Posts tagged ‘hard work’

PERSEVERANCE PREVAILS

Charity’s Big Dreams

Written by La Keya Guy

Illustrated by Bryan Golden and Bryan Aguilar

 

Charity is a sweet, student who works hard and tries to do her best. When Mrs. Jones, her social studies teacher, announces that the top three students in each class will earn a trip to Washington, D.C., Charity is elated. Charity does everything possible to earn one of the spots. But one day, disaster strikes when a power failure causes her to be late for one of her exams. Despite her teacher’s encouragement, Charity is sure that she will not do well. She despairs, but ultimately perseveres and refuses to give up.

This book provides encouragement to children who have problems with self-esteem or lack of self-confidence. The illustrations are attractive and appealing. The book is targeted at a wide range of students, but the thirty-page length probably makes it most appropriate for children in the eight to ten-year-old age range.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

FLASHBACKS

Horse and Dog Adventures in Early California: Short Stories and Poems by Ransom A. Wilcox

Edited by Karl Beckstrand

CaliforniaHorseandDog,pic

This kindle book was promoted as a free e book. For some reason, I was drawn to it, and I am very glad that I picked it up. The book is largely autobiographical. It tells the story of Ransom A. Wilcox who was born a Canadian, the sixth of seventh children. Because he was a sickly child, the family relocated to northern California where they farmed, fished, hunted and struggled to make a living.

Wilcox is a gifted writer. He has the ability to draw you into his story with a combination of simple language and homespun charm. The stories have a bit of everything, adventure, melancholy, joy and a sense of pride. The book consists of short stories and poems. They cover such scenes as Ransom’s hard work being rewarded with his very own horse, and his dramatic escape from a wild boar by climbing a pole that he cleverly stuck in the ground. There is a touching scene with the family dog named Old Blue.

Many of his poems are included. The subjects range from those dealing with family like “To A Granddaughter” and “My Little Girl”, a group that talks about nature like “To The Redwoods!” and “Quiet Waters,” and some that talk about personal issues like “Character,” “Friendship,” and “Immortality.” These are not complicated verses; they are written with both common sense and pathos.

The editor says that the work is for all ages. I think that children age ten and up would be able to handle independent reading. Local dialect make it an authentic read. The few black and white photographs included of family and surroundings fit perfectly with the mood of the story. It is classified as a multicultural book by the publisher, Premio Books. Teachers might want to consider using the book as part of a study unit on American life in the early twentieth century. The kindle as well as a paperback version is available on Amazon. I find it difficult to explain why I like this book so much, but I recommend that you give it a try.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

MYSTERY, FANTASY, ADVENTURE

Pirates, Pirates! (A Rogue’s Tale)

Written by Saoirse O’Mara
Cover by Svenja Liv

Pirates,PiratesPic

This is the third book in a series: The Lost Diadem (Part 1) and Trouble in the Mage Guild (Part II) preceding this volume. I did not read the first two, but had no trouble picking up the fantasy adventure in this newest release.

Tayla is a young teen living in Davon. She had previously met Govon when she picked his pocket to obtain money in a desperate attempt to survive. Govon is also struggling to support himself. They become friends. After an adventure to find the lost diadem, he becomes apprenticed to Dalen as a trainee for the City Guard. Tayla is adopted by a tavern owner and his family. In this third adventure, the story opens with Tayla witnessing a sailor being beaten on the docks. She brings him to her friend Larissa, a priestess in the Temple. Unfortunately, he dies before he can explain who attacked him. Tayla asks Govon for help in solving the mystery, but she is upset and dismayed when he informs her that he is too busy preparing for his final evaluation to help her. So Tayla is determined to find answers on her own. Larissa and her friend Katia vow to assist her. Things get murkier as a merchant ship is attacked, and a prominent woman citizen is beaten. Tayla goes undercover and lurks in the taverns spying on sailors trying to uncover who is behind the plot. Will she be successful? Who is behind the murder? What do pirates have to do with the plot? Will Tayla be reconciled with Govon?

This is a perfect fantasy adventure for tweens and young adults. It touches upon many of the issues they are grappling with in their lives. O’Mara addresses loyalty, family bonds, hard work, friendship and the search to discover right and wrong. The characters are well developed and the story line moves along quickly with just enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. The beautiful cover art captures the mood and setting. The length is under 120 pages so it will not deter a middle grade reader. Perfect book for a rainy afternoon. Hope to see more from this talented writer.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS feed button in the upper right hand corner.

%d bloggers like this: