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

Book Review: Horns and Wrinkles

Horns and Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson
Horns and Wrinkles
by Joseph Helgerson (Author),Nicoletta Ceccoli (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Claire lives along a stretch of the Mississippi river where magic is still alive, where trolls sit under bridges, and blue-winged fairies weave spells. When her cousin Duke bullies her, his nose begins to grow into a rhinoceros horn, and Claire is misled into a bargain with river trolls to cure him.

The world-building and magic system are quite imaginative and fanciful.
I liked the twisty plot and the odd characters.
The writing style is good, painting a vivid picture of freakish creatures and bizarre magic.

However, the book is much too long. The plot drags on and on with long scenes and lengthy dialogue that take forever to get to the point. I got bored with it, and then something new would finally happen and it would spark my interest again, and then it would drag on and on again, and I got bored again until the next new plot point finally got going.

Book Review: Falcon and the Charles Street Witch

Falcon and the Charles Street Witch by Luli Gray
Falcon and the Charles Street Witch
by Luli Gray

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Falcon’s little brother, Toody, falls out of an airplane and Falcon jumps out to save him. She is wafted along in a warm air current to land safely in New York City in the hidden garden of a witch. However, Toody is lost, and Falcon sets out on a mission to find him. She will need the help of her friend, the young dragon named Egg, and the help of a dragon who is extremely old and has lost his fire.

This book was all over the place. The plot meanders around with random magic and odd characters, all jumbled in a chaotic storyline. The characters are good, but lackluster. They have a lot of funny dialogue, but not much substance or depth. I didn’t really like how the modern world and the magic world interacted in this book. It didn’t make sense to me, so the setting felt disjointed.

Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this book. Maybe I couldn’t enjoy it because it’s the second book in the series and I haven’t read the first book.

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

Non-Fiction Review: Brain Games

Brain Games by Stephanie Warren Drimmer
Brain Games: Mighty Book of Mind Benders
by Stephanie Warren Drimmer,  Gareth Moore

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Warning: This book will melt your brain!

With puzzles, codes, optical illusions, and games, each chapter focuses on one aspect of how our brains process information, including spatial awareness, how our hearing affects our visual perception, and how our memory works (or doesn’t work).

I especially liked the chapter on Words and Language, which explores how our brains process language and reading. There are tons of word games with anagrams, alphabet codes, palindromes, crossword puzzles, and word search games.

Each chapter starts with an explanation of how the brain functions in particular areas, how the brain is mapped, and what scientists and physicians are discovering about the power of the mind. Then challenges and puzzles are introduced to show how your brain is fooling you, or how your brain is stronger and smarter than you realize. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Book Review: Beginner’s World Atlas

National Geographic Kids Beginner's World Atlas, 4th Edition by National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas, 4th Edition
by National Geographic Kids

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This beginner’s atlas is perfect for young readers with a curiosity about the world! It starts with how maps show different countries and landscapes, and how to read a map using the key, the compass, and the distance scale that shows miles and kilometers. Full of colorful illustrations and photos, this atlas grabs the reader’s attention and brings the wonders of different nations to every page.

I like how the book is divided up by continent. It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how countries that border each other have a lot in common. It has maps that compare the landscapes, climates, plants and animals that are indigenous to the region, as well as the major cities, languages, and culture of each nation. Continue reading

Book Review: The Magic Half

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
The Magic Half
by Annie Barrows

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Miri is the only single child in a family of twins. When she is whisked back in time, she meets a girl from 1935 named Molly, and the two embark on a mission to save Molly from her abusive aunt and cousins. But the magic that allowed Miri to travel through time is unpredictable, and it will take a special perspective for Molly and Miri to unravel the mysteries of time before it’s too late.

I liked the plot and the adorable characters! Miri is so relatable and sweet, and Molly is quite brave in the face of her terrible relatives.
The plot is not amazingly mind-blowing, but it kept my interest and I liked the interesting magic system that allowed Miri to travel through time. Continue reading

Book Review: Away from Home

Away from Home by Arleta Richardson
Away from Home (Grandma’s Attic, #5)
by Arleta Richardson

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Mabel and Sarah Jane are staying with relatives while attending a prestigious high school in the city. Their parents think that at the responsible age of sixteen the two girls should be able to stay out of trouble, but no matter how hard they try to be sensible, trouble seems to find them anyway.

Mabel wears herself out studying and trying to beat Warren for the top grades in their class, until a brutal accident teaches her what really matters in life. Sarah Jane teases Mabel into asking the most popular and handsome boy in school to a social, even though they’ve never met! Clarice, the snobbiest girl in school, plots to embarrass Mabel in front of her friends, and Mabel has a hard time forgiving her new enemy. Continue reading

Book Review: A Bag of Moonshine

A Bag Of Moonshine by Alan Garner
A Bag Of Moonshine
by Alan Garner

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I loved this collection of fairy tales, rewritten from the folklore of England and Wales. The author has an uncanny ability to mimic the story-telling style of old folk tales, with whimsy and ingenuity.

The black and white illustrations add to the ghoulish atmosphere of the tales, and they are true to the art style I see in so many old fairy tale books from the late 1800s.

The enchantment of these stories lies in the excellent word-craft, and the weird and eccentric characters who populate the world of magic and mayhem. Full of changlings, witches, ogres who spin gold, and the clever youngest brother named Jack, these stories captivate the reader with the magnetic words and witty narrative style.