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Book of the Week Book reviews NEW/Random

REVIEW: Gracie and the Emperor

GRACIE AND THE EMPEROR

Author: Errol Broome

Ages: 11-16

‘Napoleon’s coming,’ said the man.
‘Who’s Napoleon?’
‘Freddie, I’ve told you.’
‘The scary one! Why do I have to see him?’
‘Because everyone wants to see him – just to look at the man who almost ruled the world.’
‘So why’s he here?’
‘Because, Freddy, in the end he lost. The English beat him.’
‘But he’s here! Why’s he here?’

Gracie also wants to know. This monster-man has cost her her job and her home. So she heads away from the St. Helena town turned over by him, and slowly begins to discover what makes monsters men – and men monsters.

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Book of the Week Book reviews NEW/Random

REVIEW: The Penderwicks at Last

THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST

Author: Jeanne Birdsall

Ages: 9-14 (although I might re-read it at 15)

It’s only a few months to Lydia’s oldest sister, Rosalind’s wedding and Lydia couldn’t be more exited. But she is bringing home some surprise news tonight, and not even Lydia and her brother Ben’s best attempts to scare her into telling them NOW are working. Not even Batty, possibly her favourite sibling, will tell of her suspicions. But that will only make the surprise better. The real problem (for now) is that Batty’s boyfriend and, most importantly, his dog are planning to go west.

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NEW/Random Top tens: Books

Ten Best ‘Younger Reader’ Book Covers E.v.e.r. (?)

Ever=so far/for the next 3 months? I’m heavily biased anyway. Oh, and only of tween/teen books.

This is my first ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ post (a weekly booky thing from That Artsy Reader Girl – go look). I’ve always wanted to do one of these thingies, and this is the perfect subject: Cover art. I’m not going to get creative, I’m just doing the obvious – although doing ‘cringiest covers anyone on this planet has ever seen’ was tempting and very me, I get way over ten before I leave books for nine year olds (not… Going… To… Say… Harry.. Potter…).

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Book of the Week Book reviews NEW/Random

REVIEW: The Penderwicks in Spring

REVIEW: THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING

Author: Jeanne Birdsall

Ages: 10-15 (and really, older if you want.)

Batty Penderwick’s world is more or less flawless. With recently discovering a wonderful and secret talent, Rosalind Penderwick and Jeffery Tiffon soon coming to visit, and her birthday coming up, nothing could go wrong. All she needs to do is find some way to make money and get rid of Rosalind’s new boyfriend. But then a gut-wrenching overheard conversation throws her life out, leaving only ‘After Batty’ to take care of her siblings – and dogs.

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Book of the Week Book reviews NEW/Random

REVIEW: The Penderwicks at Point Mouette

THE PENDERWICKS AT POINT MOUETTE

Author: Jeanne Birdsall

Ages: 10-14

As the Penderwick family is shredded (even if it’s only for two weeks), hot-tempered and smart 12-year-old Skye is left in charge of her younger sisters. Seems simple. Except that she has nearly been murdered by the neigbour’s dog, nearly murdered the neighbour and his dog, and forgotten how to stop 5-year-old Batty from blowing up… And dreamy Jane is obsessed with the weird boy from town, Batty with golf balls and Hound with seaweed. Plus an unexpected guest, a literally life-changing realization and a harmonica equals a mess.

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Book of the Week Book reviews

REVIEW: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street

THE PENDERWICKS ON GARDAM STREET

Author: Jeanne Birsdall

Ages: 10-15

The four Penderwick sisters were living what they considered to be more or less the best life, this time back home. But then Aunt Claire turned up with piles of gifts, loads of hugs and a petrifying blue envelope that threatens to turn the family inside-out. Rosalind is completely thrown by the letter and is not taking their neighbour Tommy Greigor’s attempts to help well. At all. On top of it, Batty and Hound are spying on the new neighbours and a simple bit of laziness leaves Skye to face her worst nightmare and her and Jane swimming in guilt.

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Book of the Week Book reviews

REVIEW: The Penderwicks

THE PENDERWICKS: A SUMMER TALE OF FOUR SISTERS, TWO RABBITS AND A VERY INTERESTING BOY

Author:  Jeanne Birdsall

Ages: 9/10 – 14

The four Penderwick sisters are in trouble. It’s a miracle they got to the holiday paradise of Arundel in the first place, because Hound ate the map. The first week was perfect, but now Batty has lost the gardener’s rabbit, Jane has run through the garden competition yelling about how much she wants to beat up the landlady’s boyfriend, Skye has nearly punched said landlady in the face, Rosalind has no idea why she is always trying to impress Cagney, and Jeffery is being shipped of to military school

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Book of the Week Book reviews

UPDATED REVIEW: Wintersmith

WINTERSMITH

Author: Terry Pratchett

Ages: 10+ (adults and not-creeped-out 9-year-olds included)

The previous review on this book isn’t very informative, and it was written when I was 11. Writing another one will be difficult, since I have read this book so many times and first when I was 9. I’m not sure what I would say if I had read it for the first time this year. This is just an addition, to get the full story see the previous review.

Tiffany has been lodged with the oldest witch in the country. She is technically blind, but that doesn’t matter – there are always Tiffany’s eyes… Everything is black. She has to make black cheese, clean the black floor and the windows are so dirty that you can’t see the so-red-they’re-black roses. Which will, soon, be made of ice so thin they melt from the pressure of being looked at.

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Book of the Week Book reviews

UPDATED REVIEW: A Hat Full of Sky

A HAT FULL OF SKY

Author: Terry Pratchett

Ages: 10+ (adults included, 10s might find creepy/confusing, but manage. No inappropriate stuff)

As with my second review of the previous book in this sequence, The Wee Free Men, I don’t think I can make this a very detailed review. I grew up on this sequence; I’m not sure what I would say if I had just read it for the first time yesterday. It will help you get a better view if you also see my first review of this (although it’s very short), written when I was eleven.

Tiffany Aching, 11, has left her land for the first time ever. To learn to be a witch – not the sparkly or cackling kind. She will be working with Miss Level… who might have two noses (Tiffany can only see one at the moment) and rides behind herself on broomsticks. But witchcraft isn’t all whizzing around on brooms and glittery spells. It seems to be mostly gross chores. And being teased for, effectively, being an amazingly talented witch. (So, the usual eleventh year of life – plus a few pointed hats). And now she is being hunted by an invisible, bodyless

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Book of the Week Book reviews

REVIEW: The Last Continent

THE LAST CONTINENT

Author: Terry Pratchett

Ages: 11+ (adults included)

The Librarian of Unseen University (home of wizards) is having problems with his morphic field – one moment his usual shape (orangutan), the next a large furry sea shell. The only way to save him needs a person who is now either on the probably non-existent continent of XXXX or over the edge of the world. Rincewind is in fact busy fighting for every scrap of food and water in a barren red desert, avoiding talking giant rabbits and trying not to save the continent this time. Except that he finds gooseberry sandwiches under every rock, and he always ends up falling into the only waterhole for miles. Every attempt to talk with the locals (but not the giant talking rabbit), about simple things like the weather, results in him running away very fast