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Suzanne Amara (MA)

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One Morning in Maine
One Morning in Maine
by Robert McCloskey
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.50
81 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this as a child in Maine, and I still love it today!, May 28 2000
This review is from: One Morning in Maine (Paperback)
This book, along with Blueberries for Sal and Time of Wonder, by the same author, were some of my favorite books as a child growing up in Maine. I loved them because the children did things I did---dug for clams, picked blueberries, took boat rides to get ice cream, played on the rocky shore and on and on! I loved the pictures because they are so detailed and realistic. This book in particular was a favorite because it was about an older Sal than in Blueberries for Sal, dealing with the universal excitement of losing a first tooth. I love her relationship with her younger sister Jane, who is drawn as one of the most adorable toddlers around. If you are looking for a calm and wholesome in the best way book for your child, this might be one you want to consider.

Flat Stanley
Flat Stanley
by Jeff Brown
Edition: Paperback
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fondly remembered from my childhood, sly clever humor!, May 28 2000
This review is from: Flat Stanley (Paperback)
I was exposed to this book first by having a section of it in a 5th grade reading book! I didn't know for years that it was out there somewhere as a whole book, and I think finally around high school found it at the library and read the whole thing at last. Just recently I once again remembered it, and got it for my sons! I appreciate it more as an adult---the humor is so dry and the dialogue so deadpan! My favorite scene is that with Stanley's doctor---how he says of it not hurting Stanley to be flat "well, that's mostly how it is with these cases" as if he's seen hundreds of boys flattened by bulletin boards! As a child of course I liked best having Stanley sent by mail to California! I have to admit this book dragged a bit for my sons in reading it to them, but I think perhaps they are really too young for it (at 5 and 2)---but I couldn't wait to read it to them!

Steam Train Ride Pb
Steam Train Ride Pb
by Mott Clarke E
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from CDN$ 0.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable book, especially for heavy duty train lovers!, May 26 2000
This review is from: Steam Train Ride Pb (Paperback)
My 2 boys really enjoy this book, and love all the details of running a steam train. I'm not really sure, however, that kids who are not extreme train lovers would like it as much---there isn't much going on except the viewing of the train and all the train related signs and stations! But there are plenty of big time train lovers out there! We've been to Strasburg, where this is set, and this book makes the boys want to go back!

Country Crossing
Country Crossing
by Jim Aylesworth
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A peaceful, comforting book that pulls you in, May 26 2000
This review is from: Country Crossing (Hardcover)
It took 3 or 4 readings for me to start really loving this book, and my boys now ask for it often. It's such a simple tale---a father and son riding an old car at night on a remote wooded road, and a train going by--they stop at the crossing and watch it. However, it is told so well and the pictures are so peaceful (except when the train is going right by!) that you feel relaxed just reading it, and wish that somehow you could hop into the book and go to that long ago night and place. My 5 and 2 year olds listen with interest over and over to this book!

New Lifetime Reading Plan
New Lifetime Reading Plan
by Clifton Fadiman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.43
42 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and enjoyable even if you don't follow the plan!, May 22 2000
I passed this book by several times as I thought it was something different than it is! Although I've read many works included here, there are some I will probably never read. However, I enjoyed learning about those works, and I love the tone of this book---not overly serious, with the author's biases showing through on purpose---it has a real point of view! I wished that almost every entry was longer---the writing has a tone of being written by a real insider---almost gossipy, in a good way! Although I didn't intend this to happen, the book acheived part of its goal in adding several works to my lifetime "to-read" list. It also served as a great review of a lot of the reading I did as an English major. Really a lot of fun to read!

Flu: The story of the great influenza pandemic of 1918 and the search for the virus that caused it
Flu: The story of the great influenza pandemic of 1918 and the search for the virus that caused it
by Gina Bari Kolata
Edition: Hardcover
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, like a detective story, but unfinished!, May 17 2000
Until almost the very end of this book, I would have given it 5 stars. It's so well written, and tells such a fascinating story. I had heard of the 1918 epidemic, as I had a great-uncle who got the flu and later got related Parkinson's Disease and died from that, but I had no idea how terrible it was, and how much it seemed to have been forgotten or pushed out of people's minds. The incredible story of the search for the virus responsible was so well done, and I loved learning about the personalities behind the hunt. However, the book seemed to end extremely suddenly, with quite a few breakthroughs set up to be answered, and us being told the answers were just about to be found, but then we are never told the results. It's as if you were watching a TV news show and they said as they always do "after the break, the incredible ending to the story" and then they never came back from break! I know stories like this really never do end, but in this case it's very specific quests that we are told are about to be revealed, and then the book ends! It almost seemed like it was rushed out, perhaps before the author intended either, to hit the market at a certain time. However, it's still definately worth a read.

