Not as engaging as I remember it being when I was a kid. But then again, little girls love everything about horses.
Black Beauty doesn't spare much timNot as engaging as I remember it being when I was a kid. But then again, little girls love everything about horses.
Black Beauty doesn't spare much time for introspection, which I found to be a bit disturbing, but also very animal-like. He went through life without sparing much thought for the past, and always lived in the moment, and tried to make the best of it. Very Dr Pangloss of him.
It is mostly humans ill treating horses and how horses put up with it. Got a little preachy at times....more
Ok so I know I'm an adult reading a children's book, but I can't look at this objectively. It was HORRIBLE. I hope you have access to a mountain, goatOk so I know I'm an adult reading a children's book, but I can't look at this objectively. It was HORRIBLE. I hope you have access to a mountain, goats, and a little girl who is unabashedly optimistic, because otherwise you are in for a cold and lonely existence.
Also prayer. That's what I learned from this book....more
Got this from Audible, and I didn't like the narrator at all. It was only $.99 so I listened anyway, but it was teeth grinding at times. I guess I shoGot this from Audible, and I didn't like the narrator at all. It was only $.99 so I listened anyway, but it was teeth grinding at times. I guess I should have just read it, I probably would have enjoyed it more....more
Honestly, the movie took all the best parts of this book and made them even better. I can see why the book has kind of fallen to the wayside as a chilHonestly, the movie took all the best parts of this book and made them even better. I can see why the book has kind of fallen to the wayside as a children's classic, in preference of things like C.S. Lewis.
Having finished it, what's the first thing I nonchalantly stumble upon on the internet? Intense Oz creepiness from before the 1939 movie. Check it out
That was strange. Funny and depressing. I liked it though, and would be great to read out loud. Also, there are recipes at the end of every chapter, aThat was strange. Funny and depressing. I liked it though, and would be great to read out loud. Also, there are recipes at the end of every chapter, and they are AWESOME. I seriously want to try cooking all of them. Especially the butterscotch chow mein noodle cookies. YUMMY!...more
I had the boxed set of Anne of Green Gables sitting on a shelf next to the boxed sets of The Little House on the Prairie anAs seen on Stumptown Books.
I had the boxed set of Anne of Green Gables sitting on a shelf next to the boxed sets of The Little House on the Prairie and The Chronicles of Narnia all through my childhood (I finished my reread of Little House last year, and I’m in the middle of Narnia right now). They were the last books I broached because the covers looked so much more adult, but I still read them at just about the right age. I think I was probably about 11 or 12, although I don’t rightly remember. I know I read the entire series, but after I started my reread last year, I quickly discovered that I remembered very little about it. I won’t be writing reviews of these books but will just record my overall feelings on the subject:
So glad that’s over.
I highly recommend books 1-3, but the series is best left alone after that. Anne becomes a caricature of herself by book 4, and then is banished to the background of the stories in books 5-8 as her children take over. Books 4 and 6 were written about 20 years after the rest of them and it really shows. There is a major drop in quality in those two installations. However, I did genuinely enjoy the first three books, and I was glad I decided to reread them.
Also please note that most of these books are out of copyright and can be obtained for free through Project Gutenberg....more
I talk a lot about the journey of the hero, because it is a story format I will love over and over again. It is used ad nauAs seen on Stumptown Books.
I talk a lot about the journey of the hero, because it is a story format I will love over and over again. It is used ad nauseum in the fantasy genre, and lately a lot of authors are trying to subvert the old stereotypes to bring out fresh stories. I admire their tenacity. I also admire the journey of the hero though, especially when it is done right.
Oh! questing reader, constantly searching for a story to love, may I introduce you to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon? Not only does it do the journey right, but it's a heroine! And, my friends, she is awesome. Minli is a great role model for any child - she is tenacious and clever, coming up with quick fixes to otherwise scary situations. And of course makes a number of friends along the way.
