Books4Hearts – Book Reviews: June 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lily’s Ghosts by Laura Ruby

I liked this book, lots! 🙂 It was good, I give it 4 stars! I liked that it was perfectally descriptive enough, with some comedy, romance, horror, drama, and mystery. The wide cast of characters were great. I think it was written very well and the reading goes very smoothly. Every time you try to put the book down you want more. Anyway, Summary time!

Lily is a preteen girl who has moved around a lot, to finally end up living in her mom’s families’ summer house, (though no one has gone to spend time there for a while). Everytime she leaves a place she misses the last, and loses all her friends. She moves here and is going to be homeschooled until the start of next year, because she doesn’t plan on starting all over again just yet. The house has some unusual goings on, that she doesn’t know how to explain. She meets a nice boy from town, Vaz, to be her first new friend. They research the house’s (and family’s) history searching for the answer to the weird things that keep happening, from moving homework to creepy baby dolls and sudden temperature changes.

To find out more you will just have to read it. Have fun

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling

Ok, so I read this immediately after I got it months ago but re-read it to review, just for you!

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you obviously looked forward to this coming out! The stories that go along with the Deathly Hallows, explanations, or just an extra sensation of there being another HP book, even though it really isn’t. I knew it was going to be short, so I wasn’t dissapointed, and these stories are great! I give it 4 and 1/2 stars. If you aren’t already an HP fan and you haven’t read the series, I don’t recommend it, sorry. Did anyone get the Collectors edition? It’s amaziinggggg. Anyway, back to the point, Summary time!

This is a collection of stories/fairy tales that are told to magical children, all facing values and issues, and bunches of other stuff. Read the book, thats all I can really say. I recommend it for any Harry Potter fan, and that’s really all. 🙂

I say 11&up actually, because one of the stories, “A Warlocks’ Hairy Heart”, is extremely violent actually. 😛

Philippa Fisher’s Fairy Godsister by Liz Kessler

Fairy come, fairy go,
Fairy, oh I need you so.
If I count from nought to nine,
At midnight, fairy, please be mine.
Philippa gave up on fairies a long time ago. In fact, she had never really believed in them. But all that is about to change.
When Philippa’s best friend, Charlotte, moves away, and Philippa is left alone, withough a single friend, she doesn’t think she will ever be happy. Until Daisy. Daisy, the new girl at school, has a secret. She is a fairy. In fact, she is Philippa’s fairy Godsister. Unfortunatly for Philippa, though, Daisy is not the type of fairy to like humans. She just wants to grant the three wishes, and get out of there, but Philippa’s wishes do the opposite. Instead of making her life better, all they do is make it worse. Will Philippa and Daisy be able to put everything back, before its to late?
When I cout from nought to nine…
thats daisy had been the ninth one I needed for the chain!
That was when I knew it was true-even if it sounded crazy, I absolutely knew it.
At midnight, fairy, please be mine.
The daisy was going to turn into a fairy at midnight.
I liked this book, though not as much as I thought I might. I would give it about three stars.

Doctor illuminatus

Hey bookworms, Cat here to review an awesome book called Doctor Illuminatus by Martin Booth.
I picked this book up, curiously. It was on my bookshelf, and I think I bought it a long time ago, but I must’ve misplaced it and never had the chance to read it. I read it, starting yesterday, and being a fastreader/bookworm, I finished this morning. It’s really great. I’ve never really heard much about it, and I guess there is a sequel, which I must find because I really liked this one. I give it 4 stars! It has action and fantasy and lots of different elements.
Tim&Pip move to a really old house with their parents. It’s big, and the property is amazing. They find it adventurous, and the real adventures that would come with the house, they never could have expected. They hear knocking in the walls and suddenly, a boy, come out of the wall. Mystery about how it happened it explained and all and with the boy they embark on a journey with Alchemy to defeat the evil. It sounds lame with that description, sorry, but it’s really REALLY good. So go and read it. Like, now. 🙂
I will say probably 11or12 and up, as there’s some intense action and the odd subjects of how the evil is trying to get to them and stuff…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Witch Catcher by Mary Downing Hahn

Yet just a few feet away stood an odd, raggedy girl. Nothing about her was ordinary. Not the tattered clothes she wore, not the odd words she used. With a shock, I realized she looksed like the girl in Uncle Thaddeus’s painting – half wild, not quite human.
When Jen’s father inherits a large, castle like house from Jen’s great uncle Thaddeus, Jen knows that there will be adventure, but she has no idea how much adventure. In the stranged old tower in the backyard, Jen finds a small glass ball which has an opening with a stopper in it. She takes it to her room, thinking it is just a pretty ornament. When the sinister Moura, her father’s new girlfriend, visits Jen’s new house, she seems to be looking for a mysterious “Witch Catcher” an ornament which looks just like Jen’s glass ball. When the ball breaks, and the fairy trapped inside is realised, Jen finds herself trapped between two great powers, and eventually she will have to choose her side.
“Oh Jen,”she whispered, “we was in a strange place, not our world, but yers. All dark and sad, with no magic – and no mam.”
I liked this book. It does have a rather sad ending though. I would give this book about four stars.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Crooked Kind Of Perfect by Linda Urban

I was supposed to play the piano.

The piano is a beautiful instrument.



I play the organ.

A wood-grained, vinyl-seated, wheeze-bag organ.

The perfectone D-60
Zoe’s dream is to be a prodigy in piano. To go to Carnegie Hall. She wants a piano. She tells her
dad, and he agrees. He goes to the store, to pick out the perfect one, and comes back with the Perfectone D-60. Zoe is crushed. How is she supposed to play beautifully on the D-60?
If, to that problem, you add the problem that her mom is always at work, her dad is afraid to leave the house, and she doesn’t know whether she likes her friends anymore, she get a pretty bad life. Or so she thinks. With the help of a boy named Wheeler, her dad, her mom, and unknowingly her used-to-be bestfriend, she finds out that maybe her life is just a crooked kind of perfect.
This was a good book. The main character, Zoe, was nice, and so was Wheeler, the weird boy who follows her home everyday, and then later becomes her friend. I hated Emma, her used-to-be-bestfriend. I think you should hate her. she doesn’t deserve to have a best friend!! Ok, ok, I will finally get to the rating. I would give this book three and a half stars.

Arthur And The Minioys and Arthur And The Forbidden City

Arthur And The Minimoys
“His parents began to sing together – “Happy birthday to you!” Arthur hang up, almost without emotion. It occurred to him that there was more life at the end of his bamboo pole than at the end of this telelphone line.
He looked at his dog, sitting expectantly in front of him, awaiting the news.
“It wasn’t the president of the water company” said Arthur.

At the time this book takes place, Arthur is spending his summer at Grandma’s. However, times are rough, and the greedy man, Davido, is threatening to evict Grandma if she can’t find some money to pay him with. Before her husband, Archibald, dissapered, he supposedly hid the rubies which an african tribe had give him. Desperate to find them, Arthur looks in his Grandpa’s study, only to find a riddle hidden behind a banner. He follows the instructions, and soon he finds himself in the land of the Minimoys, a tiny tribe of people who live unnoticed beneath the ground. He meets many characters, the king, the prince, and Princess Selenia to name a few. Now, I don’t want to spoil anything, so I think I’ll stop there. (by the way, this book ends right as it get exciting, so you might want to have the other book ready.)
Arthur And The Forbidden City
Arthur peered into the hole once more.
suddenly an object glistened. The first ruby at the top of the pyramid had just found the light.
Little by little, the saucer rose, carried by the water, and the pyramid became increasingly illuminated.
This book takes place where the other one leaves off. In this book Arthur and Selenia, oh, lets not forget the prince, they battle M. The cursed, and win. (you probably guessed that.) But how they do it, I will leave that a mystery. as you can see from the quote, the story ends happily ever after, almost. While he is down under earth, Selenia kisses Arthur, which in the world of Minimoys, means they’re married, and, some of Selenia’s powers transfer to Arthur.
What I thought
OMIGOSH. People, these books litterally earn the award ROFL!!! (I have now made thatan award to give out on this blog.) but OMG. Read these books!!! I think they were some of the funniest books ever written. I would give them each five stars.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What I Call Life

Now, your average eleven-year-old would probably have been scared out of her wits, not knowing where she was headed, where the ride was taking her, not knowing what waited ahead.

But not me. Not Cal Lavendar. I wasn’t scared at all. My knees were aligned, my thighs pressing together and perfectly matched. My hands were folded on my lap. Why should I have been scared? After all, this wasn’t my story. This was just a short, temporary detour from what I call life.