MotherKind
MotherKind
by Jayne Anne Phillips
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 1.62

3.0 out of 5 stars A mixture---some characters enjoyable, good plot, odd style, May 15 2000
This review is from: MotherKind (Hardcover)
Even just after reading this book, I am really mixed on how much I liked it! The basic plot premise was a very interesting one---dealing with a mother's dying in the same year you are dealing with being a mother for the first time. Some characters were well drawn, especially the young stepsons and the main character Kate. It's hard to have believable children in a good, but Jonah and Sam were really well done. The parts of the book that were written in a fairly straightforward well were also very good---what it is like to start out with nursing, how it feels to wake up over and over to care for a demanding baby, etc. However, the style of this book is quite odd and not one I like. Each chapter starts with a long flashback in italics--remembering a visit to Kate's mother when she was first diagnosed with cancer and when Kate was telling her she was pregnant. The parts of the story told in the present are told in a circular way---you never find out the whole story of an incident until it's told over and over, with a bit more revealed each time. Minor happenings in Kate's life (especially a few shopping trips) are described in minute detail---I think these parts are supposed to reveal more than is said on the surface, but for me sometimes they didn't. Also, the book has several minor characters that to me muddle the story and don't add much---the babysitter Amy, her sister Hannah, the neighbor Camille, several home health aides at the end---all these people have interesting stories, but there are just too many of them for me to care about all of them! All this being said, I did finish the book and cared about the ending, and I think the story was a good one to have told---as I am sure there are other's in Kate's situation, and in fact I had a friend who went through something very similar. I guess a potential reader would have to decide how much the distracting elements would bother them!

Keeping Kids Reading: How to Raise Avid Readers in the Video Age
Keeping Kids Reading: How to Raise Avid Readers in the Video Age
by Mary Leonhardt
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Full of extremely practical advice on raising a reader, May 14 2000
If you love reading the way I do, there is very little more important to you than raising children who love to read. I thought this book was wonderful. The author is obviously passionate about getting kids hooked on reading, and believes that you should do just about anything to acheive this goal. She points out how many parents that don't hesitate to spend tons of money on toys and clothes balk at buying kids books, and points out how books can be found at lawn sales and book sales by the ton for very cheap, and how money spent on books is an investment of the best kind. She advocates letting kids read what they enjoy reading, and letting that lead to reading you find more worthwhile, but wants us to keep in mind that just getting them to READ is the goal. Her kids loved Richie Rich comics (as did I as a kid!) I love her writing style---it's very honest and direct. A great book!

Glued to the Set: Th 60 Television Shows and Events That Made Us Who We Are Today
Glued to the Set: Th 60 Television Shows and Events That Made Us Who We Are Today
by Steven D. Stark
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Great to read a book that takes TV seriously, May 11 2000
I really enjoyed reading a book that seriously examined the effects TV had and has on our lives, and reading in depth analysis of why certain shows hit it big, and why some shows are still loved today while other shows that were extremely popular in their time are now forgotten. However, I couldn't help but feeling now and then that the author sometimes just took the opposite viewpoint from everyone else in order to seem like he was not in any way a follower, or to prove how different and more insightful his viewpoints were than other TV reviewers! For example, he seems like have a much higher opinion of Home Improvement than of Seinfeld, he discounts Saturday Night Live as having had little influence on popular culture and so forth. This didn't really distract from my enjoyment of this book, however! I like to read opinions other than the mainstream ones! I also really enjoyed reading about how he picked which 60 TV events or shows to profile.

What are the Seven Wonders of the World?: And 100 Other Great Cultural Lists--Fully Explicated
What are the Seven Wonders of the World?: And 100 Other Great Cultural Lists--Fully Explicated
by Peter D'Epiro
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.75
64 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Almost everyone could find an entry that fascinated them!, May 1 2000
This is the kind of book that is really not meant to be read through, but rather browsed. I am the type that tries to read through books not meant to be read through, and I must admit I found some entries a little dry. However, others were amoung the most fascinating reading I've ever done. My favorite was probably the title entry on the seven ancient wonders. I had NO idea that the pyramids were that huge! I also loved the entry on Henry VIII's wives. Very well written, scholary, and eye opening!

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