Book Review: Winterset Hollow

Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham

Winterset Hollow
by Jonathan Edward Durham

2.5 stars
Eamon and his friends visit the abandoned home of their favorite author, Addington, who wrote stories about animals who celebrate Barley Day with a massive feast. Those stories inspired and comforted Eamon for years after he was abandoned by his father. But now, when Eamon and other fans of the author visit the setting for those stories, they find that the truth behind the book is stranger and far more frightening than they could ever imagine. Because there is another Barley Day tradition besides just the feast… the Barley Day hunt.

I really liked Eamon’s character. He is a broken person, an orphan who finds it hard to connect with others. But he is trying to be emotionally healthy and have a good life. I was inspired by his growth and how he recognized his personal problems and tried to overcome them. I loved his jovial and teasing dynamic with his friends.

Continue reading

Halloween Picture Books for Children

Owl Has a Halloween Party by Jannie Ho

Owl Has a Halloween Party: A Tiny Tab Book
by Jannie Ho (Goodreads Author) (illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Owl has invited all his friends to a Halloween party, but who is going to come? Gradually the party guests begin to arrive, and Owl compliments them on their amazing costumes. Lion is a pirate. Tiger is a ghost. Monkey is an astronaut, and Frog is a princess. Once everyone arrives, Owl and his friends have a great party together!

Continue reading

Book Review: The Hideaway

The Hideaway by Pam Smy

The Hideaway
by Pam Smy (Author and Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Billy has run away from home. He hides away in a graveyard for several days, camping out in an old brick shelter with his backpack and sleeping bag. His mother is desperate to find her missing son, and she works with the police to start a search.

This story is told from two main perspectives, Billy and his mother. The two have a very close and affectionate relationship, but all is not well in Billy’s home, prompting him to run away. The writing perfectly balances the multiple points of views from the different characters, showing their distinct voices. There is such an appealing charm in the writing style that it draws you right in to the story, and makes the characters very endearing and relatable.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Lantern’s Ember

The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck
The Lantern’s Ember
by Colleen Houck 

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Ember is a young witch with a great deal of untapped power. Jack is a supernatural being, who keeps his soul in a pumpkin lantern and guards the crossroads to a magical realm. Jack is determined to stop Ember from crossing to the OtherWorld where her power could be stolen from her, but he has a hard time guarding his heart against her sweet charms.

There were so many things that I loved about this book, and a few things that annoyed me.

First, the world-building and magic systems are wonderfully imaginative and interesting. I was entranced with the magical setting and the witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, goblins, and succubi that populate the OtherWorld. They each have particular powers and traits that were fascinating to discover as they are explained through the plot. I also really loved the steampunk feeling of the world, and how automatons and clockworks are integrated with magic power. Continue reading

Book Review: The Monster’s Ring

The Monster's Ring by Bruce Coville
The Monster’s Ring 
by Bruce CovilleKatherine Coville (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Russell visits the Magic Shop and gets a magic ring that turns him into a monster, and uses it to help him stand up to the bully in his school. But the Monster Ring makes Russell feel wild and feral, and not just when he’s wearing it! He starts howling at the moon at odd times, he terrifies his classmates during their Halloween party, and he growls at the school principal. Can Russell keep his wildness under control before he becomes a monster for good?

This story is fast-paced and has good development. Russell goes through such a transformation, not as a monster, but as a character. He starts out as this frightened, timid little boy, and discovers that power and strength are not about having big muscles and fangs. He learns how to express himself better, and his life changes because of his courageous honesty with his family and friends. I really loved the character development and the story arc!

The story is also funny, with crazy scenarios and magical shenanigans that made me laugh!

Scary Book Reviews

I read two scary books for Halloween! Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil by Nancy Atherton

Pucks and Paperbacks: https://www.youtube.com/user/pucksandpaperbacks

Books for MKs is a charity organization that donates books to missionary kids on the foreign mission field all over the world. Donate now at http://www.gofundme.com/booksformks to help these children get reading material!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, and COMMENT!

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/thekai05
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8zVhBDnVGW3htXacn2EaIQ
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/booksformks
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thekai05/

Book Review: Frankenstein

Frankenstein
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is nothing like any of the movies, and very different from what I expected it to be. The parts that are usually the iconic moments – the “alive!” birth of the monster, the final fatal confrontation of the creator and his monster, etc… – these were brushed over in two sentences, and other scenes were described in detail, drawn out, and dwelt on. I liked the direction the story took!

I loved the over-the-top gothic drama; it was actually so ornate and dramatic that it became funny at times! The style reminded me of Ann Radcliffe’s gothic romance mysteries. Continue reading

Book Review: Aunt Dimity Beats The Devil

Aunt Dimity Beats The Devil
Aunt Dimity Beats The Devil by Nancy Atherton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With rain crashing down, as her range rover climbs a steep embankment on the Northumberland moors, Lori Shepherd is beginning to doubt the wisdom of her decision to evaluate a book collection at Wyrdhurst Hall. The grim, neo-gothic hall that greets her is full of surprises: including a charming, secretive stranger and tales of haunted love. It will take all of Lori’s paranormal experience to solve the puzzle and restore peace to a family haunted by its past. – Good Reads

This is the perfect fluffy book for a chilly autumn evening! Curling up with a cup of tea and a hilarious ghost mystery just before Halloween- it doesn’t get any better than that! I like ghost stories when the spirits are friendly, like Aunt Dimity and her ghostly cohorts. Continue reading