Ryan’s Review: Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Although this is the second book in this series, I have not written about it before. The Wildwood Chronicles are about a girl named Prue who lives in Portland. Right next to Portland is the Impassable Wilderness, which is a big forest that people have entered but no one has ever come back out of. One day, when Prue is out taking her baby brother for a walk, a flock of ravens swoops in and steals her brother away from her. The ravens take Mac into the Impassable Wilderness and Prue follows them in with her friend Curtis. They have an adventure together and eventually get Mac back. Curtis decides to stay with the Wildwood Bandits, who are the people who live in the section of the forest called Wildwood.

In Under Wildwood, Prue’s new science teacher, Darla, attacks her while she is walking home from school. Prue manages to fend off the attack because Curtis flies in on the back of an eagle in the nick of time and saves her. They fly into the Bandits’ camp and Curtis tells Prue that someone sent her science teacher as an assassin. Darla comes and attacks the camp with three other assassins. Prue and Curtis are away during this attack and when they return, everybody is gone….missing….poof!

Prue and Curtis are attacked by Darla and they get knocked into a canyon. In the canyon, they find a cave, which leads to Underwood…which is under Wildwood. Prue and Curtis have adventures in Underwood, which include helping a mole army defeat another mole army. They eventually escape Underwood into a small junkyard outside Portland. They manage to get back into Wildwood. We still don’t know why Darla is trying to hurt Prue, but I think that Prue is going to turn out to be a Mystic. The Mystics are a group of people who lead Northwood, which is another part of the Impassable Forest. The Mystics have special powers, such as controlling plants. Prue has some of these powers and I am guessing she is not only a Mystic but probably a special one. I am hoping to find out the truth in the third book.

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

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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.

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.

The Mother-Daughter Book Club

In this post, Robin shares her thoughts on some books first. Each selection has a “Maegan says” note at the end.

Maegan’s teacher compiled an excellent list of “choice” books for summer reading; she only needs to read one of these but of course she wants to tackle them all. I hope she always keeps this “can do” spirit. Thanks to the fabulous folks at The Blue Bunny Book & Toy Store for ordering us everything on the list. According to the Scholastic Book Wizard, some of these choices are far above her grade level; she wants to read them independently, so I feel compelled to read them when she is finished. Then I can ask her questions and check her comprehension and ability to connect to the story. First up is The Magical Ms. Plum by Bonnie Becker.

I fell in love with Ms. Plum right away. As she anticipated her new class, she thought: “They will be wonderful. Hopers and schemers, helpers and dreamers, jokers and heroes. I can’t wait to meet each and every one.” It would be an amazing gift to children if every classroom teacher considered his or her students in this way.

Tales of magical grown ups just never get old. Ms. Plum probably hangs with Mary Poppins and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. In addition to her unorthodox lessons, over the course of the school year, Ms. Plum chooses different students to get something from her magical supply closet. It doesn’t take long for the students to realize that with the requested item (paper, push pins, etc.) out will also come a small magical animal. Each animal that emerges comes out for a specific reason for that particular child and helps him or her grow or change in some positive way.

Maegan says: My favorite animal that comes out of Ms. Plum’s closet is the little donkey who takes everyone’s notes across the room in little baskets. I liked how the children figured out that their grumpy ideas were making everyone, including the donkey, feel more sad. So they stopped.

I also liked when the monkeys came out and gave everyone candy. Each candy tasted just right to each person. I can’t decide what my perfect candy would taste like. I love candy. I want to go to Ms. Plum’s class! I think you’ll have a lot of fun reading this book. Pig snout! Pig snout!

Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

This one’s not on the summer reading list, but recently I had the pleasure of reading Ramona the Brave to Maegan. I devoured the Ramona books as a child; I felt like she was a friend I knew personally. Although the books trace Ramona as a preschooler all the way up through the middle grades, Ramona the Brave is set in the first grade. Being a passionate, spunky six year old is frustrating when you feel everyone is rushing you to just grow up.

There are so many memorable scenes in this story, but my favorite part is the infamous “owl scene,” in which Ramona’s classroom neighbor copies her art project detail for detail. The teacher doesn’t notice or take the time to understand what really happened, and heartbreaking drama follows suit. Although Ramona reacts to life’s injustices with a bit too much passion, she really is just misunderstood. Beverly Cleary gets the emotions so right.

Details of the story are dated but still charming. If your child enjoys Ramona, she will also probably enjoy Junie B. Jones.

Maegan says: Ramona Quimby reminds me of the song “Naughty” from Matilda: the Musical, which we saw in New York City over April Vacation. Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.

