Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Friday, August 28, 2015

Book 480: The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan, Hyperion, 2011.

 I know that this book is setting up the next two books.  It felt a bit sluggish in places. In spite of that pace, however, what a great story!

And how fast does Rick Riordan write?!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book 479: Gertrude McFuzz

Gertrude McFuzz, by Dr. Seuss, Random House, 1979.

Poor Gertrude McFuzz.  How plainly does Seuss illustrate the dangers of covetousness in this cautionary tale.  And, yet, with so much humor and silliness, it is not only palatable, but delightful.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Book 478: The Lost Hero

The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan, Hyperion, 2010.

About eight or nine years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Rick Riordan and hearing him speak.  He was intelligent, articulate and funny -- just like his writing.  Percy Jackson was just starting to take off, so he probably had no idea how popular he would become, or that he would need to write a whole new series. But he did write (more than one series).  This, the first book of his second series is intriguing, engaging, and fun, from start to finish.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Book 477: A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh, originally published in 1934.

So, um, is satire supposed to break your heart and make you cry?  Just wondering.

The first half to two-thirds of this book does read like a spoof of Henry James or Edith Wharton.  The ending, however, is achingly sobering.

This is satire perfectly done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Book 476: Just Big Enough

Just Big Enough, by Mercer Mayer, Harper Collins, 2004.

I liked this book -- I like all of Mercer Mayer's books -- but this one wasn't a favorite.  The topic was good, and Little Critters attempts to grow were funny, but I wasn't satisfied with the resolution.  In real life, the big kids would probably win a running race.  Now if the kids had raced through tunnels or other small places, that would have had a different outcome and Little Critter would have been happy that he was little, or just big enough.

The illustrations, however, are perfect.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book 475: Yertle the Turtle

Yertle the Turtle, by Dr. Seuss, Random House, 1958.

Poor Yertle:  He wanted to be king of all he could survey, so he climbed on the back of more and more other turtle to get higher and higher to survey more and more.  Finally, the stack of turtle backs gave out and Yertle was dumped in the mud, and that was all he could survey.

Hmmmm.  Not too hard to read a deeper message in that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book 474: Son of a Witch

Son of a Witch, Gregory Maguire, HarpersCollins, 2006.

I liked this book.

The fact that the story is rather disjointed works, because the story is told in broken memories.  Throughout his life, and throughout this book, Lur never really knows who he is, or what he is capable of doing or becoming.  And, yet, he does some pretty amazing things.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book 473: Before the Beast

Before the Beast, by Karen Fyke Kirchel, 2008.

Um... I wrote this book, so I probably don't get to actually review it.  I will say that I just finished retyping it, editing it, and proofing it to turn it into an e-book, and it still was a great story.  :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book 472: Wicked

Wicked, by Gregory Maguire, 1995.

I have actually bought two copies of this book:  One I bought and read about ten years ago, and one I bought recently because I loaned the first copy to someone and it never came back and I wanted to read the sequel.

Yes, this book is dark.  It is also intriguing.  And, quite frankly, I find the book a whole lot less terrifying than the move The Wizard of Oz.  Knowing the motives may not change someone's actions, but it does go far in explaining them and even arousing sympathy for the Wicked.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Book 471: Horton Hears a Who

Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss, Random House, 1954.

I've said it before, but I do love Horton the Elephant.  He risks so much to save an entire world that he can't even see.  He, again, is a paragon of kindness.

And only in Seuss world would an elephant and a kangaroo share a jungle, but they are so delightfully drawn.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Book 470: Horton Hatches the Egg

Horton Hatches the Egg, by Dr. Seuss, Random Books, 1940.

I love Horton the elephant so much.  He is probably the kindest character in all of Seuss world.

In this book, Horton states "an elephant's faithful, one hundred percent".  And he was.  Even when hunting rifles were pointed at his heart.  Even when he was taken from his home and put on a boat.  Even when he was forced into a circus.  And he was rewarded for his kindness and faithfulness.