Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mini Reviews: Operation Oleander by Valerie O. Patterson, Still Missing by Chevy Stevens, Wreath by Judy Christie

Operation Oleander is a solid read about a young girl growing up on a military base. One day, there's an attack on her father and some of her friends parents overseas which causes a problem. The problem is that they were helping out an orphanage the kids had been supporting by collecting supplies etc. and there's some question about what they were doing there, etc.

I really liked this book because I think it serves as a great reminder/introduction to the idea that when it comes to relief work, good intentions are not enough. Jess is extraordinarily sympathetic and Patterson makes her situation so understandable, but even so that doesn't make Jess's efforts with regards to the orphanage the right thing. Also, I liked it because it was just a lovely little book full of real human emotion, etc. So this is a good book for anyone of any age, but it might also be a nice book to pass on to your middle grade reading level child who is also taking an interest in social justice issues because I think it's a really good starting place for conversations about that!

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

So I'm a few years late on this as it was so popular a few years ago, but I can't always get to every book on time (or lately very many at all) but a few months ago I need a book that I could just lose myself in and this certainly fit that need. I completely devoured it. It's about a woman that gets kidnapped and then kept captive by a man for a period of time and how that came about, etc. Reading her story of survival and the aftermath and investigation of the case was completely gripping. Also, this is one of those books that made me think about the different ways people cope in intense circumstances and what they do to survive. Kind of a good companion read to The Never List. Also, the prose isn't really sophisticated or anything, but it was completely compulsive reading.

Wreath by Judy Christie

This was one of our finalists for the Literature for Young People awards for the INSPYs. I just adored this charming little book. It sort of had an old fashioned feel to me, but I loved all of the characters, Wreath in particular, and the way she survived by living in a junk yard ignited my imagination. It's a book I both enjoyed now and think I would have loved when I was younger. While some of the circumstances may seem unlikely or unrealistic, it's the kind of book that just absolutely fills you with warm fuzzies and feels like a nice time. Anyway! It's about a young girl that wants to finish school and hide from an abusive adult so she lives in the junkyard and goes to school, etc.

I received review copies of all these books from the publisher or a publicist.


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