Audience: Middle Grade
I watched from the window as the boys tumbled out of the brick schoolhouse across the field from us.
Amal loves school and her dream is to one day go to college and become a teacher. But one day, a chance encounter disrupts her life. She becomes an indentured servant to the family of her village’s corrupt landlord. Amal plans to work until she pays off her family’s debt, but when she finds out the truth, what will she do?
This story takes place in Pakistan and is meant for a middle-grade audience. Amal is a fantastic strong female character; she knows what she wants, she knows what is right, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in.
I listened to the audio and the narrator, Priya Ayyar did a wonderful job. I’m counting this for “A” for the HA a-z challenge on Goodreads.
Recommended to grades 4-6.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the town of Castle Rock, Maine.
– first sentence
This is a reread for me and I didn’t remember many details. I think I avoided it because of my love of dogs. I listened to the audio; Lorna Raver gives an excellent performance and helped me get lost in the story.
I was surprised by the beginning stuff about the monster (serial killer) Frank Dodd. I found myself wondering what that had to do with the rabid dog. But this story isn’t about a rabid dog. It’s about evil… evil and coincidences. It’s also a look back in time at what was once thought acceptable in a marriage.
As the story progresses, the parts with Cujo are separated by the stories of the Trenton family and the Camber family. Each family is dealing with their own issues, and these ultimately lead to the events which conclude with the showdown of mother and child trapped in a Pinto by Cujo.
It broke my heart to listen to Cujo’s thoughts as the disease progressed and he gradually went mad. But it was easier to read/listen to than it was to watch the movie. All I really remember from the movie is the part with Cujo and the car. I might have to watch it again just for comparison.
So, is an Evil force controlling the events that lead to the heartbreaking conclusion, or is it just coincidence? Does it even matter?
I’m using this for “C” in the Goodreads HA A-Z challenge.
Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened…”
– beginning of first sentence
The first sentence sounds so innocuous, and yet this is the novel that Stephen King himself has called his scariest. Perhaps because it centers on death and how fear of death can compel people to do the unthinkable.
I am currently rereading Stephen King books that I haven’t read in decades. I listened to IT a couple of years ago because I wanted to refresh my memory before I saw the movie. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to try the audios of more of his books. When I saw that the Pet Sematary movie is being remade, I decided this should be my next listen. I am glad I did. This book was scary and totally immersive – I was obsessed with listening to this. Michael C. Hall gave an amazing performance. I was constantly picturing him as Louis Creed, even while I kept seeing Fred Gwynne (from the original movie) as Jud Crandall.
I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good scare. 🙂
I’m using this as “P” for the HA a-z challenge on Goodreads.
Audience: Young Adult
The witches were waiting.
– first sentence
The third book in the series takes Amy back to Kansas to continue her fight to save Oz (and The Other Place (Kansas) too). New characters become involved, we get a look at how Amy’s disappearance affected her negligent mother, and find out some new details about Dorothy. And of course, there are twists and deception.
This book is a fun continuation of the series. I remain spellbound by this version of Oz and the entire cast of characters. Recommended to fans of alternate realities and fractured fairy tales.