Thursday, July 7, 2011

Middle Grade & YA

Superior Saturday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #6)Superior Saturday by Garth Nix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Wow. The amount of imagination and detail Nix puts into these books is just amazing. I should try some of his other series ... these are the only ones I've read. And it was nice to come to the series fairly late. Don't have to wait so long for the next ones then.

The whole description of the tower and chains and different colored umbrellas? Sounds ridiculous out of context but IN the story it works.



Now to go track down Lord Sunday!



View all my reviews

The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning Series #1)The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I stayed up too late finishing this! (But hey, why not. Fireworks were cancelled in our neck of the woods due to bad drought.)

I really liked the sense of family these three kids gave each other. Two sisters and a brother who did their very best to stay together.

I also really liked the description of the settings. I could "see" the places in my mind.

Some of the "time travel" bits got a little confusing. But it wasn't so that it really interrupted the flow of the story. I noticed it but it didn't bother me too much.

Can't wait to get a library copy into the hands of some kids!



The Emperor of Nihon-JaThe Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I do love these stories. So much epic action and adventure. Intricately plot out stories. Interaction between characters. Never a moment's rest!

I really liked the Emperor.

As much as I loved it, though, I will say this is the first one that seemed a little ... long. And the first one (without spoiling too much) that really showed how much Will and Horace and Alyss and Evanlyn have grown up. I'll probably still get it for our collection. But really encourage younger readers to go for something else. Most of them would not likely make it from books one to nine, anyway. Only the really dedicated that can handle it, anyway.




The Great FireThe Great Fire by Jim Murphy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Actually quite enjoyed this one ... and considering it was a "listened to" while on the treadmill that's saying something!

Terrible tragedy of errors. The whole thing.

Excellent narrator. First heard him do "I'll Fight You For the Library." Which is totally unrelated to this book but hilarious.



Happenstance Found (The Books of Umber, #1)Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Wow. I enjoyed that one a lot more than I expected to. Grand fantasy with a twist at the end I was NOT expecting.



Actually also glad to see that it's not actually as long or complicated as it might look just from the cover. The print is double spaced ... meaning it will be accessible to a lot more kids (on our state reading list) than might have seemed at first glance. Not all of them, certainly, as it is a complicated story. But the less skilled readers have lots of other choices. No one student has to read every book on the list.



Can't wait to read some more!



CosmicCosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Had to keep going to hear the end. I think this is one of my new favorite books. :]

Not sure what kids will think. Curious to find out.



#3 It just gets better.

"I said cockadoodle doo. I don't usually."

"OK. You lot are my mission."



Update #2 So that I don't forget ...

*the space suits that made everyone look like "criminal tangerines"

*Liam just HAD to bump the other dad in the stomach with their big orange inflatable suits



SERIOUSLY FUNNY!!!!



Update #1

I'm in the middle of listening to this while on the treadmill/bike ... embarrassing myself by busting out laughing at gym inappropriate times.



Seriously funny. I've actually exercised LONGER THAN USUAL just to keep listening.



So I don't forget ...

*playing the Big Friendly Giant as a "Little Stars" actor

*the crisps and pop in his dressing room

*being mistaken for the new media studies teacher and leading the entire school out of assembly

*visiting the travel agent and having his mom nix everything

*discovering the 5 different conversations his dad makes

Also--the narrator. It's KIRBY HEYBORNE--LDS movie "star." How did I not know he did audiobooks? Funny thing is, he also did Little Brother which I downloaded just yesterday but haven't started listening to yet. The accent took a little getting used to but this main character is supposed to be from England.



Superior Saturday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #6)Superior Saturday by Garth Nix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Wow. The amount of imagination and detail Nix puts into these books is just amazing. I should try some of his other series ... these are the only ones I've read. And it was nice to come to the series fairly late. Don't have to wait so long for the next ones then.



The whole description of the tower and chains and different colored umbrellas? Sounds ridiculous out of context but IN the story it works.



Now to go track down Lord Sunday!





The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


What a grand adventure. Do people really have adventures like that? Or are they just in books?



I have to admit, though, that I liked the first one better. Maybe I should have reread it just before reading this one. I'm a little far removed from the characters so I can't quite remember why they act the way they do. Hadn't really remembered that the last letter was stolen.



These would make for a fun cheesy movie.

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