Friday, December 23, 2016
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Sunday, December 04, 2016
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Monday, November 07, 2016
I thought The Kinfolk was a really good book; it met my expectations and then some. Throughout the series, I have come to love each and every one of the characters, and I loved them in this book just as much as the previous ones. They were described so well I felt like I was right there with them during the entire journey. Knox was daring, kind, and really wanted to protect his family. Chase was brave and very loyal. I also liked how well the story flowed. The themes of family, friendship, and teamwork were prevalent throughout. I didn’t find myself bored at any point in the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the previous books.
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
I really enjoyed reading Leaving Kent State by Sabrina Fedel. The novel is the perfect balance between a love story and historical fiction. I can tell the author did a large amount of research on the Vietnam War, and not just the events but also how people reacted to it and the true feelings of the time period. It feels as if you are transported to the Vietnam War era while reading. The author did a great job of making the novel historically accurate, but it wasn’t overbearing. The historical elements were intertwined with a love story, one so classic and swoon-worthy that you can’t help but become invested.
The novel’s descriptive language provided great imagery and ideally set the scene. The novel’s main character, Rachel, is very likeable and shows great character development throughout the novel. Her thoughts and feelings are easy to relate to. Overall, Leaving Kent State is a great novel and I would recommend it to anyone looking for historical fiction with elements of romance.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Cinda Williams Chima never disappoints, and this book is no exception. This fantasy/action book was written with amazing characters, fantastically described places, dragons, magic, and amulets! Ash is the main character with a fiery attitude, a kind heart, and a deep sense of family.
The descriptions were awesome! One part where I especially loved the description was, “...a place where the northern winds needled the nose and cleared the head for thinking.”
Although this book is an impressive start to a new series, “Shattered Realms,” it isn't a really good stand-alone story. To understand the full storyline, you should read the first series, “The Seven Realms”, before you read this second series. This book has some killing and violent descriptions, so I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
The History Major is a rather short book, but despite the short nature of the story, it is full of strange twists and many complex elements. Despite the story's complexity, Amanda is the only character that is developed throughout the story, and one of the only four or five characters that provides real importance to the plot. Most of the story is confusing for the reader, but Cash does an excellent job tying everything together into a satisfying ending.
Because of how the story was written, it is nearly impossible to predict the ending before actually getting there, which makes most of the reading rather slow. There are, however, vivid descriptions that allow the reader to picture the setting very well in their head. There are also strong thought provoking themes that leave the reader thinking about the story even after they are done with it, but these themes are also not made clear until the end.
Overall, due to the slow read and confusing nature of most of the story, some people might find it difficult to make it through, but I believe the ending makes it worth it. Because of the good themes and satisfying conclusion, I would recommend The History Major to anyone looking for a shorter story with themes that leave them thinking.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
I have never read the Jacmuir series, so I was unsure of what to expect from this prequel. However, I found that the author explained everything very well, and I felt that I didn’t need to have read the other books to understand what was happening.
The characters were easy to discern so that I didn’t get their names mixed up too often. I favored Xavor more than Natro simply because Xavor felt like a more tender-hearted character to me. Resna seemed like a nice girl, although I would have preferred if the author had given a bit more insight to her character. I would have loved to know more about her.
Even though this novella is under 50 pages, I found that the plot was well written. It kept my interest, and I didn’t feel as if it needed more plotline or suspense.
Overall, this is a great novella, even if you haven’t read the rest of the Jacmuir series.
Monday, October 24, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
The Pathway to Dragons: Portal to Pyranis was a short, action-packed tale of true friendship and bravery. In this book, Billy must put his trust in Talia, a girl he just met, to help him get his dragon back. I thought that the characters were well developed and sweet. This book had great detail and easy to understand words, which will be helpful for a younger audience.
I thought that the author wrote with such character and charm. The characters seemed to jump off the page and fly around me. The drawings were exquisite and really caught my attention. They flowed beautifully with the well-written book, really helping me understand what was happening.
The twist with Grandpa Hugo was superb. He was a wonderful sort of mentor character, but he wasn’t the basic old and wise kind. Grandpa Hugo was brave and very strong. My personal favorite character was Talia because of her bravery and independence. Her backstory revealed in the end was a stroke of brilliance.
In all, I thought this book was very well written, and I would recommend it to many eight, nine, or ten year olds who love a great adventure.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Making a topic as complex as the human brain understandable and interesting for young children is definitely a challenge! One way Neuron Galaxy succeeds in being kid-friendly is through adorable and colorful illustrations. They will keep kids hooked on the story and help them understand the concepts being presented.
Another way that this book successfully bridges the gap between elementary students and neuroscience is by making comparisons to things that young children can relate to: describing a “baby neuron” as a little character who is lonely and trying to reach out to other “neuron friends.” I also think kids will enjoy the way this book speaks directly to them: “Baby neurons in your brain were growing bigger as YOU grew bigger.” It relates what is happening in their developing brain to new things that they are able to do as they grow: “Your brain...helps you walk and talk and dance and think.”
Overall, Neuron Galaxy does a great job of bringing brain science to a child's level, but a few concepts may still be difficult for young children to grasp, like how many stars there are in the Milky Way galaxy. Some terminology, such as dendrites and axons, is more appropriate for older kids, who I believe could also learn something from this book. Neuron Galaxy was an interesting, quick read that even taught me some new things about my brain.
I really liked Alexandra’s Secret. The history was great and it gave you a good idea of what spies went through in World War II. The characters are believable and nicely portrayed. They are described in great detail which makes them really come alive in your mind, such as the descriptions of Alexandra and her training as an SSO agent. The storyline of trying to escape from enemy territory was exciting and the suspense kept you alert and ready for what would happen next. It is a thriller, and the suspense of whether or not they'll be caught along with wondering how will they get out of this situation keeps you on the edge of your seat. All in all it is very good historical fiction.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
While mainly geared at students leaving high school and entering college for the first time, students of all ages and levels of education can find useful information in O’Donnell’s guide. As someone who went to community college as high-school, I’ve already learned some of the initial advice given from personal experience. However, there were still helpful tidbits of wisdom that will surely make my (and any already experienced college student’s) life easier, including segments on stress and time management.
