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

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

Book Review: Queste

Queste by Angie Sage
Queste (Septimus Heap, #4) 
by Angie Sage

4 out of 5 stars

A disgruntled old ghost has rigged the Questing Stone draw, sending Septimus on a suicide mission against the rules of Magyck Apprenticeship. No matter what Septimus does, he cannot escape the deadly Queste, and he ends up dragging Jemma and Beetle along with him through dangerous forests, and across deadly cliffs, to face the dreaded Foryx monsters and find the secrets of Time.

The world-building gets more and more phenomenal with each book in this series, as we discover further depths of magic and fantasy.
I love how twisty the plot is, where every small detail can have a huge impact on the story. I love the interesting and complex characters and how they all interact.
I am growing to love Beetle’s character more and more through this series, and I loved that he played a more central role in this book.
Jemma and Septimus are fantastic characters, as always. Nicko and Snorri also make an appearance from the depths of Time, and magic surrounds everything they do.

Loving this series!

Book Review: The Door in the Forest

The Door in the Forest by Roderick Townley
The Door in the Forest 
by Roderick Townley

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Daniel is a boy who cannot tell lies, no matter how much he wants to. Emily is a secretive girl with an eccentric grandmother. Together they try to find a doorway to the mysterious island and the magical secrets it holds. But a sneaky Army Captain has camped out in the town with his soldiers looking for traitors and spies, and he is determined to ferret out Daniel and Emily’s secrets.

This book was only okay. I was disappointed in the story. The big revealed mystery about the island was a major disappointment. I was bored with the characters. The plot barely moves at all. This is not nearly as imaginative as some of this author’s other books. I ended up skimming through the last 50 pages.

Book Review: Poppy

Poppy by Avi
Poppy,   by Avi

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Poppy and her large mouse family are held in servitude to the formidable owl, Mr. Ocax. When Poppy and her boyfriend, Ragweed, decide to flaunt Mr. Ocax’s rules, it means trouble for the whole mouse family. Only Poppy can discover the truth behind Mr. Ocax’s secret fear, and save her family from starvation!

This story was so cute! I loved the whimsical plot, and the funny characters. The writing is charming, and the illustrations are beautiful.
Poppy is such an idiotic little fool, but she has a good heart and she is brave in the middle of terrifying circumstances (well, terrifying to a mouse).
I loved grumpy old Ereth, and his hilarious insults! He brings so much comedy into the story.

I enjoyed this so much that I’m going to continue on with the sequel, Poppy and Rye.

Book Review: Physik

Physik by Angie Sage
Physik (Septimus Heap, #3) 
by Angie SageMark Zug (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Septimus and his family are threatened again, this time by the ghost of Queen Etheldredda the Awful. Princess Jenna and Septimus team up to stop her from going through with her evil plans to take over the Kingdom, but of course there are many obstacles, magic conundrums, and secrets from the past to be discovered and overcome.

There are so many vibrant characters in these books, and I love the main characters, Septimus and Jenna. I was so interested in the twisty plot! There is a lot going on in every chapter with many moving parts in the plot that wind around each other.
The writing is rich and flavorful, but still concise and pointed. I loved the map in the beginning, and the small illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.

Can’t wait to read more from this series!

Book Review: The Evil Wizard Smallbone

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman
The Evil Wizard Smallbone 
by Delia Sherman 

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Nick runs away from his abusive uncle, only to fall into the hands of an evil wizard! Nick is forced to become Smallbone’s apprentice, but the old man refuses to teach him any magic. Unraveling the secrets of the Evil Wizard Bookshop and the mysterious town of Smallbone Cove, Nick will have to outwit his master before an even more evil wizard, Fidelou, terrorizes and destroys the entire town.

I am delighted with this whimsical tale of wizardry! I love the enchanted town of Smallbone Cove and the rich history of the people there. I love how grumpy and enigmatic Smallbone is, because we slowly discover that he has a heart of gold underneath. I love the twisty plot with all kinds of weird surprises. I like the writing style too! There’s a lot of dry humor and snappy dialogue.  Continue reading