Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Stronger the Woman, The Better

Hello Mrs. Librarian Lady,

You have been talking about Women’s History Month for the last few weeks and I really like the books you talked about. I was wondering if you know of any fiction books that you could recommend to me? I really like fiction and would be interested in something that is kind of sweet or romantic too. I love all of the books that you have recommended to me so far, so I know that you help me with this one too!


Hi there LUnaCee,

I’m so glad that you have been tuning in to see my Women’s History Month selections! Every year I can’t wait for March because I love talking about all of the great women that have done so many incredible things all over the world. I want to thank you for your compliment and for having so much confidence in me. I really like to read books and then talk about them with others. I have a few books that I think you will just adore. One is The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti, which will take you on a journey of a young woman’s search to find her inner strength and the other is Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer, which features a very strong young woman named Bella who must fight to save and protect the people she loves. Hope you enjoy reading these books!

Happy reading to you!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

CCBC Choices Award Winner 2010, ABA IndieBound Spring Pick 2010

Review: Readers will be completely surprised by the unfolding of Quinn’s tale. Quinn has had it with all the annoying male figures in her life. She decides to contact her long lost half sister and after they speak on the phone they concoct a plan that their father will most likely never forgive them for. Quinn is really a breath of fresh air and her voice speaks from the heart. There is a myriad of women that voice their stories on the men they have known in their lives and how that affected them throughout their lives and in their current relationships. The women were all very strong and had endured many difficult hardships in their lives. This was very meaningful and offered a strong display of depth in Caletti’s characters. What was interesting is that all these women could be traced back to Quinn's father, who was the catalyst for the journey in this story. This is an excellent book for those who are romantic at heart and also for those who just love a happy ending.

I had never read anything by Deb Caletti before so I was very happily surprised by this novel. I was moved by her ability to weave a story so well. She added very lovable and enjoyable characters to the story. This book offers so much more than a story though. It’s an emotional journey that is multi-generational as well as multi-faceted. Caletti is a really gifted writer.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Children’s Book of the Year Galaxy Award 2009

Review: In Breaking Dawn our beloved Bella finally is forced to make the most ultimate and final choice in her life. She and Edward are married in old world style with the help of her true friend Alice. While Bella and Edward are honeymooning Bella begins to feel very ill and their trip is cut short when she feels that there is something growing inside of her. The tension of the story grows as that something grows larger and larger itself. The chain of events from this point on lead up to the most amazing transformation I have ever seen in a character. Let’s just say that Bella becomes the main focus of the story and her drive to protect not only Edward and her family but any other vampires that support her family is truly incredible. Will Bella’s dream of spending an eternal life with Edward finally come true? I can’t tell you that! It’s up to you to read this book to draw the conclusions yourself.

I had heard a ton of negative reviews for this book, and after reading it I do not agree with those reviews. I think that Twilight fans will find all that they have been waiting for in this final installment of the series. There is a complete and solid ending and everyone in this story does end up happy and that's what I had really wanted for all of Twilight's wonderful characters. I have an idea and would like to do a booktalk on the whole Twilight series. That way I can talk about how Twilight begins and how Edward and Bella fall in love and move on through each book and pull out the key points of the story. Then really spotlight this book because it is probably the best one in the series and has the most exciting plot and action. And of course the Twilight book club is still going strong!!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Soldier, a Saint and a Teenager

My daughter was working on a school project in recognition of Women's History Month last week and the person she chose to write about was Joan of Arc. I learned so many things about Joan and I have to say that she was just an amazing young woman. Joan of Arc was born to a peasant family in Domremy, France in the year 1412. She was very poor and had to work in the fields. When she was 12 she saw a bright light and heard the voices of angels talking to her. Joan lived during the Hundred Years War, which was a war between France and England. In 1429, when Joan was 17 the English were about to take over France. Her voices told her to help France. Charles VII gave Joan some troops to command and she cut her hair, dressed in armor like a boy, and carried a white banner with the fleur-de-lis.

