children’s

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The Bridge to Never Land (Peter and the Starcatchers #5) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson

Published November 11, 2016 by Kaitlin Michelle

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Goodreads Summary:

Aidan and Sarah Cooper have no idea what they’re getting into one afternoon when they discover a mysterious coded document in a secret compartment of an antique English desk their father recently brought at an auction. Something about the document seems familiar to Sarah, and that night she realizes what it is: the document seems to be referring to some books she has read – the Starcatchers series, about the origin of Peter Pan. But how could that be? The document seems far older than the books. And of course, the books are just stories….

Curious, Sarah and Aidan begin to decipher the mysterious document. At first it’s a game – unraveling the mystery piece by piece, each piece leading them to a new, deeper puzzle.

But soon the game turns strange – and scary. They discover that the “stories” are real, and that what they thought was a fictional battle between good and evil is still going on. And the scariest part is: They have become part of it.

Pursued by a being that can take any form and will stop at nothing to get what it wants from them, Aidan and Sarah embark on a desperate, thrilling quest for help – a quest that leads them to some unforgettable people in some unlikely places, including one that’s not supposed to exist at all. At each step they must solve new puzzles and escape new dangers, all the while knowing that is they fail, the evil they are fleeing will be let loose on an unsuspecting world.

My Thoughts:

This book is set in modern times, so about 100 years or so after the last book! Sarah and Aiden Cooper are siblings that have read the Peter and the Starcatchers books (kind of weird, like Inception of books.) One day they discover a hidden message in some old desk, and discover that it is taking about the Starcatchers.  At first they think it must be a hoax, because the books aren’t that old, and they are just stories, but they decide to investigate just in case.  They are going to London on a family vacation and decide to do some sleuthing to see if the note is real and if they can find the starstuff.  It wouldn’t be much of a book if they didn’t. After almost being devoured by Magill’s wolves they make it out with the starstuff. The problem is that Ombra is now after them having sensed the presence of starstuff. This was my least favorite of the series. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.  None of the characters we love are in the beginning half of the book, which is disappointing. Although it was interesting to see how modern people would handle starstuff.  I did like how they utilized the Peter Pan ride at Disney World, which I love! What happened to Neverland and why no one can find it now, that tied in quite nicely.  I felt like Peter was less like the Peter from the first 3 books and more like the Peter from the fourth book or the original Barrie novel.  I didn’t like Sarah and Aiden, and didn’t connect with them.  Their constant need to argue was annoying.  It is worth checking out, only if you are a completist.

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Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Peter and the Starcatchers #4) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Jim Dale (

Published November 10, 2016 by Kaitlin Michelle

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Goodreads Summary:

The year is 1902 – it’s been twenty-three years since Peter and the Lost Boys returned from Rundoon. Since then, nobody on the island has grown a day older, and the Lost Boys continue their friendship with the Mollusk tribe, and their rivalry with Captain Hook. Meanwhile in London, Molly has married George Darling and is raising three children: Wendy, Michael, and John. One night a visitor appears at her door; it’s James, one of Peter’s original Lost Boys. He is now working for Scotland Yard and suspects that the heir to England’s throne, Prince Albert Edward, is under the influence of shadow creatures. These shadow creatures are determined to find a secret cache of startstuff which fell to London many centuries ago. The starstuff is hidden in an underground vault which has only one key: the Sword of Mercy, a legendary weapon kept with the crown jewels. Molly is determined to locate and protect the starstuff, but when she suddenly goes missing, it is up to her eleven-year-old daughter, Wendy, to keep it out of the Others’ clutches. Wendy has heard her mother’s stories of a flying boy named Peter Pan, and he may be her only hope in saving the world from a shadowy doom..

 

My Thoughts:

This book is set over 20 years after the last book.  Peter and the Lost Boys haven’t aged of course, but Molly and the boys that left the island have.  Molly and George are married (we knew that was coming) and have 3 children: Wendy, John, and Michael (duh!) James, one of the original lost boys, is now working for Scotland Yard, he brings Molly disturbing news, The Others are back.  Not only that but the heir to the thrown is under their control.  Molly decides to help, but when she goes missing Wendy knows she will have to get Peter to come back to London to save everyone.  This book is set in the same time and age of the original JM Barrie story, although Peter hasn’t aged he does seem to have gotten more selfish than he was previously. Perhaps because none of the Starcatchers have visited in over 20 years.  This is more of an origin story than a prequel, because this story does not fit in with the original Barrie tale.

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Peter and the Shadow Thieves (Peter and the Starcatchers #2) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Greg Call

Published November 8, 2016 by Kaitlin Michelle

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Goodreads:

In this riveting and adventure-packed follow-up to the award-winning New York Times bestseller Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter leaves the relative safety of Mollusk Island – along with his trusted companion, Tinker Bell – for the dark and dangerous streets of London. On a difficult journey across the sea, he and Tink discover the mysterious and deadly Lord Ombra, who is intent on recovering the missing starstuff – celestial dust that contains unimagined powers. In London, Peter attempts to track down the indomitable Molly, hoping that together they can combat Ombra’s determined forces. But London is not Mollusk Island; Peter is not the boy he used to be; and Lord Ombra – the Shadow Master – is unlike anything Peter, or the world, has ever seen.

Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have done it again – written a compulsively readable, magical, impossible-to-put-down tale that will delight readers of all ages.

My Thoughts:

First book review. If you didn’t read book 1, you need to go do it now! I’ll wait.

Did you read it? Yes? Good. Did you love it!?! YES! Me too! Book 2 does not disappoint.  These books are sooooo good, and impossible to put down. You’ll want to make sure you have all 5 in the series before starting the first book, so that you don’t have to stop! In this book, Peter encounters the Others again at Mollusk Island.  He learns they are going to go after Molly and Lord Aster, so he decides to stow-away with Tink to save Molly.  There are several problems with this, because Lord Ombra, a shadow master, can sense him and Tinkerbell on the ship, and Peter doesn’t know where Molly lives once he actually gets to London!  It is interesting how they show how Molly has aged, and Peter hasn’t.  It isn’t super obvious, but noticeable all the same.  Black Stache is back and now known, as Captain Hook! I also liked how Molly is friends with George Darling alluding to the fact that they will eventually be Wendy’s parents.  Although, I didn’t like George, he is a pretentious jerk, but he is like that as a adult in the original story, so it makes sense.  And you can see how much he loves Molly.  Guest appearance by James Barrie was delightful! I highly recommend this book series.  It is captivating and takes you on an amazing adventure.

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Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers #1) by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Greg Call

Published November 7, 2016 by Kaitlin Michelle

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Goodreads Summary:

Don’t even think of starting this book unless you’re sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.
Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.

My Thoughts:

I found this gem at Half Price Books and immediately went back and purchased the rest of the series.  It is a retelling of the classic Peter Pan tale. This is a fast paced adventure story that I could not put down! It starts off with Peter and his friends at the orphanage and they are being sent to serve King Zarboff the third.  They board The Neverland and their lives change right away.  This story explains the island we know as Neverland, and how it came to be called that, how Peter learned to fly, and how he gets Tinkerbell. This origin story for Peter Pan is so original.  On the ship with Peter and his mates is a strange trunk and a girl named Molly Aster, who can talk to porpoises.  They infamous pirate Black Stache is after The Neverland, because he is after the trunk, which is supposed to be (and does) hold the greatest treasure known to man. All of the characters are fully-developed and great! Peter and Molly must keep Black Stache from getting the starstuff in the trunk, because in the hands of the Others (not Starcatchers) it would mean terrible things for the world.  I loved this book, the whole series actually, and can not speak highly enough of it.  Please read it.