With sections on how to overcome participation anxiety, ways to get the most out of studying, the importance of expressing gratitude as well as asking for help, and more, this handy book acts as a concise guide useful for many future experiences in the education realm.
O'Donnell encourages readers to strive for their best, while being clear not to encourage one to work towards a specific career goal, as that is a decision entirely up to the reader. This neutrality of the author makes for a versatile guide with the ability to reach multiple readers with virtually any career in mind.
With the statement that “education is an ongoing process,” the author translates a philosophy that learning is infinite, and that rather than be daunted by this fact, one should take comfort in it. By suggesting to pursue one’s interests (and know that it’s okay to change one’s mind), take advice with a grain of salt (as it might not always apply to you), and accept that there will be struggles (resourcefulness is key), O’Donnell makes the idea of working towards one’s ideal career a little less intimidating and all the more exciting.
Without feeling patronizing, The Career-Minded Student gives advice, wisdom, and suggestion, acting as a timeless book for any student of nearly any age or career path.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Mind Over Bullies was an intriguing, thrilling book to read. It kept me on my toes begging for more. Smith's writing is beautiful and enjoyable. I personally thought the counterfeiting twist was ingenious. It was intricate and brought so much life to the overall story. The anti-bullying superheroes were amazing and heart-touching. I loved how brave they were and how differently they confronted the bullies.
The counterfeiting scheme, the bullying, and the regular drama of high school blended together to tell a story that caught my attention and held it for hours. The mystery left me guessing until the very last page. I thought Margo was a strong-willed and independent protagonist. She didn't let people take over for her, and she learned not to let other people's words get to her. I also really enjoyed how the different stories from around the world from different perspectives came together into one climax. The danger and the emotion gave so much depth to this book that it left me aching for a sequel. The book was very well written and captured the thoughts and feelings of bullied teenagers from around the world.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
This was an interesting book if you look at it as a guide for young people to look forward to a peaceful world by learning the rules of being peaceful within themselves.
Obviously, the sci-fi loving part of me really enjoyed the story as Sherpa made time hops. The history buff loved the different people Sherpa met during her hops. Last but not least, "good prevails over evil" is always a winning concept for me when I am reading!
I recommend this book for readers age 12 through 18 who enjoy adventure and time travel.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Shades of Blue has one of the best plot sequences I've ever read. As you read the book, you find out more and more about each character and get to know them on a personal level. There is also a lot of conflict within the story. The main-characters come to many heart-wrenching realizations that turn their world upside down. After I read this book I found myself wondering, "What happens to Sam and JoJo now?" IF there was a sequal to this book, I can't even imagine what would happen considering the first book is already filled to the brim with storyline. You won't be wasting your time reading this book.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
I thought this book was quite good, although there were a few sections that were really mature thrown in there, like underage drinking and sex references. My favorite part was when Damien plays a hero and a villain at once. If the author was trying to make a suspenseful page-turner, I would say they did not succeed. The book was suspenseful, but the interludes like the party scene are just kind of weird and off topic. I would recommend this book to readers who are mature, because of the underage drinking and sex references.
Monday, October 10, 2016
The first thing that made me want to read this book was the beautiful cover art. I recognized the artist almost immediately as one who makes fan-made edits, as well as book covers. I love the way the girl stands just outside the fence with her back facing the cover. It’s a really great cover.
The first chapter grabbed me right from the start. I was immediately intrigued as to what might happen next, and how the author would grow the world. Unfortunately, I think that the book was just too short for me to really get a sense of the universe. What descriptions of the world I did get were very well put, however I just felt that, had the story been longer, it would have given me more insight as to how the world worked and all the interesting themes about it.
The main character, Vee, was a very stubborn but likeable character. She wasn’t stubborn so as to annoy, but stubborn enough that she didn’t back down easily. I felt that she obeyed only when she absolutely had to, but tried to do what she thought was right at all times.
Overall, this book had an interesting storyline and an amazing protagonist, however I think it should have been longer to fully immerse the reader in the world.
It’s similar to the humor style of The 13-Story Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths in that it’s likely to amuse younger readers more so than older ones. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t sections of intrigue for readers of all ages, as Rohl seamlessly incorporates autobiographical anecdotes and miscellaneous facts between cartoony doodles.
Put together in a scrapbook format with a sketchy style, Rohl’s organization of this book is easygoing and interactive. The only con is that it is sometimes difficult to decipher, making the covered page overwhelming to focus on in a few sections. Horror vacui, meaning the fear of empty spaces (a term used in reference to visual art often when describing an artwork with little to no bare sections) is a fair description of Rohl’s youthful graphic novel. Each reader’s preference for this style will most likely vary.
While mainly geared at children from eight to thirteen, some parents might appreciate a content warning, as some of the heavier subjects discussed feel questionable for readers under thirteen. Mentions of meth, even though discouraging its use, might not be considered age-appropriate by some parents.
With cut and pasted drawings of pirates, zombies, Vikings, monsters, and Abraham Lincoln, accompanied by playful lettering and casual commentary, this unique memoir is fast-paced, conversational, and creatively compelling.
The perfect read for reluctant readers, Heavy Sketches Among Worldly Distractions captures and engages with overflowing pages of subtle educational facts and tidbits of random information, balancing plenty of humorous anecdotes, inspiration and advice for young artists, and somewhat heavier topics in a lighthearted and affable way.
