Book Review: The Secret of Platform 13

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson

The Secret of Platform 13
by Eva IbbotsonSue Porter (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars


The baby Prince of a magical land has been stolen in London, and the King and Queen must wait until the portal between the worlds opens again in 9 years before they can rescue their son. They send a rescue team of oddballs; an old wizard, a fey, an ogre, and a young hag. With the help of some nice ghosts, they locate the Prince, but he is not at all what they had expected.

Wonderfully inventive and funny! I love this book more every time I read it!

The world-building is imaginative and weird and wild. The characters are interesting and all so different. There are a lot of supporting characters with hilarious personalities, and the main characters are all beautifully vivid.

I really love the way the writing can paint a striking scene in just a few words, really drawing the reader into the story. The plot has all these funny twists and turns that really capture your attention. It’s such a delight to read!

Book Review: The Dragon in the Library

The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell

The Dragon in the Library
by Louie StowellDavide Ortu (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Kit doesn’t like to read. She can’t sit still. She would much rather be climbing trees or playing with matches or other dangerous things. Her friends, Alita and Josh, convince her to visit the library with them. Kit discovers magical properties within the books that propel her and her friends into a wizarding adventure.

I loved this book from start to finish! The characters, the plot, the world-building, the magic; everything is wonderful!

I liked that the plot is simple and straightforward, but has a few little surprises that keep the story fresh and exciting. The writing style is absolutely hilarious! There are so many cute bits of dialogue and funny scenes that had me laughing.

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Book Review: High Rhulain

High Rhulain by Brian Jacques

High Rhulain (Redwall, #18)
by Brian Jacques
5 out of 5 stars

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.

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Book Review: Mothstorm

Mothstorm by Philip Reeve

Mothstorm (Larklight, #3)
by Philip Reeve (Goodreads Author)
4 out of 5 stars

A mysterious cloud is approaching the solar system from deep space, and of course only Arthur and Myrtle can solve the mystery and save the British Empire and the nine planets (along with some asteroids and dwarf planets). They are joined by our favorite old characters and a few new ones, as they travel between the planets to fight for Queen and country.

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next.

It’s wonderful to see how the entire trilogy is wrapped up beautifully in this last book. The plot comes together really well to solve problems and answer questions that have been hanging since the first book. I love how each thread of the story resolves into this great ending!

I am amazed at how imaginative this fantasy world is. The aliens and their strange cultures are all so intricate and well-formed, right down to the diseases, commerce, and vegetation of each planet. I love that it is set in a steam-punk 1850s British Empire full of space travel that has expanded to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. It’s such an interesting solar system, and each planet has it’s own history and people who live there.

The writing style is very humorous with that sort of dry humor that I love. I was delighted at how some of the characters are doing their best to have good manners and polite modesty in the middle of their outlandish adventures. We may be about to be blown to smithereens by space pirates, but let us not forget proper courtesy and decorum. The whole book is hilarious!

The characters are really varied and interesting. They come from all sorts of backgrounds, and I loved the character development for so many of them. They change and grow and learn from one another.

Myrtle has some excellent development as she learns that she is stronger and more resourceful than she thought. She does NOT faint every time something dangerous happens, as a properly-educated young lady should do. Instead she begins to take little steps towards saving herself, instead of waiting for a hero to rescue her as a demure young lady should do. And through those little steps she moves on to bigger steps, until finally she gains enough confidence in her own abilities to have the courage to jump into the fray and save everyone.

I only wish there were more books in this series!

Book Review: Starcross

Starcross by Philip Reeve

Starcross (Larklight, #2)
by Philip Reeve (Goodreads Author), David Wyatt (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Myrtle and Arthur are having adventures again! This time they are visiting a seaside hotel called Starcross located in the asteroid belt. There are mysterious disappearances and strange beings lurking around the hotel, and it’s up to Myrtle and Arthur and their friends to save the empire!

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next.

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Book Review: Borrowers Afield

The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton

The Borrowers Afield (The Borrowers #2)
by Mary NortonBeth Krush (Illustrator), Joe Krush (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars

I love seeing how the Borrowers survive in the wild, fighting off insects, gathering nuts and berries, and finding shelter in an old boot. The plot in this book has so many interesting little twists and turns, as the Clock family meet Spiller, a Borrower who lives in the fields and hedges.

They are such funny characters with grit and determination. Pod is resourceful and serious, but cracks a joke now and then. Homily is fearful, but has a reserve of inner fortitude that comes up in a crisis. Arrietty is adorable and sweet, plucky and adventurous and playful. Spiller is mysterious and taciturn. I just love them all!

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Book Review: The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre, #0.5)
by Gail Carson Levine (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Perry is the adopted daughter of Lakti noble parents, but her real parents are Bamarre servants. Her true bloodline is kept a secret, because the Bamarre people are considered inferior and cowardly. The fairy Halina visits Perry and urges her to embrace her true heritage and free the Bamarre people from Lakti tyranny. With the help of a magic tablecloth, seven-league boots, and a perfect disguise, Perry plunges into espionage and rebellion. But can she ever escape her Lakti upbringing and be accepted by the Bamarre?

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Book Review: Celtic Mythology for Kids

Celtic Mythology for Kids by Christopher Pinard
Celtic Mythology for Kids: Tales of Selkies, Giants, and the Sea
by Christopher Pinard

5 out of 5 stars

I love these fairy tales from Celtic myths! They are retold in a simple manner for children, and each tale is between 3-7 pages long. The tales use a few Irish and Scottish words, but they are explained and there is even a glossary of Celtic words in the back of the book. I love how the rich Celtic culture is celebrated in this book!

The stories themselves are wonderfully interesting and full of magic and history! At the end of each story, there are some questions to prompt discussion and get the reader thinking about the choices made by the characters in the story. Continue reading

Book Series Review: Warren the 13th Trilogy

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Warren the 13th Trilogy

by Tania del Rio (Author),  Will Staehle (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

I loved this trilogy! The design is elaborate and the plot is mysterious. I loved the characters and the writing style. I flew right through the pages, and enjoyed the action in every chapter.

Warren is such a likable and interesting character! I really appreciated his curiosity, his resilience, and his love for the hotel. He feels connected to his parents and to his ancestors through their shared history in the hotel, and it gave the story a lot of depth to have that heritage. He finds clues that his father left behind for him, and that gives him the courage to face difficult circumstances.

There are so many great supporting characters, all unique and quirky and memorable.

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Graphic Novel Review: This Was Our Pact

This Was Our Pact by Ryan  Andrews
This Was Our Pact
by Ryan Andrews (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


Ben and his friends are determined to follow the river on the night of their Autumn Festival. Every year thousands of lanterns are floated down the river, and legend says that the lanterns float up to join the stars. Ben makes a pact with his friends to find out the truth about where the lanterns go, and they hop on their bikes to follow the lanterns. But the weird kid, Nathaniel, follows them, and when everyone else turns back, Nathaniel and Ben discover the true magic that surrounds the lanterns.

This book is so beautiful and whimsical! I was enchanted from the very beginning. The lovely artwork, the imaginative plot, the emotional characters, and the engaging dialogue kept me entranced through every page. Continue reading