LEAVING LUCY PEAR by Anna Solomon – UPCOMING NEW RELEASE Historical Fiction earns 5 Stars

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Title: LEAVING LUCY PEAR

Author: ANNA SOLOMON

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction

Length: 315 PAGES

Publisher: VIKING

ISBN: 978-1-594-63265-5

Price: $26.00 ($35.00 CAN)

Release Date: JULY 26, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

* I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

NEW RELEASE

It’s 1917 and a young and unmarried Beatrice Haven has snuck out of the house with a bundle in her arms.

Within that bundle lies her squirming infant daughter. The daughter she was supposed to give up on the very day of her birth. The secretly beloved daughter that she cannot allow to be raised by the awful woman who runs the Jewish orphanage.

Instead, Beatrice has a plan.  It is risky and bold, but Beatrice (whom everyone calls ‘Bea’) wants her child to have a chance at happiness. So, she lays her baby girl under a pear tree and waits.

Her plan works. The baby is claimed by another woman and Bea is free to continue on her life’s path without the stigma and encumbrance of a child born out of wedlock. 

Ten years later a series of coincidences end with Bea reuniting with Emma Murphy, the Irish Catholic woman who took in her abandoned daughter all those years ago.

The characters in LEAVING LUCY PEAR are so vividly described that the reader could easily believe that she was watching a movie rather than reading a book.

Bea’s daughter’s name is Lucy. Lucy is quite the character. She’s headstrong, she contains a vast intellect that is well above that if her peers. And Lucy has plans of her own.

Taking place in the town of Cape Ann, Massachusetts in the early 1920s, readers are in for a treat. Author Anna Solomon has obviously vigorously researched the time period as well as the location’s geography. I am not a historian by any means, but the story and its setting seemed authentic and entirely plausible to me.

Readers are in for a fictional historic tale that will make them laugh, make them cry and in fact, at times, will have readers experiencing every emotion in between. LEAVING LUCY PEAR will stay with readers long after the book has been shelved. I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

 

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“He had told her she could leave, her last night, to make it easier for her. He had never regretted that. Yet he missed her. He doubted he would live long enough to stop missing her.”

“…even after all these years, he cannot tell if she is actually unstable, or just very sad.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo: © Beowulf Sheehan

ANNA SOLOMON is the author of “The Little Bride” and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in many publications including “The New York Times Magazine,” “One Story,” “Ploughs hares,” “Slate,” and MORE.

She previously worked as a journalist for National Public Radio. She was born and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts and now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two children.

5 Stars for OVERSCHEDULED ANDREW by Ashley Spires – BOOK REVIEW

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Title: Over-Scheduled Andrew

Author: Ashley Spires

Illustrator: Ashley Spires

Type of Book: Hardcover

Price: $19.99 CDN

Release Date: January 12, 2016

Length: 32 pages

ISBN: 978-1-77049-484-8

Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Self-Help

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars *****

 

MY REVIEW:

Andrew loves putting on plays so he decides to join the drama club at school. Determined to make his performance the best it can be, he joins the debate club to practice his public speaking. He signs up for dance and karate to help with his coordination. Then he’s asked to play for the tennis team and edit the school newspaper. Before long he’s learning to play the bagpipes, attending Spanish classes and joining the French film club. Suddenly Andrew doesn’t have time for anything or anyone else, not even his best friend Edie. And he definitely doesn’t have time to sleep.

It astounds me how over-scheduled kids in today’s world seem to be. OVER-SCHEDULED ANDREW highlights the perils of this rampant practice. While this is a children’s book and has gorgeous illustrations and is written in the simple prose that will appeal to young children, it contains a lesson, not only for the children, but for their parents as well.

Andrew signs up for more and more activities and the reasons that he signs up are admirable, but as his schedule becomes more and more full, he becomes more and more exhausted. Andrew finds himself not only tired, but also confused. He no longer has time to simply be a kid or to play with his best friend. Sadly, this happens to many, many children today.

Proof of this is easy to see. Go to any subdivision on a beautiful, sunny day and look around. When I was a child (in the 70s and early 80s) that subdivision would have been full of children outside playing with friends, riding their bikes, etc. Now, that subdivision looks like an adult-living community where no children actually reside. The kids all seem to be inside their houses; either watching television or playing video games. As far as I am concerned this is an epidemic.

