Friday, March 13, 2020

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, first published in 1942, is an insightful book that looks at the world from the view of a devil. Screwtape, the master, is coaching Wormwood, an apprentice tempter as Wormwood works to guide his "patient" toward evil and away from good. It is an interesting look at how not only devils, but mean people as well, think, and how they seek to build themselves up by destroying (sometimes literally, sometimes emotionally) other beings. I liked how Screwtape talked about his and Wormwood’s philosophies of consuming other things to feed themselves made perfect sense to him, and the “Enemy’s” (God’s) philosophy of “filling the universe with tiny copies of himself” didn’t make any sense to their ultimately selfish philosophies, and therefore must have some ulterior motive behind it. It was interesting to see how people whose every thought is focused on self ultimately can’t or won’t understand selflessness, so to comfort themselves, they decide that an act that is selfless by someone else can’t be, and therefore must have a sinister, selfish bent to it since they can’t or won’t, understand anything else. I also found it insightful at the end when *spoiler* Wormwood failed, that Screwtape turned on Wormwood without mercy. It showed how selfishness, by its own nature, inevitably turns on itself. An endnote by Mr. Lewis mentioned how he hadn’t enjoyed writing The Screwtape letters, though it had been easy to do so. For myself, I appreciate that despite the fact that he had not had fun writing it, that he had done so anyway.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
(c) 1997 by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Also titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the U.K.) by J. K. Rowling begins the magical series of Harry Potter and his friends as they go to school at Hogwarts, a school for witchcraft and wizardry.

Not only does Harry have the usual school troubles of tests, difficult assignments, teachers who don't like him, and bullies, but he also has to worry about Volemort, who wants to find him and finish the job he'd tried to do ten years before, when Harry was a baby. Voldemort killed Harry's parents, but oddly failed at killing Harry, leaving only a scar on his forehead.

Fortunately, Harry has the support of his two best friends, Ron and Hermione, as well as the school's headmaster, Dumbledore.

Hopefully, with their help, he can make it through his first year at
Hogwarts alive!

Magic Treehouse Good Morning, Gorillas by Mary Pope Osborne

Magic Treehouse Good Morning, Gorillas
(c) 2010 by Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Treehouse Good Morning, Gorillas by Mary Pope Osborne is the 26th Magic Treehouse book.

In this book, Jack and Annie travel to the cloud forest of Africa and meet a family of gorillas. The young gorillas seem to like the kids, and the young gorillas' mothers. But the silverback who leads the group is another story. Will he make friends with Jack and Annie too? And what will happen when a dangerous leopard has its hungry eye on the littlest gorilla? Read the book and find out!

Magic Treehouse Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne

Magic Treehouse Dragon of the Red Dawn
(c) 2008 by Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Treehouse Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne is the 37th book of the series.

In this story, Annie and Jack travel back to Old Japan to find the secret to peace, and bring that secret back to cheer Merlin up. But while in Edo (the ancient name for Tokyo) they are questioned by Samurai wanting them to show their passports, and they don't have any! Who will come to Jack and Annie's aid? Read the book and find out!

Magic Treehouse: Dinosaurs Before Dark (Book 1) by Mary Pope Osborne

Magic Tree House Book 1 Dinosaurs Before Dark
(c) 1992 by Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Treehouse Dinosaurs Before Dark begins the fantastic series of over thirty books by Mary Pope Osborne.

In the first book, Jack and Annie find the magic treehouse for the first time, and are transported back to the time of the dinosaurs! As they explore, Jack finds a mysterious medallion in the grass with the letter M on it, and they wonder what it could mean. But before long, their attention is diverted by a dangerous T-Rex! How do they escape this ferocious monster? Read the book and find out!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary

Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary is a sweet story about Ramona during her 4th grade year. She’s worried that the family might have to move if her dad can’t find a job in Portland, and she doesn’t want to have to leave her school and her friends, and she’s worried about her mom too, and the baby inside that’s slowly making her mom’s stomach bigger and bigger. But what secret is her Aunt Bea keeping, and what does it have to do with her best friend Howie’s Uncle Hobart? This is a fun book that kids will enjoy reading, and adults who enjoy fun children’s stories will like it as well.
Ramona Forever  (c) 1984
by Beverly Cleary

The Wyrm King by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

Wyrm King, The (2009)
by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
The Wyrm King (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles #3) by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black is the last book in a three book series that follows the Spiderwick books. Nick, his stepsister Lauri, his brother Jules, and the three Grace kids have a race against time to stop the hydras that are starting to create sinkholes all over Florida. Will bringing the giants back from the ocean help get rid of the hydras? Will finding the source of all the hydra eggs help stop them? Read the book and find out!

This is a fun novella aimed at young readers, but any age who enjoys a good fantasy will enjoy this book.