My favorite part of this story was when Ramona had a babysitter on Parents Night at school. She really wanted to talk to her Mom when she got home, so she left her a note on the hall table. The note said “Come here, Mama. Come here to me.” She didn’t even sign her name, but her Mom knew it was from Ramona!

I would like my Mom to read me another Ramona book because I find her so different from me. I also just like my Mom to read to me.

The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy

How would you feel if your school library was guarded by a grouchy dragon? This sweet tale teaches us not to judge one another based on prejudices. Maybe dragons aren’t all bad once you get past the scales, and perhaps small children can look at a book without smudging the pages or ripping the covers. Loaded with puns and groaners, you will laugh out loud if that sort of humor tickles your funny bone. Clever, modern illustrations complete this story about Miss Lotty’s transformation from Miss Lotta Scales to Miss Lotty, Library Goddess.

Maegan says: There is a librarian, but she’s a dragon! She will not even let the children touch the books. Her name is Miss Lotta Scales. A girl named Molly lost her glasses and couldn’t see a thing; she found herself in the library by accident. A book dropped on her head and she put it in her lap. She found her glasses and started to read the book “Snuff the Magic Dragon” out loud. When Miss Lotta Scales heard Molly reading to the children, she decided to take over reading to the children. Her scales fell off and she turned into Miss Lotty! What’s a librarian that’s not at least a little bit or a little part dragon? Who would guard the books?

We love books about dragons. If you do, too, try these picture books:

How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet

There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Puff The Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow (with music cd)

Dragonology by Dugald A. Steer

Ryan’s Picks for Chapter Books Featuring Dragons:

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Beast Quest #1: Ferno the Fire Dragon by Adam Blade

The Fire Within by Chris D’Lacey

For more mature readers, grade 5 & up:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

 

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.

Ryan’s Summer Reading Log #2: Ranger’s Apprentice

Ranger’s Apprentice Book Four: The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan

This is the fourth book in John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series. This story is set in medieval times. It is about a boy named Will, an orphan who wants to be a warrior. When he asks Sir Rodney, the principal of Battle School, if he can be an apprentice in Battle School, he is told he is too small. He ends up becoming an apprentice of a Ranger; this is perfect for Will because he is quick and quiet. The kingdom is split into 50 fiefs; each fief has a Ranger to protect it. The Rangers Corps is a group of people who are expert archers who can blend in with their surroundings.

In book four, The Battle of Skandia, Will and Evanlyn, who is secretly a princess, have just escaped from slavery in the kingdom of Skandia. They are found by friends, but quickly discover that an army from a kingdom to the east is trying to conquer the entire western hemisphere. The four adventurers eventually team up with the people who captured Will and Evanlyn in the first place to defeat this army.

This series is cool because it is set in a different time period, there are a lot of interesting creatures in this world, and there is a lot of action. It is also a tale of friendship between Will and Horace, who are unlikely friends because they are so different.

Another series by John Flanagan is The Brotherband Chronicles, which is also really good, but I recommend starting with the Ranger’s Apprentice series first. I also recently downloaded a Ranger’s Apprentice app for my iPod; it’s a cool archery training game.

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

Ryan’s Summer Reading Log

Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson

This weekend I finished reading Shell Game, which is book five of the Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson. In this series five teenagers are elected to be DHIs, which are Daylight Hologram Images. This means they are holographic guides to tourists in Walt Disney World; but that’s not all they are! The truth is that this program was devised by the Disney Imagineers in effort to stop the Overtakers…or all the Disney Villains such as Maleficent, Jafar, Ursula the Sea Witch, etc. from committing crimes and doing evil things.

The main character, Finn Whitman, goes to sleep one night and while he is asleep, he is awake in the Magic Kingdom as a hologram. Finn and the other four DHIs have many scary adventures that take place in Walt Disney World after dark fighting the villains.

By the 5th book, Shell Game, the DHIs have become known as the Kingdom Keepers. In this story, the Keepers board the Disney Dream ship, which will be the first cruise ship to travel through a new area in the water. There were many other boats whose captains wanted to be the first to do this. The Keepers soon find out that every single Overtaker is on board this ship and that they have now created their own DHIs, but the Kingdom Keepers manage to shut down the Overtakers’ DHI server. Because of an upgrade in DHI technology, the Kingdom Keepers can now become holograms when they are awake. This helps them to escape many bad situations, because they can just walk through the wall!

In a shell game, a person puts something, like a ball, under a cup with two other cups beside it. A person watching the game observes as the cups are moved around quickly and then has to guess which cup is now covering the ball. In this story, there is somebody aboard the ship who is not supposed to be there – a stowaway placed by the Overtakers. He is hiding in an empty stateroom but keeps moving. The Kingdom Keepers try to find which one of the empty staterooms he is in but they just can’t seem to locate him, and so it is like a shell game.

