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BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY! Vanishing Island by Barry Wolverton

22 Jun

vanishing island preview tour banner updated

I am very excited to share this book with you. It is the beginning to a very promising series and even better – one of you will get to win a signed ARC of the book! Details of the giveaway are at the bottom of the post. :)

VanishingIslandHC

Vanishing Island
By Barry Wolverton
Book 1 of the Chronicles of the Black Tulip
352 pages – ages 8+
Will be published by Walden Pond Press on September 1, 2015

 

Publisher’s Summary- Does  the Vanishing Island really exist? And if so, what treasure—or terrible secret—was hidden by its disappearance?

It’s 1599, the Age of Discovery in Europe. But for Bren Owen, growing up in the small town of Map on the coast of Britannia has meant anything but adventure. Enticed by the tales sailors have brought through Map’s port, and inspired by the arcane maps his father creates as a cartographer for the cruel and charismatic map mogul named Rand McNally, Bren is convinced that fame and fortune await him elsewhere. That is, until his repeated attempts to run away land him a punishment worse than death—cleaning up the town vomitorium.

It is there that Bren meets a dying sailor, who gives him a strange gift that hides a hidden message. Cracking the code could lead Bren to a fabled lost treasure that could change his life forever, and that of his widowed father. But to get there he will have to tie his fate to a mysterious Dutch admiral obsessed with a Chinese legend about an island that long ago disappeared from any map.

Before long, Bren is in greater danger than he ever imagined, and will need the help of an unusual friend named Mouse to survive. Barry Wolverton’s thrilling adventure spans oceans and cultures, brings together the folklore of East and West, and proves that fortune is always a double-edged sword.

What I Thought- This was an amazing book! It had adventure, comedy, excitement, mystery – pretty much anything you could want in a book! Bren is a character you would like to meet in real life. He has dreams, and he’s clever in how he gets them achieved. Mouse is a cool character too. I really like how Mr. Wolverton doesn’t hide that sea isn’t always exciting – at times Bren is just sitting around at sea. There is death throughout the story, but it is not graphic/gory. There are some illustrations that will be put in the final version of the book, but not in the ARC that I read (they weren’t in yet), and they play a role in the story, so that was sad for me. Guess I’ll have to get the completed version! This is a solid start to a new series. :)

WHO IS THIS BARRY WOLVERTON?!?

Barry Wolverton Author Photo

Barry Wolverton is the author of Neversink. He has more than fifteen years’ experience creating books, documentary television scripts, and website content for international networks and publishers, including National Geographic, Scholastic.com, the Library of Congress, and the Discovery Networks. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee. You can visit him online at www.barrywolverton.com.

Links for Barry Wolverton: 

Website: http://www.barrywolverton.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wolvertonhill

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bwolverton

Instagram: https://instagram.com/wolvertonhill/

Check out all the stops on this awesome tour!

Blog Tour Schedule: 

6/15 Blue Stocking Thinking:  bluestockingthinking.blogspot.com
6/16 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia:  hauntedorchid.blogspot.com
6/17 Small Review:  smallreview.blogspot.com
6/18 Maria’s Melange:  www.mariaselke.com/
6/19 Unleashing Readers:  unleashingreaders.com
6/19 The Hiding Spot:  thehidingspot.blogspot.com
6/22 This Kid Reviews Books:  thiskidreviewsbooks.com
6/23 Mundie Kids:  http://mundiekids.blogspot.com/
6/24 Page in Training:  https://pageintraining.wordpress.com
6/25 Novel Novice:  novelnovice.com

BLOG TOUR PAGE HERE!

Connect to Walden Pond –
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ WaldenPondPress
Facebook: https://www. facebook.com/WaldenPondPress

Website/Blog: http://www. walden.com/books/

Pinterest: https://www. pinterest.com/waldenpondpress/

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

All you have to do is comment in the comment section below telling me you want to WIN! (well you can comment somewhere else, but I won’t see it) and on June 29th I will pick one name out of a hat of all the entrants. US residents only please. Good Luck!

VanishingIslandHC

 

Review-o-Rama! or The Aftermath of a Blogger’s Illness

18 Jun

HELLO BLOGGING WORLD!

So I have been sick since Sunday which is weird because I pretty much never get sick. I’ve had a 104 fever until Wednesday. Today it’s down to like just over 100 but I feel a bunch better… and I’m pretty hungry and a shower after laying on the couch 24/7 for four days felt pretty good – so I think I’ll live.

“Why are you telling me this Erik?” you ask.

Well maybe you didn’t but let’s pretend you did. I am telling you so you’ll know why I am posting a bunch of reviews at once – I missed posting on a few days (except Wednesday because that one was written a while ago and I had a guest) – hey if you didn’t read it click on over – click HERE – plus that post has the honor of being my 1000th post of my blogging “career.” ;)

SOOOO HERE WE GO!

nerd12_2Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind

Nerdy Dozen Book #2

By Jeff Miller

272 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins; Reprint edition on March 10, 2015

Synopsis- Neil Andertol is an expert video-gamer. He’s in the top twelve in the US. And he’s only a kid. He and the other top players (also kids) were recruited by the US Air Force, in order to stop an evil plot (thought out by a wayward genius kid). Now they are joining NASA to recover a top-of-the-line space shuttle that was stolen. It doesn’t help that another giant asteroid (like the one that may have killed the dinosaurs) is supposed to hit Earth in about two weeks…

What I Thought- This was an amazing book! I honestly don’t know how I missed book one! This book brings you up to speed, so reading book one isn’t necessary, but it would make some minor points clearer. Neil is a great character, who, while not perfect, is extremely realistic. The other nerds in the book are people you would probably like to meet in real life. I know I would! It’s pretty cool how all the kids are expert video-gamers, and because of it, they are government secret mission pilots. That would be neat if it would ever happen (or maybe it did, but it’s a secret). Mr. Miller’s writing style has a good mixture of humor, adventure, vivid descriptions, wit, and great characters for an overall enjoyable experience.

I give this book five out five bookworms!fivebooks

zariaZaria Fierce

By Kiera Gillett

224 pages – ages 9+

Published by Keira Gillett on March 6, 2015

Synopsis- Zaria Fierce was not fierce. Or so she thought, that is, until a river troll kidnaps her best friend. Then she, pitted together with his other friends (one of whom is actually a changeling (a creature swapped for a look-alike human)), goes on an adventure up the river, into a world mixed with the modern world and the ancient myths of Scandinavia.

What I Thought- This was a really good book with a great setting and cool plot line. I really liked how it didn’t hide that Zaria was adopted and she knew it . I also liked how her adoptive parents were nice. You don’t see that often in books (as an adopted kid, I like it when adoption is portrayed well). The characters and mythology are realistic, and the mythology was well explained, too. I like how Zaria tries her best to make do in a world she knew nothing about. There are some instances of d*** throughout the second half of the book that some parents may have issues with for younger kids. This was a good book and I will be looking for book 2.

I give this four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

HEY IT’S ALSO ….

CREATIVE KID THURSDAY!!! WOO!

My Creative Kid guest is JOSIE my little sister. ;)

Today Josie is doing a guest review.

peridotThe Peridot Pendant

By Emma Homes

75 pages – ages 9+
Published by Spark Street Communications Pty Ltd on April 17, 2015

 

Summary (from Amazon) Fabrina is devastated when her mother suddenly vanishes. When she stumbles across her mother’s necklace, Fabrina sets out to untangle the mystery of her disappearance. With feisty best friend Vicky, bookish boy-next-door Harry, and her enigmatic cat Mr Whiskers, Fabrina begins to unlock the secrets of her mother’s magical green pendant.

A fast-paced fantasy where stories from long ago are entwined with present, ‘The Peridot Pendant’ is an imaginative tale that will appeal to children nine years and older.

What Josie Thought – This story was cool. I thought it was going to be a mystery but it had fairies in it and the people traveled to another world. I liked Fabrina. She is smart and brave. I liked Vivky and Harry too. They were all goo characters. The Red Cap guy was creepy (the evil fairy that kept her mom). I liked that there was magic in the story and how Fabrina could travel to different worlds. The book wasn’t too long for me, some of the words were kind of hard but I used my kindle dictionary to help me. I liked how well all the characters are described and all about the fairy world. It was a good book to read.

I give it five bookworms fivebooks

 

Review and Blog Tour! The Dungeoneers by John David Anderson

8 Jun

Dungeoneers Blog Tour Banner

Dungeoneers

The Dungeoneers

By John David Anderson

pages – ages 9+

Will be published on June 23, 2015 by Walden Pond Press

Synopsis-

Publisher’s summary:

The Dungeoneers is an action-packed, funny, and heartbreaking middle grade fantasy-adventure from the author of the acclaimed Sidekicked and Minion, John David Anderson.

The world is not a fair place, and Colm Candorly knows it. While his parents and eight sisters seem content living on a lowly cobbler’s earnings, Colm can’t help but feel that everyone has the right to a more comfortable life. It’s just a question of how far you’re willing to go to get it.
 
In an effort to help make ends meet, Colm uses his natural gift for pickpocketing to pilfer a pile of gold from the richer residents of town, but his actions place him at the mercy of a mysterious man named Finn Argos, a gilded-toothed, smooth-tongued rogue who gives Colm a choice: he can be punished for his thievery, or he can become a member of Thwodin’s Legions, a guild of dungeoneers who take what they want and live as they will. Colm soon finds himself part of a family of warriors, mages, and hunters, learning to work together in a quest to survive and, perhaps, to find a bit of treasure along the way.

What I Thought- This was an awesome story set in a medieval time. I really liked Mr. Anderson’s superhuman/superhero books (Sidekicked and Minion), and this one wasn’t a disappointment. Mr. Anderson really knows how to immerse you into the story and not let you out. You get engaged with all of the characters and their stories. Mr. Anderson develops them so well, it makes you feel like you’ve known them all of your life. The fact that there is magic, but that it doesn’t play that major of a role in the story, is a refreshing change from all the magic-oriented stories out there.  The idea of a “rogue” is fascinating and rather cool. Rogues are the dungeoneers that disable traps, pick locks, etc., but they also make great liars and thieves. Colm is a great kid (who happens to only have 9 fingers!), and you get sucked into his adventures learning to be a rogue. Thwodin’s Legions is a cool guild, and one I wouldn’t mind joining. The ending was solid and satisfying but I could see a sequel coming out of it, but apparently Mr. Anderson isn’t into writing series – too bad for us! I’ll just have to wait to read what his brain comes up with next! ;) Another great book from Mr. Anderson!

I give this five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

Check out the book’s trailer!

WHO IS THIS JOHN DAVID ANDERSON?!?

Dave Anderson author photo

John David Anderson is the author of Sidekicked and Minion. A dedicated root beer connoisseur in his spare time, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?!?

Awesome – check out this interview where Mr. Anderson interviews himself!

Dave Anderson  Interviews John David Anderson –

Part one of a one-part series in which the author interviews himself to ask the hard-hitting questions that other interviewers thought were simply too obnoxious to ask.

DA (just staring)

JDA: What?

DA: No. Nothing. I just never quite realized how handsome you were. Really, quite dashing in a frumpy, track-pants-wearing, unbrushed-hair kind of way. Did anyone ever tell you you look just like Tom Cruise circa 1994?

JDA: I get that a lot. I really liked him in that one movie. Where he punches people and all that stuff explodes.

DA: Yeah, that one was great. All right, let’s get started. So, Midwestern Authors Weekly recently ranked you number seven on its list of Indiana writers who drink too much Diet Coke. How does that make you feel?

JDA: Like I drink way too much Diet Coke, actually. Where was John Green?

DA: Number one.

JDA: Does he even drink Diet Coke?

DA: Does it really matter?

JDA: No. Probably not.

DA: Water is better for you, anyways. You should drink more water. And lose a little weight. And call your mother more often.

JDA: Diet Coke basically is water, if you think about it. Water and acid. And some other stuff I can’t pronounce.

DA: Speaking of acid—I love the opening of Sidekicked, where Drew is dangling above the pool waiting for The Titan to save him and Jenna is complaining about the health teacher and all that. Just curious, though—how deep was the pool?

JDA: How deep? Does that really matter?

DA: Well. I’m just thinking if I’m a supervillain, and I’m going to dunk a guy in a pool of acid, I want it to be at least eight feet deep so that he’s sure to go all the way under. I don’t want his head sticking out or anything. But some of these municipal pools, I’m not sure they go that deep.

JDA: I don’t think that really matters. It’s acid. Drew probably would have died from shock by the time it had dissolved his kneecaps.

DA: Ew.

JDA: I didn’t bring it up.

DA: Touché. All right. Tell us about your new book, The Dungeoneers.

JDA: Well, it has scorpions.

DA: Really?

JDA: Well. One scorpion. But it’s really big.

DA: Does it have alligators?

JDA: No. No alligators.

DA: That’s kind of disappointing. Alligators are cool. Did you know that alligator eggs end up male or female based on temperature? If the egg is warm, it will be male. If it’s cool. Female.

JDA: Makes sense. Females are naturally cool. The Dungeoneers has two main female characters. A kick-butt, multi-weapon-wielding smart-mouthed barbarian named Lena, and a reticent, cuddly-nature-loving druid named Serene. It also has a stuttering mage and a wizard with rabbit ears and…

DA: Yeah, that’s good. I’m done talking about The Dungeoneers. Let’s move on. Let’s talk about what you’re working on write now.

JDA: Well. Right now I’m working on not punching you in the face.

DA: Why? Because I interrupted you in the middle of describing your new book? You know if you punch me, you’ll only be hurting yourself.

JDA: It worked in Fight Club.

DA: Wow. Great book.

JDA: Good movie, too.

DA: Not for kids, though.

JDA: Not like The Dungeoneers. Fun family entertainment for all ages, that one.

DA: Truth. If it’s all right, I’d like to read some questions that were sent to us through email. Hotcrossbuns44 writes, “Are you ever going to write a sequel to Catcher in the Rye?”

JDA: I didn’t write Catcher in the Rye. That was J.D. Salinger. The J. stood for Jerome.

DA: So the answer is no, then?

JDA: Yeah…I’m really not into that whole, write-a-sequel-to-a-book-you-never-actually-wrote-in-the-first-place thing. I’m really more of a write-a-book-that-will-never-be-turned-into-a-series-and-thus-will-never-make-you-a-millionaire kind of guy.

DA: Sucks for you. You probably should have called it Diary of a Dungeoneer and drawn some pictures of stick kids with spikey hair and stuff.

JDA: Now you tell me.

Links for John David Anderson: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anderson_author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnDavidAndersonAuthor?ref=hl
Links for Walden Pond Press:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WaldenPondPress

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WaldenPondPress

Website/Blog: http://www.walden.com/books/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/waldenpondpress/

Find the other stops on the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule: 
6/2/2015 Maria’s Melange                                    ​mariaselke.com                                 
6/5/2015 Unleashing Readers                             unleashingreaders.com                    
6/6/2015 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia      hauntedorchid.blogspot.com          
6/7/2015 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers     insatiablereaders.blogspot.com     
6/8/2015 This Kid Reviews Books                     thiskidreviewsbooks.com                  
6/8/2015 Ms Yingling Reads                             ​msyinglingreads.blogspot.com           
6/9/2015 Read Now Sleep Later                         http://www.readnowsleeplater.org/ 
6/10/2015 Charlotte’s Library                         charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com          
6/11/2015    Nerdy Book Club                     https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/  
6/12/2015 The Hiding Spot                         thehidingspot.blogspot.com                      

Review! All Hallows Eve #14 and #15 By David Eveleigh

3 Jun

It’s no secret that one of my favorite comic heroines is David Eveleigh’s All Hallows Eve.

All Hallows Eve is a novella series that has a ton of comic action and adventure, but unlike a traditional comic, these novellas only have a few illustrations.  Five bookworms for Eve’s newest adventures!

fivebooks

eve14It Came To Earth To Hang Out At The Malt Shoppe

By David Eveleigh

Words: 5,780 (ebook) – ages 9+

Published by Smashwords on May 29, 2015

Synopsis-  All Hallows Eve is back in another adventure! When Eve goes to ask a newcomer in town a question, and he quickly leaves the local malt shoppe, Eve gets suspicious. Sure enough, he disappears down a man-hole in a dark alley, and begins talking to someone. Surprisingly, this “guy” is an alien from outer space, and- he’s not here to conquer us. He’s just trying to recharge is spaceship and get on the “road” again. But sadly, while Eve believes him, the rest of the town doesn’t. The misunderstanding leads to BIG trouble.

What I Thought- This is another solid Eve story. Mr. Eveleigh really knows a way to inadvertently put a message into his Eve books. “It Came To Earth To Hang Out At The Malt Shoppe” has a message about going against the flow, and doing what’s right. Eve knows that the aliens mean no harm, but no one, not even her friends, believe her. It also teaches a lesson in mob warfare. The illustrations are spot on and colorful. The Eve books are kid-friendly, and will get reluctant readers reading.  Eve is a great character that makes you feel good inside.

eve15The Killer Wore Leather Gloves

By David Eveleigh

Words: 4,560 (ebook) – ages 10+

Published by Smashwords on June 26, 2015

Synopsis- All Hallows Eve is back (yet again) in another adventure! [It’s paradise!] This time, she’s in Hollywood, and a movie about her is being filmed! Sadly (or luckily?), she’s not cast in the movie, but is more there for accuracy in the movie. But when a fake gun shoots a real bullet, Eve realizes that there is more at stake than whether she’ll ever get her close up…

What I Thought- Like All Hallows Eve stories, “The Killer Wore Leather Gloves” has a message too. It talks about not doing drugs (a little) and not acting in anger, or any other emotion. Yes, “The Killer Wore Leather Gloves” does have murder, nothing gory/graphic, but for an older audience. This one is a tad dark, but ends up well. I like how it features an older crime fighter (well, she isn’t really old at the time of this book…), Alfred Harvey’s Black Cat. All in all, this was a great book for a slightly older Eve reader. Whether this means that the next books will be darker, I don’t know. [Hey, Mr. Eveleigh? Could you bring back Fantomas? Or do another 3-part series – those were good!]

I can’t wait to read what Eve is up to next!

Review! The Water and the Wild by K.E. Ormsbee

1 Jun

waterThe Water and the Wild

By K.E. Ormsbee

448 pages- ages 8+

Published by Chronicle Books on April 14, 2015

 

 

Synopsis- 12-year-old Lottie Fiske was an odd girl. Odd like the green apple tree on Kemble Island. She stuck out like a sore thumb. She only had one friend, and he was so sick, he was dying. The only other person who cares about her is someone she never met. He writes her letters, and sends her a birthday present every year, through a magic copper box underneath the apple tree. This year, she asks for a cure for Eliot (her friend)’s sickness. That’s when she meets her letter-writer, and a whole other world, linked by the apple tree. She learns about magic, and an evil king, and a cure, and that she may be an heir to the two divided kingdoms.

What I Thought- This is a pretty good book. It is creative and inspiring. The idea behind the worlds being in layers is pretty fascinating. The characters are memorable and extremely realistic. Ms. Ormsbee has a marvelous writing style that makes you feel as if you had experienced everything that the characters are experiencing. Lottie is a great person who you feel for, and can understand how she feels. I liked this book very much, but the ending left me feeling that a lot was unresolved. Even if the book is the first in a series, I am the kind of reader that need to feel a part of the story ends and opens the door to something else. I didn’t get that from this book. The writing and reading level of this novel makes it a great read for middle graders and younger advanced readers. This is Ms. Ormsbee’s debut novel and based on this book, I will be looking for more from her.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

Review! Why’d They Wear That? by Sarah Albee

26 May

whyWhy’d They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History

Written by Sarah Albee

Foreword by Tim Gunn

192 pages – ages 10+

Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on February 10, 2015

Synopsis- Have you ever wondered why the Greeks and Romans draped cloaks over themselves? Why we have “Royal Purple”? How ladies walked in gigantic hoop skirts? Well, this book tells the answers to these questions, and many more. They make you wonder, laugh, and feel sorry for the wearers (did they KNOW they were poisoning themselves???). Plunge into the history of fashion!

What I Thought- This is a really cool nonfiction book. It goes through a history of the known world, and teaches about how they made clothes or why they did them like that. I like how this book teaches kids more than they would think about a time period. The book is written in paragraphs, with little fact boxes, captions, and real photos/paintings/art. It makes it all visually interesting. The paragraphs are in columns, like a newspaper, but dotted with pictures and mini fact boxes. The book mostly focuses on the rich of the time, mostly because they were the ones with the most outrageous fashions. It explains that in Renaissance times, women would eat arsenic wafers to get that shade of deathly pale just right. Ms. Albee has written a wonderful nonfiction book that will get kids thinking about history from a different point of view. This was a really cool book that makes you really wonder about the history (and future) of the world!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Gabby Duran & The Unsittables by Elise Allen & Daryle Conners

18 May
First – some undone business. My initial winner of the Isle of the Lost Prize Pack (kindly provided by Disney Publishing) never contacted me with her email address. I have randomly chosen another. Congratulations Kate Dillon – WINNER & middle school librarian!!! :) I will be contacting you to get the address you want  your prize sent to.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.

Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.

NOW ONTO TODAY’S REVIEW!

gabbyGabby Duran & The Unsittables

By Elise Allen & Daryle Conners

208 pages – ages 8+

Published by Disney Hyperion on May 12, 2015

Synopsis- Gabby Duran is a world famous babysitter. She has clients all over the world. But when Gabby gets approached by “Edwina” from the The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (A.L.I.E.N.) with a special offer, Gabby is reluctant to agree, even with the wages offered. She has other clients! Then Gabby realizes that, with this job, she will have clients that are out of this world! She learns that aliens live on Earth alongside humans. They do a great job of blending in, but they need a babysitter who can be trusted. Babysitting aliens may be more than Gabby bargained for.

What I Thought- This was a great story about how you should go all in for what you like to do, and do it well. Gabby sacrificed her own free-time (and sometimes her safety) for other people. Gabby really is a role model. She’s clever, fun, and plays an instrument in school band.  The plot is exciting and full of twists and turns. I like the character of Lee, Gabby’s best friend. She’s an eccentric, smart, geeky inventor. The authors really capture the sense of realism, even in the midst of aliens. Their writing style kept me reading and offered a fresh twist on a babysitting story. Boys and girls will like this one. The  book was funny, action-packed, and altogether a great read.

I give this 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Andy Smithson: Resurrection of the Phoenix’s Grace by L.R.W. Lee

13 May

rlleeResurrection of the Phoenix’s Grace
Andy Smithson Series Book 4
By L.R.W. Lee
208 pages- ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace on April 24, 2015

Synopsis- Andy Smithson is back in an all new adventure! When the strange vulture men, henchmen/birds/things of King Abaddon, (sworn enemy of Andy, King Hercalon V, and all of the land of Oomaldee), start appearing in Earth, they appear to be searching for Andy! They even invade his house! Andy suddenly appears in Oomaldee (the teleportation always happens at bad times) and finds his friends. He gets the next clue to find the cure to the curse of Oomaldee. It then involves into a full-scale adventure against Abaddon while trying to save the legendary Phoenix!

What I Thought- I really enjoyed this book. It had everything I loved in the other books in the Andy Smithson series, plus more! Mrs. Lee writes a thrilling action-adventure story that keeps you on the edge of your bean bag chair (a very hard thing to do – you always sink into a bean bag chair…). I will admit, I stayed up a little too late finishing this book – it was that good! Mrs. Lee has a talent for writing fantasy for middle graders. She develops a world and characters that are exciting and adventurous but keeps it age-appropriate for her audience. The story flows well and has enough action to keep the reader wanting to read more. I really like how there are some new characters introduced in this book, and some old ones reunited. It made a great read.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! The Last Dragon Charmer: Villain Keeper by Laurie McKay

7 May

Hello blogoshpere! How are you tonight?

I just got back from karate. I am really excited because I am going to be testing for my junior black belt next Saturday. That will make two black belts in two different martial arts for me! WOO!

But enough about me – I am here to announce a winner! A winner of what you ask?

THE WINNER OF ROBIN NEWMAN’S FABULOUS CHILDREN”S BOOK – THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE (see my review HERE)!

carrotcake

And the winner is —–

Nancy Viau!

Congratulations Ms. Viau! I will be emailing you to get the address you’d like your book sent to. :o)

Now on to today’s review!

villain

Villain Keeper

By Laurie McKay

Series: Last Musketeer
352 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on February 3, 2015

Synopsis- Caden was a son of King Axel, King of the Razzon Winterlands. He was the youngest sibling, and felt like he had to prove himself. And he planned to do it on his Quest Day to slay a dragon. Suddenly, the king, Caden’s father, wakes him up in the middle of the night saying it is Caden’s time for his quest. Where is the ceremony? Where are the people? Caden quickly runs off into the night. And then, a flash of light, and… Where is he? And why is Brynne, the young sorceress whom hates Caden, there with him? Why is there no magic? And why are there no dragons in this land of Carolina of the North (AKA North Carolina)? This is all too strange!

What I thought- This was a cool book. There is a unique mixture of medieval characters, magical objects, and a modern-day setting. The characters are well-thought out and realistic. They make you feel like you are there with them as they traverse throughout North Carolina. Ms. McKay has a great writing style. It engages you and draws you into the story. I would like to read more of Ms. McKay’s writing. The humor in the book kept me laughing throughout it, as Caden tried to adjust to living in our modern-day dimension. The mystery of the teachers at the school really added a great touch to the overall story. It is a solid start to this new series.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms.fivebooks

Review! The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz

4 May

The Disney Channel is set to show an interesting original movie this summer, Descendants. The movie follows the offspring of some of the most popular (and sometimes most wicked) Disney characters of all time. What does that have to do with books and reading? I just got done reading a fabulous prequel to the Descendants movie that Disney Publishing will release on May 5th. The book is called THE ISLE OF THE LOST.

islelostIsle of the Lost

By Melissa De La Cruz

320 pages – ages 9+

Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 5, 2015

Synopsis- Publisher’s description of the book – “Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon to the Isle of the Lost–a dark and dreary place protected by a force field that makes it impossible for them to leave. Stripped of their magical powers, the villains now live in total isolation, forgotten by the world.

Mal learns from her mother, Maleficent, that the key to true darkness, the Dragon’s Eye, is located inside her scepter in the forbidden fortress on the far side of the island. The eye is cursed, and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the Dragon’s Eye, these four kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.

What I Thought- The book is written by best-selling author Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods series). I found Ms. de la Cruz’s writing style engaging. The plot line is funny, mysterious, and captivating! The characters’ personalities are spot-on. They have just enough of their Disney qualities to make them believable, but de la Cruz also mixes in some wackiness and surprises. The Disney character’s offspring are cool, younger, versions of their parents, but also have unique attributes. I like how the book describes how much the villains have changed over the years now that their magic has gone. The book has the right mixture of adventure, action, and a touch of evil to really keep it interesting. The story is perfect for middle grade, young adults, or any Disney fan. Both content, reading level and subject matter is appropriate for all ages. As I read the book, I found myself thinking – wishing, there would be more in the series, but alas, the next version of this story will be a movie. Can a movie live up to the wonderful story set up by de la Cruz in this book? With Disney’s touch of magic, I am hopeful it will.

I’d give this book 6 out of 5 bookworms – but my scale only goes to five!fivebooks

You can read an excerpt from the book at movies.disney.com/descendants/the-isle-of-the-lost

Visit Melissa de la Cruz’s website melissa-delacruz.com

Check out the Descendants website at movies.disney.com/descendants

STAY TUNED- TOMORROW I AM GOING TO OFFER A ISLE OF THE LOST PRIZE PACK!!!

Check out the trailer!

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