Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Amy Plays the Violin

Amy Plays the Violin
By Julie Labossiere

Amy has been preparing for her first violin recital. Even though she has practiced, she is still feeling nervous about it so she goes to her family to see if they can help her prepare better for the recital. Asking her brother Aaron, he offers her to play his drums, but the sound is just too loud and not quite right for Amy. Maybe her sister Stephanie has a good idea. Stephanie plays the piano so well, but when Amy sits down she discovers that she plays the violin better than she could play the keyboards. Realizing that she just needed the confidence that might come with practice, Amy gets back to it. Finally the night of the recital comes around and with her mom in the wings, the rest of the family in the audience, Amy takes the stage and finds her nerves go away after she starts to play the violin piece that she had been practicing.

An inspirational story about being able to overcome nerves and follow through with a task that might scare you. Spending the time to learn the violin then to explore other instruments only to realize that she was better off with the violin. To follow through with the whole process of learning it and then being part of the recital really showed her courage. Even as scary as that thought was, she knew she had prepared for this night. The since of pride in herself in the end seemed to be worth all the practice time and even the nerves helped her to push through the practices. Practice and patience are really great lessons for anyone, this story is geared for young readers or for reading aloud, with it’s plain wording, large print and great pictures. This would be a great addition to any youth library.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book - Sophie & Carter

Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

Having seen the worst of each others deep dark secrets, it was no wonder that Sophie Hartman and Carter Jax had become the best of friends. Living next door to each other for so long, they each had a perspective on the others lives that most never saw. After being beaten for so many years by his own father, watching his mother take the abuse also, Carter had finally become strong enough to stand up for them both but only after the scars had been left and his mother had paid a high price - her sanity. Raising her siblings while at young age herself, Sophie found the strength to confront her own mother in the uncomfortable atmosphere of a strip club but with the support of Carter she could find a way to ask for the money her and the kids needed. Through out high school, Sophie and Carter kept their acquaintance and their close friendship a secret, only talking to each other in the privacy of their homes and yards. With each acting the adult of the households, it was only a matter of time before they realized the feelings they held for the other was more than just plain admiration.

Short and sweet, this one took me by surprise how much I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this one far exceeded anything I was looking for. The book is set up with 2 different type fonts, one for Sophie and another for Carter, the format is set up somewhere between a journal entry and a “he said, she said”. I have read others that have been set up like this before and found that this one is really well done. The flow between the two points of view is good and you don’t seem to lose continuity like can sometimes happen in this format. What a wonderfully encouraging and inspirational story about young adults that have been able to take on so much and still came out of it as really good people, it is sad that this is probably not far from truth for some kids. I have never read Chelsea Fine before, but I will be sure to look for other books by her. I am giving this book a 4, but it does lean toward the 5 star category. Great book, I am so grateful that I was given the chance to receive this book as a free reviewers copy.