Thursday, February 27, 2014

Forget The Glory by Emma Drummond

Forget the Glory by Emma DrummondWhen Rowan DeMayne shames his family's name (over a disastrous-turned- violent affair of the heart) he is disowned and can no longer join the family's renowned 11th Light Brigade. Instead, he is forced to join whichever regiment will take him, and is humiliated when this happens to be the 43rd, otherwise known as "The Gingerbread Men".

You see, the 43rd has never seen action in its decades of service, and Colonel Daubnay wants to keep it that way. The Colonel revels in the best-dressed, best manoeuvered, best chestnut cavalry etc. In short, toy soldiers. Rowan, a wild daredevil of a man is smothered. He takes on secret missions involving disguise and knowledge of native languages to infiltrate the enemy and return with their plans. The risk? Torture and death if found out.

6 months later Rowan returns, more dead than alive, his body a scarred mass, jabbering foreign tongues and refusing to tell anyone what happened...

In time the 43rd receive a call to action. The 11th light brigade (among others) is being decimated in the Crimea and reinforcements are needed. What follows is a journey across India,then across the Red Sea, over Egypt's desert, then the Black Sea to Sevastopol. They deal with Cholera, sandstorms, storms at sea while the horses in the hold run amok and finally battle...

 While Forget The Glory is a book of action, it is also a love story. There's Rowan, his cream puff wife Lydia, and then Mary who was born into the military, widowed twice at age 17 and who takes on jobs of laundress, seamstress, nurse and maid in order to stay with the only "family" she's ever known: the regiment. Mary is someone who early in the book Rowan disdains for her low class, but as the story progresses, she earns his respect and...well, you'll just have to read it and see what happens....

I absolutely LOVED this book! There is not one part that lagged. It kept my attention throughout. Rowan is a real angsty "tortured hero" type and even when he is foolhardy you can understand why, all the characters are true to their experience and background and imperfect which makes them so real.
Love it. Love it. Love it.


SEX: Past dalliances are mentioned, sex is mostly between married couples and is 'fade to black'
VIOLENCE: Moderately Strong ( battle scenes, and the hero is tortured)

MY RATING: Strong PG-13

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Big Tiny by Dee Williams

The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself MemoirNot. One. Picture.
*sigh *

I feel like I'm giving a lot of negative reviews lately and I don't want to but I'm left with no choice.

This book. Its sooooo higgeldy piggeldy. Its like you're reading the thoughts and musings that are bouncing around in the author's head. And I do mean bouncing. There's no form. No direction. Just higgeldy piggeldy. The author tries to be humorous but I just don't get it. She's also got a potty mouth.

I don't know what to say.

This book needs serious editing and the author needs her mouth washed out with soap.

End of story.

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Happy Life by Rose Lagercrantz

This book is soooo cute!

Although "My Happy Life" is a chapter book, the chapters are short and packed full of illustrations. The story is
written from the viewpoint of a little girl just starting kindergarten. She lives with her Dad (her mother has passed away) and she likes to count the things that make her happy.

The story follows her through the summer with her Dad, waiting with eager anticipation for school to start, then the nervous terror when school finally arrives, followed by her first days at school, making friends, (losing friends), wanting a hamster, (not getting a hamster), really the ups and downs of a child's life.

I just loved it. The story makes you laugh and pulls at your heart strings too. When Dani's friend moves away you can just feel the heartbreak. But life goes on and best friends don't forget each other.

The story ends positively and teaches children that even when their lives don't always go according to plan and bad things happen, it's not the end of all happiness. Days go by, seasons change, and there's always something to rejoice in if we take the time to think about it.

The illustrations are absolutely adorable!

Highly recommended!

*I received a free book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Under The Ice by Rachel A. Qitsualik

Under the IceKeep in mind that a one star rating is personal. One star simply means that I did not personally like it. It does NOT mean that the author's book is badly written.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this, it just looked like a cute little arctic fairy tale. But it's of the dark, scary Brothers Grimm variety and would give me nightmares as a child for sure.

The story starts off with a little boy playing with ice chunks and banging them around. He irritates his Grandmother and she makes the passing remark, "I wish the qallupilug would take you away forever". Well, be careful what you wish for because this is exactly what happens. What follows is a mass effort to retrieve the boy from the qallupilug's lair under the ice....only the boy refuses to be rescued. Eventually, some hunters cunningly capture him and instead of returning him to his family, they keep him. He never returns home. we want kids to take from this?

*I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Millhouse by Natale Ghent

Millhouse by Natale GhentI'm really torn with this one.

First, what I liked:

I grew up reading Thornton W. Burgess books; you know,The Adventures of Peter Cottontail, The Adventures of Reddy Fox,The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk,The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver etc and absolutely LOVED them. And when I first picked up "Millhouse" it reminded me of a cross between Burgess' books and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. There's a character list, it takes place in a pet shop and each animal plays a part in the story. Milly is a reader, a performer, Shakespearian genius. And bald.

The illustrations are pencil sketches and too cute for words. I loved them! So far so good!

What I didn't like:

The book is dark. Very dark. Milly is pretty much on her own. No one likes her, worse, she is bullied at every turn. The reader feels bad for her and it goes on and on and on. As a child I would have been in tears for much of the book and it's about 10-12 chapters long. Things do turn around for Milly at the end but I know for a fact I wouldn't have lasted that long.

So my question is, did it have to be quite so dark? Did the characters have to be quite so mean and quite so frightening? Maybe. But it was too intense for my liking. I would be cautious who I bought it for. Sensitive kids won't like this at all. (But I am known to have cried reading Puff, the Magic Dragon so ....use your own judgement).


*I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Hidden Like Anne Frank by Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhuis

Hidden Like Anne Frank by Marcel PrinsThis is really a fabulous book.

I grew up reading The Diary of a Young Girl and remember being absolutely enthralled. But as we all know, Anne didn't have a very happy ending. And Anne's family were not the only ones who went into hiding.

So who else did and what happened to them? Well, "Hidden Like Anne Frank" tells you. Through the eyes of 14 children in different walks of life, these are their stories and I promise you'll find them just as exciting as Anne's. Highly recommended for young adults everywhere.

*I received a free ecopy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Monday, February 24, 2014

How Rude! by Alex J.Packer, Ph.d

How Rude!: The Teen Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People OutThis is a quick easy read; a "how to" on manners. It's kind of sad that we even need something like this, but we definitely do. I found it engaging and at times laugh out loud funny. The little sketches are great!

The book covers almost every aspect of life; everything from texting, writing thank you notes,answering the telephone, how to respond to a compliment, job interviews etc.

While it's a teen guide, I would be cautious about buying it for a young teen as not everything may be age appropriate. For example, "safe" sex is touched on. You may or may not agree with the advice given. So just a heads up. As a parent, you may want to discuss this with your child first before they get advice in a book.


*I received a free ecopy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Dolphin Summer by Carola Salisbury

The Dolphin SummerI have a problem with love interests that are mere figureheads. I'm not that gullible. I want interaction. I want conversation. Simply put, I want a reason why she loves him. A rigid, commanding stature and brooding eyes is not enough! You hear that, people? Not enough!!

Now that I have got that on the table, let me tell you about "Dolphin Summer".

Dolphin is a boat. Our heroine,(darn! What's her name?) Annabel is invited to come aboard as companion to a dying invalid named Melloney.(I take it that the author meant Melanie not mel-o-ney rhyming with bologna, still I called her Mell-o-ney bologna a few times in the course of reading)

Anyway! Once aboard, strange things start happening, people die in various ways until you wonder if there will be anyone left to choose between by the end and yet...and yet...I never really felt worried. Either the suspense wasn't great enough or I just didn't care enough, one way or another I wasn't feeling it like I should. This wasn't Carola Salisbury's finest hour.

I would put it on a par with a fairly tame Victoria Holt. Good for a rainy afternoon but not one I would look to reread any time soon. Still, I love Carola Salisbury and will definitely pick up another one of hers no question about it.


SEX: None
PROFANITY: None that I remember
VIOLENCE: A few people die but nothing gruesome


Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Bed For Fred by Lori Zoss

A Bed for FredThis is a really cute story of a puppy who finds one day that his bed is missing and questions all the neighboring animals about seeing it. It reminded me a bit of Are You My Mother? which was always a favorite of mine so "A Bed For Fred" brought back fond childhood memories.

And the ending is very sweet.I won't spoil it but I think this is a wonderful book for children who are transitioning  from the family bed/crib into a "big girl/boy" bed.

Highly recommended!

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Small Moments: A Child's Memories of the Civil Rights Movement by Mary M. Barrow

Small Moments: A Child's Memories of the Civil Rights Movement"Small Moments " is a collection of one child's memories growing up during the civil rights movement in New jersey. Close to her heart and a huge part of her life was her African American nanny, Amelia.

