Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 356
Bella just moved to America from Italy, to send money back to her family. Yetta joined her sister in America from Russia years ago. Jane is the daughter of a wealthy American man. Three very different girls, about to be caught up in problems they never could have imagined.
I really liked the main storyline in this book. There were plenty of things that surprised me, but nothing was so surprising that it seemed like it didn’t fit with the story. I also liked that it alternated between three different points of view. I feel like most books have 1, 2 or 4.
I read this book for history. It is about the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire. I felt that I learned a lot about the fire and women’s suffrage. At the end of the book, the author put a section talking about the actual historical events that took place. After reading that I was amazed at how many of the events in the book actually happened.
My favorite character is Yetta. I like her because she is a big part of the strike that happens before the fire. I also like her determination. I felt like this book did a really good job of making it seem like no one character was the main character, and that all three of them split that role.
Book: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Author: Alan Bradley
Page Count: 306
Flavia loves chemistry, poisons, chemistry, poisons, and chemistry. But when she finds a dead man the garden in her family manor, she has to prove to the inspector (and the world) that she can solve this case before the police.
I loved the main character, Flavia, because of her obsession with chemistry, and her quirky attitude. I got the impression throughout the book that in her normal life, she just wanted to be left alone by everyone, to sit endlessly in her chemistry lab, only coming out to test her (non-lethal) poisons on her sisters. I got this impression because all of the supporting characters felt like minor characters, and Flavia spent the majority of the book alone investigating the mystery.
Another thing about this book I liked was its unique plot. Though it may sound like your common murder mystery, it is far from it. It has a few strange plot twists and an underlying storyline in the form of a chemistry experiment, which (I think) is much more important than the main plot.
I don’t think that I have anything negative to say about this book. The only thing I might say is that I felt like some characters could have had more backstory than the tiny bit we saw.
If you like mysteries, books, reading, or not reading, you should read this book.
Book: The One and Only Bob
Author: Katherine Applegate
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Animal Fiction
Page Count: 296
After Ivan (a gorilla) and Ruby (a baby elephant) took up residence in a local zoo, Bob decided that it would be okay to live with humans instead of being a street dog like he had been almost his entire life. So, he moved in with Julia and her family. But on a visit to the zoo to see Ivan and Ruby, disaster strikes in the form of a tornado ravaging through town. It separated Bob from Julia, demolishing the zoo, and set animals free, that should have been kept caged
This is the sequel to The One And Only Ivan, which was inspired by the real Ivan the gorilla, but Bob, the main character of this book, was completely fictional in both these books. I did notice that some small parts of this book reflected Ivan’s true story, such as Ivan using walking on burlap bags in the morning to avoid getting wet.
I really enjoyed this book, Bob was my favorite character in The One And Only Ivan, because of his wily nature. I was really excited when I found out there was a whole book from his point of view.
One of the things I liked about this book was that there were many new characters, while not completely blocking out the old characters.. I feel like you don’t really get that a lot with realistic fiction sequels.
If you read The One And Only Ivan and liked it, you should definitely read this.
Book: Chasing Secrets
Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 278
Lizzie Kennedy is the daughter of a doctor, and has been learning the trade herself. However, when rumors of the plague strike San Francisco, she doesn’t know what to believe. When their beloved cook, Jing, goes missing, she knows she has to do something, even if she doesn’t know what.
I really liked this book, mostly because of the main character Lizzie. She goes to a ladies school and absolutely hates it, as they have no sciences, math, or (in her opinion) anything interesting whatsoever. The other girls see her as an oddity and Lizzie can’t help but feel that she can’t fit in. So instead she makes company out of books because, as she says, “A book is a friend you can take wherever you go.”
Once again, I read this book for history. As opposed to the last book I read in The Gilded Age, I thought that it showed me a bit of what life could be like for the wealthier people of that time. This was a large contrast to everything else I read.
In this book many people doubt the existence of the plague, which reminds me of what is going on in our world with Covid 19. Everyone is getting fed information from a lot of different sources (some of them contradicting each other) just like in this book.
Overall, I think you should read this book, and you should definitely read it if you like historical fiction or whacky characters.