Friday, December 19, 2014

Under Dog / Agatha Christie 215 p. Late Author Challenge


Under Dog / Agatha Christie 215 p.

Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of Sir Reuben Astwell.  Within 10 days of the crime, his nephew, Charles Leverson, is arrested by the police.  Poirot shows his genius in solving the puzzle.

Let's Be Jolly! / Janet Dailey 352 p.

Let's Be Jolly! / Janet Dailey 352 p.

Northern Magic tells of Shannon Hayes slow fall into love with Cody Steele, her Alaska pilot.  She is engaged with the magic starts.  She is looking for her missing fiance.  Alaska works its magic along with Cody's to give her what she wants for Christmas.

Bride of the Delta Queen has Selena Merrick taking a Christmas steamboat trip on the Mississippi River.  Selena will take the trip with Miss Julia Barkley until Miss Julia's fiance comes aboard.  Along the way, Miss Julia's nephew, Chance Barkley seems to be working to keep Miss Julia and her intended apart.  And he does strike a spark in Selena.

Bump in the Night / J. D. Robb 393 p.

Bump in the Night / J. D. Robb and three others 393 p.

Paranormal stories are the theme. 

Haunted in Death.  
Rad Hopkins is murdered in a locked building that comes complete with a ghost who just may be Bonnie Bray, the missing wife of the Hop Hopkins.  Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates.

Poppy's Coin
A down in his luck soldier takes responsibility for an orphan girl, Poppy.  Poppy gives him a coin that is magical- it grants wishes...that when it is the right wish.  It helps a widow and the soldier find happiness.

The Passenger
Josh and Grace, two workaholics, crash into an isolated area on an island where they have a chance to slow down and really meet that one special someone.

Mellow Lemon Yellow
An imaginary friend appears at Charlotte's father's funeral.  He has the worst fashion choice, sparkling ruby-red shoes with white sport socks coupled with football pants that disappear into a baggy black overcoat.  This stranger changes Charlotte's life for the better.


Study in Sherlock / 336 p.

Today's authors, Lee Child, Neil Gaiman, Charles Todd, and many others, write stories that are inspired by Sherlock Holmes stories.  In each you see the influence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, while each makes the story their own.

Prayers for Sale / Sandra Dallas 234 p.


Prayers for Sale / Sandra Dallas 234 p.

Hennie Comfort takes a newlywed under her wing. They meet when Nit Spindle comes in response to a sign at Hennie's house, Prayers For Sale.  Nit needs prayers for Sweet Baby Effie, her late baby daughter.  Hennie is neighborly and visits Nit.  The two grow closer.  Hennie looks out after her neighbor and her husband, Dick as folks did small rural. Towns.  Hennie comes to tell Nit her life story starting with her life with her first husband who died in the Civil War.  Hennie carries a dark secret with her that is only totally revealed at the end.  A poignant story.

Grace / Richard Paul Evans 213 p.

Grace / Richard Paul Evans 213 p.

Eric narrates his story when his family moved to a poor rural area.  There he and Joel build a club house out of old lumber.  While working at the local hamburger joint, he befriends Grace, an abused runaway.   Little did he know that when he helped Grace, she changed his life forever.  The story is a sad one, but redeeming.  Eric explains it this way:
What Grace planted in me will save generations from neglect and abuse.  I do not take credit for this, but I do take hope in it.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hard Country/Michael McGarrity/607 pgs

It has been a long time since I have read a Western, basically a few decades.  So when a friend recommended Hard Country, I was a little hesitant and when I saw it was 600+ pages I was even more hesitant.  Fortunately, I decided to give it a try and am glad I did, this was one of those books that grabs your attention and interest in the first few pages, doesn't let go, and leaves you wanting more!

This is what you would call a 'classic' Western; it is a family saga that spans from 1875 to 1918 that not only delves into the history, trials, and tribulations of the Kerney family, but it also celebrates Americana and the expansion of a nation through its fascinating people and the land of the great Southwest.  It is a story that includes love, loss, survival, sacrifice, lawlessness, virtue, Indian raids, cattle rustling, long standing feuds, murder and more.  Enjoy the way Michael McGarrity is able to transport you back in time as you read of the richly descriptive landscapes, historically accurate settings and become attached to the realistically developed characters.

