Saturday, December 29, 2007

A lot of new challenges!

I'm joining a ton of new challenges this year! I only have two books left for the Four-legged Friends and two for the Book Awards Challenge, so I should have plenty of time for these new challenges! I'm not posting my list for the What's In A Name Challenge here because I already have a separate post for that.

First, there's the Sci-Fi Experience, hosted by Carl. This isn't really a challenge, but I'm looking forward to reading lots of good sci-fi books!

Second, there is the Mythopoeic Award Challenge, hosted by Lenneth. Here is my list:

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Tithe by Holly Black

Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Third, there is the Young Adult Challenge, hosted by Joy. Here is my list:

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Swan Sister edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Finishing Becca by Ann Rinaldi

Maximum Ride: School's Out--Forever by James Patterson

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Underworld by Catherine Macphail

Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison

Fourth, there's the Back To History Challenge, hosted by Shannon. This is my list:

Finishing Becca by Ann Rinaldi

Number The Stars by Lois Lowry

The Coffin Quilt by Ann Rinaldi

On The Edge of Revolution by Deborah Kent

Air Raid Pearl Harbor by Theodore Taylor

Amelia's War by Ann Rinaldi

Seeds of Hope by Kristiana Gregory

The Plague by Philip Wooderson

Burning Issy by Melvin Burgess

I Am Regina by Sally M. Kehn

West To A Land Of Plenty by Jim Murphy

What Was Watergate? by Pamela Kilian


A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-Li Jiang

11,000 Years Lost by Peni R. Griffin

Two Girls Of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein

Robert E. Lee by James I. Robertson Jr.

Ulysses S. Grant by Steven O'Brien

The Seer of Shadows by Avi

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

Lucy and Her Times by Paseal Pieg and Nicole Verrechia

Fifth and finally, there is the First In A Series Challenge, also hosted by Joy. Here's my list:

So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce

Larklight by Philip Reeve

The Fire Within by Chris D'Lacey

Northlander by Meg Burden

Triskellion by Will Peterson

Terrier: The Legend of Beka Cooper by Tamora Pierce

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

The Divide by Elizabeth Kay

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

That's all!

Friday, December 28, 2007

All I got for Christmas was books (not really!)

I can not believe how many books I got for Christmas!

These are the ones I got from Santa (aka Mom and Dad):

These are the ones I got from Mom and/or Dad:

This is the really cool book I got from Jean (thanks Jean!):

I received these books from my Uncle John and Aunt Susan (and cousins Sean and Cole):

These are the books I received from our friends Aaron, Kara, and Bryn:

And last but not least, I got gift cards from both my uncle Butch and Carl (thanks Carl!). This is what I got with them:

It looks like I've got a ton of good reading ahead of me!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (book review)

I read this book for both the Newbery and Four-legged Friends challenges.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
, by Roberta C. O'Brien, is the story of Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse, and her four young children. Mrs. Frisby is faced with a terrible dilemma. If she does not move from her winter home to her summer home, the farmer's plow will destroy both the house and her family. However, her young son Timothy is ill with pneumonia and if they move, he will surely die on the journey. One day, after saving a crow from the jaws of a hungry cat named Dragon, Mrs. Frisby learns about an intelligent breed of rats who call themselves the "Rats of NIMH". The rats may be the only ones who can help her... but will they?

This was a great story about a mouse who risked her own life to save her child. I liked the way the author compared Mrs. Frisby to a human mother in some ways. There was a lot of adventure in this story, and it was hard to put down at times!

I give this book 8 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Julie of the Wolves (book review)

I read this book for the Newbery Challenge.

Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George, is the story of 13-year-old Miyax (Julie, as her pen-pal in San Francisco calls her), whose father disappeared years ago. Miyax is running away from her Inuit village and a marriage gone wrong. However, finding her way on the tundra is not as easy as she had thought. Soon Miyax is lost in the wilderness with only a pack of wild wolves to help her survive. Slowly, she is accepted into their small pack as she learns what it truly means to love and to be a family.

This was an incredible story of adventure, coming-of-age, and family. Miyax is a very realistic character, as are her wolves. I liked how the author gave each pack member its own unique personality. I can't wait to read the sequels!

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Cat Who Went Bananas (book review)

(I read this book for the Four-Legged Friends Reading Challenge.)

The Cat Who Went Bananas, by Lillian Jackson Braun, is the story of Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum. In the story, Qwilleran investigates the theft of a rare and valuable book and the suspicious death of an out-of-town actor. He also tries to figure out the mystery behind Koko's strange behavior. Has the cat gone bananas, or is he trying to give Qwilleran an important clue? Read the book to find out!

I loved this book because it was a mixture of humor, suspense, and bonding between people and animals. The funny and clever cats provide a twist to the typical mystery scene.

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wolf (book review)

Wolf, by Gillian Cross, is the story of Cassie, a young girl who has always lived with her Nan. That is, until she hears mysterious footsteps one night. The next day she is sent to live with her mother in a slum. Cassie helps her mother and her mother's friends with their traveling show about wolves, but she never really feels like it's something she enjoys doing. Then, a threatening note appears on the side of their van. It's signed, The Big Bad Wolf. Cassie leaves on a journey to save her Nan, who is in danger from the note's author. In the process, she learns more about wolves and her long-lost father than she ever wished to.

This isn't the typical coming-of-age story. It is the story of a young girl maturing over time, but also packed into the plot are wolves, traveling shows, plastic explosives, and terrorists. It's a story of suspense that will have you wanting to stay up all night to finish!

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Moorchild (book review)

The Moorchild, by Eloise McGraw, is the story of Saaski. She is half Moorfolk and half human, and she threatens the safety of her Moorfolk companions because she cannot shape-shift or disappear at will. She is swapped with a human child as a changeling. Saaski is treated unfairly by all the village children because of her strange looks. The only place she feels at home is on the moor with her bagpipes at hand. But when memories of her life with the Moorfolk resurface, Saaski feels that it is her duty to bring back her mother and father's real child.

This book is different from the other stories I've read about changelings. They are usually portrayed as ugly or dumb children whom the Fairies have swapped for a real human child. I never thought about how a changeling would feel. Saaski didn't understand emotions such as love or hate, but she did feel sadness and happiness, as well as anger and jealousy.

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Up for a challenge? ***Sticky Post***

(Scroll down for more recent posts.)

UPDATE: I decided to set up a separate blog for the challenge. Head over to What's in a name?" for future info. You can sign up either here or there--I'll try to check both sites. Thanks!

I hope you answered "yes!" and that you'll join me in my reading challenge! I've been wanting to host a reading challenge for a while now, and finally decided to just take the plunge. Be patient with me though, since I've never done this before, o.k.?

This is a challenge that anyone can join, no matter what types of books they like to read. You should be able to find books from any genre that will work.

I'm sorry I don't have a banner for the challenge. I just don't know how to make one.
Update: Thanks to Court, we now have a couple of buttons to choose from. They're wonderful! Thank you, Court!

Update: Angela has also created some great buttons you might like. Find them at her icon journal. Thanks, Angela!

"What's In A Name?" Reading Challenge

Dates: January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008

The Challenge: Choose one book from each of the following categories.

1. A book with a color in its title. Examples might include: The Amber Spyglass, The Red Pony, Blue Blood

2. A book with an animal in its title. Examples might include: The Hound of the Baskervilles, To Kill a Mockingbird, Julie of the Wolves

3. A book with a first name in its title. Examples might include: Jane Eyre, the Harry Potter books, Anne of Green Gables

4. A book with a place in its title. Examples might include: From Russia with Love, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Out of Africa

5. A book with a weather event in its title. Examples might include: The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Red Storm Rising, Tornado Alley

6. A book with a plant in its title. Examples might include: Where the Red Fern Grows, The Name of the Rose, Flowers for Algernon

--You may overlap books with other challenges, but please don't use the same book for more than one category. (For example, you can use The Red Pony for either a "color" book or an "animal" book, but not for both.)

Prizes: Yes. There will be some small prizes (unless someone can convince my parents to raise my allowance!) awarded throughout the challenge, and a larger grand prize at the end. More details about this later.

To join in, simply leave a comment on this post with a link your list. I will post a list of participants here as they sign up.

Once the challenge has begun, I'll make a new post where I will link up everyone's reviews.

See, isn't this easy? Just six books in one year!

Have I left anything out? If so, please feel free to ask!
Answers to questions:
1. You don't need a blog to participate. Just put your list in the comments, and I'll post it here.
2. Feel free to change your list throughout the year, if something new pops up that fits the category.

***A big thank you to Chris for teaching us how to make this a sticky post!

--Jean (her list: COLOR--The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, ANIMAL--The Cheese Monkeys, FIRST NAME--Maisie Dobbs, PLACE--The Road, WEATHER EVENT--Isaac's Storm, PLANT--The Bean Trees)
--Gautami Tripathy
--The delinquent debutante
--The Biblio Brat
--Lake Oz Fic Chick
--Grammy (her list: NAME--The Redemption of Sarah Cain by Beverly Lewis, ANIMAL--The Wolf and the Dove by Katherine Woodiwiss, COLOR--The Silver Touch by Rosalind Laker, PLACE--Texas by James Michener, WEATHER EVENT--Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, PLANT--A Dinner of Herbs by Catherine Cookson)
-- The Book Fiend
--Mos Stef (Stephanie)
--Stephanie (Happy Medium)

Friday, November 30, 2007


I'm so excited that I finished NaNoWriMo! I'm so glad I decided to try. There were times when I was worried that I wouldn't make it. But now I'm definitely doing it next year!

Thanks, Jean, for all of your support and encouragement! I don't think I could have done it without you!

Obviously, I need to do a lot of editing to whip my story into shape, but I'm going to paste my prologue here, since no one could get to my site:

Winged Wolf’s Cry


In a land far away, past rolling hills and dense forests, a winged wolf stood on a ragged cliff. His searching eyes scanned the horizon worriedly. “Talia,” he muttered to himself, “where are you?”

He had been waiting for days, standing there, yearning for that flashing smile and those gleaming eyes. But it never came.

“You never should have let her go alone!” he silently cursed himself. “She never could have made it.”

He remembered all too well those dark pits of torture, where the Enemy captured winged wolves and took them, where his Daemons tortured them until they could stand it no longer…

He could stand it no longer. He howled out loud. The piercing cry echoed off of the cliffs and the caves around him.

“Jalon, you know where you have to go,” the wolf told himself, “before it’s too late…”

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (book review)

This book was for both the Book Awards Challenge and the Four-legged Friends challenge.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, by Terry Pratchett, is the story of a sly, talking cat named Maurice and his companions, a bunch of rats and a stupid-looking kid named Keith. Maurice is the mastermind behind the biggest pied piper scheme in Discworld. But when he leads Keith and the rats to the town of Bad Blintz, he doesn't know what trouble it's going to cause. Bad Blintz isn't like a normal town... something evil hides here, something that could destroy Maurice's scheme for good.

This book was suspenseful, funny, and dark. It was also a quick read. The characters were well-developed. This was the first book I've read by Terry Pratchett, and I can't wait to read more!

I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book Eight: The Outcast (book review)

This book is from my Four-legged Friends Challenge list.

Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book Eight: The Outcast, by Kathryn Lasky, is the story of a young Barn Owl named Nyroc. He has fled from his mother, Nyra, a tyrant who rules the Tytonic Union of Pure Ones. This is a group of evil owls who long to take over the owl world. Nyroc yearns to go to the Great Ga'Hoole tree, where noble owls study and fight the Pure Ones. However, first he must fulfill his destiny by heading to the dark place filled inhabited by warring dire wolf clans and volcanoes spewing fire--Beyond the Beyond.

This was the eighth book in the series, but only the second one that featured Nyroc. I enjoyed some of the books more than others. This was one of the better ones. Maybe I feel that way because there were wolves in it, and wolves are my favorite animal. The wolves had a little Macbeth theme going; a lot of their names were characters from the play. I thought that was interesting since I just read Macbeth!

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

2 more for the Newbery Challenge (book reviews)

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor, is the story of a black family living in Mississippi in the 1930's. Nine-year- old Cassie doesn't understand why she is humiliated in public by a white girl simply because she is black, or why the night men ride each night to the houses of black families. But after each horrible day, she always has a home and a family to return to. Will it stay that way?

I loved Mildred D. Taylor's moving story! Cassie had to go through many hard times, but she always had the support of her family, no matter what happened, so while this book could be very sad at times, overall, there was a real joy expressed.

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars.

The View from Saturday, by EL Konigsburg, is the story of a group of four very different 6th graders who come together in a pattern of strange events to form the Academic Bowl team for their school.

This book was actually more like four short stories that intertwine to become one big story. I really enjoyed this one!

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Best of Poe (book review)

The Best of Poe, by Edgar Allen Poe, is a collection of short stories and poems including The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, The Pit and the Pendulum, and many more. Some of my favorites were The Gold Bug and A Tale of the Ragged Mountains. There were also a few a few I didn't like. I found The Black Cat disturbing! Hop-Frog Or The Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs was very weird! Overall, I enjoyed the book very much! It was a fun introduction to Poe.

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something Wicked This Way Comes (book review)

Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury, is the story of two boys who discover an amazing carnival with a calliope that plays by itself, a tent full of freaks such as The Lava Sipper and the Skeleton, and a carousel that, depending on which direction you ride it, can make you younger or older. Jim, one of the boys, longs to ride the carousel and become older. His friend, Will, is wiser than that. However, one night Jim runs off with one of the carnival's keepers, Mr. Cooger, who has become young again by riding the carousel. Will reluctantly follows. But when Jim accidentally kills Mr. Cooger on the carousel, the boys get caught up in a whirlwind of nightmarish events having to do with the carnival, their families, and the constant battle between good and evil.

I loved Bradbury's fantastic writing! The book was full of vivid descriptions and wonderful writing. I can't wait to read even more of his books!

I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.

My List for "What's in a Name" challenge

Here's my list for the "What's in a name" challenge:

1. Black Beauty by Anne Sewell (a book with a color in its title)

2. Star in the Storm by Joan Hiatt Harlow (a book with a weather event in its title)

3. Molly Moon, Micky Minus, & the Mind Machine by Georgia Byng (a book with a first name in its title)

4. The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine (a book with a plant in its title)

5. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (a book with an animal in its title)

6.Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein (a book with a place in its title)

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Kingdom Keepers (book review)

The Kingdom Keepers, by Ridley Pearson, is the story of five teenagers who find themselves transported to Disney World at night whenever they go to sleep. The five are the chosen people to battle an evil group of Disney villains who've come to life! Can Finn, Maybeck, Willa, Philby, and Charlene save Disney World... and the whole country as well? You can find out by reading this book!

This story's plot was full of twists and turns. The characters were very well developed. I wish there was a sequel...and I wish I could be a Kingdom Keeper!

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Shadow Thieves (book review)

The Shadow Thieves, by Ann Ursu, is the story of 13-year-old Charlotte, an ordinary girl who lives an ordinary life. But her life transforms to anything but ordinary when she notices the yellow-eyed, white-faced men in tuxedos following her everywhere, she finds a very smart kitten, and her cousin Zee arrives from England. He believes he is the cause of a mysterious disease afflicting his friends in England. When Charlotte's friends start getting sick as well, Charlotte and Zee set out to find a cure. They find themselves in the Greek Underworld, where the angry grandson of Poisedon, Philonecron, kidnaps Zee. Charlotte marches to Hades himself to protest. She learns that Philonecron wants Zee to enchant his army of evil shadows so he can take over the Underworld. Zee is forced to obey. Can Charlotte and Zee save the Underworld in time? Read this book and find out!

I loved this book and I can't wait for the sequel! It was fast-paced, spine-tingling, and funny!

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Sight (book review)

(This book was on both my RIP challenge list and my Four-Legged Friends challenge list.)

The Sight, by David Clement-Davies, is the story of a young wolf named Larka, and an ancient prophecy about her and her pack. But an evil wolf named Morgra hunts Larka down, because she knows that Larka has a power beyond her own. Both wolves have a gift called the Sight, but Larka is the key to unlocking a greater power, and perhaps controlling all wolves in the world. Now her pack is on the run, and Morgra follows their every step. Will Larka ever be safe?

The characters in this book were very well-developed, even though there were a lot of them! It was a page-turner and I finished it in two days. I can't wait to read his other book, Fire-Bringer.

I give this book 9.5 out of 10 stars.

The Halloween Tree (book review)

The Halloween Tree, by Ray Bradbury, is a book about eight boys who, with help from a sinister man, embark on a fantastical journey through time and space to save their friend. They meet witches, mummies, gargoyles, and more as they search for the lost boy. Each boy is dressed in a different costume, and the boys visit the places and times where that "costume" was important (ancient Egypt and mummies, for example). The book sort of tells about how Halloween came to be.

I enjoyed the story and loved the author's way of writing! I can't wait to read more of his books!

I give this book a 9 out of 10 stars.

In other book news:
We went to Borders and I got three new books last night! Thanks to Jean, Mom bought me The Historian. Mom and Dad also bought Air Raid- Pearl Harbor! The Story of December 7, 1941 for me, and I bought Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean, which I'm reading right now.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Midnighters: The Secret Hour (book review)

Midnighters: The Secret Hour, by Scott Westerfield, is the story of a group of teenagers who live in a town called Bixby, Oklahoma. In Bixby, there are 25 hours in a day instead of 24! However, only people born at midnight can move freely during this time. Everyone else is frozen in time! Only these teenagers know about the secret hour. They call themselves the midnighters. But when Jessica Day moves to Bixby, she realizes she has the powers as well. But something is wrong. Creatures of the secret hour that have always left the other midnighters alone openly attack Jessica. Can Jessica and the other midnighters find out what it is before the creatures get her?

This book was fast-paced and frightening. The characters were both well-developed and believable. I really enjoyed the unique premise of this book; it definitely made me wish I was a part of it! I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

I give this book 9.5 out of 10 stars.

MacBeth (book review)

MacBeth, by William Shakespeare, is the story of a Scottish nobleman named MacBeth and his fall from glory due his hunger for power. After a great victory in battle, MacBeth meets three witches who tell him he will become king of Scotland. After he learns this, MacBeth kills the current king of Scotland, Duncan, and blames it on Duncan's bodyguards. He becomes king because Duncan's sons flee after their father's death. MacBeth also kills a general named Banquo, because the witches said his sons would become kings. Eventually, the other thanes become suspicious of MacBeth and attack his castle. MacBeth is finally killed by an honorable man named MacDuff.

I enjoyed this book, but it took a while to get used to the language, as this was my first experience with Shakespeare. I'd like read more of his work soon. I would also love to see this performed live!

I give this 9 stars out of 10.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Vampire Plagues Book One: London, 1850 (book review)

Vampire Plagues: London, 1850, by Sebastian Rook, is the story of Jack, a twelve- year-old urchin living by the docks of London. When a ship comes in at twilight, Jack knows it's an opportunity for him. However, Jack has never seen a ship like this one before. Only a young boy Jack's age and a flock of enormous black bats are found on the ship. Jack befriends the boy, Benedict Cole, and gets him to tell his horrifying tale of a failed expedition to Mexico and the strange disease that has come to London with him. Now Jack, Ben, and Ben's sister Emily are the only ones who can save London from a horrifying plague and an evil bat god with his minions, the vampires.

This story was full of adventure and horror. From the jungles of Mexico to the streets of London, there is never a boring part in this book! I have got to read the next one!

I give this book 9.5 out of 10 stars!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Hound of the Baskervilles (book review)

The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the story of the Baskerville family, who have been haunted by a monstrous hound since the 17th century. The story began with the death of Hugo Baskerville, whose throat was torn out by a huge dog. Centuries later, the spectral hound was thought to be merely a myth. But then Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on the moor with a hound's footprints nearby, and you can't help but wonder--is the legend true? Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson are on the case...

This book was suspenseful and spine-tingling. It was certainly a page turner, and the adventure seemed never-ending.

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The House With a Clock in Its Walls (book review)

The House With a Clock in Its Walls, by John Bellairs, is the story of ten-year-old Lewis, who leaves his home to live with his eccentric Uncle Jonathan. Lewis is amazed when he is told that both his uncle and his next door neighbor are witches! Lewis wants to learn magic, but his uncle forbids him to use magic books. When Lewis disobeys his uncle and brings evil Selenna Izard back from the dead, he has no idea of the trouble he has caused...

This book was a fast read, and also full of suspense and spookiness. I would not like to read this book in the middle of the night!!

I give this book 8 out of 10 stars.

Ptolemy's Gate (book review)

Ptolemy's Gate, third in the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud, is the story of seventeen-year-old Kitty Jones, who has had an encounter with a demon that she won't forget. The demon's name is Bartimaeus, and earlier he had shown her the pain of having to suffer at human hands. Kitty wonders if there will ever be peace between demons and humans. She summons Bartimaeus and soon gets caught up in a whirlwind of events involving her old rival, a young magician named Nathaniel. She soon finds herself helping Nathaniel, while along the way learning more about the past of Bartimaeus, and discovering a shocking secret.

This book was well-written and humorous, as well as suspenseful. The pages turned quickly! As for the conclusion, it caught me totally off guard!

I give this book 9.5 out of 10 stars.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam (book review)

I read Cracker! The Best Dog In Vietnam, by Cynthia Kadohata, for the four-legged friends challenge. This book was about a boy named Willie, a dog handler named Rick, and a German Shepard named Cracker. It took place during the Vietnam War. When Cracker was taken away from her owner, an 11-year-old boy named Willie, she didn't know what was going to happen. She was paired up with a man named Rick Hanski for military training. But Cracker wasn't so sure about Rick. If he wanted her to trust him, then he had to prove himself to her. By the time the two finally left for Vietnam, they had developed a close bond with one other. However, Cracker was separated from Rick during a battle. Rick was shot, and at the end of the battle, he was picked up by a helicopter and taken to a hospital and then back to America. Would he ever see Cracker again?

This book was very well-written and the characters were very believable people. It was a very sad book, however. Willie lost Cracker and after letting her go, she belonged to Rick and the military. Rick experienced the pain of losing someone close to him when his friend and his friend's dog were shot. His friend ultimately survived and went back to America, but his dog, Tristie, died.

I loved this book and I recommend it to dog lovers and anyone interested in historical fiction.

I give this book nine out of ten stars.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Big Book of U.S. Presidents (book review)

The New Big Book of US Presidents was by Todd Davids and Marc Frey. There isn't much to say about this one. It was basically your typical gathering of short biographies about the presidents. I did enjoy this book, though. One thing I found interesting were the short snippets about other things that were occurring during each president's time in office.

I give this book 8 out of 10 stars.

And that wraps up another challenge! My completed list:

1. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
2. The Cat's Mind: Understanding Your Cat's Behavior by Dr. Bruce Fogle
3. Wolf Country: Eleven Years Tracking the Algonquin Wolves by John B. Theberge with Mary T. Theberge
4. Mysteries of History by Robert Steward, Ph.D.
5. The New Big Book of U.S. Presidents by Marc Frey and Todd Davis

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Golem's Eye (book review)

The Golem's Eye, by Jonathan Stroud, is the sequel to The Amulet of Samarkand. It is the story of a fourteen-year-old magician named Nathaniel, who is trying to tackle the break-ins that are troubling London's magician population. However, just when Nathaniel seems to be getting somewhere, a series of more violent and vicious break-ins starts. Nathaniel knows he won't be able to solve this problem alone, so he calls on the very being he hoped he would never, ever see again.

This book was very suspenseful and it seemed as if there were a surprise waiting on every page. I certainly didn't expect what happened during this one! I can't wait to read the final book in this trilogy!

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Walking: A Dog's Point of View (writing assignment)

The squat beagle, hovering on the edge of obesity, lay in his bed in a tired heap. His eyes were rolled back into his head and the occasional snort slipped out of his mouth. Nothing could possibly wake him.

“We’re heading out on a WALK!”

Except for that.

Jumping out of bed, the dog padded over to his master, his tail wagging so hard that his behind was shaking like an old jalopy.

“DOWN, boy.”

Not the old down trick! Did he have to? The dog sat, hoping this would satisfy his master.

It failed to make his master glow with pride as the dog had hoped. His master pulled him down by his collar until he was lying below him. He was supposed to be ashamed, but he felt nothing but frustration.


Huh? The dog hadn’t caught that last part. Did he say chill? What else could he have said? Still, in case he was wrong, the dog lay on the floor.


Now that the dog could understand. He leapt up and shoved his head into his master’s leg.

“Calm DOWN, boy!”

This time the dog was too excited to pay any notice to the down word. The sun was shining, everyone was happy, and he had the world out there to explore!

Then, clouds rolled across the sky to cover up the sun. Darkness descended upon everything, and the world became a dangerous place. For out of the gloom came the most horrible monster anyone could imagine. The Choker.

The Choker was a black fabric winding its way around the dog’s muzzle. If the dog wanted to chase something, all his master had to do was pull the leash and… ouch! His face was pulled back and his throat tightened. The dog hated the Choker, and the Choker apparently hated him back.

His master slipped the Choker onto the dog’s face, managing to maneuver past the dog’s twisting and turning head. After that, they set out.

So many scents! So many sights! The dog was immediately overwhelmed. He should chase that stray cat. No, the squirrel would be easier to catch. Sniff. Sniff. The unmistakable scent of dog wafted towards his nose. The dog’s head was spinning. Ignoring all the confusion, he went on.

Soon after he had left his house, the dog spotted a little rabbit in the hedges. A deep, threatening growl escaped his throat. His would-be prey, now aware of his presence, dashed away. The dog was determined to follow it, but before he could, pain shot through his head. Not the Choker again!

Then, the dog had an idea, perhaps the best of his lifetime. He twisted his head to nearly unreachable angles, rubbed it on the grass, and escaped the Choker’s grip. Yet as soon as he freed himself, his master’s foot was on his leash.

“DOWN,” he commanded.

The dog didn’t want to obey, but he had no choice. He sat placidly as his master reacquainted him with his old nemesis. Then, his master turned around and dragged the dog home.

As soon as he set foot inside the door, the dog felt sleep approaching and retired to his bed. He would have to tolerate life with the Choker, or life without walks.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Four-Legged Friends List

I'm so excited to join the new challenge! Here's my list:

White Fang by Jack London (wolf)
Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The Outcast by Kathryn Lasky (owls)
Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The First Collier by Kathryn Lasky (owls)
The Cat Who Went Bananas by Lilian Jackson Braun (cat)
Poppy and Rye by Avi (mice)
Cat House by Michael Peak (cats)
Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata (dog)
A Dog Called Scholar by Ann H White (dog)
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett (cat and rats)
Watership Down by Richard Adams (rabbits)
The Sight by David Clement-Davies (wolves)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C. O'Brien (mice and rats)

The animal I'm reading in honor of is our family's beagle, Baker. We got Baker on October 28, 2006, as a birthday gift for my brother Gray. On that day, everyone was so excited. When Mom, Dad, and Gray headed off to Lollipop Farm, everyone at home was anxious to see what kind of dog we would get. They came home with a nervous and excited beagle who came with the name of Baker. What we didn't know was that Baker had thyroid problems, so we had no clue why he kept gaining weight. By January, he weighed a whopping 43 pounds, which is a lot for a beagle! Now, Baker takes a pill for his problem, is on a diet, and now weighs only 38 pounds. Everyone is so happy that Baker became a part of our family (except maybe Aldo, our cat)!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Beasties (book review)

The Beasties, by William Sleator, is the story of fifteen-year-old Doug and his sister Collette, who discover an underground city of strange creatures who call themselves The Family. Collette and "The Family", known by most humans as the Beasties, take an instant liking to each other, but Doug isn't so sure about them. The Beasties have never killed anyone before, but they've left a trail of mutilated victims through the wilderness. But as time passes and strange things start happening, Doug has to make a choice: side with the Beasties, or face the fact that he'll never be safe again...