Thursday, October 06, 2016
My opinion of this story is that it took a long time to really get into the story. It is boring at the beginning as the plot unfolds, but once you learn more about the characters and see some of the action, it gets really interesting. There is also a lot of action in this book, but it isn't gory, which is good because most "action books" feature blood and death, while this book just has a few fist-fights and a lot of debating/arguing. When the main character realizes what his "job" is, the book is a lot more interesting. If you stay with the book though, it has a really good ending and plot twist.
Beautiful illustrations that look like they are drawn with colored pencils, along with real photographs of the bear and children, add charm to this story.
The way the bear was loved, lost, and then loved again reminded me a lot of the movie Toy Story.
Part of me wanted the characters to have names instead of generic titles like Sad Bear or Little Girl. However, as I got to the end and found out Little Girl's true name, I understood why she wasn't named earlier.
The photographs at the end made the story even more endearing. They were a wonderful addition to the book!
Any child or adult who has had a favorite toy will be touched by this book!
Saturday, October 01, 2016
This unique story and plot line makes a wonderful and captivating book. From the start, Ollie’s Odyssey demands the reader’s attention, instantly relating the characters to real life. The way the author creates and develops Billy and Ollie as actors in the story is amazing. Despite Billy being only six years old and Ollie being a stuffed toy, it is impossible not to grow attached to the characters.
The plot of the story is unique and inventive. Never before have I read a book with such interesting details even though it appears to be a children’s book. An evil clown, a wonderful relationship between a boy and his stuffed animal, evil henchmen, unexpected allies, the list goes on! This book is definitely one to read! Ollie’s Odyssey will remind one and all of the wonderful adventures we used to have with our stuffed animals when we were young.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Lou Hoffman made yet another awesome book filled with fantasy, adventure, action, and thrills around every corner! This book was a great addition to The Sun Child Chronicles, adding more detail to the wonderful world of Ethra! It was chock-full of magic and danger; this is the best book of the series yet!
The author perfectly blended old and new characters in this fantasy series. I think the best parts of the book were when Lucky was being heroic. I can't wait to read book three! This book was not a stand-alone; I would advise reading book one before this one. I would recommend this book for ages 12 and up. If you like fantasy and fiction, you would love this book!
This book was an interesting combination of mystery and history. I am proud to say I learned some Choctow while reading this book. It has a very good plot and a feel-good ending. My favorite part(s) were all the strange coincidences; it was truly surprising. Although this was a good book, I did have trouble imagining the setting. I would recommend this book to 2nd-6th graders and to avid young readers.
I really liked this book. It is a message of hope, of hope for the future, and shows that it will be the younger generations that will lead the way. The story is riveting, imaginative, and hopeful. I like how the author builds up the scenes as she is going along, rather than trying to give you the whole "concept" in the first few pages. It sets up the entire story, but lets the story tell itself over the chapters, which is nice because you are not trying to remember every detail from the beginning of the book. Over all, the friendship of Riv and Dan is what sets up this story to be exceptional. It's the life long concept of sharing burdens, as in the song "Lean on me" by Bill Withers. Afterall, life's travels do seem to be better when we share both the burdens and the joys with friends.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
This is a really good book because of the reality. Just like Harry Potter, the author spins a web of present day aspects of family and relationships, then adds a twist of unusual to make you believe that something like getting recruited by a secret organization might actually be real. That combined with the real world characters, personality complexity, and hormones adds up to an exciting story filled with adventures and friendships (or maybe a little more than friends).
I thought this was a very sweet tale. It read like every traditional fairy tale I have heard but was still unique in its plot.
Any child would enjoy hearing this story read aloud. When I was younger, I always enjoyed retelling stories that my parents read to me at bedtime. This tale is the perfect story for a child to retell over and over again.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
I really enjoyed this book. I think it was a great story because the characters were so likeable. Even though Ruby and Eleanor were completely different, they would both be great friends to have. Ruby was a confident character who didn’t let anyone or anything stop her. Eleanor on the other hand was really shy, but was smart and very creative. I would love to live in the small town were Ruby and Eleanor live, because the author describes it as very cozy. I definitely will check out other books like this one. I gave this book five stars because it was very well written.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
I’m happy to say that Mind Over Bullies held my full attention throughout the time I read it. Every time I picked it up, I never wanted to put it down. It was well written and easy to understand. Only every now and then was a little confusing as the different stories and points of view of different characters tied together. The life and actions of the characters is believable, and also developed through the book. For example, Margo started out the typical pretty, popular girl that didn’t care about anything but herself. By the end of the book, the change in her was great to see and one that I wish would happen in the real world. On a certain level, I could relate to the book in many ways. Whether it was the event of a friend stabbing you in the back, or the feeling that suicide was the only answer. I would definitely recommend this book to people who love an action packed story that takes many unexpected turns.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
This book dealt with a serious conflict of cyberbullying and just bullying in general. However, the main character, Autumn, was kind of annoying at times, with her ‘in the mind’ pep talks and lack of confidence. There were some parts in the book that didn’t really fit in with the story. For example, the part about the stalker was random, and it did not have a whole lot of purpose with the actual storyline. Another example was the part about the math teacher’s car being stolen and then placed in the middle of the classroom. Besides these examples, the book was pretty good. This is because it was well written and you always wanted to know what was going to happen next. I recommend this great read!
Monday, September 19, 2016
The Drowning Shark is a great adventure story that was fun and enjoyable to read. Most of the book centers around Sierra, with only a few supporting characters, but Sierra is quite easy to connect to. On one hand, she seems like a normal, likeable person. On the other hand, she is well-traveled, intelligent, brave, and spirited.
Definitely a quick read, this book is hard to put down. Its fast pace and intricate plotline pulls the reader into Sierra’s story. If you like exotic locations and a spy novel vibe, this book is for you.
I recommend The Drowning Shark for readers between the ages of 9 and 14 who enjoy adventure, international settings, an inspiring heroine, and an environmental message.
