Monday, September 22, 2014

Black and White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Conner

Larry Dane Brimner. Honesdale: Calkins Creek, 2011. 114 pp.
Rating: Striking + 5 Scoops

The March on Birmingham evokes images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading thousands of people through the streets of a 1960's Birmingham, Alabama. Huge dogs barely contained by the law enforcement officials to whom they are entrusted. Fire hoses drawn, aimed, and shotfiring torrents of throbbing, rushing water into the crowd hurtling protesters several feet through the air, and chaos run amuck. Seldom, if ever, does Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth spring to mind. Though I grew up in the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Montgomery, Alabama, before reading Black & White, I had never heard of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. Like many of you, I depended on the public school system to teach me all I needed to know of the the Civil Rights Movement and its leaders. However, had it not been for Fred Shuttlesworth, desegregation in Birmingham may have been months or even years away.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Lorie Ann Glover. Grand Rapids: Blink, 2014. 292 pp.
Rating: Worthy

During the time of invaded lands where the fierce desert cat prowled and the rapion dwelled, a society of people as their ancestors before them. Forced under Madronian rule, the R'tans quash their faith in the Creator Spirit to survive. According to Madronian belief, the firstborn child, no matter the number of offspring birthed, possesses the greatest strength; which can only come by way of a man child. Those firstborn not of the male gender are left to die outside the village walls, but there is an alternative to lifeassume a male identity and forever forsake a womanly existence.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Goodbye—A Call to Action

Today, we laid to rest Nizzear Rodriguez, a young life gone too soon. A life taken by individuals not much older than his own. Upon watching the funeral procession drive away from the church to the burial site, I shift from consciously knowing that Nizzear is no longer here to acceptance and then belief. Today, 6 September 2014, Nizzear's death is real to me. Though his death didn't garner national headlines as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Jonathan Ferrell, or Trayvon Martin, it did wake up our sleeping little town and for that I am forever grateful. An act of senseless violence took him from his family, friends, teachers, coaches, those whose lives he touched, those lives he had yet to touch, and all those that loved him. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Tyrant's Daughter

J.C. Carleson. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014. Ebook.
Rating: OMG

Complimentary e-galley provided by NetGalley.


"My brother is the King of Nowhere. 
    This fact doesn't matter to anyone except my family--a rapidly shrinking circle of people who Used to Be."

Whoa! One word...hooked. From the first sentence, I knew this story was going to take me for a ride. On the heels of completing Finding the Dragon Lady, I began The Tyrant's Daughter.* Though both stories are different, they are yet the same—inextricably linked by an unbreakable bond created by the United States government's interference in their country's dynamic; thus, changing their lives forever. Instead of the bygone era of Indochina, I am transported to a small, present-day Middle Eastern country torn apart by civil war.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Merlin's Shadow (The Merlin Spiral #2)

Robert Treskillard. Grand Rapids: Blink, 2013. 430 pp.
Rating: Striking

Forged in the fires of Britain, with the sword crafted by his dying father, Merlin impales the Druid Stone thwarting Morganthau's devious scheme to usurp King Uther and redistribute power to the Druidow. Destruction of the Stone forces the evil within to beckon another mortal vessel to its bidding. Feeding on hate, weaknesses, and selfish desires, the alluring power calls to the darkness of the soul. Sorrow-laden by her parent's death, plus the loss of the only home she has ever known, rage-driven Ganieda fights the pull of the darkness, but inevitably succumbs to the enchanting "Voice."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday: What Are You Reading?

Pick of the Week:

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom-- "My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us," begins this historical fiction tale of 1940s America.

What are you reading?

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Shall Be Near to You

Erin Lindsay McCabe. New York: Crown Publishers, 2014. 304 pp.
Rating: Striking + 5 Scoops

In an era devoid of modern day technology, you are newly married and a war is raging. The trickle flow of information sets all on edge. Hoping for news from loved ones, each mail delivery breeds both fear and anticipation.

Spirited, hand on hip Rosetta Edwards refuses to become a spinster. Persuading her sweetheart, Jeremiah Wakefield, to marry her before he joins the Army, Rosetta enjoys two weeks of marital bliss. Unable to bear a year without Jeremiah, Rosetta secretly follows him; temporarily shedding her identity for that of Private Joss Stone, soldier of Company H of the Ninety-Seventh Volunteers. Recovering from the shock of Rosetta’s audacious presence, Jeremiah, failing to convince Rosetta to return home allows her to stay. What follows is a poignant story of love, friendship, and war.