This book was good because the mystery was really well done. It kept me wondering what would happen next. It was also very exciting because in several parts things happened that made me think the villain would win, but then the hero did. There are funny parts and that keeps the story bright. This series will be most fun to read for kids who have been to Walt Disney World.

Recently I heard Ridley Pearson speak at an authors’ event called the Mega Awesome Adventures, which also featured Rick Riordan and Eoin Colfer. This event inspired me to start reading this series. Mr. Pearson loves to talk about his books and seems to have neat inside connections at Walt Disney World. He has been allowed to preview attractions before they open and is allowed to be inside Disney World after dark, which helps him write his stories. He has an awesome job!

Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

The Amulet is a series of graphic novels. There is very little text in this book, so it is really like a comic book. The Stonekeeper is about Emily and Navin, a brother and sister whose father recently died. They had to move to a new house because they couldn’t afford their old one. On the first night of being in the new house, their mother is captured by a monster with tentacles! They follow the monster into the basement and through a secret door into another world. There, they find a mansion in the middle of a lake. They go to the mansion and find their great grandfather, who gives Emily an amulet. An amulet is a special stone with powers, and Emily’s amulet is supposed to help her find her mother. Emily and Navin try many times to rescue their mother, but they fail. When their great-grandfather dies of a sickness, the robots who were working in his house become Emily’s property. At the end of the book, there is a cliffhanger when they turn the house into a vehicle and go up a mountain!

I am very much looking forward to reading the second book to find out what happens to Emily and Navin. I hope they find their mother. I recommend this book for grades 3-6 and I think boys or girls would enjoy the story. The illustrations are fun and scary.

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

Ryan’s Top Ten

#1 Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

This five-book series has action, mystery, and humor all in one.

Percy Jackson is twelve years old. He lives with his mom and stepfather, but he does not get along with his stepfather. One night while driving in the car, Percy and his mom and his friend Grover are attacked by a minotaur, which is a creature that is half man, half bull. The minotaur is wearing some tighty whitey underpants! It is very funny. Mrs. Jackson is banished to the underworld and Percy is knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he finds himself in a place called Camp Half Blood. Here Percy learns that he is a demi god, the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. He also learns that his friend Grover is a satyr, which is a half man, half goat! Camp Half Blood is the only safe place in the world for demi gods and other interesting creatures. There are many others like him and Grover. Together they make friends and enemies and go on the first of many quests with their friend Annabeth, who is another important character in the series.

Readers will laugh through the whole first book, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and soon be asking for the second.

#2 The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

This book is a bit more serious than the Percy Jackson stories, but that doesn’t mean the whole book is solemn. The Hobbit is a story of a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins. The first chapter is a very funny scene in which twelve dwarves and a wizard unexpectedly show up at Bilbo’s cozy home and disrupt not only his dinner and his house, but the rest of his life. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to go on a quest to the Lone Mountain in search of a treasure and to defeat the dragon called Smaug.

I loved this book because there is so much action and it is funny and exciting. This story shows readers that you must show courage in order to know your true self. Bilbo did not want to leave his cozy home, but in doing so he learned that he does love adventure and being out in the world. I can’t wait to read the Lord of the Rings series, but my Mom won’t let me yet.

I also really like this graphic version of The Hobbit because it gives more images.

#3 Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.

Is there a person in the muggle world who does not know the Boy Who Lived?

This series is about a boy who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin who hate him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. He has an unhappy life until his eleventh birthday, when a giant named Hagrid shows up and gives him a letter accepting him to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry Potter is a wizard! This was the first very long book that I read.

The whole series is great because you get to know all the characters so well. I don’t like them all but the ones I do like feel like old friends. Harry’s birthday is the same as mine, July 31. This summer when I turn eleven, I hope an owl brings me a letter from Hogwarts.

#4 Warriors series by Erin Hunter

Recently my Mom told me that there is no such person as Erin Hunter!These books are all written by different authors under her name. This is called ghostwriting.

There are a lot of different Warriors series. The one I read first was about warrior cats who lived in different clans that all fight each other. It’s kind of like a civil war when people fight inside their own country. Each clan has its own leader and the leader’s name has the word “star” at the end. So in the book The Power of Three, the leader of the clan is Firestar. This is another series where you get to know the characters very well but I also like that every chapter is narrated by a different important character. This helps the reader to see the story from different perspectives.

The special edition books really help the reader understand the history of the clans and get to know the characters in more depth. Beside the Warriors series about cats, “Erin Hunter” also writes similar ones that feature other animals such as bears and dogs but I like the cats’ series best.

