Tag Archives: this kid reviews books

Review! Leap Write In! by Karen Benke

26 Nov

leapwriteLeap Write In!
By Karen Benke
256 pages – ages 11+
Published by Roost Books on April 2, 2013

Synopsis [from the back cover]- In this book you’ll find: On-The-Spot Drops that offer “free-fall” prompts on different themes, such as short-winded poems and seven-line stories. Mini Memoirs to unlock personal narratives to share, or not. Suddenly A Story suggestions to explore feelings and states of being like fear, reluctance, compassion, kindness, anxiety, anger, jealousy, happiness, and more. Surprise Yourself Surveys for those who think they know everything about themselves. Untie-Your-Mind Word Lists to jump start stalled imaginations. Definition Decoders to introduce new ideas and styles of writing.

What I Liked- First off, I was very excited to read this book! Ms. Benke’s other book “Rip The Page!” was great, and really helped me with my writing. I found this book was a great follow-up to “Rip The Page!” because the writing challenges were a bit more complex. The prompts were realistic and slightly challenging to do, especially if you aren’t in your creative mind frame, like the activities “Stop Making Sense” and “Your Moody Monkey Mind” – two of my favorites. Ms. Benke gave several activities for each prompt, giving the reader a choice to do. She also included some examples, from real people, so you get your creative juices flowing, and have some real inspiration. The book covers a wide range of creative writing topics, from dialogue tags to – **ugh** – the necessary step of revision. There are some really fun things to do. Ms. Benke shares some “mini memoirs” of her life, and encourages others to do the same. This is a wonderful writing resource!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Check out one of the creative writing things I did! I wrote a pantoum (I never even heard of this poem type before reading this book).

A Pantoum Pantoum

               [   or   ]

An Ode to Pantoums Everywhere

            By Erik

A pantoum is
An interesting poem type
That’s fun to do
With simple steps.

An interesting poem type:
You can master it
With simple steps.
Can you see it take shape?

You can master things
With some effort.
I can see a poem
Forming from mid-thought.

With some effort,
It’s fun to do.
Forming from mid-thought,
Is a pantoum.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

23 Nov

sistersSisters

By Raina Telgemeier

208 pages – ages 8+

Published by GRAPHIX on August 26, 2014

Synopsis- Raina and her family are going to Colorado for a family reunion. She, her sister, brother, and mom are going by car, and their dad will fly in later. Along the way, a lot of things go wrong for Raina and her family. Raina and her sister never get along, even though Raina wanted a sister for years. The arguing made the car trip even longer. After pretty much everything goes wrong, especially her parents hinting that they don’t get along anymore, Raina starts to wonder if anything will get better.

What I liked- This is a really cool graphic novel. It’s pretty interesting how, along with the story-line, there are also “flashbacks” that Raina has. That was fun. Raina (the character, reflects Ms. Telgemeier, because another one of Ms. Telgemeier’s books, Smile (also a great bookand Sisters are memoirs) is an average 14-year-old, with an average, slightly angry younger sister. They have a normal, argumentative, at times humorous, relationship. It was a nice touch that Raina and her sister were kind of brought together by the fact that their parents might get divorced, and that they were scared of what would happen. The story is full of humor, and seems very realistically done. It is a nice story, and the illustrations are top-notch. I hope that there will be another book!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Future Flash by Kita Helmetag Murdock

2 Nov

futureflashFuture Flash
by Kita Helmetag Murdock
208 pages –  ages 9+
Published by Sky Pony Press on June 3, 2014

Laney Magee has always been different. She’s the girl that draws on her falling-apart-sneakers, and always wears her favorite black hoodie. It doesn’t help that she has this weird power that when she meets someone new and makes contact with them, she sees a short vision of their future, to the exact detail. A new student comes to their school, and Laney is dreading it. She touches his hand in gym class (they are learning about square-dancing), and she gets a horrible vision, the worst she sees – the new boy, clothed in flames, in a burning building. Laney decides to stop his fiery fate from happening. To do that, she must stay close to him. Which might be hard, because he, well, kind of hates her.

