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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
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- Kentucky (1)
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- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
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- Nebraska (1)
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- New Jersey (1)
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- New York (4)
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- Ohio (6)
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- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
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- Texas (2)
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- Virginia (3)
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- West Virginia
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- *Washington, D.C.

Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:

0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:

7 / 25 books. 28% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:

34 / 50 books. 68% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!
Friday, December 14, 2018

MG WWII Novel Fascinating and Engrossing

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

As a Jew living in Nazi-occupied Krakow, 16-year-old Chaya Lindner knows her days are numbered.  Members of her family and community, including her younger sister, have already disappeared, whisked off to fates worse than death at Nazi concentration camps.  Furious at the injustice, Chaya vows to use her Aryan features to help her people fight the Nazis in any way they can.  Posing as a flirty German girl, she works as a courier, making deliveries inside the Jewish ghettos.  Under this guise, she smuggles things—messages, food, papers, even people—inside and out.  It's a dangerous job that could prove deadly if she's ever caught.  Still, the risk is exhilarating, her tasks fulfilling.  Plus, it gives her the chance to scour the ghettos for her missing brother.

An experienced resistance worker, Chaya is dismayed when she's paired with Esther, a timid new recruit, on a mission that proves catastrophic.  As tension mounts in Poland and more resistance workers are captured, the two will have to learn to work together to warn the Jews in Warsaw of impending disaster.  Will they get there in time to stop the inevitable?  Perhaps not, but they have to try, even if it means sacrificing their lives for the cause, which it just might ...

I heard Jennifer A. Nielsen speak about the inspiration behind Resistance—her newest middle grade novel—this summer at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.  She told the true story of Poland's brave, young couriers, which was absolutely fascinating.  I wanted to know more, so I immediately (well, not too immediately—the buy lines at the festival were crazy) bought Resistance and delved right in.  Not surprisingly, the story is tense, action-filled, and exciting.  The historical details are fascinating, especially when you consider that real people actually performed the daring actions described in the book.  While the prose isn't quite as strong as I hoped and the characters suffer from lack of development, I found Resistance to be an engrossing, enlightening read.  It may be too grim for younger middle grade readers, but for older kids and adults, I recommend it.
(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other MG/YA books about World War II like Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz, Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse, etc.)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence, blood/gore, and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Resistance from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

First Installment in Popular Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell Series Clever and Charming

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Few people can match the infamous Sherlock Holmes in intellect and deduction reasoning.  Even though he's been retired from the detective game for over a decade, his mind remains sharper than the proverbial tack.  So, when he meets young Mary Russell, who literally runs into him at Sussex Downs, Holmes is startled—not only by the 15-year-old's sudden appearance, but also by her remarkable acuity.  Although she's an odd, gawky teenager with loud opinions, she's also insatiably curious, uncommonly smart, and surprisingly teachable.  Mary just might be the apprentice Holmes never knew he needed.

When the daughter of an American senator is kidnapped in Wales, the duo is called in to investigate.  With all of their combined skill, they put their great minds to the test in their search for the missing child.  Can they find her?  Or will the mystery stump the brightest detective to ever live and his very promising young apprentice?

More literary fiction than propulsive thriller, The Beekeeper's Apprentice is the first installment in Laurie R. King's popular Holmes/Russell series.  Although it's denser than the typical mystery, the novel remains clever, charming, and entertaining.  The characters are fun, the plot's engrossing, and the prose is solid.  I enjoyed The Beekeeper's Apprentice overall and while I'm not rushing to continue with the series, I will read more.

(Readalikes:  Um, nothing is coming to mind.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and mild innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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