Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis

Started 09.21.22 • Finished 10.13.22

"My favorite quote was probably 'That's free land!' because it says that Elijah has succeeded in freeing a baby. At the beginning I thought I'd like it because it involved freeing people from slavery.

The main character is called Elijah, and he lives in a black settlement in Buxton, which is part of Canada. He's fragile, but adventurous and enjoys fishing with stones. His goal of the book winds up being to free a family of recaptured slaves, but they're chained up with no keys around. The family is a mom, a dad, a boy about as old as Elijah, and a baby. The baby isn't chained. So Elijah tries and fails to free the whole family, but does free the baby, for it wasn't shackled, she was just almost free to take.

I'd rate this book 5 out of 5 because Elijah is against slavery and breaks American law to bring a slave into freedom."

Neph, age 11

The World According to Humphrey, by Betty G. Birney

42/30 | Started 09.02.22 • Finished 10.12.22

It's funny what Carolyn remembers and doesn't when we read a story out loud. One of the first things she recalled about this one was Aldo balancing the broom on his finger, which really has nothing to do with the story - ha!

Her favorite story was when Humphrey pulled the TV plug out of the wall at A.J.'s house. It took his family a few days to figure out that was all that was wrong with the TV and during that time they came to realize how much more enjoyable life can be without the TV on literally all the time.

Surviving Savannah, by Patti Callahan

41/30 | Started 09.24.22 • Finished 10.11.22 | 3 stars

I actually had never heard of the sinking of the "southern Titanic," but now I know. This historical novel tells the fictional tale of survival following the sinking of the Pulaski. For once I did like the modern day side of the back and forth through time, but that might be because I'm a sucker for a good genealogy, so I found the "hunt" and the research aspect interesting. I did find the romantic aspect pretty lame. It could have easily been left out.

While I enjoyed this book, I do wish there had been some kind of expanded epilogue or an additional storyline about Lilly's new life. Her narrative is so important to the novel as a whole but she sort of just disappears. It's an engaging story but it didn't knock my socks off.