Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Out Today! New Book! As Good As She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson by Roxanna Green with Jerry Jenkins

January 3, 2012

The story of the life and death of Christina-Taylor Green, As Good As She Imagined, is poignant, gripping, and incredibly sad. Her mother, Roxanna Green, with the help of experienced writer, Jerry Jenkins, captured the pathos of January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, when not only one of our legislators, Gabrielle Giffords, was seriously wounded but six other innocent victims killed.  Christina, nine years old, was the youngest.

Born on September 11, 2001, she was destined for greatness. Her heart was as big as her aspirations to make a difference in this world.  With great excitement, she went with a family friend to see a congresswoman at a corner meeting on one of our cities’ streets.  She did not come home.

Even though it is a difficult subject, I feel it is a must-read, especially for those of us who care what is happening in our country.  It is a sad reflection of the untreated needs of those who are severely mentally ill and of the lack of safety on the streets where we live.  Hopefully, it will incite many to action – to live full and productive lives, fulfilling our individual destinies as Christina so wanted to do, and to have more awareness, propelling us to action, of very serious, societal problems facing our nation.  We honor her by reading this beautiful and well-written memorial of her short life.

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BOOK REVIEW, Late Discoveries by Susan Bennett

September 28, 2011

In her recent book, Late Discoveries, Fithian Press, 2011, Susan Bennett deftly captures her experience discovering her adoption status late in life – a situation more and more common for older adoptees. Each late discovery story is unique, as is hers, yet have universal components of shock, denial, and other elements of dealing with the added trauma of realizing what you have always believed about your identity is a lie. Balancing her feelings of loyalty and gratitude to her adopted mother at her death, coupled with this radical disclosure, is no small feat. Susan is graced with compassion towards her mom yet anger towards the fact she was lied to by her, tackling each feeling in an appropriate time and place. Genuine love and devotion, the struggle to forgive, and victory over one’s negative feelings oozes out between the lines of this compassionate book, which is a great read not only for adoptees but for anyone who would like a deeper understanding of an adoptee’s journey of disclosure as an adult.
Discovering her birth family and dying to the hope of a perfect reunion are also sensitively written. Usually children are only given up in grave, dysfunctional situations. Susan learns her story, piece by piece, and has some very meaningful yet difficult reunions, mostly via phone, with the members of her family of origin, as she comes face-to-face with the details of challenging beginnings. Late Discoveries will find its rightful place in the long line of adoption memoirs, providing an insightful and honest look at Susan’s late discovery and her first year of disclosure and reunion, a successful beginning to integrate her new identity by making peace with her adopted family, her new birth family, and her pre-adoption history.

Book Review – The Capture by Kathryn Lasky

November 27, 2010

    More than entertainment, The Capture, the first book in the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky, is an intriguing adventure about two owlets, Soren and Gylfie, kidnapped by a band of evil owls, intent on controlling not only them but the entire owl kingdom. Each main character, a different species of owls, is beautifully developed with Kathryn Lasky’s detailed knowledge of owl lore, permeating their descriptions, actions, and the content of the book.
    With the help of one another and the inspiration of legends learned from their families, they resist “moon-blinking”, an attempt to erase their identity and yearnings, and eventually escape the sinister clutches of their adversaries. Two orphaned owls later join them in their quest, all believing in the legendary knight-owls, the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, whose stories encourage them to go on the long, arduous journey to elicit their help.
    Soren realizes that he “had become something else.” No longer is he just the child of his parents. He’s becoming something more than he ever imagined himself to be, as are his three companions, embracing their destiny to free the owl kingdom from evil.
    The beginning of this epic, the first book in a series of fifteen, is complete in itself, although I am tempted to read one more. Who would not want to find out how this saga unfolds! I highly recommend The Capture for interesting and inspiring content, excellent character development, and a great story.

The Perfect Thanksgiving Story

November 16, 2010

Learning gratitude and “seeing the silver lining in a situation” are prescriptions from both the Bible and worldly wisdom how to have a successful and joyful life. How would you like to have this important lesson clothed in a delightful story to warm your heart and inspire your actions this Thanksgiving season? The classic children’s novel Pollyanna is the answer.
Yes, I know you’ve seen the movie. Most of us have had the pleasure of experiencing Disney’s Haley Mill’s 1960’s version, but truly it is not the same story as you’ll find in the original book. Hollywood created an almost musical, extravaganza Pollyanna. However, if you haven’t read the book, you missed the full development of both characters and plot.
The Glad Game, the wonderful game Pollyanna’s deceased father taught her, is a key theme throughout; it is beautifully developed and practiced in the book. To read its inspiration lay in the “rejoicing texts” was such a joy to discover!
This is just a fun suggestion to read and share Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter with the special children and the young-at-heart in your life to make your Thanksgiving even happier.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Susan