A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

The Killing by Robert Muchamore

{C1273166-3331-4E54-AA41-D69CE009D594}Img400I thought it was going to be a cute action story. Keyword: thought. Kids from 10-17 playing spy and beating up bad guys…sounds awesome right?

Wrong.

I’ll tell you what,  story is not worth reading, and being that it’s a busy life and all, you’ve probably got plenty of other blogs to check out today and write a blog post (if you haven’t already) and do the dishes and your homework and whatever else, just skip this review and do something profitable. If you want to know why I don’t like it, keep reading. But if you’re a normal person with a busy schedule, just skip it. Continue reading “The Killing by Robert Muchamore”

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A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

Z: Zoobreak by Gordon Korman

ZoobreakNote to parents: all of your kids can read this book. I suggest sitting down together and laughing out loud as a family.

I love the Swindle series! Even so, Zoobreak is my favorite in the group. I mean, really? What’s not funnier than watching some kids try to save animals from a cruel master, and having a beaver in a flooded basement, or a prairie dog with stuffed animals to hide them? Continue reading “Z: Zoobreak by Gordon Korman”

A to Z, A to Z 2016

*Long Sigh*

I’m sorry to say that I’m calling it quits on the challenge for this year. I really hate to say that, but it’s gotten too busy at our house. We’re having a birthday party for my mom this Sunday, my calf I’m feeding, sheep to doctor (they have foot rot *sigh*) and school. I could probably keep doing the challenge if I worked crazy hard for it…but they’d be second rate posts and I don’t want that.

*Long sigh* of disappointment.

*Long sigh* of relief.

Guess this is it. I didn’t survive this year.

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Revell Books Publishing, Reviews

Brazen by Leeana Tankersley

Ok, so, this is kinda embarrassing, but I published my ‘U’ post on the wrong day and got all mixed up. And true, Brazen does not start with a ‘V’, but the due date for the review is today and since I was messed up with my U, I didn’t get my V done. Sorry!!!!

“Leeana,” he says to me, and he says to you, like he did to those first humans so long ago, “where are you?

This book is an exploration of that question.

Brazen means ‘without shame’. And that is the entire point of this book. To have a people unashamed of who they are, whose they are, and knowing that they are enough. At the end of every chapter is a little something to get you meditating and something to add to your ‘brazen board’: a board that reminds you of who you are and to keep on being you.

I think that this is a book that needs to be read with an open, but cautious mind. She writes to point out that we are enough. And true, God choses us as we are, but I don’t think that means we can’t continue to find areas to work on and keep improving. I believe that we should always try to be better than ‘enough’.

I would recommend it to you though! I hope you enjoy it. I would say this is for older teens to adults, and definitely for women, not men.

Anyways, happy reading!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

U: Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix

UprisingNote to parents: the end might be disturbing to younger children. This book is about a fire and people do die. You might want to read this before letting your children do so.

Uprising is such an amazing book because it really happened! Ok, well, mostly. It’s a fiction story about three girls based on the country-changing Triangle Factory fire. You don’t know what that is? Well, I didn’t either until I read this book.

The story starts out with a daughter of the factory owner coming to Mrs. Livingston, asking what happened. Mrs. Livingston finally starts to tell her the story.

“The story begins like so much else,” she says slowly. “With hope. Hope and dreams and daring…”

Continue reading “U: Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

T: Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix

TurnaboutWhat happens if you give old folks the ability to grow young again? And then to keep them at the age of 25 or so for…eternity? What happens when a person slowly turns younger, one year at a time?

And that is what Turnabout is all about. Continue reading “T: Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

R: (The) Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

UnknownI told you all a little about this series in my O post, (The) Outcasts. So, if you remember, then you know that this series is written by John Flanagan and that it is based in Araluen. I think that’s all I told you. This is the first book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

It’s about a boy named Will or Will No-Name as he’s sometimes called. He was brought to the castle in a basket with a simple note attached to his blanket that read: His mother died in childbirth. His father died a hero. Please care for him. His name is Will.

He’s short, agile, and can spit out a good insult to his ward mate Horace when he needs to. Yet he wants to go to Battleschool and be a mighty warrior one day, just like his father. But when Choosing Day comes, he is denied for Battleschool since is is ‘too small’. When it’s clear that no one wants him, the mysterious Ranger Halt steps up and shows the Baron a piece of paper. The Baron nods thoughtfully and dismisses them all, telling Will that he’ll tell him what he’s decided the next morning.

Will can’t wait until the next morning. So that night, when everyone’s asleep and the guard for the Baron’s tower is about asleep as well, he works his way up to the top of the tower and tries to peek at the paper. It’s then that he learns that Ranger Halt choose to take him on as his apprentice.

When Will shows up at Halt’s cabin the next morning, Halt puts him right to work. Floor to sweep, pots to wash, water to haul, and food to cook. Not exactly what Will expected to be learning from one of the most respected ‘intelligent intelligence’ agent (you’ll have to read the book in order to get that joke) at all.

But before long, he has his shaggy pony Tug, targets to aim at, bows to shoot, and knives to throw. There’s practices in stealth, tracking, and all sorts of other things. If I tried to name them all, you be reading this paragraph for a while.

When it’s finally time for Will and Halt to go to the gathering of Ranger’s, Will’s pretty good at all of those things. But when they get there, something’s wrong.

That’s when they find out that Morgarath is on the move. Not only have Wargals broken out of Three Step Path, but Morgarath has also been sending the Kalkara out after key officers in the kingdom. Will, Halt, and Gilian are dispatched to find the Kalkara and stop them before they kill their next target.  It isn’t until Gilian is stranded far behind Halt and Will is galloping to the Baron for the knight’s assistance (since only knights can kill the Kalkara) that he realizes who the next target really is.

