Bookworm Burrow

Book reviews on over 125 different books from several different genres. Use the search or categories to see more.

Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford August 1, 2007

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Historical Fiction,Juvenile — Julie @ 1:05 am

redskyatmorning.jpgRed Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford

Genre: World War II Fiction

Publication Date: 1968

Recommended Age Group: 16 years and older boys and some girls

Summary: In this classic coming-of-age novel Josh Arnold learns about love, loss, and responsibility when his Dad goes off to fight in WWII and leaves him with his Mother in New Mexico. The story starts in Mobile, AL where Josh’s Dad Francis Arnold runs a Navy shipyard. Francis feels the need to go fight and moves the family to their summer home in the mountain city of Sagrado, New Mexico where they will be safe. While in Sagrado Josh finds himself in a different society than his is used to and he struggles to learn their way of life. He makes friends and enemies quickly. He gets chased by Chango holding a knife and The Cloyd sisters holding up their skirts all in the same week. Josh also learns to deal with his mother’s racism and his mother’s depression because of his father’s long absence.
In the end Josh and his Mother have both learned some important lessons about the strength they each posses. Josh becomes an anchor for his mother and friends. After a mine killed his father he joined the Navy to follow in his footsteps and to do his duty. Mrs. Arnold learned that hired help can be more than that and came to treat them as friends rather than servants. She also learned how to stand on her own feet and that she doesn’t have to be in Mobile to be surrounded by good people and have a good time.

Personal Notes: As I mentioned in the summary Mrs. Arnold had some racial problems throughout the book and some people have cited these as a reason not to read it. I think it puts it into perspective a little and makes her change more drastic at the end. She does have some low points and some of her comments made me uncomfortable but it reminded me of talking to my grandmother who at times said things that are no longer politically correct but were not frowned upon when she was younger.
I think this book would be best for boys because it is written from a boy’s point of view and is more geared toward them. I certainly enjoyed it but not in the same way that I like reading a Meg Cabot novel. It’s a different kind of read. However, it is a very well-written and engaging book.


Anne Frank and Me by Cherie Bennet and Jeff Gottesfeld July 21, 2007

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Historical Fiction,Juvenile — Julie @ 7:33 am

anne-frank-and-me.jpgAnne Frank and Me by Cherie Bennet and Jeff Gottesfeld

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2001 published adaptation of a play Anne Frank and Me from 1997

Recommended Age Group: 14 and Up

Summary: A modern twist on the Anne Frank story. Anne Frank and Me is a wonderful story about a girl named Nicole who goes back in time to experience what it was like to be in occupied France during World War II. As the book starts out Nicole is not really concerned with anything but herself and the boy she likes, Jack. They have a guest speaker in class who talks to them about the Holocaust but Nicole pretty much tunes her out and is paying attention to nothing but Jack. The next day they go to the Anne Frank museum and while they are at the museum there is a big riot and in the pandemonium Nicole bumps her head. When she wakes up she is in Paris in 1942 and she is Jewish. She then goes on to live her life as a Jew, when she went back in time she took the place of a young Jewish girl who was exactly like her, with her friends and even the same sister. As the book progresses she begins to think that her life in America in the future was just a dream and she has belonged here her entire life. It goes on to tell us about her life as a Jew and the things she had to deal with. In the end she is on a train to a concentration camp which is where she encounters Anne Frank and they have a little talk about her diary and her life. They also talk about their future and how they will end up. At the concentration camp Nicole gets gassed with a bunch of other Jews and then she wakes up back at the Anne Frank museum in the middle of the riots. This experience changed her life and the way she thinks about things like the Holocaust.

Personal Notes: I really liked this book. Think more Meg Cabot and less historical required reading. It was a fast and good read, I just couldn’t put it down, and eating was a chore because my husband and I don’t read at the table. So I had to eat my dinner quickly so I could get back to the book. I think this would be a great book for anyone. It was very modern in its style and kept my attention. It dealt with very difficult issues but it did not treat them lightly which might be expected of a book with such a modern style. An interesting twist, Nicole, instead of writing in a journal makes entries on her website and keeps it updated. This also might create interest in the reader because it is something that even if we haven’t done we can relate to. Overall it was a very good book and has the potential to create interest in the Holocaust where interest might not be before.