Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Daly, Maureen. 87 Ways to Throw a Killer Party.
Publication date 7/27/11; E-ARC from

This is not a book that I would have sought out, but it was very intriguing. I want to have a time travel party right now! There are, in fact, 87 different parties described, with suggestions for food, decorations, music, etc. As someone who once threw a birthday party for a five year old where the activity was having the children retrieve 100 pennies from the back yard (where I had put 99 pennies!), this would be a huge help to many people. The illustrations by Christian Robinson are worth noting. They are reminiscent of the illustrations in books on similar topics from the 1960s that I collect, so were very fun!
Strengths: If you need a book on throwing parties for a middle school or high school library, this is about the only one I have seen, and very clever and complete.
Weaknesses: The inclusion of some recipes would have made this more helpful.

Robbins, Tina. Lily Renee, Escape Artist.
Publication Date 11/1/11; E-ARC from

Lily Wilhelm's family lived in Austria and was well-to-do until the Nazi occupation. Like many families, they had their possessions taken and were sent to Vienna, where they luckily were not hurt during The Night of Broken Glass. Unlike many families, however, they were fortunate that Lily was sponsored by a British pen pal and was able to go live with her family. The mother was very mean, but Lily eventually got work as a nurse's aide and survived the Blitz. When the British government classified her as an enemy alien, she tried to hide but ended up turning herself in. Since her parents were in America, she was able to get another transport ship to come to them. Once in America, Lily tried her hand at all kinds of work, but found her niche in illustrating comic books, including one series about a woman spy who works against the Nazis.

Strengths: This will be an excellent addition to the Holocaust books that I have for the 8th graders. While in graphic novel format, it is still interesting and well done. The illustrations are much better than some of the other Lerner graphic nonfiction, and the inclusion of explanatory notes on historical topics at the back make this very useful.
Weaknesses: Parts of the story seem rushed, but this could be a problem of the format.

1. 45 Miles 2. 43 books 3. 37 quilt tops (I sewed for about 11 hours today. This is why I'm trying to finish off my fabric stash and move on to other activities!)


  1. Lily Renee sounds like a good one...thanks!

    and good luck getting through your fabric...I'm making a rag rug at the moment, not so much because I Want a rag rug, but because I'm trying to get rid of the boys' old sweatpants...

  2. Great job on your goals. Keep going. The summer is slowly coming to a close. I cannot believe in less than a month I am back at school. Time to transition back to the education world after getting away from it all summer.