‘The Real Z’ Book Review

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I just finished reading “The Real Z” by Jen Calonita.  I know Z came out a while back this year, but I just kind of brushed her off, thinking she was just a reused, uncreative doll.  While her doll looks just like Truly 64, except with a different part and a mole, her story surprised me.  In a good way!  I really enjoyed it!

The story is about Suzanne “Z” Yang, a stopmotion filmmaker in Seattle, Washington.  When she gets a chance to enter a film contest, she is super excited!  But then she finds out that it’s very different from anything she’s ever done before, and she feels pressured and a little discouraged when her friends don’t like her first try.  Will she be able to express ‘the real Z’?  Can she save her Camera Club, buying a new camera with prize money?  Will she maintain good relationships with her family and friends?

Read the book and find out!

Now for some spoilers.  *evil grin*  Don’t read anymore if you want to be surprised with the book.

What I liked in ‘The Real Z’:

-One of her BFFS is in a wheelchair.  It’s good for girls (and everyone, really) to read about people with disabilities, so they aren’t intimidated or scared when they come across them.

-All the Korean-American traditions incorporated in the book.  I learned new things!

-The fact that Z uses AG dolls for AGSMs(American Girl Stop Motions), and she’s 13.  I appreciate AG reaching out to girls who are above the 8-13 age range, portraying doll photography as something cool and interesting, instead of creepy like many people think it is.

-The stress put on online safety.  A lot of girls post their personal info or inappropriate things.  I like how supportive and tuned-in  Z’s parents are.  🙂

What I didn’t like in ‘The Real Z’:

-Z was a bit immature in her fights with her friends, and when things didn’t work out.  But it wasn’t bad!

So, if you are thinking of reading it, I encourage you to do so!

Have you read Z’s books?  What do you think of Z?

❤ , IrishAG

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Josefina…

Hey guys!  I know, I couldn’t think of a good title for this one.

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hair askew, she walks at dusk

quiet stepping, dodging corn husks

lively party, can’t go in

secret dancing to violin

climbing quickly up a tree

the setting sun not hard to see

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watching dancers twirl right by

pretty as the painted sky

naming all the herbal dyes

no one sees the hidden spy

5-15-17 044trying to remember her

wondering what she would wear

noting quickly darkening space

scuttling down at hasty pace

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halted by the scent of flowers

mama-longing overpowers

comforted by lovely sight

hearing her name called in the night

running fast to Papa’s arms

sanctuary from all harms.

***

Another poem-shoot!  I didn’t intend to do this, but the photo shoot I took didn’t have a lot of pictures I wanted to post.  🙂

This was (loosely) based on a part of Changes for Josefina, one of her pre-BeForever books.

❤ , IrishAG

Happy (Late) St. Lucia Day!

Hi readers!  Happy belated St. Lucia day!   😀  (It was on December 13th.)

 

Picture from American Girl Wikia

This holiday is very special in Kirsten’s stories.  In Kirsten’s Surprise, Kirsten, with the help of her cousins, dresses up as St. Lucia and serves the traditional treats to her family.

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Picture from American Girl Wikia

The gown above is the one AG sold.

Since we don’t have Kirsten’s St. Lucia gown, I decided to make one!  I used Josefina’s blouse from her feast outfit and a red ribbon we had lying around.  For the wreath, I scrounged in the basement and found some faux leaves that twine around each other nicely.  The candle is just from a box.

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This is the result!  It’s not a perfect match, but it will do.   🙂  A VERY IMPORTANT TIP: If you use real candles for a doll’s St. Lucia outfit, do NOT Light the candles!!!!  You could damage your doll.

Do you celebrate St. Lucia day?

❤ , IrishAG

Lea Clark Book Series Review – By IrishAG

Hi everybody!

Gymnast03, Mom and I just finished Lea and Camila, the last book in the Lea series!  We’ve read all three of the books now, so I made a “review” of the things I liked and disliked. *WARNING!  This contains spoilers for the Lea books, so if you haven’t read them yet and want to be surprised, you should probably stop reading.*

All right, let’s get to Lea Dives In!

Things I liked:

  • The vibrant descriptions!  (I love Lisa Yee’s writing!)
  • Ama and Lea’s relationship.  Lea really looks up to Ama, which I thought was sweet.
  • Lea’s travel blog.  Just like Grace Thomas, Lea blogs about her adventures!  Maybe AG will make it on their website like In The Mix With Grace!
  • Camila.  Oh my gosh, she was so sweet!  I loved the way she befriended Lea.  And when she surprised Lea with the beautiful dress!
  • Lea facing her fear of the ocean.  Good thing she did, she saw awesome things under the sea.
  • Her dad.  He was so corny and funny, espiscally his “Brazil Nut” cap.  XD  And he was always so prepared, even when he fell off the cliff!
  • When Lea had the super spicy food at the restaurant.  It cracked me up.
  • The cover art.  So pretty!  I love the parrots.
  • Last but not least, the Darth Vader reference!!!  😀

Things I disliked:

  • Lea’s negative attitude.  Luckily it wore off by the end of the book.
  • Zac.  He didn’t seem to want to spend time with his family, and would rather be with Paloma, his crush.  Which brings me to
  • Zac’s crush on Paloma.  That was akward.

And last but not least…

  • Lea throwing her Grandmother’s necklace into the ocean as an offering to a pagan goddess!  It was her Grandma’s before she passed away.  And if Lea cares so much about the animals and the enviroment, why did she help with throwing baskets of junk into the river?!?  That was pretty bad.

Now book 2, Lea leads the way.

Things I liked:

  • Zac’s host family, espiscally Tomas!  He was so sweet to Lea and Amanda.
  • All the wildlife they saw.
  • Galo Louco.  He was funny!
  • When Lea ate larvae.  Lisa Yee did too, and you can go to her website to see pictures!
  • And my favorite part, by far, was Amanda the sloth!  Oh my gosh she was so cute!!!  🙂

Things I disliked:

  • How freaked out Zac got when Lea suggested he poke an ant’s habitat.  He said sorry later, though.

And now the last book, Lea and Camila.

Things I liked:

  • How Lea, Camila and Abby got along.  It was rocky at times, but better than some other books.
  • How they showed that even “unexotic” places like St. Louis could be fun and exciting.
  • How Lea doesn’t live on the East Coast.
  • The Coventry House.  The hidden room was awesome.
  • Hallie!  The whole search for and finding her was fun.  And she was such a neat carachter.
  • The photography, espiscally the two Hallie photos.  🙂
  • How Hallie gave Lea a compass necklace.  I know some were disappointed that Lea never got it back, but she got another one!
  • The girls getting frozen custard.  I love it!

Things I disliked:

  • Abby’s disobeying Mrs. Clark.  That was dangerous and disrespectful!
  • Abby not inviting Lea to the game.  I think this should’ve been handled by adults.
  • Of course, the fight.  But it was well resolved.

Overall, I liked the series.  My favorite book was Lea and Camila.  It’s not available for purchase yet, but my library got it early.  🙂  Sorry this was so long!

Do you like Lea’s books?

~IrishAG