BOOK NAME: Little House on the Prairie
AUTHOR: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Hi guys. You know that book series of The Little House on the Prairie books? All of those books are about a real girl growing up in pioneer times with her family in the midwest. There’s one book in the series though that is about her husband when he was a boy. It’s called Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Farmer Boy is about Almanzo Wilder who is about 9 years old in the book. Though he’s just a kid in terms of age he is expected to work like a man most of the time. He plows fields, chops wood and drives a team oxen when he isn’t going to school, which he hates, by the way. What he really wants to do is work with his family’s horses, but his father who is pretty strict doesn’t think he is old enough.
I really liked this book even though I wasn’t sure about it at first. It gave me a clear picture of what it was like to grow up on a farm in the olden days–lots of work but lots of unstructured time also. I thought the author used great descriptions in the book and some humor too. Almanzo is an easy character to like because even though he lived so long ago he is pretty much like all kids I know. He’s pretty nice and hard-working overall but has some not so nice and lazy feelings also. I could really relate to Almanzo because he wants to grow up so badly but he’s treated like a little kid sometimes. In the end of the story, which I won’t give away, Almanzo realizes that his father understands him after all. I really recommend this book to anyone, but especially to boys ages 7-12. It’s totally worth it!
BOOK NAME: How To Survive Anything
AUTHOR: Rachel Buchholz
How To Survive Anything is a unique book that conquers not only day to day
problems (think middle school), but also problems you wouldn’t want to encounter every
day (think volcanic eruptions). This handbook provides information on how to survive
anything in a compact, fun filled style. You’ll find it chock full of interesting facts and
hilarious illustrations that never fail to impress. This book is handy and could possibly
save your life, or your social life at least. It contains real advice on how to handle
perilous situations such as shark attack, lighting, falling through ice, or maybe the most
dangerous of all, embarrassing parents. The book is split into different categories so
you can find what you need almost instantly.
Another bonus is that it also contains fun quizzes to see if you could really
survive anything including one of my favorites, popularity contests. It is rare to find
something so fun and educational in the same book. I was astonished to find myself
laughing and learning at the same time. This book is now my go to for everything, but
hopefully I won’t have to use it when I’m adrift at sea. The most fickle reader will love
this sure-to-please book. This is a book for all ages to enjoy and share and would
make a great gift. I recommend it for anyone who wants a change of pace or if you’re a
magnet for trouble.
The human race emerged the victor of a horrific war with the Buggers, a hostile alien race. A fleet of human starships, under the command of Ender Wiggin, destroyed the Bugger home world, annihilating the insect-like creatures. In the years that followed, Ender Wiggin vanished, and human colonies sprang
up on habitable planets across the galaxy. Then, a terrible discovery was made by a mysterious human calling himself the “Speaker for the Dead”. The Buggers were not actually bloodthirsty alien beasts; they were intelligent beings who had been willing to make peace with humans! Ender Wiggin went from hero to monster and the human race mourned the unnecessary destruction of the powerful race that was the Buggers.
Then, on a world called Lusitania, another group of highly intelligent beings, the piggies, were discovered. Humans seemed to have a chance to redeem themselves for the destruction of the Buggers. When the piggies brutally murder a scientist attempting to study them, however, the old fears of killer aliens arise again. The Speaker for the Dead is now on his way to Lusitania to discover why the piggies turned to savage, unprovoked killing. He also hopes to right a great wrong he committed earlier in his life. The Speaker for the Dead is… Ender Wiggin, and it is his mission to stop a second alien race from being wiped out.
This was an excellent book, but there are some issues that must be addressed. There are some graphic descriptions of violent death, which may be disturbing to younger readers. There are also some inappropriate references that should only be read by a middle or high school audience. These factors are a drawback, but they cannot alter the fact that this book is phenomenally written. The plot constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. Speaker for the Dead is actually a sequel to another great book, Ender’s Game, but Speaker for the Dead can be read and understood perfectly well without even picking up its predecessor.
BOOK NAME: The Emerald Atlas
AUTHOR: John Stephens
Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world…a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And–if an ancient prophesy is correct–what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma’s extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
MOVIE NAME: The Hunger Games
BASED ON: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I loved the book The Hunger Games and couldn’t wait to see the movie. The story takes
place in future North America, where the government randomly selects a boy and girl from each
District to compete in the Hunger Games. The goal for them is to kill one another and become
the last one standing.
