176 pages – ages 9+
Published by Bradley Stuart Books on September 3, 2012
Henry was a very ordinary kid. He thought he was almost too ordinary and he kind of didn’t like himself too much. On day, Henry was surprised when he woke up very early and saw a strange horse with an odd-looking scar on its head, outside his bedroom window. Henry hopped onto the horse and it rode him into the world of Altara. In Altara, Henry meets Anree, a boy who looks just like himself! Henri finds out that Anree is waiting to turn 13 because he will become the Tara or ruler of the land. Henry and Anree become practically one. The Duplicate Duo soon find out that people are trying to kill him… er… them so they can rule. And while all that happens, every time Henry falls asleep in Altara, he wakes up on Earth (and vice versa)! Henry’s time in Altara helps him have more confidence when he is back on Earth. Will Henry and Anree survive until 13 to become the rightful ruler of Altara? Will Henry survive middle-school???
I first heard of this book on Ms. Clar Bowman-Jahn’s blog, click HERE for an interview with the author, Stuart. This was a unique book because of the way the chapters are laid out. Nearly every chapter alternates between Earth and Altara. I like that. I like Henry. He was a modern kid that is very believable and a nice guy. The story is well written and even though it keeps jumping between Earth and Altara, it is not hard to follow, it flows very well. I think that the thing that happens between Henry and Anree at the end is REALLY cool, but I am not going to tell you because it will spoil it. There was no bad language in the book and only mild violence. I did notice a couple of missing question marks in the text. At the back of the book, there are some questions to ask/answer (like a teacher to his/her students). I recommend this book to kids 9+.
A sequel to Henry on Fire is supposed to come out sometime this year. To learn more, visit the Henry of Fire website by clicking HERE.
by Evelyn Ink
200 pages – ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace on October 22, 2012
With the Darlington parents away on vacation, the oldest sister Audra is put in charge of her four younger sisters. Two of the sisters, Paige and Bean, find a portal to a world called Enil in their basement after finding a chest in their attic. What they find in the chest make them think their mom has some secrets. That night, a strange creature kidnaps Audra and takes her to Enil! Paige, Bean, and their twin sisters (girl pirates in training) go to save her. In Enil, they meet a kind viking who helps them, and get a prophecy from a batty old lady. How will they be able to find their kidnapped sister?
Ms. Ink tells a good story. The writing style was good and the characters were all very nice. There was a lot of humor in the book that worked well when the story got tense. I liked the twin sisters because they just want to be pirates (and they’re REALLY tough!). I was hooked by the story right away and kept turning the pages. I have to say that after I got done the book I was wanting to have more description of Enil. Even for a first book in a series, I thought there could have been a bit more. I would like to read book two (which is out), but mostly because I want to know more about this world and I enjoyed reading book 1. I think kids 9+ would like this book.
To learn more about Ms. Ink and Sticks, Stones and Dragon Bones, please visit Ms. Ink’s blog by clicking HERE.