Monday, July 26, 2010

The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers

I originally read about this book on some book site newsletter, I don't even remember where. The concept for the book immediately intrigued me.

The story follows 2 sisters that have witnessed the murder of their mother by their father. The 2 girls have totally different reactions and acceptance of their father after what he did.

I am not done reading the book yet but the author writes a very interesting story about how the lives of the 2 girls are influenced by what they remember and how they have resolved or are trying to resolve the issue of having a murdering father and no mother as they are growing up.

This is a book by a first time author which is very well written and is keeping me drawn in to finish it. I look forward to seeing what will come next from this author.

Synopsis -- Lulu and Merry's childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu's tenth birthday their father drives them into a nightmare. He's always hungered for the love of the girl's self-obsessed mother. After she throws him out, their troubles turn deadly.

Lulu's mother warned her to never let him in, but when he shows up, he's impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past ten-year-old Lulu, who obeys her father's instructions to open the door, then listens in horror as her parents struggle. She runs for help and discovers upon her return that he's murdered her mother, stabbed her sister, and tried to kill himself.

For thirty years, the sisters try to make sense of what happened. Their imprisoned father is a specter in both their lives, shadowing every choice they make. Though one spends her life pretending he's dead, while the other feels compelled to help him, both fear that someday their imprisoned father's attempts to win parole may meet success.

The Murderer's Daughters is narrated in turn by Merry and Lulu. The book follows the sisters as children, as young women, and as adults, always asking how far forgiveness can stretch, while exploring sibling loyalty, the aftermath of family violence, and the reality of redemption. --from author's wesite.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

I received this book from a book give-away on the blog Books and Such. I was the lucky person who got my name drawn to win the book! Thanks Donna!! This book will be going to the top of my TBR pile.

In 1942 and 1943, German subs are dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico to sick U.S. Vessels carrying goods and fuel. While taking a late-night walk, Helen Mason, widowed by the war, discovers the near-lifeless body of a German sailor. Enraged at the sight of Josef Landermann's uniform, Helen is prepared to leave him to die when an unusual phrase, faintly uttered, changes her mind.

In The Heart Mender, a small town must prepare itself for the worst the world has to offer, and Josef and Helen must reconcile their pasts to create a future. Andy Andrews once again provides a unique blend of historical fact and engaging fiction showing the poser of forgiveness. -- from the author's website

Monday, July 19, 2010

SD Library Challenge / Lesson 3


1. I searched ice cream in Proquest. I think ice cream came to mind because this past weekend was so blasted hot and I am still trying to cool myself off. I limited my search to full text and retrieved 11,545 articles. I then re-sorted my list to the most relevant instead of the default of most recent. Why not look at the most relevant articles first instead of the most current? Makes sense to me! I then looked at the Suggested Topics at the top of the search page and narrowed my huge list of articles to only 77 when I selected ice cream AND nutrition. I like the fact that I can easily limit those article even further by article type, i.e. Scholarly, Magazines, Trade or Newspapers.

Doesn't this look yummy??

2. I searched for Publishers Weekly using the Publications search. This is journal that I enjoy looking at to see what new books are being published that I 'need' to read. I noticed that we have the current issues available in full-text and I can even set up an RSS feed so that I know when new issues are available. How easy is that??!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

SD Library Challenge / Lesson 2

SIRS Issues Researcher and Discoverer

SIRS Discoverer
1. I have never used the SIRS products before so this was very interesting. I searched for skunks again, using Sirs Discoverer. I tried both the keyword search and the subject search. Both searches eventually took me to the same information. The different types of sources are just a click away using the tabs at the top of the screen. The reading levels are clearly marked with the different colored books. Icons for the others items available, i.e. pictures, activities, etc are very clear and easy to find and use.

2. I searched for France using the Country Facts part of the Database Features. Available is information about population, geography and weather, economy, government and history - all the basic information that a student would need for a report. I searched United States under Maps of the World. I am amazed at the amount and type of information that is available. I also explored the Activities section and looked at the Food Projects & Recipes. This database as a whole would be wonderful for grade school projects and papers!

SIRS Issues Researcher
1. The Leading Issue topic that I chose was Online Social Networks. There is alot of information right at the very first screen - articles, pros and cons, timeline, global impact and even statistics. What more could a student want! Very nice!!

2. Curriculum Pathfinders - I selected Photography as my topic to search and got to it by clicking Fine Arts, Visual Arts and then Photography. This is a very nice, concise, easy way to zero in on a specific topic area. The information that is available takes me to websites that are useful to the topic I want to research. I was able to narrow my search down very quickly and easily to find photographs of war.

Friday, July 9, 2010

SD Library Challenge / Lesson 1

World Book Online - Encyclopedia and More

1. I searched for skunk in the World Book Kids Edition. Don't ask me why that mammal popped into my head. But they really are quite cute, don't you think? Too bad they are so smelly!

'Many skunks live underground. They are active at night and sleep during the day.' -- from World Book Kids

2. Then I searched for skunk in World Book Student Edition and really was amazed at how much more information was available and how it is written at a more advanced reading/comprehension level.

'Many skunks live in underground dens that they line with dry leaves. The spotted skunk, unlike the striped and hog-nosed species, can climb, and it sometimes lives in hollow trees. Skunks are active at night and sleep during the day.' -- from World Book Student

3. Using World Book Advanced, I searched the country of France.

On the left side of the page are the different sources available which is useful when a student has to have multiple sources for their project. They are all listed there and very easy to access. And the right hand column has Primary Sources listed, which are sometimes challenging to find. After clicking on the link for the country, the right and left columns change and allow for easy access to the specific information that the student would be looking for.

4. World Book Discover allows the patron to browse for a topic, i.e. American Government without really knowing specifically what they are looking for. By clicking on the links that come up, they are led on a path to the information that they are searching for. This type of searching is helpful for readers that are not that good in English because the 'suggestions' are there for them and they don't need to struggle with coming up with the correct search terms.

-- This was a good exercise for me since I had not really used the World Book Online. I love the paper editions of this title but I never gave the online a look-see. Very good source and one I will remember to point out to our students in the future.
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