#5 Wereworld series by Curtis Jobling

This is a series recommended to me by the people who work at our favorite bookstore, The Blue Bunny. They really know what I like!

Wereworld is supernatural and sci-fi, which I obviously like, but it is different because it is about a boy named Drew who just happens to be a werewolf. The world he lives in is ruled by werecreatures. It sounds like Drew would be scary but he is a good guy. There are also werebears, werelions, werepanthers, etc. It is a really neat world to read about. One night he is attacked by a wererat and his mother is killed. Drew runs away because when his father returns home on this terrible night, he assumes that Drew is the one that killed his mother. Drew is rescued by two members of the Woodland Patrol, which is kind of like the police. After many adventures and other stories, eventually Drew becomes the leader of his country.

The message of this series is not to give up because even though Drew suffered many losses during his life, he eventually became a great leader and person with friendship and love in his life.

#6 Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

This is a classic series that my Mom gave me to read last summer when I was entering fifth grade and I loved it. The first book is called The Chronicles of Narnia and there are seven books altogether. This series is about two brothers and two sisters who accidentally discover the enchanted world of Narnia one day when they were hiding in their wardrobe during a game. During this series, the children go back and forth between Narnia and their home in England. They love Narnia but they can’t plan to go there. It always happens by accident. They have many adventures in Narnia and wish they could stay there forever. Narnia time is 50 years to one year on Earth/real time, so whenever they return to Narnia it is always different.

There are three Narnia movies so far and I like them but they don’t follow the books and the books are better.

I love Narnia because it shows children becoming leaders and that makes me feel like I can do anything even though I am just a kid. It would be cool to live in a place where anything is possible. Wait, maybe I already do.

#7 How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowl

I first learned about this series when I saw the How to Train Your Dragon movie.

My whole family loves Toothless (the dragon) and Hiccup (the boy). I was excited to find out it was a book series. Even though the books are pretty easy for me to read now, I still love to read any new ones that come out. I recommend this series for 3rd & 4th grade, or maybe really good 2nd grade readers.

Hiccup lives on the island of Berk and is the son of Chief Stoick who is the leader/chief of the Hooligan tribe. This tribe trains dragons for hunting, fighting and riding. This is different from the popular movie. Right from the beginning of the movie, the humans fight and kill the dragons and only start to train them at the end. Pretty much any book with dragons in it is good by me. Kind of the way I feel about Dr. Pepper. If a restaurant serves Dr. Pepper, I like it.

#8 Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate is a graphic novel. This means it is like a big comic book. I also like to read the Big Nate comic in the Sunday paper.

Nate is a middle schooler who is not very smart, gets a lot of low grades, and is hated by his homeroom/social studies teacher. I do not look up to Nate but I do like him because he is very funny. Nate’s best friend, Teddy, is also very funny but he is actually a good student. These books are always good for having a laugh or when you want something that’s not too serious.

#9 Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

This is another graphic novel, which again means it is like a comic book. This one has more text/reading than Big Nate.

The wimpy kid’s real name is Greg Heffley. He gets himself into a lot of trouble and awkward situations during his time in middle school and early high school. Gret and Rowley are each other’s only friends and try to help each other through school and social situations.

Greg’s older brother Rodrick isn’t very smart and is a bully to Greg all the time. Greg also has a younger brother named Manny who drives him crazy by doing things like drawing on Greg’s bedroom door with permanent marker. I think Greg loves his Mom and Dad but he gets annoyed at them because he thinks they are overprotective.

The movies are good but my Mom thinks Greg is not a nice person and treats Rowley very badly. But it’s not that way in the book.

A few years ago I got to meet Jeff Kinney at The Blue Bunny and he was very nice!

#10 The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

This three-book series is written by the same author as the Percy Jackson books, so of course it is good.

The main characters are Carter and Sadie Kane. They are brother and sister but were separated after their mother’s death. Carter lived most of his life with his Dad and Sadie spent most of her life with her grandparents. They are kind of normal, regular people before one Christmas they go out together with their father and visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. They see the Rosetta Stone and their father suddenly begins some weird chanting and the stone blows up. Whoa.

When they wake up in the rubble, they find they have strange powers. Two Egyptian magicians summon a magic portal and transport Carter and Sadie to the capital of Egypt. Their father has disappeared. Again, I say, whoa.

Once in Egypt, Carter and Sadie find themselves in an underground city filled with yet more Egyptian magicians. And for a third time, I say, whoa. Their mission becomes to prevent an Egyptian snake-god from eating the sun. Yes, correct. Eating the sun.

I like the Kane Chronicles because it is very creative and filled with new ideas. I also like learning about Egyptian mythology. There are a lot of “whoa” moments in this series. It is quite a page-turner.