Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Review: The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book." So cautions Snicket, the exceedingly well-mannered narrator of these two witty mock-gothic novels featuring the misadventures of 14-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Klaus and infant Sunny Baudelaire. From the first, things look unfortunate indeed for the trio: a fire destroys their home, killing their parents along with it; the executor of their parents' estate, the obtuse Mr. Poe (with a son, Edgar), ignores whatever the children have to say; and their new guardian, Count Olaf, is determined to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune. But by using their individual gifts (Violet's for inventing, Klaus's for reading and researching and baby Sunny's for biting) the three enterprising children thwart the Count's planAfor now. The author uses formal, Latinate language and intrusive commentary to hilarious effect, even for readers unfamiliar with the literary conventions he parodies. The peril in which he places the Baudelaires may be frightening (Count Olaf actually follows through on his threats of violence on several occasions), but the author paints the satire with such broad strokes that most readers will view it from a safe distance. Luckily for fans, the woes of the Baudelaires are far from over; readers eager for more misfortune can turn to The Reptile Room, for an even more suspenseful tale. Exquisitely detailed drawings of Gothic gargoyles and mischievous eyes echo the contents of this elegantly designed hardcover. Age 9-up.

My review...   "I loved this book so much, It was filled with adventure, jam packed with curiosity, and it exploded with pure awesomeness!" Just as my figure of speech reached the echoing point in the trees, mountains, the pure clear air.  I realized, that I was up in a tree, the one I climbed up into, one hour ago. I'm back. At my house. Every time I'm reading a book ( especially this one) I feel like I'm really there, in the story, standing in the same room. Watching every little detail that people make, trying to find clues, and secrets hidden in the story. And you could probably relate to what I'm talking about. I Think this book was great, it had great detail, amazing writing, and Lemony Snicket really put loads of imagination into this great novel. My Opinion is, that you rush to your nearest book store ( or just go on Amazon ) and get this book. My favorite character was: Violet, Why? because she was smart, she had good inventing skills, and she was legend. Get this book now! and/or the whole series!

SO You've GOT to watch this video of Lemony Snicket's NEW BOOK...

13 WORDS... It's so funny!

*this book can be somewhat violent, but what isn't?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Manga Monday: Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh

Courtney Crumrin, Vol. 1: Courtney Crumrin & The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin (Graphic Novels))
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Oni Press; 2 edition (September 8, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1929998600
ISBN-13: 978-1929998609

The initial Courtney Crumrin miniseries in a new digest-sized format. Courtney's parents have dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She's not only the new kid in school, but she also discovers strange things lurking under her bed.

Main Characters

Courtney-blond short hair brownish black eyes brave and she is almost never scared. She is the main character. 

Uncle Crumrin-I have no idea what is hair color is(but i always imagine him blonde)and is always geting Courtney out of trouble. 

Mr. Butterworm- A werewolf that eats people. 

The Changeling Baby (Roger)- A smoking, drinking creature that took the place of a human baby that was stolen.

Plot Summary
This book is about a girl who had to move to her uncle's mansion and she thought her uncle was creepy. At school she was teased and talked about. She was bullied by a group of kids who beat her up and took her allowance. Then she meets a boy at school who is nice to her. But when they were walking through the woods, he was attacked and eaten by a werewolf. She gets away, but then discovers a whole new world of creatures that she never knew existed, and found out that her uncle was more than he seemed.

Plot High Point
At one exciting point in the story, Courtney follows a changeling into a different world of creatures to find a baby that was stolen. She was captured by the creatures who sell her at auction. A mysterious person bids high for her and wins. This was pretty exciting.

Personal Opinion
I liked it a lot, except the bad words were disturbing. I liked the part where there was a doppelganger and it said that it was better at being Courtney than Courtney was. But Courtney told it that it was terrible. I didn't like the part where the boy came to her house and tried to make her like him (he was under a spell). I liked that it was manga.

From a parent's point of view:  I thought that this was a pretty cute book, and I like that my kids are really enjoying Manga.  It's an easy read for them and something that they can read in between other books to boost their confidence.  I wasn't crazy about the content in this book, though, and if I had read it before my daughter, I probably wouldn't have given it to her.  The age recommendation on the book is for ages 7 and up, but I found the language a bit much, and the content was too old for a 7 year old, in my opinion.  It included a scene where a boy forces Courtney to kiss him, a changeling baby that smokes and drinks, a picture of an obviously female creature topless, and a couple of other things I won't mention here.  So, needless to say, if you care about that kind of thing, make sure you check over the mangas before passing them on, and don't just trust the age recommendations!  :)  I honestly don't understand the point in putting things like this in a book for 7 year olds, it certainly didn't enhance the story at all, so I'm at a loss to see the positive side of it.  If it weren't for these things, I would recommend the book to kids who like to read creepy stories, that aren't too creepy.  But at this point, I'd definitely save this book for when they're a little older.

If you'd like more information about the content, go to Courtney Crumrin on Parental Book Reviews!

Reagan's Mom.....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Second Hand Saturday! A Book-A-Week Giveaway 10!

Welcome to Second Hand Saturday a once a week giveaway started by Reading Teen. In an attempt to clear our bookshelves, and pass on great used books to our stalkers followers, WE =  Austin, Andrew, Faith, Reagan, Anna, Bransen and Adrien have decided to hold weekly giveaways of some of the books on our bookshelves! Every Saturday, we will post the books available, and the following Saturday, we will announce the winner and our next challenge. The winner will get to choose a book from the list and we will ship it to that lucky person! Each week we will have a different challenge to complete (see below). YOU MUST BE A FOLLOWER TO ENTER!  Open Internationally.  Ends at 10:00 pm EST the following Friday!

Middle Grade

-  Middle School Confidential Books 1-3 by Annie Fox (PBR
-  Eragon (hardback) by Christopher Paolini (PBR)
-  Eldest (hardback) by Christopher Paolini (PBR)
-  Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (PBR)
-  Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
-  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (hardback no jacket) (PBR) (RT)
-  Mattimeo (library copy) by Brian Jacques
-  A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
-  Summer Ball by Mike Lupica
-  Half Moon Investigations (library copy) by Eoin Colfer
-  Island Girl (library copy) by Sandra Byrd
-  Hoot (paperback) by Carl Hiaasen
-  Tuck Everlasting (hardback) by Natalie Babbitt
-  Nothing But The Truth: A Documentary Novel (paperback) By AVI
-  Triss (Redwall, Book 15) (paperback) by Brian Jacques
-  Clovermead by David Randall
-  The O'Reilly Factor For Kids by Bill O'Reilly
-  Portal by Imogen Rose
-  Trackers by Patrick Carman
-  Nerds by Michael Buckley
Zan Gah by Allan Richard Shickman
-  The Carnival of Lost Souls by Laura Quimby
Star Power book 1 Supernova  by Catherine Hapka
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
High School Musical: The Junior Novel Disney
-  High School Musical: Stories from East High #6 Disney
-  Animal Ark Pets books #12 - #16
-  25 (very small thin) books from The Babysitters Club (you pay media shipping)
Madison Finn #1 Only the Lonely Boy, #2 Boy, OH Boy! #3 Play it Again ( whole set)

To enter this week's giveaway, you must be a follower of this blog, and...

 Answer me this...

What do you want for Christmas?

For extra entries this week:  Fill out  this form

Thank You so much for following. We could not would not do this without our followers. Come back next Saturday to see the winner and enter in for another book giveaway!

This week's winner is:



Right now I'm most thankful for Vixen by Jillian Larkin(which comes out in December). The book is amazing.

Email us at ReadingTween(at)ReadingTeen.net with your address and book choice!  You have a week to respond!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Three VERY cool Christmas ideas for kids...

Harry Potter has captivated an entire generation of readers, and the budding popularity of the new LEGO sets featuring this character, his school, and all of his friends is only going to help introduce more kids to the phenomenal series of books. Most of the sets have already been hailed as one of the hot toys for 2010, and with so much to choose from, titles like that one are no surprise. From the Hogwarts Castle to Hagrid’s Hut to the Quiddich Field, any little fan is likely to find hours of enjoyment out of building and playing with the many possible creations thanks to these sets.

eReader systems have topped the conversation for hundreds of adults, and they may show up as one of the hot toys for Christmas 2010 too. While you’re unlikely to hand your child a Kindle or Nook, though, you might hand them this unique new choice from vTech. It not only has touch screen capabilities, but narrators, different character voices, and a variety of great illustrations. It also has interactive features to help with reading comprehension levels. Because you can download new content onto this choice, it’s a far better selection than many of yesterday’s book and cartridge sets.

Lego has long been about building options for kids, and while there are several of those coming to this year’s market, there are also a number of other choices from this top company that might delight your kids. Among the best toys this year are their line of board games which includes more than ten choices, many of them tied to some of the best movie franchises in the country including Toy Story, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. Coming in at fairly affordable prices, most parents are big fans of these choices because they have the ability to enhance logistical skill building like few video games do these days as well as multi-player action that will be great when your child has friends over to play.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Book Review: The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

Reading level: Young Adult

Paperback: 480 pages

Publisher: Atheneum (May 23, 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0689867468 
ISBN-13: 978-0689867460

Three time Newbery honor author Nancy Farmer's epic fantasy, The Sea of Trolls, is gigantic in every way. There are big Vikings and bigger trolls. There are big themes--hope, despair, life and death. At a substantial 450+ pages, the sheer size of this hefty tome is impressive. But, like all of Farmer's fine work, the large scale has room for enormous quantities of heart and humor. At the center of this massive adventure is a small Saxon boy named Jack, who's never been much good at anything until the Bard of his medieval village makes him an apprentice. Then, just as Jack is learning to tap into and control his power, he is kidnapped (along with his little sister, Lucy) and taken to the court of King Ivar the Boneless and his half troll queen Frith. When one of Jack's amateur spells causes the evil queen's beautiful hair to fall out, he is forced to undertake a dangerous quest across the Sea of Trolls to make things right, or suffer the consequences--the sacrifice of his beloved sister to Frith's patron goddess, Freya. Along the way Jack faces everything from giant golden troll-bears to man-eating spiders, yet each frightening encounter brings wisdom and understanding to the budding young Bard. No quester who enters these pages with Jack will go away unsatisfied. Farmer's skillful melding of history, mythology, and humor, is reminiscent of both Tamora Pierce and Terry Pratchett's medieval fantasies, and will no doubt be HUGELY enjoyed by fantasy readers of all ages.

 My Thoughts...

An amazing book, Nancy Farmer writes very well. This book is a clean read and will completely just suck you in. It is the first of three books about a boy named Jack. Jack starts out as a regular old farmer's brat but the Bard, an old man living in an old Roman house up the road from the village, starts training Jack to be a Bard too. So Jack learns all sorts of magic and fun things that his father thinks are all very unholy. See, Jack's father, Giles Crookleg, wanted badly to be a monk and do all that stuff that monks do, like penances for instance. Anyway, Jack and his little sister Lucy, a very pretty golden haired girl, are taking food to the bard when a band of Northmen (vikings) come out and snatch them! The vikings include, Olaf One Brow, Sven the Vengeful, Thorgil, Eric Pretty Face, and a whole lot of others. Well after Jack gets snatched, they are almost sold into slavery to the Picts, little blue men with tattoos all over them. Jack saves the day though with his singing and Bard skills, so that the Northmen at least keep them alive. When they get to the Northland they find that Olaf is keeping Thorgil at his house because the tween's family, except the pups of the dog that took her in, are all dead. Yes Thorgil is a girl. So when they all go on a quest to Jotunheim, the land of the trolls, Jack, Thorgil and Olaf all go, but one of them never comes out. The remaining two have to go to the troll Queen and finish the quest before something deadly happens to Lucy. I am not telling you what that is because you have to read the book yourself.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guest Book Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinny

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Amulet Books (November 9, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0810984911

ISBN-13: 978-0810984912

Greg Heffley has always been in a hurry to grow up. But is getting older really all it’s cracked up to be?

Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older—all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the “ugly truth”?

My Thoughts...

I got this book the first day it came out. I was so excited, I almost peed my pants. So, I took the book to school and was talking to my friend about it when my teacher put my name on the chalkboard. I was so angry that I slammed my head on my desk and my pencil flew across the room. It's probably half way across China by now! Because of my attitude, I got detention! Those two things changed my life.That day I felt a lot like Greg from the book...

My favorite character from the book was Greg Heffly because he is the most funny. My favorite part would have to be the lock-in because it was hilarious and a lot of people were farting. Boys and girls would like this book because it is very funny and Jeff Kinny is a great author/illustrator.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My first live drum performance ... Mess of Me by Switchfoot

This was my very first live drum performance, with the band at my church. I was really nervous, but had fun at the same time. I hope you enjoy it!