Book review: The Roses Underneath by C.F. Yetmen

  • The Roses Underneath by C.F. Yetmen
  • Publisher:  Ypsilon & Co. Press
  • Date published:  January 28th, 2014
  • Pages:  411
  • Genre:   Historical romance / historical fiction

DESCRIPTION:

It is August 1945 in Wiesbaden, Germany. With the country in ruins, Anna Klein, displaced and separated from her beloved husband, struggles to support herself and her six-year old daughter Amalia. Her job typing forms at the Collecting Point for the US Army’s Monuments Men is the only thing keeping her afloat. Charged with securing Nazi-looted art and rebuilding Germany’s monuments, the Americans are on the hunt for stolen treasures. But after the horrors of the war, Anna wants only to hide from the truth and rebuild a life with her family. When the easy-going American Captain Henry Cooper recruits her as his reluctant translator, the two of them stumble on a mysterious stash of art in a villa outside of town. Cooper’s penchant for breaking the rules capsizes Anna’s tenuous security and propels her into a search for elusive truth and justice in a world where everyone is hiding something.

In her debut novel C.F. Yetmen tells a story of loss and reconciliation in a shattered world coming to terms with war and its aftermath.

Buy the book:   Amazon
MEET THE AUTHOR:

C.F. YETMEN is a writer and consultant specializing in architecture and design.

She is co-author of The Owner’s Dilemma: Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry and a former publisher of Texas Architect magazine. The Roses Underneath is her first novel.

Connect with the author:  Website   Facebook   Twitter   goodreads

REVIEW:

This novel was an expected pleasure to read.  The book centers around Anna Klein, a mother with a five year old daughter who has fled the Russian held sector of Austria/Germany where her husband, a country doctor and communist, has decided to remain.  Fleeing to American controlled Weisbaden to find find her mother’s best friend, Anna struggles with extreme poverty and  lack of food .

She finds a job working for the Monuments Men, men of different artistic disciplines who were drafted from the US to recover art treasures stolen by the Nazis. Because of her ability to speak English as well as her background in art, she is hired as a translator for Captain Cooper, an architect drafted into the army to assist in the recovery of the artwork.

Although this is a piece of historical fiction with a gripping storyline, we also become privy to the private sentiments of extreme guilt felt by some the German civilians, even non-Nazi supporters, who saw or didn’t quite understand what was happening during the ethnic cleansing.  Anna’s need to expunge her past and redeem herself became a very meaningful part of this story.

Despite the serious nature of the topic, I found myself flying through the pages.  An intelligent and absorbing storyline.

BOOK TOUR: The Nomad’s Premonition by Georges Benay

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Nomad’s Premonition by Georges Benay
Category:  Adult Fiction,   240 pages
Genre:  Thriller, mystery/suspense
Publisher:   Story Merchant Books
Release date:  April 28, 2017
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF)
Will ship print books to:  Canada
Tour dates: August 14 to Sept 15, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (some violence, a couple of swear words – minimal)

Book Description:

​Eric Martin is desperate to forget his past, one that almost cost him his future.

Working in Paris as deputy head of a bank’s internal security department, Eric notices a high-speed trader’s uncanny ability to predict extremely profitable trades. Even though there’s nothing illegal about the activity, he knows the trader’s success is more than just luck.

But, no one believes him. Armed only with a handful of data and a powerful instinct, Eric searches for the mysterious trader on his own. He suspects that a predictive algorithm has fallen into the wrong hands.

​Eric sets off for Istanbul to find answers promised to him by an informant. He finds an unlikely ally in Interpol agent Stephanie Brule. With Interpol wanting him back in Paris and out of the way, Eric’s quest is also hampered by the sudden appearance of his ex-lover, a boss he’s not sure he can trust, and a terrorist who always seems one step ahead.

​Will Eric put an end, once and for all, to the nightmare that began when he accepted a job that was too good to be true? Or will his need for revenge and justice lead him deeper into a treacherous world he has no way of escaping?

