Thursday, March 25, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
If you've ever wanted to visit beautiful Salem, Massachusetts here is your chance.
The publisher Harper Collins is featuring a travel getaway to celebrate the publication of a new novel set in Salem.
The sweepstakes entry is here - enter by April 1, 2010.
(This is not a RFS giveaway (we only wish we had the dough to throw about willy-nilly). But one of our amazing and talented bloggers lives "in the area" (for internet-anonymity) and if on the off chance a RFS reader wins,
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Dear RFS Readers,
I thought I'd give you all a little heads up on my upcoming absence. You see, I'm having a baby today (or so they tell me) and I'm needing to cut myself a little slack in the reading/blogging department for the next few weeks so that I can focus on my family (and sleep).
I'll be back soon, I promise. After all, this blog is called Reading for Sanity because that is what I do. I read to keep myself sane while juggling the responsibilities of chef, chauffeur, secretary, personal assistant, nanny, maid, and accountant. I am fairly confident that the impending addition to our family will prompt a reading binge the likes of which this blog has never before seen. I plan to return, along with all the other reviewers, on April 1st and so I hope you will join us then!
Wish me luck!
PS. Publishers and authors can still contact us at mindyoja AT hotmail DOT com for any review offers. After all - I'll still be checking my email - I'm not insane.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Beyond the opportunities offered for introspection, Remarkable Creatures is moving story about friendships gained, lost, and rediscovered. The characters of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot were stunningly written and based on actual women who made real and significant contributions to the early geological community and never really received their due credit during their lifetimes. Despite their differences in class and education, they were able to form a bond over shared interests and it was fascinating to “watch,” through their alternating narrations, how each of them viewed the world. It was refreshing to read a book that wasn’t inordinately focused on some sappy, unrealistic romance, but instead dwelt in the deeper emotional territory of friendship, respect, and loyalty between women.
Sum it up: Chevalier regains some of her former glory with this story of scientific upheaval, true friendship, and fossils.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Summary: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. (Summary from back of the book and image from Amazon.com)
My Review: I was very excited to see that there was a series out, aimed at middle school students, that taught about Greek mythology. I read quite a bit of Greek literature in college, thus reading the first in this series became a fun review.
Being labeled ADHD and dyslexic, Percy is the bane to every teacher's classroom. I couldn't help but feel empathy for him, even before he (and I) learns this all stems from his half-blood genetics. Like most kids with these labels, they don't want to be different anymore than their teachers want them disrupting their class.
Percy's life drastically changes with everything Percy holds dear taken from him. He now finds himself trying to grasp a strange reality and on a quest to save his honor...and prevent WWIII. Nothing too hard for a 12 year old boy. It stayed true to the depiction of the Greek Gods and their vanity combined with their talents. Pushing past this though, Riordan gave it a modern twist with modern locations and the God's using modern conveniences. It was fun to contemplate what it would be like if Olympus really did exist today. I also liked how Riordan painted humans as only seeing what they wanted to see.
This book had just enough high adventure, history, friendship, and smart-alec fun to be a great book. I only gave it 4.5 stars because as an adult, this wouldn't quite deserve 5 stars. For kids I'd say it definitely could hold the 5 star label. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series, The Sea of Monsters.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Sum it up: A kid-friendly way of learning Greek mythology with a modern twist.