02 August 2011


Here in the library we are gearing up for the fall term. We have been creating READ posters for our faculty. This one is mine!

Up A Road Slowly

Up A Road Slowly by Irene Hunt was one of my favorite Newbery books. And I know why! This coming of age story of a girl who grew up right before I did. It was a world I was familiar with and made my memories of these times just flow back!wbery panel!

The novel takes place in the 60s (I am guessing) perhaps and begins with Julie's mother dying when she was seven years old. Julie is the narrator and finds herself and older brother Christopher shipped off to spinster school teacher Aunt Cordelia's house. Their father just cannot take care of them. Initially horrified, Julie comes to love the life in the country where her Aunt lives. The story follow her growth and development from elementary school in a one room class to graduation from high school and heading to college. While I didn't go to a one room school house - I knew that they existed when I was growing up.

The story is also filled with wonderfully outlandish characters such as her alcoholic Uncle Haskell, the bad boyfriend, the good boyfriend, and a wide variety of girls who can be very nice or filled with pride and envy. Julie navigates her life with these people, learning lessons along the way - happy and sad lessons. In the end, Julie learns that her Aunt usually knows what is best for her and knows that it is through her guidance she is an adult.

Another story line, which is at the heart of the mystery, focuses on Madeline L'Engel's book A Wrinkle in Time and the idea of time travel. Marcus, who becomes a friend to Miranda, has theories on time and space. If one were unfamiliar with L'Engel's book, perhaps this story line might also have some gaps. Of course the simple answer to this problem is to read L'Engel's classic book and start over.

Allison's Book Bag has a great review of the book as well - with some comparisons to Anne Of Green Gables. In some ways, it also reminded me of Little Women. Still I wonder if this book would still have appeal with young girls who might find it too simple.

TITLE: Up a Road Slowly
AUTHOR: Irene Hunt
PAGES: 197
TYPE: fiction
RECOMMEND: I loved this little book.

05 April 2011

The Midwife's Confession

Diane Chamberlain has written a spot-on novel about women and their friendships, how relationships between mothers and daughters evolve, and how even the most difficult things can be gotten through with the help of both.

Tara and Emerson had been friends through college, marriage, and childbirth. They both had daughter's who were born within days of one another and were now best friends as well. The two women were also very close friends with Noelle, someone they met in college. Noelle was the local midwife and her surprising suicide (and the more surprising note they find with her belongings) bring about changes and challenges neither Tara or Emerson could imagine. This novel is part mystery, part female bonding and both are well-charted by the author.

You can visit the author's website for information about this book and other bestselling works. Thanks to publisher Harlequin (Mira Books) and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. I enjoyed the characters and felt they were people I knew. Their heartaches and growth were so true and carefully mapped. And unlike some books, the novel ended just where it needed to end!

TITLE: The Midwife's Confession
AUTHOR: Diane Chamberlain
PAGES: I read the Kindle version
TYPE: fiction
RECOMMEND: I enjoyed this novel with the twists and turns of long time friendships and secrets revealed. Good character development.

31 March 2011

Lilly's Wedding Quilt

Lilly’s Wedding Quilt (A Patch of Heaven Novel) by Kelly Long, is the second novel in this series. Even so, it is not necessary to read the first novel before reading this one. However, you may like this one so much that you want to pick up the first! Lilly Lapp is the local Amish school teacher who is taking care of her Mother as well. Lilly wonders if she will ever wed, especially since she has the man she has always chosen to care for, Jacob Wyse, has been in love with another woman. Lilly is surprised when this other woman marries another man. Due to an accident with her buggy, Lilly and Jacob attend the wedding together. Chance has thrown the two together and circumstances cause Lilly to say she spent the previous evening with Jacob. To protect her reputation, Jacob announces their engagement. But will they fall in love?

As you read the book to find the answer, you will find many Amish customs, foods, and beliefs described.

One facet of the book which I really loved was the author’s treatment of mental illness and how it would be treated in an Amish community. Lilly’s mother was depressed and her treatment plan is as gentle and supporting as one would hope all plans are.

I really enjoyed the book and how the plot was developed. If you like learning about different cultures and romance, the author provides the reader with this and more.

Thanks to publisher Thomas Nelson for providing me with the Kindle version of the book to preview. No monetary payment was provided to write and publish a review, positive or not. Thanks to NetGalley for making it so easy to connect with authors and publishers.

TITLE: Lilly's Wedding Quilt
AUTHOR: Kelly Long
PAGES: I read the Kindle version
TYPE: fiction
RECOMMEND: I really liked this gentle novel and learned a bit more about the culture of the Amish people.