Category Archives: Book Review

Peter and the Starcatchers: A Prequel

Peter and the StarcatchersHave you ever wondered what happened before Peter Pan? How did Peter meet Tinkerbell?Peter and the Starcatchers is a best-selling children’s novel that was published by Hyperion Books. It is written by humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Peterson, the book provides a backstory for the character Peter Pan, and serves as a prequel to J. M. Barrie’s novel Peter and Wendy. It was illustrated by artist Greg Call.This book introduces us to characters both new and old as we explore the high seas.

Peter and his ragtag group of orphans are forced into slavery and being delivered to their new master on the island of Rundoon by the leaky vessel known as The Neverland. Rundoon is known to be governed by a barbaric king, whose acts of torture and abuse–such as the time he fed his father to his pet snake–are well-known throughout the empire. The boys know they need a way out…now! The answer? They needed a leader. Peter gains leader status by being the oldest and, of course, being able to spit the farthest. The orphans quickly realize they need his help and look to him for help in planning a way to escape what appears to be a forlorn fate. This leaky ship is hardly more than a rusty bucket of bolts infested with rats. Life looks grim for the boys as they are being served meals that sometimes…well…are still moving, the boys know they have little to look forward to, even if they could escape the torture and abuse of the second-in-command, Slank.

As it happens, as the ship was loading these poor boys, a large trunk was placed in the hold of the vessel, and locked up tight. There is clearly something very special and magical about this trunk–whoever touches it is healed, begins to sense of the beauty if the universe, and feels a profound sense of happiness and well-being. Peter is determined to find out what treasure this trunk holds, and in doing so he runs across Molly Aster, the only daughter of the man who is scheduled to be the ambassador on Rundoon, and who has–oddly enough–booked his passage separate from his daughter.

Initially, Molly clearly knows more about the trunk than she will tell Peter, but she is forced to take him into her confidence as Black Stache, the most dangerous pirate on the high seas, successfully attacks first Molly’s father’s ship and then heads for “The Neverland.”

What the trunk holds is much more than simple treasure; the contents are so powerful as to be connected to the ongoing struggle between good and evil that pervades the universe. Peter and Molly valiantly try to fight off both Stache and their ship’s own Slank from the trunk, but the battle for it takes a backseat as a violent storm whips up, and all the boys, Molly, Stache, and Slank wind up on an island inhabited by savages where visitors are promptly fed to a vicious beast in order to strongly discourage them from ever returning.

Thanks to Molly and Peter, the trunk of starstuff is safe, returned to the Starcatchers and Molly’s living father. Peter however, in his surviving exposure to the starstuff, has gained the permanent ability to fly. It is also uncertain as to whether or not he will ever age. Peter learns he will be an outcast, and even though Molly will return to London, he decides to stay on the island, so he can be the person he “really is” and not “a circus sideshow”. The orphan boys decide to remain with him, and Leonard Aster creates a fairy, which they name Tinker Bell, to protect Peter.

Peter and the other orphan boys are soon taught by the natives how to build a house, and they learn to survive on the island, which Peter names “Never Land” after finding a plank that said “Never Land” from the ship that wrecked on its rocks as he watches Molly, and only Molly, on the ship containing a few starcatchers, Leonard, Alf, and of course, Molly sail back to England.

This book is filled with wonderful imagination and adventure. I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series.

Millicent Prendergild,
Greenbrier Academy Cybrarian

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Just Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure – Just Released!

just breeze

Just Breeze
by Beverly Stowe McClure
Visit: http://justbreeze.wordpress.com/

Great new contest for the book release – check it out!

Product Description
Eighth grade starts out the same as every other year for Breeze Brannigan. She’s still the tallest student, boy or girl, in her class, wears shoes that would fit an elephant, and her smile reveals dazzling braces that blind everyone within ten feet. Then she meets Cam, the new boy in school who speaks with an accent and must be from another planet, for none of the earthling boys she knows are so polite. He also has a secret, a secret that could mean life or death for Cam and his mother and that Breeze must help him keep.

If you are familiar with this wonderful author’s work – you’ll know we’re in for a brand new treat with this latest book. If you haven’t read Ms. McClure’s work yet, you don’t know what you’re missing! Do yourself a favor and check it out!

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Percy Jackson, demigod

Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief

  

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)

By Rick Riordan

 

Publisher: Hyperion/Miramax

Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

ISBN: 978-0786838655

Paperback: 392

Recommended for Ages:  9+

 

I have just discovered this series and must say – I am a fan.

 

Initially Percy Jackson seems like your typical twelve year-old, with a closer look however, you begin to notice he has a few problems to deal with. He’s a little hyper, suffers from dyslexia, is a little hotheaded and, unfortunately, keeps getting expelled from school after school because strange (and dangerous) things always seem to happen to him. Trying to keep him safe, his mother desperately tries to get him to Camp Half Blood where Percy can be with other Half-Bloods (one parent is a god and the other mortal) and train to defend himself against the monsters that attack these heroes in the real world. The mystery begins to unravel and the adventure soars as the young hero learns his father is Poseidon, god of the sea, and one of the “big three” of the Olympian gods. Percy must battle mythological monsters like the Minotaur, Furies, and even Medusa.

 

The story is chock full of adventure tying in ancient Greek mythology with a fresh urban feel as the young demigod learns the fate of the mortal world is in his hands as he alone can solve the mystery of Zeus’ missing master lightening bolt and stop a war of epic proportion from erupting between the gods.

 

The book is exciting and suspenseful and I am ready to dive into the next book of this series. This adventure should translate well when it makes its theatrical debut currently scheduled for February 2010. It has great promise to be exciting and action packed.

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A lot of things can be said about Owen Birmbaum [SLOB by Ellen Potter] Book Review

Slob

 

 

A lot of things can be said about Owen Birmbaum. He is twelve years old and the fattest kid in school. It’s not mean – it’s statistics. He hasn’t always been this way – only for the last two years. Another thing you can say about Owen is he is an easy target for bullies – even his gym teacher has targeted him as a source of personal entertainment and new feats of humiliation are orchestrated with each and every class.

Owen is not the only one having trouble. He is very close with his little sister Jeremy. Her name is actually Caitlyn, but she belongs to a club called GWAB (Girls Who Are Boys) where the girls are required to refer to one another by boy names, wear boy clothes, and cut their hair short. Things have not always been this way for Owen and Jeremy.

One thing Owen has going for him is he is smart. Really smart – he has an IQ one point shy of genius status, but he doesn’t brag about it. This eccentric kid invents really cool things like the Nemesis – a device kind of like a TV that shows things from the past, and Owen really needs to see something from a specific date and time in his past because that is when everything changed so dramatically for this brother and sister.

This story is laden with the trials, tribulations and miseries of middle school life told directly from this quirky kid with a heart that is even bigger than he is. Throughout all the humorous events of the story, the author engages you with this tale of two compelling kids that you can’t help but root for, particularly as snippets of their past are slowly revealed and Owen discovers the answers are not in the past, but in the present, and this is what will determine the future.

This story is humorous, honest, and above all else heartwarming. SLOB has been awarded the Junior Library Guild Award and, in my opinion, is destined to receive many more accolades.

 

SLOB

By Ellen Potter

Publisher: Philomel

ISBN: 978-0399247057

Hardback: 199 pages

Recommended for Ages: 9-12

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Filed under Book Review, Mid-Grade, Tween