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Archive for January, 2009

I really enjoyed the book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.  As you know, the movie has recently come out, I have yet to see it, but I can only hope that it does this terrific book justice!  Inkheart is a book about a book called Inkheart.  Twelve year old Meggie and her father Mo are crazy about books, their house is filled to the brim!  But Mo never reads aloud because of his magical gift to bring stories to life.  One night he reads aloud from Inkheart and he accidently lures the evil ruler, Capricorn, his superstitious henchman, Basta and the lowly fire eater, Dustfinger, out of their story and into his own, but in reading them out of the book, Mo reads his wife into it.  The characters disappear for years, until one day, Dustfinger shows up at the door and Mo, Meggie and Meggie’s great aunt Elinor are swept up into an adventure full of danger, bloodthirsty villians, fairies, eccentric writers, betrayal and a brave, young heroine who saves the day.  At the beginning, this story is fun and easy to read, but at about a fourth of the way in, I personally think that the story gets a little dry.  I was ready to put the book down for good, but my mom, who had already read the book, told me that I should read a few more chapters, give one last chance.  So, I did, and I am glad that I listened.  After a few more chapters, the story really picked up again.  So, if you get a little stuck, just keep pushing forward and hopefully, the story will pick up for you as well.  I ended up loving this book, and I recommend this book to everyone, this is a great story about life, imagination, books, and good always trumping evil.  Will Mo and Meggie be able to harness the evil magic that brought the characters to life?  What other sort of fun, eccentric or dangerous characters will Mo and Meggie meet along the way?  Read Inkheart to find out, but be warned, I wouldn’t dare read it aloud!

 

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookmarks!

 

Reviewed by: Austen A.

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Let me just begin by saying that I think that everyone needs to read this book.  This is a powerful story about a one man grass roots movement to eliminate terrorism by building one school at at time.  I know that this may sound crazy, but Greg Mortenson is a force of nature and through reading this book, he makes you  believe that this is possible.  In fact, Mr. Mortenson, makes you believe that to go about it any other way is crazy.

Greg’s story begins with a failed attempt to climb K2, the famous peak in northern Pakistan.  He gets lost and winds up in a small village where he is shown extraordinary kindness in the midst of extraordinary poverty.  The people of this village, their kindness and tenacity inspire Greg to offer, nay, promise to return and build a school for their children, who were currently conducting their studies outside in the wind and cold.

Eventually raising funds, learning to conduct business in Pakistan and making friends whose trust he has gained through his honesty and faithfulness to his mission, Greg and his foundation go on to build many schools, primarily for girls, to whom education was previously not available.  The reader follows Greg from village to village, meeting with adults and children alike who have repeatedly been let down by the American and the Pakistani governments.  We are able to witness the birth and rise of the Taliban, and how this turn of events makes Greg’s mission even more important.  We are shown, through the journey of this brave American, that education is the key to stability and peace in this region.

This book is not only an incredible story of one incredible man on a mission, but a plea for help.  The work that Greg Mortenson is doing is important and I believe that one day he will be awarded a Nobel peace prize for his efforts.  He builds these schools one village at a time and is always in need of aid.  I recommend that you read this book and spread the word.  We should be talking about Greg Mortenson for a long time to come.

I give this book a hearty 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

 

Reviewed by:    Anna

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The book Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston was definitely right up my alley!  I absolutely loved this book!  It had everything from faeries to betrayal to true love.  This book was inspired by the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.  Seventeen-year-old Kelly Winslow is an aspiring actress in New York City, starring in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, when she, by chance, meets Sonny Flannery in Central Park.  Sonny, who keeps bumping into Kelley (usually around Central Park), is a Janus Guard of the Samhain Gate, the doorway between the human world and the world of Faerie.  For the entire year, but one night, the door is shut, but on that one night, every kind of nasty type of Fae tries to escape and wreak havoc.  This year, though, Kelley is suddenly thrown into the picture as she reveals her true, but dangerous heritage.  Her eyes are truly opening to the Fae that surround and protect her.  And she finds that she is the only one who can stop an ancient, evil spell from reawakening and destroying everything that she loves.  I adored this book!  Overflowing with romance, betrayal, scandal, danger, magic, myths come to life!  This book will keep you on the edge of your seat as you read on and on to find out what curse is stirring yet again after so many centuries, what Kelley’s true heritage is, and how Kelley and Sonny’s fate is intertwined.  I do have to thank my friend Vianna, though, because I might never have read this if she had not given it to me for my birthday!  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m sure that you will too, as you travel between worlds, through time and follow Kelley on her hunt for her true heritage.  Read Wondrous Strange and I guarantee that you will be absolutely enchanted!

 

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

 

Reviewed by: Austen A.

