Happy Star Wars Reads Day! Belches, Burps, and Farts – OH MY! by Artie Bennett

11 Oct

HAPPY –

starwarsreadday

Erik -Today is the day we get to celebrate my 2 favorite things – READING and STAR WARS! Hmm maybe there should be a Star Wars Reads while Eating day – then it would be the perfect day…

Today I have a special guest to help with the review. Please welcome CTR0929 -

IMG_2931Yes, good old CTR0929, member of the Royal Guard, we are happy to have you here today. Would you like to say Hi to the blogosphere?

CTR0929 -

Erik – You don’t say much do you?

CTR0929 -

Erik – Well maybe we should move along to the review. Today I give you BELCHES, BURPS AND FARTS – OH MY! – The book, not the actual stuff. ;)

 

belchesBelches, Burps, and Farts – OH MY!

By Artie Bennett

Illustrated by Pranas T. Naujokaitis

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Blue Apple Books on September 2, 2014

Summary- (From the book jacket):

Belches, burps, and farts. We all do it. So isn’t it time we learned about those often awkward, sometimes comical sound effects… before our next blastoff?!

What I like about it- After tackling the subjects of butts and poop (THE BUTT BOOK and POOPENDOUS) where else would Mr. Bennett turn – body gasses of course! This is another hilarious yet scientifically amazing book from Artie Bennett! He handles these subjects with so much ease and humor, you just can’t put this book down! It is put into two separate sections (BELCHES & BURPS, and FARTS), which are equally hilarious. I like that it shares fun facts about our internal gasses, too! Did you know that we can’t burp when on our backs? That termites fart the most? That you fart about 14 times a day (I counted – it’s true!)? Mr. Bennett makes these books great for any age and you also get to learn a bit about biology! The story is done in a well-done rhyme that sounds natural and flows off of the tongue. It makes it easier for younger kids to read, and there will be giggles all around. The illustrations are awesome, and have tiny little details in them that will keep you howling with laughter!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Erik – So CTR0929 What do you think about BELCHES, BURPS, AND FARTS OH MY!?

IMG_2930

CTR0929 –

Erik – Still not saying anything, huh? Hey, you can tell me, does Darth Vader ever fart (I want to use it against him know, so I’m prepared for the next time he invades visits my blog)?

CTR0929 –

Erik – CTR0929?

???????????????????????????????

Erik – Well I guess that he likes the book and that we’ll never know if Vader farts…

 

 

Perfect Picturebook Friday! Duck in the Fridge by Jeff Mack

10 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is so ZANY!

duckinthe Duck in the Fridge

by Jeff Mack

32 pages  – ages 4+

Published by Two Lions on September 2, 2014

Theme/Topic- Bedtime

Genre- Fiction/Humor

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – “Daddy, why do you always read me Mother Goose before bed?

Synopsis – (from the inside jacket) “When Dad was a boy, he discovered a duck in the fridge! And more ducks all over the house. He invited some sheep to get rid of the ducks. And then dogs to get rid of the sheep. And so on and so on. But no one left. The house was a mess!

Why I liked this book- DUCK IN THE FRIDGE – come on the title is awesome! *hee hee* This story is all out fun. Every time I turned the page (after I had calmed my giggling down), I’d giggle again! Mr. Mack has written a very funny, wacky book about a dad telling his son about a time when he was younger and had to get someone who didn’t want to fall asleep to fall asleep! His illustrations are cute and light-hearted. Ducks are just funny too! I like all of the little details in the pages. There’s no great message in the book, just a fun bedtime story and sometimes we just need one of those! The ending is really nice too.

 

Mr. Mack has previews of the interior pages on his website (click HERE to go THERE).

duck2

Activities and Resources-

I had a hard time thinking of activities for this one. A lot of kids get baths before bedtime so maybe get some rubber duckies for their bath and make a matching game out of it. You could write letters or numbers on the bottom of each duck (make sure you make pairs up) and put the duckies in the bath and have your child try to find the matches. Then after the bath your child can dry the duckies off and get them ready for bed.

rubber-duck-248093_1280

You could also do what the dad did in the book! Read some Mother Goose before bed (after you read DUCK IN THE FRIDGE ;) )!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Review! The School for Good and Evil books 1&2 by Soman Chainani

9 Oct

 

goodevil1The School for Good and Evil

By Soman Chainani

Illustrated by  Iacopo Bruno

512 pages – ages 12+
Published by HarperCollins on April 15, 2014 (reprint) Originally published in 2013

Summary- Agatha and Sophie. Best friends. Polar opposites. Everyone believes that Sophie, who is beautiful and loves pink, will be chosen to go to the mystic School for Good and Evil, specifically the Good School. Agatha, who wears black, unshapely dresses, and has dark, misshapen hair, is expected for the School for Evil. But what happens when Sophie gets put into the School for Evil, and Agatha – the School for Good?

What I thought- This is a great book about how looks can be deceiving. Sophie and Agatha are really great, realistic characters, who you really route for, although, I knew at once that Sophie would really be Evil (her state of mind in her old town kind of set me up for it). With this story, Mr. Chainani really prompts deeper thinking about what is really good and what is really evil. I like how the characters develop in the story and Sophie and Agatha decide who they really are and what is really important in their lives. The ideas of the schools for good and evil is cool. I like that it is where fairytale characters get their “training.”  I also like how it references common fairytales (or not so common), as in that some of the characters are related to the main characters from the fairytales (someone is the daughter of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood), for example). This book is a marvelous debut from Soman Chainani! It kept me up at night reading **Oops. Sorry Mom! ;) ** It is very well written, and is quite funny! The black and white illustrations are a great touch.

goodevil2School for Good & Evil: A World Without Princes

School for Good and Evil (Book 2)

By Soman Chainani

Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

448 pages ages 12+
Published by HarperCollins on April 15, 2014

Summary- All is well. Sophie and Agatha are back in their hometown. When Agatha accidentally wishes for a boy she fell in love with, she and Sophie get drawn back into the world of the School. Only to be completely befuddled. Upon their return, they find out that there is no School for Good and Evil anymore. Now it is just the School for Girls and Boys! After what happened in the last book, all of the princesses and witches realized that they didn’t need princes to have a happy ending, and the boys were kicked out, taking refuge in the Evil School. The Princes (and warlocks) are out for revenge, and with Sophie apparently on the verge of becoming a full-blown witch again, Agatha has her hands full! And don’t forget the mysterious new Dean Evelyn Sader who seems to be hiding something…

What I thought- This is a magnificent sequel to The School for Good and Evil. It captures all of the greatness from the last book, plus more! I love the chaos created when the schools are split. All the girls realized they don’t need princes, but do they? I also like the twist in the book about who is really behind all the decisions at the schools. There is a cool back story there too. This book has the perfect amount of drama and mystery in it, creating the feeling of hopeless despair, and the need for a resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think the story was depressing, but it really made you feel for the characters! It kept me hooked – so much, that I couldn’t put it down, and stayed up past my bedtime to finish it. **Yup. Again, Mom. Sorry.** The ending sets it up for another book, which I hope will happen. I can really see this series as a movie (and yipee! I read on the official website that they are making it into a movie – I hope it is as good as the books!). The black and white illustrations, again, are a great addition to the story!

I am really enjoying this series!

Five out of five bookworms fivebooks

Want to learn more? Check out the official School for Good and Evil website HERE!

Review! The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

7 Oct

FourteenthGoldfish_CoverThe Fourteenth Goldfish
By Jennifer Holm

210 pages – ages 8+
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on August 26, 2014

 

Summary – Ellie’s parents keep telling her she needs to find her passion in life, but lately Ellie is only feeling numb. The start of sixth grade is not going well. Her best friend, Brianna, is more interested in the volleyball team than being with Ellie, middle school seems like an alien world, and she just found out that her parents have been replacing her beloved pet goldfish “Goldie” with a new fish for the past seven years every time a “Goldie” died! Things get a lot more interesting complicated when her mom brings home an ornery, pushy, oddly dressed teenage boy who just happens to be Ellie’s scientist grandfather (Melvin) who found a cure for old age, but has been locked out of his lab by its new owners. Will Ellie ever find her passion or at least survive middle school now that her grandfather is enrolled as a student?

What I thought – I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.  I loved everything about it. I loved it so much I told my mom to read it (she is a scientist) and she loved it too. I really like that the book isn’t focused on the wacky science experiment that turned Ellie’s grandfather, Melvin, into a teenager, but rather it is focused on Ellie’s struggle to find her “passion,” dealing with growing apart from a friend, and getting closer to her grandfather. The wacky science stuff happens all around all these big topics. Of course I love Melvin. He is so cranky and nerdy it’s awesome! That part of the story is hilarious! I also like that there is real science facts in the book not just the wacky reversing age thing. It also teaches an important lesson about the power of science and how it has to be used wisely (I sound like Uncle Ben in Spiderman “With great power comes great responsibility” ;) ). One of my favorite character interactions is how Ellie and her grandfather get to know each other better and they both seem to help each other. The book is just an awesome read. The chapters are very short and you just want to read the whole thing right away. One thing I noticed is that on each chapter heading, there are that many goldfish (like one goldfish on chapter 1 and two goldfish on chapter 2 and so on) up until chapters 14, 15 and 16 – they all have 14 goldfish. Then chapter 17 has 13 goldfish, 18 has 12 and so on until the last chapter has just one goldfish again. Okay that’s pretty nerdy of me to notice that, but I still think it’s cool. ;)

This is one of those books where I wish my rating scale went higher. Five out of five bookworms – fivebooks

Review! The Zero Degree Zombie Zone by Patrik Henry Bass

6 Oct

Happy Monday! I am sure you all know that October 6th is National Noodle Day right? Well, after my review of the great new book, THE ZERO DEGREE ZOMBIE ZONE, read on for my review of the noodle recipe I made from the picture book Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles AND find out who wins a copy of Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles!

zerodegree

The Zero Degree Zombie Zone

By Patrik Henry Bass

Illustrated by Jerry Craft 

  144 pages – ages 8+
Published by Scholastic Inc. on August 26, 2014

Summary – Bakari Katari Johnson is feeling like his life is out of control. Not only did his best friend Wardell sign him up to run in the election for hall monitor before he said it was okay to do, he keeps butting heads with his fourth grade nemesis, Keisha whose cousin, the ever popular Tariq, is also running for hall-monitor. Oh yeah, there’s also this magical ring that ice zombies from another world want and they think Bakari has and they want it back – or else!

What I thought –  The combination of this fun and unusual zombie story along with the great illustrations make this book a winner! The story is an interesting take on zombies (like they don’t infect anyone and they are ice zombies – actually that’s kind of cool) and it is completely appropriate for younger kids. I think a lot of kids will get into the story because it is a fun and easy read but it is packed with action. Bakari is a great character who is very believable as a fourth-grader. I like how he handles everything even with the threat of a full-scale zombie invasion looming (and also dealing with a bully). I like how Mr. Bass mixes a bit of magic and fantasy in a realistic setting. Mr. Craft’s illustrations go with the story very well and make it all the more enjoyable. The characters in the book are all African-American so people looking for diverse characters – check it out – even if you are not – check it out – it’s a good book! I think kids who like NERDS and Diary of a Wimpy Kid-type books will enjoy this book. I hope there will be a sequel. 

 I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

NOW ON TO MY NOODLE REVIEW!

Mei Mei Lucky Noodles

On Friday, I reviewed MEI-MEI’S LUCKY BIRTHDAY NOODLES (click HERE to read it) and I announced that I get to give away a copy of the book. Well I put all the names of the people who commented on my blog and my sister Josie picked on out! The winner is:

Joanne Roberts!

YAAAAAY!!! *waving arms Kermit the Frog style*

Congratulations Ms. Roberts! I will email you to get the address you’d like your book sent to.

But what about those noodles?!?

I wanted to make the noodle recipe in the back of the book. I started off by making sure we had everything we needed (thanks mom for food shopping!). The recipe needed carrots, bok choy, bean sprouts, green onions, shiitake mushrooms, and steak (but you can use chicken or shrimp too) oh and noodles – we used lo mein egg noodles. ;)

???????????????????????????????Ingredients – CHECK!

My cousin came over and he helped me with the recipe. We had to chop everything up and marinade the steak. The steak got cooked first. The recipe said to use a wok. We don’t have a wok so we used a big cast iron pan.

???????????????????????????????

My dad and Josie decided we needed dessert to go with our noodles so they decided to make cupcakes (with cream cheese frosting) – YUM!

???????????????????????????????After everything was chopped up and the noodles were made, it was time to cook the veggies and mix them in with the noodles.

???????????????????????????????Then it was time to eat!

???????????????????????????????Everyone agreed Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles were FANTASTIC!!! (and the cupcakes were very good too ;) )

5 STARS – ERR -NOODLES!

May UBFP Column – The 2014 Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival

5 Oct


I write for the UBFP Newspaper!

I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the October 2014 issue! The online version was just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE.

I hope you like it!

 2014lititz

The 2014 Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival

Every fall the town of Lititz, PA becomes a destination for children’s book lovers. The

Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival is now in its sixth year. Aaron’s Books, a family

owned and operated bookstore in downtown Lititz, is the host of the festival and they

are planning a great line-up of authors this year, including Eric Wight, David Levithan

and Newbery Honor Winner Jennifer Holm! The festival isn’t just about meeting some

of your favorite authors and getting your books signed, there are writing and illustration

classes for kids that are taught by the authors at the festival. There is also story time for

the younger kids and talks about kids literature for kids (and parents) of all ages.

Todd Dickinson of Aaron’s books, answered some questions about the festival for me.

Erik – What made you decide to start the Lititz Teen and Kids Literature Festival?

TD – The goal of the festival has always been the same: to inspire young readers in our

community by bringing them together with great authors. We love meeting authors and

talking with them about writing. And we think giving kids a chance to meet authors gets

them more excited about books and reading.

Erik – The festival is now in its sixth year. How has it changed from when you started?

Also, how many people are you expecting this year?

TD – The festival has grown in every way since we started. Our first year, the festival

was inside our store, and we set out tables on the sidewalk for the author signing

time. Now we take over many rooms, large and small, throughout Linden Hall School

for presentations, workshops, author signings, and storytimes. We expect about 150

people this year, including kids, teens, parents, teachers, and librarians.

phelan&me

Author Illustrator Matt Phelan and me at the 2013 Lititz Kid Lit Festival

Erik – Your festival gets some pretty big names (2014 authors include – Matt Phelan,

A.S. King, Tom Angleberger ) to come and give talks about their books and even teach

workshops. How do you get all these authors to come to the Festival?

TD – We get great authors because we tell them we like their books and we ask them

to come to Lititz. It’s amazing how generous these authors are with their time, and how

willing they are to come and support us. And after they come and enjoy the festival, they

tell their fellow authors about it and encourage them to come the next year.

Erik – I know from experience that all the authors you get are very happy to meet and

talk to their fans at the festival. What’s your favorite festival memory?

TD – My favorite is probably the year we arranged for Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and

several Storm Troopers to escort Tom Angleberger (author of The Strange Case of

Origami Yoda) to the stage for his presentation. That was pretty cool.

Erik – I was there for that! The members of Vader’s 501st

costume. It was great! Where do you see the festival five years from now?

Legion were there in full

TD – We’d like to see the festival grow each year, with more kids and teens from Central

PA and beyond wanting to attend again and again. We’d like to work more closely with

area schools so they can read the books of our festival authors in class or in the library

before the kids come and meet the authors. And we have a few authors on our dream

list that we hope to bring someday, like Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson series) and Neil

Gaiman (The Graveyard Book and Coraline).

Erik – What are some things you’d like to highlight about this year’s festival?

TD – We are so excited about all 11 of this year’s authors. Jennifer Holm writes some

of our favorite middle grade fiction and has won so many awards for her work, and she

also does two incredible graphic novel series for kids called Babymouse and Squish.

Tom Angleberger entertains a crowd of kids better than anyone else we know. David

Levithan writes some of the smartest teen fiction that also covers serious issues, and

we think our older readers will really enjoy hearing from him. We think everyone who

attends will meet someone whose books they already love, and they will also discover

new books to love because of who they meet at the festival.

