I Live in Many Worlds

I'm not one to talk about myself. I will say that I love to read and study languages. I have strong opinions about the things I read. Stick around if you'd like to hear them. :)

The Sandman and the War of Dreams (Guardians of Childhood, #4) by William Joyce

The Sandman and the War of Dreams - William Joyce

Another beautiful addition to this sweet little story. I am a huge fan of Pitch Black and in this book we finally get his whole story told to us. It's heartbreaking, beautiful, and tragic. I love learning more about him and his daughter and I love seeing how even beings like him, deserve some love and respect.

 

In this book, we have a returning character from the picture books. Sandy! I love this little guy. So much strength with such little words spoken. I adore him. I also love that this is the first time we get to see Nightlight grow a little as a character. He was someone who was very immature in his way of thinking. But it's in this book that he learns that things are not just black and white, good and evil. That there are many layers to who a person can be and many reasons to explain the actions one choose to take. I think it's a brilliant lesson for anyone to learn. Especially Nightlight, a boy who never ages.

 

I love this series so much. I know the writing can be quite simplistic at times, but the story and the characters more than make up for it. I think with such a lovely story, you don't need flowery writing. The story speaks for itself. 

 

I am close to the end of this series now. I've never read the last book before. This will be my first time reading it. Makes me nervous to finally find out what's going to happen. I love Pitch and I don't want him to get a nasty end for just being different. I will hold on to hope that the ending of the series will be just as sweet as the rest of it has been.

 

If you haven't read this series yet, I highly encourage that you do. It's a lot of fun with endearing characters and such fantastical ideas that it will make you want to explore your own imagination as thoroughly as you did when you were younger. Or still do. Some of us never forgot our "child-like wonder." I hope you never do.

Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies (The Guardians, #3) by William Joyce

Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies (Guardians of Childhood Chapter Books) - William Joyce

I'm finally continuing with my read of this amazing series. I had to take a bit of a break since Final Fantasy VII: Remake was released so all of my time went to that for about two months. X3 BUT! I am back and I just finished reading my favorite book in the series thus far.

 

In this book we meet Toothiana and I love reading about her past and how she came to me the mighty Queen that she is. Her wit, her strength, her will, her everything is so incredibly inspiring. I love learning about her powers and what makes her such an amazing Guardian.

 

All of the other characters make an appearance in this book as well. We see North, Ombric, Bunnymund, Nightlight, and Katherine grow and learn more about Pitch. Especially when it come to Katherine. She plays a key role in this book and it is through her that the other Guardians learn how to understand and sympathize with other beings. There's a certain scene that happens at the end of the book that introduces a new character and makes you fall in love with an old character all the more. I love this book.

 

Please, if you haven't read this series yet, please do. It's so much fun and helps you to understand and care for others who are different. It's such a heartwarming series that I think is worth the read. 

E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core! (The Guardians, #2) by William Joyce

E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core! (Guardians of Childhood Book #2) - William Joyce

And I continue straight into the next installment of this beautiful, magical series. Last time I told you how much magic and whimsy means to me whenever I read a book and how these books contain such magic. Well, this time, I want to talk about the actual construction of the book.

 

This book is written the same way as the first: simple, to the point, and feel-good. It's the type of light-hearted reading you look forward to after a difficult day. The type of book you want to read to forget about the troubles of the world. It's a lovely story filled with warmth and love and hope. I adore this type of book.

 

The characters are quirky and endearing. North is feisty and hot-headed. Katherine is brave, sweet, and caring. Bunnymund is egg-centric (see what I did there?). Ombric is the good-natured, sometimes gruff grandpa. And, of course, we cannot forget about Pitch. He's the "villain" who you want to see have a good ending. All of these characters, as silly as they can be sometimes, you just want to invite over and have a grand adventure with. You want to be friends with them all.

 

I love stories where beings you know have existed all along come to life in such a meaninful and thoughtful way. I have been a fan of these books ever since I read them years ago and I still love them. This book is fun, full of magical adventures, has a whole crew of amazing characters, and can help any child or adult find their ability to believe again. I recommend these books for the good feelings they instill in the reader. 

