Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sequoyah Set Two

Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi

Fun book based on The Reluctant Dragon. Kenny loves to read, and is always off in his own little world, without really having any good friends. Then one day a friendly dragon shows up practically in his back yard. And wouldn't you know? The dragon loves to read too, and knows all sorts of stories and fun things. They get to be best friends, and everything is going great. But then the rest of the town finds out about the dragon, and they are scared. They want to kill the dragon - and it's up to Kenny to save him. What Kenny and his family come up with is funny and just right for this sort of book. Most kids will like this book. It is lighthearted and not gory or violent, and very easy to get into and enjoy.

My opinion: This book was so fun to read! Kenny and the dragon both pull your sympathies right in, and you find yourself rooting for a happy ending for all. Loved that it was based on The Reluctant Dragon.

The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman

Gil Goodson must win the Gollywhopper games! His father was fired from the Gollywhopper company after being falsely accused of stealing. Gil thinks winning the games is the only way to redeem family pride. Along the way you will find puzzles, challenges, fantastic toy rooms and fantastic rooms designed like jungles, dollhouses, pirate islands, etc. There is also cheating, racing, new friendships, and old frienships renewed. How could you go wrong with all those ingredients?

My opinion: The underlying issue this book dealt with - a family moving on with life after a false accusation almost ruined their lives - stayed with me. While I was reading the book, I was caught up in the excitement of the games, trying to figure out the answers as he did, and did not even notice this family struggle so much. I would recommend this book to kids of most ages, for fun, and to get the deeper point of family bonds even in hard times. Overall, really enjoyed reading this one, it was one of my favorites, but probably not THE favorite.

Eleven by Patricia Giff

Sam is a boy who lives with his grandfather Mack. They love to do woodworking together, and have great neighbors who are like family. But there seems to be a mystery in Sam's life. Sam is frightened by the number eleven. He also keeps having strange dreams about a boat and a cat. Then he finds a newspaper article in the attic that causes him to doubt everything he knows, even whether Mack is actually his grandfather. He and a friend set out on a search to find the truth, and eventually must confront Mack for the rest of the answers.

My opinion: Eleven was well written. The mystery just got deeper and deeper throughout, keeping you guessing, then slowly revealed itself at just the right pace. For some reason I was thinking this was the Hahn book, and kept expecting a ghost/supernatural story, but it's totally not! That's what I get for getting my authors mixed up. Despite that, I really liked it.

All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn

Travis and Corey are pranksters. They are spending the story with their grandmother, and decide to scare the guests at her bed and breakfast with a little ghost fun. But the ghost fun backfires, stirring up real ghosts. Some of the ghosts are just pesky - the bad little boys - but one is cruel. And determined to have her way, even from the grave. Now Travis and Corey have to clean up the mess they created - without being scared away themselves.

My opinion: I'm not a huge fan of ghost stories, but this was a good book for someone who does like them. I'm waffling on this one. Part of me really enjoyed it, part of me is saying it's 'just another Hahn ghost story.' Yawn. If your kid is thirsty for ghosts, he/she will love this one too!