Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Free Books for Summer!

If you enjoy reading, take a look at the giveaway HERE and take a look at all the FREE books! Books for kids, young adults, or anyone who enjoys literature for young people are all free! Follow the link above, or HERE, and learn more about how to get these free books!

Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution

Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution by J. Scott Savage is the second book in the Mysteries of Cove series. It continues the exciting adventure of Trenton Cole and his friend Kallista Babbage.
Finding clues left in the forest by Kallista's father Leo Babbage, they are directed to the city of Seattle that has clearly been attacked recently by the dragons that are infesting the world. There, they meet two conflicting groups that live in the underground city of Seattle (they can't be outside all the time, because of the dragons) The Order of the Beast, and The Whipjacks. But can Trenton and Kallista trust either groups. And what happened to Kallista's father after he came to Seattle? Read the book and find out! Gears of Revolution was published in 2016.

Hugo: Movie Review

The movie Hugo, based on the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, is an entertaining, family friendly movie.
The main character is Hugo, a boy who is orphaned, twice, and then takes care of the clock in the train station in Paris. He makes friends with a girl, outwits the train security guard, and meets an old hero. But what about the old automaton that his dad left behind before he died, and why is it significant? Read the book, and watch the movie. Get to know Hugo Cabret! The movie came out in 2011. The book was published in 2007.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Mysteries of Cove Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage

In Cove, a city sealed inside of a mountain to stay away from the poisonous air that technology and polution have caused, there lives a boy named Trenton Coleman. Trenton Coleman wants to be a mechanic, which is good Cove needs good mechanics. But what Cove doesn't need is curiousity, invention, and people coming up with ways to improve what they already have.
Why? Because technology, the city history books say, is why they had to go inside the mountain to begin with to escape all the pollution and destruction. So, is creativity really a bad thing? Trenton's new friend Kallista says no. And when Trenton's friend Clyde is convicted to a few days of "retraining" just because he drew a picture, Trenton really starts to think about whether or not inventiveness and creativity are really bad things. And as he and Kallista start to follow clues her dad left behind before his mysterious death, Trenton starts to realize that not only is inventing a good thing, but it may be the only thing that can save all of them. Mysteries of Cove by J. Scott Savage is a great book for middle grade readers, and anyone who enjoys dystopian and steam punk.

The Goonies - Movie Review

When their neighborhood is threated, Mikey (Sean Astin) and his friends who call themselves The Goonies fear they'll be parted forever. But when they find an old treasure map and realize that a huge treasure could be within reach, the friends take off to find it in the hope that it will save their neighborhood.
But they didn't expect to find escaped convicts, deadly boobie traps, and strange creatures on their quest. Will the kids be successful? Watch the movie and find out! The Goonies, directed by Richard Donner and starring Sean Astin, is a good family movie, though it does contain some crude humor. It is rated PG.

Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz

Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz is an extremely well written book about a young Jewish boy who is taken captive by the Nazis at the beginning of WWII when Hitler's army invades Poland.
The young man then goes from one concentration camp to another, and the reader follows along with him, watching his trials and dangers as he fights to stay alive. The book is a great one for young people to read, and for adults as well. Anyone interested in learning more about the second World War would enjoy this book.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart is a delightful story about four gifted children who are brought together to help the kindly Mr. Benedict take on the sinister Mr. Curtain in Mr. Curtain's bid to take over the world.
Posing as youngsters interested in Mr. Curtain's exclusive "school" (actually a training ground to recruit followers) they infiltrate Mr. Curtain's domain and look for ways to stop him from taking control of society. Will they be able to do it with Mr. Benedict's help, and the help of other good guys, like the mysterious (though constantly sad) Miligan, and Mr. Benedict's other friends? Read the book and find out! It's a great book for kids as well as adults. I was delighted to find out that this story has been made into a series on Disney plus. While I cannot give an opinion on Disney's adaptations of the book, since I haven't watched them, I still think it's pretty great that such a fun story has been put on film!

