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 Tiger’s Nest

The Tiger's Nest by Trudi Trueit

The Tiger’s Nest (Explorer Academy, #5)
by Trudi Trueit (Goodreads Author)
5 out of 5 stars

In this book, Cruz and his friends are tracking down another clue that his mother left for him when she died. This time they are visiting the Seychelles, India and Bhutan, and the stakes have never been higher. The spies from the evil Nebula corporation are closing in, and Cruz begins to doubt is he can trust even his closest friends.

There are a lot of plots twists and major revelations in this book! Just when you think it’s going to be another formula plot, finding the clues, solving the puzzle, and traveling around the world… Bam! Something insane happens and it throws everything into turmoil. The adventure is fantastic!

I just adore these characters! They each have some good development and I love their different personalities. It’s so cool to see how they discover their strengths and weaknesses in this book and grow closer as a team. Cruz is such an amazing main character. He surprises me in every book!

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Graphic Novel Review: The Sprite and the Gardener

The Sprite and the Gardener by Joe Whitt

The Sprite and the Gardener
by Joe WhittRii Abrego (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Wisteria is a little sprite who is new to the area. The sprites live in a neighborhood where the humans do all the gardening, so the ancient art of using magic to help the plants grow has been completely lost. Wisteria begins to experiment with a budding power, and finds that she can make a difference in one small garden.

This graphic novel is so adorable! All the little sprites are so beautiful and sweet. I loved the delicate art style and the pastel colors. Each panel is blossoming with exquisite little details in the background of each scene, and strong emotions in the body language and facial expressions of the characters. It just carries you away to another world!

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Graphic Novel Review: The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden by Mariah Marsden

The Secret Garden: A Graphic Novel
by Mariah Marsden (Adapted by), Hanna Luechtefeld (Illustrations)
3 out of 5 stars

This retelling of the Secret Garden in graphic novel form is lovely, but has some issues with story-telling. I liked it, but it also has some flaws.

I liked the beautiful art style! The art is whimsical and sweet with bright colors. However, I didn’t like that there were so many tiny panels on each page. It felt too busy.

There is very little dialogue, which makes it difficult to follow the progression of the story. In the original novel, we get to see the gradual character development of Colin and Mary. But with so little dialogue to give the reader clues about what is happening on that internal journey for the characters, the characters seem to leap ahead with no indication of what made them change.

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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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February Reading Wrap Up

This video is NOT sponsored, but does contain affiliate links. Familius Affiliate Link: http://www.familius.com/happy-families-read-together/?utm_source=booksformks&utm_medium=Influencer If you make a purchase using an affiliate link, I may receive a small affiliate commission before taxes and at no additional cost to you. There are also Amazon affiliate links below. I only recommend books and products that I actually enjoy myself, and all the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts. Thank you for your support!

Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery https://amzn.to/3bjYZyP

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie https://amzn.to/38blio8

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby https://amzn.to/30d8AB0

Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses https://amzn.to/3sMwm30

Friendshipping: The Art of Finding Friendship https://amzn.to/2MSEBLK

Zeus the Mighty: The Maze of the Menacing Minotaur https://amzn.to/3ebSqQA

Flash Facts by Mayim Bialik https://amzn.to/38cTVKB

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost https://amzn.to/3ebxHwa

The Night Walk https://amzn.to/3v0pocP

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Book Review: Icefall

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

Icefall
by Matthew J. Kirby
4 out of 5 stars

Solveig and her siblings have been sent to a frozen fjord in the mountains where they will be safe during a Viking war between clans. The winter cold freezes the sea, preventing any ships from getting to them. However, there appears to be a traitor in their midst among the soldiers and servants, and they are trapped until the spring thaw can bring help.

I loved the thoughtful writing style in this book! The writing brings important details to the forefront, giving the characters depth and enhancing the setting without slowing down the pacing.

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Book Reviews: Masterminds Trilogy

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Masterminds (Masterminds, #1)
by Gordon Korman
3 out of 5 stars

The town of Serenity is not as serene as it seems. Eli and his friends begin to discover that their seemingly perfect town is hiding dark secrets.

I really liked the mystery in this book, and the gradual unravelling of the secrets that the townspeople are hiding. The adventure aspects of the story are exciting and kept my attention, but sometimes felt far-fetched and unrealistic. I was rolling my eyes a couple of times.

The characters are smart and emotional, and they all have such unique personalities. I really enjoyed getting to know each of them, and seeing how their flaws and strengths push the story forward. They each react in different ways when they discover what is really going on in the town, and I can’t wait to see what further character development they might have in the rest of the series.

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Book Review: Masterminds

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Masterminds (Masterminds, #1)
by Gordon Korman
3 out of 5 stars

The town of Serenity is not as serene as it seems. Eli and his friends begin to discover that their seemingly perfect town is hiding dark secrets.

I really liked the mystery in this book, and the gradual unravelling of the secrets that the townspeople are hiding. The adventure aspects of the story are exciting and kept my attention, but sometimes felt far-fetched and unrealistic. I was rolling my eyes a couple of times.

The characters are smart and emotional, and they all have such unique personalities. I really enjoyed getting to know each of them, and seeing how their flaws and strengths push the story forward. They each react in different ways when they discover what is really going on in the town, and I can’t wait to see what further character development they might have in the rest of the series.

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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!