Monthly Archives: September 2016

The Tin Woodman of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Tin Woodman, along with the Scarecrow and Woot the Wanderer, set off on a journey to find the Tin Woodman’s former love, Nimmie Amee. Along the way they have many adventures including meeting the Tin Woodman’s near twin, the Tin Soldier, and meet many old friends including Polychrome the Rainbow’s Daughter.

As with all Oz books, this twelfth one, The Tin Woodman of Oz is filled with adventure and amusement. Wordplay isn’t as common in this one, but when it’s there it’s lovely (for example, the Tin Soldier’s original name was Captain Fyter). I highly recommend this and all the Oz books to people of all ages.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 96
Pages Read in 2016: 24,560
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Classic

Sunchoke by Paisley Ray

Sky Bleaux, along with The Moon Dude, another MUFON member, pick up Rachael from the vigilante border station and head for Shaman Kirk’s new agey retreat to question the victim of an alien abduction. They almost collide with Bear, a Native American, who tells them his friend has been abducted by aliens. While at the retreat, Agent Storm Cauldwell shows up so Rachael is able to give him the can of poison and Stone’s gun. On a middle of the night hike, Rachael and Bear discover the truth about the aliens along with some typical Rachael trouble.

Picking up immediately after the previous book ended, Sunchoke is the ninth Rachael O’Brien book. The storyline is interesting and has a lot of action. It does need an additional edit to get rid of some remaining typing and editing errors. The problem I had with the book is it really should have been the second half of the eighth book. By dividing the single story in two, it really feels like the author is just trying to generate more money from book sales. I do recommend reading it to those who enjoy the Rachael O’Brien Chronicles, however, because the story is good. It’s just annoying that what should have been one book was split into two.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 95
Pages Read in 2016: 24,436
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction

Top Secret by John Reynolds Gardiner

Allen Brewster is a 9 year old fourth grader determined to create an amazing science fair project. His idea? Human photosynthesis. Everyone except his grandfather tells him it’s not possible, but he tries – and succeeds – anyway. He gets the attention of the president of the United States and ultimately his discovery is classified as top secret.

Top Secret was a very cute story. It was totally unbelievable, but at the same time taught the lesson that you can do anything you put your mind to, even when others believe you can’t. I read it out loud to my 8 and 10 year old boys and they thought it was funny and enjoyed trying to decide if human photosynthesis just might be a real possibility.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 94
Pages Read in 2016: 24,312
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Children

Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green

Tales of the Greek Heroes weaves together stories of ancient Greek heroes from the beginning to Troy. The stories are similar to any other retelling, but the book manages to make them more of a cohesive unit with one story relating to and leading to the next. These retellings are excellent and I highly recommend reading them to people of all ages!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 93
Pages Read in 2016: 24,202
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades

Hot Tamale by Paisley Ray

Rachael O’Brien is wanted for a murder she didn’t commit and so, against her better judgment, goes road tripping with Sheila. After meeting up with Rilda and getting drugged, Rachael wakes up in El Paso Texas where Stone is waiting for her. She accidentally ends up in Mexico with Stone and gets mixed up in one of Stone’s assignments. She learns more about Stone, but many questions linger on.

The 8th book of the Rachael O’Brien Chronicles, Hot Tamale, has a great, exciting storyline. The problem with it is that it is in bad need of an additional editing run-through. At least once I noticed the wrong character’s name is used and many times a random word would appear in a sentence when it shouldn’t have. One time I couldn’t figure out what the sentence was supposed to say. Without those editing issues, it would have been a 5 star book.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 92
Pages Read in 2016: 23,939
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction

The Lost Princess of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Princess Ozma, the Wizard’s magic bag, the magic mirror, Glinda’s record book, and a diamond-studded dishpan from the land of the Yips have been stolen. Several of our old Oz friends embark on a journey to find what’s missing from the Emerald City. At the same time, Cayke the Cookie and Cook and the Frogman head out to find the dishpan. They end up all together, adding a couple stuffed bears along the way, looking for the wicked Ugu the Shoemaker.

The Lost Princess of Oz, the 11th Oz book, was very fun to read. It was so imaginative just like the other Oz books. I highly recommend it (and all the rest) to adults and children alike!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 91
Pages Read in 2016: 23,798
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Classic

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

James is very depressed, but not sure why. He loves Walt Whitman. His parents are horrible. And he really wants to know why his sister Jorie was expelled from school leading to her being kicked out of their house. He learns that Jorie was cutting, talks to people about the day she was expelled, and visits a real therapist (in addition to the giant pigeon Dr. Bird in his head) to help himself feel better, and then finally talks to Jorie herself.

The book reads fast and was mostly stream of consciousness. Occasionally things happened, but mostly it was just James worrying and trying to figure things out. The speed at which he got better at the end didn’t ring true, however. It seemed rushed like the author ran out of things to say or had to finish up to meet a deadline or just felt the need to have a happy ending. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets is worth reading, but doesn’t need to be at the top of a to read pile.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 90
Pages Read in 2016: 23,672
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction