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Welcome to Books R Us, a recommended reading blog from InfoSoup librarians and users and home to A Year of Listening Dangerously, the 2014 InfoSoup Reading Challenge! Find a great book to read next, add your own reviews, and check out our book related resources such as NoveList and BookLetters.

orphans

Profound

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Author: Christina Baker Kline

Several copies of this book are circulating in Infosoup since the author made many appearances at the Fox Cities Book Festival in April of this year.

Oh, another piece of American history that I did not know about. Thanks to Christina for this important work of historical fiction. There are two alternating female characters in this book. Niamh is an Irish girl that is on the orphan train. This character is in first person. The other character is a teen named Molly who is living in foster care. Her character is in third person. Niamh, as an elder, and Molly form an unlikely friendship that strengthens both of them. It is wonderful to read about their bond--how they encourage each other and learn from each other!

Some symbols in the book that I liked a lot--the significance of the Claddagh ring to Niamh; the significance of portage to Molly.

This book is the Fox Cities Reads title for 2015.

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Author: Doris Gates

I rated this book 1 star.

My granddaughter found this book at a book sale. Originally published in 1943, it was later reprinted in 1968. This looked like a delightful book, so I asked if I could read it. That way, when she was done reading it, we could have a book discussion! How fun!

Books were written entirely different that many years ago, and I took that into consideration.<--break- />

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Author: Conor Grennan

In this true story the author changes from an arrogant, self-centered kid into a compassionate young adult. Before settling into a career, Conor sets out on a year-long trip around the world. In a ploy to pick up chicks, he signs up to volunteer for a few months at the Little Princes Orphanage in Nepal. With no past experience working with kids, Conor is in over his head. The children quickly grab hold of his heart leaving the author with a strong desire to make a forgotten corner of the world a little better place. 

Conor holds nothing back in his writing. He shares his most intimate thoughts: his doubts, fears, and shortcomings. He never glorifies his work yet a man who has accomplished such an amazing feat deserves to be called a superhero. 

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Author: Wendy Lawless

This true story that reads like fiction was penned by the daughter of a very mentally ill mother.  Despite the incredible weath that surrounds her,  mom is not satisfied.  It falls to Wendy to watch out not only for herself, but for her younger sister as mom smokes, drinks, abuses drugs, and attempts suicide multiple times.  One stable influence in Wendy's life is the housekeeper/nanny who cares for the children deeply and tries to protect them from what is going on around them.  Unfortunately, in a fit of anger, she is fired and the children are left without the one stable adult in their lives.  Mom's story is also a sad one of being dropped off at an orphanage and then being adopted and being thrilled to be chosen amongst all the children to finally have a home.  However, the fantasy soon turns to a nightmare on the very same day she is adopted.  How this influences her life choices later and her coldness and hugely negectful approach to her children is covered.  This book is hard to read in that it will touch you deeply as you feel the wretched life these children have, despite having the money to buy anything they want.  However, money can't buy love. 

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Author: Monica Wood

This book had me thinking, at first, that I would be able to easily predict the ending--which, of course, I won't share, in case others come to similar conclusions...but I discovered a surprisingly different, and most likely stronger, ending than I had imagined. Overall, this was one of the better books I've read for our book club in quite some time--even better than some I have recently recommended. This one is worth looking into!