Ryan’s Summer Reading Log #5

Kingdom Keepers Book Six: Dark Passage by Ridley Pearson

I have written about other books in this series here.

In book six of the Kingdom Keepers series, “Dark Passage,” the Keepers discover a mysterious journal written by Walt Disney that gives directions to waking up the most powerful Overtaker. In case you didn’t know, the Overtakers are all the Disney villains, come to life. As the Keepers try to figure out the mysteries of the journal, the Overtakers are trying to find a way to get the journal from the Keepers. Eventually the Overtakers succeed and awaken Chernabog. He is the main villain from a Disney movie called Fantasia. Finn, leader of the Keepers, confuses Chernabog in an underground maze. When one of the tunnels caves in, Finn thinks Chernabog has drowned, but no one is really sure at the end of the book.

This journal reminds me of Tom Riddle’s diary in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. That diary brought a character back to life and was also very mysterious.

Amulet Book Two: The Stonekeeper’s Curse

This is the second book in this series of graphic novels. I wrote about the first book here.

In “The Stonekeeper’s Curse,” we find out that Em’s amulet is trying to take control of her when it talks to her and tries to convince her to let it take control of her mind.

When Em and Navin arrive in a very large city in their walking house, they find out that their walking house is not the only walking house! Walking houses are pretty normal things. They’re pretty much like cars in this world. It’s pretty convenient.

In the city, Em and Navin meet a bounty hunter named Leon Redbeard who also happens to have experience in training people with magic amulets. He is a helper for Em and Navin. Leon teaches Em to control the amulet; this helps her defeat some evil elves who also happen to have amulets. Em is the only person in this world with an amulet who is not an elf, and the elves wanted to kill Em for the amulet.

After Em defeats the evil elves, at the end of the book is a scene with a house standing on top of the mountain with its arms ripped off by elf magic. I’m looking forward to the third book in this series because there are still elves left….bum bum bum…cliffhanger!

For this post, Mom asked Ryan questions, Ryan talked, and Mom typed.

Maegan’s Summer Reading Log #4

The Rescue Princesses #s 3, 5, 6: The Snow Jewel, The Moonlight Mystery, The Magic Rings

The Rescue Princesses are Emily, Clarabelle, Lulu and Jaminta. They are from a faraway land and each lives in a different castle. They are all friends. They met for the first time at a ball hosted by Emily’s parents.

These girls save animals from danger and in the third book, The Moonlit Mystery, they are saving tigers: five baby cubs and a mother. In the fifth book, they are saving a kitten from a tree. At the end of the fifth book, the friends leave for a special school for princesses.

In the sixth book, we meet a new group of girls, including Princess Lottie, who is Princess Emily’s little sister. The other princesses in the new group are Isabella, Amina, and Rosalind. They save horses from an evil servant.

I love the Rescue Princesses because I love animals and I love how these girls act toward the animals. The princesses do not have special powers, but they do have magic rings that help them communicate with one another. I would love it if my friends had those special rings!

I haven’t read #4, The Stolen Crystals because I lost it. But then I found it so now I can read it.

Thea Stilton graphic novel: Revenge of the Lizard Club

This is the second Thea Stilton graphic novel. A graphic novel is a book that has comics but it is longer than a comic book. Also, not all graphic novels feature super heroes. My brother writes about some graphic novels here and here.

Revenge of the Lizard Club is about two clubs: the gecko club for the boys and the lizard club for the girls. There are competitions such as a footrace around an island, a brainpower competition, and another one where you have to find your way around with a map and compass. The competitions decide who is the president of each club. Part of this story is about saving seals who are in danger. They are saved by the end of the story by some of the characters.

You can read more about Thea Stilton and Geronimo Stilton by clicking here.

Loveabye Dragon by Barbara Joose

Loveabye Dragon is about a little girl who is lonely for a dragon friend and a dragon who is lonely for a little girl friend. In the end they find each other as friends. It’s a very cute story.

We are always on the lookout for new books featuring dragons for all ages. See Robin & Maegan’s review of The Library Dragon by clicking here. There is also a list of our favorite dragon books in this post.

In this post, Robin asked questions, Maegan talked, and Robin typed.

