Monday, May 16, 2016

THE CHARM BRACELET

THE CHARM BRACELET
by Viola Shipman
 
This book is delightful!  The story centers around a grandmother, mother, and daughter.  Not only are they linked by love but by the charms on their charm bracelets.  For each birthday or other special occasion they received a charm to commemorate the special day.  This novel also drive homes the message that everyone deserves to have fun times and to relax and be open to adventure.  That is an important thing to remember since our lives fly by so quickly. It is also important to listen to the stories of our elders because they are usually with us such a short time.  The author's grandmothers and their charm bracelets were the inspiration for this beautiful story.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Friday, May 13, 2016

RESCUING RILEY, SAVING MYSELF


RESCUING RILEY, SAVING MYSELF
ONE MAN'S STRUGGLE TO SAVE AN ABANDONED PUPPY AND HIMSELF
 by: Zachary Anderegg with Pete Nelson


Zachary Anderegg was hiking in a deep slot canyon when far below he saw something unusual.  Zak rappeled down to the bottom of the canyon and found a emaciated dog near death.  Zak couldn't carry the dog up with the rope he had so he climbed out and went to the nearest town and bought dog food and bottled water and went back, helped the dog eat and drink and then left to stay in a nearby hotel. That night he considered how the dog could have gotten down in that canyon.  The only way it could be explained was for someone to purposely have taken the dog down there and left it.  The next day Zak returned to the canyon and was able to rescue the dog.   As the dog began to recover, Zak was overcome with memories.  Bullying had been something he had endured nearly all his life.  This book ties the lives and struggles of the bullied man and bullied dog together.  
This would be an excellent book for anyone who has ever felt put down and diminished by others.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library    

Monday, May 9, 2016

IMBECILES


IMBECILES, THE SUPREME COURT, AMERICAN EUGENICS, AND THE STERILIZATION OF CARRIE BUCK by Adam Cohen

I had never heard of Eugenics until I read this book.  In the late 1800's a movement came into existence trying to prevent the procreation of "feeble-minded people."  The upper echelon of society felt that too many immigrants and others who they felt were feeble-minded or undesirable should be sterilized to keep the blood of America pure and strong.  This was called the Eugenic movement.  It was thought that feeble-minded people reproduced at twice the rate of more intelligent people which would cause a downward spiral of intelligence in the nation.  By the 1920's there were Eugenic conferences and presentations.  There was also an American Eugenics Society.  Even churches preached in favor of the Eugenic movement.  Everything came to a head in 1927 when the Supreme Court of the United Sates handed down a ruling allowing the sterilization of a young woman, Carrie Buck, who was wrongly thought to be feeble-minded.  Carrie was born into a poor family and sent to a foster home as a teen where she was raped and became pregnant.  Because of these unfortunate incidents, Carrie was labeled as a moron. (At this time in history people were given intelligence tests and labeled as idiots, imbeciles or morons.)  Anyone thought to be of low intelligence or epileptic were put into colonies for epileptics and feeble-minded people where society wanted them sterilized before they could be released.   Because of the Supreme Court ruling, Carrie was sterilized but told she had an appendectomy.  Her only daughter was kept from her and died at age 8.  Carrie later married and wanted to have children and didn't know why she never got pregnant until much later when the she learned the truth.  The Eugenic sterilization movement did not end until 1983!  It is thought that some seventy thousand people were sterilized, many without even knowing what had been done to them.  It is just incredibly shameful that this is part of our history here in the United States.  I had no idea any of these events had taken place.  People need to be aware of this disturbing chapter in our past so that it never happens again.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Saturday, April 30, 2016

WILD BY NATURE, FROM SIBERIA TO AUSTRALIA, THREE YEARS ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS ON FOOT



WILD BY NATURE, FROM SIBERIA TO AUSTRALIA, THREE YEARS ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS ON FOOD
by: Sarah Marquis

Since I know I will never experience an adventure like this one, I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing it through the pages of this book!  Sarah Marquis is such a courageous woman!  She had many hair raising episodes during her travels but the beauty she encountered more than made up for it.  Not only did she witness gorgeous scenery, memorable sightings of animals, but also the beauty human nature.  She also learned the beauty of a strong body.  Her legs carried her for a 10,000 mile solo hike.  Much of the time she was totally alone in the wilderness and she rejoiced in it.  This book is just memorizing.  I wish I had done something even remotely like this when I was younger.  Such adventure and memories.  This is a must read for nature and/or adventure lovers.  
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, April 25, 2016