Many of the scenes in the movie were exactly as I imagined them when I first read the
book. But there were a few changes. First off, the District 12 mayor’s daughter gave Katniss the
Mockingjay pin in the book for good luck. However, in the movie, an old lady gave it to her. The
time that Katniss spends with her District 12 friend Gale is shortened quite a bit, but that is
obviously done because of the time constraints of a movie. The only huge part left out is Peeta
losing his leg in the end of the Games. President Snow was much older than I had thought, and
he has many more parts in the movie than in the book. The head Gamemaker also had no scenes
in the book, but he has many in the movie. Ceaser, Katniss, Effie, Gale, Cato and Haymitch were
exactly as I imagined. My favorite character in the movie is Haymitch, mainly because the actor
who portrays him makes the scenes entertaining.
Some scenes in the Hunger Games movie actually are taken from Catching Fire, the
next book in the series. One example is when the people in District 11 start
rebelling and are quickly out-numbered by the armored police ironically known as the
Peacekeepers. This actually happened in District 8 in the second book. President Snow’s reaction
to Katniss and Peeta’s threat is also in the movie but
doesn’t come until the second book.
I loved both the book and the movie and am looking forward to watching Catching
Fire and Mockingjay on the big screen.
BOOK NAME: Scorpia Rising
AUTHOR: Anthony Horowitz
15-year-old Alex Rider, teen super spy, has been a vital asset for the British intelligence agency MI6. For about a year, MI6 has dispatched Alex on numerous missions throughout the world to thwart the plans of maniacal, nefarious men who’ve attempted to carry out their diabolical plans. But now, Alex has had enough of dangerous missions and has “retired” in order to enjoy the luxuries of being a teenager. However, his retirement is soon cut short by the arrival of an old enemy: Scorpia. Alex had already defeated this ruthless terrorist organization twice in the past, but Scorpia has returned in order to restore its shattered reputation and has its attention turned towards the Middle East. Alex is forced to go undercover under the orders of MI6 and halt whatever Scorpia is trying to accomplish. Can Alex defeat Scorpia a third time, or will he have finally met his match?
Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz, was a superb book fraught with suspense, action, and memorable characters. The author definitely ends the Alex Rider series well with this book and at the same time, gives readers a taste of what a true action-packed book should be like. Scorpia Rising contains several commendable “positives.” For one, the action surpassed that of the previous books in the series. Readers will be hooked onto the book while they read about Alex’s daring exploits as he races to stop Scorpia’s operations in the Middle East. From narrow escapes from burning boats to epic fistfights, readers will be caught in the thick of the action. Suspense also accompanies the action in the story by allowing smooth transitions between certain sections of the book. The author also tinkers with the plot section of the story and not only crafts an intricate, eventful storyline, but also makes the characters themselves appeal to the reader. Scorpia Rising introduces new characters while also including returning ones. An example of a returning character is Julius Grief, one of Dr. Grief’s clones in the second book of the series, while a new character includes Razim (the primary antagonist of the book).
This book did not contain many negatives, but one particular one might be the complex plot. Some readers may find it difficult to understand what is going on, but fortunately, the action and other positives of the book will make up for plot confusion. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this book a 10, as it clearly represents what an outstanding thriller should be like. I’d recommend this book to any action/adventure reader who’s scouring the library shelves searching for a perfect thriller.
BOOK NAME: Skipping Christmas
AUTHOR: John Grisham
If you had the chance to skip Christmas, would you? Sure, it would mean not having to go to your siblings’ boring Christmas pageant, not getting sick on candy canes and fruit cake, and not having to pretend you’re thankful for the wacky presents your relatives send you, but wouldn’t you miss the Christmas tree? And the decorations and carolers? And not to mention, what would your family and friends think of you?
These are the types of questions Luther and Nora Krank are faced with when they suddenly decide to forgo the holidays in the novel, Skipping Christmas. With their only daughter leaving for a year to go teach children English in Peru, the Kranks are feeling pretty gloomy and don’t know if they are up to celebrating Christmas. In fact, Luther, who has never liked the holiday because of the all the stress and chaos it brings, proposes the plan of skipping altogether and going on a luxurious cruise instead. Although the idea at first seems crazy and Nora immediately vetoes it, the couple eventually comes around and they excitedly book their tickets for a Caribbean cruise, starting on Christmas day.
