Wow! This book has it all when it comes to setting and our reading challenge–geography, history, all the different people who make up Hawaii–and the setting is so integral to the story! So many aspects of the story are uniquely Hawaiian, there’s nowhere else it could be set. I am reading my way across the […]

This was a really nice book, and a great opening for Hawaii! It’s not only the story of Spencer taking care of his dying mother, it also tells the story of how he unexpectedly went from being the middle son to being the only son. The childhood flashbacks take place in the 1950s and 1960s, […]

I love Hawaii! I’ve visited the Big Island twice, and I love it. However, visiting someplace as a tourist can be very different from living there, and that’s very true of Hawaii. Its physical isolation means that the cost of living is very high, and most items are much more expensive than on the mainland. […]

In the early- to mid-1990s, I lived in Massachusetts, outside of Lawrence, along New Hampshire’s tiny coastal strip, and worked for a Girl Scout council on the North Shore, which included Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn, Salem, Marblehead and Gloucester. I also did an internship a bit to the west, around Worcester. What I remember the […]

Among the Living by Jonathan Rabb is set among the Jewish community in Savannah, Georgia, immediately after World War II. I am reading my way across the USA–3-5 books set in each state, with an emphasis on those books where the setting becomes another character, or those that help me learn a bit about the […]

I’m reading my way across the USA–3-5 books from each state, with an emphasis on books where the setting becomes another character, and which teach us something about the people, history, and/or geography of a particular state. We are just starting Georgia, and we have a good one here. The Last Buffalo Soldier is a […]

Georgia’s on my mind. We spent so much time in California, with 13 books read (!), that I knew I had to head somewhere completely different–and soon! So I decided to head to the Deep South. But what to do when I’ve already read most of the books that top everyone’s list for Georgia? Gone […]

The Buddha In the Attic by Julie Otsuka. I’ve been putting off this review for a while now. I’m not really sure where to begin. I loved it, but… It sort of worked for the challenge, but… The 1st person plural voice was an interesting technique, but… It’s a difficult book for me to write […]

I’ve been telling my 10 year-old son about the Navajo Code Talkers–and he’s loving it! Kids love secret codes–I certainly did, and so does my son. He recently received a Mail Order Mystery as a gift (the pirate one), and it included several messages in a basic pigpen code. He was very excited, and, although […]

There are very few birds in Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac. I got a little bit excited when, on the first page of Chapter 1 the narrator and main character says, “I hoped I would see an eagle, for that would be a good sign.” […]