Better Nate Than Ever

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

better-nate

Book: Better Nate Than Ever

Author: Tim Federle

Cover Illustrator: Scott M. Fischer

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, reprinted 2014)

ISBN-13: 978-1442446892 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 1442446897 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-1442446915 Paperback

ISBN-10: 1442446919 Paperback

Related website(s): http://www.scholastic.com (publisher

Language level: 3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Said to be for ages  10-14, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under 16 if at all

Rating: * 1 star

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Website: https://homeschoolbookreviewblog.wordpress.com

Federle, TimBetter Nate Than Ever (Published in 2013 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY  10020; republished in 2015 by Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York City, NY  10012).  Nathan Evan Foster, thirteen and usually called Nate, lives in the small town of Jankburg, PA, fifty miles from Pittsburgh, with his dad, a hospital janitor who recently had an affair, his mother, an alcoholic who runs a flower shop, and his sixteen year old brother Anthony who is an all-around jock.  Nate is a late bloomer, is anything but athletic, likes to sing, and wants to be in the theater.  When he and his friend Libby Jones hear that there will be auditions for E.T.: The Musical in New York City, they hatch a plan for Nate to sneak off and hop a bus to New York over the weekend for the tryouts.

Years ago Nate’s Aunt Heidi, his mother’s sister, ran off to New York to be an actress and was never heard from again.   Facing bossy receptionists, cutthroat fellow performers, and wacky casting directors, does Nate get the part?  Or will his parents literally kill him when they find out what he’s done?  And who surprisingly shows up at his audition?  I began to wonder about this book when on the very first page Nate steals Anthony’s fake ID.  The fact is that Nate does a lot of stealing, lying, and “other compromisin’ on the road to his horizon.”  References to drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes occur.  As to language, in addition to common euphemisms, there are near-vulgar childish slang words for body parts and functions.  Nate and everybody else constantly use the names of God (Oh God, my God, good God, etc.) and Jesus Christ (even “sweet Lord almighty”) as exclamations.  Mention is made of the “S-word,” and in one conversation it is printed as “s__t.”  Nate calls a boy an “a-hole” but notes “I really say it, the whole word”—even right in front of his mother.  Also, the author seems to poke fun at conservative Christians.

Furthermore, the book is filled with sexuality.  Anthony teases Nate by calling him “homo,” and kids at school refer to him as a “fag” or “the Faggot of the Opera.”  A song he records is said to sound like a “lesbian rock ballad.”  Libby says that her favorite step uncle is “gayer than a Christmas flag in August.”  When in New York, Nate passes a “gay bar” where the door opens and he sees two guys dancing together and kissing each other.  And when he asks Heidi’s roommate, Freckles, if he likes his aunt, Freckles replies that he dates other men.  Nate blurts out, “That’s cool.”  He learns that a boy at school got busted with a male porno magazine in his locker, and the rumor is that he “has a secret gay crush” on another boy.  Along the way, Nate makes several comments, like “I’m thirteen…–how would I know who I want to hook up with?”, and that he “wasn’t even—and am not even, now—sure what I was.  A fag or a straight guy, or what.”   There might have been a funny story here with a great example of striving to meet one’s goal, but it basically turns out to be pro-homosexual propaganda.  No wonder it won a Lambda award for LGBT youth.   School Library Journal calls it “a remarkably lighthearted and humorous touch totally appropriate for young audiences,” and Booklist says that it has “an age-appropriate manner throughout,” but I have to agree with those who wrote that this book is not appropriate for children, especially for the age recommended.  One person noted that the entire book reads like an inside joke for young adult men trying to make it on Broadway.  Another wrote, “I think the only reason there are so many 5-star reviews is that the book is pro-homosexual and no one wants to be seen as intolerant.”  And one other said, “If you do not want your child reading stories that affirm this lifestyle, then skip this book.”  There are two sequels, Five, Six, Seven, Nate! and Nate Expectations.

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Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross, Updated and Revised

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

islam

Book: Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross, Updated and Revised

Authors: Norman L. Geisler, Abdul Saleeb

Publisher: Baker Books, 2nd edition 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0801064302

ISBN-10: 0801064309

Related website(s):  http://www.bakerbooks.com (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Geisler, Norman L., and Saleeb, Abdul.  Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross, Updated and Revised (Originally published in 1993 and updated and revised in 2002 by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, P. O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI  49516).  Islam is certainly something that is constantly in the news.  This book, which was a recent gift to me, was originally published in 1993 and was updated and revised after 9/11/2001.  This second edition contains two new appendices, a new preface written in light of September 11, 2001, and updated information throughout.  Part One states as clearly as possible the fundamental beliefs of Islam.  Part Two responds to basic Muslim beliefs in God, Muhammad, and the Qu’ran.  Part Three examines the evidence for the Christian counterclaim.  The appendices deal with Muslim sects, Islamic religious practices, the Gospel of Barnabas, modern critical accusations against the New Testament, jihadist violence, and Black Islam. Also, the back contains a glossary, bibliography, suggested reading, a Qu’ranic index, and indices of both persons and subjects.  The authors are Normal Geisler, a well-known Evangelical apologist, and Abdul Saleeb, a former Muslim using a pseudonym.  A few references to Calvinism (especially original sin) and Premillennialism occur, but otherwise Answering Islam is a treasure trove of helpful information that is especially relevant in our time.

Muslims will not like this book.  One reviewer wrote, “I’m muslim. And I promise I’ll be fair.” But all this person really did was to call it “a rare non-fiction sub-genre/category that modern collective intellect has gradually eliminated – ‘ideological attack’ books” and say, “If Islam is wrong and Christianity is right and the book intends to guide to the truth, why didn’t Mr. Saleeb et. al. write about Christianity in itself? However, if you’re here to buy this book as a scientific research tool or as a comparative study, you should know by now that it does not qualify for any intellectual respect. It’s about Christianity and Islam but it’s written by Christians.”  To begin, Islam has attacked Christianity; we’re just giving an answer for our faith.  Furthermore, there is a whole section of the book with a positive defense of the Christian perspective.  Also, it is not intended merely as “a comparative study,” but a comprehensive analysis and critique of Islam from a Biblical perspective.  And “does not qualify for any intellectual respect”?  The authors use only the most ancient, authoritative, and original Islamic writings and heavily document everything that they say with copious footnotes.  It is indeed scholarly.

The other criticism that I saw was an acceptance that the Christian God and Allah are the same God, with which not everyone agrees, resulting in the feeling, as another reviewer wrote, that “most of the really damaging places were downplayed…and… while a lot of the information which is damaging to Mohammad is mentioned, it is soft pedaled.”  To be fair, the authors do go on to say that the Christian and Muslim concepts are radically different.  That reviewer did admit that “while the authors did bend over backwards in a strange attempt to not make Muslims mad, most of the time they did get around to admitting various places and things that differed a lot.”  I do appreciate what they wrote about Islam and violence.  “While many Muslims are peace-loving, nonetheless, those who commit acts of violence and terror in the name of God can find ample justification for their actions, based on the teachings of the Qu’ran and the sayings and examples from prophet Muhammad himself!…The minority groups in Islam who resort to violence are not an aberration to Islam but in fact can legitimately claim to be working within the basic parameters of Islamic Jihad.”  This excellent study will help all thinking people to understand the issues and make informed decisions concerning this topic.

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Full Moon, Half a Heart

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

full moon

Book: Full Moon, Half a Heart

Author: Vila Gingerich

Publisher: Plain Day Press, 2019

ISBN-13: 978-0999544617

ISBN-10: 0999544616

Related website(s): http://www.vilagingerich.com (author)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 9-12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Gingerich, VilaFull Moon, Half a Heart (Published in 2019 by Plain Day Press).  Celeste, a sixth grader, lives in a trailer home at the edge of town on the Kansas prairie with her dad and mom, younger sisters Farrah and Karolyn, baby brother Monty, and cat Spicy.  Her beloved Grandpa and Grandma live nearby, and Aunt Wendy often visits when home from her work on an Indian reservation.  Celeste attends the Sunflower State Mennonite School where she loves her teacher Mr. Smith and her best friends Lexi and Renita, although bossy Tony often teases and annoys her.  But life seems almost perfect until one day, suddenly Dad makes the announcement that the family is moving north to run a stinky dairy farm in Wisconsin—even before school is out.

Celeste has to finish the year at the Hilltop Mennonite School with the nervous Miss Penner, and she struggles to adjust to a place where school feels like prison, winter lasts forever, and her only pal is her Siamese cat. Can Celeste find anything to like about this place?  Will she make friends with her new classmates like Sally or Rita?  And does she ever get used to that barn full of scary cows to feed?  Author Vila Gingerich, who grew up in Mennonite communities across the Midwest, loosely based the plot on a very fictionalized version of an eventful year in her own childhood.  This book is a sequel to Growing Toward the Sun, in which Celeste and her friends solve the mystery of the Reno County thief.

Gingerich says that Full Moon, Half a Heart is realistic fiction, a coming-of-age story aimed at readers aged 9-12 years. It began as a book for her people.  Mennonite kids seldom get to read about children like them.  But then she realized that she wanted to share her culture in a way that would interest others. The book includes occasional references to God, Christian living, and Mennonite history; but the purpose is to entertain, not evangelize.  I enjoyed reading it.  Those who are interested in Mennonite life and background will especially like it, but it is a good story for any young person.  With so many tough changes, Celeste must grow and be strong, no matter how it hurts, and thus she learns important lessons in kindness and responsibility.

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Planet Out of the Past

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

518-cx+KO4L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Book: Planet Out of the Past

Author: James Lincoln Collier

Cover Illustrators: Tom Cross and David Jemison

Publisher: Atheneum, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0027228601

ISBN-10: 0027228606

Language level: 3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 9-12 and up

Rating: ****4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Collier, James Lincoln.  Planet Out of the Past (Published in 1983 by Macmillan Publishing Company, a division of Macmillan Inc., 866 Third Ave., New York City, NY  10022).  It is some unspecified time in the future, and Professor Joher sets out in a spaceship, along with his daughter Weddy, seventeen, son Nuell, sixteen, and research assistant Char, also seventeen, to explore the strange new planet Pleisto.  Their support ship has to turn back due to rocket problems, so the four go on all alone.  Once they land, the Professor takes off on an expedition but doesn’t return at the set time, so the three teens begin to track him.  They find evidence that he has been injured and carried away by someone or something in this frightening world that is very much like a prehistoric earth with saber tooth cats, Deinotherium, and primitive humans like Homo habilis, Australopithecines, and Ramapithecines.

Along the way, the trio discovers an injured Homo habilis being attacked by a group of Ramapithecines.  They rescue him, and, finding that his injury could have been caused only by the Professor’s specimen knife, they hope that he might know where Professor Joher was taken and be persuaded to lead them to him.  Is the Professor alive or dead?  Can Char, Weddy, and Nuell locate him and, if he is alive, rescue him?  Or will they themselves be captured?   This is fairly decent science fiction for young people.   One instance of cursing occurs where Nuell says, “Da** it, Char.”  There is also a lot of “philosophizing” about survival, self-awareness, primitive man, the violence of everyday life, feelings of competition and aggression, and what it means to be human that one may or may not agree with.