Chinese folk lore and fairy tales are woven in seamlessly as characters sit down and talk not just about their past, but also how the love of stories affects and teaches us. I loved this! The stories meant so much coming from each separate character. Eventually, the information we're given through stories comes together with the Minli storyline. I was happy making the discovery as an adult, so I can only imagine a child enjoying this read would take great pleasure it discovering the story lines twisting together.
I read this short book in only one sitting, I loved it so much. I then immediately texted my cousin, a fourth grade teacher, telling him I had a book he absolutely needed to read to his class.
"What book?" He asked.
"It's called Where the Mountain Meets the Moon! By Grace Lin! It's this eastern fairy tale woven in with..."
"Oh, yeah." He interrupted. "We read that school wide last year. Grace Lin came by and talked to the kids, it was great."
Well fine! Take the wind out of sails why don't you. He said Ms. Lin was really gracious and all the kids went wild when they realized who she was. He loved it, the kids loved it, I loved it - that means, you might love it too! I highly recommend it as a quick, simple, but great, adventurous read....more
If I were a 13 year old boy, this book would be awesome. As it stands, I think I've just grown out of Redwall books a bit. It was all food, action, kiIf I were a 13 year old boy, this book would be awesome. As it stands, I think I've just grown out of Redwall books a bit. It was all food, action, kill someone, food, action, kill another someone. Rinse and repeat....more
This one was better than the last few have been. I miss Anne and Gilbert, they're just parental figures in the background now. And of course every chiThis one was better than the last few have been. I miss Anne and Gilbert, they're just parental figures in the background now. And of course every child for miles loves Anne, big surprise....more
I had an odd sense of déja vu when I picked up this book. I sat there staring at the cover uThis review is also available on my blog, Stumptown Books.
I had an odd sense of déja vu when I picked up this book. I sat there staring at the cover until finally I realized this book had sat on my shelf when I was a kid. Immediately I wondered if I had ever read it when I was younger, and set to ferociously. Unfortunately no memories swam to the surface, and I'm forced to reconcile that the boxed set must have sat there forlornly on my bookshelf for years until I moved out for college. Poor unloved books.
Over Sea, Under Stone is aimed for a younger audience than I normally enjoy reading, but Goodreads insisted that I would love it and gave it to me as a recommendation again and again. It read quickly, being short and simply written, and would probably work well to read aloud. I love Arthurian legend and I had no idea that was where the book was headed when it started, but the whole mystery and chase fell flat for me. I have major issues with the Disney way of telling kids stories - the kids are forced to figure out the mystery or magic by themselves, adults never believe them, and often stand in their way. The evil forces were so evil with no reason to be. I find it extremely frustrating and untrue to reality, but I guess it makes drama. Just not the type I want to read.
Honestly the Arthurian bit of the story was completely forgettable, and this is coming from someone who loves anything Arthur. I wouldn't recommend this book unless it is nostalgic or you have a younger reader who finished The Chronicles of Narnia and wants something else along the same lines. Having said that however, I have heard that this first book is the weakest of the series, so I will be begrudgingly trying the next one....more
The first two novels of this series I read an older printing of (this series isn't availableThis review can also be read on my blog, Stumptown Books.
The first two novels of this series I read an older printing of (this series isn't available on the Kindle, unfortunately), and the third novel, Dark Whispers, was my first contact with the reprints. They got a new artist, which I think is a travesty as the covers for Into the Land of the Unicorns and Song of the Wanderer are simply gorgeous and fit the series perfectly. When I brought home my copy of this one, I was aghast at the terrible outfit they made Cara wear on the cover. This is more shallow of me than I would like to admit, but seriously, mustard yellow jerkin, eggplant purple cloak, and red hair? Those do not go well together! We all judge books by their cover whether we want to or not, and stunning cover art will often lead me to buy a book I wouldn't otherwise try. This one, on the other hand, smacks of a bad movie poster. Then there's the book itself; it is on creamy paper with brown ink. I do not have bad eyes but this made it extremely hard for me to read as there just wasn't enough contrast. This is the first time I've ever seen brown ink being used in a book and I hope I never come across it again (except in the sequel of course :( ) Sadly I can only assume this means that every book in the series has had this treatment in the reprinting.
