Category: Young Adult reviews

A review of Vikings by Martin J Dougherty

That Dougherty is a historian is evident in this work. Filled with maps, photographs and graphics; Dougherty treats the reader to an eye-appealing, gratifying volume regarding the fundamentals of Viking life, history and a broad spectrum of activities carried out for the duration of the period. Vikings provides a robust overview of a fascinating people whose life, culture, accomplishments and behaviors have colored much of the world and have left an indelible mark on those of us who descend from the settlement areas colonized by them.

A review of Hell and God and Nuns with Rulers by John Collings

As Tristan struggles with school, the crush his best friend has on him, and the crush he has on the young man he met at the party, the reader feels true empathy for the character. Collings’ writing style is conversational, personable, and real; I could almost imagine Tristan sitting across from me at a table in a coffee shop (or maybe over burgers at The Burger House) telling me how he set on his path of self-realization to emerge triumphantly okay at the end of it all.

A review of Blood to Blood by Ife Oshun

Blood to Blood is a different take on the vampire and paranormal media craze. Though vampires, witches and werewolves exist in Oshun’s world, a Shimshana is something different, which breathes a degree of freshness into the story. And while paranormal tropes are prominent in the novel–such as a love triangle and the co-existence of vampires, witches and werewolves–the story and characters do not suffer, thanks to Oshun’s expert storytelling ability.

A review of Mr Ballpoint by Gerald Everett Jones

Milton is larger than life and Jones seamlessly incorporates an historical perspective that includes World War Two and the Cold War, the operations behind the scenes at big department stores like Gimbels and Macy’s, Milton’s round the world twin-engine propeller flight that broke Howard Hughes’ record. In addition, Milton and Jim’s difficult relationship, coupled with both Milton’s marriage and Jim’s marriage to Zelta, mingles the domestic with the historical perfectly.

A review of Landslides, Slumps, & Creeps by Robert Goodwin

While this book is not one most first grade students might read, the pictures added to the text, news accounts on television and recent tremors we have experienced in Oklahoma have heightened Osage County First Grade interest in all things to do with earth movements, slumps, slides, quakes and all.The book presents opportunities for discussion, and is helping to ease the worry my students have begun to develop.

A review of Penny From Heaven by Jennifer Holm

Holm has intertwined a delightful narrative within a story. On the one hand the reader spends the summer and autumn with Penny Falucci and her loving and fun loving extended family. Penny’s maternal relatives are home, Mom and apple pie American with Penny, Me-Me, Pop-Pop and Mom. While Penny’s Falucci relatives encompass many uncles, aunts, cousin and Nonny-Grandma is the pillar of the family.

A review of Biblical by Christopher Galt

I would categorise Biblical as historical surrealistic science fiction—or better yet, philosophical science fiction. However, it crosses almost every genre. Galt (the pseudonym of a mysterious best-selling crime fiction author) is clearly a master storyteller. He hasn’t simply grabbed an idea and run with it. The amount of research that has gone into the book is mind-numbing—and it’s detailed: Viking history, the holocaust and the complexities of quantum physics just to name a few.

A review of September Wind by Kathleen Janz-Anderson

Janz-Anderson’s ability to create a ripping tale is very evident and holds her in good stead. Furthering Anderson’s vigilant groundwork is her attention to detail. September Wind is a fast, well written narrative filled with sentiment, courage and reaction. Characters are credible, storyline is well plotted, writing is filled with more than enough importance to keep the reader turning the page.

A review of Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts

Unique in its telling, the story unfolds as a series of legal documents, police interviews and statements, pathology reports and the e-mail correspondence between the two Year 9 private school students. From within these Police investigation reports and statements, clues are unlocked and our suspicions focus upon a particular suspect who is a member of the school community.

A review of The Mystery of Nida Valley by EJ Ouston

This story is the stuff of action and fantasy with children on a learning curve as they traverse a hidden land where dangerous creatures abound and where they must undertake perilous challenges that test their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and physical prowess.