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King (The Guardians, #1) by William Joyce

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King - Laura Geringer, William Joyce

I adore magical origin stories. When I saw the movie Rise of the Guardians a few years back now for the first time, I fell in love with the story and the characters. Especially the character of Pitch Black. He intrigued me as someone who was never truly evil. He just wanted to be believed in. As did the other Guardians so I never understood why he was treated so harshly towards the end of the movie. I suppose because he was the "bad guy" he needed to be treated as such. Still I wanted to know more about him and about Jack. I've always considered Jack Frost to be a dear friend of mine so I'm always on the look out for any media that talks about him. So when I found out this movie were based on books, I had to track them down.

 

I first read the picture books and absolutely love them. The artwork and story telling truly feel magical. As do these novels. This is my second time reading them and I love them just as much as I did the first time. It's whimsical and magical. It truly makes you believe in a magic that's within all of us. I love these books. They are short and sweet and does exactly what I wanted them to do: shed more light into who Pitch truly is. Although the first book touches on who he used to be, it's the following books that really explains what happened to Pitch Black.

 

This book is fast and interesting. I love the characters. I think the relationship between North and Katherine is absolutely adorable. My favorite thus far! If you really want to get enraptured with a fun children's book, this is definitely worth the read. It's a book that encourages children and adults alike to believe in magic, no matter how difficult life may seem. 

The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie (Guardians of Childhood, #2) by William Joyce

The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie - William Joyce

And continuing on with this amazing series is the sequel, The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie. This book is just as amazing as the first. The artwork is stunning as always. The story captures the reader with its whimsy and the characters have you intrigued about where they come from and how they came to be. I love this book. It's so beautiful.

 

I love that we are getting to see more and more of Pitch Black. You can't help but wonder why he is doing this. What is he getting out of bringing Nightmares to children? We'll just have to continue reading to find out! 

Sandy is a precious being, I love how he cares so much that he himself starts to lose sleep when he is not sure as to how he's going to bring sweet dreams to children. He's just a lovable being.

 

If you love stories about fairy tales and whimsy, if you love a different take about all the characters you've come to know whilst growing up, then read these books. They only get better and better as you keep reading. Highly recommend them! 

The Man in the Moon (Guardians of Childhood, #1) by William Joyce

The Man in the Moon (Guardians of Childhood) - William Joyce

 Wow... it's been a while, hasn't it? It's been a long time since I sat down to read and review a book. Last year was a BIG year for me. I move across the country with my partner and puppo and it's been challenging to settle into a new way of life. Still, I am glad to be back and, hopefully, I will be able to read at a much more steady pace.

 

Anyway, you're not here to read about my life. You're here to find out what I thought about this book. Well, I love it!

 

I've been a fan of the Rise of the Guardians movie since it came out back in 2012. I thought the animation was stunning, the story fascinating, and the characters charming. My one complaint about the movie was the ending. I always thought it was rushed and did a complete 180 of what the story, up to that point, was trying to tell. Still, I loved the movie enough to check out the books. 

 

So a couple of years ago, I read all the books that were released at that time. The only ones I didn't get to were the two Jack Frost related ones (but I will be getting to them once I reread the previous ones). And reading those books all those years ago, when I was going through a very difficult period in my life, brought me much happiness. And the same thing could be said now.

 

Although I am in a much happier place now, I didn't enjoy this book any less. I love all the books in the  Guardians of Childhood series. This one starts it all! The artwork is gorgeous, the story whimsical, and the characters endearing. I love them all, especially Pitch Black. I adore Jack, too. I consider him to be a very close friend of mine. But he's not in this book... or is he? *Smirks*

 

I highly recommend you read this entire series. It's a beautiful told fairy tale that anyone, not matter the age, can enjoy! :)

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers  - J.R.R. Tolkien

It's been a long time since I've continued my LotR marathon. Life became really hectic last year and I couldn't finish. Since then, I have reread The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring and have enjoyed both of them tremendously all over again. Even more so than the last time. It was a thrill being back in Middle-Earth and falling in love with the characters again. Now finishing The Two Towers I can easily say that this series is becoming one of my favorites.

