Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Review: The Player King by Avi

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Cruelty and hard work make up the only life Lambert Simnel has ever known. Orphaned as a young boy, Lambert doesn't know anything of his past, not even his real age. The whisper, "Boy, I know who you really are," of the friar, Brother Simonds give Lambert a hint of his destiny.

Brother Simonds purchases Lambert and takes him away to school him on the art of becoming king. According to Brother Simonds, Lambert is the previous king's nephew, and rightful heir to the throne.       Lambert takes his cue from the street actors he's watched and strives to become a convincing king. Will the friar's selfish motives turn into a disaster for Lambert or will he sit upon the throne of Ireland? Though Lambert nearly convinces himself, truth prevails and brings an unfortunate twist of fate.

Readers of historical fiction will enjoy Lambert's adventure and may sympathize with his quest for belonging. A solid first person account of what might have happened in the history of Ireland.

Publishing Information 

Publisher: Atheneum
ISBN: 978-1-48143768-4
Pages: 208
Ages: 9-12

Purchase this book

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sam & Eva by Debbie Ridpath Ohi Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
Just as Sam starts to draw an epic velociraptor, Eva wants to collaborate with him. If that's not bad enough, Eva can't tell the difference between a pony and velociraptor. Eva joins anyway with her interpretation and soon the two are locked in a creative clash that includes lightning and explosive confetti.

Soon Eva tires of their artistic masterpiece, leaving Sam to draw solo. Though Sam gets rid of Eva like he wished for from the beginning, he discovers it's not the same. Will they ever get the chance put their talents to work together again? 

Lively characters create a frenetically playful story perfect culminating in a sweet lesson on how to work together. Perfect for the budding artist 

Rating ★★★★

Publishing Information

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Oct. 17, 2017)
ISBN: 9781481416283
Ages: 4 & up

This book can be purchased on Amazon.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Claude on the Big Screen by Alex T. Smith: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Claude takes care of the important work of hanging his costumes out to dry, with his trusty sidekick, Sir Bobblysock, supervising from his lounge chair. After the work is over, Claude pulls out his new trampoline and the shenanigans begin. With each bounce he gets a view of the action on Waggy Avenue where he sees a gorilla sporting a cup of tea and his curiosity gets the best of him. Why would a gorilla be drinking a cup of tea?

With Sir Bobblysock bouncing along beside him, Claude shoves the trampoline in his trusty beret and heads toward the action on Waggy Avenue. Tripping over the clothesline doesn't slow Claude down. He shoves it with all of the costumes inside of his beret too. His excitement builds when he finds Waggy Avenue lined with cameras, spotlights, and microphones. An invitation to watch the filming a movie lands Claude a front row seat. Unfortunately, his inability to sit still shuts out the lead actor and actress. Will Claude and Sir Bobblysocks have what it takes to save the movie?

As always, Claude's zaniness leads to chuckles which turn to laughter with the continued absurdity of his antics. The ever endearing Claude, with his snazzy sweater and classy beret, help the young reader navigate from the picture book into the next reading level through bizarre and lighthearted fun.

Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Peachtree Publishing (October 2017)
ISBN: 978-1-68263-009-9
Ages 7-9 (Early Chapter Book)

This book can be purchased through Amazon.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell Book Review

Book received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

When their plane crashes in the Amazon rain forest on their way back to England, Fred, Con, Lila and Lila's brother, 5 year-old Max fight to survive. Finding shelter and edible fruits poses proves challenging for the inexperienced children. Through their resourcefulness, the children find things like mixing ground up grubs and cocoa give them a paste and the protein they need for survival.

Max stumbles onto a map and convinces the other children to follow it to the X. The course of their adventure presents new dangers from predators and the elements. They manage to build a makeshift raft and travel down the river where they discover the remnants of an ancient city. To their surprise, a mysterious lives amongst the ruins. He refuses to give the children his name but Max assumes he is the missing explorer from 1925. Does the explorer hold the key to the children's chance at rescue?

Rundell captures the beauty of the Amazon through vivd description of everything from the lush vegetation to the smells of the rainforest. Both the setting and adventure will captivate the reader and perhaps motivate further exploration. It may also inspire the reader to gain further understanding of the effects of imperialism in the Amazon. Despite the lack of depth in the characters, the suspense will hold interest to the end.
Rating ★★★★☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Simon and Shuster Books for Young Readers (Sept. 12, 2017)
ISBN: 9781481419451
Ages: 8-12

Purchase this book HERE.