Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Bruno is a typical 9 year old boy who loves exploring with his friends and hates being teased by his older sister and her friends. Bruno's father works for "The Fury" and he isn't sure exactly what his father's job entails, but think he must be good at it since he is suddenly promoted to "Commendant." The bad news is, Bruno and his family must leave their lovely five story Berlin home for a far away place Bruno knows only as "Out-With." It is a depressing and strange place. There are no neighbors or boys to play with. There are no markets or cafes busy with people. There is only a large barbed wire fence in the distance, where hundreds of people live in huts and all wear the same odd striped pajamas.

This book is another heartbreaking book about the Holocaust, told through the eyes of 9 year old Bruno. One I will definitely use in the classroom.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr

Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr

This is the story (the first in a trilogy) about a small town in Northern California known as Grace Valley. Grace Valley only has one doctor, June Hudson, who took over for her father when he retired. As the town doctor, June is replied on for everything and never gets a break. As the town begins to grow, June soon realizes she needs help and hires a talented and handsome young OB/GYN named John Stone. John moves to Grace Valley with his wife Susan and their little girl Sidney.

This story takes you inside the lives of the town's many unique characters. June, her father Elmer, the new doctor John Stone, the eccentric and wealthy aunt Myrna, the Native American police chief Tom, and all of the other regular townsfolk. I probably would not have ever picked this book up on my own but I read it as a buddy read with two friends in May. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I loved the detailed look into small town lie and the rich host of characters. I will definitely finish the trilogy and hopefully try some of Carr's other books as well.