Deadliest!: 20 Dangerous Animals
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HMH Books for Young Readers
Fer is struggling with her friendship with the Puck-boy, Rook. She keeps trying to be friends, but Pucks are known for being disloyal, and so far, that has proved true for Rook, too. But Fer can’t spend too much time worrying about their friendship because when she made the rulers of other kingdoms in the Faerieland swear to take off their evil ‘glamories’, she didn’t know the consequences that would have. Now, as the unfulfilled oaths are poisoning the land, Fer must find a way to save both her world and her friendship.
I wish there had been a little bit more explaining of the mythology, because I didn’t really understand that whole thing. But I liked the different worlds that Fer could travel to in the book, and the descriptive scenes of the lands. Fer was a very likeable character, and very creative and brave. Rook was very annoying; most thirteen-year-old boys are (especially in books)! I liked the solutions to the problems they had, and that Fer was always hoping for the best.
The Winter of the Robots
Jim and his friend Oliver have done a science project together ever since they were in school, but this year Jim is tired of never being able to actually build a robot. He decides to partner with his crush, Rocky. They do a project on otters using Jim’s father’s security cameras without permission. But when Jim discovers the cameras are missing, along with Oliver’s new partner, Dmitri, Jim begins to suspect a felony. Dmitri turns up in a laundromat, heavily frostbitten, and with no security cameras. But he tells Jim, Oliver, and Rocky about a three-foot-tall dinosaur robot he saw that tasered him and prevented him from taking away the cameras. With the Science Fair and the Robot Contest imminent, Jim must act fast to get rid of the menace.
My favorite part of this book was when Jim and his sister were working or playing together. I thought it was fun how Penny helped Jim, even when her help wasn’t always the best, and how Jim helped Penny. It was obvious they loved each other, which is hard to find in these types of books. I think there is an opening for another book in the series, although it is a great stand-alone book too. The characters were three-dimensional, not just flat.
The Monster in the Mudball (Artifact Inspector)
I found this book really hard to get through and and I had to put it down and pick it up a lot as the story didn’t really fit me. All I could think about was this is what it must be like to read a fake story of Pokemon like when Cars came out and someone copied it trying to make people think it was the same thing. I think kids who really like Dragon Ballz and Pokemon might like this book. Sometimes it seemed the author spent too much time describing stuff and putting so many verbs and adjectives in every single sentence; it just made it hard to get into the story.
I think it would have been a much better graphic novel to tell the story more with pictures and to not have so many sentences overflowing with description. It would easily catch people’s attention and tell a story even without words so even kids who are just learning to read could read it. I don’t think I would spend my money on this book and would have just checked it out from the library instead.
There’s this boy, named Jinx, and he is a magician as well as a Listener, which is what Urwald, his country, calls someone who can talk to trees. Everybody doesn’t really notice him and soon grows to not like him, because they think he is very powerful and can turn things into other things, but it isn’t really him doing that; he is using Urwald’s life force. He has a friend named Reven, who isn’t very nice, and a friend named Elfwyn, who is nice but has a curse on her that she always has to tell the truth or what she has heard is the truth. There is a Bonemaster, who is trying to take over the land and conquer it; Jinx and his friends have to try and stop him before he kills everyone and destroys the world.
This book had some kind of scary parts, but most of it was kind of funny. Jinx was pretty likeable, and I liked the way he came up with solutions and made his friends understand what he wanted to do. It had a lot of action; Jinx hardly ever rests. Sometimes this book was hard to read, but I really liked the story.
Roller Girls: Hell’s Belles is the second book in the Roller Girls series and is about how nobody has been coming to the Liberty Belles bouts. The team decides to have a Halloween bout but it’s on the same day as the Halloween dance. I love this book because it has a great message about choice, and is complete with a happy ending. Another thing I really liked is how it’s about a girl in high school who had the chance to become popular but turned it down in order to be the girl she wanted to be. It is a very powerful lesson in standing by our own choices and not falling into the trap of peer pressure. Again we see strong girls making good choices. I would recommend reading the first book in the series, Falling Hard, first for it to make more sense. I would recommend it for older kids because there is some mild language, but if this doesn’t bother you, I highly suggest it! Another great book by Megan Sparks and I’m looking forward to the next in the series!