Yay! Finally my February books! We have spent the last week moving and the week before that prepping to move so I have been a bit preoccupied (understandably). Better late than never though. I have been trying to read more from my physical book TBR shelf and have been slightly addicted to adding more physical books to said TBR shelf. It's a cycle that never ends, which I'm sure all my book lovers totally get.
The Orphans Tale | ♥♥♥♥
"Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep. When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another - or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything"
This book starts out rough, not writing wise but in content. But I knew that going into it. You don't read a WWII book for the light and fluffy storyline. The setting too was something unique, following a circus at that time in Europe. Glad I read it and will now be passing it on to a great grandmother who I know would enjoy it.
"In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger."
I really enjoyed this one. From four different perspectives all these lives weave and interest in such a interesting way. The writing made me feel like I was there with them in Alaska (my favorite place though I have never been there). I didn't realize this was a YA book when I got it so was surprised as I got halfway through to see that it was. Not that the content was too much but because it was heartbreaking at times and pretty raw in the best way.
Black Boy White School | ♥♥♥
"In a hard-hitting novel about fitting in—or not—Anthony “Ant” Jones gets transported from his East Cleveland hood to an almost all-white prep school and has to figure out where he belongs...before he loses himself entirely."
A middle grade novel that I'm not quite sure what to think of it. It was an interesting/different outlook on race and class. I could see how Ant would feel disconnected from his former life but yet not feel welcome and fit in in this boarding school and town. The only downside of this story (which lost a star for me) was the way it portrayed Gloria (the character who gets mad and vocal at the obvious prejudice of black students at the school) I felt the story downplayed her and made her anger unjustified when it indeed was justified. But I guess that's more realistic that a black girls/woman's voice isn't heard. I'd love for it to continue on and show her backstory and what she goes on to do after the school.
Star Daughter | ♥♥♥
"If the night sky holds many secrets, it holds Sheetal Mistry's secret the closest. A secret that explains why her hair is the silver of starlight, or why some nights the stars call Sheetal by name. Stars like her mother, who returned to her place in the constellation Pushya years ago. Since that day, Sheetal has been forced to hide.
But as her seventeenth birthday draws near, the pull from the sky is growing stronger. So strong that Sheetal loses control, and a flare of starfire burns her human father—an injury only a full star's blood can heal. Sheetal has no choice but to answer the starsong and ascend to the sky. But her celestial family has summoned her for a reason: to act as their human champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of heavens.
Desperate to save her father, Sheetal agrees. But nothing could have prepared Sheetal to face the stars' dark history—or the forces that are working to shut the gate between the realms for good."
This was an Owlcrate book from last year that I finally got around to reading. It was magical, whimsy and spacey which I'm all here for. I didn't know much about Hindu mythology and stories so as I was reading I would look up some of the words and at times it got a bit confusing for someone who doesn't know much about Desi culture. I did like to research it on my own and learn more about their faith and storytelling. So beautiful.
"As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom."
After I read this middle grade novel was tell Miette it was a must read for her this year. Highly recommend, even if you shy away from middle grade it really doesn't read like one.
The Night Circus | ♥♥♥♥♥
"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands."
My first reread in forever. The last time I read this was before I had Miette and was working at Barnes and Noble. I don't remember it being as beautiful as it was! I loved it more this time than I did back then. Such a magical romance and the setting is literally to die for. Just spread my ashes at Le Cirque des Rêves please.
The Brave Learner | ♥♥♥♥♥
"In this book, Julie Bogart distills decades of experience--homeschooling her five now grown children, developing curricula, and training homeschooling families around the world--to show parents how to make education an exciting, even enchanting, experience for their kids, whether they're in elementary or high school.
Enchantment is about ease, not striving. Bogart shows parents how to make room for surprise, mystery, risk, and adventure in their family's routine, so they can create an environment that naturally moves learning forward. If a child wants to pick up a new hobby or explore a subject area that the parent knows little about, it's easy to simply say "no" to end the discussion and the parental discomfort, while dousing their child's curious spark. Bogart gently invites parents to model brave learning for their kids so they, too, can approach life with curiosity, joy, and the courage to take learning risks."
What a treasure to have on my bookshelf. There is so much inspiration and good ideas in this book! I can definitely see myself returning again and again when I'm feeling down or unmotivated in our homeschool journey. Highly recommend!
Other Books Read This Month
All summaries are taken from Goodreads. I am horrible at giving a summary without ruining the book so it's best left to those who are good at it.