Tuesday, March 2, 2021
The Lake Quilt Mystery by S.D. Brown starts out with Kelsey and her mom headed to what they think will be a relaxing vacation at a mountain resort. Kelsey’s only complaint is that her best friend is in the hospital recovering from a burst appendix. But then things get more complicated when clues show Kelsey that there is more to this Lake resort than she first thought.
Beat by Jared Garrett is a very exciting post-apocalyptic story about a young man who lives in a society that can't get too excited. Literally. They're told that if their heartrate goes over 140, that the "bug" that's in their systems will activate and kill them. So they're told. But Nik suspects otherwise. As he starts to uncover the truth, he starts to learn how controlling his society is. But he also finds himself and his friends in greater and greater danger. When he realizes what the Prime Administrator is willing to do to anyone who knows the truth, he realizes he needs to get the truth out there, all while staying away from the Enforsers. I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone who likes exciting, non-stop action, and post apocalyptic stories. Beat was first published in 2018.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary is a fun book that I remember fondly from my childhood. Listening to it on CD recently, I discovered happily, that I enjoyed it just as much as before. Ralph, a juvenile mouse living in a hotel, meets Keith, a young boy who has come to stay for a few days with his parents. Ralph is delighted that the boy understands him, and better, that Keith lets him use his toy motorcycle to play with. To make it run, all Ralph needs to do, is make a motor sound with his mouth! Things are going great, until Ralph accidentally ends up in a heap of laundry with the motorcycle! Worse yet, when Keith gets sick, there's no medicine to be found anywhere in the hotel. Will Ralph be able to come to the rescue, even though he can't find the toy motorcycle? Read the book to find out! I recommend this book to youngsters as well as parents who enjoy fantastical stories with animal protagonists. The Mouse and the Motorcycle was first published in 1965.
Friday, February 19, 2021
The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan are a group of short stories written by the author of the popular Percy Jackson books. The short stories are fun for anyone who is a fan of fantasy and adventure, but may be more especially appreciated by fans of Riordan's work. I am only familiar with Percy Jackson through the movies, and this is my first experience with Riordan's writing. It was well done and exciting, and I appreciated his ability to put tension and excitement into his stories. These 4 stories shed a bit more light on a few of the characters readers get to know in his other books. People who know the stories of these characters more than I do, might have their heartstrings yanked on just a bit more. Being only slightly familiar with the stories, I felt the tug as I read Luke's story, having some idea of what is coming later after the diary entries of his that I read. All around, the stories are entertaining, and I recommend them to readers young and old who enjoy Greek mythology, fantasy, and fast-paced action. The Demigod Diaries was published in 2012.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink is a delightful story about a girl growing up in the 19th century in Wisconsin. Caddie gets into lots of adventures and scrapes with her brothers since her parents let her be an outdoorsy tomboy. Her mother isn't too happy about it, but Caddie loves her life. She is able to go on all sorts of adventures with her brothers, and makes friends with Native Americans, especially John and John's Dog, and when her neighbors fear that the Natives will turn on them and talk about attacking them, it's Caddie who is able to ride to the Indians' camp and warn them. Caddie finds herself in all sorts of trouble sometimes though because of her wild ways, and when the teasing of her cousin Annabelle goes too far, what will happen?
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis may be my personal favorite of The Chronicles of Narnia. Mostly because when I first experienced the story as a young person, I was found myself relating to Jill Pole. She and Eustace Scrubb, after running away from some bullies, find their way into Narnia. A place where Eustace has been before, but not Jill. After a panic attack on the edge of a very high cliff, and accidentally tossing Eustace off (he doesn't die!) Jill meet Aslan who gives her some instructions which she has to take to Eustace in order to have his help in right a wrong that has come to the kingdom of Narnia, and the family of an old friend of Eustace's. With the help of a marshwiggle, the two teenagers set off on an adventure to save the king's lost son. But as they run into one problem after another, the group starts to get discouraged. If you want to find out what happens next, read this exciting book! The Silver Chair was first published in 1953.
Perhaps the most popular of the books in The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is an exciting adventure following four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Lucy first stumbled into a strange world when hiding in a wardrobe, and soon, after some misunderstand, and some rather unkind behavior on Edmund's part, the others find their way there, as well. This magical realm is not at all a safe place for them, since there is an evil queen who wants to kill any sons of Adam and daughters of Eve (humans) she finds. And the four siblings are exactly that. But with Edmund having been tricked by the evil queen, the other three find themselves in danger! Read the book to find out what happens next in this fun fantasy adventure! The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was first published in 1949.
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis is the first, chronologically, anyway, in the Chronicles of Narnia. Friends Diggory and Polly are trying to do some exploring in the attic of the townhouse in which they live when they accidentally stumble upon Diggory's weird uncle in his attic study. Some funny yellow and green rings on a tray catch Polly's attention, and when she touches one, she suddenly disappears, much to Diggory's horror, and his uncle's amusement! What Diggory does to rescue her leads into the rest of the story involving a dying world, an evil queen, and the birth of a wonderful series! If you enjoy middle grade fantasy with strong Christian metaphors, you will enjoy the Chronicles of Narnia, in particular, The Magician's Nephew!
Thursday, January 28, 2021
The Cobra King of Kathmandu by Philip Kerr is the third book in the Children of the Lamp series, and is another exciting adventure for the twins, John and Phillipa Gaunt. This time, the twins are trying to help their friend Buck find out who murdered his friend. Their search takes them to India and to the Cult of the Nine Cobras, and its repulsive leader. Their Uncle Nimrod would usually help them, but he's off on another adventure of his own, so they take their butler, Mr. Gronin. But when Mr. Gronin is captured by the cult, what are the twins and Buck going to do? This is an exciting middle grade book that young people as well as adults would enjoy. This book was copyrighted in 2007.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
The Heart of the Rebellion by Sian Ann Bessey is an enjoyable medieval romance filled with a mix of historical people as well as fictional characters. Rhys ap Tudor and his brothers are drawn by honor into the Welsh rebellion after Henry IV imposes heavy and unfair taxes upon the Welsh people. Meanwhile, Lady Catrin Buckley feels compassion for the people from whom her mother comes. Despite being the daughter of an English Lord, she is also the daughter of a Welsh woman. And though her mother has died, she still feels a pull toward the land and people. When she meets Rhys ap Tudor, she feels both a kinship with him because of the duty he feels toward liberating the Welsh people, as well as a strong attraction toward Rhys himself. But her father has recently betrothed her to a man she doesn't love. What are Catrin and Rhys to do? This story is an enjoyable, clean romance which I really liked, and which I recommend to readers of historical fiction. The Heart of the Rebellion was published in 2019.
Friday, January 1, 2021
Beyond the Mask produced by the Burns Family Studios is an interesting action movie set during the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. William Reynolds has been a mercenary for the East India Company. But when he is betrayed and double crossed by his boss, he sets out to make a new life for himself. Trying to stay one step ahead of his former boss, he finds his way to America, and in his efforts to clear his name, and win back the trust of his sweetheart Charlotte, he bungles things up. But in his efforts to make his mistake right, he finds the support of Charlotte as well as Benjamin Franklin. Will he be able to undo a plot to blow up Independence Hall? I liked the movie, though it was a bit choppy in places, and some things weren't explained as well as they could have been. Still, it was a clean, uplifting movie with exciting action and a very obvious religious theme of redemption and grace. John Rhys-Davies did a wonderful job as the antagonist, and Andrew Cheney and Kara Killmer did great as the hero and heroine. Beyond the Mask is copyrighted 2015.