Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trying to clean out some of the emails in my inbox this a.m. and came across the info. on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The exciting news is that this is the first year they have included a prize for "best young adult novel" with the author receiving a $15,000 publishing contract from Penguin. This annual award opens doors to debut writers. I can't wait to read Amy Ackland's Sign Language which will be published by Viking Children's Books. The book addresses a 12 year old girl dealing with her father's cancer so this is more of tween book than true YA but keep your eyes open for it when it hits bookstores.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What a gorgeous morning with the sun shining and birds twittering. Won't be long and the birds will be finding cool places to hide out as it will be in the 90s today with a heat index of over 100. I hope it has cooled down before we head out for an Alzheimer's benefit this evening. We haven't missed one of them since we moved to Lexington. Steve stepped down from the Board when we thought we were moving to Florida quickly but we keep attending events and benefits. The auction was dangerous - I "donated" a lot of money that way! We will be driving up in high style in a gorgeous Saab SUV. Steve's little convertible is in the shop again within a week of picking it up. Something wrong with the electronics and it won't accelerate. Last time he didn't get a car to use and we regretted it as it was over two weeks before the part came from Sweden. Same thing this time. I haven't ridden in it yet but Steve says it rides like a car. Guess my Hyundai Santa Fe doesn't compare! Duh!!

I finished up Donald Spoto's biography Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn. I have been a Hepburn fan since I was a little girl but didn't know much about her life. It wasn't an easy one as she was a young teen during the Nazi occupation of Holland and was malnourished and weak when the American soldiers arrived. A soldier gave her 5 chocolate bars and she scarfed them down only to throw them back up again as she had no real food for weeks - just weak broth made from a few potatoes. She noted it was UNICEF that had come in to assist and she spent the last years of her life as an Ambassador for UNICEF, traveling all over the world but mostly in Africa. She was a real draw at fund raisers. She always seemed so calm and serene in her movies and interviews but she was very nervous and scared of talking to groups of people. She also was a chain smoker but what killed her was abdominal cancer that started in her appendix. Raised by a domineering mother who could not show affection and an absent father who showed little warmth toward her even when she tried to resume a relationship with him in his later years. A lonely little girl seeking love and finding it in two very wrong men for her - Mel Ferrer and an Italian aristocrat several years younger than her. But, she had two sons by her two husbands and loved being a mother. She quit acting to raise her boys. A fascinating woman and now that I know a bit more I'd like to read the biography her oldest son, Sean, wrote: Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers it was reissued in 2005 and since her son is donating a portion of the royalties to UNICEF is a doubly good buy for me.

I am not a big coffee drinker but found the cover art for The Espressologist by Kristina Springer quite delightful. A closeup of a teenage girl about to take a sip of coffee that has a heart swirled into the foam. Then I flipped to the back flap to check on the author and this is a debut novel. Another reason I wanted to read it. I've been doing some research on the educational backgrounds and web presence of new YA authors and it is no surprise that Springer hold a master's degree in writing. The new talent care great credentials! She also has a very attractive web site: I love when YA authors put the books they are reading now on their web sites or in their blogs as this will encourage teens who read the author's book(s) to explore the other authors and titles listed as well. I also see she has a second book coming out, My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours in September and a third, Pumpkin Princess, in Fall 2011. Clearly she enjoys writing YA novels. Anyway, her first person debut novel shares the life of 17-year-old barista, Jane Turner, who has theorized that you can tell a lot about a person by the coffee they drink. She is so into this she writes the types of coffee and the personality type down in a notebook. Medium Iced Vanilla Latte Smart, sweet, and gentle. Sometimes soft-spoken but not a doormat. Loyal and trustworthy. A good friend. Decent looks and body. And before you know it Jane is hooking up her friends based on the coffees they and the other patrons of the coffee shop drink. When her boss finds out about it he decides to use Jane's "gift" as a marketing campaign. The lines are often around the corner on the night the "Espressologist" is in and Jane is feeling real pressure to match people. It isn't fun anymore, especially since she matches up her best friend with the guy she should really be with. A delightfully funny and sometimes poignant view of the world from the eyes of a very likable older teen who seems to know a lot about everyone else and little about herself. Reminds me a bit of Tucker Shaw's The Girls which is also set in a coffee shop and deals with two best friends not telling each other the truth and dealing with the fallout.

