Dads Rock, Too! A Select Listing for Father’s Day @ Jorie’s Store

Theatrical release poster – To Kill a Mockingbird | Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

As I did for Mother’s Day,  I’m sharing books featuring some of my fathers/father figures in literature. Did your favorite dad make the list?
Again, you can click on the covers, visit Jorie’s Store on Amazon, and shop for some great reading. Making purchases at Jorie’s Store funds future giveaways! 🙂
Pride and Prejudice  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  A Christmas Carol (Dover Thrift Editions)
A Room with a View  Savvy  To Kill a Mockingbird
Cry, the Beloved Country  Saint Maybe  The Book Thief

Wendy Mass’ Willow Falls/Birthdays Series

11 Birthdays, Finally, and 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass | eBranch Harris County Public Library

11 Birthdays, Finally,
and 13 Gifts by
Wendy Mass |
eBranch Harris County
Public Library

Mass, W., & McInerney, K. (2010). 11 birthdays. New York, NY: Scholastic Audiobooks. 9780545202787

 Mass, W., McInerney, K., & Scholastic Audio-Visual. (2011). Finally. New York: Scholastic Audiobooks. 9780545353984

 Mass, W., McInerney, K., & Scholastic Audio-Visual. (2011). 13 gifts. New York: Scholastic Audio. 9780545354073

Reasons for Reading:  When I sought an audiobook I could download to my iPhone Overdrive app, I first found and downloaded 13 Birthdays. Realizing this book was the third in the series, I checked it in and found the first book in Wendy Mass’ Birthday Series, 11 Birthdays with the HCPL Digital Media – eAudio, supported by Overdrive.

Summary: The first book, 11 Birthdays, is mostly narrated by Amanda, one of Willow Falls’ denizen. Her former best friend, Leo, was born on the same day. Each year, these two have celebrated their birthdays together. When they had a falling out at their tenth birthday, Amanda and Leo haven’t spoken to each other. Amanda keeps reliving the day of her eleventh birthday. Will she ever see tomorrow?  

The next book, Finally, is narrated by Rory (the girl) Swenson, a classmate of Amanda and Leo’s, and this book happens a year after 11 Birthdays. Ever since Rory can remember, she’s longed to be twelve years old. Why? Well, that’s when her parents say Rory can:

  • Get her ears pierced
  • Go to the mall with her friends
  • Babysit her next door neighbor
  • Ride in the front seat
  • Have a cell phone
  • Wear makeup

However, when she turns twelve, Rory has her own special series of misadventures as she becomes the whipping girl of Murphy’s Law.

The third book, 13 Gifts, is narrated by shy wallflower Tara. When she attempts to steal the school mascot so she can sit with the cool kids at lunch, her parents decide that she won’t get to go on her parents’ summer trip to Madagascar. Instead, Tara is sent away to Willow Falls to stay with her aunt, uncle, and cousin Emily for the summer. What a way to spend your thirteenth birthday!

What I Liked : I liked these kids and I liked the wonder generated by the magical elements in all of these books. The kids wanted to do the right thing and they’re very kind. A nice, realistic touch was the fact that there was Rory the girl (a major character in the second and third books) and Rory the boy. What school doesn’t have boys and girls with the same name?

Also, they’re young enough that these books don’t venture into PG-13 or above territory. I found the first and third books to be really strong.

What I Disliked: While I liked Rory, I wasn’t so crazy about her book Finally. I am not a parent but her parents’ concept of making “12” this special age where their daughter eventually gets to do things really seems wrong. This just didn’t seem very loving to me. Couldn’t they have let her do things gradually? Also, I hated how this poor kiddo always had the absolute worst thing happen to her. Was Mass hating on her or what?

Another thing brought to my attention by another blogger was that these kids seem to lie a lot.

Lastly, the woman of magic, Angelina, is sorta scary!

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Happy Birthday Song

Setting: Willow Falls

You might also like:

  • Ingrid Law’s Savvy
  • Judy Blume’s Just as Long as We’re Together
  • Louis Sacher’s Holes
For more on Wendy Mass’ Birthday Series, please check out the following links:

Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon

The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen | LibraryThing

Allen, S. A. (2010). The girl who chased the moon. London: Hodder & Stoughton. 9781444706611

After reading her two previous books, I couldn’t wait to read Sara Addison Allen’s third – The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I requested the book from HCPL.

Seventeen-year-old orphan Emily Benedict, travels to Mullaby, North Carolina. She moves in with her maternal grandfather, gentle giant Vance. Grandpa Vance does not talk much of the late Dulcie, Emily’s mother. Soon, Emily finds many folks in Mullaby hold a grudge against Dulcie. However, Emily discovers friends as well. One of these is Julia Winterson, a woman paying back her late father’s debt and once a girl Dulcie bullied. Julia bakes delicious cakes at her dad’s old BBQ restaurant. There’s Win, a boy just about Emily’s age who hasn’t inherited his family’s grudge against Dulcie. Then, there’s this amazing light show at night.

I liked The Girl Who Chased the Moon almost as much as Garden Spells and more than The Sugar Queen. The characters are more my speed – especially Julia. Maybe it’s the cakes.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Van Morrison – Moondance – YouTube

Places : North Carolina

You might also like:

For more on Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon, check out the following sites:

Sarah Addison Allen’s The Sugar Queen

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen | LibraryThing

Allen, S. A. (2008). The sugar queen. New York, N.Y: Bantam Dell. 9780553805499

I enjoy Garden Spells so much that I checked out Sarah Addison Allen’s second novel, The Sugar Queen from HCPL. I looked forward to returning the enchanted world of Allen’s North Carolina.

Josey Cirrini leads a predictable life in ski resort town Bald Slope, North Carolina. The twenty-seven year olds lives with her mother, the quintessential Southern Belle, whom Josey serves hand and foot. She loves winter and enjoys her stockpile of candy and romance novels in her closet. This all changes when Josey finds local waitress Della Lee Baker living in her closet. What should Josey do?

While I didn’t adore The Sugar Queen the way I did Allen’s Garden Spells, I liked this book. Characters from the warm Josey and Chloe to the chilly Margaret Cirrini are of the slice of life variety. I wasn’t terribly crazy about the mystery of Jake’s one night stand. Still, I appreciated that Allen didn’t tie all loose ends neatly – making this an authentic novel about everyday life with a dash of magic.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – ‪The Archies Sugar Sugar‬‏

Places : North Carolina

You might also like:

For more on Sarah Addison Allen’s The Sugar Queen, check out the following sites: