Monday, September 17, 2018

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The Wild Robot was written and illustrated by Peter Brown and published in 2016. This is a darling early and middle grade book. There are just enough pictures to make it a fun chapter book. The cover does not look at all babyish, and both boy and girls should like this introduction to science fiction.

A shipment of robots is sent out, but in a storm, a container of them fall overboard and end up on an island. All the robots but one are broken when their cases hit the shore, and that one robot, Roz, is accidentally activated by some curious otters.

The animals on the island think she is a monster and are afraid of her. Their fear causes Roz damage because the animals act out against her. She is a learning robot, so she learns to adapt to life on the island with the elements and animals.

This book has important themes: working together, adapting and learning, taking responsibility for your actions, finding initiative to create, and the importance of learning about those who you see as different.

This is a fun story with a lot happening, so a child will not be bored. I need to get the next book in this series called The Wild Robot Escapes.


My mom, Rolean, donated another 100 zipper bags to our book project. Thank you, Mom. This keeps the books safe at bedside and allows me to spend more money on books.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 


Monday, September 10, 2018

Nat Turner by Kyle Baker

Nat Turner by Kyle Baker is a graphic novel that tells the story of Nat Turner and his slave rebellion in 1831.

Baker uses Turner's own words as the majority of the text in this book which is nearly wordless otherwise. The art in this book is absolutely raw and beautiful and horrifying. This is the first book I've read that is completely about Nat Turner, and although it is marketed to young readers, it is not for the faint of heart: however, it is an important part of American history and a story that is often untold as it is so brutal.

I liked that Baker allows the reader to make their own judgments about the characters in this story. He presents what happened, and he doesn't sugar coat it. This book is not didactic at all and leaves the reader feeling unsettled because as Americans we share some very sad, unfair, and awful history.

I wonder what Nat Turner could have done in his life had he been born into a society that respected black Americans and slavery did not exist. He was brilliant but saw so much brutality towards his family and people. What he and his companions did was horrific, but it was no more horrific than the realities of slavery. The system of slavery and the brutal men who enforced the law of slavery created their own executioners.

I think this is an important book because of it realness. The end of the book contains notes that are important to the story and sources to obtain more information. This book was published in 2008.






Yes, it is somber and sad, but we need to know our history if we want to do better. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Almost Home by Joan Bauer

Almost Home by Joan Bauer was published in 2012 and is the first book I've read for a while that makes me want to rush back into the classroom just so I could read this book with a class. 

Sugar Mae Cole, the main character, is in sixth grade. She has a gambling addicted absentee father and a mother full of sunshine and gratitude. Unfortunately, her father has borrowed money on their house, and she and her mother become homeless. This is their story of trying to get off the streets.

Sugar had a grandfather who wrote a book for her and her mother that is full of great advice, but he is no longer living. Sugar also rescues a dog right before they lose their home, and she hopes to keep this dog with her. This dog, this dog, oh, if everyone could have this dog. I love Sugar's attitude and strength when it comes to taking care of and keeping this dog with her. 

Sugar's mom taught her to write the best thank you notes, and gratitude is a theme throughout the book. I want to be more like this - to have gratitude in my heart for all around me. 

This book made me laugh, cry, and think. Although this book was written for middle grade and middle school, I think adults would also enjoy it. There is a lot of great advice in this book for people of all ages. There is also poetry. 

Some quotes I loved:

Page 54 - "It's not fair but sometimes a kid has to act older than their age. You just pray hard to know what to do."

Page 63 - "Whenever you go through a fat mess of a time, try to learn something from it so you don't have to go through it again."

Page 94 "If you've got a place to live and money in the bank, you can sit anywhere. If you're homeless it's called loitering."

Page 138 "We celebrate the wrong people sometimes. We should wake up and see who the real heroes are and give them the star treatment."

Page 140 "You understand that when you take a plant out of starter box, it gets nervous."