Ryan’s Summer Reading Log #4

Last week I finished two books. I read the first book in a new “Warriors” series called “Dawn of the Clans” by Erin Hunter. The book itself is called The Sun Trail. The other book I finished was Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier and I’ll tell you about that one first because I have a lot to say!

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is one of my “choice” books for summer reading for 6th grade.

Peter Nimble is a ten year old blind orphan who has learned to be a thief. He is a very good thief and he steals everything: food, jewelry, money, art work. One day he steals a mysterious locked box from a carriage. This is the first lock he has ever come across that he cannot open. It takes him a long time but he eventually opens the box and inside he finds three pairs of eyes. When he tries on the first pair, or the golden pair, he is transported to the last place the golden eyes had been, which happens to be an island on top of the world. There he meets Sir Tode, who is part man, part horse, part cat. Peter Nimble and Sir Tode are sent on a quest by Professor Cake, who owns the island.

All the messages people send out in bottles end up at this island. The most recent message in a bottle came from the Vanished Kingdom on the island itself. Together Peter and Sir Tode must find the mysterious Vanished Kingdom because someone inside the Vanished Kingdom is in serious trouble.

One exciting thing that happens on the quest for the Vanished Kingdom is when Peter finds out he is a prince! He is actually the prince of the Vanished Kingdom. This reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Spaceballs, in which the character Lonestar finds out he is an “honest-to-God prince.”

Peter and Sir Tode become good friends, and they make other friends along their journey. They meet up with Peter’s long-lost sister, Princess Peg. Actually, Peter is kind of the long-lost brother. They also make friends with good old Frederick, the giant dogfish. Unfortunately, they also make some enemies: King Incarnadine, who is Peter and Peg’s uncle, and LongClaw, who is the captain of the King’s Royal Night Patrol.

In about the middle of the story, Peter tries a second pair of eyes, the amethyst eyes, which are purple. The amethyst eyes turn the wearer into the last animal they’ve seen. While wearing the amethyst eyes, Peter turned into a beetle, a sparrow and a sea serpent. This helped him out of several unpleasant situations.

Spoiler alert! By the end of the story, Peter and Peg eventually kill the King and become King and Queen themselves. When Peter puts on the third pair of eyes, the emerald pair, they eventually become his own, normal eyes.

I loved this book. I mean, I didn’t kiss it or anything, but the idea of seeing things with different eyes was really cool.

You can read my overview of Erin Hunter’s “Warriors” series by clicking here.

“Dawn of the Clans” is a prequel series to the other “Warriors” series. In The Sun Trail, the tribe of Rushing Water, who live in the mountains, is starving. Two brother cats named Clear Sky and Gray Wing lead most of the tribe in search of a new land. They are kind of like pioneers. They arrive at a forest where there is a lot of prey available. Some of the cats want to live on a moor nearby instead because those cats are better at hunting in that area. Gray Wing leads the cats that want to live in the moor and they set up their own separate camp. The two groups are separated for so long that they start to become hostile toward one another. Gray Wing and Clear Sky become enemies. Their conflict does not resolve by the end of this story and because I have read the series that come later, I don’t think it ever will. I love the “Warriors” books so I am glad to have another series to read.

In this post, Robin asked questions, Ryan talked, and Robin typed.

Ryan’s Summer Reading Log #3: Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl #4: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer

The Artemis Fowl series is set in Ireland, and it is about a very rich boy who has a big, tall bodyguard named Butler. One day Artemis and Butler meet Captain Holly Short, who is a fairy. Together with Butler and Holly, Artemis Fowl has many adventures in saving the fairy world and human world from different evil enemies that threaten it.

In book four, The Opal Deception, an evil pixie named Opal wakes up from a self-induced coma after a whole year. Opal wants the human world to find out about the fairy world, but that could be dangerous to the fairies. She wants to make this happen to get revenge on the Fairy Police because they stopped a rebellion she started right before she went into the coma.

Holly comes back together with Artemis and Butler after being separated from them for the same year that Opal is asleep in the coma. Holly is a fugitive from the law as she is suspected of murdering someone even though Opal is the real killer. Together they stop Opal from making her evil plan happen and Holly eventually clears her name.

I recommend this series to readers who like science fiction and fantasy. Recently I heard Eoin Colfer speak at the Mega Awesome Adventures event and I thought he was very funny. Hearing him speak made me want to read more of his books. I think he should be a comedian, too!

