Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Boomtown is a lovely book with a little bit of suspense,humor,and mystery this book hits the mark. It starts of with Rev. Button narrating everything in his life when he starts a pastoring job in the town of Boomtown. Stuff start disappearing and Rev. Button gets caught in the middle of it. I like this book because of the way everybody is strange and wonderful. Everybody love to blow stuff up. With the mysteries history of Boomtown and their founder Chang. The mysteries of what Rev. Button's son is up to. The people of Boomtown is in for a surprise and the trial of the century. I give Boomtown Book One: Chang's Fireworks Factory by Nowen N. Particular a five out of five.
I recommend it for the ages 10 and up.
Stay away from the chickens and I will see you in funny pages
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This one of the greatest fantasy stories of all time to me. This book is about a boy named Aidan Thomas who enters a world that is at war and he becomes the twelfth knight. There are great battles and fierce enemies. Aidan learns some important lessons. I like this book because of the references to God and the bible. It has great writing and dialog. It is one of the best book for any kid who likes fantasy, christian books. I give The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson a five out of five.
I recommend it for ages 10 and up.
See you in the funny pages (and remember never alone).
This is Garfield's look about movies and movie genres. From crime movies to silent movies he covers them all. He also puts his own parodies to them like Furry Potter or Gar Trek. He right some movies and he talks about some of them two. I like this book because is tells movies from a cat point of view and I like Garfield comics. I recommend Lights, Camera, Hairballs!: Garfield at the Movies by Jim Davis for ages 10 and up and I give it a 5 out of 5
So grab your popcorn and I'll see you in the funny pages
Sunday, December 7, 2008
This is a new bible from Tyndale and NEXT. This Bible is for people who do not like to read the Bible but like to read manga or just comics. Manga is a style of comic book, and is pronounced mong-ga. It is the second most popular style of comic in the world, which would make this Bible very appealing.
It has three different comics. The first comic is about the story of Creation and tells about the father of Isaac. The next manga is about Joseph and talks about the Bible up until the prophet Isaiah appears. Finally, the last comic is all about Jesus.
Each one tells a little about the bible. Each comic whets their appetite and gives just enough to hopefully make them want to read it. This Bible reads well and it is written in the New Living Translation. Some people think this translation is much easier to read, and it’s a good translation for people who are just beginning to read the Bible.
I sure like it and I think it is great. It is for 8 to 80 and beyond. I give The Manga Bible by Tyndale NEXT a 5 out of 5
See you in the funny pages!
Monday, October 13, 2008
This is the second book in the manga bible series. This what happened after MANGA MESSIAH, the first book in this series.
This is about the apostles and how Saul became Paul. It's really good at showing us his life and what he did after God changed his heart.
These books make the bible come alive. It makes me what to read my bible more to find out all the stuff they could not put in "Manga Metamorphosis".
This book is for ages 10 and up. I plan on reading the entire series, and on reading the Gospels to learn more.
I give MANGA METAMORPHOSIS a five out of five.
See you in the funny pages!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
"The Curse of the Campfire Weenies" is the third in the installment of Weenie books. My mom bought it for me at our school's book fair. This is the first one I have read so this is new for me top.
I have heard a lot about these books. It was so good, I read this book in one day.
"The Curse of the Campfire Weenies" is full of creepy and funny tales. They include "From Mr. HooHaa!" to "Forgotten Monsters". From my point of view, this book is good.
It is amazing how David Lubar comes up with these ideas.
So bottom line if you like slightly warped, creepy, and funny tales this book is for you. I recommend "The Curse Of The Campfire Weenies by David Lubar for ages 10 and up.
I've already told my mom I'd like to have the other books in this series. We'll see if I get them!
I give it a four out of five.
See you in the funny pages!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
As the cover says this is four books in one, so this is four reviews in one.
So let us get started. If you do not like Adventures in Odyssey you might not like this one. Who doesn't like Adventures in Odyessy, though?
Try this book out; you might start to like it. Fans of Adventures in Odyssey will love this book and will know many of the characters.
The stories in "Strange Journey Back" are about Mark Prescott. Mark just moved to Odysseyk and he does not like it there. He starts to go on adventures and make new friends. Mark deals with a lot of the kind of stuff we deal along the way of our lives.
So final word is this a great story. It is for ages 8 and up.
