Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review: The Girl With No Name by Marina Chapman


Title: The Girl With No Name
Author: Marina Chapman
Hardcover - 256 pages
Published: April 1, 2013 by Pegasus

from Goodreads: 
The poignant story of a girl who overcomes unique hardship and deprivation - growing up with a troop of capuchin monkeys - to find ultimate redemption.

In 1954, in a remote mountain village in South America, a little girl was abducted. She was four years old. Marina Chapman was stolen from her housing estate and then abandoned deep in the Colombian jungle. That she survived is a miracle. Two days later, half-drugged, terrified, and starving, she came upon a troop of capuchin monkeys. Acting entirely on instinct, she tried to do what they did: she ate what they ate and copied their actions, and little by little, learned to fend for herself.

So begins the story of her five years among the monkeys, during which time she gradually became feral; she lost the ability to speak, lost all inhibition, lost any real sense of being human, replacing the structure of human society with the social mores of her new simian family. But society was eventually to reclaim her. At age ten she was discovered by a pair of hunters who took her to the lawless Colombian city of Cucuta where, in exchange for a parrot, they sold her to a brothel. When she learned that she was to be groomed for prostitution, she made her plans to escape. But her adventure wasn’t over yet...

In the vein of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "City of God," this rousing story of a lost child who overcomes the dangers of the wild and the brutality of the streets to finally reclaim her life will astonish readers everywhere.

Alleluialu's Review:
This was our book club's November selection. It is the story of a little girl of 4 who was kidnapped from her backyard, then abandoned in the jungle of Colombia. We don't ever learn why she was abandoned, just that she was. Knowing that this is a true story, I empathized with her right away. She was obviously very bright to be able to survive and not just sit on the ground, cry and die. I was transported to the jungle with her, dealing with fear, creepy crawly things, hunger and loneliness. Her story is amazing, insightful, and so sad that she had to go through all that she did. She kept her innate goodness though, even though it was hidden when she had to survive on the streets. I like her. She is definitely a hero of mine. I am curious to read the sequel. I am sure she used all she learned from the monkeys in raising her own family.

I gave this book 5 Notes - A Symphony! This book is excellent, I didn't want it to end. In fact, I am anxious to read the sequel. I purchased this book from Barnes & Noble and you can, too, here, or from Amazon here. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

It's my favorite time of year - Christmas!!! But I'm not starting to read Christmas books until the day after Thanksgiving!

I do this challenge every year! This year it runs from November 24, 2014 to January 6, 2015. Crossover with other challenges is permitted and, in fact, encouraged. Books read must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, and for the first time...a children's Christmas books level!

Here are the levels:

Candy Cane - Read 1 book
Mistletoe - Read 2-4 books
Christmas Tree - Read 5 or 6 books!

*Additional levels:

Fa La La La Films - watch a bunch or a few Christmas movies - it's up to you!
Visions of Sugar Plums - read Christmas books with your children and share what you read

*The additional levels are optional. You must complete one of the main levels above.

If you love Christmas like I do, you should pop over to The Christmas Spirit blog and sign up for this challenge! There's also a Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon that runs from November 24 to November 30. You can sign up for that at Seasons of Reading.

Oh, I almost forgot! I am signing up for the Mistletoe level. I may get to the Christmas Tree level, but I think I will start with Mistletoe. BUT, I'm not starting to read Christmas books or do anything Christmas-y until the day after Thanksgiving.