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Posts tagged 'Andrew Scarafile'

Early Chapter Books for the New Year


election day disaster

The Election-Day Disaster  by Ron Roy (J SERIES Capital Mystery


Simple to follow, this 90 page mystery is both entertaining and packs in a lot of information about how the government works.  Illustrations, repetitive vocabulary, and short chapters will appeal to kids transitioning from easy readers to longer chapter books.  Readers will be able to follow the main characters, KC and Marshall, throughout the series as they learn about politics, history and hone their detective skills.



Series  Rainbow Magic  Magic Tree House  Geronimo Stilton  DC Super Pets  Capital Mystery  Andrew Scarafile  3rd Grade  2nd Grade  "Chapter Books"


Killing Reagan by Bill O'Reilly

Killing ReaganWhile it’s obvious that the latest entry in Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” franchise, Killing Reagan, doesn’t end with a titular death like the other books in the series, it is nonetheless a page-turner. Following Reagan’s life from his breakout in movies in the 1930s to his death in 2004, Killing Reagan can be described more as a biography of our 40th President than a chronicle of John Hinckley Jr.’s assassination attempt on the President in 1981.

With this book, O’Reilly seems to be giving up on detailing famous killings to jump into the genre of creative non-fiction (the assassination attempt only takes up about 40 pages). His writing style, however, remains the same. The author interweaves the story of Reagan’s life with a series of interesting anecdotes about the man, his family, and his entourage to present what reads like a suspenseful historical novel.

Even though this book doesn’t present any new perspectives on Reagan’s life, and the accuracy of some of the research is under question, Killing Reagan succeeds in its main purpose, which is to entertain. Reaching nearly 300 pages, but feeling much shorter, this book presents a vivid picture of Reagan’s career, personal life, and legacy. Although Killing Reagan probably isn’t the best book for the avid scholar, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to brush up on his or her knowledge of Presidential history, or for someone who simply desires a light, quick, fun read.


Killing Reagan  Bill O'Reilly  Andrew Scarafile


The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

Taming_Of_The_Queen_Cover.jpgPhilippa Gregory’s latest novel, The Taming Of The Queen, takes us out of the world of the War of the Roses and back to the times of Henry VIII. This book covers the story of Kateryn Parr, the last wife of the notorious king, from his proposal of marriage to his death nearly four years later.

This engrossing and all encompassing book is a story of survival rather than one of love. By this time, the aging Henry is morbidly obese, physically rotting, extremely volatile, and murderous. Over the course of the novel, we see Kateryn fight against all odds to keep the king’s favor ­– and more importantly, and literally – her head while the political landscape rapidly shifts around her. 

The Tudor court genre has rapidly expanded in recent years in a slew of non-fiction, often featuring over-the-top romance. The Taming of the Queen combines fictionalized personal hardship with history to realistically portray Kateryn as a woman ahead of her time, trapped against her will, in one of the most frightening situations imaginable; she is constantly surrounded by reminders of her five predecessors and insecure position.

While this novel, coming in at around 450 pages, requires a reader to make a significant investment of time, The Taming of the Queen is well worth the read and is truly one of the best Tudor novels to come out in the last few years. 

The Taming of the Queen  Philippa Gregory  Andrew Scarafile


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