I give it a 5 out of 5.
See you in you funny pages.
Friday, September 26, 2008
This book describes the opposite sex. For guys we need this book. They have surveys of what girls think. They ask all kinds of teen aged girls what they really think.
I like this book because it tells the truth about girls and how to get along with them better. I asked my mom about this stuff and I found out it was true.
This book will help guys understand the opposite sex as well as they ever can understand them. I recommend it for ages 13-18.
I give For Young Men Only: A Guy's Guide to the Alien Gender by Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice a five out of five.
See you in the funny pages!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Excited! That's how I felt when I knew there was going to be an Official Guide to Adventures In Odyssey. I've been listening to the CD's since I was 8 years old. So far I have around 10 sets of CD's and I'm trying to get my parents to buy them all for me.
My mom surprised me with a copy of the book. It has 563 pages and is packed with tons of info on the programs--took me five days, but I finished it. And I learned a lot of interesting stuff about the program.
For instance, I learned how it all came together, and how it got started. I learned about people behind the show and about the characters in the shows. I also found a checklist so I can track the CD's I have and the ones I still need to get.
I enjoyed this book A LOT! If you've ever listened to Adventures In Odyssey and you want to learn all about it, this is the book for you. I just hope my mom lets me keep this copy and gets her own!
See you in the funny pages!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
It's June 21st, time for the Teen FIRST blog tour!(Join our alliance! Click the button!) Every 21st, we will feature an author and his/her latest Teen fiction book's FIRST chapter!
Zondervan (May 1, 2008)
In sixth grade, Melody Carlson helped start a school newspaper called The BuccaNews (her school’s mascot was a Buccaneer...arrr!). As editor of this paper, she wrote most of the material herself, creating goofy phony bylines to hide the fact that the school newspaper was mostly a "one man" show.
Visit the Melody's website to see all of her wonderful and various book titles.
Don't miss the second book in this series: Stealing Bradford (Carter House Girls, Book 2)
And one of her latest, A Mile in My Flip-Flops will be featured on FIRST Blog Alliance on July 1st!
List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (May 1, 2008)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
“The name is DJ.”
“I’m sorry, but your grandmother has instructed me to call you Desiree.”
DJ opened the door and looked down on the short and slightly overweight middle-aged housekeeper. “And I have instructed you to call me DJ.”
Inez’s dark eyes twinkled as she gave her a sly grin. “Yes, but it’s your grandmother who pays my salary, Desiree. I take orders from Mrs. Carter. And she wants to see you downstairs in her office, pronto.”
DJ grabbed her favorite Yankees ball cap and shoved it onto her head, pulling her scraggly looking blonde ponytail through the hole in the back of it.
“You’re wearing that?” asked Inez with a frown. “You know what your grandmother says about?—?-”
“Look,” said DJ. “My grandmother might pay you to take orders from her, but I’m a free agent. Got that?”
Inez chuckled. “I got that. But you’re the one who’ll be getting it before too long, Desiree.”
“DJ,” she growled as she tromped loudly down the curving staircase. Why had she let Dad talk her into living with her grandmother for her last two years of high school? She’d only been here since last spring, late into the school year, but long enough to know that it was nearly unbearable. Boarding school would be better than this. At least she’d have a little privacy there and no one constantly riding her?—?-telling her how to act, walk, look, and think. She wished there were some way, short of running away (which would be totally stupid), out of this uncomfortable arrangement.
“There you are,” said Grandmother when DJ walked into the office. Her grandmother frowned at her ball cap and then pasted what appeared to be a very forced smile onto her collagen-injected lips. “I want you to meet a new resident.” She made a graceful hand movement, motioning to where an attractive and somewhat familiar-looking Latina woman was sitting next to a fashionably dressed girl who seemed to be about DJ’s age, but could probably pass for older. The girl was beautiful. Even with the scowl creasing her forehead, it was obvious that this girl was stunning. Her skin was darker than her mother’s, latte-colored and creamy. Her long black hair curled softly around her face. She had high cheekbones and dramatic eyes.
DJ noticed her grandmother smiling her approval on this unhappy-looking girl. But the girl looked oblivious as she fiddled with the gold chain of what looked like an expensive designer bag. Not that DJ was an expert when it came to fashion. The woman stood politely, extending her hand to DJ.
