Saturday, September 15, 2012

Books of Ember Series

By: Jeanne DuPrau
Lina and Doon succeeded in taking the people of Ember above ground, but nobody realizes how different life will be.  After walking for several days with few supplies or food, the people of Ember come to the town of Sparks.  While both groups of people want to work together to help each other survive, they find it very difficult.  Where should the people of Ember live?  How do the two groups share food and resources?  These three books tell the story from both before Ember was founded and into the future beyond their time with the people of Sparks. 

Mrs. Senechal says:
After reading the first book, I just had to find out what was going to happen!  I love that all four books give you different pieces of the story.  Sometimes you are reading about the past, sometimes it's current, and you get to hear the story from many points of view.  These books also made me think.  It is tough to get along with one another, but these characters remind me of the good that comes from cooperation.  Thanks to my sister, Katie, for recommending this series!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The City of Ember

By: Jeanne DuPrau

Imagine that life on earth was in great danger.  A small group of people go underground with supplies to last several hundred years.  They plan to leave instructions on how to return home once it is safe - but those instructions are lost.  This is what has happened where Lina and Doon live.  Their home, Ember, is running out of supplies.  Neither one knows that they need to look for the lost instructions, but they both start to find important clues and some awful secrets.

Mrs. Senechal says:
This book has a gloomy setting since the people are underground - and have been for so many years.  That made me hope that the characters would be successful in finding their way to the surface!  Lina and Doon are faced with some tough decisions.  You won't know the results in this book, though - it's just the start of their adventures in this series!  I'm ready for book #2!

The Serpent's Shadow

By: Rick Riordan

In this, Kane Chronicles - Book #3, Sadie and Carter are once again faced with saving the world.  They have known of their magical powers for less then a year, but have faced many evil creatures from the ancient Egyptian world.  In this book, Sadie and Carter must involve some of their new friends, and they are reunited with several friends from the past who they had thought were hopelessly gone.  They must figure out how to stop Apophis, the god of chaos, before he destroys the world.

Mrs. Senechal says:
As in all of Rick Riordan's fictional mythology stories, this book is filled with suspense and adventure.  Brother and sister, Carter and Sadie, are great characters because they care about each other and can still tease and have fun with each other.  I love that the author takes readers to places all over the world - and even some places that exist only in Egyptian mythology.  I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The 39 Clues: Cahills v. Vespers, Book 3: The Dead of Night

By: Peter Larangis

In this third book of the "sequel series" to the original 39 Clues books, Dan and Amy are once again on the run.  However, now, instead of discovering clues, they must steal ancient and priceless treasures.  The infamous Vesper 1 has kidnapped multiple members of Dan and Amy's family, and is holding them hostage.  Dan and Amy must continue to follow all directions given by Vesper 1 or else he threatens to kill one of their relatives.

Mrs. Senechal says:
This book is a fantastic addition to the series!  It keeps the excitement and suspense that have made the previous books so great.  Even though Amy and Dan continue to succeed under extremely difficult conditions, the authors add great twists and turns to keep the readers on their toes.  I am very excited to continue reading this series!

The Hunger Games (series)

By: Suzanne Collins

Those who live in the capitol city live in luxury, but those who live in the outlying districts live in poverty.  After the districts tried to rebel, the leaders created an annual event called "The Hunger Games".  A boy and a girl, chosen at random, from each district were required to compete in this battle-to-the-death, televised event.  The main character, Katniss Everdeen, lives in District 12.  Her father was killed in a mining accident, and Katniss must hunt to provide food for her family.  When her younger sister's name is chosen for "The Hunger Games", Katniss immediately volunteers to take her place.

Mrs. Senechal says:
To begin with, I would not recommend this series for students below sixth grade.  This series was suspenseful and intense - I could hardly put the books down.  The characters and setting are very well described - there are similarities to our current lives, but vast differences as well.  The author really brings up tough topics about life and death, relationships, and standing up for yourself in others in extreme situations.  The books can definitely lead to some deep conversations, too.  The stories are phenomenal, but are more appropriate for older children and adults.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Aliens on Vacation

Aliens on Vacation
By: Clete Barrett Smith

"Scrub" is completely bummed that instead of spending the summer in Florida working on his basketball skills, his parents send him to Washington to stay with his Grandma who runs a bed and breakfast.  Scrub anticipates a boring little town with nothing to do, but what he gets is the "Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast" - an actual inn for aliens who have traveled to earth to spend their vacation!

Mrs. Senechal says:
This was a fun read!  The author uses good detail to create very interesting and likable characters.  Scrub has to endure some hilarious and embarrassing events while helping his Grandma run the inn.  If you like sci-fi, you'll definitely enjoy this book!