Until it Fades by K. A. Tucker (26)

This a modern-day Cinderalla-like story.  I love stories like that. They are captivating and keep you reading until you have completed the book.

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals. She wants to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the policy have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame, and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, especially on  national stage. So, she hides her identity.  It works, but only for a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and its more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. Its something e=neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle, something she is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine–perhaps before the spark fades?

What a great story!

Rating: 5 stars

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Posted in Author from Ontario, Emancipation, Empowerment, Friendship, Love | Leave a comment

The Book of Letters by Paul and Audrey Grescoe (25)

This book of stories has been carefully selected from personal collections, archives, and museums. The letters in this collection range from heart-rending accounts of toil to the impassioned grandiloquence of premiers, from an escaped slave’s chastising of his former master to an ardent nationalist’s excoriation of a prime minister enamoured of free trade, from the atrocities of war to the sweet delights of young love.

The letters are intimate and honest. They are raw and they capture the times and characters that they are written about.

Some of the letters contained in this volume are as follows:

  • Stephen Leacock entertains his father
  • Marshall McLuhan educates Pierre Trudeau
  • Frederick Banting’s jilted lover says a bittersweet farewell

These letters are also funny and entertaining. They will entertain and open our hearts. And there are also secrets that are admitted and written about as if in a confessional.

I loved the book.  It is a great book to put on your night stand if you are in the habit of reading before bed.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Vancouver, Book of Letters, Canada, Critical thinking, Cultural Diversity, Culture in Canada, Educational book, Emancipation, Empowerment | Leave a comment

Canada’s First Nations and Cultural Genocide by Robert Z. Cohen (24)

I wanted to read a few books about Indigenous people.  I got interested in this whole topic while attending a few conferences and workshops about the Indigenous people here in my area.  There is so much that I didn’t know. So, I am reading widely about this topic this year for the Canadian Book Review Challenge.

This a book for kids about the Indigenous people and the cultural genocide that they experienced. It is a book that will educate kids about this all important topic so that they can be more sensitive to the Indigenous people and their issues.

Canada is one of the most successfully diverse nations in the world. The English and French languages share official status. Immigrant cultures enrich its cities.

The culture of its Native people–First Nations, Inuit, and Metis–is vibrant and alive. But those Native people suffered for more than a century. Their system of school education was designed to remove Native children from their homes, destroy their culture, and forbid their languages.

It forced them to melt into the fabric of Canadian life. Indian identity and birthright came under strong attack. Generations of aboriginal children were abused and traumatized.  All this thanks to the official effort to absorb them into a nation that did not want Indians.

Today, Native Canadians have again found their voice. They are speaking out about the experience of the residential school system. They are questioning the official policy that robbed so many of them of their heritage.

Native children lost their Native identity. Their Native languages were silenced. They were forcibly removed from their homes and abused. This has come to be seen as a shameful history of cultural genocide.

This is a book that will make young kids pause and reflect. It will also help kids understand the plight of the Indigenous people.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Book Review, Cultural Diversity, Culture in Canada, Early Reader, Educational book, History, Indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal (23)

This book is an honest examination of Indigenous people lives and how they feel betrayed and have difficulty celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday as the rest do.

Canada 150 commemorates the founding of Canada in 1867, being the political agreement that resulted in the union of two founding nations.

In this initial union, there were four provinces which began the vision of creating a federal nation-state that wold eventually effect dominion over the northern part of North America as well.

Today, what is lacking in this myopic vision is space for a response from the people of this land, and moreover a passionate response from those people who believe Canada can and must do better to include Indigenous people.

This book is not a history lesson for the faint of heart. This book is a challenge that requires a response from us.

Any reader expecting reminiscences from the era of the romantic stoic Indian is not accurate. What is contained in this book is a call for Canadians to roll up their sleeves consider whose land they occupy, and understand that those cherished symbols of Canadian identity were embossed on to nations that were already here.

From the outset, Indigenous people were completely excluded from the meetings that led to that creation of Canada. As well, given that Indigenous people were assumed to be a dying race–through eradication or assimilation by agencies such as residential schools–the only concern of John A. MacDonald, George Brown, George-Etienne Cartier, et all, at the conferences in Charlottetown, Quebec city, and London England was how to implement the control and removal of Indigenous people from their lands, and to oversee their termination.

