Tag Archives: children

Robbie Reviews “The Enchantress Returns” by Chris Colfer

EnchantressReturns

Collection spells are not just for debt collectors who want to put the hoodoo on a delinquent customer. In Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series, they are the framework for a quest-like adventure through a magic world teeming with fairy-tale heroes and villains. The first book, The Wishing Spell, was all about a shopping list of magical items that twins Alex and Conner Bailey needed to assemble in order to get home to the “Other ... Read More »

Book Review: The Thief Queen’s Daughter by Elizabeth Haydon

ThiefQueen

In The Floating Island, we first met Ven Polypheme, an unusual specimen of the ancient Nain race. Unlike the typical Nain, whose idea of a good time is to dig ore out of a mountain’s roots, Ven’s family lives in a human city and specializes in building ships. Unlike other members of his large, practical family, Ven has the itchy feet of an explorer. And unlike practically anyone else in known history, Ven has survived ... Read More »

Book Review: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming

ChittyBang

We’ve run into this problem before: First it was a novel. Then it was adapted, more successfully than faithfully, into a movie. Then came a film novelization, a novel designed to be more faithful to the movie than the movie was to the original novel. They did it to Pierre Boulle’s Planet of the Apes. More recently, it happened to Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon. It even happened to another book by Ian ... Read More »

Book Review: Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Cosmic

Two twelve-year-olds from Waterloo, U.K. (near Liverpool) tell their parents they are going to the Lake District for a school camp, when in fact they are going to the moon. Kids these days! It’s only the latest prank pulled by young Liam, who has made a study of ways to get in trouble by being tall for his age and stubbly-chinned. When adults mistake him for one of them because of his height and mature ... Read More »

Book Review: Scumble by Ingrid Law

Scumble

In her debut novel Savvy, Ingrid Law introduced us to the big, unconventional Beaumont family, in which each child manifests a unique super-power (called a “savvy”) on his or her thirteenth birthday. The challenge is to recognize what that savvy is and scumble it, or figure out how to control it, before something big happens. Otherwise people could get hurt; or, even worse, outsiders might find out about the family’s secret. In this sequel, we ... Read More »

Book Review: Dragons Riders of Berk – Volume 1: Dragon Down

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Snoutlout's dragon, Hookfang, is shedding scales--scales that rain down fire on the village of Berk. For this he is cast out until his shedding season ends. When Snoutlout goes to look for Hookfang the next morning, he is nowhere to be found... Read More »

Book Review: The Mystery by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

Mystery

The third book of the Troubletwisters series pits young Wardens-in-waiting Jaide Shield and her twin brother Jack against yet another threat to the wards that protect the town of Portland from The Evil. You know, that force of emptiness that comes from another dimension and wants to take over everything. They have thwarted The Evil twice before. But if there’s one lesson The Evil seems to learn faster than Grandma X and the other good ... Read More »

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Peregrine

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Recommended Ages: 13+ What happens when a filmmaker, vintage photograph collector, and author of a reference work on Sherlock Holmes decides to write a YA novel? What happens is this creepy, funny, weird fantasy involving monsters, time travel, and children with super powers, all accompanied by an atmospheric selection of black-and-white photos. Our narrator on this journey is sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman, a smart-mouthed rich kid from ... Read More »

Book Review: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

emeraldatlas

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens Recommended Ages: 12+ Kate P barely remembers her parents. Heck, she doesn’t even remember her last name; only the letter P. Mostly she remembers the night her parents disappeared, when her mother gave her a cherished locket, told her to take care of her younger brother and sister, and promised to return someday. Since then, Kate, Michael, and Emma have spent ten years moving from one orphanage to another, ... Read More »

“Child-Proofing Harry Potter”: A Rebuttal

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My friend Brandon knows me very well. This past Sunday, he posted a New York Times editorial to my Facebook wall. It was entitled “Child-Proofing Harry Potter” and was written by Lynn Messina, a mom and novelist. The title raised red flags for me immediately. Then I read the editorial itself and found that not only were the red flags completely justified, they were accompanied by some sirens and flashing red lights as well. See, ... Read More »