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An Adventurous Cub Meets Nessssss by R. N. Dunne

34415783

  • Age Range: 3 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten – 6
  • Paperback: 40 pages

Rated it: 4 Stars

I’ve received a free copy from Author Marketing Ideas on behalf of the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Cubs are eager to go on their very first camping trip. It follows the adventure and mishap of friends Darrel and Troy. The anticipation of the entire group was clearly palpable; I recognize the feeling precisely when I recall my first field trip to the big city when I was about ten. It’s like a new layer of the big wide world is being peeled away, a heady sensation and one easy to get carried away with.

For instance, when it comes to listening to the adults who know better when they tell you to not venture from designated safe areas and to not go beyond the specifically marked ones, in red no less. Unfortunately, these two got the message the hard way when they ignored the warnings. They encountered a certain critter by the riverside and to say the least things took a turn for the worse.

I was especially touched by Darrel’s thoughtful gesture to keep Troy warm before he ran off for help. It was informative also for Troy to note that he must stay calm and still to prevent further complications from a particular injury he sustained, and later in on the importance of not startling the critter with a loud noise. It’s excellent for children to know these useful bits of information when interacting with the environment. Then there’s Darrel’s quick thinking, taking the initiative with dealing with the second threat.

After having read this, kids can take away a reasonable set of knowledge from just thirty-four pages. Initially, I thought Nessssss had something to do with Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster because I’ve never Continue reading

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The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1)

Rated: 3.5 solid stars

Finished: 18th January 2018.

Spoiler content: Slight, nothing major.

I got to say I am pleasantly surprised I enjoyed this as much as I have. Norse mythology is not in my comfort zone but I’m excited! Events unfolded off at a snail’s pace but eventually picked up speed, the kind of speed that required an all-nighter. Magnus and his friends are racing to find the Sword of Summer before the Giants do and to delay Ragnarok, the last war and fated death of the world. Later on, I’ll be doing some comparisons with Percy Jackson from Riordan’s Greek series, just a heads up. Continue reading

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Book review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Rated it: 5 stars

I reread this gem last year and the feels are still incredibly strong. Long story short this is a coming of age story of teenager Aristotle (told entirely in his point of view) during the 1980s set in El Paso, Texas, and spans two years.

The summer was hot and humid, the rain was like a veil into different emotional dimension I kid you not. And the birds, well they were there crapping on people in a real way. Oh, just read the thing and you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s raining as I’m writing, and usually when it does I’m reminded of my summer boys.

And I’ll be straight with you, dear readers, this is a novel I cannot formulate a coherent sentences worthy of a decent review so I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for this mass of fangirl babble. Ari was at the awkward age where he’s coming to terms that his body is changing, he’s occupied with thoughts of his veteran father who’s in another world most of the time. Added to that he’s somewhat obsessed with an older brother who he barely remembers. 

He meets the soft spoken and bookish Dante (one of the cinnamon-iest cinnamon roll I’ve read so far) one day at the pool. A loner by choice, Ari begins to find his company an education.

The friendship that grows between these two … it’s simple yet it’s not. For better or for worse they change each other. Simply by being there they challenged themselves with facing the hard questions, the kind of questions that makes them realize just how vast and painfully tangible the universe possibly is.

What I loved

  • Sáenz didn’t mince words, let me tell you. When I first read it I was confused and uncomfortable but then I got it. This was Ari’s voice: raw, undiluted and straightforward. Also the writing gets poetic, which I expect from a book with a guy named Aristotle in it. Not that he’s poetic. Hmm, well he does get poetic but he doesn’t think he is.
  • Ari. I like him. A lot. Full of angsty pubescent emotions, foul mouthed (as much as a fifteen year old can be in YA), a natural born smart ass, and an actual decent human being. Cute too, did I mention?
  • Dante, another smarty pants. He’s the yin to Ari’s yang. Gentle, fierce, kind and forever curious. If I recall correctly, he has identity issues with his Mexian ancestry, having not been immersed in it as much as Ari. He’s terribly brave when it comes down to it.
  • The parents Continue reading

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Filed under Books, Fiction, Young Adult