Hard Country is the first in a trilogy.

Holly and Homicide: A Domestic Bliss Mystery/ Leslie Caine/ 352 pages/ December Challenge

Steven Sullivan and Erin Gilbert are in the small town of Snowdrop, CO in Holly and Homicide, book 7 in   Leslie Caine's series Domestic Bliss.  They have taken on the task of redecorating a Snowdrop mansion as it becomes a Bed and Breakfast.  Part of their job includes bringing the Twelve Days of Christmas to life in the various rooms to coincide with the Christmas's opening of the B and B.  Will building inspectors and murder delay the Inn's opening?

This book would appeal to anyone who likes Christmas mysteries with some crafting thrown in for fun.  See more information and read a likes at the SCCCLD catalog listing.

Here are a few recommendations for children's books for the holiday season:



Arthur's Perfect Christmas written by Marc Brown  For more info click here. 






Christmas Barn written by C. L. Davis  For more info click here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sweet Damage/Rebecca James/286 pgs.

The start of this book briefly reminded me of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca, which I hated. A chapter into the book, I was hooked. Tim Ellison is lucky to find a cheap room to rent, in what turns out to be a mansion. The only "catch" is that the  twenty year-old owner, Anna London, suffers from agoraphobia. In addition to working at his family restaurant, Tim will be somewhat responsible for Anna. So, you have a creepy mansion, a mysterious owner, the owner's friends--a brother and sister duo who happen to be lawyers, but are also somewhat "strange," and Tim's ex-girlfriend, Lilla. It makes for a very good psychological suspense/mystery, with a satisfying conclusion!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Scar Boys / Len Vlahos / 237 p.

Already feeling a bit of an outsider, Harry was severely burned as a child as a result of bullying on the part of neighborhood boys. His disfigurement does not make life as a teenager easy either.  But when Harry is befriended by Johnny, things turn around.  It gets even better when they decide to form a band--The Scar Boys. Harry goes from hiding as much as possible to taking control of his own destiny.  I liked the use of song titles for chapter headings.  As usual and even knowing swear words are a part of teenage culture, I always cringe a bit at their use in YA novels.  For the most part, though, the usage fit the situation.

Friday, December 12, 2014

FINALLY!!!!!

Can you believe it??!!!  Yes, the winners have been announced (http://scccldbc.blogspot.com/p/winners.html), and the prizes have been passed out!  I now have room for my feet under my desk!  Thank you all for a great 2013-2014 season, even though we didn't win, we are still a team to watch out for.

Boooooooo!!!!!!  :(
It looks like the new winners are happy with the trophy.  Lets hope they take good care of it, so it'll look just as shiny and beautiful
when it comes back to us.  :)


Yes, Welcome to the 2014-2015 Book Blog Challenge Season.  
Let the READING Begin!!!!

Turn Coat / Jim Butcher / 420 p.

Jim Butcher keeps getting better and better. I love how all of the characters develop and grow. Harry Dresden is so heroic while at the same time flawed and funny and surrounded by loyal allies. This time Morgan, the warden who has eagerly awaited the day he could catch Harry doing something against the laws of magic and kill him, actually has to come to Harry for help when he is accused of the murder of a leader of the White Council.  And, as often happens, there are dire consequences to those around Harry. Friends die in battle; Thomas--Harry's half-brother--is brutalized. But while Harry is able to prevent the worst from happening, things continue to march toward a showdown between the forces of good and evil.

As usual, James Marsters brings them to life with his masterful reading.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

SCCCLD December Challenge




The December Challenge will take you into the world of candy canes, cookies, reindeer, candles and more.  Read a novel that takes you into the Winter Wonderland of December Holidays. 

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even New Year's Eve will make those Silver Bells ring .  Post your review and earn your point.  
What? You want to earn a bonus point?  We won't be Naughty, here's the Nice part. Earn a bonus point by Making a List of recommendations for children's December Holiday books.  Because it's a recommendation and not a review, it can even be a picture book or two (or twelve!).  


WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY / Gail Carriger / 298 Pages

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School - Book the Third) / Gail Carriger / 298 Pages

"It's one thing to waltz properly. 
It's quite another to waltz properly with a bladed fan stitched into one's corset."

Sophronia is progressing exceedingly well through Mademoiselle Geraldine's "school for proper young killing machines." She will be a top intelligencer asset IF she can survive running away to Scotland, hijacking a train, and foiling a fiendish vampire plot, not to mention escaping a dirigible full of armed Picklemen and flywaymen. All in a days adventure for Sophronia - this time though she's going to have to make a choice which will change her life forever.

Get ready for another rollicking good adventure with Sophronia, Soap, Dimity, and other assorted friends in this witty, laugh-out-loud, action-packed novel. Fans will be eager for the next book in Gail Carriger's 'Finishing  School' series.

Read-alike suggestions: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (the 'Gallager Girls' series) or Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel (the 'Palace of Spies' series).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hope For Christmas (Noel, Montana Book 1)/ Jennifer Hayden/ 252 pages/ December Challenge

When Hope Tavener arrives in Noel Montana she can't believe her eyes.  Everything is Christmas!  Even the names of the towns people.  Hope For Christmas, written by Jennifer Hayden, tells the story of how Hope's quick trip to Noel, to sell her grandmother's bakery, turns her life upside down.  This book would appeal to a reader who likes Christmas, small towns, romance, and even a ghost.

If you like Hope For Christmas you might also enjoy the second book in the Noel, Montana series, Head Over Heels for Christmas.


Here are some recommendations for Children's Christmas Books.

Christmastime written by Alison Jay

For more information Click Here



The Gingerbread Doll written by Susan Tews
For more information Click Here

One Kick/Cain, Chelsea/306 pgs.

"Kick" Lannigan a.k.a Beth, a.k.a Kit, was abducted as a child, but was rescued 5 years after the abduction. She is now 21 years old, and is obsessed with any missing child case. Enter John Bishop, a former weapons dealer, who now works for an "organization" with allows him contacts to the FBI, and other law enforcement personnel. He wants/needs Kick to help him find Adam Rice, a missing child still believed to be alive. They join forces on what becomes a merry-go-round of suspense, mystery, and drama. The book hooked me from the beginning, and kept me up late at night/morning reading it. Quite awhile ago I had read some of Chelsea Cain's Archie/Gretchen series, and was reluctant to try this one. Thank you, Sandy M., for convincing me to give it a try. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Remembering Christmas: A Novel/ Dan Walsh/ 272 pages/ December Challenge

Rick Denton had made it up the corporate ladder.  Once he left home, he never looked back.  All that changes the day after Thanksgiving when he receives a phone call from his Mom.  In Remembering Christmas, Dan Walsh invites the reader to follow Rick's journey home and what happens after.   I would recommend this book to someone looking for a 'feel good' Christmas story that is not too sappy.

You can find more information about this book at the SCCCLD website including some recommended read a likes.

For younger family members, I would recommend these Holiday Books:

Little Robin's Vest by Jan Fearnley

Click here for more information.




What Am I? Christmas by Ann Margaret Louis

Click here for more information.




A Little Women Christmas by Louisa May Alcott

Click here for more information.

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine / Lauren Willig / 388 pages

 A third in the Pink Carnation series, this book features Charlotte, granddaughter of the Dutchess of Dovedale.  She is a somewhat shy young lady who has spent most of her life reading about daring heroes and fantasizing about romantic knights in armor.  Reality comes in the form of Robert, heir to the Duke of Dovedale.  He has returned from twelve years in India and is hardly the fantasy hero.  Distant, distant cousins, they must eventually work together to expose a new spy to help England. 
Charlotte is a very likeable character and there are many humorous descriptions.  Her other
friends also appear in the book as they were the main characters in previous or succeeding books in the series.  Fun book for easy reading or listening.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Hot Zone/Jayne Castle/338 pgs.

