Car Trouble

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Car Trouble
Duff is a computer whiz.  He lives his entire life in a computer like world dealing with problems that come up like command codes put into a computer.  After attending a convention for computer programming Duff is offered a very good job in California.  Determined to go for this opportunity despite his parents objections Duff starts out on his journey that will not only take him to California but to become a better person as well. 
Along the way on this road trip Duff encounters many interesting characters some that help and some that hinder his ability to make it to California and get his top job. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The characters were well developed and real there was action humor and drama. I think that both boys and girls would enjoy this book. Other recommendations: The car by Garry Paulsen.
4 1/2 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.

Black Book of Secrets.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Children's, disappointing, Retro Review

The storyline intrigued me. A pawnbroker who pays money for secrets, Why? What is he going to do with it. The story was a bit disappointing for me. Maybe just because I like magic swords, dragons in the books I read. I love mysteries too but the mysteriousness wasn’t intriguing enough.I read this book 5 years ago.  Ultimately it seemed like it should have been better than it was.  There have been several paraquels published since this book came out.  Instead of writing sequels the author wrote other stories that took place at the same time.  I would really hesitate to recommend this book to anyone.  I would rate it 1 1/2 stars.

Here there be Dragons

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Fantasy, Retro Review, YA books
This is an old book review from when I was getting my MLIS.  I thought some of my readers subscribers may not have read it and  might consider it worth reading.  

Here There be Dragons by James A Owen

I really enjoyed this book.  Its about three Oxford students in 1917 who come to be the guardians of a magical atlas.  There are references to many famous fantasy stories from King Arthur to Lord of the Rings.  I only gave it a 2 for popularity because depending on their frame of reference, teens may not get the references.  Especially, if they haven’t read stories by or about Narnia and Lord of the Rings.
I really enjoyed this book.  The premise of it is to explain that the authors of the greatest Fantasy Novels of the twentieth century were the guardians of an at las of magical lands.  The three friends go on a magical adventure that will become the inspiration for their novels.  Fans of Narnia and Tolkien will better appreciate this book.

Olivia and the Missing Toy

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Children's, Picture Book, Retro Review

Olivia and the Missing Toy by Ian Falconer

On a dark and stormy night something terrible is about to happen.  It is inevitable, that children will have a favorite toy it is also inevitable that the toy will probably get lost at some point.  This story tells Olivia’s story and how she dealt with it when her favorite toy becomes lost. Written by Caldecott Honor winning author/illustrator Ian Falconer, this touching story is excellent as a read-a-loud  for its wonderful story and visually appealing pictures.

Retro Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in Children's, Fantasy, Harry Potter, Retro Review, YA books

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is getting a new cover and being re-released.  I thought I would write a retro review to honor the new cover art.  
Harry has no clue he is a wizard.  All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his Aunt and Uncle.  The Dursleys make Harry feel unwanted.  They make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs.  Then just before he turns 11, he receives an invitation inviting him to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  When Harry arrives he discovers he is no ordinary wizard, and he has a destiny to fulfill.   Harry will make friends and enemies and confront the evil Lord Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed his parents. 
This book is and remains one of my all time favorites.  Rowling writes authentic characters and mixes the mystery, adventure and magic all together in a perfect way.  15 years after its first publication, this book still touches the hearts of readers.  I strongly encourage you to read it with your children and share the text as it originally appeared.  Relive Harry’s first year as it was in the book before the movie and share it.  Share this book with a child who is ready for it, so they can experience Harry’s adventures for the first time.