A few more short, economical reviews, SAMURAI RISING being my personal favorite read of the three...
By Pamela S. Turner
SAMURAI RISING by Pamela Turner, tells the story of Morimoto Yoshitsune, one of Japan's most notorious and ruthless samurai warriors. Turner recounts Yoshitsune's early days as an orphan to his rise as a bold and reckless general in the Morimoto army. The story is taut with thrilling action and layered with 12th-century political intrigue. Readers beware: Few nonfiction books for children are as violent as SAMURAI RISING. Page after page, arms and heads are slashed from bodies. Some of the more famous deaths are treated honorably but most are somewhat dehumanizing. A thrilling and fascinating piece of historic literature nonetheless.
By Louise Erdrich
MAKOONS is the fifth book in Louise Erdrich's Birchbark House series about a nineteenth century Ojibwe family living on the Great Plains. MAKOONS is considered a sequel to CHICKADEE, centering on twin boys Makoons and Chickadee. Intricate descriptions of the family's day-to-day routines, like their cleaning and utilization of the hunted buffalo, added to the authenticity of this text. I appreciated the amount of humor in the book (Gichi Noodin). I don't know many middle age readers who would get much out of this on their own, but a fun and thought-provoking look at Native American life in the 1800's.
By Natalie Lloyd
In THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY by Natalie Lloyd, Emma Pearl Casey is on a mission to discover her destiny. Every female ancestor in Emma's family has had their destiny revealed to them in a Destiny Dream, and when Emma's dream finally happens, her destiny is shrouded in mystery. Fans of A SNICKER OF MAGIC will feel right at home in Blackbird Hollow. Supporting characters and subplots are rich with quirky details and depth. Natalie Lloyd's whimsical writing draws comparisons to Ingrid Law's SAVVY. Unlike Law's books, Lloyds stories are stand alone and highly accessible, EXTRAORDINARY coming in at 227 pages.