Page 141 "I'm always looking to see somebody do something well, so I can copy it. King Cole said you can learn a lot about how the world works by watching people do things right."

Page 173 "Sometimes the best thing that can happen to a person is to have a puppy lick your face."

Page 189 when speaking of peacocks "I'm not sure they're proud as much as they know what they've been given and they're not ashamed to show it."

Page 217 "This little tree here? It can't survive on it's own. The wind will knock it down. So we've got to give it support to grow while it's young."

Page 223 "You just keep taking steps forward little one."

Page 241 "You told me a kind answer turns away anger. And that being kind doesn't mean you are blind."

There are so many good characters in this book. I love Sugar's grandpa, King Cole. I love Lexie, Joonie, and Shush. The characters grow and change, and did I mention there is a wonderful dog in this story?




Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is a series of five books, but I have only read the first three books.

If you liked Peter Pan, you will enjoy this series of books that explain all the magic in Peter Pan. The first three books explain Pixie dust, how Tinker Bell and the mermaids came into being, losing your shadow, and how Tick-Tock became Tick-Tock.

All three books have illustrations that add to the stories. The characters are fun and grow during the series. Friendships and loyalty are important, and magic is prevalent. I will be getting the next two books in this series.

I think the covers of these books are beautiful.





Luckily, we've had some NICU book donations lately as we almost ran out of books. Thank you to all you sent books.

Caitie brought these cute books over.


Heidi found these beauties for the NICU.

Angie brought this selection to me.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai

Malala's Magic Pencil  written by Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by Kerascoet was published in 2017. Yes, this is the same Malala who was shot by the Taliban for advocating for girls to be educated.

I wondered how she would handle the scary, graphic nature of what happened to her, as this is her story told for a young audience, but she does a good job.

She tells about a show she used to watch where a boy had a magic pencil and how she wished she had one. She tells about what she would change in the world with her magic pencil. She tells about how she spoke out for other girls, and when she gets to the part where she was shot, she says, "My voice became so powerful that the dangerous men tried to silence me. But they failed."

The illustrations are well done and use color to convey mood and tone. Kerascoet is actually a pseudonym for two people: a husband and wife team, Sebastien Cosset and Marie Pommepuy. I love the pictures of Malala drawing things with her magic pencil. I think children will appreciate the magic of the story along with the reality that Malala used a real pencil and real words along with a whole lot of courage to help change the world.


Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson was published in 2001, and was a completely different style than her book Which Witch? I enjoyed Which Witch?, but I really loved Journey to the River Sea because it is my favorite genre of realistic fiction. 

In Journey to the River Sea, set over hundred years ago when proper ladies still wore corsets, Maia, the main character has been orphaned. She is wealthy and is being sent to Brazil near the Amazon River to live with some distant relatives, relatives she hopes will be nice and love her. Her friends are scared for to go into the wilds of the Brazil, and although the things they say should scare her, Maia is a brave girl of thirteen.

When she arrives in Brazil she quickly learns that her relatives only want her for one reason, money. Maia must find a way to protect herself from them and to help two new friends stay safe. She hopes to gain the one thing she most wants - a real adventure. 

This book also has nice pictures tucked into the chapters. 

I liked the friendships in this story. I also liked that the native people of Brazil were portrayed in a positive way. They were not portrayed as magical but as real people who simply had different customs than those Maia had known in England. I liked the racial diversity, and that the people were proud of their racial diversity. Both Finn and Clovis as friends were wonderful - both so different from each other, but both of them great friends. 

I loved the ending. 




Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Hope Is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera

Hope Is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera was published in 2014. I had not heard of this book, but picked it up at my local library, and I'm glad I did. In Herrera's story, Star, the main character is new to her California school. She has moved here from Oregon with her Mom, her sister, and their mother's best friend and all live in the same trailer park right next to the town dump.

