30 Day Book Challenge- Day 30

I first read this story when I was in primary school – I would have been about 10 years old. I have since read it many more times as well as the rest of the series. It is a story that bought my nan and I together. We both loved its’ witty, intelligent, accident prone protagonist – the creative, chatterbox – Anne. It is timeless, fun, mostly light hearted, and well written. Nan and I also enjoyed the films and we would spend many a rainy afternoon snuggled up on the couch together, consuming chocolate, and watching Anne get into all sorts of scrapes. Now my nan has passed and I can no longer consume the yummy milky chocolates (time for milk, egg… etc everything free chocolate).. but I can still enjoy the story and be transported to both Avonlea and also down memory lane. This book also reminds me of my dad who gifted me the book all those years ago. I still have that original book though it is very well worn and well loved now. I bought a new one so I would inflict so much damage upon the older one!

Blurb:

Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over. 

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 29

This book is beautiful. It’s so rich in meaning, it is heart warming, and sweet. Every adult I know that has read this book  has enjoyed it. So who hates it? Believe it or not.. my class. It just doesn’t seem to appeal to them.. even when I read it and use sensory objects to enhance the story. They tolerate it, but it doesn’t bring the same joy to them as other stories by the same authors do. Perhaps it is because the illustrations are not as vibrant as others – not great for my kids with vision impairment.. or perhaps it is because as an adult we are more aware of the aging process. We can relate on a deeper level to the complexities of health, the elderly, and the human life cycle. 

Blurb:

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next door to a nursing home in which several of his good friends reside. Of course, his favorite is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because she has four names just as he does. The only problem is Miss Nancy, who is 96, has “lost” her memory. Undaunted, Wilfred sets out to “find” Miss Nancy’s memory for her. Full-color illustrations. 

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 28

I like the idea of one word summing up a whole book. This was a good read – honest, natural, and relatable. 

Blurb: 

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.

Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. 

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 26

A book that changes your opinion, opens your eyes and broadens your mind. If I am honest, all of Jodi Picoult’s books do this. This was the first book of hers that I read, and since then I have devoured them eagerly. It fascinates me how one person can show a story from so many different perspectives. She is like a multifaceted crystal sparkling in the sunshine – bright, enlightening, and astonishing. 

Blurb:

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time. 

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 25

I really do feel like ‘the very hungry caterpillar’.. who has learnt that the right foods can mean a much happy gut. Perhaps, I too, will turn into a beautiful butterfly. 

Blurb:

A much-loved classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has won over millions of readers with its vivid and colourful collage illustrations and its deceptively simply, hopeful story.

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 24

I first read this book at the age of 14. This book was written by a 14 year old! I think that’s quite an incredible feat! I wish more people would read this book as I think the author deserves the recognition of achieving something so great at such a young age. 

Blurb:

The Day After Forever is an emotional story centering around four teenagers who discover and demostrate the true meaning of friendship. It illustrates the agony surroundingf horrific events and how friendship will always stand strong against the circumstances.

Jeff has leukemia. The whole purpose of organising the holiday down to Lake Tarawera was so he could spend the last moments of his life in the same place where his parents died. Yet he cannot help but fall for Courtney – who is shy, pretty, yet secretive. No matter how her friends try to help, she shies away – sheltering her secret from them as best as possible.

Eddie is confident, handsome – a regular “babe magnet”; and he is also attracted to Courtney, and concerned about her. he is also the one who knows about Jeff’s plight and the seriousness of it. 

Toni is loud, outgoing… and she knows it. She also knows that if it weren’t for her, Eddie would be floating in the clouds somwhere.

Skiffington unites these four teenagers to bring loyalty and friendship. As events unfold, Jeff drifts further towards the end of the line, and time begins to run out.

A debut novel from a fourteen year old New Zealand writer which will tug on your heart strings and definitely get the waterworks going. This is a summer holiday that you will never forget. 

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 23

I have always wanted to read this book. I actually have it on my shelf.. yet every time I reach for a new book.. it gets passed over. 

Blurb:

‘Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; — the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!’ 

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

This edition uses the text as it appeared in its serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens’s vision, and includes the original illustrations by H. K. Browne (‘Phiz’). Richard Maxwell’s introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 22

A book that has stayed in mind for a very long time. I first read this book as a set text when I was in year 5 – so about 11 years old. It’s a story that feels heartbreakingly real, and one set in New South Wales. Maybe to combination makes it extra emotive to the reader – I was a similar age to the protagonist and from a similar geographic location. Whatever the reason – I cry! 

Blurb:

Lara feels completely alone after the death of her mother. She is an intruder in her father’s new family, living far away from all that has been familiar. How can she find acceptance and love in this harsh place? Will the hostile Gladwyn and her kids ever really allow Lara to be part of the family she so longs for?

In the summer of raging storms Lara Ritchie must fight the storm within herself. It is through the unexpected friendship with a kindred spirit that Lara discovers the strength to face up to her ordeals. But where did he come from? Has he been sent to her for a reason? Who will explain his mystery to her? Less

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 21

It is such a long time ago.. I was sitting in my year 4 classroom holding this book. I hated quiet reading time.. mostly because I didn’t actually read – I pretended to do it. I thought it was a waste of time that could have been spent playing sport. I looked at the cover of this book, I read and re-read the blurb to look like I was doing something. I don’t understand my reluctance as I look back.. I was a competent reader, just uninterested. Well I finally gave in to my teacher’s tireless encouragement and started to read. I loved it. I was hooked. And now.. I live for time nestled among my books.

Blurb:

Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings. 

30 Day Book Challenge- Day 20

Ahh who doesn’t love a good romance? I have many favourite romance novels but some I’m too embarrassed to admit haha! This one is a tear jerker and it’s beautiful. 

Blurb:

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever.