Book Review: Bedknob and Broomstick

Bedknobs and Broomsticks by Mary Norton

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
by Mary Norton

3.5 out of 5 stars

Carey, Charles, and Paul are visiting their aunt for the summer when they meet the neighbor, Miss Price. Miss Price is secretly a witch, and the children see her riding on her broomstick in the night. When she crashes her broomstick, the children help her and in return Miss Price gives them an enchanted bedknob that will magically take them anywhere they wish. The children get into some troublesome adventures and discover that magic is not as simple as it appears.

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Classic Book Review: Waverley

Waverley by Walter Scott

by Walter Scott

5 out of 5 stars

Edward Waverley goes on a vacation to Scotland, staying with an old friend of his uncle’s. He meets a Highland Chief and is invited to spend a couple of weeks hunting in the highlands. Waverley is inspired by the noble demeanor of the highland clans, and his romantic side gets the better of him. He becomes embroiled in the Jacobite Rebellion, and he falls in love with the Chief’s pretty sister. At first, his adventures seem glamorous and exciting, but he quickly learns that he must deal with reality and give up his childish daydreams of glory.

A beautiful, intriguing tale of valor, love, honor, loyalty, with absurd funny bits and sorrow intermingled. This is my favorite book of Sir Walter Scott’s!

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Graphic Novel Review: Two-Headed Chicken

Two-Headed Chicken by Tom Angleberger

Two-Headed Chicken
by Tom Angleberger (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars

A brother and sister two-headed chicken duo travel through parallel universes, and in each universe they are chased by a hungry moose villain who wants to eat fried chicken.

This is an extremely silly graphic novel. I’m not sure I enjoy quite this level of silliness. I was rolling my eyes and shaking my head in confusion for most of the book. But I think that children who enjoy wild and weird stories will like this one! It’s too chaotic for me, but it is definitely imaginative.

I didn’t particularly like the art style. It’s jumbled and haphazard, like the story. I prefer both art and story to have more structure and polish. But for people who like weird art, this is cute! It is certainly colorful.

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Classic Book Review: A Sicilian Romance

A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe

A Sicilian Romance
by Ann Radcliffe

4 out of 5 stars

Julia falls in love with the dashing young Hippolitus, but her father insists that she must marry the evil Duke. Julia’s brother tries to help her escape from the clutches of her ruthless father by arranging an elopement, but their plans are betrayed and Julia is caught. Julia goes through every kind of disaster and terrifying mishap, fleeing for her life and weeping along the way.

This is Gothic melodrama at its best! Julia dissolves into tears, is frozen with terror, collapses under the strain of horror, and is prostrate with grief in every single chapter. Several other ladies, not to be outdone, also fainted on several occasions. Everyone is constantly exclaiming some version of “Alas, woe is me!”

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Book Review: Roswell High The Seeker

The Seeker (Roswell High, #3)
by Melinda Metz (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars

Maria found a mysterious ring and she thinks that it is helping her to channel psychic powers. She hopes that her new powers will capture Michael’s attention, and maybe he’ll stop thinking of her as just a friend. Michael is eager to learn to more about a new alien the group meets. He wonders if he might have an alien family out there somewhere. Alex tries to comfort Isabel when she is going through a difficult time, and Isabel begins to realize that she might have feelings for him.

I loved the Roswell TV show when I was a teenager, and it was so fun to rediscover this story through the books! I don’t think I would have enjoyed the books now as an adult if I didn’t already have the nostalgia of the TV show.

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Book Review: Bumpfizzle the Best on Planet Earth

Bumpfizzle the Best on Planet Earth by Patricia Forde

Bumpfizzle the Best on Planet Earth
by Patricia Forde (Author), Elīna Brasliņa (Illustrator)

1 out of 5 stars

A little boy named Daniel pretends to be an alien sent to observe Earthlings. He is upset that the new baby is getting more attention than him and he feels unloved, so he lashes out and causes trouble for his family. He eats the cat food and makes himself sick to get attention. He locks his older brother in his room during a game of hide and seek. He ties the family pet into a bag and throws it in the trash bin. Thankfully, the cat escapes and makes it back home, but what a horrible thing to do!

I ended up DNFing this book. I didn’t get the weird sense of humor, and I hated the main character. What a little brat! He’s so mean and destructive. He’s selfish and horrible to his family. All he does is criticize everyone and say mean things about them in his diary. Apparently, he warms up to the baby at the end of the book, but that doesn’t mean I want to suffer through chapter after chapter of his bad behavior to get to one chapter of reconciliation at the end.

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Non Fiction Review: Middle School Safety Goggles Advised

Middle School - Safety Goggles Advised by Jessica Speer

Middle School – Safety Goggles Advised: Exploring the WEIRD Stuff from Gossip to Grades, Cliques to Crushes and Popularity to Peer Pressure
by Jessica Speer (Goodreads Author)

2 out of 5 stars

This book gives advice about how to navigate the difficulties of middle school. There are chapters about not judging others, bullying, friendships and cliques, trying to be popular, having a crush on someone, gossip, social media, and peer pressure.

My main problem with this book was that it didn’t really go into WHY young people should avoid bad decisions and toxic behaviors. It didn’t talk about honor or morality or modesty. It didn’t talk about honesty or virtue. It just says lots of nice things about being kind to others, but the whole philosophy is very casual and lackadaisical. It even says at one point that “There are no correct responses.” You can do whatever and make whatever choices and nothing is right or wrong. The entire attitude is very amoral and toxic.

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Mermaids Rock Series Review

The Floating Forest by Linda Chapman

The Floating Forest (Mermaids Rock #2)
by Linda Chapman, Mirelle Ortega (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

Coralie and her friends are playing at the magic whirlpool, transporting to different oceans around the world to explore. Coralie travels to a kelp forest and discovers a map that seems to point to a treasure. The friends plan a treasure-hunting expedition, but the nosy Glenda is spying their plans. The mermaids are also worried about encountering dangerous animals like orcas or sharks in the kelp forest, and they try to make a plan to stay safe. But you never know what might happen out in the ocean!

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Book Review: Starlet Rivals

Starlet Rivals by Puneet Bhandal

Starlet Rivals (The Bollywood Academy)
by  Puneet Bhandal (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Bela dreams of becoming a movie star in Bollywood, and hopes that her dance skills will win her a scholarship to the famous Bollywood Academy, where young students are trained as actors, dancers, and film crew. Her mother, a dance instructor, convinces her that she is good enough to enter the Dance Starz TV competition, and Bela submits an entry. When Bela dances, she feels supremely happy as if the entire world just falls away. But will her love for dance be enough to win the competition and the scholarship?

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Non Fiction Review: Tolkien: A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings

Tolkien by Lin Carter

Tolkien: A Look Behind the Lord of the Rings
by Lin Carter

4 out of 5 stars

This book was written only a few years after Lord of the Rings was published. It is like a little historic peak into what people thought of Lord of the Rings in the beginning, before it was established as the colossal modern classic we know it as today. Before the modern genre of fantasy was really defined, the Lord of the Rings was difficult to classify. It was like the epic stories of the Greeks and Romans, and some people called it “super science fiction” or a “giant-sized fairy tale”.

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