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck tells the story of siblings Joe and Mary Alice and the few weeks every summer they spend with their very interesting grandma, from the time they're little to the time they're young teenagers.
The brother and sister who are from Chicago, have various adventures with their grandma who lives in a small town, from "borrowing" a boat to go fishing where they're not legally allowed to fish, to helping an abused young woman and an overly controlled young man escaped their situations with the help of some old clothes, and old lantern, and a ghostly legend. The stories are delightful and while funny, also teach the reader valuable life lessons about honesty and owning up to mistakes. The ending of the story is especially touching. I recommend the book to young people as well as adults. A Long Way from Chicago was published in 2000.

The Hope of Elephants by Amanda Rawson Hill

The Hope of Elephants by Amanda Rawson Hill is a novel told in free verse by a young cancer patient.
Her dad has had cancer several times, but now it's her turn. And why is the "Elephants" in the title part of the story? Because Elephants don't get cancer. At least they don't get it at the same rate humans do. The story itself is told in lovely free verse poems, using a balance of humor and grief. I found it to be sweet and painful at the same time, and I would recommend this book to young people and adults. Especially those who have been affected by any type of cancer.

Secrets of the Looking Glass (The Lost Wonderland Diaries book 2) by J. Scott Savage.

Secrets of the Looking Glass by J. Scott Savage is a fun book for kids and adults. Friends Celia and Tyrus are off on another adventure.
Tyrus is a book geek, and Celia struggles to overcome her dyslexia. I love the combination of the two characters and how they complement each other. In this story, the two friends are split. Meaning each one has a part of him or her split off, and each becomes two separate people. Tyrus becomes Ty and Tyrus, Celia becomes Lia and Celia. Not having read Carroll's original works I can't compare them, but I really did enjoy this story. I love how the characters are so relatable and have realistic struggles that they work courageously to turn into strengths.

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis was not the first book written in the Chronicles of Narnia, but it was the first that happened in the series' timeline.
It follows the story of two friends, Polly Plummer and Diggory Kirk (who later became the Professor Kirk in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). They become friends after Diggory and his mother Mable, who is dying from some unexplained disease, move in with Mable's brother and sister who are both unmarried so that they can more easily care for their sister. (Diggory's father is away in India, at this time, and can't help.) One day, the two friends stumble upon an adventure when Andrew, Diggory's unscrupulous uncle, decides to use them in an experiment traveling between dimensions. They find themselves first in what they called "The Wood Between the Worlds" a sort of between place they compare to the shared attic back home that all the houses in their row of houses share. After this, they find themselves in Charn where they (mainly Diggory) accidentally wake up Jadis, the evil queen who is the cause of so many of Narnia's troubles later. And then, after a mishap at home in London, they, Uncle Andrew, the queen, a horse named Strawberry, and Strawberry's owner Frank, find themselves in a brand new Narnia. Diggory, hoping to find some fruit in this new world that would cure his mother, wants to ask Aslan the Lion for some help. But first, Diggory, having brought Jadis, needs to do something to protect Narnia from her. Overall, the story is lovely, and a great tale that will entertain and cheer both children and adults. The story was first published in 1955.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Shawn the Sheep: Spring Shena-a-nigans - Movie Review

Shawn the Sheep, produced by Universal Studios, is a fun protagonist that children and adults as well, can relate to. Shawn, the leader of a group of good hearted sheep live on a farm with the farmer, a near-sighted, single, middle-aged farmer, and Farmer's dog, Bitzer.
The group of them have all sorts of adventures and misadventures in this particular movie, Shawn the Sheep: Spring Shena-a-nigans, as well as the other movies Shawn and his pals are in. There is no actual dialogue in any of the Shawn the Sheep movies. Everyone, including the Farmer, mumble or issue other nonsense sounds. However, what happens is quite clear even without words from the expressions and behavior of the characters. I personally like this, since the story can be enjoy by anyone regardless of language. I enjoy all of the Shawn the Sheep stories, and recommend them to adults and children alike.

