Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Book Review. Wonder. R. J. Palacio.

Genre Young Adult 
My Rating ✏✏✏✏

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I don't like the title of this book, but I did like the realistic look into the lives of an array of teenagers, all with their own personal problems. I did also like that this didn't descend into August being bullied, or is miserable in school, and distances himself from his family. There wasn't a major romance part played either, which tends to be a fixture in young adult novels.
August had never been to school before, but having had numerous surgeries on his face, it is going to be more difficult for him to fit in.
I liked The Cheese Touch chapter. I was shocked by the thought that people wouldn't touch August purely because of what he looks like.
The part where he overhears classmates talking about August, 'If I looked like him, seriously, I think that I'd kill myself.' was shocking too, at the cruelty of it.
Alien was also a chapter that upset me as well, as August again has to defend himself against the callous ignorance of children older than him, asking, 'What is that?'

With various narrators in parts of this book, it gives a total view of how people see those like August, including his sister, Olivia.
Wonder is a book that gives the reader plenty to think about, and will appeal to many, if not all, people.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Book Review. Chuck the Rooster Loses his Voice. Sigal Haber.

Genre Children's Books
My Rating 🐓🐓🐓🐓

When Chuck the Rooster lost his voice, life on the farm began to go wrong.
In an attempt to deal with the situation, the animals try to find a replacement from amongst themselves, to fill the sick rooster's place. So they organize a singing contest.

Will someone be found to take Chuck's place? How will the rooster react to the idea? And will there be another “Farm Idol”?

“When Chuck the Rooster Lost His Voice” is Dr. Sigal Haber's children book.
Its Theme was inspired by the world of organizational management in which she specialized for many years.
The story describes, with humor and wit, what happens when an employee in the imaginary animal farm has trouble functioning or is absent from work. The farm animals, who are amusingly anthropomorphized, are exposed to issues such as duty, cooperation, and dealing with the unexpected.
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Chuck the Rooster is sick, and all of the farmyard animals get together to find out - 'The rumours gathered like thunder.' as to what might be wrong with him. I loved reading about the consequences of the rooster being too sick to wake them all in the morning. There's an illustration of fireflies around a Save Energy sign, which struck me. 
I'm not sure about a lizard being present, as I wouldn't class him as a farmyard animal. 
With the Rooster once diagnosed it is decided on a singing contest to take over the Rooster's role temporarily. This gives that lesson of acting together to resolve a problem. Although there is a healthy amount of competition between the animals.
Chuck the Rooster loses his Voice is lengthier than some children's books, with longer, and sometimes more complex, sentences. I liked the story, the illustrations, and the overall team spirit, and humour, in the book too. 

Book Review. Cheesus was Here. J.C.Davis.





Genre Young Adult
Publisher Sky Pony Press
My Rating 😍😍😍😍

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Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.

Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late-night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved Saved!


Small town Clemency has encountered a miracle - the image of Baby Jesus on a Babybel cheese wheel. A preacher buys it from store clerk, Andy, and installs it in his church. With people praying over this Babybel cheese, some positive results are achieved. But are these merely coincidental?
Delaney, our heroine, was there when the cheese was first discovered. A religious town, Del doesn't believe in God since her sister died, and her family fell apart. I really did feel for Del, and believed in the turmoil of her family members - her mum, dad, and brother. The initial description of the town was great too, and set the scene. 
After Baby Cheesus McJesus, the image of Jesus on a window at a drive in, is seen, and soon more attention is attracting people out of town to Clemency. It is easy to see how quickly these things blow up. People in, and out town, are hailing these 'signs' as religious miracles. 
A genius plot idea by J. C. Davis, Cheesus was Here also has a blossoming relationship between Del, and best friend Gabe, and the book doesn't focus solely on this.
I enjoyed the one liners too. "That same day Andrew Carol, our quarterback, found a four leaf clover on the practise field. I'm willing to admit there be a miracle in there somewhere because I wasn't aware Andrew could count that high."
There is plenty to chuckle at, including a Garfield magnifying glass. It is the small details that put thought into this book. 
I loved also Del's grief was written sensitively, with vulnerability, and heart, and also how she had a differing opinion from the whole town, her peers, even her best friend, but continues to fight to expose those so called miracles as fakes.

There is a lot that marks this book out from your typical YA lit (and it stays rooted in reality) It made me think of Hope was Here, by Joan Bauer.
Ultimately Cheesus was Here was gripping, and had characters I was sorry to say goodbye to.