Gorgeous, eerie, magical picturebook with a strong Welsh setting (that both of my little boys really appreciated - every time we read it my 2-year-oldGorgeous, eerie, magical picturebook with a strong Welsh setting (that both of my little boys really appreciated - every time we read it my 2-year-old shouted "ME in Wales!" - which is true ;) ), breathtaking illustrations, and a wonderfully different, sweet and melancholy take on the selkie myth. My 2-year-old and my 7-year-old were both enthralled with it, and so was I. We read a library copy, but I'll be buying a copy of our own for us to keep....more
This novella is SO MUCH FUN. 16-year-old Harriet disguises herself as a boy and sneaks along with her brother-in-law on a dangerous dinosaur hunt in RThis novella is SO MUCH FUN. 16-year-old Harriet disguises herself as a boy and sneaks along with her brother-in-law on a dangerous dinosaur hunt in Regency Mars to solve the mystery of a notorious jewel robber's identity...but when murders start happening in the camp, she realizes there's more than missing rubies at stake, and dinosaurs aren't the most dangerous creatures around after all!
The whole novella is witty and exciting and full of fabulous details, with fascinatingly suspicious characters at every turn, wonderful visuals of the Mars wilderness, the ancient Martian ruins, AND the Regency aristocrats at dangerous play amidst it all...and oh, I *loved* the dinosaurs! As I read it, I was reminded in the best possible way of all the Agatha Christie novels and TV adaptations that I most love - but this, for me, is even better, because: witty mystery/adventure WITH DINOSAURS!
Harriet is a fabulous, stubborn, smart protagonist, far more clever than her sweet but ineffectual older brother-in-law and determined to find her own path. I loved her final resolution! And I would LOVE to read more novellas about her in the future.
This is set in the same world as Patrick's SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB series, but it's entirely standalone, with no overlapping characters, and with a YA rather than MG protagonist. If you like one, you'll probably like both - and you should definitely read this novella! I really, truly loved it....more
Another super-fun installment in a really great series. I love Runt's sweetness, I love the combination of real emotional warmth and grueso*4.5 stars*
Another super-fun installment in a really great series. I love Runt's sweetness, I love the combination of real emotional warmth and gruesome humor, and I also appreciated the (very smoothly and non-didactically included) message about how tyrants drum up hatred against particular groups in order to unify their people behind them.
My one very tiny nitpick was that I personally wished the exchange student had spoken a created language rather than Spanish - I stumbled in reading those bits because they brought up distracting questions for me about the worldbuilding.
However, those were only a very few short scenes in an incredibly fun book with great characters, warmth and lots of wonderful humor, and I'm really looking forward to Book 3! ...more
This book is full of wacky, funny, gross-out fun AND an enormous amount of real heart, and I loved it. Runt Higgins is a non-morphing werewolf who wasThis book is full of wacky, funny, gross-out fun AND an enormous amount of real heart, and I loved it. Runt Higgins is a non-morphing werewolf who was left as a baby at Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions for his own protection. Now - in hopes of finding his parents again - he's trying out for the elite Junior Henchman training program, with the help of his wonderful group of friends, including Frankie, a Frankenstein-style created boy whose head pops off when he gets too upset, Syke the hamadryad who can swing from tree to tree, and the crowd of sweet, shuffling zombies for whom Runt's become responsible. The characters are all fabulous and very funny.
It's such a great mixture of fun and humor and genuinely creepy moments, and what carries it all through is Runt's true sweetness, his unstoppable optimism and his deep love for his created family. I enjoyed every minute of this book SO MUCH. I read it voraciously from the moment I got it, and then when I hit the ending this morning, I let out an actual (zombie-like!) moan of frustration because I didn't have Book 2 yet.
I need Book 2! And oh, yes, I WILL have it very, very soon. I can't wait to be back in Runt's world again! It is so much fun....more