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 starts spending more and more time by the ocean where she makes a friend who  helps her along the way.   Emily discovers more than just the identity of her father.   The author is very descriptive creating a world you can picture in your mind.  Sometimes Emily sounds more like a little girl written by a grown up than like a normal girl but she is still a fun character to read about. There is a second book (I also enjoyed) please see my next review on book2. Bye for now, Rosie (age 6) AR Points 6  Lexile level 600  

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 new friends.  We find out about mermaid school and life under the ocean.  Everything is going great for Emily until she accidentally awakens an ancient sea beast called the Krakin.  ITs really fun finding out what she does next. I like this book more than the first book.  It is more fun and has a more colorful setting.  I’ve heard there is another book but mom hasn’t found it yet.  Stay tuned and I will write a review when I get it. Bye, Rosie (age 6) AR points 6 Lexile Level level 570

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 a long history of enjoying complicated books.  I knew that this story line moves into a much darker direction than the Hobbit but I was prepared to deal with that so we began to read.  The main idea of the story hooked them in immediately.  They were already imagining another Hobbit like adventure, this time with a seemingly less uptight hero and merrier companions.  Immediately the differences between the two books began to become evident.  It had been many many years since I had read these books and I had forgotten much of the lesser details of the story.  It feels to me (opinion only, not based on reading historical accounts of Tolkien’s life so do not feel the need…

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 of some of the nastier characters because they are very detailed and were too intense for my youngest however this year she was unfazed but it.  Some people are drawn to this story because of its extreme fan fare where others are turned off by.  I say, it is just a book.  It should be judged on the same criteria as any other book.  The overall theme is one highlighting friendship, camaraderie and the ability of one small person to make a significant impact on those around them.  The language and voice are rich but not too complex for young listeners.  There were only a few times which further description was needed to help a…

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 finds herself in at the home tree at a bad time.   Kyto the dragon has gotten loose and is planning to destroy pixie hollow.  Gwendolyn wants to help but the fairies worry that she might make things worse.  This book is a fun adventure and lets us find out more about my favorite fairies.   There are some sad parts but it works out okay in the end. AR Points 5 Lexile Level 620

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, Rolly, is a real handful until one day he follows the older kids into the woods and when they return he is suddenly quiet and well behaved.  Poppy knows that something is wrong and is determined to figure out what has happened to her little brother.  She goes into the woods and discovers goblins.  She records information about them to prove that they are real.  Finding out what happens to Rolly is very exciting.  There are funny parts in the book and I really like Poppy.  She is very adventurous, smart and interesting.  There are few hard words in this book but not too many.  My mom says there are other Poppy books and I plan to read them all.  Look for my reviews to come….

Half Magic by Edward Eager
Fantasy / June 29, 2016

This is the first of Edward Eager’s books I read.  I have really liked all of them but this one is the best.  The story is about 4 siblings who find a magic coin that grants them exactly half of whatever they wish for.  Just imagine how complicated that could get.  The author has a lot of fun choosing which half of the wish the kids get. The story takes place a long time ago, like when our great grandparents were kids.  I don’t think the story would be too different if it took place today other from the language the author uses and the freedom the kids have.  I actually like the way the kids talk.  The book is full of words we don’t use very much like vexed and cross (angry).  The kids are funny and creative.  This book is a little slower read because of the wording but the story moves quickly.  I would highly recommend it and all the other books in the magic series. AR Points: 5.0 Lexile level 830 Percy read at age 7

Queste by Angie Sage
Fantasy , Fiction , Series / June 29, 2016

This is the fourth book in the Septimus Heap series. My favorite thing about this book series is that the author gives each book an interesting storyline with a beginning, middle and end.  Each book is interesting on its own but is so much better because of how she ties in different details from the last books and carries them forward.  I love the plot of this book with Septimus being sent on a quest that no one has ever returned from but some parts of the story were kind of strange.  I didn’t like the way the book began, it doesn’t flow as well as the rest of the books and the concept is odd.  I’m not a fan of the reoccurring use of evil ghosts interfering with our characters but it works and it is becoming a bigger part of the larger story.  I did enjoy this book, even though there were things I didn’t like about it. Ms Sage has some interesting ideas about a place where all times (past, present and future) converge and she uses this to send Septimus and his friends on an exciting adventure.  There is more talk about boys and girls liking each…

Physik by Angie Sage
Fantasy , Fiction , Series / June 29, 2016

This is the third book in the Septimus Heap series In this third installment Ms Sage adds some new twists including traveling back in time and an evil ghosts who is trying to return to the world of the living.  Now, before you decide to stop reading this series here let me say that at first I didn’t really like the direction she took in this book however the more I read the more sucked in I got and by the end of the book I thought her approach was really smart.  The author creates an opportunity for Septimus to learn long forgotten magical skills and she lays foundations in the past for story elements she uses in the future (and continues to use in the other books).  This book is a little bit darker and more ominous than the last two with some, scary or at least anxiously suspenseful parts. The book has a satisfying ending but leaves you wondering what will happen to Septimus and his friends next. AR Points 17.0 Lexile Level – not rated Percy age 9

Flyte By Angie Sage
Fantasy , Fiction , Series / June 28, 2016

This is the second book in the Septimus Heap series This story picks up right where the last left off with young Septimus Heap beginning his apprenticeship with the Extraordinary Wizard.  In this story we learn a lot more about magic and the life of a wizard as well as life in the castle.  This story introduces even more characters to the already large cast including a dragon, a wolf boy and a funny scribe.  This story takes you on a wild ride that includes kidnappings, sibling rivalry and witches.  Mom says there is some boy/girl stuff in this book with the witches but I just thought they were weird, its not like there is a bunch of kissing or romance.  This book was almost as good as the first with a great storyline of its own.  Make sure you keep reading at the end to find out fun tidbits about each character.   Overall this is another really great book! AR Points 16.0 Lexile Level 950 Percy age 9