Please Borrow My Books From the Public Libraries!

Great news! Printed copies of my books can now be borrowed from Queens, Nassau and Suffolk County Libraries in New York. Request an inter-library loan!

Queens Libraries—Bay Terrace, Central(Jamaica), and Whitestone 

Nassau Libraries—Manhasset, Port Washington, Syosset

Suffolk Libraries— East Hampton, Huntington

The digital copies are available in Queens Public Library and may be available in other library systems throughout the country. If your library cannot provide access to these books, please ask them to purchase in digital or paperback formats to add to their collection.

The Science Project
The Ocean’s Way
Who Do Voodoo?
The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion
Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

Happy reading! If you do decide to borrow my books from the library, please remember to write a review on the library website.

Thanks,

Elaine

Please let me know how you do. I’d love to hear from you author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2018

Book Review: Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick

Book Review: Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick (MG) 4 Stars ****

Thirteen-year-old eighth grader Claire lives in present day Bethlehem, Pennsylvania experiencing all the angst, teasing, insecurities, and disappointments that comes with that age. Written in the first person, Claire is vocal and direct about what she does not like about her school mates, her teachers, her parents, and her brother. Claire’s incessant complaining comes to a stop when her father suffers a debilitating and life threatening stroke. Claire is at home alone with him at the time and her quick thinking call to 9-1-1 saves his life and gets him the emergency care he needs in this time sensitive situation.

This well-researched book takes the reader through the warning signs of a stroke, immediate emergency care needed and the long, painstaking road to recovery with help from therapists and family members. Claire’s father loses his will to fight the limitations of his condition, but Claire manages to reach him in a special way so that they both might reach their goals. Claire’s father struggles with physical therapy and speech exercises while Claire struggles with dance exercises so she may be promoted to a dance group with kids her own age rather than with the younger kids with whom she is now matched. Claire explains, “This is what love is, I think. Daddy was strong for me so that I could learn to be. Then I was strong for him until he could relearn his own strength. Now, here we are, strong together.”

Anyone who has experienced severe family illness will be able to identify with this story. The patient’s needs overtake everyone’s life. Nothing is as it was before. Everyone’s energy is focused on the patient’s recovery while personal goals and desires are put on hold.

Claire is a hyper-complainer. I found myself getting hypertense while reading this book because of the frenetic energy with which the story is told. Too many quips and one-liners for my taste. I would opt for a calmer presentation

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2018

Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (YA) 4 Stars ****

Set in 1986 Omaha, Nebraska, sixteen-year-olds Eleanor and Park initially meet each other on the school bus. Eleanor, being the new kid— unattractive, ill-at-ease, poorly dressed, defensive— finds herself the butt of many jokes from the bus and school bullies. Park comes to her defense and soon develops a crush on Eleanor. Eleanor returns the feelings.

The story is told in alternating short narratives which reinforces how different these two characters are from each other. Eleanor is Caucasian, sloppily dressed, wild red curly hair, from a highly dysfunctional, poor family with four siblings and her mother’s drunken husband spreading fear on a daily basis. Eleanor’s mother tries passively to protect her children. Eleanor receives very little encouragement and often bears the brunt of her step-father’s anger which we later learn comes from sexual tension on the stepfather’s part.

Park is a handsome Caucasian-Asian, trendy, well-liked, popular, from a middle class functional family with one brother and two parents who love and respect each other. Park’s mother works as a hairdresser from her home and shares the parental power in the household. Park is guided, encouraged, and treated fairly.

What do they have in common? They both are in some Honors classes together and they share their love of music and poetry. Eleanor loves Park’s steadfast loyalty and Park loves Eleanor’s quiet strength in her difficult situation.

This is a sweet, realistic story of tentative romance demonstrating how sometimes painfully opposites attract. Chapter One starts off with a whole lot of cursing—”It so fucking does!”—”You’re full of shit.”—”Jesus-fuck…”—to name a few. Thankfully, this is not repeated in the rest of the book. The sex scenes are not explicit—mostly very tender undressing, touching, kissing—without intercourse or oral stimulation.

