Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on hisSummary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided. Gaylen’s quest leads him to the woldweller, a wise, 900-year-old creature who lives alone at the precise center of the forest; to Canto, the minstrel who sings him an old song about a mermaid child and who gives him a peculiar good-luck charm; to the underground domain of the dwarfs; and finally to Ardis who might save the kingdom from havoc.
My Review: I love this book! It is such a fun, easy, and enjoyable read. It’s an adventure story with a few surprises and fantasy elements added in. Young Gaylen is on a quest to poll the kingdom’s response for the royal dictionary’s choice for something “delicious.” Unfortunately, no one can agree on a response. At first Gaylen thinks it’s all a difficult coincidence that no two votes are alike, but then he realizes that someone is sabotaging his mission. After all, what would an adventure story be without a little subterfuge? As it turns out, the King’s brother is out to start a civil war within the kingdom. He wants to overthrow the king and take the throne. Gaylen realizes this and tries his best to stop the evil uncle, but his plan is interrupted. Just when it seems that the king’s brother will win, a mystical creature (Ardis the mermaid) comes and saves the day!
This book is suitable for young readers, while older readers (teens) may find it a little boring or “childish.” As an adult, I found it delightful. I loved the humor and word play. The puns and subtle nuances added to my enjoyment even more. (The word play ranks high on my list…on the level of The Magic Tollbooth.) There isn’t a lot of deep character development in the book, but it doesn’t take away from the read. You get a sense of the scatterbrained king, Gaylen’s loyalty, and the diabolical nature of the king’s uncle. While it is clear which role everyone is intended to play, there isn’t much insight into the motivations… at least on a deeper level. It seems that the purpose behind the book is simply to tell a good story. It’s a simple story that a younger reader would enjoy.
There isn’t a whole lot I can say about the book. It wasn’t overly thought provoking, although I did find humor in all the differing definitions of “delicious.” Maybe the moral of the story is trying to teach us that we take some things for granted—things as simple as a cool glass of water—and we need to be more appreciative of what we have. That may be a little deep for a 7 year old, but it’s still a good lesson to discuss. Overall, I enjoyed it. It was witty and well written. ...more
Wow. Where to begin with this one? Um… I really wanted to like this book. I promise I did. I haven’t read any selkie stories, so I was pretty stoked wWow. Where to begin with this one? Um… I really wanted to like this book. I promise I did. I haven’t read any selkie stories, so I was pretty stoked when I found this one on the shelf at the library. I also thought the hidden references to Irish and Celtic mythology was promising. In fact, I was a little excited… but then I started reading the book. Whoa Nelly. The story is ok. It’s not all that exciting, but it wasn’t horrific either. There was a plot and a few interesting characters that made things lively. I’ll be honest though, some parts of this book just freaked me out. For instance, right up front when the old man finds the baby in the water and brings her home. What happens? His wife tries to breastfeed the babe to “see how it feels” (direct quote) and magically starts lactating. Now, this woman is described as someone in her 50s or older. I was totally freaked out by that scene. It just screams psycho in my mind, but whatever. I’m sure that scene was found someone in mythology, or at least I hope it was because it was too weird otherwise. I did enjoy searching for the parts of the story that were based on mythology. The author did a really good job of weaving everything together so that it became difficult to tell what was an original idea and what was myth. I was already familiar with the story of Sedna from Inuit mythology, so when the crazy lady told Gioga about how her kinfolk (the seals) were made, I got that reference right away. The flip side of this is, however, that since this story is based on so many different myths from various cultures, it feels choppy in some places. There were just key parts of the plot that didn’t fit perfectly. And with only 128 pages, it was hard to form any connections to the characters. They all felt flat. In fact, it read like a myth in the fact that it’s a telling of events and not a story per se. I read this book in a few hours while riding in the car on my way to Orlando. Normally I fall asleep instantly when in a moving car, but I thought I would make good use of my 2.5 hour ride this time. While I can’t say I wasted my time (because my only other option was sleeping in the car), I can’t say I used it in the best way possible either. I had other books I could have read. If this book had been longer and left me with the same feeling at the end, I would have been furious with the time I spent reading it. But since I really didn’t have anything else to do, I say it was ok. Not one I would re-read or recommend to anyone, but ok. ...more
Don't be discouraged by the title. Yes, Walter is a farting dog, but it's funny--- not gross.He uses his flatulence for good, not evil.
In this book,Don't be discouraged by the title. Yes, Walter is a farting dog, but it's funny--- not gross.He uses his flatulence for good, not evil.
In this book, Walter helps foil a would-be thief's dastardly plot to rob banks. No one is expecting his stink bombs to be able to take out grown men with a single whiff, but they do. In the end, the family realizes what makes a family a family, and even dad learns to appreciate Walter just the way he is.
I admit it's a bit much at time. A dog that passes gas--often-- is the focus of an entire series of picture books. But I couldn't help but feature this one. I think Walter needs some more love. My boys love these books. (Walter is a close second to Llama Llama for my youngest.) This odd humor really appeals to them, which appeals to me. Anything to make them readers!
The pictures are okay in the Walter the Farting Dog series. They aren't realistic. In fact, they have more of a cartoonish feel, which seems appropriate for the content. Not sure how realistic you could make a fart cloud look in a picture book... Plus, seeing it blown out of proportion on the pages makes it even funnier to the kids.
So, if you're like me and you have young boys that have that quirky sense of humor, they would probably enjoy this series. Just put the mom squeamishness aside as you read it aloud. You'll enjoy their giggles as you read together if you do. ...more
Summary from inside flap of book: The only thing Jean Honeychurch hates more than her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just… jean) is her allSummary from inside flap of book: The only thing Jean Honeychurch hates more than her boring name (not Jean Marie, or Jeanette, just… jean) is her all-too-appropriate nickname, Jinx. Misfortune seems to follow her everywhere she goes—which is why she’s thrilled to be moving in with her aunt and uncle in New York City. Maybe when she’s halfway across the country, Jinx can finally outrun her bad luck. Or at least escape the havoc she’s caused back in her small hometown. But trouble has definitely followed Jinx to New York. And it’s causing big problems for her cousin Tory, who is not happy to have the family black sheep around. Beautiful, glamorous Tory is hiding a dangerous secret—one that she’s sure Jinx is going to reveal. Jinx is beginning to realize it isn’t just bad luck she’s been running from. It’s something far more sinister… and the curse Jinx has lived under since the day she was born might just be the only thing that can save her life.
My review: I hate to admit it, but this is the first Meg Cabot book that I have read. I own many of her books, but I have never read them. I enjoyed Jinx. It’s not overly complicated or highly original, but I still liked it. The inside flap makes you think there will be something devious and “sinister” hidden in the plot, but really it’s nothing more than a jaded, spoiled, rich teenage girl pretending to play “witch-believe” with several equally snotty friends. The only thing sinister would be the personality of Tory, Jinx’s NY cousin. Talk about a character! If I had met this girl in high school, I could only imagine how awful my memories would be. Wow. Tory is by far the best description of a woman scorned I have read in YA fiction—witch craft aside, of course. On a human level, Tory is despicable. Back stabbing, deceitful, envious. The whole nine yards. She is pure evil in the disguise of outward beauty. Her friends were equally disgusting, although they weren’t mentioned much in the book. I got the impression they were meant to be more like groupies than supporting characters. For all of the negative vibes you got from Tory, Jinx gives you the exact opposite. She is the image of mid-west innocence; after all she is a preacher’s daughter. The quaintness of her character, combined with her gorgeous natural curly red hair make her an easy target for Tory’s wrath. Plus, it doesn’t help that Tory’s secret love is head-over-heels for Jinx. The characters were decent. You certainly felt sorry for Jinx during all of her mishaps, and you couldn’t help but dislike Tory. Unfortunately, that’s where the charm ends.
