’89 Walls by Katie Pierson

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’89 Walls by Katie Pierson is a must read for young adults who want a moving, emotional read that speaks to issues that were important then and remain so today.

Quinn has a charmed life. She’s a beautiful, upper middle class young woman from a conservative family, and has a bright future ahead. Oh, and she has a great boyfriend too. It’s that cynical, liberal guy from her social studies class that could derail all that.

Seth knows college is just a dream. Between working his minimum wage job to put groceries on the table and caring for his mother who has MS, there isn’t time to think about anything else. He knows Quinn is out of his league, but he can’t help but carry around that frayed love note he wrote so long ago.

Their romance takes them by surprise, and when politics becomes personal, neither one of them is sure their love will survive.

As I said earlier in the week, this book has beef. Late ’80s politics plays a big role in this book, and I feel the author did a superb job of handling those issues and making them relate to all the characters. This is when the Cold War is ending, Apartheid is in the news, and the Berlin Wall comes crumbling down. This is an intense book both for the characters and for the world as it was back then.

By the end, I was crying. And I have to admit, the author made me consider an issue in a different light. I can’t share it without revealing an important plot point, so I’ll just tell you that this is a fabulous novel and I would highly recommend it.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (June 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940014557
ISBN-13: 978-1940014555

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

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’89 Walls by Katie Pierson

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Today was supposed to be my review of ’89 Walls by Katie Pierson. I’m only about halfway through with it, because I was playing catch up with reviews on vacation. Since we’ve returned home, I’ve been working crazy hours. Here’s a bit about the book:

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

Let me just say that my lack of progress has nothing to do with its content or ability to engage the reader. I love what I’ve read so far. Not only does the story take place when I was a mere twenty-one years old (making it nostalgic), but it reminds me of what school used to be like before standardized exams turns educators into unimaginative zombies teaching to a test. There’s “beef” to this book. It’s not just boy likes girl but it will never work. Real conflict is involved: personal conflict and societal conflict.

I’m eager to keep reading and see what happens between Seth and Quinn. Hope you’ll check back on Friday to read my complete review.

Katie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.

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Blogging at Christian Children’s Authors: Themes in Children’s Literature

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Check out my post at Christian Children’s Authors where I compare discuss how some of the themes from books of my youth still appear in popular books today. You can find it at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2015/07/17/themes-in-childrens-literature-then-and-now/

Free for Kindle: True Calling by Siobhan Davis

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TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS. ONE SHARED DREAM

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

 

File Size: 961 KB
Print Length: 410 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Siobhan Davis; 2 edition (January 28, 2015)
Publication Date: January 28, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00SX1PG2A
Purchase here!

The Baked Potato Boy by Dorris Fortson

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A delightful story of Elliott and how he thrives.

When Elliott was left at the orphanage, he was small, like a baked potato. He drank milk from a dropper and was carried in a Khanga to stay warm. Dorris Fortson, a missionary in Africa, tells Elliott’s story, explaining terms like orphan and kangaroo style, and helps the reader to see through her descriptions just how tiny Elliott used to be so they can appreciate as he grows.

The endearing and fun illustrations are by Chance Alvis and Julia Treesfeld of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Applied Design Studio. Love the cover art on this one.

Something important to point out is that all the proceeds from the book go to an orphanage for abandoned, orphaned and at risk babies in Arusha, Tanzania East Africa.

A great book with a unique story. The Baked Potato Boy by Dorris Fortson is entertaining and educational.

 

Rating: :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (May 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616336463
ISBN-13: 978-1616336462
Purchase here!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Ben’s School Daze by Robyn Sims and Joanne Larcom

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Ben’s School Daze by Robyn Sims and Joanne Larcom is an excellent resource to raise awareness of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

Ben finds daily sensory experiences overwhelming. But with the help of those who understand, he can get through the day.

This short, rhyming story focuses on SPD and how having people around you who understand it can make a huge difference. Kids will enjoy reading about Ben and discovering how the adults in his life help him. The opening page of this book shares ideas on how to use it before and after reading the story. At the end, it defines what SPD is; let’s you know how we can help; and provides a list of online resources. There is also a page with Classroom and School Concepts.

Helen Devenish’s fine artwork is an excellent complement to a great story. I’m sure Ben’s School Daze will be helpful to many.

 

Rating: :) :) :) :)

Title: Ben’s School Daze
Authors: Robyn Sims and Joanne Larcom
Publisher: Peence & Rogue Designs Pty Ltd
Pages: 28
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Purchase here!

For More Information

  • Ben’s School Daze is available at the authors’ website.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

I received a free PDF version of this book from the authors through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I was not compensated for in any way.

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Coming Soon!: The Book of Dares for Lost Friends by Jane Kelley

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Val and Lanora have been friends forever. Val expects their relationship to stay the same. But after they start middle school, Lanora decides to reinvent herself. Her parents have split up, and she wants to rise above that. Unfortunately Lanora’s choices lead her into trouble. Val hates watching her friend lose her way. She wants to rescue Lanora, but how? Val doesn’t know what to do until a stray cat leads her to a strange boy who lives in an even stranger bookshop. Together they embark on a quest. Will they be able to save a lost friend? Will they get lost themselves? Or will they find a way to help each other become who they want to be . . . .

Jane Kelley has created a nuanced, universal story about friendship and that delicate time of adolescence when there is much to lose and much more to find.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (July 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250050871
ISBN-13: 978-1250050878

Pre-order here!