Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review: "Darius and Twig" by Walter Dean Myers

I'm always happy to read a new Walter Dean Myers book. The author has yet to disappoint me. His latest novel, "Darius and Twig" is stylistically familiar-- real, heartfelt and gritty, a bit less grit than usual. Also familiar is the thought I get when I read a Myers' story, the thought that reading this story could be so helpful and clarifying to some reader. I want to keep a spare copy in my purse or trunk so that I can whip it out when necessary and announce "Hello!! Please read this before you....

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: The True Meaning of Smekday

Aliens have invaded Earth and renamed it Smekland.  Wait, no, let's start at the beginning.  Gratuity (Tip for short) Tucci is writing a report on the True Meaning of Smekday, which may or may not be included in a time capsule.  So this story starts with her and when her mother was abducted by aliens.  And then, later, the Boov invade Earth.  All the humans are supposed to be sent to Florida, but Tip decides to drive herself.  There are a variety of problems with this, the biggest two being that 1.) she's eleven years old and 2.) she's supposed to be on a Boov-approved rocketpod, not driving a car across busted highways.  Also, she has her cat (named Pig) and a runaway Boov named J.Lo in tow, which makes things complicated.  Then it turns out that another alien race is planning on invading Earth.  And then it gets weird(er). 

I love this book by Adam Rex.  It is hilarious, wonderful, quirky, and smart.  And it has great illustrations and some very funny cartoon strips drawn by J.Lo the Boov.  There are rumors of a movie in the works, so read this book now before the waiting list starts!

~ Book Ninja

P.S.  If you like Adam Rex, read some more of his stuff here!  It's all a bit different, but funny!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Although technically this book is considered "Adult Fiction", as many of Neil Gaiman's books go, the reading audience is much wider than the over 18 crowd.  If you haven't read "Coraline" or even his picture book "Crazy Hair", run into the closest Children's section of a library as soon as you can!  What makes him so enviably gifted I think is that you always hear the authentic voice of NG in whatever he has written.  He doesn't change his language or alter his world view to accommodate young'uns, tweens, minors OR majors.  While he can be many things, he is always recognizably himself, a rare talent indeed.   In "The Ocean at the End of the Lane", Gaiman gives us a dark fantasy with all his usual elements--a bit of gore (there's this worm...),wry humor (the Hempstock women) , unexpected terror (near drowning by parents) and the built-in compulsion to read all night because you have no idea how it will end!