Review: The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey

Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: January 10, 2017

Read: May 2017

Score: 3.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) In shepherd boy Elric’s tiny village, people think children like his younger sister, Wynn, are changelings-left by fairies and doomed to curse all around them. As a baby, Wynn was born with developmental delays, and according to the rules, she was supposed to be abandoned in the woods.
Instead Elric’s mother saved his sister and hid her away for eleven years. They live in secret and fear of being discovered, yet their home is full of love, laughter, and singing. Wynn and Elric’s favorite song is about the Silver Gate, a beautiful fairy realm where all children are welcome.
But when their long-absent father returns to sell Wynn to the Lord’s castle as a maid, Elric realizes that folk songs and fantasies can’t protect them from the outside world. They have to run away. Still Wynn believes there’s only one place they’ll ever be safe, and it lies beyond the Silver Gate.
The road to freedom is long and treacherous. If they have any hope for survival, Elric and Wynn must learn to depend on each other above everything else-and discover the magic that always reveals itself when it seems like all is lost.

Review: This was a cute and touching book that I really enjoyed reading. It has a good message and talks about the bond of siblings that can form even in the most dire of situations. It also shows us that no matter your abilities or what life has handed you deep down we are all good people who just want to be loved and treated with respect.

It’s about Elric and Wynn who go on an adventure after their mother dies to save Wynn from becoming a slave in the local castle whom she has just been sold too by her father. Elric risks everything to help save her and get her somewhere safe…but the question remains as to where that actually is.

Wynn has some sort of mental disability and it’s never mentioned what. Children born with things like are considered “changelings” that are children that were switched by ferries and left instead. I am sure this is not a new concept in our history. Wynn was special and hidden away because of this but now she needs to be protected.

They meet good and bad people along the way and find out there is more to life than what meets the eye and magic is always all around.

There are a few heavy topics in this book and people get hurt so for the younger kids just starting to read this might not be the one they should start with. The writing was well done and you could picture everything clearly. It was also left over for a sequel. I probably won’t pick it up but I am happy I read this one.

I gave it the score I did as it was an okay book but not a grabbing attention book. I did like it but I won’t read it again and I found some parts very slow to get through. It was good for what it was.

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YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE:

Fantasy novels with a medieval type twist

Review: Will Wilder– The Relic of Perilous Falls by Raymond Arroyo

Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: March 2016

Read: May 2017

Score: 2/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Will Wilder is a mischievous, headstrong twelve-year-old with an otherworldly gift—he alone can see the nefarious creatures encroaching on Perilous Falls. For nearly a century, a sacred relic has protected his hometown from the raging waters surrounding it. But when Will “borrows” the relic for his own purposes, he accidentally unleashes an ancient evil.
As boats sink and hideous creatures crawl from the rising waters, Will must set things right before it is too late. With the help of his sweet (if lethal) Great Aunt Lucille, the curator of a museum of powerful artifacts, Will proves that the actions of one twelve-year-old boy can change the world.

Review: This is a story that will appeal to some but not to others. It is full of action and demons and prophecies and good vs. evil. It’s a fast paced and easy read for this age group and over all wasn’t bad but not a book I loved or would ever read again. I will not be continuing the series.

It’s about Will Wilder, and this is where my first problem with the book comes from. He is an arrogant and annoying main character. He doesn’t listen, puts peoples lives in danger…more than once I might add and not even a hero as far as hero’s go. He get’s in trouble and needs a way to fix it so he can go on a family trip and tricks his friends in to trying to get a relic locked in the bottom of a church. There is already trouble brewing in his town…that his grandfather founded….and people are dying but he must get that relic. Problems arise but can Will be the hero and save everyone? What if it’s demons and they start to walk the earth?

It’s nail crunching in some spots for sure. It’s imaginative story and brings a whole different world around. My problems with this book is that it’s a lot like Da Vinci COde. I don’t mind Da Vinci Code but not in a kid format. Its been done and this just felt like a revamp for a younger age group. Will, as I stated before, is a very annoying character. He leaves his friends to die…and no this is not a spoiler at all…but it’s true and at that point I was over this book! Even when he was supposed to step up he didn’t I felt like WIll walked around this whole story just thinking about himself and going “duhhh”.

It’s easy writing and kids would be able to read it no problem. The demon parts might be scary but nothing that should give nightmares. I can see this being a long series. The book ended on a note of what is going to happen next. I will not be checking them out but if you like this than I recommend you watch out for more as the second is already out.

Overall not happy with this book.

 

YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE: Action and adventure ya novels, a younger version of the Da Vinci Code.

