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Search tags: ages-9-12
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review 2018-07-10 20:44
Lots of fun
Quidditch Through the Ages - J.K. Rowling

Madam Pince, our librarian, tells me that it is “pawed about, dribbled on, and generally maltreated” nearly every day – a high compliment for any book.

 

Dumbledore's introduction set the tone.

 

I liked this one A LOT better than Strange Beasts (caveat: my digital copy didn't have the margin notes, so it lost the meta gold extra). Anyway, Bestiaries are good for curiosity, but this one was just plain entertaining. The tong in cheek tone was great, and the amount of laughters it pulled from me with the shenanigans involved in the rules creations, and the fouls mentions can't be counted. I mean:

 

The full list of these fouls, however, has never been made available to the wizarding public. It is the Department’s view that witches and wizards who see the list “might get ideas.”

 

Refereeing a Quidditch match was once a task for only the bravest witches and wizards. Zacharias Mumps tells us that a Norfolk referee called Cyprian Youdle died during a friendly match between local wizards in 1357. The originator of the curse was never caught but is believed to have been a member of the crowd.

 

That last is naturally taking "cursing the referee" to it's expected literal end, and those are just fast examples.

 

I got the edition with the History of the World Qudditch Cup and the the 2014 articles, which was just the cherry on top. Aaand also very fitting in timing *grin*

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review 2018-06-29 03:55
Lemons - audiobook
Lemons - Melissa Savage

 

Bigfoot.

It's the very first thing I see when we pull into town.

-opening lines

 

This is a charming story about a feisty 9-year-old girl (Lemonade Liberty Witt) who is forced to uproot her life to live with her grandfather (who she never even met) when her mom passes away. Willow Creek is the Bigfoot Capital of the world and Lem's neighbor, 11-year old Tobin Sky, is the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives, Inc. Together, Lem and Tobin follow Bigfoot leads and try to capture him on film.

 

This is a realistic story set in the 1970's that deals with some pretty serious issues surrounding grief and loss. Lem is grieving the loss of her mother and Tobin is dealing with his father's disappearance after coming back from Vietnam. Tobin and Lem are cute together and their interactions bring humor to what is a pretty serious theme. The additional plot line with Tobin's father is a little overwhelming and his issues with PTSD may be hard for children to understand. The end of the book is a bit surprising considering how realistic the rest of the book is, but overall this is a touching story of friendship, loss, and dealing with grief.

 

Recommended to: Grades 4-6, fans of realistic fiction who can deal with a bit of sadness

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review 2018-06-17 22:06
Code Name Flood - audiobook
Code Name Flood - Laura Martin

This was a bad idea.

- First sentence

 

I loved the first book so much and the cliffhanger ending got me, so I jumped directly into this when I finished The Ark Plan. The change in narrator was a bit jarring because I was accustomed to the way the characters "spoke" in the first book, but the story is just as good, if not better. 

 

Sky, Shawn, and Todd continue their journey to solve the mysteries of the topside world and the Noah. Why is the military so set on catching them and will Sky be able to complete her dad's mission? Oh and don't forget all the deadly dinosaurs.

 

I thought one character was going to be traitorous, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. (In an adult book, I might have been right.) Any kid who liked The Ark Plan will be thrilled with this sequel. The audio is a delightful way to experience the thrills and adventure of this fantastic story.

 

Recommended to: Grades 4 and up - fans of sci-fi, adventure, dinosaurs, and kids saving the day.

 

 

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review 2018-06-13 23:13
Spirit Week Showdown - audiobook
Spirit Week Showdown (Magnificent Mya Tibbs) - Eda Kaban,Crystal Allen,Sisi Aisha Johnson

 

I'm only wearing five braids to school today.

 

- First Sentence

 

Mya is excited for Spirit Week and she is counting down the days with her braids. When she gets to one, it will be time for Spirit Week. But the partner picking doesn't go her way and she ends up with Mean Connie Tate (the school bully) for a partner instead of her best friend Naomi.

 

As Mya would say, "good gravy." And she says that often as she tries to navigate friendships, bullies, and Spirit Week challenges. Mya learns a lot about people and about judging others by what you hear about them. She is a perky little girl and easy to like, even though she doesn't always think things through before she acts. Mya is a strong personality, but she desperately wants to repair her friendship with Naomi - even though Mya didn't really do anything wrong. The flavor of Texas really comes through in the writing. In the audiobook, the narrator does a fantastic job of sounding like a Texas girl with attitude. 

 

I think grownups reading this book will easily recognize the characters for who they are, but kids might be a bit surprised by the ending. The story is engaging and certainly humorous at times. You can't help but laugh about some of the phrases that Mya comes out with. Girls will enjoy this one.

 

Recommended to: 3rd-5th graders who like stories about friendship and triumphing over adversity.

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review 2018-05-23 03:53
A Crack in the Sea by H. M. Bouwman
A Crack in the Sea - H.M. Bouwman

 

This book is a bit complicated. The story is told through the tales of three sets of siblings: Venus & Swimmer escape from a slave ship in 1781 and end up in the Second World, Kinchen & Pip live in the Second World, and Thanh & Sang are trying to escape Vietnam with a few relatives, in the First World in 1976. 

 

When Pip is taken by the Raft King, Kinchen must find and protect her younger brother. At one point, other characters tell the story of Venus and Swimmer and their journey. Then we learn about Pip's experiences on Raftworld. Other characters are sprinkled throughout and we eventually meet Thanh & Sang and follow their adventure.

 

This book combines fables and magic with historical fiction. The Vietnamese family is trying to escape what is left of their country after the war in Vietnam. The original colonists of the Second World are escapees from slave ships who used magic to find a portal through from the First World. Inhabitants of the Second World include a large group of people who live on a group of connected rafts, islanders, sea monsters, people who can talk to sea creatures, and others who can walk through water.

 

I found this book overly long and it had difficulties keeping my attention. The child characters are too similar and I found myself forgetting who was who. The story will appeal to some kids, but I don't think it will be overwhelmingly popular.

 

Recommended to:  Middle School students who enjoy complex tales with multiple characters and a bit of magic.

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