Laurie Halse Anderson

See Something Say Something

Although high school can be a fun place, it can also be a place associated with dreadfulness. This is the case for Melinda Sordino. While trying to navigate her way in high school, Melinda finds it to be full of cliques or clans, as she calls them. However, she falls into the clan of the Outcasts, and sadly, she is the sole member.

Melinda is an outcast due to one catastrophic event that happens at a party. As a result of trying to do the right thing, she is ostracized; she has lost her friends. This novel explores the dynamics of man vs. man, man vs. society, and man vs. self.

I really like how Halse allows Melinda to narrate her story. There are a few times when people talk to her, and she responds. But there are other times when people talk to her, and she does not say a word; the only thing that can be heard is silence. It is the lack of words that lets readers know that whatever has happened to Melinda is extremely traumatizing.

I also like how this novel focuses on Melinda’s classmates who are viewed as powerless due to censorship by Mr. Neck, a teacher at Meadow Merryweather High School; however, one student, David Petrakis, fights back. David becomes one of Melinda’s true friends who encourages her to speak up like the Women Suffragettes.

Lastly, this book reminds me of Fomba, a character in The Book Negroes. This character suffers a tragedy so great in his life that he loses his ability to speak. Although their experiences are different, their suffering is the same – the inability to be heard. Will Melinda ever her find her voice? Read Speak but do not be surprised if you are at times, speechless.

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Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Walking Dead, Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars

The Walking Dead, Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars opens with the group, led by Rick Grimes, searching for a place that they can call home. On their journey, they discover a prison, which looks to be a promising salvation for these weary travelers. But before this new residence can be called a permanent home, it must be cleared of certain inhabitants, zombies. In addition to the zombies, they meet Dexter, Axel, Andrew, and Thomas, prisoners who have been locked in the cafeteria.

Even though some of the prisoners have been incarcerated for various crimes, Rick’s group and Dexter’s group are coexisting because they have the basic necessities in life: food and shelter. Hence, life for them is great right now. Besides, when travelers are beyond exhausted and inmates are experiencing a new freedom and do not know how to survive in an apocalypse, it would make sense for them to live together in a peaceful manner.  

Expectedly, the parents continue to experience challenges with raising their children, which requires more energy due to this apocalypse. Also, as with the previous volumes, death is inevitable in this new world. The loss of life will cause some of the residents to experience a hurt that will be everlasting. For the readers, they will ponder if there really is safety behind bars. 

Who dies? Who is the murderer? Have the deaths fractured the relationships in Rick’s group? Have the deaths caused an end to the tranquility between both groups? How will the residents move forward together? What does Rick discover at Shane’s grave? Read this Volume 3 to find out the answers to these questions. Note: AMC’s prison storyline is much different than the graphic novel. Therefore, if you have not read the book, do so because you will be surprised.

#comicbook #graphicnovels #thewalkingdead #thewalkingdeadamc #Thewalkingdeadcomic #thewalkingdeadcomics #thewalkingdeadfamily #thewalkingdeadfan #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading’s Rating =  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Don’t You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey

Read Something Say Something

Siblings, Tish and Matt Bonner, have a tough life at home. Their parents have an extremely rocky marriage. Their mom is so obsessed with pleasing their dad that she neglects not only herself but also Tish and Matt. What is worse is that their father cannot keep a job, and he stays away from home for periods at a time. When Mr. Bonner is at home, he is abusive: physically, verbally, and mentally.

Even though their mom is the head of the household, when their father is not at home, it is actually Tish who makes sure that she and Matt have what they need. Tish is the only person providing a stable life for Matt. He recognizes this, and he looks to his sister for security. But who is there to help Tish?

Fortunately, Mrs. Dunphrey provides Tish with an outlet — writing — but this is not the typical journal assignment. Students can write about anything in their journals, but if they don’t want Mrs. Dunphrey to read a particular entry, then they simply write at the top of the page, “Do not read.” What happens when her mom reaches her lowest point? What happens when Tish has to become an adult at 16? Will she write about her family struggles in her journal? Will she allow Mrs. Dunphrey to read her journal entries? Will she write, β€œDo not read” at the top of her journal entries?

This is my second time reading this novel, and it still has a profound affect on me. As an educator, I have had the opportunity to help many Tishes and Matts. It is heartbreaking to see students endure adult situations in which their teenage minds are not mature enough to handle the stress that accompanies them. But like Mrs. Dunphrey, we help our students within our legal rights. Although this novel is fiction, it is true in many ways. It is a must read! It is a good read!

