Friday, October 28, 2011

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

ABOUT THE BOOK: This completely EPIC book is the continuation of Meghan`s, Ash`s and Puck`s, story. It is told through Ash`s POV. It's about Ash`s journey to find a soul, so he can be with Meghan and fulfill his promise to be with her. Accompanied by his ancient rival Puck, and his guide, Grimalkin, he sets out to find a way to survive in the Iron Realm.

WHAT I LIKED: The GINORMOUS surprises and all the new characters. I also think it`s funny that two of the new characters dislike Puck because (of course) he raised their ire.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Grimalkin obviously. He is the optimus maximus (the best and the greatest) because he is the brightest and most sarcastic. He very much reminds me of Yellowfang from Warriors by Erin Hunter.

MY FAVORITE PART: The goblin who tries to steal Ash`s sword. Poor goblin, I guess it was just too stupid to live. Anyway, it is my favorite part because Ash is all like: Nobody touches MY sword.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The witch lady with the chicken house. I disliked her because she wanted to cook Puck for stealing a broom. A BROOM! He gave it back, too.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You must read this book! Grimalkin is in it! I made a equation: Grimalkin + surprises + new characters = Awesome. It is extremely good. I got it on the 25th and finished on the 26th, because it THAT good.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Julie Kagawa`s site

Friday, October 21, 2011

Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

ABOUT THE BOOK: These books are about two kids -- Tom, who was well-brought up by his parents and his Aunt Sally, and Huck, who was the exact opposite. His mom died, but his father doesn't care about him. He lives in a barrel, he smokes, he doesn't go to school and he uses a dead cat to get rid of warts. They go on adventures and find money, see a dead body in a graveyard, see someone get murdered, swear blood oaths, become pirates until they get bored, attend their own funerals, play games "by the book," drove whomever looking after them crazy, and helped Jim the slave escape. 

WHAT I LIKED: Tom was all about presentation -- he had to make things as complicated as possible -- like when he tried to get Jim out of prison, while Huck just wanted to get things done. They were using case knives to dig under the foundation of Jim's prison, and eventually, Tom's hands got sore, and he said that they should use pickaxes and pretend they were case knives. He took a sheet and tore it up to make a rag-rope, even though Jim didn't need a rag-rope, because it was in the books. All it did was make his Aunt Sally very angry.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: I liked Tom Sawyer, because he was nice to Huckleberry Finn, who was poor and had no family, except for his dad, who I don't think counts, because he tried to con poor Huck out of his hard-earned money. Huckleberry Finn, because he helped Jim so Jim could escape and not be a slave anymore. He felt guilty sometimes for not turning Jim in, but then Jim would tell him that he was a good friend, so Huck couldn't turn him in. Also, Jim, because he was trying to save his babies. He wanted to escape so he could earn money to save his wife and babies. He wanted to buy them back from slavery.

MY FAVORITE PART:  The class put a cat on a string and lowered it down very gently from the rafters on top of the teacher's head to show that he had a wig. The cat landed on his head, and they pulled it back up, and it had his wig in its claws.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I didn't like Pap, because he would say "give me money!" and would just buy beer, and never bought books, toys, clothes or food for Huck. He would just buy beer and he was super lazy. He made Huck get him food. Half the time, he just left him and disappeared.

THE BOTTOM LINE: People should read it, but there are a lot of things people might not like. They use bad words to describe people. It's not nice, but they talked that way, because they didn't know any better. It was weird, when the preacher talked about how God loved everyone, but they didn't treat the African-American people right.

MOM'S TAKE: This was a valuable book to start discussions about slavery, Civil Rights and how other people should be treated. We talked about how our country has changed, and what we still need to do.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: The Official Web Site of Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why the Leaves Turn by Me

I wrote this by myself, and it's an Aboriginal story. I wrote it for Ms. Donefee, my gifted teacher. We are studying Australia, and she told us to write Dreamtime stories. Dreamtime is Australian mythology. It explains why things are the way they are now.

Why the Leaves Turn

     A long time ago, in the Dreamtime, there were three friends. Their names were Mendlav the Kangaroo, Abi the Eagle and Bali the Robin, and they would run in the region of what is now Queensland.

     The leaves never turned colors, and the animals had no warning of winter. Every year, the animals would suffer from hunger and cold.

     One day, Abi complained, "winter is always creeping upon us -- we never have enough time to migrate!"

     "I believe that we must do something," said Mendlav, "or this shall go on forever."

     "Aha! I know what we must do!"

     "What is it, Bali? Tell us," begged the eagle and kangaroo.

     So Bali told them his brilliant plan on how to warn the other animals. They agreed it was a great idea, and they would try it soon. 

     The next day, Abi flew high into the sky to watch for winter. Five days later, Bali heard Abi's cry, "winter is coming!"

     Bali began rubbing the leaves with his red chest until they turned red. When Mendlav saw the red, orange and yellow leaves, he kicked the trees so the leaves fell. Animals began to prepare for winter.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

ABOUT THE BOOK: Katniss is a fifteen-year-old girl living in future North America. In her time period, North America has fallen, and risen again as a new nation -- Panem. Panem is made up of  one large city with twelve districts surrounding it. The Capital controls all of them. Once the districts rebelled, but they were overrun. To insure that there will not be another rebellion, the Capital hosts the Hunger Games annually. Each district must provide one boy and one girl between ages 12 and 18.     

WHAT I LIKED: Rue because she smart and nice; Prim because she liked to help others; and Madge because she tried to help Katniss.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Rue because she smart and nice.

MY FAVORITE PART: When my favorite characters team up.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: When one of the best characters die. It was lame, because they were awesome.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It's a good story, but it's a little gory. If you are sensitive you may not want to read it.

FIND IT ON THE WEB:  Suzane Collins site.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Di Camillo

Newberry Medal Award Winner

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's the story of an unlikely hero: Despereaux. Despereaux is a very small mouse with big ears -- and a big heart. Despereaux has always been different: he is small, sickly, has large ears, and was born with his eyes wide open. Most of the mouse society has put up with this among other oddities, but then Despereaux does the unthinkable -- he falls in love with a human girl. If the Mouse Society finds out he may be sent to the dungeon.    

WHAT I LIKED: The Rats; the Pea (Princess Pea); Miggery Sow; the Red Thread.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Miggery Sow. She wasn't a bad person, even though she did a few bad things.

MY FAVORITE PART: When the Pea asks Miggery Sow what she wants. I liked it because no one ever asks Miggery Sow what she wants.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The rat had an evil plan. It was so evil, if you heard it you would abhor it. Also the large amount of perfidy.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I think you should read this book. It gives you four different perspectives: Mig's, the Pea, Despreaux, and the Rat's.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Kate DiCamillo's Site   

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker

The Frog Princess

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's about Princess Emma, a princess who isn't graceful and who laughs strangely.  Emma lives near a swamp, and her aunt is a witch. Emma's mother expects her to be a certain way, but Emma just can't help being herself. The Queen chooses an obnoxious prince to marry Emma, instead she kisses a frog who claims to be a prince. She figures she'll either see a prince or a frog, but Emma could never guessed what happened next.

WHAT I LIKED: Aunt Grassina; the storyline; Lil' Stinker, the bat; and  the magic. Lil' Stinker was awesome because she's sort of like Grimalkin from the Iron Fey series -- she just is; I like her attitude. She is a bat who lived in the rafters in the house of a young witch who really didn't have any actual magic. She could only do really basic magic, but she thought she had a gift.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTOR: Aunt Grassina. She is magic, and understands Emma. Grassina had a boyfriend, but her mom turned him into an animal the first time Grassina brought him home. Grassina has glass flowers, and she turned her brother-in-law's favorite dog into a duck. Just for a little bit.

MY FAVORITE PART: When Emma frees a snake. I like it because snakes can be very dangerous. They can eat frogs.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Prince Jasper was extremely vain and rude.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should  read this book, and if you like it, you can watch the movie it inspired, "The Princess and the Frog."

MOM'S TAKE: I liked this, it was light and funny and should appeal to girls 8 to 12, if they're reading chapter books. It did remind me of Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest series -- and I've just thought of more books Hannie needs to read!

FIND IT ON THE WEB: E.D. Baker's website.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Complete Book of Dinosaurs by Dougal Dixon

Okay, my little brother wanted to do a guest blog about dinosaurs. So here he is.

ABOUT THE BOOK: It tells an array of facts about dinosaurs. It also includes information about pterosaurs, placodonts, northosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, and ichthyosaurs. Inside are pictures of possible environments, photos of actual fossils, and time-lines with watercolor paintings to express each stage. Dino eggs and footprints are discussed in this book as well.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It's one of my favorites. People should definitely read it. Dino fans will love it.

SIS'S INTAKE: I've looked at it, and children in grades 1-4 who are interested in dinosaurs will enjoy it.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Dougal Dixon's website

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's a modern faerie tale about a teenage girl, Aislinn. Aislinn and her grandmother can see faeries through their human disguises.  To protect themselves they make three rules: Don't stare at them, don't speak to them, and never ever attract their attention. These simple and incredibly important rules have  always protected Aislinn -until Keenan comes along. How can she keep her freedom but stay safe when only she can see him?

WHAT I LIKED: The Winter Girl; Grams-her grandmother; Seth's house; and Boomer, the snake.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Donia, the Winter Girl. She helps Aislinn

MY FAVORITE PART: When Aislinn told off Keenan.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Keenan was trying to force Aislinn to do something she didn't want to do.
THE BOTTOM LINE: You may want to read this book. Parents may want to take a look through it before giving it to your kid.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Melissa Marr's website.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Septimus Heap Series by Angie Sage

ABOUT THE BOOK: It`s about a boy named Septimus Heap, youngest son of Sarah and Silas Heap. He is the seventh son of a seventh son, and therefore is supposed to have extremly powerful Magyk. But the night he is born, he is taken away and pronounced dead by the midwife. Silas and Sarah never forgot their son.

WHAT I LIKED: The wolfhound; the castle; Stanley the Message Rat; the magyk; the mirror; the Heaps; and the Wizard Tower.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTOR: Jenna, a little girl born the same day as Septimus. She was friendly to
Boy 412.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The Darke Magyk. It caused a lot of problems.
CHARACTOR I DIDN`T LIKE: DomDanial, a former ExtraOrdinary Wizard. He used the Darke Magyk to harm others.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should take a look at these books, if you like magyk, odd charactors, and mysteries.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Angie Sage`s site.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bluestar's Prophecy by Erin Hunter

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's a story of a she-cat named Bluestar, but she doesn't start out as Bluestar, because she has to earn that title. She starts out as Bluekit, then Bluefur. She is one of two candidates to become deputy of her Clan. Thistleclaw also wants to become the leader of ThunderClan, but he is bloodthirsty and loves battles.

WHAT I LIKED: The cats (What's not to like, they're Warriors! They growl!); Lionpaw and Sweetpaw, because they're awesome apprentices who train, but later, sad things happen to them; the four Warrior Clans; and the (sometimes) peaceful Gatherings. 

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Moonflower, Bluestar's mother. She's super protective of her babies, and she's shiny.

MY FAVORITE PART: When Bluefur puts the smackdown on Thistleclaw because he tried to hurt a random kitten.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Thistleclaw and his apprentice are evil. They jumped on a random kitten like RAWR!

CHARACTER I DIDN'T LIKE: Thistleclaw. He's mean to Bluefur and evilly ambitious.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should read this book because it's like a soap opera for little kids.

MOM'S TAKE: I've flipped through this and read one or two of the Warrior novels and a couple of the manga. Boys and girls reading longer chapter books and who enjoy animals will like these -- both Hannah and her little brother read them. There is some violence and character death, so if your child is particularly sensitive, especially about animals being harmed, you might want to steer clear.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Warrior Cats Online.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's about a 17-year-old girl named Cassia, who lives in the future, where every choice you make is pre-decided by the Society. She's Matched with her best friend, Xander, which means he's the only one she's allowed to marry, but she falls in love with an Aberration, Ky. At first, she tries to ignore it, because she's never broken the rules before, ever, but she doesn't want the Society to decide everything, and she decides to make a stand against them.

WHAT I LIKED: When Ky taught her to write her name; her little brother, Bram; and the secret society.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Cassia's Grandfather. He "didn't go gentle." He leaves something very important to Cassia. He's someone Cassia can always talk to.

MY FAVORITE PART: When Ky taught her to write cursive, because no one could write anything, they could only type.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Cassia's Official, because she's the one who played mind games with her and was mean to her; and that the Society decided everything for everybody.

CHARACTER I DIDN'T LIKE: Cassia's Official. She was dishonest with Cassia. She was aloof.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I would recommend you read this, because the storyline is good.

MOM'S TAKE: Most of the female characters in this start out weak, but that can be attributed to the Society having made decisions for everyone for generations. Cassia eventually does find her strength and rebels against the Society, but I found myself being very impatient with her up until that point.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Ally Condie's website.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's about a boy named Mackie, who is not really the real Mackie. The real Mackie disappeared, and he took his place. His friend Tate's little sister, Natalie, is stolen, and Natalie's replacement dies and is buried. Everyone, except for Tate, thinks it's the real Natalie. So Mackie has to go to the House of Mayhem to get help to save Natalie. (Mackie has a crush on Tate.)

WHAT I LIKED: Stories about how people used to keep fairies, demons and other dark creatures from taking their children; Mackie's friend Roswell helps him keep secrets; Mackie's family making sure there's no iron in the house; and the House of Mayhem versus the House of Misery.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Emma, Mackie's sister. She's the reason he survives, because she does everything she can to keep him alive, like getting him medicine and cutting his hair with aluminum scissors, instead of iron ones, so he doesn't have to go to the barber (which has lots of iron, so it's important for him not to have to go there). She talks to him, because he doesn't have very many friends.

