Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lubar, David. Punished!

Lubar, David. Punished!. Darby Creek, 2006 [978-1-58196-042-5]
NOTE: This is an elementary book that I purchased because I enjoy the author's work.
Logan and his friend were running around the library when a man appears, annoyed saying "You need to be punished." He takes a book and blows dust off it onto Logan's face. His "pun"ishment is that everything he says has puns in it. It drives everyone at home and school crazy. The only way he can break the spell is to go on three quests: to find seven oxymorons, seven anagrams, and seven palindromes. What follows in this 96 page book is a series of fun word adventures as Logan tries to gather all the things he needs to break the spell. Although this book is elementary, it would a fun read-aloud or even in a language arts writing class.

Meacham, Margaret. Mid-semester night's dream

Meacham, Margaret. Mid-semester night's dream. Holiday House, 2004 [0-8234-1815-4]
Morgan is in 7th grade and is google-eyed over over Ben (although he doesn't know it.) One night she sees a glowing in her room and finds out that a fairy in-training as been assigned to her. Of course Morgan wants the fair to cast a love spell so Ben will be infatuated with her and ask her to the dance. What follows are a series of miscast spells which create all kinds of awkward situations. This 154 page book is a humorous story written for the wrong audience. Much of the antics that Morgan goes through are more appropriate for a 5th or 6th grader and to top it all off, the print of the book is large which gives the book an elementary feel.

Hautman, Pete. Invisible

Hautman, Pete. Invisible. Simon & Schuster, 2005 [0-689-86800-6]
Doug is a troubled young man. He is a loner, builds model trains in the basement and get beat up at school. The only thing that keeps him centered is his best friend Andy, the star of the football team, drama club, and other memorable things at school. They talk about everything.. except what happened at the Tuttle place a few years ago. Doug becomes more withdrawn.. his parents are very concerned. It is not until near the end of the 149 page book that the readers find out how troubled Doug is and why he and Andy are so close. This is a very touching story of mental illness told from the eyes of the disturbed person so the reader only understands reality as see though Doug's eyes. Don't miss this one!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Snicket, Lemony. The end [#13]

Snicket, Lemony. The end [A series of unfortunate events #13]. Harper Collins, 2006 [0-06-441016-1/978-0-06-441016-8]
The series finally comes to an end with a book that ties a lot of the loose ends together. It starts with the orphans and Count Olaf stranded at sea in a boat. They end up on an island with a group of castaways with many strange customs. Their leader is Ishmael (who keeps saying "Call me Ish" - an interesting twist on the opening line of Moby Dick.) I don't want to ruin the book so I will not say much more other than in this 324 page book, a lot of questions are answered and at least one major character dies. This series has gotten tiring lately and I am glad it ended in a satisfying way.

Stewart, Paul & Chris Riddell. Freeglader [Edge Chronicles #7]

Stewart, Paul and Chris Riddell. Freeglader [Edge Chronicles #7]. David Fickling, 2006 [0-385-75082-x]
After the disaster in Undertown, Rook leads the librarians (with the remains of the library) and the rest of the refugees from Undertown to a new home in the Free Glades. On the way they are viciously the shrykes. The survivors of this attack trek to the Free Glades where they start to set up a new home and build a new library. When partially settled, they are attacked again, this time by the Goblin nations with their terrible killing machines. Can they survive? This 402 page book is full of killing, death, and blood. It is not a cute and friendly as the other books but it still has the wonderful illustrations. At the end of the book is a family tree which shows the relationship of various characters from Linus Pallitax to Twig and Rook.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Graham, Mitchell. The fifth ring

Graham, Mitchell. The fifth ring. EOS/HarperCollins, 2003 [0-06-050651-2]
This book was recommended by one of my readers and I am so glad he did. Matthew is living his life in his peaceful town up until he wins the fencing contest. After the contest he acquires a magical ring although he initially doesn't know it has powers. Far away from his peaceful town the evil ruler has acquired a set of the same rings and begins to harness their power so he can take over his neighboring countries. Because of his power with the rings, the evil ruler gets the Orlocks to help him. He senses their is another ring and sends the Orlocks to find it. Matthew starts to learn to use the powers of the ring to defend himself. Eventually there is a large battle and the evil king and his relatives try to battle against Matthew with his ring. This 516 page book is a great high fantasy/adventure book which runs in the vein of Tolkien books but what is nice, it is a complete story in one book. I understand there is a second book but I am not sure I will get it (from comments I have heard) and also, I just like how this book stands on its own.

Koss, Amy Goldman. Gossip times three

Koss, Amy Goldman. Gossip times three. Puffin, 2003 [0-14-240295-8]
Abby, Bess, and Cristy are in Junior High and are best friends. Abby has always liked Zach but then one day Bess says, "Zach's cute." It sends the close friendship into a whirlwind. No only do we have the three best friends feuding, but also, they are all dealing with their single-parent moms' dating habits. Koss as usual captures the feel for junior high friendships but this book drove me crazy. It is written as a writing project and there are constantly three (numbered) plot twists appearing in the book (I guess to go with the title.) Sometimes, they are options and the reader is asked to choose which the correct one. I found this 170 page book to be agony to finish. Maybe girls will like it, but it made me nuts.