For more information on the Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival, please visit

LititzKidLitFest.com!

For more on books and reading, please visit my blog at ThisKidReviewsBooks.com!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! My First Book of Chinese Words by Faye-Lynn Wu

3 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I LOVE to learn other languages!

HEY! Be sure to read down to the bottom of this post. I am reviewing a second book and giving away a copy!

myfirstMy First Book of Chinese Words

by Faye-Lynn Wu

Illustrated by Aya Padron

32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Tuttle Publishing on February 12, 2013

Theme/Topic- Chinese Language / ABCs

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – 

is for ài,

a word that means love,

like the gentle hugs

that wrap us like the

soft wings of a dove.”

Synopsis – In this ABC book, each letter of the alphabet has a Chinese word to go with it. Each word is written in Chinese characters (simple and traditional) and there is a simple rhyme in English to tell the meaning of the Chinese word.

Why I liked this book-

I love studying foreign languages and I think picture books are a great way to begin to learn other languages. I even wrote a newspaper article about the benefits of bilingual picture books (check it out HERE). I really like this particular picture book because it is in a language that isn’t typically in the picture books I see in stores. I also think it was done very well. I like the illustrations (even the end pages were pretty). Check out one of the interior pages –

myfirst1I like that there is not only the rhyme on the pages, but the word is written in traditional and simple Chinese writing. There are also little notes on the pages explaining some of the meaning or cultural traditions shown in the illustrations of story. There is a pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book that is very helpful.

Activities and Resources-

Tuttle Publishing provided this pronunciation video so you can hear how the words are supposed to sound! Check it out and learn some Chinese! -


Education.com has a whole series of worksheets to learn Chinese characters for different words. Check it out HERE.

Tuttle publishing has other Asian My First Words books (My First Book of Japanese Words, My First Book of Korean Words, My First Book of Tagalog Words). Check them out HERE.

Here’s another activity! Learn about another Chinese tradition with my next review and even better – WIN a copy of Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles

Mei Mei Lucky NoodlesMei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles

by Shan-Shan Chen

Illustrated by Heidi Goodman

32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Tuttle Publishing on August 26, 2014)

Summary – (from inside jacket) “Mei-Mei is Chinese—but not Mom and Dad! When she was a baby, Mom and Dad flew all the way to the other side of the world to adopt her and bring her home. Lucky for Mei-Mei, her parents want her to know all about her roots in China’s wonderful culture. That’s why, on her birthday, her mom always makes her a traditional Chinese treat—long noodles, for a long and happy life. And this year, Mei-Mei is big enough to help her mom make them!

What I thought –  This is another book that easily falls into the category of AWESOME. First I like that it has an adopted MC (and because I am adopted, I like books that show good examples of families built through adoption). Secondly, it involved food… and I like to eat. ;) The illustrations are bright and colorful and I like that the story is about Mei-Mei being old enough to help her mom make her special treat. There are also references to other Chinese traditions in the book so you learn some about Chinese culture.

 

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! In the back of the book there is a recipe for making birthday noodles which I am going to try out and I will report back to you about them on Monday because that is when I will announce the winner of the copy of Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodle that Tuttle Publishing has offered to giveaway on my blog AND because Monday is National Noodle Day! WOO! To enter all you have to do is leave a comment below! Josie (my little sister) will randomly pick a name out of a hat on Sunday, October 5th at 7pm. I will announce the winner and give my noodle review on Monday, October 6th! :D

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Book Review! The Everglades by Catherine Johnson

2 Oct

Today is National Poetry Day in the UK! Let’s celebrate with some poetry!

everglades

The Everglades

Written and illustrated by Catherine Johnson

30 pages – ages 5+
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 27, 2014)

Summary (from Amazon) “The Everglades is a poetry book for kids with half of the poems serene and half of the poems snorty. Follow the silly antics of warthogs and alligators at home in The Everglades.