Rainshadow Island is the futuristic place for misfits--the perfect place for Sedona Snow to begin a new life. Sedona escaped from evil Dr. Blankenship, who was using her in his experiments; Sedona is a powerful "gatekeeper." Sedona doesn't know that she has come under the attention of Cyrus Jones, the new Guild boss in town. His talent is such that he is known as "Dead Zone Jones." He needs Sedona's talent, and needless to say, is also very attracted to her. It's a fast moving story, interesting characters, and another success in Jayne Castle's series. Recommended!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Run / Andrew Grant / 269 pages

Marc Bowman, a highly successful computer consultant and software designer, has been canned by Ameri-Tel.  When he left he took two flash drives of company information he planned to use to develop and test a new prototype.  His wife, Carolyn, who also works for Ameri-Tel, insists he give them back. Is she for him or against him?   He "was innocent.  He was sick of people attacking him, following him, breaking into his house, taking his things, stealing his work, accusing him of crimes he hadn't committed, confusing him with contradictory stories, shouting at him, threatening him."  He's had enough...He ran..."You can't take anything at face value in this world.  He should have known that by now...  Ameri-Tel is guilty of insider trading and security breaching viruses that activate homeland security agents, some of whom are bogus.  Loved, loved, loved the ending of page turner!!

Pray for Silence / Linda Castillo / 304 pages

An entire Amish family has been murdered and two of the daughters tortured.  Painters Mill Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspects.  State Agent John Tomasetti, who is on suspension due to irregularities in a past drug screen, arrives to assist.  He and Kate have an on-again-off-again relationship and Kate has shared her personal horrors with him.  When Kate discovers a diary written by one of the teenage daughters, she uncovers shocking secrets, a torrid double life, and multiple suspects.  As always, Castillo has crafted a thriller to keep the reader engaged and actively wondering throughout.

I Work at a Public Library / Gina Sheridan / 157 pages

"You don't know if you don't ask.  What better place to bring inquiring minds than the place with the most massive wealth of knowledge in town?  It's like the Internet, only the information isn't 90% false."  "One of the best things about being a librarian is working at the intersection of life and the written word."  Quotes like these make this book by a St. Louis resident a must read for all library workers.  One cannot help but chuckle, nod your head, and wonder at the universality of the library experience.  Thanks so much for the recommendation on the Blog for this winner!!

I Am the Mission / Allen Zadoff / 421 pages

The Unknown Assassin Book 2
"All actions carry risk, but the risk must be assessed."  Boy Nobody is named Daniel in this second installment of Unknown Assassin series.  After he had gone off the grid after his last assignment, trust falters on all sides.  His next assignment is to take out Eugene Moore who runs a military training, indoctrination, and possibly terrorist, camp for teenagers in the mountains.  Protocols are breached on both sides.  Is the target eliminated?  Is trust reestablished?  Is Zach's father truly alive?  Once again, prepare for a rapid paced, action packed read, peopled with well-developed characters inspiring empathy and provoking chagrin, outrage, and incredulous admiration.

Anatomy of a Misfit / Andrea Portes / 328 pages

Anika is a misfit.  She grew up in a castle in Romania.  Her father still lives there part-time and teaches at an American university.  He looks like Count Chocula and demands that Anika get straight A's - even in PE.  She refers to her stepfathers as The Ogre.  She is attracted to Logan, a kind-hearted, motorcycle riding misfit who literally lives on the wrong side of the tracks.  Becky Vilhower, the most popular girl in school would never countenance their getting together.  When popular heart throb Jared Kline declares for Anika, she faces a quandary...follow her heart and date Logan with his violence-laden family troubles and suffer Becky's scorn...or date Jared and earn Becky's jealousy and wrath.  This story, while somewhat quirky and entertaining, deals with some high-powered ubiquitous teen issues.

I funny, a Middle School Story / James Patterson and Chris Gabenstein / 306 pages

Jamie Grimm longs to be a stand-up comedian.  (He's in a wheelchair!)  He believes the best way to cope with bullying is with humor.  He gets lots of practice as his adoptive family includes Stevie Kosgrove, who had knocked him out of his wheelchair.  "Living with [his] adoptive brother is a lot less Brady Bunch and much more Harry Potter..."  This is a delightful laugh-a-minute read with some serious undercurrents. 
James Patterson was selected by kids as the Children's Choice Book Awards Author of 2010 for good reason.  Having sold more than 230 million copies worldwide, he is one of the bestselling authors of all time.  Kudos for his middle school books, etc.

