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Summary: "They’re from two different worlds.He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.
With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…"
Review: I've enjoyed Miranda Kenneally's previous books, and Racing Savannah is another great addition to the Hundred Oaks series. It could be read as a standalone, though because it features different characters.
I really liked Savannah. She's tough and unafraid of going after what she wants in life. She stands up for herself and doesn't let anyone treat her poorly. Family is important to her, and she works hard to help her dad as much as she can financially. Over the course of the novel, she demonstrates growth as she learns not to judge rich people all the same.
I found myself alternately loving and hating Jack (much like Savannah!). He's not perfect, and he makes some mistakes, but ultimately he does redeem himself and show some character growth, too. Also, Savannah and Jack have great chemistry. The secondary characters are a nice addition, especially Rory and Vanessa. I love that Savannah is able to have a close guy friend that is purely platonic - no love triangle here. And Rory and Vanessa's blossoming relationship is just too adorable.
I don't really know much about horse racing, but it was fun to live vicariously through Savannah in that world. The setting was well-described and I felt like I was there. It really made me want to visit Franklin, Tennessee again. Pick this one up if you're looking for an engaging coming-of-age story with a sweet romance and realistic characters. -Reviewed by Brittany, Information Assistant at TCPL
When Ella of Frell was born, a fairy named Lucinda gave her the gift of obedience. Unfortunately, now that Ella is older, she feels that this gift is more of a curse. She has to obey every command given to her - no matter what it is or who gives the order. Ella tries to think of creative ways to rebel, and her sense of humor sustains her through difficult times.
After Ella's mother passes away, she finds herself with a new stepmother and stepsisters who love to boss her around. When Ella is forced to attend finishing school with her stepsisters, she decides that it is time to track down Lucinda and convince her to take back the curse. Ella embarks on a journey through the forest, encountering elves, ogres, and giants along the way.
This is a wonderful retelling of the Cinderella tale. Ella is a strong, ambitious heroine who doesn't need to be rescued by anyone. While she is beautiful, the prince admires her mostly for her sense of humor and kind spirit. Ella's friendship with the prince develops over the course of the novel, but she fears that her curse will endanger him if his enemies learn of it. Ella Enchanted is sweet, funny, and heartwarming.
You may have heard of the movie starring Anne Hathaway that is loosely based on this book. Personally, I liked the book a lot more than the movie. If you've read the book and seen the movie, let us know which one you prefer! - Reviewed by Brittany, Information Assistant at TCPL
While Danica McKellar may be best known for being an actress (she starred on The Wonder Years and more recently, The West Wing), she is also an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education.
In recent years, much media coverage has been given to the fact that the math scores of students in the U.S. are lagging behind their peers around the world. Studies show that girls' scores in particular start to fall in middle school.This could be due to some of the negative social messages girls receive - that math is hard and that it is something they should be afraid of.
McKellar's book, Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, challenges the notion that girls can't do math. The author serves as a great role model for girls because she used to be terrified of math before she started to finally understand it and even enjoy it. In this book she shares stories of real women who overcame their math phobia and went on to successful careers. McKellar provides instruction on middle school math concepts that cause the most confusion and includes plenty of real-world examples that demonstrate why these concepts are important.She also includes several memory tricks she created throughout the years for remembering tricky math concepts. Reading this book is like having your own personal tutoring session with the author.
Also included in the book is a troubleshooting guide and a "Smart Girl's Resource Guide" for more help and inspiration. This informative and visually appealing book is a must-read for any young girl struggling with math. I wish it had been around when I was in middle school! Parents, teachers, and tutors may also be interested in this book. - Reviewed by Brittany, Information Assistant at TCPL