Mailbox Monday #275

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1.  Disney Princess: Fairy Tale Moments for review from Goodman Media

Just as little girls like to dress up and imagine themselves twirling around ballrooms as their favorite Disney princesses, they will relish the chance to create the worlds of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel, Ariel, Mulan, Tiana, Aurora, Jasmine, Merida and Pocahontas in their very own home. Each princess receives the royal treatment in this must-have collectible. Girls can revel in their gowns, their gracious surroundings, the key moments in each storyline, and every happy ending. Each of 9 gorgeous posters can function as room décor, signage, or background to a little girl’s princess fantasy life.

2. Disney Junior Sofia the First: Practice Makes Princess for review from Goodman Media

Disney Junior fans will be thrilled to see Sofia the First get the true royal treatment! This charming poster book features sweet images of Sofia, her family, and friends (including the furry ones!), plus lots of wisdom from the Princess herself. Princesses in training can relive their favorite moments from the popular TV show-from Sofia riding in the royal coach for the very first time to hosting her first tea party. Plus, they’ll find fantastic door signs and room decorations inside. This collectible edition comes with 9 additional supersize pull-out posters.

3. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, my early birthday present (2 months early) from mom.

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

4. Funniest Verses of Ogden Nash from the library sale.

5. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf from the library sale.

In Mrs. Dalloway, the novel on which the movie The Hours was based, Virginia Woolf details Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life. The novel “contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century”

6. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith from the library sale.

There is rarely a dull moment in the life of Precious Ramotswe, and on Zebra Drive and Tlokweng Road many changes are afoot. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni wants be put in charge of a case involving an errant husband, and Mma Makutsi is considering leaving the agency, taking her near perfect score on the Botswana Secretarial College typing exam with her. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe has been asked to investigate a series of unexpected deaths at the hospital in Mochudi. Along the way, she encounters other tricky mysteries, and once again displays her undying love for Botswana, a country of which she is justly proud.

7. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson from the library sale.

Freshman year at Merryweather High is not going well for Melinda Sordino. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now her friends—and even strangers—all hate her. So she stops trying, stops talking. She retreats into her head, and all the lies and hypocrisies of high school become magnified, leaving her with no desire to talk to anyone anyway. But it’s not so comfortable in her head, either—there’s something banging around in there that she doesn’t want to think about. She can’t just go on like this forever. Eventually, she’s going to have to confront the thing she’s avoiding, the thing that happened at the party, the thing that nobody but her knows. She’s going to have to speak the truth.

8. Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas from the library sale.

On a spring afternoon in 1920, Swandyke—a small town near Colorado’s Tenmile Range—is changed forever. Just moments after four o’clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, enveloping everything in its path.

Meet the residents whose lives this tragedy touches: Lucy and Dolly Patch, two sisters long estranged by a shocking betrayal. Joe Cobb, Swandyke’s only black resident, whose love for his daughter forces him to flee Alabama. Then there’s Grace Foote, who hides secrets and scandal that belie her genteel façade. And Minder Evans, a Civil War veteran who considers cowardice his greatest sin. Finally, there’s Essie Snowball, born Esther Schnable to conservative Jewish parents, who now works as a prostitute and hides her child’s parentage from the world.

9. Princess Magic: Words from the Heart from the library sale.

From Cinderella to Pocahontas, Disney films have featured many captivating princesses and strong female characters — each with her own style and personality. Now here’s a beautiful illustrated gift book that highlights inspirational, funny, and just plain memorable quotations by Disney’s princesses and heroines, as well as quotable quips from their princes and sidekicks. Organized by theme — including “The Glass is Half Full,” “Confidence is Key,” and “Listen to Your Heart,” — the book delivers a definite “girl power” message that will both entertain and uplift.

10. A Princess Primer: A Fairy Godmother’s Guide to Being a Princess from the library sale.

For ages the fairy godmother has helped make young girls’ dreams come true. Now, for the first time, she reveals her closely guarded secrets in one wondrous volume. Everything a girl needs to know about being a princess is presented in this facsimile of the fairy godmother’s personal journal, from how to wear a sparkling tiara and choose a fancy gown to what to expect at a royal ball and how to recognize a true prince. In addition to her advice and tips, the fairy godmother offers stories and personal reminiscences, all illustrated with breathtaking paintings of rich landscapes, marvelous castle interiors, and princesses from around the world. This is an incomparable gift for girls who dream of having a little fairy godmother magic in their lives.

What did you receive?

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas

“I’d sneaked away from my parents and gone to the depot, too, because I’d never seen any Japanese. I expected them to look like the cartoons of Hirohito in the newspaper, with slanted eyes and buckteeth and skin like rancid butter. All these years later, I recall I was disappointed that they didn’t appear to be a ‘yellow peril’ at all. They were so ordinary.” (Page 2)

Sandra Dallas’ Tallgrass is set in Colorado in 1942 just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The book is narrated by Rennie Stroud, who was a 13-year-old girl when the Japanese are rounded up and placed into an internment camp–known as Tallgrass Ranch–in Ellis, Colorado. Many of the Japanese in the camp just up from the Stroud’s farm had been evacuated from their homes in California and their presence causes a major stir.

“They’d heard the sirens, too, and said it wasn’t anything, but I feared that somebody had gone under the bobwire surrounding the camp and was going to break into our house and kill us.” (Page 17)

Readers travel along with Rennie as she uncovers the truth about humanity regardless of color or creed and as she discovers the truth about her family. She grows into a woman more quickly than her parents would like, but given the rationing, the war effort, the harvest, and the increasing racial tension, Rennie has little choice but to mature.

“Things were tense even for the kids in the camp who never came in contact with people from Ellis. Little boys there played war games, just like the boys in Ellis. Daisy told us she’d watched a group of Tallgrass kids pretending they were fighting in the South Pacific and heard one complain, ‘How come I have to be the damn Jap all the time?'” (Page 238)

Readers will enjoy growing along with Rennie and getting into trouble with her and Betty Joyce. Dallas does an exceptional job of rounding out Rennie’s character from her naivete to her compassion and empathy for the plights of those less fortunate, like the Japanese and her friends. However, Tallgrass is more than a coming of age story; it also touches upon the harm caused by wrong-headed government policies, the fear that leads to prejudice and hatred, and the impact a war can have on everyone.

While readers may see some holes in how one of the main mysteries is resolved, Dallas’ resolution is in tune with the narrator she chose, a 13-year-old who is not privy to serious adult conversation. Overall, Tallgrass is a novel about WWII, family, growing up, and learning how to build a community even when differences exist.

This is my 6th book for the War Through the Generations: WWII Reading Challenge.

Thanks to Staci at Life in the Thumb for reviewing Tallgrass with several other WWII books that I had to pick up from the library and read all together.

Also Reviewed By:
Adventures in Reading
Jo-Jo Loves to Read!!!
Life in the Thumb