Friday, October 30, 2015

The Whisperer by Fiona McIntosh

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The Whisperer
Author: Fiona McIntosh
Lexile: 780
Length: 312 Pages
Genre: Fantasy
Awards: None
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

                    Griff is just a grunt worker at an amazing circus. Nobody pays him much attention except his two older brothers, who are performers in the circus. But Griff has one secret only his brothers know about. The reason he prefers doing grunt work along, up in the scaffolding.
                     Lute is the Crown Prince of Drestonia, next heir to the throne. He has lived a happy life so far, even if his uncle, the Duke, has made his life uncomfortable so far. He has a bodyguard/friend, Pilo, who will protect him against all odds.
                     What do these boys have in common? Nothing, it seems. But this tale brings them together in a a way that can never be broken, shattered, or smothered. But Lute is hiding from the Duke, who has taken over the kingdom, and Griff is hiding from the show master who wants to utilize his talents for his own personal gain. Can these two boys pull off what they need to do against all odds? Or will they simply fail, and never be seen or heard from again.
                       Wow. This book was awesome. It had that old fashioned-y twist that most fantasy books have. At least when it comes to castles and kingdoms. But it utilized it in a good way. Most of these tales
deal with the royal family, and this one did. But at least the sole purpose isn't to save the royal family. There were some common folk involved at least. I gave this book 4.5 stars because the plot was easy to guess. I could tell what the big surprise that brought these boys together would be. Before it happened, at least. You should really try this book out in your free time, you won't regret it!!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

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Brown Girl Dreaming
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Lexile: 990
Length: 336 Pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Awards: National Book Award
Reading Ram Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

                               Jacqueline Woodson used to live in Ohio. Her father lived in Ohio, and her mother did too, at least for a little while. That was when Jacqueline was little, about 5 years or younger. Then her mother and father started having fights more and more often. Then her mother moved her, Odella her older sister, and Hope, her older brother, down south. The south was still recovering from the Civil War, and anyone who said segregation was wrong would be bombarded by the KKK. But Jacqueline and her family moved there anyway, in with their grandparents. No more city life, just open country, becoming a Jehovah's Witness, and always dressing up and having perfect manners. Then her mother left for New York City, and Jacqueline was with her grandparents for a few years. Her mother returned pregnant, and ready to uproot them like one of the weeds in their grandfather's garden. They went to NYC. Left their grandparents. Jacqueline had a new younger brother, Roman. And her life spiraled from there. With books and poetry in school, not being as good as her older sister Odella. Ever. But learning to accept life for what it was, and realizing that segregation was truly wrong, no matter what the south thought.
                              This book was amazing!!! I can see why it won the National Book Award!!!!!!! It is written in poems, in first person, from Jacqueline's point of view, and how she sees the world. The thing is, it is a true story! Which is amazing, considering all the hardships that happen to her along the way. She was moved so many times, changed in so many ways. It was so good!!!! This book is not inappropriate at all, but it is so so sad!!!! You should SERIOUSLY try this book out in your free time!!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Author: Ingrid Law
Lexile: 900
Length: 368 Pages
Genre: Fantasy
Awards: Newbery Medal
Reading Ram Star Rating: 5 out of 5

                    Mibs has just figured out what her savvy is. Everyone in her family except her father and her little siblings have one, and their's are amazing. Her older brother Fish can make hurricanes. Her Grandpa could move land around. Before he died, at least. Her mother is perfect. All Mibs is hoping for is a good savvy, not a weird one. But since she jinxed it, of course she got a weird one. Mibs can read people's minds through tatoos. And marker. Any bits of ink on a person's skin, and she can read their mind. Sounds pretty awesome, right? But the problem was, she couldn't shut them out. With her papa in the hospital, Mibs and her siblings travel to the hospital where he is staying. Picking up some unlikely friends along the way. And all the while trying to control her savvy and keep herself from going insane.
Image result for savvy book                    I really liked this book! It is the first book of a series, and it is very, very good. The other two books out are still this good. It is a funny tale about family, special powers, and friends. The family learns to trust each other, and their friends. I could not tell where this book was going, and that is a good thing. I can usually dissect the books plot as I am reading, which generally ruins the whole story. But not with this one! I would recommend this book to 5th grade and up. It is a good book for most ages. You should really try this book out in your free time!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

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Walk Two Moons
Author: Sharon Creech
Lexile: 770
Awards: Newbery Medal.
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

                    Salamanca or "Sal" as she likes to be called, is what most people would call, a country girl. She is used to wide open plains of green grass, a swimming hole, and lots of good climbing trees. She is not, however, prepared for the huge city with it's grey cement sidewalks and tiny patches of feeble grass. And of course, her father plucks her up like a weed and brings her to the city of Euclid. When Sal and her grandparents are driving to Idaho to find Sal's mother, she tells them the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, her mother, the lunatic, and the strange notes. But underneath all those crazy layers of story lies Sal's own insane story. The story of her mother, and how she left them back in April.
                    I really enjoyed this book a lot! It was very strange and definitely funny. As you can see, it won the Newbery Medal, so a lot of other people must have thought it was good. The only reason I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars, was that it was too childish. I would say it is good enough for 3rd grade and up. Because people of all ages can appreciate what is going on in this book. There are no inappropriate parts in this book, and it is a cute story all will enjoy. You should definitely try it out in your free time!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Boys of Fire and Ash

The Boys of Fire and Ash
Author: Meaghan McIsaac
Lexile: 730
Length: 336 Pages
Genre: Fantasy
Awards: None
The Reading Ram Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

                  The brothers of the Ikkuma Pit have one goal, stick together. Abandoned by their mothers, these boys are all living in the fires of the pit, knowing no outside world. They know no women, for all of them were left in blankets for Big Brothers to find. Urgle has only one goal, to keep himself and his "Little Brother" Cubby safe, at least until his leaving day. All Big Brothers have a leaving day, once they come of age, and a new little brother arrives, they must leave to provide space for the young ones. Then one day, a strange man appears in their pit, an outsider. But he has the mark, and he is Ikkuman, the first big brother to return. EVER. Then Cubby disappears with the monsters the outsider was chased there by. Urgle must go to the outside world to save Cubby, and discover the truth about the Ikkuma boys, and why they were ever left by their mothers.
                  This book was, to say the least, interesting. The Ikkuma boys were very primitive, and not at all used to the outside world. It made for a strange conflict, but that was probably the point. I really liked this book though! It had an original spin on cavemen, I guess. Because that's who they were portraying, though slightly more advanced, mentally wise. I would recommend this book to 6th grade and up, it would be hard to follow for anyone in a lower grade than that. The reason I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5, however, was that this book made too much sense. It was hard to follow, but once you got the general point of the book, it was fairly easy to read. I would still definitely try this book out! It was a very tough topic the author chose, and you should give her some credit!