Buy the book:    ​Amazon

Georges Benay

Meet the Author:

Georges Benay is a former international banker who is now working as a Toronto-based writer and award-winning photographer.

He is the author of two novels, including The Nomad’s Premonition and a collection of short stories. His award winning pictures have been featured in several magazines and book covers.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Photography Website  ~  Twitter

REVIEW:
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Eric Martin is intrigued and disturbed when he uncovers data about a mysterious but highly successful stock trader.  Unable to pinpoint where the trades are originating, Eric takes it upon himself to flush out the unknown trader.  He is joined by an agent from Interpol who is one of the few who he can trust with his mission.
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The author cleverly throws in action-packed sequences and red herrings to keep us guessing the identity of this now dangerous adversary.
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Unfortunately, this book was a very slow read as it was bogged down by excessive descriptions and off-shoots in the plot which, I felt, detracted from a very good storyline.  I reached a point about half way through the book where I didn’t have the mental energy to want to find out “whodunnit”.
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Book review: A Year in the Company of Freaks by Teresa Neumann

Book Details:

Book Title:  A Year in the Company of Freaks
Author: Teresa Neumann
Category:  Adult Fiction,   515 pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher:   All’s Well House
Release date:  Dec 21, 2015
Format available for review:  print & ebook (gifted Kindle copy)
Will ship print books to:  USA & Canada only
Tour dates: Sept 11 to 29, 2017
Content Rating: PG + M (Little violence and profanity, no f-words, no sex, but some drug use)

Book Description:

It’s 1972 and a seismic clash-of-cultures is rattling northern California. In the redneck town of Trinity Springs, rumors of hippies migrating up from San Francisco have residents bracing for an invasion. When Italian-American hometown boy and Berkeley graduate Sid Jackson is busted for growing pot on his deceased parents’ farm, locals suspect the assault has begun. Will a crazy deferral program devised by the sheriff keep Sid out of prison? Or will a house full of eccentric strangers, a passionate love interest, and demons from his past be his undoing?

A “disarmingly appealing” tale of discrimination, transformation and restoration, Freaks is bursting with intrigue, drama, comic relief and romance. Reviewers agree this five-star, coming-of-age classic “very much reflects the attitude and mood of the times.”

Praise for A Year in the Company of Freaks:

“This coming of age story will draw the reader right in. Teresa Neumann demonstrates how much she values relationships in her writing … a precious skill. I held my breath all the way through to the final few pages. Five stars!” — The San Francisco Book Review

“As it relates to the complicated clash of culture and counterculture, Freaks acts as an authentic, strongly Seventies book. Northern California works as a strong presence in the novel that is vivid and omnipresent, but never overwhelming. Sure to intrigue and entertain, Freaks will have its digs in you before you realize how involved you’ve become.” — The Manhattan Book Review

Teresa Neumann

About the Author:

Author of highly-acclaimed “A Year in the Company of Freaks,” Teresa was raised in a large Midwest family and now lives in Oregon. She is also the author of “Bianca’s Vineyard,” and its sequel, “Domenico’s Table.” Both books are based on the true stories of her husband’s Italian family in Tuscany. In addition to enjoying family, writing, reading, meeting her readers, wine tasting, traveling, and all things Italian, Teresa loves playing the fiddle with other musicians.

Connect with the Author:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

REVIEW:  (by Anne Benard)

Well this novel certainly surpassed my expectations!  The narrative quickly grabbed my attention and kept me intrigued all the way through. I found it to be a real page turner due to its interesting storyline and well thought out character development. I appreciate that the personalities in this novel are multifaceted and not the usual stereotypes that are often found in fiction.  It’s obvious that the author based her tale on real people facing issues that we can all recognize and easily identify with.  Being a child of the 70s I also appreciate that the language and description of the era is authentic to the times. Thanks for the ‘trip’ Ms. Neumann, it was fun. An entertaining read that I would highly recommend.

