Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Pitch for Justice by Harold Kasselman

Strange bedfellows


A Pitch for Justice is a story about the unwritten rule of baseball conveyed through the mechanism of a court forum. As stated in the book, Baseball is a game for kids – but played by adults.

As an uninformed individual of both baseball and the legal system, I read this story as pure entertainment. I was not disappointed.

I learned a couple of baseball terms, such as, beaning and chin music. As far as courtroom drama goes, it maintained the suspense of an unpredictable trial. Kasselman’s background affords him to educate readers regarding law issues, without sounding condescending.

A Pitch for Justice is thought provoking. The dilemma concerns a baseball player who kills another player throwing a bean ball.  Does this constitute murder, or a lesser degree of murder, or none at all?

I recommend A Pitch for Justice by Harold Kasselman for readers who enjoy a good story well told.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Quicksand Paradise by Mary Keith

An extraordinary read about a horrific era in America.

 A family of misogynists passes on their gruesome views to their sons. Louis desperately tries to brainwash these revolting beliefs to his son, Charles. Despite his twisted efforts, he is unsuccessful and the circle of hatred ends.

The author places her readers in Louisiana between the 1950’s and 60’s. The affluent Abellard family of men is vicious and cruel members of the KKK. The decade in history is brutal, and if the author’s purpose was not to sugar coat the period, she succeeded.

Quicksand Paradise contains all the elements of an evil family and community, while including an accurate account of history.

Friday, October 31, 2014

His Name was Ben by Paulette Mahurin

Ben, a forty year old man, loses his battle with cancer. During the last year of life, he meets Sara, a cancer patient and woman of his dreams. Uncertainty of time drives their appreciation of every precious minute.

The author accomplishes two major tasks: describing the ugliness of cancer, while writing a beautiful story of human emotion. Ben and Sara fight their disease with extraordinary courage. Friends and family issues come to the surface, resembling real life.

His Name was Ben by Paulette Mahurin is a book for all ages. Covering the hard knocks of life and the importance of compassionate relations create for a satisfying read about an unpleasant topic.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Noah: A Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy

Outstanding illustrations presented throughout this wordless picture book. Because of the incredible artwork, children will be able to understand the story of Noah throughout their childhood. This book offers young readers the opportunity to recognize fresh elements of the story each time he/she studies the sophisticated images.

Each page remained creative with Mark Ludy’s choice of animals for the ark. There’s no doubt the intensity of the story will take many readings for the young reader to experience the full impact.

While the author’s interpretation of Noah and his wife’s age differed from mine, it nevertheless told Noah’s story.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jojo's Stinky Day: A story about an elephant who doesn't want to bathe by Sujatha Lalgudi

Jojo's Stinky Day is a helpful story to motivate young children for bath time. Written in a practical, yet playful way for the targeted age group, the message that Jojo ‘stinks’ is one a child does not want to experience.

The fun characters get the point across with ease, explaining the reason to keep clean.

Less is more regarding the length. While the author did a fantastic job with illustrations, children would also enjoy a colorful book version of Jojo's Stinky Day.

Monday, September 8, 2014

When the Shoe Fits...: Essays of Love, Life and Second Chances by Mary T Wagner

Intrigued by the synopsis of When the Shoe Fits, I anticipated reading Mary T Wagner’s essays. Relating to Mary’s life in so many of her stories, having experienced similar second chances of my own, I found the narratives entertaining.

Regardless of subject matter, each essay kept me engaged with the author’s comedic skill, while presenting real life scenarios that embraced a variety of emotions.

Mary T Wagner sprinkled wisdom throughout her essays, leaving pearls to ponder. I enjoyed reflecting on my life only to discover new avenues still available to test.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers by Sharon Powers

Barney and Barry, is an educational, yet a fun way for young readers to learn about sea creatures and the ocean where they live. It’s a story full of unexpected adventures and problems, much resembling real life. No one lives their life without both good and bad occurrences, but it’s how you handle the situations that matters.

Sharon Powers, includes environmental issues along with many life lessons for her readers to ponder. Every child, along with their parents, can always benefit from a dose of compassion.

The illustrations match the details of the sea creatures. A delightful addition to a child’s growing library.

Defending the Line by Alex Carpenter

This is an inspirational story for children about a role model soccer player. The star’s name is David Luiz. This young man, turned away from playing on teams for being too scrawny, never gave up on his dream to play international soccer. His faith in God and his determination is what kept him driven.

Eventually he made a team in Portugal, which led to playing his defender position for his homeland of Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

The story will appeal to young soccer players, as it uses soccer terminology for the inquisitive mind. The Christian theme, while spread throughout his story, emphasizes David Luiz’s faith in God.

David Luiz is an excellent example to his young readers. He doesn’t forget to help the poor from where he grew up. He proves you can be rich, famous, and humble, at the same time.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Albino Redwoods (The Redwoods series) by Heather Nelson

Bullying and Discrimination
In a post-apocalyptic word of albinos, a mature seventeen year old girl, Joanne, bullied and discriminated against because of her pigmented skin, tries to make the best out of her life.

In high school, Joanne mistakenly falls for a cruel and deceitful albino, Grey, who tricks her for his own devious pleasure. The situation forces Joanne to remember what her father taught her before he died – to be proud and demand justice.

While taking care of her dying mother, Joanne tries to pull herself together, finish school, and keep her job. In the meantime, Grey is relentless. However, a silver lining appears when she unexpectedly meets Grey’s brother, Jem. Joanne’s life takes a surprise turn for the better.

Twists and turns throughout The Albino Redwoods by Heather Nelson create an enjoyable and unpredictable read for all ages. It may generate discussions about bullying and discrimination.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

All The Baby Animals In The Wild by Emily Thomson

Kids of all ages treasure books about animals. Emily Thomson introduces her readers to new vocabulary while teaching facts about baby animals in the wild.


For example:


the zebra foal

is lithe and fast

her stripes flash by

when she runs past.


Thomson writes in rhyme. What better way to engage children to the written word. The enchanting pictures of the baby animals will increase children’s curiosity.


I read, All The Baby Animals In The Wild by Emily Thomson, to my two and a half year old grandson and he enjoyed it.

All The Baby Animals In The Woods by Emily Thomson

Animals living in the woods attract readers of all ages. Emily Thomson writes in rhyme enticing children to learn facts while adding to their vocabulary.

For example:

the baby raccoon’s

a feisty fellow

he’s very clever

never mellow.

The delightful pictures of the baby animals complement the poetry.

My two and a half year old grandson enjoyed the book, All The Baby Animals In The Woods by Emily Thomson.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The End of the Line by Jim Power

Future hope
The End of the Line is a current love story between a black woman and a white man living in the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia.  Because racism and bigotry still exist, Jim Power turns the prejudices of two families and friends into lessons for all races.

With compassion and skill, Power masters storytelling his message with ease. His characters become real and situations believable. He adds a touch of history to create an authentic setting, which remains a desired quality in any good book.

After reading The End of the Line, by Jim Power, I wonder if the expectation is that someday, readers will be shocked and appalled by the insanity of the world when people judged each other by the color of their skin.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Twelve Houses by Olga Soaje

Difficult Decisions


A captivating piece of written art to provoke thought and reflection on one’s own life is how I perceived Twelve Houses. Olga Soaje did not claim to have written these magnificent words as a self-help book, but I’m making the comparison.

Adversity is part of life, but as the cliché states, it’s how we handle our struggles that matters.  Amelia became a widow after thirty-five years of a loving marriage. Understanding her choices regarding family, work, and relationships, may provide hope for readers.

Amelia’s personal loss kept her artistic love of creating pieces of sculpture. She found it difficult to consider entering her studio. Her two children brought insignificant relief, especially her daughter, who was daddy’s girl.

As time went on, Amelia realized she needed to stop grieving and get back to living. The touching story in Twelve Houses is magnificent as Soaje uses picture-perfect words to convey the concept of recognizing and accepting change. Soaje uses compassion and benevolence to explain how Amelia recovered from the unexpected hard knocks delivered in her life.

Twelve Houses, by Olga Soaje, is an enjoyable story for readers of any age.