Last book for today is a nonfiction title with incredible color photographs that bring to life a part of the world few of us have ever traveled to - Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan by Tony O'Brien and Mike Sullivan, with photographs by Tony O'Brien. The duo, a photojournalist and a filmmaker, interviewed and photographed youth from varied backgrounds in their often very different daily lives. Interviewees are between 8 and 15 so this is a book for elementary through high school level libraries. When asked what they would wish for if they had a magic lamp like Aladdin, education was most often wished for. The lives these children and teens live is heartbreaking. A 15 year old boy dressed in a filthy Christmas sweatshirt with "ho-ho-ho" on the front tells of how he incenses cars or shops for good luck, but he has no luck. His stepmother would be angry if he went back to school. A 10 year old calmly states that he is a thief, stealing from people's pockets in the market. What he wants - his real father to come back. Many of the teens work as carpet makers in the morning and attend school in the afternoon when they can. In the rural area a 14-year-old girl walks 2 hours to school. She wants to become a midwife. The voices of children who will be the leaders of this country in the future and most of them address the need for education.

Can't procrastinate from grading any longer!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We are having July weather in June - ugh!! It is too darn hot for June. And, it doesn't help that I have a ton of boxes in the middle of my office which are blocking the air conditioning vents that are on the floor too. So I have a fan blowing on me. If I close my eyes I can be back in the U.S. Virgin Islands Montessori School Library with the hum of fans to keep us at least a bit cooler. Okay, with that bit of daydreaming this office is like an icebox compared to that library on a hot breezeless day on St. Thomas!

I had the first set of occipital shots last Friday and it sure felt weird to have the back of my head numb for a couple of days. It's no longer numb but it also isn't hurting like it was so the shots did work for that pain but not for the headache behind and above my left eye. That is what is so tiring. I go back in later this month for another set of shots and I hope they work more than this first set. He did say relief would not be overnight so I am optimistic.

I'm also working with a dietician at our neighborhood hospital to lose some of the weight I have gained due to being so sedentary as it will help to be lighter on my feet when recuperating from the knee surgeries. Hobbling around in a lighter body may also not be quite so tiring before the surgery as well since the knee surgery won't be scheduled until there is some relief from the occipital neuralgia pain. I have some time to work at getting down to "fighting form". I'm on a low carb diet and the first few days were a killer as I pretty much lived on bread, granola bars, and fruit with some protein. I still have bread but I do things like take the top off of a Subway turkey sandwich and eat it open face. Its been interesting trying to find low carb foods in the grocery store. I have really become a label reader. Once I got over the initial shock of it I am kind of enjoying watching what I eat. I track my meals on the Sparks People web site: I'll bring in the print outs to the dietician on a regular basis. I also carry a book in my purse that has the carb and calorie content for most restaurant meals so I can pick and choose when we go out. That was the one condition - I get to eat out as doing so is often my only outings from the house. There was a whole set of work out equipment at the clinic but since I can't do much besides stretching in the a.m. the physiologist gave me a pedimeter to wear. I over did it the first few days trying to get more steps in and my knee rebelled big time but it is heartening to see I am not on my behind 24/7!

Just finished the Library Media Connection review for Karen Kincy's debut paranormal novel - Other I am feeling really old when I think about that fact that I've been reviewing for Linworth journals since the 1980s. Started out reviewing for Book Report when I was a high school librarian and have been reviewing and writing articles and books for Linworth ever since. This is the one journal, in its various versions, that I have had a long term subscription to as it covers both my professional worlds of school librarianship and youth literature.

Back to Other by Kincy. I had to go to her web site to check out her web presence as I am so impressed with the new YA authors meeeting teens where they hang out - online. I had to chuckle over her twitter comment - "Author Kitty Keswick stopped by my website!" When you scroll down the page, there is an interview with Keswick. I personally still love the feel and smell of books and reading print, but I realize that if we want to get teens reading books we need to pique their attention via their modes of communication. There are more paranormal romances out there for teens now than anyone can keep up with but Other is well worth logging off, putting the phone on vibrate, and settling in and getting comfortable as you won't want to put Other down after you start reading it. Imagine a world where a centaur in the frozen food section of the grocery store raises a few eyebrows and an occassional cell phone pic but that's because there aren't any living in Gwen's small Washington town. But there are plenty of Others including werewolves, vampires, dyads and shapeshifters, which is what Gwen is. Due to the prejudices about Others by some of the small town residents Gwen's mom has asked her to subdue her inclination to shift into animal form but she only feels free when she takes wing in the dead of night and flies through the forest where no one sees her. At least she thinks no one does, but when Others show up murdered Gwen realizes she hasn't been as careful as she thought. The killer knows what she is and she may be the next victim. Add a cute fox spirit dude and some nasty werewolves to contend with and this is a fun and fast read. Thank goodness there are two more titles coming!

