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Book Reviews . . .

The Wonder is a novel by Emma Donoghue, the Canadian-Irish author of "The Room", set in 19th century Ireland about a form of behaviour by some at that time. It involves an 11 year old girl who appears not to have eaten anything for 4 months and a nurse from England who along with a Catholic nun have been tasked with observing her closely for two weeks to see if that is true. It unfolds as a mystery and is not a light read. However it does shed light on some of the religious practices of the time in the light of science as it unfolds in the lives of the characters in the book. Emma Donoghue has more background information on her website. 

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Movie Reviews . . .

Queen of Katwe. Katwe is a slum area in Kampala, Uganda; queen is a chess reference. 10-year-old Phiona, her two brothers, her older sister and her widowed mom have a difficult life, depending largely on selling vegetables in the streets. Enter Robert Katende, athletic coach.

(Kids don’t play football because it’s too expensive to treat injuries, one boy says). The coach begins teaching chess. Phiona is so good at the game she soon experiences success in local tournaments and larger competitions. Her whole village supports her and rejoices in her accomplishments as she helps her family to move beyond their extreme poverty. A tear-jerker at times but a story of hope and resilience… and family. 

Eleanor McCloskey, CND 

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