 

That's not to say I didn't have some difficulties with this book. Last year, when I first tried to read this book, I did struggle a little bit. I felt that it dragged and it was slow in the first half of the book when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli were chasing the Hobbits. However, upon rereading those portions this time around, I didn't have those problems. I felt like it was fascinating getting to see more of the world and feeling the anxiety the characters were going through made it feel that much more real. I believe a part of my struggle with it the first time had mostly to do with my environment and the subsequent moving house I had to go through last year. It's hard to focus on the book you're reading when you have so many worries going on in your mind. Which is why I ultimately decided to put it aside until recently to fully immerse myself into the world and story. And it definitely paid off this time.

 

However, one thing I struggled with before and I still struggled with this time were the Ents or, as I like to call, sexist trees. Are you kidding me, Tolkien? I heard so many wonderful things about the Ents and I was so excited to see them in all their glory... and it turns out that the "Entwives" are shallow and like to boss the Ents around. That they didn't care about the beauty of nature or learning about the world. They just want to have things done their way. It was so disappointing to see that they were restricted to a gender-binary. They are trees, ffs! I wanted to see them be more epic than stupid, trivial, shallow reasons. And whilst I do admit when they weren't focusing on how "foolish" the Entwives were being, the Ents were pretty badass. But otherwise, they were just a letdown. I hope they are better in the movies once I finally watch them. The Ents are what really made it difficult to fully enjoy this book.

 

Other than that, I really liked this book! We got to see more of the characters we got to meet in the first book, really stand out in this book! And meet some new ones along the way. Finally got to meet both Eowyn and Faramir in this one! I really like what I see of the two so far. Eowyn is fierce, strong, and intelligent. Faramir is bold, caring, and sweet. I cannot wait to see more of them in book three. 

 

But I think my absolute favorite parts of this book are seeing Frodo and Sam's relationship and seeing more of Gollum. Frodo and Sam have a kinship stronger than anyone in this book. It's absolutely beautiful seeing how much these two love each other. They really would be lost without each other. And Sam! Ugh! The way he would give up his life just to make sure Frodo is protected at all costs just makes my heart asugufghdfh I love them. And Gollum! Okay, he's my favorite character in the entire series. He won my heart back in The Hobbit and I think he shall forever have my heart. Needless to say, we get to see more of who he really is in this book and it's beautiful and heart-warming and gut-wrenching all at the same time. I won't say anymore because spoilers, but you really need to see how wonderful of a character he is for yourself. It hurts me in all the right ways.

 

Anyway, I don't need to tell you to read these books. Most people have read them already. And that's good! I do think they are worth the read. These books really do live up to the hype. They are fun, interesting, adventurous, and fantastic books. If you haven't read them yet then I highly suggest you do. There's a little bit of something for everyone here. It's not the best representative-wise. The characters are all white, and not many female characters take center stage, but they're a classic and I think you should read them at least once in your life.

 

I only have one more book to go! I'm looking forward to seeing how this fantasy epic wraps up!

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien

This has been a long time coming. I have been holding off reading this trilogy for years! I don't know what it was that kept preventing me from picking up these books. I guess Life just kept getting in the way. But! I have now read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring and I couldn't be happier. These books have been a lot of fun to read and just as amazing as I thought they would be.

 

Now, it's been a while since I've written a book review so I'm a little rusty and this book has been around for a while and I'm just getting around to reading them, but I will do my best to talk about them nonetheless!

 

This book starts off with Frodo and tells of his tale throughout the lands of Middle-Earth. It's another adventure story, just as in The Hobbit, however it's a much darker tale. Frodo must go with his Company to destroy the Ring of Power in order to bring Sauron's rule to an end. Constantly throughout the whole story, the threat of danger lurks near and the loss of allies is around every corner. I love how dark it got. I love seeing each of the characters grow into their own. It's amazing.

