Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dragon's Future

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Okay so I am a big nerdy fan of The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey so within minutes of starting this I was hooked.  Dragon riders, a connection between dragon and rider - somesimilarities for sure.  In this book there is an evil rider who is searching for a mysterious herb and can control dragons and even their riders.  

Personally, I enjoyed the book quite a bit but...
For kids a book usually has main characters their age - in this book, although the main rider starts out at 10 he is 25 for most of the book.  The main evil character - we never really find out where he came from or how he got the power he had.  Duskya didn't get as much "screen time" as Ruskya and yet she figured prominantly in the epilogue.  Just a few nagging things that made the book not quite as good as I would like.  

Seven Dead Pirates

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When Lewis's Great Grandfather dies the family inherits the old family home, Shornoway, on the condition that they live in it for six months.  Once Lewis and his family arrive, Lewis is drawn to the old tower and decides tomake it his bedroom.  He soon discovers that he shares the bedroom with seven dead pirates.  These pirates died when their ship the Mary Louisa was overrun by Captian Dire and his crew.  But the ship was recently discovered and is in a nearby museum.  Can Lewis help the pirates get back to their ship and overcome his own fears.

This was a fun romp and I really enjoyed it.  I wish Abbie had played more of a role as their friendship developed but overall a good read.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Sound of Life and Everything

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What would you do to get your son back? Aunt Mildred has saved her son's dogtags stained with blood and when she sees an advertisement about scientists who can bring someone back with just a sample of their DNA (a new discovery in the 1950s) she jumps at the chance.  But, the result is not what was expected. Instead of her son Robby, the person is Japanese.  Where did he come from?  What is his history?  What do they do with him - Takuma.  Aunt Mildred won't have anything to do with him so Ellie Mae and her mother, Mildred's sister take him in.

Very intriguing story and an interesting look at 1950s prejudices and beliefs as well. I enjoyed this quite a bit with its unique angle.

The King of Average


James has a terrible home life and is just an average boy.  One day while walking home he decides that what he wants is to be the most average person he can be.  Then things get weird because he finds himself in another world with characters like Mayor Culpa a scapegoat and a professional optomist and pessimist.  When he is told he can become The King of Average he is really excited but is that really his destiny?

I wanted tolike this more than I did.  It really reminded me of The PhantomTollbooth.  I liked the ending.

The Rosemary Spell

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Rosemary, Adam, and his sister Shelby have been friends forever.  But Shelby is getting older and has new friends and sometimes Rosemary and Adam get teased about their friendship.  One day Rosemary is investigating her new room when she figures out how to unlock a cupboard. In the cupboard is an old book that appears to have belonged to a famous poet who used to live in the house. The book is weird though.  Writing seems to appear and disappear.  When Rosemary and Adam decided to study the local poet for a school project and visit her in a nursing home they become even more confused.  Her poems about memory, the mysterious writing, a someone name Wilkie.  Then the unthinkable happens...while spending a rare day with Shelby, Adam and Rosemary share the poem they found in the book and Shelby disappears.  Now Adam and Rosemary must not only try to remember her, bt also find a way to get her back before the next new moon.

I thought this took a little while to really get going.  But once it did I loved it.

Monday, December 28, 2015

After the Ashes

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Katrien lives on an island near Krakatua in 1883.  She lives with her father and her aunt and loves science - particularly the work of Charles Darwin.  Her aunt and father believe she need sto start growing up and becoming more of a lady which includes abadoning her friendship with a native boy.  But Katrien resists and struggles with making friends - especially with her nemisis Brigitta.

These struggles, however, don't compre with the natural disaster they are about to experience.  Because Krakatua is showing signs of erupting and when it does their lives will never be the same.

I enjoyed the first part of the book with Katrien and her friends relationship and Katrien's scientific meanerings.  Then it seemed like things jumped around a bit leading up to the eruption - like it was rushing to get there.  The chapters about the eruption and immediate aftermath were good...I wish there had been more closure for Katrien in regards to her family and friend though.  The ending itself - once Katrien and Brigitta were rescued was too long.

A Pig Called Heather

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This book was originally published in 2013 in the UK and was just published in the US in 2015. Isla and Heather have been chums since Isla's mother died years ago.  Of course, Heather is a pig.  After a fire destroys their farm and crops, Isla and her dad move to London, leaving Heather on the farm.  Through a series of events, Heather becomes a spokespig for the new chicken farm and ends up in London.  Eventually Pig and girl are reunited.

So...this one didn't really work for me.  There was alot of jumping around from Isla and Heather.  The fire scene was not believable.  Mr. Busby was set up early to be a real villian - threatening - but he just ended up with the farm after the fire - no real villian.  Just not that good.