Wednesday, 26 August 2020

The Bad Luck Lighthouse

Author: Nicki Thornton
ISBN: 9781912626304


Hi Everyone

I love the library more now than ever at the moment.  As my love for different genres has widened, I find a new gem (or today, 11) just begging me to take it home.  I have taken a real liking to the shelf with the 'new books'.  Some of these I have noticed, are actually older titles but the library obviously has a new copy.  When I get them home and finally decided which one I am going to start with, I feel like I have been shopping at the bookstore.  I especially like the new books when I have requested they purchase a title, when they come in I know am reading that particular book first.  There is nothing quite like a new book and I can admit that I enjoy the newbies, even if they have to be sent back in three weeks. 

The Bad Luck Lighthouse came from the 'new books' stand at our library.  I found so much to think about in this book.  It is quite interesting what you can learn from a simple book.  Don't stop at the classics, I find there is something between the pages of every book if we are willing to sink beneath the surface and actually ponder what  is happening. This includes children's books and children reading them should be encouraged to think about what they are reading, between the lines, looking at anything that grabs their interest

Actually, I say throw away the multi-choice tests and fill in the gap sheets for books at schools and talk about the books.  When I say talk about them I don't mean ask questions that have an answer. Ask questions that need a conversation, an opinion, and a little thinking about characters and life.  If I had been shown how to think in these ways, about the events in a book as a child, I would have liked reading so much more - I may have pick a book up and read it.  There you go confessions of a student past.  I didn't read at school!  In fact I spent years saying I hated it!  With a passion!  Come on all you adults out there, if we stop testing the kids with random right/wrong questions and just have a conversation maybe more kids might like what they encounter. Maybe or maybe not, after all it is just my opinion.  An opinion from a childhood non-reader.

Today I read everything.  I have lots of catching up to do.  Lots of pondering the happenings between the pages of books from every age and every genre.  Fun!  

Fact: Never give up on a child.  They may not enjoy reading now but there is always time.  Enjoy reading for them and to them, they deserve to hear the story.  By hearing the story, one day they may just be an avid reading.... Never give up.

Back to the book at hand 😁  What was just a story became a brilliant piece of literature.  

It was in the suspense category and there was plenty of that.  I could have put it in the mystery section too but the librarians labelled it 'suspense'.  This was also a book with plenty of magic.  It was a book that showed people can often be more than you see. I feel that everyone had either a personal secret, a secret identity, a secret life, or simply didn't know what they had to offer and that had to be brought to the surface too.  It was like judging a book by its cover only to find the inside was nothing that you predicted.  Every character evolved in some way as the book progress.  No-one seemed to be who I thought they were.  Secrets unraveled everywhere.  

This may be a children/juvenile fiction book but from this book there are so many talking points and avenues that one can take a conversation down.  As you or you children read it, think about it.  Think about what we can hide from the world.  Think about what how your kids or yourself judge others without really knowing the real person below the surface. I am sure if you open your mind as you read this you will see so much more in the mystery and suspense.  And, it's actually a really good read. Enjoy the friendships and the magic.  Enjoy the journey.

Description:

Welcome to the bad luck lighthouse

In solving the mystery at the Last Chance Hotel, Seth has discovered a world of magic. Swept up in a new case at Snakesmouth Lighthouse - the murder of eccentric owner Mina Mintencress - he is determined to prove himself.

With the help of his cat, Nightshade, Seth must put his new-found magic to the test. Can they unmask a sinister sorcerer... before it's too late?


Happy reading



Friday, 14 August 2020

We Were Liars

Author: E Lockhart


Hi Everyone

The weekend has arrived!  I guess it depends on when you are reading this, but as for me right here, right now, it is the weekend!  And what a week it has been as our country was placed back into social restrictions.  Along with social restrictions there comes more reading time 😀 and the sun has decided to show up (we are in winter) so I will be heading to the garden to start preparing for the onset of spring.  Sound like a good weekend?  

This week I finished We Were Liars. Once again it is a book that has been waiting to be read.  There is one bonus to staying at home more and that is picking up the books that have been waiting for me here.  Who else can admit to the ever increasing TBR lists and books that are already waiting but you just can't help adding one more; maybe just another couple too...