This book represents an attempt to educate, challenge and inspire both settler Canadians and Indigenous people, the learned and the ignorant, and in particular, our youth. Many Indigenous nations and regions from across Canada are represented in an attempt to make space for different perspectives.

I loved this honest look at the Indigenous people and how we can all do our part to change things one little bit at a time.

This book is a must read for all Canadians, especially on this our 150th celebration of confederation!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in A scholarly book, Academic book, Authors from Manitoba, book about social justice, Cultural Diversity, Culture in Canada, Educational book, History, Indigenous issues | Leave a comment

Now You Know Canada: 150 years of fascinating facts By Doug Lennox (22)

This is a fun book just in tine for Canada’s 150th birthday celebration.

The book is unique and its structure is as unique as its facts. I learned so much while reading this book in small portions. It can be difficult to read a book of facts like this. However, the good news is that it is a fun book and it gave me a greater knowledge of Canada.

This country has great athletes.  The top are listed in one of the sections of the book.

In addition, the book contains: who gave the word Canadian its modern meaning, what is the official motto of Canada, what does the true north mean in our National Anthem, how big is Canada’s newest territory, and so much more.

One fact that I found most interesting I would like to share with here. So, why are the colours of Canada red and white? Following the terrible ordeal of the First World War, King George V, wished to honour the gallant sacrifice made by his Canadian subjects. He therefore assumed Royal Arms of Canada, and in doing so he assigned red and white as the royal livery colours. Red presented the blood shed by Canadians in the war, and white represented the bandages that were associated with that sacrifice. Later when the national flag as adopted, it bore the red and white colours of Canada.

What a great book of Canadian facts!  I recommend it to anyone in the Canadian Book Club.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Book on Nature, Canada, Cultural Diversity, Culture in Canada, Educational book, History, Honour | Leave a comment

When Hope Springs New by Janette Oke (21)

This is a Christian novel that expounds on some of the values that we all want to hold onto in a world where values of any kind are downgraded to political correctness.

The story is about two ladies who had to leave behind their friends in Beaver River. Elizabeth and Wynn take over an even more primitive Mounted Police outpost in the Canadian Northwest.

Elizabeth finds herself once again isolated because of the local Indian women’s fear of communicating with her. The Delaney’s thought they had already faced their greatest hardships and disappointments. But this new village brings an even greater test of their faith, courage and dedication.

This is a book that most Christian women will enjoy. I loved the way the ladies fought for who they were and kept courageously marching onward to the tune of their own values without being dissuaded by others in the community who didn’t understand them.

This book is a must-read for people who love stories about deeper values.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Alberta, Christian Values, Empowerment, Fiction, Friendship, Indigenous issues, Lives of Women | Leave a comment

O C Daniel by Wesley King (20)

This is a wonderful middle grade novel that will keep younger and older kids reading until the book is complete.

It is the first book that I know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Kids who have this disease don’t want to talk about it to anyone. Some don’t even know what is going on with themselves. They feel crazy.

One of the main points that the author is trying to bring out is that OCD doesn’t have to define you.  You are okay, despite the fact that you have OCD.

Daniel Leigh is the backup punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practise perfectly arranging the water cups and imagining what would happen if monsters attacked the field.

Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits — he calls them zaps: avoiding writing the number 6 or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over.

He finds comfort in working on his novel, titled The Last Kid on Earth, but mostly he hopes no one notices that he might be crazy.  So, he spends a lot of time alone trying to be creative.

Writing was the only thing that he could do that made any sense. He got to control everything. It was his world and his story and he could delete a sentence if he wanted and it would be gone. The Daniel he wrote about was normal, and he wanted to be that boy.

Daniel’s life takes a bizarre turn when he gets a note which reads I need your help. It is signed by Star Child.  But what does that mean? Suddenly, Daniel who is a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.

With great voice and grand adventure, this book is about feeling different and finding those who understand.

This is a great book for all kids.  I love books of empowerment for kids who may feel a bit less than the others.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Posted in Author from Ontario, Emancipation, Empowerment, Family, Fiction | Tagged | Leave a comment