Tuesday, January 13, 2015

November-December 2014 Reading

Like in September and October, I didn’t have as much time to read as I like, and I returned to mostly shorter reads during these two months. But an author can pack a lot of great story into a small space, as these titles prove:

Title: Orphan’s Song
Series: Songkeeper Chronicles #1
Author: Gillian Bronte Adams
Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis: An orphaned girl’s musical gift causes several forces, good and evil, to battle over where she belongs.
Review: Not the most memorable of fantasies, and nothing stood out to me as exceptional. That said, it is a safe, clean read with some nice action and interesting characters.

Title: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Author: Betty MacDonald
Genre: Midgrade Humor

Synopsis: An eccentric lady provides parents with the cures for their children’s bad behavior.
Review: The unpredictable Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and her off-the-wall cures will bring smiles to child and adult alike.

Title: The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey
Series: Cooper Kids #6
Author: Frank Peretti
Genre: Tween Supernatural Suspense

Synopsis: An archeologist and his two kids seek to recover the relics of a tomb said to be cursed.
Review: Though not a story for a child with an overactive imagination or who scares easily (which is why I’m only now reading the series as an adult), Toco-Rey is full of twists and turns and may be my favorite Cooper Kid book thus far.

Title: The Chimes: A Goblin Story
Author: Charles Dickens
Genre: Adult Magical Realism Novella

Synopsis: The goblins inhabiting some old church bells reveal the potential repercussions of an old man’s despair. 
Review: The Chimes is reminiscent of Dicken’s more famous A Christmas Carol. Although not as good as A Christmas Carol, The Chimes can hold its own as an engaging story, with much to say about how far-reaching our actions can be.

Title: The Cricket On the Hearth: A Tale of Home
Author: Charles Dickens
Genre: Adult Novella

Synopsis: A stranger arrives just before a wedding, turning the lives of four families upside down.
Review: A humorous tale with a couple of great twists! I thoroughly enjoyed discovering this Dickens gem.

Additional books, all highly recommended:

Title: Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Genre: Midgrade Animal Adventure

Title: Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Dectective
Author: Donald J. Sobol
Genre: Midgrade Mystery

Title: Jigsaw Jones: The Case of Hermie the Missing Hampster
Series: Jigsaw Jones #1
Author: James Preller
Genre: Midgrade Mystery

Title: Babar and Father Christmas
Author: Jean De Brunhoff
Genre: Children’s Christmas Picture Book

What gems of story have you been encountering of late?

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