One of the reasons I enjoyed Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu was that it reminds me of the The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan…which is one of my favorites. The theme “Thing are not always as it seems,” is also an attribute that I like. When things are not as they seem, that leads to questions and causes you to think and be creative.
When we enter the story, we meet Charlotte Mielswetzski. She is a redhead with a very negative attitude. She is walking home from school on a normal day and comes across a cute little kitten. Well, you know what happens when you see a kitten, you instantly falls in love with it! I guess the kitten felt the same way because the kitten followed her and howled until Charlotte picked him/her up (we don’t know if it is a boy or a girl yet). At first Charlotte’s parents are appalled. Then an offer is made, if she is polite to her Cousin Zee, she can keep the kitten. She names her Bartholomew (it is a girl) … with the nickname being “Mew”.
Zee is a soccer star at Exter, a school for boys and girls, although most of the time the boys and girls are separated. One day, all of a sudden most of the school falls ill. The people do not look ill, there is nothing physically wrong with them; however, they are shadows of their former selves. Zee tries to tell Charlotte what has happened and they both agree to talk to their Language Arts teacher Mr. Metos - who is a greek history fanatic. The girls talk with him an discover that he is a son of Prometheus (the ancient God that protects man). He says the kids are getting sick because an evil demigod (half mortal half god) named Philonecron has been using the kids’ shadows to create an army to overthrow Hades (God of the dead), so he can be the king of the Underworld. The missing shadows are what is making all the kids weak.
So, Zee and Charlotte go to the Under World and discover that Philonecron (Phil) can’t touch the ground or else he will be incarcerate (because he was banished). So, what do they do … they push him to the ground! This releases all of the shadows so all the kids can get better.
I enjoyed this book because of the suspense it makes you want to read more. I also liked the verbage Mrs.Ursu used because it painted a visually stunning world .
I recently read Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris. This is a semi sweet novel which emphasizes that love will always find a way. I also liked that twists and turns were added to a normal fairy tale plot.
We have Christian, a slightly odd inventor. For starters, he lives with his foster-father, a troll. He lives in a cave along with his two dogs. Did I mention that the dogs can”sing”. One day he finds a telescope near his home. Upon figuring out how to use it, he spies on the princess of the kingdom, Marigold. He falls in love with her. He decides that he will work as a servant in the castle so that he can be closer to her.
Let me introduce, two of Marigold’s suitors – Prince Cyprain and Sir Magnus. Sir Magnus is pretty much a ”normal” guy with the Sir title in front of his name. Characteristics which would describe Sir Magnus could be wimpy and useless guy. Prince Cyprain, on the other hand, has to be in the center of attention. Marigold realizes these gentlemen are not for her plans to reject them.
One day, while cleaning the Queen’s chambers, Christian overhears the Queen plotting to eliminate Marigold and Marigold’s father so she can have the throne all to herself. Christian rushes to tell Marigold but is too late the queen just announced that Marigold and Sir Magnus are engaged!! Marigold is outraged at first. However, she gets over it as she realizes that if she marries Sir Magnus, she will get to stay with her Father.
Christian discover that he is a prince. This happens when one of the guards calls him a murderer … because the necklace that he has had since his childhood is the royal crest and only the royals in that kingdom can wear it. So on the day of the wedding, Christian crashes it and announces the he is a Prince and marries Marigold. I enjoyed this book because Jean Ferris really made a good book with a tablespoon of ingenuity. That’s what people want in a book.
In this book, Ms. Cass used beautifully illustrated words to capture the your attention. As a reader, you kept wondering how we reached this point in the story just as the next evolution was evolving. You kept desperately trying to find an answer.
This book takes place in the future, around 2040. There has been a World War III. People live in castles or ranks depending on how rich or famous you are. America, the main character, is a five and her heart-throb, Aspen, is a six. The two are secretly dating. They knew they must keep it a secret because if America’s Mother found out she would be furious (and, if her Mother is like my Mother, that would not be a pretty site). America used her talent playing the piano, flute and violin to make money for the family.
One day America gets a letter from the Royal Palace requesting that she compete (along with 36 other girls) to become Price Maxon’s bride. Winning this competition would make them a princess … the future queen. At first, America says “no” because of Aspen. However, Aspen ends the relationship so America changes her mind.
