It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.
Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.”
Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything? - Blurb from Amazon
By this point, I have read five of these stories in the series and I have to say, Greg annoyed me in this book. I understand that, at this point, Greg is nearing the end of middle school and is therefore in his early teens. And yes, there were time where I realized he was behaving as a teenager would, but then there were times where I thought he was behaving like a spoiled little brat.
The entire scene with cutting Mrs. Canfield's yard made me feel like Greg needed a big lesson in "putting in the work to make the money".
This book was about the dog days of summer and spanned three months: June, July and August. At times I felt like the story jumped from one story line to the next without any clear transitions. I get it's a diary format and diaries don't always have a clear chronological flow but I found it hard to keep up sometimes. At one point, I had to flip back to see where July started.
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There are two sets of books in this enchanting series: the picture books and the chapter books. In November I reviewed the picture books. For this month's review, I will talk about the chapter books and the movie that was adapted from them.
Of course you know the Guardians. You’ve known them since before you can remember and you’ll know them till your memories are like twilight: Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the others. But where did they come from? How did they become beloved and worthy of holidays? And what nefarious evildoer prompts them to band together and protect the children of the world? - Blurb from Amazon
We are familiar with the tales of the guardians, stories that we grew up with and loved: Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Mother Goose. What I love about this series (both of them, in fact) is that Joyce takes these figures we already know and weaves a tale that, I for one, loved every minute of.
I devoured this chapter book series, one book right after the other, in a span of 6 weeks. I loved seeing the lives of these characters, the origin stories that made then who they are in our minds and hearts. I also loved the sketches mixed throughout, visually show us what our heroes look like and are up to. So far, there are 4 books in the series with a 5th one coming out at some point. I can't wait to devour the 5th book as I have the others.
Click here to purchase the box set (first three books).
A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game! - Blurb from Amazon.com
I was introduced to The Westing Game by a co-worker, two co-workers in fact. They insisted I had to read it, it was a classic they said. And I'm glad I did.
What I liked about The Westing Game was that it was a simple mystery. It didn't have so many twists and turns where you couldn't keep up. It wasn't filled with too many subplots that is deterred from the main story. It was the type of mystery that you had to pay attention to the smallest of details for they all fit in perfectly to the conclusion.
I enjoyed the dynamics of the characters. I thought they were just kooky enough to not be annoying, but to add flavor to the story. I also like the second subplot mystery of trying to figure out who each of the characters were: who was the bomber? who was the bookie? who was the thief? At least if you couldn't figure out the main mystery it was fun figuring out the character mysteries.
All in all, I really enjoyed The Westing Game and was glad that my co-workers recommended it to me.
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Two 13-year-old boys, Arthur and Logan, set out to solve the mystery of a murder that took place some years ago in the old house Logan's family has just moved into. The boys' quest takes them to the highest and lowest levels of society in their small Maryland town, and eventually to a derelict amusement park that is supposedly closed for the season. - Blurb from Amazon.com
Mary Downing Hahn does a good job of introducing some scariness without actually frightening the readers who would read her book. There was just enough suspense, just enough scariness and a bit of humor mixed in. The character of Arthur brought most of the humor.
I liked him. He was that type of character that was quirky enough to be endearing but also slightly annoying. I didn’t know whether to dislike him or become his friend, which is what the main protagonist Logan felt. The main plot of the story was interesting enough, but I think it was the awkward friendship of Logan and Arthur that made the story. They had an interesting dynamic that worked.
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The star runner on her team, Gianna Zales can cross any finish line—no problem. But real-life problems prove to be bigger hurdles than any she meets on the track. - Blurb from book
What I enjoyed most about this book was the family dynamics, from the mother who hides her emotions to the six-year old boy who has the makings of a great photographer to the father who runs a funeral home and drives Gianna around in a hearse. The family is real, with real problems to real joys and I felt like I was lucky to see a glimpse into their lives andtraditions.
I liked the friendship between Gianna and Zig. I would have liked to see more awkward moments between them. Gianna is supposed to be developing feelings for Zig and I would have liked to see that developed more.
