Category Archives: American

Deadly lizards, delinquent boys, a sinister warden and a whole lot of HOLES feature in Louis Sachar’s acclaimed YA novel

When Stanley Yelnats gets caught holding a celebrity’s stolen sneakers which have just fallen on him out of the sky, he knows that it’s because of the family curse acquired by his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, … Continue reading

Posted in 10 years and up, 20th Century, 20th Century YA, Adventure, American, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage, Family Drama, Fiction, Light Fiction, Novel, YA Classic, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A powerful book about growing up and making sense of the world that I first read while I was growing up: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I first read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in year 10 and it was the first really decent book I got to read for high school english (the junior syllabus really wasn’t inspiring – in year 8 we had … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, 20th Century Literature, American, Classic, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Uncategorized, YA Classic, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fables about in groups, the vagaries of fashion, stalemates, dealing with difference and the consequences of carelessness when naming one’s children: The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss

Posted in 2 years and up, 20th Century, 20th Century Children's, American, Children's, Children's Classic, Picture Books, Poetry, Short Stories, Under 5 years, Under 7 years | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Universities and uni students are changing: Lukianoff and Haidt provide a compelling argument for some of the fundamental beliefs that are driving the changes in The Coddling of the American Mind

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. If you feel it, it must be true. People are either good or evil. In The Coddling of the American Mind Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff argue that belief in these three ‘Great … Continue reading

Posted in American, Contemporary, General adult audience, Nonfiction, Social Commentary/Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apologetics Updated for our Age and My Favourite Christian Book of 2019: Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin

Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion was probably my favourite Christian book that I read in 2019. Using an engaging mix of research, anecdote and personal story, McLaughlin gives nuanced answers to some of the big … Continue reading

Posted in American, British, Christian, Christian Apologetics, Christian Non-fiction, Contemporary, General adult audience, Nonfiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insightful, practical, wise and biblical: Untangling Emotions by Groves and Smith

Untangling Emotions is a helpful exploration of feelings and what to do with them from a Christian perspective. Solidly biblical and extremely practical, it challenges some of our unhelpful approaches to emotions and unpacks what different emotions actually tell us. … Continue reading

Posted in American, Christian, Christian Living, Christian Non-fiction, Contemporary, General adult audience, Nonfiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Problem-solving run amok in Stuck, a quirky picture book by Oliver Jeffers

Stuck, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, is an absurd picture book about a boy named Floyd, whose kite gets stuck in a tree. The book follows his outrageous problem solving as he tries to get it down.

Posted in 2 years and up, American, Contemporary Children's, Irish, Picture Books, Under 7 years | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Climbing trees, cutting your own hair and making messes with all the things you find in the kitchen: Maud Hart Lovelace’s second Betsy-Tacy book beautifully captures the experience of being 8 years old

Betsy-Tacy and Tib continues Maud Hart Lovelace’s engaging series of early 20th century American childhood. Betsy, Tacy and their new friend Tib are now 8-year-olds. Life is full of adventures, often with their genesis in Betsy’s fertile imagination. In this … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Children's, 5 years and up, American, Children's Classics, Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capturing childhood: Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

I recently discovered Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series doing a literature-map search of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Similarly, Lovelace’s series draws on her own American childhood and the target audience ages with the protagonists. In the first book, Betsy-Tacy, the girls … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Children's, 5 years and up, American, Children's Classics, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Light a Single Candle by Beverley Butler

Light A Single Candle by Beverley Butler is a great book written in the early 60s that I discovered in high school. Cathy Wheeler becomes completely blind in her early teens when surgery to treat glaucoma goes seriously wrong. As … Continue reading

Posted in 11 years and up, 20th Century YA, American, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage, Light Fiction, Novel, YA Realism, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment