30 July 2005

Reads & Listens, July 2005


Whispering to Witches by Anna Dale
What a pretty book and such a fun read! Joe gets off at the wrong train station and ends up getting involved with some witches ...

Winter of Magic's Return by Pamela Service
Found this in the donation bin and remembered reading it as a child. Five hundred years after a nuclear war that left most of England uninhabitable, a young Merlin and his friends bring back King Arthur. Not a bad book, but it doesn't stand up to re-reading.

Book Without Words by Avi
I liked this book quite a lot until I read Brother Wilfrid's history of Thorston and noticed the discrepancy in ages -- there's a thirteen year difference between what Thorston says his age is and what Brother Wilfrid says it is. While I enjoyed the rest of the story and was quite taken with Sybil, the discrepancy nags at me.

Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk by Angie Sage (brilliantly illus. by Mark Zug)
The seventh son of the seventh son of a wizarding line, Septimus Heap dies at birth and his parents are given a baby girl to raise instead (around about the time the Queen is murdered, interestingly enough). This is both a (visually stunning) well written novel with carefully crafted characters and geography. Forget Harry Potter and the Lurid Green Cover, I'm waiting for Book Two: Flyte.

Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci
Egg thinks she's boy proof -- too tough and too smart for boys to be interested in her. Then a new boy arrives at her school and ... well, you know.

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Virginia is an upper middle class girl in New York City and, wow, does life suck for her. Her whole family is brilliant and thin and perfect and she just isn't. But then it turns out her family isn't so perfect after all and she learns being yourself is better than being what other people think you should be. I think I'm making this book sound horrible when it was really very good. Indeed, I would recommend this book to all misfit teen girls out there.

Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli & Richard Tchen
Generally well-crafted retelling of Rumpelstilskin.