This was a great book! Full of unexpected twists and turns, the book never bores you. Each suspenseful page is better than the last! And I loved the rich, believable characters!

I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

an update

I've decided to change my reading list a little bit. I read nearly 100 pages in The Beast of Noor, and I couldn't get into it. I'm going to substitute it with Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfield instead.

So here's my updated list:
*Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
*The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
*MacBeth by William Shakespeare
*Scary! 2 edited by Peter Haining
*The Sight by David Clement Davies
*The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
*Vampire Plagues Book One: London, 1850 by Sebastian Rook
*The Best of Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, and 30 Others
*The Bartimaeus Trilogy Book Two: The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud
*The Bartimaeus Trilogy Book Three: Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud
*The Beasties by William Sleator
*Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
*The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
*The Cronus Chronicles Book One: The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursa
*The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
*The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Lost Hearts (a short story review)

I read Lost Hearts, by MR James, for Short Story Sunday. Stephen is your average 11-year-old boy in England. He is excited about his new life with his uncle. But when strange things start happening, he is not so sure. First, he dreams about a strange figure upstairs, behind a locked door. Next, strange scratch-marks appear outside. Then Stephen learns about two children who met a nasty fate with his uncle, and now they want revenge...

This story is very well-written, and very scary! The author meant to put fear in your heart, and he definitely succeeded with me!

The Silmarillion (book review)

The Silmarillion, by JRR Tolkein, is the story of the Elves of Middle-Earth and how they came to be. The book goes into vivid detail when explaining all the battles and activity, and the reader can visualize clearly what happens. There were many characters and groups, and many events took place at once, in different places. The book starts with Iluvatar(The Creator), making the world. Then, Iluvatar created Elves, and later, Men. There were also less powerful, yet still very strong smaller gods, the Valar and the Maia. Unfortunately, one of the Valar turned to evil purposes, and this was Melkor. Throughout the book, Melkor (also known as Morgoth), plagued the lives of the Elves and Men. When Morgoth stole an Elf's most prized creations, which were three brilliant jewels, the Silmarils, it was too much for them to accept. Some of the Elves went to war against him, and soon others were caught up in the struggle. After many battles and deaths, finally the Elves, Men, and Valar were victorious against Morgoth.

I enjoyed this book very much, but it was considerably harder to read than Lord of the Rings. It also took me much longer to read. The first couple chapters reminded me a little of a creation myth, but that resemblance left as I got further into the book.

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Wolf Country (book review)

In Wolf Country, John Theberge tells the story of he and his wife Mary's adventures tracking the Algonquin wolves. Through his writings one learns a lot about a few of the wolf packs, such as the Jocko Lake and the McDonald Creek packs. You also get to know some individual wolves. The book describes the wolf-killing ban and the "winter of hate" that followed. It also talks about predator and prey relationships between wolves and deer, and the problems of coyote-wolf hybridization.

I enjoyed this book, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in wolves or in the wildlife of Algonquin park. I hope that sometime I can read his other books and that they are as well-written and interesting as this one!

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Video Nasty (Short Story Sunday Peril review)

Video Nasty, by Philip Pullman, is the story of three unsuspecting boys, a gruesome video, and a ghost...

Martin, Kevin, and David don't know what they are dealing with when they let the strange and mysterious boy watch their new video Snuff Park with them. At first they are just having fun, but then things start to get very scary. Just how does the weird boy know so much about Snuff Park?

I could tell straight away that this story was written by Philip Pullman. The dialogue was very similar to that of His Dark Materials. This was a very spooky story and I enjoyed every second of it. In fact, I can't wait to get to the next one!

This story gets 9 out of 10 stars.

(This story was from Scary! 2 edited by Peter Haining.)

Sounder (book review)

Sounder, by William h. Armstrong, is the story of a faithful coon dog named Sounder. Sounder is extremely loyal to his master, so when his master is taken away by the cops for stealing food to feed his family, Sounder tries to protect him. In the process, he nearly dies. Sounder helps his master's son live through the hard times ahead, but can he help the boy get his father back?

This was an extremely well written book, and I definitely enjoyed it. However, the story was so tragically sad that left me feeling a bit depressed.

I read book for the Newbery Challenge. (Four down, four to go.)

I give this book 8 stars out of 10.

The Penderwicks (book review)

The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall, is a story of friendship and adventure. The four Penderwick sisters: Batty, Jane, Rosalind, and Skye, are off to Arundel Mansion in the country for a great adventure. Once there, Skye accidentally runs into the owner's son, a boy named Jeffrey. Skye introduces Jeffrey to her sisters, and they become great friends. The sisters and their friend have many adventures they will never forget!

This book was OK, but I just couldn't really get into it. The sisters were very believable characters, but their personalities were not especially unique. It seemed as if the story was meant to be believable, but at times their adventures just didn't fit the bill. I have a feeling I would have enjoyed this book more when I was younger.

I give this book 6 stars out of 10.

