Book Review: Treasure of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston

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  Treasure of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston In this second book in Lucy Maria Boston’s Green Knowe Chronicles, little Tolly returns to his great grandmother’s manor house for another school holiday. Once again he gets to explore the nooks and crannies of a fascinating old house, and play in its equally fascinating grounds. But most excitingly, he gets to solve another historic mystery, interacting with children who lived in another time. Are they ghosts from ... Read More »

Book Review: The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston

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  The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston Lucy Maria Boston lived almost a hundred years, and it was a good thing. She wrote eight books for children — or rather, she wrote them for herself, though they have been loved by many children — and she didn’t even start writing until she was over sixty. Five of her books were about the homey, magical grounds of the English castle Green Noah, also known ... Read More »

Book Review: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

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At the urgent request of many, many Book Trolley visitors, I feel compelled to put in a word or three about Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy, a teen-oriented fantasy series that includes the books The Northern Lights (The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. These stories bring together a boy from our world (?) and a girl from a parallel world in which the Reformation, the Age of Reason, and the Industrial Revolution never happened and ... Read More »

Book Review: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

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The aptly-named last title in the seven-book Chronicles of Narnia brings the wonderful adventures in that magic world to a heartbreaking and yet victorious close. The beginning of the end comes when a lion-skin washes ashore and the wicked ape Shift conceives a plan, making use of the innocent donkey Puzzle to deceive the good folks of Narnia. Pretending that Aslan has returned, Shift sells Narnia to their Calormene enemies and afflicts the talking beasts and trees ... Read More »

Book Review: Watership Down by Richard Adams

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  Watership Down by Richard Adams Don’t be deceived by the title. The book has nothing to do with a shipwreck, or any kind of vessel whatever. Watership Down is a place–a pleasant, natural place, whose threatened inhabitants include a group of young rabbits. Hazel, Fiver, Pipkin, Hawkbit, Bigwig, Dandelion, and other friends break away from their “Owsla,” flee the destructive encroachments of men, and set off in search of a new home. It is ... Read More »

Book Review: Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

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This book first came out in 1958, which is important to know if you’re going to follow the time-line of the story. It’s about a then-present-day boy named Tom Long, who is miserable about being exiled to his boring aunt and uncle’s flat for the summer, instead of being able to romp around the backyard with his beloved brother Peter. The reason is Peter has the measles, so if Tom doesn’t have them he has ... Read More »

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Naturally, I have to recommend that you see the award-winning, classic film based on this book, starring the late Gregory Peck. As a movie buff it would go against my principles not to. But I also, wholeheartedly, recommend reading the 1960 novel by Harper Lee. It is an incredibly moving experience. Whether you have seen the movie or not, the image that probably comes first to your mind is the trial of a black man accused of raping ... Read More »

Book Review: The Borrowers by Mary Norton

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Mary Norton’s original book begins with a little girl who spends time every afternoon working on a quilt with a very old widow who boards in her parents’ house. The girl complains about how a crocheting needle disappeared off a bottom shelf overnight, and the old lady (Mrs. May) wonders whether this house has borrowers too. The girl becomes curious, so the old lady tells her a story that her little brother told her many years ago. ... Read More »

Book Review: The Dragon of Never-Was by Ann Downer

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The Dragon of Never-Was by Ann Downer   Further to Hatching Magic, this book reunites a young wyvern (try to picture a catlike dragon) with a similarly young wizard. Vyrna (the wyvern) and Theodora (the wizard) have been separated by an ocean since the Events of Last Summer – when they put a stop to the plans of an evil wizard that involved time travel, demon possession, and the summoning of a Chinese dragon in the ... Read More »

Book Review: The Somebodies by N.E. Bode

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The Somebodies by N. E. Bode It has already been two books since Fern and Howard, switched at birth, have been switched back – but they remain “sort of” sister and brother, and grow more so as their third adventure progresses. It begins in school, where they are expelled after Fern turns her atrocious teacher’s hair into a live (but tiny) pony. Howard’s real parents, the Drudgers, step in with a court order to send ... Read More »