Friday, October 20, 2017

Spinning Pages (30): My Brigadista Year

Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 

This week on Spinning Pages takes us to Cuba as thirteen-year-old Lora sets out to be a brigadista bringing literacy to her countrymen alongside and the dangerous times she experienced during her year away from home. A truly remarkable story!

I don't know about you, but I get so excited when the perfect song for a book leaps into my head!! I just knew from the moment my mind dredged up this one, which I simply love, that it needed to be paired with this book!!  

Letting Go by Suzy Bogguss-
Oh oh letting go
There's nothing in the way now,
Oh letting go, there's room enough to fly
And even though, she's spent her whole life waiting,
It's never easy letting go
These lyrics are perfection, guys! It fits Lora and her parents as they all face the difficult separation that comes with her joining the brigadistas for a year. We all know, no matter the form, letting go is so so hard. Yet, there's always a time and place for when it must happen; in this case, it is the Lora going out to Cuban countryside to teach, where there are bandits who would not think twice about killing her. 

When you really listen to the entire song, it is a tearjerker. I'll just warn you now! Yet it is one of my favorite songs from Suzy Bogguss. 

Want to learn more about My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson, then hop on over to my review to see my full thoughts on it. 

If you would like to watch the video for Suzy Bogguss' Letting Go, look no further than the video below! Hope you enjoy one of my favorite songs!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Non-Fiction Review: Tokyo Street Style

Tokyo Street Style by Zoé de Las Cases, August 29, 2017. 80 pages. Published by Clarkson Potters. Source: Blogging for Books.
Adult coloring gets a makeover with charming, fashion-forward illustrations from this futuristic and glittering city. 
Wherever you’re off to, take Tokyo Street Style with you. Immerse yourself in this colorful city full of vibrant fashion and unique architecture. The stylish essentials laid out from your suitcase, elegant kimonos in store windows, and fashion-forward city dwellers complement the modern skylines. Embellish whimsical, full-page patterns with your own touch and enjoy Tokyo while you make your way through an iconic city.

This sleek, high-end package has an elastic closure and a satin ribbon marker so you can dip in and dip out of your own Tokyo fashion week. With nothing more than some colored pencils, you'll be on your way to a perfect day.

When it comes to coloring, I'm more of a casual, slow-poke coloring type of girl. Yet when I spotted  Zoé de Las Cases' Tokyo Street Style available for review, I could not resist checking it out! I was not to be disappointed in this decision.
  • Everything about this coloring book is beautiful; from the front cover all the way through the designs within. Design-wise, it's very pleasing to the eye; though the bright pink of the cover was a little shocking at first, although it actually pairs really well with the yellow stenciling on the cover. Okay, enough about the pretty, pretty cover design.  

  • I really enjoyed the variety of designs that Zoé de Las Cases created for Tokyo Street Style. Not only were the designs beautiful, but there were designs the were more minimal and those with more detail. The variety really makes it fun to flip through. Even better, the designs that have more going on are no so busy that they leave your head spinning as you try to decide where to start coloring. 

  • One of the things I enjoyed most about the designs was that it blended modern with a dash of traditional. I also really enjoyed the patterns that were used for backgrounds and on the clothes. I am actually really looking forward to spending some time coloring in the pages over the next few weeks. 

Final Verdict: Tokyo Street Style- This is probably the most eye-pleasing coloring book that I, personally, have come across! It's bright and cheerful without being too crazy!

Tokyo Street Style earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I Want to Read It (75): Miles Morales

I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds, August 1, 2017. Published by Marvel Press. 
"Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you're on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins."
Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He's even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he's Spider Man.

But lately, Miles's spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren't meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad's advice and focus on saving himself.

I don't know why, but the idea of Marvel publishing novels is weird! That being said, I am really curious about reading a novel featuring Miles Morales as Spider-Man, it just sounds like a fascinating spin on the Spider-Man franchise. 

Personally, I not a fan of Peter Parker but I really need to be introduced to Miles. His story is one that I want to hear; I don't just want to hear about him being Spider-Man, I want the story behind the hero and all the struggles that involves. I have not been this excited about a superhero character in a long time!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: My Brigadista Year

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, October 16, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review: My Brigadista Year


My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson, October 24, 2017. 208 pages. Published by Candlewick Press. Source: ARC from Publisher.
In an engrossing historical novel, the Newbery Medal-winning author of Bridge to Terabithia follows a young Cuban teenager as she volunteers for Fidel Castro's national literacy campaign and travels into the impoverished countryside to teach others how to read.
When thirteen-year-old Lora tells her parents that she wants to join Premier Castro's army of young literacy teachers, her mother screeches to high heaven, and her father roars like a lion. Lora has barely been outside of Havana -- why wold she throw away her life in a remote shack with no electricity, sleeping on a hammock in somebody's kitchen? But Lora is stubborn: didn't her parents teach her to share what she has with someone in need? Surprisingly, Lora's abuela takes her side, even as she makes Lora promise to come home if things get too hard. But how will Lora know for sure when that time has come? Shining light on a little-known moment in history, Katherine Paterson traces a young teen's coming-of-age journey from a sheltered life to a singular mission: teaching fellow Cubans of all ages to read and write, while helping with the work of their daily lives and sharing the dangers posed by counterrevolutionaries hiding in the hills nearby. Inspired by true accounts, the novel includes an author's note and a timeline of Cuban history.
First Sentence
"Ai-ee!" In all my thirteen years, I hadn't heard a screech that since the time I accidentally stepped on the cat's tail. 

When I was approached about possibly featuring My Brigadista Year on my blog, I said yes for two simple reasons. It sounded interesting and I had previously enjoyed another book, Jacob Have I Loved, by Katherine Paterson, the author of the book. So, what did I think of it?
  • To be quite honest, I cannot commit on how much of the book is actually factual and how much is not, when it comes to the brigadistas and their cause to promote literacy in Cuba, as this book was the first time I had even heard of that initiative. That being said, it was fascinating to learn something new about Cuba that had nothing to do with, well, it was just nice to see a positive historical fact, yes I looked into it, from Cuban history. Though the initiative, of raising literacy, really rather cool (I was curious and did some [skimming the surface] research on it).  
  • Beyond the historical aspects of the book, I want to now discuss Lora and what she experienced during the year she was in a brigadista. From the start, I knew she was going to be an interesting character to read about; as she decided and insisted at such a young age that she would help too, teach those who didn't have access to the schooling that she did, bring literacy. She's thirteen and wants to go out away from home to teach her fellow countrymen! That is pretty incredible, you know! While I don't want to spoil what happened during the year, I do want to mention how much it changed her. Not only did she assist her "family" in learning to read, they also taught her the value of working with your hands. There was definitely give and take during the whole endeavor. 

  • So as not to spoil too much of the book, let's talk about the writing! I actually enjoyed Katherine Paterson's writing more in this book, as I thought she did a great job with the setting and character development, than that of her last book that I read. Case in point, I meant to only read the first page to 'check out' the story, and then next thing I knew I was closing in on the end. Her writing and the overall storyline just really drew me in.
Final Verdict: My Brigadista Year- Was an incredible journey to read about! Lora's voice just flew off the page and her story kept me glued to the page (even when I should have been doing other things). 

My Brigadista Year earns

An advanced copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.


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