Book Review: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

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The 2002 winner of the Newbery Medal takes us back to medieval Korea, where a crippled man and an orphaned boy live together under a bridge in the potters’ village of Ch’ulp’o. Young Tree-ear pauses from scrounging food from other people’s garbage to watch the master potter Min throw a lump of clay on his wheel and shape it into a graceful urn. When Tree-ear breaks a piece of pottery, he begs to be allowed ... Read More »

Book Review: Poppy by Avi

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Poppy by Avi I won’t sugarcoat it. My heart broke on page 6 of this book. I’d tell you why, but I just don’t want to talk about it. Other than to say, I would have saved myself a lot of pain by reading this book first, instead of Ragweed. More on that below. Nevertheless, this first book in the Tales from Dimwood Forest is an exciting, moving, and winsome adventure of a small creature– in this case, ... Read More »

Book Review: Perloo the Bold by Avi

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Perloo the Bold by Avi The author of Tales from Dimwood Forest brings us this intriguing fantasy novel for the young. Two tribes have been at war, on and off, as far back as history remembers: the rabbit-like Montmers and the coyote-like Felbarts. Among the few Montmers who know anything about this history, is bookish, shy Perloo. But when the old Granter of the Montmers is on her deathbed, she decides to elevate Perloo to be her ... Read More »

Book Review: The Wizard, the Witch and Two Girls from New Jersey by Lisa Papademetriou

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Fantasy will never be the same. Not after a couple of high school girls from New Jersey, USA get zapped by a malfunctioning barcode scanner at a bookstore while wrestling over the last in-stock copy of The Queen of Twilight, a fantasy book for which they have to write a book report. For bookworm Veronica Lopez, it’s simply a matter of refreshing her memory of a book she has read many times, only she can’t find ... Read More »

Book Review: No More Magic by Avi

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No More Magic by Avi Newbery Medal-winner Avi’s first book is this charming mystery about a boy named Chris whose bicycle disappears on Halloween night. Somehow he comes to believe this was connected with a mysterious figure in a warlock costume, who was seen flying through the air on a bicycle. And being a fan of comics and the Oz books, Chris believes real magic may be involved. So does his best friend Eddie, and his new friend ... Read More »

Book Review: Midnight Magic by Avi

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Midnight Magic by Avi Mangus is an old illusionist who does a good job convincing people that he is a real magician. He does his job too well, in a small Italian kingdom where superstition and paranoia run high. Denounced as a sorcerer, he barely manages to avoid execution, living under house arrest with his wife and a boy servant, Fabrizio. One night Mangus and Fabrizio are summoned before the royal family, where Mangus is ... Read More »

Book Review: Don’t You Know There’s a War On? by Avi

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Don’t You Know There’s a War On? by Avi   The award-winning author of Crispin: The Cross of Lead comes through with another moving, historical novel for young readers. This one takes place in 1943 Brooklyn, when everyone’s Dad was fighting in World War II and everyone’s Mom seemed to be Rosie the Riveter, and they had rationing, and blackouts, and war stamps, and collecting, and newsreels and serials that the kids watched at the movie house ... Read More »

Book Review: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

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Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi This winner of the 2003 Newbery Medal “for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” is set in England in the middle ages, the time of the crusades. It begins in a little village whose landlord (a Knight who is in the current crusade) has left his lands under the management of a steward named John Aylward. Among the dirt-poor denizens of the manor are a ... Read More »

Book Review: Agent Colt Shore: Domino 29 by Axel Avian

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Agent Colt Shore: Domino 29 by Axel Avian Aimee at Arundel Publishing kindly sent me a pre-release copy of this first book in what promises to be a cool series. I went into this eyes-wide-open, even though I feared it was going to be a rip-off of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series—both series featuring a type of teenage James Bond. I was also a little wary of it being as unreadably horrible as the last ... Read More »

Book Review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen   Originally titled Elinor and Marianne, this book’s final title refers to the same two sisters. Elinor, the eldest of three Dashwood girls, believes in governing her emotions with restraint and good sense. Marianne, like their widowed mother, wears her heart on her sleeve and would regard a lack of “sensibility” (i.e., outward demonstrations of emotion) as a betrayal of her noble feelings. Elinor believes in being discreet, keeping confidences, ... Read More »