End of July Round-Up

Refugee, Alan Gratz, Scholastic, July 2017

Refugee is a book that I have grown to appreciate more each week since I finished reading.  The book is written for the middle grades, but also good for us in the senior set.

The book contains the story of three young refugees, beginning with Josef who is a young Jew in Germany in 1938, continuing with the story of Isabel in Cuba in 1994 and then Mahmoud in present day Syria.

The stories of all three refuges are told separately and also inter-woven to clarify both the uniqueness and commonalities of being a refugee fleeing one’s birth country to build a life in a new country.  By telling stories and approaching the stories with patterns of adventure, Gratz shows the harsh realities that all the world needs to face without lecturing.  Young readers will be caught in the adventures of the characters, but they will also be thinking about bigger issues, including the courage demanded of young refugees and of those who welcome them into new communities.
A good and an important read.


The Apprentice Witch, James Nicol, Scholastic, July 2017

The Apprentice Witch is a dependable, but rather predictable, story of a young witch who must overcome expectations and fight jealousy to demonstrate her potential and power. An unknown and sinister power creeps into the story and will be overcome in succeeding books as well as this one. A good story that will likely appeal to girls more than boys.

This is a middle-school level book that may also interest older readers.

A Century of Change, Lawerence M Johnson, out now

A Century of Change is a record in photos of physical changes that have taken place over the last century in Colorado.  It is essentially the complete works of Johnson that have previously been published in smaller books, plus some additional photographs. It’s an extremely satisfying look at the state, and its towns, cities and landmarks over a century.

While the book is hardback and not inexpensive, it is below the price of other similar works by more well-known photographers.  A great gift and a wonderful coffee-table record of our state.



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