Star is in fifth grade, and although she reads older than ten, I enjoyed her story. Her sister, Winter, is sixteen and attends the alternative high school, she is depressed and struggling. Star decides to create a club at school, but it ends up completely different than what she'd imagined.

As Star and Winter search for their absentee father, things don't turn out quite like the girls expected.

I loved Star's vocabulary sentences, and I loved the poetry. Star's relationships with her sister and mother are realistic. Her journey at times made me remember how I felt as a child with an absentee father and how confusing those feelings can be.

I was confused at first who the character's were, but Star is the main character, Winter is her older sister, her mother is Carly, and her  mother's best friend is Gloria. Now you know who is who before you even start reading.

Some quotes I enjoyed:

Page 120 ". . . but I think hope is a rock. Because you can squeeze it all you want, and you can't destroy it. But it can still be crushed."

Page 121 "Hope is September when I get all my new students."

Page 121 "Hope is a dirty window. You can't see through it all the way. You just figure there's something good out there."

Page 143 "Sometimes hope isn't enough."

Page 241 "It turns out I just needed one person. One friend."

Happy reading this week and may we all be that one friend for someone in the world who just needs one person.



Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Beartown by Fredrik Backman was published in 2017 and is one more reason for me to love this author. His writing makes me think. He has so many, many quotes that matter in his writing. Beartown is the story of rape culture set in a very small hockey town. This story has so many, many characters, and Backman weaves them all together seamlessly. He makes the characters come off the page. I felt the backache of Fatima. I felt the rage and despair of Kira. I felt the shame that Benji feels when people say exclusionary things. I knew the pain and fear that Maya went through. I loved Ana's loyalty. I sorrowed with Kevin's mother. I longed for David to be upstanding. I felt Peter's heartbreak and anger. Backman's writing makes every single character matter, and I loved them all.

The book begins, "Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead, and pulled the trigger.

"This is the story of how we got there."

A few quotes I enjoyed:

Page 56 ". . .when he came once again, it was too late for words. You can't look a gravestone in the eye and ask its forgiveness."

Page 59 "All adults have days when we feel completely drained. When we no longer know quite what we spend so much time fighting for, when reality and everyday worries overwhelm us and we wonder how much longer we're going to be able to carry on. The wonderful thing is that we can all live through far more days like that without breaking than we think. The terrible thing is that we never know exactly how many."

Page 66 "Culture is as much about what we encourage as what we permit."

Page 165 "No matter how hard she sandpapers herself, she's never going to fit in here."

Page 235 "Words are not small things."

Page 226 "It's just as easy to be exclusive as inclusive, just as easy to create an us as a them."

Page 343 "When I was little, my dad used to hit me if I spilled my milk, Leo. That didn't teach me not to spill things. It just made me scared of milk. Remember that."

Page 348 "The room is silent enough for everyone to hear when his heart breaks."

Page 385 "They don't know if they will ever stop feeling ashamed that they were forced to give up. How can anyone lose like this without dying?"

Page 398 "The girl is four years old and is standing in a hall without light in a house full of bruises."

Typing these quotes makes me want to go read this book again. If you are a parent, this book is important. If you are a teen, this book is important. This book was written for adults, but I think every teen would benefit by reading it.




Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer

The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer is the true story of a Jewish woman who after coming home from a forced labor camp during WWII in Vienna goes into hiding. One of her friends who is not Jewish helps her get identity papers that say she is a German. She meets a German officer who courts her and even after she tells him her true identity, he still marries her.

Edith's story is one of constant fear: fear of being discovered and taken to the death camps, fear of not being able to get food, fear that her identity papers will give her away, fear of not being able to get clothing. During WWII one needed proper papers to buy anything or do anything. This book captures that fear well and the experience of living in a constant hyper alert state.

Edith was such a brave person. I enjoyed learning about another way people escaped the Nazis. This story is sad yet hopeful and shows that there were people during WWII who were willing to break the horrible laws of the Nazi regime in order to save lives.

