Book Review: The Prince of Whales

The Prince of Whales by R.L. Fisher
The Prince of Whales
by R.L. Fisher

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Toby is a whale who sings in his sleep. His pod complains that he keeps them up all night, and they worry that his singing will attract human whaling ships. Toby has a vision of a spiritual realm, and sets out on a quest to find his true voice. He is threatened by the evil Dream Eater, a spirit who is sucking the life out of sea creatures. Only Toby’s true voice will be powerful enough to save them from the Dream Eater and the human hunters.

I was intrigued by the idea of using music as a way of communicating spiritual and natural truths. There are some really beautiful and emotional scenes as Toby searches for meaning in his singing and discovers his true voice. There’s a lovely message about being courageous and genuine, and I loved seeing Toby going on this internal journey. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Black Canary Ignite

Black Canary by Meg Cabot
Black Canary: Ignite
by Meg Cabot (Author)Cara McGee (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Dinah has goals: sing and play guitar with her two best friends and win her school’s Battle of the Bands, join the Junior Police Academy and learn to solve crimes, and basically save the world. When things start to mysteriously crack and break whenever Dinah is around, her friends think she must be telekinetic, but Dinah doesn’t feel like she has superpowers. As she struggles to understand what is happening, Dinah turns to her parents, a florist and a cop, to make sense of her heritage and decide her future.

I LOVED this graphic novel!!! Everything about this book is amazing! The artwork, the characters, the plot, the dialogue, the action; it all comes together so perfectly to grab the reader’s attention and tell an engaging story. Continue reading

Back to School Books for Kids

Brain Games: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42183016-brain-games
Beginner’s World Atlas: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42924686-national-geographic-kids-beginner-s-world-atlas-4th-edition
Student World Atlas: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42924683-national-geographic-student-world-atlas-5th-edition Continue reading

Book Review: The Sea Island’s Secret

The Sea Island's Secret by Susan Diamond Riley
The Sea Island’s Secret: A Delta & Jax Mystery
by Susan Diamond Riley

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Delta and her little brother, Jax, are visiting their grandfather on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina for the summer. Their grandfather, Pops, runs a local history museum that is losing its funding, and Delta and Jax want to help save the museum. They discover a skeleton from the Civil War, and launch a treasure hunt for the missing “Jasper’s Gems” with the help of a ghostly presence that seems to guide them.

I enjoyed this story because of the rich history and the Southern culture. Many of the historical elements in the story are true, although the plot itself is fiction. I loved how specific places on Hilton Head and Charleston, and historic events from the Civil War are featured in the story.
The writing is good, and the plot is amusing. It’s not amazingly life-changing or anything, but a good story.

I liked the characters and the way the two siblings bicker and fight, but ultimately love each other. They have a lot of spunk and energy, and they keep the story moving forward with their decisive action and risk-taking.

Old Southern towns are known for their chilling ghost stories, and that is one of the best things about this book! I really enjoyed how the mystery of the skeleton unfolded along with the history of the ghost. It’s not too scary, but just creepy enough to make it enjoyable.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

Book Review: Treasures from Grandma

Treasures from Grandma by Arleta Richardson
Treasures from Grandma (Grandma’s Attic, #4)
by Arleta Richardson

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Mabel and Sarah Jane are at it again, dreaming up trouble and childish shenanigans in their little country town. Mabel is determined to sew her own dress for the ice-cream social, but has difficulties sewing a seam correctly. Sarah Jane tries to help a boy at school to lose weight by stealing his lunch. Mabel resolves to make a perfect score on her math test at school, just to prove to the boys that a girl can be smart too. A family of gypsies visits the area, and Mabel’s family allows them to squat on their land despite the dire warnings of their neighbors that all gypsies are thieves.

I love the old-fashioned writing and the wholesome innocence of the stories. Each chapter has its own plot with a neat moral at the end where Mabel and Sarah Jane learn a valuable lesson about friendship, honesty, and compassion to their fellowman.

