Monthly Archives: May 2013

Book Review: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

From the inside cover: After witnessing his father’s crucifixion by Roman soldiers, Daniel bar Jamin is fired by a single passion: to avenge his father’s death by driving the Roman legions from the land of Israel. Consumed by hatred, Daniel joins the brutal raids of an outlaw band living in the hills outside his village. Though his grandmother’s death slows his plans by forcing him to move home to care for his younger sister, he continues his dangerous life by leading a group of boy guerrillas in spying and plotting, impatiently waiting to take revenge.

In nearby Capernaum, a rabbi is teaching a different lesson.Time and again Daniel is drawn to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, only to turn away, disappointed and confused by Jesus’s lack of action in opposing the Romans. Devoid of tenderness and forgiveness  headstrong Daniel is also heedless of the loyalty of his friend Joel; the love of Joel’s sister Malthace; and the needs of his own disturbed sister, Leah, dragging them down his destructive path towards disaster. Continue reading


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Filed under Ages 10-12, Ages 13-15, Books I Liked, Historical Fiction

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This is a futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella story. It was an amazing book. I absolutely adored it!!! My friend Elizabeth recommended it to me and I immediately checked it out of the library.  I read it in three days and I’m about to begin reading Scarlet, its sequel. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys twists of fairy tales.

From the back cover: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Sequels: Scarlet, Cress (available 2014), Winter (available 2015)

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Filed under Ages 10-12, Ages 13-15, Ages 15+, Books I Loved, Dystopian

Book Review: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

In my opinion, this is the worst book I have ever read.

My English class at school has been reading this for the entire last semester and I disliked it from the beginning. We are reading an unabridged version, so there are all sorts of spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation mistakes in it — which, for a grammar Nazi like me, is like pure torture. The story line is fairly predictable, it’s hard to follow what is going on, Crusoe tracks each day very carefully for about three pages and then jumps ahead four years, etc. I don’t think it is very well written. It’s a classic, but classic doesn’t mean good.


Filed under Adventure, Ages 10-12, Ages 13-15, Ages 15+, Ages 8-10, Books I Didn't Like

Book Review: Beauty and the Beast: The Only One Who Didn’t Run Away by Wendy Mass

This was a delightful book. I enjoyed it greatly and I liked Wendy Mass’ take on it. Belle has always been my favorite Disney princess, so when I saw this at my library I picked it up immediately.

From the back cover: When you’re stuck with the name Beauty, people expect a lot from you – like beauty and grace and courage and a sense of style. But what if you have none of these things? What if all you like to do is read books and search for odd objects that other people drop? Oh, and you have a perfect older sister who really should have had your name instead of you.

And when you’re a prince, you’re supposed to be athletic and commanding and brave and tall. But what if you are none of those things? What if all you like to do is play the bagpipes (badly), study the stars, and try to figure out how to make worms live forever? Oh, and you also have a perfect older brother who is a lot more princely than you’ll ever be.

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Filed under Adventure, Ages 10-12, Ages 13-15, Ages 8-10, Books I Liked, Fantasy