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Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, Michael Hague Illustrated

Published November 5, 2016 by Kaitlin Michelle

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Goodreads Summary:

Peter Pan, the book based on J.M. Barrie’s famous play, is filled with unforgettable characters: Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up; the fairy, Tinker Bell; the evil pirate, Captain Hook; and the three children–Wendy, John, and Michael–who fly off with Peter Pan to Neverland, where they meet Indians and pirates and a crocodile that ticks. Renowned children’s-book artist Michael Hague has brought the amazing adventures of Peter Pan to life. His beautiful illustrations capture the wild, seductive power of this classic book. This newly designed edition will be enjoyed by fans young and old alike.

My Thoughts:

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After I read the Peter and the Starcatcher series (review to come), I knew I had to go back and read the original story.  I really only know the Peter Pan story from the Disney cartoon, and various other movie renditions I have seen.  I love the Disney film, and most of the other movies too to be honest.  The story is fairly true to the Disney movie, with much of the violence removed.  I did like the story, however, I didn’t really love the writing style.  The language was no in keeping with modern times, because the book is so old, so I didn’t really enjoy it.  I did not like the narrative interjections at all, and it felt too much like reading a play, which I guess I’m not into, even though I really do enjoy watching plays.  I guess this is why I don’t really read classic novels.

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Graphic Novel Haul

Published July 4, 2016 by Kaitlin Michelle

I went to the library and checked out a bunch of graphic novels and comic books!! So much fun to mix them in in-between all the novels!  Makes for a refreshing take on books while on a reading slump, without actually stopping reading!

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Goodreads Summary:
Meet the Wrenchies. They’re strong, powerful, and if you cross them, things will quickly go very badly for you. Only one thing scares them—growing up. Because in the world of the Wrenchies, it’s only kids who are safe… anyone who survives to be an adult lives in constant fear of the Shadowsmen. All the teenagers who come into contact with them turn into twisted, nightmarish monsters whose minds are lost forever.  When Hollis, an unhappy and alienated boy, stumbles across a totem that gives him access to the parallel world of the Wrenchies, he finally finds a place where he belongs. But he soon discovers that the feverish, post-apocalyptic world of the Wrenchies isn’t staying put… it’s bleeding into Hollis’s normal, real life. Things are getting very scary, very fast. Farel Dalrymple brings all his significant literary and artistic powers to bear in his magnum opus—a sprawling, intense science fiction tale that has at its heart the uncertainty and loneliness of growing up.

So I didn’t actually like this book, and didn’t finish it.  the drawings are great, but I couldn’t get into the story, and didn’t really know what was going on.

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Goodreads Summary:

From the ridiculously silly and twisted imagination of Roman Dirge comes the story of a cat called Cat and his stupidly ridiculous big-head and a tale of what really happens deep inside your body when true love ups and dies. This collection of two of Roman’s strangest and weirdest tales will take you from the bottom of a cat bowl to the very heart of human despair! Feature all new coloring by Adam Bolton.

I love Roman Dirge! His artwork is so creepy and fantastic.  This is a super quick and fun read.

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Goodreads Summary:

A collection of short poems all telling macabre and twisted tales for children of all ages.

As Roman Dirge, creator, author and artist of LENORE: THE CUTE LITTLE DEAD GIRL describes it, ‘This is collection of children’s tales for disturbed Children.’ From serious sinister one page poems like, ‘Critter Pie’ and ‘Pear Head Man and Bread Boy’ to longer stories such as ‘The Sideways Man’ and the title story, ‘Something at My Window is Scratching’. This is Roman at his most macabre best, short stories with creepy stings in their tales. This collection has been recoloured by Roman Dirge approved artist, Adam Bolton who also recoloured Roman’s other non-Lenore book, Cat With The Really Big Head.

This book is just as good as the Cat with the Really Big Head.  The poems are cute and fun. 

