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Book Review: Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice

Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice is a young adult horror novel originally published in April 1997.  Marnie and her cousin Peter drive up to the mansion that Marnie's father rented for the summer ahead of her father.  When the cousins arrive at the mansion called Stonycraig and settle in, Marnie is nervous because she thought she saw a shadow in one of the windows.  Then, she starts hearing a woman crying late at night.  Are the stories about Stonycraig being haunted true? This is a book I originally read as a teenager, and I remember being impressed by the storyline and writing.  I recently decided to reread it as an adult to see if it was as good as I remembered.  I have to say it was phenomenal.  Well-written and unputdownable.   Even though there were parts that came back to me as I made my way through Music From The Dead , I still found it to be perfectly eerie and creepy.  There was even a little bit of romance but nothing inappropriate for a tween or teen.  The only com

Book Review: Ramona the Pest (Ramona Quimby, #2) by Beverly Cleary

Ramona Quimby #2
Reading Ramona the Pest (Ramona Quimby, #2) by Beverly Cleary as an adult for the first time ever was a delight. How did I never read this book as a child? Maybe if this had been recommended to me by a teacher or librarian, I would have enjoyed reading in elementary school a lot earlier than I did.

Beverly Cleary did an amazing job of capturing how a five year old acts in kindergarten. I felt like I was back in school again. When I was in kindergarten, there was a morning class and an afternoon class. Unlike the book, we didn't have nap time because there wasn't enough time with such a short day. I enjoyed that the kids were in charge of certain things in the classroom like passing out the art supplies because that sort of thing was a huge deal when I was a kid.

I loved the fact that Ramona misunderstood a few things that her teacher said because kids of that age often misinterpret what is said by adults by no fault of their own, and they often do things that they think are no big deal but in actuality is a big deal like Ramona pulling Susan's hair, even though it was mostly innocent on her part. The one thing that bothered me in the book was that Susan was a tattle tale but never got in trouble by Miss Binney. The tattle tales rarely get in trouble in real life in my experience, so I guess Beverly Cleary was spot on with this, but why does this happen? 

The way the kids in the book teased each other and blew things out of proportion was spot on too. An example of this was when the other kids teased Ramona about being a kindergarten dropout. The teasing happens all too often in real life. How did Beverly Cleary capture kids so well in Ramona the Pest? This was a wonderfully written story for kids that adults can enjoy reading with their kids. I give this book five out of five stars.

Synopsis of Ramona the Pest (Ramona Quimby, #2) Ramona Quimby is finally old enough to go to school, and she is super excited about starting kindergarten. The precocious five year never means to be a pest, but it just happens. What adventures does Ramona have in her first year of school?


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