Sunday, April 23, 2006


I read Eragon by Christopher Paolini the for the first time when it was first out a couple of years ago. Since getting Eldest I wanted to revisit ERagon to refresh my memory before beginning it. For those of you unfamiliar with these books, they are part of the Inheritance Trilogy. Paolini began writing Eragon when he was just 15 and it was released by the time he was 19. He writes with the maturity and knowledge far beyond his years. This is the story of Eragon, a poor farm boy, who finds a stone that turns out to be a dragon egg. It hatches and he becomes the newest Rider. There are many who either want him on their side or killed. His remaining family is in mortal danger because of this. He goes on a dangerous trek to find the Varden, a group of people determined to stop the evil Empire.
In my revist I realized that I had forgotten quite a bit and that the end was not how I remembered.
Paolini does a great job of drawing the reader into the story. I want a dragon of my own now! But he does tend to get a little wordy with the decriptions at times.
Overall-great, fascinating story. I am anxious to get into Eldest and follow Eragon and Saphira on their next journey.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen is a story written from two perspectives. Each chapter flips back and forth between Bryce and Juli telling their perspective of what happened. They are currently in 8th grade but to begin they must go back to when Byrce's family moved to the neighborhood when they were 6. Juli fell hard for him and tried to get his attention, annoying Bryce for years. But things happened, attitudes changed and both are left wondering who the other really is. I really liked Juli's spirit and I began to feel sorry for Bryce once I learned more about his family, particularly his father.

Another book for the middle crowd. It is a quick, fun read. I really like how this book goes back and forth with both perspectives.

Next I am re reading Eragon. I need to refresh my memory so I can read Eldest.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Clique

When I picked up The Clique by Lisi Harrison at the half price Scholastic book fair at my school the librarian told me people were trying to ban it in some places (not my school). That bumped it up the reading list for me. I have to ask her what the controversy is because I didn't see it.
The Clique is the first book in a series of books for teens. It is your typical Mean Girls type story. In this one, Claire's family moves into the guesthouse of her father's collge friend in a wealthy neighborhood. How do I know it's wealthy? Because Harrison name drops so many highend name brands throughout the book that I rolled my eyes about halfway through when one popped up. From the Hermes riding crop to the Prada bags to the Range Rover, she made sure to let the reader know that EVERYTHING was expensive. The girls attend an all girl private school and all, including Claire, struggle to become a part of Massie's group. The girls can be downright mean to each other. On Claire's first day at the school she makes the grave error of wearing white Gap pants that are more than a year old. Massie gets the other three girls in her group to do her bidding so during art class Alicia wipes red paint onto the back of Claire's pants making it looklike she started her period. Claire walks around like this for a while before her art teacher finally tells her to go to the nurse. Even after this Claire still wants to be part of the group.
The main girls in this story are seventh graders and most of the time Harrison pegs 7th grade behavior- the backstabbing, the gossip, the trying desperately to fit in.
That's something that saddens me in stories and real life- why do these girls put themselves through this trying to be "popular"?
It was a fun, quick read. I would classify it as chick-lit for the middle school crowd.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Sisters Grimm-The Unusual Suspects

In this second installment of the Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley, the girls have to go to school! Sabrina is suspicious of everyone-any one of them could be an Everafter (since they are all in disguise), and they might know something about the disappearance of her parents. Her little sister, Daphne, is having a great time- she has Snow White as a teacher. Things take a turn when Sabrina discovers her teacher hanging from a giant spider web, dead. Of course, the Grimm family is on the case and soon they realize that some of the Everafters had given their children up to Rumpelstiltskin years ago. Are they behind this death? Why are humans being targeted?

Sabrina finds out a lot about herself in this book and is very angry, something that is used against her. Buckley again brings much humor and personality to different fairy tale characters, introducing us to the Pied Piper, Rumpelstiltskin, and a new side of the Big Bad Wolf. I love how he uses parts of the classics in his stories. One example is when Sabrina uses the Magic Mirror to try to find her parents and he (yes, the Mirror is a he) takes her to the Hall of Wonders where magical artifacts are kept. She uses the Golden Cap to call the Winged Monkeys. Anyone who had not read The Wizard of Oz and had only watched the movie would not catch this little detail. He leaves this book with a cliff hanger and the next book doesn't come out until sometime this spring. Hopefully it won't be too long of a wait!

Up Next:The Clique by Lisi Harrison

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Sisters Grimm-The Fairy-Tale Detectives

I just finished the delightful first book in the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. I met the author at the NCTE/NWP meeting last fall. In this story the girls have been shuffled from foster home to foster home after their parents disappear. They are eventually sent to live with a woman who claims to be their grandmother-even though they had been told by their father that she was dead. It turns out they are the great-great-great-great granddaughters of one of the famous Grimm Brothers and that the Grimm Fairy Tales are not fairy tales at all but history books. The grandmother lives in Ferryport Landing (which used to be called Fairyport Landing until the humans started moving in) with the Everafters (fairy tale characters). The girls soon find out they are next in line to become family fairy tale detectives when their grandmother is taken by a giant!
I laughed so many times reading this book. Buckley uses so many of the characters from well known fairy tales and gives them their own personalities. For instance, the mayor of Ferryport Landing is Mayor Charming who is THE Prince Charming. He thinks way too highly of himself and loves the power that comes with being in charge. The police officers are the Three Little Pigs who have taken on human form but can change back into their pig form and are not so little.
If you like fairy tales I think you'll like this twist on the classics.

Next up: The Sisters Grimm:The Unusual Suspects