Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Book of Coupons by Susie Morgenstern

This short lovely chapter book delighted my oldest son years ago. Recently he took it off of his book shelf and gave it to his younger brother telling him what a great book it was and he should 'read it with Mom'. That night my six year old son & I curled up and read the whole thing.
The story takes place on the first day of school finding the kids in the class with a new teacher. Not your average every day teacher but a truly special human being. The coupons he shares are not what you think and each child leaves school that year with something special in their hearts.

A wonderful read I highly recommend for all ages.

My son give this book two thumbs up.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Book of Big Brothers by Cary Fagan

This was a wonderful read-aloud picture book that my young son loved. Having a big brother, he could identify with many of the 'scenerios' in the book. My husband and I also have older brothers, so reading this story as a family revealed much laughter and reflection.

We all give this story 2 thumbs up.

A great read for anyone with an older brother!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This novel was typically written for teens but my 12yo son loved the more mature content in it. His thirst for reading has lead him to more intense and complicated story lines.
The story is set in the future with the main character being a 16yo girl. One hundred years from now the tyrannical government holds a tournament for all kids to fight to the death to keep the people from rising up and overthrowing the government. The story takes many twists and turns with a teenage girl as a reluctant heroine. Even with the violent descriptive images and teenage romance my son enjoyed the author's writing experiencing a more mature book.

I do not recommend this book for anyone under 12

My son gives this book & the series two thumbs up.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The 39 Clues series (various authors)

My son currently discovered this series and digested all ten of them this summer. As soon as one was done off he would go to the library to get the next book. Every book was a cliff changer in which he was unable to wait, he had to get the next book! Each book was written by a different author although a couple of them were written by two authors. (eg. Rick Riordon, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman, Jude Watson.....)
The premise of the story is about two teenage siblings who's parents died when they small. They were raised by their mean aunt and it turns out their family are all related to past and present famous people, such as Thomas Edison, Rihanna, Houdini, Howard Carter and Abraham Lincoln. The adventure takes the kids on a scavenger hunt to find 39 clues hidden by their ancestors which could reveal an amazing discovery.

My son gives this 10 thumbs out of ten thumbs!
A great read for 12 years +

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

My youngest son has a fascination with poems. He has always loved them and recently I have noticed that he loves them most when his is very tired. He asks for them. He will lie on the bed with his eyes closed and listen. I think the sing-song verses lull and nourish his soul.

For me, Stevenson's writing is a beautiful dichotomy between the harsh, adventurous 'Treasure Island' and then his beautiful, enchanting, simple poems.

I highly recommend these poems for all ages.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

My son tried to read this book a few years ago and found it too dark. Just recently he picked the book up again and digested it in about two days. He loved the story and intrigue. The basic outline of the story is about two orphan brothers who end up living with their cruel Aunt & Uncle and then running away. On their journey they meet a 13 year old boy who calls himself 'The Thief Lord' who leads a ring of street kids in petty crime. The brothers end up in interesting circumstances which puts into question the authenticity of the Thief Lord!

A terrific read for kids 11+

My son gives this story two thumbs up.

Tumtum & Nutmeg: A Seaside Adventure by Emily Bean

This is the fourth adventure in the Tumtum & Nutmeg series. Delightful stories of mice on adventures! In this story Tumtum, Nutmeg & General Marchmouse travel to the seaside to keep watch over the human children, Lucy and Arthur, as they take a summer vacation. While there mice stumble upon a mystery and end up on a hunt for a lost treasure. Little do the mice know that a villian lurks close by, Purple Claw, who is also after the treasure. Who will will find the treasure first? My son loved the twists and turns the story takes. It is a simple sweet story that is not too scary but has just enough suspense to make it exciting.

A great read-aloud for ages 5+

My son gives this story two thumbs up.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Mouse and the Motorcyle by Beverly Cleary

This story we listened to in the car on audio on one of our many commutes. Clearly this one caught the attention of my 6 year old. The idea of a mouse riding a motorcycle was wonderous! The story begins with a boy staying in a hotel with his parents when he happened upon a mouse who could talk. They became fast friends and the boy lent the mouse his toy motorcycle to use. You can only imagine the adventures and troubles the mouse got into. Action-packed with an element of soft-hearted friendship.

