Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deltora Quest: Book One

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha Comics (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Buy the Book:  Amazon
 The kingdom of Deltora is turned upside down when the King and Queen both die mysteriously and their young son, Endon, is given the Belt of Deltora and pronounced kind.  Endon's best friend, the orphaned Jarred, then discovers a plot to strike at the royal household from within!  Before he can warn his new kind, Jarred is accused of murder and barely escapes the castle with his life, but this does not stop the intrepid warrior from pledging his allegiance to Endon and the Kingdom of Deltora.

Now, with the nefarious Shadow Lord's army preparing for invasion, Deltora has never needed Jarred more-- will he answer the call?

     I liked this book, but it was definitely a change from the actual books. (This is another manga, it took me two days to finish all three mangas I got from the bookstore, so I've had a lot of reviewing to do!) Anyway, I liked it, but I kinda liked the actual books a bit better. This is kind of a backstory about the main character of these books' father, Jarred. (There is a little secret that is unveiled in the second or third series that goes along with Leif's parents, but I'll leave it a secret) So it's about how Jarred grew up with his best friend Endon. I liked that I finally got to see what the characters looked like! Some were completely different than what I thought, like Endon looking like a girl for instance, but it wasn't that hard to get used to. I loved how this manga wasn't that different from the actual books, you know, like at the movies when you freak out because they changed everything. Not a problem here!

     I did not like that they made Endon look like a girl! His robes made him look extra girlish too! Also I didn't like how there was some cussing. It wasn't terrible, but every once in a while there was a word or two. And Prandine was totally suspicious looking, and weird I would've been wary of him from the start if I was in that book.

     My favorite character... I don't know, I didn't really have a favorite in this book. If I had to chose I'd pick Jarred because he is strong and brave.

     My least favorites were Endon and Prandine, Endon because he cried too much, even as a grown man. Prandine because he was a traitor and he killed Min!

     Overall, this book is not my favorite, but it is still pretty good. I'd say read the ones after this one, they are better, especially because of Leif and Jasmine!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

  • Reading level: Ages 10 and up
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; First Edition edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Buy the Book: Amazon
In The Lost Hero, three demigods named Jason, Piper, and Leo made their first visit to Camp Half-Blood, where they inherited a blood chilling quest:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bare arms to the Doors of Death.

Who are the other four mentioned in the prophecy? The answer may lie in another camp thousands of miles away, where a new camper has shown up and appears to be the son of Neptune, god of the sea...

With an ever expanding cast of brave-hearted heroes and formidable foes, this second book in The Heroes of Olympus series offers all of the action, pathos, and humour that Rick Riordan fans crave.

Guest Review By Joy~

I liked this book because Percy who was previously lost is found but not by his friends from Camp Halfblood, but instead by the Romans. I really liked the twist Rick Riordan threw in with the Roman camp. Percy was confused because everyone at the Roman camp thought all he knew from Camp Halfblood was silly. I liked the confusion that Percy went through because he struggled but always wowed everyone with his un-Roman style. Three Demigods went on a quest to unleash death and this quest takes them all over the west coast, including the other Demigods on the quest's former homes. In the quest the three Demigods go beyond the power and protection of the Roman (and Greek) gods so they have no help from the gods and they have to work together to finish the quest regain their camp's honour and make it back alive in time for an upcoming battle.This book had me had on the edge of my seat the whole way through and I could not put it down!

There were a couple typos and I hate waiting for the next books, otherwise the book was so-masink! (Our little four year old friend can't say amazing so that's what she says)

My favorite characters were Hazel and Frank because  of Hazel's curse and Frank's stick.

I don't like Octavian he is to dramatic for my liking.

Other than all the typos and the waiting there was a tiny bit of kissing and violence and fighting. Other wise the book was perfectly clean and as my friend would say it was so-masink!

A picture of Joy is unavailable at the moment, so please enjoy this rabbit instead.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Part 1

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; Original edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • Buy the Book: Amazon

     In the mystified land of Hyrule, three spiritual stones hold the key to the Triforce, and whoever holds them will control the world! A boy named Link sets out on a quest to deliver the Emerald, the spiritual stone of the forest, to Zelda, Princess of the land of Hyrule. The journey will be long and perilous, and Link will need all his skill and courage to defeat evil. The battle for Hyrule and the Sacred Realm has begun!

     This book isn't one of the comic books that we Americans claim to be manga, this is the real deal! A Japanese book that goes right to left instead of left to right! I was so excited about the book and I was not let down. This was a good book, all clean and perfect all around, no cussing, not even kissing or romance (except that Link and Zelda are obviously crushing on each other) at all! (Though I suspect there will be in the other books) I thought that I might be let down but it turned out to be pretty funny and cool.

I didn't like that the dude doesn't wear pants! In other pictures I see him wearing tights at least, but in the book he's pretty much just wearing a little green dress! It's a miracle that no wind was blowing!

My favorite character was definitely Link, he's so cute and brave! In the first half he's only a cute little kid, but then he grows up for the second half and he's more dramatic, but still awesome.
My other favorite character was Epona, the horse who liked Link from the start and ended up becoming his horse at the end. She is smart for a horse, and really cute and sweet.

My least favorite character was Ganondorf, the villain. He's kinda... meh. I just don't really like the guy.

Vampirates: Empire Of Night by Justin Somper

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Buy the Book: Amazon

     Determined to stake their claim on the dark waters, renegade Vampirates are expanding. But the Pirate Federation and the once-neutral Nocturnal Vampirates are determined to thwart their efforts and destroy every rebel Vampirate ship in sight. Meanwhile, shocking secrets about their family history have twins Connor and Grace questioning every allegiance they've ever made. There's a bloody battle brewing on the seas, and one thing is tragically clear: This time, no ship is safe.

     I know what you're thinking, "vampires? Has Faith gone to the dark side?" Well, the answer is no, these vampires are the real deal, not the sparkly ones that have relationship problems and give birth to creepy monsters. Lol no, these are pirates, and they rock. This book was definitely the saddest and it made me (almost) cry twice. There are many deaths in this book, but I'm not going to tell you who dies because that would just give it all away. I love how Justin Somper mixed the pirates and vampires together in these books, it makes the vampires far less detestable, and you get a lot of cool battle scenes that get you on the edge of your seat. I liked how Grace and Connor finally had to face what they are, and they chose the good side. And an added bonus, Grace finally sorts out her feelings (I said they don't have relationship problems but everybody does once in a while right?) and she picks Lorcan. (That's good cuz I called dibs on Johnny anyway :P) This book was pretty clean except for one word (only repeated twice) and kissing. (Grace kissing Johnny when she's dating Lorcan *rolls eyes*)

      I didn't like how Cheng Li said that word and then Connor repeated it, it was funny, but it was the last thing expected, especially from Cheng Li! I also didn't like how some important people died, and some of the said people were vampire-ified! At least they aren't totally gone.

     My favorite characters in the book were definitely Johnny, he's the cowboy vampirate, and he is totally awesome! He is a bad boy, but he has other sides to him also, making him a hard nut to crack. He is completely in love with Grace, and tries to steal her away from Lorcan. I have to say Jez, well, Stukely now, and Bart too. Stukely is the funny guy, but he's also killer at sword fighting, literally! And Bart is the sweetest guy ever, he's so awesome and hilarious. My favorite female character is Darcy Flotsam, she is a flapper, and also Grace's best friend. She is really cool, and she always knows when something is up with Grace, and she always tells Grace exactly what she needs to feel better.

     My least favorite characters were Lady Lola because she killed one of the main charris that should not have been killed. Also Lola's girls, who killed another person who should not have been killed. (They are pretty cool though- the girls not Lola-) I always have to say Moonshine too, even though he isn't really in this book that much. He's just... icky. lol

     A few notes about the book, firstly, this is NOT the first one, read the first one first to know what is going on! Secondly it can be kinda freaky sometimes, and pretty violent, like, decapitating violent. Also, as I said above, there is one word, but just that one, only said twice. Finally, read these books! You won't be sorry!

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Book Review: The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan

    Reading level: Ages 12 and up
    Paperback: 192 pages
    Publisher: Andersen Press (November 11, 2008)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1842708465
    ISBN-13: 978-1842708460
    Buy the Book: Amazon
    Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night.

    This book was one of the few that I really loved. It was kind of violent, but I loved how realistic it was. I couldn't put it down, I stayed up late at night reading this book, I was involved in the story. Sam was the bravest 11-year-old ever. He would always find the smartest ways to get out of very rough situations. He was my favorite character in the whole book. The kidnapper was my LEAST favorite, he was very cruel to these boys, and pretty dumb all around. Lloyd was not as smart of Sam, but he knew how to make somebody laugh! I was thrilled to read this book. It was funny, it was freaky, and it made me laugh multiple times! It was a great read, Savita Kalhan did an amazing job! 

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Author Interview and Giveaway! Goddess Girls: Artemis The Loyal by Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub

    YAY! Today we have the authors of The Goddess Girls Series here to talk about their books with us!

    About the book:

    It's time for the annual Olympic Games, and the four goddessgirls are not happy--especially Artemis. Even though she's better at sports than most of the godboys, she can't compete because rules say the Games are boys-only. No fair!

    Led by Artemis, Athena, Persphone and Aphrodite, the ladies of Mount Olympus hatch a plan to get Zeus to open up the games to everyone. Will they succeed--or end up watching from the sidelines again?

    These classic myths from the Greek pantheon are given a modern twist that contemporary tweens can relate to, from dealing with bullies like Medusa to a first crush on an unlikely boy. Goddess Girls follows four goddesses-in-training - Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis - as they navigate the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most priviledged gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.

    What has your writing experience been like, writing The Goddess Girls? Have you enjoyed it?
    Writing Goddess Girls together is a blast. It’s so much fun that when the series comes to an end (and we hope that’s still a long way off), we might have a hard time going back to writing solo—at least when it comes to writing middle grade series. In fact, we’ve enjoyed writing together so much that we’ve signed on with our publisher, Aladdin, to write a brand-new Greek mythology-based series for ages 7 – 10. Heroes in Training will debut in August with Book #1: Thunderbolt of Doom.

    As for Goddess Girls, after Medusa the Mean (April 2012), our very first Super Special, The Girl Games, will be out in July. The Super Special, which alternates chapters from the points of view of all four of our main goddessgirls, will be followed by Books 9, 10, and 11, which will star (in order) our “P” girls: Pandora, Pheme, and Persephone.
    Which one of the Goddess Girls books has been your favorite so far?
    Our favorite GG book is almost always the one we happen to be writing at the time. Seeing a story come to life from idea to finished printed (or electronic!) book is what thrills us as writers.
    Do you have a favorite character?
    We’re probably most fond of Athena. That’s because we both identify with her the most. Like her, we were both good students who liked to read a lot—a typical profile for most writers. Still, our favorite character changes depending on whose story we’re currently writing. We’ve grown rather fond of Artemis while working on Goddess Girls #7: Artemis the Loyal. We like that she’s so take-charge and brave, even when those traits sometimes work to her disadvantage. Truthfully, all of our goddessgirls are dear to our hearts.
    What got you started writing these books?
    It was Joan’s idea to do a mythology-based series set at a middle school. She’d always been a huge mythology fan. Suzanne quickly became one too in the process of writing the series. After we decided on our four BFF—Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis—we brainstormed other characters and teachers to populate Mount Olympus Academy.
    Do you have any advice for young girls who want to be authors one day?
    Certainly! This is from Suzanne’s author website. She was an elementary school librarian before she became a full-time writer, and used to teach writing with Grades 3 - 6:

    • Read, read, read! Especially, read the type of stuff you want to write. Then write the type of stuff you like to read.
    • Write about the things you know about and CARE about (through experience, reading, movies, research, etc.) If you aren’t passionate about your subject, how will you make your reader feel anything?
    • Take risks: be honest, show your true feelings.
    • If you’re blocked, try freewriting: to discover topics, to get yourself going, to help get past “stuck” points in a story or characterization.
    • Let your first draft be as crummy as it needs to be--just get words onto paper. You can fix them up later. "The first draft is the writer’s clay." - Bruce Coville
    • Don’t be afraid to throw large amounts of writing away. Cutting words--many times, pages of words--improves writing.
    • Word choice: Use interesting verbs and specific nouns. Avoid adverbs and too many adjectives. Simple past tense is usually best.
    • Learn how to give and take suggestions for improving a piece of writing. Writers need to know how their writing “comes across” to others. Readers can help by asking questions and pointing out places where they were confused, places where the action or dialogue seemed too “unbelievable,” places where things moved too slowly (or too fast), and, of course, places they especially liked.
    • Write, write, write. Keep a journal. Try different kinds of writing: poetry, short stories, nonfiction, plays, picture book, essays, personal experience, etc. You get better at writing by learning the skills involved (the “rules”) and by WRITING. It’s the same kind of process as learning to play a musical instrument or a sport.

    Thank you SO MUCH Suzanne and Joan!  I've loved The Goddess Girls Series, and can't wait for more and more books!!

    Would you like to win a copy of Artemis the Loyal? Joan and Suzanne have graciously offered a giveaway for an autographed book, bookmark, and a simple beaded Goddess Girls necklace!!  Just enter the form below!

    Happy 13th Birthday Drew!

    Follow Drew @ThatDrummer for entertaining tweets!

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Wonderstruk by Brian Selznick

    Reading level: Ages 9 and up
    Hardcover: 608 pages
    Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (September 13, 2011)
    Buy The Book: Amazon

      NOTE: This book is in the past. NOTE OVER

      Two stories, set fifty years apart; interwoven. One told through pictures and the other told through words.

      The first story is of Ben, a young boy in the 1977 who just lost his mother and sets out to look for his father. The second story follows Rose, a young girl from 1927's New Jersey who sets out to look for her idol, a movie star.

      Both children's search take them to New York City. Both children - deaf - are struggling to find what they are looking for in a world where hearing is normal and sometimes taken for granted. In a sense, they end up mirroring each other's search and face similar hardships. How their lives intertwine in the end, though I was able to guess, was still very bittersweet.

      My Review

      I liked this book because It's not too emotional, but it is at the same time and I like that. I also like it because Ben is not giving up.  He travled miles on his own and he leaves his family just to see if this guy is his dad and he is my age (I think)! 

      I like it because Rose travels miles too, just to get her mom to notice her and spend time with her because her mom is a movie star. 

      My favorite characters are:

      Ben: He is very cool because of what he did! (See My review above)

      Rose: She is SOOOOOOOO AWESOME!!!!!!!!! (You will see in the book and My review above)

      Thursday, December 1, 2011

      AudioBook Review: The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi read by Teri Hatcher

      Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (September 21, 2010)
      Language: English
      ISBN-10: 1442334282
      ISBN-13: 978-1442334281
      Buy the Book: Amazon
      Twelve-year-old Eva Nine has spent her entire life living in Sanctuary, an underground compound where she is cared for by the motherly robot, Muthr (Multi-Utility Task Help Robot). She's never met another human nor visited the surface and she longs to do both, dreaming of a world - and of the companionship and love to be found there - that she's only seen glimpses of on scraps of paper. When Sanctuary is attacked, Eva is forced to escape to the surface alone, where she soon finds that the reality of life there is more amazing and puzzling than she ever imagined. It is also far more dangerous.

      Book Review

       I really liked this book. It was AMAZING! I think that The Search For Wondla is in my top ten favorite books. If you like stuff like Harry Potter and the Tigers Curse Series, you will enjoy this book. The book was a little sad, so sad I almost cried. I think I would like to listen to the audio again or maybe actually read it next time. My favorite character was Eva, I liked how she was really brave, and because she is trying to find another human.

      Audiobook Review

      The reader Teri Hatcher, does really well on reading the story and she also does really well on the different characters. To me, she is the female, non-British Jim Dayle. Teri Hatcher is one of my favorite readers. I would give her 4 Crowns. That's how good I thought she was.

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