Tag Archive | religion

Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid, by Guiseppe Catozzella (book review) – run for glory, run to stay alive

US book cover of Don't Tell Me You're Afraid by Giuseppe Catozzella translated by Anne Milano Appel published by Penguin Press | recommended on BooksYALove.comRun, so you don’t get caught.
Leave home, because staying is deadly.
Olympic dreams in a war-torn land.

Samia ran for joy when a child, ran for her country in the Olympics, fled Somalia knowing the dangers of “the journey” seeking a better life as her sister had.

A fictionalized account of the real young woman who was part of Somalia’s 2-person team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, happy US book birthday to this strong story of hope and determination, released earlier this year in the UK as Little Warrior !

Could you leave your family behind, for freedom?
**kmm

Book info: Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid / Guiseppe Catozzella; translated by Anne Milano Appel. Penguin Press, 2016. [author site – in Italian]  [translator website] [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: In the war-torn streets of Mogadishu, Samia loses her childhood friend and running coach to extremist gangs, perseveres as a athlete dreaming of running in the Olympics, and keeps traveling toward freedom, regardless of the dangers.

From the age of 10, Samia ran with the 2008 Olympics as her goal, inspired by refugee and world-class runner Mo Farah, coached by her best friend Ali, winning race after race in their Somalian city.

As rival militias recruited all young men into their religious factions, Ali left Samia’s neighborhood. Still she ran, gaining the attention of Somalia’s small Olympic Committee and earning a spot at the 2008 Beijing Games as a teen. How proud she was to represent her homeland!

But militia fighters wouldn’t let her practice when she returned to Mogadishu.
Time to take “the journey” as her sister had – through the desert, across the Mediterranean, to Europe – as Mo Farah had – to a place with enough to eat and running shoes that fit and freedom to run…

Based on the true story of Samia Yusuf Omar, who grew up with constant war as an “older sister” and ran anyway.

Girl in the Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse (book review) – find her before the Nazis do?

book cover of Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse, published by Little Brown Teen | recommended on BooksYALove.comLast of her family, gone from a locked room,
Nazis seeking her and so many others…
Closed eyes? Despair? Resistance!

Not the same thing at all, Hanneke’s very quiet black-market activity versus being asked to find a Jewish girl in Amsterdam before the German invaders do!

This World War II story invokes the tenacity of hope even as neighbors collaborate with the enemy and long-time friendships falter.

Last year, I walked the Amsterdam streets that Hanneke slipped through like a shadow and that Anne Frank longed to freely walk again…
**kmm

Book info:  Girl in the Blue Coat / Monica Hesse.  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016.  [author site]  [publisher site]  [Q &A with author] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Struggling to support her parents during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, Hanneke quietly acquires rationed goods for clients, but the teen is startled when she’s asked to find a missing Jewish girl amid constant deportations and disappearances.

How can she locate Mirjam without alerting the authorities?
What caused the young woman to leave the safe house, anyway?
Oh, why did Hanneke encourage her boyfriend Bas to join the Dutch Navy, just before it was crushed by the Nazi invasion?

Cautiously introduced to the student resistance by Bas’ brother Ollie, Hanneke now has even more reason to steer clear of the Germans in her beloved city and the local sympathizers who will betray neighbors to stay in the Nazis’ good graces. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Conviction, by Kelly Loy Gilbert (book review) – baseball, prejudice & revenge?

book cover of Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert published by Hyperion Teen | recommended on BooksYALove.comJust an accident,
Dad didn’t mean to kill him.
What happened to our bargain, God?

Braden just wants to pitch his high school team to the state Finals again and get drafted for a pro baseball team.

But he hadn’t considered that his radio talk-show dad would be jailed for running over the Mexican-American cop who crossed him a while back…
Or his long-gone big brother would come back to keep Braden out of foster care…
Or that he could be called as a witness in Dad’s trial…
Or having to face the cop’s nephew on the ballfield…

Go to the publisher’s website here and click on ‘Sneak Peek’ for a free pdf download of the book’s first chapters, then grab this compelling book at your local library or independent bookstore.

Prayers or promises?
**kmm

Book info: Conviction / Kelly Loy Gilbert.  Hyperion Teen, 2015. [author’s Facebook]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Braden was in the car when his dad ran over the cop, but the high school junior can’t imagine being called to testify in the religious talk show host’s trial or having his big brother back home 10 years after Trey left their small California town or trying to calmly pitch to the cop’s nephew in the most important game of the season.

How can Dad say he loves God and then hate people just for being different?
Why doesn’t anyone talk about Braden’s mom leaving when he was a baby?
Can Dad’s lawyer really suggest what he should say at Dad’s trial?

Convolutions of baseball practices and worried prayers and trying to ignore the media and wondering what really drove Trey away from his best friend Kevin (the pastor’s son) … as the trial and baseball playoffs loom just ahead.