List of Recommended Children's Holiday Books

The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements
'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Santa and the Christ Child by Nicholas Bakewell
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

The Young Elites / Marie Lu / 355 pages

"When the Blood Fever first passed through, killing a third of the population (in 1351) and leaving scarred, deformed children everywhere," The Malfetto children were pitied.  But when a few parents of such children died in freak accidents, the pity turned to fear, then to hate.  "Word spread that if a Malfetto had powers, they would manifest when he or she was provoked.  They were called the Young Elites and were hunted and executed by the Inquisitors."  Adelina Amouteru discovers that she has powers the night she runs away to avoid being sold by her father as a mistress.  She is pleased to join a group of Young Elites which includes the crown prince, Enzo.  Has their trust been misplaced?  Will Adelina betray their secrets to save her sister?  This in another captivating series by the author of Legend, Prodigy, and Champion.  This one is too good to miss...just the right amount of romance, intrigue, supernatural powers, and life-altering decision making.

Laura Ingalls Wilder / Emma Carlson /berne / 112 pages / Dead Author Challenge

This is the second biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder that I have read recently and I found much to recommend it.  Excellent background chronologies and lists of pertinent facts, as well as significant personal facts...such as inclusion of Laura's height (5") and the nicknames Laura and Almanzo had for each other (Bess and Manly, made this particular rendering noteworthy.  Many pages had historical sidebars which greatly fleshed out the period, but proved to be somewhat distracting and interrupted the flow of the reading.

The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald / 218 pages / Dead Author Challenge

This audio edition of a great American classic was authorized by the Fitzgerald estate and rendered by Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain).  As the narrator, Nick Carraway, Gyllenhaal's mellifluous voice introduces us to the Great Gatsby, his lavish parties, his wealthy lifestyle, and his love of Daisy, a married lady with a none-too-faithful husband.  Gatsby believes that he and Daisy are meant to be together and enlists Nick's help to accomplish fate's design.  The love connections cause a most unfortunate accident which results in an unjustifiable homicide.  This tale of the Roaring 20's has much to say to 21st century America about love, relationships, honor, faithfulness, friendship, the drive to attain wealth/happiness, and the unpredictability of fate.

Landline / Rainbow Rowell / 310 pages / December Challenge Christmas Story

Is Georgie's ancient yellow landline phone a conduit to the past?  When Neal takes their two daughters home to his mother's in Nebraska for Christmas, Georgie stays behind in LA to write four episodes for the pilot of a new comedy show she and her partner Seth, hope to be a hit.  Whenever she calls using her cell phone, Neal is unavailable...or distracted.  When she calls her mother-in-law's landline using her old landline phone she is apparently transported to Christmas 1998 when she and Neal had broken up and a week later Neal proposed.  Is their marriage over or is this landline a chance to change the future?  This is a most engaging read.  I though I had it all figured out and was totally wrong...and pleasantly pleased!  This is an awesome portrayal of the mysterious life-altering concept of true love.


"How does anyone ever know whether love is enough?"
"Just because you love someone doesn't mean your lives will fit together."
"Fitting together is something you work at.  It's something you make happen because you love each other."

Around the World in 80 Days / Jules Verne / 205 pages / Dead Author Challenge

I missed reading this classic growing up and didn't even realize what I had missed.  Listening to this audio by Jim Dale, I took a trip around the world as navigated by the enigmatic, unflappable Phileas Fogg.  After making a bet with several club members that he could circumnavigate the world in just eighty days, he sets off to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat.  Accompanied by his French valet, PassPartout, he is relentlessly pursued by one Detective Fix, who is certain that Fogg is, in fact, a notorious bank robber.  I highly recommend this audio!  The sound effects, the reader's vocalizations, and, of course, the intrepid Phileas Fogg make it a remarkable listening/reading adventure.

