Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book Reviews #29 & 30

Though Not Dead (Kate Shugak #18)Though Not Dead by Dana Stabenow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My biggest fear when I got the book was that it was going to be the last of the series.  I am happy to report that there Kate Shugak has more road to travel.  Old Sam Dementieff's death has left a huge hole in Kate's life as well as in the life of the park.  He has left everything to her, including a letter instructing her to find his father.  His death has also sparked a series of attacks on Kate and others. Kate's investigation leads her through her family's past as well as through Alaskan history.  Stabenow uses a double narrative to tell Kate's story and at the same time, Sam's story.   Advances are made in the Kate/Jim story arc also despite the fact that they spend almost the entire story apart.  This was one of the best installments in the series.

Behind the Secret WindowBehind the Secret Window by Nelly S. Toll
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This memoir recalls the childhood of a young Polish girl.  When the Nazis invade her city, she and her mother are hidden in a Gentile household.  Their secret hiding place is between the walls of a bedroom and a blocked in window.  The story is realistic without overt violence and although it tells of a horrific time, it is appropriate to use in either an upper elementary or middle school classroom.  

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