Friday, November 13, 2015

Library fun...

Every other week we take the children (in two groups) to the library so that in the intervening weeks we have something we can talk about at our Reading Club at the children's home. I recently got a CD with some local hits and so the kombi/van rides to and from the library are so fun the kids don't want to get out! And I usually do some crazy stuff to make the rides all the more fun - making sure that we do an extra lap around the block just to finish off the song for instance...

Once we are at the library, our wonderful local volunteers come along, helping us with making it a fun outing! I didn't get pictures are all 11 kids and 12 volunteers who were with us, but here are some to whet your appetite... First, Ilijana reading with A and A. So cute!
Stela reading with K. 
This is probably my favourite picture - M. is reading to volunteer Georgie (who is an exchange student from the US). Later on M was teaching G the Cyrillic alphabet and making her read... so sweet! 
 There is also non-reading related activities, including drawing: Sonja with little B.
Or playing with the really cool toys that the library has. Here is Nikolija with A having a tea party. 
And here is proof that some of us volunteers are just big kids ourselves! Nina trying to shoot D.
Oh and somewhere in there we also returned our library books and got new ones out so we are all ready for next week's reading club! But as you can see that task is not the main reason we love going to the library. You know it is a something the kids enjoy when the staff at the home use it as a threat "be good or you won't go to the library!" and it (mostly) works!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Book Review | The Peace Garden

I read Fiona Veitch Smith's "The Peace Garden" when it first came out 2 years ago. I liked it so much I decided to reread it again, and when Fiona offered me a free signed copy (I had read it on my kindle) in exchange for a review, I jumped at the chance. I love the kindle, but there is just something about having the actual book in my hand...and I definitely enjoyed it better in actual book format! 

The book is written from the perspective of a young girl, Natalie, who is a lively character and completely true to life. The story, which covers 10 years of Natalie's life, begins while she is staying for the summer of 1990 with her grandmother in Northumberland in northeast England. She starts investigating the theft of some plants from her grandmother and her neighbour's gardens. During her investigation she gets to know a neighbour who is from South Africa, and who came to England to escape apartheid. In the course of the relationship with him and his son, we learn a lot about apartheid and South Africa. 

The story leads us on a wonderful exploration of character, history, romance and throws in page-turning suspense that makes this book a wonderful read for a wide audience! If you want to find out about South Africa's history while enjoying a good book, then this is for you. If you like suspense-there is enough of that... Romantic back-stories? Yes! And all wrapped up in a very fascinating story with well-drawn and engaging characters! 

If you are looking for a good read which will keep you engaged and entertained, I highly recommend this book as one to go for!!

Disclosure of Material connection: As already mentioned, I did receive a free copy of this book from the author, but this review is my own true opinion of the book. 
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