The reader learns that what appears to be may not actually tell the story. Secret, negative actions were attributed to the wrong people. Sometimes people don’t have choices in their lives. For example, if someone dresses “funny” it may mean that’s all they have from donations in clothing boxes, hand-me-downs, clearance merchandise. Not wearing make-up? Some parents do not allow it, so it’s not always a personal choice. You get the idea. Unless we walk a mile in someone’s shoes…

The ending, although realistic in many ways, is not satisfactory. Eleanor is sheltered but she closes herself off to contact with Park. It all hurts too much and she cannot seem to find the words except on the last page when her postcard message “just three words long.” What three words? The reader must surmise. Also, Eleanor does not share any information about her new circumstances at her uncle’s home other than she is enrolled in school to finish the last month before summer vacation. I wanted to hear more from Eleanor, but it seems she is just not capable of sharing her life. The separation from Park and her siblings is just too much to bear.

We believe Eleanor’s siblings and mother may also have been extricated from the horror they lived. For me, it’s unconscionable to show examples of neglect, abuse, and hopelessness and not give explicit information as to how these characters are given a helping hand. After all, this is a story of fiction, not real life, so I do not want to continue to unnecessarily feel the heartache for these characters when the story is finished.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2018

You Can Now Borrow My Books From Syosset & Huntington Libraries, NY!

Great news! Printed copies of my books are now available for borrowing from Syosset Public Library, 225 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Syosset, LI, NY 516-921-7161 AND the Huntington Library, 338 Main St., Huntington, LI, NY 631-427-5165.

Printed copies of my books are also available for inter-library loan at Queens Library, Nassau County Library, and Suffolk County Library in New York.

The digital copies are available in Queens Public Library and may be available in other library systems throughout the country. If your library cannot provide access to these books, please ask them to purchase in digital or paperback formats to add to their collection.

My Book Titles

Middle Grade…(8-12 year olds )

The Science Project
The Ocean’s Way
Who Do Voodoo?
The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion

12 – Adult…

Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

In New York, this is where you can find my printed books:

The physical copies are available from the Queens Library system at Central Library, Jamaica; Bay Terrace Library in Bayside; Whitestone Library in Whitestone. Or, you can borrow through inter-library loan if you’re a Queens County library patron.

Also, the physical copies are also located in the East Hampton Library, Huntington Library, Port Washington Library, Manhasset Library, Syosset Library. Suffolk and Nassau County library patrons can borrow through inter-library loan online.

Happy reading! If you do decide to borrow my books from the library, please remember to write a review on the library website.

Thanks,

Elaine

Please let me know how you do. I’d love to hear from you author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2018

Book Review: The Road to Ever After by Moira Young (MG)

Book Review: The Road to Ever After by Moira Young (MG) 2 Stars **

We meet thirteen-year-old Davy David, orphaned at birth, now living on his own in Brownvale in the graveyard where his mother, who died giving birth to him, is buried. Davy doesn’t know quite where, but he chooses a spot he likes, tends to a briar rose bush he plants in her memory, and considers this his home. Davy was in an orphanage that went out of business so to speak, and he was left at the age of nine to fend for himself, grateful for the sporadic odd job that enables him to buy food and for the negligible kindness of some local adults.

The mean-spirited parson is a hypocritical, secret drunk who cheats on his wife. The neighborhood boys bully poor Davy. A homeless, scruffy dog attaches himself to Davy. Davy does not attend school but is a frequent visitor to the public library where he educates himself, especially about angels found in classic books of art. Davy is also an exceptional artist who leaves etchings of angels in the dirt wherever he goes. Just as his “home” is destroyed by the nefarious parson, Davy meets wealthy Miss Elizabeth Flint, an about to turn eighty, witchy, crotchety old woman who drafts Davy into her service. She pays him for driving her to her ancestral home to attend to her important business—” a three-day passage of the soul to its final embarkation point to the great beyond.”   A friendship develops and Davy’s life is changed forever.