I found the book absorbing reading. Ms. Barrow is a master storyteller and you could feel the heart that went into the writing.There's an honesty that at times must have been difficult to put down on paper. Rememberances of her father's racism and lack of familial affection, her own youthful escapades, even the impatience and jealousy common to caregivers that later plagues them; she spares nothing in giving the reader an accurate portrayal of growing up in the changing tide that marked the early 60s and her own love for the woman who raised her from infancy.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who has a heart.


SEX : None
PROFANITY : Brief spurts of moderately strong language (B, S, D, H, N)
DRUG USE /ALCOHOL : Adults smoke. Kids sneak cigarettes. Drinking and its consequences mentioned.
PARANORMAL ELEMENTS : A bit of "ghost talk ".

MY RATING :PG -PG13 (For profanity and thematic elements)

*I received a free copy of "Small Moments " in exchange for my honest opinion. I do not know the author.

Strip Pan Wrinkle

Strip Pan Wrinkle If you like poring over someone else's vacation photos while they hover over your shoulder explaining what the trees are that youre looking at, what their lodgings were like and how many drinks they tipped back before supper ( and breakfast, lunch and dinner ~ in fact I wonder how they remembered their vacation at all~) This may be the book for you.
It wasn't the book for me.

In the interests of full disclosure I didn't finish this. My eyes were crossing and I gave it up after several chapters.

I received a free ebook from the author/publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Count Vronsky's Daughter by Carola salisbury

Count Vronsky's Daughter4 1/2 Stars

This is a must read for any Tolstoy fan. No, its not to his standard so don't expect it, BUT! if you're like me and just cant get enough Tolstoy this book is satisfying.

Its not perfect, the story deviates down a few side streets in the form of famous artists/ entertainers. For example, her alter hero Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec the artist actually fights a duel for her honor. Yes. The dwarf. Entertaining but I was wondering if it was relevent to the story. It reminded me a bit of Dickens, he had a thing for inserting performers in his stories and I was never fond of it. Anyway!

Ok, this is going to he hard but IN A NUTSHELL:

Anna Karenina, as we all remember had two children before she committed suicide on the rail tracks. Anni and Alexei. Both ended up with her husband (the boy was her husband's) and Count Vronsky went back to his regiment and was killed.

This is the story of Anni when she comes of age. Her papa dies and his estate is split between the two children. Alexei runs with a wild crowd, gambling and joining. the revolutionary movement. Anni moves to Paris and studies art.

The meat of the story begins when Alexei and his revolutionary friend Oliver surprise her with a visit. There has been bombing activity in the city, they are suspect, she shelters them and unwittingly becomes involved.

There's lots of twists and turns in here and I really cant get into them without spoiling things but suffice it to say I REALLY enjoyed this. If it wasn't for the entertainers I would have given it 5 stars (and I have a feeling that if I reread it those parts wouldn't bother me so much because Id understand their point in being there).

I felt that the author stayed true to Tolstoy's story and characters and Anni and Alexei also stayed true to what we would expect of them given their background. I also loved the little tidbits that tied this story to Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. The horse race for example and Anni's reaction to railtrack accidents.


SEX : None (some nude posing for artists)
VIOLENCE : a few descriptions of bombing injuries and a couple of deaths.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Fields Of Yesterday by Robert Tyler Stevens

Fields of YesterdayThis book can also be found under the title "Nurse Anna's War" by Mary Jane Staples.

Louise and Ned met in a ditch, both running from the Germans in Belgium WW1. Ned has a seriously broken arm and they help eachother reach a place of safety: the clinique of nurse Edith Cavell.

Cavell is a kind of Florence Nightingale who not only nurses all wounded, but also heads an "underground railroad " to get Allied soldiers out of the country.

I felt that the book dwelt too heavily on Edith and it became more a story about Edith Cavell than our h/ h. Its not the best idea for a story to have two heroines especially one as superhuman as Cavell. Where does that leave our relatively normal, bright Louise but as an afterthought?

The last two chapters really pick up and I wish we could have had more chapters on their final escape.
The ending is satisfying in the sense of closure but is far too short. It feels rushed, which is disappointing. Also, the humor and witty banter that I love so much in R.T.Stevens writing is profoundly lacking in this one. Still, I give it a solid
3 1/2 Stars


SEX : None (although the reader is privy to the heroine's thoughts at one point and they're rather, well, she could have kept them to herself.)