On the day American leaves, she sees Aspen with another girl becomes heart-broken. When she arrives at the Palace she is overwhelmed by how big it is. The next day she meets the Prince and discovers he is not at all what she had expected. She thought he would be stuck up and shallow but he was far from that. Their relationship blooms and they soon become close friends.
I enjoyed this book because this girl is torn between Aspen and Maxon. There are times in my life when I am torn between two things and I must make a decision. One thing I didn’t like was the fact that a lot of the words were hard to pronounce and I had to reread them a couple of times to get it right. One of the morals of this book would be don’t judge a person by their rank or demeanor because Maxon was not at all what American thought he would be. That is the issue nowadays because people are mean to other people just because of what they look like in other people’s minds.
I recently read this book called Origin by Jessica Khory. This book is about NOT being perfect and letting your heart lead your life instead of rules. It is really interesting … this girl is used to being called perfect. However, in reality no one is ever perfect … even though they seem to be.
Pia is a perfect immortal hidden in the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. She lives with her family (Scientists who are mostly aunts and uncles). They have always called her perfect and demand a lot from her. They expect her to start a whole race of immortals – which is not an easy job. One day while Pia and her Uncle Paolo were doing an experiment on a bird using one of her Uncle’s serum the bird dies. At that moment, something in Pia snaps and she decides to rebel.
Pia finds a hole in the fence which surrounds the camp and goes though it. She soon meets Eio. He is a boy from the neighboring tribe of Ai’oans. They instantly fall in love and Eio takes Pia to his tribe’s camp. The tribe’s Shaman comes out to meet Pia and announces that she is the Kapukiri, the person who is destined to save the tribe from the Scientists.
Pia easily finds the weakness in the Scientist camp - the fence. It looks really strong but is actually really weak. Pia, Eio, and the tribe raid the Scientist camp and win but they do not kill the scientists. The Scientists come after Pia. To make sure they don’t make another immortal she drinks Elysia (the very essence that can destroy her immortality). Pia dies as an immortal BUT awakens as a mortal! Pia and Eio can live together FOREVER … untill they pass, of course!
I liked the torn feelings Pia has. She had to decide between love or the path the Scientists made for her. I am happy she chose Eio over the Scientists!!!
Fellow tween readers … If you like fairy tales with a bit of humor, realization, and reality, this is the book is for you! Ms. Lundquist did a perfect job of adding those qualities to her book. It was those secret ingredients that makes the ordinary dish delicious, stand out in its own exceptional way. As to my followers, you know I tend to read a lot of fairy tales with this concept. Maybe it is just because I can connect with the main character, but this book left me on a completely different level of thought.
Callie Meadow Anderson is a typical, shy-girl trying to find her way though middle school (just like ME). She does not even compare to her best friend Ellen who, unlike Callie, is beautiful, popular, and makes boys swoon. Or, at least, that’s how Callie sees it. One day Callie has a hard time reading papers in class so a day later she goes to an eye doctor where she discovers that she will glasses. The list of orders is backed up so Callie’s eye doctor lends her a pair of thick glasses with an ugly old style frame.
On the first day with the glasses, Callie discovers that they can read minds! She discovers her best friend underestimates her, some people think she is stuck up, and others think she is a total loser! As Callie goes into her drama class, she sees her friend with a beautiful and popular girl … almost as if Ellen has replaced her. Soon enough Callie’s theory is true she has been replaced. Ellen doesn’t do anything with Callie anymore - no hanging out, not even calling on a regular basis! This new girl, Stacy, is beginning to make Callie very envious.
Stacy and Ellen decide that they will attend the Halloween dance at their school. They decide to invite; however, Callie realizes that they only invited her because they thought she would decline the offer. That REALLY hurt her feelings. But Callie realizes she must move on. She signs up for a school performance and gets the lead! On the night of the play Callie discovers that Charlie really did like her and that he thought she was cute and they become boyfriend and girlfriend. Callie learns that she should not look into people’s’ thoughts so she starts to use her glasses only to reading … finally gets a more stylish pair.
I enjoyed the book because, I know that I have said this before, but I felt like I could fully relate with Callie. I love to write stories just like her (even though I at times complain about blogging). I also enjoyed the book because of that touch of humor that could take you from happy to gloomy and right back to happy. I love this book!!!
