Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review: Henry and Beezus

Henry and Beezus (Henry, #2)Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Probably 3.5 stars. I think I liked this one a little better than Henry Huggins. My daughter hasn't finished reading it yet, but I went ahead and finished. I like the many sticky situations Henry gets into, and I liked that Ramona is more present in this book. She makes an adorable little sister character.

[Some spoilers ahead] I like that this book was realistic in the sense that Henry had to try to save money for the bike he wanted; his parents couldn't just buy a bike because he wanted one. Even though everything amazingly worked out in the end, I like the aspect that kids have to learn that sometimes their parents can't afford the expensive toys they want, and they may have to work for it themselves. I realize the ending where everything basically falls into Henry's lap takes away from that a bit, but I don't care. It's a children's book, and I love a happy ending.

I also noticed that this second book seemed to have less of the negative language I noticed in Henry Huggins. I think Scooter called the dog dumb a few times, but that was about it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: Henry Huggins

Henry Huggins (Henry, #1)Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I remember reading a bunch of the Ramona books and the Mouse and the Motorcycle when I was little, but I'm not sure if I had read Henry Huggins before. While it felt like a walk down memory lane, reading it with my 7 year old also made me aware of how many derogatory words are used in the book, such as stupid, dumb, and shut-up. I know there are worse things she could read, but I don't want her talking like that. The character, Scooter, can be rather a bully.

We're going to continue in the series. Henry's fascination with animals is right up my daughter's alley, and Ribsy is a very loveable dog. I just was more sensitive to the language now that I'm a parent.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Book Review: Sarah’s Quilt

Sarah's Quilt (Sarah Agnes Prine, #2)Sarah's Quilt by Nancy E. Turner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love reading these Sarah Agnes Prine novels. They make me want to work harder, complain less, and try to find time to write in a journal-- or someday make a quilt.

Not unlike the first book, this one was certainly filled with tribulations, but I like the emphasis on good values throughout. The book is well written and full of heart. This second novel isn't as much of a love story as the first book, but for me, it was still a good page-turner.

I have a few small complaints about the book. I found it blaringly obvious who was the cause of some trouble going on. I could see why Sarah wouldn't come to the same conclusion as easily and took a very long time to figure it out, but I still got annoyed with her for not seeing it.

Another thing, a bit of a spoiler here, so don't read if you don't want to know: [I thought Turner could have done much more or much less with the Lazrus character. The more we saw of him, I kept thinking there was a point, like maybe he was an old friend buried under all that filth who would reveal himself and tell his tale of how he came to be such a mess. It didn't even have to be that; I just thought that if she was going to put so much focus on that character, there could have been something more to him than what we learn in the end: yes, in fact, he was really just a crazy lunatic obsessed with Sarah. If he was just going to be some random, creepy, crazy guy, I wish Turner had gotten rid of him earlier instead of making us endure seeing him repeatedly throughout the whole book.]