We give this story 2 great big thumbs up!
Excellent for kids 5 & older.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

The first three chapters of this book were wonderful until my 11yo son read the rest without me. He was so intrigued he couldn't put it down and had to finish it. Needless to say I still have yet to finish.
The story begins on an Island in the South Pacific in which lived the people of Ghalas-at. A young girl named Karana finds herself stranded on the island after the Aleut people killed many of her people and the white people captured the rest. The imagery and storytelling captured us and we felt like we were with her. It is a based on a true story that reveals courage, serenity and greatness of spirit.

My son gives this story two thumbs up.
I recommend this book for ages 10yrs and older.

Harry the Poisonous Centipede by Lynne Reid Banks

This was an interesting book. My son was completely engaged in listening to it. It is a story about the adventures of a poisonous centipede told from the perspective of an insect and how we Hoo-Mins, as they calls us, might be strange and scary creatures to them.  My son and I had many discussions about our presence in the insect and bug world.  This was a great story full of laughter and adventure but also had the added element of 'food-for-thought'.

My son gives this story 2 thumbs up!
A great read for 6yrs and older.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Redwall (The Series) by Brian Jacques

This series is full of action and adventure but not for the faint of heart. It is a fantasy story of mice and other woodland creatures who live at Redwall Abbey. The villian of this story is an evil rat named Cluny the Scourge who wants to overthrow the Abbey's current residents. In order to rid themselves of Cluny they have to go on a quest to find the Legendary Sword.
There are alot of mature descriptions within this story so it is recommended for ages 12 & up.

My son gives this series two thumbs & two big toes up!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss

We currently watched the 1970's movie of the Swiss Family Robinson in which my 6yo & 11yo loved! Much action an adventure about a family stranded on a deserted island. This all-time classic was a hit. The movie opened up many discussions from, self-sufficiency to animal rights to design/architecture to geography. My son was so enthralled he has taken on the task to now read the 470 page book which doesn't daunt him at all.
So far he gives it one thumb down and one thumb up because of the extended detail it gives. He finds it boring in spots. An interesting observation from a new generation of readers.

Good for 11 years and older.

The Lighthouse Family: The Eagle by Cynthia Rylant

This was a lovely, simple read. An unlikely family consisting of a cat, a dog & three baby mice who all found each and created their own family. The young mice find adventure and make new friends!

My 6yo loved it and we were thrilled to find out there are two more books by this author, in which the adventures continue.

We gave this book two thumbs up.
A great read for kidlets 4 years and older.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

I have to use the word 'incredible' as in the title,  to comment about this book.  A truly inspirational, heartwarming book filled with beautiful writing and compassion. The book is generally intended for older kids but my 6yo loved it.
If you are not familiar with this classic Canadian story here is a little bit about it. The story is about 3 bonded animals, two dogs & a cat,  finding their way home across hundreds of miles of rugged country, encountering many hardships along the way. Your best bet is to just grab a copy, curl up and read it!  If you've read it before, read it again!
My 11yo & 6yo loved it.

We all give it 6 huge thumbs up.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter

My son wanted to write this book review so this is in his own words:
There are three odd preteen kids who don't have any friends because there Mom disappeared with no trace. There are rumors spreading around that someone killed there Mom. Their Dad is a painter who paints royalty no longer royal. Their Dad sends them to live with their Aunt and this is when many dark adventures begin. The story has many twists and turns which ends up revealing the truth about their Mom.
If you like dark, scary stories without a happy ending this story is for you.

He gives this story one thumb up and one thumb down.

The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren (picture book)

I love this story. I also love European stories. There is something deep and natural about their stories.  This is an enchanting little story about a friendly troll called the Tomten.  He moves silently through the night visiting his animal friends, reminding them that spring will soon come.  Only the children and animals can speak his language, which my young son finds magical.

A beautiful bedtime story to share.