Tag Archives: bullying

Book Review: The Power of Harmony, a novel – by Jan Coates

 

 

 

 






Book: The Power of Harmony
Author: Jan L. Coates
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Date: May 13, 2013
Genre: MG; gr 4-6; age 9-11
Pages: 260
Price: $12.95
My rating: An enjoyable and relatable read for young people. 

This is a novel I purchased from its author at the children’s book fair I attended in 2016.

The Power of Harmony by Jan L. Coates is a fictional story based in the late 1960’s in Nova Scotia, Canada. This novel was an Atlantic Book Awards finalist, and for good reason, I might add. In Spring of 2017 the Nova Scotia Board of Education purchased copies for every school in the province!

The main character, Jennifer, loves to sing, but she is very afraid to sing in public. She prepares for a competition anyway, with not-so-good results, and has to deal with being ridiculed later. With her best friend having moved away, shy Jenn is now faced with being bullied by some mean girls at her school with no close friend there for her.

Recently a First Nations girl, Melody, moved into the neighbourhood. The other kids pick on her, too, because of who she is without even knowing her. Jennifer discovers Melody likes music and books, same as she does, and they become friends. There are also some strange things going on, and Melody seems to have a secret. 

This is such a meaningful story of friendship, bullying, adolescent struggles and fears, acceptance, and even grief through the death of a loved one. It’s a very realistic and moving story, and a pleasure to read.

You can find my reviews of other books by Jan here and here and here.

You can find The Power of Harmony by Jan L. Coates on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also will post it on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Chapters.Indigo, and Goodreads.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: Rocket Man – by Jan L. Coates

Rocket ManBook: Rocket Man
Author: Jan L. Coates
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Date: May 2, 2014
Genre: Middle grade (age 9-11; gr 4-6)
Pages: 120, paperback
Price: $12.95
My rating: many youngsters will relate

Rocket Man is a story I’m sure both male and female MG readers will really enjoy. Jan Coates‘ books are always appealing, and this one covers more than one topic to which many readers will relate.

Her main character is an eighth grader named Bob who is awkward around girls, bullied by a couple of guys at school and on his basketball team, feels he has to live up to his older brother’s example as an athlete. All that, and his dad, who also was a basketball legend, is fighting cancer. Bob considers himself to be Mr. Invisible.

The reader gets to like Bob right away. He practices hard to try to move up to the Division 1 basketball team, but things just don’t seem to go his way until one of his bullies gets into trouble. Bob’s brother starts paying more attention to him, impressed by his earnest efforts, and comes up with a more positive nickname for him – Rocket Man. You have to read the book to find out the reasons behind that.

Bob also puts a lot of work into an idea for a major fundraiser because of his dad having cancer, and that has exciting results.

Jan Coates has created a story of hope. She has touched on family dynamics and the emotions of a young boy in the midst of the struggles going on in his life, in a way that makes the reader care.  If your pre-teen boy (or girl) is a reluctant reader, give him/her a copy of this book – even if he/she is not into basketball. Don’t let the cover fool you, it’s not really a book about basketball but the main character finds a way to make the sport work for him. Rocket Man is a good read.

You can find Rocket Man on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Meet Franklin Bean (Franklin Bean Superhero series, book 1) – by Emmy Swain

Meet Franklin BeanBook: Meet Franklin Bean
Author/Publisher: Emmy Swain
Illustrator: Levi Whitworth
Date: 2011
Genre: children’s
Pages: 34
Price: Kindle $2.88; paperback $8.85
My Rating: An interesting, fun mystery for the young readers; addresses bullying and other life issues
 

This is a short chapter book with great illustrations by Levi Whitworth and is book one of a series by Emmy Swain.

Chapter titles are:

  1. Our New Home
  2. Franklin Meets Mom
  3. New Friends
  4. Restless Night
  5. Fisherman Saved
  6. Day Before School
  7. Where Are You?

Meet Franklin Bean is a story about a young boy, John, who has to relocate with his mother after she lost her job. He is nervous about moving to a smaller house in a different neighbourhood and having to change schools. Unfortunately, John meets up with bullies soon after moving and his misery increases until he finds a stray dog, Franklin Bean. But there’s something amazing about Franklin Bean – he can talk! John’s life begins to look and feel much better.

Franklin Bean has another amazing secret that – in this book – John hasn’t figured out yet.

Meet Franklin Bean has some applicable life lessons in it, but Emmy Swain presents them in a way that is fun without seeming as if it is teaching. This is a good story for very young readers and pre-readers.

You can find Meet Franklin Bean on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