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review 2017-03-02 18:47
Scary: Dr Fell's Playground of Doom | Audiobook Review
Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom - David Neilsen,David Neilsen

A mysteriously creepy MG Fantasy

 

When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids' hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor's spell.

 

Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor's secret power without being captivated by his trickery.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

 

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I received this book for free from the author. My opinions are my own.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen, read by the author, published by Listening Library (2016) / Length: 5hrs 23min

 

SUMMARY:

I think the scariest part of this book is how alone these children are in their efforts to figure out what is happening. It is a common theme in MG & YA books that the adults are somehow not there (or the kid's fail to consult them). In this book they are there, but (for reasons I won't reveal) are of no help whatsoever. That seems worse to me somehow.

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review 2016-11-18 14:22
Half Magic - Edward Eager, N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator)
Half Magic - 'N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator)','Edward Eager'
  1. I know Eager was deliberately trying to recreate late Victorian children’s books of the Five Children and It school. And I totally get why he would want to do that: to bring the magic story up enough to be plausible to a new generation of readers who do not summer in the country. And who aren’t British. Admirable goals. But what I don’t understand is why he didn’t set his book in a contemporary period. It’s not explicit, but this is set rather earlier in the century than its publication date of 1954. It has that pre-WWII vibe you get in so many Twilight Zone and Ray Bradbury stories.
  2. Regardless, it’s a cute idea and a fun book, albeit riddled with stereotypes of other peoples. Probably not deliberately racist, just not deliberately NOT racist. If this is a deal-breaker, stay the hell away from the original Mary Poppins books, too.
  3. Library copy
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review 2016-11-12 16:29
When Your Sanctuary is Threatened: Tris's Book | Review
Tris's Book: Circle of Magic, Book 2 - Tamora Pierce,Tamora Pierce,the Full Cast Family

This MG Fantasy doesn't shrink from the truth about Pirates.

 

Earthquake damage leaves Winding Circle vulnerable to pirate attack, so everyone - including the young mages-in-training Tris, Briar, Daja, and Sandry - is working to strengthen the community's defenses. When Tris's cousin Aymery comes to visit, he advises the "weather witch" to return to the family that exiled her, but she doesn't wish to leave her friends to face the threat without her.

As the onslaught begins, two things become terribly clear: The pirates have a powerful new weapon, and they have an accomplice within Winding Circle. But the attackers have failed to reckon with the fury of a young mage betrayed once too often and her very stubborn, very loyal friends.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


 

BOOK DETAILS:

Tris's Book by Tamora Pierce, read & published by Full Cast Audio (2004) / Length: 5 hrs 31 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #2 of 4 in the original "Circle of Magic" series, all of which are available on audio. There are also additional books (only some of which are on audio) with the same characters.

 

**This review may contain spoilers for the previous book.**

 

SUMMARY:

One of the things I like best about this series is the way that the children work with & along side their adult mentors as well as together. That really starts to be solidified in this book as they make both good and bad choices in that regard.

 

Another strong point of the series is the message that choices/actions have consequences. Tris & the others continue to deal with the emotional results of the ones they make in this book for many years.

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review 2016-11-05 17:12
What is Real?: Only You Can Save Mankind | Review
Only You Can Save Mankind - Terry Pratchett,Richard Mitchley,Random House AudioBooks

A fun little MG Paranormal SF that may require some explanation of history.

 

 

As the mighty alien fleet from the very latest computer game thunders across the computer screen, Johnny prepares to blow them into the usual million pieces. And they send him a message: We surrender. They're not supposed to do that! They're supposed to die. And computer joysticks don't have 'Don't Fire' buttons. But it's only a game... isn't it. Isn't it?

 

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Whispersync Deal Alert*: Audible = $5.99 (must obtain Kindle copy first, prices may change)

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


BOOK DETAILS:

Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett, read by Richard Mitchley, published by Random House Audio (2011) / Length: 4 hrs 11 min (this is the Unabridged version)

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of the "Johnny Maxwell" trilogy. All of them are available on audio.

 

SUMMARY:

Like most Pratchett book, this one is a pleasure to read for people who love interesting characters.

 

Note: It takes place during the first Gulf War; so you might need to explain who "Stormin' Norman" is, and other such things, to children who are going to read it. It isn't absolutely necessary though. The book has some interesting commentary on how the war is just another "show" to kids who have grown up with lots of different screens in their lives, and yet they can't help but be affected by it.

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review 2016-10-29 15:45
Just this Side of Reality: Nim's Island | Review
Nim's Island - Wendy Orr,Kate Reading,Inc. Blackstone Audio

An enchanting MG Contemporary Fantasy

 

Nim lives on an island in the middle of the wide blue sea, shared by only her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, a turtle called Chica, and a satellite dish for her e-mail. No one else in the world lives quite like Nim, and she wouldn't swap places with anyone.

But when Jack disappears in his sailing boat and disaster threatens her home, Nim must be braver than she's ever been before. And she needs help from her friends, old and new.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

This audiobook is regularly priced at just $5.95 on Audible.

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


BOOK DETAILS:

Nim's Island by Wendy Orr, read by Kate Reading, published by Blackstone Audio (2008) / Length: 2 hrs 25 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of 3 in the Nim series. It is the only one available on audio.

 

SUMMARY:

It could be argued that this book is not really fantasy, it is just a book about a very imaginative little girl who is good with animals. That's probably true; but it reads more like a fantasy than a straightforward contemporary, so I feel comfortable reviewing it here on the blog.

 

Although the book is very short, it feels longer (in a good way). And it is strong in all three areas I generally review (see below).

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