Very cute book that I got at BEA for my almost 3 year old niece. The illustrations are very unique and funny and there's a nice little twist to the st...moreVery cute book that I got at BEA for my almost 3 year old niece. The illustrations are very unique and funny and there's a nice little twist to the story at the end. Hopefully it won't result in any kids being too scared to eat their vegetables - my niece didn't think it was scary since in her words "Carrots aren't creepy" and she agreed that the carrots in the book were silly.
I don't usually review picture books but since it was from BEA I thought I should.(less)
This book is for the most part really funny, but history is my favorite subject, and so I didn't find some of the non-history sections as funny - unlike the first book, this book covers several subjects.
In a nutshell (or nutskull!), this book is a collection of horribly, hilariously wrong excerpts from college exams and papers. It includes such gems as:
The Spanish Inquisition was where people were asked questions about Spanish culture.
Creationism is the belief system of people who like to go out and create things.
Bi-polar disorder is a disease suffered by Arctic explorers.
Canterbury Tales is about pilgrims on their way to Thanksgiving.
The first major work by an American author is The Holy Bible.
The Middle Ages ended with the Bluebonnet Plague. When the epidemic was over, there were only a few dozen Europeans left alive.
The Spanish conveniently located their missions along Interstate 5. This was the famed El Casino Real.
The Manhattan Project introduced public housing to New York City.
The Lusitania was sunk by a Japanese iceberg.
Basically, if you think these quotes are hilarious, you will probably enjoy this book.(less)
This book came really close to being a 5 star read for me but fell a bit short. If I could use half stars I would rate 4.5/5.
I really loved the story,...moreThis book came really close to being a 5 star read for me but fell a bit short. If I could use half stars I would rate 4.5/5.
I really loved the story, setting, and that it is told from the point of view of multiple characters. There are four "main" characters and a number of side characters. This book is somewhat similar to Game of Thrones, since it's set in a fantasy world with multiple leaders fighting for power, and there is a large cast of characters - and with the exception of the one really bad guy who is definitely sadistically evil, none of the rest of the characters are purely good or purely bad.
There were really just a couple of things that kept me from giving this a perfect 5 star rating. Some of the dialogue and thoughts of the characters seemed to be very modern in phrasing despite this book being set in a world with Medieval technology and society. Also, the romantic side plot was really underdeveloped, which made it less believable. Oh, and this is my personal annoyance, but WHY name a character in this book Theon when he is one of the most annoying and disliked characters in Game of Thrones? I don't even think it's a real name either!
There's a lot of graphic violence, death, and references to sexual situations (though those take place "off screen") so I'd say that in general, this one is more for older teens and adults.
Full review to come closer to release date. I did really enjoy this book and the wait for book 2 is going to be very long and difficult, especially with the way this book ended!(less)
I am too lazy to write a full review right now, so see my review of the first book in the series, because it's basically the same thing in a different...moreI am too lazy to write a full review right now, so see my review of the first book in the series, because it's basically the same thing in a different location.(less)
This is the first book in a series set in a fantasy version of Medieval England that imagines what the adventures of young Guinevere might have been l...moreThis is the first book in a series set in a fantasy version of Medieval England that imagines what the adventures of young Guinevere might have been like. In this series, Guinevere is living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, Flora, where she is to learn how to be a young lady. Flora is Gwen's age and more ladylike and less adventerous than Gwen is, but the two girls are still best friends.
While exploring in the woods, the two girls meet Nineve, the Lady of the Lake. She tells them it is Gwen's destiny to save Avalon. The evil sorceress Morgana Le Fay has imprisoned the eight sisters whose magic helps keep Avalon alive. If they are not freed soon, they will be trapped forever, and only a mortal girl can rescue them. Gwen and Flora decide they must work together to find all eight sisters and free them. In their first adventure, they search for Sophia, the sister who controls the magic of fire.