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Book review: Puritan Girl, Mohawk Girl: A Novel by John Demos

  • Puritan Girl, Mohawak Girl by John Demos
  • Publisher:  Amulet Books
  • Date published:  (October 31, 2017)
  • Pages:  160 pages
  • Genre:  8-12 years (middle grade)

DESCRIPTION:

Inspired by Demos’s award-winning novel The Unredeemed CaptivePuritan Girl, Mohawk Girl will captivate a young audience, providing a Native American perspective rather than the Western one typically taught in the classroom.

As the armed conflicts between the English colonies in North America and the French settlements raged in the 1700s, a young Puritan girl, Eunice Williams, is kidnapped by Mohawk people and taken to Canada. She is adopted into a new family, a new culture, and a new set of traditions that will define her life. As Eunice spends her days learning the Mohawk language and the roles of women and girls in the community, she gains a deeper understanding of her Mohawk family.  Although her father and brother try to persuade Eunice to return to Massachusetts, she ultimately chooses to remain with her Mohawk family and settlement.

Puritan Girl, Mohawk Girl offers a compelling and rich lesson that is sure to enchant young readers and those who want to deepen their understanding of Native American history.

BUY THE BOOK:   AMAZON    BARNES & NOBLE  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John Putnam Demos is an American author and historian. He has written two books which discuss witch-hunts and has discovered that one of his own ancestors was John Putnam Senior, ancestor of the Putnam family which was prominent in the Salem witch trials.

Demos was awarded the prestigious Bancroft Prize for his book Entertaining Satan. He was awarded the 1995 Francis Parkman Prize for his book The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story From Early America.

He retired in December 2008 as the Samuel Knight Professor of History at Yale University.

Demos lives in Tyringham, Massachusetts and is currently working on a new book.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:    WEBSITE

REVIEW:  

This book caught my attention because I have very good friends who belong to the Mohawk nation in Kahnawake, close to the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. One of my friends, although Mohawk, is tall and white skinned and I am told it was because there was a white captive that was adopted into his tribe several generations ago.

Puritan Girl, Mohawk Girl is an excellent way to teach history to middle grade children through storytelling. Although the main character, Eunice Williams really existed, most of the details are fictional but based on the daily life of the Mohawk people.

I remember reading a very similar story as a young girl entitled “Calico Captive”. The story was similar but with a much different ending. I really enjoyed Eunice’s story and found it to be quite a page turner.

The Portrait by Antoine Laurain

  • Publisher:  Gallic Books
  • Date of publication:  June 26, 2017
  • Pages:  144
  • Genre:  Literary fiction / humour

SYNOPSIS:

A collector unearths the find of a lifetime: an eighteenth-century portrait of a man uncannily like him.  While wandering through a Paris auction house, avid collector Pierre-François Chaumont is stunned to discover the eighteenth-century portrait of an unknown man who looks just like him.  Much to his delight, Chaumont’s bid for the work is successful, but back at home his jaded wife and circle of friends are unable to see the resemblance.  Chaumont remains convinced of it, and as he researches into the painting’s history, he is presented with the opportunity to abandon his tedious existence and walk into a brand new life.

BUY THE BOOK:    AMAZON.CA    AMAZON.COM    BARNES & NOBLE    WEBSITE

MEET THE AUTHOR:  Antoine Laurain was born in Paris and is a journalist, antiques collector and the author of five novels. The President’s Hat, a charming fable set in the Mitterrand years, was awarded the Prix Landerneau Découvertes and the Prix Relay in 2012 and is published in English by Gallic.

It was a Waterstones Book Club book and ABA Indies Introduce pick in 2013. Antoine was chosen to represent France at European Literature Night 2014.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:    GOODREADS  

REVIEW:

Antoine Laurain has written a provocative and uncanny novella that takes place in Paris. The story revolves around a collector, an obsessive collector whose passion began as a child when he decided to start a rubber eraser collection.  Pierre-Francois Chaumont is a lawyer is devoted to surrounding himself with beautiful objects. His obsession has landed him in trouble with his wife so he’s on the straight and narrow. Until he sees the portrait.  The face is his own.

