Book Review: Million-Dollar Throw

Million-Dollar ThrowNew month, new theme. This month I’m going with sports stories. Which may end up meaning written-by-Mike-Lupica-books. I love his stories. But there are some other sports stories that look good, too, so we’ll see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

“I mean, I’m excited about doing it, at least some of the time, when I’m not geeked out of my head about it,” Nate said. “But most of the time, it’s like it’s one more thing I don’t need right now. Like one more guy piling on when I’m already down.”

Nate Brody loves football and is a huge Tom Brady fan. He’s been saving up money to buy a football autographed by Brady. Despite financial hardships, his parents are holding to their end of the deal and paying half the money for the ball. Winning football isn’t Nate’s biggest worry, though. He spends nights staring out the window at the for sale sign hanging in front of their house, not wanting to sell their house but hoping the bank won’t get it. And then there’s his best friend, Abby. As far as Nate’s concerned, Abby’s problems trump all of his. When his name is drawn for a chance to win a million-dollars during half-time at a Patriots’ game, Nate feels the pressure piling on. Can he get things figured out before the big day and his million-dollar throw?

ย This is the newest addition to my comfort-reads shelf. You know, those books you read on rainy days or when you’re sick? Miracle on 49th Street, another Mike Lupica book, has been on that shelf for a while along with A Little Princess and The Scarlet Pimpernel. These books cover a wide range of story types, but they have at least one thing in common. All of the stories feature strong friendships. That’s what made me enjoy Million-Dollar Throw too. Nate consistently puts the needs of his teammates, his family, and his friends above his own stresses and worries. As his mom says several times, he leads with his heart. And in the process he does a great job of capturing the heart of the reader. If you’re looking ย for an edge-of-your seat story that keeps you guessing till the last page, this one isn’t for you. But if you want book that leaves you with warm fuzzies, go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚


Book Review: The Corporate Kid

Corporate Kid, The

Charles raised his hand. It took a moment for people to acknowledge him. He stood up and cleared his throat. The room went silent. “Um, so if you want American to believe in you again, what about just telling the truth?”

I picked this book at our library used book store thinking it was a different story. After reading a few pages, I didn’t expect much. The Corporate Kid didn’t earn a five star rating from beautiful or well polished pros. This story is unique because it’s a general market book with a purpose. Instead of the normal twaddle and/or junk of various descriptions that fills young adult stories, this one embodies and promotes morality. And it does so without preaching. That’s a pretty impressive resume…especially for a general market book.

Fifteen year old Charles Sullivan has never had much. After his father’s death, his mother has worked two jobs and struggles to maintain their home in the hood. Their world crumbles yet again when a distracted driver hits her as they leave their church one Sunday morning. That driver, Bill Bradford, is CEO of Hospital of America. The last thing he wants to deal with is bad press over hitting a woman on the wrong side of town. He calls his lawyer and tells the man to take care of the situation. He doesn’t realize till later that he dropped his wallet at the sight of the accident. He doesn’t know that Charles Sullivan picked it up. That wallet, and the boy who picked it up, will bring the two families together in ways they never expected, and will challenge the way they think of each other.

I’m so glad I mistook this book for the one I was actually looking for! Definitely recommend it!

Book Review: Small as an Elephant

Small As An ElephantSo, it’s the beginning of a new month, which usually means a new theme. However, it’s also been a very busy month for me, so I haven’t picked or read books for a normal theme. Therefore, this months theme is miscellaneous books. And we’re kicking it off with a contemporary story about…well, you can read the review to find out. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Jack’s perfect vacation with his mother ends in disaster before it even starts. He wakes up the very first day to discover that she and almost all their camping gear is gone. At first he assumes she’s coming back soon, but as hours and then full days pass, he has to face the fact that she’s really gone, and he needs to fend for himself. His first priority is to avoid getting picked up by the police. That would result in the DSS getting involved and Jack doesn’t want to be taken away from his mother.

This was a really good book, not because it leaves you with warm fuzzies, but because it is realistic. It makes the reader enter into the mind and emotions of a young boy forced to take on adult responsibility because his mother doesn’t have the mental capacity to parent him properly. And it manages to stay realistic without being depressing, so double win.

Book Review: Red Thread Sisters

Red Thread SistersWen and her best friend, Shu Ling, have a deal. Whoever gets adopted first will find a family for the one left behind. When Wen finds her forever family and travels to America, she discovers her promise will be difficult to keep. She is overwhelmed by the intensity of learning a new language, fearing her family might send her back, and feeling disloyal to Shu Ling as she begins to form new friendships. How can she get an American family to want Shu Ling before it’s too late. Time is running out. Soon Shu Ling will be too old to adopt. Can Wen keep her promise and find a family for her friend? Can she find security in her own American family?

When Goodreads recommended this book to me, I pounced. While it’s not difficult to find books about orphans in historical settings (Orphan Trains anyone?), contemporary orphan stories seem far and few between. This one was a gem. I devoured it in every spare moment and put it down wishing more authors would tackle similar stories. There’s no high action, life-threatening quests and adventures in this book. Instead it’s the slow blossoming of a heart and a devoted, desperate search for family. If you’re a girl who cares about orphans and adoption, you’ll enjoy this book.

Do you know of any other fictional contemporary orphan/adoption stories? Please tell me! I’d love to find more of them.

Book Review: Deception

Ollie Chandler has his problems, but he’s a good detective. When a bizarre new homicide case comes up, he realizes that his shortcomings may have caused a bigger problem than he could ever imagine. The mystery leads him along a circuitous trail, causing him to suspect his closest friends…and even himself. Can he get to the bottom of the Palentine case without losing his life? Will he put his trust in Christ before it’s too late?

This was definitely my favorite book in the Ollie Chandler series. It’s totally different from the first two books and works well as a stand alone. I would call Deadline and Dominion issues fiction. Deception is definitely a full-out mystery. If you’re like me it will leave you guessing till the climax and wishing there was more after it ends. However, this IS NOT a book for younger readers. My recommended age range would be 16 and up because it covers some heavy issues like abortion, AIDS, racism, alcoholism, etc. It’s not emphasized as much in Deception, but it is there. This makes the book (and series) challenging and deep for older readers, but not the best choice for younger teens. ๐Ÿ˜‰