Thursday, January 23, 2020

Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Pope Osborne

Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve (c) 2008
by Mary Pope Osborne
Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Pope Osborne is one of the many fun books in the Magic Tree House series, a series of fun books for kids who are getting ready to start reading middle grade.

Annie and Jack, the main characters, are off on a slightly scary adventure into the Middle Ages with their sorcerer in training pal, Teddy. Their mission is to restore order to a castle that has been bewitched by the Raven King. The story is appropriate for young kids, scary enough for the conflict to be interesting, but not too scary for its audience. As a grown up, I enjoyed it, and I recommend it to adults and young kids 3rd to 5th grade who enjoy fun adventure stories.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary

Henry and Ribsy (c) 1954
by Beveryl Cleary
Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary is a fun book for young kids about the adventures that Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy go on. Henry really wants to go salmon fishing with his dad in a few months, but his dad says that Henry needs to keep Ribsy out of trouble in order for that to happen. But how can Henry do that, when Ribsy chases the garbage man for trying to "steal" their garbage, and eats Ramona Quimby's ice cream cone? Read the book to find out!

First published in 1954, it has been a well loved book about a boy and his dog ever since!

 Dog lovers, young and old, would enjoy this book!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ribsy by Beverly Cleary

Ribsy (c) 1964
by Beverly Cleary
Ribsy by Beverly Cleary is a fun book for both kids and adults.

Ribsy and Henry Huggins are best friends. So when Ribsy gets lost in the parking lot at a mall and then accidentally jumps into the wrong car, he'll do whatever it takes to get back to Henry Huggins!
This book is a fun adventure for dog lovers as Ribsy goes from one escapade to another in his efforts to get back home to Henry Huggings from enduring a flower scented bubble bath to being stuck on a dog-unfriendly fire escape!

Dog lovers and anyone who enjoys a fun adventure involving dogs and kids, will like this book.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Movie Review: It's A Wonderful Life

It may be a little too late to review a Christmas movie, but It's a Wonderful Life has a message that is important all through the year.

George Bailey has run into some financial trouble. His Uncle Billy has lost 8,000 dollars of their bank's money, and George might end up going to jail. But in the midst of this crisis, comes a guardian angel, Clarence. A bit bumbly, but good hearted, to help out the situation. But as he's trying to encourage George, what does George do? He says that everyone else would be better off without him, and the he wished he'd never been born! What does Clarence do in response? He takes George on an adventure into a world where he really has never been born to see what would happen if he really hadn't been born! The movie is a little slow in beginning, but it's message is great. I would encourage anyone who enjoys Christmas movies, and feel-good movies in general, to watch this.

It was made in 1946, and directed by Frank Capra. It starred Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey and Donna Reed as Mary Bailey.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Adventurers Wanted The Axe of Sundering by M.L. Forman

Adventurers Wanted: The Axe of Sundering
 (c) 2017 by M.L. Forman
Adventurers Wanted Book 5 The Axe of Sundering by M.L. Forman is an interesting and exciting book. While it moved too slow in some places for my taste, had some scenes that didn't move the story forward, and left a lot of questions unanswered which isn't a good thing for a last book in a series, it was still an entertaining book, and an exciting ending to the series. Alex Taylor is off on another adventure helping his mentor Welan Venkyn (the spelling may be off, since I listened to the audiobook) defeat his evil nephew. But toward the end, a surprise foe arises whom Alex didn’t expect. The ending chapters were particularly exciting, and I did enjoy them. Fans of the series will probably like this final book, as will fans of fantasy adventure stories.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(c) 1964 by Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is an enjoyable book for young kids. Little Charlie Bucket lives with his parents and all four grandparents in poverty. He’s a good kid, but because of their difficult situation, he doesn’t have much. He doesn’t even get candy but once a year on his birthday. All this changes when he gets a lucky golden ticket to tour Willie Wonka’s amazing Factory. I enjoyed the story when I was young, and still enjoyed listening to the audio version recently. I found Willie Wonka’s behavior more annoying as an adult however, and questioned the ethics of his employing Oompa Loompas for no pay other than cocoa beans. Also, When I was little, I didn’t think about how economically devastated the town would be when he suddenly let all his workers go just because some had been spies. Instead of shutting the factory down, he could have created a system that brought an end to the spying instead of putting so many innocent workers out of employment. However, this isn’t something that kids would really worry about, and the story is aimed at kids after all. Even with my grown up brain, I still enjoyed the story, and cheered little Charlie on, the whole way. I recommend this story to readers in 3rd to 7th grade who enjoy stories about kids who are rewarded for being good and honest, and of course, candy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Woods Runner (c) 2011 by Gary Paulson
Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen is an enjoyable and suspenseful tale about the life of a 13 year old boy named Samuel who lives on the frontier during the Revolutionary War in America. One day while out hunting, Samuel sees smoke coming from the direction of his settlement. On returning, he discovers from reading the tracks, that British soldiers as well as a group of Iroquois have come through and have either killed or captured everybody. His own parents are not among those who are dead, and Samuel sets out in the hopes that he might rescue them. The story that follows is suspenseful, well-written, and educational as well, without being obviously so. The adventures Samuel has along the way, and the people he meets all give insights into what life was like during the American revolution, and the risks that many people took so that they could live in a country that governed itself.

I really liked the story. It seems to be geared toward young readers, but I think anyone who enjoys adventure stories, and/or stories about the Revolutionary War would enjoy Samuel’s story.