The plot is pretty predictable. It’s a classic case, really: Pretty girl doesn’t realize she’s pretty. Pretty girl falls into the trap of equally pretty girl with disgusting personality. Pretty girl unknowingly wins heart of handsome boy. Love triangle ensues. Mean girl gets what she deserves while pretty girl realizes she has self worth and falls for handsome boy. The end. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Granted there were a few twists along the way, but nothing overly exciting. I did like that Zach (said handsome boy) seemed like a complete charmer. He had some personality traits that made him very likable. There were a few scenes in the book that had potential to be suspenseful, but it seemed like the majority of the story only skimmed the surface and never fully dove into a deeper plot. For a younger reader I’m sure it would be satisfying, but I like a little more depth in my reading material. Of course, I probably shouldn’t have expected anything more than what I got considering I bought this book for my classroom library. Overall, it was a fun, quick read. I enjoyed it. I’m sure if I was a middle school girl I would be enthralled with this novel. I would probably even imagine Zach Efron’s face for Zach in the book… if I were a middle school girl. But, alas, I’m not. (I really couldn’t imagine anyone that I felt would fit the characters when reading the book.) I gave the book 3 stars because it was decent. There were some funny parts that made me chuckle, and the descriptions were well written. My visualization abilities were working in overdrive throughout most of the book. However, it wasn’t exactly “mature” content like the jacket flap implied.
This is one of my favorite books of all time! Don’t be fooled by the simple appearance of this book; there is some really deep material between the co This is one of my favorite books of all time! Don’t be fooled by the simple appearance of this book; there is some really deep material between the covers. I’ve pondered whether to call this book a fable or a parable. Ultimately, I’ve decided it’s some form of both. As the Little Prince travels through the universe he meets many different people (and animals) that teach him great lessons about life.
The story begins with the Little Prince leaving his small planet because he is not happy. As he travels the universe he stops on other planets and talks to the inhabitants. Most of the people that he meets on these planets are adults and represent the worst of human behavior and foolishness. My favorites are the Vain Man who “cannot hear anything but praise” and the drunkard that drinks because he feels guilty about drinking. While these characters are not meant to be likeable, they represent many of the problems that we face in society (i.e. the need for applause and constant praise and the drunkard’s guilt cycle).
Eventually the Little Prince makes his way to earth, which is where he meets the narrator of the story—a pilot who has become stranded in the middle of the Sahara Desert because his plane crashed. Before meeting the pilot, the Little Prince meets a snake and a fox. The Prince’s time with the fox turns out to be a life changing moment. Through his interactions with the fox he learns a great secret: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” With this knowledge the Prince realizes that his life is special and he decides to make the hard journey back to his small planet and the precious flower that lives there.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this book. As a small child I remember watching the cartoon adaptation of Nickelodeon. Of course, I didn’t realize there was a book at that time. In high school we had to read this book in our French class. That was the first time I read it, and I instantly fell in love. As an adult it has an even deeper hold on me. The author of the book wrote this story after his town in France had been overrun by the Nazis during World War 2. Knowing that information gives this book an even deeper illumination of the human spirit—both good and bad. The content is both deep and moving, while funny and simple at the same time. You can find humor in the generalizations about adults and children, and I’m sure we can all see a little of ourselves in some of the characters. As a whole, the story is beautifully written and immensely thought provoking. You cannot read this book and not ponder life’s greatest questions. It’s impossible.
If you have not read this charming children’s book, you are missing one of the greatest stories ever written! It’s a quick and easy read, but it will linger in your thoughts well after you have finished reading. ...more
Better to be tardy to the party than to never attend at all, right? That pretty much sums my main stream reading up in a nutshell. It seems like I amBetter to be tardy to the party than to never attend at all, right? That pretty much sums my main stream reading up in a nutshell. It seems like I am always way behind the fan club when it comes to my reading. I just read City of Bones, despite numerous people telling me how awesome it was. I probably would have waited even longer to read this, had it not been for the movie coming out in a few weeks. (I have this thing about reading the book before I see the movie.)
That being said, I finally sat down and started reading City of Bones.... and I finished it a few days later. I would have had it read in less time than that, but I kept being dragged away from my reading spot by friends. When I did get to read, I couldn't put it down. I even found myself trying to read it all bleary-eyed and delusional from lack of sleep. Cassandra Clare has a way with words!
The story grabbed me from the start. Since I had seen the movie trailer at least three times before starting the book, I had a little something to go on. (I am going to stop right now though and say how horrible I think the casting for Jace is. He is nothing like the book character. I seriously hate Hollywood's choices sometimes. I can also deal with Clary, but I think her hair should be a brighter red.) My favorite aspect of the book has to be the wit behind the characters. Jace and Clary were uproariously funny at times. It did not seemed forced, either. I was impressed that there was a natural flow to the dialogue that seemed natural, almost as if I was talking with my group of friends. How can you not connect with the characters when they come across like that? Here is an example:
"So when the moon's only partyly full, you only feel a little wolfy?" Clary asked.
