The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois 5 out of 5 stars Professor Sherman is sick of teaching mathematics to unruly children in San Francisco, so he decides to take a year-long balloon ride around the world and never touch land in all that time. However, within days his balloon crashes near the mysterious island of Krakatoa, and he discovers the secrets of the island where a most unusual society is flourishing and fabulous diamonds are available to anyone.
This is such a fun and entertaining story! The plot has all these hilarious details all about the reception for Professor Sherman when he returns to San Francisco, his arrangements for his balloon house and how he planned his balloon trip, and the strange society that lives on Krakatoa and how they organize their days. Most of the narrative is explaining things, so there isn’t a ton of action, but the descriptions are so wild and interesting that you never feel bored.
The good beasts at Redwall rescue an injured bird, and it sets them on a quest to discover all they can about the legend of the ancient Queen Rhulain. Meanwhile, on an island far away, otter clans are enslaved to a ferocious wildcat society, and only the clever outlaw, Shellhound, can outwit their evil wildcat leader. Caught in the middle of these adventures is the young Redwall ottermaid, Tiria. She dreams of Martin the Warrior, who guides her to find her true destiny.
What an absolute delight! This book has everything that I love about Redwall books. Ravenous hares, wise old scribes, adorable moles, silly shrews, and of course brave warriors ready to defend all good beasts.
Cruz is in Africa searching for the missing clues his mother left behind for him to find after her death. The explorers help a family of mountain gorillas in Uganda, and then follow the clues to a desert region of Africa. The evil Nebula organization is breathing down their necks, and Cruz is devastated when one of his friends is targeted.
I loved this plot! There is plenty of action and suspense. I never knew what was going to happen next! I really loved that Lani is finally part of the team! She is such an interesting character.
The exotic locations are amazing, and I loved learning about different conservation efforts in Uganda and Namibia and all the national parks.
These are cards with pictures on them with characters, settings, and objects in outer space. You can create your own imaginative story using the cards to guide your story. There are aliens, spaceships, astronauts, and even a hamster. You can use the cards to solve problems. If the astronauts are hungry, there is a card with food on it. If the cockpit is on fire, there is a fire extinguisher card. If an astronaut gets injured, there is a medical kit. But what can we do when the hamster escapes into outer space?
I love that there are many ways to use these cards. You can keep it extremely simple or make it complex. You can look for opposites, solve problems, make the characters interact, or just imagine a silly story. There is even a search-and-find activity to look for a green bug on some of the cards. Continue reading →
Another fantastic book in the Scarlet Pimpernel series! I especially like that we see more of Lady Blakeney in this one. She is one of my favorite characters, but after the first book in the series, she barely has any scenes.
I adore the Scarlet Pimpernel! He is such a brave hero, ready to sacrifice anything to save the innocent from the guillotine, and ready to dare the most outrageous plans to fool the evil villains. Continue reading →
Kitty is a 19-year-old pilot on a summer mission to observe humpback whales in Juneau, Alaska, when she stumbles across the path of some gold thieves and is forced on a trek through the Alaskan wild as their captive.
Move over, Nancy Drew! I have a new favorite teen detective! This book ended up being so much more amazing than I ever expected, with an adventurous plot full of twists and turns, compelling and complex characters, and clever dialogue. Continue reading →
On New Year’s Eve, Cal is chased down the street by a staggering, sick man with a deadly warning They killed your father. They’ll kill you. You must survive the next 365 days. Hurled into a life on the run the 15-year-old fugitive is isolated and alone. Hunted by the law and ruthless criminals, Cal must somehow uncover the truth about his father’s mysterious death and a history-changing secret. Who can he turn to, who can he trust, when the whole world seems to want him dead? The clock is ticking. Any second could be his last. -GoodReads
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book, since it is not really the genre I normally read. What drew me into the action and adventure was the puzzle aspect of the story… the mysterious drawings, the enigma of the Ormond Singularity, the bad guys hiding in the shadows. The suspense is high, we don’t know who to trust, and we have to question everything as the plot unfolds! I couldn’t stop reading! Continue reading →