henry soon discovers cupboards behind the wall boards.  I found this concept interesting, as Henry picked away at the wall boards I could only envision it as an adult - horrified at the concept of my walls being damaged!  👀  Fantastic fantasy for a middle grader though.  This is the beginning of the fantasy world being unravelled.

I enjoyed every little bit of the fantasy world unravelling.  I became interested in the critters behind the wall.  I wanted to journey right into one of the cupboards to see the worlds.  This book only touched on inside the cupboards.  I am have added the second book in this series, Dandelion Fire, to by list of books for reading in 2017.  I hope to be taken inside the cupboards in more depth as I envision a new Narnia behind the doors.  I will let you know what is there when I read the Dandelion Fire.

Overall, I am enjoying the concept of this series.  I wanted more as I finished and closed the book.  I got to know the characters well, and only hope that the rest of the books will take me on journeys inside each and every cupboard.  I am greedy and want to know what is behind every cupboard door!  I want more adventure and more fantasy, hence I will continue reading through the rest of the cupboard series.  I recommend this to both young and old readers alike.  In my opinion this will be enjoyed by boys and girls, young and old, if your willing to open your imagination and envision the characters and worlds within the pages.


Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room with a man pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but portals to other worlds.

Happy reading

This was available from: Amazon, Book depository and Fishpond

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow

Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow
Sung by: The Topp Twins
Pictures by: Jenny Cooper
ISBN: 978-1-771543-194-7

Hi Everyone,

The Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow is just brilliant!  I love the illustrations in this version and the Topp Twins do a brilliant performance of presenting the story.  I couldn't help singing this as I read it.  Now, I have to admit a few thing here:

  1. I love scarecrows!  I have since I first watched the television series Worzel Gummidge.  Don't make me explain myself, if you watched Worzel as a child you will understand 😄
  2. I picked up this book because of the cover - I will always be drawn to good covers.
  3. The Topp Twins were a draw card, especially as my mother always loved them.
  4. I love bright, playful picture books.
This has to be the most delightfully illustrated book I have seen for a while.  I could sit and read this over and over, not becoming slightly discontented.  It is a beautiful book.

If you want a smile put on your face then take a look inside this book.

I'm a dingle-dangle scarecrow
with a flippy-floppy hat,
I can shake my hands like this
and shake my feet like that.

Shake a leg and sing along with The Topp Twins!

Hilariously illustrated by Jenny Cooper

The proof is there in my typing of the description... I had to sing it as I typed - It's an addictive song/story.

Happy reading

This was available from: Fishpond, Amazon and Book depository

Saturday, 7 January 2017


Author: Rachael Craw
ISBN: 978-1-922179-64-7

Hi Everyone

I finally managed to get my hands on Shield, by Racheal Craw.  I was given her first book as a Goodreads giveaway and from that very first book I was hooked.  I took my kids to the library to collect books for reading on holiday and found highlighted on the library shelves  - Shield!  I had to put aside all other books on my TBR list and read this one.  Hence, I sat in the sun on holiday, I sat on my bed, I sat on the couch, I sat at the table... can you tell this book enabled me to have a complete holiday as nothing else was achieved.

Rachael Craw didn't disappoint me at all.  This book took me down a different avenue from the previous two books, as this one is set amongst the Affinity Project that she had been avoiding in the previous books.  I found this strange to begin with, but quickly settled into the new scene.  Rachel has an amazing imagination and she takes the reader for a ride through an action packed plot line.

I enjoyed the pull between Evie and Jamie.  I was pleased to see that although at times their connection seemed broken, it in turn strengthened into spoilers that I cannot talk of - read it.  I got annoyed with the character, Hannah, not that it was her fault but she really annoyed me.  I wanted her to disappear form the story.  She was destined to ruin Jamie and Evie's chances of a happy ever after - not that the out come would be bound to such an ending.  These three characters kept me reading more than than the plot.

There was just enough action.  I would have liked more in the beginning of the book to entice me into the Affinity Project.  But, I was hooked in as the story developed. 

Overall, this was a good ending to the  Spark, Stray, Shield trilogy.  I am pleased I was sent the first book, as I don't know that I would have picked it up otherwise.  These books are young adult genre, and after reading this and the Divergent trilogy I personally would put them into much the same category (My opinion only).

The following is a Youtube clip placed on Youtube by the author.  She explains a little more about Shield and you get to see the face behind the writing. 


Evie is out of options.  She must comply with the Affinity Project - obey their rules, play thier deadly games, give up Jamie.  And her losses keep growing.

When she decides to help a small group of Shields, trying to affect change, Evie finds herself in the firing line.  Counsellor Knox is intent on revealing her secrets and shackling her to the Affinity Project for life.  To protect her family, Evie must betray those closest to her.

The oods of success - let alone survival - are slim.

The final thrilling conclusion to the Spark Series.

This was available from: Fishpond, Amazon, Book depository

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Bend in the road

Hi Everyone,

As we leave our holiday's and 2016 behind us, I hope that you will all found a way to walk around the bend in the roads you endured last year.  I know the holiday I have just had with my family has given me a fresh mind. 

I biked down the track in the above picture with my son.  It was a breezy day, but the sun was shining and on this cycle track there wasn't a breath of wind... only my son and myself.  We stopped and took photos of a bird which was so content that my boy had to slam on his breaks because it wasn't going to move.  It was a tiny little thing.  Beautiful in colour and content to just stroll about the bush enjoying its day.  So much so, it didn't care that two cyclists were about to run it down.  We got off our bikes and followed it taking photos.  This little bird was not worried about much at all, let alone the bend in the road ahead of it. 

As I venture into a new year I will come across many bends in my road.  I just hope I take the perspective of our new little friend and enjoy the scenery, sun and peace, that is surely some where around us if we take the time to stop and look.  The last few years I have had little time to stop, let alone look.  This year I will try.  We can only try!

Wishing you all a good year with bends that aren't too sharp.

Happy reading