One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn: Book Review #NGEW2018 #3

One for Sorrow

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Blurb: Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

My Thoughts:

One For Sorrow is a middle grade, chilling ghost story. It takes place around 1918 during the deadliest influenza pandemic that killed millions of people.

Annie Browne has just moved to a new town with her mother and father. She’s a bit timid and she’s nervous about making friends at her new school, the Pearce Academy for Girls. The first girl she meets is Elsie, and Elsie doesn’t waste any time filling her in on how horrible the girls at Pearce are. None of the girls like Elsie and she convinces Annie that they won’t like her either. Every day, Annie can’t seem to get away from Elsie as she’s consistently holding her hand and inviting herself over to her house. She tells everyone that Annie is her best friend and because of this, nobody else wants anything to do with Annie. They begin making fun of her too and Annie becomes miserable. Elsie is bossy, pushy, and just not fun to be around. Annie can’t even seem to convince her parents that there’s something not right about Elsie. She has to find away to get away from her.

One day, Elsie doesn’t show up for school and Annie finally gets a chance to gain the friendship of some of the other girls, especially Rosie, the most popular. She becomes friends with the very group of girls that hate Elsie, including Rosie. A few more days pass and Annie wonders how Elsie will take the news when she returns. Will she be mad at Annie or will they stay friends? Will Annie take on the same bullying behaviors her classmates have bestowed on Elsie?

I just have to say–I couldn’t put this book down. From start to finish, the narrative had me completely enthralled. I had to know how this story would end and what would come of Annie. The characters are well developed and the book is written well with perfect pacing. There’s just enough to keep you turning page after page. I also loved the mention of multiple classic books by Charles Dickens and Lucy Maud Montgomery to name a few.

With that said, I was disturbed and uncomfortable at times.  I found this middle grade book a bit scary and Elsie pretty much drove me crazy from the start. It’s known that Elsie has demons from her past, some that she hasn’t been able to exterminate, which makes her very unstable and evil at times. It was almost more than I could bear. Rosie was also difficult to deal with. She’s very cruel and tends to cause problems by calling names and bullying others by chasing them. She’s pretty wound up, yet interesting. Some of the girls realize that what Rosie’s doing is wrong, but many of them keep their mouths shut because they don’t want to deal with the repercussions from her and they want her to remain their friend. They feel pressured to join in and all the while, the teacher doesn’t seem to be on top of things and doesn’t do anything to put a stop to the behaviors besides making simple commands like, “I won’t tolerate this behavior.” It’s really annoying. While all of this is happening, the flu of 1918 is making rounds. People are dying left and right. Everyone fears that they’ll be taken next, but who will it be?

Overall, I think this is a 5-star read that I highly recommend. It kept me interested from start to finish and I was really pleased with the ending. The Afterword was such a nice addition because the author explains where she got some of the ideas for the story which are inspired by true events. I’m excited to check out some other books by Mary Downing Hahn as this was my first.

Thanks to Netgalley for sharing a copy of One For Sorrow in exchange for a review.

5*****


  • Age Range: 10 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 – 7
  • Lexile Measure: 660 (What’s this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (July 18, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544818091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544818095

Find it on Goodreads and Amazon


Continue reading “One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn: Book Review #NGEW2018 #3”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Baked Oatmeal – One For Sorrow – The Tenth Circle

Howdy everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and having a great week so far. I’m doing pretty good and getting caught up on reading. I’ve added a few books to my challenge and seem to be on track for the most part so far.

Today I wanted to share a recipe I found online for baked oatmeal. I’ve been aiming to try baked oatmeal for some time after chatting with my friend Jennifer about it. Can you believe I’ve never made it? Well, here’s the recipe that I found, but I ran into some problems.

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Baked Oatmeal II

Recipe Credit: BLANCHL from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Stir in dried cranberries. Spread into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

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So the issue I had with this recipe is that I can’t use dairy, eggs, or butter because I’m working on sticking to the protocol in the Thyroid Healing book I discussed last week. So, I got online and found a link at sheknows.com for egg substitutes. Here’s what I found out!

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I decided to substitute the eggs with applesauce. Then I went over to Dr. Axe’s site ❤ to find some good butter substitutions. I decided to sub the butter with coconut oil and I used almond milk in place of cow’s milk. If you don’t have issues with dairy, eggs, and butter, just make it the way it appears above! I just know this is going to be delicious either way.

Here’s what I did:

I put all my dry ingredients in a bowl and mixed it up a bit.

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Then I added in the wet ingredients and mixed it well. This includes the vanilla which isn’t pictured.

 

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I mixed in the raisins last. The recipe calls for cranberries, but I’m not a huge fan of cranberries when it comes to oatmeal, though I do use them occasionally.

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I put the mix into a 13×9 glass pan and baked at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. I set the timer for 40 minutes, but it needed extra time to crisp up at the top.

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It pretty much came out looking the same way it went in.

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I cut it into pieces and served with a drizzle of honey and fresh almond milk.

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This was pretty good even with the substitutions, but looking back, I think an hour in the oven would’ve been better. It had a crisp top and was quite soft on the bottom. It sort of reminded me of a soft, warm granola bar.

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Baked Oatmeal – One For Sorrow – The Tenth Circle”