How did we get here, humanity? Read more… with your ears!

It’s finally time! Time to download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears!

Each pair of complete audiobooks will be available from Thursday through Wednesday during their download week this summer. Then you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Bookmark the SYNC site now so you can download great free audiobooks all summer long: http://www.audiobooksync.com/

CD cover of Great Tennessee Monkey Trial by Peter Goodchild published by LA Theater Works | recommended on BooksYALove.comThe Great Tennessee Monkey Trial

Did schools have the right to teach evolution? The Scopes Trial of 1925 is recreated in this full-cast docu-drama.

by Peter Goodchild

Read by Edward Asner, Bill Brochtrup, Matthew Patrick Davis, John de Lancie, James Gleason, Harry Groener, Jerry Hardin, Marnie Mosiman, Kenneth Alan Williams, Geoffrey Lower, Kyle Colerider-Krugh

CD cover of audiobook Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle, Published by Dreamscape Media | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Vivian Apple at the End of the World

Looking for the truth when her parents vanish after the Rapture moment predicted by their evangelical church, Vivian and friends begin a desperate road trip.

by Katie Coyle

Read by Julia Whelan

So how did we get here, and how might we depart?
**kmm

A for Along the Way, by Jacqueline Kolosov (book review) – 3 friends on a pilgrimage

book cover of Along the Way by Jacqueline Kolosov published by Luminis | BooksYALove.comShould have broken in those boots before walking 500 miles
Should have trusted her instincts about that young man…
Should have been ready for miracles on the pilgrimage…

Three far-flung friends walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish coast, each for her own reasons, encountering heartache, love, physical woes, and personal victories in their month together during the summer after graduation.

Ask for this travelogue in three voices at your local library or independent bookstore – they may have to invoke interlibrary loan or special order, but it’s worth the wait!

Can you ever be fully prepared for a journey that’s guaranteed to change your life?
**kmm

p.s. Happy first day of the Blogging from AtoZ Challenge! I’ll recommend 26 books in 26 days of April, A to Z.

Book info: Along the Way: Three Friends, 33 Days, and One Unforgettable Journey on the Camino de Santiago / Jacqueline Kolosov. Luminis Books, 2015.  [author blog]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Walking the Camino de Santiago brings three young women closer together as the childhood friends meet other pilgrims from around the world, push their own physical and emotional limits, and find what they didn’t even know they were seeking.

Dani, Piper, and Tessa met as kids in Chicago, but live far apart now, so this 500 mile pilgrimage from France through Spain is their chance to reconnect before college and journey beyond their own comfort zones.

How can they balance family expectations with their own dreams?
Are the girls walking away from problems or toward understanding?
Cute guys in France and Spain – distractions or companions?

Three voices, three hearts, one long path taken step by step. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Temple of Doubt, by Anne Boles Levy (book review) – truth too strong for doubter priests

book cover of The Temple of Doubt by Anne Boles Levy published by Sky Pony Press | recommended on BooksYALove.comOnly the Temple spells can heal,
medicines are forbidden –
what can a young herbalist do?
Well, save the world, for starters…

Hadara’s questioning nature is constantly tested in a world where only the god Nihil is allowed to doubt, especially when its priests force her to help them search for a fallen star that they claim is evil.

Grab this recent release at your local library or favorite independent bookstore and travel to a world where being uncertain can be deadly.

Doubts… what’s your strongest?
**kmm

Book info: The Temple of Doubt / Anne Boles Levy. Sky Pony Press, 2015. [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: On a world where doubt is a god’s privilege alone, a less-than-devout teen helps the priests search for a fallen star and is caught up in a tangle of faith and politics that endangers her family and her own sanity.

Hadara resents the priests of Nihil, ever ready to punish her family for herb-gathering instead of relying on the capricious god of doubt to heal through unreliable spell-casting.

When a star falls from the sky and Azwan high priests from the far-off capital need her help to navigate the Wild, the teen and her mother must obey. Hadara’s reaction to one of their soldiers is unexpected, as is the sudden contact by the Gek people of the Wild and the mysterious illness now sweeping through Port Sapphire.

Was it a only falling star or something far more deadly?
Can Hadara keep her healing secrets from the Azwans?
Can she keep the Azwans’ spells away from her family?

Learning her grandparents’ long-hidden legacy, watching the foreordained path of life in her remote town veer wildly off-course, Hadara must hold true to her own beliefs in the face of authority and try to survive until her own birthday. First in a series. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Little Women at home and their papa away at war – read with your ears!

Back in time to the Civil War we go, to the New England home of Meg and Jo and Beth and Amy and Marmee, to the war front with their beloved chaplain father – all through the magic of audiobooks.

