Book Review: Jane and the Ghosts of Netley

Jane and the Ghosts of Netley by Stephanie Barron

Jane and the Ghosts of Netley (Jane Austen Mysteries, #7)
by Stephanie Barron

3.5 out of 5 stars

Lord Harold asks Jane Austen to keep an eye on Netley Lodge near the ruins of the ancient Netley Abbey. He fears there are French spies plotting mischief in the area. Jane takes her paint box and pretends to sketch the abbey ruins while keeping a close watch on all the comings and goings at the Lodge. But her watchfulness is in vain. A ship in the dockyards is set on fire and the shipwright is murdered. It is definitely the work of spies and traitors against the British crown.

Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Shuna’s Journey

Shuna's Journey by Hayao Miyazaki

Shuna’s Journey
by Hayao Miyazaki, Alex Dudok de Wit (Translator)

4 out of 5 stars

Shuna is the young prince of a poor valley land with few crops and starving citizens. An old man travels into the valley and tells Shuna about a land with bountiful wheat. Shuna leaves on a journey to bring back seeds from this land. He rides through many dangers and encounters a land full of slave traders. He rescues two sisters from the slavers, and they travel together to the edge of the land of the gods where Shuna is hoping he will find the wheat.

Continue reading

Familius ABC Primers and Counting Books

Let's Count Georgia by Christopher Robbins

Let’s Count Georgia
by Christopher Robbins, Volha Kaliaha (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars

Children will learn to count up to ten with these special things about the State of Georgia! The Masters Golf Tournament, the Braves baseball team, and those famous Georgia peaches all make an appearance, along with gators, oak trees, dogwood trees, and old Civil War cannons. Some of the places mentioned are Tybee Island, Jekyll Island, and historic downtown Savannah.

I loved this book about my home state of Georgia! It’s so fun to teach my little nieces about these famous things and places around Georgia, and they get to practice their numbers too.

Continue reading

Classic Book Review: The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage
by Stephen Crane

3 out of 5 stars

A “youth” enlists in the Union Army during the American Civil War with visions of glory in his mind, but he runs away like a coward in the first skirmish. As he moves as far as he can from the battlefield, he encounters wounded men headed toward the hospital. He hears their stories of courage, noting that they wear a “red badge” of their own blood. He is ashamed but finds ways to excuse his behavior in his own mind. He has an altercation with a fellow soldier, who gives him a minor wound on his head. At last he finds his way back to his own regiment, joining them again, pretending that he got his wound in battle. The next day when the regiment begins to move forward into battle again, the youth wonders if he will have the courage to stand and fight this second time.

I really hated the graphic descriptions of violence and dead bodies and disgusting wounds. It’s very descriptive and made me nauseated.

Continue reading

Picture Books from Tiger Tales

Supermouse and the Volcano of Doom by M. N. Tahl

Supermouse and the Volcano of Doom
by M. N. Tahl, Mark Chambers (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Supermouse patrols through Mouseopolis, stopping bad guys and saving the day! But there are so many crimes and accidents and dangers that Supermouse can’t handle it all. There is just too much daring-do to do! He begins to interview some possible superheroes to join him in the newly-created League of Remarkable Rodents. At first, he is not sure if their particular talents will be useful in the crime-fighting business, but they quickly prove their worth when a massive fondue cheese volcano begins to erupt right outside the city!

Continue reading

Book Review: Always, Clementine

Always, Clementine by Carlie Sorosiak

Always, Clementine
by Carlie Sorosiak (Goodreads Author)

3.5 out of 5 stars
Clementine is a lab mouse. A genetic experiment has given her super-intelligence and she does her best to solve every maze and puzzle that the team of scientists give her. Clementine befriends a chimp named Rosie in one of the lab cages. When a scientist with a guilty conscience sets Clementine free, she begins a wild journey to prove her worth and hopefully save Rosie from the lab too. In the meantime, Clementine writes letters to Rosie (which are never written or posted) and tells Rosie all her adventures.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Philosophy Resistance Squad

The Philosophy Resistance Squad by Robert Grant

The Philosophy Resistance Squad
by Robert Grant

3 out of 5 stars

Milo begins the school year at his new school, one of the highest ranking schools in the world. He and his two best friends are thrilled to have been accepted into this elite school until they meet the headmaster, Dr. Pummelcrush. The older students act like mindless zombies, going to classes, eating the disgusting food, and never breaking any rules. Milo begins to suspect that they might be brainwashed. He discovers a garden hidden away on the school grounds. In the garden, he meets a teacher who used to teach philosophy (before the school banned the class because it made students think for themselves). Milo and his friends start to learn all they can about philosophy, hoping that an open mindset will help them to resist being brainwashed.

Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars by Ethan Sacks

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
by Ethan Sacks, Will Sliney (Illustrator)

2 out of 5 stars

I ended up DNFing this book after reading other reviews that say that Han Solo and Chewbacca are only in the first chapter. So I read the first chapter, tried the second chapter, got bored and gave up.

I don’t super love the art style. Han looks like his face is all distorted or something. The aliens look cool, but that’s because they are supposed to be distorted and weird-looking.

Continue reading

Trilogy Review: The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien

5 out of 5 stars

Frodo learns that a magic ring that was left to him by his Uncle Bilbo is incredibly dangerous. The wizard Gandalf warns Frodo that the Dark Lord is searching for the ring, and Frodo must leave his home in the Shire. A few of his loyal friends accompany him through the wilderness, hoping to discover a way to destroy the evil ring.

Every time I reread this trilogy, my heart soars and I get inspired! I just love the deep spiritual themes about friendship, grief, duty, honor, love, and courage. There have been many times in my life when I have faced a difficult circumstance and I found courage and hope in the examples of these characters. There is so much meaning behind every scene. There is always another layer to unpack and explore. I especially find encouragement in the Christian themes and imagery. Tolkien’s writings are saturated with faith.

Continue reading

Book Review: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #1)
by Joanne Fluke (Goodreads Author)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Hannah is the owner of the Cookie Jar bakery. When the delivery guy is late, she goes out to the alley and finds his body. Her brother-in-law is the police detective on the case, and he asks for Hannah’s help. She hears all the gossip at the bakery and their small town neighbors might be more willing to talk to her than to a police officer. Hannah begins to poke around, discovering secrets and mysteries, but only one clue will eventually lead to the killer.

Continue reading