Sorry?' said Carrot. If it's just a thing, how can it commit murder? A sword is a thing' - he drew his own sword; it made an almost silken sound - 'and of course you can't blame a sword if someone thrust it at you, sir.'
Tis the night before Christmas when a self-described curmudgeon rescues a bedraggled feline from a snowy New York City alley. Thus begins this tale of a man and his cat or, rather, of a cat and his man. A touching, timeless, and inspiring story about the animal/human bond and the spirit of the holiday season.
-- From Goodreads
Dumbing Down America: The War on Our Nation's Brightest Young Minds (and What We Can Do to Fight Back)
At a time when the U.S. education system consistently lags behind its international peers, Dumbing Down America shows exactly why America can't keep up by providing a critical look at the nation's schools through the eyes of the children whose minds are languishing in countless classrooms. Filled with specific examples of how gifted children are being shortchanged by a nation that believes smart kids will succeed on their own, Dumbing Down America packs a powerful message: If we want our nation to prosper, we must pay attention to its most intelligent youth.
For centuries, the people of Alera have relied on the power of the furies to protect them from outside invaders. But the gravest threat might be closer than they think.
Tavi has escaped the Calderon Valley and the mysterious attack of the Marat on his homeland. But he is far from safe, as trying to keep up the illusion of being a student while secretly training as one of the First Lord's spies is a dangerous game. And he has not yet learned to use the furies, making him especially vulnerable.
The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids
What makes Denmark the happiest country in the world--and what are the secrets of Danish parents for raising happy, confident, succesful kids, year after year? This upbeat and practical guide brings together the insights of a licensed psychotherapist and a mom -- a Dane and an American married to a Dane, respectively -- on the habits of the happiest families on earth.
The book delivers fresh advice on how to:
- Encourage free play
- Foster authenticity and confidence
- Nurture empathy
- Emphasize teamwork over power struggles
Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn't need a woman's help -- or so he thinks.
"In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes against her fingers as she dangles them in the water.
"From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, comes a poignant, charming novel about a forgotten town fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything. Winning a junior ice hockey championship might not mean a lot to the average person, but it means everything to the residents of Beartown, a community slowly being eaten alive by unemployment and the surrounding wilderness.
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.
Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams. - From Goodreads.com
Book review by Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
WHAT'S THE STORY?
GHOST is Castle Cranshaw's new nickname -- he gave it to himself and it sticks when he challenges a track team's best sprinter to a race. Running is as easy for him as breathing, probably because he's been doing it all his life. An emerging track star with a past, Ghost has to figure out why he runs -- is it toward what his life could be or away from his past? Luckily, he has new friends on the team, his coach, and even his mom to help him figure it all out.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
I wasn't sure I would like any Fredrik Backman book more than I liked Britt-Marie, but I was wrong. I adored this one. The audiobook is probably one of my favorites I have listened to. It is the story of Elsa and her grandmother and the legacy the grandmother left behind. Grandmother was cranky and a bit crazy, but she told the best fairy tales and helped people her entire life. When she dies she leaves it up to almost eight year old Elsa to deliver her letters saying sorry. Along the way, Elsa gets to know her grandmother and all the other people who live in her house.
Tara Westover was raised by survivalist parents in the wilds of Idaho. They were isolated by choice from society and Tara's father was suspicious of anything to do with the government, including school. Tara and her five brothers worked mostly in their father's salvage yard and while they said they were home schooled there was no real education involved. As Tara grew older, her dad's fanaticism grew. Her father and one of her brothers was often violent and abusive and she longed to escape.
Brangwain Spurge is an elf who has been nominated to take a rare relic to the goblin world as a gift of "peace" to the goblin ruler. Werfel is a historian in the goblin world and he has been selected to be host to Brangwain during his stay. However, all is not as it seems with this excursion.