Dreamwalkers Part One
By D.M. Andrews
41 Pages – Ages 12+
Published in 2013 by D.M. Andrews (ebook)
Cal (age 17) liked to dream because it took him away from this world into a world where he wasn’t bullied. Cal didn’t know what to do when he learned that a girl from his dreams, Ash, is real! He hadn’t seen Ash in real-life before the day she joined his school (and sat next to him in English Literature class). Later he realized that they could “meet” in their dreams (and that if they get hurt in their sleep, they wake with a pain in our world). Cal and Ash together learn that they aren’t in control of “their” dream, and they want to find out who dreamed this place up. The problem is, the people who ARE in control (or under the control of the Guy In Control) are out to stop them!
This was a great YA novella (also good for middle graders)! I like the idea of the “Dreamframe” (as Cal calls it). It is a cool (and a bit scary) idea. It was a great first book in the series and I am anxious to read the next. There is no foul language or over-the-top violence, though Cal is bullied. I like Ash. She was a nice character. I also like Cal. He sounds a lot like me. He prefers books to almost anything else. Mr. Andrews’ writing style is great. I like how the plots in his books are interesting and exciting. His descriptions of the worlds he creates for his characters really let you see what they are seeing. I think kids 12+ would like this novella.
I give “Dreamwalkers” 5 out of 5 bookworms.
To learn more about Mr. Andrews, please visit his website by clicking HERE. Visit his facebook page HERE.
Before I get to today’s review, I want to tell everyone to go visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and vote for their favorite spring-time story in her “The In Just Spring” story contest”! The finalists are HERE to vote on. There were a lot of great entries! I am honored to mention that my story (Spring Schming) got an honorable mention.
Tiny Twisted Tales: Stuart the Bug Eating Man
By Calvin Innes
69 pages – Ages 7+
Published by My Little Big Town on December 7, 2012
Stuart liked eating bugs. The squirmier the better. Sadly, his family didn’t share his unusual taste. His wife wanted him to get a job but Stuart didn’t know what to do. He never went to school and he has no talent other than eating bugs. Stuart finally realizes that being himself and doing what he likes is the perfect answer (even if it is kind of gross).
I am not a fan of gross-out books, but somewhere in all the bug-eating in this book is a nice message about believing in yourself. There are illustrations on each page of bugs or Stuart eating bugs (**shiver**) that went well with the story. The number of words on a page is small and I think younger kids and reluctant readers would love this book. The story is told in simple rhyme that doesn’t always flow the best, but is fun to read. The message of believing in yourself no matter what others think, is a good one. This is a great book for boys! “Stuart the Bug Eating Man” is part of a series called the “Tiny Twisted Tales” series, where each book can stand alone and be read out of order. The other titles in the series are-
(about a kid who is afraid to go outside)
(about an 8-year-old werewolf hunter)
All the books in the series are about whacky/odd characters, but they also have a nice message in each book too. I recommend these books to kids 7+.
I give Stuart the Bug Eating Man 4/5 book worms (and I hope Stuart doesn’t eat them)!
Learn more about the Tiny Twisted Tales HERE.
Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors
By Kris Yankee
168 Pages – Ages 9+
Published by Nelson Publishing & Marketing on December 15, 2012
Toby Karlson (A.K.A. TK) was a pretty popular guy. That is, until he accidentally “hip checked” an elderly secretary at school when he was pushed into a table. Toby is suddenly hated and made fun of by pretty much every other 5th grader because rumors start going around about the incident which says that it is all Toby’s fault. His best friend, Drew, hates him the most and wants nothing to do with Toby and Toby doesn’t understand why. Toby wants to get his reputation back. He sees a chance when the 5th graders go camping, but needs help. Toby gets help from Morgan, a super smart but very “nerdy” kid. How can Morgan help Toby? And what about the class bully, who hates Toby too? Will Toby ever get his reputation back?
This was a good book about friendship, the harm of rumors and life as a fifth-grader. I do like the “code”. It is a series of rules Toby lives by and the “code” is the title of each chapter (like “CODE 1 – No Matter What, Don’t Hip Check Little Old Ladies” – “CODE 2 – Sometimes Taking One for the Team Means Putting Your Head in a Toilet”). I like Uncle Jack, TK’s guardian (TK is an orphan). He’s pretty cool and sensible and gives TK good advice. I also like Morgan. There are a lot of references to ice hockey in the book which is fun for boys, but you don’t have to be a hockey fan to like it. Ms. Yankee also put some great humor in the story too. The word “cr**” appears a couple of times in the book. I don’t think it needs to be there, but other than that the book is a clean read. I recommend this book to kids 10+.
I give “Cracking the Code” 4 out of 5 bookworms.
This is the second book by Ms. Yankee I have reviewed. She also wrote “Saving Redwind: A Wallpaper Adventure” (See my review HERE), a great fantasy adventure that I really enjoyed. To learn more about Ms. Yankee and her books, please visit her website by clicking HERE!