This story has a  very different feel from the other novels the author has written.  Whereas the stories such as “The Red Notebook” and “The President’s Hat” were good natured and lively, this tale is a tad darker with a hint something that is possibly otherworldly.

A good book to bring with you as you enjoy a cappuccino at your favourite cafe.

Book spotlight tour: Dancing in the Rain (The Italian Family Series) by Lucy Appadoo

Book Details:

Book Title:  Dancing in the Rain (The Italian Family Series)
Author:  Lucy Appadoo
Category:  Adult Fiction,   274 pages
Genre:   Historical Coming of Age/Romance/Family Drama
Publisher:  Lucy Appadoo
Release date:  March 24, 2017
Tour dates:  June 5 to 23, 2017
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M (There is physical abuse and death involved.)

Book Description:

Fifteen-year old Valeria Allegro works diligently on the family farm in Italy, where she is torn between her duty to her family and her desire to find freedom from her strict, domineering father. She finds solace in Dario, a young student who provides a blissful escape—until a neighbour’s son, Gregorio, decides he wants her for himself.

This raises an alarm for her father, which leads to family conflict and aggression. When Dario is threatened and her family is plagued by a series of suspicious accidents, Valeria is desperate to keep her loved ones safe. Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?

Buy the book:   Amazon.com.au    Amazon.com    Barnes & Noble   Website

Lucy Appadoo

Meet the Author:

Lucy Appadoo is a registered counsellor and wellness coach with a part-time private practice. She also works as a rehabilitation counsellor for the Australian government. In her spare time, she self-publishes or writes nonfiction and fiction texts. She previously worked as a rehabilitation consultant, caseworker, English as a second language teacher, and proofreader.

Lucy has postgraduate diplomas in psychology, education, and English as a Second Language teaching, as well as specialised qualifications in grief counselling and hypnosis. She has also completed wellness coaching courses (levels 1-3) at Wellness Coaching Australia.

Lucy enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. She writes in the genres of romantic suspense, historical fiction, and romance. She has enjoyed travelling to exotic places such as Madrid, Mauritius, and Italy, and draws on these experiences in her creative writing.

Lucy’s favourite authors include Kendra Elliot, Christiane Heggan, Theresa Ragan, Tara Moss, Nicholas Sparks, Adriana Trigiani, Erica Spindler, and James Patterson (to name a few).

Lucy’s interests include meditation, playing tennis, journal writing, reading fiction and nonfiction texts about writing, coaching, and counselling, ongoing professional development, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and socialising with friends and family.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

June 5 –   Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
June 5 –   Kristin’s Novel Café – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 5 –   Library of Clean Reads  – book spotlight / giveaway
June 6 –   Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / author interview
June 6 –   #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
June 6 –   Il Mio Tesoro – book spotlight / giveaway
June 7 –   Essentially Italian – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 7 –   Adventures Thru Wonderland – book spotlight / giveaway
June 7 –   Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
June 8 –   100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
June 8 –   StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
June 9 –   Reviews in the City – book spotlight / giveaway
June 9 –   Paulette’s Papers –  book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 12 – A Holland Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
June 12 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 12 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight
June 13 – The Cheshire Cat’s Looking Glass – book spotlight / giveaway
June 13 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
June 13 – Literary Flits –  book spotlight / giveaway
June 14 – Just One More Chapter – book spotlight
June 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
June 15 – A Mama’s Corner of the World –  book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 15 – Bookworm for Kids – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 16 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / giveaway
June 19 – Carole’s Book Corner – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 19 – What Cathy Read Next – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 20 – Books for Books – book spotlight
June 20 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 20 – Outset – book spotlight / giveaway
June 21 – Lukten av Trykksverte –  book spotlight / giveaway
June 21 – The Book Drealms – A Book Addict’s Travelogue – book spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – Rockin’ Book Reviews –  book spotlight / giveaway
June 22 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
June 23 – Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight / giveaway
June 23 – Haddie’s Haven – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book review: The Elephant of Frimley by Nicholas Rawls

 

  • The Elephant of Frimley by Nicholas Rawls
  • Publisher:  Clink Street Publishing
  • Publication date:  April 25th, 2017
  • Genre:  children’s fiction
  • Pages:  48

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Two sisters and an elephant embark on an exciting adventure in this charming illustrated children’s book.

