Book Review: Secrets of the Last Merfolk

Secrets of the Last Merfolk by Lindsay Littleson

Secrets of the Last Merfolk
by Lindsay Littleson (Goodreads Author)
2 out of 5 stars

Finn and Sage begin to wonder if there might be merfolk living in the ocean off the Scottish coast. They have been seeing strange sights in the water, and hearing a weird song that echoes off the cliffs. Sage begins to investigate in her kayak, but when Finn does a dangerous solo swim in the freezing waves, the two discover that the merfolk are more mysterious and strange than any legend they have ever heard. The merfolk are in danger from an old enemy, and they need help from the human children to save their little underwater colony.

The plot is incredibly slow. This could have been a short story, but it drags on and on. Once something finally does happen, it’s not that amazing. Finn and Sage are completely obsolete to the plans of the merfolk. They make a big deal about “helping”, but they never do anything that the merfolk couldn’t have just done themselves with less effort. A lot of fuss over nothing.

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Book Review: The Captain’s Daughters

The Captain's Daughters by Doreen D. Berger

The Captain’s Daughters
by Doreen D. Berger (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Diane and Robin are kidnapped by an alien race to be sold as slaves on a far-away planet. Their father, a starship captain, is searching the galaxy for them, but he will have to travel farther than anyone thought possible in order to rescue his daughters. However, Diane and Robin are not sitting around waiting to be rescued. They take matters into their own hands, and try a daring escape.

I enjoyed this book! The plot is a fun adventure and has some interesting twists. There were a couple of times when lucky coincidences in the plot made it a little unbelievable. I feel like the plot could have been a bit tighter in a few places. But those were few and far between, so I still liked the story a lot!

The writing is really good! I immediately connected with the story and with the characters. The pacing is excellent, and the scenes have a lot of suspense. I laughed several times at some of the funny dialogue! Those girls are so sassy!

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Book Review: Danny Chung Sums It Up

Danny Chung Sums It Up by Maisie Chan

Danny Chung Sums It Up
by Maisie ChanNatelle Quek (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

Danny Chung is dismayed when his Chinese grandmother moves into the family’s small apartment, and he has to share his bedroom with her! She only speaks a specific dialect of Chinese that Danny can’t understand, and she is always embarrassing Danny in front of his friends. Danny has a huge math project that he is supposed to be working on, but Danny hates math. His parents insist that he has to spend time with his grandmother while they are at work. Danny’s only refuge is in his drawings and sketches. Making comic sketches is the only thing Danny really cares about. Could there be a way to use his drawings to communicate with his grandmother?

This was such a sweet and heart-warming story! It was wonderful to see Danny’s character development. He gradually begins to understand, appreciate, and love his grandmother. Danny is such a complex and loveable character. He certainly has his flaws, but he is also willing to admit when he is wrong and do his best to make things right. He has such a good heart!

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Book Review: How Do You Live?

How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino

How Do You Live?
by Genzaburo YoshinoBruno Navasky (Translator)
4 out of 5 stars

Copper reflects on the meaning of life as he faces challenges at his school. He befriends a poor classmate who is being teased and bullied, but that puts him in crosshairs as well. Somehow he must find the courage to stand with his friends, and find out what kind of person he really wants to be. Copper’s uncle and mother give him good advice, but ultimately it is up to Copper to make his own decisions.

This book is told in two parts; the first is Copper’s experiences at school and the second is his uncle’s notes to him about philosophy and the underlying meaning behind everyday things. These two perspectives overlap in alternate chapters. First we read about something that happened to Copper and then his uncle writes to Copper about it, expounding on different moral and social ideas of why that particular experience was important and how it can help to shape Copper into a good person.

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Book Review: Mermaids Rock The Coral Kingdom

The Coral Kingdom by Linda Chapman

The Coral Kingdom
by Linda ChapmanMirelle Ortega (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Marina and her father have just moved to a new underwater neighborhood, and Marina makes some new friends at school while her father researches rare fish in the area. Marina has to put up with a snobby girl at school, but she happily joins the Save the Sea Creatures club with her friends. However, Marina and her friends are frightened by a strange creature that is evidently destroying the local coral reef caves. They find some weird clues, but no one has sighted the creature. Can they solve the mystery before the damage gets worse?

I loved this cute book! The mermaid culture is wonderfully imaginative, and I thought it was so fun to learn about Marina and her friends. We also get some real life facts about interesting fish and conservation in the ocean. The mystery had me in complete suspense! I was puzzling and wondering, What is this big sea monster creature that is destroying the coral?

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Book Review: The Voyage of Barracks

The Voyage of Barracks by Stuart Petrie

The Voyage of Barracks
by Stuart Petrie
5 out of 5 stars
The Gunn family love their beautiful country home, but when a nasty factory is built across the road, they decide to attach a balloon to their house and float around the world looking for a new peaceful place to live.

I adore this book. I’ve read it several times now, and it is delightful every time!

I love all the different places that they visit; a desert oasis, the top of the Acropolis, an island with cannibals, a small village in the Alps, and the beautiful beaches of the French Riviera.

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Book Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono

Kiki’s Delivery Service
by Eiko KadonoEmily Balistrieri (Translator)
5 out of 5 stars

Kiki is a young witch who goes to live in a new town all by herself. She is only 13 years old, but must work as a witch as part of her coming-of-age ritual. She starts a delivery service, flying all around the town delivering parcels and helping her neighbors.

I loved this charming story! I have watched the Ghibli movie many times, and this book has the same enchantment! Other than the basic premise, the movie and book are quite different, but they have the same magical flavor.

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Book Review: Danny the Champion of the World

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Danny the Champion of the World
by Roald DahlQuentin Blake (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Danny and his father have a close relationship. They live in a caravan behind their gas station and car mechanic garage. Danny learns to be the youngest mechanic in history. One night he discovers that his father is keeping a delightful secret, and he needs Danny’s help.

This is my favorite Dahl book! The connection between father and son is so precious! I love the way that Danny describes his father and their simple life together living in their little caravan. Danny is such a clever and intelligent little boy with a good heart.

There is something so charming about Dahl’s writing style. Every time I read one of his books, I am swept away into a world of enchantment and hilarity. There are so many funny scenes in this book! I always laugh so hard each time I reread it.

Book Review: Magic or Not?

Magic or Not? by Edward Eager

Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)
by Edward EagerN.M. Bodecker (Illustrator), Quentin Blake (Cover Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars
I loved rereading this children’s classic! When twins Laura and James move to the country, they find an old wishing well, and begin to test the magic waters with their wishes. The wishes seem to come true, but in such regular, mundane ways that the children can’t be sure… was it magic or not? The eccentric Lydia comes blasting into their adventures, and their neighbor Kip joins in the fun.

The wishing well definitely appears to be influencing their adventures, but only when they wish something good for others, never when they wish for themselves. So the four friends attempt a quest of good deeds, with mixed results when the disgustingly spoiled rich kid, Gordy, begins to tag along and pester them. Can the children accept the strange directions that the wishing well sends them, or will they draw the line at including the nasty Gordy in their group?

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Mystery Review: Cold-Blooded Myrtle

Cold-Blooded Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Cold-Blooded Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery #3)
by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Goodreads Author)
5 out of 5 stars

Myrtle is preparing for Christmas, when the proprietor of a mercantile shop is murdered and the culprit rearranges the display window to predict the next murder. Myrtle has to investigate the cold-case of a young woman who disappeared from the local college years before, in order to solve the string of murders that are threatening to ruin everyone’s holiday.

I cannot describe how much I loved this third book in the Myrtle series!
One of the things that made me fall in love with this book is the incredible character development. I love how the main characters change their minds, discover new information, grow in their personalities and abilities, and suddenly realize that their relationships with other characters can be different.

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