Archive | July 2022

The Concentration Camp by Vera Mertens


The Concentration Camp by Vera Mertens is the powerful and horrifying true story of the author’s father’s wartime experiences.

Her father was just a teenager living in Belgium as war broke out. He had already witnessed the damaging effects of World War I on his father. As the Nazis marched in, the horrors from the past loomed large.

The author’s father was a brave young man. He stood up for what was right and consequently ended up in a concentration camp.

We hear of the horrors of man’s inhumanity to man. Deprivation, starvation and terrible cruelty – those who survived the camps would be forever haunted by their experiences. The reader is horrified. It is so hard to imagine why anyone would be so evil and cruel, never mind a whole nation of supposedly educated beings.

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Nicholas The Santa Story by Tom Catalano

A Beautiful Heirloom

Nicholas The Santa Story by Tom Catalano is a most delightful book whatever your age.

The book combines Santa with the story of Jesus in a most charming way. It is beautifully done and the perfect way to introduce our children to the true meaning of Christmas.

The story is written in rhyme giving a beautiful flow and enabling our children to join in as they become familiar with the words.

Santa, a magical element of Christmas, combines with Jesus who is the true meaning of Christmas. All is beautifully and thoughtfully done.

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When I See Blue by Lily Bailey

So Very Powerful

When I see Blue by Lily Bailey is a powerful children’s novel that explores the condition of OCD. It is perfect for ages ten years and over. I found it such a powerful insight into this paralyzing condition.

The novel is told in the first person from the point of view of twelve year old Ben. The reader really gets to know him as we witness the conflicts that play out in his head.

Lily Bailey shows the way thoughts, routines and fixations can really run amok in a mind. There is no ‘quick fix’. The person suffering from OCD really cannot help it and needs love, care, understanding and professional help to be able to cope with day to day life which we all take for granted.

The reader accompanies Ben to counselling. It helps us to better understand what is going on in the mind of a young sufferer.

Ben feels isolated. He feels an outsider and alone. School can be a cruel and lonely place as there is a pack mentality.

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A Wedding At Sandy Cove by Bella Osborne

Fun Filled

A Wedding At Sandy Cove by Bella Osborne is a most delightful contemporary novel that enchanted me from the start.

There are the themes of being yourself, being brave and grabbing your dreams. Too often there are those who want to squash us. The novel shows we need to confront the bullies and not let them put us down.

We all need good friends who support us through life. It is delightful to witness two friends bouncing off each other. Their verbal exchanges are charming.

I loved the reference which Lucy made to Turkish delight which transported me in my mind to the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.

There are many different relationships within the novel. We learn that we must not interfere in the relationships of others.

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