The older I get, the less I pine for
Things that I have to stand in line for.”
The Missouri River Regional Library's Missouri Book Challenge Team
This is a delightful tale of a small town police force solving the death of an old woman. Her regular walking stick was not near the body, but a different one was against the wall – odd placement that provided good clues as the case progressed. The person telling the story is a female police officer who grew up in the town. As the three membered police force know everyone in town and their past history, many stories and personalities work together to solve the crime.
Having just eloped with a man who offered her anything she would ever want and been sailing back to America to meet his mother, Grace suddenly found herself on a crowded lifeboat watching their elegant oceanliner sink beneath the sea. This is the heart-rending story of people suffering the effects of weather, the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, shortage of food, water, and even sitting space. The boat is so heavy and over-crowded that it is constantly taking on water, making the situation even more frightening. As things got worse, some felt they had to lighten the boat and some were “helped” into the sea. Most of them survived over two weeks in this terrible condition. After they were rescued those who “helped” others into the water were brought to trial for murder. This trial discusses the final days and what happened. One feels the heartache (and pain and hunger) throughout the story.
This is a fast-moving story of an Indian American woman who helped people who needed to get out of a life-threatening situation. She used many methods and always seemed to know who to contact or avoid. Jane Whitefield had promised her husband to quit being a “guide”, but when a friend of his needed her help, she gave in “one last time”. In this story she helped at least five other people escape the “face-changers” who were using her name and techniques to destroy human lives.
This is a very interesting collection of stories that could be shared with children (if they are not easily scared). Actually, the stories are not as scarey as the pictures. Animals are involved in many stories and often a good lesson is taught or wise advice given. “A Storyteller is not only a teller of stories, but a collctor of them as well.”
If you ever wonder what might happen when this stage of world life ends, this is the book to read. Interestingly, many of the things mentioned seem to already be happening! Every time I hear of a meteor heading toward the Earth I will wonder if it is the one to bring an end to things as we know them. The one in this story landed in the Pacific Ocean near southern California. The resulting waves wiped out a large part of the West Coast, countless islands, like Hawaii, caused huge damage to all ocean-lying areas all over the world, and, of course, sank most of the ships in the water. Many water creatures were also killed.Volcanoes erupted and earthquakes were felt almost everywhere. Many of the surviving people were withough any power, transportation, homes, or much food.
During this time, two societies developed. One, led by the Devil’s advocate, Mark Beaulieu, who has unearthly powers and takes over the Oval Office. He triess to squash his opponents in the Christian Resistance Movement, led by John Edwards.The clash at the end of the world is outstanding, and, thankfully, with a good outcome.
I have never before read a book that had delicious recipes for items mentioned in the story. There are twenty-two sweet recipes scattered through the book. The story is an interesting murder of a woman who enjoyed men (perhaps too much!) and all the people involved in her life. Hannah Swenson, who owns a bakery and always seems to have extra sweets around to share with people (which we can bake from the recipes provided), has solved murders before, so this was a good opportunity to use her wisdom and attention to details to find out who did what.
As she is working on the case of the woman found floating in the pool, Hannah is also working out in the gym and dieting to lose weight so she could fit into a dress her mother had chosen for her to wear to a book launch party. Food seems to always be on everyone’s mind, but they do discuss the murder with enough people to bring out the guilty one. In fact, he almost does away with Hannah before she is rescued.
Now to try those recipes!!
Having a German heritage, I really enjoyed this story about a young couple who escaped from their family and home in Germany before the war by coming to America in 1904. Frederick and Jette arrived in New Orleans with just the bags they could carry, a possible job to look for, a small amount of English language, and a baby on the way. They took a steamboat up the Mississippi River to St. Louis. Due to the arrival of their baby, they didn’t make it all the way to the possible job, but found themselves in a small German town on the Missouri River named Beatrice, after the stubborn wife of the founder. The local bar needed help, so Frederick got a job there, which led to him eventually buying it. The building stayed in the family through three generations and several changes. At the last, ut becane a Mexican restaurant, still owned by a member of the original family. This is a good story of a family of true Americans – from another country, but dedicated to America.
