Monday, June 14, 2010

The Wanderer

By: Sharon Creech
Sophie loves the sea.  She has studied the sea and sailing, and she longs to be out on the open water.  Her adopted parents reluctantly let her go on a sailing trip across the Atlantic Ocean with her uncles and cousins.  At first, because Sophie is the only girl, the boy cousins and uncles aren't sure if she'll be much help.  Sophie proves that she is a valuable team member through the struggles of the trip.  Through this adventure, Sophie learns more about herself and her family.

Mrs. Senechal says:
This Newbery Honor book was a wonderful read.  I enjoyed that part of the story is told from Sophie's journal, and the other part is told from her cousin Cody's journal.  It is interesting to see the different perspectives on the same events.  The author really makes the adventure come to life, keeping it exciting and using strong descriptions to help the reader pictures the scenes.  Great book!

Igraine the Brave

By: Cornelia Funke
Igraine lives in a castle with her magician parents and her brother, also a magician.  But, Igraine finds magic boring - she wants to be a knight.  Igraine could not have imagined how quickly she would find out just what it takes to be a knight.  When her parents accidentally turn themselves into pigs, and Osmund shows up to try to overtake the castle, Igraine must use her knightly skills to help protect her family and her home.

Mrs. Senechal says:
Cornelia Funke has written one of my favorite trilogies - Inkheart.  This book is a good book for someone who likes fantasy stories but isn't quite ready for the length and difficulty of reading books like Inkheart.  Igraine is a great heroine, and the other characters in the book are fun and unique.  I enjoyed seeing how the story would end!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hard Gold

By: Avi
Early Wittcomb's family is in danger of losing their Iowa farm.  So, Uncle Jesse, Early's best friend, heads west to find gold in the Rocky Mountains.  After Jesse sends a letter saying he's found gold but his life is in danger, Early runs away from home.  He joins a wagon train headed west.  Early makes friends with a girl his age, but he faces many dangers as he tries to get to Uncle Jesse before it's too late.

Mrs. Senechal says:
This is the second "I Witness" book by Avi that I have read.  Again, the author does a great job of creating interesting characters who experience important events in the history of our country.  Because Early travels from Iowa to the Rocky Mountains of present-day Colorado, I recognized many of the Nebraska landmarks described in the book.  Avi really shows readers the adversity and adventure that pioneers faced as they traveled west.  I also thought the book had a good, though bittersweet, ending.