I loved this story and thought it was so creative! The story reads like a Dr. Seuss book, with all the sentences rhyming. It is fun, creative, and has wonderful illustrations! A young child could easily retell this story just by looking at the pictures. It's a perfect bedtime story!
Friday, September 16, 2016
This story unfolds like a beautifully orchestrated movie. The author describes the characters, the scenes, and the theme in vivid detail. At first it seems a slow read, but it gives the reader a chance to develop the mental movie, and for it to blossom fully. The time loop was very interesting. At times you want to tell Jett that ...wait... you don't want me to give it away, do you?
I loved this book! The amazing blend of action, adventure, and suspense kept me wanting more from start to finish. I loved how the author, Aaron Foster, was able to make this book so completely realistic. I felt like I was right there with Adam as things were happening. When something happened that wasn’t really fair, it made me think of how I would respond if I were one of the characters. It was also great that the author built on the characters so much more from book one, which meant that we got to see more of their fantastic personalities.
The storyline flowed really well; there weren’t any spots where the book got slow or boring. Fast cars, cool gadgets, powerful enemies, and the element of danger will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the first book or to anyone ages 12 and up.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
I enjoyed reading such a refreshing story, so different from the usual fantasy adventure. I admired Sahara’s fiery spirit, bravery, and determination, which provided a nice dramatic foil with the more level-headed Jared’s contrasting characteristics. The story held enough suspense to keep the reader interested, without needing constant action to make it enthralling. There were some improbabilities in the plot, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. I await the second book with curiosity.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Since I’ve never read a book in this style of fantasy, I eagerly await the next book. The reason I chose this book is because I liked the sound of the title; I like stories of dragons. I would probably give this book 5/5 stars although it is has some gruesome parts where lots of people die. Because of this, I recommend it to more advanced readers. The plot of the book is pretty well done, though I felt some parts of the story were not necessary. I felt like there was too much focus on the side characters which seemed added for length, and only gave a little to the story plot. The main character, Liam, was written well and I could picture him going on adventures with his dragon, Shade. The Dragon Holder is also a lot like the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, so if you enjoy that series, try it!
When I first read Goggles Gone Strong, Mighty Monday, I loved it immediately! I liked how the Blue family interacted with the island and its people while trying to figure out not only why they were on the island, but also what their big safety goggles were for. I liked how S.M.W. Claw wrote the book so it feels like you are with Calypso, the main character, and you are learning with her. I definitely recommend this book for all, but I think kids between the age of 8-15 would like it the most. There were many things I liked about this book, such as the way S.M.W. Claw put the time and place Calypso was at before every chapter, how the book started with the Blue family trying to keep everything in running order at their shack in the middle of a jungle, and above all, how the book is different than many other books in that both reader and characters learn together.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
I think the phrase, “One for sorrow, two for joy”, fits every part of this story perfectly! While Jenna and her mom are driving to see Tannie, they count crows by saying the phrase: “one for sorrow, two for joy, three for girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told”. Jenna’s mom sees only one crow, which represents sorrow. Jenna however spots one, two, three, four, five, six, and then seven crows. When Jenna’s aunt moves in with them it seems everything is a big mess of sorrow and frustration, but at the family meeting it turns out there is a secret never to be told! In this case, that is to ask for help when you need it. I think this book is wonderful for youngsters who might have younger siblings and feel like there isn’t enough love to go around. Just remember there is always more love, the more people there are to give it to!
I really enjoyed the book when I could actually imagine the different parts. This story always had excitement. You wouldn’t be able to wait for the next page, or chapter. Marissa Shrock weaves the story so well that every page was a surprise. As the story kept going, it got more intense. All the facts fit together closer to the end. Even though it is the second book in the series it was easy for me to understand it. But I am guessing that without reading the first book it may be harder to understand the storyline. Though the first part of the story was okay, the last part was amazing. There were so many happy endings and surprises. There were some surprises I didn’t like entirely and I wished were changed, but they fit with the story very well. It had everything a good story needs. It also reminded me of the Divergent series. I loved it and I think you will to.
Monday, September 12, 2016
"The Secret of Goldenrod" was a great book! I was so absorbed in Trina's story that I didn't want to put this book down. With the exception of the magical ball and talking doll, the plot felt very realistic. The detailed descriptions of the mansion painted a picture in my head and made me feel as if I was there. I really liked how the author used flashbacks to combine Trina's story with the story of the family who lived in Goldenrod a century before. I found "The Secret of Goldenrod" to be a very fast and entertaining read and would strongly recommend it to anyone from 5th grade through middle school.
Friday, September 09, 2016
Upon opening this book, I found myself intrigued from the get-go. The first chapter gripped me and I found myself curious to find out more about the universe. The story was very fast-paced and didn’t bore at any moment.
The main character, Nemesis, was a different protagonist than most books have. She wasn’t quite human, so it was very interesting to have the story from her perspective. She was a strong character throughout the book, both physically and mentally. It was an intriguing experience to see her grow from the start of the story to the end.
The author did an amazing job describing the universe the characters lived in. The descriptions weren’t too lengthy, but were just the right amount of words to explain the world and what was happening.
This book is an excellent read for those who love the young adult genre. Filled with suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat, The Diabolic is sure to impress.
I thought Vampire Boy was a great book. It was full of adventure, magic, and mystery. The characters were well developed; Alex is a vampire that tries to be friendly to everyone and is brave, too! By using a lot of conversation between the characters, the author, Aric Cushing, kept the book interesting.
I was disappointed that this book ended very abruptly. This story will be part of a series, but I would have liked to see the school year completed.
