The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler
Action and Adventure , Fantasy , Fiction , Series / June 26, 2016

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 has a magical library and despite the fact that she doesn’t believe in magic she is forced to change her mind.   I really like how magic and books are intertwined in the story.  Even though the story follows a girl its not a girly book.  The story is medium paced with spots that are pretty exciting, an overall fast read.  The author uses simple language but very well.  Even though this book is part of a series it could be read on its own, it is the best written of the three however the other two books are definitely worth reading.   There are similarities to the premise of this story and the book Ink Heart…

The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
Action and Adventure , Fantasy , Fiction , Series / June 26, 2016

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 characters in the book are killed while fighting multiple enemies which also makes this book the down arc of the series story line.  I did like the theme of friendship and learning to work together as a team, which makes the losses even harder.  The book starts starts off slow but speeds up through the middle and then slows to the end which happens abruptly leaving you ready for the third book.  If you read this book you have to read the third book so that you are not left with a sad, ugh, feeling.  It will be worth it in the end. AR Points 10 Lexile Level 880 Percy age 9

The Enchanted Palace by Rosie Banks
Fantasy , Fiction , Series / June 22, 2016

The first book in the Secret Kingdom series This book has a lot of things in it that I like such as fairies and unicorns. The girls are normal kids who discover fairies. This is the first book of the series where the girls get to know the fairies.  The fairies in this book are different than in some of the other series that I have read because they don’t have wings and use much less magic.  They are more like regular people who are just very tiny.  Even the unicorns are different than in any story I have read before.  In this first book we discover that an evil queen has hidden 6 thunderbolts throughout the fairy kingdom that cause bad things to happen.  I think that each book will have the girls and fairies working together exploring different parts of the kingdom to find the thunderbolts.  I really like how this book sets up the story for the rest of the series.  I also like that the girls were like me and my friends and I could imagine us going on the adventure. AR Points 1.0 Lexile level 720 Rosie age 6

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
Fiction , Mystery / June 21, 2016

First let me say this book is nothing like the Half Magic series by Edward Eager.  I thought it was one of those books but its completely different. I think The Magic Half was a good book.  It was about a girl who was the middle child with twin brothers and twin sisters.  Miri always felt left out until she finds an object that allows her to visit the girl who lived in her room in the year 1935.  Most of the book is about the girls becoming friends, keeping the magic secret and solving a mystery.  The girl from the past is named Molly and has a terrible family.  My mom didn’t like that the book talks about crimes like stealing and murder but it did’t bother me because it only says that people think a crime happened and it doesn’t tell anything about it. The girls have to follow clues in the past and the present to make things right.  This book has magic, treasure and mystery.    Sincerely, Rosie Lexie Level 640  AR points 5.0 Rosie age 6

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Action and Adventure , Fiction , Series / June 21, 2016

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 well making it easy to picture in your mind.  The clues are written so that you feel like you are solving them along with the characters.  There are picture puzzles in the book that you could solve without even reading the story.  The end is unexpected but if you went back and read it again you could find small details you missed that would have let you figure it out. There is no magic in this story, just advanced technology, and the kids are smart but ordinary.  I like how Mr Lemoncello likes to make everything a surprise.  The story mentions many other books and made me want to read some that I hadn’t heard…

Crater by Homer Hickam

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 researchers are really studying and I think the author is writing about one possible outcome if we proceed with it. The book starts kind of slow but it speeds up after the first chapter.  The author keeps you in suspense until the end.  The story touches on some difficult subjects such as genetically engineered workers and has some violence but its is only in part of a chapter.  There is only a little boy/ girl stuff, no kissing or anything, that doesn’t affect the story  Crater has lost his family but its only background information and not given much emotion. Overall this is a good adventure book that makes you want to keep…

The Fire Within by Chris D’lacey
Fantasy , Series / June 7, 2016

This is the first book in the Last Dragon Chronicles. This book is about a lodger named David who finds himself living in a family’s house who have a mysterious secret. Elizabeth and her daughter, Lucy can create clay dragons that come to life!  The Pennykettle’s give David his own special dragon, Gadzooks, as a gift.  The book is mostly about David’s life with the Pennykettles.   Lucy loves squirrels and so David starts writing her a story about squirrels.  As he writes the story he gets inspirational notes from his dragon.  David starts realizing that as he writes parts of his story actually come true.  (The story David writes is a funny side story in this book.)  David tried to understand how the dragons come to life and why his story seems to be real.  Is this part of the dragon’s magic or is it coming from David?  This first book in the series is more of a light funny read.  The series builds in action and excitement but this first one is just a lead in.  I enjoyed this book although it was not at all what I expected it to be.  I thought the idea  of making clay statues…