Book Review: Cold Shoulder Road

Cold Shoulder Road by Joan Aiken
3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Is Twite and her cousin Arun go on a wild search for Arun’s mother, Ruth Twite, while the Merry Gentry smugglers terrorize every village on the coast. Arun and Is turn to Admiral Fishkin for help and advice on how to find their missing relative, but the duplicitous Admiral is not as kind as he seems. Is and Arun search through the mysterious Silent Sect, explore a dark cave, find shelter in unlikely places, and ultimately find a way to restore peace to the coast and strip the Merry Gentry of their power.
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Book Review: Dangerous Games

Dangerous Games by Joan Aiken
Dangerous Games (The Wolves Chronicles, #5) 
by Joan Aiken

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Another fabulous book in the Wolves series! Dido is charged with finding Lord Herodsfoot on the distant island of Aratu, among the spice plantations, the witch doctors, and forest people. Lord Herodsfoot is searching for new and ancient games, which he hopes will entertain King James back in England. But the island is a troubled place with political unrest and violence around every turn. The island king’s malicious brother is planning a coup, and only Dido and her strange new friends can save the island and restore balance to the people’s lives.

Full of adventure and a little magic, this story keeps moving with a quick plot, weird and interesting characters, and of course, the excellent writing that I find in all Joan Aiken’s books.
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Book Review: IS Underground

Is Underground by Joan Aiken
Is Underground (The Wolves Chronicles, #8) 
by Joan Aiken

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

I love this 8th book in the Willoughby Chase series! Dido’s little sister, Is, vows to find her long-lost cousin, and ends up looking for a missing prince too. All the children in London are being snatched up and sent to “Playland”, where they are promised treats and games and fun. But the horrible reality is a dark mine where they are forced to work as slaves, and Is has to go underground to continue her search. Is gets unexpected help from some unique and interesting characters, but it is only her fierce determination and street-smarts that will save her cousin and the other children from the horrors of the mines.
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Book Review: Nurse Matilda

Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand
4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

The Brown children are the most ill-behaved, mischievous, naughty little children in all the world, and the only nanny who can possibly control them or teach them any manners is Nurse Matilda. With her magical walking stick, Nurse Matilda teaches important lessons like going to bed when you’re told, not chomping your food, closing doors after yourself, and putting on your best clothes when you’re told. Only the insane magical situations the children find themselves in could possibly teach them to say please and thank you!

I started rereading this one as a way to de-stress and help me fall asleep at night, but then I got so interested in the story that I stayed up late reading it!

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Book Review: Granny’s Wonderful Chair

Granny's Wonderful Chair by Frances Browne
Granny’s Wonderful Chair 
by Frances Browne

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This is one of my favorite books from when I was a young girl. Fairy tales at their best!

Young Snowflower’s grandmother leaves her alone in the cottage with only an enchanted chair for company. The chair tells wonderful stories and takes Snowflower on a journey to the court of King Winwealth. Each evening Snowflower is called to the court after their feasting, and she asks her magical chair to tell the company a story. The King rewards Snowflower for each story that is told.

In each chapter a different fairytale story is told, and although they follow the classic fairytale structure, they are not common or well-known. Each one is a delight to read!

Book Review: Kid Authors

Kid Authors by David Stabler
Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers 
by David Stabler (Goodreads Author)Doogie Horner (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This collection of short biographies of famous authors focuses on each author as a child, and what childhood experiences and situations led that person to become a writer.
Including interesting biographies about authors such as Lucy Maud Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Sherman Alexie, and Stan Lee; this book covers authors from a wide variety of backgrounds and time periods for an eclectic look at what inspires readers to become writers.
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Book Review: Miss Bianca in the Antarctic

Miss Bianca in the Antarctic by Margery Sharp
Miss Bianca in the Antarctic 
by Margery Sharp

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Miss Bianca, Bernard, and Nils are together again, determined to rescue their Norwegian poet friend, who is once again a prisoner, this time in the frozen wastelands of the Antarctic. They encounter some friendly penguins, some not-so-friendly polar bears (who are visiting through an exchange program), and one egotistical Emperor penguin who threatens to keep everyone prisoner for eternity.

This book is not my favorite in the series. It lacked imagination, although there are a few clever little characters. Mostly the story lacked any structure or suspense. I was disappointed that the poet is rescued almost immediately, and then Miss Bianca and Bernard spend the rest of the time just meeting various arctic animals. I was also disappointed that Nils is only present in a couple of chapters at the beginning. I wanted to see Nils working with the team again!
Still a fun little book in the series and worth the read, but not the best.

Book Review: The Rescuers

The Rescuers by Margery Sharp
The Rescuers 
by Margery SharpGarth Williams

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

I love this book more and more every time I read it! It’s nothing like the movies, of course. Nils, and Bernard, and Miss Bianca are such charming and stalwart characters. The plot is so interesting and funny, and the writing is just brilliant!

Bernard must persuade Miss Bianca to help the Prisoner’s Aid Society in finding a Norwegian mouse who will bravely rescue a Norwegian poet from the cold dungeons of the Black Castle. Once she finds the courageous Nils, a seafaring Norwegian mouse, Miss Bianca is swept along in the adventure, and the three unlikely companions are tested to the limit of their abilities in the Black Castle. No mouse has ever freed a prisoner before, but these clever mice are determined to save the poet!

Book Review: Journey to the River Sea

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
Journey to the River Sea 
by Eva Ibbotson

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Orphan Maia is sent to meet her distant relatives on the Amazon River. Along with Miss Minton, the strict-but-fair governess, Maia explores the enchanting world of the rainforest and river, delighted with the exotic plants and animals. But her relatives are only interested in Maia’s fortune, and they make her miserable until she finds friends among the native people. A mysterious boy hides in the forest, an out-of-work actor begs for Maia’s help, and Miss Minton is keeping dangerous secrets of her own.

Wonderfully imaginative and descriptive! Made me feel like I was right there in the rain forest. I was laughing and gasping and crying and laughing again all through it! Marvelous book! The complex plot is a wonderful mixture of adventure, travel, mystery, and intrigue.
Maia’s character is delightful. She’s spunky and courageous, kind and sweet, everything a heroine should be.
I adore Finn’s character! He’s mysterious and thoroughly interesting.
Miss Minton makes me laugh; she’s such a complicated lady, and so very deliberate in everything. Nothing could be better!

Book Review: Pigeon Post

Pigeon Post by Arthur Ransome
Pigeon Post (Swallows and Amazons, #6) 
by Arthur Ransome

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Swallows, Amazons, and “the D’s” (Dick and Dorothea) are determined to find gold in the hills above their lake before Captain Flint returns from South America. The young mining company begin camping up in the fells and searching old caves for gold, while a severe drought has the locals worried about potential fires. The children have three homing pigeons that are trained to take messages from their camp back to Mrs. Blackett, letting her know the progress of the fledgling mining company. The Swallows are dismayed to discover that a rival miner, dubbed “Squashy Hat”, is creeping about the fells, spying on their expedition and generally being a nuisance. It becomes a race to find the gold and stake their claim before Squashy Hat can ruin all their plans! But in the end, it will be the pigeons that make all the difference. Continue reading