Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling


Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: 2013

Re-Read: Sept 2016

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…


Review: So with this book we have started our fifth year at Hogwarts. By now if you have read the first four books you are already in love with this series and have a good idea on how the books are written, laid out and the great characters in between.

You meet Harry like always mid summer at his uncle and aunts. About half way through he goes to the head quarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Now you would think this would be great but nope he’s treated like a teenager, and one of the things I really liked about this book, acts like a moody teenager. From there he heads to school where he meets Professor Umbridge and compared to Lord Voldemort is the next runner-up for the most evil in this world. She makes life there miserable and takes over everything. With a hatred for Harry Potter from the beginning she makes is really hard for him taking away what he loves and trying to get him thrown out left right and centre. He also keeps dreaming about a place where he thinks that Lord Voldemort has been keeping a weapon. In good old Harry Potter fashion near the end of the book he finds himself and his friends in trouble and must help.

With the same action you are used too this is another book that is a bit darker than the previous. There is another death…no spoiler here…but it’s a meaningful one and if you are really invested in these books will be a bit of a tearful one. You learn more about Voldemort and other characters and of course we get to meet Luna Lovegood. She is amazing and funny character and seems to be the comic releif of the whole thing. And as I said earlier you see the kids grow. They are more like teens now with crushes and confusion about the opposite sex.

This is one of the best books of the series. It really moves the story along and makes you want to read more.  It’s well written just like the rest and you really see J.K. Rowling getting her groove with this. It also sets up for the next two books.

For the young ones, I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a harder read a bigger book. Plus with the deaths it’s got some heavy content.


#TBT Review: Mistress of the Art of Death (Book #1) by Ariana Franklin


Category: Adult Fiction

Published: February 2007

Read: January 2010

Score: 3.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) In medieval Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered. The crimes are immediately blamed on the town’s Jewish community, taken as evidence that Jews sacrifice Christian children in blasphemous ceremonies. To save them from the rioting mob, the king places the Cambridge Jews under his protection and hides them in a castle fortress. King Henry II is no friend of the Jews-or anyone, really-but he is invested in their fate. Without the taxes received from Jewish merchants, his treasuries would go bankrupt. Hoping scientific investigation will exonerate the Jews, Henry calls on his cousin the King of Sicily-whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe-and asks for his finest “master of the art of death,” an early version of the medical examiner. The Italian doctor chosen for the task is a young prodigy from the University of Salerno. But her name is Adelia-the king has been sent a “mistress” of the art of death. Adelia and her companions-Simon, a Jew, and Mansur, a Moor-travel to England to unravel the mystery of the Cambridge murders, which turn out to be the work of a serial killer, most likely one who has been on Crusade with the king. In a backward and superstitious country like England, Adelia must conceal her true identity as a doctor in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft. Along the way, she is assisted by Sir Rowley Picot, one of the king’s tax collectors, a man with a personal stake in the investigation. Rowley may be a needed friend, or the fiend for whom they are searching. As Adelia’s investigation takes her into Cambridge’s shadowy river paths and behind the closed doors of its churches and nunneries, the hunt intensifies and the killer prepares to strike again . .

Review: This is a historical crime fiction which is good and bad at the same time. It is the start of a series and as of this review there is three more books after this so the author is  on a roll.
compIt is a murder mystery set in Medieval times and involves children so you know it’s an intense read. It is a women who is the main character and “mistress in the art of death” which is basically the first term for forensic detective. Being a women in these times are hard enough but this makes it more intense for her. She is also Italian and has to go to England to solve these murders. The author incorporates hate for certain types of people which is always a major subject no matter what time period you are talking about.

