Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: young-adult-mysteries
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-02-15 05:02
The City of Ember / by Jeanne DuPrau ; narrated by Wendy Dillon
The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau

I am having a hard time figuring out what to say about The City of Ember.  I enjoyed the book.  I liked the main characters, and I liked the supporting characters.  I liked the dystopian aspects and the mystery aspects of the story, although Lina and Doon's efforts to decipher the message written on a torn up piece of paper did not translate too smoothly to audio format, which made the mystery aspects a little tedious at times.  DuPrau carefully built Ember, and took care to make her two main characters three dimensional.  


That said, I guess I feel a little bit chagrined by the abrupt way in which this first book in the series ended.  I suppose that it ended at a "good spot," but just when things were starting to get really intriguing, when the questions really started to flood my mind, the book stopped!  Great way to boost sales of the next book, but frustrating to me as an adult.  I don't know if I feel invested enough to read the next book in the series, but I do want my questions answered, so we shall see, I suppose.  If I were a 5th or 6th grader, I'm sure I'd be reaching for the next book in this series before I even pulled my bookmark out of this one. 


Enough about that.  What I really did love about the book was the allegorical aspects.  I thought the book was an allegory for an awakening.  Perhaps spiritual, perhaps intellectual, perhaps emotional, but awakening, nonetheless.  DuPrau really wrote some lovely passages that explored awakening, and I thought the book was the strongest at those points.  Adults will pick up on the allegory quickly, I think, but this is going to be subtle to kids.  In other words, the allegory was not heavy handed for the audience that this book was intended for, and I appreciated that.


I would recommend this book to my 5th grade niece.  I believe she would like Lina, and I think she'd become invested in her struggles to improve life for her family and for her city.  I also believe that this is exactly the kind of book that would make the gears in her mind click.  She'd want to know why things were the way they were in Ember, and unfortunately, that doesn't really quite get explained too clearly in this book.  I don't think I'd be able to answer her questions.  I guess those unanswered questions are what drive readers to the next book in the series.



Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-09-24 05:43
The Dollhouse Murders / by Betty Ren Wright
The Dollhouse Murders - Betty Ren Wright

The Dollhouse Murders is the first chapter book that my sister ever read (over 25 years ago!), and ever since then she's been encouraging me to read it. I'm glad I did!

The book, aimed at 4th-6th graders, is creepy and chilling without being too intense for kids in this age range. In fact, today's kids probably wouldn't even bat an eye at the "scary" stuff, so I guess the label "creepy" should be taken with a grain of salt. Be that as it may, I enjoyed the eerie aspects of the book, and I also liked the way the author dealt with the more real world issues in her character's lives. Issues of responsibility, independence, guilt, self-reproach, family were all dealt with in believable ways, and the author, Betty Ren Wright skillfully avoided heavy handedness when approaching these issues.

I'm not usually a fan of chapter books aimed at upper elementary kids, but this one had a certain appeal. Wright was careful to give these kids a story that honors their budding maturity while still recognizing the idea of age appropriateness. A fun read that I would have no problem putting into my niece's hands.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-04-30 17:55
How to Catch a Bogle / by Catherine Jinks
How to Catch a Bogle (Bogle #1) - Catherine Jinks,Sarah Watts

This book was recommended to me by my friend Kaethe, and let me just say, she suggests some excellent books!


How to Catch a Bogle was kinda sorta Harry Potter meets Charles Dickens, but more emphasis on Dickens than Potter.  The story was engaging from page one, and I tore through this thing!  Yes, the book is a young adult book, but it's a mature book.  It doesn't shy away from the plight of poor people, children in particular, in Victorian England, and it paints a bleak picture of survival for those kids.  Very few paths are open to them, and most end up thieving, locked up, or dead.  Some of the dead ones wind up that way due to nasty, hungry bogles with a taste for kids.  That's where Birdie comes in.


Birdie is a young heroine, but despite her small size she is plucky, strong, brave, and compassionate.  She is a beautifully drawn character, and the reader would happily follow her anywhere as she practices her trade as a "'prentice" to a bogler (i.e., someone who dispatches the nasty buggers to the bogle afterlife).  


The book is fast paced, and would appeal immensely to those kids out there who tend to like darker stories.  I'm not sure what age range this would best suit.  My niece is ten, and while I think she'd like the story, I don't think she'd quite understand all of the words, particularly the street slang that Birdie and her peers use.  There is a glossary at the end of the book, so that would help, I'm just not quite sure how much.  I guess the only way to know for sure is to hand her the book.  Which I may just do tonight.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?