Posts Tagged: MG

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: The Marvels by Brian Selznick

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Review: The Marvels by Brian Selznick
The Marvels
Brian Selznick
Genre: Graphic Novel, Middle-Grade
Publication date: September 15th 2015
by Scholastic

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Caldecott Award winner and bookmaking trailblazer Brian Selznick once again plays with the form he invented and takes readers on a voyage!

Two seemingly unrelated stories--one in words, the other in pictures--come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle's puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.
-A copy was provided by Scholastic for review-

Wow, this book was so cool!! The first 400 pages or so are all just drawings. Gorgeous artwork. It seems odd that it’s just picture after picture, but surprisingly, it tells an amazing story. I have never read 400 pages of a book so quick!! The first part of the book is set in a totally different time period than the second part. The second part of the book is set in 1990 I believe. This one is written, not told in pictures. It is not a seemingly different story as the synopsis explains. In fact, it is pretty easy to see how the two are related, but in a really interesting way. I loved discovering how the second story all fit with the first one and was drawn in. This was a really great book that was very enjoyable to both view and read.

The first story told by beautiful drawings is dramatic, heartfelt, and interesting. I loved getting to know all the characters though the artwork and watching the story of the Marvels unfold. You wouldn’t think that pictures could tell such a complete story, but they really do. In some of the pictures, there are also news clippings and things that let you know what is going on. It’s a very interesting and complete story that took me by surprise. I couldn’t believe that I got so much out of these drawings. I don’t want to tell much about this story because it really is quite an experience.

The second story that is set in more modern times is about a boy who has run away from his school and home to find his uncle. Little does he know that he will uncover so much more. Not just his family history, but a very deep and moving story about his uncle. Things are a bit weird when he finds his uncle, but he is determined to not be sent home. His uncle wants to help him, but his lifestyle is so different most everyone else. People think he is odd. Ask why he lives the way he does. The boy just wants to find the truth. To find where he fits in. There is also a girl who he befriends who ends up fitting more deeply into the story and history of things than you would have first thought. I really loved it.

This was such an awesome reading experience. I have read graphic novels, but this is much different. You don’t get speech bubbles or any of that. You just get a beautifully drawn out story. All in black and white like pencil drawings. I loved the artwork. The beauty and detail is breathtaking. the story just unfolds right in front of your eyes as you turn the pages. I almost didn’t want it to end. The second story ties so well into the first one and I thought it was fantastic how everything fit together. After reading this book I will definitely pick up this authors other books. Both the art and writing are amazing.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Review: George by Alex Gino

Review: George by Alex Gino

Posted by on 07/23/2015 • 2 Comments

What a wonderful book!! This is a MG book about a transgender girl and I can not give enough love to this. So many younger kids may know that they are not in fact the gender they are born, and this is the first book I have read that is targeted toward younger kids. George is 10 years old and she is a girl. She knows she is, but no one else does. I know from discussing with people that this may be a book that rubs some people the wrong way due to the targeted age, but I think it’s perfect. For people to say that it’s too young and that kids that age don’t know, I think that is ignorant. No one can tell someone what they feel…

Series Spotlight : Thrones & Bones Series by Lou Anders

Series Spotlight : Thrones & Bones Series by Lou Anders

Posted by on 05/26/2015 • 2 Comments

Today I am spotlighting the Thrones & Bones series by Lou Anders. It is getting closer to the publish date for the second book in the series, Nightborn. This is a fantastic MG series that I think many people will enjoy. I have not yet read the second book yet, but I am almost done with the first one, Frostborn, and am really enjoying it.

Frostborn is the first in the series, and so far it is great! The characters are interesting, but more than that, I love the visual imagery that I get from it. I can imagine the lands and the Giants, and everything that is going on. The story is wonderful and I am excited to continue on the adventure and see where…

Review: If I Were You by Leslie Margolis

Review: If I Were You by Leslie Margolis

Posted by on 05/05/2015 • 6 Comments

This was a super cute and fun read. It’s middle grade book, so the characters are quite young. About to go into middle school actually. They have been best friends forever, until a boy comes between them. Their looks are completely opposite. Where melody is blonde, curvy and pretty much perfect (not to mention the boys all want her), Katie feels frumpy and has no curves to show off. Both are secretly jealous of the other though, not because of boys, but because the others life seems so much better. When they both wish to start over summer as the other and the wish comes true, it’s like a second chance to save their friendship and to understand each other a little better. Maybe even be closer than ever. It’s…

Review: The Doublecross: And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy by Jackson Pierce

Review: The Doublecross: And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy by Jackson Pierce

Posted by on 04/29/2015 • 3 Comments

OKAY, THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST ADORABLE AND FUNNIEST SPY-KIDS NOVEL I HAVE EVER READ.

Sorry for the all-caps, but seriously, I never thought a premise involving elite spy kids… or, err… pseudo-elite spy kids… would be in the same sentence as “cute” and “adorable”. In less than 3 hours, I finished from A-Z and I was like, “I NEED MORE SPY KIDS IN MY LIFE.”

Heroes don’t always look like heroes, and villains don’t always look like villains.

I had to work out who was who. I had to work out the truth.

Meet Hale Jordan – the son of two of the most elite spies of the SRS and the brother of a possible spy prodigy – a young soon-to-be-and-still-in-training spy who could not be anymore “unfit” for the role….

Review: Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Review: Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Posted by on 04/09/2015 • 3 Comments

I was hoping that this would be cute and fun, but I found myself so annoyed by the MC that I couldn’t really enjoy the book at all. I think that the story itself was pretty interesting, but I couldn’t stand Ivy. I did enjoy the stuff about the Clock Diamond and its magic and Ivy’s journey though. I wish that I could say that I enjoyed some of the characters, but I really didn’t. This is a middle grade book, so the younger crowd might enjoy it much more than me, and probably won’t find things as irritating as I did. The other thing that I liked about this book was the artwork. It was very good and thought that it really brought something more to the story. Since…

Review: Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly

Review: Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly

Posted by on 02/19/2015 • 8 Comments

This was a book that I was really excited to read. I didn’t like it quite as much as I had hoped, but it was really enjoyable. The characters were wonderful, especially Kymera. It was a bit predictable and long, but it was interesting so it kept me from getting bored with it. Even at its slow pace, the way things all came together was great and it was easy to get lost in.

Kym is a creation intended for the purpose of saving the sick girls from the wizard. She is very naive and only knows what her father has told her. She is happy with her mission and truly has a huge heart. She wants to do what is right and she wants to save everyone. She…

Review: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

Review: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

Posted by on 01/22/2015 • 2 Comments

I am always up for a fairytale retelling, so of course I had to read this book. Especially since it has a dark twist to it. This was a book that was so easy to get into and get lost in. I loved uncovering all the secrets and find out how everything would end up. This is middle grade, but it the writing was very mature. the characters were great, though we don’t get to know many of them very well aside from Sarah and Alan. We learn about the other characters, but don’t really know them on an emotional level. Either way, this was a great book.

Sarah is a young girl, but wise beyond her years. She has moved around a lot and she is a bit…