Awesome Authors #13: Caroline B. Cooney

Caroline B Cooney - AZ Quotes

Image Credit: AZ Quotes

I discovered Caroline B. Cooney through one of the libraries, either the school or the Russell Memorial Library in Chesapeake. I think I read her for the first time in middle school? It’s been a minute since then, wink wink.

Born in May 1947, Cooney grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. After high school, she attended several different colleges (Indiana University, Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, and University of Connecticut), but did not obtain a degree.

Her first novel, Safe as the Grave, was published in 1979. Since then, she has written well over 30 stand-alone novels, a trilogy, and three different series. Her work has received multiple honors and awards, including several from the American Library Association (ALA). In 2008, her book Diamonds in the Shadow was named an ALA/YALSA Quick Pick, and nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award.

Driver’s Ed (1994)

Driver's Ed

Image Credit: Between The Lines

This was the first of Cooney’s books that I remember reading. I think I was in middle school at the time, because I specifically remember asking my mom lots of questions about what I would learn in driver’s ed.

This book haunted me for years, and I didn’t dare read it again until after I got my license!

Flight #116 Is Down (1992)

Flight 116 Is Down

Image Credit: Caroline B. Cooney

I’m so glad I didn’t read this one while traveling! I realize Cooney’s works are fictional, but she brings such realism to them, I was always left a little paranoid after reading them.

Flash Fire (1995)

Flash Fire

Image Credit: Goodreads

This book made me grateful we never lived in California or anywhere with a high fire danger.

Code Orange (2005)

Code Orange

Image Credit: Caroline B. Cooney

I remember reading this book right after it was published. It was fascinating to me. She revealed the genesis of this book on her website – A librarian was going through donated medical textbooks and an envelope, at that time 100 years old, fell out. It was labeled “smallpox scabs.” What do you think happened next?

Cooney wrote the book in the context of a sixteen-year-old boy finding them in New York City. What could possibly happen?

The Face on the Milk Carton (1990)

I tried to read this one in middle school, but ending up waiting until high school. I do want to read the whole series eventually. It’s fascinating to read about Cooney’s research and writing processes – What if a girl recognized herself as a missing child on a milk carton?

Emergency Room (1994)

Emergency Room

Image Credit: FictionDB

This is one book I don’t remember hearing about. This is going on my TBR!

What about you? Have you read any Caroline B. Cooney’s books?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Tag #38: The Fictional Family Book Tag

I saw this tag pop up in my emails recently, and I was already considering doing it on my own. But then, Jenna was so sweet to tag me in it – Thanks!

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post, where I was tagged:

The creator of this book tag is Marrill at Books and Ravens.

The Rules:

  • Pick 8 books off your shelves (try to not pick just your favorites 😉).
  • Arrange them into a random order (randomizers are good for this).
  • In the order they are arranged, open them to a random page and write down the first name you see. Don’t mix up the names!
  • In the last book, find the name of an animal/pet and write it down.
  • Put the names in the right category.
  • Tag people (spread the love) copy and paste these rules in your post, or write them out yourself.
  • OPTIONAL: tag the creator. You don’t have to, but she would love to see people do this tag!

Parent One

Read All About It: A Kit Classic 1

Image Credit: American Girl

Roger from Read All About It!: A Kit Classic 1

Although he’s a kid in the story, I don’t think I would be very happy to have Roger as one of my parents. He’s snobby and a know-it-all!

Parent Two

The Diary of a Young Girl

Image Credit: Goodreads

Anne Frank from The Diary of a Young Girl

Sadly, Anne never reached adulthood. However, I’m convinced she would have been a wonderful mother!

Sibling One

Dallas “Dally” Winston from The Outsiders

I’m not sure having Dally as a sibling would be awesome, but it certainly would be interesting. The Outsiders is one of my favorite books, so I’ll take it.

Sibling Two


Image Credit: Goodreads

Cora from The Underground Railroad

I really liked Cora’s character, so I think she’d be a great sibling. She’s fierce and courageous, that’s for sure.


Aibileen Clark from The Help

Yes, this is awesome. I loved Aibileen’s character. I wish she could be my mom! But, I’ll take a cousin. She’s wise, and brave.

Boyfriend / Girlfriend

The End of Everything

Image Credit: Amazon

Bobby Thornhill from The End of Everything

Ewwwww. I don’t think this would be a good match. I’ll pass!

Best Friend

Oliver Wood - Pottermore

Image Credit: Pottermore

Oliver Wood from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Ummmm, yes. Definitely yes!


Scooter the dachshund from The Runaway: A Maryellen Mystery

I think Scooter is one of the sweetest dogs, even though he’s chubby and lazy. He’s so sweet to Maryellen!

Tag – You’re It!

