Sunday, September 17, 2017

Why do I read?

Why do I read? I often find myself pondering this question in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep and my thoughts are the only ones keeping me company. I’m a reader for various reasons. In fact, I can’t just give you a reason. It’s not only that I am fascinated as to how authors connect words to form beautiful sentences. How do they do it?! It’s not only that some stories are so inspiring that once you are done reading the book, you think anything is possible. It’s not the gorgeous illustrations on children’s books. It’s so many things.

I started to read books when my parents decided to move from Los Angeles to the city we currently live. I remember that I loved going to the library in Los Angeles. My mom would take me to the Florence Library in Los Angeles. I loved it! My mom would sit on one of those small children’s chair and watch me as I picked a book to read. Who am I kidding? I picked lots of books. She had to put some books back because the walk back home was exhausting. Carrying all those books and a bag full of pan dulce plus a gallon of milk can be hard. (Okay, I know this library deserves another story.)

 At the elementary school I attended I loved the library. The library was a small place filled with giant plush toys on top of the bookshelves. I vividly remember a huge Clifford. All the tables had dark blue castle-shaped pencil holders. I love that library. Yet, I don’t remember reading much.I just remember going to the library.

So we moved to this new city in 2000. Honestly, I thought it was the worst thing that happened to me as a kid in the middle of 4th grade. In my mind, I was so like the girl version of Scottie Smalls. I did not have many friends in this new boring city. So I found solace in books. No one could bother me and no one could judge me because I did not have nice, pretty clothes or shoes. The book that comes to mind is Faith and the Electric Dogs by Patrick Jennings. I read this book over and over and over. I may have shed a tear here and there, I just wanted to be able to get in a box and fly away like Faith!

Then, my teacher Ms. Owen’s began reading to us each day after recess this book called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Little did I know, what this book would do for me and so many kids my age. So I found a friend in reading. Books were one of my first friends, when I moved from Los Angeles.

Life did not get any easier in middle school. Once again, I was an outcast. Same story but meaner kids. The library was my safe haven. Let’s be honest, bullies don’t really go to the library. In high school, I read so many books and I met one of the most kindest librarians. Now this is another story for another day.

A few years later, I read because I just … love reading! I love being able to read and learn new information or escape to a different place with the comfort of a warm cup of tea by my side. Now that I work with middle school kids, I hope to help them find a book that makes them lifelong readers.  

Post by Raisa

Monday, September 11, 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon By David Grann

Hey, all!
We hope everyone's been doing well. I would like to apologize for not posting some book reviews in awhile. School and work has started up again for us; So we're trying to get back into the swing of things. We'll be posting book reviews as often as we possibly can. Now on to the book review.

Now, I don't know about all of you but I love murder-mystery books. When Flowers of the Killer Moon by David Grann came out I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. If you're not sure what this book is about here’s a little bit that you can expect to read about. This is the story of a  true-life murder mystery that took place in the 1920s. David Genn reveals a shocking crime, where twenty-four Native Americans were murdered. Reading about the historical tragedy really makes you think about how unfair life was. This book has made me think that from the past we have made it pretty far but of course, there still is some unfairness in this world. Now, that I've read this book not only have I learned so much about what our nation has gone through but it shows us how the FBI has come to be to help prevent and stop things like this from recurring in our history.

It's kinda sad that I have never heard of this tragedy before, especially since it happened about 100 years ago. With that being said without giving a lot away. I highly recommend this book not only is it a fast and good read but it's also a great book if you're interested and love to learn more about History.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

I first came across Brian Selznick’s work last year one afternoon at work. I was browsing through the books at works to see which book caught my attention. I stopped in the “S” and the book Wonderstruck might attention. The spine of the book was huge and I wanted to see what the book was about. Okay let me fast forward and tell you, if you have not done some you definitely need to read Selznick’s books! Selznick’s writes beautiful young adult stories that transport us back in time and in the present. He has a unique way of storytelling. Plus, his illustrations are beautiful pages of artwork.



It’s been a few years since I have been meaning to read The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but for some reason or another, it simply had not happened until two weeks ago. I was not aware that Selznick wrote this book. The story is about an orphan, clock keeper, and thief, a young boy by the name of Hugo. Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. As to why he is living in the train station, well I will not ruin the story for you. I feel like this story is told through words and through the illustrations. So I recommend you take your time observing each page. Do I recommend this book? Absolutely. It took me about two days to finish the book. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the book. Once you read The Invention of Hugo Cabret read the other stories by Selznick. All his books are true masterpieces.

Book reviewed by Raisa

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things By Jenny Lawson

For this weeks book review, we thought we should do a joined review. We both read Furiously Happy A funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. Both of us have been wanting to read this for some time now; so on our latest trip to Barnes and Noble, we decided we should finally pick it up. Now here on our blog, we're never going to spoil a book for you and we have reasons why.


Hey Everyone!
Paige here, I’m beyond excited for this review because this is our first joined review! Now, all of us struggle with something during our life at one point or another. In Furiously Happy Jenny Lawson shares her experiences battling with many diagnoses. While reading this you will say "WOW so I'm not the only one that has gone through something like this" well at least that is something that I said while reading through this book. I have to say this Is a must read for anyone but especially if you or someone you know suffers from anxiety, depression or anything else for that matter. Not only will learn you are not alone out there with whatever you are possibly going through but you also see there are ways you can deal with your personal battles and possibly later down the road laugh about what you have gone through. Just remember that no matter what it is you're going through it's going to make you a stronger person down the road. Do you love the Raccoon on the front cover or is it just me? I know when i first saw it I couldn't help but laugh plus there's a great story behind it!