#margaretpetersonhaddix #bibliophile #blog #blogger #bloggerlife #books #bookblogger #bookreview #bookshelf #childabuse #diaries #newblogpost #ontheblogtoday #read #reader #reading #yalit #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading’s Rating =🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Family Business 2 Carl Weber

The drama continues!

The Duncan’s are not seeing eye-to-eye due Orlando’s newly created drug, H.E.A.T., and Chippy expresses her feelings about this money-making drug, which catches Orlando off guard. However, a close encounter with death causes the Duncan family to value life even more and not be at odds with one another. Chippy also demonstrates just how far she will go to protect her family; she is a fierce mother and grandmother whose love is truly everlasting. Moreover, Carl Weber introduces two characters, Sasha and Trent, to add to the family drama. I recommend reading this novel because like the first installment of The Family Business, it is also a page-turner.

#carlweber #africanamerican #author #authorlove #bet #afamilybusinessnovel #thefamilybusiness #blog #blogger #bookblogger #bloggerlife #bookcover #bookreview #favoriteauthor #mystery #newblogpost #ontheblogtoday #newblogpost #read #urbanfiction #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Eric Jerome Dickey

The Tangled Web of Gideon

Although I am no stranger to Eric Jerome Dickey’s novels, I have not read the Gideon Series. I have read many reviews about this series, but I just have not read these particular books, so I decided that there is no better time like the present than to start reading about Gideon, the infamous hit man.

Sleeping with Strangers opens with major drama. Chapter 1 immediately interests me because Gideon, a hired killer is contracted to eliminate a minister. I’m thinking, “Surely, he will not kill the reverend.” Then, I say, “Wait a minute, won’t he go to hell if he kills a man of God?” Well, the clergyman does not make it; Gideon takes his life, receives his payment, and heads out of town. I am floored to learn that the minister’s wife wanted him dead. She discovers that he has cheated on her, and she exacts her revenge. Like the old saying goes, “Hell hath the no fury like a woman scorned.” In the King James Bible, Galatians 6:7 says it best, “…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Hence, it is apparent that this man of the cloth must have overlooked and/or disregarded this particular scripture.

On a flight to England, Gideon meets Mrs. Jones, a consistent crier; Lola, a chatterbox; and indirectly, the mysterious man with whom he has business; he just does not know it yet. He is also searching for Thelma, his mother, and Arizona, a woman from his past and a character from Thieves’ Paradise. These characters take Gideon on a roller coaster ride, which abruptly stops and leaves readers rushing to purchase or check out the sequel, Waking with Enemies.

Because the suspense is at an all time high, I strongly recommend reading Sleeping with Strangers. If you have not read an EJD novel, then this is a great introduction. You will not be disappointed.

#ejd #ericjeromedickey #africanamerican #africanamericanmen #author #bibiophile #book #bookblogger #booklove #bookreview #favoriteauthor #literature #newblogpost #ontheblog #plot #read #reader #reading #readinglist #romance #suspense #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Michael Hague Book

Kate Culhane: A Ghost Story (An Irish Tale)

Captured by the title and the cover, this book seemed interesting to me. But after I read the description, I checked it out at the library. Upon receiving this book, I immediately read it.

Based on an Irish tale, a Kate Culhane: Ghost Story will make its readers cringe, think aloud, and think twice about being in a cemetery or eating oatmeal. When reading this Irish folklore, I instantly liked Kate Culhane because she is strong, mentally and physically. She proves this when she accidentally stumbles upon a ghost’s grave.

Before even revealing itself, this ghost quickly starts making demands. He orders Kate to do things such as open his grave, carry him to a house on her back, and get him items while in the house. As I read this, I said aloud, “He sure is a bossy ghost, and she needs to tell it to do these things himself.” Remember, he is dead. However, I was really through with this demanding phantom when he orders Kate to eat the special oatmeal. I said, “He has lost his mind; I hope she passes on this meal!” Now, why he chooses to do what he does with the oatmeal is beyond disgusting.

When it is time for Kate to carry this obnoxious spirit back to his grave, he inadvertently reveals two things that he should have kept to himself. Then he tries to make Kate keep these secrets by taking her to his grave with him. Will Kate lose this battle with the pushy ghost? Will she ever find happiness? What does the ghost do to the oatmeal? Read this story to find out.

When it is time for Kate to carry this obnoxious spirit back to his grave, he inadvertently reveals two things that he should have kept to himself. Then he tries to make Kate keep these secrets by taking her to his grave with him. Will Kate lose this battle with the pushy ghost? Will she ever find happiness? What does the ghost do to the oatmeal? Read this story to find out.