I would recommend it to readers ages 10 and up. This book strongly resembled Harry Potter (it even had a reference to it), so if you like Harry Potter, this book might be for you.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
From the get-go, it is obvious that this is the second book in a series, and should not be read as a stand-alone novel. Unfortunately, I was not able to read the first book, and was a little lost at the beginning as a result. It was, however, relatively easy to pick up on the plot and understand everything that was going on. One thing that was harder to do was get to know the characters, as the author probably assumed readers of the second book would already know the characters. Because of this, there were few things in this book that made the characters memorable, and I found them rather easy to confuse with each other.
While the individual details of the plot are unique (a government run by demons attempting to destroy other demons without destroying themselves), the overall idea can be found in many other books. I think this story is something that will appeal to those who read lots of dystopian fantasy, especially because of several unique twists that make it different from other books of this genre. Generally, the protagonist in dystopian books is fighting against one main antagonist througout the series, but (from what I gathered through this book), the first book, The Stars Never Rise, time is spent escaping and surviving attacks from the corrupted church. The Flame Never Dies, however, turns a different direction, and although it still contains things about the church, most of the focus is on the demon city that is set on destroying Nina and her group. I gave this book three stars because, although there were some different twists, I did not find it terribly unique or memorable, and it did not contain anything that really excited me. So if you love this genre and want something a little different, then The Flame Never Dies will probably be great for you. Otherwise, I would look elsewhere.
Saturday, September 03, 2016
This is the most original story I have read in a while!
The title, A Pigeon's Tale, is perfect since it's a tale told by a pigeon named Walter.
Some of the vocabulary and science terms were above me. Even though I didn't fully understand them, it did not interfere with my overall understanding and enjoyment of the story.
Readers of all ages will like this story. This tale evokes almost every emotion imaginable! As Walter tells the story of his long life (hundreds of years long) the reader will cry, laugh, gasp, and celebrate.
My Life Hereafter kept my interest greatly. The concept of what happens after you die is one that many people debate today, and have many different ideas of. I liked the concept of that idea in this book. Also, I enjoyed the plot twist, it was extremely unexpected but kept my interest in the book until the very end. The characters were fun and believable, and there were many good life lessons. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to wonder about life after death, or anyone who enjoys a good adventure.
Thursday, September 01, 2016
This adorable tale about friendship would make a wonderful addition to any bookshelf! Button Nose, the main character, is a cute little bear with a sad face. Little Girl is his playful companion who loves him unconditionally and takes him everywhere she goes.
Beautiful illustrations fill every page of this book, making it visually appealing. Real pictures about the author’s youth also fill the pages in the back of the book, letting readers know that this story is based upon her childhood. This charming story would be an excellent read-aloud for young children and a perfect first reader for those beginning the journey of reading on their own!
A tale about a dragon will allure young readers, and this book does not disappoint! Along with magical hatching of a baby dragon named Pegasus, we are acquainted with Prince Dayshawn and Princess Kameela, who look after the young dragon until he must be set free.
Lovely illustrations are on every page of this captivating story, allowing the reader to visualize the story with ease. A running theme of friendship is woven into the book as Pegasus does not forget his caretakers, and Kameela and Dayshawn readily welcome him into their home.
As a wonderful read aloud or a first reader, Pegasus -- A Dragon’s Tale is a perfect addition to any story collection!
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Over all, this book was okay. It definately wasn’t one of my favorite books and there were a couple things that I would change. First of all, I didn’t like how there was some violence in the book. Secondly, I personally didn’t like that there was a lot of talk about gangs and a few references to swear words. Some things that I liked about the book were the characters Jade and Mercedes. Jade is a really strong and tough character, but yet she is still girly. Mercedes is always trying to help her sibling and never worries about herself. This book is a really quick read because it is only 97 pages.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Absolutely loved it! The author drew me into the story from page 1. It was like going on a roller coaster ride. The time jumps were clear--stated clearly and with dates provided. Total page turner--I have never read a book so fast in my life! The twists and turns make you say: "Wow. I should have seen that coming... because it makes total sense." It is as if everything we do, every choice we make has a direct effect on the paths that our lives and our reality takes! Many sci-fi books are so unrealistic, but not this one. Bridge Through Time seems totally plausible, totally realistic, and totally a time in our future. This book is a page turner! A book that, like a roller coaster, buckles you in for the ride--and as the reader, you are happy to enjoy the thrills!
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
“…on my next birthday, I will be fifteen! At this stage in my life, I am meant to be experimenting with drugs and having my first fumbling sexual experiences. But hanging out with Starling is so much better.” That quote from page 9 basically sums up the entire book. Briony hates her life, and decides to escape that life by reading the book series she adores. She obsesses over little things that happen in her life, such as her still being a virgin and never having tried drugs. She longs to be with the “in-crowd,” but knows that that will never happen. In her own words, she considers still being a virgin at fifteen years old something “freaky,” and certainly does not want to get drunk or do so many drugs that she goes crazy. Briony hates her body, particularly her hair – she thinks curly hair is a curse, and wishes she didn’t have her lovely locks, as she only longs for wavy black hair. Briony also calls herself “fat and ugly” several times throughout the novel. Her closest “friend” Julia just wants to do drugs and have sex and get Briony to join in, but Briony just wants to stay at home and read her books. Julia also insults Briony on a regular basis, and doesn’t seem to care how her “friend” feels. For some odd reason, Briony still chooses to hang out with her so-called “friend.” Briony is also dishonest, throwing out a letter the principal told her to give to her parents. The letter was about how she wasn’t paying attention in History class in school, and was fairly accurate in its content, but Briony didn’t care and just trashed it on the way home from school. After Briony gets sick, she decides to dye her hair black and start wearing gothic clothing. She legitimately thinks she is an exorcist, and starts acting and dressing the part.
All-in-all, the main character was very difficult to even like or find commonality with. I had difficulty connecting with Briony for all the reasons just listed – I disagreed with her about everything she thought was normal. Briony was disrespectful towards her parents, and not only called them obscene things, but also just acted like a brat. After she got sick, Briony sort of went off the deep end, so to speak – she became an entirely different person, and didn’t really change for the better. Briony didn’t have very good judgement, either, as she was willing to hang out with people who didn’t honor her as a person and who never would respect her.
