Review: The Nightingale

The Nightingale
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not my usual kind of reading – but recommended by a dear friend and thus worth giving a chance. I’m glad I did.

The Nightingale tells the story of two French sisters during the Nazi occupation in the 30s and 40s. It was refreshing to read a woman-centered story about the resistance.

Although it took more than 100 pages to get my interest, and every plot twist was obvious (and how many times can you repeat that the aging father’s features were ‘like wax’?), I still read the story’s conclusion through thick tears so . . . 4 stars.

It is important, in all eras, to remember that sometimes what is right and what is legal are not the same, and that all of us must act. To do nothing is to be complicit.

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Review: Escape from Baxters’ Barn

Escape from Baxters' Barn
Escape from Baxters’ Barn by Rebecca Bond

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a sweet and gentle-paced tale that may appeal to fans of Dick King Smith, E.B. White, and Pinky Pye. It would make a great bedtime read aloud for younger children ready for some nail-biting peril (followed by the inevitable satisfying ending). Three stars instead of more because the writing at the beginning is stilted and you have to push through it. As the story gets going, Bond hits a smoother rhythm and the patient reader is rewarded.

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Review: Return to Augie Hobble

Return to Augie Hobble
Return to Augie Hobble by Lane Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Weird, unique, odd, but enjoyable. Auggie is a great kid whose parents run an off-brand amusement park in the American southwest. He and his best friend bonded back in elementary school over both being picked on by the same relentless bullies. He thinks there might be a werewolf in the woods around the park. This story is funny, sadder than you expect, and a bit all over the place.

The physical set up of the book is great. A side story is that Auggie has failed a class the previous semester, and the book is full of his ideas for the creative make-up project he must do. Smith excels at bringing them to life with his illustrations.

I know a few 10 -12 years olds who might like to read this, but I don’t think it will become anyone’s favorite book of all time.

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