Friday, July 22, 2016

Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson: Book Review

Book received at no charge in exchange review.

It's been a month since Benjamin Putter's father passed away. It's hard for an eleven-year-old to describe what it feels like to lose a loved one but Benjamin is convinced the lump he feels in his throat is a golf ball caused by his loss. If that isn't enough, he hears his father's voice coming from his urn imploring him to scatter his ashes on the 18th hole of the famous Augusta National golf course. He has no idea how he's going to get there but he knows he must.

As he begins his journey, Benjamin meets up with a spunky girl named Noni who is determined to travel with him. Together they face obstacles that seem insurmountable. They also face the ugly inner demons of lingering racism and have to come to terms with what they see and hear as opposed to how they feel.

Strong writing and plot pacing make for a poignant and heart warming story. However, young readers may be turned off by the heart breaking subject matter. While it's written for middle grade, it may be too deep and unsettling for the younger end age group.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 10, 2016)
Pages: 336 hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1481448390
Ages: 8-12

This book can be purchase from the following retailer:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Sound of All Things: Book Review

Book received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

On a summer day in 1930 the sounds of Brooklyn surround a boy from the clatter of the Coney Island roller coaster to the crash of the ocean waves. His deaf father reaches into his son's world and asks him to sign the sounds he hears. It's hard for the boy to find different words to describe loud noises.

 A trip to the library helps him feel the words so he can share with his father and mother who is also deaf. Though he envies the children around him who parents who can hear, the boy manages to find joy in sharing his gift with his parents.

Author Myron Ahlberg treats the family's relationships with respect as he draws on his own experience of growing up with deaf parents. He tenderly shows how love can soften resentment. Papoulas period details in the illustrations transform the reader flawlessly into a different era. A poignant reminder of the importance of treating each other with love and respect.

Rating  ★★★★★

Publishing Information:

Peachtree Publishers (March 2016)
ISBN: 978-1-561-45-833-2
Ages 6-10

This book can be purchased from the following retailers:

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