Book Review: The Witch Trade by Michael Molloy

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The Time Witches. Full of action, humor, and a charmingly direct style that readers of any age can enjoy, it tells a good clean yarn of a naval and trade war between magical forces of light and darkness. Nestled on the coast of England is the little town of Speller, once the center of the thriving Witch Trade. There the Sea Witches imported the Ice Dust that England’s Light Witches needed for their magic. But ... Read More »

Book Review: Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager

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Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager This 1956 story tells the adventures of a little boy named Roger, his younger sister Ann, and their cousins Jack and Eliza, all of whom are descended from the children in Half-Magic. When Roger’s father takes ill and needs treatment at a Baltimore hospital, the children go to spend the summer with their cousins. Aided by a magic model soldier that has been in the family for generations, Roger begins a ... Read More »

Book Review: Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce

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Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce At one point during this charming story, 9-year-old Dylan Hughes gets his photograph printed in the newspaper under the headline “The Loneliest Boy in Wales.” And there are times when you can see how he might be lonely as one family after another leaves town until he is, literally, the only boy in the small town school. To be sure, he would prefer to have other boys around to play ... Read More »

Book Review: The Alley by Eleanor Estes

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The Alley by Eleanor Estes Connie Ives is a gentle, sweet little girl who loves her mom and dad and her spicy, Southern grandmother, and the alley where they live. Nestled on a college campus in Brooklyn, the T-shaped alley is surrounded by brick houses where professors and their families live. The alley provides a sheltered place for children to play, from bossy Katy to rotten brat Anthony, from the two little boys who like ... Read More »

Book Review: Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

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Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boullé Our older readers, and some younger ones who stay up past their bedtime watching cable TV, may remember a long series of movies from the 1960’s or so, beginning with “Planet of the Apes” starring Roddy McDowell and Charlton Heston. In and amongst those movies were two or three TV series “spinoffs.” Only a couple of years ago, Tim Burton resurrected and refurbished the concept in a big-budget ... Read More »

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

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The Stones of Green Knowe by L. M. Boston   I discovered this sixth and final book in the Green Knowe series several years after reading the first five. Yet in no time, I felt comfortably at home in Lucy Maria Boston’s fantasy world based on the centuries-old manor house she owned and loved. Her writing is as lean and sinewy as ever, gripping the senses with taut description and creating a timeless mood. In ... Read More »

Book Review: The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode by Eleanor Estes

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  The Tunnel of Hugsy Goode by Eleanor Estes Like the characters in The Alley a few years earlier, best friends Nicky “Copin” Carroll and Timmy “Tornid” Fabian live in a gated group of “faculty houses” on the campus of Grandby College in Brooklyn, N.Y. When not at school, they spend most of their time in the T-shaped alley that runs behind the three rows of brick houses, and they play games (such as avoiding the “contamination ... Read More »

Book Review: The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes

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The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes From the author of The Moffats and Ginger Pye, here is a very cute little story about two little girls, Amy and Clarissa, best friends, who sit and color stories Amy’s mother tells them about the wicked Old Witch who lives on the Glass Hill. Amy has banished Old Witch to this desolate spot as punishment for doing evil things like eating little bunny rabbits, and Old Witch has to “be good” ... Read More »

Book Review: Pinky Pye by Eleanor Estes

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Pinky Pye by Eleanor Estes The sequel to the award-winning Ginger Pye follows the Pye family to their summer retreat on Fire Island, off the coast of Long Island. Joining the family of Mom, Dad, son and daughter, the dog Ginger, and 3-year-old Uncle Bennie, is an adorable kitten who gets up to all kinds of amazing tricks, leading to the rescue of a highly treasured bird. Once again, full of nostalgia, family warmth, and cute animal ... Read More »

Book Review: The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

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The Moffats by Eleanor Estes Here is the first part of a popular series of four books about the Moffat family of Cranbury, CT–a widowed mother and her four children, Sylvie, Joe, Jane, and Rufus. In this first book they are aged 15, 12, 9, and 5, and the main point of view is Jane, though a chapter here and there is told from Joe or Rufus’ point of view. It’s a pretty loosely constructed, ... Read More »