If I had to describe this book in one word it would be cute. Seriously, everything about it is cute. The illustrations are adorable! Even the bad guys (Morgana and her nasty evil bird minions) are cute in the pictures. While this book probably won't appeal to fans of serious Arthurian legend stuff (unless they also happen to like cute things, which I do, I will admit it), it's probably the perfect book for young girls who like the magical sparkly fairy type books. And if you are like me and are an adult who once in a while wants to read something extremely adorable, you might enjoy it, too. (less)
Thirteen-year-old Catla is an Anglo-Saxon girl living in England in the fall of 1066. Life in her small, isolated village has been peaceful for many y...moreThirteen-year-old Catla is an Anglo-Saxon girl living in England in the fall of 1066. Life in her small, isolated village has been peaceful for many years. Catla's biggest worry is her possible marriage to Olav, a much older merchant that Catla doesn't like. Her father will only change his mind about the marriage if Catla gives him a good reason why she shouldn't marry Olav. Catla is taking a walk to think about her dilemma when Viking raiders suddenly attack her village without warning.
As the only person from the village who escaped, Catla must go to find help. The nearest village is over a day's walk away, and Catla must travel there all on her own, with the threat of being attacked by other raiders or wild animals. Luckily, halfway through her journey Catla meets up with Sven, a boy from her village who was returning home after a trip to York, the nearest city. Together, the two teenagers must come up with a plan to defeat the Vikings and convince the other village to help them.
I liked this book, but I didn't love it. I learned some interesting facts about life during this time period that I didn't know, such as the fact that in times of war the women in small villages often had to fight alongside the men, and that gender roles were more varied than I would have expected. However, I found the ending to be unsatisfying since a lot was left unresolved. Near the end, it's suggested that an even larger attack by the Vikings is coming, and I wish that the ending hadn't been left so open. Perhaps there will be a sequel, but I hate being left with a cliffhanger when a book appears to be a standalone novel until right before the ending. (less)
In the spring of 1847, thirteen-year-old Hattie Campbell and her family leave their home in Missouri to travel west in a covered wagon on the Oregon T...moreIn the spring of 1847, thirteen-year-old Hattie Campbell and her family leave their home in Missouri to travel west in a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail. Hattie is sad to leave her home and her best friend, as well as the graves of her little sisters who died.
In her diary, Hattie writes of all the hardships her family and others in their wagon train experience. The pioneers face sickness, dangerous river crossings. Many people do not survive. But despite all the sadness, there is happiness too, as Hattie becomes friends with another girl on the wagon train and begins to fall in love with her new friend's brother.
I first read this book many years ago, when it was first published. I was eleven years old then and absolutely loved it and reread it quite a few times. This book was one of my childhood favorites so I am glad it is back in print again. It's still one of my favorites from the Dear America series and I recommend it to all fans of the series as well as to readers who love historical fiction about pioneers in the old west. (less)
This book is written in the form of a diary kept by the main character, thirteen-year-old Matilda, who is the fictional cousin of Katherine Howard. Ma...moreThis book is written in the form of a diary kept by the main character, thirteen-year-old Matilda, who is the fictional cousin of Katherine Howard. Matilda's family is poor, even though they are related to nobility and have a big house and servants. Katherine's uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, offers to help the family out financially if Matilda's parents send one of their daughters to court. Matilda is chosen because she is able to be quiet and observant. Uncle Norfolk wants her to be a friend to Katherine and help her attract the attention of the king, Henry VIII, who is unhappy with his current wife, Anne of Cleves.
At first, Matilda is overwhelmed by life at court. Most of the other girls look down upon her. However, she and Katherine quickly become friends, and Katherine helps her out by giving her fashionable clothes to wear, and making the other girls be nice to her. With Matilda's help, Katherine is soon noticed by the king, who divorces his current wife so he can marry Katherine. At first Katherine loves the jewels and fancy gowns, but she soon becomes resentful that she cannot be with Thomas, the boy she loves. Matilda is terrified because she knows that if the king discovers that Katherine is in love with someone else, terrible things could happen to Katherine and even everyone in her household, including Matilda.