At the same time, the story also illustrates learning about human courage, love, generosity, and cooperation.  The biggest hurdle for me is the evolutionary assumptions underlying the entire plot throughout and the clear evolutionary teaching in the author’s note, “How Much of This Book Is True?”, at the end of the novel, with its claims like, “The transition from ape to humanlike types occurred at least five million years ago.”  For creationists, this will take some “suspension of belief,” but if one is able to put up with that, Planet Out of the Past is actually a pretty good sci-fi book.  However, I did not care much for My Brother Sam Is Dead which the same author, James Lincoln Collier, wrote with his brother Christopher Collier, even though it was a Newbery Honor Book.

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Reading Timothy’s Mail: Simple Summary Articles

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

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Book: Reading Timothy’s Mail: Simple Summary Articles

Author: Warren E. Berkley

Publisher: Pressing On, 2018

ISBN-13: 978-1728691565

ISBN-10: 1728691567

Related website(s): http://www.PressingOnMagazine.com (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Berkley, Warren E.  Reading Timothy’s Mail: Simple Summary Articles (Published in 2018 by Pressing On).  Isn’t it usually considered impolite to read someone else’s mail, especially without their express knowledge and consent?  God had the apostle Paul write two letters to a young man named Timothy and apparently expects us to read them since they are preserved in Scripture.  Almost everything that we know about Timothy is found in the Bible’s historical record.  He was a native of Lystra in Asia Minor.  His father was a Greek, implying not only ethnicity but also religion, i.e., a pagan.  However, his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were Jewish women who had apparently become Christians.  He traveled with Paul for a while and was eventually told to abide in Ephesus to do the work of an evangelist in that city.  It was during his stay there that he received these two epistles from Paul.

First and Second Timothy are often considered to be primarily for preachers. It is certainly true that these letters were addressed to Timothy, who was a preacher, and contain instructions for the work of preaching that he was doing at Ephesus. However, as author Warren Berkley correctly points out, these letters “are part of the New Testament of Jesus Christ and contain indispensable instruction for every Christian.”  The book is not intended as an exhaustive expository commentary.  Rather, the chapters are summary pages designed to help the reader capture the basic meaning of each one.  Berkley breaks down these letters into sections and gets right to presenting the main idea of each passage in a clear way.

Three good uses have been suggested for this book.   Since I am a gospel preacher myself, Reading Timothy’s Mail has a special interest to me, and all those who preach can benefit from reading the book and applying its principles to their work.  It would be especially beneficial when preaching through these epistles to have this volume as part of the material that one is studying through. Second, this is an excellent supplement for a personal study of these letters.  And third, the book can be used for Bible classes in which teachers can divide the material into sections which correspond with their teaching schedules.  While Berkley also supplements his comments with thoughts from other writers and commentators, his focus is on the text of Scripture and his comments reflect that focus, so that what we have here is a highly readable presentation of First and Second Timothy that gets to the heart of these letters.

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Victory Through Air Power

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

victory

Book: Victory Through Air Power

Author: Alexander Procofieff De Seversky

Publisher: Simon and Schuster, 1942

ISBN-13: 978-1299067042

ISBN-10: 1299067042

Language level:  1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Of interest to teens and adults

Rating: **** 4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Seversky, Alexander Procofieff deVictory Through Air Power (Published in 1942 by Simon and Schuster Inc., Rockefeller Center, 1230 Sixth Ave., New York City, NY).  Alexander Nikolaievich Procoffieff de Seversky (June 7, 1894 – August 24, 1974) was a Russian-American aviation pioneer, inventor, and influential advocate of strategic air power.  De Seversky began his military life at a young age. After serving in the Imperial Russian Navy, he received high honors and was the ace in the Navy after engaging in over 57 aerial combats during World War I. After coming to the United States, he created the Seversky Aircraft Company.  The outbreak of World War II found the U.S. air arsenal still pitifully neglected. To bring the magnitude of the problem to public attention, de Seversky wrote Victory Through Airpower and explained his theories of aviation and long-range bombing as influenced by General Billy Mitchell. The book became a best seller (it was even issued in a “Book of the Month Club” edition) and awoke people to the need for better air power. For his efforts he was awarded the Medal of Merit by President Harry Truman. Did you know that, “Although the airplane was first employed as a military weapon in the Balkan War of 1912-13, it did not assume a conspicuous role until the World War of 1914-18”?