When Cal Lavendar’s mother has one of her unfortunate episodes, and Cal is brought to “The Pumpkin House” she knows this isn’t her story, not her life. The Pumpkin house is a home for girls whose mothers and fathers can’t, or wouldn’t take care of them anymore. Here Cal meets Monica, Fern, Whitney, Amber, and the strange old lady everyone calls “The Knitting Lady”. She doesn’t think she will be here for long, so why bother pretend this is her life? Soon, though, despite all her resolutions, Cal feels herself being accepted, and even liked. Will she accept this change as just another chapter of “What I call life”? (again, you should know by now that we don’t spoil books.)

I thought this was an o.k. book. It had a bittersweet ending, and I didn’t really like Cal all that much, but I think that this book teaches an important lesson on life. I would give this book 2 3/4 stars.

East by Edith Pattou

Later, as we made our way to our beds, Rose whispered, “Why does the white bear want me, Neddy?” I shook my head. I could not guess, except that somehow I felt sure it had something to do with the sadness in the animal’s eyes. Some great need.

Ebba Rose’s mother is very superstitious. When she was still unmarried she went to a skjebne-soke, in other words, a shaman. The Skjebne-soke prophesied that if she was to give birth while facing north, which means she would be giving birth to a “North born”, that child would die under a mountain of snow, buried so deep that it couldn’t, with out help, get out. So, when she gives birth to a girl, while she faced north, she claims that it is an East born, and calls the girl Ebba Rose, instead of Nyamh.(The first letters of all of her children’s first names start with the letter of the direction she was facing when she gave birth.) When Rose is fifteen, her sister Sara gets deathly ill, and her family falls upon hard times, So when a mysterious white bear comes, and tells Rose that if she will go with him, he will make all her family’s fortunes turn around, of course she accepts.
Aside from the morelogical reasons for going with the white bear, I had another reason. And that was simply that I wanted to go. It was madness, I knew, to consider going off into unknown lands with a wild beast that owuld most likely devour me at journey’s end. I did not want to die. And yet, I wanted to go.

I liked this book. It is a retelling of East of the sun, West of the moon, which is a fairy tale. It also seems to have a bit of Snow White and Rose Red mixed into it. I would recommend this book to anyone who liked The Goose Girl. I would give this three stars.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sign of the Crescent by Debbie Federici

Terror. Evil. Clutching me. Draggin me… to a black hole. Then this guy with the silvery gray eyes. Protecting me.
Everything that happened that night comes back in a rush, like cold rain sweeping over my body.
Erick- a Haro knight, sworn to save the people of the Oldworld (in other words, humans) from the evil sorcerer, Synomea, without interfeering in the human’s lifes. He does his job well. Until Taryn.
Taryn- a Human girl who has almost no hearing in her ear, and has a terrible secret which, even she, doesn’t know, but Synomea does.
These days in Tucson, and all over earth, teens are dissapearing. now one knows where they are taken, or even who takes them.
The Haro knights know though. They are called Zumarians, and are minions of the evil sorcerer. They take the teens to mt. Zumar, where they slave away for the sorcerer. When Taryn is almost kidnapped by the Zumarians, and Erick rescues her, they know they have to be together. There is one problem… what about Erick’s vow?????? Somehow they must work this out. Before they can, Taryn is kidnapped, for real, and held in Synomea’s castle, where she will finally find out her terrible secret.
This is a good book, but I wouldn’t recomend this to anyone younger than eleven, because of
(a) the romance and (b) swearing. I liked it though. I would give it 3 1/2 stars. I would say that boys could also read it, but I think that girls will enjoy it better, or at least some of them will… ROLF.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi

“Miss Doyle,” he said to me, “have you anything to say on your behalf now?”
“I did not do it!”
” Miss Doyle, the facts have spoken otherwise.. I wish to inform you that the penalty for such a crime is to be hanged my the nexk from the yardarm. Within twenty-four hours you shall be hanged until you are dead.”
So saying he brought down his pistol hard upon the rail.
The trial was over.
Thirteen-year-old Lady Charlotte Doyle has no clue how much trouble she will encounter on her supposedly simple trip accross the sea from England to America. From the very second she boards the Seahawk things start to go wrong. First, the two other familys which Charlotte was to be traveling with couldn’t make it, or wouldn’t. Second, She is the only woman on board. For her eyes, that could be nothing good. When the seemingly gentlemanly captain tells Charlotte to be his eyes and ears among the crew, Charlotte thinks nothing of it. It is his crew, after all. However, when she discovers a pistol in one of the crew’s chests, and reports it to the captain, disaster strikes. She soon learns that if something isn’t done right, people pay. And, if people try to revolt, your life is on the line.
I liked this book, I might even read it again. Its nice to see how Charlotte evolves from a prim un-likeable miss Doyle, to a strong, browned, trouser wearing, Charlotte. I would recomend this to any girls who think that dresses are horrid, who dream of the sea, or who just like adventure and mystery. =D
I would give this four and one half stars.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ghost Ship by Dietlof Reiche

Suddenly the captain roared, “Where are they, those doubloons? You had not right to take them, you and your cronies. where have you hidden them?!”
” I won’t tell you!” The quartermaster shouted back. “That gold was ill-gotten. It’ll be the ruin of us!”
Vicki had nothing in the summer to look forwards to except waiting on tables in her father’s restaurant. However, when the bay mysteriously dries up, and the Storm Goddess, a ship from two hundred thirty years ago, washes up on deck, her summer suddenly gets a lot more exciting. With the help of Peter, a tourist, a nosy newspaper reporter, a snack bar owner, and a mysterious log book kept by the quartermaster of this ancient ship, Vicki must discover what sort of mysteries this ship contains. What are the mysterious fights on board? Are the ghosts of the crew really fated to fight their lost battle for enternity?
Cautiously, he put his head out – and quickly shrank back. “I, ah…” he said, turning pale. He leaned against the bulkhead for support.
“What is it?” Vicki whispered. He gestured mutely at the doorway. She looked through it, too – and recoiled just as he had.
The deck was littered with bodies. Dead bodies .
This was an excellent book. I like how it has some supernatural things, but isn’t totally scary. Also, Vicki and Peter react like normal people. This is an interesting book. I would recommend it to people eleven and up, since it is a little gory. I would give this book three and one half stars. (out of five.)

The Legend Of Lady Ilena by Patricia Malone

At some point as I let out the horses, clean the stalls, milk the cow, check the fish trap, and feed the flock of chickens, I realize what I must do. it is a frightening thought, but Moren’s words were clear. I must travel to the East myself.
Ilena never knew her lineage, or where she came from. All she knows is the story of how she, her mother Grenna, and father, Moren, came to live in the Valer of Enfert. Although she lives this way happily for many years, when her father dies she knows she must find out for herself who she is, and where she came from, although this will prove easier said than done. Her parents never told her anything about her family, except one, small clue which her father gave her before he died. “Go to Dun Alyn. Find Ryamen.” The bad thing is, she knows little, if anything about the place, not to mention Ryamen. Never the less, eventually she gets there, only to face the biggest challenge of her journey. Will she be able to accept who she is, while fulfilling her destiny?? (I won’t tell you, I don’t spoil books.)

I like this book a lot, although not as much as other books I’ve read. I think that it is a little confusing at times, although that might just be me. Also, you’ll want to keep in mind that this book takes place in the middle ages. Although you could probably tell that from the cover. I would give this three stars out of five.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Snow – Walker by Catherine Fisher

He did not move or say anything, but the witch slowly bent before him like a candle too close to heat. Her eyes widened; she staggered to the table and clutched it, one hand gripping the edge, her knuckles white.
“This is pain,” he said quietly, coming up behind her. “This is how it feels. And these are nightmares- see them? This is silence. This is fear.”

Everyone knows who should be the Jarl, according to the line of succession, but before he can become Jarl, the Snow-Walker came. She came with a man who wished to be Jarl, and who had come and asked her to help. Before long, the evil magic of the Snow-Walker, named Gudrun, begins to work. The old Jarl dies, nothing to show what killed him except a white handprint on his throat. Soon the people are terrified. Whoever stands up to Gudrun pays. With his life. Needless to say the people bow to her, and her husband. It seems as if she is all powerful, and that she will rule forever, but she has one weakness. Her son, Kari.

She had sent him away, banished him, to a place called Thrasirshall, an abandoned fortess far north from the Jarlshold, where she thought he would either die, or leave her in peace. No one knows why she banished him, the only clue is that the Midwife screamed when she delivered the baby. No one has layed eyes on him for many years, but that is about to change.

Her name is Jessa, and her and her cousin Thorkil are banished to Thrasirshall, because their fathers stood up the Gudrun. They are the first two to learn the secret. What will they find? A monster? A way to stop Gudrun? Or both?
Jessa was chewing the ends of her hair. She thought how sudden everything was. “But there’s nowhere we can go where she can’t see us.”
“Or where I can’t see her.” Kari sat on the chair by the window, his knees huddled up.
“She’ll hunt us, yes, like a wolf, sly and sudden, but I’ll know. She and I are the same.” He glanced up at Brochael, a bleak, swift look. “And we have to choice, do we?”
“None at all,” Brochael murmured.

This book, at least the copy I read, was actually a collection of the three books about the Snow-Walker, and her son. If you are unable to find it all together, here are the names of the individual books. The Snow-Walker’s Son, The Empty Hand, and The Soul Thieves.

I really liked this book. My mom actually found it in the adult section, but there is no adult content. I think it is simply a little hard to read. Thats the only reason I put it under eleven and up. I was a little jealous of Kari at first, the author made him the main character, and in the first book it all seems to revolve around him. In the other books though, the only way he can actually do anything without dying, was with the help of his friends. I would give this book 3 1/2 stars.

oh, and one hint, don’t get too attached with Thorkil, it’s not that he dies, but the author just drops him, like in the first book he is really important, but in later books he is only mentioned once. 😉 he is a weak character though, don’t feel to bad. =D

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

I was no hero. The dearest wishes of my heart were for safety and tranquility. The world was a perilous place, wrong for the likes of me.
In the land called Bamarre, there lived two princesses. One, named Meryl, small and fair, who wasn’t afraid of anything, and one, called Addie, tall, and dark, who wrote the quote I have above this paragraph.
Addie and Meryl always supposed that Meryl would go on adventures, and bring back glory and fame, and Addie would happily get married to a prince, have children, and altogether stay out of the way of any sort of danger.
But all that changes when Meryl gets the Grey death. There is a prophesy that when the timid find courage, and rain falls over all of Bamarre, everyone who is afflicted with the Grey Death will be healed. When her father comes back from trying to find the cure, Addie, alone, sets out to try to find the cure. Will she find it in time to save Meryl? or will the two princesses of Bamarre soon be the one princess of Bamarre? With the help of her friends, Addie, whether she saves Meryl or not, learns what it is to be brave.
OMIGOSH. I loved this book. People have been telling me to read it for a long time, but I only picked it up last night. It was about nine, and I stayed up reading it until eleven thirty. THATS HOW GOOD IT IS. I give it four and three quarters stars. I didn’t really like the ending, at least parts of it, but the rest was excellent! The beginning also was a little sticky for me, it took me a while to actually latch on.
Step follows step.
Hope follows courage.
Set your face toward danger.
Set your heart on victory.

Eggs by Jerry Spinelli

“he spoke to the beautiful face. ‘Are you sleeping?’ The eyes did not open. He could not decide if he wanted them to open. The humped eyelids with their glittery purple were like tiny twin eggs, bird’s eggs. ‘Are ou going to say something?’ The mouth did not move. ‘Your dead, aren’t you?’ The beautiful face was as still as the trees. He was not afraid.
This is the first time
nine year old David meets thirteen year old Primrose. No one knows what is going to happen when they are together. David is quiet, shy, and always follows rules, except his grandmothers whose rules “don’t count.” Primrose lives in a nine pasanger van instead of her house because she doesn’t want to have to sleep with her mother. She goes dumpster diving at night, and sells what she finds at the flea market. They get along great. Both of them have secrets though, secrets that they battle every day. Will they overcome these secrets in this book? I don’t like to spoil books, so read it to find out. =P
I liked this book. I would give it three stars. I liked it while I was reading it, but I don’t think I would like to read it again. There are parts which I don’t even know what is going on, but that might just be me.

Monday, June 1, 2009

blog carnival

so, I only got one submission from someone.
it isn’t a book review by a kid, but since it was the only one which had to do with a book, I decided to include it.

Jenny reviewed a book called Momma Loves Her Little Son
it sounds like a really good book!

next time people, please, please please submit something!!!

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