What I thought- Ms. Johnson is a wonderful poet, especially for kids. Her poems are spunky and fun to read. The book is divided into “serene” and “snorty” poems, and they are just that! The serene poems gives the reader visions of the environment and wildlife of the Everglades. I have never been to the Everglades and it is cool to learn a bit about the place from Ms. Johnson’s poetry. The snorty poems will make kids giggle and snort (and maybe guffaw). The poems are put together with original artwork from Ms. Johnson and I think the artwork adds nicely to the poems and gives the reader a great read! Take a peek at an interior page!

everglades1

Image from Ms. Johnson’s blog catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com

Five bookworms for The Everglades! fivebooks

To learn more about Ms. Johnson and her other books, please visit her blog HERE.

Follow Ms. Johnson on Twitter HERE.

Like Ms. Johnson on Facebook HERE.

Want more somewhat snorty poetry? Check out Ms. Johnson’s latest collection!

zompoem

Review! The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel (Vol. 1) by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russel

1 Oct

graveyard1

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel (Vol. 1)

Adapted by P. Craig Russel

Original novel by Neil Gaiman

192 pages – ages 11+

Published by HarperCollins on July, 29 2014

Summary (from the inside cover)-

“Nobody Owens, known as Bod,  is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.”

What I liked- I am not one for horror stories. The Graveyard Book is not really a horror story – it is more a supernatural story. I am a fan of graphic novels especially when they are done well (just like with movies – it’s sad to see a graphic novel adaptation of a favorite story fall short). I am glad that this book has finally had a graphic novel adaptation, and this one was marvelously done. It really captures the spirit (no pun intended!) of The Graveyard Book. The illustrations add feeling to the story and the text tells the complete story. I like the look of the artwork. Bod was done very well – he’s just what I imagined.  I don’t like how Silas was represented. He was pictured as a stereotypical vampire. I wish he was more mysterious and not so obvious. Still, the artwork was excellent and the story was adapted very well. I think it is cool that more than one artist worked on this book. Someone did Chapter 1, another did Chapter 2, etc. (there are 6 chapters in this volume). I am glad the book is broken into 2 volumes and that Mr. Russel took his time adapting the story to graphic novel form.  I like the Volume idea – there will be two volumes. As a kid, I think the graphic novel makes the book easier to understand. There is a bit of violence at the beginning (Bod’s family is dead, killed by the man Jack.), so it is for a slightly older audience (the same as the original book). I am anxiously waiting for the next volume which comes out October 7th!

 

I give “The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel (Vol. 1)” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooksgraveyard2

Review! WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign

1 Oct

whipeyeWhipEye

WhipEye Chronicles (Volume 1)

by Geoffrey Saign

312 pages – ages 9+
Published by KiraKu Press on June 19, 2014

Summary- Samantha knew nothing good would come of her stealing the Congo African Gray Parrot named Charlie from the Endless Pet Store. But the parrot ordered her to do it. Apparently, Charlie is a magical powered animal called a methuselah animal – an animal born every 1,000 years, lives for a thousand years, and it will then give its energy to the Earth when it dies – and Charlie’s 1,000th birthday is coming up. Magnar, an evil man who has found a way to trap the methuselahs’ energy and has been using it for nefarious reasons, has been holding Charlie captive for almost Charlie’s entire life. When Sam, and her neighbor, Jake, rescue Charlie from his prison at the Endless Pet Store, Magnar is fast on their tail! Will two kids, one ancient parrot, and one even ancient-er ;) magic staff be able to stop Magnar from being the most powerful man on Earth?

What I thought- This was amazing. When I started the book, I wasn’t sure if I  was going to like this story, but then it really sucked me in. I couldn’t put it down. I thought that Sam was a little stand-offish and hard to like, but her character develops through the story and she becomes a great character. She plays a great female hero! Magnar is an awesome villain! You despise him! Because he is at least 10,000 years old, Magnar is like Moriarty, just add a magical touch and evil shadow monsters (the trapped methuseleh energy). Charlie is very likeable, fun character. It was cool to have an animal character in a story that is a bird. :)  He is a great friend to Sam. I like how Mr. Saign describes the setting. It is very realistic. I felt like I was actually there. This was a wonderful story for middle grade kids! Bonus points for a cool cover too! I am looking forward to the second book in this series.

Five out of five bookworms! fivebooks

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