SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Chapter Book reviews

My most recent chapter book reads. For the full list visit my good reads shelf.

mybigfatzombiegoldfish

* * * *My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish – Mo O’Hara

This has a very nice balance of humor and adventure. The characters are fun, no real depth or development, which for a transitional reader is just fine. I think it will do well with reluctant readers.

 

theonesafeplace

* * * * *The One Safe Place – Tania Unsworth (April 2014)

An intellectual adventure that left me satisfied and eager to pick up the next in the series, Tesla’s Attic had some very interesting elements and well thought out details. I did feel that the impending doom for the whole planet was a bit over the top, a specific threat to the family would have been more effective to me. It did help establish what the mysterious objects could be for, though, so I was okay with it. The characters could have been written with a bit more depth, but all in all I though it was an enjoyable read.

teslasattic

* * * *Tesla’s Attic – Neil Shusterman (Feb 2014)

An intellectual adventure that left me satisfied and eager to pick up the next in the series, Tesla’s Attic had some very interesting elements and well thought out details. I did feel that the impending doom for the whole planet was a bit over the top, a specific threat to the family would have been more effective to me. It did help establish what the mysterious objects could be for, though, so I was okay with it. The characters could have been written with a bit more depth, but all in all I though it was an enjoyable read.

 

thechildrenoftheking

* * * *The Children of the King – Sonya Hartnett (March 2014)

A bit reminiscent of “The Secret Garden” with the isolated heroin and the mysterious ruins. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters journeys as they each dealt with the looming war in their countryside escape. The interwoven history of Richard III was well done, helping to keep the reader engaged and providing motivation for the characters.

whatthemoonsaid

* * * *What the Moon Said – Gayle Rosengren (Feb 0214)

The characters were well developed, and the small town rustic feel was quite enjoyable. It felt similar to Anne of Green Gables. My only qualm was a small one, that Ester expressed so often her desire for a hug from her mother. It got just a smidge old, but did support the character realization at the end of the book.

whatwefoundsofa

 

* * * *What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World – Henry Clark (July 2013)

A quirky andventure with some very fun moments. It could have been tricky to balance the action when the protagonists live on the edge of hellsburough, essentially a subturanian lava field, and our villian starts out as a 3-D werewolf head that farts a memroy wiping gas. Clark navigates all the actions twist and turns with charm and humor, never losing the motivation of the characters.

ophelia

 

* * * *Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy – Karen Foxlee (Jan 2014)

Ophelia struck me as a bit Caroline-esk in her casual asseptance of her mysterious circumstances, with her bravery being the only thing she finds dubious. The museum in which the adventure takes place is rich with possiblity, and Foxlee makes great use of it. My only qualm was the obvious corilation between the queen and the curator, while the characters whom that information would affect seem completely oblivious.

THE GREAT TROUBLE_cover image

 

* * * * *The Great Trouble – Deborah Hopkinson (Sept 2013)

I became quite engaged with this story, the discovery of water carried cholera. Eel was relatable and admirable, and there was a good amount of suspence and action without going overboard.

artofflying

 

* * * *The Art of Flying – Judy Hoffman (Oct 2013)

A great book for good readers, this story of Fortuna and her adventures with a transformed bird will delight. It moves leisurely, but the plot and relationships are compelling.

 

desmond puckett

 

* * * *Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic – Mark Tatulli (Oct 2013)

A fun character, and his obsession with scaring, should make this a hit for young boys. Desmond keeps getting in trouble, but finally finds an appropriate outlet for his pent up creativity.

 

zenoandalya

* * * *The Desperate Adventures of Zeno & Alya – Jane Kelly (Octt 2013)

Zeno was one of the most delightful characters I’ve met, and I feel Kelley did a great job creating a fully developed and believable character in this Grey Parrot. Alya was a bit to ‘damsel in distress’ for me. I understand the plot contrivance of giving her an outside symbol of strength, but she never seemed to develop any of her own. As far as we know, she’ll be relying on Zeno for the rest of her life.

Show-Must-Go-Three-Ring-Rascals

* * * *The Show Must Go On (Three-Ring Rascals) – Kate Klise (Sept 2013)

Great for transitioning to chapter books, the characters were simple, funny, and exciting. An easy story arc, and very nasty bad guy (who just can’t get his way) make this an enjoyable read.

binnyforshort

* * * *Binny For Short – Hilary McKay (July 2013)

This is a story motivated by characters, and I found them to be delightful. They each were strong, with interesting layers, and the relationships were very compelling as well. I only wish the ‘enemies’ card weren’t so prominent, as the flash-forwards dismantle it before Binny and her rival even really meet.

rooftoppers

* * *Rooftoppers – Katherine Rundell (Sept 2013)

I think the unique characters really made this book. Their way of life is terribly foreign, but enticing at the same time. The adventure is low key, but the suspense pretty constant.

ghost_hawk

* * * *Ghost Hawk – Susan Cooper (Aug 2013)

Cooper shows some surprising insight and detail in the lives of the Native Americans, and the earliest settlers. While I quite enjoyed the book, I feel the pace may be too slow for younger readers.

scare-scape

* * * *Scare Scape – Sam Fisher (Aug 2013)

A wonderful mystery adventure, with unexpected revelations and lots of suspense. Well crafted character relationships and a plot that was on point in its pacing made this quite the enjoyable read.

salthelenfrost

* * * *Salt – Helen Frost (July 2013)

It took me a little while to get used to the text layout, but once that happened I found this book thoroughly engaging. Frost handles the tender subject of Native American being driven from their homeland with surprising sensitivity to both sides.

 

 


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