Genghis Khan: 13th-Century Mongolian Tyrant by Enid A. Goldberg

Genghis Khan covers his life from his mother’s kidnapping by his father through his death. It explains how he took over so much of the world and how ruthless he was and how willing to stab his friends in the back. I am quite impressed with just how much information is packed into this relatively short book while still being easy for a middle grade age kid to understand it all. I highly recommend it to kids interested in Genghis Khan or studying him in school.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 106 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 29,324
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Adrian for Next School Year

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Filed under Middle Grades

Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess by Richard Platt

Written in diary format, Castle Diary tells the story of one year (1285) in the life of a young boy sent to be a page at his aunt and uncle’s castle. He begins learning things he will eventually need to know to become a knight. The end is a section of information about castles, the fuedal system, and knights. This is an excellent book for elementary school age kids interested in or studying castles, knights, and medieval times.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 106 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 29,196
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Adrian for Next School Year

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Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage by Julie Anne Grasso

Frankie Dupont is back and investigating who at the science fair stole Angus and Archie’s chip for their robot. Everyone has a motive, but Frankie must follow the clues to narrow down the suspects.

Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage is a cute book. My 9- and 11-year-old boys enjoyed it a lot. They had fun following the clues along with Frankie and guessing who the culprit could be. I highly recommend this book to kids!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 106
Pages Read in 2017: 29,073
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Son of Charlemagne by Barbara Willard

Told from the point of view of Charlemagne’s son, Carl, Son of Charlemagne tells of King Charles of the Franks reign through being crowned Holy Roman Emporer. The story is engaging and drew me in. I recommend this book to kids learning about the Middle Ages.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 105
Pages Read in 2017: 28,939
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Fritz for Next School Year

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Filed under Historical Fiction

The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages (More or Less) by David Bercovici

The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages (More or Less) very quickly covers about 13.8 billion years of history. Sometimes it made my brain hurt, though usually the explanations were easy enough to understand. I highly recommend it to people interested in the origin and evolution of the universe and especially the earth.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 104
Pages Read in 2017: 28,727
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for Next School Year

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Filed under Non-Fiction

The Legend of King Arthur by Stephen Klein

The Legend of King Arthur is an overview of the King Arthur legends including the actual history leading up to when historians believe the real King Arthur lived and notes on when certain characters first appeared in the stories. The information provided in the book was quite interesting, but the author repeated himself over and over like a high schooler needing to pad an essay to reach the required length. The whole thing could have been about a third as long. The grammar was atrocious. There were many extra commas where they didn’t belong, tenses that changed in the middle of sentences, and pronouns that often did not match the sex of the character being referred to. Occasionally, the author would switch to an alternate spelling of a character’s name and then the next time return to the original spelling. Many times the author would write something and then in the next sentence write, “Therefore…” and draw some conclusion that actually didn’t make sense with the other information given. Somehow, the author made the Arthurian legends rather tedious and boring, probably because of the extreme repetition (how many times did I need to be reminded of the names of Morgause’s sons?). The final conclusion at the end of the book summed up everything that had been explained in the previous more than 100 pages and almost could have been all that was needed at all. Overall, this book is just in extreme need of an editor. Because of this, I cannot recommend anyone take the time to read it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 103
Pages Read in 2017: 28,575
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for Next School Year

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Augustine Came to Kent by Barbara Willard

Set at the time Pope Gregory I sent Augustine to England, Augustine Came to Kent is the story of the first Archbishop of Canterbury through the eyes of a boy. It tells of Augustine preaching, baptizing King Ethelbert, and on through the end of Augustine’s life. It’s a gentle story with excellent pacing. I recommend it for kids studying medieval England.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 102
Pages Read in 2017: 28,464
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Fritz for Next School Year

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Filed under Historical Fiction