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text 2015-01-12 01:47
[Cover Characteristic] Sand

This Week's Characteristic: Sand

Cover Characteristic is a weekly meme hosted by Sugar & Snark.



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review 2014-07-04 22:18
October Ogre (Calendar Mysteries #10) by Ron Roy
October Ogre - Ron Roy,John Steven Gurney
If Calendar Mysteries is A to Z Mysteries for a younger audience, October Ogre is The Haunted Hotel for a younger audience. Once again, there's a spooky mystery at the Shangri-La Hotel in Green Lawn, and this time, Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy are on the case instead of Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose. The stakes of the mystery are suitably lower, given the difference between the ages (an age difference, I will point out, that is far less than the apparent difference in competence/maturity levels--make of that what you will); while Dink and his friends went ghost hunting and spying, Lucy and her friends are attending a Halloween party that gets a bit creepier than they anticipated.
Like the rest of the Calendar Mysteries books, it's a casual mystery with some pretty low stakes--which isn't to say that it isn't an entertaining read. I imagine that for the target audience, October Ogre, will come across as a fun, spooky story perfect for Halloween (though if your small child is already a well-read horror fan, they'll likely find the story tame). And if your child or student wants more, I definitely recommend checking out The Haunted Hotel, too.
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review 2014-07-03 22:17
September Sneakers (Calendar Mysteries, #9) by Ron Roy
September Sneakers - Ron Roy,John Steven Gurney

September Sneakers is the ninth Calendar Mysteries book, and another that takes the focus away from monthly holidays--though it does deal with a September-specific theme, of course! In the story, the Hathaway, Pinto, Armstrong, and Duncan kids--along with the rest of Green Lawn--are going back to school! Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are now seventh-graders, while the Calendar Mysteries stars, Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy, are moving up to second grade. Though the mystery itself is primarily about the disappearance of Goldi the hamster, it makes a perfect back-to-school story for an elementary schooler.

All the typical strengths and weaknesses of the Calendar Mysteries book continue with this installment, so there's not a lot more to say other than that while I don't harbor the same kind of nostalgia for this series as I do for its predecessor, I still think it's adorable fun and highly recommend it to young readers.

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review 2014-07-02 22:17
August Acrobat (Calendar Mysteries, #8) by Ron Roy
August Acrobat - Ron Roy,John Steven Gurney
August Acrobat is the first Calendar Mysteries book in a while to come without a holiday theme, but it's an entertaining mystery nonetheless. It visits a setting the Green Lawn universe hasn't experienced yet: a circus. But this one, as the summary says, needs some help... mostly, it needs the help of the mysterious masked person who Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy spot practicing a spectacular trapeze act in secret, or else it'll probably go out of business. Luckily for the circus, Green Lawn is a place where stories get happy endings and the good guys always win.
Like the rest of the Calendar Mysteries books, it's a much safer and more casual mystery than the crime-ridden A to Z Mysteries plots, and it spends a lot of time exploring Green Lawn and the strong "let's all help each other" aspect of the community. I continue to be incredibly charmed by this fictional small town, even if it is a bit saccharine for my usual tastes. The ultimate solution to the plot gets a healthy dose of foreshadowing, and the story itself gets a fittingly optimistic ending. 'Charmed' is definitely the perfect word for how I feel about this series; it's quite simplistic, but the characters and their world is endearing, so I'm completely willing to pardon the lack of elements expected of more mature fiction. It is a series intended for preschoolers and elementary schoolchildren, of course, so I've had no problem suspending my disbelief so far. It's really all just terribly cute.
If you like cute kids and small town charm, I recommend recommend giving the series a peak. Though, of course, I'd suggest you start withJanuary Joker, which, unfortunately, is both the first and the weakest installment, in my opinion. Stick with it. Green Lawn grows on you.
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review 2014-07-01 22:16
July Jitters (Calendar Mysteries, #7) by Ron Roy
July Jitters - Ron Roy,John Steven Gurney
With July Jitters, we're into the second half of the (expected) twelve-book run of the Calendar Mysteries series, and of course the story's about the Fourth of July/Independence Day. The story itself blends elements we've seen before in The Canary Caper--the missing pets--and March Mischief--the town-wide "dress up" contest, though the rules are different this time around.
There's not a lot to say here other than that the book's a fun way to kill a few minutes. It's a short and sweet mystery starring characters I've grown fond of and a setting I've loved since I was a child; though it's certainly nothing shocking and far from being a literary masterpiece, but kids should love it and their parents shouldn't be bored to death.
I definitely recommend checking it out around the Fourth of July itself; it should be a great way to get youngsters into the holiday spirit.
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