This was such a fun and different book tag!

Who would you want in your fictional family?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #109: Laura Beth’s Life Through Book Quotes


Image Credit: Pinterest

Delphine inspired me to do my own version of this post! Thanks, Delphine! If you haven’t already, check out her awesome blog, Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads.

Here’s the link to her original post:

Here are some quotes from several of my favorite books. Let me know if you’ve read them!

The Great Gatsby - Complex

Image Credit: Complex

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans. Daisy was my second cousin once removed, and I’d known Tom in college. And just after the war I spent two days with them in Chicago.”

I absolutely fell in love with The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald, and the 1920s when I was in high school. It was assigned reading, but I went on to do an extensive research project on Fitzgerald, his life, and the culture of the American expatriates in Europe during that time period.

I know I identified with the book because of the setting, since I was born in New York City. This is one book that I re-read every single year. I can’t truly explain why it’s one of my favorite books, but it just is.

Image result for harry potter books

Image Credit: Amazon

Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling

“There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”  –The Philosopher’s Stone  

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  –Chamber of Secrets 

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”  The Goblet of Fire  

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” –The Order of the Phoenix

As a kid, I was definitely late to the party when I starting reading Harry Potter. However, once I started, I couldn’t stop. I plowed through all the books that were available at the time, eagerly watched the movies, and waited for the rest to be released. I was lucky enough to be in London, England, when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released in July 2005. So, I have an American version and British version of that one. It’s definitely a series that has had a years-long effect on my life.


Image Credit: Scholastic Media Room

The Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”  –The Hunger Games

“For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.” –The Hunger Games

“So it’s you and a syringe against the Capitol? See, this is why no one lets you make the plans.” –Catching Fire

“I always channel my emotions into my work. That way, I don’t hurt anyone but myself.”  –Catching Fire

“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion.” –Catching Fire

“Aim higher in case you fall short.” –Catching Fire

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”  –Mockingjay

“Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!”  –Mockingjay

“Some walks you have to take alone.”  –Mockingjay

“Are you, are you coming to the tree?
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here.
No stranger would let it be if we met up
At midnight in the hanging tree.”  –Mockingjay

The Hunger Games series deeply affected my life as a young adult, like Harry Potter affected my childhood and teenage years. I fell in love with Katniss Everdeen, and her fight throughout all three books to end The Hunger Games and spark a revolution, literally. Although The Hunger Games series is fictional, it’s based on the author watching news coverage of the war in Iraq, and a reality show where kids were competing in a survivalist atmosphere.

And, now, with the revolutions taking place in this country and around the world – Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, immigration, refugees, the chaos in the White House, the outpouring of response to the Parkland shooting – The list seems endless – these books seem more “real” to me more than ever. Time to re-read them, I think.

Bridge to Terabithia

Image Credit: Goodreads

Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Patterson

“It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”

“It was up to him to pay back to the world in beauty and caring what Leslie had loaned him in vision and strength. ”

“Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits.”

This book gives me all the feels. I don’t re-read it often, but when I do, I always cry. It’s such a wonderful story, full of imagination, but also some lessons that everyone can benefit from learning. This isn’t your ordinary kids’ book.

Dear Mr Henshaw

Image Credit: Scholastic

Dear Mr. Henshaw, Beverly Cleary

“I don’t want to be a nuisance to you, but I wish you could tell me how.”

“The best thing about sixth grade in my new school is that if I hang in, I’ll get out.”

“I wish someone would ask me over sometime.”

This was one of the first of Cleary’s books that I read – I think it was in elementary school. I’ve read all of them since then! She’s one of those authors who left a big impression on me. I think reading this book in particular helped spark my life-long interest in pen pals, writing letters, diaries, and journals.


Image Credit: JSTOR Daily

The Bible

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (NIV)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I was raised in the United Methodist Church. I started reading the Bible in elementary school, through my Sunday School classes. Over the years, I’ve found certain verses that stick with me. For example, I found Jeremiah 29:11 while reading my Bible on a youth retreat in sixth grade. That was the first time I highlighted or underlined something in my Bible. I don’t read the Bible as often anymore, but I read daily devotionals and reflect on different verses.

What about you? Do you have any book quotes that symbolize you or a part of your life? Let me know!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #64: “This Small Norwegian Town Turns Abandoned Buildings Into Bookstores”

Geeky Book Snob

Image Credit: Geeky Book Snob

I saw this post from Read Voraciously on February 28th.

Here’s the link to Read Voraciously’s original post:

And, here’s the link to the Reader’s Digest article:

I knew I wanted to write about this before I finished the Reader’s Digest article. How cool is this?

There are approximately 2.5 miles of books in the village of Mundal, part of Fjaerland, Norway. Northeast of Bergen, it looks like an absolutely beautiful area to live and visit!


