This is the first book in the Secret series I really like the way way he writes these books because he is talking to you but wants to keep story details secret.  The main characters are Cass and Max-Ernest, two kids who struggle to make friends, who get thrown into an adventure they know nothing about.  When someone from their school gets kidnapped they have to follow the clues to a mysterious spa where they find out about a secret society.  T...

This is the second book in the Secret series. The book is written in the same fun style where the author is talking to you.  The book starts by giving you some insight into what the bad guys are doing.  Then it resumes with Cass and Max Ernest.  They find a magical object that draws them deeper into the mysterious society.  Once again they are following clues, this time to find the source of evil.   They are only beginning to discover how they...

This is the third and last book of the The Forbidden Library series This book picks up where the last book leaves off with Alice angry and seeking revenge.  I didn’t like that revenge was the driving force however the author is clever in slowly redirecting her anger.  Eventually Alice discovers that getting revenge doesn’t make you feel any better.  The themes of friendship and teamwork continue in this book.  The whole book builds...

This is the first book of the three book Forbidden Library series If you’ve ever felt like a good book transports you into the story then this is a book for you. The book is about a girl named Alice who is a normal girl who overhears a conversation that changes her life.  After the tragic loss of her father (which she struggles with emotionally in the story) she is sent to live with an uncle she doesn’t know.  She discovers that he...

This is the second book in the Forbidden Library series This book is much stranger than the first book.  The library apprentice is driven mad  and becomes the bad guy of book. Alice and her friends are forced to fight the monsters from every book in order to stop an evil plot. I didn’t like that the author chose to make the apprentice the brother of Alice’s friend.  This makes the story have a sad, uneasy undertone.  Other characte...

Be warned: the first two chapters are kinda slow and not very exciting but the rest of the book is fun filled and action packed.  I wanted to stop reading it at the end of chapter one but my mom convinced me to keep reading and I’m glad I did.   The book is full of mysterious puzzles and interesting gadgets and gizmos.  As soon as you enter the library you feel like you have gone to another world.  The author describes the library really...

I liked this book a lot.  The story is about a very optimistic boy named Crater who is stuck working as a Helium 3 miner on the moon.  When he is sent on a special assignment to a city on the other side of the moon he discovers a plot that might put Crater and everyone with him at risk.  The author addresses some difficulties of living on the moon and consistently uses the setting as part of the story.  Helium 3 mining on the moon is something...

Latest Reviews

The Tail of Emily Windsnap By Liz Kessler
Fantasy , Fiction , Series / October 4, 2016

I really liked this book.  Emily is a normal girl in the beginning of the book who really wants to find out about her father.   Her mother never talks about him and Emily suspects there is a mystery there.  Her desire to find him becomes even stronger when she discovers she is a mermaid.   She starts to suspect something is unusual about her neighbor, Mr Beeson,  who is the lighthouse keeper.  He may know more than he lets on.  Soon ...

Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep By Liz Kessler
Fantasy , Fiction , Series / October 4, 2016

Emily is back and this time we find out all about life as a mermaid.  Her mother now lives in a boat over her father’s part of the ocean, near the Bermuda Triangle.  Emily can now spend time with both of her parents.  She eats breakfast on the boat then can jump down through a trap door straight into the ocean.  Emily is very happy to have her family together. She is joined again by her mermaid friend Shawna and she makes many ...

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence
Mystery / July 24, 2016

This is the first in the Maisie Hitchins series.  These books take place in London a long time ago.  They are about a girl who loves to pretend she is a detective.  She wants to be like Sherlock Holmes when she grows up.  One day as she is walking home from the market she finds a puppy in a bag that has narrowly escaped from being drowned.   The puppy soon becomes her sidekick as Maisie travels through London looking for mysteries. S...

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Fiction , Mystery / July 24, 2016

I believe this book was originally a stand alone book that has since been made into a series. This book is a bit unusual.   The main two characters are a boy and girl who find themselves in the middle of a mystery involving secret correspondence and stolen paintings.   The boy has a set of pentominoes that he always keeps in his pocket.  Each time he pulls out a pentomino the letter it represents becomes the first letter of a clue th...

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Fiction / July 22, 2016

Reviewed as a mother, A retired teacher suggested this book to me several years ago.  It was originally published in 1961 and while the few people I have met who have read it loved it the vast majority had never heard of it.  I read it aloud to the kids when they were 5,6 and 8.  They loved the story and still recall parts of it, reciting it at the oddest times.   The book jacket describes a story about a boy who gets into his toy ca...

The Fellowship of The Ring- By JRR Tolkien
Fantasy , Series / July 22, 2016

Reviewed as a mother, I had already read The Hobbit as a read aloud to my three children twice and they loved that story and were more than capable of retaining their attention for the duration.  At age 6, 8 & 9 they asked if I would read the Fellowship of The Ring.  I have seen the reviews of other parents saying that the story was way over their children’s heads however my children are exceptionally good readers and have ...

The Hobbit- By J R R Tolkien
Fantasy , Fiction , Series / July 22, 2016

Reviewed as a mother, We have read this book twice as a read aloud. The first time when the kids were 4, 6 & 7 and again recently at 6, 8 & 9.  They loved the tale both times.  The story has a large cast of characters each having a distinct personality and point of view.  It is a classic adventure story with unlikely heroes, that make mistakes, and dark bad guys.  The first time I read it I had to tone down the descriptions o...

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
Fiction , Science Fiction / July 22, 2016

I wasn’t sure if I would like this book at first.  It was one of the books my mom got for me for my summer reading goal.   I have to admit that the story got me interested right away with the way the author introduces the knight.  We normally think of king Author’s knights as being serious and honorable but Twain’s knights are ridiculous in the way they exagerate their tales.  Merlin is an attention seeking showman ...

Fairies and the Quest for Never Land by Gail Carson Levine
Fantasy , Series / July 22, 2016

This is the third book in this series.  All of them had really pretty pictures.  This one was my favorite because it had a little girl named Gwendolyn.  This story brings in some of the Peter Pan story.  Wendy’s kiss necklace has been passed down mother to daughter for generations and Gwendolyn receives it for her birthday.  Unlike her mother and grandmother she is more interested in the fairies than in Peter Pan.  Gwendolyn fi...

The Unseen World of Poppy Malone; A Gaggle of Goblins by Suzanna Harper
Fantasy , Series / July 8, 2016

This is the biggest book I have ever read but it was a good one.  The book starts off slow with Poppy and her family moving into a new house.  Poppy’s parents are ghost hunters but Poppy doesn’t believe in supernatural stuff.  Poppy wants to be a scientist and only believes in things that can be proven.  Poppy’s older sister doesn’t pay much attention to her and her brother is boring.  Her little brother, Roll...