Then on the other side of the spectrum was the animosity between Gianna and Bianca. I felt Bianca was developed well as the mean girl. There were times that I really disliked her and wanted her to get what was coming to her. What comes around goes around, right?
I also liked the tree project and how is was used as a guide posts throughout the story. I saw a title as “The Brilliant Fall” and I though something bad was going to happen, when in all actuality, it’s about the season and how great it turned out to be.
I definitely recommend this books a light read and had fun turning the pages to see what kind of trouble little miss Gianna would get herself into.
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Oddly enough, I really like this series. I am hoping it ends soon so I can get to the outcome. I want to know if they succeed and save the school. I can't help it. I'm inpatient and waiting for these books to be written and come out is driving me crazy.
As always, I'm still a fan of the sketches. What I like most is the different colors each of the books have. They all start with black, but the first had blue, the second red and this third one has orange. I'm curious as to what the next color will be.
I like the Keepers. Up till now it's been Ben and Jill, but this book adds a new member to the keepers, Robert. What I like about Robert is the notion that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Ben has always had these preconceived notions about Robert and this book shows just how wrong you can be about people. I also think Robert brings an interesting dynamic to the group: a cocky genius.
I also like Lyman has our bad guy. He’s scary enough to give the kids an enemy, but not too scary that readers won’t read the books. I just hope he gets what’s coming to him in the end.
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Theodore Boone is back in the sequel to John Grisham's Kid Lawyer book. This time Theodore is dealing with the abduction of his best friend April. In true Grisham form, you get the legal aspects of the story complete with lawyers, judges and a 13 year-old kid who wants to be a criminal lawyer when he grows up.
I enjoyed the book, but I was expecting a bit more with the abduction of April. I know it's a kid book and therefore it can't be too dark, but I was at least expecting a forced event. Without spoiling everything, I felt that it was cleaned up in a neat package without scars. I would still recommend the book for kids, but as an adult, I was a bit disappointed.
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I initially bought this book because of the name Hamlet. Hamlet happens to be my favorite Shakespeare play. What I didn't expect was to really truly like it. I love Hamlet. She's such a strong, funny character who tries to hide the things that make her different but in the end realizes it's these differences that make her special. Something we all come to realize as we're growing up.
I also love the small theater scenes of Hamlet's life that breaks up the prose in the story. It proves even more just how much Hamlet is like her family even though she tries very hard to fight it.
My favorite part was seeing the dynamic of the sister relationship between Hamlet and Dezzie, which is the root of the story. Being an older sister myself, I am familiar with the arguments and the connections beings sisters bring and I felt that these two girls were sisters in the truest form. Albeit, a bit of a different dynamic with Dezzie being a 7 year-old genius, but in the end sisterhood is what it comes down to and you always look out for your sister.
When I first saw the title, I though Fantasy. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, while it wasn't fantasy, it was still just as good.
Firegirl is about Tom whose newest classmate Jessica was in a terrible fire. Her appearance is jaunting, with burn marks on her face and hands. At first, Tom wants to stay clear of her, following the lead of his other classmates. However, as the story progress, Tom finds himself getting to know Jessica and building a small friendship with her, one that changes his perspectives on people who are different.
This story is sweet and sad at the same time. My heart went out to Jessica, who had no control over what happened to her and yet has to deal with peoples reactions towards her. Then there was Tom, who became the reluctant hero in my eyes. Click here to purchase.
As a fan of Shakespeare's work, I really enjoyed this story. What I liked was the mixture of fiction with the legend and history of Shakespeare. It was nicely woven and I never felt like I was being beaten over the head with a history lesson. I also loved the character of Hero. While she had the insecurities of a child, she had a quiet strength to her that would seep out every once in a while. After all, all "heroes" have some sort of insecurity, right? It's what they do despite them that makes them a hero. And can I say, I loved that fact that our heroine's name was Hero.
Welcome to the archived section "For Readers". Here you will find a collection of all previous posts written. So, if you're afraid you missed something, no worries. It's listed here for you anytime.