Book Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock


Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf. Lupine syndrome–also known as the werewolf virus–is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy ... Read More »

Book Review: A Bad Day For Voodoo by Jeff Strand


When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, “Trust me. This is gonna be awesome.” Of course, you probably wouldn’t believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone’s leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I’ve seen it. It can happen. And when there’s suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched ... Read More »

Book Review: Fat Men from Space by Daniel Manus Pinkwater


Here’s a cute little story about a boy who gets a filling in his tooth that can receive radio signals. Before he knows it, he’s picking up transmissions from outer space warning of an invasion of Earth by fat men in tweed sport jackets and knit ties, who first eat all the junk food on earth, then intend to enslave the human race to make more junk food. Pinkwater’s stories are very cute, but they ... Read More »

Book Review: Alosha by Christopher Pike


The heroine of this tale is 13-year-old Ali Warner, a tree-hugging girl who lives in a town nestled between a forested mountain and the ocean. Her father is often on the road in his big rig, and her mother died a year ago in an accident that Ali herself mysteriously survived. And now Ali’s sanctuary, the peaceful woods of Pete’s Peak, is threatened by loggers. What begins as a mission to save the trees turns ... Read More »

Book Review: Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull


In Fablehaven, siblings Kendra and Seth found out that their grandparents’ country estate is actually a secret preserve for magical creatures. Some of them are nice, some are nasty; in fact, Kendra barely saved her family, and the whole preserve, from being destroyed when some of the nasty creatures took control. In the sequel, Rise of the Evening Star, the kids averted a plot by the evil Society of the Evening Star to bring Fablehaven down. In ... Read More »

Book Review: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards


Yes, this is the same Julie Andrews who won a Best Actress Oscar for Mary Poppins. Besides being an actress, did you know she is also an author? And if this book is representative, she is quite good. It reminds me a little of the Daniel Pinkwater stories, as well as Bedknob and Broomstick and, wouldn’t you know, Mary Poppins. It’s a story about the world of imagination and imaginary creatures, and how a Nobel-prize-winning geneticist guides three children (two ... Read More »

Book Review: Fablehaven- Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull


Book Two in the Fablehaven series brings Kendra and Seth back to their grandparents’ magical-creature preserve, but not for a laid-back summer vacation. The Society of the Evening Star, which wants to destroy the preserves and unleash the evil powers they hold in check, is closing in on Fablehaven. Already a hideous kobold has infiltrated Kendra’s homeroom class (disguised as a good-looking new student), and because of the ability to see magic which the fairies gave her ... Read More »

Book Review: The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye


Have you ever noticed that in fairy tales, the princess is almost always blonde, blue-eyed, porcelain-doll pretty, and loaded with demure feminine accomplishments like embroidery and music? Has this pattern started to get a bit dull? Well, look no further than the present book, written (and illustrated), by a book illustrator who thought the same thing. Dug out of a drawer and published years after it was written, it is a fairy tale with all ... Read More »

Book Review: The Well-Wishers by Edward Eager


All the children from Magic or Not? are back, with some new friends. In yet another book that transports the magic of E. Nesbit into American suburbia in the 1950s, Edward Eager delivers a warm-hearted tale of a group of children, using chiefly the magic of their own kindness and camaraderie to make the lives of those around them better. Only this time, he breaks the convention of having their adventures take place over a summer holiday. This tale ... Read More »

Book Review: The Government Manual for New Wizards by Matthew David Brozik & Jacob Sager Weinstein


For a good-natured laugh about witches and wizards, try this clever spoof of the fantasy genre. Designed to guide young people with newfound magical powers to schools and resources that can help them survive “wizardolescence,” it gives a broad sketch of such subjects as dealing with “the dead (Grateful and otherwise)” and eluding the grasp of He Who Must Not Be Named Melvin. Along the way it offers witty commentary on different kinds of magical ... Read More »