Speaking of teens and technology - NintendoDS is now offering 100 classics with author bios and book guides to help you select a "book that fits your mood" - or so says the advertisement in Entertainment Weekly. The add shows the Nintendo being held like a book so you have text on each side. Hmmm - I wonder if this will get gamers involved in reading. Who knows! Whatever the case, it looks interesting. Check out all the titles at accessed from the Nintendo site. These are all those dry and boring oldies that are often required reading in school. Perhaps they will be a bit less boring when read on a gaming device! But please, don't make me read Silas Marner again in any format. Good heavens - I had to pinch myself black and blue to get through that one! Further browsing shows that there are another 10 books that can be downloaded via wi-fi. I just found the cost of the 100 Classics on Best Buy - $19.99. It was released yesterday and already backordered via Best Buys' online store. I wish I could be there to see the English teachers' expressions when they tell their students to take out their copy of King Lear and students boot up their Nintendos!

It is thundering like crazy, the wind is blowing and the rain is coming down. I'm posting this before the Internet goes down. I am so sick of rain - we are going to float away!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The thunder woke me up about an hour ago so I laid in bed for awhile listening to it and working on the crazy alliteration alphabet book I've been working on in my head for years. Always comes to mind when I can't sleep! So I got up a wrote down a few of the ones that came to mind this a.m. as I normally forget them by the time I get up. The rain is coming down in buckets and it sounds like Thor and the other Norse gods are involved in a game of bowling up in Valhalla. At least that is what Gramma used to tell me as she was more afraid of thunderstorms than I was!

Oh good - Steve is up. I can hear him pouring food into Sophie's bowl so she will quit her morning meowing. Back to bed with the Sunday paper for a bit. Yeah - a few days late and then some in getting to it.

Monday, June 07, 2010

What a beautiful day! We've had lots of rain but the sky is blue and it isn't supposed to get above the 70s today but up to 90 by the end of the week.

Spent more time this weekend going through books so that we can get one of my double bookcases out of my office so it will look bigger. We are slowly making progress toward getting the house ready to put on the market. Steve is painting the dining room and it is going to look wonderful compared to the ugly brownish gold that was in there. Apparently the builder used whatever leftover paint around as no two rooms in the house were the same color. They all complimented each other, but there was no way to match the paint to do any fix-ups.

I read some fun picture and early chapter books in the process:
If you have a little primary grade glamour puss, which I think my granddaughter McKinley is going to be, check out the Perfectly Princess series. Purple Princess Wins the Prize by Alyssa Crowne caught my attention as even the pages of the book are purple. Also because she has big brothers who she wants to show she is just as good as they are. Even we adult girls who have older brothers remember that feeling! Reading level on the series is 2nd grade so these books will be as popular as the other Scholastic Little Apple series - The Rainbow Magic books. There are a lot of them as there are different types of fairies, with several books in each group include The Rainbow Fairies, The Weather Fairies, The Jewel Fairies, The Pet Fairies, The Fun Day Fairies, The Petal Fairies, The Dance Fairies and the newest – The Music Fairies. There is a really cool website for the Fairies with activities and all kinds of stuff for computer literate primary age girls would enjoy: I could see myself sitting down with Mary when she was little and doing some of these activities together. Keep in mind that I am a fairy lover myself and no one can make me grow up enough to quit believing in them! :-) I have Danni the Drum Fairy by Daisy Meadows in front of me and what fun – figuring out how to get the instruments back from the goblins who stole them. If they don’t, everyone will find out about Fairyland! What little girl wouldn’t love these books? Lots of white space and line drawings break up the text so even the most “chapter book” reluctant girl may find these accessible.