By Debbie Brown
181 pages – ages 14+
Published by GMTA Publishing on December 4, 2012
Aleksei didn’t know how it had happened. He didn’t even know WHO did it. Although he suspected it was aliens who were attacking the town. And he was trapped in some rubble from a building. He had lost all hope when two brothers, Mitch and Jamie, found him and dug him out. They hid and were able to steal an abandoned Jeep (all the humans abandoned town). They drove out of the town and picked up more kids they found along the way. The other kids were Krisztina, Ally, and the baby, J.J. The group of kids drove outside town into a park with hot springs and caves. They set up a shelter and lived there. They realize they are alone. They have no parents to help them and aliens all around them. The kids have to get along, stay hidden in the caves and somehow manage to survive. until they came…
The Boxcar Children is one of my favorite series from when I was littler. I loved to read how the kids worked together. I especially loved the first book where the kids had to survive out in the woods in a boxcar and avoid being captured. I remembered getting very involved in that story. So why am I talking about the Boxcar Children? I felt the same way reading this book! I think it’s kind of a cool dystopian Boxcar Children book… only with aliens! The kids live in the woods with no adults… But then the aliens come and… Nah. Not gonna tell. I LOVED this story! Ms. Brown’s writing style had me on the edge of my bean bag chair while I was reading it. The characters were great and they all had different personalities. The only problem I had with the book was the amount of cursing in it. I reviewed another great story Ms. Brown wrote, Amethyst Eyes (see my review HERE), and it didn’t have all the cursing. I think the cursing in this book could have been changed for younger kids to read. That was upsetting. The ending of the book was awesome and like Amethyst Eyes, there is a great message in the book about why we should care for our environment. I recommend this book to kids 14+.
I give “Rebirth” 4 out of 5 bookworms.
To learn more about Ms. Brown and her books, please visit her website HERE.
I have an announcement that may shock some of you. Ten-year-old Erik will no longer be reviewing books.
BECAUSE TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY AND I AM 11!!
Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I wasn’t going to post a review today, but I just read a good book by an author I really like. For my first official review as an eleven year old, I am going to tell you about a Christmas story I just read by Nicola Palmer, the author of the Alice Parker series (which are awesome books you should read).
One Strange Christmas
By Nicola Palmer
Published by Kallisto on November 8, 2012
OH NO! There’s blue snow on the ground this Christmas, and Jake blames himself for it. Last night, Jake woke up and saw a beautiful snow globe by his bed. He then wished for snow and an exciting Christmas day. Now look at what’s happened – BLUE snow!!! The very weird thing is, it’s only on their street! That is strange! Jake meets Eric (don’t you love that name ), the elf, who takes him to Santa’s ship (his modern sleigh) and meets Santa. Most of Jake’s family didn’t believe in Santa but Jake did. Santa explains to Eric how he accomplishes everything he has to do on Christmas Eve. Santa also tells Jake that his future will be changed forever (but in a good way).
This Christmas story is a great read for kids and adults. I thought the story plot was very unique. I thought the part of the story that tells you that you have to believe to see things (like snowmen are really alive). It is a nice more modern story for the holidays. It has a lot of funny parts to it. I really love Ms. Palmer’s Alice Parker series and this story is written just as well. If you are looking for a fun Christmas story for your kid (or yourself), I recommend “One Strange Christmas”!
Five out of five bookworms for One Strange Christmas!
By Robert B. Hill and Brent Angie
Illustrated by Erin Koehler
28 Pages – Ages 4+
Published by Kid’s Play Books, LLC on July 25, 2012
*3D book app reviewed
Chug the Bug wondered what type of bug he was. He is furry, had lots of legs, and could roll into a ball. On the first day of school, Chug walks along and meets lots of bugs also walking to school. Chug hopes to make friends. The other bugs know what type of bug they are. Will Chug ever get to know what he is?
I reviewed the 3D book app version of this story. I wasn’t sure what 3D meant until I got the book. WOW! The illustrations are cool and they are 3D! The story is cute with really nice rhyme. I think pre-school kids will love the story and older kids will love the graphics. I like the noises accompanying the pages. You can tap different interactive things on each page. The interactive objects are very cool. The graphics are just awesome. I think kids 4+ would enjoy this app!
I give “Chug the Bug” 5 out of 5 bookworms!
Chug The Bug: Chug Makes Friends is available as an ebook at AMAZON or iTunes. The interactive app (what I reviewed) is available at iTunes or the Mac APP store.
To learn more about Chug the Bug, please visit the official website (there are also some games and activities on the site) HERE.
The trailer shows how cute the illustrations are!
HELLLOOOOO FRANKENSTORM a.k.a. Sandy! Thank you for giving me a day off of school but I hope you don’t knock out our internet connection! If I am gone for a couple of days, you’ll know why – no electricity, but I am hoping that doesn’t happen. I hope everyone in the path of the storm is safe and dry!
Now on to my review!
Storytellers: Anterria Book 1
By Rebecca McKinsey
230 pages – ages 9+
Published by Booklocker.com, Inc. on December 15, 2010
Hannah Merchant was a tomboy that liked creating her own worlds and stories. One day she was at a party her wealthy parents made her go to. She snuck up to the library of the building and started writing in her journal. When she got bored of that, she went outside, and everything went black. She awoke and found herself in the path of Aaron McKay, who was being chased by an evil shadow creature. He pulled her along until they were safe and far away from it. Aaron took her to a train station. There he explained some of the things that were going on, like the reason he was being chased. Hannah finds out she is a Storyteller, like Aaron and she has powers she never knew she had. Books and illustrations The train conductor took Hannah and Aaron to Anterria, a world different from ours. There they enter a dangerous war between the villagers of Anterria and the King and his men. The shadow creature is there too, taking over all. Will Hannah and Aaron come out alive?
I enjoyed reading this book. I loved the plot. The action in it was exciting but written well for kids. The reading level is good for older kids or advanced readers and it is a clean read. I also thought the story idea was unique. I liked the mythical creatures Ms. McKinsey wrote into the story (like pixies, centaurs and satyrs). Hannah is a great main character who loves writing and creating her own worlds. I liked her a lot. The Storytellers were pretty cool. I like that what they say is true in their story, becomes true. There were parts of the story I wished were explained a little more because I got “lost” but for the most part, the story read well. I like the cover, I thought it was kind of pretty. The second book in this series is called Atlantis. I already asked my mom if she can get it! I recommend this book to kids 9+.
Four out of five bookworms for this great adventure story!
**Note – I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
To learn more about to learn about Ms. McKinsey and The Storytellers series, click HERE.