Click on either or both title links below to download these free complete audiobooks from Thursday through Wednesday (30 July 2015). You then have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device

Only a few weeks left of this great summertime audiobook program. Catch up with information on where to buy the ones you missed here: http://www.audiobooksync.com/ and check out your local library‘s audiobook collection, too!

CD cover of March  by Geraldine Brooks | Read by Richard Easton Published by Penguin AudioMarch
by Geraldine Brooks
Read by Richard Easton
Published by Penguin Audio

As a chaplain during the Civil War, March misses his family, considers God’s love in the midst of battle, and struggles to recover from terrible illness and philosophical doubts.

 

 

Little WomenCD cover of Little Women  by Louisa May Alcott | Read by Kate Reading Published by Listening Library
by Louisa May Alcott
Read by Kate Reading
Published by Listening Library

While their father is away during the Civil War, the young women of the March family must try to get by and get along in this classic tale.

What other books that extend the stories of well-known characters would you recommend?
**kmm

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter (book review) – adultery, shaming & revenge!

book cover of Manga Classics  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, adapted by Crystal S. Chan, script by Stacy King, art by SunNeko Lee. Published by Udon/ MorpheusA husband missing at sea ,
a forbidden relationship,
one parent punished, the other unknown…

As an error in judgment leads to years of being outcast, Hester must wear the scarlet A for adultery, yet refuses to unmask the father of her child.

Ask at your local library or independent bookstore for this clear retelling of the Hawthorne classic, whether you’re returning to a favorite tale or reading it for the first time.  And if The Scarlet Letter is a school assignment, read the complete original text here for free – getting the story and characters firmly in mind with this manga will make things much easier!

Yes, this book is in true manga format, like Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice,  so start at the back (helpful refresher on format-reading there) and dive into this Puritan-era conflict between passion and society’s expectations.

How long can revenge brew without burning the soul?
**kmm

Book info: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter /  Nathaniel Hawthorne; adapted by Crystal S. Chan, English script by Stacy King; art by SunNeko Lee. Udon Entertainment/Morpheus, 2015.  [publisher site]  [series Facebook page] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: The red A for adultery blazes upon Hester Prynne’s dark clothes, but another has a burning coal in his chest as the unwed mother bears her shame in the Puritan village alone… for now.

Hester wasn’t in love with the older scholar she married at her parents’ insistence, but after his disappearance at sea, she found happiness with another man. Pregnant and judged as a sinner, she is scorned and shunned, especially when she won’t say who Pearl’s father is.

A learned man arrives in the New England village and begins keeping company with their inspiring young pastor. As Rev. Dimmesdale becomes ill, mysterious Dr. Chillingsworth seeks secrets.

Praised for her needlework through the years, Hester is still shunned.
Growing into a lovely and rambunctious child, Pearl is thought to be evil.
Is there any escape for the repentant?

With SunNeko’s art to enhance the carefully adapted text, this true manga (read from back to front) brings new life to Hawthorne’s classic tale of love, passion, and revenge.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Faith and challenge – stories true & terrible on free audiobooks

Time to download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears!

Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device

Click on a title, download a book, enter into another’s life:

CD cover of Echoes of an Angel  by Aquanetta Gordon, Chris Macias | Read by Robin Miles Published by Christian Audio Echoes of an Angel
by Aquanetta Gordon, Chris Macias

Read by Robin Miles
Published by Christian Audio

A true story of faith as blind Ben masters echolocation to ‘see’ with sound, and his family sees God’s hand at work.
Buddha BoyCD cover of Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja | Read by Spencer Murphy Published by Full Cast Audio
by Kathe Koja
Read by Spencer Murphy
Published by Full Cast Audio

Justin must decide whether to bully the new Buddhist student like everyone else at his high school or learn how differences can bring harmony.

Faith in the face of unfair situations – where else have you seen this?
**kmm

Strong young women in WWII – free audiobooks of high prices paid

Stories of courage, read by professionals – welcome to World War Two, through free audiobooks.

Remember that although these free complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you can listen to them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

One tale is fiction, the other is biographical, both tell stories that we must never forget.
CD cover of Rose Under Fire  by Elizabeth Wein | Read by Sasha Pick Published by Bolinda Publishing Rose Under Fire
by Elizabeth Wein
Read by Sasha Pick<
Published by Bolinda Publishing

A young American woman flying Allied transport planes is downed in Germany and must survive the infamous Ravensbrück Nazi concentration camp. A companion book to Code Name Verity.

 

Anne Frank RememberedCD cover of Anne Frank Remembered  by Miep Gies, Alison Leslie Gold | Read by Barbara Rosenblat Published by Oasis Audio
by Miep Gies, Alison Leslie Gold
Read by Barbara Rosenblat
Published by Oasis Audio

The couple who sheltered Anne Frank’s family risked their lives daily for two years. Now Mies shares the story of her own life and those dangerous days in World War II.

What other tales of bravery by “everyday people” do you recommend?
**kmm