Book Review: Nooks & Crannies

Nooks & Crannies
Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Tabitha receives a mysterious invitation to visit the reclusive Countess of Windermere, Tabitha leaves her life of isolation behind, and hopes to find new friends among the other five children who have also been summoned. Since her only friend is her pet mouse, Pemberley, Tabitha has difficulty at first keeping up a conversation with other children, but learns to relax and trust her companions as they begin to unravel the mystery of the Countess and her intentions.

Drawing on her literary experiences reading mystery novels, Tabitha leads the children’s investigation into the rumors of ghosts at Windermere, the ailing maid who has suffered a stroke, and the odd Countess herself who has many secrets. When things don’t add up, Tabitha is the one who discovers the truth that will change all their lives forever.

An exciting plot, wonderful writing style, and a whole cast of interesting characters! I love the humor and little aside comments in the writing. So funny! Continue reading

Book Review: The Anybodies

The Anybodies
The Anybodies by N.E. Bode

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fern is a magical girl with a secret parentage, and when she meets her true father, The Bone, and leaves her extremely dull adoptive parents, she is swept into adventure and danger. The Bone’s archnemesis, The Miser, is lurking in the shadows and plotting evil, and it’s up to Fern to discover the secrets of her parents’ murky past in order to puzzle through the future and find her true identity. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Boxers & Saints

BoxersSaints
Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was enthralled by this first graphic novel in the duet! It’s incredible how, despite the violent and serious nature of the story, there is still humor and friendship and family. All the good things of life are entwined with the horrifying circumstances of the Boxer Rebellion.

Little Bao is an ordinary youngest son being picked on by his older brothers, but when his father is beaten by “foreign devils” and his village is cheated by the Christian Chinese, little Bao learns to fight and begins a journey seeking for justice and revenge.

With the help of the magical Chinese gods and heroes of the past, Little Bao and his brothers raise an army to protect the country villages, but circumstances push them to Continue reading

Comic Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow, Part 1
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m loving the continuing story of Team Avatar in these graphic novels! In this one, there is political unrest in the Fire Nation as a band of traitorous rebels try to put the evil Ozai back on the throne. Zuko must fight to protect his newly-found family, but there are spies and enemies around every corner, and Zuko will have to call on Avatar Aang to help.

I love the artwork, and you can really feel the action moving the story forward. It’s easy to imagine it playing in your head like a movie, because the dialogue and facial expressions and fight scenes all flow so well. Continue reading

Book Review: Mad Ship

Mad Ship
Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story continues with Althea desperate to prove herself as an able-bodied seaman so that she can hopefully regain control of the Liveship Vivacia. But unbeknownst to her, Vivacia has been captured by pirates, and Wintrow is forced to bargain with the evil Kennit to save his own life and his father’s.
Malta is caught up in a flurry of courtship that could mean the forgiveness of the Vestrit family’s crushing debts, or it could spell ruin for her reputation. Brashen is striving to simply make a living on board a ship anywhere, but the mad ship Paragon might change his plans. And the mysterious Amber begins to have more influence on events as she has a finger in every pie in Bingtown. Continue reading

Book Review: The Great Cheese Conspiracy

The Great Cheese Conspiracy
The Great Cheese Conspiracy by Jean Van Leeuwen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an adorable little book about some mice living in a movie theater, who watch a lot of films about bank robbers. When they decide their gang is going to rob a cheese store, they come up with one hilarious plan after another and have several daring escapes, but no cheese. It’s up to their fearless leader to pull off the biggest cheese heist in mouse history!

I love stories about mice because they are the ultimate underdog characters! These little guys come up with some ingenious and hilarious projects, and I love the humor and silliness in the writing.

This would be the perfect book to read aloud to children, or for a child just starting to read chapter books. So cute!

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Graphic Novel Review: Laddertop

Laddertop, Volume 1
Laddertop, Volume 1 by Orson Scott Card

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Robbi and Azure are chosen from among their classmates to train for Laddertop Academy, a space station that hires gifted children to do maintenance work in the miles of tiny service tunnels. Laddertop space station was a gift from an alien race, but the aliens disappeared soon after. When Robbi begins her training, she finds out that Laddertop holds mysteries and enigmas that could destroy Earth or save it.

Robbi and Azure are excellent characters, with Azure providing some humor and Robbi being the serious-minded protagonist.
I really liked the interaction between all the children in training. They poke fun at each other, make friends and sometimes enemies, but it’s never boring!

The world building is very intriguing! The Laddertop space station is set up in such a unique way, and the humans who run it don’t really understand what it is capable of. I’m dying to know what those aliens are up to, and what role Robbi will play in their plans!

I really need to get my hands on the 2nd volume!

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