Matilda's Secret is the first book in a new series from England called A Girl for All Time. Each book will be about a different girl from the same family during various important times in British history. Like the American Girls series, there will be dolls of each main character. However, judging by the content in this book, this series seems intended for slightly older readers than the American Girls series, since there are references to torture, executions, infidelity, and many unpleasant facts of life in the sixteenth century. The descriptions are not extremely graphic, but I do think the subject matter makes the book more appropriate for preteens and young teens, rather than younger readers. I think this book would be enjoyed by the same readers who enjoy similar series, such as the My Story, Dear America, and Royal Diaries series. (less)
Meg Lytton is a witch - a real one - which is a very dangerous secret to have for a young woman in Tudor England in 1554. She has been trained in her...moreMeg Lytton is a witch - a real one - which is a very dangerous secret to have for a young woman in Tudor England in 1554. She has been trained in her craft by her Aunt Jane, and she knows she never wants to give it up. Unfortunately, the cruel witch finder Marcus Dent has taken a liking to Meg and wants to marry her, and he must not discover her secret. For a time, Meg has avoided him, as she has been sent to serve Elizabeth, Henry VIII's daughter, who has been sent by her older sister, Queen Mary, to live at the ruined palace at Woodstock.
Not long after Meg arrives at Woodstock, two Spanish priests arrive, sent by Elizabeth's older sister, who is against the Protestant religion. One of these priests, Alejandro, is young and handsome, and Meg is attracted to him, even though a witch and a priest could never be together. And there is still the problem of Meg's unwanted suitor, Marcus Dent, who she fears will learn her secret - and the punishment for witchcraft is death.
I particularly enjoy books set in Tudor England, so I loved the historical setting for Witchstruck. Meg is a likeable heroine in a very difficult situation. I think this is the first book I have read with a historical setting about a "real" witch facing persecution (rather than a girl wrongly accused of being a witch). I also really liked the inclusion of the young Elizabeth as a side character. I was hoping for a bit more development of the romance between Meg and Alejandro based on the back cover summary, but as this is the first book in a series, I am sure there will be more development of their relationship later on. If you like historical fantasy, or are looking for a paranormal romance that's different than the usual, I think you will really enjoy Witchstruck.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher. (less)
The Voyage of the Sea Wolf is the sequel to The Pirate Captain's Daughter (which I previously reviewed), and begins right where the previous book ende...moreThe Voyage of the Sea Wolf is the sequel to The Pirate Captain's Daughter (which I previously reviewed), and begins right where the previous book ended. Fifteen-year-old Catherine, who had been traveling on her father's pirate ship disgused as a boy, was marooned and left to die on a barren island along with William, the boy she loved, because her secret was discovered and her father was killed. On the island, waiting to die, Catherine and William realized how much they loved one another. But now they have been rescued, and brought aboard the Sea Wolf, another pirate ship that was passing by and saw them.
At first, Catherine is relieved that the captain of the Sea Wolf is a woman, because she won't have to worry about being punished or left to die again just for being a girl. She wonders why the captain has ordered her and William to stay apart, but hopes they can later leave the ship and be together. But then Catherine learns that the captain wants William for herself, regardless of his wishes, because he reminds her of her first love, who had deserted her. Catherine can't bear the thought of being parted from William, but their only hope is to watch and wait for a chance to escape.
After the cliffhanger ending of The Pirate Captain's Daughter, I couldn't wait to read the sequel to find out if Catherine and William escaped the island, since their survival was uncertain at the end of the first book. Overall, I enjoyed this book slightly more than the first book, mainly because it had a more conclusive ending. The ending leaves open the possibility for another book about Catherine and William, but it's a satisfying ending to the story if there isn't another book. If you enjoyed the first book, I think you will enjoy this book as well, but if the story interests you and you haven't read The Pirate Captain's Daughter yet, I recommend reading it first before reading this book, because it will make a lot more sense if you do. Both books are enjoyable, quick reads, that show a more realistic, unpleasant, and unromanticized view of life as a pirate in the eighteenth century.
Disclsoure: Review copy provided by publisher. (less)