Review: Foxcraft #1 – The Taken by Inbali Iserles

Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: September 2015

Read: March 2016

Score: 2/5

Synopsis:(Goodreads) Isla and her brother are two young foxes living just outside the lands of the furless — humans. The life of a fox is filled with dangers, but Isla has begun to learn mysterious skills meant to help her survive.
Then the unthinkable happens. Returning to her den, Isla finds it set ablaze and surrounded by strange foxes, and her family is nowhere in sight. Forced to flee, she escapes into the cold, gray world of the furless.
Now Isla must navigate this bewildering and deadly terrain, all while being hunted by a ruthless enemy. In order to survive, she will need to master the ancient arts of her kind — magical gifts of cunning known only to foxes. She must unravel the secrets of foxcraft.

 

Review: This was an okay book. For the age group and for people who like these stories based around magic and animals this one is for you. As far as I am concerned I will not be reading the series but am happy with the fact I tried. 

It’s the story of young Isla who is a young fox living just outside the city. Her family is taken, or killed or we do not know and she is now all alone. As a young fox she can’t really fend for herself yet and no one with help her. There is also a group of very mean foxes around that are trying to find her but not sure if they want to kidnap her or kill her. Another fox turns up to help her out but he’s got the Foxcraft down and he can change bodies of animals. But is he friend or foe? Will she find her brother who she feels is alive and will she survive herself.

So great concept. Along the lines of the Survivors and Warriors series. So as I said earlier if you like the whole animal adventures you will defiantly like this book. I am not a fan thou. I found it very hard to get through. It was not very fast paced and it took forever for her to even find a friend. I don’t mind the other names for things  like the city and humans but having to refer to the glossary all the time got tiring very fast. There was also no real conclusion for this story, which I get it’s a series but it was disappointing that nothing was actually solved. I will say thou that it did suck me in past the first 50 pages so I had to finish it. 

The writing was well done and very descriptive. If you are in to these kinds of story this is for you. It’s not overly hard to read at all and is good for this age group. It does deal with things like death and it can be scary for the younger kids but for anyone aged 10-12. The pictures were also very nice and I only got an advanced copy so I can imagine what the full published book will look like.

Would I personally read this again, nope and I will not follow the series. I am glad I gave it a try thou.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS IF YOU LIKE:

Warriors Series, Survivors Series, Books about animals that are more than just Animals.

Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: 2012

Read: January 2017

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

Review: This is a book that will stay with me forever. I loved every min of it and there were laughs and there was tears. It is a beautiful story and I am always going to keep this book for my collection and re-read it again in years to come. That is how much I loved it. 14632473

It’s a touching story about Auggie who has a facial deformity that is bad enough he’s never been to school. This year is different he’s going to start grade 5 in a Prep school and he’s terrified. This whole story follows the entire year of grade five for him from making friends to loosing friends. To finding yourself and growing up a little bit. What happens when the whole school is afraid of you and shows it by being mean? And kids can be very mean. How can you look past the face to see the person underneath. 491f2f4fd14459b90cb70a24c8519f13

This story is told by the point of view of Auggie but also his sister, his friends and a small bit of the sister’s boyfriend. It is really interesting to see those points of views and see how they are handling things and how Auggie affects them. It’s interesting because it’s not easy for them either. His sister Olivia, for example, talks about how she was always on the back burner in her family. How when they would go out people wouldn’t know her as Olivia but the deformed kids sister. It’s a great take from each angle and I think gives much more depth to the story.

wonder_socialmoms_500x300_newletter_fnl-1It’s an easy read. No “chapter” is longer than a few pages so for kids that is great, for someone who has kids (like me) it’s also great! For the age group it’s a very appropriate book and quite honestly with the content and how it’s written I think this book should be mandatory read for everyone.

It truly is a beautiful story. I can say I did really cry at the end I loved it. There is such a good message and meaning to it all. I am going to make sure my kids read this when they are older and you should as well. If you don’t have kids, just pick this one up it will change your life.

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Review: Minrs by Kevin Sylvester

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Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: September 2015

Read: November 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) In space. Underground. And out of time. Christopher Nichols and his family live on a new planet, Perses, as colonists of Melming Mining’s Great Mission to save the earth. Dozens of families like Christopher’s have relocated, too, like his best friend Elena Rosales.
A communications blackout with Earth hits, and all of Perses is on its own for three months. It’s okay, though, because the colonists have prepared, stockpiling food and resources to survive. But they never prepared for an attack. Landers, as the attackers are called, obliterate the colony to steal the metal and raw ore. Now in a race against time, Christopher, along with a small group of survivors, are forced into the maze of mining tunnels. The kids run. They hide. But can they survive?