In May of 1429, after many battles, Joan’s troops stopped the English from taking over France. In 1430, Joan was captured and sold to the English. She was sent to Rouen where she went on trial for being a witch. After 12 months in prison, the English court charged Joan with the crime of wearing a boy’s outfit. First they sentenced her to death, but she signed a letter saying that she had been wrong and it was changed to life in prison. One problem was that Joan would not give up her boys clothing, so she was sent to the Catholic Church court and was sentenced again to death. On May 30, 1431 Joan was burned at the stake in the Old Market Square at Rouen.

25 years after Joan’s death, King Charles VII had a second trial to clear her name, and she was pronounced innocent. Joan’s name was forever cleared of any wrongdoing. My daughter chose Joan of Arc for this project because she is still admired for her strength and bravery by many people. Her life was short, but she was very brave and stayed true to her country. She is a good example of a courageous young woman who tried to help others and had many challenges in her way and that is why she is still remembered even today. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV of the Roman Catholic Church blessed Joan and she became a saint. Joan of Arc’s traditional feast day is May 30th.

For those of you who love Joan of Arc you will be delighted to hear that the author Michael Scott has written a short story in an online digital format called the Death of Joan of Arc.

Joan of Arc was not burned at the stake in Rouen, France in 1431. She was rescued from certain death by Scathach the Warrior. The truth about that day is revealed in the last will and testament of William of York, and it will leave you wondering: does Joan of Arc still walk the earth? Michael Scott’s first-ever exclusive e-book short story delves into the world of the bestselling series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel and offers readers a never-before-seen lost story—the story of two warriors who would become sisters!

You can find this at Barnes & Noble's Web site and if you have a Nook you it only costs 99 cents! It's also offered on Amazon for Kindle as well.

Happy Reading to you all!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

March is Women's History Month!

In honor of Women's History Month Mrs. Librarian Lady is going to feature great women and books that either talk about great women or have strong female characters.

I have two books are that I would like to mention that are fictional, yet the main focal point of each book is Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. Austen is a well known English author whose work dates back to the early 1800's. Some her works include Emma, Sense & Sensibility, and Persuasion. With millions of fans, Austen is a woman that is highly thought of in the literary world. So let's all celebrate Women's History Month by singing the praises of Ms. Jane Austen!

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman 2007

Enthusiasm is just adorable. The story begins with Julie Lefkowitz a kind of shy and quiet tall girl who has an off the hook friend Ashleigh who has some of the most insane and wild ideas a teenager could ever come up with. As it happens Julie has been love-struck by a handsome young stranger she has only seen a few times, but has never spoken to. One day Ashleigh decides her new craze is going to be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and she becomes obsessed with becoming Elizabeth Bennett and finding her own Mr. Darcy! This behavior completely describes why Ashleigh is the enthusiast in this story. Her whole life and of course her best friend Julie’s life must be turned upside down and filled with the language, dress, and mannerisms of Jane Austen’s novel which takes place in the late 17th century. Ashleigh’s latest enthusiastic plan involves crashing a boy’s private school dance and meeting her very own Mr. Darcy and dragging Julie along for the ride. Of all the things to happen, the girls end up meeting Grandison Parr who just happens to be Julie’s secret crush. And who do you think falls head over heels for Parr? The enthusiast sees Parr as a gentleman worthy of being Mr. Darcy indeed. This is Shulman’s first novel and a very good one. It has a solid storyline, believable characters and real life situations that many teenagers go through in their lives. Ashleigh’s schemes may be off the hook, but in the end her enthusiasm may be just the thing that Julie loves most about her. And let’s just say that Julie may end up with her very own Mr. Darcy thanks to Ashleigh.

Scones & Sensibility by Lindsay Eland 2010

Polly has such good intentions! With her head filled with romantic dreams of matchmaking, and her bicycle-basket filled with pastries from her parents' bakery, she embarks on a summer delivering parcels. Sometimes the parcels have been ordered--and sometimes they haven't! Polly delights in taking on the role of go-between for couples she wants to match up, pretending each has ordered treats for the other. The havoc that ensues is simply delicious, for Polly is so busy listening to her own ideas about what love should be that she fails, again and again, to listen to what people are telling her plain and simple. In the end, she learns that she's been leaving out an important ingredient in her recipe for love, namely reality. Humbled, but still believing in true love, she delivers a fresh perspective. This book is truly delightful. Polly has such a romantic soul and her story delivers a yummy bite of goodness for just about everyone!