Winnie-The-Pooh / A. A. Milne / 161 pages / Dead Author Challenge

I listened to this book on audio.  It was performed by Peter Dennis, who employed unique voices for all the characters, excellent elocution, and superb sound effects.  This is a must-listen-to for anyone who missed reading this classic...and perhaps even for those who didn't.  The sounds of the woods and birdsong are very realistic and quite soothing.  Introduce young children to the Hundred Acre Wood and Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh (Edward Bear), and all his friends with this recording sanctioned by the Milne estate.

The House at Pooh Corner / A. A. Milne / 180 pages / Dead Author Challenge

This is volume two of A. A. Milne's classics read by Peter Dennis, in which we meet Tigger, and want so much to cheer-up Eeyore.  The sound effects are superb...and just right!  Mr. Dennis' depictions of the characters are spot on.

Luara Ingalls Wilder, Real-Life Pioneer of the Little House Books / Carin T. Ford / 112 pages / Dead Author Challenge

This in an easy-to-read, succinct biography of one of America's best loved authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Photographs accompany the narrative of the life and travels of one wilderness-loving young pioneer.  A brief chronology of her life lists key points and a list of her books is included.  Well-researched and documented, this could be a most welcome addition to your juvenile bio section.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Forever Christmas/ Christine Lynxwiler/ 288 pages/ December Challenge

Forever Christmas, written by Christine Lynxwiler would appeal to anyone who likes small towns, romance or Christmas.  Kristianna has returned to the small town of her youth to run her Grandmother's store.  Jingle Bells is a town where Christmas rules, but the declining economy could mean a name change for Jingle Bells.  Kristianna faces an uphill battle in preserving the heritage of Jingle Bells.  Will a little romance help or hurt her battle?
See the full SCCCLD record for more details and read-a-likes.

Here are some Children's Christmas books that make for fun reading.

Christmas Cookies: Bite size holiday lessons, Amy Krouse Rosenthal
More info about this book




Melrose and Croc: A Christmas to Remember, Emma Chichester Clark
More info about this book




Christmas Wombat, Jackie French
More info about this book

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Shadow Hero/ Gene Luen Yang/ 158 pages

Loved this graphic novel!  There were so many parts that were hilarious!  But, this is the story of the origin of the 1st Chinese superhero.  Great story.  The mother is hilarious.  And there was also action for those who like that with their superhero.  And the epilogue was fascinating too talking about the original Green Turtle from 1944 and how he was originally intended by the artist to be Chinese, but was told no.

Margot/ Jillian Cantor/ 338 pages

This is the story of what if Anne Frank's sister, Margot, had survived the Holocaust and moved to Philadelphia?  I enjoyed the history of this book and the characters from Philadelphia as well.  There is lots to discuss about human nature and secrets and prejudices.  This was a fast paced read that I didn't want to put down.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Anna Karenina/ Leo Tolstoy/ 634 pages/ November Challenge

Anna Karenina, written by Leo Tolstoy, was originally published as eight installments in a Russian periodical over four years.
This novel focuses on Russian life in the late 1800's.  It explores both urban and country lifestyles of several main characters.  Through out the novel the reader shares the detailed thought processes of these characters.

This novel would appeal to someone interested in Russian History in that it describes daily life in pre-revolution Russia.
More information is available at the SCCCLD website.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

All the Light We Cannot See / Anthony Doerr / 531 p.

This title is a 2014 National Book Award nominee as well as a favorite historical fiction on Goodreads.  Set in France and Germany before and during WWII, this story focuses on two young people. Some may not like the disjointed manner in which this story is told, but I find it fitting for a period of time when the lives of so many people were turned upside down and inside out--if they survived at all. And I think the focus on a blind French girl and a young German soldier, is a brilliant way to tell the story. Through them we see what it is like to live with almost constant fear. For her it is in an occupied seaside French village. For him it is first in "Hitler's Youth" and then as a soldier--where he is never comfortable with what goes on around him but feels powerless to do anything about it. This is a story of survival, cruelty, great sacrifice and heroism. I highly recommend it.