This was a cool book about an ordinary girl with an extraordinary power – when she makes contact with someone, usually for the first time, she catches a glimpse of something in the future concerning that person. Laney is a nice, art-loving, “oddball”-type girl who risks her skin to try to save someone she doesn’t even know, who doesn’t really like her (at first – they become friends). She is a marvelous role model, and a great female lead character. The setting is perfect for the story – a small, rural town. Literally – there are only 13 kids in Laney’s class! My school is small, but it isn’t that small! The cover is gorgeous and fits well with the story. I like the silhouette on it a lot. Ms. Murdock’s style kept me reading. I like how she gave every character a unique personality. For example, you know that saying “Never trust a skinny chef” – well, apparently the town baker is super skinny. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms.fivebooks

Book Launch Tour! Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor by L.R.W. Lee

15 Oct

 

andysmith

unicornAndy Smithson Book 3: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor

by L.R.W. Lee

252 pages – ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace  on September 23, 2014

Summary- Author’s summary]

Andy returns to Oomaldee and learns the next ingredient to collect is the horn of a unicorn. Not unexpectedly, as he and his company embark upon their quest, they face stiff opposition from the evil King Abaddon, a foreign enemy who seeks to conquer that world. The physical battle, while intense, pales in comparison, however, to his conflicted heart, when a seductive voice calls to Andy, tempting him to surrender the unicorn horn in exchange for a promise to preserve his mom when he breaks the curse. Desperate to save her, he falls for the lie and puts in jeopardy his ability to end the curse.

What I liked- Mrs. Lee has written another great book in the Andy Smithson series. In the newest book, Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor, Andy really grows as a person. It made me like his character even more. In addition to the vivid description of the land of Oomaldee, the action and twists that Mrs. Lee packs into this story makes it a totally enjoyable read. The plot of the story captures the reader’s attention and Mrs. Lee’s writing style keeps you reading until the very last word. I especially like the unusual animal inhabitants of Oolmaldee (like dragons, unicorns and “herewolves”). They add a lot to this fantastic world. Mrs. Lee has written a long-lasting story that is part of one of my favorite series.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

 

Want to learn more? Visit Mrs. Lee’s website HERE

 

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! Nanny X by Madelyn Rosenberg

17 Sep

nannyxNanny X
By Madelyn Rosenberg
112 pages – ages 7+
Published by Holiday House on September 15th, 2014

Summary- It’s never a good thing when an older woman with a baby bag, a gardening hat, reflective sunglasses, and a leather biker’s jacket shows up at your front doorstep, and your mother introduces her as your new nanny. At the very least, it’s not normal. And when you see her talking into diapers (which reply back?!?!?…) and when she gives you anchovy-and-peanut-butter sandwiches for lunch, you know something’s up (I mean, seriously? Who gives you peanut butter and anchovy sandwiches for lunch? That’s just not right. Not right at all…). That’s what Alison and Jake were thinking when Nanny X came into their lives. And pretty soon, Nanny X is saving their lives! Crazy! The woman serves them anchovies, and then… *grumbles something about how anchovies taste horrible* Well, nothing is as it seems (except those anchovies – they are what they seem – bad for your taste buds! ;) ) around here…

What I thought of it- Horrible. It was terrible. I can’t stand it.

-Wait. You want me to review the book, not the anchovy peanut butter sandwich? Ah. Well, in that case: The book was  awesome!

What I thought about the book- I love the idea of the whole book – spy nanny. Nanny X (besides her love of anchovies) is a marvelous character! Her baby bag of spy gadgets is pure awesomeness. I like how she handles situations. The story-line is great and the story will keep readers involved in it until the very end. There isn’t any major violence (a guy gets hit accidentally, Jake and Nanny X get kidnapped, etc.) so it is appropriate for all ages. It is perfect for young advanced readers. Alison and Jake are great main characters, and the chapters alternate between their POVs. The setting and the actions of the characters is realistic, and was described so well that I felt like I was there. Ms. Rosenberg has created a compelling spy story!

I give “Nanny X” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge by Meg Welch Dendler

15 Sep

fattycatMiss Fatty Cat’s Revenge

By Meg Welch Dendler

234 pages – ages 8+

Published by Createspace on May 15, 2014

Summary- In our world, all is not what it seems, especially when it comes to kitties! Did you know cats are actually space aliens living among us? Some realize their origin, while others just want ears scratched and tuna treats. Little do we humans realize there is a kitty command ship orbiting Earth watching some of the inhabitants…

Miss Fatty Cat is fed up with the kittens, Kimba and Hiro. They are spoiled, pampered, and attention-grabbing! Miss Fatty Cat gets no attention from Mama and Daddy (their humans). To make matters worse, Kimba and Hiro just found out they are royal daughters of the High Commander! And Miss Fatty Cat has had enough of it all. So, she agrees to help the evil rebel cats kidnap Hiro and Kimba, just so that she could get more attention from Mama and Daddy. And then it all goes downhill. Kimba goes missing during a transfer (teleporting)!

What I like about it- This is a really well done book. I think that it is pretty cool, in the sense of space-traveling cats with technology that surpasses ours. Plus, the title made me laugh out loud. The series is good, and consistent. I like that the characters’ have just the right amount of “maturing” throughout each book. Kimba and Hiro are nice characters that you care for, and you even understand how Miss Fatty Cat feels. Ms. Dendler really helps you get into the head of the characters! She has written a good, unique book!

I give “Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge” four out of five bookworms.

fourbooks

-catmirror

The Choice of Twilight by Tyler Wise

29 Aug

thechoiceThe Choice of Twilight

by Tyler Wise

288 pages – ages 12+

Published on March 17, 2014 (ebook)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Summary – Ty’s first day of middle school was horrible. He was late to school, lost his schedule, got himself lost in the halls, was late for every single class and he got homework on his first day because of it! To make matters worse, Ty’s grandpa passed away the day before he started school. Months later, his life doesn’t seem to be getting any better, in fact it’s pretty bad. Ty’s 13th birthday comes and he gets a present from his late grandpa. It is a puppet that his grandpa made when Ty was born. That night when Ty goes to sleep he wakes up in a strange land ruled by a giant tyrannical skeleton. Apparently,  in this world, kids get help facing all the stuff they have to face growing up. Ty’s friend and ally in this strange world is a giant, living version of the puppet he got from his grandpa. But facing the big issues in his life is not something Ty thinks he’s ready for.

This was a great coming-of-age book! It was a very fun and adventurous venture into the land of imagination. I love Ty’s addiction to LEGOs (and the LEGO room) – he’s my kind of guy! Ty is altogether a great character. He’s pretty much what I am looking for in a main character. I must admit, I wasn’t that sure if I would like this book. The cover and title threw me off. I was expecting a dark, moody story (not my favorite kind). This was nothing like that. It was a cool adventure that, as a kid, I could totally relate to. Mr. Wise’s imaginary world was very creative and I think it’s a pretty unique idea. The imaginary world created by Mr. Wise was vivid and very cool to read about. I’d be happy to read more books by this author!

I give “The Choice of Twilight” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review and Giveaway! The Guardian Herd Book 1 – Starfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

25 Aug

 

Mark your calendars for this wonderful book that will be released September 23rd!  Can’t wait?!? Well comment below and enter to win a signed copy (US residents only, please). On September 1st I will… I mean my little sister Josie will  pick a name out of a hat and declare the WINNER of a SIGNED copy of THE GUARDIAN HERD: STARFIRE! WOO! :D

I reviewed Ms. Alvarez’s book “The Pet Washer” a while ago (see my review HERE) and I really enjoyed her writing style. I was very excited to get an ARC of the first book of this new series by Ms. Alvarez and really looked forward to reading the story. I wasn’t disappointed!

guardianThe Guardian Herd Book 1 – Starfire

By Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

272 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on September 23, 2014

Anok is a land full of pegasi – winged horses – and no humans.

