Saturday, February 13, 2016

Most Wanted

Most Wantedby Lisa Scottoline
release date: April 12, 2016

Most Wanted, is the perfect title for Lisa Scottoline's latest stand-alone thriller. It captures the very essence of this complex story. There are so many possibilities for the reason behind the title, but I think the most important one, the one that is the reason for the entire story line is pictured on the cover - a baby.

Christine and Marcus are happy, young professionals wanting to start a family. When they discover Marcus is infertile they decide to use a donor in order to conceive. As Christine prepares to leave her job as a reading specialist, she sees a breaking news story about the capture of a serial killer. She is devastated to see the image of her donor's face being pushed into a squad car in handcuffs.

Is your heart racing? Are you wondering, what would I do? That is exactly how I felt when reading this book! When you think the storyline is going in one direction, Scottoline turns it around and goes another way. The action and excitement keeps the reader on the edge of their seat throughout the book.

As an educator, I have to say I was impressed with the way Christine was depicted in the story. A lot of times educators are characterized as stuck in their profession. They are not given credit for the background and degrees held in order to be in their positions. Educators are often taken for granted and not respected by students or parents because public education is free to all. I respect Christine's decision to quit her job to raise her child, but I also liked reading about how much she cared for and would miss her students. A common characteristic of educators is their feeling of a lack of skills for a career after teaching. I have to admit I have felt this way many times. As I near retirement I wonder what I will do when I no longer have to be at school before 7:00 in the morning. I know I can create engaging lessons for children, keep the attention of large numbers of students with my read-alouds, teach adults how to integrate technology into their lessons, manage a classroom full of four- and five-year olds full of sugar and excitement during a classroom holiday party, and calm a hysterical parent when their child is hurt, missing, or in trouble. But how do those skills relate to the world outside of a school building? Scottoline has placed Christine in just that position and she comes out a true heroine! I'm so happy to see a strong woman educator pull herself up and be the confident leader she was born to be, even if the point of this story was not the fact the main character was a teacher. Thank you for showing everyone, especially teachers, they can do and be anything at any time.

I would highly recommend this book for fans of thrillers, books about educators, and law. 

* To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, St. Martin's Press has provided a complimentary electronic version of Most Wanted for review purposes. 


Monday, February 8, 2016

Fun with Nursery Rhymes: Little Bo Peep and More

Little Bo Peep and Her Bad, Bad Sheep: A Mother Goose Hullabaloo
written by A. L. Wegwerth; illustrated by Luke Flowers

One might think this book is simply about Little Bo Peep and her bad, bad sheep, but they would be wrong. Readers will find not only Little Bo Peep, but 38 other nursery rhymes in this fun book. The narrator in the story has a very difficult time reciting Little Bo Peep's nursery rhyme, but who can blame her when there is SO much going on in the illustrations

Nursery rhyme characters are running wild all on the pages of this book. The illustrations will capture even the youngest reader, or listener immediately and a number of conversations can be had while reading this book based on the jam packed illustrations. Before you get to the end of the book, try to make a list of all of the different nursery rhymes referenced in the illustrations.  It will be a fun challenge for older children who are more familiar with the various nursery rhymes. Young children may not know all of the characters, but they will quickly be able to recognize Humpty Dumpty and the three little kittens. All of the nursery rhymes depicted in the illustrations are included in the final eight pages of the book along with a small character to help the reader locate the reference in the book. I highly recommend this book for early childhood and elementary school libraries.

*To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Capstone Young Readers provided a complimentary electronic version of Little Bo Peep and Her Bad, Bad Sheep: A Mother Goose Hullabaloo for review purposes.