Wow this was painful to read. It's a kids classic, so I thought I would rip through it pretty quick...but no...
Beautiful Joe is the story of a dog in...moreWow this was painful to read. It's a kids classic, so I thought I would rip through it pretty quick...but no...
Beautiful Joe is the story of a dog in his own words. Think Black Beauty if you've ever read the book or watched the movie. The only difference is book really encompasses all kinds of animals, rather than just focusing on one type.
So Beautiful Joe is a dog who was abused by his first master. Had his ears and tail chopped off with an axe because the guy got in a bad mood. Luckily for him someone with a better heart came along just as it happened, heard the noise poor Joe was making, and rescued him after laying the owner down low. The gentleman we later learn is named Harry, takes Joe to his cousin's house (farm, really. This all takes place out in the country) where he is visiting and the family soon sets him to rights.
Now this family has a thing for all animals. They have quite the menagerie going at their home: horses, dogs, birds, a cat, cows, guinea pigs, you name it there's probably one kicking around the property that these folks have saved. And honestly it warms the heart to think that there are people like that out there.
The rest of the story is Joe telling us about his life with these people, and the stories he hears along the way about the myriad ways people are cruel and abusive to animals. Some things are typical and you would expect, and some things, if true, chill your blood.
It's a really good book, but I would have liked it better if not for a few things. First off, it's the wrong choice of book for me. I consider myself a kind hearted soul, and it was hard for me to read the abuses that the animals suffered in the book. Even though they're fictional, the abuses they undertake are quite real.
The other fact is that it is steeped in Christianity. Always referring to how Gad made man and beast to be such-n-such and not so-n-so. Not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, I can see where it would have installed some good morals in the kiddies reading it when it first came out, but if you're not a religious person it does tend to hamper the reading I find.
That and the fact that every time people were talking about animals, be it as a whole or an individual, they were always "poor dumb beasts". And then the animals would be lauded for their intelligence. Can't decide if that's ironic or hypocritical...
So all in all I did like Beautiful Joe. It is a touching, heart warming, and at times fun story. Worth picking up if you're interested in animal stories, I just would have like it better if it wasn't for the aforementioned factors.(less)
This is a wonderful story geared towards young girls and meant to educate them in a fun way on what has been going on in the world over the past few h...moreThis is a wonderful story geared towards young girls and meant to educate them in a fun way on what has been going on in the world over the past few hundred years.
This particular story takes place in Irelans during the potato famine when the main staple of the poor, potatoes, caught a blight and ruined the crops for almost two years.
We follow the life of a young girl and see through her eyes what happened to the joe blow farmer when there was not enough to feed his family. Young sons went off to join the militant groups rebelling agianst England, fathers protested the export of food so despratly needed to feed their families, mothers set to theiving to feed their young ones, and children are sent to work for pennies a day hauling rocks for roads that they'll never be paid for and never be used.
A real eye opener into our past, and a recomended read for any age wanting to have fun learning about human history.(less)
I liked the concept of this book. Set in the Tombstone of the old west, in the days of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, Territory meshes magic with histor...moreI liked the concept of this book. Set in the Tombstone of the old west, in the days of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, Territory meshes magic with history.
In this account Wyatt is a scorcerer using black magic with good intentions: keeping his family and the boom town of Tombstone safe. Doc Holliday is a central character in the book, as well as Jesse Fox, another scorcerer, and Mildred Benjamen, a widowed lady reporter whose investigative journalism shows her more than she needed to know.
The only problem is that the author plays hide and seek with the magic in the book. Its very subtle and not very well explained until almost the end, so you're kinda kept guessing as to what is really going on in Tombstone.
It's pretty accurate historically speaking. The day to day life of boom town Tombstone is wonderfully described and detailed. Also everyone connected to Wyatt Earp is there, as well as the famous bandit gang he had the shootout with at the O.K. Corral, although that gunfight is not shown here so it does make for an interesting read.
I hope the author has another book in her, because I'm interested to see where she'll take the characters next, and what happens between Mildred and Jesse.(less)
Funky little book. Beautiful illustrations, cute story, but it seems incomplete.