Star is the “black foal” – a black pegasi that is born once every 100 years. On the black foals’ first birthday (at midnight), the Hundred Year Star gives its power to the black foal of the century. With this power, the black foal can become either the Destroyer or the Healer of the herds. Either way, the foal will become more powerful than any pegasi in Anok. Thunderwing (and most of Sun Herd) thinks that Star will become the Destroyer, if he lives. Star doesn’t blame them – he isn’t so sure himself! Thunderwing, the over-stallion (chief) of Sun Herd now is the head of the Guardian Herd, the herd to which the black foal is born. It is the Guardian Herd’s responsibility to keep track of the black foal and to determine it’s fate when the time came. Thunderwing gave Star until his first birthday to live and then declared that Star must be killed in case he becomes the Destroyer. When the lead-mare of Sun Herd helps get Star to safety by bringing him to a secluded cave, she gets kicked out of Sun Herd. She dares to go back only to warn the Sun Herd about the pegasi army about to attack the Guardian Herd because they lost track of Star. The warning didn’t help. Now Star’s friends’ lives are in danger! What can he do?

This is an amazing book! It reminded me a little bit of the Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter, with all of the Herds and all – but it was also very different (not just because it’s about pegasi). I liked it. The Guardian Herd series is very unique and I like that it hooks you right in the first paragraph! I could not put it down! ( Seriously. I didn’t really leave my bean-bag chair at all until I was done… ;) )! Ms. Alvarez is a great author with a descriptive writing style that gets the reader involved. Star is a character you really come to care for. He is a great main character, and is a nice guy pegasi. I like how Star’s character developed during the time he spent exiled in the cave. I love how Ms. Alvarez describes the world of Anok. It felt like I was really there, diving through the trees, galloping through the plains! I thought all the interactions between the herds and members of each herd was interesting. You got to learn about their society and chain of command and such. I can’t wait for the other books in this series! Bonus points for an awesome cover too!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Ms. Alvarez and her books, please visit her website HERE.

Book Review! Jesper Jinx by Marko Kitti

20 Aug

 

Wish me luck! Today is my first day of MIDDLE SCHOOL!!

 

scream

Creative Commons License


Now on to my review!

jesperJesper Jinx

Written and Illustrated by Marko Kitti

150 pages – ages 8+

Published by CreateSpace on April 28, 2014

Jesper Jinx may be one of the unluckiest (or maybe the luckiest?) kids in Puffington Hill, England. Everything he does somehow comes out hilariously messed up. When Jesper accidentally (and literally) bumps into a children’s books author who had rented a nearby house, Jesper makes the author promise to write his real-life stories, as long as he doesn’t share it with anybody else. The author was not true to his word, well, as long as the reader promises not to tell Jesper! He shares 3 short stories – each with a prank that Jesper does. This includes staining the white cat red, and swapping his sister’s favorite drink out for a concoction that is undeniably foul.

This book, all in all, is hilarious. I love that the author is a character that interacts with the reader through notes. That provides a bit of humor right there. Then you add in all of Jesper’s kooky actions and you get a ton of laughs. I like the fact that the reader can be involved in the story, it feels like the author is talking to you. The illustrations remind me of the kind in most of Roald Dahl’s books. I like that touch. It provides a nice feeling that draws you into the story. Jesper is a nice kid who likes to do pranks and practical jokes. It’s not his fault that they normally backfire on him. He’s just a normal kid trying to “break the boredom”. The book was a quick read for me at 150 pages with illustrations, but it is meant for younger kids so the reading level is just right for 8+ or young advanced readers. I am looking forward to reading more of Mr. Kitti’s work.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

For more information on Mr. Kitti and Jesper Jinx, please visit the Jesper Jinx website HERE.

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