Does this remind you of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist?

While this is a somewhat charming book, I’m not sure how relatable this story is for today’s young reader. The book has a copyright date of 2016. It has an old-fashioned feel but the setting’s time and place are ambiguous. The reader must suspend belief to accept that thirteen year old Davy can suddenly drive cars, motorcycles, and trucks while being chased by their rightful owners and the police. Is this child actually living unattended on the streets and in a cemetery of this unholy town?  Where in the world is Brownvale, anyway? The book is meant to portray a spiritual journey—Davy helps Miss Flint’s spirit travel to its final resting place. After all, Miss Flint is already dead!  Yes, and they even hold a wake with Miss Flint’s restless soul, Davy, and George , the dog, in attendance. Let’s not forget that Miss Flint is now aging backwards and has the beauty and physical stamina that were hers when she was in her twenties. Admirable, of course, but the entire book lacks spirit and has so much thrown in, it’s a hodge-podge of many different books. Disjointed. Disconnected. Out of context. Everything comes out of left field.

By the way, I hate, hate, hate the ending. SPOILER ALERT! Guess who inherits all of Miss Flint’s wealth and property? BUT, Davy will still be alone in the world, although next door to kindly Mr. Blye, his sweet wife, his mother-in-law, and his friendly, loving four children. Is this supposed to be a satisfactory ending for an orphan, still only thirteen years of age, to have great neighbors? Is this supposed to fill the hole in Davy’s heart?

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2018

Many Thanks to Debbie DeLouise & St. Stephen’s For a Wonderful Authors Fair

Many thanks to Debbie DeLouise and St. Stephen’s Church, Hicksville, NY for a wonderful Authors Fair November 3, 2018!

Book Review: Hero by Jennifer Li Shotz

Book Review: Hero by Jennifer Li Shotz  (MG) 3 Stars ***

A charming story for dog lovers and kids. Hero, a highly skilled black Labrador , now retired police dog, lives with twelve-year-old Ben and his family in Gulfport, Mississippi. “Hero was more than just a regular police dog in the K-9 unit—he was also trained as a search-and-rescue dog. Hero and Ben’s dad had been partners on the Gulfport police force for eight years. In that time, Hero had busted a lot of criminals—and saved a lot of lives.” And to boot, Hero also saved Ben’s life! No exaggeration.

Hero and Ben are inseparable. One fateful day, they encounter an adorable, terrified puppy that shows signs of painful wounds indicative of being prey at the local, hard to locate dog fighting ring. Ben takes the puppy to the veterinarian for emergency treatment, names him Scout, and is given parental  permission for temporary foster care until they can find the true owner or another permanent home.

A suspicious looking man is often seen lurking around Ben’s house. Whenever Scout sees him, he trembles and whines. Hero stands between Mitch, Ben, and Scout a number of times letting Mitch know he’d better keep his distance. Ben later finds out this man, Mitch, runs the dog fighting ring. Suddenly, Hero and Scout are missing. Ben takes his best friend Noah on a dangerous quest to search for the beloved dogs. After bloody traumatic injuries, confrontations, and threats, Ben’s father shows up in the nick of time to save the day. This vicious, heartless ring is broken up and all participants are brought to justice.

Ben is an admirable character —responsible, hard working, caring, generous, and fair-minded. However, his independent spirit causes him to put himself, Hero, and Noah in a dangerous situation. The story is pleasant and changes to exciting near the end, but not anything we haven’t heard before. The reader must sometimes suspend belief. Interactions with the “bad guys” are unrealistic and might serve to set a bad example for young readers to think they can outwit adult criminal types. Overall, a pleasant dog story of friendship and integrity.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2018

St. Stephen’s Fall Author Fair-Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, Hicksville, NY-Please Join Me!

Please Join Me!

St. Stephen’s Fall Author Fair

2-5 PM

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Saturday, March 14, 2020- Barnes & Noble, Massapequa, NY 12:00-4:00pm

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