Saturday, March 31, 2012


   4 Hoo-Rahs!

Masterpiece is a sweet book with a lot of cute illustrations.  The story line is interesting but slow.  Being an ADD personality, the books I read have to be fast movers or I'm likely to put them down and not soon return.  This book actually took me 3 months to read.  It wasn't that the story didn't interest me, it's just that it took a long time to get into the plot.

If you and your children are art lovers this book is perfect for you.  Marvin, the beetle, is an exquisite artist who's talents are undiscovered until James enters the picture.  James is a young boy living in New York City, his parents are affluent and his mother borderlines snobbish.  James, his father and Marvin visit an art gallery where Marvin's artistic talents, (in disguise as Jame's talents) are used in an undercover scheme to discover stolen art.  The antics are funny, conversations are great but the plot moves a little too slowly for me.
Overall, it's a fun book, but probably not one I would read again.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Number 4 of the Top 10 List

The, Top Ten, list of children's current issues are as follows:

10.Violence through Indoctrination
8.Life as Refugees
7.Lack of Access to Education
6.Child Neglect
5.Child Labor
4.Child Prostitution
3.Internet Child Pornography
2.Trafficking and Slavery
1.Military Use of Children

Child prostitution is becoming more prevalent in the United States.  Although we would like to think America is above such disgust, we are not.  In fact, the problem grows, exponentially.  There are things we can do as citizens to stop this horrible abuse to our young people.  Below is a link to a You Tube video that gives some excellent information about our vigilance to the issue.
I apologize for the profanity in the first few moments of the video, I wish the creators of the video would have bleeped it out. 

You Tube - Child Prostitution

Another great institution making a difference:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Star Girl

Rating: 5 Hoo-Rahs

In case you can't see in the picture, the dog-eared corners and edges show how much I love this book!!
Jerry Spinelli completely outdid himself on this one.  Even though its copyright date is 2000, this book should not be passed over.  The subject matter is appropriate for 10 year olds, even though it is written in a high school students voice.  This story is all about peer pressure. The amazing message that laces its way throughout this book is, individuality.  Stargirl is beautifully eccentric, as her name suggests.  She appears at Mica High School as a new student, a unique new student.  Someone forgets to give her the fashion memo, and even if they had, she'd have tossed it.  Stargirl lives HER life HER way.  Leo finds her unique qualities mesmerizing.  He is completely smitten.

What I love about this book is how confounded Mica High students become in the presence of someone who dares to be different.  Her strength of character is motivating, and the world she lives in is enchanting.  I wish every 10 year old would read this book, that is, before they enter mid-high school.  If one out of every 10 young readers felt prompted to live their life following their dream, rather than the crowd, then high school would look quite different.  Which, as I think about it, adult readers might change the way they lived  too.

 I don't want to give too much of the story away, I hope I piqued your curiosity ;-)