Although our kids go through series like the ones discussed above so fast that we feel like we are at the library or bookstore every day, this is a good thing. Are these high quality literature – of course they are not. But, it is books like these that help us ensure our kids are lifelong readers. Once they have mastered the basics of reading, novice readers need to go through a stage in reading development referred to as unconscious delight – in other words, wallowing in books that don’t require a great deal out of the young readers, but they are practicing their reading skills in a safe, known, fun environment. In other words – they discover reading is fun. It isn’t just something they have to do for homework or points. Some of us oldies went through this stage with The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope (I was devastated when I found out she wasn’t real – these books were written by several different authors from an outline given to them.) The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport is the first book in the series. Penguin has brought them all back along with an easy reader series as well. Nostalgia! We hope our kids love the same books we did as children, but don’t get upset if they don’t. Allow them choose their own books and then step back and watch them become lifelong readers.

We are seeing teens going through the unconscious delight stage because they spent the last 8 years of school having books picked out for them by points or reading level. Many tweens/teens don’t know how to self select books, let alone consider that reading can be an enjoyable pastime just like sports, hanging out with their friends, or talking on the phone. Basically, we have to “wallow in unconscious delight” at some point in our reading life to discover it is fun before we truly become a lifelong reader. Let your kids read whatever they want and ignore the reading levels for a change. Little guys who love dinosaurs can read nonfiction books that some middle school kids can’t because they love the subject and they figure out the big words because they want to. So what if it is the 50th manga title your middle school son reading. He’s reading! I find graphic novels more difficult to comprehend than straight text as I am not as good at visual comprehension as our kids are.

The magazine you keep seeing your son or daughter scanning in the store every time you are there, buy a subscription. Magazine reading is very similar to the short bursts of information that standardized tests use for comprehension questions.

Okay, I’ll get off my high horse on this subject but we want our kids wallowing in “unconscious delight " reading so they don't become unconscious from boredom while struggling with the required reading book that they have no interest in at all. Perhaps if they were encouraged to “wallow” in the books/magazines/online sites they want to read, they could better handle reading the “stuff” they don’t want to as they are honing their skills reading and these books become less difficult to read. Can't change the boredom factor totally but they can progress through the books more quickly so they can get back to the titles they want to read.

I talked about the girlie series, what about the ones for the guys? Scholastic has Little Apple series for the guys too. I personally am so not into Pokemon but some boys love this little critter. There are many books in Pokemon Junior Chapter Book Series. Not all of them are still in print but you can buy used ones online for a couple of bucks and even Pokemon Battle Frontier: Team Rocket Truce is only $3.99 new.

I think the Ready, Freddy! primary level series is a delight and I’d start with volume 1: Tooth Trouble by Abby Klein. There are enough line illustrations by John McKinley to break up the text. Freddy may be fascinated by sharks with their wicked looking teeth, but he’s embarrassed as he’s the only first grader who hasn’t lost a tooth yet.

For the primary age boys who love sports check out the Gym Shorts series by Betty Hicks. Henry and his buddies try out various sports, from basketball to soccer, to swimming, to baseball, to track and the latest adventure: Doubles Trouble about tennis. The wonderful line drawings by Simon Gane break up the text and make this a fun book for sports minded early readers.

For the slightly older readers (7-10) who love to laugh introduce them to the Melvin Beederman, Superhero Series. Longer in length, the text is still broken up by line drawings. The latest title in the series by Greg Trine, Invasion from Planet Dork is hilarious. How many times have we seen movies and read books about aliens being used for experimentation. Well, what if the Evil Aliens are coming to Earth, specifically Los Angeles, to kidnap Earthlings for their own science class experiments? This ones hits the bookstores this week.

Summer is upon us and kids are out of school. Don't let them lose the progress they have made toward becoming a lifelong reader. The public libraries have fun reading programs if you child likes to be involved. As long as the programs are self competitive and don't list names and charts that clearly show ranking I am all for them. But I'd not have my own children involved in the ones that "pit" children against each other. They deal with enough competition in other areas of their life, reading should not be a competitive sport. It is like yoga or running - you work to improve your own skills not to be better than someone else. If you don't have a suitable summer reading program, make up your own. Read with your kids, read to your kids, have them read to you and talk about the books. Spend a Saturday at a used book store and let them pick out some books. Hit garage sales. There are ways to build your child's book collection without it costing you an arm and a leg.