Quote I liked: "He was an inspired listener. That was his gift" (19).


We've had some generous donations to our NICU book project lately. 

Michelle sent these two books over. 

Rolean, my sweet momma, sent these 20 books for the babies.

 My sister, Christy, also donated to our cause to get books into the hands of the youngest readers.

One of Angie's friends/coworkers, Cami, sent these books for the babies.

Cami also sent a selection that will be perfect for a teacher's classroom.

I appreciate all the help we get that enables us to continue to reach so many babies. I love all the literacy advocates in my life. Thank you all, again. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Drama by Raina Telgemeier is a graphic novel that was published in 2012.
This graphic novel was written for middle school students, but I think it would also carry over to the high school age group. The lexile is quite low only GN320L, but the content matter is not for early elementary.

This is the story of Callie who is the set designer for her middle school's play. She has crushes on a few boys. There is at least one boy who is gay, there is also one who is somewhere on the LGBT+ spectrum. I felt that Telgemeier handled the situations realistically. The characters grow throughout the story. The graphics are well drawn and add to the story.

There is jealousy, friendship, and being a good sibling shown in this story. Callie has a strong work ethic as do the other students involved with the play. This book also shows the emotional turmoil that middle school students face.




Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Year of Billy MIller by Kevin Henkes

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes was published in 2013 and is perfect for young readers. With a lexile of 620L, this book is perfect for a young reader who is a bit ahead. The text is larger, the chapters are short, and there are small pictures.

Billy Miller is in second grade. He's trying to grow up, but growing up can sometimes be hard. He wants to call his poppa Dad instead of poppa. He longs to stay awake all night. He wants his teacher to like him.

Billy has two good parents and a baby sister. He worries he won't be smart anymore because he suffered a head injury before the start of school. He is a kind, sweet boy who makes mistakes but is a good kid.

This book reminds me of the Clementine Series by Sarah Pennypacker. It is a positive book for young readers that captures the fears, joys, and magic of childhood.

I loved the pearl Billy gets from his teacher and the magic it represents to his little sister. I hope I can remember that childhood magic and look for it in everyday items.



Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.


Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

11/22/63 by Stephen King

When I was a teen, I loved reading Stephen King's horror novels, but I didn't really enjoy horror stories, so I stopped reading him. I think I read them because King is such a good story teller. My sister, Christy, and my niece, Emily highly recommended 11/22/63 by Stephen King, so I listened to the audio version, and although this is a really long book, I loved every minute of it. I never once wanted it to hurry and move forward. This book is historical fiction with a lot of twists.

Blurb from Goodreads: Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

King did his research and this fantasy, suspense filled, historical fiction is wonderfully written. This book even has romance - a beautiful romance done well, and I really don't like romance books, but this one is tender, sweet, sad, and funny. King is quite good at writing romance, so if that horror thing stops working for him, I could become a romance fan.

This story makes the reader think about the choices we make, the things we view as coincidence, and how we affect the lives of those around us. I love the friendships in this story, the concern we have for some people and the way we sometimes look away from those we deem the other or not worthy of our help. I loved the ending, and although I was hoping for a different one, I felt the ending King wrote was the correct ending. I loved the humor in this and also the suspense. I loved the realistic and tender love story. I loved the characters in this - including the yellow and green card men. That lady on the bus towards the end of the story is a boss all the way through. She could have her own book; she is that good. I loved the little girl who drew on the apartment walls and the girls who skipped rope. King puts the reader into the story with sounds, temperature, smells, sights, everything. I think I need to go get another King book and revisit my teen years as King knows his craft well.

This book might possibly answer the question: If you could change something from the past, should you?


I am hoping to add a second hospital to our NICU book project, so click the link below if you are interested in donating books to babies.

Caitie donated these two books. They will go to the new hospital we are adding as they took such good care of her baby when he was in the NICU.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds was published in 2016 and won The Schneider Family Book Award, The Kirkas Prize, and the Coretta Scott King Award. It deserves all three.

