Book Review: The Book of Boy

The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

The Book of Boy
by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

A young hunchback goatherd named simply “Boy” is indentured as a servant to a shrewd pilgrim traveling through France in search of various relics of Saint Peter. As the two journey together, they boldly endure various adventures in their pursuit of the holy relics of Saint Peter, until they arrive at last within the holy city of Rome. Boy discovers that the pilgrim is hiding a dark past, and the pilgrim gradually reveals Boy’s most closely guarded secret, his own true identity.

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Book Review: Willows at Christmas

The Willows at Christmas by William Horwood
The Willows at Christmas 
by William Horwood, Patrick Benson (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

It’s Mole’s first Christmas on the River Bank after meeting his new friends, the Water Rat, Otter, Badger, and Toad. Mole is concerned because no one seems to have any Christmas spirit, and all his friends find excuses not to attend his holiday festivities. Can Mole unravel the mystery of why a mysterious house guest at Toad Hall is ruining the Christmas season for the entire River Bank? The River Bank friends are launched into a Christmas adventure when Toad is arrested AGAIN, and an ancient law invoked by the Lord of the Manor could mean the end of the Willows.

I adore every book in this series, and this one is wonderful too! Such a great plot with lots of action and excitement interspersed with moments of sweet affection and simple home comforts. The writing style is so close to the writing of Kenneth Grahame that I can barely tell the difference. The old-fashioned charm of the story swept me away immediately into the wholesome world of the Willows.

Picture Book Review: Have I Ever Told You?

Have I Ever Told You? by Shani King
Have I Ever Told You? 
by Shani King, Anna Horvath (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This picture book reminds each child that they are loved, that it’s okay to ask questions, that it’s important to do the right thing, and that they should always be respectful and kind.

I loved the text of this book, with its insightful statements about being inclusive and kind, about honest communication, and especially about love and family. It reminds the reader that it’s important to talk about the important things, and make sure that every child feels safe and loved and heard. I think this book will open good dialogue between children and adults, and provide opportunities for “teaching moments”, or maybe just provide a chance to listen to a child and hear what they want to say.

However, I did not always love the artwork.

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Picture Book Review: Miss Pinkeltink’s Purse

Miss Pinkeltink's Purse by Patty Brozo
Miss Pinkeltink’s Purse 
by Patty BrozoAna Ochoa (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Miss Pinkeltink is homeless, and she carries around a massive purse full of random stuff. Sometimes she knocks things over with her enormous purse, and the townspeople complain that she has run over their roses with her purse, or knocked down their fence, or bumped children off their bikes.

But Miss Pinketink has a good heart, and she shares the stuff from her purse with the townspeople. She gives out a roll of tape to fix a flat bike tire, or a comb to a bald man, a bone to a cat, and a plunger to a car mechanic with hilarious results!

A little girl named Zoey recognizes that Miss Pinkeltink’s heart is in the right place, even if her gifts are not always the most useful things. Zoey organizes the townspeople to provide a home for Miss Pinkeltink, and show their appreciation for all her gifts to them!
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Book Review: Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows

Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen
Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows 
by J.M. Bergen

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Thirteen-year-old Thomas is sure that magic is real, and he goes searching for proof in every dusty old bookstore he can find. One day, a mysterious bookshop owner lets Thomas borrow the magical Book of Sorrows, and Thomas discovers a secret family history and a world of magic and myth that takes him on a dangerous adventure.

I enjoyed this book so much! The magic system is marvelous, the plot is brilliant, and the characters are deep and endearing. Continue reading

Book Review: The Battle of Life

The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens
The Battle of Life 
by Charles Dickens

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Grace and Marion are sisters, saying goodbye to their childhood friend, Alfred, who has just come of age after growing up as a ward to the girls’ father, Dr. Jeddler. Alfred promises to come back someday to marry Marion when he has finished medical school and made his fortune. The years pass, but their happy plans take a sorrowful turn, and it will take all their courage to survive the battle of life.
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