After the discovery of an elephant in their back garden, sisters Hannah and Emily make it their adventurous mission to return it back home.

Originally written as a bedtime story for his two daughters, and beautifully illustrated by Louise Jewell, The Elephant of Frimley is a delightful and fun read that parents, primary school teachers and extended families will enjoy sharing with young children.

Buy the book:   Amazon UK

Meet the author:  

Retired and happily living in Farnborough, Surrey, Nicholas Rawls enjoys spending time chatting on-line with his grandson and five adult children who are scattered across the world. When he’s not writing poetry and children’s verse he can be found pursuing his other interests —from antique fountain pen restoration to stamp collection, amateur astronomy and learning to play the banjo.

REVIEW:

What a delightful little rhyming story!  A sweet story about a lost elephant and two cheeky girls.  I adored the funny rhymes!  I have used this book to teach poetry to my young students who are learning English.

Book review: Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club

  • Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club by Jane Evans (illustrated by Ruth Mutch)
  • Publisher:  Your Stories Matter
  • Published:  January 2017
  • Genre:  Children’s fiction (ages 7-9)
  • Pages:  184

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Vera McLuckie hates school. Mainly because she struggles with stuff the other kids find easy. Oh, and because she keeps getting into trouble for doing what she is really good at. Daydreaming.

So when Vera gets the chance to show just how extraordinary she is, will she dare take on the coolest, smartest girl in the whole of Acorn Bank Primary?

But it goes deeper. Whilst not named in the book explicitly, the three main characters exhibit dyspraxic, dyslexic and autistic (Asperger’s Syndrome) tendencies respectively. So the story can be used by parents and teachers as a catalyst for discussing what it is like to have a specific learning difficulty. In schools, teachers can use the book on a one-to-one, group or class basis to help raise awareness and improve well-being.

Book Background

Both author and illustrator are keen to raise awareness of specific learning difficulties in a way accessible to children. The illustrator is herself autistic.

Buy the book:  Amazon

Meet the author:

Jane Evans lives in Edinburgh, UK with her husband, daughter, cat and six fish. Although she has had many different jobs over the years, she keeps coming back to her first love, writing. ‘Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club’ is her first book, written with kids in mind who sometimes find things a bit tricky.

Ruth Mutch is a young artist, living in Glasgow with her rather lazy cat Phoebe. She is autistic and has a post graduate qualification in autism as well as a Primary Educational Studies degree and an HND in interactive media. She has a lot of experience of autistic children. Mutch has done various illustrations for autism awareness including an e-learning course but this is her first venture into illustrating a children’s fiction book which she is very excited about!

Connect with the author:   Goodreads   Twitter   Facebook

REVIEW:

I could soooo relate to this book.  I myself have a learning disability and remember staying after class with a teacher yelling at me because I couldn’t understand the basic concepts of letters and numbers.  I suspect I passed math in high school just so that my math teacher didn’t have to see me anymore.  Add to that the fact that I have difficulty seeing letters / objects in boxes, well – you get the picture.

In Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club we are introduced to three lovable characters who, despite their learning difficulties, become the best of friends. They help each other with their homework at Vera’s grandmother’s bookstore.

Vera is a daydreamer and a very creative one at that.  Which means that she often isn’t able to remember or complete her school work in class.  She also doesn’t like loud noises.

Max has a hard time understanding the way that other people talked and what they really meant when they said things.  He doesn’t like to be touched and notices everything!  The cool thing is, he really rocks at math!

