Monday, March 28, 2011
Hola, I know this the third book in the series but I read the first books forever ago! The Calder Game by Blue Balliett. In this book, Calder and his dad are off on an adventure in England! Well actually, his dad just has some meetings and Calder is going along. But Calder's artistic namesake, Alexander Calder, is stirring up some trouble. When Calder reaches the town he is staying in, Woodstock, he is surprised, and intriuged, by the mysterious mutterings of the townsfolk about the new sculpture. It was donated by an anonymous person and is by the great artist, Calder himself. But the mystery continues, fueled the strangely unfriendly inhabitants of Woodstock. I don't remember liking the first two books very much (Chasing Vermeer and The Wright Three,) but this book was surprisingly good. I really liked the conflict between Petra and Tommy, but I had a problem. It just wasn't mysterious enough! I distinctly recall being a little scared while reading The Wright Three, and thinking that it was a good story, but in this book, the outcome was too logical. The beginning to middle of The Calder Game was rather whimsical and interesting, but the solutions were too normal, and nobody was at fault. I need to reread the other books! Two and a half stars.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Hola! Steinbeck's Ghost, by Lewis Buzbee. Travis and his parents just moved from a cozy house in old town Salinas into a giant, blank slate of a house in Bella Linda Terrace. With the change of house, his parents changed as well. No longer the happy, tight-knit family they were that Travis needed to remember his old life. One day he rides his bike to the library and from there, the story begins. While working to keep the library from closing, he sees characters straight out of John Steinbeck's novels. Travis unravels the mystery of the author's hometown (Steinbeck lived in Salinas,) while overcoming the challenges of "normal life". I though this was kind of a strange book. Travis was a good character, misunderstood, heroic, and friendly. My problem with it was that it seemed kind of stuck in the middle, it should have been really fantasy or more realistic. The two parts of the book just didn't mesh well. Overall, it was good, just a little weird. Two stars.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Hola, First Term at Malory Towers, by Enid Blyton. Malory Towers is a prestigious boarding school sitting on a high cliff overlooking the ocean. (It is in England.) Although the building may look elegant and proper, the inhabitants aren't. In this book you follow Darell Rivers—a likable, happy girl with a fast temper—through her first year full of laughs, pranks, and some unexpected surprises at Mallory Towers. These books are awesome! The school, though very entertaining, is incredibly realistic. The characters are the perfect combination of fun and anger. Each person goes through different changes, and the fact that they are at a boarding school doesn't hinder their adventures. The only real problem is that the books are from Great Britain, so they might be hard to find... but anyway, the Malory Towers books are not a waste of time! Three and a half stars!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Hola, The Sisters Grimm, Book 1 by Michael Buckley. After Sabrina and Daphne Grimm's parents go missing, the girls are shipped off to their Grandmother's house, but before this, they didn't even know she existed! Sabrina, the elder sister, gets more and more suspicious while Granny Relda serves them strangely colored food and tells them about how the Grimm family has been detectives, and the keepers of the Everafters. These are characters straight out of story books, but are sometimes a little bit different than they may seem at first. When Granny Relda goes missing, the Sisters Grimm are on the case! I really like the characters. The plot is fun and original and the setting, though confined to a single town, is quite an adventure. However, a really hate Sabrina! She rather bogs the whole story down, but, if you ignore her, these are awesome books! Three stars.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Hola, next is Magyk by Angie Sage. On a dark and stormy night (Actually, it was snowing, but whatever!) a seventh son of a seventh son was born, and he was named Septimus Heap. However, he died shortly thereafter. At least, that is what his family thinks... On the same dark and stormy night, Silas Heap (His father,) was walking home after work when he heard a baby crying. He found a little baby girl with dark hair and violet eyes hidden in a bush. Silas took her home and raised Jenna in place of his lost son, Septimus. But what was the real story behind Septimus's early death, and who is the strangely mute boy that chance has thrown at Jenna? Okay, I'll admit that the first time I read this was in Second Grade, but it was good! The story may have been a bit predictable but the characters quickly changing personalities give the plot some twists and turns. I would definitely recommend this to younger readers (Good gift for cousins, etc.) or if you are an older reader that is looking for something entertaining but decidedly easy. Three stars.