Sunday, May 27, 2007

May NF Selection and a JF...

I've been reading a lot since I made it home from my honeymoon, being that I ended up sick in bed with strep throat for 2 days, therefore I have a whole bunch of reviews to get up here in the next couple of days. For today, we have my 1st month's selection for the Non-Fiction 5 challenge, that being A Dad Shaped Hole in My Heart and the newest Newbery award winner, The Higher Power of Lucky. One was fantastic, the other not-so-great.

A Dad Shaped Hole in My Heart by H. Norman Wright, was the not-so-great selection. My father passed away when I was 9 years old, but I have never really read a "self-help" book about losing a father. I believe that I have grown up well, having only one parent, though I know that I have a few issues that probably stem from growing up "fatherless." Right after I became a Christian, I saw this book in the bookstore and the subtitle: "How God Wants to Heal the Wounds Left by Your Earthly Father" caught me and convinced me to buy the book. I was still learning how to look to God as my father and figured this would be a pretty good start (even though I'm just now getting around to actually reading it).

Though this book does not center on only individuals whose fathers have actually died, but instead on simply being "fatherless." Whether that is being one whose father has left the family, betrayed him or her, or just isn't there in presence or emotions, the book does cover all the angles.

Wright has created a book that focuses on how instead of being depressed or feeling distraught over being "fatherless,"we should instead pray to the Lord and he will resolve us of those feelings. A great sentiment that does indeed help, but often, God wants us to do more or He knows that we need more of a solution to this aspect of our lives. Those prayers to Him for resolve of depression or pain, often lead us to other actions, which can be excellent for our self worth and our wellbeing. I just feel that Wright was a bit too "preachy" and makes the reader feel as if the only solution is to pray and know that God is our true father and will always take care of us. This is very true, but we need to think beyond this box and have the Lord help us through our depression and our grief and our personal issues, rather than just know we are safe with Him. I'm not sure if any of this makes sense, but I'm trying to get my thoughts out there! This book gets a 4 out of 10 from moi.

Next, we have a simply delightful book, The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron, this years Newbery award winner. After all of the controversy surrounding this book and the author's use of the word "scrotum," I was a little wary as to what my feelings would be when I finished, however I was very pleasantly surprised and would really recommend this for all to read. I loved it!

Lucky is a young girl, somewhat lost in her life. Parentless for one reason or another, Lucky is cared for by her French guardian, a woman who desperately wants to return to Paris and resume her normal life. And Lucky is just plain desperate. She is on a constant search to find her "higher power" which she believes will make everything right in her life. When she finds out that Bridgette, her guardian, is indeed making plans to return to France, Lucky decides that running away is her only answer to staying out of orphanages and losing her dog.

I loved the plot of Patron's book, I loved the characters, and I loved the little anecdotes of wisdom that often accompany Lucky's thoughts. This is a must read for adults and children of all ages. 9 out of 10 from me! The one star deduction is mainly for the illustrations. I wasn't all that impressed with them, I thought they were a little "cartoonish" but hey, the story was great and that's what matters!

I'm almost done with my final selection for the Spring Reading Thing Challenge, that being The Prince of Tides, a reread for me. I'm also working my way through Sadie's Song by Linda Hall, which is turning out to be pretty good, despite my dislike of the first quarter of the book. Look for reviews soon. Have a great Memorial Day tomorrow!


Library Mama said...

I've been meaning to stop by for so long, and time has just not let me.


And thank you so much for adding me to your blogroll.

The Higher Power of Lucky is in my box of library books to read. This is a very busy time of year, though, and I hope I get a chance to finish it before it's due back.

Take care - and thanks again!

Literary Feline said...

I am glad you were able to find time to read, although not at all happy to hear the reason why. I hope you are feeling much better, Amanda.

I had heard mention of the controversy regarding The Higher Power of Lucky. It sounds like a worthwhile book. Maybe one the naysayers should actually read before passing judgement. :-)

zee said...

Hey Manda,
I understand what you mean about the "not so good" book you wrote about. Prayer does help but sometimes more is needed. We have to not only pray but seek to identify the wounds in our heart and where they are coming from. Then we need to let God heal those. It is painful to do this. We must rely on God's power to change how we feel and what we believe. We must work to discover the truth, and let the truth set us free.

Shannon said...

I'm new to your blog but I just wanted to stop by and say I am so impressed by the amount of books you have read this year! That is so awesome! I love your blog! Also congratulations on your marriage, may God bless you!

Debi said...

I've got The Higher Power of Lucky on my Newbery Challenge list...really looking forward to it. Glad to hear you recommend it!

Katya said...

Wow! I've missed so much of your postings! I haven't been back here in a while, figuring you'd be too busy to post. I hope you feel better soon.

booklogged said...

I'm looking forward to reading The Higher Power of Lucky for the Newbery Challenge. Sorry the first book wasn't as good.

Maggie said...

Loved Lucky! I had to write about it for the newspapers, not cos they assigned it, just cos the controversy was so uncalled for! (I didn't get one call bout changing the wording, either!)

I felt the word essential to wrapping up the book's story. She is now being adopted by an honest woman, whom she can ask anything. ;)

PS I thought you were doing the Southern Reading Challenge. It's way okay if you aren't, but for some reason I have you down for it...