lightning strikes

Book Reviews: lightning round

For your enjoyment and edification, I offer you a lightning round of one sentence reviews of the children’s novels I’ve read so far this summer:

The Amaranth Enchantment, by Julie Berry Fun fantasy arranged in a standard evil stepmother and girl-finds-a-prince format.

The Leaving, by Tara Altebrando YA suspense novel fails to deliver on its promised intrigue.

Who Stole the Wizard of Oz? by Avi Attempts to be a revival of the Bobsy Twins with only one pair of twins.

Truthwitch, by Susan Dennard Well-built YA fantasy setting has too many story-lines going but nevertheless shows promise.

The School for the Insanely Gifted, by Dan Elish Perfectly paced adventure novel for the third grade crowd without any scary bits.

The Secret of Platform 13, by Eva Ibbotson First of my Ibbotson binge, feels like an Edward Eager novel in a great way, but fails on the fat-shaming front.

Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson Well written, but the story line is rather awfully misogynist.

Island of the Aunts, by Eva Ibbotson Atlantis is run by aunts, and it’s a wildlife refuge for selkies and mermaids.

The Ogre of Oglefort, by Eva Ibbotson A plot and cast of characters that finally delivers on the promise of Ibbotson’s clean prose.

The Key to Extraordinary, by Natalie Lloyd In a hidden valley in the US, a young girl comes of age among a supportive quirky community.

The Lighthouse Land, by Adrian McKinty A selectively mute child isn’t mute in the parallel world of “lighthouse land” and bored me into abandoning the book.

Paper Things, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson A child experiences homelessness and family instability in a safe enough manner for this to be an appropriate children’s novel that was nevertheless a hard read.

H.I.V.E. Higher Institute of Villainous Education (H.I.V.E. #1), by Mark Walden Children are kidnapped, with parental approval, to an underground boarding school to learn how to best hone their villainous skills, hijinks ensue.

Escape Velocity (H.I.V.E. #3), by Mark Walden Not quite as fun as the first novel but still worth a read, along the same lines as the first.

And there you have it! Keep your eyes peeled for a lightning round of picture books, coming soon!