Book Reviews

This book celebrates Acadia’s Centennial with stunning photos

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 Stunning. Inspiring. Astonishing. Well, I really don’t have adjectives sufficient to describe the photos by Tom Blagden, Jr. in a new book, Acadia National Park – A Centennial Celebration.

Tom has been a professional nature photographer for 35 years, concentrating on Maine, South Carolina, and Costa Rica. I have honestly never seen photos this stunning. From gorgeous sunsets to an amazing photo of a herring gull chasing an osprey that has an alewife in its claws, I spent a lot of time savoring each photo.

Linda and I now have the book on the coffee table in our living room, where we flip the page each day to enjoy a different photograph. All of the photos were taken in and around Acadia National Park, and the book was published as part of the park’s 100th anniversary.

Third “Wildlife on the Move” kids’ book is exceptional

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a blandings turtlestory

These adventures of baby otters are very entertaining!

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Sammy, Swifty, and Newsome are baby otters, and their adventures – and hard lessons learned – are the subject of Otter Tales, a kid’s book written by Kathleen Morrissey.

Morrissey has written three other children’s books, Walter and Mike Get Their Own Fun Park Pool, Bunny Foodie Adventures, and The Lonely Noodle. I have not read any of those, but I’m going to get them to read to my granddaughter Ada, who will love Otter Tales.

Otter Tales is short enough to read in a single sitting or easily in two sittings. But knowing Ada, she won’t want me to stop reading!

That will be especially true when the sea lion shows up! And the story of the boys gathering and opening clam shells with a rock are very entertaining. I even learned how to find the tastiest urchins and abalone, although they may not be added to my shoreside lunch anytime soon!

Fascinating stories from the Allagash

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I’ve enjoyed Tom Caverly’s books over the years, both his books for adults and his books for kids. But I think his newest book, The Ranger and the Reporter, is my favorite.

I particularly appreciate the “New England Reads” literacy project that Tim and his wife Sue have been doing since 2015, providing 157 power point programs to almost 6,000 students. They encourage literacy and learning about our natural world, and have donated over 1500 of Tim’s book, Allagash Tail’s, to 133 New England schools.

Every middle-schooler (and you too) should read this novel

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                 Susan Ross’s book is a “middle grade novel” but I thoroughly enjoyed it myself, and I am a very long way from middle school. Kiki and Jacques, a Holiday House Book, delivers a very important and timely message.

              The story features the arrival of Somali refugees to a Maine town dominated by Franco Americans. A young middle schooler, Jacques, who is involved in a difficult family situation, takes an interest in a Somali girl whose brother, a great soccer player, becomes a rival of Jacques on the playing field.

It’s not a beagle. It’s a Pekingese!

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 Author Leah Haney dedicated her wonderful kid’s book, Muffin’s House, to “every kid who ever fell in love with a dog.” Yup. That would include me.

Well, truth be told, I have loved several dogs in my lifetime. I’m looking at a painting my Dad did of Gypsy Lou, an English setter that pointed the first pheasant I ever shot. We raised, trained, and sold setters, but we kept Gypsy, and she was the best of hunting companions.

I can still see her pointing, in that cornfield at the end of Maranacook Lake, and the pheasant taking off as I raised my shotgun, Dad right beside me, and the pheasant falling to the ground after I shot.

Joseph Souza writes another winning novel.

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 Joe Souza has a great imagination, and his new novel, Need To Find You, proves it.  It’s so fast paced that you won’t want to set it aside. I did, after reading just a few chapters, because I had a busy schedule that week, and then I had to start over because I’d forgotten some of the characters and plot twists in a couple of days. You’re going to need to pay attention when you read this one!

There’s plenty of murder and mayhem in this novel, as there is in Joe’s first novel, The Reawakening, which I also enjoyed and which won the 2013 Maine Literary Award for Speculative Fiction. A Portland resident, Joe has written another potential award winner with his new novel.

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