When I read children's books as an adult, I try to rate the book both from my adult side and my child side. Some books are good books both for an adulWhen I read children's books as an adult, I try to rate the book both from my adult side and my child side. Some books are good books both for an adult and child. This isn't one of those.
I think I see the value in this for a kid: the moral is basically "Even the smallest, seemingly weakest person has value and can be the brave hero." Okay, good moral for kids. And for the intended audience (2nd grade), it might be a suspenseful page-turner.
For an adult, though, meh. Quick read, but nothing that particularly made me want to keep reading because "Oh my God! I have to find out what happens!"
So, between the adult reader and the inner child, I give it 3 stars, mostly for the possibility it holds for a child audience....more
Not my favorite Gerald and Piggie story, but it does teach kids about friendship and acceptance. Piggie is (obviously) a pig, and what do pigs eat? SlNot my favorite Gerald and Piggie story, but it does teach kids about friendship and acceptance. Piggie is (obviously) a pig, and what do pigs eat? Slop. Gerald is an elephant, and elephants don't eat slop. So when Piggie is making a batch of slop to eat, Gerald is repulsed by the smell. Through the story, kids learn about accepting differences of opinion (Gerald thinks the slop smells and tastes nasty; Piggie loves it; kids usually "Ewww!!!" at the thought of eating it), as well as being a good friend (Gerald loves Piggie, so he tries the slop he's offered, even though he's pretty sure he won't like it. It's what friends do to be nice to each other.)....more
The second book in the Phryne Fisher Mysteries (or the "Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries," as PBS calls them). I bought books 1 and 2 for my dad for his bThe second book in the Phryne Fisher Mysteries (or the "Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries," as PBS calls them). I bought books 1 and 2 for my dad for his birthday because he said he wanted "Miss Fisher" for his birthday. I asked "The DVDs, or the books?" and he said "Either." So I bought the first two books, and then a week before his birthday, he decided he wanted something else instead, and that was "the only thing" he wanted for his birthday. So then I had these two books lying around, so I decided to read them myself.
They're not bad. I didn't like the first one that much, but this second one is better. Phryne is a bawdy lady of the 1920s: she likes men and sex (gasp!), she likes to drink, she likes being scandalous; she's a pilot, knows defense techniques, has travelled the world... As I said, this second one struck me as better than the first: Perhaps Kerry Greenwood was just too clumsy with introducing Phryne, her personality, and why she was a British gal in Australia in the first book, but by the second one had found her groove. I only read the second book because I had it, but now based on the second one, I'd be willing to read more in the series. I won't run to the store and buy all of them, but it's a series I'll keep in mind if I ever need a book to read (like I ever don't have books to read!) and want a little period-piece mystery with a kick-ass gal.
If I could only choose one 1920s-era smart-as-a-whip mystery-solving gal, though, I'd pick Maisie Dobbs....more
The e-book version I read (ISBN 0752471643) contains 5 short stories: "The Canterville Ghost," "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime," "The Sphinx without a SecThe e-book version I read (ISBN 0752471643) contains 5 short stories: "The Canterville Ghost," "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime," "The Sphinx without a Secret," "The Model Millionaire," and "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.".
- "The Canterville Ghost": the crux of the story is that an American family is staying in England and is haunted by a ghost. I liked the humor in this story. One type of humor comes from ridiculous situations. For example, one son in the family gets rid of bloodstains left by the ghost by using Pinkerton's Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent. Later, the father suggests the ghost oil his creaking chains with Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator. The fact that the family is so unafraid of the ghost, and so commercial to try to remedy the haunting situations with name-brand products, is funny.
Then there's the humor from wordplay. One example is when the daughter suggests the ghost emigrate to the U.S. She tells him there's currently a high duty on spirits, but... Get it? Spirits? Duties? Spirits like alcohol, but spirits like ghosts! Funny! The story loses its goodness at the end, though, like Wilde all of a sudden decided to go from a funny satire or ghost story to a sad, romantic tragedy.
- "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime": good story. Sort of your typical tortured-by-a-prophecy story. Like "The Canterville Ghost," it had a few digs against literature and Americans.
- "The Sphinx without a Secret": super short. Just long enough to make you wonder what the secret is and why.
-"The Model Millionaire": a middle-of-the-road story. Not bad, but not great. A quick sketch.
- "The Portrait of Mr. W. H.": at times it felt like a tragedy, at times a mystery, and at times a critical reading essay one might have to study in a college lit class. Good story, with intrigue....more
A good read, but I wasn't so happy with the ending. The way all of the threads were tied together wasn't completely satisfying. Still, up until that eA good read, but I wasn't so happy with the ending. The way all of the threads were tied together wasn't completely satisfying. Still, up until that end, it was a thrilling mystery, but light enough I could read it on the bus as I was partially distracted....more
This book had two things really going for it: 1) It gave me a taste of pioneer life on chicken farms out in our part of the country in the early decadThis book had two things really going for it: 1) It gave me a taste of pioneer life on chicken farms out in our part of the country in the early decades of the 1900s (granted, she's on a mountain on the Olympic Peninsula, but close enough); 2) MacDonald at times uses really fabulous language to describe events and people, and I loved the way she anthropomorphized things like the stove ("Stove") and the mountains.
On the downside, though, I kind of felt like she was SO negative at times, especially about the people she met. I get that out in the rural country in the early 1900s, not everyone was "civilized" and "cultured," but I find it hard to believe that EVERYONE was wacky and batty and country-bumpkins, and that she was the only "normal" person out there. So I got a little fed up with that.
So, two stars -- it was fun to read about chicken farming and pioneer life in our region, but it's not like my life was missing anything before I read this, and I would have been just as fine living the rest of my life without reading it....more