Thursday, February 18, 2010

Theodosia and the eyes of Horus

R.L Lafevers has been posting one chapter a month from the third book on this site. Use the side bar archive that lists months. She started in October. The new book doesn't come out until April so you can read the first five chapters this way. Plus she often gives away books. You could win one, I did! Ms. Lafevers even responds to comments herself. So check back to see her reply if you leave a comment.

Nubs: The true story of a mutt, a marine, & a miracle

Title: Nubs: The true story of a mutt, a marine, & a miracle
Author: Major Brian Lewis
Level: nonfiction juvenile
Location: J 636.7092 DEN 2009

This is a true story of a dog that wanted to be a Marine. Think about how your pet can help you feel better, make you laugh, and keep you from feeling lonely. That's what this stray dog did for a Marine team. I've often heard that animals pick their owners not the other way around. Well here is one dog that definitely knew who he wanted to be with. Even though he had been treated poorly by people ( nothing with details mentioned) he picked out Major Dennis to help on guard duty. Marines in Iraq travel around so "Nubs" would wait for Brian to return and Brian would look out for the dog whenever he was near by. Find out how devoted they became to each other and how Brian was able to save Nubs. This book is all about the dog and his relationship with Marines. There are no details about war or photos that show anything other military vehicles not in use, like could be seen on any base.

Bottom line: A feel good true story of a mutt with no ears who adopts Marine Major Brian Dennis and his team. "Nubs" has a rough life made better whenever Brian is around. Find out how devoted they become to each other. Photos of Nubs and Brian are included as are emails Brian wrote about Nubs while over seas.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Kingdom of Fantasy

Title: Geronimo Stilton The Kingdom Of Fantasy
Author: Geronimo Stilton
Location: J Stilton
Level: J

In this new Geronimo series Geronimo travels through seven fantasy kingdoms in search of the Queen of the fairies, who needs his help. The format is like other Geronimo books; color pictures and colorful fonts of different sizes. Each Kingdom includes a map and a page with all the important information about it. A music box that came to Geronimo on the tail of a shooting star helps him enter each kingdom and provides something to aid his passing through that kingdom. Scribblehopper, a frog, is his guide. Of course, he runs into problems passing through each quickly and characters who want to stop him. He ends up telling a condensed version of a story in each Kingdom. The book includes secret codes to decipher, riddles and illusions.
Bottom Line: Fans of Geronimo Stilton will probably enjoy this book. I would have liked the map and kingdom information to have been at the beginning of the chapter about each as I feel it interrupts the flow, but this is a small annoyance. This book is longer than most of the Geronimo books, but there are plenty of pictures so it doesn't feel that long.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Odd and the Frost Giants

Title: Odd and the Frost Giants
Author: Neil Gaiman
Level: J
Location: J Gaiman
In this short read Odd, a Viking boy who's name means luck, just doesn't have any good luck. The story progresses quickly to the forest where Odd is lead by a fox to a bear he frees from a tree. These aren't any regular forest animals. They're Norse gods. Find out how they became animals and why they need Odd's help. How can a twelve year old boy with a bad leg defeat a Frost Giant?!
Bottom Line; A short, simple and to the point, quick adventure read. Good for boys and reluctant readers. No complaints about this one. Enjoy the artistry of Neil Gaiman.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Reading Level: Young Adult
Location: YA Garcia
“There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere. At least, that’s what I thought. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave.”

Ethan Wate lives in a small, old southern town in South Carolina where nothing much happens and everything is always the same. As a member of one of the older families in town, he is treated well, gets decent grades and is quickly becoming one of the stars on the basketball team. However, since the death of his mother, none of this matters. He can’t wait to leave Gatlin and its antiquated ways behind. That was before he met Lena Duchannes. As the niece of the town recluse, Lena is anything but welcome in Gatlin. Although Ethan knows he should avoid befriending this social pariah, he can’t seem to leave her alone. It doesn’t help that she was making appearances in his dreams long before they ever met. As Ethan gets closer to Lena, he learns her haunting family history, and the reason she dreads her upcoming 16th birthday. Lena’s very being depends on them learning the secrets of an old artifact which played a central role in the beginning and horrific end of a love story that would forever alter generations of Lena’s family.

It took me awhile to write this review because I loved the book so much. The authors do a wonderful job of realistically portraying the small, southern town of Gatlin. They expertly describe the scenery, sounds and people of this place so much so that the reader feels like everything in the book could possibly exist. I enjoyed Ethan as the narrator throughout the book. Many fantasy novels, especially ones that include love stories, have female narrators, so I though Ethan was a nice change of pace. The love story between Ethan and Lena develops very well, but I never felt as though it was the main focus of the plot. In my personal opinion, the real driving force for the plot lies in Lena, her intriguing family members (like creepy Uncle Macon and Boo) and their history. They kept the book moving for me and the relationship between Ethan and Lena was more of a pleasant side effect. I wish it would have wrapped up a little better, but it does not leave you with a cliffhanger. I don’t want to give anything away, but Beautiful Creatures was a wonderfully crafted story with interesting characters and the perfect setting. Don’t miss it!

The Bottom Line: It’s obvious that I loved this one! It is not my favorite of 2009, but it is certainly up there. Read it for the hauntingly, mysterious storyline and the realistic, not-too-sweet love story. This is the first in a planned 5 book series. I assume the next will be released around December 2010.