Review: The Quest for Justice

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The Elementia Chronicles: The Quest for Justice Pages: 500
Format: Paperback
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three-half-stars

New players join the game Minecraft every day. But dark forces are at work on the Elementia server, and when Stan,Kat, and Charlie arrive on the scene, they quickly find themselves in peril The King has passed a law banishing all lower level players from the server by the next Proclamation Day. Anyone who tries to help the noobs will be silenced. With the natural forces of the game closing in and the King's deadline approaching, Stan, Kat, and Charlie must work together to unravel the mysteries of Elementia and lead the battle for Justice. ---From the back cover.

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The Quest for Justice is the first book in a series based on the video game Minecraft. First time author, Sean Fay Wolfe, is bridging the digital divide between book nerds and gamers. The story is about 3 new players on a Minecraft world called Elementia. Stan, Kat, and Charlie join the game at the worst possible time.
The King, has decided that new players benefit too much from the hard work of the experienced players and is trying to ban them from the world. He has changed the rules so that when they die in the game, they are banned. This creates a dangerous situation for our heroes, but the world is full of monsters like creepers and spiders that attack at night. When our heroes learn about the Kings plan they start on a quest to overthrow him and restore justice to the land.
Quest for Justice moved at a fast pace and was full of action and adventure. This is definitely a book that fans of the game will want to pick up. At times it did seem a little long (at 500 pages) but, the characters are very weak at the beginning of the story and need the page length to level up to a believable point and defeat the king.
Minecraft is very popular and this book will have a following. Libraries should get multiple copies because they won’t be able to keep it on the shelf.

three-half-stars

Penguin’s Hidden Talent

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Latimer, Alex. Penguin’s hidden talent. Atlanta: Peachtree, 2012. Print.
Penguin’s Hidden Talent by Alex Latimer is the story of a penguin putting on a talent show.  Like the young children this book is aimed toward, Penguin does not know quite where his talent lies.  As he goes forth to organize a talent show everyone seems to have a talent except him.  His friends all try to help him find his but the talent show goes on before any of his friends can identify where his talent truly lies. 
This story is heartwarming and has a true moral for children to think about and be able to help nudge some children who may feel talent less to rethink what a talent really is.  With illustrations that reminded me of something on Cartoon Network, I found this to be an engaging picture book that children would enjoy.  I would rate it at 3.5 stars.

Will You Read to Me

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Will you read to Me by Denys Cazet
This is the story of a young pig who likes to be read to, but whose family does not like reading.  The mild gross out humor in the scenes where the pigs stuff the food in their faces will appeal to younger children making this a fun read aloud. Hazel Rochman in Booklist calls it “not only a celebration of reading but also a moving story about not fitting in.”  This would make a good library orientation book to read in schools,  because its about fitting in. 

Froggy’s Worst Playdate

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Froggy’s Worst Playdate by Johnathan London. 

This is another entry in the ever continuing Froggy series.  This series of books is sought after by kids and parents alike.  In this little adventure Froggy has woken up early and wants to play. However, he is told his mother has arranged a play date for him.  Well, Froggy does not want to go because it’s with a Girl!  What if she tries to kiss him?  Filled with humor and lovable characters the Froggy series always hits a home run.  I really liked the way the text blended in with the illustrations making it the perfect book to read aloud.  I give this book a solid 3.5 stars.  It was good, I read it to a Kindergarten class and they liked it. 

DINO MITE

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Where are the Dinos? by Julia Dweck illustrated by Bob Ostrom  

The author, for the purpose of this review, generously provided a copy of this book.  
As a librarian working with children in both a school and public setting, I am constantly on the lookout for new authors and new books that will peak the interests of my students and patrons.  Julia Dweck has proven herself once again.  Where are the Dinos?” is an adorable story of a little boy who likes dinosaurs.  He visits the zoo and has a few questions for the tour guide.  He then goes on with the usual amount of questions that come out of children that age.  I really liked that the story was told in rhyme scheme.  Julia writes with a very Seuss like quality.  Not a watered down pale imitation but a truly innovative next generation Seuss quality.   The illustrations by Bob Ostrom just perfectly complement this story.  Four Stars. 
Ages Birth-6.

The Reader

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The Reader by Amy Hest illustrated by Lauren Castillo
The Reader is about a little boy in a snowstorm.  He is on his way home probably from school and meeting his dog.  He and his dog like to sit while he reads to the dog.  They are Two Good Friends, just like the title of the book the boy reads to his dog.  This is a very good picture book that works for more than just the young readers it is aimed at.  The beautiful illustrations and poetic story would make it an ideal gift for someone who is a dog lover and book lover.  It is a simple story of a book, a dog and a snowy day.  The perfect read on  a snow day home from school.  I rate this book at 4 ½ stars. 

Beyonders 1

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In light of Beyonders 3 being released I wanted to post my review of the first book in this trilogy.  For those that may have never heard of it.  It is definitely worth the read.  I read and wrote this review before this blog was started.

Beyonders by Brandon Mull is an excellent example of what happens when a book clicks on all cylinders. This book has everything, humor, adventure, magic and even the hints of romance. This is a top notch choice for children in grades 4 and up. Definitely a choice for the Harry Potter fan desperately looking for something new to read.
Jason is unhappy with his life. He does not seem to fit in at home. One day while working at the zoo he falls into a hippos mouth and winds up in a magical world. In a Narnia like transport, the hippo brought Jason to another world. This world is ruled by an evil wizard who can only be destroyed by uttering a very special very magical word in his presence. While at a very special library Jason reads one of the syllables of this magic word. He embarks on a quest to finish the world and destroy the evil wizard to find his only way home.
Along the way Brandon Mull introduces new creatures, and characters and fills the book with the kind of magic that the literary world has been lacking since both Fablehaven and Harry Potter ended.

I’ll Trade my Peanut-Butter Sandwitch

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I’ll Trade my Peanut-Butter Sandwich by Chris Robertson is an adorable story that illustrates constant way children think.  The story begins with a little boy who wants to trade his peanut-butter sandwich.   He makes many trades and upgrades until the story comes full circle when he realizes he is hungry.  This is a perfect read alike for children who love Laura Numeroffs’ If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series.  Perfect for ages 5 and younger because of the engaging illustrations and the short text.  I really enjoyed this book and I would not trade the experience of reading this picture book for anything not even a Peanut-Butter And jelly sandwich.

I Dare You Not To Yawn

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I Dare You Not To Yawn by Helene Boudreau illustrated by Serge Bloch. 
I found I Dare You Not To Yawn to be delightful.  This picture book illustrates the feelings that children have when they want to stay up but they know they are tired.  It tells the story of a child whose mother sends him to bed when he gets tired.  How does she know if he’s tired that sneaky old yawn.  As the book says yawns are sneaky and they can creep up on you.  As soon as you get caught yawning you’ll be sent to bed.  This book would make the perfect bed time story because subliminally children are tempted to yawn as its being read, not out of boredom but that contagious yawn from the well-developed character in the story.    4 Stars. 

It’s a Small World

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It’s aSmall World words by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman.  Illustrations by Joey Chou

It’s a Small World is a beautiful retelling of the classic song.  The lyrics that tell the story of how it’s a small world and despite our differences we really are very similar in the important ways.  With beautiful illustrations by Joey Chou to complement the classic words and a CD included with the song from the ride, this is the perfect book to share for a virtual visit to Walt Disney World.  If books can take you places this one took me to the Happiest Place on Earth!