Saturday, October 30, 2010

"The Penderwicks"

Enter Arundel, an estate where the four Penderwick sisters are staying for three weeks. There is pretty and practical Rosalind, smart and sarcastic Skye, dreamy and bookwormish  Jane, and Batty: the shy one with the butterfly wings. The Penderwicks is a newer book with an old-fashioned feel.  I love it, and give it 5 stars out of 5!
It all begins with their normal cottage they rent for the Summer being taken.  What will they do?  They hear of another one available and decide to go there.  This is definitely no ordinary vacation, though.  The girls meet Jeffrey, the boy living in the mansion in front of their quaint and tiny lodge, and instantly know that the Summer will be an unforgettable one.   They find themselves in many adventures in the days that follow, and even find out some secrets about the past of Jeffrey's family.  One thing they must watch out for though : Mrs. Tifton... Jeffrey's strict  mother (and her boyfriend, Dexter, too).
Jeffrey isn't the only friend they meet at Arundel, however. There is Cagney , the teenage gardner (who Rosalind befriends, and copies every detail for her next letter to her friend, Anna.), Churchie: The Arundel cook, Harry the Tomato Guy, and of course, Yaz and Carla (Cagney's rabbits.)

Since discovering this magnificently written book a couple years ago, I just read it for what was probably the fourth time, in addition to reading the sequel (which I don't remember that much.) It is certainly an "Instant Classic."
Let me put it this way: If you have not yet read this National Book Award winning book by Jeanne Birdsall, you should. It is one of those books you just pick up and read for hours. It only takes up to maybe 2 or 3 weeks to read (Again, considering the youngest readers here!), and is 262 pages.

Natalia :-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

For my first review, I wanted a book that is one of my favorites, and something that I thought at least 75% of people would like. I have to read ten books from a certain reading list and write reviews for them this winter (and fall) for my homeschool group. But when you have all your books packed away, it's a little hard. So, I found a solution for all my requests, which included the one that lately I've had this odd craving for a short and easy book that wouldn't take long to read.

So I decided on choosing a free book available on my iPod.So, what did I choose? "The Wizard of Oz." I love this book so much. I got my first copy of it when we moved to Kansas, and have read it many times since. Most of you know this classic by Lyman Frank Baum written in 1900, or at least the popular movie based on the book.

 I give this book 5 stars out of 5!

The main character is Dorothy, a young girl living in Kansas: a dull, ugly and gray place. However, she doesn't live alone. She lives with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, and of course, Toto... her little black dog. One day, she and Toto are whisked away by a tornado, and end up in a magical land. She is told that the only way to get back to Kansas is to go see the Great Wizard, Oz. Eager to do anything - as long as it means getting home -, Dorothy sets out to go find this wizard. Along the way, she meets some of the most lovable and charming characters you will ever read about. They encounter many dangerous and sometimes humorous situations on their way to the Emerald City. The quintet makes some extraordinary discoveries about themselves throughout the book, and it is so much fun to see it as they realize that what they were looking for had been there all along.

One other thing is the magic issue. It says in the Bible that we are to stay away from sorcery, and so the title may tend to throw people off at times. I cannot tell you too much about the wizard if you have not read it, but I can tell you that he is a humble creature, therefore making no impression of being a god or having bad or voodoo magic. It is a rather innocent and sweet book, and Dorothy is merely trying to get back to her home. Overall, I enjoy this 24 (short) chapters  book, and would say it's appropriate for ages five and up. It usually only takes me less than a week to read (it is one of my favorites, though.) but 2-3  weeks may be necessary for younger bookworms.  I love this book. It is so quaint and wonderful and takes me to a land where everyone is polite and charming, where scarecrows wish for hearts, and men are made of tin, and witches are lovely and nice. There are many details not in the movie, so it is a must read for everyone!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome to My Book Nook!

So, here is my new blog! It is a place to find  book reviews and summaries on everything from historical books I'm reading for school to classics. I recently wrote a book review on the book I was reading, but I left it at my house when I went on vacation, so when I get back I will post it. Meanwhile, I am working on the layout and style of this blog. I hope you like it!! I do not want anyone to feel that they MUST agree with everything I say about certain books, but I do hope that they will respect my opinions and give me theirs.