Tag Archives: children’s

NetGalley Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Bloomsbury USA Childrens Published Sept. 1, 2015 240 Pages
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published Sept. 1, 2015
240 Pages

Pram Bellamy can speak to ghosts. She lives with her aunts and doesn’t have any friends except for Felix, who is a ghost.  When Pram is forced to attend school, she meets a boy named Clarence, who like her has lost his mother.

Clarence wants to say good bye to his mother so with Pram they go to meet Lady Savant, a spiritualist for help. But Lady Savant isn’t exactly who she claims to be and takes a dangerous interest in Pram and her ability.

Wonderful, wonderful read! Perfect for middle schoolers or young adults that do not want fluff of romance and extra nonsense.

Pram is a straight forward character. There isn’t any real depth to her other than her ability to see ghost and the death of her mother. Surprisingly enough when she ask a question she gets an answer without any run around. It made for a uncomplicated situations for about half of the book. I was actually worried there wouldn’t be much going on.

However when Lady Savant the story takes for a creepy turn. I loved it. Lady Savant provides the complex character that I wanted from Pram. She is twisted and although at one point Pram feels bad for her, I don’t not even the slightest bit. By time I finished the book I got the feeling that this book wouldn’t be the last time we hear from Lady Savant. The ending didn’t seem easy but a bit too easy for the character.

As stated before the book is designed for middle schoolers because it doesn’t contain a romance or backstabbing or any of the other usual stuff you see in paranormal YA books. The pace was great but the lack of personality from Pram did make the book seem slower. When things got bad I was hoping from some intensity from Pram and it didn’t really come at all.

Overall I unexpectedly fell for this book. I impatiently look forward to book two.

4 Pickles

 

NetGalley Review: A Neophyte’s Tale, An Abbey Thorne Short Story (Netherwalker 0.5) by C.K. Dawn

Smashwords Edition Published April 27, 2015 Ebook
Smashwords Edition
Published April 27, 2015
Ebook

There is a power that is calling to Abigail Thorne. It is a single word that promises her power that she has never dreamed of. But Abigail has no idea that by uttering that single word she is reveals a world most humans do not know of. 

*Short Review*

This probably would have been a better read if I read the first book in the series. It is really easy to get lost within this book and by lost I mean confused.

Abigail is having a rough life. Her mother is a good intention-ed drunk. She knows her daughter is special but she can’t help but blame her daughter for the lost of her husband (he abandoned them).  If this book was any longer, Abigail would be a drunk herself. She doesn’t hesitate to take one of her mother’s bottles or drink when the worst happens to her.

The confusing part of this book is the line between what is really happening and what is in Abigail’s head. It took a lot away from the book because I had to go back and re-read the chapter to figure out what happened.

Overall, this short story was missing a lot for me to actually want to read the first book. Will I read the first book? Yes, because it seems like an interesting story but not because of this short story.

2 Pickles

NetGalley Review: The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold & Emily Gravett (Illustrator)

Bloomsbury Children's Published Oct. 23, 2014 224 Pages
Bloomsbury Children’s
Published Oct. 23, 2014
224 Pages

Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. However, Rudger is an imaginary friend and Amanda believed she was the only one who can see him . . . that is until Mr. Bunting arrives.

Mr. Bunting hunts and eats imaginaries and quickly puts Rudger in a corner leaving him alone and quickly fading. What is an imaginary friend to do when the one who dreamed him isn’t there?

If you only had to read one book that is not only cute, creative and a slight bit creepy then this is the book you need to read.

What stood out the most for me for this book is the creativity. Everyone or at least most has had an imaginary friend at some point and the connection that is built with this person, animal or thing is special. Harrold was able to build off this bond without the book solely being focused on the imaginary world. He was able to tie it into real life.

He also was able to freak me out a tad bit out. I wasn’t expecting the creepiness of the book. Between the illustrations and the descriptions, I was done. I am not even upset. It has been a while since I’ve read a children’s book that I’ve enjoyed and I liked this.

Short review I know but I am in love with the blend of imaginary and reality. I love how it pulls at your heart and make you think of your childhood without the creepy guy.

4.5 Pickles.

Book Review: Nightmares! (Nightmares! #1) by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

Delacorte Books for Young Readers Published Sept 9, 2014 368 Pages
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published Sept 9, 2014
368 Pages

Charlie Laird is having a rough time. His dad married a woman Charlie believes to be a witch, they moved into the scary purple mansion at the top of the hill and finally Charlie is having nightmares causing him to dread going to sleep.

But when Charlie’s nightmares begin to become reality, he needs to find the courage against the things he fears the most.

Charlie was a jerk. I didn’t like him in the least. He wasn’t the best friend a person can have (and he knew it), he was so rude to his stepmother, his father and his brother. He is justified at being angry but he is not justified in being a doucebag to his family or his friends.

There were moments when he would go out on the limb for his friends (pretty much too up the entire book) but it was hard to say if he was doing it more for himself and the glory or if he was doing to truly help those that he love.  I did not like Charlie in the least bit and after reading the summary of book two, I still will not like Charlie.