Goodreads blurb: Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck and—being a curious kid—Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house—as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into—a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out—he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.

Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It’s his fourteenth birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie’s reluctance, Genie is left to wonder—is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won’t do? 

Jason Reynolds writes characters well. I love how the brothers interact with each other and with their grandparents. I love how the boys respect their grandparents. The situation with the flies, apple seeds, and birds is actually pretty funny and stressful for Genie. I need to read this one again.



I am hoping to add a second hospital to our NICU book project, so click the link below if you are interested in donating books to babies.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez was published in 2014. I listened to the audio version that was narrated by several different voice actors, all of whom did an amazing job. Their voices and accents made the story come alive.

This book tells the stories of several people whose families immigrated to America for different reasons. Each family gave up much to get to come here where they hoped to have a better life. Often the lives of the immigrants connect to each other.

The main story is of Maribel. Her parents come to the USA to gain medical care for her after she suffers a traumatic brain injury.

Blurb from Goodreads: After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras leave México and come to America. But upon settling at Redwood Apartments, a two-story cinderblock complex just off a highway in Delaware, they discover that Maribel's recovery--the piece of the American Dream on which they've pinned all their hopes--will not be easy. Every task seems to confront them with language, racial, and cultural obstacles.

At Redwood also lives Mayor Toro, a high school sophomore whose family arrived from Panamá fifteen years ago. Mayor sees in Maribel something others do not: that beyond her lovely face, and beneath the damage she's sustained, is a gentle, funny, and wise spirit. But as the two grow closer, violence casts a shadow over all their futures in America.

Peopled with deeply sympathetic characters, this poignant yet unsentimental tale of young love tells a riveting story of unflinching honesty and humanity that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be an American. 

I enjoyed this story even though parts of it are very sad. I think this book shows that all of us are more alike than different from each other. We all want what is best for our children. We all want to have gainful employment, to not be cheated, and to be treated kindly. This book is well worth reading or listening to.


We've had some very generous donations this week. I'm very thankful as we are hoping to add a second NICU to our project. These donations help make that happen. We can reach even more families and hopefully give them the reading bug. 

Caitie sent these books over:

 Alysen brought over this cute  chunky board book that has colors and pieces that roll.


 Michelle found these cute books - most of them board books.

Intermountain Health Care found out about our project and used it as the basis for their service project. They gathered over 6,000 books for children in our area, and our little project was the recipient of 213 books. I'm so happy that so many children will receive books. The next several pictures were all from Intermountain.

 Check out these cute animal books that double as toys.

 Every McKay Dee packet will have a Love you Forever book for quite a while. This donation will allow me to gather books for a second hospital as all of these books will go to McKay Dee.



Click this Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Robe by Lloyd C Douglas

The Robe by Lloyd C Douglas was published in 1942 during WWII. We read this for our book club during June. This isn't a story, I normally would have read, but I am so glad I read it. Lloyd C. Douglas is an excellent writer, and he researched this story well. 

He wrote a story that centers on some the last words of Jesus Christ, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Luke 23:35. This story is about one of the soldiers who put Christ to death, and he really doesn't understand what he has done until after he does it. 

This story is his journey to come first of all come to terms with the depression that descends upon him after the crucifixion, and then to learn about this Savior or King of the world. It is against the law to be Christian during this time, and Marcellus, the soldier who rolls for the robe of Christ, must figure out what to do with the knowledge he gains after he crucifies the Savior. 

Douglas puts the reader into the mind of Marcellus who isn't just an easy follower. He is not superstitious and wants evidence to back up what people tell him about Jesus Christ. He asks hard questions, and looks to reality to try to explain the miracles seen during the Saviors life. Based on his own experience, he has no trouble believing some of the miracles, but he struggles to believe others. 

This book makes the reader think and the story will stay with me. I look forward to reading this one again. 

5 of 5 stars. 







Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you.