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.

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Book Review: Birdwing

Birdwing by Rafe Martin
Birdwing 
by Rafe Martin

4 out of 5 stars on GoodREads


Ardwin is the youngest in his family, cursed with one arm that is a swan’s wing. He is feared and reviled by the world, and sets out to seek an adventure that will lead him to his true home. But he will never find peace until he learns to accept himself, wing and all.

This is a continuation of the fairy tale of the brothers who are transformed into swans and saved by their sister who weaves shirts of nettles to break the curse. One little brother’s shirt is unfinished, missing a sleeve, and that arm remains a swan’s wing.

I loved Ardwin’s character! He’s a very deep thinker, and he puzzles through many ideas about identity, instinct, belonging, love, and hate, and forgiveness. There are so many wonderful themes that he wrestles with, but he ultimately finds where he truly belongs.

The plot is wonderfully fantastical, full of wizards, enchantresses, talking animals, deep earth magic, and impossible plot twists that kept me guessing and wondering and perfectly in awe. Continue reading

Book Review: Cybele’s Secret

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier
Cybele’s Secret (Wildwood, #2) 
by Juliet Marillier

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Paula travels with her merchant father to Istanbul, hoping to acquire a religious artifact of rare and precious value. There is fierce competition for the artifact, and unscrupulous merchants will use violence to get their hands on it. Paula’s father hires a bodyguard, Stoyan, to keep his daughter safe on the dangerous streets. Paula befriends a wayward pirate captain, Duarte, hoping to get information from him about the artifact. The powers from the Other Kingdom send Paula on a quest, to retrieve the artifact, to unravel the riddles surrounding its history, and to learn from her perilous voyage the meaning of love and friendship.

My heart is too full! I can barely think, my mind is still reeling with all the complex details of the story. I have cried and laughed and clutched the book with white knuckles. What a journey! My heart just went on a rollercoaster ride, and I am still gasping for breath. Continue reading

Kitty Hawk Series Review

http://www.iainreading.com/
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost
Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue
Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the R.M.S. Titanic
Kitty hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces

Book Review: Claudia

Claudia by Barbara Brooks Wallace
Claudia 
by Barbara Brooks Wallace

4 out of 5 stars on GoodREADS


12-year-old Claudia’s best friend, Duffy, is an 8-year-old boy, and together the two get into mischief of all kinds. Her parents think she should be making friends with girls her own age, but Duffy is the only one who really understands and accepts Claudia. When the mean girls at school begin to make trouble for Claudia, it seems even more impossible to make other friends. Claudia finds the strength and imagination to stand up to bullies, navigate the treacherous waters of neighborhood kid politics, and find a new appreciation for her boring normal family.

I loved this book! Poor Claudia is so awkward, but her heart is pure and strong. Duffy is adorable as a sidekick for all Claudia’s adventures, and I loved all the supporting characters in Claudia’s family. I hated the villainous mean girls, and cheered for the good guys in every scene!

Great writing, and a wonderful plot!

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Book Review: Kitty Hawk #5

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces by Iain Reading
Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5) 
by Iain Reading

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Kitty Hawk meets up with her old friend, Charlie, in Rome, and the two become involved in a mysterious international intrigue. They befriend a group of Italian siblings whose father has a dark past, and it’s up to Kitty to follow the clues through secret codes, hidden rooms, and the disturbing history of several long-lost paintings by famous artists.

As always, I adore Kitty’s character. She is better than Nancy Drew! Her incredible kindness and insatiable curiosity propel her into the most marvelous adventures. I love that her reaction to almost everything is, “Let’s go! Let’s find out! Let’s jump in!” She is such an energetic character, and that energy shines off every page.
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