This story follows a mother Unicorn as she prepares for the birth of h...moreFunky little book. Beautiful illustrations, cute story, but it seems incomplete.
This story follows a mother Unicorn as she prepares for the birth of her first foal. Its really cute as I said, the mother unicorn travels through the woods, speaking with the animals and enlisting the aid of some for her upcoming birth. Then once the baby is born, we follow mother and child as the babe takes it first steps and begins to learn about the world aroujnd her. At least for a little while.
There is a sudden halt to the story, it ends abruptly when the baby unicorn Uma is five months old. There is no clear closure to the story, and if you are halfway interested in the story, you want to know what happens as she gets older.
Cute, but not something I am glad I purchased or would be interested in reading again.(less)
Set back in the days when humanity was just starting out banging two rocks together to make fire, we are introduced to a young child outcast from his...moreSet back in the days when humanity was just starting out banging two rocks together to make fire, we are introduced to a young child outcast from his clan, living with his father. His father is killed by a bear possessed by a demon, and is sent off into the world to find his people and seek vengeance upon the thing that killed his father.
And of course along the way he befriends a wolf cub and a young girl who become his staunch friends and traveling companions and accompany him on his journey to find three pieces of a sacred spirit puzzle and travel to a sacred mountain to destroy the demon bear. You know, typical young hero stuff.
It comes across as a kind of coming of age story. The character is only twelve years in the beginning of this book, and acts very childish. But as the story progresses we can see him growing at an accelerated pace. He shoulders this burden of destroying the demon bear, as well as the past his father never told him with little complaint and a lot of courage.
For those fans of Micheal and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, you can get the People of the Wolf feeling from this book.
My only complaint is that near the end of the book the wolf cub disappears. He leads the bear away from his friends and supposedly joins up with a traveling wolf pack, leaving the boy and girl behind. I hope he comes back in the next book.
A fantastic book for 9-12, but also one of those books that resonate with and are enjoyed by all ages. I'm interested in seeing how the characters develop in the rest of the series(less)
An interesting concept of two adjoining worlds, one where dragons are considered a myth and humans rule the world, and the other where dragons reign s...moreAn interesting concept of two adjoining worlds, one where dragons are considered a myth and humans rule the world, and the other where dragons reign supreme and the thought of humans being anymore than expendable labor is nothing more than a fairy tale.
Apparently the dragon world is dependent upon a prophesied Starlighter to watch and care for their unhatched Dark Prince and usher forth a new, golden era for dragon kin.
Definitely not going to wait for the next one with baited breathe. This one was Ok, but it wasn't interesting enough to capture my attention enough to carry one.(less)
A wonderful coming of age story about a young boy named Percy Jackson who turns out to be the son of Poseidon.
The gods exist, and Zeus is really p.o'd...moreA wonderful coming of age story about a young boy named Percy Jackson who turns out to be the son of Poseidon.
The gods exist, and Zeus is really p.o'd because his lightening bolt has gone missing. And due to a ban on the three brother gods to not have any more children after WWII and the law that no god can take what belongs to another, naturally Zeus assumes his brother Poseidon had one of his demigod children take the bolt in an attempted power play.
So young Percy Jackson is hounded by gods and monsters before he even knows who he is. That was quite the wake up as you can well imagine. But aided by his trusty friend Grover (who was WAY more awesome in the movie) and Annabeth, daughter of Athena, Percy is off to find the bolt, return it to Olympus, and clear his name. Fun times.
Wonderfully paced, the story doesn't run so fast that you miss out on anything, nor are you bored. The writer did fantastic research for this novel, he was even able to tie the three ages of the Olympians into the story.
My favorite part though was the idea that Olympus moves around in sync with the center of western civilization. Greece was once the center, it is where western civilization was born. But now the United States and Canada are considered the center, so Olympus has moved here, and the gods with it. Fascinating idea, it makes the story uniquely Riordan's.
And aside from Grover, the book is 10x better than the movie.(less)
This series is basically the adventures of a female Percy Jackson, minus the mythological parentage.