The Teashop Girls was authored by Laura Schaeffer. Ms. Schaeffer beautify illustrated the story. I felt as if I was in the story with the characters. I also thought that the story had a touch of homeliness to it, which is good when you’re looking for something to enjoy as you snuggle up with a soft blanket and a mug of hot chocolate.
Annie Green is getting ready to start high school and has a bit of anxiety. First of all, she’ll be going into high school WITHOUT a boyfriend and without a job. Getting a job was a simple fix, because Annie’s Grandmother (Louisa) owns the town’s tea shop, The Steeping Leaf. So Annie becomes a barista and meets a cute boy named Jonathan. Jonathan is in high school and a bit out of Annie’s league – but only for the summer.
On Annie’s first day as a barista, the owner of the building is talking to Grandma and gives her an eviction notice. They will be evicted if they don’t pay their rent by the end of month. The town is going to lose their beloved Steeping Leaf! So, Annie calls in the Teashop Girls. The Teashop Girls consists of Annie, Genna, and Zoe. They have been going to the Steeping Leaf since they were in kindergarten and they have what it takes to save it.
The Girls decide to sell the Steeping Leaf’s tea to a spa nearby. They also get the local tv station to interview Grandma to promote the shop. Then, for a last resort, the Girls decide to host the 30th anniversary party of the Steeping Leaf. Sadly on the day before the anniversary party Grandma announces that she is going to close down the shop and retire. She feels she’s had the business long enough.
On the day the party, last-minute changes are made because the anniversary party turned into a farewell party based on Grandma’s decision. Everyone is gloomy and depressed because the shop is leaving and they will have to go somewhere else for their tea and lose the charming, comfortable feeling of the shop has. Even over all the people Annie is the saddest person there because she is losing such a big piece of her childhood. All of a sudden an official man comes walking in the door and announces that he is going to buy the place and let Grandma keep it. It turns out he was a friend of Grandma’s husband and was doing him a favor. Everyone rejoices and is happy for all time.
I enjoyed this book because of its simplicity it was very easy to understand. Ms.Schaefer did an amazing job using details because she used them but didn’t make it so that the details were overpowering or wordy. I also think that the author did a fabulous job with quotes because at the beginning of each chapter she would do a quote that showed why people thought tea was good.
The moral is have faith and keep pushing forward. The Girls could have easily given up and let the teashop go yet they continued to believe it would work out for the best.
The Serpent’s Shadow is the conclusion to the Kane Chronicles authored by Rick Riordan. Mr. Riordan also wrote the Percy Jackson series, most of my peers have heard of him – not to mention, he is one of my favorite authors. I love his writings because Mr. Riordan puts his own spin on Greek, Egyptian and Roman mythology. I really enjoy reading books about mythology. I guarantee if you like the Percy Jackson series, this is another one you will completely enjoy.
Sadie and Carter Kane are siblings. They are either best friends or arch enemies of all Egyptian Magicians. The Magicians are people that use Egyptian artifacts to aid them in their lives. Sadly, most of the Magicians are enemies of the Kane children because they believe that the Kanes abuse the God’s powers.
One night, Carter and Sadie have to raid a museum because they need to get the scroll of Selme. This scroll is so special because it holds the key to destroying Apophis – a giant serpent that wants to destroy the world so he can rebuild it and become the ruler. This is easier said then done. All at once the Kanes and their trainees (students) are in a full-out battle with Apophis and his minions. Luckily Sadie has a spell that freezes time. Sadie grabs the scroll and runs out of the museum.
Once Sadie and Carter get back to the London house (their “base”), they find out that to defeat Apophis, they must destroy his shadow. The reason they need to destroy the shadow is that his shadow contains part of his soul. They go into the most evil part of the Duat. The Duat is where the Gods dwell. They almost immediately find the shadow because of its size and destroy it. Since they saved the world, the Sadie and Carter Kane gain great honor with the mortal magicians and humans.
I enjoyed this book because Mr. Riordan uses the old Egyptian myths which I was not familiar with. I appreciate that Mr. Riordan took the time to put in a glossary. I did not know what an ankh was but I learned that it means life. The detail in this book was great.
There are two morals in this book. One is saving others is better than saving yourself and the other is to never give up. Carter and Sadie showed this when they took on the task of saving the world and all that lived in it. They both knew they could easily die but that was not an option. We all should make sacrifies!