Flashback September 2005

I’m flashing back to reviews from years past. Here is what I was reviewing in September 2005.

Confessions of a Teen Sleuth by Chelsea Cain. My review: “The premise: Nancy [Drew] is, and always was, real. That evil roommate of hers, Carolyn Keene, used her life and pedaled it as fiction. This book is Nancy’s chance to set the record straight.”

Good Brother, Bad Brother: the Story of Edwin Booth & John Wilkes Booth by James Cross Giblin. My review: “[John Wilkes Booth] was the younger son of a very well known actor, Junius Brutus Booth. JBB’s sons were also actors, including Edwin Booth. Both EB and JWB were well known and respected in their own right; JWB was not the failed actor/ wannabe that I seem to recall learning about. Both were making extremely good money (tho, as with actors today, they had good years and bad years.) In 1863, JWB made $1,000 for 4 performances. Up until April 1865, JWB was probably viewed as the “good son”, despite being an enthusiastic supporter of the South in a family that was more for the North. He was handsome, charming, and very popular with the ladies (JCG omits the many people claiming to be descendants of the never married JWB). EB was far from perfect; his drinking had caused professional and personal heartache. Then JWB killed the President. And the rest of the family was left to pick up the pieces. The media of the 19th century were no kinder than the media today.”

We Were Tired Of Living In A House by Liesel Moak Skorpen. My review: “This is one of my favorite picture books from when I was little. I read it over and over. I’m tempted to buy a copy so I can have the pleasure of owning it. The Plot: Three siblings are tired of living in a house, so they pack their bags and find a new home. A tree is fine… until they tumble out. Then they move onto a raft… until something happens and they move on to a new residence. They bring a memento from each home with them. At the end, they decide a house is best and go back home. The Good: I think this is my earliest “survivor” book. Yes, one can argue for the language, or the pattern storytelling; the fantasy element as the children pretend to set up housekeeping until, at the end of a day of make believe, they return home. For me, it was examining the details of illustrations and truly believing that this intrepid group was living in a tree. And a raft. And a cave. The illustrator for the edition I loved was Doris Burn, so I’ll need to hunt used book sales to get my own copy.”


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