A blog for reviewing YA, children's, classics and whatever I feel like.
Also for discussing developments in the the book world, specifically in the St. Paul, Minnesota.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Reviewer: Book Girl
September is a girl with nothing extraordinary to her name.  One day, she is washing dishes when the Green Wind arrives with the Leopard of Little Breezes to whisk her off to Fairyland which is controlled by an the evil Marquess, who has outlawed all sorts of enjoyable things, like flying.  September is meets some witches who send her to the Marquess to take back the Spoon that she stole from them.

One thing I particularly enjoyed about this book was the Victorian style of writing that sort of reminds me of the Winnie the Pooh books.  The story itself is full of magical beings in beasts made up and that I recognized from myths and stories.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mr. Chickee's Funny Money

Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Reviewer: Sam
If you have ever read Christopher Paul Curtis, you have had a taste of his magic of imagination. Now, he gives us Steven who is given a 1,000,000,000,000,000 dollar bill by Mr. Chickee. At first, he is happy to have a quadrillion dollars. But then he finds out it is just trouble. With detective agents chasing him, he and his pals Russel and Zoopy, must find out the truth about the dollar.

It is true, money is the roof of evil, though, I have to admit, it can be hilarious.

A Plague Year

Author: Edward Bloor
Reviewer: Book Girl
The title of this year suggests a medieval plague, perhaps the bubonic plague.  But the real subject is even more frightening and real: meth.  The plague takes place in a small mining town in Pennsylvania and is chronicled through Tom's journal.  Towards the beginning it is only a few that are affected, then signs of the plague are everywhere, on street corners, and friends, and even their parents.  But Tom has many people to turn to for help: a drug counseling group that turns into something deeper, an English teacher who has them read books on plagues and even his bad- boy cousin.  But how can he stop the plague from killing the town, and everyone he knows?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Familiars

Author: Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Reviewer: Sam
Aldwyn the cat while being chased, hops into a store window to find many animals with many different talents. He is chosen to be a boy named Jack's familiar, and soon has the life of 3 people, in his paws. But for the plan to succeed, they need to use his magical abilities, which he does not have. Read the book to find adventure, magic, and so many twists and turns they could turn you inside out.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History

Author: Adam Selzer
Reviewer: Book Girl
This was hilarious!  It is set up like a history textbook, but unlike a history textbook, it is full of jokes, funny captions and rhymes to help you remember history such as:

Roses are red, violets are blue
Benjamin Franklin
Invented the stove

This book actually engaged me and made me want to read more, unlike some other books about history that I have read in my free time that I have abandoned after the first chapter.  Read it!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Author: Mary Shelley
Reviewer: Book Girl

This book was very different than what I was expecting.  I came to it prepared to be completely horrified at how Frankenstein kills people.  Instead, the beginning of the book opens with a sea captain's letters to his sister as he navigates the frozen arctic tundra. However, a crazy looking man by the name of Victor Frankenstein comes to his ship on a dogsled across the ice.  Then, this new guy starts basically telling the story of his life, which is all very fine and jolly.  Things start to get interesting when he talks about wanting to research how the very life is given to living things.  He decides to create his own human, and makes it out of parts of dead bodies (ugh!) which he then shocks to life.  When he leaves the room and comes back, the monster is gone.  Then he returns to his home and finds out that his younger brother has been killed, a good friend of the family is accused of the crime, and he discovers his monster is responsible.  Thus, Victor tells the story of his quest to rid the world of the monster once and for all.

As for how the reading of the actual book went, it was pretty slow going.  I read the original version of the story, and everyone talks in a very flowery manner.  Also, the author seems very prejudiced towards peasants and people who are not very high in society.  Well, that was gist I got, because every time the narrator got to know peasants, he found out that they were orphaned from dukes and duchesses or exiled from their home country.  Overall I consider the book a good read, but the flowery bits can get rather dull.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Merriam Park Library is Back!

After being closed for over a month, the Merraim Park Library is back!  It's reopening today drew crowds, anxious to get back their library and to see the new renovations.  The biggest change is the information desk, which was torn down and replaced by a sitting area.  The main desk looks sleek and new, and when you return books, the barcode is scanned automatically.  Bibliophiles rejoice!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Alanna: The First Adventure

Reviewer: Book Girl
Author: Tamora Pierce
Picture this: a girl growing up in a medieval style land.  You see gowns and fancy dinners.  But this book is utterly different: Alanna disguises herself a boy in order to train to become a knight.  She is the smallest and weakest of all the pages, but still becomes the close friend of Jonathan, the heir to the throne, after saving his life using her healing magic.  But the disease was not natural.  There is a dangerous mage out to kill Jonathan, and it is up to Alanna to save his life.

Half Magic

Reviewer: Sam
Author: Edward Eager
Half Magic is more then half awesome. Katherine, Martha, Jane and Mark have found a nickle. At least, that was what they thought it was at the time. After a while, they found out the "nickle" granted wishes. Well, half way. If you wanted 2 hotdogs, you had to wish for 4. But sometimes they forgot they had it.Well, I'm halfway done with this review. Remember, be careful what you wish for, because you will probably regret it later.


You might have noticed I have not posted recently.  Sorry about that.  However, I will be bringing back the guest reviewers.  First up: Circus Man Sam!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher
Review Writer: Book Girl
This book is kind of depressing but a very good read.  It is basically a girl's suicide tapes, that tell thirteen people why they are responsible for why she killed herself.  The narrator is one of the people on the tapes, and I kind of skipped over the commentary he was giving as the tapes were playing.  Overall a very good read.