I also had difficulty finding anything in common between myself and Briony’s parents. Her mother just slammed her father every chance she got, and seemed very emotionally unstable. While she sometimes seemed to have her child’s best interests at hand, she never handled situations properly. Briony’s mother had such an order to her rants that at fifteen, Briony had nailed precisely where they started and ended without much trouble. Her mother first threatened to do unspeakable things to Briony if the girl didn’t clean her room, and then tried to get Briony to see the reason behind her argument, and then she used a blaming tactic to put guilt on Briony so as to blame the child for her problems, and then she ended with slamming Briony’s father. Speaking of Briony’s father, in the book, Briony’s parents are getting a divorce. They’ve been putting it off for several years, and every time some little event happens, the parents just get pushed closer and closer to actually finalizing the deed. It was not very clear why Briony’s mother hated her father and why the father hated her mother. The father stated it was because he had to pay for Briony and her mother’s lavish lifestyle, while the mother stated it was because the father had a new girlfriend whom he wasted his money trying to please. Clearly, their troubles did circle around financial problems, but a solution was never found.
I felt bored and disgusted reading this graphic novel. The art was subpar, and the style of writing was dreadful, as it was more child-like than adult-like in terms of the choice of words, but included such obscenities that it would never be an appropriate thing for a child to read. By the end of chapter one, I actually had the thought, “When will this awful thing end?” By the end of chapter two, I gave up even trying to enjoy the book. While it was a short read, I really didn’t enjoy it – I nearly gave up reading it until I got to chapter five, where the storyline picked up a little and at least kept my interest until the end. I have loved comics, manga, and graphic novels for awhile now, and don’t mind dealing with adult material when it’s presented in a professional manner. I’ve read “BONE” by Jeff Smith and “Black Butler” by Yana Toboso – both of these graphic novels I enjoyed greatly. In this book, however, the author’s intent seemed to revolve around shock-value – something I’ve never enjoyed reading. The sex scenes early on in the book were extremely graphic and showed large amounts of nudity and sexual acts – they honestly weren’t needed to make the point the graphic novel was trying to make. Often, scenes in the book seemed forced. Properly done transitions were very difficult to find, and the writing style seemed choppy at times. The book gave off this weird vibe to me, as if it were meant for a younger crowd, but that it was trying to appeal to an older audience as well. If that really was the intent for this book, it failed on both accounts. I would never let my younger siblings read this book filled with such mature and graphic themes, and I would never choose to read this book myself, even though I am twenty-one and enjoy a well-written graphic novel. The term "graphic novel" does not have to mean that the content within the novel be graphic (in terms of sex, drugs, or other gratuitous things), but in the case of this book, that definition fits the bill. This graphic novel was such a let-down that I would never recommend it, nor will I ever read it again.
Monday, August 22, 2016
This book was very well written and interesting. There are surprising twists and turns throughout the story which keeps you eager to keep flipping the pages. It also covers a range of emotions that are wrapped in suspense. The characters are developed very well in this story. As you get deeper and deeper into the novel, you feel a strong connection with all of the characters. I give this book 5 stars, because there is nothing that I would change. Everything about it was utterly amazing. I definitely recommend this great read.
Friday, August 19, 2016
I like the way the book was written. I felt like I was part of the story watching the action happen
My favorite part of the story was when Damien reconsidered his decision of wanting to be a super villain, because this made me think that he was finally going to be a super hero! I liked when Damien put robotic scorpions in the backpacks of the bullies that bothered his friends. I thought it was funny when they got scared and after I read that I thought: "So, what happened to acting all tough and not being afraid of anything?"
I would recommend this book to any kid that's a fan of super heroes.
Pirates are a fun, familiar trope that appeals to readers of many ages. I was hopeful that Claire Merchant’s tale about a female buccaneer would have a daring, Anne Bonny kind of edge. Alas, I was met with a drawn-out, sappy version of Pirates of the Caribbean. Certain aspects of the novel were enjoyable, but I wouldn’t recommend this book to my fellow bibliophiles.
The novel starts off with potential. Corey was born to a wealthy family, but ended up being raised by pirates for reasons unknown until the end. She’s no weakling, either; she can do her work just as well as the men can. Her downfall comes when she meets Sebastian. Yes, love can make people do foolish things, like buy overpriced teddy bears and cherry cordials, but I really expected more from the supposedly strong, independent Corey. Her loyalty to her crew was shockingly low when being wooed by a handsome stranger.
Another disappointment was the severe lack of action. Besides the sudden capture of Corey and a brief battle, there was very little in the way of excitement. A mysterious mermaid did add a hint of intrigue, though since she was the only magical aspect in the novel, it felt forced. I did enjoy the many different accents of the characters who appeared on the two pirate ships. They added richness to the dialogue and make it easy to identify the many characters.
Those searching for a satisfying pirate adventure are better off searching for another novel or perhaps watching Johnny Depp’s humorous turns as Jack Sparrow.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
My Life Hereafter kept my interest greatly. The concept of what happens after you die is one that many people debate today, and have many different ideas of. I liked the concept of that idea in this book. Also, I enjoyed the plot twist, it was extremely unexpected but kept my interest in the book until the very end. The characters were fun and believable, and there were many good life lessons. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to wonder about life after death, or anyone who enjoys a good adventure.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
A new student review of Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #30: Ninjas and Samurai by Mary Pope Osborne Natalie Pope Boyce
This book was chocked full of interesting information! I have read a lot on this subject, and I still learned many new facts!
The author's introduction at the beginning was a really nice addition. I enjoyed reading it.
Younger readers might find the layout of the book (the glossary along the side of the pages) and the text level a little hard to follow, especially if they are the age as the children who would read Night of the Ninja.
