Mississippi River Blues: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Tony Abbott

In Mississippi River Blues, Frankie and Devin find themselves in yet another book, this time The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. They read their way through it, participating in all of Tom’s adventures and learn enough to ace their tests back in Mr. Wexler’s English class. The Cracked Classics books are super fun and excite kids to read the “real” version. I very highly recommend this book and the whole series (no need to read them in order) to people of all ages. They make excellent family read alouds.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 57
Pages Read in 2019: 15,262
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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: I Like the Series

Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis is a city on the moon. Jazz has lived there since she was little. As an adult, she works in the not so legal realm which of course leads to extra trouble. The story is enjoyable and, really, I felt like it ended a little bit too soon. I love how the author slips in science and it just makes sense. I recommend reading this book to anyone who enjoyed The Martian.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 56
Pages Read in 2019: 15,135
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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Science Fiction

1984 by George Orwell

1984 is one of those books with themes that continually appear in pop culture and everyone, whether they’ve read it or not, know the basics of how it goes. There’s Big Brother and the Thought Police and the constant fear that you’ll be picked up and just vanish because you said something in your sleep or made a face that was construed as being anti-Party. The main character, Winston, realizes that history keeps getting rewritten (he works in the department where they do just that after all) and that things aren’t what the government claims. The only problem is pretty much everyone else seems to buy into it all, and if they don’t they no longer exist (and never existed). Some things in the book are frightening when you look around and see shades of them in real life (don’t believe what you see and hear… only I tell you the truth). The gaslighting is amazing. If anyone wonders what gaslighting is, reading 1984 should help them understand. The end is rather depressing and give a bleak outlook on what a society like the one portrayed would do to free thinkers. I highly recommend reading it to older teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 55
Pages Read in 2019: 14,783
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Filed under Classic, Dystopian, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Well-Educated Mind Challenge

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

The Woodlawn family live in pioneer times Wisconsin. Caddie has been allowed to run wild with her brothers leading to lots of adventures. It’s a cute story and easy for younger kids to read. I recommend it people of all ages. It makes a great family read aloud.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 54
Pages Read in 2019: 14,452
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

Trapped in Transylvania: Dracula by Tony Abbott

When two slacker kids get stuck in Dracula, they discover that the chubby book is actually pretty exciting. Trapped in Transylvania is a fun, and often funny, book that hits the highlights of Dracula and just might get your kid interested in reading the real thing (my ten-year-old said we should definitely read Dracula now). I highly recommend it to people of all ages. It makes a great family read aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 53
Pages Read in 2019: 14,177
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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote is very long and sometimes interesting. It is a collection of stories of the adventures of a self-proclaimed knight-errant and his madness. Some of the stories are interesting, some are ridiculous, some are boring. If you feel the need to read lots of classic books, Don Quixote is a decent choice.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 52
Pages Read in 2019: 14,049
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Filed under Classic, Reason: Well-Educated Mind Challenge

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front is a rather intense depiction of World War I. It is told from the viewpoint of a young German soldier. It goes deep into his psyche as he comes to grips with the loss of his friends, killing people who only are his enemy because someone above him said so, and what the point of war is at all. It is sometimes hard to read as the descriptions can be graphic, but they also seem honest. The book really makes you think about war and what it does to the individuals who do the fighting (it is definitely not pro-war). I highly recommend it to older teens and up learning about World War I.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 51
Pages Read in 2019: 13,186
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron