Book Reviews

Book Review: Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville


Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville The four “Magic Shop Books” by Bruce Coville are united by certain patterns, almost rituals, such as the hero child’s discovery of the mysterious shop where Mr. Elives sells powerful magic objects for pocket change. Another thread that runs through the books is that each child finds just the kind of magic that will help him deal with his own special problem – a problem that many of ... Read More »

Book Review: Jennifer Murdley’s Toad by Bruce Coville


Jennifer Murdley’’s Toad by Bruce Coville We should all be so lucky as to have a teacher or a father like Bruce Coville – if for no other reason than to hear the stories he tells, and to meet the characters he creates (some of them actually came to visit his classroom from time to time). But perhaps the best reason to wish for a Bruce Coville in your life is that he seems to ... Read More »

Book Review: The Monster’s Ring by Bruce Coville


The Monster’’s Ring by Bruce Coville Here is a funny, scary, magical story told by an author who had a deep insight into the feelings and problems of middle-school-aged children – perhaps because he is a school teacher, a parent, and a child at heart himself. It’s also the beginning of a series of four books about children very much like yourself, who enter a world of fantasy and excitement when they stumble into the ... Read More »

Book Review: Airborn by Kenneth Oppel


The author of the Silverwing trilogy has brought back the age of swashbuckling in this award-winning book, soon to be a motion picture. Only the ships, sailors, and pirates in this adventure are riding, not the high seas, but the even higher skies above them. Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the luxury airship Aurora. In this fantasy variant of the early twentieth-century, lighter-than-air craft rule the skies. And a boy whose father died while serving on ... Read More »

Book Review: Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede


Cimorene is not a “proper” princess. She does not want to be one, either. She doesn’’t care for the things “proper” princesses are supposed to do, such as embroidery and etiquette. She wants to do all the sorts of things “proper” princesses don’t do, such as fencing, learning Latin, cooking, and juggling. Finally, when her parents try to marry her off to a proper prince (a handsome one, who hasn’t a thought in his head ... Read More »

Book Review: Wizard’s Holiday by Diane Duane


Wizard’s Holiday by Diane Duane The seventh of the ongoing Young Wizards series is this 2003 book featuring teen wizards Nita Callahan and Kit Rodriguez. Nita’s wizardly kid sister Dairine gets into big trouble for trying to sign Nita and herself up for a wizard exchange program during spring break. As a result, Nita and Kit get sent away as exchange wizards, and Dairine and her dad play host to three young wizards from far away. Only ... Read More »

Book Review: A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane


A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane The sixth book in the Young Wizards series picks up a few months after The Wizard’s Dilemma, and a month after teen wizard Nita Callahan’s mother died of cancer. While she tries to pick up the pieces of her life, along with her sensitive father and her difficult sister Dairine, a strange and lonely intelligence begins making contact with her through her dreams. Meanwhile her partner in wizardry, Kit Rodriguez, still trying ... Read More »

Book Review: The Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane


The Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane By the fifth book in the Young Wizards series, mighty teens Nita and Kit have explored the oceans, outer space, parallel universes, and the land of Faery. Now a new and far more personal assignment takes them into “inner space.” It begins with a quarrel between our two young wizards, which might seem to be the beginning of the end for their partnership. Things aren’t helped when they both accept solo ... Read More »

Book Review: A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane


A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane Book 4 of the ongoing Young Wizards series tackles the problem of what new direction to take teen wizards Nita and Kit in. After all, they’ve been to a parallel dimension, they’ve been at the bottom of the sea, and they’ve been to the farthest reaches of the universe. They’ve confronted the ultimate evil, they’ve participated in a redemptive sacrifice, and along with Nita’s kid sister Dairine– a 12-year-old wizard so ... Read More »

Book Review: High Wizardry by Diane Duane


High Wizardry by Diane Duane The third novel of seven (so far) in the Young Wizards series sends teen wizards Nita and Kit on a perilous adventure through outer space. This time, they are tracking Nita’s kid sister Dairine, who has just become an incredibly powerful novice wizard armed with a laptop computer and a beta-software version of the wizard’s manual. Bookish, computer geek Dairine’s dream is to fight Darth Vader (this book is set in 1985, ... Read More »