March 27, 2013

Review: The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

The Lions of Little Rock tells the story of what happened the year after the events of the Little Rock 9, when 9 brave African American students broke down the barriers of segregation at a time when the races did not mix. In 1958, the governor of Arkansas ordered the schools closed to block the federal forced integration of the schools. Marley is a middle school student who finds it very difficult to speak. She meets a new girl in her school, and the two of them become friends. Marley discovers that her friend is actually black, passing as white. Marley strives to maintain her friendship and deal with the cultural problems that put pressures on her family. This is a wonderful story of friendship against all odds. At times, it can stretch your ability to believe it as Marley and Liz are able to maintain their friendship given the time and place they live in, but the friendship overshadows that one complaint.

An excellent read that I highly recommend.

This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

March 26, 2013

Review: A Diamond in the Desert

A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

 During World War II, Japanese Americans were interned or kept in camps. Tetsu is interned with his sister and mother, but not his father, who was detained for interrogation.Tetsu must deal with being the head of the family while his father is away, even though he is a young. His love for baseball leads him to help build a baseball field near the camp.  I enjoyed this book because Tetsu is a great character who isn't perfect. Like any under dog, you can't help but root for him.  This book isn't as heavy as some of the other realistic fiction titles describing the internment, but doesn't water down what happened.  I recommend this book for baseball fans as well as history fans. It was quick to read and drew me right in.

This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

March 25, 2013

Review: Nook HD

2 years ago for my birthday I received a Nook Color.  I used it for A LOT of reading, getting electronic galleys and ebooks from the library.  I loved that little device.  However, as time went on, I began to see it's limitations more and more.  I had hoped it would be a good ebook reader and a passable tablet.  Instead, it was a great ebook reader, and not much else.

As the owner of a Nook, I kept getting Barnes and Noble gift cards for various occasions.  I saved these, as most of my reading is galleys or library books, and just after my most recent birthday translated them into an upgrade: a Nook HD.

I have to say, it's been a great upgrade.  Where the Color failed as a tablet, the HD has succeeded.  Integration with Outlook was essential and, even though it's not perfect, this really adds a lot of functionality to the HD.

The screen is quite beautiful.  Bright, clear, and very sharp.  It's my favorite part of the HD.

I also purchased a JavoEdge case for my HD.  When I read the description of the case, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the HD has a smart cover feature that turns it off when the cover is closed and on when the cover is opened.

The Color was quite solid, but I noticed the HD had slight buckling of the edges when I held it there.

All in all, I'm extremely happy with the HD and glad I made the upgrade.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!