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder is an enjoyable story about a little boy named Almanzo Wilder growing up in New York state in the 1800s.
He's nine years old and his father doesn't think he's old enough to be trusted to train horses. But little Almanzo's burning dream is to train horses someday. Through all his growing up, he has a lot to deal with. From school bullies threatening to beat their teacher up, to cousins visiting and teasing the colts with Almanzo getting blamed, little Almanzo has a lot to deal with. Will all his growing and learning convince his father that Almanzo is big enough to help train the colts? Read the book and find out!

The Sword and The Scoob- Movie Review

The Sword and the Scoob, a Scooby Doo adventure, is a fun, family friendly adventure that involves the members of Mystery, Inc., Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred.
This time while visiting an English town where Shaggy's ancestors lived, they're mysteriously transported...somewhere. Is it into the past?! To deal with a wicked sorceress, Morgan LaFai, and save Camelot as well as a clueless but goodhearted King Arthur. Can the gang save the day this time? Scooby Doo: The Sword and the Scoob was directed by Christina Sotta and Melchior Zwyer.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage

Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage is the first book in an exciting series.
Trenton Coleman finds himself teaming up with a new friend, Kallista Babbage, the daughter of a *gasp* inventor to uncover clues her father left behind when he mysteriously disappeared, and find themselves building a strange machine. But for what purpose? In an underground community where invention and inventor are bad words, can Trenton and Kallista still convince people that there's a purpose to this strangely shaped invention her father left behind for them to find and put together? Read the book and find out!

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite books in the Narnia series.
In it, Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole are drawn to Narnia to rescue a kidnapped prince. But because of a fear of heights that Jill has, the pair start to muff things up. First, Jill accidentally pushes Eustace off a cliff, then Eustace doesn't recognize an old friend (since time passes different on Narnia than on Earth). And this isn't the first mistake the two friends make! But with a gloomy yet likeable guide and with the help of Aslan, the two friends might just stand a chance of rescuing the prince!

Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold by M. L. Forman

Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold by M. L. Forman is an interesting and fun read that many young people from middle school to high school would find interesting.
Alex is walking home when he sees a strange sign in a shop window that keeps changing! When he walks into the shop to ask the owner how the sign keeps changing, he finds himself wisked away on an adventure in a magical land! He teams up with a group much like the Fellowship in The Lord of The Rings, and goes on a quest to kill a dragon that has been terrorizing the nearby lands. Will Alex and his group succeed? Read the book and find out!

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, another great story by Roald Dahl, gives us the story of brave but poor little Charlie Bucket.
He's a sweet boy from a poor family that is made up of himself, his parents, and his four grandparents. Despite the allure and promise of a golden ticket in a bar of Wonka's Chocolate which will get him a free tour of the nearby Wonka Candy Factory, he has little hope of finding one since his family doesn't have hardly any money to spend on candy. But what happens when he finds some money in the gutter and buys himself a couple bars of chocolate? Read the book and find out!

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Poor James! His parents are dead (eaten up by a rhino) and he has had to go live with his horrible aunts, Aunt Spiker, and Aunt Sponge who are awful to him. What will James do? Well, in James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, we get to find out!
After tiny magical squigglies, given to him by a myterious stranger escape, James thinks his luck is all gone. But them something happens to the old peach tree in front of his aunts' house! Will James find a way to escape his wicked aunts with the help of some new, and magical friends? Read the book to find out!

Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary is a fun story for kids, and adults who remember what it was like to be a kid!
From standing up to bullies who swear, to playing "brick factory" with her friend, Howie, Ramona feels like she's ready to face anything! But then she realizes that her first grade teacher is nothing like her kindergarten teacher, and she's not sure how to handle that. And then, she gets chased by a dog on her way to school! Ramona starts to think she's not as brave as she thought. But can she figure a way out, or at least a way to cope with her difficult situations? Follow Ramona on her journeys, and find out!