Archive for the 'Friends' Category

20
Jul
09

Book Review: Jansten’s Gift

Author: Pam Cope

Published: April 2009

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Non-Fiction

ISBN-10: 0446199699

ISBN-13: 978-0446199698

10/10 (Must read!)

 

 

Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son’s baseball games, her daughter’s dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.

Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.

Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend’s invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son’s death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called “Touch A Life,” dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.

Now MY take it on:

I really don’t know where to start. Some would tell me to start from the beginning, but it’s so much more than that. When I started reading it, I didn’t expect my emotions to run away with every page. You wanted to be there to comfort her. You wanted to be there so you can help. You wanted to experience everything she was experiencing while in Vietnam or Ghana. As I read, I could feel sympathy and compassion rising inside of me. It is so heartfelt, heartwarming, and in some places, heartbreaking. I never imagined that all of this was really happening and it opened my eyes up to countries I thought were beautiful. They never show this on TV or even slightly mention it. So without books or the Internet, we would have never know all of this was going on. You can’t imagine what it must feel like. But thanks to Touch A Life Foundation, many children will never know what it feels like to be a child slave. They’ll be able to have friends, play, go to school, and even sing.

For more information on Touch A Life Foundation, visit www.touchalifekids.org.

14
Jul
09

Book Review: Thanksgiving At The Inn

Author: Tim Whitney

Published: October 2009

Publisher: Bancroft Press

Genre: YA Fiction

ISBN-10: 1890862649

ISBN-13: 978-1890862640

9.5/10

Ever since his mother left, life has’t been easy for Heath Wellington III. Between his father’s (Junior’s) bouts with alcoholism and literary rejection, and Heath’s own wrongful suspension from school, there hasn’t been all that much to be thankful for.

But following the tragic death of estranged grandfather Senior, father and son alike stand to inherit a life-changing fortune . . . with one catch.

Heath and Junior must spend the next three months managing Senior’s bed and breakfast, located in the same Massachusetts home Junior has spent the last eight years trying to escape.

Upended from his everyday life and relocated to a town where everyone knew and loved the grandfather he can’t even remember, Heath finds an inn full of some of the strangest people he’s ever met, such as:

* Winsted, the old, wise Jamaican man who used to lead the prayers in Senior s factory;

* Mrs. Farrel, an elderly woman giving away her late husband’s fortune letter by letter;

* Mustang Sally, the muscle-bound, tattooed grease monkey who doubles as a children’s author;

* And Carter, the silent TV news junkie and secret Harvard graduate.

And, at a nearby school is Savannah, Junior’s first love, and her adorable, autistic daughter, Tori.

But most of all, there’s Junior himself, vinegar to Heath’s oil. As Heath adjusts to his new world, what he needs most is to start anew with his father, to understand that Junior, too, is dealing with loss, and to realize that, even in the most tragic of times, there’s a lot in life to be thankful for.

Now MY take on it:

It’s been a while since I’ve read such a “feel good” story. And at first, you don’t realize that the book will turn out like that. You just think that Heath and Junior will argue and the book will end like that. But was I wrong! Every single character has tons of personality and some of them may even remind you of your own friends or family! I know they remind me of a few people I know. And for those that didn’t remind me, I wanted to hang out with them there at the Inn. Everyone has their own situations to deal with in the book, and it reminds you of our own and how you can conquer it. With anger, laughter, sadness, and family values come into play with every single page and chapter. While Amazon says its for ages 9-12, every age can learn from it. You’re never too old to learn a life lesson. You get a new found sense of love for your family and strangers you meet. You can either be someone who has the problem but doesn’t do anything about it. You can be someone who wants to do something about it but not sure what. Or you can be that person that finally changes everything around. That’s what you’ll learn. I promise.




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