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Search tags: sunshine-state-17-18
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review 2017-10-11 03:18
Vanishing Coin
The Vanishing Coin [The Magic Shop Book 1] - Magician Mike Lane,Kate Egan,Eric Wight

 

I finished reading this to the students today. When I asked if they liked the book, 15 out of the 18 said yes. Their favorite part overall was the magic tricks. They liked when Mike performed the tricks, but they also liked that the book contained instructions for them to learn the tricks too. Next week we are having a magic show, discussing the book, making flyers to help promote the book, and picking our next read.

 

This book is part of a series of books revolving around Mike. He is a smart kid but has difficulty focusing and thinks he isn't good at anything. Then he discovers the White Rabbit and its proprietor, Mr. Zerlin. Mike finds out that he is good at something after all, magic.

 

This book is sure to be a winner with young readers. Many kids love magic and learning magic tricks. Also, many kids will see shades of themselves in this book. Kids often get distracted or have difficulty focusing, and this book allows them to see that it happens to other kids too. It doesn't make them stupid, they just need to find their own kind of magic.

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review 2017-10-07 06:31
Shadows of Sherwood
Shadows of Sherwood (Robyn Hoodlum) - Kekla Magoon

 

The sing on the fence said BEWARE OF DOGS.

- first sentence

 

Robyn was the sort of girl who knew not only how many teeth a bulldog had, but also exactly what to do to get a bulldog on her good side.

Chapter 2

 

Robyn had always been the sort of girl who enjoyed breaking the rules. She was almost never where she was supposed to be.

- Chapter 4

 

When Robyn's parents are taken, she is thrust into a world she didn't even know existed. People are suffering and the government is corrupt. Robyn tries to find ways to help people and to thwart the government when she can. She is a strong girl and yet terrified of what happened to her parents. She finds friends, learns how to trust people, and tries to make a difference.

 

This a reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Robyn lives in Nott City in her home, Loxley Manor. The counties that surround her home are Sherwood, Nottingham, Excelsior, and Block Six. Robyn and her friends form a band that steals medicine and food from the government and distributes it to the poor.

 

The story is fun, imaginative, and full of adventure. Even though Robyn is strong-willed and independent, she also has doubts about herself and the wisdom of what she is doing.  This a great book for middle readers. I am definitely going to read the sequels. :)

 

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text 2017-10-07 05:55
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 142 pages.
The Vanishing Coin [The Magic Shop Book 1] - Magician Mike Lane,Kate Egan,Eric Wight

 

So, I started an after-school "book club" at the library where I volunteer. Our school has a requirement that 4th and 5th-grade students read three Sunshine State nominated books before March. Some students are reluctant readers and some have difficulties with reading. To assist these students, our club meets once a week and I read the book out loud to the students. The first book we chose was Vanishing Coin. 

 

There are 18 students participating. We met twice so far and should be able to finish this book next week. It's a fun book and the students enjoy trying out the magic tricks. :)

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review 2017-10-07 05:40
Randoms
Randoms - David Liss

 

This is a book written for science fiction fans, in more ways than one.

 

Zeke (the mc) is selected, along with three of Earth's most talented young people, by the Confederation of United Planets to live on their space station for a year. When the Confederation evaluates a species, they always choose four, including one Random. Zeke is Earth's Random.

 

During the journey to the station, the ship is attacked. Zeke manages to destroy the attacking vessel, saving the lives of every being on their ship. But, instead of being hailed as a hero, Zeke is treated as a war criminal by almost everyone. And he is rejected by his own group, including their chaperone, a representative of the state department. Zeke gets together with the alien Randoms, who were also rejected by their own species, and they form a loyal bond.

 

This book is filled with science fiction references that will delight fans: Captain Kirk, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Ender's Game to name a few. Zeke is a sci-fi superfan and he enjoys making connections between his current situation and various shows, movies, and books. 

 

This a great book for middle grade. Zeke faces issues of fitting in, making friends, and having feelings for an alien girl. There are also conspiracies, friendship issues, hidden secrets, and politics. For example, some influential people in the confederation are more interested in saving face than in saving lives. There are a few twists I didn't see coming and a big one that I sort of did, but it's all fun.

 

I enjoyed this one and there are two sequels that I hope to get around to eventually. 

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review 2017-09-04 04:05
Castle Hangnail
Castle Hangnail - Ursula Vernon

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a marvelously dark and dour twilight at the castle.

-opening sentence

 

This book is so cute.

 

All the minions are waiting for their new owner to arrive. They are expecting an Evil Wizard, a Dark Sorceress, or maybe a Wicked Witch. But what they aren't expecting is a twelve-year-old girl. Molly is a Wicked Witch; after all, she is a twin and definitely the bad one. (Her sister loves pink and glitter.) But she is only twelve and the castle guardian has his doubts about her. And what if the Board doesn't accept her as the new master of the castle? 

 

Molly is a great character. She is a wicked witch in the nicest possible way. She is a strong, brave girl who doesn't fully believe in herself but doesn't give up either. The minions are delightful. Pins is a fabric stuffed doll who loves to sew and Fish (a neurotic goldfish) is his best friend. Cook is a minotaur who hates any words that begin with the letter "Q", and Edward is a magical suit of armor. And that's just a few of them.

 

The story is cute, even though parts of it are a bit predictable. Molly is a great role model for standing up for the little guy. And she can talk to animals and turn some of them into dragon hybrids (at least for a minute or so). What's not to like??

 

This will be a favorite among readers in grades 3-5, and maybe older.

 

I'm using this book for the Free Space on my Bingo card. :)

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