Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Prince and The Heir

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Image result for the heir by kiera cass

By Kiera Cass

I LOVE the Selection Books and was super excited to read The Heir in June. I was most excited because it seemed like a set up for a whole new trilogy and that would be amazing! However, while I was getting ready to write this post I learned that there is only going to be one more book in 2016 and a collection of other material released in one book and then Kiera Cass is done with Illea. I will take what I can get!

The other exciting thing I found out is that The Selection is going to be made into a movie. Yahoo!! Anyway, back to the books. . .  I am cheating a bit by talking about The Heir since I read it in June but if you liked The Selection series you should definitely read this book .

Also, in case you didn't know there are a few novellas written from different character's points of view. The Prince is obviously written from the Prince's point of view. It tells Maxon's point of view when The Selection gets started. I liked it because it gives a new side to things and I liked the story the first time so I was happy to re-visit it. The only thing I will say is it's too short! Yes, it's a novella so it's meant to be short but I wanted to read further into the story! When the collection comes out, which will be called Happily Ever After, The Prince will be included in the book with two bonus chapters. I think that will make this even better.

If you love The Selection, both of these books are worth reading. We have The Heir in our library and The Prince is available on Overdrive.

Dreamer Wisher Liar

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By Charise Mericle Harper

Lots of girls in Grade 5/6 have been reading this book and saying how much they liked it so I was looking forward to reading it over the summer. It is about a girl named Ashley who comes across a jar of wishes in the basement. When she pulls one out she gets drawn into the wish and sees it play out with two girls she has never met before named Shue and Ashley.  Before long the wish fades away and Ashley is back in her basement. Throughout the summer Ashley can't wait to go downstairs and see the next part of the story as she continues to pull wishes out of the jar and be transported back into Shue and Ashley's story.

Back in the "real world" Ashley is expected to welcome a new person into their house for three weeks when her parents invite a friends' daughter, Claire,  into their home. At first this isn't much fun at all but Claire has some creative ways to make the summer more fun for everyone in the whole family.

I liked this book and was surprised to realize that the author also wrote the series Just Grace, which we have in our library. I hadn't made that connection before.

The whole time I was reading this book I also thought it reminded me a lot of a book called A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson. If you enjoyed Dreamer Wisher Liar you will love A Handful of Time too.

Friday, 17 July 2015


by David Arnold

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I really wanted to like this book. I was intrigued by the synopsis on the back and the About the Author was funny. This book was also recommended to me and is getting quite a bit of attention so I was excited to check it out.

In the book's favour, the writing is well done and some parts of the book resonated with me.

Unfortunately, there were many things about this book that I did not like. Mim, the main character, goes on a road trip to find her mother. Along the way many serious things happen to her and I felt like they were glossed over and not always handled well. For example, the bus that she is on crashes, people die and the survivors get on a new bus the next day and keep driving.  This felt very unrealistic and forced to me. Similarly, I didn't like how the author handled topics like assault and mental illness, although I suppose the story tells us how Mim handles these things and each person would respond differently to any given situation.

This book was a "one weeker" for me; when I can't get into a book it always takes me longer than a book that I really like. I was disappointed with this book and would recommend checking out other reviews online before delving into this one.

Parent Point: Includes mature themes and language. Recommended for high school students.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Adventures of Ook and Gluk Kung Fu Cavemen from the Future

By: Geroge Beard and Harold Hutchins
The Adventures of Ook and Gluck, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future
Image from Dav Pilkey's Website:

I had a lot of fun reading this book with my son who is going into Grade 2. George and Harold, the main characters from Captain Underpants, put a lot of time, thought and effort into their comic book. It is funny and has an action-packed story line. Any kids who like Captain Underpants will like this book as well.

The most important thing I learned is that "His name not Glook, it 'Gluk'. It ryme with 'duck'" (15) and "His name not Uck, it 'Ook.' Ryme with 'Duke'" (17). I spent most of the rest of the book trying to remember how to say their names right! I will need to make myself a sign so I will remember in September too!

Parent Point: If you are familiar with the comic sections in Captain Underpants you know that they are full of phonetic spelling.  The whole book is a comic and does not contain the more traditional chapter book pages that Captain Underpants includes. If you find the phonetic spelling a challenge you will not enjoy this book. Also, there is some mild language that some parents might find objectionable.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Brilliant World of Tom Gates

By: L. Pichon

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Tom Gates loves to make his sister Delia miserable, hang out with his friend and bandmate Derek, listen to Dude3 and try to get the attention of Amy Porter whenever he can. Of course, along the way he runs into all kinds of funny situations and sometimes might get into a *bit* of trouble.

I really enjoyed this book, which won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and plan to read the second one too. If you like Diary of  a Wimpy Kid you are really going to enjoy this series as well. The format is very similar and the drawings are funny. I would definitely recommend this book to kids in Grade 3-5 who like funny stories like And Then it Happened or Wimpy Kid.

This book was written by a British author so there are some words and phrases that might be unfamiliar to Canadian readers. Not to fear! There is a glossary starting on page 242 that explains many of the words I thought might not be familiar.

Check out this book today and when you are done reading it be sure to let me know how you think it stacks up to other funny books that we have in our library!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Banner in the Sky

Banner in the Sky
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by James Ramsey Ullman

I have to admit I was giddy about reading this book with my oldest son as it was a favourite of mine growing up. Our grade 7 teacher read it to us in class and I have read it to a couple of Grade 5 classes back in the day. I have many fond memories of this book.

It is a story of a boy named Rudi Matt who lives in the shadow of a mighty mountain called the Citadel. His life's dream is to climb the mountain but his mother will not allow him to become a climber because his father died attempting to climb the Citadel many years before.

Despite his mother's best intentions to save him from the dangers of mountain climbing, Rudi is compelled to climb and often finds himself doing exactly what he isn't supposed to be doing. One day on a forbidden adventure he finds a climber stuck in a crevasse and single handedly rescues him. The man is Captain Winter, a famous climber, who has come to Kurtal to convince some guides in the village to attempt a climb of the Citadel.

Rudi sees that with Captain Winter his goal of climbing the Citadel is within his reach. However, his mother and uncle would never allow such a climb. Will his dream become reality and will Captain Winter even find a guide who is brave enough to attempt a summit? I definitely suggest reading this book to find out!

Parent Point: This book is older and is not easily available. You can purchase it through online sources but it is not often in library collections any longer and I would be surprised to find it in a store.