Tag: Reading Lounge

Safe As Houses

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Safe As Houses is a very true to life novel written by Red Maple Award Winning author Eric Walters. In this novel, Walters retells the story of Hurricane Hazel and the flooding of the Humber River through the eyes of thirteen year old Elizabeth Hardy. On October fifteenth of 1954 Hurricane Hazel moved all the way from the coast of Grenada up the US coast and then landed right here in Vaughan. It was a real life disaster that hit right here in our own backyards. The Hurricane flooded much of Vaughan, especially around Weston and the Humber River.

Elizabeth is used to the Humber river spilling over its banks in the spring because of snowmelt, but when it starts to rain weeks on end in the middle of fall, she suspects something odd. One of her jobs during her daily routine is to babysit eleven year old David and seven year old Suzie McBride. She walks them home from school and babysits them for two hours. At first they just think of it as a lot of rain and that it has to stop soon. Elizabeth gets a little bit worried when she gets a call from David and Suzie’s parents telling her that they might come home late because of all of the rain and Elizabeth might have to stay the night. She begins to worry even more when the power goes out. She knows that for the rest of the night she is responsible for two children.

All seems well when everyone is in bed sleeping, but when she wakes up she realizes that the first floor is filled with at least two feet of water. With the water levels rising very fast, all three kids have to find a way to survive the flood. Once their second floor begins to fill with water as well, they know that they are in serious trouble. They go from the second floor, to the rafters in the roof and finally on top of the roof. Once they think they are safe on the roof of their house, their house starts moving out of its foundations and moving down river in the flood. Elizabeth, David and Suzie are “safe as houses”, which in this case is not that safe at all.

This book was very thrilling and fast paced. It was a real life historical adventure that happened right around the corner at the Humber River. The book was fascinating because it was a devastating moment in Canadian history, but the plot and situation were both dangerous and exciting. Eric Walters has written so many great novels and Safe As Houses is a perfect read for anyone.

Theodore Boone: The Accused

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Theodore Boone: The Accused is the third book in the Theodore Boone series written by John Grisham. Theodore Boone is Strattenburg’s local kid lawyer. Both his parents are lawyers, so he knows quite a bit about the law. Along with this, he’s a pretty nosy kid. In fact, he has gotten into some very dangerous places in the past and has been part of his fair share of trouble. However, in The Accused, Theo doesn’t go looking for trouble, rather, trouble comes to him. While Theo is living a regular life as an eight grader, the last thing he expects is to get accused of crime.

Theo comes to school one day to find that his locker has been robbed; he can’t find his asthma inhalers or his Minnesota Twins cap. Later that day, his bike tire gets punctured by what seems to be the work of a penknife, and his home office at his parents’ law firm gets pelted with rocks. A few days later, a computer store on Main Street called Big Mac’s gets robbed and the police receive an anonymous tip that Theo has the stolen goods in his locker.

The police come to Theo’s school pull him out of class, question him and then go to his locker only to find the stolen goods. Theo tries to tell them that he has been set up, but they aren’t buying it. To Theo and his family, it is pretty clear that he has been framed, but there is too much evidence against him. At the robbed computer store they find Theo’s belongings, his inhaler and his Twins cap. His life is over; the whole town is gossiping that Theo Boone, the only child of two lawyers is accused of theft. The sabotaging continues relentlessly, his bike tires get punctured twice more and he is being followed and photographed coming out of the police station. Theo has to find out who is behind this all and get his name cleared before the police take him in.

This book was very involving and it made me feel like I was right there. This was a great feeling because it was really exciting, but at the same time it made me feel worried as if I was being accused just like Theo. It was both a thrilling and adventurous novel. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes a real life crime thriller with high stakes.

 

The Book Thief

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The Book Thief is a well-written book by Markus Zusak and has won many awards and has also been adapted into a film. In this book, a young girl named Liesel Meminger lives in Germany during World War II under the rule of Adolph Hitler. Her mother abandons her, leaving her alone with her younger brother, who unexpectedly dies on the train ride to her foster parents’ home. During her brother’s burial, she manages to steal a book from the grave digger and from there, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery but she struggles to understand the horrors of the Nazi regime.

One day, her foster father, Hans Hubermann, agrees to teach her how to read secretly and she slowly learns how to read and write and goes to school like other children. When suddenly, a family friend asks the Hubermann family for a favor; to help hide a Jewish man named Max. Hiding a Jewish person during World War II in Germany one of the bravest decisions anyone can make. And so, Liesel develops a friendship with Max and also learns of the real reason why her father died and her mother disappeared and why she was abandoned as Hitler rises to power in Germany. During this time, she also starts to steal books from the mayor’s wife who doesn’t seem to mind. Max is forced to leave one night and shortly after, Hans is also conscripted to join the war. So Liesel decides to start writing her own book, called The Book Thief. She spends most of her time writing in her basement and one night, her street is bombed.

In all, The Book Thief was a beautifully written book that has a very unique style of narration. The story itself is captivating and I really enjoyed reading the book. I would definitely recommend The Book Thief to anyone who wants to read an enthralling yet moving novel that involves friendship, courage and love during war.