THE BATTLE FOR ROOM 314


THE BATTLE FOR ROOM 314
by Ed Boland

The author left his twenty year career as a nonprofit executive with a great salary to follow a dream to teach school. Before he resigned from his position, he took teaching classes at night to get his teaching certificate.  He was hired to teach in a tough New York City public high school.  When you are in college studying education, you take a lot of theory classes, how to write lesson plan classes, etc.  However, classes rarely inform  you how to handle extreme student behaviors and problems.  You generally learn these things from veteran teachers or by your own ingenuity.  Mr. Boland struggled trying to teach children who were homeless, selling drugs to support their families, hungry and poor.  He tells his story with humor and insight but it is heartbreaking to hear how so many of these students read at an elementary school level and can barely write a coherent sentence.  How can one teacher possibly help 30 at risk students?  According to his book, Mr. Boland tried many innovative (and successful) lessons.  The students were a tough lot though and acted out in class or didn't show up at all and he found it difficult to ascertain if they were learning anything.  Many teachers and administrators don't last long in these difficult schools.  Boland had hoped to make a difference for kids but found it so challenging and draining that when his old boss called him to come back to his former job, he accepted.  This book was quite eye-opening and should be read by people making decisions about curriculum and graduation tests.  No child can learn if they are not safe, looked after, fed, clothed and given motivation by parents to excel at school.  Every child in the United States should be able to receive a quality education but for many that is not the case.  In the back of the book Mr. Boland gives ideas on how to improve education.
This is an important book to read!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, April 18, 2016

I HAD TO SURVIVE

I HAD TO SURVIVE: HOW A PLANE CRASH IN THE ANDES INSPIRED MY CALLING TO SAVE LIVES by Dr. Roberto Canessa and Pablo Vierci


In October of 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying a rugby team and their friends and family, crashed in the Andes mountains.  Roberto Canessa was a 19 year old, second year medical student at the time.  He did all that he could to help the injured and dying.  The group was stranded for 79 days in subfreezing weather with no food.  In order to survive, the living had to resort to eating the dead.  Eventually Roberto and 2 others made a 10 day trek through the Andes, at dangerously low temperatures, in order to get help.  Eventually they did meet people who helped them and rescuers were sent to retrieve the other 14 survivors still stranded on the mountain.  After this horrific ordeal, Roberto felt it was his calling to become a doctor.  He became a pediatric cardiologist, known world wide for his work with newborn heart patients.  It is unbelievable to me that anyone could have survived that long in those frigid temperatures. Dr. Roberto Canessa is a shining example of someone who faced unbelievable hardship and came through it stronger and more determined than ever to do good.  
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Monday, April 11, 2016

INCONCEIVABLE


INCONCEIVABLE
by Carolyn & Sean Savage

When Carolyn and Sean Savage's attempts for a third child ended in miscarriages they finally resorted to IVF to help them expand their family.  The IVF procedure resulted in the healthy birth of a baby girl and a number of embryos frozen.  About a year after the birth of their daughter, the couple decided to move forward with trying to bring to life more of their embryos.  The Savages were thrilled to find they were pregnant.  However, shortly after they learned of the pregnancy they were told another couple's embryo had mistakenly been implanted into Carolyn.  She was pregnant with another couple's child.  After the other couple learned the news they quickly let the Savages know they wanted this child.  Carolyn and Sean did much soul searching.  They decided the right thing to do would be for Carolyn to carry the baby to term and then hand the baby over to his biological parents.  This book tells the heartbreak that Carolyn and Sean experienced as they fell in love with their "Little Man" knowing he wasn't theirs.  Would they ever see him again after he was born?  The Savages faith helped them tremendously through their heartache.  This disarmingly honest book made me admire the Savages and the path they chose to follow as they handed over the ultimate gift to another couple while they went home empty handed.
Reviewed by Mimi @  Genoa Branch Library    (I downloaded this audio book from hoopla)