Tatiana: wild and free to domesticated and humble

A typical carefree child, Tatiana Bergman says and does what she feels. She reminds me of a child who says what she thinks and does whatever she pleases without a care in the world. The effects of her words on others nor what others might think of her are any concern of Tatiana’s, even resulting in getting attacked by wolves late one night with a half-Indiana boy she will soon befriend, Jonny Creek.

Tatiana is the youngest of three daughters of Hans and their mother had already passed away, leaving the girls to run the chores their mother would normally have completed. Set in rural Pennsylvania in the 1840s, it is common for the women of the home to do the gardening and cooking and cleaning while the men did everything else. Young Tatiana would have nothing to do with chores or embroidery. It is not until she grows into her teen years that she’s willing to become a young lady who sews, cooks, gardens, etc.

One day, Hans falls off a ladder and breaks some bones causing him to be bedridden until he heals. This results in the girls doing extra work outside the home so they can earn more money to keep their home. Tatiana is a bit older now and worried about their financial situation, so she soon becomes the nanny for a Reverend in Philadelphia, who has two young children.

Suddenly, Tatiana finds that she is also obligated to cook and clean for the Reverend. The Reverend is a widower and insists the family is still mourning their loss with the drapes always closed and everyone needing to wear black. He also does not allow laughter, braided hair, or any form of disrespect. Will Tatiana be able to conform to these new rules?

The personalities in Tatiana, by Madeline Brock, are described as if the individuals lived in my own neighborhood. Details in the setting of the town as well as each interaction with the characters are realistically portrayed. Tatiana is published by Rosway Press. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.

March Grand Prix is colorful and exciting!

A manga, colorful, and exciting trilogy where March is the eldest of four children and the only boy. He loves racing and does so every chance he gets, even when it comes to helping his sister out to deliver 200 apple tarts to Mayor Winters!

Geared towards 7-10 year old readers, my six year old absolutely loved it. Many words, he still is unsure of, so he requested that I read it to him. Normally, I do not care for manga-type books, but since I had it downloaded already, I decided to attempt the first book, Fast and the Furriest, which turned out to be much easier of a read than I first thought. It turns out, we both enjoyed reading the stories!

The illustrations are attractive, colorful, and full of action. The dialogue between characters is active and engaging. Throughout the trilogy, it held my six year old’s attention throughout and the illustrations guided him to place images to the words. Fantastically put together, I give March Grand Prix 5 stars!

Fast and the Furriest

In this first story of March Grand Prix, March is frustrated with his “so uncool” family, especially his sisters who keep fighting and his mother who keeps smothering him. After dropping him off at the racetrack, March checks on his friend Hammond, who is working on March’s race car for a race. Hammond knows everything there is to know about a race car. March eyes up his competition, Lemieux, Clarkson, Alfredo, and Lyca. Each of the competition has something quicker, stronger, and better in their own vehicles than what March has.

MarchGrandPrix - Fast and the Furriest

In a practice run, Lyca manages to sabotage March’s vehicle. Lucky for March, Hammond can fix the vehicle, using parts from March’s “uncool” family’s vehicle. Once the race car is fixed and running, can March beat his competition in the race?

The Baker’s Run

March’s sister April is an entrepreneur who is opening her own bakery. In her grand opening, their Mayor Winters orders 200 apple tarts for his grandson’s birthday. Not only does Hammond find the tarts absolutely delicious, but he’s stuck in the back of April’s delivery van with 200 tarts. And the delivery van runs much slower than March expected, resulting in March losing his mind in it’s extremely low pace.

MarchGrandPrix - Bakers Run

Needless to say, March begins driving a bit reckless and tarts go flying all over the back of the van. At least whatever Hammond hadn’t eaten yet! Will March, Hammond, and April get the tarts to Mayor Winters? How will Mayor Winters feel about some tarts missing or flipped upside-down?

The Grand Desert Rally

This last story in March Grand Prix is about another race. The racers and their mechanics take a boat to an island where the race is located. After learning all he wonderful new upgrades to his vehicle, March learns that he needs a co-driver, a navigator. When no sense of direction mechanic, Hammond, is his navigator, March quickly learns that they are going in a different direction from the racing pack because Hammond is reading he map upside-down!

MarchGrandPrix - Great Desert Ralley

When March and Hammond are decidedly lost and unsure of the direction of the race, they find other racers, who point them in the right direction. Hammond insists March stop to help the others from being stuck in deep sand or rocky terrain. In exchange a driver hands March and Hammond handkerchiefs for protection against the sandstorm up ahead.

While stopping to help everyone else, Lyca is racing up front with March’s sister, May, as her co-driver. Obviously upset with his sister for helping the competition, March continues on as quickly as he can. Can March and Hammond win the race even after helping everyone else?

About the books

NetGalley provided me with this complimentary electronic copy of March Grand Prix, by Kean Soo, published by Capstone Young Readers. Paperback copy of this book can be found at about $14 each.

I wish I was a book bum

There’s people who are always going to the beach, enjoying the long swims in salt water, bring home crazy amounts of sand in their hair, and baste in the hot sun while covered in sun screen (I hope). Often times, these people are called beach bums, right? Well, I want to have my nose in a book at all hours of the day and have nothing else to worry about, take my thoughts into a different dimension, and enjoy my time with the book’s characters. So, one might call me a “book bum”.

Lately, I haven’t been reading much. I come home tired and don’t even want to cook. It gets dark earlier now that summer’s ended. And I find myself much more exhausted much earlier than before. Could it be that I wasted all that time since 4am when I first woke up? How much could I actually accomplish if I actually got out of bed when my eyes opened in the morning?

Well, my goal to read a chapter a day has turned into “I’ll read tomorrow”. And the “I’ll read tomorrow” has turned into “I’ll read this weekend”. It is quite interesting that I’ve been putting off my reading when I am most at peace when I am reading. Why wouldn’t I want to read more?

Recently, I learned that in order to get more readers in your blog, a blogger should be consistent. The blog itself should have subheadings in bold. And other tidbits of suggestions I’ve read here and there recently. Does this mean I’ll be reading more so I can actually do more book reviews? I can only hope! But, I think I will also be sharing some suggestions on getting past the “I don’t like to read” or “reading makes me sleepy” phases of your life, if you find yourself there.

Are you a book bum? Or a bookworm (as I’ve named this blog)?