Winter WriteUP: Your Submissions
This year’s winter program for kids and adults encouraged you to share a book you love with other people. Many thanks to the kids and adults who shared their book reviews with us!
Adults who participated in the program were entered into a drawing for an Amazon Fire Tablet. Kids who participated in the program were entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to the Learning Post in Urbandale. Congratulations to our winners!
- Amazon Fire Tablet: Autumn G.
- $25 gift certificate to the Learning Post: Madhav K.
Here are some of the reviews we received. Maybe you will find a new favorite among these recommended titles!
Reviews From Adults
THE SECRET DIARY OF HENRIK GROEN By Henrik Groen
This is an easy read about an elderly man living in a senior home in the Netherlands. He is the atypical old man who forms an ‘Old but Not Dead’ club that takes the home by storm. They have great adventures!
Henrik also brings awareness to issues plaguing our elderly forgotten population. I highly recommend this book.
Submitted by: Autumn
LAST BUS TO WISDOM by Ivan Doig
Ivan Doig’s very last book, “Last Bus to Wisdom” doesn’t disappoint. In 1951, an almost 12 year-old boy has to travel by bus from Montana to Wisconsin. He is going to stay for the summer with an aunt he has never met while his grandmother recovers from surgery.
Doig does a great job bringing this character, named Donal (Donald without the d), to life. Donal has quite a journey meeting people on and off the bus, people who nearly jump off the pages of the book-they’re unusual and unforgettable characters. But the book isn’t just character driven; it has an interesting plot that keeps you turning the pages. And Doig brings to life the western setting.
Donal learns much about life-especially love and loyalty and finding real family in just one summer and on his long eventful bus rides. It’s an enjoyable ride for the reader too.
Submitted by Karen G.
A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW By Amor Towles
What would happen to a young man who is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in a luxury hotel? He’s told that he’ll be shot if he steps foot outside of the Hotel Metropol located under the shadow of the Kremlin. It sounds like a dismal fate, especially in newly-Soviet Russia in the 1920’s. But Count Alexander Rostov makes a lot of his life anyway.
Rostov goes from a man who pays for everything-usually the finest-to one who works as a waiter, befriends many of the hotel’s staff and its regular guests, finds romance, helps a Soviet colonel understand the west, and raises a foster daughter in the hotel. He also teaches the reader about Russian literature and the transition of Czarist Russia to Communism.
The book also makes specific references to the movie Casablanca. And in some ways, it has a similar theme. Out of his place in society, a man makes the most of his life and does what he can to live his own way despite the oppressiveness of the state.
“Round up the usual suspects.” Except that most of the characters in this book are unusual and, interesting too.
Submitted by Karen G.
RIPLEYS BELIEVE IT OR NOT! SHATTER YOUR SENSES 2017
It was an afterthought that I checked this out at all. I guess I wanted to relive my childhood memories of looking at those long, curled and overgrown toenails that I had seen in the book from my childhood copy!
What I learned was a wealth of information not just in the United States but throughout the whole entire world. It is just a book full of facts and figures, plus the bonus of nostalgia if you’ve heard of or are lucky enough to have visited any of the featured places. It is divided into sections of animals, pop culture, people, beyond belief, and more so there is something for everyone.
All of your senses will be peaked and you will cringe or be delighted by the extreme nature of the book. Who doesn’t like escapism over cabin fever?
Submitted by Cheryl T.
TEAM OF RIVALS: THE POLITICAL GENIUS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN by Doris Kearnes Goodwin
I hesitated reading this book because it was over 900 pages! But a book by Pulitzer Prize recipient Goodwin promises to be a well-researched, well-written and captivating read. Even though it took some time, I am so thankful I completed this fascinating book detailing the relationship between Lincoln and the members of his Cabinet. Lincoln became president at the onset of what many consider the darkest time in our country’s history. The book examines the extraordinary personal qualities that allowed Lincoln to appoint, and then to win over, men who had previously opposed him to help lead the country through this period. Goodwin’s use of the cabinet members’ personal letters and diaries makes individuals come alive and also offers vivid impressions of Lincoln.
I have always liked and respected Abraham Lincoln, but this book made me truly recognize and appreciate his greatness-not only in his political accomplishment, but in his ability to understand and respect differing views, his logical approach, and his keen insight.
Submitted by Julie W.
Reviews from Kids
FLY GUY MEETS FLY GIRL by Tedd Arnold
You should read “fly guy meetings fly girl” because it teaches you how to speak fly. Also, I like “fly guy meets fly girl” because of all the silly things they do. My picture shows the silly things they do.
Submitted by Rosalie (age 6)
EENIE, MEENIE, MINEY, MO AND FLO! by Laurel Molk
I like this book. It was really funny! Flo helped catch the monsters with popcorn. I liked Mo the Mouse too and the turtle. People should read this because kids would like it.
Submitted by Carl (age 3)
SUPER STRUCTURES by Phillip Wilkinson
This book has an underwater subway. I love that it had 3-D and paint images. I bet my friend Aiden would like it because it has a secret subway. And it shows you the insides of things (and also the outsides). There was also a big state building that I really liked and an airport on a pretend island.
Submitted by Whitman (age 6)
CHICKEN SOUP by Jean Van Leeuwen
Everyone will love reading this book, because it is my favorite book! It is a little bit scary, and I love when he rolls into the flower garden.
Submitted by Demitri (age 4)
PETE THE CAT AND HIS FOUR GROOVY BUTTONS by Eric Litwin
I think you should read this story because I like to sing along as I read it with my Grandma and you will too! This book is about a cat losing his buttons and how he can still be happy.
Submitted by Daphne (age 5)
CHICK-O-SAURUS REX by Lenore Jennewein
- The chick saved the bullies from the wolf.
- Be kind to others.
- Everyone has a superpower.
- Chicken is the T-Rex’s closest living relative.
- All boys and girls who like dinosaurs will like this story book.
Submitted by Madhav K. (Age 6)
HAROLD’S CIRCUS by Crockett Johnson
I, Amelia, recomend every kid, whether you are a boy or a girl to read “Harold’s Circus” by Crockett Johnson. Harold takes himself on a magical journey with his purple crayon. He draws a rope, elephant, and even a peanut for the elephant. However, my favorite part is when Harold draws a horse which is why I drew a horse with me riding the gorgeous horse.
Ameilia (age 5)
I AM PUSHEEN THE CAT by Claire Belton
I’m a cute cat.
Submitted by Cooper (age 8)