I just love how energetic and plucky Mabel is. She is forever getting into scrapes, but remains as bold and high-spirited as ever, no matter the disappointments that come her way.
I can’t wait to read more from this adorable series!

Book Review: Montmorency

Montmorency by Eleanor Updale
Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? (Montmorency, #1)
by Eleanor Updale

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Montmorency is a common thief, who devises a plan to use the new London sewer system to carry out plans for bigger and better burglaries, launching him into London’s high society as a gentleman. He masquerades as his own servant, Scarper, to sneak out through the streets and alleyways to stage robberies and escape the police undetected. Then he cleans up and dresses for high society as the wealthy gentleman, Montmorency, leading a dual life of villainy and affluence. The plan works a little too well, and Montmorency begins to despise the lower classes, and starts feeling guilty about his crimes. But will he ever be able to truly join the high society he mimics, or will he forever be a common thief?

I liked the many layers of this story, as Montmorency goes from a hardened criminal to a more educated and cultured individual. He wrestles with ideas of honor and honesty, and reads books to expand his knowledge and manners. His character development is gradual and believable with a satisfying conclusion. It’s as though, while he is cleaning up from roaming the sewers, his mind also starts to clean up and his ideas change, throwing off the old ugly ideas like the dirt getting scrubbed off his soul. The imagery is wonderfully subtle.
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Classic Review: The Way of the Scarlet Pimpernel

The Way of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
The Way of the Scarlet Pimpernel 
by Emmuska Orczy

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Josette is trapped in Paris during the French Revolution, when her employer tries to blackmail prominent men in the government and is murdered. Desperate to protect his widow and child, Josette seeks for help from the Scarlet Pimpernel. Josette and her boyfriend Maurice fall into the clutches of the merciless Chauvelin, and only the clever Scarlet Pimpernel can save them from the guillotine.

Josette is a wonderful main character, full of compassion and faith. She is not clever or wise, but her good heart and her unwavering loyalty pull her through the story. I loved the scenes where she takes action for herself, never flinching in the face of danger.

The plot is fantastic, of course, with many twists and turns. I loved how all the complexities of each situation finally run together to a swift and glorious end. Continue reading

Comic Review: Snug Harbor Stories

Snug Harbor Stories by Will  Henry
Snug Harbor Stories: A Wallace the Brave Collection! 
by Will Henry

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I can’t get enough of Wallace and his friends! Once again, I wish I could give this comic 10 stars!

Wallace, Amelia, and Spud are off on another set of minor adventures in the woods and creeks around Snug Harbor. They spend their days hunting the Sasquatch, tracking a prehistoric turtle named Gramps, playing basketball, making blanket forts, eating pancakes in the shape of a top hat, and ducking out of their schoolwork.

I love how imaginative Wallace is! He can take the smallest bit of nothing and turn it into a wild adventure, dragging his friends along with him.
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Modern Classic Review: The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #1) 
by Walter Farley

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Alec is heading home aboard a steamship, when the ship sinks in a storm and there are only two survivors: Alec and a spirited black stallion. The two are washed ashore on a small island, where they forage for food, and Alec tames the wild stallion.

I was completely riveted while reading this book! I couldn’t put it down, and read it in one day. The writing has such good pacing, and the action moves swiftly along, pulling the reader into the next chapter and the next.

I adored Alec’s character. He’s smart and tough and resilient.

Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Jane Austen

Jane Austen by Claire Tomalin
Jane Austen: A Life 
by Claire Tomalin

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This biography of Jane Austen does a very thorough job of seizing on every letter, every mention, every tiny detail that can be gleaned about the famous author; unfortunately, that isn’t much. Jane’s sister, Cassandra, destroyed many of her letters after Jane’s death. Jane’s brothers and nephews and nieces didn’t preserve her letters as faithfully as they should have. The result is that there are few original writings left from one of the best-loved authors of all time, and little is known of her day to day life.

However, the author does a wonderful job of piecing together letters from cousins, diary entries of nieces and neighbors, along with the few portraits and tin-type photographs of her family and friends.
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