Book Review: House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo


In this first book of the Dreamhouse Kings series, the King family moves into their dream house and joins a nightmare already in progress. The oldest of three kids, Xander is bitter about leaving his friends, home, and budding film career to live in the remote, Northern California town of Pinedale. But his father is going to be the new school principal, and for the sake of his family Xander has no choice but to move. On ... Read More »

Book Review: The Magic City by E. Nesbit


One of Edith Nesbit‘s best-loved tales of magic features a boy named Philip Haldane, an orphan who has been raised from a baby by his older sister Helen. Helen has been his teacher, playmate, and boon companion all along. Together they invented an imaginary island, which they mapped out in fantastic detail, and built sand castles and pretend cities out of toys, books, and bric-a-brac. It is a wonderful life for an imaginative boy like Philip. ... Read More »

Book Review: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham


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Book Review: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin


This celebrated 1968 book is the first in a series of at least five novels and one book of short stories set in the fantasy world of Earthsea, which some have compared favorably to C. S. Lewis’ Narnia and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. It tells of a world somewhat like Earth, except that mankind is confined to a scattering of islands—some of them quite large, most of them almost too small to show up ... Read More »

Book Review: The Borrowers Avenged by Mary Norton


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Book Review: The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit


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Book Review: Sunshine by Robin McKinley


I take a book with me everywhere I go. The habit has grown out of my realization that I hate boredom more than anything else. So one night when I had a ticket to the Symphony, I brought this book along and read from it during the “down-time” before the concert, and during the intermission. Another adaptation I have made is to become used to passersby taking an interest in whatever it might be that ... Read More »

Book Review: Patrick O’Brian


Patrick O’Brian’’s twenty novels about dashing 19th-century British naval hero Jack Aubrey, and his tortured, intellectual best friend Stephen Maturin, combined an ear for language, an eye for imagery, a nose for authentic historical fact, a feel for the complex hearts and motives of human beings, and a taste for gripping drama and thrilling adventure. So as you read this series that spanned thirty years of creativity (1969-99), and which nevertheless seems like one uninterrupted ... Read More »

Book Review: The Color Fairy Books Editor Andrew Lang


Nowadays, we can enjoy the complete fairy tales of the translated Arabian Nights in their unexpurgated, sensual glory; of the brothers Grimm, translated from German; of Charles Perrault, from the French; or of Hans Christian Andersen, from the Danish; and the like from many other languages and cultures. But the books, beloved by generations, that brought many of these tales to the bedside of English-speaking children, were the series of Fairy Books edited by the ... Read More »

Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


This is the first book in the “Millennium Trilogy,” named after the magazine published by its main character, Swedish financial writer Mikael Blomkvist. The six-part Swedish TV miniseries based on these books is packaged in the U.S. as the “Dragon Tattoo Trilogy.” American audiences can now see a big-screen version of this book, starring Daniel Craig in the role of Mikael “Kalle” Blomkvist, a crusading journalist who (like the author who created him) specializes in ... Read More »