In this post, Robin asked questions, Ryan talked, and Robin typed.

Robin’s Top Ten Early & Middle Grade Chapter Books

#1 Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant

This book was introduced to me earlier this year by my friend Jenn Ryan, who recommended it as a wonderful read aloud. She was spot on. Maegan and I loved the unlikely friendship between a dog, a squirrel, and a hermit crab.

#2 Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

All of the Ramona books are wonderful and I read them over and over again as a child, but this one is my favorite. Life isn’t easy for Ramona, but you grow and change with her as she learns that although things don’t always go your way, they turn out all right in the end.

#3 The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl

It’s hard to choose just one Roald Dahl novel for a top ten list, and I had a particularly tough time deciding between this one and Matilda. I feel better having mentioned them both. My husband would select a third title: Danny, Champion of the World. There, now he feels better, too. Dahl’s humor is a little dark but his language is wonderful and the storytelling is without equal. In The BFG, a little orphan named Sophie is snatched from the window of her orphanage in the middle of the night by a big, friendly giant. Their adventures will delight the whole family. Makes a great read-aloud.

#4 Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

This series changed the world of children’s literature more than fifteen years ago, and it is easy to see why. Rowling’s magical world leaps off the pages and creates a stunning landscape for the imagination. It’s tempting to allow advanced early readers slip through the walls at Platform 9 ¾, but this is really best saved for ages 9 & up. I cried through the last pages of the final book, not only because they were sad, but because this series that I love so much was coming to a close. The Boy Who Lived will live in your heart if you let him in.

#5 Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume

This book is tangentially related to the popular Fudge series. Sheila the Great is tough as nails on the outside but really, she’s afraid of her own shadow. When she goes to spend a summer in a town away from her comfort zone, she makes new friends but will she be brave enough to show them her true colors?

#6 Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade by Barthe deClements

This was one of my favorites as a kid; I read it over and over and feel like the characters are real kids from my childhood. Barthe deClements tells it like it is – how kids can be cruel to one another as well as how they can be true friends. If you like the character of Elsie Edwards, stick with this author and find out how she grows up with How Do You Lose Those Ninth Grade Blues? as a young adult selection, followed by Seventeen and In-between.

#7 The Babysitter’s Club: Kristy’s Great Idea

I read the entire series in grade school, and of course all the super special editions as well! As a 2014 parent it is interesting to think about how much independence and responsibility Kristy Thomas and her friends take on as they start their babysitting business together.

#8 The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White

Louis is a trumpeter swan, but not only is he not able to trumpet joyfully, he can’t make a sound. The sweet story of how he overcomes this handicap is a must-read, especially for Bostonians.

#9 Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

This delightful story of Mr. Popper the housepainter and his house full of penguins will delight children of all ages.

#10 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Misselthwaite Manor, a secret garden, and a boy locked behind closed doors. Need I say more? Dive into this wonderful, enchanting classic.

Maegan’s Summer Reading Log

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

Stanley Lambchop is a regular boy until one day a bulletin board falls on top of him and makes him flat. He is about my size except he is only one inch thick! He learns there are a lot of things you can do when you are flat, like slip under doors, be a kite for someone, and mail yourself in a giant envelope.

I have my own Flat Stanley I can take around with me this summer. I wonder where we should take him?

Grimmtastic Girls: Cinderella Stays Late  by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Cinderella is just starting at Grimm Academy. She finds out that the lockers they have are actually trunks that stand up the tall way!  She makes three new friends: Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, and Snow White. Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater’s pumpkin gets lost, but the friends find a map that shows where the pumpkin is going. If it jumps over a certain wall, it would be in “our” world and not the Grimm Academy world. The mystery is continued to the next book, which is called Red Riding Hood Gets Lost. I can’t wait to read it.

Ivy & Bean Take the Case (#10) by Annie Barrows

I love Ivy & Bean. They didn’t like each other at first but now they are friends. In this story Bean watches a mystery TV show and the girls decide they want to make their own mystery TV show. They do not make a TV show in the end but they are happy anyway because they thought it was fun just pretending to have their own show.

In this post, Mom asked questions, Maegan talked, and Mom typed.