Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo

My family has enjoyed reading this series of books. Charlie Bone is a boy who is invited to a special school because of his hidden talent. There he makes friends and enemies and discovers new things about his family.

At first glance these books are a lot like the harry potter series: boy with unruly dark hair finds out he possesses some magic; uses it to fight against evil, etc. But these are much lighter reading; they don't seem to delve into the darker stuff as much. Also the typeset is pretty large and spaced which makes for easier reading as well. They are fun and exciting without too much drama.

Reading Level: grade 4 & up

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

It's taken me a while to write a review of this book. I've kind of had to let it simmer. I liked the book. The idea is kind of amazing.

It is a future world where there is one main city that controls 12 districts. To show the different districts how much control they have they choose a boy and girl from each of the twelve to compete in the Hunger Games. The winner is the one left alive. Yes, they kill each other and its all broadcast on TV. It's like Survivor with weapons. The competitors are chosen by lottery, though in some of the districts they actually train certain kids to compete. The book is narrated by Katniss Everdeen, who enters the games in the place of her younger sister. She is from one of the poorer districts that never wins.

The writing bothered me a little bit because it seemed so short and choppy. I guess it is to give the idea of how Katniss thinks, like in survival mode. And it's interesting that they portray the boy as being more aware of his feelings than her. My 8th grader wanted to read this since it is the new popular book out there. So as I read it I thought of her and if I would let her read it. I did, even though it does get pretty gruesome towards the end. And it's somewhat emotionally draining since people are dying. But I figured we could talk about it after. It's definitely a can't-put-down kind of book but not amazing. And not for younger kids.

Sadly, one of the things that kind of turned me off of it was that everyone who loved Twilight is picking up this new series. C'mon you can find better writing, people. But even so, it doesn't make this a bad book.