This was a hefty book for middle grade. It did have some full page illustrations here and there and large text, but it will take some stamina. The pace is fairly quick though so I don't think young readers will want to put it down.
Steven gets pulled into a major good vs. evil kind of situation. He inadvertently becomes a vehicle for a zodiac power. Of course there is an evil mastermind, Maxwell, who is trying to gain control of all twelve zodiac powers. The struggle to keep the powers away from Maxwell while figuring out how to use the powers has Steven hopping.
I found this to be an exciting adventure and I loved the fun characters. For middle grade readers that aren't intimidated by lengthy books, this will be a winner....more
I think mystery adventure fans in elementary may enjoy this, but I just thought it was okay. I was often frustrated with the description in the middleI think mystery adventure fans in elementary may enjoy this, but I just thought it was okay. I was often frustrated with the description in the middle of an action scene. I felt like saying, "skip to the good part." Perhaps that was partly because I was listening. When that happens and I am holding a book, I can simply skim to the part I am more interested in.
I was also bothered a couple of times by gender things. There is a comment in the beginning about boys lacking emotions and then the narrator brings it up again at the end. I found it amusing in Harry Potter when Hermione told Ron that he had the "emotional range of a teaspoon," but I shudder when someone ascribes that to an entire gender.
Overall, I found the plot very unbelievable, but enjoyed the road trip aspects and some of the humor....more
Kate Messner does a fantastic job of keeping the action moving and keeping the reader guessing. In this newest mysReview copy - ARC from the publisher
Kate Messner does a fantastic job of keeping the action moving and keeping the reader guessing. In this newest mystery we don't really learn a whole lot more about the three main characters, but we do get a rip roaring ride through Paris. Once again Henry Anna and José end up in a situation where they have to step up and act to save art and the lives of others for the Silver Jaguar Society. There are chases, thieves, double agents, catacombs and skeletons galore. Messner has created a fantastic mystery that I will be happy to put into the hands of my students....more
Tony Cliff plays a little free with history and realism here (a flying boat and an American West scene that doesn't seem to fit the timeframe), but thTony Cliff plays a little free with history and realism here (a flying boat and an American West scene that doesn't seem to fit the timeframe), but the point doesn't seem to be reality, but a fast paced adventure. Delilah is certainly a firecracker. She is out looking for excitement and danger. Selim, the Turkish Lieutenant, is more focused on peace, quiet, and a cup of tea until he crosses paths with Delilah. The book is certainly fun and full of action. Even though the story is from Selim's perspective, he is the sidekick for sure. Delilah is running the show. I zipped through the book in no time. ...more
I loved the concept in this book and was eager to get back to it whenever I was away from Cassie. The characters were interesting and Yancey teased meI loved the concept in this book and was eager to get back to it whenever I was away from Cassie. The characters were interesting and Yancey teased me along with the hints throughout....more
I loved this third visit with Zita the Spacegirl. It begins with Zita chained up and in quite a fix. Ben Hatke builds up plenty of suspense and had meI loved this third visit with Zita the Spacegirl. It begins with Zita chained up and in quite a fix. Ben Hatke builds up plenty of suspense and had me wondering how Zita could possibly get out of that dangerous mess. Of course she has intelligence and strength, but she also has some great social skills. She cares for others and in doing that, she builds up loyalty from others that comes into play when she needs a helping hand or finger.
Like the previous two installments, this book is filled with action, adventure, and of course many near death experiences for the heroes. I am certain that my students will love this one too.
As an adult reader, I really appreciated the final section of the book, "The Origin and Evolution of Zita the Spacegirl." In this part of the book, the author explains how Zita came to be. It involves a really cute girl named Anna and a little romance. It was great to see Anna in her Zita the Spacegirl costume and she the earlier versions of Zita.
I would also recommend reading the acknowledgements particularly if you are a teacher. He thanks his parents and a teacher for allowing and encouraging his creativity.
I have purchased this book and it is rarely on the shelf. All of the Zita books are popular in my elementary school and I am so glad we have great graphic novels like this available to us....more
I adored the first book in this series, The False Prince. I have recommended it to many students and teachers because I know that the book grabs the rI adored the first book in this series, The False Prince. I have recommended it to many students and teachers because I know that the book grabs the reader and takes them on a wild ride that they hope will never end. I couldn't wait for the sequel, but was also concerned since sometimes the second book in a series seems to just be marking time.
In The Runaway King, Nielsen did not disappoint. Jaron has managed to be king for about a month without incident, but then everything goes horribly wrong. An assassin shows up during the funeral observance for his family, pirates are on their way to attack, and political intrigue permeates the castle. Of course, Jaron chooses a most unorthodox way of dealing with the threats to his kingdom. Kings are usually protected and stay back out of the conflict, but he runs toward the trouble. He doesn't know if anything he is doing can possibly save anyone, but he knows he has to try.
Nielsen skillfully packed action consistently throughout the book. Just when you think Jaron has a moment of peace, everything falls to pieces. Jaron's voice continues to be humorous and charming in the midst of the many dangerous and sometimes slightly ridiculous situations in which he finds himself. In spite of all the excitement, Nielsen also manages to introduce many interesting and unique characters.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone fond of a good tale of adventure. With assassins, royalty, pirates, thieves, sword fights, and plenty of humorous lines, how could you go wrong?