#michaelhague #author #bibliophile #book #bookblogger #bookreview #elementarynonfiction #folklore #irish #library #literature #read #reader #reading #stories #teennonfiction #zombies #alwasyforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Living in the Middle A. Robert Allen

A Stain of Shame and Darkness Descended Upon on America

Always Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

When his father unexpectedly dies, James (Jimmy) Montgomery, III learns that he is biracial, the “mother” who raised him is not his biological mother, and his birth mother is black. After the funeral, Jimmy attends Columbia University at the expense of Mrs. Montgomery as long as he does not cause any “trouble”. If and when he graduates, Mrs. Montgomery’s business arrangement with Jimmy will be complete, and they will never again see one another.

Now, a Columbia graduate, Jimmy moves to Harlem to live with Benjamin, the family cook. He must also decide whether to live his life as a black man, as a white man, or as a man living in the “middle”. Because this is not an easy decision to make, Benjamin and Milton Washington, his soon-to-be best friend, guide him; however, Jimmy is the one to make the final choice.

While living in Harlem, Jimmy is adjusting to life, and it seems to be going okay until he has an encounter with some white men. It is this trouble that causes him to leave Harlem, and Benjamin urges him to visit his mother in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Upon his arrival to Tulsa, the Greenwood community (Tulsa’s black neighborhood) is not so accepting of him even though his mother is a well-respected member. But lovingly, Jimmy’s mother accepts her son into her life, and he finally learns what it means to have a mother’s unconditional love. However, if readers are familiar with the Tulsa race riot of 1921, then they can deduce that Jimmy’s arrival in Greenwood is not the end of this story; it is only the beginning. Living in the Middle will take readers on a historical journey before, during, and after the 1921 race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, readers should be prepared to experience emotions that will make them shake their heads in disgust.

Because I read Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by Scott Ellsworth, A. Robert Allen sent me an email to ask me if I would provide an honest review of Living in the Middle. The title alone captured my interest, so I agreed to read this novel. Allen’s novel makes readers feel as if they are living during this era and experiencing every occurrence that takes place. It also depicts these events in an accurate manner, which will make his audience question why and how mankind could be so cruel to one another. This book forces individuals to see the stain of shame and darkness that descended upon America. Moreover, Living in the Middle is a thought-provoking, informational, and suspenseful novel that I truly enjoyed reading. After reading this novel, I plan to read other books by Allan. Lastly, I would also like to thank A. Robert Allen for asking me to write this review.

#arobertallen #africanamerican #amazon #author #bibliophile #black #blackbusiness #blackhistory #blackexcellence #blackpeople #blacklivesmatter #blackwallstreet #book #bookblogger #booklove #booklover #bookreview #bookertwashington #literature #racism #read #reader #reading #webdubois #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

The Man in 3B Carl Weber

Daryl Graham moves into Apartment 3B, and he is the man that every woman loves but every man despises. He is on parole with two strikes, so he is trying to start his life anew. Life’s great until Krystal, an old girlfriend, reappears; he becomes Connie’s personal trainer; Benny is outed for being gay; Connie’s husband confronts Daryl; and Benny’s father is arrested for causing the fire in 3B, which kills Daryl. Who killed him? Read the novel and be shocked.

#carlweber #africanamerican #africanamericanfiction #author #authorlove #bibliophile #blogger #blog #bloggerlife #book #bookblogger #booklove #booklover #bookreview #favoriteauthor #literature #murder #mystery #newblogpost #ontheblog #plot #read #reader #reading #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Great but Difficult Read

Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger

I placed this book on hold at my local library and could not wait to receive it. When I finally did receive it, I immediately began reading it. In Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation, John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger focus on the institution of slavery but from the perspective of the slave. This novel depicts the horrors that slaves regularly endured.

Although this a good book, I am having an extremely difficult time reading it because the details are GRAPHIC. One example about a pregnant slave is absolutely horrendous. Franklin and Schweninger write, “One overseer admitted that he tied a female slave’s hands, put her head down a steep hill, placed a log under her belly and administered several hundred lashes. He ‘whipped her so brutally’ that the woman, who was pregnant, miscarried and ‘was Seriously injured and disabled.'” 

To me, this disregard for human life is a disgrace on every level, and after reading about this incident, I just put down the book and began reading some lighter novels while still trying to read Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation. It finally got to the point that I made the decision to postpone reading this novel for now. However, my intent is to finish reading this book, just not right now.

#johnhopefranklin #lorenschweninger #adultnonfiction #africa #author #blackhistory #bloggerlife #book #bookblogger #bookshelf #injustice #library #literature #newblogpost #ontheblog #read #readinglist #slavery #slaveryinamerica #alwaysforeverreading