Halt.

There is so much more to this book that I did not cover. John Flanagan also tells the story from Horace’s point of view; there’s a fight that I didn’t mention; nor did I say anything about Horace’s story at all.

John Flanagan has great sense of humor. I love reading this story–Halt and the Barron crack me up, especially when the high-ranking Barron tries to make a joke, but since he is in his place of power, no one gets it. I love this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone else who loves comical, adventurous stories.

But there’s more! After The Ruins of Gorlan, there is still 11 more books! The Burning Bridge, The Icebound Land, The Battle for Skandia, The Sorcerer of the North, The Siege of Mackindaw, Erak’s Ransom, The Kings of Clommel, Halt’s Peril, The Lost Stories, and The Royal Ranger. Unfortunately the series ends with The Royal Ranger. Also John Flanagan just started a new series, Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years. This series goes back and shows the stories of what happens before Will. It’s on hold for me at the library, so I haven’t read it yet–but I can’t wait! I’m sure that it’ll be just as good as all his other stories!Rangersapprenticeseries

Note: While The Sorcerer of the North has a title like it’s about magic, it is actually not at all. Instead, it focuses on how people’s imaginations and superstitions can create magic when there really isn’t any at all. Ok, so they had a little help from the supposed ‘Sorcerer’, but there is no magic at all.

Happy Reading everyone!

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

Q: (Kingdom’s) Quest by Chuck Black

My friend started me reading a series called The Kingdom Series written by Chuck Black. Basically, it’s a allegory of the Bible. From the beginning to…well, I haven’t finished it yet. My favorite part of all the books I’ve read so far is in Book Five: Kingdom’s Quest.

Unknown-1Gavin is Kifus’ trusted Noble Knight. After the ‘stranger’ is hung, they go after the followers of him. Yet as Gavin is out doing what he believes is best, he is attacked by the Shadow Warriors (servants of the Dark Knight with the Dark Knight being Satan). After that, he sees the Prince and is converted. He now becomes Gavinaugh (think Paul). One day, a friend, Weston, and him go to a slave market in Santiok as they are traveling to spread the ‘Code’. One girl goes up to be sold. Continue reading “Q: (Kingdom’s) Quest by Chuck Black”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

P: Peace Child by Don Richardson

Note to parents: the Sawi were cannibalistic. You might want to read this story before letting your children read it.

Unknown-1In 1962, Don and his wife Carol moved to West Papua, Indonesia. With their 6-month-old son Steve in their arms, the Richardsons approached the Sawi tribe, not realizing that the very act of carrying their infant was a sign of peace to the 400 Sawi waiting to greet them.

As the Richardsons began to explain Jesus’ story to the tribe, they realized that the Sawi were interpreting Jesus’ betrayer Judas as the hero of the story. It turned out the Sawi idealized treachery. Sometimes they would even befriend a member of another village for the sole purpose of later betraying him to the death and having a cannibalistic feast. Continue reading “P: Peace Child by Don Richardson”

A to Z, A to Z 2016, Book Reviews, Reviews

O: (The) Outcasts by John Flanagan

TheOutcastsI’m not sure how many of you have heard of John Flanagan, but I love both of the series that has come out from him. On of the books from his first one, Ranger’s Apprentice, is going to be my ‘R’. But for today, we are going to focus on his second series, Brotherband Chronicles. (Click here for author website).

Wait a second, you might be thinking. Brotherband doesn’t start with an ‘O’! That’s right, it doesn’t. Which is why I’m using a single book from the series to write my post. It actually happens to be the first book in this series as well. 🙂

The series follows the adventures of the Heron Brotherband, the outcasts of Hallasholm. Yet every year, when the boys of Skandia turn 16, they go to their ‘official’ training–warrior training. The boys are broken up into ‘brotherbands’ in order to go through this training. Well, the Heron Brotherband is formed up of nothing but the outcasts.

They struggle the most in the training sessions; the Wolves and Sharks seem to be racking up points much faster than the Herons can. But soon they learn about creativity and their own scores start to climb as well. Then the Wolves are out when their ship breaks. Winning the last race means that they will be the best Brotherband of the year.

They manage to win it by the skin of their teeth. When they’re the first to reach the finish line, they think that they’ll all finally be accepted. And they are, for the first, oh, day. One of the privileges given to the winning Brotherband is guarding the Andomal, their greatest treasure of all times, for one night.

When a pirate steals it from them, they are now much worse than the outcasts. Eric gives them till the next morning to hand back their weapons, but instead, aided by the mighty Thorn, they take Hal’s boat and go out after the pirate. It is the only way to get their honor back.

The next two books, The Invaders and The Hunters, they track down the pirate with the a desperate mission of getting back the Andomal. The two after that, Slaves of Sorcorro and Scorpion Mountain, are about their adventures as they go to Araluen, which you will learn a lot more about when I talk about Ranger’s Apprentice. But, it is quite exciting for someone who has read both series.

I will say that it’s a little bit predictable as it’s more of a tweens’ and teens’  book. That’s not to say that you won’t like it! Every time I come home from the library with one, my family knows that it’s going to be a little bit before I do anything else besides read it. I think I’ve already read the entire series about three times.

The other bad thing is that it is still being written. So you have to, like, WAIT for the next book to come out. Right now, I’m waiting for whatever is coming after Scorpion Mountain. I….I don’t know how…much longer I…can…survive. I…need…that…BOOK!!!!

This series, Brotherband Chronicles, it is well worth your time, and if you have kids, I’m sure that they’ll love them as well.

Happy Reading!