 

I loved seeing Frodo and Sam's relationship. How much they cared and looked out for each other. I loved finally meeting Aragorn and how wise of a traveler he was. Gandalf is still all-knowing and powerful. I love seeing Galadriel in all her splendor. She truly impressed me as a character. Her power is incredible! Finally getting to see all these characters be as whimsical and magical as they are was something I've been looking forward to for years. It's been a while since I've read an epic fantasy as entertaining as this one and it felt great going back to the genre.

 

I don't really have much more to say at this point. This story is a classic for a reason. It's amazing and wonderful and a lot of fun to read. The same things I said about The Hobbit still applies here. There's not much diversity between the characters. However, there are more female characters in this book than in the previous so that's an improvement! (Galadriel is absolutely stunning!) Still, even if these books have some issues, they are worth the read. If you love fantasy and you haven't read these books yet, please give them a try. They are wonderful!

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

This has been a long time coming. My partner has been trying to get me to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books since I met them, which is sixteen years ago, and every time I tried to read them, something always came up. Either school or family or life got in the way in some form or another so I never got around to reading them. Well, that all ends here because I finally, finally, read The Hobbit and I am so happy I did!

 

This is the classic fantasy adventure story. It's all about how a bunch of dwarves are going on a long adventure through woods and mountains in order to slay a dragon and reclaim their treasure with a little hobbit along for the ride. That's it! Well, obviously, there's more to it than that but that's the gist of it! I never knew that! Keep in mind that I know nothing about these books, classics though they may be, and I did fairly well at keeping spoilers away from my being. So, as I read and I realized that THAT was the plot of this story, I was super excited! I haven't read such a classic story device in such a long time that reading it here was absolutely delightful! I loved reading how the characters faced every challenge in such a fun way. In fact, that's what I came away from this book feeling: fun.

 

Tolkien is highly regarded and respected and I can see why. He created a beautiful world with fascinating lore and you, as the reader, want to continue exploring that world, learning about what this world has to offer. You want to be there on Middle-Earth and learn more about the elves, dwarves, hobbits, wizards, wargs, etc. You want to learn its history and magic. You want to go on these epic adventures and see the Misty Mountains, Rivendell, and Mirkwood! Okay... maybe not so much that last one but you get what I'm trying to say! *Laughs* It's just an amazing world the The Hobbit makes you want to be there on these adventures. Tolkien did such an excellent job in creating this world and he created such fun loving characters to go with it.

 

I adore the characters in this book. From Bilbo to Gandalf to Gollum to Fili and Kili to Balin to Smaug to even bloody Bombur! I truly love all the characters. Bilbo comes off as cowardly at first but then you see him grown into a strong and capable little hobbit. A truly wonderful protagonist to follow. Gandalf is sassy and omniscient and hilarious to boot! All the dwarves that went on this adventure are such little nuisances but I can't help but love them. Especially Bombur. Complains about everything and I want to shove him off a cliff, but I really like him. Smaug, our big baddy, was also one of my favorites. I mean, he's a huge dragon! Of course I was going to love his arrogance and his wit. But I think the character that stole my heart was Gollum. His story is so tragic, so heartbreaking, that he just broke me. When I read that he usually talks to himself because he had no one else to talk to, it shattered me. I love him. And I know he did some bad things... still, I love him all the same.

 

I could go on and on about how I adore and had fun with this book. But I won't. After all, I still have three more books I need to read in order to get the full picture! I will say that the lack of female characters was a bit disappointing but I knew that these books, because of when they were written, lacked female representation so it didn't ruin the book for me. Still, it is worth noting, of course. Other than that, I really don't have anything to complain about this book. It's fun, engaging, hilarious, and so so much fun! If you haven't read them yet, please give it a shot. It really is worth it.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

It's been such a difficult time this year when it comes to reading. So many things have gotten in the way of what I had planned but that's okay. I'm still reading and I'm reading good books on top of that! The Perks of Being a Wallflower is no exception! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it was a difficult one to read. There are some heavy themes throughout the book, which I will get to in a bit, that really destroys the reader. However difficult it was, I really do think that this book is important to read.

