Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Mystery of the Haunted Caves by Penny Warner

Four members of Scout Troop 13 are determined to figure out the mystery of Black Bart’s treasure. But first, the girls must compete at the Gold Rush Jamboree.

I read The Mystery of the Haunted Caves to my 9- and 11-year-old boys. We all enjoyed it. The story is cute and, while the culprit is a bit obvious looking back, none of us figured it out until just before the big reveal. I recommend this book to upper elementary age kids. It makes a good read-aloud, too!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 9
Pages Read in 2018: 1436
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Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack

A rich history runs through Africa. Life in Medieval Africa describes the unique lives of those living in medieval Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. The book is easy enough for an upper elementary to middle schooler to understand while still giving lots of details and information. I highly recommend it to kids studying or interested in Africa during the medieval period.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 8
Pages Read in 2018: 1322
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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

Until We Collide by Charlotte Fallowfield

Paige is hopelessly in love with Alec, but every time they run into each other, one or the other is in a relationship with someone else so it’s never their time. Meanwhile, over the course of more than a decade, Paige’s love life is a complete comedy of errors.

Until We Collide is quite entertaining. Although it was easy to put down, I still enjoyed it a lot and laughed out loud at some of Paige’s mishaps and babbling. I recommend it to women who enjoy a good, modern love story.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 7
Pages Read in 2018: 1662
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: Birthstone Bookology

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

Chased from their home, Pan Andrew and his family have a treasure that must be delivered to the king of Poland.

The Trumpeter of Krakow begins most chapters with historical background information that somehow relates to that part of the story. The story unfolds slowly, with the mystery of the treasure sucking you in and keeping your interest. I recommend this book to kids studying medieval Poland and those who enjoy historical fiction.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 6
Pages Read in 2018: 1474
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

Intelligence Was My Line by Ralph W. Hauenstein

Hauenstein was an intelligence officer in World War II. Intelligence Was My Line is his story of that period of time in his life. Though he repeated himself quite a bit, there was a lot of interesting stuff in there. Included are pictures. I recommend this book to anyone interested in World War II or intelligence gathering.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 5
Pages Read in 2018: 1246
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Filed under History, Memoir, Reason: Birthstone Bookology

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Peter wants to find his sister. Adele lives in an orphanage. A magician attempts to produce lilies. An elephant falls on a wealthy woman. A fortune teller tells Peter an elephant will lead him to his sister.

The Magician’s Elephant weaves together the seemingly separate lives of several people who discover, in the end, they are all connected. The end is truly lovely. I didn’t totally enjoy the writing style, however. It’s a sweet book, though, so I recommend it to people of all ages. It makes a nice read-aloud.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 4
Pages Read in 2018: 1064
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Filed under Children, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Utopia by Thomas More

In the 1500s, Sir Thomas More described his idea of the ultimate perfect society in Utopia. Written like a travelogue, various aspects of the way of life in Utopia are examined. As with many books written long ago, it tends to ramble on and on. It makes for an interesting read, though, since what we think of as a Utopian society today doesn’t really match the book where we got the word from.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 3
Pages Read in 2018: 854
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Filed under Classic, Reason: Birthstone Bookology