Letter of Love from China
Author: Bonnie Cuzzolino
Publisher: Plum Blossom Books
Reviewed by: Cheryl Malandrinos
Letter of Love from China by Bonnie Cuzzolino has to be one of the most touching children’s stories I’ve read in a long time.
A birth mother from China writes a letter to her daughter who has been adopted by a family from another country. This mother describes why she was forced to give her child up for adoption, tells her child all about the village she was born in, the pain this mother felt at having to let her go, and of the day her adoptive family came to China to bring her home. Lastly, it reminds this child how much she is still loved by her birth family.
I could not get through this book without crying. As the mother of three children, I know I could never stand to be parted with one of my own. The courage and the strength of this unnamed mother shines through in every word she has tenderly written to her daughter.
The illustrations by Jax Bennett are as stunningly beautiful as the prose. My favorite illustration is the cover art, which also happens to appear on the last page of the book where this mother has told her daughter to “look to the light of the moon that sets over the world in the night sky” to see her face, which is reflected in the child’s beautiful face, if she ever starts wondering about her birth mother.
Letter of Love from China will touch the hearts of all adoptive families. This book is truly a must read!
Author: Mayra Calvani
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Children will love reading about Marcelo and his new puppy in Crash! by Mayra Calvani.
Marcelo’s parents surprise him on his fifth birthday with a golden retriever puppy–the one thing he wanted more than anything in the world. Thrilled beyond all belief, Marcelo must now learn how to take care of his new puppy: feeding him, walking him, playing with him. But all that is easy compared to finding a name for him.
Crash! is a charming story about a boy and his dog and the special relationship that develops between a child and his pet. Author Mayra Calvani shows off her storytelling talents once again, as she did with The Magic Violin. Calvani has a way of getting right to the heart of children with her touching stories.
Kudos go out to young illustrator, Anna Pylypchuk, whose beautifully drawn illustrations bring Calvani’s story to life. My children each had their favorites drawings from the story.
I can’t wait to see what Mayra Calvani’s next children’s book is all about!
Author: D.H. Brown
Publisher: Big River Press
Reviewed by: Lamees Siddiqui
Honor Due is a gripping story of an ex- Special Forces vet who retires from the life of politically orchestrated killings and retreats to a life of peaceful solitude in the Pacific Northwest…..until, hunted by ex-colleagues from Special Operations and Homeland Security, the Major, our protagonist, finds the gruesome memories coming to life, from his war shattered past.
The instinct for survival takes precedence and soon a mysterious plot bridging the past to the present, starts to unravel. The Major’s new assignment is to ensure his own as well his Rhade family’s survival while giving the fallen Warriors, the ‘honor due’.
It is a well written thriller, the mere tone of which is enough to raise the hair on your back. The casual narration of repugnant killings, gives the book an eerie quality. The electronic wizardry, the web of security firewalls and high tech computer jargon are enough to make Mr. Bond cringe with envy. The graphic descriptions are vivid engaging all the six senses, definitely tickling the taste buds and fanning one’s appetite; however, in some parts of the narrative, the repetitive details of routine chores, tend to drag somewhat.
Apart from telling a great story, the book also makes a serious and decisive statement about the ethics and the code of honor of a true Soldier; about the ‘War on Terror’ and how it is manipulated as a pretense for mysterious political contract killings on domestic soil.
Quo Vadis, Israel?
Author: H. Peter Nennhaus
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Well-written, intellectually stimulating, and thoroughly researched, Quo Vadis, Israel? provides the open-minded reader with a unique solution to a decades-long problem.
Since its birth in 1948, the State of Israel has been consistently despised and attacked. Numerous peace efforts by various countries and organizations have failed to bring about a long-lasting solution for Israel and Palestine.
But what if Israel were moved to a more suitable land in Europe?
This is what author H. Peter Nennhaus asks the reader to contemplate while providing an historical background of the conflict, the history of anti-Semitism, and the bleak outlook for the future in the Middle East.
For such a short piece of work (~ 110 pages), Nennhaus has managed to pack in a plethera of facts, figures, and important dates. It is obvious he is knowledgeable about this topic. He makes a strong case for moving Israel to a more suitable location–one where the State of Israel and its inhabitants wouldn’t be surrounded by a bunch of countries and people who wish them harm. Showcasing the abilities that the Jews have for turning wasteland into prosperous territory, Nennhaus believes the Jews will do equally well in creating a new home in a land that is in much better condition than the land they received in 1948. The author willingly admits that this plan will be difficult for many to accept, but this reviewer admires his convincing arguments.
In Quo Vadis, Israel? I found a probable solution that would finally allow the State of Israel and its people to live in peace.