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text 2020-02-14 03:18
The Adventurers Guild series
The Adventurers Guild - Zack Loran Clark,Nick Eliopulos,Johnny Heller
Twilight of the Elves - Zack Loran Clark,Nick Eliopulos
Night of Dangers - Zack Loran Clark,Nick Eliopulos

 

I listened to the first book in this series last summer and loved it. But I never got around to continuing the series. Last month, one of the girls at school told me that I had to read the second & third books because she loved them. I was able to borrow the audio of book 2 (Twilight of the Elves) but the third wasn't available in audio from the library. I loved the audio so much that I bought book 3 (Night of Dangers) from Audible.

 

This series is amazing and I loved it. It is a magical tale that emphasizes friendship and the importance of trust in the middle of a battle between the apprentices, monsters, and tricksters hiding in plain sight. In order to survive and win, the apprentices must come together and use their strengths to save each other and the town of Freestone.

 

The books are full of adventure, danger, compassion, and twists and turns you won't see coming. If you enjoy middle-grade fantasy stories, I predict you will love this series!

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review 2020-02-12 02:14
Boy X - Dan Smith

Audience: Middle Grade

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

Light.
Bright. White. Light.

- opening words

 

Twelve-year-old Ash wakes up in an unfamiliar room with an IV in his arm and no memory of how he got there. As he searches for his mom, he discovers he has abilities that are beyond normal, hearing, vision, sense of smell. He witnesses people trying to escape in a helicopter and being shot down. He finds Isabel, who helps him find his mother and her father, but they are infected with a virus that could destroy the world’s population. Ash & Isabel race against the clock to stop the men who stole the virus and find the cure for their parents.

There is violence in this book including shooting, knives, and physical fighting. There are scary animals all over the island that Ash & Isabel encounter. Isabela is smart and capable and helps Ash navigate the jungle, even as his senses warn them of approaching danger. There is a lot of suspense and action that will appeal to kids. Isabel is a great example of a strong female heroine.



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review 2020-01-24 02:42
Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Fadhil al-Azzawi & Jennifer Roy
Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein: Based on a True Story - Fadhil al-Azzawi,Jennifer Roy

Audience: Middle School

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

The afternoon the bombs start falling, I get my highest score ever on my favorite video game.

 

Eleven-year-old Ali Fadhil lives in Basra, Iraq. He loves American television, Superman comic books, and playing soccer with his friends. When an international coalition initiates military action to stop Saddam Hussein from invading Kuwait, Ali’s life is turned upside down. Ali’s father is serving with a medical unit and his older brother (Shirzad) is left in charge of the family. Everyone in the village is depending on government rations for food and supplies. Ali’s mother even burns his comic books for fuel to cook with. 

 

The book is based on co-author Fadhil’s childhood and doesn’t shy away from depicting the war. There are some pretty violent scenes in this book, including when Ali witnesses a firing squad that kills a bunch of people (even a child his age). At one point, Ali thinks his father may be dead and he often worries about his own safety.



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review 2020-01-24 02:33
Knock Out by K.A. Holt
Knockout - K.A. Holt

Audience: Grades 5 & up

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

Who am I?

I am Levi.

I am small

but fast

I am smart

but dumb.

If you move the letters of my name around

you get live.

So here it is.

This is my life

This is what it's like

minute by minute

match by match

to live a Levi Life.

- first page

 

This novel is written in verse and tells the story of 12-year-old Levi. Levi was born weighing 2 pounds and went through some serious medical operations as a young boy. His older brother and mother are very overprotective and Levi feels trapped and longs to experience more of life. Levi’s dad encourages him to start boxing, without his mother or brother’s knowledge. Levi channels his energy and emotions into boxing and it makes him feel strong and in control. But, he is lying to his mom and brother and eventually to his dad too. 

 

The story is touching and has no real objectionable language or violence. Levi just wants a chance to experience life and doesn’t know how to explain this to his mom and brother. This story originated in the book House Arrest which tells the story of Levi’s brother trying to help out when Levi was an infant.



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review 2020-01-24 02:23
Elephant Secret by Eric Walters
Elephant Secret - Eric Walters

Audience: 5th grade & up

Format: Hardcover/Library copy

 

I lay on my back on the inflatable raft.

- first sentence

 

Sam is 14 and she has spent her life living and working at her family’s elephant sanctuary. Some of the kids at school even call her “elephant girl.” Sam (and her father, Jack) likes the elephants more than people and the elephants are their family. The elephants consider Sam and Jack part of their herd. Sam never knew her mother and she feels uncomfortable with her dad’s new girlfriend. When a rich donor (James Mercury) pays a great deal of money to have three of the elephants artificially inseminated, he also becomes a “silent” partner. But only one elephant carries to term, and when the baby is born Mercury becomes much more involved. 

 

During the book, Sam grapples with her feelings about her dad’s new girlfriend and her own identity. Sam is a strong girl and she stands up for what she believes in. There are some sad parts (as there always are in animal stories) and some dangerous situations, but no real violence. Overall the book is a well-written family drama that kids will love because of the suspense and the adorable elephants.



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