Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Shepherd's Granddaughter

The Shepherd's Granddaughter by Anne Laurel Carter. Groundwood Books. 2008.

My Review

The Shepherd's Granddaughter, a novel for children by Anne Laurel Carter, deals sensitively with the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. It focuses on the emotional upheaval that this conflict causes a young Palestinian girl and her family.

Throughout her book, Carter highlights the importance of cooperation, and of discussion. Carter's book is anti-extremist. Although Amani's brother frequently mentions extreme, terrorist solutions to their situation, these are always dismissed in favour of more peaceable conflict resolution methods. Admirably, Carter aptly portrays a pro-Palestinian story without being overtly anti-Semitic. The Jewish characters in this book (the settler's son and the rabbi) are kind and helpful. Each goes out of his way to help the family survive together.

This children's book should be read widely by older children as a means for discussing current conflicts and their impacts on the lives of innocent civilians.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No More Victims

Natasha Cooper. No More Victims. Great Britain: BBC Audiobooks and Barrington Stoke, 2008.

Candy and her son Adam are trying to put their past behind them. Candy has recently been divorced, and Adam is constantly bullied at school. When one of Adam's classmates is murdered, Candy is horrified, and suspects that her son is keeping a deadly secret. When she falls in love with one of the detectives, the situation becomes almost too hard to handle.

Natasha Cooper is a notable mystery author, who was Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association in 2000/2001. "No More Victims" is part of the series "Shortlist books", whose books are written for a fast-paced read. Beginning readers will enjoy this book, which is published in a vision-friendly large print. It is quite a thin mystery novel, and easy to tuck into a purse or briefcase for a quick, on-the-go read. The one area that this book lacks in is character development, as the histories and thoughts of characters are not provided. Otherwise, it is quite an enjoyable mystery.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Victorian Hospital

The Victorian Hospital by Lavinia Mitton.

Social history meets medical history in Lavinia Mitton’s The Victorian Hospital. What tremendous advances that the health care industry has experienced in 200 short years! This book gives a general overview of Victorian hospital practices, and is filled with a variety of interesting information. In the early 1800s, British hospitals were staffed by volunteer doctors. Instead of having specialty hospital departments, specialist hospitals were created to target specific diseases and body parts, including fevers and eye health. This glossy slim book is filled with photographs of Victorian medical ads and other hospital-related images, and is a great read for any history buffs.

Mitton, Lavinia. (2008). The Victorian Hospital. Oxford: Shire Books.

My Notes

I picked this book up for a variety of reasons. First: I am a history buff. Also, before I decided to become a librarian, I had briefly thought about studying medicine. Finally, I visited the Florence Nightingale Museum in London this summer, and when I saw that there was a section in the book dedicated to nursing, I knew I had to give it a look!