Carlson, Melody. 2006. Notes From a Spinning Planet: Ireland.
Maddie is a nineteen-year-old, self-proclaimed "country bumpkin" who has little experience outside of her small town. When she is given an opportunity to visit Ireland with her Aunt Sid and her aunt's godson, Ryan, she is more than thrilled to begin her "first" grand adventure--beginning with her first plane ride. Aunt Sid is a journalist on a mission. Ryan and Maddie are there for fun--at least at first. Ryan's father was Irish, and he was killed in a car bomb. His father supposedly was involved in the IRA. As these two teens (or college-aged-somethings) discover, life can be more complicated than what it first appears to be. Digging into political issues as well as exploring romantic relationships, NOTES FROM A SPINNING PLANET: IRELAND is a good start to a new series.
Carlson, Melody. 2007. Notes From A Spinning Planet: Papua New Guinea.
Maddie is back for another adventure. This time Aunt Sid is taking her along for the ride to New Guinea. Their assignment: go behind the scenes to explore the poverty and AIDS stricken communities that most people are either unaware of or choose to ignore because it's such an ugly situation. For the first time, Maddie comes face to face with people living in third-world communities. Poverty. Sickness. Hunger. No longer topics heard about in a cozy church environment. These are real problems that need real solutions. Can Maddie find the strength to reach out to those that need God's love the most? Has she finally found God's will for her life?
Notes From A Spinning Planet is a new series by Melody Carlson. Carlson is also the author of several other series including the following: Diary of A Teenage Girl, TrueColors, Degrees of Betrayal, and Degrees of Guilt. The next Notes From A Spinning Planet title will be released in August 2007.
What I enjoyed about the series is its look at world politics. It is a series about expanding your world view and examining cultures beyond your comfort zone. These may be political issues, economic issues, social issues, etc. But I think there is a real need to see beyond your own neighborhood and realize the bigger pictures in life.
Randomhouse Author Bio: Melody Carlson