Monday, December 9, 2019

Book Review: Oh, Rats! by Tor Seidler

Book received at no charge to facilitate review
Phoenix loves his bushy red tail. It's his favorite part of being a squirrel. As he's admiring in reflection in the water, while trying to impress a girl, he's swooped up by a red-tailed hawk named Walter. Soaring over New Jersey, Phoenix gets an earful from the hawk who won't stop talking. He thinks his luck has turned when Walter loses his grip and drops Phoenix. Fate changes quickly when Phoenix lands on fresh tar on the streets of downtown Manhattan. The tar chars off his glorious fur, leaving him looking like a sewer rat.

Luckily, the brother and sister team of Lucy and Beckett rescue Phoenix and bring him to home, an abandoned pier, where he is nursed back to health amongst the wharf rats. When the rats learn of a plan to demolish the wharf to make room for a new development, they enlist Phoenix with his excellent climbing skills to sabotage the city's electrical grid. Will their plan work? And an even bigger question is the dilemma that Phoenix must face when Walter returns and offers to take him home.

A light-hearted look at the deeper concepts of cooperation, finding yourself, and creating belonging amongst strangers.


Publishing Information

Publisher: Atheneum/Caitly Dlouhy Books 
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
ISBN:  9781534426849
Ages: 8-12

**Review books are donated to my local Little Library. No payment received for posts though purchases through affiliate links help support this blog.**

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning by William Joyce: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Since the guardians victory over the evil Pitch during Bright Night, most of them have settled into their public roles. However, Nightlight has become isolated from the other guardians as he transitions into Jackson Overland Frost or Jack Frost.

Jack's transformation has not been easy. He has keenly felt the force of evil as he transitioned to half human and half his former self. In order to stop the Nightmare King and bringing the Dark Ages to an end, Jack must tell the story of his past but will it be the end of him if does?

Those who have read every book in series may enjoy the long backstory but others may find it confusing and hard to follow. While Jack Frost's whimsical character is relatable and easy to connect with, his actions get lost in the storytelling.

Rating ★★★☆☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Nov. 20, 2018)
Ages: 7-11
ISBN: 9781442430563

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Titans by Kate O'Hearn: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

For the last fifteen years, the Titans and Olympians have learned to live in peace. The Olympians were resettled on Titus after the destruction of Olympus. When humans start arriving on Titus, it threatens to shatter the peace the Titans and Olympians have worked for.

To help ease tensions, the Titans and Olympians agree to open a shared school. Astraea and her best friend, Zephyr, manage to get detention on their first day after clashing with a centaur from Olympus. While serving detention in the nectar orchards they stumble on Jake, a human, who is one of many that have mysteriously shown up on Titus. Astraea and Zephyr enlist the help of the silver skinned friend, Tryn, to help Jake locate his missing sister. Together they uncover a plot to take down Titus and then move on to overtake the entire galaxy. It is up to these misfits to band together and try to stop the impending doom. Can they do alone or will they need to enlist help?

The climatic ending disappoints after such a carefully crafted story with interesting characters leaving the reader wondering why the story took so long only to end in such a rush. It leads to a must read of a second novel to find out the fate of the young heroes.


Publishing Information

Publisher:  Aladdin (July 9, 2019)
ISBN: 9781534417045
Ages: 8-12

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Book Review: Spy School British Invasion

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Thirteen-year-old Benjamin Ripley and his friends find themselves regrouping while stranded in Mexico trying to catch the leaders of SPYDER. The plan: To go rogue from the CIA and team up with the British M16. Operation Tiger Shark takes the spies to Britain in search of the elusive Mr. E. But first, their new found key leads them to a storage space under the British Museum. Unfortunately, a mishap during their library search ends up with damage to priceless British artifacts which puts Ben and his group at the top of British enemy list.

For a time, the group hides out in a secret room in the Tower Bridge until they break their way into the estate of the brilliant hacker, Orion, who helps them encrypt the information on a flash drive that gives them the coordinates of Mr. E's secret hideout. Erica's dad, Alexander, pilots Orion's helicopter as a back up plan while the rest of the crew, Erica, her mom, Catherine, Murray, Mike, Zoe and Ben set out through Britain to their final destination of Paris to bust the SPYDER spy ring.

The action never stops with the Spy School kids and grown ups. Be prepared for a wild ride through Britain and Paris as well as some double crossing antics. A fun addition to the Spy School Novels.


Publishing Information

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 30, 2019)
ISBN:  9781534424708
Ages 8-12