Okay, to the book at hand.

I quite enjoyed this one.  It was an easy read, which was quiet refreshing.  I put the book down a couple of times and had a little smile at the language as I recalled my adolescent years and some of the conversations my friends and I had, and the places we congregated.  Rubbish, useless conversations that at the time had so much meaning but now I just smile and have a little giggle at the thought.  I recalled summer holidays when we took our friends with us or I joined another family and tagged long with them.  I guess you could say I became a part of the book from time to time, hence it has to be put into the 'good read' pile.

It was the ending that really got me thinking.  When the truth was finally remembered.  The twisted outcome shocked me.  I didn't see it coming, at all.  The thing that got me the most was that Cadence hadn't set out to hold back truth.  She had an accident - or had she?  Trauma?  Even as I sit here writing my thoughts on this book, I go into deep thought about how many lies we all hold, hidden.  Hidden not just from the those around us but even from ourselves.  Cadence had no recall of the images she dug out in the final pages.  In our final pages what are we going to recall?  I know as things come up in my adult life, I recall one more little thing that I unknowingly hid away, even from myself.... memories forgotten to protect this child at the time.  Fortunately I had a good childhood, so my little hidden dramas are easily dealt with.  But as I pondered Cadence's memories, I thought of all the things many people trap in their hidden child, so deep inside that it is literally lost; for how long though?

I know this is deep thinking when it was such a simple read 💭  But that is what reading some of the classics has done to me.... I'm ruined!

Anyway, if you want a simple read that might just make you smile along the way and then give you a twist that will make you go 'What?!' in the final pages then this book is for you.  

And, if you read some book along the way that you find gets you thinking like some do me, then leave me a message recommending I too put it on my TBR list - the list is NEVER too long.


Description:

A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends - the Liars - whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Book depository


Happy reading


Monday, 10 August 2020

The Sailing Ship Tree

The Sailing Ship Tree

Author: Berlie Doherty

ISBN: 9781846470448



Hi Everyone

Here we have another book finally read that has been waiting to be picked up for months.  I purchased this book from Young Reflections off one of their sale tables.  Hence, I am not sure that they will still have it but it is well worth taking an afternoon out to browse their shop, it is one of my favorite education stores.  

The book description grabbed my interest first.  So I thought it only respectful to include the description part way through my written thoughts this time around - 

Description:

This is the story of the Big House by the Mersy and the people who lived there.  In particular the twins Walter and Dorothy, whose father is the butler; Master George, the desperately lonely son of the wealthy owner; and Tweeny, the little maid treated hardly better than a slave.

In a way the house belongs to all of them, though the lives of the servants and masters couldn't be more different.

When disaster strikes and Master George needs help, the four children find refuge in the branches of a beautiful chestnut tree in the grounds of the house and three create a daring plot to help him escape to a new world.


Did it live up to my first impressions?

I have to admit that it didn't grab me within the first few pages, so I put it down.  For quite a few months I struggled to pick it back up.  But, I am extremely pleased that I did pick it back up and start reading again.  Maybe I wasn't in the right mood the first time; or maybe it was a slow starter; either concept is possible but once I manage to find myself landed inside the pages there was no way I was closing the book.

I have no idea how big there sailing ship tree was but my imagination made it into something big and wonderful.  Not in fantasy way, rather in a vision of a really old tree that wanted as much company as the children.  It seemed like a place I would have gone to hide and feel safe and powerful.  For different reasons each child loved the tree right to the end.

The story was inter-twined with history and full of unexpected situations.  There was a part that I admit to being shocked by the twist in plot, but it did all work out in the end.  An ending that made the whole book seem real.  I envisioned the final pages with precision in my own little mind.  How the author wanted me to see it is beyond my knowledge but I give her credit for how she finalized it.

When I had finished this little gem, I went searching for information about the author only to discover her web page Berlie Doherty . On her page you will find out about how she came to write the book, an interesting read in itself.

Well, I have students due any minute so I will have to leave you all with a little homework for yourself:

  1.  Find out where you can get yourself a copy and read it
  2. Take a look in on https://www.berliedoherty.com/ and find out about the making of this story and the author.  It will be well worth the time

Happy reading