When I picked up this book, I assumed that it would be a dry, dusty treatise on aviation theory.  However, the first half of the book is a fascinating account of the use of air power in the battles of Poland, the Maginot Line, the Skagerrak, Dunkirk, Britain, Crete, the Bismark, and of course Pearl Harbor, all of which had taken place prior to its publication in 1942.  Then based on these examples, de Seversky argues, “The most significant single fact about the war now in progress is the emergence of aviation as the paramount and decisive factor in warmaking….We can head off disaster only by recognizing its looming shape and by beginning now to prepare to meet any challenge.”  The second half of the book, which begins, “In the foregoing chapters we have traced the role of air power in the present global conflict and have noted the new relationships of weapons and the consequent revolutionary revision of traditional military ideas,” is the plea for “a separate and independent Air Force, organized as an equal partner in the great triumvirate of our land, sea, and air services.”

Even though his ideas were roundly criticized by the military establishment of the time (his mentor and associate Gen. Billy Mitchell was court-martialed for espousing some of the same concepts), obviously, de Seversky ultimately got his wish, and his suggestions helped us to win the war.  Why would I read such a book?  It was a gift because it was on my list of books turned into movies.  Victory Through Air Power was a 1943 American Technicolor animated documentary feature film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by United Artists on July 17, 1943, based on the 1942 book of the same name by de Seversky, who actually appeared in the film, an unusual departure from the Disney animated feature films of the time.  Those who enjoy reading about aviation, military theory in general, and World War II in particular should find the book interesting.

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In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

year of boar

Book: In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

Author: Bette Bao Lord

Illustrator: Marc Simont

Publisher: : HarperCollins, republished 2019

ISBN-13: 978-0064401753

ISBN-10: 0064401758

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 8 – 12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

Lord, Bette Bao.  In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (Published in 1984 by HarperCollins Publishers, 10 E. 53rd St., New York City, NY  10022; republished in 2011 by Scholastic Inc., 555 Broadway, New York City, NY  10012).  It is January of 1947, the “Year of the Boar,” and ten year old Sixth Cousin, otherwise known as Bandit, lives with her mother and their extended family, including Grandfather, Grandmother, and various uncles, aunts, and cousins on the Wong clan estate in Chungking, China.  Her father, the youngest son of the Patriarch, is an engineer who has been traveling the four seas to seek his fortune.  One wintry day, a letter arrives from Father summoning her mother and her to join him at their new home in Brooklyn, NY.  Sixth Cousin wants an American name, so after “Uncle Sam” is deemed unsuitable, Grandfather agrees to call her “Shirley Temple Wong.”

Thus, Shirley and her mother make the journey of ten thousand miles, first by boat and then by train, to Father.  What kind of house does he have for them to live in?  Will Shirley be able to acclimate well and make new friends, or will she be lonely and miserable?  And who is this Jackie Robinson that everyone is talking about?  This charming story, based on author Bette Bao Lord’s own days when she herself was a newcomer to America, covers the first year of Shirley’s experiences in her new home, including going to school, getting along with neighbors, and learning all about baseball.

One scene involves Father and his friends smoking cigarettes.  In fact, Shirley walks alone to the store to buy more cigarettes for them, something that may not have been all that unusual in 1947 but that would be considered inappropriate today.  Later, when Shirley accidentally walks into a stickball game, a girl named Mabel curses her out (they use **** in place of the swear words) and beats her up. In another scene, Shirley visits in the home of her school friend Emily, and the two girls sneak a peek at “naked people” in Gray’s Anatomy belonging to Emily’s psychiatrist father.  But the mischief is mostly innocent.  Someone complained that Marc Simont’s illustrations were “creepy,” but I have no idea why.  Most kids will appreciate the warm, naive humor of this timeless classic.

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