VIOLENCE : A few knockouts, nothing major

PROFANITY : Mild cussing


*if you're wondering where the 'Anna' comes from in the alternate title it is Louise's assumed name under the tutelage of Nurse Cavell.

I know My Love by Catherine Gaskin

I Know My LoveOverall, this was a rather depressing read, somewhat similar in theme to Adam Bede

In a nutshell:

A young woman escapes the clutches of a lecherous tavern owner after the death of her father by joining a passing Irish family on their way to the gold fields. She becomes one of the family and its a story just as much about them as it is her.

Emmy (the heroine) is plain, while Rose (the Irish daughter) is beautiful. Everyone falls in love with Rose and no one notices Emmy except as a friend.

Anyway,there comes a time when Emmy saves the life of the man both her and Rose have fallen in love with. Adam (who is a sea captain) marries Emmy because he kind of feels he owes it to her, although Rose is the one who stirs his soul. Well its not the recipe for a happy life for any of them and the story takes off there.

Remember the old song "Brandy (you're a fine girl) "? Well that sums this story up pretty well. Even if it wasn't for the beautiful girl in the background whose trying to steal the heroine's husband away from her there's still the call of the sea...either way its all a bit miserable.

I can only think of one character in this book who really 'got what he set out for '. Apart from that it was more of a study in bad choices.

But it did hold my interest. Thus the three stars.


SEX : Fade to black

PG (For NA and A readers)

Friday, February 14, 2014

In My Enemy's Arms by Robert Tyler Stevens

In My Enemy's ArmsThis book has two other titles : "Flight From Bucharest " and " A Wartime Marriage "(the latter under the pen name of Mary Jane Staples) .

I am sooooooo bug eyed! I have been reading this nonstop for two days (Gotta love ice storms) and its been wonderful!

A British captain is recovering from a bullet wound in the leg at a German occupied hospital. He is approached by a German commander who gives him a choice : He can go to a POW camp and sit out the rest of the war, or, he can take on a new mission: helping the Rumanian princess Irena escape to Britain before extremists have her head. He chooses the adventure.

And what an adventure it is! First he has to marry her (in name only) then smuggle her all the way through Europe with their enemies nipping at their heels.

The inevitable happens; sparks fly and they fall in love. But no worries all is very proper and theyll get an annulment as soon as is decent.... besides, not to be forgotten is the fiance waiting for him when he gets home..

Primarily this is a historical adventure and secondly a romance. There's lots of surprises and twists along the way and some parts are laugh out loud funny.

I loved this like I love all of R.T Stevens books. And with three titles you should hopefully be able to find at least one of them at a library near you. :)


SEX :None
VIOLENCE :Wartime Violence, shooting, hand to hand fights
PROFANITY :Mild cussing


The Little Moose Who Couldn't Go To Sleep by Willie Claflin

The Little Moose Who Couldn't Go to SleepThis is a really cute story. I loooooved the pictures, beautiful beautiful, really adorable. The book could be a 5 star kiddie book if it wasn't for the grammar.

What do I mean?

Well its partly written in "baby talk " and "ghetto mommese ", you know like "her wantin her some tea" kind of speech which puzzled me a bit considering they're moose. Why would moose talk like that?

But like I said, the story is super cute and the illustrations are too adorable for words. If my daughter was still little I would consider buying it.

I received a free digital book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Treasure Of Snake Island by Carole P. Roman

The Treasure of Snake Island: A Captain No Beard Story Volume 5Oh Dear...

Ok, what I liked: The illustrations are lively and colorful and I think children will enjoy them.

The story itself is not bad, it encourages a love for reading and the things we can learn from books and is set to a kind of piratey/ hidden treasure theme.

But......but.. but.. I really hate to criticize but the writing is NOT on a child's level. It is stilted and unnatural. The word choice and length of sentences are not in harmony with the age bracket audience. On the second to last page we have a sentence of 23 words!!!

If you're going to write a story for children just learning to read, (I'm thinking the target audience is 5-7) WRITE IT SO THEY CAN READ IT! My guess is that not many new readers will grab this book. Which is a shame. Because I think with some more editing and reworking the story could be a good one.

* I recieved a free paperback copy of this book (along with a treasure map, a plastic snake and "treasure" gems) by the author and publisher CreateSpace in exchange for an honest review. Sincerest thanks.

