Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Catch Up On Recent Reads

The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
Pages: 176
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2009
ISBN: 978-0545060455
Source: Purchased from bookstore

I have enjoyed each and everyone of the books in this series. After the first one this one was probably my favorite. In the past Dan and Amy have been chased by other families but have not formed any alliances that lasted throughout the book. They were double crossed in each one. It was refreshing to see them make an alliance with the Holts that lasted all the way through the book. Irin played a bigger role in this book. She is probably the one character that I have loved to hate. That is changing somewhat. I have seen another side of her and found out a bit more of her past. I actually saw a part of her heart that makes me feel somewhat sorry for her. I was also glad that they had left the babysitter or au pair out of this one. It gave us a chance to see what Dan and Amy could do on their own without her. They actually had to work together more and fight less. I loved the amount of Russian history we learned. I also like the fact that we were not running from one country to another trying to follow the action. The setting was well described and the characters were developed a little more in this book. All I could say to Patrick Carman about this book is “Well done!”

Raji by Ariion Kathleen BrindleyPages: 316
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 9781448604159
Source: Reviewers copy from the author

The year is 1925. Vincent fusiler (Fuse) finds a young girl sleeping in his barn. He tells her to leave and she runs into the woods only to return when he is gonel. She sneaks into his house to steal food. Fuse once again finds her in the barn where she has taken care of the animals. She is eventually brought into the house where she learns to trust him. Fuse’s father has had an accident and is paralyzed and his mother is a Red Cross nurse currently in Africa. Fuse needs to get his mother back, find out where Raji came from, and find someone to help his father and him with the farm. All the time Fuse is trying to handle all of this he is trying to get in to an elite academy by keeping his grades up, learning to play competition chess and tennis. I really enjoyed this book. I was caught up in it because Fuse took charge and found a way to communicate with Raji. Both of them learn new languages. Raji was learning English and Latin as they study medical medical information and Fuse learned Hindi and Latin. I have heard people tell me how silly that was because these were two young kids and there was no way they would be able to learn that many languages at one time. I teach ESOL students English and often have these students learn not only English but they become friends with someone else who speaks a different language and therefore pick up their language as well. The information about India and their caste system was well researched. I know there will be sequels and I look forward to reading them.

The Door to Time by Pierdomenico Baccalario
Publisher: Scholastic, 2007
ISBN: 9780439930208
Source: My Shelf
Eleven year old twins Jason and Julia have moved from London to an old mansion on the English coast. Jason loves their new house. He has been researching the paranormal and is sure that their new home is haunted. Julia would rather be shopping at the mall. They have only made one friend in their new town. For years,Rick has been fascinated with the old mansion that his new friends live in. He has never had an opportunity to go inside until he is invited to visit while the twin’s parents return to London to take care of the rest of the move. They are left in the care of Nestor the caretaker. Jason has made several discoveries about the old place. The most important discovery is a door that won’t open. They have a problem as they try to find out how to open the door. Oblivia Newton wants the old mansion? Why? This is the first book of the Ulysses Moore Series. It is a simple read. The characters travel back into history to try to unravel the mystery of the house.

Nightmare Mountain by Peg Kehret
Pages: 176
Publisher: Puffin (October 1, 1999)
ISBN: 978-0141306452
Source: My shelves

Molly Newman is spending her vacation with her Aunt Karen on her llama ranch. Karen has a new husband and Molly has been looking forward to meeting him and his son. She gets along real well with Phil, her new uncle. Glendon, his son, makes it very clear that he doesn’t like Molly. Molly’s Aunt Karen gets sick. Phil has to stay with Karen at the hospital and leave Molly and his son at the ranch alone. While left alone Molly and Glendon realizes someone is stealing the llamas. The two kids come face to face with the dangerous thief who takes them to the top of a mountain and leaves them. This book kept me hanging on to the edge of my seat. Great suspense all the way through. It has kids the age of those I teach and therefore it is a book they may be able to relate to in many ways. The book was on my chalk tray for less than 15 minutes after I finished it before one of the students snatched it up.

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