Ok enough about the physical aspect, it was just frivolously annoying and only made me question Coville's editor, not the man's intelligence. He obviously has a lot of ideas and trying to get them all down in a young adult or even children's medium perhaps wasn't the best choice. A number of very adult situations occur that then have no repercussions as he just breezes over them. Whereas I am sitting there horrified at what I just read, the characters are like "Well that was sucky for you. Now stop complaining. Moving on!" Cara is consistently called wiser than her years, or more brave and courageous than the adult hunters, and although she is put into many trying situations, it always seemed more of a "This is what the author wanted to happen here, not what would have really happened." That sounds silly talking about a fantasy book, but the prodigious amount of coincidences and stupidity that always work out makes her seem a lot less brave and a lot more ridiculously lucky. As the reader, you know everything will always work out for the best. Even if a character dies it never seems to have much affect, and that makes me feel pretty damn uncaring and heartless.
Cara is once again given a quest that requires a long distance to travel. I was beginning to tire of travel in the last book, but now we follow several of the friends she's made along the way. All these characters criss crossing Luster bogged down the story, in my opinion. This installation makes heavy use of the omniscient narrator, which the other novels only used sparingly, and usually only when a character was telling a story. Now even Cara's dad is a point of view character, and I hated his entire story and quest. I guess the emerald prison in the last book was kind of cool (but not that cool), however the seemingly endless ruby prison in this novel was so grating to me. I never had any reason to like Ian Hunter, and his quest made him even more tiresome. He's just a bland father figure going through the motions of loving his daughter.
The first novel had the beginnings of a great fantasy world, but instead of keeping the story tight and concise, it has become too spread out and uninteresting. It's like Bruce Coville kept on getting ideas and found ways to incorporate them that didn't really fit into the story he started in the first book. I may be totally wrong about that, but especially with how long it took him to finish this series, I feel he probably had no clue where he was going at the beginning, and that really detracted from my enjoyment of both the second and third installments of this series....more
The second novel in The Unicorn Chronicles picks up mere moments after the first novel ended,This review can also be read on my blog, Stumptown Books.
The second novel in The Unicorn Chronicles picks up mere moments after the first novel ended, plopping us right back down into the action. Cara is given a quest within a few pages and she sets off without much ado. We are introduced to a few new unicorns, and Thomas continues the adventure with the party.
One of the things I enjoy about this series is that the unicorns are hardly perfect. They each have character flaws, egos, and occasional poor decision making. There isn't any of the special snowflake princess in these unicorns. Lightfoot will always be my favorite unicorn from this series, because he really does seem like the spoiled prince who is just trying to make a name for himself in the world, outside of his family. There is unfortunately not enough of my favorite character, the Dimblethum, although we are introduced to Medafil, whose constant stream of hyperbole and made up curse words had me smiling.
My number one gripe about this series is that everything is incredibly convenient and through a series of astonishing coincidences, Cara rediscovers her family, including her parents and grandparents. I could handle it for the first installment, Into the Land of the Unicorns, because that one overall felt the most juvenile, so everything working out was ok with me. But while this one has all the characters grow up just a little bit, no one ever makes a misstep, or if they do, it is always a good thing and a benefit to all in the end.
If I weren't a bad poker player, I would stop the series here, but I hate giving up on a series once I start it. The reveals at the end creeped me out more than intrigued me, and the next two books just get longer and longer. This novel actually made me dislike the first one a little bit, because the reveals were so odd and adult yet the writing was so obviously juvenile....more
No wonder I loved this book so much as a kid. I remember reading it at least three times, and I'm so glad I was able to find it again. It's just a greNo wonder I loved this book so much as a kid. I remember reading it at least three times, and I'm so glad I was able to find it again. It's just a great adventure story....more