My Enemy, My Love by Robert Tyler Stevens

My Enemy, My LoveFirst off, this book was also sold under the title "Appointment in Sarajevo ". Ask me how I know :/ Why oh why do publishers DO that??? That's the second time IN A WEEK that that has happened to me!
Ok, rant over :)

I loved this book, I really did!! And I wasn't sure I would when I started it. It seemed a bit slow, very easy, like everyone 's life was just so peachy ...but that soon changed with the whispers that "a good archduke is a dead archduke"...

Before you know it, a Serbian extremist recognizes James (who is an acquaintance with a police officer so he must be on to them!) and theres a kidnapping followed by a nail biting chase in the mountains (and a rather. "just dessert" involving fire ants which I wont spoil for you) as well as the climax of an otherwise pleasant engagement party ~ The declaration of war.. .
Yes, thanks to the polititions, Austria and Britain are now enemies. Which means a rather tearjerking separation of our hero / heroine. But far more is to come so just keep reading.

The book is fascinating. The first half is titled "The Last Summer " which appropriately brings to mind the peace and optimismm which reigned prior to the outbreak of WW1.
The second half is titled "An Empire Lost ". This half was gutsy and exciting. Through the characters we see how war changes people. .. and there are no winners.

BOTTOM LINE : Loved it loved it loved it.


SEX : None. Some minor references to "sowing wild oats "
VIOLENCE : Considering this is a book set during a war, the violence is minimal. A few shots, a few blows. Nothing major.
PROFANITY : Mild cussing


Thursday, February 6, 2014

How To Travel the World for Free by Michael Wigge

How to Travel the World for Free: One Man, 150 Days, Eleven Countries, No Money!This is a fairly entertaining read of one man's travel experiment: Go from Germany to Antarctica without spending a penny.

He was quite innovative in making money along the way : pillow fights, the human couch, applying sunscreen, shoveling hay etc. He slept on couches, in city parks and buses. He ate well in some places and in others went hungry.
All in all it was interesting reading.

What I didn't like:

The language. ok, technically he didn't really cuss. He would write f****. Hmmmm I wonder what that means? I don't know about you but my brain supplies the missing letters quite easily! So that put me off. View Spoiler

Begging. If someone needs to beg, ok. But for a wealthy German to beg food off poor South Americans just so he doesn't have to use his credit card and ruin his experiment was frankly immoral. And it changed my opinion of him.

The editing. NEEDS NEEDS EDITING. There's hardly any capitalizations at the beginning of sentences. How hard is THAT to spot? Such a small thing but it sure makes a difference.

BOTTOM LINE : Not bad for free.
MY RATING : PG-13 for profanity and coarse speech.

I received a free ebook from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Property of a Gentleman by Catherine Gaskin

A week or so ago i was approached by the publisher "Great Stories With Heart " and asked if i would be interested in reading for review a new release in eformat of an old book by Catherine Gaskin. Catherine Gaskin? Never heard of her! But I looked up her books, read reviews and became very excited!

What is good to know, (and what I think is rather special about her work) is that each book revolves on a certain topic such as antiques, falconey, whiskey making, glass making etc and she builds a detailed story/character list around that subject.

In "the property of a gentleman " the story's focus is antiques; the main character, an antique appraiser.

In a nutshell, a young woman (who works for Hardy's antiques) loses her mother in a tragic plane crash in Switzerland. To give her a change in scenery so to speak, her mentor, an older man named Gerald, invites her to go with him to the Lake District to appraise the contents of an old Tudor manor which has been cut off from the public for most if its 400 years. The owner, the 13th earl, is a man who served time in prison for the manslaughter of his wife and child and who has very little interest in antiquities except for how much champaigne they will buy. He is accompanied by his Spanish mistress, the Condesa.

What should have been a three day trip is extended to several weeks when Gerald suffers a heart attack. Joanna is placed in "the Spanish woman's room " ~ a young bride who died under very mysterious circumstances several hundred years ago and who's body has never been found...

The author paints the Lake District beautifully and I especially liked the eight Irish wolfhounds who seem to rule the manor even more than the earl. There is a 200 carat diamond accompanied by a 'curse', hidden panels, many works of art, a pair of golden eagles nesting where no eagle has produced young for 200 years, and a love interest. So lots of interest here (and I'm really just scratching the surface) .

The writer takes her time to tell a story. I'm not saying its slow (or at least, I didn't find it so) but she takes her time to lay the groundwork and build the story layer by layer which adds richness and allows you to take in and savor the details.

