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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I read almost all of All The Bright Places yesterday. I didn’t intend to read the entire book in one day. I started reading Friday night, and then I picked the book up again the next morning. I had a hard time putting it down. I read while the girls were at Kumon, and then I read here and there during the day. I was absolutely captivated, and by the end of the book, I was profoundly moved. This is a book that is going to stay with me for a long time.

All The Bright Places is a young adult novel by Jennifer Niven. It is, as the cover states, “the story of a boy called Finch and a girl named Violet”. Finch (Theodore) and Violet meet one day in the bell tower at school. Everyone expects that Finch is up there because he plans to jump off, but no one has any idea that Violet is up there for the same reason. In fact, Violet is credited with saving Finch that day, and no one knows the truth- except for Finch. Continue reading

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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

I first saw The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place at Barnes & Noble over the holidays. I made a request at the library, and the book arrived. Things were hectic, and I didn’t get around to reading more than the first chapter before it was time to return the book. I was very sad about this, but I didn’t want to run up fines- that dime a day adds up quickly! When I received my monthly Audible credit, I didn’t even hesitate before buying The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.

This novel straddles both the middle grade and the young adult genre. It was written by Julie Berry and narrated by Jayne Entwistle. The story opens in the waning days of the Victorian era. Seven young ladies are enjoying Sunday dinner- or rather, they are watching Mrs. Plackett, their headmistress and her n’er do well brother Mr. Godding enjoying the veal that they prepared. This is what happens every Sunday, but on this particular Sunday, something different happens: the two adults drop dead in front of them. Continue reading

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Sewing Bee My Fabulous Fox Sewing Kit

One of my twins is absolutely enchanted with foxes. This all began when she received a stuffed fox for her birthday- a plush toy, not a taxidermy fox. This spawned a deep love for all things fox. Her new obsession with foxes was well-timed because most major children’s clothing stores had fox themed clothing this fall/winter. My girl wears fox clothing, reads fox books, and sleeps with several different stuffed foxes.

So, needless to say, when she saw the Sewing Bee My Fabulous Fox Sewing Kit at her school’s Scholastic Book Fair, she squealed with joy. I was happy to buy it for her, and that weekend, we worked together to assemble her fabulous fox purse. Continue reading

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The Edge of Dreams by Rhys Bowen

I am a relative newcomer to Rhys Bowen’s Molly Murphy mystery series. I absolutely devoured her Royal Spyness series, and finding myself in need of more delightful mysteries, I moved on to Molly Murphy. When I saw an opportunity to receive a copy of The Edge of Dreams in exchange for a fair and honest review, I eagerly submitted a request. To make a long story short, my review copy was lost in the 100 inches of snow that the Boston area received in the month of February, but Ms. Bowen was gracious enough to send out another copy.

The Edge of Dreams is the fourteenth Molly Murphy mystery. Molly is still happily married to NYPD Captain Daniel Sullivan, and their son Liam is approaching his first birthday. Molly and Liam have returned from Paris, and are preparing to move back into their home. Daniel has been receiving notes from a deranged individual who claims responsibility for deaths that had appeared to be accidents. But the older woman was pushed in front of the carriage, the student was poisoned, etc. There is no obvious connection between the victims, and Captain Sullivan is stumped. Continue reading

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is another book that I requested from the library. This young adult novel was written by Leslye Walton.

The most remarkable thing about Ava Lavender is that she is born in 1944 with a set of wings. But in order to understand why something so peculiar would happen, we need to go back to the beginning. Continue reading

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Mr. Grumpy’s Outing by John Burningham

We have been enjoying our summer. We’ve been swimming at the lake, swimming at the pool, and doing lots and lots of reading. I have also tied screen time to workbook pages, and I signed my girls up for Kumon. Kumon is a tutoring program originally based in Japan, and it places emphasis on repetition to ensure mastery of a subject. They offer math and reading programs, ranging from basic preschool skills to high school. My oldest girl is going into second grade, and she is a dynamo reader. She could use a little boost in math to make sure that she has her addition facts down before she goes back to school. Likewise, my younger girls are going to Kindergarten in the fall, and one of them could use some help with letters and letter sounds, so I signed her up for reading. The other twin is pretty well rounded, but I didn’t want her to feel left out, so I signed her up for math.

One of the benefits of the reading program is that it allows the student to bring home a book after every session. We were sent home with Mr. Grumpy’s Outing, a picture book written and illustrated by John Burningham. Continue reading