 

The story follows "Charlie" and his experiences as he enters high school. We don't know if that's his true name, we don't know who anyone in the story really is. We are just there to listen and experience his life with him. And as simple as this story is, the themes themselves are not. There's drug abuse, child abuse, rape, homophobia, and violence. If these themes are not something you're comfortable reading, then you might want to skip this one. Otherwise, I do think it's worth reading.

 

The writing is very basic and compliments Charlie as a character. His way of thinking is simple, blunt, to the point. He also starts off with his thoughts very scattered and as the book progresses and he sorts out his thoughts, the writing, too, becomes smooth. I actually really like how Chbosky used that as a writing device. It was fantastic to read and I loved reading from Charlie's perspective. He's sweet but flawed and even when he became upset and his thoughts became scattered, he was still a delight to read from. 

 

The side characters were interesting as well. Patrick, a friend of Charlie's, is such a wonderful person. He's funny, sweet, charming, and one of my favorite people in the book. Sam, another friend of Charlie's, looks out for him and cares for him whilst working hard on trying to change her life for the better. I actually really like how the characters are all going through their own thing and are trying to make something of themselves. It was realistic and painful.

 

I really like this book. It's raw, painful, joyful. and beautiful. I do recommend you give this book a shot if you're interested in learning what these characters go through. It's quite a read.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters - Francesca Zappia

It's been a long time since I've been to the library and I missed just spending the whole day there reading as many books as I can get my hands on. Last time I went, I felt like reading something relevant to my interests. That being "fandom." I get really invested in the books/video games/anime/manga I'm into and I love seeing others get involved as well; writing fanfiction, drawing fanart, cosplaying, and the list goes on. So when I heard Eliza and Her Monsters tackle this very topic, I was interested in reading it from the get-go. And I am glad I did.

 

This book follows Eliza Mirk. She is the creator of a highly successful webcomic which has a huge following in the online community. With that success comes curiosity as her fans wonder who is the creator of their favorite comic. Eliza chooses to remain anonymous to protect herself, however, things start to get out of hand when news of who she is start to surface. It's a story about self-acceptance, persistence, and understanding. It's a pretty good story for those looking to understand who they are and what the future may hold.

 

I want to start off by saying I liked this book. I think the overall message was a good one. Teenagers really need to read books about taking time to figure themselves out and not to worry about trying to do everything "perfectly" right after high school. They need to take time, make some mistakes, and just figure things out for themselves. I really thought those messages were an important inclusion to the book. I thought the writing style was okay. It's nothing to write home about but it did what it set out to do.

 

The characters, also, were okay. I never really got to the point where I felt connected to Eliza. She had to face a lot of her own insecurities and I felt she was too much of a pushover, but I get that was how she is and how she needed to work through that. My main problem with her is that she, like many other female characters in media, are portrayed as being pathetic once a guy enters their life. There's nothing wrong with dating, but to sacrifice who you are and what you love for that person? Really? Nothing irks me more... and speaking of said guy... Wallace... at first, I liked him. I really did. I thought he was sweet and kind and I was curious as to why he chose not to speak out loud. I still think he can be sweet and kind... but when he put so much pressure on Eliza to help him with his future, I thought it wasn't fair. Her health and well-being should have been first on his mind. Not how, with her success, he was going to be well off in the future. Then he got upset with her when she said she couldn't help? Because her mental health was not at a good place? He acted so entitled to her work it really was making me upset. It was selfish and inconsiderate that I really started to dislike him. It does get better towards the end but... the damage was done. The characters were my least favorite part about this book.

 

Still, this book is not necessarily about the characters. It's about the love one can have for a piece of fiction and the things you can create for that love. It's about the fanfiction, fanart. It's about the fans and what the fans can create when they come together. It'd a love letter to fandoms and I thought it was a pretty good one at that.

