Sunday 26 February 2017

Book Review: Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson

Jorie and the Magic Stones 

Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jorie and the Magic Stones is the first in a children’s fantasy series by A H Richardson. Nine year old Jorie comes from boarding school to live with her Great Aunt Letitia (Aunt Letty to Jorie). She is a lovely, bright, talkative girl, confident inquisitive and has a vivid imagination.
Rufus lives with his eccentric Grandfather on the property next door. Being the only children close by Jorie and Rufus soon become firm friends.
After finding a book of dragons and magic hidden under the floorboards Jorie soon learns that she is the “child with the hair of fire” that must find the magic stones and save Cabrynthius.

Perfectly written for the target audience of 6 – 12 years with descriptive, straightforward writing, short chapters and a few unusual words thrown in to extend a child’s vocabulary.
The two children make a great pairing with Jorie as the believer, adventurer and a risk taker. Rufus is the logical one, the sceptic, more cautious but comes through and shows true bravery when needed.
The children will encounter both good and evil in their venture and there is danger aplenty. There is a lot to learn about friendship and loyalty, problem solving and decision making. I loved Jorie’s resilience – Rufus calls her a witch and Jorie just laughs it off saying that’s just silly.

The ending gave me a giggle, wrapping book one up well but also leaving an opening for the next adventure.

A delightful story and highly recommended.

Friday 17 February 2017

Book Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

The Kingdom of Oceana 

The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Kingdom of Oceana is a Young Adult Fantasy set in Hawaii 500 years in the past when the people and the sea-life lived in harmony. Each respecting and protecting the other. A time when myths rule and magic abounds!
When greed and sibling rivalry divide the islands and a dark magic infects the sea they must unite to fight a common enemy. But will it be in detriment of the whole island or will the rulers see the way before it’s too late.

This is an action packed story full of legend, history, myth, magic, danger, jealousy and a touch of romance.
I’ve rated at 11+ as there is a bit of violence involved although it is not too graphic and good does triumph over evil eventually.

Well plotted and beautifully described the scenes come alive as if watching them on the big screen. An immersive story of destiny that will hold the attention of both adult and child alike.

Suitable for 11 years plus.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Book Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1) 

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finally a young adult book for girls interested in marine life, geography, history and real life adventures. Not a ghost, angel or vampire in sight. Quite refreshing!

Kitty Hawk is a 19 year old adventurer. She has her pilots licence and wants to study the feeding habits and migration patterns of whales off the coast of Alaska. She receives sponsorship from an adventure clothing company and flies from her home in Tofino, Canada to Juneau, Alaska where she will stay with family friends.
As the story progresses the reader learns a lot about whales and the area of Juneau and the history of the Yukon and the gold rush. Kitty’s inquisitive nature gets her into some life and death scrapes.

I’ll start with a couple of things I didn’t like. The story was told in the first person by Kitty and she was at times very annoying. Also that little voice that kept popping into her head drove me crazy. At the start of the story Kitty kept jumping back and forward in time with her narration which was off putting.

The things I liked were Kitty’s sass and humour. I enjoyed all the historical facts of Juneau and the Yukon gold rush. There was plenty of action, danger and a couple of great twists. The little maps showing where Kitty was flying and the area she trekked through were great for someone who knows nothing about the area.
The author has added references at the end of the book for further reading on some of the animals, places and people mentioned in the story.

A fun way for students 10+ years to learn the history of the gold rush.