Archive for January, 2019

FAMILY TIES

The Family That Went to War

Written by Gordon Smith

 

The author was inspired to write this story because of genealogical family research. It begins in Cootamundra in New South Wales in 1911 when Australia was just six years old. Charles Power was about to marry Iris. The first world war would break out three years later. This memoir traces the stories of six young Australians who would leave their homeland to fight in a war for Great Britain. Only three of them would return.

The memoir follows the family members who served in Gallipoli and Tripoli. It reflects on the military history of their experiences as well as leave time in France and England. Its language is simple and straightforward filled with the gravity of the situation as well as moments of light humor. When the author starts to reflect on personal feelings, the plot seems to veer off course. Perhaps the author takes too much license in writing about how the brothers perceived the situation. Readers need to be aware that while much of the story has been carefully researched, there is an emotional family attachment. The story ends with Charles and Iris reflecting on the losses the family has suffered as well as the joys of raising their children.

The book provides a unique perspective on World War I. Homeschooling parents might want to explore using it to supplement primary sources. Recommended for readers ages ten and older.

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A FISH OUT OF WATER

Monty the fish goes to the Zoo

Written by Vivienne Alonge

Illustrated by Mikaila Maidment

Seems like there are a plethora of children’s books about visiting the zoo lately. This one features a fish named Monty who decides to take a trip to the zoo, but this particular zoo is no ordinary one. Monty views a bear water skiing on the water, a giraffe wearing cowboy boots, a queen dancing with a python, and a tiger eating strawberries and cream, to name just a few. Youngest readers will enjoy identifying the animals and laugh at their preposterous antics.

This is a picture book but unfortunately, the illustrations do not fill the screen on my kindle. Each animal is given a one-sentence description along with the illustration. The book synopsis says the book is aimed at ages zero through eighteen. It is most appropriate for kindergarten and preschool children.

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