Written by Annemarie O’Brien
Age Level: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 - 6
I’ve been tracking my reading since 2015. This was the 10th chapter book that I read. I’m at #99 now, but I still remember how much I loved this story. I hope you’ll check it out too.
Lara’s Gift is historical fiction, and it’s so well researched! I loved the detail that Annemarie wove into her plot. Lara is a young Russian girl who wants to become a kennel steward, but not just any steward. She wants to be the one who cares for the borzoi dogs that belong to the Russian Tsar (king). Lara has the job, until her mother has a baby boy. Nowadays that’s not a problem, but back then boys got all the great jobs. The drama increases when you discover Lara has 2 gifts…she has a special understanding for borzois, and, she has visions, something her father doesn’t understand, or approve of. Read and find out how Annemarie weaves this great story together.
PS- Annemarie got this idea from her time working in Russia. She was even given her 1st borzoi puppy. Lucky Annemarie!
PPS- I found this in my notes…I loved this book so much I had trouble stopping at the end of the chapters. I wanted to find out what was next for Lara.
The Night Santa Got Lost, How Norad Saved Christmas
Written by Michael Keane
Illustrated by Michael Garland
Age Level: 4 – 6
Grade Level: PS and up
I wasn’t sure about this story at first, but the more I read, the more I liked it. By the end I loved it! It’s written like The Night Before Christmas, but this version tells how Santa got stuck and NORAD and the military came to his rescue. The back matter tells how NORAD got started and got into the business of tracking Santa. It brings back great memories of how my kids used to follow Santa on Christmas.
Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President
Written by Ann Malaspina
Illustrated by Steve James
Age Level: 6 – 9
Grade Level: 1 – 4
I love stories that teach me something new. I already knew Susan B. Anthony was instrumental in getting women the right to vote, but I didn’t know that Susan voted because of the 14th amendment, or that she went to jail, or that she was fined for voting. BTW, she never paid the fine.
Susan’s story is retold in a way that’s outrageous, unbelievable but true. It’s a great read! In prepping for this review, I found out something new, sad, but true. Susan voted illegally on November 5, 1872, but it didn’t count. Women got the right to vote in 1920, but Susan never voted. She died in 1906, fourteen years too soon. So depressing, unfair, but true.
Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush
Written by Melissa Stoller
Illustrated by Sandra Sonke
Age Level: 4 – 7
Grade Level: K - 4
I picked this book after my painting experience! I thought it’d be about the joy of having a Magic Paintbrush. Pre-painting I’d always wanted one, but I’m rethinking that. Scarlet discovered she’d rather paint her own way than have a perfect paintbrush make all the decisions. Perfection is great, but staying true to yourself is even better! Post-painting, I think Scarlet was right! I learned things from painting myself that I’d never learn with a magic paintbrush.