Monday, January 8, 2007

Books, Books, and More Books

               Over our Christmas break, I read 3 very different books that are new to our media center.

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     The book I most enjoyed is Blood on the River: James Town 1607  by Elisa Carbone.  Though this book is classified as fiction, it contains many true events that occurred during the Jamestown settlement.  The story focuses on eleven- year- old Samuel Collier, a page to Captain John Smith, who decided to travel to the New World.  An orphan who likes to use his fists, Samuel felt like he had nothing to lose by embarking on this journey.  The adventure he encountered, however, was beyond anything he ever could imagine.  You may be thinking..."Oh great...another book about Jamestown."  This book is very different, however.  The details give the reader insight into other people who were key to the Jamestown settlement, beyond Captain John Smith.  To me, the best part of this book is the view of  Native American culture and daily life.  The book is suspenseful, interesting, and historically accurate. 

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     Another book I read is The Boy in the Basementby  Susan Shaw. I really did not enjoy this book nearly as much as Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It.  The book is the same concept - a story of extreme child abuse and the impact on the child.  One key difference is this story is fiction v/s Pelzer's nonfiction account.  I also prefer A Child Called Itbecause it is more detailed, contains more insight into Dave's emotional struggles, and (with the trilogy) lets the reader know what has happened after he was removed from the situation. 

Regardless of my opinion, some of you may still enjoy reading Shaw's The Child in the Basement.  Let me know what you think!

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     Finally, I enjoyed the nonfiction book titled Good Brother, Bad Brother:  The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth by James Cross Giblin.  The account begins by describing the family's background, focusing on the two brothers and their childhood.  At first, you believe that the brothers are very similar in nature.  As your reading continues, another view of John Wilkes Booth is revealed, a darker side...one that finally explodes when he brutally assasinates President Abraham Lincoln.  This story is very well-detailed,  including photographs, replicas of letters and documents, and first hand accounts from people who were close to the Booth family.  I like reading nonfiction and enjoy history and suspense - this was the perfect book for my tastes!  Give it a try - I bet you'll love it, too!