Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Best School Year Ever

By: Barbara Robinson

The Herdmens are the six children most well-known for taking over the Christmas Pageant in the story The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  But, their meanness and awful behavior take place all year.  This story follows the family through an entire school year.  While the students try to stay out of their way, there are hints that there might be a tiny bit of good in the Herdmens after all.

Mrs. Senechal says:
Each December, I look forward to reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever each year to my class.  I still laugh every time!  This book is just as good.  I love reading about all the dreadful things the Herdmens do - and how they get away with them every time!  I also like how the Herdmens also end up surprising people, too.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Princess Academy: Palace of Stone

By: Shannon Hale

In the sequel to The Princess Academy, Miri, Peder, and several other girls from Mount Eskel have the opportunity to travel to Asland, the capital city.  While there, the girls will stay at the castle and help prepare for Britta's wedding, Peder will apprentice with a stonecutter, and Miri will be able to attend school. While there, Miri finds out about a brewing rebellion hoping to help provide for the poor.  However, this new cause will force Miri to make some difficult choices.

Mrs. Senechal says:
I was so glad to find a sequel to the original book!  The author does a great job of describing the city of Asland and contrasting it with what the characters are used to in their simple village on the mountain.  I really enjoyed the many tough issues that Miri had to think through, and it reminded me that many challenges are more complicated then you might realize.  I'm looking forward to reading more books by Shannon Hale!

Beyonders 2: Seeds of Rebellion & Beyonders 3: Chasing the Prophecy

By: Brandon Mull

Jason is back home after his first experience in Lyrian.  Life is not the same, and he can't stop wondering what is happening to Rachel and his many other friends there.  Jason returns to the zoo hoping a portal will open and take him back - and it finally does!  Once he arrives and eventually reconnects with Rachel, they begin to see the possibility of defeating Maldor will take more then they ever imagined.  They find that there is a slim hope based on a complicated prophecy, but this requires Jason and Rachel to split up and face almost insurmountable odds to take down Maldor.  These books complete the Beyonders series

Mrs. Senechal says:
I purposely waited until book #3 was available before I read book #2!  I couldn't bear to be left in such suspense as I was after book #1!  I was thrilled as the story continued through many other parts of Lyrian, and fascinating new characters were added.  There were many surprises as characters showed their loyalty or betrayal.  In my opinion, the world and characters created by Brandon Mull in this series could be used in many other books!