MY FAVORITE PART: When Mackie goes to the House of Misery to talk to the Lady about returning Natalie. (The Lady is a baby-stealer, and she steals a baby every seven years.)

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The Lady stealing babies. (She needs to get her OWN life.)

CHARACTER I DIDN'T LIKE: The Lady, she steals babies and takes them away. Sometimes, she keeps them as toys.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should read this unless you think it might be too scary or horrible for you.

MOM'S TAKE: Parents of pre-teens are going to want to read this before deciding whether to let their child read it. It could be frightening for younger readers. Many of the adult characters in this book figuratively look away from some of the terrible goings-on in the Slag Heaps, and, in turn, the town of Gentry is prosperous. The teenage characters rebel against "going along to get along."

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Brenna Yovanoff's website.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weirton Book Company

Hannah and little brother Robbie pose with one of their favorite booksellers, David. David and Jaime always know what books to suggest!

The Weirton Book Company is located at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave., Weirton, WV. It is where I get most of my books and is my favorite bookstore.

WHY IT IS MY FAVORITE BOOKSTORE: There are couches, chairs and benches to sit in while you browse. Also they sell candles, so it always smells good. The owners, Jaime and David, are very friendly and helpful.
FIND IT ON THE WEB: Yahoo! Reviews of the Weirton Book Company


Monday, July 18, 2011

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

ABOUT THE BOOK: It's about a girl named Nimira, and she lives with a theater troop, where she performs as a "trouser girl," an ethnic dancer. A rich man named Mr. Hollin sees her act and invites her to his house to perform with his robotic automaton. She finds out that the automaton is alive, with the soul of a fairy prince, Erris, inside. Hollin may sell Erris and another person wants to destroy him!

WHAT I LIKED: The crazy lady who isn't crazy; that Nimira was a different ethnicity; there are fairies; there is a mystery to solve; paranormal (ghosts and dark creatures).

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Karstor, he helps Nimira and Erris. He isn't unkind to others.

MY FAVORITE PART: When the evil minion attacked Nimira and her friends.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Mr. Smollings, he was unkind and manipulative.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You'll probably like this book. In this book, people must face tough choices and there aren't any easy answers. The characters must be emotionally  strong.    

MOM'S TAKE: Mom couldn't be here tonight.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Jaclyn Dolamore's site.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

ABOUT THE BOOK: It is about Jason, a 16-year-old baseball pitcher, who is sucked into another world (called Lyrian) through a hippo. (Weird.) He was summoned by the Giddy Nine. He meets Rachel (she's 16, too) who walked under a rock formation while on an outing with her parents. They meet the Blind King and, to get back to their own world, they have to defeat the evil emperor Maldor.

WHAT I LIKED: Maldor's minions; the seed people; the hippo (who doesn't like a hippo?); death pies; Jason outsmarting people; Rachel was just plain awesome; Ferrin.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: The Blind King. He was nice, he did cool things and he tried to help other people. He's blind AND awesome.

MY FAVORITE PART: Jason faces off with a funky snake that can make him say crazy things.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Jason and Rachel were betrayed by someone they trusted. And that's not fun.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You should read this book! There's no heroes, and Maldor is really mean to the people and enslaves them. There's nothing good about that. But Jason and Rachel come to save them!

MOM'S TAKE: The running theme in this book is doing the right thing despite any difficulties. This book would be good for both girls and boys who are reading longer chapter books and like fantasy. 

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Brandon Mull's website.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

ABOUT THE SERIES: This series is about a girl, Meghan Chase. Her best friend is an ancient fairy who likes to give people donkey heads. Her brother is stolen by a  fairy, and she has to go to the Nevernever to get him back. She meets the Winter Prince, Ash, who is hunting her. (It's kind of creepy.)

WHAT I LIKED: The super-awesome, sassy cat, Grimalkin; Puck's pranks (mostly) are very funny; cool fights between the good characters and the bad ones (like Titania--although she's not exactly bad, she's just not nice); the characters have a lot of background, so it gives you an idea of what the characters are like.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Grimalkin, Cait Sith (fairy cat). He's just awesome. He's smarter than everyone else and very cool about it. He plans ahead. So does Ash, but Grimalkin is obviously cooler!

MY FAVORITE BOOK: The Iron Daughter, because Meghan kicks butt and saves the guy!

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Too much kissing.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Read these books! I liked the plot and the characters (except Rowan--he's a jerk). The plot isn't ridiculous, like some, and the characters seem more real.

MOM'S TAKE: An interesting, unique twist on the fairy mythos, with a strong female lead. Despite what Hannah says, there isn't a lot of "kissing." I was very comfortable with her reading this series. This is a great series for girls who are pre-teens and teenagers and enjoy fairies. 

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Julie Kagawa's website.