Monday, December 15, 2008

Book Review: Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel

Skybreakercontinues the story of Matt and Kate as they take to the skies again, this time in search of a lost treasure. Teaming up with some new adventurers, they face deception, excitement, and debilitating cold to reach their destination.

This second book didn't excite me as much as the first, though the story is still pretty compelling and adventurous. I still enjoyed the characters and the alternate historical feel. A fun story for exploring/adventuring types.

s-factor: !

A few.

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
Some scary elements and fighting, but really mild.

Overall rating: ****

Book Review: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheartis the fascinating story of a young girl whose father has a very unusual talent: he can bring to life characters from a story - literally. Meggie, who knows only that her father refuses to read to her, suddenly finds herself at the mercy of a very wicked character - one brought to life by her father.

I fell in love with this story from the first. Really, for someone who loves reading and books so much, it would be hard not to. Despite the fact that this book is quite long, it was worth all the time to read and kept my attention right through to the end.

s-factor: !@

There is some swearing.

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
The bad guys, they are pretty scary!

Overall rating: ****

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Librarian's Book Reviews: Recommended Gifts

So, because I am a librarian, I guess it goes without saying that I will encourage everyone and anyone to purchase BOOKS this year for all your gifting needs. Yeah for books and literacy and all that goes with it! And, because I am so kind, here is a list for all your book-giving needs:

The Lord of the Rings- THE fantasy trilogy

Eragon Eldest and Brisingr- for dragon-lovers (young adult)

Chronicles of Prydain - a children's (grade school) five book series: The Book of Three The Black Cauldron The Castle of Llyr Taran Wanderer The High King

The Chronicles of Narnia- another children's classic

Fablehaven series: firstthreebooks- a newer children's series

The City of Ember andsequels(children's)

Life As We Knew Itand the dead and the gone(young adult)

Fahrenheit 451a classic!

The Hunger Games(young adult)

Little Heathens(non-fiction)

A Long Way From Chicago(children's)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid and sequels(children's/jr. high)

The Wednesday Wars(children's/jr. high)

fairy tale:
Princess Academy(children's)

Book of a Thousand Days(young adult)

Wildwood Dancing(young adult)

The Princess and the Hound(young adult)

Fairest(children's/jr. high)

Once Upon a Marigold(children's/jr. high)

The Princess Bride (there's a book?)

picture books:
A Bad Case of Stripes

Pancakes, Pancakes!or anything by Eric Carle

Where the Wild Things Are

The Sneetches and Other Storiesor anything by Dr. Seuss

history buff:
Amazing Grace(non-fiction)


Uprising(historical fiction)


See also School Library Journal's Holiday Gift Guide.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Book Review: Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasantis a quirky, but fun magic and mystery story. A young girl is drawn into a magical world she never knew existed after the death of her uncle. She chooses to go with the strange Skulduggery Pleasant on a dangerous and very important mission.

This was kind of a strange book. I liked some of the humorous dialog between Stephenie and Skulduggery, but parts of it seemed a little too weird. I never bought into the story the way I have with other books, but it was pretty fun, nonetheless. I figured out many of the surprises and twists before they happened, but not all of them!

s-factor: !

Maybe one or two.

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
Some fighting and stuff - nothing too heavy, it is a kid's book.

Overall rating: ***

Book Review: Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression is a riot of a memoir about the author's childhood. She recounts a series of anecdotes from her life growing up on a farm during the depression and gives a glimpse of a time nearly forgotten for us young 'uns. Also replete with interesting recipes and humorous phrases from the time.

This book was so much fun to read! Kalish writes as if she was your own grandmother, recounting her childhood experiences. The quirky and endearing phrases she uses and first person narrative gives it a story-telling aspect. I laughed out loud during many parts and really learned a lot about what it was like growing up when and where she did.

s-factor: !@

One section where she recounts how she learned about swear words. Easily skipped over for those likely to be offended.

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Book Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thiefintroduces us to Eugenides, the Queen's Thief. He is cocky and sure in his thefting abilities, but ends in prison anyway. He only finds a way out when they need his particular skills to accomplish a seemingly impossible task.

The Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1)

I really enjoyed this book. The story became more interesting the farther I read and I loved the ending! This is a clever and fun adventure book and had me dying for the sequels (which, fortunately, were already published when I found this one). It is kind of a mix of mythology, magic, and adventure.

s-factor: !

I think a few.

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****
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