Two other issues  I have with this book are Charlie’s biggest fear was predictable and the way the story is told is predictable. However, the story was written well. You can see talent in the writers and see some creativity but I feel that they were playing it safe. There were some points in which I kept comparing it to A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. They are two different stories but the similarities if you read that book are there.

What I really liked about Nightmares! regardless of everything else going on was the fact that it was a nice story. Who isn’t scared of having their nightmares coming into real life?  I felt that they (the authors) were creative enough to build off this idea but overall the story was lacking.

2.5 Pickles

Year in Review: Favorite Reads of 2014

NetGalley Review: The Garden of Darkness by Gillian Murray Kendall

Ravenstone Published June 24, 2014 336 Pages
Ravenstone
Published June 24, 2014
336 Pages

Four children are on a journey to survive after the world ends due to a deadly disease that has killed adults. Clare, 15 and Jem, 13 realize that their chances of getting the deadly disease is increasing due to their age. So they must find a cure.

But when an adult, who seems to be cured, offers them a chance to live safely with food and the cure for the disease (once it is activated), Clare and Jem must decide if this man is to be trusted or is there something more going on.

I couldn’t with this book. It was such a disappointment because it sounds wonderful and plus I really like the cover.

The book was slow and dragged too much for it being the end of the world. Not much happens to keep the attention going about 25% of the book a action scene happens but it didn’t feel real at all.

This book is about children surviving through the hardship and yet nothing moving, exciting was really going on. The “mysterious man” who wanted to have a house full of kids is the only interesting thing that keeps the book going. HOWEVER, it is not enough to save it.

Overall, I think the effort was a good shot but the book fell short. 2 Pickles

What Tanya Wants: August 2014

 

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee: A teen who can manipulate time must keep silent that is until the boy that saved her life goes missing.

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco: Dead girl that hunts murders meet a strange boy with a secret that can ruin everything.

Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff: A child lock in a cellar is freed by a random boy and is now on the hunt for the truth.

Mortal Danger (Immortal Games #1) by Ann Aguirre: Girl is plotting revenge against the beautiful and popular.

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown: This is one of my favorite authors. I don’t care what the book is about. READING IT!

Adultery by Paulo Coelho : Another one of my favorite authors. READING IT!

Ever After High: A Wonderlandiful World by Shannon Hale: Third book to an amazing fairy tale retelling.

 

For the Kids Book Review: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

    Walden Pond Press    Publsished Sept 27, 2011               312 Pages
Walden Pond Press
Publsished Sept 27, 2011
312 Pages

Hazel and Jack have been friends since they were six years old. They are now in fifth grade and still really close of friends sharing books and stories created by their imagination. That is until one day Jack stops talking to Hazel. Just completely stops leaves her for other friends and begins acting mean to her. Hazel doesn’t understand why the sudden change.

Smart for her age Hazel knows in time they may not be friends anymore but this was too sudden.  And she’s right Jack goes missing. Comes to find out a woman dressed in white that lives in a castle of ice has taken Jack and it is up to Hazel to get him back in the deep mysterious woods.

This book was a surprise because it didn’t contain action although it feels like it should. Not to say that it is a bad story because of this because it is not. In actuality it was a very cute story about friendship and what the heart truly desires.

For Hazel, Jack is what makes her life worth living. She is adopted, her parents divorced and she had to go to a new school in which everyone acknowledges the fact that she is an Indian girl with a white mother. Jack doesn’t make her feel different and he is helping her through these changes.

Now Hazel’s mother was getting on my nerves. She didn’t want Hazel to spend all her time with Jack. She wanted Hazel to have female friends so she forced her to go hang out with another little girl. Although Hazel did branch out a bit, her mother was a bit of a mess. She wanted Hazel to do different things but when she asked to do something different she told her no.

When Hazel enters the forest she is told constantly to return home and not approach the witch. She is also told constantly throughout the story that even if Jack came back he wouldn’t be the same and at some point she would be a pleasant memory to him. I liked the fact that Hazel acknowledge that but didn’t care she wanted him home and safe.

What I didn’t like about the book how there weren’t any real challenges. All she did was say no throughout the entire story and push through. Even when she reached the Queen she wasn’t evil nor was there a fight or a trick, it was simply if you can convince him to leave then I won’t stop you. I thought that was too easy even for a child.

Overall the book gets 8 out of 10. A slow but recommended read for children who do not mind the non violence.

Don’t forget to like & share :)

Banned Book Week

Another year has come . .  another banned book week. Each year the list gets bigger and bigger. It’s sad really sad that after all this “freedom” we have in this country books are being banned for some really ridiculously things. Honest instead of asking the school or state to ban a book ask for an alternative for your student to read. It is that simple.

Tumblr.com
Tumblr.com

Anyway here is my list of favorite banned books. You can also check out American Library Association for the list of banned books or ways to fight back.

 

 

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

James and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston