24 March 2012

Kenny and the Dragon - By: Tony DiTerlizzi (Children’s Fiction)

Is it so hard to believe that a rabbit and a dragon might become friends? In this lovely little tale that’s exactly what happens. There’s exploration, discovery, true friendship, and danger surrounding our little friend Kenny and his dragon. Especially when the villagers find out that there’s a dragon in the vicinity. After-all, everyone knows that dragons are trouble.

Kenny is a great protagonist, he’s smart and strong, but he also knows what he can do alone and what he can’t. This is a great adventure with great life lessons, I absolutely loved it.

Bookwyrm Rating: Meat and Potatoes

18 March 2012

Graceling - Kristin Cashore (Fantasy)

This is the first book in what is shaping up to be one of my new favorite series. “Graceling” is set in a land where people who have two eye colors are “Graced” with a special affinity for something. The protagonist’s Grace is apparently the ability to kill. Unfortunately she discovers this when she’s six and she is subsequently turned into a thug by her uncle (a wicked king). This book is set with a full cast of wonderful characters; both the good and the bad are displayed in all their glory.

I loved the themes at work throughout the story. Questions of love, identity and responsibility are worked out realistically for a fantasy novel. The plot is fast paced, and by the end you’re sad to see it go. Luckily for us there’s a second book “Fire” and a third book in the works. These work well as standalones, but together they flesh out the background of this great new world.

Bookwyrm Rating: Dessert

11 March 2012

A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie – By: Matt Blackstone (Teen Fiction)

Sometimes it’s good to get away from it all, and the furthest you can get from your own worries is to get into someone else’s head. Our protagonist and narrator in this book is a young man with OCD who’s just trying to live his life, and as with so many good stories, that begins with him making a new friend. Adventures ensue and his life is irrevocably changed.

Although it’s occasionally funny, this book is chock full of serious issues and OCD isn’t the worst of them. Happily, these issues all serve to turn our protagonist into his own hero. And I think that’s a great message for younger and older readers alike.

Bookwyrm Rating: Meat & Potatoes

06 March 2012

Hugless Douglas – By: David Melling (Children's Fiction)

A little bear wakes up realizing that he needs a hug, so off he goes in search of that perfect embrace.

What a sweet story, with such an adorable protagonist. I couldn’t ask for anything more, except sequels.

Bookwyrm Rating- Dessert

01 March 2012

An Optimist’s Tour of the Future – By: Mark Stevenson (NonFiction)

After reading recent headlines and watching network news a person can really start needing some good news. So when I saw this title I just couldn’t resist its siren song, and I’m glad I didn’t. The good news from this book is that really nifty things are happening right now that have the potential to make things better for tomorrow.

Reading this book was both encouraging and exciting. There are so many advances being made by intrepid science pioneers, and we should be aware of them. This book got me so excited about new technology that I’ve actually been looking up some of these things instead of reading the “breaking news”.  So I’ve been telling anyone who will listen all about these innovations for the past week.

The best things about this title are:
1)      You learn a heck of a lot of nifty things (yes I like the word “nifty” today)
2)      It is realistic, both the good and the bad are presented, but the whole picture is pretty optimistic.
3)      It promotes discussion, and if there is something the world needs more of, it is informed discussion on topics that matter.

So go out and get on this fabulous tour of the future before you get left behind.

Bookwyrm Rating: Meat & Potatoes