Harry finds writing and spelling hard and she hates to read because the words just dance around on the page.  Vera and Harry help Max write about his feelings.

What I really admired about this book is that it is written in the Dyslexie font, which is a typeface for people with dyslexia.  The illustrations were drawn by Ruth Mutch, who is herself autistic.   There is also an mission in the back of the book to unlock a code word.  Is that cool or what?

A friendly and encouraging book for all those children who think they don’t fit in because they are different.

ABOUT YOUR STORIES MATTER:

About Your Stories Matter: Based in Kendal, Cumbria Paul Johnson is the founder of Your Stories Matter and the parent publishing company Explainer HQ —which provides creative video, audio, animation and print to the business and education sector. All Your Stories Matters titles are published in paperback and are available to order from online retailers including amazon.co.uk.

For more information please visit: https://www.yourstoriesmatter.org and follow on Twitter @ysm_books

Book review: The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle

  • The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle
  • Publisher:  Your Stories Matter
  • Genre:  children (ages 6-8 years)
  • Published: January 31, 2017
  • Author:   Beth Montgomery
  • Pages:  36 (softcover)

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Azzie doesn’t really like school. If she could spend every day drawing, painting and making stuff, things would be great. But she can’t. The teachers make her do other stuff. This nearly always means she has to read from the board, a worksheet or a text book. The trouble is, she really really struggles to read letters, words and numbers. This makes her feel stupid. But she knows she isn’t. If only she could tell someone …

This book has been written from the point of view of a child who feels misunderstood. She finds it very difficult to read, which makes school life a struggle. She feels stupid, even though she is clever and creative. She gets told off for messing around, when the truth is she can’t do what is asked of her because she has a specific learning difficulty.

This illustrated book helps parents, teachers, and other adults who support children, have a non-threatening discussion about dyslexia with children of primary school age. Children find it easier to relate to, and discuss, the character in the story rather than have all the attention focused on them.

Using the book as a catalyst for discussion, adults can use the illustrated story at home or in school with children who have dyslexia, or exhibit dyslexic tendencies. Teachers can use the book to help classmates better understand their peers who may struggle reading. Similarly, parents can use the book to help children better understand family members.

This book was written and illustrated by someone who is herself dyslexic, and is based on her own life. She wanted to do something to help children who, years later, are still facing the same lack of understanding in school.

Buy the book:  Amazon   

MEET THE AUTHOR:  Elizabeth Montgomery lives in Nottinghamshire, England. She studied a BA in Design at Leicester’s De Montfort University, going on to complete an MA in writing at Nottingham University. Montgomery pursued various careers, including teaching, working for the Prince’s Trust and designing bespoke shoes for celebrities, before finally becoming a registered nurse. She wrote the Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle to help children and adults accept the unique abilities of being dyslexic, instead of being made to feel bad and stupid.

Website  

Book Objectives

This book has been written from the point of view of a child who feels misunderstood. She finds it very difficult to read, which makes school life a struggle. She feels stupid, even though she is clever and creative. She gets told off for messing around, when the truth is she can’t do what is asked of her because she has a specific learning difficulty.

This illustrated book helps parents, teachers, and other adults who support children, have a non-threatening discussion about dyslexia with children of primary school age. Children find it easier to relate to, and discuss, the character in the story rather than have all the attention focused on them.

Using the book as a catalyst for discussion, adults can use the illustrated story at home or in school with children who have dyslexia, or exhibit dyslexic tendencies. Teachers can use the book to help classmates better understand their peers who may struggle reading. Similarly, parents can use the book to help children better understand family members.

Book Background

This book was written and illustrated by someone who is herself dyslexic, and is based on her own life. She wanted to do something to help children who, years later, are still facing the same lack of understanding in school.

As with all of its books, the publisher – Your Stories Matter – aims to help people know they are not alone with what makes them different. If a young person or adult can relate to a story, it gives them hope and encourages them to share their concerns. The publisher aims to provide free teaching resources for all of its books that can be used in schools, to help improve understanding and celebrate differences.