Hey all,
This is Raisa and I am super excited for our first joined review! Okay, let me get to the review right away. Is it weird if I could relate to so many of the stories Jenny Lawson wrote about? I thought I was the only one who hid from people! Glad I’m not the only one. Seriously, this book tackles depression, anxiety, and life in a hilarious way. I read a few chapters of the book when I was in the waiting room at the dentist. What perfect time to be laughing out loud, when people are nervous about their tooth extraction and then there is this complete stranger laughing like a maniac! Gosh, makes for an interesting visit. Ha! Yes, I had a couple of funny stares.

I recommend this book to anyone who has suffered or is suffering from depression, anxiety and or any other mental illness. I also recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand mental illness. Lawson writes about a topic that is not easy to write about because it is so personal, yet the way she writes about it, it is funny. Her stories are relatable! At this point, you should be ordering your copy or heading to your local library and start reading this book! Plus, it has some hilarious pictures. We all love hilarious pictures, right? Comment below and on our Instagram and let us know what you think!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dare to be Kind by Lizzie Velasquez


A few month ago, I heard Lizzie Velasquez was releasing another book. I was super ecstatic and I could not wait to read her book. If you do not know who Lizzie Velasquez, I kindly invite you to watch this short thirteen-minute YouTube video.

Link: How do you define yourself?

So if you saw the video, you got to learn a bit about Lizzie.

I first heard about Lizzie Velasquez about three years ago. What quickly caught my attention is how Lizzie spoke about spreading kindness. Here was a young woman who was bullied online and how she chose to instead of allowing people to continue making fun of her, she turned it into something positive. She decided to stand up for herself and help others who are being bullied. In the book Dare to be Kind: How Extraordinary Compassion Can Transform Our World, Lizzie Velasquez discussed her experienced about being bullied as a child in school and online. Throughout, the book she discussed how everyday acts can create a more positive and friendly environment for children and adults alike. Furthermore, Velasquez mentions how the right attitude helps us overcome obstacles such as bullying, illness, and depression.

Two chapters particularly caught my attention. First, the chapter in which she talks about being officially given a name for her disorders after twenty-something years of not knowing. The other chapter that was of particular interest was the one in which Lizzie talks about her love life. I won’t spoil any of the chapters or the books for you.

Although, I knew part of her story at times I felt like certain parts were repetitive. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is experiencing any sort of bullying,
works with children or want to learn to see a difficult situation into something that can be a learning lesson.

If you read the book, please let us know your opinion!

Book reviewed by Raisa

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

     I know I'm a little late in reading this book but I guess when the book is a classic it can never be too late. I’ve been hearing about this book for some time now, but I never thought of picking it up until recently. When I was reading through the introduction I couldn't help but find it really interesting. Here in America A Clockwork Orange the book only has seven chapters, but in other Countries, the book might have up to twenty chapters; if you're lucky you might accidentally stumble upon a rare copy that has the original twenty-one chapters. When I first decided to read this book I decided not to read any reviews that's mainly because I didn't want to go in already having other people's thoughts on this book clouding my mind.
     So now on with my review! This book is dark and if you’re like me I love dark books. There are many violent acts or should I say violent thoughts that appear throughout the entire book. I didn't want to book the book down because I always wanted to know what was going to happen. It took me a bit longer to actually finish the book but that's mainly because of my busy schedule at the time. Some of the language used was definitely different and sometimes hard to follow but the more I read the book the more I was able to decipher the language without a problem. There are many twists and turns that come with this particular novel, and if you haven’t read it yet I highly suggest that you do. This is actually going to be added into my must-reads list. After reading the book I'm very curious about how the movie is. Have any of you read the book or even seen the movie? Leave a comment down below we would love to read your thoughts.

Book reviewed by Paige

If you have any books you want to us to review or you think we would enjoy a certain book; leave the suggested book title and author's name in the comments and we will get to it as soon as we possibly can!


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Chemistry by Weike Wang

Who has not at some point in their life felt like everything was falling apart and life was a mess? I picked up Chemistry by Weike Wang because the brief preview on Book of the Month’s caught my attention. I thought the book was going to be humorous and even inspiring, but once I got to page 115 I kept wondering where is this story going? The narrator talks about her not being able to finish her Ph.D. I won’t spoil it, but something happens in the lab that made me say, “Oh yeah, I would do that too!” At first, I could relate it is hard trying to complete a master’s or a Ph.D, but then I felt she was playing the blame game. Using the excuse of having a difficult relationship with her parents, is really not an excuse to not having the enthusiasm of finishing school. Then to top it all off, her relationship with her boyfriend is just confusing.

I mean the book is good, but maybe not my cup of tea. My favorite quote in the book was “What J.K. Rowling said during a commencement speech: There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you”.  You can never go wrong with a J.K. Rowling quote!


So if you read the book, let us know what you think!

Book reviewed by Raisa