High Sea Adventure

High Sea Adventure (Barbie and Friends Book Club) by Rita Balducci

This story takes place in the 1700s, with Barbie and Midge traveling with Midge’s father, a doctor, to deliver medicine to the Caribbean islands.

Hmm…

They stop at the Cayman Islands, where the girls meet Teresa Rivera, a young lady who is studying to be a nurse and who’s home they will be staying at while Midge’s father gets the hospital up and running.

The island is beautiful, and both Midge and Barbie see it as a paradise. However, this paradise has one bad snake-a pirate called Red Beard. He has been scavenging the locals exports, such as Teresa’s family’s sugarcane; along with stealing shipments of medicine. They hope the Navy captures him soon and ends his terrorizing of the seas. But even if they do, will they ever recover the things he stole?

Teresa shows them around the island when Midge spots a map shop. Hoping to find the perfect gift for her father, Midge goes inside. As she looks at maps she overhears men who look like pirates talking to the owner.

“Tell Red Beak the trade is made…Go to the mouth of the Little Bear.”

Afterwards, Midge tells Teresa and Barbie what she heard. They try to figure out what the message means, but no luck. Later that night, Midge is looking at the stars-trying to remember the names of the all the constellations when she spots Ursa Minor, the Little Dipper or Little Bear.

This strikes a cord with her and she pulls out the map she purchased earlier. There are a series of islands that line up just like that particular constellation. The mouth of the Little Bear the Pirates were talking about must be the cave that lines up with the “mouth” of the stars.

Immediately Midge runs to wake her friends. They go to tell Midge’s father so he can relay the information to the navy. But they are too late, he has already left to search for the pirate ship.

The girls decide it is up to them and they set out on one of Teresa’s family’s boats to test their theory. Will they find the pirate treasure? Or will this be a wild goose chase? Will they stop the pirate? Or be captured by them?

Thoughts After Reading:

This was always one of my favorites as a kid as it had pirates, adventure, and just a lot of fun.

I also loved how the girls save the day.

This is actually one of the better books in the series. In fact all the mysteries are.

For more Barbie books, go to The Silver Deer

For more pirate mysteries, go to Little Betty & Veronica: The Buried Treasure Mystery

For more Children’s books, go to The Turquoise Trail Mystery

For more historical fiction, go to The Butterfly and the Violin

The Book of Madness and Cures

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The Book of Madness and Cures: A Novel by Regina O’ Melveny

In 1590, Venetian woman, Dr. Gabriella Mondini, finds herself losing the very thing she absolutely holds dear, her ability to practice medicine.

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The men in the community had never been supportive of Gabriella, and with her father being gone for the past ten years they feel there is no one to monitor her and that they no longer have to do honor such a doctorship.

It's not fair.

It’s not fair.

Gabriells is furious, but knows what she must do. She must find her father, a feat that will be near impossible as she has no clue where he is.

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She has letters from his travels and search to complete The Book of Diseases, but even they do not hold a clear path.

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Aided by her friend and servant; the women set off in search of the other Dr. Mondini.

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I did not like this book.

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My biggest issue with it was the character of Gabriella.

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Now I understand that Gabriella is women in 16th century Venice and a doctor; but that doesn’t mean you have to make her character like a block of wood.

NO emotion = BORING!

NO emotion = BORING!

Everything was stilted and emotionless. This is not what you should do with a main character. We have to connect to them, feel for them, understand them, become a part of them and their lives; and I felt that this book did not do that at all. I couldn’t stand Gabriella.

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For more mysteries set in Italy, go to The Italian Wife

For more historical fiction novels, go to The Midwife’s Tale

For more not in a series mystery, go to Where Are You Now?

For more mysteries, go to Carrot Cake Murder