Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wise Words - Peter Leithart

Leithart's Wise Words is a great read-aloud collection of stories that kids and parents will enjoy. It's funny, clever, thoughtful and engaging. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peter and the Sword of Mercy - Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Surprise! The Starcatchers are back! This series was going to be a trilogy, but the fans didn’t want to see it go away! Twenty-three years after Rundoon, the Starcatchers have all but vanished. There haven’t been any starstuff falls in years, but James goes to Molly’s house with disturbing news. Ombra’s back! James has been working at Scotland Yard, and while at the castle of England, he saw a man named von Schatten, and he felt that same evil presence as Ombra! Molly refuses to do anything right now, as her attention is on the Underground, where people have mysteriously vanished. Days later, she learns that James has vanished as well! Realizing that this is Ombra’s work, she explains the situation to her daughter, Wendy. Wendy now has been given the task of finding a boy named Peter Pan. The only problem is, how is she going to get to the island? If she can find it, will she make it before something happens to her mother? Last of all, how will she know who Peter is?

This book was very good. It was nice seeing all the old characters come back, and I liked the additions. This book, even though it is out of the trilogy, should be read after all the others to completely understand it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon - Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon is the final book in the Peter and the Starcatchers trilogy. While searching the jungle for something to do, Peter and his friends find a broken arrow. They take it to the Indian leader, Fighting Prawn, thinking he might know what it is. The leader tells them that the arrow belongs to a fierce Indian tribe called the Scorpions. These Indians capture islands and use poison arrows in battle. Fighting Prawn tells Peter and his friends to stay inside the village so they can be safe. Peter, however, sneaks off and plans to fight the Scorpions without any idea what he is going to do. He hopes that this will turn out for the best and doesn’t want to think about what would happen if the island is taken by the Scorpions.

I thought that this was the best one in the trilogy.  This book has plenty to keep readers occupied and is a very easy read. I recommend this series to anyone who likes an easy and fun read, good action, a little drama, or just likes Peter Pan.
   

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bruchko - Bruce E. Olson

Bruchko is a true missionary story about a nineteen year old boy named Bruce Olson who feels a call to be a missionary in South America. He doesn’t know who he wants to preach to, he just wants to go. Since he has a medical degree, he thinks that he will be accepted by the Indians because he can give them medicine. The mission board denies him, telling him that he is too young to go. He decides to go by himself without a mission board and no help from the outside world. While he is trying to decide who he is going to preach to, he hears about the Motilone Indians. He feels that these are the people to whom God sent him to preach. Some other missionaries hear about his choice and warn him that the Indians have killed anybody that came in there.  Determined, he ignores them and sets off to find what he can do to help. On his path to showing the Indians the Gospel, he faces dangers, near death, savage Indians, and learns about sharing God’s truth with a different people.

This was a very good book. It is easy to read, has plenty of exciting moments, and is good for just about any kind of reader. This is worth reading for anyone struggling in their faith.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Peter and the Shadow Thieves - Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Shadow Thieves is the second book in the Peter Pan series. Molly and her family receive a warning from a Starcatcher in Egypt that reads, “Beware the Shadows.” Not knowing what to make of it, they keep a sharp eye for anything suspicious. Peter and his friends learn the meaning more quickly. Their peaceful island, Neverland, is attacked by a strange pirate crew accompanied by a shadowy sinister figure that can steal people’s shadows and control the victim. When Peter learns that their next target is Molly and her family, he hides on the pirate’s ship so he can go back to London and warn them. He is hoping with all his might that he makes it in time.

This book is just as good as the first, if not better. It is very helpful to read these books in order, starting with Peter and the Starcatchers. This book is an easy and fun read.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Peter and the Starcatchers - Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers is the first book of a series about the life of Peter Pan before the movie. Peter and his friends are forced onto an evil-looking ship whose destination no one would reveal. They aren’t given very appetizing food on the trip, and because Peter feels responsible for the other boys, he decides to sneak out of his cabin to find food. He runs into a girl named Molly Aster who seems like she has a secret. Peter continues his search for food and finds a chest. Curious, he opens the chest and is greeted by a bright light. The next day, he interrogates Molly about the chest, feeling this is what she’s hiding. She reveals that the chest is filled with starstuff which affects people in many ways, and people have been trying to use its power for themselves. Peter feels like he should help guard it. His new mission is to stop thieves, learn more about starstuff, and maybe a little about himself.

This book was really good. It was funny, and almost never had a dull moment. I recommend this series to Peter Pan fans and for people who want an easy,fun read. If you read this book, you’re going to want to finish the series.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Into the Wild - Erin Hunter

This is one of the most interesting novels I have ever read. It is about a housecat who joins a "clan" of wild cats in the forest behind his house. At first, the other cats dislike him because he is a "kittypet," but gradually he gains acceptance of them. He starts to learn more about the secrets of the clan and goes on lots of dangerous adventures that could lead to the fate of all the cats in the forest.

Throughout the book there are suspenseful moments, and it is a definite page-turner. I would recommend this book (and the rest of the series) to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy or animal stories.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, has now started the Kane Chronicles. Fourteen year old Carter and twelve year old Sadie Kane are siblings who have been apart since their mother died six years earlier. Carter has been living out of a suitcase with his dad while Sadie stays in Britain with her grandparents. Sadie has exactly what Carter wants, a chance to go to school, have friends, a “normal” life. On the other hand, Carter has what Sadie wants, time to spend with her dad. The siblings are reunited with a trip on a trip with dad to the British Museum. Their dad made a promise to make “everything right.” Everything goes wrong and their dad vanishes in a fiery explosion. They find out that the explosion released Egyptian gods and go on a quest to save their dad from Set, an Egyptian god who has a frightening plan for Earth.

I liked this book as lot, and it is written in first person, so you can tell exactly what they feel. This will be a favorite for Percy Jackson fans for sure. For people new to Riordan, you don’t have to read the Percy Jackson books to understand this.

Foreign Influence - Brad Thor

Scot Harvath is back in Brad Thor’s brand new action thriller to investigate a terrorist bombing in Paris which killed a group of American college students. Right after that, a woman in Chicago is killed in a taxi hit-and-run. People say that the driver appeared to have been Middle Eastern, and didn’t even try to stop the car. Could these two events be related? One of Scot’s old friends has the info he needs, but while Scot is looking for the truth, he is looking for revenge on his would be assassin’s boss.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot. It was very hard to put down. Brad Thor’s books are very fun to read, and it would be helpful if read in order.

*May need parent’s permission to read this book.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down! It is about a teenage boy who discovers that he is the son of a Greek god. He goes to a camp that is specifically for kids like him and ends up going on a dangerous quest that could save the world.

Overall, it is a thrilling adventure novel with splashes of humor and mystery thrown in. It is written in first person format and is an easy read, but not at all boring. It also made me want to learn more about mythology. I would recommend this book to readers of all ages.

Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

Inkheart may be a book about a girl, but that doesn’t mean that guys can’t read it. The book is about a little girl named Meggie whose mother has been gone for nine years, leaving her alone with her book- fixing father. Meggie’s been traveling with her father across towns as he’s asked to fix a book or two. One day, a man comes and tells her father that a man named Capricorn is coming to get The Book. Since her father is afraid of Capricorn, she and her father go to her aunt’s house to hide. That night, some men come and take her father away. Meggie sets out to find the truth about The Book, where her father is, and why Capricorn wants The Book so badly.

This is an easy and fun to read book. It isn’t a girl-only book, and I’m sure the author meant it for anybody to read. There is a movie about Inkheart, so after you read the book, you may want to watch the movie.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw - Jeff Kinney

Greg Heffley returns in the third book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. His dad is fed up with Greg’s “unmanliness” and threatens to send him off to military academy. Greg knows that it’s time to shape up, or get shipped out to the worst thing of his life.

This book series is still unique because of its writing style, cartoons, and its reading simplicity. I recommend getting this book if you like middle school comedy or if you liked the other books in the series.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - Jeff Kinney

Middle schooler Greg Heffley is faced with the problems of school life once again in this book. Greg’s older brother Rodrick knows the one most embarrassing thing that happened to Greg over the summer, and Greg has to keep him happy if he wants that secret to stay hidden.

This is very unique because it is written just like a journal with cartoons, normal middle schooler handwriting, and “feelings.” I recommend this book for those who like middle school comedy.

Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Waterson

The Calvin and Hobbes books are about six-year old Calvin and his stuffed animal tiger, Hobbes. They have many adventures and creations in Calvin and Hobbes’ imaginary world. These were made back when the comics were a lot better than they are today.

I liked Calvin and Hobbes because of its humor and creativity. I think that these are better than just about any comics in the newspapers today.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Great Train Robbery - Michael Crichton

The Great Train Robbery is based off of a true story about a group of thieves who attempt to steal a fortune in gold. After the crew has a plan to make off with the gold, they attack. Most of the book is planning, and the actual robbery doesn’t take place until the end of the book.

This book was pretty good. It is a book that takes a while to read, and it is a little confusing at some points. It was interesting, but I wouldn’t read it again.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer - John Grisham

Theodore Boone (Theo) is a thirteen year old boy from a small town who dreams of becoming a lawyer. It turns out that he doesn’t have to wait until he grows up. He is dragged into a murder trial and learns the truth behind it all. He has to set the record straight that no one else in the courtroom knows about. The only problem is, he doesn’t have any proof, and who’s going to believe a kid who claims to know the entire story?

This book is a thrilling mystery book with some unexpected twists. I enjoyed this book, and it is worth reading over and over.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Little Big Planet

Game Formats: PS3 and PSP
Rating: E

Your new best friend is sackboy (the little brown guy on the case of the game). You can guide him through levels, create levels, and share your own home-made levels with the world. On Playstation Network, you can play with up to three other people or you can play all by yourself (and friends if they’re playing on your console). Online, there are music levels, playing levels, costume tutorials, and anything else you can think of.

This game is really fun, but it is more fun if you have Playstation Network. In the Playstation store, you can buy costumes like Sonic the Hedghog, Iron Man, and more. There are also special stickers, and much more. This game is easy to learn how to play easily and is a good family game.

Eragon - Christopher Paolini

Eragon is the first book in a series of four called the Inheritance Cycle which should be read in order. This book is about a teenage farm boy who found a dragon egg and raised the new dragon, Saphira. Now, he and his dragon learn their powers in the quest to stop the tyrant King Galbatorix.

I really enjoy this series. I’ve read the books more than once. I think that these are very fun to read, and am excited for the fourth book’s arrival!

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Game Formats: PS3, DS, Wii, Xbox 360, PC
Rating: T  

In the Ghostbusters game, you are the new recruit (not in any of the movies) who is supposed to test all the dangerous equipment. Old enemies are popping up everywhere, like the Grey Lady (the ghost librarian) the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, and some new ghosts start appearing and causing a lot of trouble. Your new job is to help the Ghostbusters find out what is bringing these ghosts back to NY and stop it before the ghosts take over.

I think that this game is very fun to play. There is an online multiplayer mode where you can do jobs as any of the Ghostbusters crew with three other people and capture ghosts. Your rank goes up as you earn cash and, sometimes, you get a new uniform depending on your rank.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quantum of Solace (007)

Game Formats: PS3, DS, Wii, Xbox 360, PC
Rating: T

This game is a must for people who love 007. Relive Bond’s movements from the movie and become the new Bond. You can sneak past cameras and guards or kill them with a gun. This game is playable on the internet where you can test your skills against the world.

This game is really fun. I think it is best for PS3 or Xbox 360 because you can play tons of different types of matches and purchase your gear online. This is a game for one person per console.

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

Ten very different people are brought to a mysterious island called Indian Island. The only thing connecting the people is that all of them have an evil past they don’t want to share with each other. The nursery rhyme of the ten little Indian boys is hanging up in all of their rooms in their little “vacation house.” Something seems very different about it, but no one seems to notice. One by one, they fall prey to an unknown enemy on a deserted island with no signs of life. They decide that they must find out who did this before the “ten little Indians” are no more.

I enjoyed this book. It is a book that I didn’t want to put down. I think that this is probably one of the best horror/mystery books around.

Through Gates of Splendor - Elisabeth Elliot

Through Gates of Splendor is a real-life inspirational journey of five missionaries who went to Ecuador to preach to the Quichua Indian tribe. Their goal was to convert the Indians and show them God’s grace. After spending a lot of time with the Indians and preaching to them, the Indians turned fierce and killed the missionaries. Everyone who was following the story was shocked. The Indians had been kind to the missionaries. The widows went to the tribe a little bit after the incident to find that the tribe had completely changed. They confessed to killing the men and realized that it was wrong. It was out of fear that they killed the men. They thought it wasn’t supposed to happen, but the widows knew it was all part of God’s plan to convert the tribe.

This book is a pretty good book. It tells of five men who were willing to die to show the Indians God’s grace. I think that this is a book worth reading.