Book Review: Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt


This is the first book in the highly-honored seven-book series about the Tillerman family, which also includes the Newbery Medal winner Dicey’s Song and the Newbery Honor book A Solitary Blue. The author’s other interesting-sounding titles include Jackaroo, The Callendar Papers, Tell Me if the Lovers Are Losers, and The Vandemark Mummy. This is the story of four siblings, between the ages of six and thirteen, whose mother leaves them sitting in a parked car in a strange town and never comes ... Read More »

Book Review: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes


Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes   The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Paul Revere and the World He Lived In revisited that world in this book, which won the Newbery Medal in 1944. It views the early stages of America’s struggle for independence from the British Empire through the eyes of a young silversmith’s apprentice. Jonathan Lyte Tremain is his full name. The “Lyte” bit means that he is related to one of Boston’s richest, most prominent Tory ... Read More »

Book Review: Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

PratchettMoving Pictures

The tenth Discworld book reprises the roles of Death, the ape Librarian, the peddlar Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, Detritus the troll, city watchmen Colon and Nobby, the Patrician, and others. But the heroes are new. Victor Tugelbend, a brilliant student at Unseen University, is lazy and afraid of becoming a target in the wizard-eat-wizard world of magical politics. Victor has used his uncle’s legacy and his own wits to become a “lifelong student,” by consistently scoring less than a ... Read More »

Book Review: Whittington by Alan Armstrong


Whittington by Alan Armstrong In this Newbery Honor Book, Alan Armstrong draws on his research into the life and letters of an 18th century textile merchant to craft a heartwarming work of juvenile fiction. He published the non-fiction side of his work under the title Forget Not Mee & My Garden (sic). And perhaps you will be interested in reading it after this story, or rather the story within the story, draws you into its intriguing world. ... Read More »

Book Review: The Xanth Chronicles by Piers Anthony


The Xanth Chronicles by Piers Anthony This is actually not one book, but a series of nearly 30 books and counting. At this writing, the published titles include: A Spell for Chameleon The Source of Magic Castle Roogna Centaur Aisle Ogre, Ogre Night Mare Dragon on a Pedestal Crewel Lye: A Caustic Yarn Golem in the Gears Vale of the Vole Heaven Cent Man from Mundania Isle of View Question Quest The Color of Her ... Read More »

Book Review: Thud! by Terry Pratchett


He doesn’t like to be called Your Grace. Commander Vimes, or sir, will do. This is what Sam Vimes tells the little man who comes to write a report on the procedures of the City Watch. Procedures that will be tested to the extreme as an age-old conflict between dwarfs and trolls threatens to break out anew in the streets of Ankh-Morpork. Thousands of years ago, those two races fought in the battle of Koom ... Read More »

Book Review: Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson


Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson   Mason Quayle has the bad luck to be a bard in a land without heroes. It has been years since the city of Darlington, formerly known as Highsmith, has needed heroes to defend it against orcs, goblins, trolls, and the like. Or rather, it has only needed one hero: the Duke in whose honor the town was renamed. In return for crippling taxes, Duke Darlinger sallies forth ... Read More »

Book Review: Night Watch by Terry Pratchett


Several years ago, I read straight through the first 26 Discworld novels. My reviews of them were essentially the egg out of which the Book Trolley hatched. So I owe a lot to Discworld. Nevertheless, I haven’t cracked a single book in the series since then, the Tiffany Aching trilogy excepted. I have been content to let subsequent installments in Pratchett’s fantasy-philosophy-humor extravaganza pile up on my shelf, so that I can guiltily look at ... Read More »

Book Review: Too Many Curses by A. Lee Martinez


Nessy is the kobold in charge of the castle of Margle the Horrendous, the latest in a series of wizards she has served. This means that she spends a lot of time dusting gargoyles (some of whom have heroes magically trapped in them), mopping the floor beneath Walter the Wall (who talks in letters made of blood), and feeding Margle’s menagerie of monsters such as the Thing that Devours and the Beast that Should Not ... Read More »

Book Review: Midnight Blue by Pauline Fisk


  Midnight Blue by Pauline Fisk Bonnie has always believed that there is a land beyond the sky. This belief is probably one of the few things that has kept her sane during the years she was brought up by her nasty Grandbag. Finally, her real mother takes her away from Grandbag and tries to make a home of their own; but even then, Grandbag refuses to leave them alone. So when Bonnie learns that ... Read More »