The non-fiction title is written for 7-10 year olds, but I think 7 and maybe 8 year olds would struggle with it. On the flip side I think the subject matter and the text level is also appropriate for 11-13 year olds.
This book is a brilliant tale of magic, mystery, and friendship. The author artfully yet quickly introduces the characters. My admiration for Pinmei grew as the story unfolded. Her ability to persevere, despite enormous obstacles, was amazing.
The unique plot of stories within stories moves along at a satisfying pace. Following Pinmei’s quest from the quiet granddaughter whose favorite place is home to China’s great adventurer makes this book a ‘coming of age’ story.
Including the stories of China’s mythology, as told by Amah or Pinmei, pulls the reader into this magical world. Beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. Readers who enjoy fantasy and adventure will treasure When the Sea Turned to Silver for years to come!
This historical fiction novel provides a glimpse into a time of environmental distress due to war destruction and a loss of awareness towards the earth. “Wide as the Wind” takes place many years ago, yet it can speak to readers of all ages and backgrounds in a timeless way about the result of neglecting Earth’s natural environment.
This novel is a unique voyage adventure and has an anthropological viewpoint, however, the text meanders in places, so be prepared to muscle through some verbose sections. Stanton introduces readers to the lifestyle of a society and their culture in an accessible approach by incorporating fictional characters and writing in a decidedly fiction-esque style. Unfortunately, the second half of this book felt slow in comparison to the beginning.
Despite moments of tedium, Stanton’s “Wide as the Wind” is vividly tragic and dramatically rich. It’s a historical tale without feeling historical. Featuring themes of adventure, war, and a comparable Romeo and Juliet type romance, this novel is perfect for readers weary of history and anthropology but zealous for adventure and drama. It gives a glimpse into an ancient society through an adolescent perspective, which can be interesting to fellow history and anthropology enthusiasts.
Monday, August 15, 2016
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. When I began reading it, I was reminded of the Pretties series by Scott Westerfeld. I loved the brave characters! I thought Gabby was a strong protagonist in spite of her flaws. The plot was engaging and well-paced.
I was not familiar with some of the gaming terms such as the term "rebuff." The use of gaming terminology caused me a bit of confusion. Additionally, since the story was based on a team aspect, I would have liked to know more about Mouse and Frags. However, I have a strong feeling I will get that opportunity in the next book.
I appreciated that the concept of this book was highly original. I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers and students ages 12 and up.
This is Not the End is a short and complex read filled with great adventure and the potential for self-contemplation. The main character, James, goes through many changes throughout the storyline. Readers will see his doubts, his confusion, and his growing confidence as he learns to decide his own destiny.
Along the way you might just find more meaning in your own life and the power of family and friendship. The plot is ever-changing, with a different destiny for James just around the bend. It is hard to predict what will happen next, but that's the fun of the story. I recommend this book to readers ages 12 or older who enjoy fantasy interwoven with religious elements.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
I choose this book because the cover caught my eye. It was just a sign on a chunk of ice and it made me think, “Oh, I wonder what this book is about?” I didn’t realize that this is the seventh book of the series therefore I was confused about how the characters tied together and had a hard time figuring out how old they each were. The book did jump around from past to present and it was a little confusing. I liked April’s grandma, Gaga, because she was a brave and strong character. What kind of grandma who knows that she is going to die soon, would be brave enough to go skiing in the mountains? I thought that Gaga was an interesting character. Another thing I liked about the book was how the author described each character. I got to know each character better every chapter. I liked how each character was completely different from one another. I really enjoyed this book and I had fun going through the ups and downs in April’s life with her and I think that you will too.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Lion Island is a story of power, bravery, strength and determination. The book unfolds with elegance and strength, showing the passion that Antonio, Wing, and Fan feel as they go against the law to save their own. Each character has a different personality and skillset. Fan is a character who never sets limits too high, but always fulfills her promises. She is the most loyal character in this book. Wing is a difficult character because of the rage that fills his heart and the revenge that clouds his brain. Wing is a fighter, driven by anger. Wing won’t stop until he fulfills what he sets out to do. Antonio is a free-born boy with dreams to make others free too. He makes many promises to himself, many of which he can’t make happen. Antonio is confused, not knowing in the beginning of the book if he is a warrior of fire or words.
What I love about this book is the power behind every word. Every word has a meaning and inspired passion in me as I read of the horrors going on in that time. It almost brought me to tears when I found out that this story was close to true, and that these outrageous events actually happened in Cuban history. This book made a mark on my soul. Engle writes with such passion and power, pouring her soul into the pages. I felt the confusion and anger rolling off the pages and settling in my heart.
I will never forget this story of hope, peace, love, anger, grief, and victory. Within these very pages is the soul of a young boy, fighting for freedom and life.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
I was really excited for Sea Spell, and I wasn't disappointed! There's a lot of danger coming at our heroines from all sides, but also a lot of hope. I love the complexity of Orfeo: he's not just a villain who kills merely to kill; he also has a purpose. He's always sought to bring his dead wife back from the underworld, not caring about the casualties he inflicts doing so. And instead of being cold and cruel, he comes across to Astrid as charming but powerful – fatherly, even. For her, Orfeo is the greatest enemy not only because of his malicious goals, but also because he has a strong chance of turning her over to his side. Besides the characters, the two big battles were well written, suspenseful, and heart stopping because nothing went as planned. Sea Spell was deliciously unpredictable except for a few scenes that I anticipated – the only thing I didn't like about the book. I highly recommend reading the three prequels before starting Sea Spell.
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
I enjoyed The Chicken Squad. The author uses lots of different animals in the story, even a dog narrator. Doreen Cronin put tons of humor in the book, such as Sweetie’s carrot-dropping reaction to Tail’s story. There are many other funny misunderstandings between the squad and Tail that lead to a surprise ending. Kids from ages 5-9, who like humorous, silly books would like The Chicken Squad.