So did I like it? I loved it! This wont be my last Gaskin by a long shot and I really appreciate the opportunity to read for review the new e copy. Lets hope her others are also rereleased in due course!


SEX : One scene 'fade to black '
PARANORMAL ELEMENTS : "phantom" wolfhound? Spanish ghost? The diamond's "curse "? These are left for the reader to believe or not.
DRUGS/DRINK: A LOT of smoking and A LOT of drinking

MY RATING : Strong PG or mild PG-13 (for sexual content)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dark Star by Anne Maybury

Dark StarSo all in all this was a good read, a strong 3 stars.

It takes place on a small island, Cathair Mor near Mull in Scotland, where a woman is told to stay put while the police search for her husband who had attacked her and left her for dead. Its thought that he would never return to his birthplace and that Cathair Mor would be the safest place for Judith and her son Paul to "hide ".

But when strange things keep happening Judith starts questioning her own sanity and is also left to wonder whether she is really alone afterall...

Anne Maybury is fantastic at describing a setting (almost as good as Janet Caird which is saying something). Cathair Mor feels REAL and the people well described.

But the book didn't GRIP me. I could put it down without thinking the characters might go and do something without me. There's suspense but its not 'edge of your seat ' and I never got too worried..kind of a "cozy Gothic " if I can coin a new phrase.


SEX : None
PARANORMAL ELEMENTS : some fairy tales mentioned. Two characters claim to have the "sight ". (common enough in Scotland)


Jack O'Lantern by Kathleen A. Shoesmith

Jack O'Lantern***1/2
This was a fun, albeit predictable read along the lines of Zorro or The Scarlet Pimpernell. While I didn't unmask the bad guy til about halfway through, I thought it was pretty clear who "Jack " was all along. It always amuses me, these "Zorro " type stories where a man throws a mask over his eyes and now no one can figure out who he is. Its hilarious really!

Still, I found Jack O' Lantern an enjoyable read for what it is and the story compelling enough to keep me turning the pages.


SEX : None
VIOLENCE : Two murders (not shown to reader)
PROFANITY : One or two mild cusses.


Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor, Lisa Rojany Buccieri

Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in AuschwitzI was a little worried when I picked up this book. Nazi experiments...children...just no. But something about it made me want to listen. Its a part of the camps we don't hear much about. And in this case, being a twin and therefore a "wanted prisoner" ultimately saved her life. Saved her, while so nearly killing her as well. Let's just say it bought her time. Time in which to fight for survival. And fight she did.

So how does one write a book about Nazi atrocities and make it suitable for YA? Somehow, Eva manages it. We as the reader feel the horror of the situation and yet we are spared the complete nightmare. So well done!

It's a short book (only 175 pages) but packs a wallop.

A few tidbits that really spoke to me...

As the political situation was heating up in the country, life was becoming more hostile in school. For one thing, the school started teaching Nazi propaganda. One day, Eva is given a math worksheet. On the paper is the word problem: "If you have five Jews and you kill three, how many Jews are left?" can you imagine the horror, being the only two Jews in your class while everyone is working out problems like this?

Another telling statement was when they were released from the camp. Eva and her twin sister were temporarily set up in someone's house where they were put in a room with toys. The toys made her angry and she had no idea what to do with them. She was 11 years old and no longer knew how to play...

And finally, on reaching their old home now dilapidated and deserted. She is met by her mother's old red dachshund, Lily. After all that time the dog was still there! She made this observation, "apparently only Jewish people were sent to concentration camps, not Jewish dogs."

 This is an extremely heartfelt memoir that everyone should read. Its not always pleasant, but if they lived it, we can read it. Its the least we can do. And make sure this never happens again.

SEX: None
PROFANITY: Jews are called 'Swine ' and 'smelly, dirty Jews '
VIOLENCE: Some disturbing imagery


Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my free ecopy to read and review

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke

Where Courage Calls: A When Calls the Heart Novel "Where Courage Calls " is a gentle 'warm fuzzy 'of a story about a young woman who takes a position as a teacher that no one else wanted : in a coal mining village. The residents are still reeling after a mine explosion claimed many of their men folk. Can she reach out and make a difference?

While the premise of the book interested me, I found that the story itself didn't grab my attention. Its very light and I found my focus wandering. For Jeanette Oke fans, I'm sure this story will still delight. In my case, I just think it was the wrong book at the wrong time.

SEX :None


Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free ecopy to review in exchange for an honest opinion