 

If you have any interests in fandoms or are going through a difficult time when considering what you should be doing with your future, I urge you to pick this book up. It can be quite infuriating at times, but I think you'll be able to see through to the positives well enough. Keep in mind that this book deals with anxiety, depression, and suicide. Remember: You are not alone. There is help out there for you. Just reach out and there will be a hand to hold on to you. Take care of yourselves. Be kind. 

 

Hope you're all having a lovely day. If not, I hope everything gets better for you. 

Thornhill by Pam Smy

Thornhill - Pam Smy, Pam Smy

This is another book I randomly picked off the shelves when I went to the library for the first time in six months. I was drawn in by the spine. All I saw was it was completely black with Thornhill written in bright white font. Once I flipped through the book and saw it was also told through illustrations, I decided to read it right there and then. And I was not disappointed.

 

Thornhill is told through two perspectives. The first is Mary, an orphaned girl living in the Thornhill Institute during 1982, and is being viciously bullied by one of the other orphans. The second is Ella, a girl living next door to the ruined Thornhill Institute in 2016, who sees a little girl inside the institution and desperately wants to become her friend. What unfolds is a story about loneliness, anger, and pain these two must face in order to find their peace in the world.

 

This story is depressing. Pam Smy does not shy away from showing how terrible being the victim of bullying truly is. It hits the reader hard. Just reading about the pain Mary goes through, seeing her in pain, how lonely she is, it just hurts so much. With the fantastic artwork accompanying the story, brings that hurt alive. Smy is truly talented in weaving both the past and present into one narrative. I am in awe at her abilities to create a story not just through words but art as well.

 

Her characters are so amazing as well. I feel so strongly for Mary the most. She just wants a family to love and appreciate her and because of how quiet she is, she is treated so poorly. Not just by the other orphans, but by the adults as well. But she is such a kind, gentle soul. She loves creating dolls to be her friends and it's truly magical. I adore her. Ella is also kind and gentle. She works so hard in befriending the girl she sees next door and I love that her instinct was to be friends and not to judge her. Smy's characters are lovely and it makes me feel all the more for them.

 

I can't really dive into anything else that happens in this book because it's all about seeing how everything plays out for these two and how the two time periods become interwoven. All I will say that this is truly a tragic story and if there's one thing you take away from reading this book is, if you see anyone being picked on or bullied, please say something. Get help. Being tormented day in and day out is no way to live. Please don't let anyone suffer. We are all on this planet to live as best we can. Let's try to make it a good place for everyone.

 

I really like this book for its art and story, and though it is quite a depressing read, I highly recommend you pick it up. There's violence, bullying, and child neglect involved so keep that in mind when reading this book. However, I do think it's worth the read and worth it for the art as well. It's absolutely stunning!

What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis & Thalia Wallis Illustrated by Joseph Wilkins

What Does Consent Really Mean? - Thalia Wallis, William Joseph Wilkins, Pete Wallis

This year has been quite rough for my partner and I. As a result, we haven't been going to the library as frequently as in the past. However, two days ago, we decided we needed to get out of the house for a while. Just to clear our minds. So, after six months, we decided to go to the library and just pick up anything that caught our eyes. Whilst browsing the graphic novel section, I spied What Does Consent Really Mean? and I was curious to see how they handled the subject matter. I am quite glad with the outcome.

 

Pete and Thalia Wallis did a fantastic job introducing the topic of consent to a young audience. It's important people understand that when they are being intimate with another person, all parties involved must be willing and able to participate in sexual intercourse. And if anyone seems hesitant, then that means no. It doesn't matter if the person didn't actually say "no." If they don't seem willing, that automatically should be a sign to not proceed any further. 

 

What I like about this book is how matter-of-fact and straight to the point it is. It doesn't beat around the bush about how you should approach someone when it comes to sex. It can seem a bit basic, but for someone who is thinking about having sex for the first time, it's important that books like this exist. You can never have too many resources about giving consent and what it means when someone doesn't say "yes" to having sex.