All for today.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Sorry - had to add this post. I was chuckling aloud as I watched the trailer for Lane Smith's new book - It's a Book Click on this link and if you don't at least smile you aren't a true book-aholic like I am!
A beautiful breezy a.m. in Lex but it is going to be a hot one, up to the high 80s again. And very humid. Thank goodness for air conditioning and fans. You wouldn't think the northern most areas of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan would get very hot but I remember summers where sleeping was impossible in the upstairs of our house. I think Mom cooking on a wood stove also helped keep the house hotter than Hades. They'd close up the doors and close the curtains so the living room was the coolest. I remember laying on the hardwood floor that was a bit cooler due to the fans. I think living like that as a kid makes me appreciate the regulated air conditioning and heat we now have. And, we did get the gas fireplace fixed, just in time for it to heat up and not need it. It even has a remote - how cool is that? :-)

My mom was a great one for home remedies. She is most likely smiling down on me from heaven as I take my tbs. of natural apple cider vinegar mixed in with cranberry juice each morning. Apple cider vinegar has many supposed natural remedies - I am taking it to help my immune system but I wish it did all the other things listed on the Home Remedies Website.

She would also be chucking over my love of Greek yogurt since I hated her Finnish speciality called viili - basically curdled milk. She has a starter she used that she swore came over from Finland initially with my grandmother. I hated the stringy slimy stuff but she ate it every day and swore it helped her digestion. She knew what she was talking about long before yogurt became a craze in the U.S. Mom was a born naturalist long before the "back to the earth" folks
joined in on what the old Finns knew for decades.

As some of you know, I have an interest in debut novels/picture books. I am also amazed at the qualifications of the new YA authors. For example, Jessica Warman has a MA in creative writing and went to Yale. These new young authors decide they want a career in writing and go about getting the education to enhance their natural skills. Warman shows her skills in Breathless We females who have older brothers ofen idolize them. Those who don't go that far certainly look up to them and ask them for advice. I still remember my oldest brother Dan telling me the guy wasn't worth the ground I walked on when I told him about the mean things one the guys I liked in Junior High said to me. It isn't that I made great choices in men the rest of my life after that comment, but it stuck with me all these years. I thought about Warman's main character Katie and how I would have reacted if my brother Larry, who I was the closest to as a teen as he was the closest in age, suffered from schizophrenia. How would I have felt if he was sent away to a psychiatric hospital and was begging me to come get him? Could I handle the pressure? And, what would I say to my classmates if my parents sent me away to a boarding school? Would I go so far as Katie did and say my older brother was dead? It certainly would be easier than to admit the truth - her brother suffered from drug induced schizophrenia and was institutionalized. I certainly wouldn't tell them about the time he dropped the cat off our roof, expecting it to get up and walk away - cats always land on their feet, don't they? Well, not from that height. They called Katie's father, a psychiatrist, the Ghost as he was rarely around but when he was, he called family meetings and produced Ziplock baggies of drug paraphernalia he found around the house. Their artist mother is as calm as a still pond but insubstantial enough for a wind to blow her away. Katie is an innocent when it comes to the viciousness of private school girls and is often the object of their nastiness, especially when she begins to date Drew, the captain of the boys' swim team. Katie's roommate Mazzie has issues of her own over her mother's death and handles the scene at Katie's house after her grandfather's funeral when Will waves a loaded handgun between himself and their father better than Katie does. When her father apologizes as they are ready to leave for school, Mazzie responds with, "Shit happens, Sir." It sure does in this family. Katie finds solace in swimming - she can forget about everything at home and at school while she swims. But she has to surface sometime and when she does she learns an orderly at the hospital has been killed and Will is the prime suspect. Do you stop loving a brother who is criminally insane? No, you don't. Warman creates scenes so poignant and realistic between Katie and Will and Katie and Mazzie that I found myself holding my breath for fear they would know I was eavesdropping. An incredible debut.