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Goodreads Summary:

Princess Decomposia is overworked and underappreciated. This princess of the underworld has plenty of her own work to do but always seems to find herself doing her layabout father’s job, as well. The king doesn’t feel quite well, you see. Ever. So the princess is left scurrying through the halls, dodging her mummy, werewolf, and ghost subjects, always running behind and always buried under a ton of paperwork. Oh, and her father just fired the chef, so now she has to hire a new cook as well. Luckily for Princess Decomposia, she makes a good hire in Count Spatula, the vampire chef with a sweet tooth. He’s a charming go-getter of a blood-sucker, and pretty soon the two young ghouls become friends. And then…more than friends? Maybe eventually, but first Princess Decomposia has to sort out her life. And with Count Spatula at her side, you can be sure she’ll succeed.  Andi Watson (Glister, Gum Girl) brings his signature gothy-cute sensibility to this very sweet and mildly spooky tale of friendship, family, and management training for the undead.

This book is cute.  It was a bit young for me to be really into it.  It would be really good for tweens.

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Goodreads Summary

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry. Collects Wytches #1-6

This book is so good!! It is spooky and the artwork is amazing.  I love the horror genre, and this new take on witches is refreshing and original.

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Goodreads Summary

WHY WE LOVE IT: As fans of James Tynion IV’s work in the Batman universe (BATMAN ETERNAL, RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS), we were eager to publish his first original comic series. THE WOODS gives us that same eerie, smalltown horror feel we get whenever we read a Stephen King novel.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: James Tynion IV is a former protege of BATMAN writer Scott Snyder, so you know he’s learned a lot about how to craft a compelling tale. If you’re fan of teen conspiracy comics like Morning Glories, Sheltered, and Revival, you’ll immediately be sucked into THE WOODS.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Where are they? Why are they there? The answers will prove stranger than anyone could possibly imagine.

Collects issues 1 to 4 of the critically acclaimed series.

Book 2

An entire high school has been transported to an alien world and must now survive together or die individually.

On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Where are they? Why are they there? The answers will prove stranger than anyone could possibly imagine. Catch a glimpse of Bay Point Preparatory High School before the fateful events of October 16, 2013 in this new story arc. On opening night of the school’s rendition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the lives of the students and faculty crossed paths in an almost premonitory way, seeding the various horrors to come. Collects The Woods #5-8.

The book was really interesting.  I am glad that I got the second one to read after this one.  I am not normally into sci-fi, but I really liked the whole series.

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Goodreads Summary:
Heather Brewer’s The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series finally makes the move to graphic novels!

Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates junior high. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer.

I got this graphic novel because I have the book, although I haven’t read it yet.  I didn’t like the book enough to finish it though. I hope I like the actual book more.

 

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PS: What are your fave graphic novels?  What have you gotten from the library lately?

HIPPOPOTAMISTER by John Patrick Green

Published May 25, 2016 by Kaitlin Michelle

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Synopsis

The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run-down and falling apart. Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.

Goodreads link

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25689054-hippopotamister

HippoMr-chef1My Thoughts:

I LOVED this book! Guys it is super cute! It is about a hippo at a run down zoo, who has a friend Red Panda, that leaves the zoo and goes to get different jobs.  After Red Panda visits the hippo at the zoo so often, the hippo decides to leave the crappy zoo and get a job also, so he has to become HIPPOPOTAMISTER!  The artwork is adorable and I think kids will really love this book.  He is really good at almost all of the jobs he tries in the world, and eventually they all come in handy for him.  This graphic novel is definitely worth checking out. 

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About the Author

 

John Patrick Green grew up on Long Island and has worked in New York City since graduating from the School of Visual Arts with a degree in graphic design. He was the comics consultant for Disney Adventures magazine, where he wrote and often drew the popular Last Laugh feature. John is the co-creator and illustrator of the graphic novel series Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden and Teen Boat!, both with writer Dave Roman. He has also worked as a writer, illustrator, or designer on comics and graphic novels for Nickelodeon Magazine, DreamWorks, Scholastic Graphix, and DC Comics. John lives in Brooklyn with zero cats and way too many LEGOs.

 

Buy Links/Additional Details:

http://us.macmillan.com/hippopotamister/johnpatrickgreen

8PS: What do you guys think of this graphic novel? Any other graphic novel recs?

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