 

Joseph Wilkins's artwork is quite simple and I think it matches well with the style of the comic. It's a simple way of educating people about making sure all involved are okay with having sex. This book teaches you not to take advantage of someone if they are intoxicated or to post someone's private photos for all to see. And Wilkins art brings these messages alive without distracted the reader from the heart of the book. 

 

I think this comic is amazing. If you have someone young in your life that could be thinking about sex, I think this is a great book for them to read. It doesn't only deal with heterosexual intercourse either. It also talks about having consensual sex between gay and bi people respectively. At the back of the book, there's many resources provided in case you want to find out more about teens questioning their sexuality, if they've been sexually assaulted, or other resources to help teens learn and understand their bodies a bit better.

 

I really like what this book is doing and highly recommend you let a young person in your life read it.

My Name Is Parvana (The Breadwinner, #4) by Deborah Ellis

My Name Is Parvana - Deborah Ellis

And with My Name Is Parvana, this amazing series comes to an end. I had an wonderful and heartbreaking experience reading this series and I would reread these books again and again for years to come. I adored all of these books. Each one has a very important story to tell. Each one is a story that must be told. All four books contain a message, a story, a lesson which we should learn about the people living in Afghanistan, especially the women.

 

Deborah Ellis did a fantastic job in researching the country of Afghanistan. She went above and beyond to bring their stories to life for Western audiences to understand the atrocities that happen there. I love her writing style so much. It's blunt. She doesn't shy away from telling you that women are being tortured, raped, and murdered constantly. And though these books contain such heavy topics, I think it's important that we read them. Not just adults, but children, too. It's important that we read and understand that these things happen in the world and from learning about these horrible acts, we can prevent them from happening in the future. These books teach us that through education, through acceptance and love and empathy, we can get to a better place and help each other to find said place. Ellis writes her characters to be such brave and loving people.

 

Seeing Parvana and how strong and brave she has become by the end of this series is so wonderful. I love how she fought so hard despite all the hardships thrown her way. In fact, so many characters in this book continue to get up and fight even if it seems hopeless. Asif, Sauzia, Mrs. Weera, Parvana, they are such amazingly strong and brave characters. So real and authentic. I admire them greatly. I won't go on about how much I love these characters because that will bring me to spoiler territory, but you should definitely read these books to find out how these characters come together to overcome all the strife surrounding their lives.

 

If you've read all the previous books, then continue on. This book gives the read hope. Not a false hope either. It's not telling you things are going to be better from this point on. It's telling you that life is cruel and messy and sometimes, you want to just give up. But if you can find the strength to keep going, it'll all be worth it. It's a fantastic series if you want to learn more about Afghanistan or the women living therein. It's a great series if you want to find just a little bit of hope out there. I highly recommend you read The Breadwinner series. They are such amazing books!

Mud City (The Breadwinner, #3) by Deborah Ellis

Mud City - Deborah Ellis

After reading Parvana's Journey, I decided to hop right into Mud City to see what will happen next to Parvana and her family. However, once I started to read it, I quickly discovered that this book followed her friend Shauzia, not Parvana. That's didn't deter me from reading the book, of course, because I loved Shauzia in the first book and was looking forward to her journey since last we heard from her. I just had to change my expectations of what the book was going to be about. And is was such a fantastic read! Reading these books have been a wonderful experience. I'm enjoying it tremendously. They have been heartbreaking, especially this installment for very personal reasons which I will explain momentarily. But these book have been a valuable experience throughout.

