Comic Review: Super Sons 1 & 2

Super Sons by Ridley PearsonSuper Sons by Ridley Pearson
3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Jon Kent and Ian Wayne are the sons of Superman and Batman. They team up with a mysterious girl named Candace, with a troubled past, and the unlikely friends investigate an evil plot involving a deadly illness sweeping the streets. Meanwhile, the world is drowning as the polar icecaps melt and sea levels rise. Metropolis is flooded, and millions are forced to evacuate their homes and find shelter as “flood runners” in nearby towns, Jon and Ian included. Can they outrun the floods and find out who is behind the deadly virus?

I feel conflicted about this book. The characters are good, and I loved the artwork, but the story is hard to follow, because the plot is very chaotic. The scenes jump around with very little explanation about what is happening. The characters have extreme emotional reactions to situations, but it is never explained WHY they are reacting that way. There is almost no backstory on anyone. Continue reading

Book Review: Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages
by Trenton Lee Stewart 

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

The whole gang is back for another adventure! Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance are a little older now, contemplating their next move into adulthood, and worried that the Society will lose their special connection as they grow up. They band together one last time to stop the evil Mr. Curtain from escaping from his high-security prison.

I love everything about this book! The character development is excellent, and the friendships within the Society are just perfection. The plot kept me guessing right up to the end, and I was surprised at every turn. I love the witty writing style, and all the puzzles and codes and conundrums that are solved as the team work together to save the day!

Book Review: Fearless

Fearless by Elvira Woodruff
Fearless
by Elvira Woodruff

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


In 1695, the Eddystone Reef off the coast of Cornwall is called the “Widow Maker” with more than 50 ships wrecking on the rocks each year. When Digory’s father is presumed lost at sea, Digory travels to Plymouth to inquire about any possible survivors from his ship, hoping to find his father alive. He becomes an apprentice to an eccentric inventor named Henry Winstanley, who is the architect of the new Eddystone Lighthouse.

I didn’t even realize that this is historical fiction until the end, when I read the blurb about history at the end of the book. I was pleasantly surprised and it gave the story so much more depth and meaning. Henry Winstanley really did design and build the first offshore lighthouse on Eddystone Reef, saving thousands of sailors’ lives each year.

I loved the writing style, the plot, the characters, and the wonderful themes of courage and family. The writing really draws the reader into this historic time and makes the setting feel immediate and real. The characters are colorful and interesting, and I really enjoyed the smart dialogue. Continue reading

Book Review: A Handful of Magic

A Handful of Magic by Stephen Elboz
A Handful of Magic
by Stephen Elboz

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Kit is full of mischief and unruly vandalism, until his misconduct results in his best friend, Prince Henry being bitten by a werewolf. As Kit works to save Henry from the werewolf’s poison, he uncovers a deadly plot to cripple all of England while children are used as slaves to work in underground mines. To save his friends, Kit must learn to use his magical abilities for good, instead of for foolish pranks.

Full of steampunk magic and mythical creatures, this book creates a world where magic is at war with new scientific discoveries like the electric light and telegraph. Kit’s father, a prominent wizard-adviser to Queen Victoria, worries that magic is becoming obsolete in the face of new scientific inventions, and Kit is determined to prove that magic is just as relevant and necessary as it ever was.

I didn’t quite like Kit and his friends at first, because of their foolishness and vandalism, but they began to grow and learn, and their good hearts and generous spirits began to show through, so in the end, I liked them all and was cheering for them through their adventures. Continue reading

Book Review: Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure

Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure by National Geographic Kids
Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure
by National Geographic Kids

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Enter the Explorer Academy as a recruit and crack the codes to find clues that will lead you through the mysterious halls of the Academy. Starting with easy codes and moving into more and more complex puzzles and encryptions, this book teaches the readers how to create and decode various types of ciphers, including semaphore and Morse code.

I loved the way the puzzles and codes are presented as part of an adventure, leading the reader through doorways to various parts of the Academy. Each code that you break gives you a clue to another place in the Academy that you need to go to find the next clue, and there are detours and hazards along the way. Continue reading

Book Review: The Switch

The Switch by Anthony Horowitz
The Switch
by Anthony Horowitz 

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Tad is a spoiled rich kid, living in a massive mansion, with servants at his beck and call. Bob is a poor kid, living in a dirty caravan, working in a carnival, and surviving on the streets with thieves and pickpockets. When the two switch places in a magical swap, Tad must learn to survive on the streets, and Bob discovers that being rich isn’t always as good as it sounds.

This story was so much more than I thought it was going to be! I thought it would be your regular “Freaky Friday” body-swap thing with the pathetic rich kid having to learn how to live without his precious wealth. But wow! I was completely surprised at the turn the plot took, and the intricacies of the story. Even the smallest details took on a major significance as the truth behind Tad’s wealthy family is exposed. Continue reading

Book Review: Here Lies the Librarian

Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck
Here Lies the Librarian
by Richard Peck

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Jake and Peewee have a run-down country car garage that used to be a livery stable before the Model-T came roaring down the dirt roads of their little town. Jake loves to tinker with the newest automobiles, dreaming of building his own racecar someday, and Peewee is no slouch when it comes to repairing a brake line or patching up a punctured tire. When Irene, the new librarian, comes motoring along in beautiful clothes and an astonishing hat, Jake and Peewee’s lives will never be the same.

I fell in love with this book by the second chapter. I loved the plot, the classic 1910s setting, the kooky characters, the mysterious new librarian, and the hilarious antics of the farmers and rough-and-tumble country folk.
Continue reading

Book Review: Calico Bush

Calico Bush by Rachel Field
Calico Bush
by Rachel Field,  Gail Herman,  Allen Lewis (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


In 1743, Marguerite is an indentured servant to a colonial family settling in the middle of Indian territory on the coast of Maine. Because she is French, she is scorned and ridiculed by her English employers, and is expected to work hard to tend to the children of the family. During their first winter on the small farm, Marguerite and the family struggle to survive in the harsh conditions, and face the threat of an attack from local tribes.

I was so enchanted with this book! The plot is interesting, the history is fascinating, and the characters feel wonderfully real and honest. It’s no wonder that this book won a Newbery Honor Award! Continue reading

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!

Graphic Novel Review: Dear Justice League

Dear Justice League by Michael Northrop
Dear Justice League 
by Michael Northrop (Author)Gustavo Duarte (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Are the Justice League heroes always perfect? Or do they sometimes make mistakes, eat too much cake, smell like fish, make bad fashion choices, lose the video game, or leave a job half-done?
The Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Hawkgirl, Cyborg, and Aquaman answer all their fan mail from kids who wonder, “Are superheroes just like me?”

I loved the way the hilarious fan mail stories are woven into a bigger story as the Justice League battles an invasion of insectoid aliens. The writing is really clever to bring together so many different snippets of superhero life with little glimpses of the regular kids who are their most devoted fans. Continue reading