Monday, January 23, 2017

Review of "Larger-Than-Life Lara" by Dandi Daley Mackall

Although this is technically a Juvenile Fiction book, I believe it has great value for all ages.

A beautiful life lesson has been woven into a story told from the point of view of Laney Grafton: 10 years old, 4th grader, dreamer, story teller, actress, neglected child....the author uses the premise of Laney following her teacher's instructions about constructing a story, and the method is very effective.

Lara Phelps arrives in class one day and is immediately bullied for her size. Although Lara is indeed very overweight (to the point the teacher has to find a different desk, etc.) she remains seemingly unphased by the mean comments and demonstrates a unique insight into her classmate's lives. She just smiles and goes about her business, and quietly serves in any way she can. Laney observes this quietly and is initially just glad people are taking a break from picking on her, but soon learns that simply staying quiet is not enough.

When the book comes to a climax in the last few chapters, your eyes are likely to be at least a little damp - and the lessons that are taught in this book are invaluable. This book is well written, interesting, and shows a different way of getting the point across that will likely teach and delight your young readers all at once.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Cover: Larger-Than-Life Lara

Monday, January 9, 2017

Review of "What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business" (third edition) by Peter M. Thall

Musicians are artists. And usually have some of that artistic temperament. But does this mean they can't be business savvy, too? In this day and age, they must be - and that is where this book is of great help.

This is the third edition by Author and Lawyer Peter M. Thall, who is widely considered an expert in this field. The author has covered just about every topic you'd need to know to be informed and savvy, including information about publishing rights, advances, management, marketing, merchandise, touring information, songwriting credits and royalties, copyright laws...the list goes on and on.

The print is small, and the book is close to 400 pages - yes, it's that comprehensive. As both a singer-songwriter and an avid reader, I am so thankful this book has been written. Kudos to the author for his confident voice and experience to back up this information. Yes, the internet would allow you to research this yourself - but with this book in existence, why would you want to?

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Review of "The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill" by Julie Klassen

The first in the author's new series, Tales from Ivy Hill (her first series ever), this is an excellent introduction to the many interesting characters connected to Ivy Hill. Their stories are equal parts intriguing and fun. This installments focuses primarily on Jane Bell, newly widowed and inheritor of her late husband's coaching inn, the Bell. Jane struggles to not only adapt to sudden widowhood, but to the fact that as the innkeeper, there are certain roles she must learn - and quickly, as she discovers that her husband had taken out a substantial loan before his death - and it is now overdue.

Other storylines include Jane's seemingly cross mother-in-law Thora, childhood friends Mercy and estranged Rachel, the newly arrived-in-town James Drake - a future suitor? competitor? admirer? and the mysterious farrier, Gabriel Locke.

Jane must navigate these new relationships and grows in confidence and strength through this process. She finds that she is more capable than she imagined, and it is a pleasure to grow with her.

I can easily recommend this book and am excited for the next installment in this series!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.