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review 2019-08-16 19:43
Which toy shall rule them all?
Toys Go Out - Emily Jenkins,Paul O. Zelinsky

Toys Go Out is a middle grade novel that follows 3 toy friends that come to life when their little girl goes to sleep. Lumphy (stuffed buffalo), Sting Ray (dry clean only), and Plastic (a bouncy ball) are the main characters with distinct (albeit simple) personalities. The primary story revolves around the desire to be the toy that gets to sleep in the little girl’s bed at night (sound familiar?). Some of the adventures include a trip in the washing machine and being grabbed by a garbage shark (maybe the best descriptor of a dog ever) at the beach. I’m not sure why I thought reading another book about toys coming to life was going to be a vastly different reading experience from The Doll People. [Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.] However, if you're looking for a fairly straightforward reading experience for your 10-12 year old then this will fit the bill nicely. 5/10 because I love a good sarcastic toy.

 

Topics discussed: insecurities, search for identity, and finding your place. 

 

What's Up Next: Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer with pictures by Josee Masse AND Locomotive by Brian Floca

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-08-03 03:35
That subtitle seems familiar
Redwall - Brian Jacques

Redwall by Brian Jacques has been touted as a classic but I'm not sure this is one I would recommend. I found it predictable, needlessly long, and frankly pretty boring. This is a difficult book to categorize as either a middle grade or young adult novel as it handles mature themes with a lot of gratuitous violence besides being a brick of a book (somehow this didn't bother me with the Harry Potter series but it did with this one). The story is a coming of age quest/adventure story set in the Middle Ages with rodents and various other wild animals as the main protagonists. Matthias, our hero, is a young mouse who is studying to be a monk at Redwall Abbey when a giant rat named Cluny the Scourge shows up on the scene. Matthias must then embark on a personal journey to seek the sword of a famous mouse warrior in the hopes it will turn the tide in the battle against the forces of evil. This is the first in a rather long series but I must be honest and say that I have no desire to continue with these characters. I really can't figure out what all the fuss is about so it's a 3/10 from me.

 

PS While I was double-checking my spelling of the character names I discovered that there is an actual cartoon of this book series. To say that I am shocked would be putting it mildly. That one is not going on my watch list. 

 

 

What's Up Next: Born to be Posthumous The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery

 

What I'm Currently Reading: When the Children Came Home: Stories From Wartime by Julie Summers

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-08-01 20:30
At night the dolls come alive
The Doll People - Brian Selznick,Laura Godwin,Ann M. Martin

This post has taken me far longer to write than I'd like to admit and I think that's largely because I found this book pretty lukewarm. The Doll People by Ann M. Martin (with pictures by Brian Selznick) was another one of those books recommended as a great book for the kids in your life who are trying to stretch their legs as early and eager readers. I didn't realize at the outset of reading it that it was actually the first in a series which follow the lives of the members of the Doll family. This is like Toy Story but dialed up to 11, ya'll. We follow the adventures of Annabelle Doll who is preoccupied with the mystery of her aunt's disappearance 45 years ago. Like Toy Story, there are certain rules about letting the humans see them moving but they actually have an oath with consequences attached. (We learn about Doll State or Permanent Doll State where they are frozen either temporarily or permanently.) The storyline is slow and rather predictable but suitable for beginner readers who are gaining confidence with chapter books. I guess the most 'interesting' part (if you can call it that) was when a new set of dolls entered the house and the reader can see the difference between the older porcelain toys and the newer plastic ones. 4/10

 

What's Up Next: Redwall by Brian Jacques

 

What I'm Currently Reading: When the Children Came Home: Stories From Wartime by Julie Summers

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-12-06 19:58
Take it or leave it? I'll leave it, thanks.
Tucker Grizzwell's Worst Week Ever - Bill Schorr,Ralph Smith

Tucker Grizzwell's Worst Week Ever by Bill Schorr and Ralph Smith was borne from a comic strip and is (supposedly) aimed at children. However, I found it to be so full of word play and puns that I think it would be better suited to an adult audience. In my opinion, it was a little too densely packed with jokes to the point of being somewhat annoying and obnoxious. This wasn't marketed as a collection of comic strips but it was lacking in a coherent plot beyond the bare bones 'lesson learned' tale of a cub realizing that adults may not necessarily have all of the answers to the world's questions. 

 

Apologies for the shortness of this review but some books don't lend themselves to a lengthy analysis especially when they're so middle of the road like this one. 2/10

 

 

Sorry this isn't clearer and easier to read. :-/ [The Phoenixed Forums]

 

What's Up Next: Peanuts Vol. 9 by Charles Schulz (and others)

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-08-31 19:45
CATS. IN. SPACE. 2 of 2
CatStronauts: Robot Rescue - Drew Brockington

And so I picked up Robot Rescue which is the 4th book in the series and revolves around a secret mission to rescue their friend Cat-Stro-Bot after he is stranded on a planet during a mission that went horribly awry. As they are not authorized to actually be on this mission, they have to leave replacements back on earth to fool their superiors into thinking they never left...and what better solution than building lookalike robots?! For the kids (or adults with childlike wonder) that like quick, funny graphic novels and/or cats and space this is the perfect series. For myself, this is the best "book filler" I've come across in ages to help to combat my book fatigue. 

 

What's Up Next: Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World by Jennifer Palmieri

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Star Trek Destiny #1: Gods of Night by David Mack

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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