Of course, as parents, we want the best for our children. I believe that is as true today as it was in the past, but unfortunately many parents have fallen into the trap of over-scheduling. They want to offer their children every opportunity and so they sign them up for every activity possible. This can actually have a negative impact on the child rather than the positive impact which was the original intent.

I absolutely LOVE the illustrations in this book. Andrew is a bird and his best friend, Edie, is a deer, but the illustrations are stylized perfectly. Each illustrated scene shows just enough detail to be relevant to the wording on that page, and does not contain distracting elements. The balance between detail and simplicity is simply superb. The illustrations also contain the perfect amount of humor.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars and I highly recommend it for children between the ages of 3 and 7. I recommend that all parents read this book no matter how old their children are since it contains a simple message that all parents should heed.

Purchase this book online at the following retailers:

Amazon.ca

Chapters-Indigo Books

McNally-Robinson Books

Amazon.com

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (Illustration obtained from www.ashleyspires.com)

Ashley Spires Author Illustration

Ashley Spires is the author and illustrator of numerous funny books for children including The Most Magnificent Thing and the Binky the Space Cat series.She was born and raised in BC with eight cats and a dog.

After spending some time living in Toronto and Saskatoon, she has returned to the BC life, living in Ladner with three cats, one dog and a man. When she is not running or bike riding or over-scheduling herself, she makes children’s books, many of which have won numerous awards, including Ontario’s Silver Birch Express, the Atlantic Province’s Hackmatack, Saskatchewan’s Shining Willow and BC’s Chocolate Lily Award.

Visit Ashley at her website www.ashleyspires.com or follow her on twitter: @ashleyspires

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Stars for HOCKEY MOMS by Julie Bertuzzi- BOOK REVIEW

  

Title: HOCKEY MOMS: Realities from the Rink

Author: Julie Bertuzzi

Illustrated By: Anthony Jenkins 

Genre: Humor, Sports, Parenting

Length: 123 pages

ISBN: 978-0-7710-1350-8

Price: $19.95 Can/ $15.95 US

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

As a Hockey Mom myself, it was very easy to relate to the subject matter of this book. 

It is obvious that despite the fact that author, Julie Bertuzzi is married to NHL player Todd Bertuzzi she is not just a stuck-up rich girl. No one who wasn’t a Hockey Mom herself would be able to describe so succinctly the various types of Hockey Moms that exist. 

The book is illustrated by Anthony Jenkins who has perfectly captured the style and idiosyncrasies of the different types of Hockey Moms. His illustrations make this book complete. 

I laughed out loud a couple times while reading this book and even snorted a few times. I have met every single one of these “Hockey Moms” in the years that I have attended my son’s games. 

Every hockey family needs to buy this book! I wonder, which type of Hockey Mom are you?

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐

See an interview with Julie Bertuzzi talking about her book online at 

http://globalnews.ca/video/2275874/hail-to-the-hockey-moms-julie-bertuzzi-on-rink-side-parenting 

Buy online at Chapters at

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/hockey-moms-realities-from-the/9780771013508-item.html?ikwid=Hockey+moms&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

Photo Credit: The Vancouver Sun


JULIE BERTUZZI is guilty of being numerous types of Hockey Moms. She is the wife of former NHL player Todd Bertuzzi and mother of two hockey players; her daughter, Jaden, a beautiful, burly right winger, and her son, Tag, a mini version of his father, with his mother’s stellar looks. 

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:  

 

Photo Credit: The Globe and Mail

 

Anthony Mars Jenkins was born and raised in Toronto and spent his early career delivering The Globe and Mail. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, he joined The Globe in 1974 after a summer at the Toronto Star.

He’s worked at The Globe as an editorial cartoonist, illustrator, caricaturist and sometime writer ever since, when not taking leaves of absence to travel on every continent but Antarctica – 78 countries to date.

He is married to an amazing woman, have two grown daughters and live in the beautiful countryside of Mono, Ontario.

Visit his website at http://www.jenkinsdraws.com