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review 2020-05-23 19:14
The Little Palace
The Little Palace - Jeffrey Erlacher,Mary P. Williams

During World War I on a tiny island in the Seine sits The Little Palace, a restaurant run by master chef and cheese maker, Narcisse.  Narcisse happens to be a cat who believes in equality and service for all.  The stress of the war has allowed for animals and humans to communicate in ways unknown before. With the help of a very special group of animals, Narcisse has made The Little Palace an oasis for good food, company and a refuge for artists.  In the cafe animals and humans work side by side; however, one of the servers at The Little Palace believes that animals and humans should not be equal.  The server hatches a plan that damages the reputation of The Little Palace.  At the same time Narcisse gets word that her father has been injured in the war.  

 
A creative and charming story that highlights the animals that, without choice, serve alongside of us in the midst of war.  Written for a middle grade and teenage audience, The Little Palace resonates with adults as well as with themes such as equal rights, justice and kindness.  At first I thought the anthropomorphic animals characters were the only characters in the book, however when I learned that humans were also characters, I became very intrigued at their interactions.  I do wish the mechanism for the human and animal communication was brought up earlier in the story, although it made sense once it was finally disclosed.  I loved the camaraderie between the many species of animals and their willingness to help in the war that was decidedly human. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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review 2020-05-14 15:21
Night's Gift
Night's Gift - Camilla Ochlan,Carol E. Leever

by Camilla Ochlan, Carol E. Leever

 

I think this one is best suited for Middle Grade quest fantasy readers. Omen, a young prince with psionic powers he struggles to control, goes out where he isn't supposed to be without his guards, resulting in his bracelet that helps him keep control getting pick-pocketed. His attempts to retrieve it lead to finding an unlikely friend, a night dweller prince from another kingdom with magical powers and fighting skills of his own.

 

One thing leads to another and the young princes get in over their heads and end up in battle games. The world building in this is very imaginative and varied. There are well-written battle scenes and a plethora of different species of characters. Tormy, who comes in late in the story, has an irritating speech pattern, yet he's endearing all the same. Like many of the older quest fantasy books, there is a lack of female characters.

 

It was a fun read and would appeal to readers of Ender's Game and similar stories directed at young, male readers. No squicky romances here. It was a fun adventure, if a bit 'young' for me. Book 1 of the Of Cats and Dragons series. I probably won't continue the series but wouldn't hesitate to give it to a nephew in the 10-13 age range.

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text 2020-05-08 06:27
Reading progress update: I've read 181 out of 279 pages.
The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan

percy 

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text 2020-05-01 09:53
Reading progress update: I've read 375 out of 375 pages.
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

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review 2020-04-30 19:36
REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Middle School Misadventures: Operation: Hat Heist!
Middle School Adventures: Operation: Hat Heist! - Jason Platt

 

This was SO MUCH FUN! to read!!! I honestly didn’t know I’d get such a kick out of reading a middle-grade graphic novel but I found myself up one night at 1 am completely wrapped up in this...

 

a bit about the book…

 

Middle School Misadventures: Operation: Hat Heist!

by Jason Platt
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 21, 2020
Genre: Middle Grade, Children's, Graphic Novel

Synopsis:
In Jason Platt's second Middle School Misadventures graphic novel, Newell's favorite hat gets taken away! With the help of his most talented friends, he concocts the perfect plan to get it back. Operation: Hat Heist is a go!

Newell's favorite show of all time is The Captain! Newell is beyond excited when he learns that the Captain himself, Patrick O'Shaughnessy, will be at Monster Comic-Con. He can't wait to meet The Captain wearing his once-worn-by-The-Captain WWII crusher hat that his dad gave him. But when Newell brings the hat to school, it gets stolen from his backpack! Fart.

When Newell finally spots the culprit wearing his hat in the hall, Mr. Todd confiscates it and reminds the students, "There are no hats to be worn in school!" Double fart. What will Newell do?! He wants his hat back so he doesn't let his dad down and can impress his hero, but Mr. Todd refuses to return it! Just when Newell is about to give up, he receives a note from 8th-grader Ethan: "I have an idea. Also, bring your friends. They can help, too." Can Newell, Ethan, and this ragtag group of friends pull off the perfect hat heist?

In this fun and imaginative full-color graphic novel, Jason Platt sends fast-talking, daydreaming, Newell on another desperate quest to save his favorite hat before he meets his all-time hero.

 

 BOOK LINKS: GR | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | TBD | Kobo

 

 

what makes this a great read...

This is a middle-grade buddy adventure graphic novel that goes so much further than the cover and description would at first suggest, and I loved every frame of it. Newell is an eighth-grader with a group of loyal friends, a dad who he watches their favorite show 'The Captain' with, and a very special hat that he keeps on losing.

Author Jason Platt opens the book with an 'episode' of 'The Captain' and this is the hook for the entire story; Newell shares a love for this show with his dad, and it also represents their connection. When Newell gets his hat stolen and then confiscated at school (so many lessons/horror stories!) he has just got to get it back. He can't go to Monster Comic-Con and meet his hero without it and there's no way his dad can find out about the hat being gone…again.

There are so many dilemmas and interesting situations presented for Newell in this fast-paced story, and every single one feels genuine. They all feel natural for the age group that Platt has written for (and placed me right there back at school): the school teacher you feel is out to get you, your group of friends that is your entire world, the class you hate, the things you look forward to, the worry that you will disappoint, those big emotions. But there are also high-jinks and a heist plot which is brilliant, and a major twist to the story that I was completely not expecting which displays expert story-telling.I can't even completely reveal the whole story because of it.

While a middle-grader will probably be reading this for the adventure of Newell getting his hat back for Comic-Con (and this is a very worthy cause; I go to them with my own son), there are many deeper levels to this graphic novel that I hope are absorbed and maybe discussed if read with someone else, it is also filled with beautifully-drawn artwork, and it works for other age ranges for an entertaining read.

I'll be recommending this series for the school library, and I'll be reading more of the series myself!

 

 

a little bit about the author Jason…

 
 

Jason Platt is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, and in 2016, he was accepted into the National Cartoonists Society by a unanimous vote. He is also the creator of the popular webcomic series Mister & Me. He and his family live in Davenport, Iowa.
 
 
RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY: win the book -> ENTER HERE!
 
  • - 1 copy of MIDDLE SCHOOL MISADVENTURES – OPERATION: HAT HEIST
  • - US only
  • - The prize may be delayed due to shipping centers being affected by COVID-19
  • - Go to any tour stop to enter! - Fantastic Flying Book Club


 

*A review/e-galley copy was provided by the publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange of an honest review, as part of a blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club (FFBC). THANK YOU!*

 

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/51284938-middle-school-misadventures
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