"You could say that."
"Well, you can go ahead and hang your head out the car window if you feel like it."
Luke laughed. "I'm a werewolf, not a golden retriever."
Love this! I seriously chuckled so many times as I read this book.
I also want to give props for the world building. The Shadowhunter aspect was original and captivating. A lot of effort was made to make the modern world blend in with this super secret alternate reality. Everything worked well together and was believable. You could imagine this setting as you read.
Obviously, I enjoyed City of Bones. I'm hooked. I shall be reading the rest of this series soon because I need more Jace. ...more
I admit it. I’ve never read a James Patterson book before. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X was my initiation. I had no idea what to expect from this boI admit it. I’ve never read a James Patterson book before. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X was my initiation. I had no idea what to expect from this book going into it. All I knew was that I needed to review it for my school’s student book club. Before I could do that, however, I had to steal back my copy of the book from my 10 year-old son.
Something you need to know about my son is that he’s a border-line nonreader. How, I have no idea. You would think it was genetically impossible, but I guess he inherited some mutated gene along the way. He loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and graphic novels. But to get him to read anything with more than 100 pages—forget about it. Obviously I nearly stroked out when he hijacked The Dangerous Days of Daniel X before I could read it. The appeal of alien hunters was too great for him to resist. I watched him read the book in 2 days! I saw him sneak a flashlight into his room at night, forfeit his video game time to his younger brother so he could read in the afternoon, and even read while he was eating his breakfast. My heart smiled each time.
I had to ask, “What’s so great about that book?” After looking at me like I was one of the aliens in the book, he simply replied, “It’s just awesome.” I pried for a bit more information since he is 10, and he informed me that the writing style is what one him over. He said everything is so detailed that he can “visualize everything in my head.” Reading teachers rejoice! He was using a reading strategy! When I read the book, I had to agree. James Patterson is very descriptive and holds nothing back. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading about a decaying cemetery or exploding alien heads—the quality of the details is the same.
I also enjoyed the “voice” that Daniel held throughout the book. He was a riot. Witty, sarcastic, and a bit irrational at times—he was a typical teenage boy. James Patterson did a great job of giving us insight into his thoughts and emotions. As I read, I felt like I knew Daniel. It was as if he was one of the kids walking around in my neighborhood.
I think I can safely say this book has massive appeal for boys of all types. It doesn’t matter if they are a reader or not, they will probably enjoy this series. It is overflowing with nonstop action, which will surely keep them flipping the pages long into the night. ...more
Oh. My. Goodness. This was such a great book! Why didn’t I read it before now? Shame on me. As you’ve probably guessed, Hannah killed herself. What yoOh. My. Goodness. This was such a great book! Why didn’t I read it before now? Shame on me. As you’ve probably guessed, Hannah killed herself. What you (and the other characters) don’t know is why she did it. Until the tapes arrive. The stories that she shared are heartbreaking. Hannah refers to things as “the snowball effect” and that’s exactly what happened. There is no one specific event that caused her to want to take her own life. There were a compilation of many, many things that eventually weighed down on her. The way this story was told was very original. I loved that Clay’s thoughts intermingled with Hannah’s stories. I really felt sorry for both characters. For Hannah, it was sad that she had to endure so much alone. For Clay, it was sad that he never found the courage to speak up, which might have been enough to save Hannah. As you read the book, you can’t help but think about your own life (especially your time in high school). What if that Senior Superlative spoof list you help passed around in math class wasn’t a joke to everyone? What if that prank you thought was so innocent destroyed someone’s final chance of happiness. What if all those times you thought you should speak up but never found the courage to do so didn’t work out in the end? I had so many connections to this book while I read. It was almost like reliving my high school experience with every page. It’s hard to believe this was written by a debut author, because the skill and talent are amazing. I really hope to read more from Jay Asher in the future. Thirteen Reasons Why is a beautiful way of making readers think about their actions. Everything has a consequence, whether it’s positive or negative, and you realize this through Hannah’s story. ...more