“I’d like to present my granddaughter, Desiree Lane.” Grandmother turned back to DJ now, the approval evaporating from her expression. “Desiree, this is Ms. Perez and her daughter Taylor.”
DJ shook the woman’s hand and mumbled, “Nice to meet you.” But the unfriendly daughter just sat in the leather chair, one long leg elegantly crossed over the other, as she totally ignored everyone in the room.
Grandmother continued speaking to DJ, although DJ suspected this little speech was for Taylor’s mother. “Ms. Perez and I first met when my magazine featured her for her illustrious music career. Her face graced our cover numerous times over the years. Perhaps you’ve heard of Eva Perez.”
The woman smiled. “Or perhaps not,” she said in a voice that was as smooth as honey. “According to my daughter, kids in your age group don’t comprise even a minuscule part of my fan base.”
DJ smiled at the woman now. “Actually, I have heard of you, Ms. Perez. My mom used to play your CDs. She was a serious Latin jazz fan.”
“Was?” She frowned. “I hope her taste in music hasn’t changed. I need all the fans I can get these days.”
Grandmother cleared her throat. “Desiree’s mother?—?-my daughter?—?-was killed in a car accident about a year ago.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
DJ sort of nodded. She never knew how to react when -people said they were sorry about the loss of her mother. It wasn’t as if it were their fault.
“Desiree,” said Grandmother, “Would you mind giving Taylor a tour of the house while I go over some business details with her mother?”
Grandmother’s recently Botoxed forehead creased ever so slightly, and DJ knew that, once again, she had either said the wrong thing, used bad grammar, or was slumping like a “bag of potatoes.” Nothing she did ever seemed right when it came to her grandmother. “And after the tour, perhaps you could show Taylor to her room.”
“Which room?” asked DJ, feeling concerned. Sure, Taylor might be a perfectly nice person, even if a little snobbish, but DJ was not ready for a roommate just yet.
“The blue room, please. Inez has already taken some of Taylor’s bags up for her. Thank you, Desiree.”
Feeling dismissed as well as disapproved of, DJ led their reluctant new resident out to the foyer. “Well, you’ve probably already seen this.” DJ waved her arm toward the elegant front entrance with its carved double doors and shining marble floor and Persian rug. She motioned toward the ornate oak staircase. “And that’s where the bedrooms are, but we can see that later.” She walked through to the dining room. “This is where we chow down.” She pointed to the swinging doors. “The kitchen’s back there, but the cook, Clara, can be a little witchy about trespassers.” DJ snickered. “Besides, my grandmother does not want her girls to spend much time in the kitchen anyway.”
“Like that’s going to be a problem,” said Taylor, the first words she’d spoken since meeting DJ.
“Huh?” said DJ.
“I don’t imagine anyone is going to be exactly pigging out around here. I mean aren’t we all supposed to become famous models or something?” asked Taylor as she examined a perfectly manicured thumbnail.
DJ frowned. “Well, my grandmother did edit one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world, but I don’t think that means we’re all going to become famous models. I know I’m not.”
Taylor peered curiously at her. “Why not? You’ve got the height, the build, and you’re not half bad looking .?.?. well, other than the fact that you obviously have absolutely no style.” She sort of laughed, but not with genuine humor. “But then you’ve got your grandmother to straighten that out for you.”
DJ just shook her head. “I think my grandmother will give up on me pretty soon. Especially when the others get here. She’ll have girls with more promise to set her sights on.” At least that was what DJ was hoping.
“Has anyone else arrived?”
“Not yet.” DJ continued the tour. “This is the library.” She paused to allow Taylor to look inside the room and then moved on. “And that’s the sunroom, or observatory, as Grandmother calls it.” She laughed. “Hearing her talk about this house sometimes reminds me of playing Clue.”
“You know, the murder game, like where Colonel Mustard kills Mrs. Peacock with a wrench in the observatory.”
“Oh, I never played that.”
“Right .?.?.” Then DJ showed Taylor the large living room, the most modern space in the house. Grandmother had put this room together shortly after deciding to take on her crazy venture. Above the fireplace hung a large flat-screen TV, which was connected to a state-of-the-art DVD and sound system. This was encircled by some comfortable pieces of leather furniture, pillows, and throws.
“Not bad,” admitted Taylor.
“Welcome back to the twenty-first century.”
“Do you have wireless here?”
