I’ve been wanting to read this for awhile, as I’ve heard it was good. Plus they recently released a movie version and I figured I should probably read...moreI’ve been wanting to read this for awhile, as I’ve heard it was good. Plus they recently released a movie version and I figured I should probably read the book before watching the movie. One of the hardest things to get into at the beginning of the book is the speech of the students in the Battle School. It is hard to understand at times, as it is all slang. Honestly the first thing I thought while reading this is that it reminded me of a combination of the movie “Starship Troopers” (also a book by Robert Heinlein, though I’ve not read it yet), “The Hunger Game” by Suzanne Collins, and “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding.
Andrew “Ender” Wiggins is a third child, in a futuristic world where you are only allowed two. His parents have high expectations for him, namely that he get a place in Battle School for the Imperial Fleet. Earth has waged two wars against the Buggers, an alien insectoid race that attacked Earth about seventy years ago, and barely survived. All parents put their children into training for Battle School at two years old, but few make it through. Ender wins a place in the school at age 6 and must go away from everything he knows in order to pass all his classes and tests and ultimately become a battle commander. He is pretty much a genius in IQ but still has a lot to learn about relationships and his peers. Just as he is starting to settle into his own at Battle School, he is graduated early at age 10 and heads to Commander School. There he is taught by the legendary Mazer Rackam, who saved Earth from the Second Bugger Invasion. Will Ender be able to save the Earth from a Third Bugger Invasion and live up the expectations of everyone around him?
The teachers of the Battle School have little private conversation at the end of each section of the book, about Ender. It starts with these two guys, Colonel Graff and his superior at the Imperial Fleet. They talk about Ender and his progress, but they make him sound like a test subject in an experiment, which I guess he is in a way, as they plan to make him the savior of the International Fleet.
The whole time I was listening to this book, I thought that the story was one of the weirdest ones I’d ever heard, yet at the same time it was also such a crazy study of human nature that I couldn’t stop. This was a very hard book to summarize as there is so much going on at once. For a really good insight into the book, check out this link (http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/Killer_0... - warning there are spoilers). The book started off as a short story, and was later transformed into a book, after the author wanted to write a book about an older Ender Wiggin, but needed some back story about the character first. I am curious how they managed to pull this off as a movie, as I think it would be hard to abridge. I am also anxious to discuss the book with others that have read it to get their point of view on it. Recommended for ages 12+, 3 stars. (less)
Grateful Knight is a down-on-her-luck nurse, whose ex-boyfriend ran off with all her money. Her father bailed her out by setting her up in a house in...moreGrateful Knight is a down-on-her-luck nurse, whose ex-boyfriend ran off with all her money. Her father bailed her out by setting her up in a house in Red Grove, a place out in the country, for her to put her life back together. The only thing he neglected to tell her was that it was right next to a cemetery. Oh yeah, and it is haunted by two ghosts, one of which helped bring her into this world. On her way to the house, she notices the incredibly hot cemetery caretaker named Rick, who is very interested in getting to know her better. The only problem is, one of the ghosts named Logan, is also very appealing to her. Who will she choose?
Overall I enjoyed the book, especially because although it was clearly a romance/erotica story, the majority of the book was about the Grateful discovering who she really is and the supernatural elements that are attached to that. My only gripes were the corny aspects of the main storyline, particularly the explanations of how she will come into her powers, the main character’s name, and the ending (it ended rather abruptly). After awhile, though the name seems to matter less, and is definitely a memorable one. I’m curious to see what will happen in the next book. 3 ½ stars. (less)
I will admit that when I saw the cover illustration for this book, I wondered if it was influenced by "Harvey", that Jimmy Stewart movie about man wit...moreI will admit that when I saw the cover illustration for this book, I wondered if it was influenced by "Harvey", that Jimmy Stewart movie about man with the imaginary 6 ft tall rabbit companion. I really enjoyed this story about a young rabbit who can’t stop growing, though I know my son was a bit disappointed that there weren’t any trains in it. Harold outgrows his family and must seek refuge in the deep forest, but he only finds predators though, so he must run away. He finds a field full of yummy vegetables, but the farmer doesn’t appreciate him eating his produce and tries to shoot him. Harold hides in an abandoned mansion during a storm and my favorite illustration from this scene is Harold completely overwhelming a tiny twin bed as he is sleeping in it. Two boys see him and tell some farmers, who chase him for months. Harold finally finds refuge in a barn, where a kind farmer lets him stay and then he ends up being a “thoroughbred” racer. Recommended for ages 4-7, 4 stars. (less)
I originally picked this book up for my son, but then realized he probably wouldn’t pay attention long enough for me to finish reading it to him. It w...moreI originally picked this book up for my son, but then realized he probably wouldn’t pay attention long enough for me to finish reading it to him. It was a bit of an odd story, but thank goodness for Jerry Pinkney's fabulous illustrations. A dream decides to tell all the children of the world to not obey their parents, though when the children actually wake up, this is short-lived. Albidaro, the guardian of children, sees the dream and decides to play a trick on his sister Olara, the guardian of animals to get them to not obey humans. It actually works and soon all the animals of the world are doing all kinds of crazy things, like dressing up in the parents’ best clothes to eat dinner. Olara does not understand why they are doing this, until Albidaro tells her it was him. The animals do not want to change their ways, so she completely changes their appearance as punishment, giving whales wheels instead of tails and making lions bald. They hastily change their minds and things go back to normal. Recommended for ages 5-8, 3 stars. (less)
I got this book as an advanced reader’s copy from Netgalley, and the summary sounded interesting so I decided to get it a go. The beginning was a litt...moreI got this book as an advanced reader’s copy from Netgalley, and the summary sounded interesting so I decided to get it a go. The beginning was a little slow, but I quickly found myself invested in the characters and reacting along with them as the story progressed. I especially liked the addition of the feisty green-eyed boy with many talents. This sci-fi book had elements of dystopia and steampunk in it as well.