At first, Luther and Nora’s attempt to forgo everything that has to do with Christmas goes very smoothly and they begin to think that skipping the holidays will be easy. However, as they continue to refuse invitations to Christmas parties, turn down charities asking for donations to help give underprivileged kids presents, and go as far as to not decorate their house with Christmas lights, ultimately causing their neighborhood to lose the annual holiday decorations contest, they soon begin to be met with distaste from their neighbors. As the book goes on, that distaste grows into a full-fledged “war” between the neighborhood and the Kranks, the matter being over whether or not Luther and Nora are going to celebrate Christmas.
This novel is very amusing and will have you constantly laughing as you read it. I recommend it to preteens and young teenagers because it does contain some bad language (Luther utters the occasional swear word) and was originally aimed for an adult audience. Other than that, this book is very funny and entertaining and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
BOOK NAME: Echo’s Revenge: The Ultimate Game
AUTHOR: Sean Austin
and Jeremy only want to have a normal life, one where you can play video
games, live freely, and not be in constant fear. Their mother’s
explosive boyfriend is constantly beating them, and he goes over the
line one day; which initiates operation Thunderbolt. Reggie and
Jeremy plan to run away to their divorced Dad’s house, but things seem too easy.
They make it to the house with a surprising amount of ease.
But that’s when everything begins to go wrong. What could
possibly go wrong since they made their destination? Find out this
and an incredible amount more in Echo’s Revenge: The Ultimate Game.
thought that this was one really amazing book. It has every trick in
the book- suspense, character development, action, and even
some extra. I will warn the reader, however, that it is a little
spooky and dark, and has reference to slavery. In my opinion,
though, this is what makes this book so exciting. I can put myself
in the main characters shoes and really picture myself there. This
book also makes me rethink all the games I have ever played, imagining
what could happen if they turned out to be real. I would definitely
recommend this book to someone in middle school or older. I also
found the author’s website worthy of checking out (even though the book
said to avoid it).
BOOK NAME: National Geographic Readers: Titanic
AUTHOR: Melissa Stewart
Most of us know the story of the Titanic. A huge ship, which everyone thought was unsinkable, hit an iceberg and sunk. Less than half of the passengers survived. Yet here’s something you might not know: The reason such a small percentage of people survived was because there were not enough lifeboats for everyone to board. Before the ship had set sail, lifeboats had been taken out so that first-class passengers could have more room on the deck!
The new National Geographic Kids book, Titanic, has many interesting facts about the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic. Did you know that the last living survivor of the tragedy, Millvina Dean, was three months old when she boarded the Titanic, and she passed away in 2009?
I learned so much from reading this book! There are also paintings that look real! I would recommend Titanic to anyone ages 7 and up.
I would also like to tell you about the new National Geographic Kids program, “Super Readers”! There are different book levels for super readers, depending on how advanced they are in reading. For every four books you read, you can go online and get a prize! Although the books are thin and easy for older kids, I would still recommend it to children at any age. Enjoy the program, and keep on reading!
BOOK NAME: Ender’s Game
AUTHOR: Orson Scott Card
An alien civilization known as the “Buggers” has attacked the human race twice. Only the leadership of the heroic human commander, Mazer Rackham, saved mankind from certain destruction. However, the Bugger threat still looms, and Mazer Rackham is no longer in a position to command. To prepare for another assault, the International Fleet of starships (I.F.) created the Battle School, designed to recruit and train the genius commanders of the future. These young military leaders will commandeer the I.F. forces against their formidable extraterrestrial foe.
Ender Wiggin is one such recruit. For much of his young life, he has been monitored by the International Fleet. Now, I.F. officials have deemed him ready for Battle School. Ender is still a child, but his intelligence is far beyond his years, and the I.F. wants him to become the next Mazer Rackham. First, though, he must survive many grueling years and challenges at the Battle School, where students are just as capable and dangerous as he is. The Battle School centers on a military combat game in zero-gravity. By competing in the games against the other students, Ender’s talents and abilities will be pushed to the limit, preparing him for the ultimate challenge of saving humanity.