Image Credit: Alamy

Knowing me, and my love of books, I don’t think I would want to leave! But, the bokbyen (“booktown”) is only open for business from May to mid-September.

But, fear not! The online side is open year-round.

I would love to at least see the stunning glaciers. And then, read a book next to them.

For more information, check out these sources:

What about you? Have you ever visited a booktown?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #56: “Chances and Changes: My Journey with Molly”

Chances and Changes

Image Credit: Amazon

If you haven’t already, I recommend reading the Book Reviews on the first two volumes of Molly’s BeForever collection:

I really like the Journey Books that American Girl is producing. They offer readers the chance to connect with the historical characters via a modern girl character, and everyone learns something valuable along the way.

I mentioned my love of Camp Gowonagin in my previous Book Review, so I was thrilled when I first learned Molly’s Journey Book would be primarily set at camp. It had me dreaming of my own summer camp experiences, but those were in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was 1945 – Very different!

I won’t give away a lot of detail, but I appreciated the lessons about friendship, teamwork, cooperation, courage, bravery, and helping others. I also learned a different series of facts about World War II – Something I never knew existed in the United States during this time. I really liked that American Girl took this and worked hard to educate readers about it. Kudos!

Reading this book made me wish there was a time portal in the book. Although summer camp back then was very much structured like the military, I think I would have loved it!

I’ve heard of “adult summer camps” in different states – Maybe it’s time that I sign up for one.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #55: “Stars, Stripes, and Surprises: A Molly Classic 2”

Stars Stripes and Surprises

Image Credit: Amazon

If you haven’t already, I recommend first reading my Book Review of Molly’s Classic Volume 1:

Volume 2 covers the other three books in Molly’s original Classic Series:

  • Happy Birthday, Molly!
  • Molly Saves The Day
  • Changes for Molly

This volume starts in the spring of 1944. Molly is excited to celebrate her birthday. Her family also receives some exciting news – A girl, Emily, is coming all the way from London, England, to live with her aunt. When Emily’s aunt falls ill, Mrs. McIntire offers to help out. Molly is happy – A girl her own age! After a few stumbles and culture shock, Molly and Emily become friends and celebrate their birthdays together. There’s also a few birthday surprises!

As school lets out, Molly, Linda, and Susan head to Camp Gowonagin for two weeks! I remember loving this story in particular as a kid, and made up countless stories about summer camps!

Along the way, the girls learn many things, including the camp’s hallmark event of Color War. They end up on different teams, so who will win?

The final chapters breeze through the fall, winter, and find Molly in the spring of 1945. The war is coming to an end, and everyone in town is putting on the “Hurray for the U.S.A.!” show. Molly’s family receives an exciting telegram from Dad – He’s being reassigned to the local Veterans Hospital and coming home for good! Yay! Molly really wants to be Miss Victory, the tap dancer with the big solo in the show. But, she wants to transform her stick-straight hair into big, beautiful curls before the show. Her sister, Jill, is happy to help. Will everything work out the way Molly hopes it will? And, will Dad arrive in time to see the show?

Like Volume 1, I miss the original illustrations. But, the writing is so vivid, I feel like I’m beside Molly the whole time!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #54: “A Winning Spirit: A Molly Classic 1”

A Winning Spirit

Image Credit: Amazon

Finally! The new BeForever books for Molly were released last week!

Some of you may know that I fell in love with Molly’s character as a kid. I read and re-read her six-book Classic Series over and over. I loved everything that was featured in the catalogs. In 2013, I finally realized one of my biggest childhood dreams by buying the Molly doll from American Girl, shortly before she was archived.

Now, on to the review!

Like the other BeForever series, this first volume covers Molly’s original three books:

  • Meet Molly
  • Molly Learns A Lesson
  • Molly’s Surprise

We first meet Molly around Halloween, with her friends, Linda and Susan. They live in Jefferson, Illinois. They are planning their Halloween costumes in the fall of 1943, as World War II continues. Molly’s father, James McIntire, is an Army doctor, currently stationed in England helping sick and wounded soldiers. Molly misses him dearly, but has a full house at home, with her mom, the housekeeper, Mrs. Gilford, and her three siblings – Older sister, Jill; older brother, Ricky; and younger brother, Brad.

After multiple tricks and treats at Halloween, Molly learns several lessons about lending a hand, cooperation, jealousy, and speaking up when it counts the most.

Christmas is challenging with Dad still away and the war, but the Merry McIntires make the most of it. Molly works together with her sister to pull off one great surprise, and someone in the family has a surprise of their own to share!

I certainly miss the beautiful illustrations from the Classic Series, but Valerie Tripp’s writing, as always, carried me back in time, right alongside Molly, her family, and her friends.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