Book Reviews

Peter Pan

A tale of innocence, childhood, and pure imagination, this is a 3 on the 5-star Reading System. “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”  J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan Second star to the right, and straight on till morning, you will find the world of Neverland! In a place that is pure child, free from the restrictions of political correctness, and questions of right and wrong, a handful of children live out… Read More »Peter Pan

The Great Gatsby

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby The first time I read it, I was curled up on the armchair in my room, sick with a mild flu, and I read it from cover to cover without pause. I did not thoroughly understand it, and even at the time, I knew there were layers and layers of nuance that were passing over… Read More »The Great Gatsby

The Secret Garden

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden The Secret Garden was the first really difficult book I ever read. At first I made my way through pretty easily, although I had almost no idea how to picture the first chapters that took place in India, until Martha, the English servant, builds a fire in Mary Lennox’s room. As soon as she… Read More »The Secret Garden

The Brothers Karamazov

“For we must love not only occasionally, for a moment, but forever. Everyone can love occasionally, even the wicked can.” Father Zossima, The Brothers Karamazov When I was fifteen, my mother gave me this book for Christmas, but two months later, after she had read it, she told me I was not allowed to read my Christmas present for a few more years. I was actually relieved, since I kept feeling like I should read… Read More »The Brothers Karamazov

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

A twisting, turning, exciting read, this is a 3 on the 5-star Reading System “If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.” Alice in Wonderland Step into a fabulous wonderland, a world of upside down, a world where animals talk, little girls change sizes, and birds are very touchy. Here, a Caterpillar has questions about identity, a Mad Hatter and March Hare are stuck in… Read More »Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Treasure Island

Written for children and a complex but fast-moving read, this is a 3 on the 5-star Reading System “Fifteen men on the Dead Man’s Chest Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!” Treasure Island Treasure Island has all of the most marvelous clichés of every Pirate story because it was the first, the original, the precursor of them all! With this rollicking and frightening tale, Robert Louis Stevenson invented the pirate story genre. Salty… Read More »Treasure Island

Little Women

A simpler read, Little Women is a 3 on my 5-Star Reading System *What is this?* Four sisters and their mother navigate the complexities of domestic life and battle with their own inner demons. With humor and pathos, they question the meaning of femininity, the relationships between men and women, the nature of love, and the harmony of family life. Jo, the protagonist, is a rebellious, impatient fifteen-year-old who, out of all the sisters, struggles… Read More »Little Women

The Little Prince

A simpler read, this is a 3 on my 5-Star Rating System* *What is this? The simple story of a little prince who lives alone on a tiny planet, no bigger than your backyard, but who treasures a universe in his love of a little rose. Not fully appreciating the treasure he has in his companion, he leaves his planet to seek out other parts of the universe, but in doing so, he may have… Read More »The Little Prince

The Tempest – A Gloriously Fun Shakespeare

I read this for probably the third time this past year. I was asking myself yesterday what my favorite Shakespeare is, and it feels like an impossible question to answer. But if I ask myself which one I read the most often… The Tempest wins!! I’ve read it before, and I’m sure I’ll read it many times again. What with Ariel and his cloven pine, Miranda seeing man for the first time, and the wonderfully… Read More »The Tempest – A Gloriously Fun Shakespeare

A Whole New World in the Hundred Acre Wood

(An add-on article for my original post: how to motivate children to read more and my 2018 reading list)I grew up on Winnie the Pooh. I watched the classic movies, of course, and also the late 90’s and early 2000’s TV shows on Disney Channel on Saturday mornings, but my fondest memories of Winnie the Pooh are of the nights before bed when my dad read the A.A. Milne books aloud. He would do all the… Read More »A Whole New World in the Hundred Acre Wood