This book ranks highly on the list of my all time favorite books. The futuristic world portrayed by author Orson Scott Card intrigued me. The interstellar wars with aliens reminded very much of Star Wars and Star Trek, two classic sci-fi sagas that I have watched. Ender’s extreme intelligence and skills set him up for greatness. His ability to strategize and think ahead made him an exceptional character to read about. In the story, Ender faces both internal and external conflicts, which tie together to form a multifaceted storyline. For example, while Ender is trying to win the games and crack the code of the mysterious teachers and staff, he must also deal with his longing for his kind-hearted sister. He must also contend with his fear of his evil older brother, who is already planning to take over the world. The book was full of action and suspense, as well as few surprise twists. I strongly recommend reading this book.
Want another opinion? Read Reed’s review!
BOOK NAME: The Outsiders
AUTHOR: S.E. Hinton
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is like a stew cooked with ingredients like violence, crime, horror, friendship, bravery, and kindness.
Ponyboy Curtis is a smart and defensive fourteen year old boy who lives in Oklahoma with his two older brothers. He is part of the gang known as the greasers who are poor and are characterized by the grease in their hair. They constantly fight with another group, the Socs, who are rich kids who have a cold, hard, and mean personality. One day things go too far between the two groups and Ponyboy and his friend Johnny kill a Soc in self-defense. They run away to the countryside and hide in a church. Later, the church catches fire, and Johnny and Ponyboy risk their lives to save the children inside. They are hurt badly but are recognized as heroes. But, what dramatic events await them?
The engaging plot of this book, revolving around distinctive personalities, the ordinaries of friendship, and the outsiders in a group, suits the taste buds of all teenagers. Teenagers can relate very well to the characters and incidents in this book because the author, S. E. Hinton, was a teenager herself when she wrote this book. Also, this book has vivid descriptions which come out strongly with the use of similes. I like how the book teaches that groups are not barriers to friendships. So, if you are a teenager, pick out The Outsiders from the library shelf.
BOOK NAME: Chomp
AUTHOR: Carl Hiaasen
Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so the critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.
When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called “Expedition Survival!” Wahoo figures he’ll have to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show’s boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And there’s Tuna–a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.
They’ve only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun…
It’s anyone’s guess who will actually survive “Expedition Survival”…
BOOK NAME: Joshua Dread
AUTHOR: Lee Bacon
BOOK NAME: Ashtown Burials: The Drowned Vault
AUTHOR: N. D. Wilson
BOOK NAME: The Enchantress
AUTHOR: Michael Scott
BOOK NAME: The Emerald Atlas
AUTHOR: John Stephens
BOOK NAME: Chomp
AUTHOR: Carl Hiaasen
BOOK NAME: Scat
AUTHOR: Carl Hiaasen
Hi again blog readers! This is a review of my favorite book by Carl Hiaasen, Scat. It takes place in Florida near a huge swamp. Nick is the main character. His class goes on a field trip to the swamp. In the middle of the trip, a wildfire starts so everyone flees to the bus. Mrs. Starch, Nick’s teacher, goes back to the swamp to get Nick’s friend, Libby’s inhaler. The investigators think she is gone for good until the inhaler appears in Libby’s yard. The mystery of what happens to Mrs. Starch is really cool.
One of the reasons I like this book is because some of the characters are really likable. My favorite character is Twilly. He is very, very rich and he spends his money on donating wildlife preserves. He really stands up for what he believes in and doesn’t hesitate to show it. My other favorite character is Drake. I mostly like him because he adds humor to the book. He is the manager of an oil company in the area next to the swamp. He’s kind of foolish. He set up his business in Florida just so he can run the business while he spends his time water skiing!
Scat is one of the best books I have ever read. First of all, it’s about nature which I love. Also, it’s got some mystery, some great characters, some humor, and some interesting dialogue. I think you’ll really like it too.
Want another opinion? Read Jordan’s review!
BOOK NAME: Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis & Clark
AUTHOR: Gail Langer Karwoski
I own a dog named Bailey. She is a beloved member of the family, her pack. She is our constant friend, protector, playmate, and comforter. Dogs are known as “man’s best friend”, and have been a part of human history since the Stone Age. Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis & Clark describes one such dog in American history.
Lewis and Clark are known as the captains of the first American expedition to the Pacific Ocean. Along with the Native American woman Sacagawea and the other explorers in the Corps of Discovery, Lewis and Clark explored the many wonders of the western United States. A lesser known member of this group of adventurers was Seaman, Lewis’ loyal Newfoundland dog. The four-legged pioneer contributed to the expedition in many ways. Seaman assisted the Corps of Discovery as a sentry and hunter. Most importantly of all, he lifted the spirits of his traveling companions, even in their darkest and bleakest moments. Seaman truly was the dog who explored the west.
Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis & Clark embodies a well-written historical fiction novel. The author based the storyline on actual journal entrees by Lewis and Clark as well as other pieces of historic evidence. She also improvises and elaborates on events that are not described as clearly by the journals and other sources. The book did lack some excitement in certain areas, such as when the Corps of Discovery made rest stops or was delayed by foul weather or other conditions. My favorite aspect of the book was that it included illustrations depicting events in the story. It made the book more interesting because the pictures allowed me to see the event as the Corps of Discovery would have seen it many years ago. The captions of the pictures were written accounts of the journey by Lewis and Clark, which were interesting to read. All in all, Seaman was a worthwhile read.
BOOK NAME: Hachiko Waits
AUTHOR: Lesléa Newman
Who doesn’t love a heartwarming book that is about loyalty and a strong bond between others? It’s even better when it includes a dog! In this case, a dog named Hachiko. Hachiko Waits is based on a very real story about a dog named Hachiko who lives with its owner in Japan. When Professor Ueno goes to the train station, Hachiko (or Hachi for short) follows to see off his master. Each time Professor Ueno pats Hachi’s head he says “You must be the best dog in all of Japan.” And then he boards his train. Hachiko then goes home the rest of the day until 3 o’clock when he returns to the train station. At that time, he gets to welcome his owner home.
This goes on for several years. But one day, when Hachi is at the train station waiting for Professor Ueno, he doesn’t step off the train. Puzzled, Hachi eventually heads home. The next day, Hachiko comes back, but again there is no sign of the professor. Hachi then stays at the train station and every day at 3 o’clock he would sit there waiting in hope. Even one boy named Yasuo can’t persuade Hachi to leave his post. Children would feed Hachi and the conductor too. Where can the professor be?
This is a sad book, but it is worth the tears to experience this wonderful story. Since it is based on a true story, it makes it even more fantastic. In fact, Hachiko is so beloved by the Japanese, they even have a statue of him still waiting for his master to come home. I’m glad they recognized his loyalty and remember him even though he was a dog. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dogs and heartwarming stories.
BOOK NAME: Boom!
AUTHOR: Mark Haddon
This is the first eBook I have ever read, and I have got to say, it makes reading a lot easier. I read it on a Pandigital Reader that I received for Christmas. What’s great about it is you can annotate, quickly do Google searches of words in the book, look up the meaning of words, highlight, and even put in multiple bookmarks. The eReader also is lighter than most books, and it can still hold way more than just one book. I highly recommend that you get some type of eReader.
Boom! begins as a realistic fiction story told by a kid named Jimbo and his overconfident, but genius friend, Charlie. His teenage sister has a redneck boyfriend nicknamed Craterface, for obvious reasons. One day, Jimbo and Charlie decide to listen to what the teachers are saying at a staff meeting at school. After the meeting, they hear two of the teachers speaking a language even the police couldn’t decode.
Everything realistic stops here. I am afraid that I can’t tell you anymore without giving away what’s so fun about this book.
I will say that my favorite character in this book is Charlie. He kind of reminds me of Ferris Bueller. (If you haven’t seen that movie yet, I strongly recommend it.) They are both overconfident and always seem to have a plan for everything.
BOOK NAME: Liberty Porter, First Daughter, New Girl in Town
AUTHOR: Julia DeVillers
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the First Daughter of the United States? If so, Liberty Porter, First Daughter, New Girl in Town, by Julia DeVillers would be the perfect book for you as it tells the experiences of Liberty Porter, the new, imaginary First Daughter.
Liberty Porter, a fourth grader, has just moved into the White House, for her father has been elected President of the United States. She has been eagerly exploring her new home and already discovered her two favorite areas–the chocolate shop and the movie theater. Then, the first day of school arrives and Liberty is not sure what to expect. She enjoys meeting many new people but feels awkward as everybody whispers, asks her for autographs, and treats her like a celebrity. But, as the days pass on, she realizes that some people want to be friends with her just because of her high status, while others are friendly to her because of her personality. Soon, Liberty learns how to find who her true friends are.
This is a fun read for younger kids. It shows how life as the first daughter can be glorious yet challenging. In fact, a Secret Service Agent follows her everywhere–even to school! I came across some interesting facts about former presidents such as President Kennedy’s son getting stuck in a mud fountain and President George H.W. Bush hating broccoli. Also, I liked how Liberty sportingly handles the situation when her classmates tease her by coming up with rhyming names for her like Liberty Porter, Bus Boarder, and Liberty Porter, Worst Sporter.
BOOK NAME: Noah Barleywater Runs Away
AUTHOR: John Boyne
Hello, everyone! It’s Hunter back again to review another book.
This review is on Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne. It’s a work of fiction, with a mixture of events that could actually happen and events that could never, ever happen–like when doors and mirrors talk. In the book, an 8 year old boy named Noah runs away and meets an old man who tells Noah about his life through stories and puppets. Parts of the book are interesting because of some surprises, but other parts are kind of boring and hard to believe. I didn’t really like that the old man and his life story are supposed to be teaching Noah, and I guess the readers, a lesson because they end up sounding like a lecture instead of something to make you think about things from a different point of view. I also thought that the story was sad (remember I said there were some surprises?) and definitely not something that I think younger kids would like at all.
So I’m sorry, I can’t really recommend that you read this book. If you have to though, it’s kind of worth it because of the surprises…
BOOK NAME: You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Suffragist!
AUTHOR: Fiona MacDonald
CREATOR: David Salariya
ILLUSTRATOR: David Antram
This book is part of a well known series that explain different historical events in an easy to understand and fun way. These books are nice if you want an interesting short read sometime. This one is about American women fighting for suffrage, which is another way of saying their right to vote. These people were called suffragists. There was a time when only men could vote and women started fighting for that same right. It finally happened with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. Many people were happy because they had all worked together for this cause; not just women, but men and African Americans too. But what I really found interesting was that not all women approved of their receiving the right to vote! Many scorned the actions of these brave suffragists, some of whom even went to jail.
The book has interesting drawings of some of the extreme actions that suffragists took for women’s rights. It even provides handy hints throughout it to show you what you should have done if you had been a part of this cause. The other books in this in the series cover many different topics such as what it was like to be a Roman soldier, a Victorian servant, or a castle dweller. So pretty soon you could be a history expert! I will never get tired of this series because all of them are great and they come out with new ones all the time. Happy reading!
BOOK NAME: Frozen in Time
AUTHOR: Ali Sparkes
Ben and Rachel are sure that their summer is going to be horribly boring and rainy. They’ve been forced to stay with their somewhat eccentric scientist Uncle Jerome. The final straw comes when the TV, the only entertaining device in the entire house, breaks. Devastated, Rachel and Ben decide to explore the garden and woods on the property, despite the foul weather. While trudging through the mud, they unearth a secret chamber. Inside, they discover something astonishing, two children, sleeping inside of a pair of torpedo-like chambers.
When Ben and Rachel awaken Freddy and Polly Emerson, they discover that the children have been asleep for more than fifty years! Shockingly Freddy and Polly haven’t aged at all; in fact, they still believe that they are in their own time. When Ben and Rachel tell them that five decades have passed, the horrified Emerson children complain that their genius father left them in hibernation. Apparently, Mr. Emerson had found a method to preserve the human body for extended periods of time, but it seems strange that he would abandon his children while they were in a state of suspended animation. Ben and Rachel want answers, but first, they have to get Freddy and Polly used to the 21st century. As Freddy and Polly marvel at fast food, modern fashion, and internet, an agency that has been lying in wait for their revival begins to push its own agenda. They want Mr. Emerson’s secrets, and Freddy and Polly are the best way to get what they desire.