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I loved the book Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier!  It had everything that I love in a book, adventure, secrets, hidden doors, magical worlds, folklore come to life, darkness versus light, and true but forbidden love. This story takes place in Transylvania a few hundred years ago.  When Jena’s father becomes ill and has to go to the coast for the winter, she and her sisters must fend for themselves with only the help of their Uncle, Aunt and Cousin Cezar.  At first, everything is well, and the 5 girls can keep the business running and still escape to the Other Kingdom deep in the Wildwood every Full Moon for some dancing and fun.  But things take a nasty turn when Cezar starts, slowly, trying to take over their home and business when their father is still alive.  They can cope at first; still able to leave to the Other Kingdom every month, and Jena has here constant companion and confidant, Gogu the frog, to help her out through the tough times.  But, when Tati starts to wither away over her love for a seemingly dark creature of the Other Kingdom and when Cezar goes a little crazy, trying to avenge his brother’s death by demolishing the Wildwood while simultaneously completely moving into the house and controlling all of the girls funds and trying to take Jena herself, Jena has no other option but to call upon the powerful, old witch of the woods, Draguta.  I think what I loved most about this book was Jena, the main character, who showed amazing strength throughout the entire book.  She braced her sisters for Cezar’s crazy actions of vengeance and stood up to him when he tried to take over the business, no matter what happened she wouldn’t back down and let him get to her and her sisters, and she also braved the dreaded witch of the Wildwood, Draguta, and wouldn’t let her leave without an answer either.  All of the girls had to be strong enough to keep their secret from Cezar and from the rest of the valley.  They all had to show immense strength, but I just think that Jena really had to show more than any of them. I would recommend this to anyone who has a soft spot for the idea that true love trumps all, or someone who enjoys anything with magic and myths come to life or adventure.  I recommend this to not just girls, but guys too!  Everyone who needs to escape to a land of adventure and magic for a little while, this is the book to do just that!  What is Draguta really like?  What will happen to Cezar?  Will he do anything irrational?  What will happen to Jena?  Will Tati be with her true love forever or will she be doomed to wither away in the human world?  And just who is Gogu the frog and where did he come from?  Read Wildwood Dancing and find out!  I promise that you will not be disappointed!

 

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

 

Reviewed by: Austen A.

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            When reading a book that is a spin on a classic fairytale, (Like Snow or Water Song) I would recommend reading the actual, original story first.  I think that it’s good to know what the real story is first, to compare and to have an idea of where the story is coming from.

 

Posted by: Austen A.

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Savvy is an interesting book, full of adventure, super powers, coming of age, and first kisses!  Mississippi Beaumont or Mibs is about to turn 13, as if becoming a teenager isn’t scary enough, 13 is when people in her family get their savvy or super power.  Her grandpa moves mountains, her mother is the definition of perfection, one brother creates electricity, and another causes mind boggling storms.  With things like that to live up to, Mibs is definitely in for a big journey, but, just a few days away from her big day, her dad is in a horrible accident and now, all Mibs wants is a power that can save her Poppa, and she is so sure that she’s get that power that she sneaks onto a delivery bus with her siblings and the local preacher’s kids along for the ride.  But then the bus starts to go in the opposite direction and everyone on board are definitely in for a fantastical adventure!  While hiding from the bus driver, and running from the cops, Mibs discovers her very own savvy.  But will it be enough to save Poppa or will the whole journey have been for nothing?  This was definitely something different than what I usually read, but it was definitely refreshing!  My younger brother actually recommended it to me, so I don’t think I would even have read it without him, but I’m definitely glad that I did read it!  This extraordinary story is one of a kind!  A light, easy, and funny book that I think all girls and boys would definitely enjoy just as much as I did!   I think that if you give it a go and you’ll enjoy it!

 

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookmarks!

 

Reviewed by: Austen A.

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Wings by E. D. Baker is a fun, contemporary fairy tale inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Tamisin has always been different, pointed ears, freckles that got her in trouble because they sparkled, feeling compelled to go outside and dance in the middle of the full moon.  But suddenly, a real pair of working fairy wings have sprouted from her back, right in between her shoulder blades.  When she finds out that she’s adopted, Tamisin goes on a quest to find out who she really is, and find the answers that she needs.  The new boy, Jak, seems to be able to help her with this, and when some uninvited guests show up at a Halloween party, Tamisin and Jak are thrust into a magical, dangerous, and totally unpredictable other world.  But, what waits at the end of the journey?  Will Tamisin find the answers she’s looking for or will she be disappointed?  This was a fantastic book that is absolutely magical and fairy filled!  It’s light, entertaining, unpredictable and funny!  Definitely a book that I would recommend to all girls, no matter what age, because what girl doesn’t love a good story about fairies?  Magical battles, wild adventures, fairy princesses, and true love!  I think that this is a book that you should definitely consider picking up next time you have a spare moment!

 

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

 

Reviewed by: Austen A.

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