Review: This is an action packed adventure set in space with a bunch of kids that have to survive without getting in fights with each other and missing their families. digger-kevinsylvester

It’s all from the point of view of Christopher who after seeing his parents get killed by the “landers” takes a leadership role and helps rally the survivors of the attack when the black out happens on Perses. It’s the planet they are living on mining metals to send back to Earth as Earth has lost all the resources they have. They retreat to the mines to hide and gather resources all while trying to work together. They are a rag-tag group of kids, of all different ages and find it hard listening to anyone who isn’t a parent. They also have access to the equipment left behind. They try to take the “landers” in different ways and trouble ensures. The book is left with “they are coming”. minrs-cover

It’s a great book. It’s easy to read and despite some death and hard subjects it’s innocent in the way that it’s a bunch of kids fighting for their lives. It’s well written and overall a good story line. I gave it a 4 out of 5 because it was such a cliff hanger ending and I don’t have the 2nd book yet.

mmposter2For kids this is a great book and I highly recommend it. It’s an action story with a science fiction twist and situations that kids that age  can totally relate too. It does have some death moments in it so if your child is a sensitive one maybe this isn’t the book for them.

I can see it being a longer series, as this is also the author of Neil Flambe. He knows what he is doing and is big in the series for kids world.

Overall a great book, happy I read it and I cant wait to read the second one in the series.

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2 by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

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Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: July 31, 2016

Read: October 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Review: I have been waiting for this book and am happy I not only own it but was able to read it. I know there was a lot of unhappy people when it came to this book but from my opinion I found it a great story despite being in “play format”. It has made me want to see the play as well as what movie will come out when it does….because we all know that is what happens.


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You meet Harry  where the last book ended. Him and Ginny are sending their sons off to Hogwarts. I loved this, because it’s like you never left this world draco-scorpius_0and you are already starting off with something you are familiar with. You go through time and find out that Albus (Harry’s son) is a lot different from Harry and also becomes friends with Draco’s son Scoripous 😮 He’s the opposite of what you think would be the son of Harry. They both decide to change time and things go wrong, of course, and we are thrown back in to things that happened before like Cedric Diggory’s death and the night that Harry’s parents died.  _90580270_mediaitem90580269

My problem with this book is Harry is a little annoying as an adult at times. I do like the teenage angst Harry better than grown up Harry. I did love Ron, he apparently only gets better with age and he was funny throughout the whole thing. It would have been better with a full book, of course and I can’t deny that. I didn’t find it too hard to read in this format at all thou. Having already been to the places described I could picture them clearly and it didn’t bother me.

bookbed-jk-rowling-harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-1I also really liked how they brought us back to important things in the past that happened to Harry and his friends. It was great to get some of these things talked about and cleared up.

It’s a fast read, it’s just the dialogue that is most of the book with some descriptions in between. It would be great to see as a  play and I can imagine what it’s like as going through the book.

Overall this was great, I am happy read it and can now talk about it. It’s good story and it would be great longer and more detailed but I will take what I can get because Harry Potter forever!

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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

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Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: July 2007

Re-Read: October 2016

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) It’s no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it’s up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean.
Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined. The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry’s Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries.

Review: The final book to the series (minus the cursed child) and one of the best by far. It’s written just as well as the last ones and despite a few differences overall J.K. Rowling sticks to what she has done best in the last 6 books and you have a bit of a flow that you are familiar with.

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In this one in stead of going back to Hogwarts you are taking on a journey with Harry, Ron and Hermione go on a cross-country journey trying to stay alive and finding the Horcrux’s in order to finish off Voldemart. It’s not an easy journey and a lot of different things happen along the way but it’s an epic journey none the less. They do crazy things and we lose some important characters along the way but it’s okay you grieve with them and move on still trying to find out how to beat Voldemort. It ends with an epic battle at the end at Hogwarts of course. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give it away but it’s epic and great and one of the best endings I have ever read.

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deathly-hallows-new-back-cover-630It’s a big book and unless you read it regularly it takes a while to get though and so much happens you have to make sure you are paying attention the whole time. The movies were really well done as well. A little slow at times and of course they left things out but that happens with every adaptions.

It’s not a book for the younger kids. There is a lot of death, violence and dark things. The best message thou is that everyone has choices, and love really conquers all in the end, that is all that matters. deathlyhallowsukfull-size

Overall a great way to end a series, nothing left wondering about. Even a little preview in to the future.