Junior Fiction

Book ReviewA Tangle of Knots

Reviewer's Rating: 
2
I don't need my money back but I'm willing to prop a door open with this one.
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Philomel Books, 2013

The cover of this book immediately drew my interest and the synopsis sounded gentle, light and promised a happy ending = a potential great book for the youngest reader in my household. But darn if it wasn't meh-ish as a whole. Lisa, the author, has woven a very complex 'knot' of characters that all weave and cross over each other, under each other, beside each other and eventually converge to tie together at the end, but...

Book ReviewSpirit Animals: Wild Born

Reviewer's Rating: 
1
I never forget a book, but in this case I'll make an exception.
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Scholastic Inc. 2013

Initially I loved the idea of this book and series - empowering youth with a meaningful spirit animal and being asked to save the world. Go team! I love it when normal characters are asked to do something brilliant and strong where they find something special inside of them that rises to the task. But then my daughter and I read the book and we both decided we wouldn't continue in the series. Two generation strikes out. My biggest problem with the novel is that all the children...

Book ReviewTheodore Boone Kid Lawyer

Reviewer's Rating: 
2
I don't need my money back but I'm willing to prop a door open with this one.
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Dutton Children's Books, 2010

John Grisham is a well published author in our adult mystery and fiction sections of the library.  The Theodore Boone series is his first foray into writing for a younger audience.  When Eileen Goudge did the same shift in gears with her writing earlier in the year, she said it had been a major learning curve for her.  I'd say John still has a tiny bit to learn about his younger audience.

Book ReviewThe Runaway King

Reviewer's Rating: 
5
This book was so good I'm going to throw a brick through the bookstore window so I can have my own hardcover copy RIGHT NOW!
Category: 
Publisher: 
Scholastic Press, 2013.

Oh my double dunked chocolate donut - it's another book by Jennifer A. Neilsen (my highest rated Junior Fiction author of 2012)! I was so happy to buy this book for my daughter's Easter basket present and even prouder that I didn't crack the cover myself until...

Book ReviewCity of Orphans

Reviewer's Rating: 
5
This book was so good I'm going to throw a brick through the bookstore window so I can have my own hardcover copy RIGHT NOW!
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011.

If you've ever felt yourself or your children taking things for granted, this is the perfect read for you. City of Orphans places you in the midst of turn of the century New York, smack dab in the tattered rags of a boy named Maks. It is a wonderful life experience - second hand of course - to live his daily life. We come to love Maks' family as he does, feel his courage push up through the desperation of his situation and each time we put the book down, you are, as a reader, grateful for your own life. And I mean GREAT-FULL. At first, to be honest, I found the book to be a bit of...

Book ReviewWonderstruck

Reviewer's Rating: 
5
This book was so good I'm going to throw a brick through the bookstore window so I can have my own hardcover copy RIGHT NOW!
Category: 
Publisher: 
Scholastic Press, 2011.

I could easily recommend this enchanting story to both child and adult alike. Rich not just in illustration, the story itself is extraordinarily well thought out and full of attention getting twists and turns to a very touching ending. I mistakenly thought author Brian had written a sequel to his wildly popular the Invention of Hugo Cabaret. But Wonderstruck is a standalone novel written and illustrated in that same genius style. Creative, interesting, and heart-warming, Wonderstruck took me just over an hour and half to read so don't let the size of the book deter you. I'd recommend reading it with...

Book ReviewInfinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time

Reviewer's Rating: 
4
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Scholastic Inc., 2012

I love sharing books with my daughter. It is good like a heaping scoop of ice cream with caramel sauce (though she would argue chocolate sauce is better). It's a fun, interesting link to discuss the merits and downfalls of a book with her and it deepens our bond as 'people friends' outside of the mother/daughter dynamic. A Mutiny in Time, the first in the Infinity Ring series was a perfect duo read for us. Despite our sauce choice differences, we both found A Mutiny a Time a...

Book ReviewPegasus the Flame of Olympus

Reviewer's Rating: 
5
This book was so good I'm going to throw a brick through the bookstore window so I can have my own hardcover copy RIGHT NOW!
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Scholastic Inc, 2011

GUEST REVIEWER CRYSTAL AKA MISS GEVIOUS JR: I gave this book my best review because I wanted to keep reading it every time I got interrupted. It is very fast paced which keeps you interested and it reminded me of Rick Riordan's books - they both have Roman Gods and teach you about Greek mythology without it feeling like a classroom. Reading this book you really get to...

Book ReviewMuseum of Thieves

Reviewer's Rating: 
4
I truly enjoyed this book...and yet, it failed to rock my world because (see explanation in review).
Author: 
Category: 
Publisher: 
Delacorte Press, 2010.

This was a great book for many reasons. 1. LOVE the cover, 2. LOVE a smart, rebellious young girl heroine, 3. LOVED the non-stop action, 4. LOVE that this is a series - woo hoo! This highly enjoyable read takes us on a whimsical, nail-biting journey that at times reminded me of Hogwarts - the staircases shift, with flavors of, The Fantastical eyes of Peter Nimble - the adults are control crazy and the children band together to...

Book ReviewThe Spellbinder

Reviewer's Rating: 
3
Don't you hate a fence sitter, and yet, this is where this book falls, not bad but not great.
Category: 
Publisher: 
Feiwel and Friends, 2009

This is a good book to get you in the mood for Halloween with ghosts, secret doors to be found and lots of slimey places to tip toe through. But sadly, beyond the setting I didn't find much to recommend this book as a whole. For one thing - and my kids will back me on this - what grade six student who is faced with any kind of research goes strictly to a reference library for answers? How about, oh, I don't know - the Internet!? "In my day..." going to a reference library uphill both ways is something my generation would do. This is just one of the glaring absences that made Spellbinder out of date and unrelatable as a result.

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