Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review of The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger on Powder Horn Trail, by Fran Striker

4 stars 

Description: Texas has an outlaw on the loose -- but things looks hopeless when renegade Dave Lowry escapes into the badlands beyond the jurisdiction of the Texas Rangers. With justice for the unsolved shooting at stake, the Lone Ranger and Tonto step in to take up the outlaw's trail. A classic western chase follows, as the hunters and the hunted do their best to outdo one another across badlands, mountains, and landslides, while each maintaining their own code of honor... and the Lone Ranger discovers he may have met his match.

Concerns: Gunplay isn't always bloodless (a knife, too).

Summary:  Come on. Gunfights, posses, desperate chases on horseback, treacherous ambushes, split-second draws and the man behind the mask... it's classic. There's nothing of literary merit in the little book, and it's often flat-out ridiculous (Tonto: "You find-um tracks?"), but it's great fun if you're looking for sheer entertainment. It's an old book, so it's not going to pop up at Barnes and Noble, but this type tends to sell at library book sales for a dime a dozen. It's cheesy, but had sweaty horses and six-guns. I liked it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review of Ginger Pye

Ginger Pyeby Eleanor Estes

4 stars

Description: Jerry Pye wants a dog more than anything in the world. With one hard-earned dollar, he buys himself a puppy that he names Ginger Pye. Ginger quickly becomes an integral part in the family life of the Pyes as Jerry, his sister Rachel, his three year-old Uncle Bennie and Ginger have many adventures (and misadventures!). But their happiness is threatened when a mysterious stranger (none other than the Unsavory Character) follows them in an attempt to dognap their beloved Ginger. When Ginger disappears, naturally everyone blames the Unsavory Character...  but he is not who he seems, and revealing his true identity may be a task only Bennie can accomplish.

Concerns: None.

Summary: Ginger Pye is a story that every eight-year-old and up will be intrigued by, not just for the suspense that keeps one turning the pages, but also for the humor and wit prevalent throughout. Personally, my favorite aspect of the tale is the character Uncle Bennie, whose intellect is surprisingly adept for a three year old, but whose whimsical views of life are nonetheless thought-provoking! Don't miss Ginger Pye it has all the makings of a legend!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review of Baby Island

Baby Island, by Carol Ryrie Brink

5 stars!

Description: Capable twelve-year-old Mary Wallace and her not-so-capable, ten-year-old sister Jean are traveling alone to Australia when the ship capsizes! In the chaos that ensues, Mary and Jean are put on the wrong lifeboat – the one with the four screaming babies! The two sisters are set adrift with babies Elisha (the “pink” twin), Elijah (the “blue” twin), Ann Elizabeth (the spoiled but lovable one-year-old) and Jonah whom Mary has a hard time keeping Jean from throwing overboard in hopes it will calm the storm like in the biblical Jonah story. When they reach Baby Island, they have all sorts of misadventures just trying to survive alone on a deserted island.

Concerns: None.

Summary: Practical Mary simply wants to live through this baby-abundant adventure while nutty Jean naturally wants to survive, but also have fun! Baby Island certainly has the means; tracking the mysterious Friday, searching for pirate’s treasure, conversing with a talking parrot, and attempting to keep the identical twins from getting mixed up all contribute to a wild, crazy and witty adventure all the way through!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review of The Strictest School in the World

The Strictest School in the World: Being the Tale of a Clever Girl, a Rubber Boy, and a Collection of Flying Machines, Mostly Broken (The Mad Misadventures of Emmmaline and Rubberbones), by Howard Whitehouse

5 stars!

Description: Fourteen-year old Emmaline Cayley is fascinated with the science of aviation, so naturally she decides to build her own airplane! However, she runs into one problem: she is afraid to fly. To solve this problem, Emmaline enlists the help of Robert Burns (aka Rubberbones) to pilot her plane. But all of Emmaline’s plans come to a screeching halt when she is sent away to a boarding school. This isn’t just any old boarding school – it’s the strictest one in the world. Emmaline must drop her plans for flying machines, instead putting her brain to work finding out what is concealed in the tower that makes all the students tremble in terror. Escape is ever in her mind, but in all the years of the school’s existence, no one has ever gotten out alive.

Concerns: Brief fortune telling.

Summary: I loved this book! It’s hilarious, it’s adventurous, and it is just all-around fun! The lengthy title does not even begin to describe the adventures that await you; the ferocious field hockey games are my personal favorite, the description of Aunt Lucy’s infamous cooking made me shudder in disgust, and Rubberbones’s death-defying feats are a thrill to even the most reckless explorer!

P.S. Proceed at your own risk. There are dangers in every chapter.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Book Review of Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbit

5 stars!

Description: Meet Winnie Foster, a 10 year old girl who is tired with her boring life as the only child in an annoyingly controlling family. One fateful day, Winnie decides to run away from it all, change her name, and accomplish something great to make her mark on the world. Before she gets far, she stumbles across a mysterious family called the Tucks who, though strange, seem nice enough – until suddenly they kidnap her. As the alarming chain of events unfolds, Winnie realizes that in meeting the Tucks, she discovered a secret that could change the world forever… but the appearance of a stranger with a dangerous proposition threatens the lives of the Tucks and the welfare of the entire world.

Concerns: Some very dubious worldview / eastern religion-y discussions (i.e., we’re all on the wheel of life…); a character is killed.

Summary: I love this book, and since first stumbling across it a year ago, I’ve read it approximately half a dozen times. It is one of those mysterious and yet poignant books that are enjoyed by all ages. It’s a breathtaking adventure of dangers and secrets; Winnie must figure out a way to save the Tucks and keep their deadly (or rather, un-deadly) secret safely hidden. Through it all, she is faced with a choice that could change her life forever.