Other books read since my last post:
*The Haunting of America by Troy Taylor (8 stars)
*Avalon Circle of Magic: All's Fairy in Love and War by Rachel Roberts (6 stars)
*The Sisters Grimm: The Problem Child by Michael Buckley (9 stars)
*His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (9 stars)
*The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (9 stars)
*A Break With Charity by Ann Rinaldi (8 stars)
*The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (9 stars)
*Sabriel by Garth Nix (9 stars)
*Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman (9 stars)
*Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors by Jenny Nimmo (9 stars)
*Catamount by Michael Peak (9 stars)
--That's a lot of good books lately!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Spooky Titles

I'm so excited that the R.I.P. II Reading Challenge is finally starting!

Here's my starting list, but I may add more. (Probably later today, since we're going to the library.)

*Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
*The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
*MacBeth by William Shakespeare
*Scary! 2 edited by Peter Haining
*The Sight by David Clement Davies
*The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
*Vampire Plagues Book One: London, 1850 by Sebastian Rook
*The Best of Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, and 30 Others

Updated to add:

*The Bartimaeus Trilogy Book Two: The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud
*The Beasties by William Sleator
*The Beast of Noor by Janet Lee Carey
*The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
*The Cronus Chronicles Book One: The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursa
*The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday, July 28, 2007

a couple more reviews

Mysteries of History, by historian Robert Stewart,explains some of the greatest mysteries of the world's past. The book starts with mysteries from prehistory and ends with modern times. A few examples include Stonehenge, Marco Polo, El Dorado, and J.F.K.'s assassination. Stewart goes into great detail and includes vivid, interesting pictures in each chapter. If you are particularly interested in a certain chapter, there are recommendations of good history books at the end.

I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it for anyone who is curious about the unexplained or anyone who is interested in history.

Shadow of a Bull, by Maia Wojciechowska, is the story of Manolo Olivar, the son of the famous bullfighter, Juan Olivar. The entire Spanish town of Arcangel is waiting for the day Manolo will fulfill his destiny and enter the ring. But Manolo has a secret he can't risk sharing with anyone: he is a coward and dreads the day he must start his bullfighting career. When the fateful day finally comes, Manolo must decide whether he wants to follow in his father's footsteps or live the life he truly wants.

This book was the sad and moving story of a boy coming of age and pursuing his destiny. If you are interested in Spanish culture or bullfighting, I highly recommend this book to you. The characters were interesting and you could easily believe they were real people.

Also read in the last two weeks:

*Flyte by Angie Sage (9 stars)
*Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The Hatchling by Kathryn Lasky (8 stars)
*Ida B by Katherine Hannigan (8 stars)
*The Children of the Lamp: The Cobra King of Kathmandu by P.B. Kerr (8 stars)
*Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (9 stars)
*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (10 stars)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

and pictures by Annie, too

(Annie--I hope you don't mind that I snuck onto your blog and posted your drawing. Just really loved this one. Love you! --Mom)

Monday, July 16, 2007

first 3 for the Book Awards Challenge

King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian, by Marguerite Henry, is the story of a stable boy, Agba, and his prized horse Sham. Together with a spunky cat, they have many adventures together and face many dangers.

This book was interesting, but sad. Sham lived with many cruel owners and no one except Agba appreciated his speed. It is a classic story that horse-lovers should definitely read. (7 out of 10 stars)

Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink, is the true story of the author's own grandmother. Caddie is not like other pioneer girls. She likes plowing, gathering nuts, and going on adventures rather than sewing and baking. Caddie gets in lots of interesting situations. Come along with her and explore the frontier!

This book was a humorous story of courage and coming-of-age. Caddie is only 11 in the book, but when she gets older, she knows she'll have to learn about being a housewife. Though the characters were real, the author changed Caddie's story a little. It still has a very authentic feel. (7 out of 10 stars)

The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer, is the story of a boy named Matteo Alacran who doesn't know why everyone else looks at him with scorn. That is, until the fateful day when Matt finds out that he is not a human...he is a clone. Matt is the clone of the lord of the country Opium, a monster named El Patron. Matt thinks he is safe, until the horrible day when he finds out what clones are really used for. His only chance is to escape across the border into Aztlan, what was once called Mexico. It is dangerous though. Will Matt make it?

This was a suspenseful fantasy about coming-of-age and destiny. The characters were interesting and very believable. The book moved along at a smooth pace. There were sad parts and happy parts, and I'd say this book was just right. In fact, this was my favorite book of the three. (8.5 out of 10 stars)

Also read since the previous post:
*Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (9 stars)
*First Kisses: Puppy Love by Jenny Collins (7 stars)
*The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (8.5 stars)
*Whittington by Alan Armstrong (7 stars)
*Wolf Moon by Charles De Lint (8.5 stars)
*The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford (9 stars)
*Children of the Lamp: The Blue Djinn of Babylon (8 stars)
*Varjak Paw by S.F. Said (9 stars)
*Sixth Grade Secrets by Louis Sachar (8.5 stars)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

3 from the Newbery Challenge (book reviews)

Over the last couple weeks, I read the first three of my Newbery Challenge books (as well as several non-challenge books). The first of these was The Tale of Despereaux...

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo is the story of a mouse with remarkably big ears named Despereaux. Despereaux does something that sends him deep into the dungeons of his home castle: he lets a human touch him! It's true that Despereaux has fallen in love with the human princess and he will do anything for her. So when she disappears, what will Despereaux do?

This was a heartwarming story that would be a wonderful book for families to read together. Despereaux is an unlikely, but courageous hero. This book will be sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.

The next book from this challenge that I read was Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes...

Jerry Pye has always wanted a dog, so when he saves up enough for Ginger Pye, he is so excited. Ginger knows all sorts of tricks and he can track Jerry down wherever he is. Ginger is soon the talk of the town. Ginger lives a pretty good life...until he is stolen!

Ginger Pye is a funny, yet sad animal story with another unlikely hero. I thought this book was very enjoyable and I want to read the other books by this author as well.