It’s a fast read, and an easy read over all. There are not a lot of medical terms and the ones they do talk about are easy to understand. It’s well written and there are a lot of description. If you like these types of mystery’s this is a series you should check out.
CAMBR-KINGS-GENERAL-001-BMy problems with the book is I found the climax was underwhelming. It was a big build up to not much of a conclusion. I also didn’t find that the main character was one I got to know well. I realise that with series this is usually the case but it was disappointing. A little more substance would have made it a wow book. These are the reasons I would not give it more of a score than I did.

I wouldn’t read it again but I am happy I did get to read it once.


My Board Book Recommendations


As a soon to be second time parent and with lots of people i know having babies I thought it was about time I did a list of what I think are great board books. I have also noticed that a lot of people are giving books instead of cards for baby showers. So if you’re in a stitch and need to find a good one check out this list.

There are books you wouldn’t normally think of but are gems in themselves. I know the classics are always good go to’s but these are also good choices 😀



Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin 

This is a cute little book. It’s not too long and not so short you’re looking for another one. It’s good for both boys and girls and the illustrations are very beautiful. It’s about the different animals that take you to your dreams and how you get there. It’s one of the favourites I read with my son nightly. If you’re looking for a good bedtime book this is my pick. It’s beautiful in both words and pictures and would be a great addition to your bedtime routine.


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Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter

This is a book that first came out as a 3-5 book but was turned in to a board book and its super cute. It’s part of the interaction books where it get’s your wee ones involved and they will have just as much fun as you. It’s not long book  and the illustrations are simple but it’s still great. My son loves this one and will push the “button” and shake the book when needed. If you likes these books that get’s this involved this is one for you as it will start them on the path to these kinds of books and when they are older, and a bit more gentle on their books you can bring in some of the 3-5.


9780670060306 Corduroy’s Day by Don Freeman 

This is a great counting book and not one you can find in most book stores, so it might have to be ordered online. It’ counts up to 10 with things like what Corduroy has for breakfast, playing with trucks and having cupcakes with friends. It’s short and sweet and the illustrations are rich and full of color. It’s a take on a classic and a great way to start counting things with the little ones.


51NehYp+G-L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_My First ABC, a DK Book

There are a lot of books like this out there and we have most of them but this one is great. ABC books are fun but I find the best ones are the ones with actual pictures. This helps them connect the letters with real life items and with great wonderful pictures this is my big book. There are a few items per letter which also helps. I find the best pictures are the animals and they are clear and precise.  


7e36a7cf3f77d509da5b8e80113e2bd6 Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein

This one is a super funny book. A Dinosaur that just wants a kiss but some things turn out bad…like you accidentally eat a bug you were trying to kiss. It’s one you can enjoy reading out loud because of the different voices you can use and get the kids involved as well. It’s a short but fun book and the illustrations are fun as well with the main dinosaur being super cute. This one is great for both boys and girls and one you won’t find is being given by a lot of other people.


amon001 Another Monster At The End Of This Book by Jon Stone 

This is just like the first classic Monster at the End of the Book but this time with Elmo included. It’s funny and stays true to the classic. Simple illustrations and a comic book form of writing. If you little one liked the first one make sure to pick up the 2nd. I also recommend this as a “book as a card” gift as it’s cute and can be again used for both boys and girls.


a373d89f1d11eb00e4bf5a864ea641fbTHe Babies and Doggies Book by John and Molly

Last and not least is this little gem. This was given to my son as a gift and he loves it. I have heard, and don’t quote me on this, but it’s good to have books with real life pictures of babies as it makes it more interesting for the wee ones. this is a book that compares babies and doggies and what they do…like eating and playing and sleeping. There are all kinds of dogs and different babies of all kinds of ages and backgrounds. It’s fun and it rhymes and it’s a great little story. Especially if you’re a dog lover this one has to be in your library.


So these are my choices for books and I hope they help you in some way. I am in love with board books and I have so many but it’s totally worth it when you help a kid read. I am also a big fan of them for gifts and think you can pair a book with any gift to make it magical. 

If you have any to add let me know 😀 I’d love to hear your opinion on what your favourite board book might be 😀