August 2010

The Spiderwick Chronicles

We really enjoyed these! They seemed to read like one longer book instead of 5 very short ones, so I recommend bringing home 3 at a time at least.

The world Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black create is very real. It is original working of familiar fairy material. It also really sounds like it's coming from the perspective of a 9 year old boy; childishly simple at times.

The treatment of divorce is sensitive while still showing the deep pain and even havoc it brings to children's lives.

3.5 stars

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The more I read, the more I see!! J.K. Rowling is the queen of narrative misdirection; I can see why she loved Emma (Jane Austen), which is a book ALL ABOUT thinking you know where the characters and plot is going, and being totally wrong. This book is amazing at that! For any who haven't read the sequel I won't spoil anything, but I will say that this book does a wonderful job making you lean one way, and then letting go so you fall over. :)

Bottom line? This book is chock-full of lessons on mercy and trust. But really, it's incomplete without Book 7!!

Cautions? The death at the book's end is in some ways unexpected, and it is very very sad. I cried. Some of the material is clearly for older readers-- the boy-girl relationships are quite full of "snogging" (kissing), though this is poked fun at and shown to be immature.

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The Last Olympian

The Percy Jackson series wraps up without disappointment. The good guys win, and are rewarded, Percy chooses doing the right thing over immortality, and of course gets the right girl. I liked seeing the gods' personalities develop over the series, turning them from cardboard mythological characters to real people.

Cautions? As with this whole series, the parents of the protagonists are immoral; every child (except Athena's children) are conceived outside of wedlock, often as a result of broken promises, and are raised in broken homes. Makes for a nebulous moral backdrop. BUT this is an accurate representation of the old myths.

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