 

I'm going to start off by talking about Shauzia. This is the first time we get the story through her perspective. In The Breadwinner, we see her through Parvana's eyes. We learn that she wants to escape her life in Afghanistan by going to the sea and traveling to France. At the end of the first book, we learn that Parvana and Shauzia make a promise to meet in twenty years on top of the Eiffel Tower to know that they were able to make it out safely. In Parvana's Journey, the only mention of Shauzia we get is through the letters Parvana writes to her. We don't actually see her. So this is the first time we get to learn more about her. She is a lot more hot-headed than Parvana is. She is someone who fights hard for what she wants, not paying any mind to the consequences. Shauzia is more of a loner and a fighter than Parvana, and I wouldn't have her any other way. She makes some foolish mistakes, but she comes out the better for making them and I'm now looking forward to learning more about her and Parvana in the last book in the series! 

 

Deborah Ellis continues to write about difficult subject matters in an approachable way so that anyone, children and adults alike, can understand and empathize about the wars happening in Afghanistan. I am learning so much about what happened in Afghanistan in the past for it to be the way it is now. Although, I remember some of what happened through personal experience. I lived across the Hudson when the World Trade Center Towers were destroyed. I saw them crumble down. I saw the sky covered in the thick, black smoke. I saw people running around, trying to get their families together. I heard yelling and crying and screaming coming every which way. I was stuck in traffic for five hours in a ride that should have taken ten minutes. All of that is still fresh in my mind. So reading about that in this book, it was so hard for me... but I'm glad to see that this book didn't shy away from mentioning that terrible event. I'm glad it's being talked about and written about and taught to younger kids. That this book shows that there's good and bad everywhere. That even though what happened in New York that day still haunts and hurts a lot of us here in the States, that there are people in Afghanistan who are hurt by those same events and that they, too, want the violence and suffering to stop. Just knowing that this book is out there for kids to read and learn that not everyone is cruel gives me hope.

 

I'm going to stop now. Reading Mud City and then writing this review has made me emotional, I know, but I had to get this out. This is an amazing book. An amazing series! Please, if you have not read the first two, give them a shot. If you have, read this one, too! It's just as good as the first two. Read it to your kids, if you have any, or just read it for yourself. They are such great books and I highly recommend them.

 

And now I'm off to read the final book in The Breadwinner series. I'm a bit worried to see how everything is going to end, but there's no way I'm going to stop now. I want to know the ending and I can't wait to read My Name is Parvana.

Parvana's Journey (The Breadwinner, #2) by Deborah Ellis

Parvana's Journey - Deborah Ellis

After how much I adored the first book in this series, I decided to continue on with Parvana and her journey to find her family. I'm glad I did. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, painful story about a young girl as she travels throughout Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. I'll put it bluntly, this book is a difficult read. People are dying, children are starving, and there's violence throughout so... it's not for the faint of heart. However, I highly recommend you read this book if you've read the first one and appreciated the story within.

 

Parvana is still an incredible character. In this book, she is very angry and tired and looses patience quite easily with the other children. Can you blame her? Her entire life has been nothing but strife and chaos. She's a young girl who knows war and only war. And it's getting to her. I felt so strongly for her in the first book, but I feel so much more for her in this one. She's been through so much already and you know she's only going to experience so much more pain still. Asif is a new character and I adore him, too. He starts off as a brat and, as the story continues, he's still a brat but he acts more like a brother to Parvana. He's sweet and caring, he just doesn't know how to show it. Another character that's new to the story is Leila. She is a lovely little girl with a vivid imagination who joins Parvana and Asif on their journey to find Parvana's family. She is free-spirited and so sweet; I adore her so much!

 

Ellis did a fantastic job in writing this book and creating these characters. She is bringing awareness to what happened in Afghanistan and is helping young children understand that part of the world a little more. She is urging for us to help in any way we can so that way people in Afghanistan, especially women and children, have a chance to live a life free from war and violence and starvation. I love that she wrote these books with the intention to help those in Afghanistan.

 

I love this book just as much as I love the first book in The Breadwinner series. I will continue to read the rest of this series because I want to know what is going to happen with Parvana. I have to see how her story will end. I hope she is able to find peace and happiness one day. I truly do. And I shall continue to read in order to find out! Please read this series! To learn more about our history, Afghanistan's history, and the history of many women who have lived through the war under the Taliban rule. It's a heavy read, but one well worth the weight. 

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