Monday, July 25, 2011

Raiders' Ransom

By: Emily Diamond

Set several hundred years in the future, this story tells what life is like after "the Collapse".  Lilly and her seacat fish the waters near what used to be London until raiders attack their village and kidnap the Prime Minister's daughter.  While attempting a daring rescue, Lilly meets Zeph, the raider chief's son.  As Lilly struggles to free the Prime Minister's daughter, Zeph tries to prove his worth as a raider warrior.  Throughout the story, the two have to decide whether they are friends or enemies.

Mrs. Senechal says:
It was fascinating to think of life in the future where many people view computer technology as evil.  I also loved how the author wove together the stories of two very different characters.  The story was exciting and suspenseful!  This book does contain some rough descriptions, and some students may find parts of the story too vivid.  In my opinion, it is a better choice for students in sixth grade and above.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Emily's Fortune

By: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

All Emily has known is living in the quiet house of Miss Luella Nash.  Miss Nash only had one fault - she liked to drive her carriage fast!  This caused quite a tragedy when Emily's mother and Miss Nash went to town.  There was an accident, the carriage overturned, and the horse was the only survivor.  Emily's father had died years ago in a steamboat accident, and suddenly Emily is left with her tiny turtle, Rufus, and a stagecoach ticket to take her farther west to her Aunt Hilda.  On the way, Emily must hide from the "child catchers" and her mean Uncle Vincent.  Thankfully, an orphan boy named Jackson is there to help Emily on her journey.

Mrs. Senechal says:
This book was a fun, quick read.  Emily is a great character who starts off extremely quiet and shy but learns to be strong and stand up for herself.  On her stagecoach adventures, Emily meets lots of lively characters who make the story even more enjoyable.  I also liked the illustrations!  This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys the Wild West!

Flawed Dogs

By: Berkeley Breathed

Sam the Lion, a dachshund, has been through a lot.  Crazed dog show ladies, a cruel poodle, a bear trap, a dog fight, and several harrowing escapes actually cause Sam to plan the downfall of the famous Westminster Dog Show.  From the beginning, Heidy sees that Sam has the heart of a Lion which draws the two into a special friendship.  Sam also makes friends with a band of misfit, flawed dogs - their flaws actually become the strengths that help them to make their plan a success!

Mrs. Senechal says:
As a dachshund owner, I couldn't wait to read this book.  However, I have never liked sad books about dogs, and since I wasn't sure how this book would end, I put off reading it.  I encourage you not to wait - it's a great book!  The author does a wonderful job of describing the sweet, special bond between a girl and her dog.  Even though Sam has to go through many difficult things, he comes through each one in a heroic way.  There were some parts that tugged at my heart, but their were more parts that made me grin and even laugh out loud.  If you like dogs, you will really like this book!