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.

The next book in the challenge I read was Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech...

Salamanca Tree Hiddle is excited when she gets a chance to see her mom again. Sal hasn't seen her since she moved away. On the trip, Sal's grandparents are entertained by Sal's story about her friend Phoebe, Phoebe's disappearing mother, and a lunatic. Although they enjoy their trip, nothing can prepare Sal for the tragedy that awaits them at the end of their journey.

This story was actually two separate stories interconnected: Pheobe's which is funny, and Sal's which is tragic. This is a good family story and one that adults and kids would enjoy.

I give this book 9 out of 10 stars, my favorite of the Newbery Challenge books so far.

Other books read in the last couple weeks include:
*Warriors: The Sight by Erin Hunter (my favorite series) -10 stars-
*The Horse Charmers by Terri Farley -8 stars-
*Letters from Wolfie by Patti Sherlock -7 stars-
*The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein -9 stars-
*Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin -9 stars-
*MayBird: Among the Stars by Jodi Lynn Anderson -9 stars-

Saturday, June 30, 2007

another challenge

The Book Awards Challenge hosted by 3M sounds like a fun one. You just need to read 12 award winning books in 12 months.

I think these all of these qualify...

1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Pulitzer Prize 1961)
2. The Borrowers by Mary Norton (Carnegie Medal 1952)
3. The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw (Golden Kite Award 1996)
4. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Newbery Award 1936)
5. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Newbery Award 1949)
6. Shadow of a Bull by Naia Wojciechowska (Newbery Award 1965)
7. The Penderwicks by Jeannne Birdsall (National Book Award-Young People's Literature 2005)
8. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (National Book Award-Young People's Literature 2002)
9. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett (Carnegie Medal 2001)
10. Wolf by Gillian Cross (Carnegie Medal 1990)
11. The Ghost Drum: A Cat's Tale by Susanna Price (Carnegie Medal 1987)
12. Watership Down by Richard Adams (Carnegie Medal 1972)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Cat's Mind (book review)

The Cat's Mind, by Dr. Bruce Fogle, is the key to deciphering your cat's behavior. It explains the problems of spraying, wandering, and fighting, and it debates about whether neutering is the best thing for your cat or not. The book shows you step-by-step how your cat catches prey. At the end, there are also graphs explaining how neutered males, females, neutered females, and males compare in subjects like hygiene, friendliness to other cats, loudness, etc.

Although this was a highly scientific book and there were some things I didn't quite understand, I still learned a lot from this book and hope to read Bruce Fogle's other book, The Dog's Mind.

I give this book 8 out of 10 stars.

Non-Fiction Five Reading Challenge: 2 books down, 3 to go.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

a final wrap-up

I'm so happy to have finished
the Spring Reading Thing reading challenge. I wasn't sure if I would make it, especially since I had 15 books to read for the Once Upon a Time Challenge at the same time. Here's my list of 30 books for this challenge:

1. A Rat's Tale by Tor Seidler (library book)
2. On the Wings of a Dragon by Cora Taylor (library book)
3. Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan (library book)
4. Danger After Dark by Ellie McDonald
5. One for Sorrow, Two for Joy by Clive Woodall (re-read)
6. The Naked Mole-Rat Letters by Mary Amato (re-read)
7. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
8. Trixie Belden: The Gatehouse Mystery by Julie Campbell
9. Blue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth (re-read)
10. The Keys to the Kingdom: Drowned Wednesday by Garth Nix
11. Nancy Drew: The Wrong Chemistry by Carolyn Keene
12. Nancy Drew: Out of Bounds by Carolyn Keene
13. Nancy Drew: Flirting with Danger by Carolyn Keene
14. Dear America: The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce-A Pilgrim Boy by Ann Rinaldi
15. Dear America: The Winter of Red Snow-The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart
16. Shiva's Fire by Suzanne Fisher Staples
17. Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
18. Charlie Bone and the Time Twister by Jenny Nimmo
19. Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy by Jenny Nimmo
20. Clara Barton and the American Red Cross by Eve Marko
21. The Little People: Stories of Fairies, Pixies, and Other Small Folk by Neil Philip
22. Meet Kit by Valerie Tripp
23. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
24. Unearthing the Dragon by Mark Norell
25. Girl in Blue by Ann Rinaldi
26. Dragon: Hound of Honor by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamelton
27. Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander
28. Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man by Wendelin Van Draanen
29. Pendragon: Black Water by D.J. MacHale
30. Tai Shan of the Dead by Jean Lightner Norum

It feels good to have met this challenge. Not only did I read a lot of good books, but now Mom and Dad owe me a new book for finishing! A few of my favorite reads from this list would have to be Diary of a Young Girl, Dragon: Hound of Honor, Blue Jasmine, and Tai Shan of the Dead. Anyway, I hope I can do as well on the
Non-Fiction Five Reading Challenge, The Newbery Challenge, and the Book Awards Challenge (which I haven't finished making my list for yet).

The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce (book review)

The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce is a Dear America book written by Kathryn Lasky. It is the story of a young orphan who comes to America as an indentured servant on the Mayflower. Jasper is exposed to a whole new world full of "savages", strange beasts, and hidden worlds. When two boys threaten Jasper after he bravely stops their duel in the village, he has no choice but to run away into the wild. Jasper is taken in by the Native Americans as one of their own, but he dreads the day when they must return him back to the village.

This was one of the best Dear America books I have read. The plot was interesting and you never knew what adventure Jasper was going to run into next!

I give this book 8.5 out of 10 stars.

The Spring Reading Thing reading challenge: 30 books down, 0 to go!