Monday, July 27, 2009

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

There was such excitement among students about the newest book in the Percy Jackson series before school got out I was ashamed that I hadn't read any of the books in this series yet. After learning more about the series, I knew I wanted to at least read "The Lightning Thief" (the first book in the series) by Rick Riordan this summer. I just finished it and have to encourage readers that like fantasy books to give this series a try. I will be reading the next in the series, I have to find out what happens next.
I found the following book review written by a student online at Nancy Keane's book talk website.

"Percy Jackson was pegged as trouble almost from the moment he was born. Of course, he never did anything intentionally, but that didn't stop him from getting blamed for things. Now, at the age of 12, Percy is trying his best not to get thrown out of yet another private school. Unfortunately, it isn’t long before school is the least of his worries. Odd things had been happening to him throughout most of his life, but he never really tried piecing any of it together. Then one day his class takes a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s there amidst the Greek artifacts that his powers are finally released. He’s also forced to fight his first monster, a winged hag, who, up until a few moments ago, was also his Pre-Algebra teacher.

From that point on everyone seems to know more than they’re willing to tell and it’s not until Percy’s attacked by yet another monster that the truth finally comes out. The Greek gods are alive and well in the 21st century and trouble is brewing on Mt. Olympus. Zeus’s most powerful weapon has been stolen, everyone is blaming everyone else, and Percy is a prime suspect. Unless he and his friends can get to California to find out what's really happening, World War III may be just around the corner. However, it doesn’t take Percy long to realize that things are not always what they seem in his new myth-infested world and he’s going to need all of his wits to get past the traps the gods have set for him. (Miranda J. Hawkins, Grapevine Public Library"
*If you are interested in reading other book talks by children, click on the "Nancy Keane's - booktalk" link in the online resources list.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The most recent book that I read this summer is "The Mysterious Benedict Society" by Trenton Lee Stewart. I was a little reluctant to start the book because of it's 485 pages, but I am so glad that I read it. Here is one review that convinced me to give it a try...
School Library Journal
After Reynie Muldoon responds to an advertisement recruiting "gifted children looking for special opportunities," he finds himself in a world of mystery and adventure. The 11-year-old orphan is one of four children to complete a series of challenging and creative tasks, and he, Kate, Constance, and Sticky become the Mysterious Benedict Society. After being trained by Mr. Benedict and his assistants, the four travel to an isolated school where children are being trained by a criminal mastermind to participate in his schemes to take over the world. The young investigators need to use their special talents and abilities in order to discover Mr. Curtain's secrets, and their only chance to defeat him is through working together. Readers will challenge their own abilities as they work with the Society members to solve clues and put together the pieces of Mr. Curtain's plan. In spite of a variety of coincidences, Stewart's unusual characters, threatening villains, and dramatic plot twists will grab and hold readers' attention. Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure...