Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Beggar Charlie, by Madeleine McLaughlin, a Tween adventure available from MuseItUp Publishing is a short story set in a time frame when children were not cherished, and life is not all that valued.
Orphaned when he woke to find his mother had died beside him somewhere throughout the night, Charlie is sold into the sailing life under Captain Butler, a man who keeps him close against the river rats that would set upon the boy without a second thought. Living at sea is a brutal life under the best of times, but when you are barely as high as a kneecap and you're grieving your mother, it can be terrifying.
Captain Butler sails them to China, gifts him and the next oldest boy Hickory Dick the first shore time...but the China shores are in unrest and the people, many of them addicted to the vagaries of Opium, angry.
Walking the streets of this strange land where people speak "China-talk" they find a native lad Tang who invites the boys to his father's house for some hospitality. What they find will bring three lads together to brave the world as they seek refuge somewhere for them to live out their childhoods together.
Leaving the house of violent death, Tang now a part of their little unit watch the captain tossed overboard and the ship...sink.
The three boys set off, watching each other's back heading for Tang's aunt in Shanghai and the hope of a future three boys can share and find comfort in.
Family, they learn, can come from those not attached to you by blood. Some comes through shared experience, shared concern for making it through times no longer anything remotely like what they expected.
This is a beautiful, touching story about courage in the face of terrible necessity, and opening your heart, soul, and beliefs to those who might be strangers but are more important to you now that you have survived so much, than the very breath you breathe.
This is a powerful short story I cannot recommend highly enough.
In a time where we look at others and call them names because we have nothing important to otherwise focus our inner powers on, I found this a story that any and every teacher should make required reading.
Well Dome Ms. McLaughlin
FIVE STARS easily..wish I could give it more.
Friday, July 4, 2014
THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks has landed in THE HOT SEAT REVIEWS
One of the things I most love about my job as a book reviewer is the anticipation I feel all the way down to my toes when I first call a book up to the viewing portion of my Kindle.
Sometimes I have extra layers of anticipation if the cover is a visual lure...or the title plucks at my funny bone, or sense of quirkiness.
The title...?...well of course it teased and pleased my sense of humor BIG TIME!
The cover, done by Cover Artist Charlotte Volnek is rich and has your eyes happily moving around the many images Ms. Volnek gave us...
BUT there is so much more for me to stand on my tip-toes and with eager quivers tell you all why this is an exceptional book.
Written by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks, I could not believe the smiles that spread throughout me as I read it.
I grew up during a time Catholic students HAD to learn Latin so we could respond IN Latin during the mass.
THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM
This story of fantasy, magic, friendship, and adventure reminded me of that time...and the infrequency of Latin being used with such a richness.
An enchanted, talking pigeon, and an equally enchanted, but evil hawk right here, in CENTRAL PARK of all places...
Anne and Ken have woven a story any age will happily read and enjoy being captured in the journey very bright, with a history of magical ancestry Jennifer has been chosen to embark on.
What a rich treasure this book is.
For teachers, if you're looking for a story that will grab your students and become a rich core for your lesson plans, this book is a WINNER!
Therefore it is with ease, excitement, and pleasure I award this book, it's title, its CA and its gifted authors
FIVE STARS... and and a request you hurry up and give us the NEXT Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks
Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been married for a little over forty years and have produced about twenty books and exactly three children in that time. At press-time, they still love their children more.
Their most recent novels are set in New York City, where they have lived for most of their married lives. Anne is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College where, in 1969, as the fabled Sixties were drawing to a close, she met Ken, who was a student at Haverford College. They don’t like to admit that they met at a college mixer, but there it is!