This is a super story of two young boys and their experiences at a carnival around Halloween time. This was no ordinary carnival, though, it was conducted by very strange supernatural beings who were collecting people. There was a caliope ride that could make one much older or younger than when they got on, with surprising results. There was also a mirror house that few people escaped from, at least in the way they were when they entered. The Illustrated Man, who ran the circus wanted the two boys and almost caught them until they were rescued by the library janitor, father of one of the boys. This story brings to mind the beautiful and scary things one remembers from a circus and is very easy to pull you into the scene – hard to put down.
As the title says, this is about all ghosts, past and present, good and bad, easily seen and hidden. They have been seen, heard, or felt by people of all ages, all over the world. Some have been returning because something in their lives was not finished. Some want to pass on information to the living. Some seem to just want to be noticed and perhaps frighten their audience. Most people have noticed unusual situations, but try to ignore them or are reluctant to mention them to others. The author brings up happenings from the Roman ages to the present that have been observed, smelled, or felt. Sometimes it is a scene or group happening, such as a battle or alignment of soldiers, a disaster taking place, or a sad or happy gathering of people. It seems that ghosts, or spirits, are all around us, noticed by some, but not all of us. The author even gives the steps to take to put yourself into a state of mind to be more aware of the spirits (if you choose to do so).
Wounded dectives are not always allowed to sit around comfortably and recouperate. John Corey was pulled into a murder-treasure theft situation by knowing the right people – those who were murdered. Luckily some of his friends taught him about manuvering a boat in Long Island Sound and about the animal disease research site at Plum Island (before they were killed because of their knowledge). In this story one learns a lot about the way a dective’s mind works, helping to sort out facts from feeliings and put them in a logical order that points the direction of the crime. it is also very interesting to learn about things that may have happened to Captain Kidd’s treasure.
This is a very interesting Sandman collection with only four stories, but they are quite involved. The most easily recognized from classical tales is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. This version combines real people (putting on the show) with mystical creatures (the audience) for this dream story and gives their interaction. The very last story tells the author’s directions for the artists on the script, scenes, description of characters, and some of his thoughts on the story at that point for the first story in the book “Caliope”. The artists sometimes write their comments, too. It is very interesting how complete everything is planned to bring the story to life. To the reader it just seems to flow along.
Known as “Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity”, this story is a excellent description of the journey of a man whose daughter was abducted during a family vacation. He was in “Great Sadness” when he received a note from God inviting him to an old shack where evidence of his daughter’s murder had been found. What he learns about life, truth, and God and the other Heavenly Entities transforms his life and answers questions we all have about how to deal with pain with their help. This is a very comforting story that teaches a lot about understanding through a higher degree of insight.
Having never read a graphic novel before, only simple comics as a child, I knew not what to expect. I was pleased with this book. Neil Graiman has really done an excellent job of writing fast-moving stories of mythological and historical people, usually having a wise ending. The artwork between stories is outstanding – very fitting to the stories. Things can get rather gorey, but I suppose that is expected in these stories. Characters appear very real and show their feelings. The Sandman, the Lord of Dream, appears in each story, giving help to the good and explainations to the reader.
Charles Darwin had great interest in science, but he was expected to become a pastor. Before going into this field, he had an opportunity to go on a trip around the world on a government-sponsored survey ship, the Beagle. The sailing ship didn’t give anyone much room, but wherever they stopped, Charles gathered many items of interest that he wanted to study. Most things were skinned or dried and sent back to England after careful notes and drawings were made. He noted all changes in plants, birds, and animals in different regions and habitats and theorized on what caused these changes. He spent most of his life reading, writing, experimenting and working on understanding the functions of the changes. He documented the importance of Natural Selection. He was also a loving family man who had great sadness in the loss of children and siblings and often suffered from illness himself. Through it all, he was a dedicated scientist.
This is the story of Brave Orchid, a Chinese girl raised among the old ways, where sons were appreciated in a family, but daughters were usually to be sold or married as soon as possible. There were many deaths mentioned in the story – the background of ghosts that were always with the people. Many warnings about life were usually told as stories to children about how the gods expected certain actions and gifts. Her mother sliced the frenum under her tongue when whe was a baby, which caused her great difficulty in speaking clearly, so as a child, she rarely spoke at all. The Chinese say “a ready tongue is an evil.” There are actually many stories of the women in the family. Brave Orchid attended college and got her medical degree. She treated many people in China before coming to America, but when she and her husband moved to California, they made their living with the hard work of a laundromat in the Chinese quarter.