I have finished some reading in the past week or so, Nanny Returns by Emma McGlaughlin and Nicola Kraus (well, "reading" as it was an audiobook) and Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders by Kevin Sylvester.
First, I loved Nanny Returns! It was great entertainment and also enlightening. As a former nanny and child care giver I have had many moments where you wonder if you could have done it better, as of course parents do as well. Nan has returned to NY and runs into Grayer, the last child she cared for as a nanny. She still lives in fear of his uppity, up-town mother who has no consideration for her children at all. I think this book was fantastic entertainment and uplifting as well. It deals with the theme of family, is it blood that decides family or is it loving relationships? How do you know when you are ready for children? How do you know you won't screw it all up as parenthood? And what does it mean to be a family? I highly recommend this book, or audiobook, for anyone.
The second book I finished was Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders. This is one of the books I am reviewing for the school board review committee. The main character of this book is a 14 year-olf cooking protege who is able to identify any ingredient by its smell. So not only can he cook a fabulous meal, but he does so by determining when your steak is done just by its smell! Cute. Neil Flambe is also called into action by the local police detective to help solve murders and other various mysteries that happen to have a variety of smells as the clues. This book was super cute and I wish I had had it earlier in the year as I was teaching my mystery genre unit. The characters all had food oriented name as the majority of the mystery had to do with famous chefs in Vancouver being murdered. I think this is a great introduction to mysteries for kids and as the first in a series (I believe) it could be something they look forward to reading time and again.