The main character Piper is an orphaned junk scrapper on the planet of Solara, in the MerrowKingdom, who makes her living fixing machines that have fallen to the ground from the sky from other planets. Her friend Micah is caught out during the meteor shower and she goes to rescue him. He is unconscious but survives and she also find an unconscious girl who was part of a caravan whose remaining passengers have died. She takes the girl back to her house but she has amnesia and can only remember her name, Anna. Piper discovers a dragonfly tattoo on the girl’s arm. A man comes looking for Anna but Piper doesn’t want to give him to her, as his intentions seem a little sketchy. She runs to the 401, a supply train heading to the neighboring DragonflyKingdom and when they see Anna’s tattoo, they let the both of them on the train heading for the capital city. Will Anna and Piper be able to really escape from the mysterious man who seems determined to keep Anna for himself? Will Anna be able to regain her memory and find her family? To find out, read this exciting adventure. I loved this book and would love to see more books with these characters. Recommended for ages 10+, 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.(less)
I picked this one up in the New Book section of the Children’s Room. It looked interesting and it was about the moon, which my son loves reading about...moreI picked this one up in the New Book section of the Children’s Room. It looked interesting and it was about the moon, which my son loves reading about, so I gave it a try. I must have British book radar, because I always seem to gravitate towards British writers, even if I have no idea where they are from are to begin with. I really liked the artwork, which was a blend of digital art and collage. The story was kind of boring though.
Sidney and Stella are twins who do everything together. One day, they are fighting over a bouncy ball, when it slips from their grasp, bounces way up and shatters the moon. What are two children to do! Why, they must fix it before anyone can find out. Of course, it is all over the news so it is not a secret for long. Sidney eventually finds a partially eaten round of cheese to replace the moon and with his sister’s help, the put it back in the sky. Recommended for ages 4-7, 3 stars. (less)
I really enjoyed the first book, where our main character builds a killer robot for her science fair project and the illustrator made the background s...moreI really enjoyed the first book, where our main character builds a killer robot for her science fair project and the illustrator made the background seem like a Godzilla movie, complete with Japanese signs. In this book, our heroine, has just gotten an A on a history test (not an A+ horror of horrors!), after missing one question about prehistoric cave paintings. So she decides to build a time machine, illustrated and explained on the end pages of the book, to change it so she can ace the test. Only things don’t exactly go as planned and she ends up failing the test in the future. I won’t say too much to give the story away, but it involves curious cave-men. Recommended for ages 6-9, 3 ½ stars. (less)
I’ve known about this book for awhile, but never got around to reading it. It won the 2010 Newbery Award. Frankly I was confused for most of the book...moreI’ve known about this book for awhile, but never got around to reading it. It won the 2010 Newbery Award. Frankly I was confused for most of the book trying to figure out who exactly was sending Miranda the mysterious notes, and even when they did reveal it, I was still a little confused. It definitely kept me on my toes though, which was nice.
This book tells about a twelve year old girl named Miranda living in New York City whose mother wins a spot on the gameshow, The $20,000 Pyramid in 1978. Miranda spends most of the time helping her mother drill for the show which is about a month away, with the help of Richard, her mother’s boyfriend. Miranda is dealing with problems of her own. Her best friend Sal is randomly punched by Marcus, another kid at their school, and they start drifting apart. She starts hanging out with Annemarie and they ending working for lunch at the sandwich shop, known as Jimmy’s, down from the school. Someone starts leaving notes for Miranda and she can’t figure out who they are from. She is freaked out by the entire situation, as the person knows things they shouldn’t. Will she ever find out who is sending the messages? Will her and Sal ever talk to each other again? Who is Marcus and what is his deal? To find out read this fascinating book. Recommended for ages 9-13, 3 stars. (less)