Sunday, September 30, 2018

Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophy by Brandon Mull

The Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophe
(c) 2012 by Brandon Mull
Candy Shop War: Arcade Catastrophe by Brandon Mull continues the story of Nate, Summer, Trevor, Pigeon, and their new friend Lindy, as they investigate a new Arcade in town, Arcade Land, which seems to be linked to the disappearance of Mozag and John Dar, who have been policing the magical community for misbehaving magicians. When they discover that the own of Arcade Land is Jonas White, the brother of their last nemesis, Belinda White, they realize that things are even more dangerous than they first appeared. With Jonas White wanting to recruit kids to help him collect magical items for some sinister scheme, will the kids be able to work together to defeat him? Read the book, and find out!
Kids and adults who enjoy magical adventures will enjoy reading this book!

Friday, September 21, 2018

My Son is Home From His Mission!

A few days ago, my son, who went to the Philippines two years ago to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has recently returned, and I am super excited to have him home! He served in the Philippines Manila mission, and from all that I've heard so far, had a great experience, did a lot of good, and made some great memories!

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I found this poem, The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, and liked it very much. It reminds me that what we appear to be on the outside doesn't matter nearly as much as who we really are inside, and what we believe in and live for.

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesnt interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.


Cragbridge Hall: The Avatar Battle by Chad Morris

Avatar Battle, The (c) 2014 Chad Morris
The Avatar Battle by Chad Morris is the second book in the Cragbridge Hall series. In this second adventure, Derick and Hafa (I'm not sure of the spelling, because I listened to the audio book)  use their avatars to help solve the mystery of who is knocking out different members of the Counsel of the Keys and trying to take over the school and The Bridge in order to be able to change time.

It all starts when Grandpa Cragbridge and the team, including Derick and Abby stop a couple of Charles Munz's followers from stopping the disaster of the Hindeberg, and accidentally bring something into the school that starts doing serious damage.

The book is an excellent race against time, and trying to figure out who the bad guy is.

The ending is a bit of cliffhanger, but gives enough of a payoff for the book that the reader is satisfied with this adventure, and ready for the next.

One thing I like about this series is the morals that it teaches about learning from the past, and doing our best as we move into the future. On the surface, Charles Munz's desire to go into the past and right every single wrong that has ever happened may seem like a noble thing. But when one thinks deeply about it, Munz's claim to want to make everything better have a very sinister side to it. As terrible as they are, we can learn from tragedies. We become better and stronger when we do. And also, the world would be very different if the past were changed, the people who are now alive might not be, if the past were changed, for one example. And that is another reason Grandpa Cragbridge wants to leave the past unchanged.

Will the kids be successful in stopping Charles Munz's evil schemes? Read the book and find out!

I recommend this book to young people and not so young people who like futuristic adventure stories.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris

Inventor's Secret, The (c) 2013 by Chad Morris
Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris is the first book in the Cragbridge Hall series, a series for middle grade readers, which follows the adventures of Derrik and Abigail, twins who are students at Cragbridge Hall, a cutting edge school in the future. 

Derrik and Abigail are in their first year at the school, working to fit in and find their place. Their grandfather is the founder of the school, which provides unique struggles for the two students, especially Abby, who is accused of having unfair favoritism shown to her. 

But their struggles in school suddenly become small when their grandfather and their parents are kidnapped. They don't know what to think or do, but after following clues their grandfather left behind, they begin to piece together what has happened to their parents and grandfather, and they begin to realize what they need to do to get their grandfather and parents back. And it will be even more tricky and dangerous than they could have imagined. 

But the pair are clever and determined, and have that to their advantage. 
Middle Grade readers who enjoy science fiction will enjoy The Inventor's Secret.