Category Archives: Fiction

I Shall Be Near to You

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I Shall Be Near to You is the first book by author Erin Lindsay McCabe. For a first novel, it was great! BUT…It only gets 3 stars from me because it just never transported me off the pages and into the world of the story. For me, that’s the hallmark of a great book…when I forget I’m reading. Sadly, it didn’t happen with this book.

Rosetta Wakefield is a young newlywed who follows her husband into the civil war. The author’s notes at the end of I Shall Be Near to You recount the stories of some REAL women who did just that. It is a fascinating concept…going to war as a woman disguised as a man.

The fictional Rosetta takes on the persona of Ross Stone and does indeed follow her husband, even to the point of fighting at Antietam. Seeing the war through a woman’s eyes is enlightening. Still, the story just didn’t grab me and draw me in. I saw other reviewers who cried at a certain part of the story (omitted from this review for spoliers). I didn’t cry a tear. I wasn’t witnessing an emotional moment, let alone living one. I was just reading about it.

A minor criticism: at one point the author refers to pupils which are dilated from laudanum. As a nurse, I groaned at this small error. Opiods (which laudanum is) make the pupils constrict, not dilate.

I often judge books on a reread or don’t reread scale. This is in the latter category.

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Filed under Fiction, Historical Fiction

That Curious Sign on Aisle Nine

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Kyle Morey is a guy full of life and imagination, and he’s at it again in this clever children’s book! The author of Ask GodKyle is proving he is diverse and talented as an author.

In That Curious Sign on Aisle Nine a young boy goes to a pet shop and finds that he already has all the pets that are available…but there’s a sign on aisle nine that piques his curiosity. The pet shop’s secret is a purple gorilla, but the boy is warned not to poke his new pet. You know what kids do when they’re told not to do something, right? Well, the boy pokes his new, large, purple friend. What ensues is an adventure!

Your kids will be sitting on the edge of their seats as they find out what happens as this ferocious beast does what ferocious beasts do…all in a melodic rhyme that hearkens to those of Dr. Seuss.

I loved this book and I’m sure your children will, too! This is one of those books you’ll read over and over again.

*I was provided with a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Prince Noah and the School Pirates

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Prince Noah has learning differences (he’s based on the author’s son who has Down Syndrome). This story takes Prince Noah and his friends to school. They go to school on boats, and the boats are highly segregated. When the boats are all blown off-course by a storm, they’re captured by pirates and the children are all imprisoned — together. There, they use their various skills and abilities to work together to free themselves and thereafter they’re schooled all together.

As the mother of three kids with special needs, I love the premise of this book (that children shouldn’t be pigeonholed because of their differences), but the implementation in this case just feels ‘off’. Maybe it is the translation from the author’s native German, but the story just feels strange. The wording is awkward and choppy.

I’m really disappointed since I loved the original Prince Noah book. This one just didn’t do it for me.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Filed under children, Fiction