REVIEW:

What a delightful book!  The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle is about a little girl who is smart, creative and who tries very hard to read.  But she can’t read.  No matter how hard she tries, she can’t remember how to pronounce a word she has already read on the same page.  She says:  “I can see the letters just fine, but I see them differently to everyone else”.

Azzie has Dyslexia.  But it’s ok.  With a little extra help she can learn to read at her own pace.

Beth Montgomery provides an informative introduction about neurodiverse children and their neurological conditions.  These children are often misunderstood, which exacerbates the stress they already feel when they cannot learn as quickly as other children.  The author explains that there are many “positives” to being “wired differently” and that we should champion and celebrate these differences with the children in our care.

I have a degree in speech therapy and work one-on-one with children four days a week.  This book has helped me to identify those children who are experiencing the same struggle and frustration as Azzie.  This book would be an excellent addition to any pre-school library or paediatrician’s office.

ABOUT YOUR STORIES MATTER:

About Your Stories Matter: Based in Kendal, Cumbria Paul Johnson is the founder of Your Stories Matter and the parent publishing company Explainer HQ —which provides creative video, audio, animation and print to the business and education sector. All Your Stories Matters titles are published in paperback and are available to order from online retailers including amazon.co.uk.

For more information please visit: https://www.yourstoriesmatter.org and follow on Twitter @ysm_books

Book review: MISS YOU by Kate Eberlen

About Miss You

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Harper (April 4, 2017)

“If ever a couple was meant to be, it’s Tess and Gus. This is such a witty, poignant, and uplifting story of two lives crisscrossing over the years, with near miss after near miss. . . . I couldn’t put it down.” Sophie Kinsella

A wryly romantic debut novel with echoes of One Day that asks, what if you just walked by the love of your life, but didn’t even know it?

“TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.” Tess’ get the motto from her mother’s kitchen knickknack out of her head, even though she’s in Florence on an idyllic vacation before starting university in London.

Gus is also visiting Florence, on a holiday with his parents seven months after tragedy shattered their lives. Headed to medical school in London, he’s trying to be a dutiful son but longs to escape and discover who he really is.

A chance meeting brings these eighteen-year-olds together for a brief moment, the first of many times their paths will crisscross as time passes and their lives diverge from those they’d envisioned. Over the course of the next sixteen years, Tess and Gus will face very different challenges and choices. Separated by distance and circumstance, the possibility of these two connecting once more seems slight.

But while fate can separate two people, it can also bring them back together again. . . .

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Kate Eberlen

Kate Eberlen grew up in a small town thirty miles from London and spent her childhood reading books and longing to escape. She studied Classics at Oxford University before pursuing various jobs in publishing and the arts. Recently, Kate trained to teach English as a Foreign Language with a view to spending more time in Italy, a country she loves and has visited many times. Kate is married with one son.

Find out more about Kate at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

REVIEW:

The question that is raised in Miss You is this, is it possible to find a forever soulmate?  The book begins with Tess and Guss as 18 year olds on vacation in Italy.  A chance (serendipitous?) meeting over gelato is the first of many chance meetings over the next sixteen years.

Both Tess and Guss live very contrasting lifestyles that take them in different directions, including exhausting and unhappy relationships and their subsequent emotional rollercoasters.  The threads of their lives imperceptibly intercept along those journeys but never seem to truly connect.  Both feel unfulfilled as they put the needs of others ahead of their own, including Tess’s devotion to her much younger sister who has Asperger Syndrome.

Did I like this story.  Hard to say.  Despite a whopping 433 pages of text, I found it hard to really determine what Tess and Guss really wanted out of life. After struggling through numerous painful relationships, I found that story simply ran out of steam and the ending felt rushed and contrived.  Not a fan of “insta-love” stories, I felt that there could have been more commonalities to make this relationship feel more believable.