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“Read It Forward” Book Giveaway

June 8, 2010

Read it Forward

The Rules:

If you’d like to enter a giveaway for any of the books reviewed this month by participating bloggers  (visit Julie’s blog to see the books entered this month), just leave a comment on that particular post. The winners will be selected using, just like a standard giveaway. If you have a book you’d like to give away on your own blog, please write up a short review, grab the button, and add your name to the link-up (again, this can be found on Julie’s blog).

Once a month, they’ll host this blog hop to give you a chance to pass a book you love on to another blogger. All they ask is…

1) If you receive a book from another blogger during this book hop, please promise that you’ll ultimately pass it on using this blog hop as well. It can be the next month, or two months, or three months down the road– not everyone has a whole bunch of time to read, so the timeline is yours to decide!

2) Once you receive a book, make sure to add your blog name and URL to the inside cover. That way, the people who receive that book in the future will know where it’s been.

3) You can add a book to the blog hop at any time. So if you don’t have a book you’d like to give away this month, don’t worry! You can add something next month, or the month after, or the month after that!

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The book I’m reviewing and giving away this month:

The Book of Bright Ideas
by Sandra Kring

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Blurb from the back of the book:

Wisconsin, 1961. Evelyn “Button” Peters is nine the summer Winnalee and her fiery-spirited older sister, Freeda, blow into her small town–and from the moment she sees them, Button knows this will be a summer unlike any other.

Much to her mother’s dismay, Button is fascinated by the Malone sisters, especially Winnalee, a feisty scrap of a thing who carries around a shiny silver urn containing her mother’s ashes and a tome she calls “The Book of Bright Ideas.” It is here, Winnalee tells Button, that she records everything she learns: her answers to the mysteries of life. But sometimes those mysteries conceal a truth better left buried. And when a devastating secret is suddenly revealed, dividing loyalties and uprooting lives, no one–from Winnalee and her sister to Button and her family–will ever be the same.

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My review:

I don’t know if I can even begin to form coherent thoughts about this book.  I loved, loved, loved this novel.  The narrator, Evelyn (or “Button,” as her family calls her), is a nine-year-old girl who is slowly suffocating in the unhappiness and discontent of her immediate family.  When Winnalee and her older sister Freeda roll into town like a wildfire, they turn everything in Button’s sad, quiet life upside down, and ultimately change her life — and the lives of those in her family — for the better.

The title of the book, taken from Winnalee’s “Book of Bright Ideas” — is a blank book that she is filling with clues.  As she told Button, these are “clues to the secrets of life.  So you learn how it works, and you don’t keep makin’ the same mistakes over and over again…It’s my great expectation that when I get one hundred bright ideas written down, I’m gonna be able to fit them together like pieces of a puzzle and know all there is to know about how to live good.”

I loved that the narrator was a nine-year-old girl.  Her innocent misunderstandings and confusion about the events that occur that summer make the revelations all the more poignant.  If this same story was told from perspective of one of the adult characters, this book would have lacked the same heart and soul.  Almost every chapter ends with either Winnalee or Button adding a new clue to the book, based on their child-like interpretation of thier experiences.   One that resonated with me was the clue they added after learning from an old man at a flea market how to use a compass they had just purchased.  “Bright Idea #89: If you ever don’t know which direction to go in, or you start moving in the right direction but then get lost along the way, don’t get rattled and start moving fast, this way and that.  Instead, stand still and be quiet.  Then you’ll be showed which way to go.”

I want to share one other passage that struck me, that I found myself rereading again and again.  There’s something so real, so profound, in the innocent musings of this young narrator as she reflected on the life-altering events of that summer.  “I was standing in that place they call ‘bittersweet.’ That place that, if you could find it on a map, would be the mountain that sits between happy and sad. And I thought about how when you stand on that mountain, you can almost feel God’s hand on your head and you just know, deep down inside, that even if you don’t understand everything that happened to cause those mixed feelings, you still know there was a good reason for them happening.”

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How to enter my The Book of Bright Ideas giveaway:

– Leave a comment below telling me why you’d like to win this book…and if you’d like, also share the title of a recent book you’ve read that you’ve enjoyed. I’m always up for book recommendations!

I’ll announce the winner on Friday, June 11th.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2010 1:16 pm

    I would love to read this book! The perspective of a 9 year old girl intrigues me. Thanks for joining in and linking up!

  2. June 8, 2010 2:16 pm

    It sounds like an intresting book. Enter me.

    I just finished The Glass Castle. It was a memior by Jeannette Walls. It was a short read but excellent. It was very good.

  3. June 8, 2010 8:50 pm

    It seems very interesting of course I want my daughter to have a bright mind for bright ideas!!!

  4. June 10, 2010 6:26 am

    ‘Read it forward’ what a great idea! Not sure about postage costs if the blogger is in Australia though!

    Our next book club book is ‘Slap’ by Australian Author, Christos Tsiolkas’. It is based around a typical Australian suburban BBQ where a man slaps a child who is not his own. Told from the point of view of eight different people who were present at the time. I have only just started reading it but it is sure to evoke plenty of discussion.

    P.S.I have a ‘book club’ as part of my blog but for junior ‘readers’. It includes ‘The Green Sheep’ by Mem Fox; a childhood classic: ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ and the magical ‘Margaret Mahy’.


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