Sunday, November 25, 2012

A review of Frank Beddor's "The Looking Glass Wars"

The Looking Glass Wars reminds readers vaguely of Alice In Wonderland but it does not mean to. The way Frank Beddor explains how the fake story called Alice in Wonderland came to be. Apparently there is a land called Wonderland, but it is an entirely different from Lewis Carroll’s version. When princess Alyss Heart retreats from Wonderland with bodyguard Hatter Madigan into our world after an attack from her evil Aunt Redd. Alyss slowly loses her imagination, (kind of like magic) and is taken into an orphanage and soon adopted by the Littles, a family in want of another little girl. Alyss tries to tell the Littles her story, but they insist that her name is spelled A-L-I-C-E and that Wonderland simply existed in her head. Hatter Madigan has been looking for Alyss since they were separated. Alyss meets a young author named Lewis Caroll who is interested to hear Alyss's story. Carroll promises to write her story and to turn it into a book.  But he distorts the story and turns it into the story we know today. Hatter Madigan becomes The Mad Hatter, Bibwit Harte, a tutor, becomes the White Rabbit, Generals Doppelganger, (he can split into Generals Doppel and Ganger) and he makes many other changes in Alyss’s story. This is just too much for Alyss and she decides too try to forget Wonderland and her name. The next morning she comes downstairs as Alice Little, but what has been happening in Wonderland? Do her friends need her help? You will see if you read the Frank Beddor trilogy and find out what is real and what is not.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Review of "Freddy and the Bean Home News" by Walter R. Brooks

A Review of Freddy and the Bean Home News by Walter R. Brooks, with illustrations by Kurt Wiese
written by L.A. Tonkovich

Freddy and the Bean Home News is one of a series of books about a farm owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bean. This book takes place in 1943 in World War Two. On this farm there are some very smart animals who can talk, though in the beginning the humans cannot understand them. The main character is a pig named Freddy, who in the series takes on the careers of a detective, a politician, an explorer and many other things. In Freddy and the Bean Home News, Freddy is an editor and organizes the paper after the Guardian, the Centerboro (the nearest town) paper, is taken over by a man named Garble who immediately kicks out the former editor, Freddy’s friend Mr. Dimesy. He and Freddy create the Home News with a hand press in Mr. Dimesy’s basement. The Home News competes against the Guardian and people in Centerboro read it, not only animals. While this is all going on there is also a scrap drive in the county and the Bean animals are trying hard to win. The election of the sheriff is coming up too and Mr. Garble is running as sheriff. Of course, the real person who is behind all of this is Mrs. Underdunk, Garble’s rich sister. While the election and the two papers grab most people’s attention there is also the scrap drive which ends soon and the Bean farm is very much behind. Will their winning have something to do with the iron deer in Mrs. Underdunk’s yard? As the fight in the papers turns to violence and physical brutality and wanted posters are out for Freddy, the Bean farm is in a real mess. I suggest this book and all 26 books of the Freddy series as good reading material. This is a wonderful series. 


Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Review of Robert McCloskey's "Homer Price"

A review of Homer Price
By L.A. Tonkovich

Homer Price is a collection of stories written by Robert McCloskey in the nineteen forties. The stories' center is a town called Centerburg and the stories' main character is a boy named Homer Price. Centerburg is a cozy little town with a lunchroom owned by Homer's Uncle Ulysses and a library, a barbers shop and many other shops and stores, but now let me describe some of the stories. The first story begins when Homer finds a skunk he names Aroma. Aroma helps Homer find a recently stolen suitcase full of money and Dregs aftershave lotion. Another story is one of my personal favorites it is called, "The Doughnuts." Uncle Ulysses wife, Aunt Agnes is a bit exasperated with Uncle Ulysses and his “Up and coming lunch room,” meaning that she became, “unkindly disposed toward him for days and days,” whenever he bought a new labor saving device. Uncle Ulysses has purchased a doughnut machine and, after trying out a new recipe can’t stop making doughnuts! There are many other stories, including one that determines the “String Saving Champion of the World.” There’s also "Nothing new under the Sun," which has a more modern Pied Piper of Hamlin. This wonderful collection of stories has amazing illustrations that capture the spirit of Centerburg, and Homer Price. There is also a counterpart to this book, it is called Centerburg Tales introducing an exciting new character who tells tales that could be true but nobody can prove they are lies. I strongly suggest these wonderful stories to read.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Serpent's Shadow

The Serpent's Shadow
is the last book in Rick Riordan’s series The Kane Chronicles. This last book is a conclusion to the two other books. I have read this book four times and think it is a wonderful book. The plot is that two young siblings, Carter and Sadie Kane, discover that they are magicians and that they are related too the pharaohs of ancient times. They battle demons and attempt to subdue the uprising of the giant snake Apophis, the evil lord of chaos. In this last book they must discover the secret of the serpent’s shadow. To do this they must find a ghost, Setne, an ancient ruler of Egypt and persuade him to give the location of the Book of Thoth, their only hope to defeat Apophis and save the world. With Sadie’s friend Walt on the verge of death, and Carter’s girlfriend Zia possessed by a god, the Kane family is in disarray, but somehow they must pull together and prevent the world to sink into the endless sea of chaos. This is probably, I think, his most successful book in his Kane Chronicles. Rick Riordan has written two other series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and his series that is not finished yet, The Heros of Olympus, both about Greek and Roman gods and demigods. This is a wonderful series and I suggest reading all of Rick Riordan’s series about demigods and magicians. Rick Riordan has also written a book in The 39 Clues series.