Its the fun story of a society that was created ag...moreThis series is basically the adventures of a female Percy Jackson, minus the mythological parentage.
Its the fun story of a society that was created ages ago to protect all the mythical creatures from mankind. Basically it was this society that spread the word from pulpit to tap room that creatures such as unicorns, dragons, and the like do not exist. Over time, the rest of humanity believed them, and the society has been shuffling the creatures around ever since.
But of course after a few centuries of being constantly uprooted from your home and shuffled from one place to another is bound to make anyone cranky. So when a dark presence rears its head, encouraging the creatures to rise up and take back the world from humans, the Society is there trying to prevent that from happening.
Basically the Society is compromised of people who can speak to these creatures, or be their Companion. But each person can only be a Companion to one creature, such as one person can speak to Selkies, another Banshees, and another can speak to Minotaurs. That kind of thing.
But there is a legend in the Society of a Universal Companion. A person to can speak to and be understood by every mythological creature within the world. Connie is one such person. And as a result of being the Universal companion, she's the one who gets to stop the revolution of the mythological creatures.
This is basically every little girl's dream come true. Who doesn't want the ability to speak to animals when they're young? I love the fact that they incorporate creatures from all different types of world mythology. Looking forward to the next in the series, and seeing how Connie's character develops.(less)
Great for anyone of any age who enjoy mythology, especially if it's Egyptian. Its got quirky, funny moments kids and adults can appreciate.
The story o...moreGreat for anyone of any age who enjoy mythology, especially if it's Egyptian. Its got quirky, funny moments kids and adults can appreciate.
The story of a brother and sister who discover that they are the by products of two powerful Egyptian wizard bloodlines, they are drawn against their will in a battle between the gods for the salvation or destruction of the earth. Along the way they are alternately befriended and spied upon by a secret society sworn to keep the balance in the world and the gods in their place.
Fantastic story. I really liked it, but the story telling is a little off. Narration voice switches back and forth between brother and sister throughout the book. While usually done well, it can be confusing as to who is speaking and doing what if you don't follow the changes closely.
Aside from that, great beginning to a new series by an established author.(less)
I like the concept of the Dear Canada series, and this is the first one I've read of them so far. I did enjoy this book, but the ending was rather wea...moreI like the concept of the Dear Canada series, and this is the first one I've read of them so far. I did enjoy this book, but the ending was rather weak and disappointing. Hoping the next I pick up will be better.(less)
The classic story of Jungle Book, only set in a graveyard. Something only Neil Gaiman can do. It has quite the sad, touching ending, and an interestin...moreThe classic story of Jungle Book, only set in a graveyard. Something only Neil Gaiman can do. It has quite the sad, touching ending, and an interesting mythos that I wish was explored a little bit more.
It's got a little bit of everything, a vampire (I think), ghouls, ghosts, a Hound of God (whatever that is, haven't heard it before), and a bunch of other interesting creatures briefly mentioned/introduced that I hope Neil Gaiman comes back to eventually.
I loved this book, it's a wonderful read for all Gaiman fans no matter their age.(less)
This is a really great book for people who love the Drizz't series and have kids. Its a co-op project by a father and son team, R.A and Geno Salvatore...moreThis is a really great book for people who love the Drizz't series and have kids. Its a co-op project by a father and son team, R.A and Geno Salvatore.
R.A. Salvatore is the author of the fantastic Drizz't saga and young Geno is following fast in father's footsteps.
This was a really, really fun read and includes cameo appearances from the original Drizz't series. Taking place sometime during the events of The Halfling's Gem era, we come across a youn nameless orphan entrusted with a magical stone and being chased by a demon. The properties of the stone remain unclear until the end of the book, and the reason the demon is after him is hinted at but left until the second installment to be fully explored.
During the young boy's travels away from the demon the child finds himself upon the Sea Sprite at the same time as Drizz't and his companions. The dark elf makes a lasting impression on the young lad and while at the close of this book they have parted way I am sure that their paths shall cross again soon.
I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did as it is a YA book and those do not tend to go over well with me. But I have been pleasantly surprised and look forward to picking up the next book in the series.(less)