Stacy’s Picks for Letter “H”:
Starting in 1902 at a country school that had an enrollment of fourteen, Frank Boyden built an academy that has long since taken its place on a level with Andover and Exeter. Boyden, who died in 1972, was the school’s headmaster for sixty-six years. John McPhee portrays a remarkable man “at the near end of a skein of magnanimous despots who…created enduring schools through their own individual energies, maintained them under their own absolute rule, and left them forever imprinted with their own personalities.” More than simply a portrait of the Headmaster of Deerfield Academy, it is a revealing look at the nature of private school education in America.
5 ***** stars
What a great story of the most unlikely leader! Frank Boyden became headmaster at Deerfield Academy in 1902, fresh out of Amherst at 22 yrs. old and the town of Deerfield thought he wouldn’t last a day. Of the 14 boys enrolled as students at Deerfield Academy, a school on its last legs and which the board of directors was seriously closing, several the town were very afraid of, and Mr. Boyden was a slight man, standing at 5′ 4″ and they thought he didn’t stand a chance. He might not have been large in stature, but he was in character and heart. His dedication to the school and his students elevated the school from oblivion to being internationally known for turning out exemplary young men. His devotion to all thing regarding his school was well known, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for it– in the early years, when the sports teams were short of players, he played with them. In an effort to get boys from the community to go to school, many of them from farms that could little afford to have the boys gone– he would pay for farm labor out of his pocket so the boy could get educated. A large proportion of the enrollment was on scholarship because he could not bear the thought of turning one away, and the scholarship recipients never were allowed to know that they were on scholarship because he did not want those students to feel there was any difference between them and the regular boys. The scholarship students did not have extra duties either, as is common in many educational institutions, for the same reason. In his 62 years as headmaster, he only had to expel 6 boys as he was famous for “extra chances” and determined that the offender would amount to something, and the boys for all those decades, in spite of his willingness to give extra chances, never saw him as a pushover. He commanded respect, and many of his students went on to greatness, and remembered with fondness their headmaster who took a deep interest in each of their educations. He wanted to be constantly aware of what was going on with the students and in the school that he didn’t even have a separate office– his desk was set in the middle of the entrance to the school so he could talk to boys in passing to their classes. It was a family affair as well– his wife was the chemistry teacher and renowned in her own right for her brilliance in teaching the subject. The couple were so committed to the school, that every evening, their living room was packed, many times with over 50 present, with faculty for after dinner coffee and talk, or other times with the students themselves after a game. As well as running the school, he often taught some of the subjects and for 60 years coached the baseball, basketball and football teams himself, even at 87 when he was still headmaster. The man was amazing and an inspiration as too what vision, passion, and concern of one person can accomplish if the desire and persistence are there.
A young boy describes his feelings in different situations.
4 **** stars
A good introductory book about feelings for children, in a story kids can relate too. Strong, scared, stupid, lazy, pokey, and many other are explored. From the introduction “A beginning book about feelings provides a natural introduction to the subjective sensations, reactions, and emotions that all people experience. If at an early age children understand that feelings are important and can be expressed in words, this may help in learning to live in our stressful world.” The book encourages interaction, and when reading with children, they will often vocalize when they felt that exact way. Great way to open up conversations when having to deal with a difficult feeling.
Harold devises an elaborate scheme to try to get Esther to notice him instead of Bruiser.
3 *** stars
** spoiler alert ** Harold has a crush on Esther, but there is a problem– she already has a boyfriend… a big one who happens to be a football star named Bruiser. Not to be deterred, Harold seeks the advice of Owl, a guy who knows everything, and is told that Harold must think big and do something extraordinary to capture Esther’s attention and heart. And that is exactly what he does. At the next football game, he pulls out all the stops. He has arranged for the scoreboard to flash a message of his love of Esther, the band play a love song and spell out their names on the field, a blimp fly by dropping hundreds of balloons with terms of his endearment, but none of this impresses her. In fact, it makes her mad and she insults him. What he realizes at the end is that his friend Susie has always had a crush on him, has stood by him and he has the most in common with. Cute pictures.
Daisy’s “H” Pick:
Rosalind Danvers is young, beautiful and witty. Daughter of Lord and Lady Danvers, minor aristocrats with great pretensions, Rosalind is promised to The Earl of Frinton. The Earl is young and impressively handsome but has the most wandering eye for many counties. Unable to find any attraction for him, Rosalind seeks to appeal to her parents to release her from any obligation, but they remain firm in their determination for elevated status.
Heath Rutherford, Duke of Langdale and veteran of the Napoleonic wars is ten years Rosalind’s senior. He is jaded, cynical and determined not to marry. With pressure being brought to bear from his family, demanding that he marry and produce an heir to the Duchy, the Duke finds himself ever more wary of title seeking young ladies and their desperate parents. Finding Heath more and more taciturn and disagreeable in public, his cousin Hector makes it his mission to take away the rough edges of the years of soldiering.
When Rosalind and Heath are introduced at the first ball of the London Season, sparks fly, and Duke’s insults look set to make them enemies forever. However, with every meeting, their feelings grow and, try as they might, Rosalind and Heath both struggle to hide their emotions. Can Rosalind finally find the courage to rebel against her parents? And can Heath overcome his cynicism and finally open his heart to true love?
3 *** stars
This is a historical romance taking place during the Regency era in London, England. Rosalind is a firey young woman suppressed by the controlling rule of her parents, who plan to marry her off to the first young man with wealth and a title that comes along, regardless of her feelings. Heath is the brother of Rosalind’s best friend’s fiancé, and when they meet sparks fly. She can’t stand him and considers him uncouth, but something about him draws her to him regardless. Will she be able to escape the future her parents plan for her, and still live happily ever after? Will she end up homeless and with no way to provide for herself if she stands up to them? Or will the man she detests be her only chance?
I thought that this book was a quick enough read, but it was rather fanciful and predictable, like you were reading a fairytale and knew exactly what was going to happen next and exactly how it would end. Even though it is technically “historical” by way of its setting, it has very little actual history or even historical accuracy to it. I’d give it three stars as a light-and-fluffy fairy-tale-like romance, but I probably wouldn’t read it again.
Unfortunately, there was not a product link for this one…. : (