On a lighter note: Steve says I tend to chatter too much so I had to smile to myself as I read the delightfully sweet The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska. There are many kinds of quiet from the first one awake quiet, thinking of a good reason you were drawing on the wall quiet, last one to get picked up from school quiet, first look at our new hairstyle quiet, first snowfall quiet, to “What flashlight?” quiet as little bunny is sneaking in a last few pages of his favorite book. The gentle illustrations of a variety of young animals including a little moose, bear, bunny, mouse, hedgehog, and porcupine are perfect for a bedtime story. I have to keep in mind the “Best friends don’t need to talk quiet” next time Steve and I are on the beach together as are bear and bunny as they quietly skip rocks. Sometimes there is no reason to talk when best friends are together and Steve is certainly the friend I want at my side during a quiet walk on the beach, but he had better not expect me to handle “Top of the roller coaster quiet” as I won’t be like bunny and cover my eyes and hold my breath. My breath would be coming out in a loud shriek of fear – I hate heights!

That's it for today.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Isn't the brain an amazing thing? I just got back from the eye doc's for my second contacts fitting. I have the distance correction in one eye and close up in the other. As long as I don't think about it and start trying to look at something with only one eye, it works great. I was wearing bifocals but getting eye strain from having to move between the transitions as I use two monitors and also look down at print documents in front of me. I hope this works better as I can buy cute, cheap sunglasses again. I was in second heaven once the lasik surgery settled in back in 2001. I had worn glasses since I was in primary school so seeing the depth and variety of colors of the leaves in a tree was a wonderment to me. But, lasik only lasts 5-10 years for most folks and clearly I'm one of them.

I have piles of books all over the floor after a day with my books yesterday. The time just flies by and I am happy as a kid in a candy shop - or me in a dark chocolate only candy shop. :-)

I remember when Aliki’s Digging Up Dinosaurs first came out and we were all delighted to see female characters in the book and even more delighted when the second edition was published with a female paleontologist on the cover. Back in the 80s we were still seeking out the books that set aside the sexual stereotyping of only men in medical and science professions. So, when I picked up the “almost board book” (slick, thick pages to weather lots of little hands), with the attention-getting cover art, by Jonathan London and David Parkins’ I’m a Truck Driver I didn’t even question whether or not there would be female truck drivers. Of course there are! Well, maybe not truck drivers as this book addresses many types of big equipment. The pages alternate between a boy and his dog and a girl and her cat operating/driving different piece of large equipment that are all pictured on the endpapers. Perhaps the choice of pets can be seen as sexist to a degree but the girl is clearly loving being a power shovel operator, a big crane operator, a steamroller driver, a fire truck driver, a snowplow driver, and a combine operator. This one is going to my grand kids and I suspect McKinley will be as crazy about this one as will be Kegan who loves trucks.

A gotta have for every middle grade through high school library is Superstar Stats: Everything Cool About Everyone Who’s Hot! by Jenifer Morse and the Scholastic staff. The color photographs of big names in entertainment, sports, business and money and more. A double page spread on each person with basic name/age information and some statistics about how they excel in their areas. The wide range of ages, cultures, backgrounds should pique any level reader’s attention. You may have to buy multiple copies of this one as it is paperback.

I just finished writing the Library Media Connection review for Neal Shusterman's Bruiser that will come out in later this month. I don't think there is a Shusterman book I've read that I haven't enjoyed. This one delves into the question of how far would you go to accept the physical pain of someone you love? I know as a parent I would have gladly endured the pain Mary went through having heart surgery as a toddler. I killed me emotionally to hear her scream with each vial of blood they drew. She'd start screaming as soon as we drove into our family doctor's office building parking lot for almost 2 years afterward. She was traumatized both emotionally and physically by the surgery and the events surrounding it. Today, she remembers little of it other than the scar that curves from her side up her back and the surgical steel clips used to do the repairs that mean she cannot have an MRI. But, I digress - Bruiser is a big lunk of a teen who everyone at school predicts will end up in prison. He doesn't interact with anyone as he fears doing so. He goes home to his abusive, alcoholic uncle and little brother, never complaining about the abuse his uncle inflicts on him. His world is turned upside down with "do-gooder" Bronte decides Bruiser is just misunderstood. He certainly is that but she has no idea the pain she is bringing on him by making him care about her and her family. He literally takes on their pain, bruises, and scars of those he loves. This is one of those books that makes me go back to the fact that every reader has his/her own conversation with a book based on their life experiences.

All for today. Two more late book reviews to write!