Friday, April 12, 2019

Hello, Universe

Hello, UniverseHello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really cute book that I feel teaches important lessons, especially in today's world. The kids in this book are not your average kids. One is deaf, one is anxious, and one has family issues, but they are still just kids trying to figure out how to navigate the world. I feel that even as adults, it is important to see people outside of what is considered the "norm" portrayed in literature.

Seeing Valencia navigate the world and try to communicate with others shows us that the little things we do, like looking at someone when we talk to them, might not seem like a big thing to us, but could be the difference between someone being included or completely left out. Virgil shows us what it is like to truly be caring, even when you are scared of what might happen. Not only is he caring to others, but he is caring to the animals he comes across. I think the most important lesson we as adults can learn is from Chet. His view of what is going on around him is really not the best. He looks down on pretty much everyone and feels like he is better than them. As the story progresses and you get an inside look at what is going on in his personal life, it seems like everything changes.

This book really shows that the circumstances we are placed in growing up, the people that raise us and shape us, really affect how we look at the world. It can be so easy to just see what is right in front of us and judge based on first impressions, but being able to know a persons background and what they have gone through can change everything.

Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 14th 2017

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Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch #7)Thud! by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading this book kind of reminded me of the saying "those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it." That's what seems to be going on with an impending war. The question is, can Sam Vimes stop it when he has to get home every night to read "Where's My Cow?" to his son? This book, while light-hearted, points to issues of race when arguments between the dwarfs and the trolls escalates to the point of history almost repeating itself. Through all of the issues Sam faces in this book, he still feels that it is important to read his son his favorite book at night, and this ends up playing a role in the choices he makes along the way.

All in all, this is another good Discworld book. I have not read them in order, so I'm sure there are things that I've missed due to not having the whole backstory.

Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: HarperTorch
Publication Date: 2006

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Space Case

Space Case (Moon Base Alpha #1)Space Case by Stuart Gibbs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I read this book mostly because of the title. I really liked the play on words, so good job Stuart Gibbs.

Space Case is a futuristic book following a group of families that live on the moon. When one of the scientists die under mysterious circumstances, twelve-year-old Dash is convinced that something is up. He doesn't believe the official story, and is determined to find out what really happened. Along the way, a humorous cast of characters is introduced and the truth about what really happened is slowly revealed.

I really was not expecting the ending, which made it a fun read. When the answer to a mystery is obvious early on in a book, it is hard to find the desire to read it until the end. There were so many possible scenarios going on, that the number of suspects was continually growing, and answers came from an unexpected source.

I also really enjoyed the little side stories about the characters. Most of the time, I want the main story, and get frustrated by the fact that the story keeps getting off track, but not this time. I feel like the side stories served a purpose. They added humor, while also providing some back story that helped add to the mystery. When you start the book, there seems to be only a couple people that could have had anything to do with the mystery, but the more backstories you read about, the more people you start to question. After a while, you wonder who is not a suspect.

All in all, it was a fun read, and I appreciate that it wasn't one of those books that takes place on the moon but has everyone living life like they do on Earth. The environment is different there, and so people living in that environment would face situations that are different than what we face. That is not lost in this book, but it is also not a huge focus.

Author: Stuart Gibbs
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 16th 2014

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I've moved to a new site

I'm trying something out. I've moved to Check it out and tell me what you think. Should I keep posting here? This blog has done pretty well in the past.