Frozen in Time was a fairly good book. It was a little slow in parts, such as when Freddy and Polly were explaining their father’s work and their old lives, or when Ben and Rachel introduced the Emerson children to twenty-first century trends and technology. The excitement picked up toward the end, when the secret organization attacked. The storyline also had some humor thrown in. Freddy and Polly’s interpretations of and reactions to 21st century life were often quite funny to read about. For example, Polly thought a website was an area full of cobwebs. I thought that the prospect of placing someone in a state of hibernation to prevent them from aging was pretty cool, and I enjoyed reading about how the process worked. The book made me wonder what it would be like if I fell asleep and woke up fifty years in the future. How would I react to the new time and all its wonders and troubles?
The votes are in! Thanks to everyone who entered the contest and voted for the finalists. All of the reviews were great.
And now for the big reveal!
The three bloggers who received the MOST votes for their reviews are:
Elizabeth, 14, Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Joshua, 14, Goliath by Scott Westerfield
Kyle, 13, Legend by Marie Lu
Congratulations to our winners! Keep reading DogEared to officially “meet” our three new bloggers when we reveal their avatars and read some of their reviews in 2011!
BOOK NAME: The Westing Game
AUTHORS: Ellen Raskin
I have got to say, this is one of the most clever books I have ever read. At the very beginning, you are introduced to so many characters, but only by name. You come to know the characters better as you read on. I suggest that you read through the beginning of the book without any interruptions to avoid confusion later and to understand each character. My favorite character is Sydelle Pulaski, who will do anything to get attention including pretending that she’s crippled by walking everywhere on crutches.
It starts with sixteen people getting a chance to buy an apartment at Sunset Towers, on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is an old hotel that most people thought went out of business because of how long it’s been since its last use. Most of the individuals were invited to the Westing House, an old building that a wealthy man by the name of Sam Westing lived in before his death, to hear the reading of his will. But this wasn’t a normal will. Westing, who was an amazing chess player, set up a game to see who should become the heir to his fortune. The answer to the game was simple: Who killed Sam Westing? But you will learn that the answer to Westing’s game is far more clever than just “Mr. Green did it in the ballroom with a revolver!”
If you like mysteries, you’re going to love this book.
BOOK NAME: Chike and the River
AUTHORS: Chinua Achebe
Chike and the River, an African story written by Chinua Achebe, is similar to Aesop’s fables. This story shows how working, not begging, will help you reach your goals.
Chike is an eleven year old boy who leaves his family to live with his uncle in Onitsha, Nigeria. Chike makes friends who talk about their trips to Asaba, a big city on the other side of the Niger River. Adventurous Chike dreams to go there someday in a ferry, but needs one shilling to do so. Chike wonders how to get the money but learns that begging is not the solution. Then he goes to a money doubler but realizes that people can be deceptive. By being a good boy, Chike unsuccessfully tries getting money from his rich neighbor. Finally he washes cars and earns a shilling to sail to Asaba. However, Asaba is different from his expectations, and danger and crime lurk around him. But soon Chike becomes a hero. How? Read the book to find out.
This book is a fabulous read for all ages. It brings out the traditions of Nigeria. For example, people ride in lorries (or trucks) for long drives, and if they break down people have to push the lorry. Also, the detailed descriptions help visualize Nigeria’s villages by the Niger River. I liked how the author added in a light mystery at the end which has been foreshadowed earlier. This book really brings out African myths by incorporating small fables into the plot.
BOOK NAME: Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist
AUTHORS: Liz Kessler
Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist is a story of adventure, friendship, mystery, and determination. It all starts with Emily–a semi-mer (half human and half mermaid) who finds a strange diamond ring. The diamond ring gives Emily a weird feeling; it feels like the ring talks to her and digs into her skin. As soon as Emily puts the ring on, she can no longer get it off.
Emily soon finds out that this ring is property of King Neptune, the king of the sea. Neptune is angry at Emily for taking it, and curses her that at midnight, under the full moon, she will turn either fully human, or fully mermaid. She will also have to say goodbye to one of her parents forever, because one of her parents is human, and the other is a mermaid.
Emily learns the story behind the ring, and that there is a pearl ring that matches it. If she finds the pearl ring, her curse can be broken! Then Emily discovers that the full moon is that night, and she only has a few hours left to find the pearl ring! She sees a castle far away. Is it possible that this castle can help her achieve her goal?
I didn’t really like this book. I felt that certain parts were very confusing. I’m also not a very big fan of fantasy. Yet if you like fantasy, you will definitely enjoy this book!