Sunday, August 07, 2016
This book was so much fun to read! I can't wait to read other titles in the series. The spunky Grace will really appeal to young girls, and who doesn't love a unicorn! Just the 3 rules stated on the back will entice readers:
Rules for being a princess:
1. Your name must be on the Fairy Godmother's list
2. You must always be elegant and graceful (a problem for Grace?)
3. A unicorn must choose you (That's my favorite!)
This humorous tale has an endearing main character, and the supporting characters help make Grace's experience a fun and exciting adventure. There is a positive message about self-confidence and loyalty.
Some vocabulary words, like deportment, pinafore and presume, might be too difficult for younger readers, but readers will still be able to follow along and enjoy the story despite not understanding a word or two.
Friday, August 05, 2016
I must start with the fact that I have not read the first book in the series, therefore my opinion is only based on where the story picks up in book 2--with Vivica becoming part of the Emancipation Warriors. There are points in this story that I enjoyed. The storyline involving the interactions of the characters are my favored parts. So much of the story is like a rat maze; the reader being the rat who keeps hitting dead ends and opening new passageways. There are parts of the story that are really rushed, when more time needs to be spent setting up the story. It is about halfway through the story when there is a paragraph or two that tries to explain the Peacekeeper, and the Global peacekeepers in a rushed and confusing manner. I will read book 1 in order to answer some of my questions, such as: How does a person who is raised in an entitled world suddenly become this super hacker all the while she is a pampered princess who loves to go shopping? I also want to read book 3 to help answer my other questions, which I assume will be addressed at the series end. This book does draw you into the characters life enough to want to find out what finally happens to them.
Thursday, August 04, 2016
Once Upon a Time University has a fairytale basis with a sneak peek at real life on a university campus. The characters in this book fit together very well. Placing tragedies here and there only tests Albany's endurance and shows the readers how far she is willing to go to help, save, or defeat someone else. All good books must have a plot that draws you in and this book has and did exactly that. I hope you enjoy this fairytale campus like I did. Happy Reading!
I thought Dawn's End was very well written. I adored the story line and the twisted plot. Nicole was cheated on previously so she doesn't want to love again, but Morrel is her dream man.
One thing I didn't enjoy was the ending; I thought the last two pages seemed rushed. Maybe the story could have followed them a little bit farther, until they settle in or return to the villiage.
Overall, I thought it was a great read and I would highly recommend it.
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
This book is almost impossible to put down, the story makes you worry that the evil Mr. Angel will actually win. It has lots of action and suspense along the way. Overall A Most Magical Girl is a great book. I like how every chapter starts with a saying from Annabel’s old life. One thing I didn’t like was that whenever you hear Mr. Angel talking it’s in italics. I think that it should be separated with a different chapter. Fans of Harry Potter and dark wizards will enjoy this novel.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Corrupt Practices. The characters were very unique and intriguing to get to know, but that made them more difficult to relate to. The plot was very well thought through, leaving no plot holes, but at the same time explaining all the events in the book very thoroughly. The book was written in present tense, which made it a little awkward every once in a while, but I stillI didn’t want to put the book down. There were many surprises and twists in the story that I wanted to keep on reading and find out how it ended, which made me largely forget about the sometimes distracting tense. The main problem I found with the book was the frequency of overly sexual descriptions. While I could get past some of the language found in the book, I did not think these pictures were necessary, but rather that they detracted from the overall quality of the book. In conclusion, for a mature reader, this book is a suspenseful legal thriller unlike anything I have ever read, and I would definitely recommend it. Unfortunately, for a younger or less mature reader, the language and inappropriate scenes make it a no-go.
I think this was a wonderful book to read, and I could never put it down! Abbott does a wonderful job of creating the setting, and developing the characters. You can tell she probably had fun writing this, considering all the laughable moments she's included in the book. This was certaintly a different genre than I would usually choose to read, but I'm glad I read it! People who like to read young adult books, and reading about the obstacles teenagers face should read this book. The character interactions in the book are awesome! Abbott really makes the characters come to life, and makes the mean girls Casey encounters feel real not just stereotypical mean girls in a story. She also makes Casey relatable to readers that have a hard time getting over change. Casey is such a well developed character that the story just comes alive.
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Shades of Blue is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. I felt like I was Jojo, the narrator, while I read this book. I felt like I was actually a part of this story and I was there to witness everything. Joyce Scarbrough, the author, did an amazing job at writing this book to pull the reader into the story and make the reader feel everything as if it were happening to their own life. I loved both Jojo and Sam’s characters and I loved the relationship they had with each other. This book was definitely a heartfelt tearjerker. Out of all the books I have read, I think this is the only one that really brought tears to my eyes. This story gives hope, not only to abusive families, but anyone that is going through a rough point in their life, that everything will be okay, and there is always a way out, regardless of the situation. I could not thank the author enough for creating this wonderful story. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, especially readers that are searching for hope, faith, and maybe even love.
I liked this book because there were a lot of funny characters. Each character had their own unique personality. I also liked that there was always a lot of action, but never too much violence.This was a fast book to read. I didn't really like that there were illustrations, because then you couldn't imagine how the characters looked yourself. If you like stories with animals as the main characters, you will love this book. Overall, it was a really good read.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
I liked the concept behind Happily Ever After High School, however, I did not like the way the characters were developed and acted. I found it hard remembering that they were seniors in high school instead of middle schoolers. A lot of the reactions to simple things did not seem to fit the older age group. Also, a lot of the events in the book seemed cliché to me, such as how Albany became friends with the popular group of girls, only to be stabbed in the back by them later. Or how the day she needed her knight in shining armor, he was suddenly missing. And I could often predict what would happen before I read it. Still, I think the ideas behind Happily Ever After High School are good, but it would probably appeal more to younger MS readers than to true HS students.