I read several books in February and those reviews are below. I included the review I wrote for a couple of children’s books, as well. If you aren’t reading children’s books, you should. The picture books are delightful and so well illustrated – you won’t be sorry. But the stand out book this month was The Feathered Bone. I can’t recommend it enough (in fact, I have recommended it to everyone who tells me they are looking for a book to read). It caught me by surprise – but I’m so glad I read it. I’m sure this is a book I will read again and again.
Salad Pie by Wendy BooydeGraff, illustrated by Bryan Langdon
I loved this children’s picture book. It was not only entertaining, but also had a moral to the story. With a spin on a mud pie and making and trusting a new friend at the same time. The illustrations were absolutely wonderful. Certainly a book to recommend for young children.
Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan
What a truly delightful book for children. I, mistakenly, bought this thinking it was a picture book. It was not. It is a chapter book that would be perfect for read aloud time with parents. At first I thought some of the words were too grown up and children wouldn’t know what they meant. But then two sentences later, the word would be explained. Appleblossum has adventures galore all while explaining some habits of a possum. I highly recommend this for all ages of children.
The Devil’s Wire by Deborah Rogers
The plot sounded like it would be a good psychological thriller. However, it was never fully developed. The characters were too flat and it just never went where it had the potential to go.
Plus, the book just plain needed to be edited…and proofread. It was disappointing.
Musiville by Nicholas Rossis, illustrated by Dimitris Fousekas
A clever story featuring animals who have evolved with musical instruments. Each animal is also an instrument – such as a flassoon (Flamingo/bassoon) and a Trumpephant (elephant/trumpet). There is a handy appendix in the back of the book which gives a brief description of each animal.
The animals save their city, Musiville, by playing together and creating music collaborativey rather than by themselves.
I would have preferred that a pronunciation had been added to the descriptions, as well as the type of animal. I may be slow, but I didn’t know what the Trumpetoon was supposed to be (Babboon/trumpet) while I was reading the book.
This is a book to be read aloud or for more advanced readers. I don’t envision beginning readers trying to pronounce the names of the animals (and I have trouble imagining some lower level reading parents being able to read this without struggling.
The illustrations were adorable and really helped this story come to life.
All the Lasting Things by David Hopson– 3 stars
Not a memorable book at all. Seemed like a silly read and I found it difficult to get into the book until the second half. And, even then, it wasn’t memorable. Not my book I think.
Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham – 4 stars
A light read with a little mystery and a little romance.
Killing Me Softly by Bianca Sloane – 5 stars
Filled with suspense that kept my attention and kept me reading. This is definitely a book I couldn’t put down. Suspenseful and frightening. Even when I thought I was sure I had it all figured out, the book continued to show me how it was done. I highly recommend reading this to anyone who enjoys suspense.
Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen – 5 stars
I started reading this earlier and just couldn’t get into it. But when I gave it another go, I decided I must not have been in the right mood the first time. True to Cullen’s other historical fiction, Twain’s End weaves a tale based on facts. I was fascinated throughout the entire book.
The House of Closed Doors by Jane Steen – 4 stars
I enjoy books about strong women. This book was definitely that. Nell defies her stepfather in a time when men controlled the women in their household. Her journey was interesting to read. I do recommend this book.
A Friend of Mr. Lincoln by Stephen Harrigan – 4 stars
This started out slowly and I almost gave up. But the book turned around and became much more interesting as I got into it. Mr. Lincoln was a secondary character and the book really was about his friend, Cage. It seemed to have a strong basis in facts which I like for my historical fiction books.
The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell – 5 stars
This book grabbed me from the beginning. It started out feeling like a YA book, but dealt with some pretty heavy and dark subjects. It did bring out some tearful moments while I was reading. This book has stayed with me weeks after I finished it though and I highly recommend this book.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – 4 stars
A WW2 era book that follows some young people as they try to escape to a better life. I was engaged with the characters in the book and felt myself wanting them to succeed, even as there were tragedies along the way.