“Yeah. I told Grandmother it was a necessity for school.”
“This house has been in our family for a long time,” said DJ as she led Taylor up the stairs. “But no one has lived here for the past twenty years. My grandmother had it restored after she retired a -couple of years ago.” DJ didn’t add that her grandmother had been forced to retire due to her age (a carefully guarded and mysterious number) or that this new business venture, boarding teen “debutantes,” was to help supplement her retirement income. Those were strict family secrets and, despite DJ’s angst in living here, she did have a sense of family loyalty?—?-at least for the time being. She wasn’t sure if she could control herself indefinitely.
DJ stopped at the second-floor landing. “The bedrooms are on this floor, and the third floor has a ballroom that would be perfect for volleyball, although Grandmother has made it clear that it’s not that kind of ballroom.” She led Taylor down the hall. “My bedroom is here,” she pointed to the closed door. “And yours is right next door.” She opened the door. “The blue room.”
Taylor looked into the pale blue room and shook her head in a dismal way. “And is it true that I have to share this room with a perfect stranger?”
“Well, I don’t know how perfect she’ll be.”
“Funny.” Taylor rolled her eyes as she opened a door to one of the walk-in closets opposite the beds.
“It’s not as big as I expected.”
“It’s bigger than it looks,” said DJ as she walked into the room and then pointed to a small alcove that led to the bathroom.
“Do I get any say in who becomes my roommate?”
“I guess you can take that up with my grandmother.”
Taylor tossed her purse onto the bed closest to the bathroom and then kicked off her metallic-toned sandals. “These shoes might be Marc Jacobs, but they’re killing me.”
“So, you’re really into this?” asked DJ. “The whole fashion thing?”
Taylor sat down on the bed, rubbing a foot. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good.”
DJ felt the need to bite her tongue. Taylor was her grandmother’s first official paying customer to arrive and participate in this crazy scheme. Far be it from DJ to rock Grandmother’s boat. At least not just yet.
“Well, thanks for the tour,” said Taylor in a bored voice. Then she went over to where a set of expensive-looking luggage was stacked in a corner. “Don’t the servants around here know how to put things away properly?”
“Properly?” DJ shrugged.
Taylor picked up the top bag and laid it down on the bench at the foot of one of the beds and opened it.
“Don’t you want to go down and tell your mom good-bye?” asked DJ as she moved toward the door.
Taylor laughed in a mean way. “And make her think she’s doing me a favor by dumping me here? Not on your life.”
“Here are some more bags for Miss Mitchell,” said Inez as she lugged two large suitcases into the room, setting them by the door.
“Put them over there,” commanded Taylor, pointing to the bench at the foot of the other bed. “And don’t pile them on top of each other. This happens to be Louis Vuitton, you know.”
DJ saw Inez make a face behind Taylor’s back. But the truth was DJ didn’t blame her. Inez might be a housekeeper, but she didn’t deserve to be treated like a slave. Suddenly, DJ felt guilty for snapping at Inez earlier today. She smiled now, and Inez looked surprised and a little suspicious. Then DJ grabbed the largest bag, hoisted it onto the bench with a loud grunt, and Taylor turned around and gave her a dark scowl.
“Thank you,” she snapped.
“Later,” said DJ as she exited the room with Inez on her heels.
“Mrs. Carter wants to see you downstairs, Desiree,” announced Inez when they were out on the landing.
“Again?” complained DJ. “What for?”
“Another girl just arrived. Your grandmother wants you to give her a tour too.”
“What am I now?” asked DJ. “The official tour guide?”
“That sounds about right.” Inez gave her a smirk.
DJ wasn’t sure if she could stomach another fashion diva with an attitude problem, but on the other hand, she didn’t want to risk another etiquette lecture from her grandmother either. Once again, she clomped down the stairs and made her appearance in the office, suppressing the urge to bow and say, “At your ser-vice, Madam.”
“Eliza,” gushed Grandmother, “This is my granddaughter, Desiree Lane. And Desiree, I’d like you to meet Eliza Wilton.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Desiree.”
DJ nodded. She could tell by how formal her grandmother was acting that Eliza Wilton must be someone really important?—?-meaning extraordinarily wealthy?—?-even more so than the Mitchells. And that’s when she remembered her grandmother going on about “the Wilton fortune” this morning at breakfast. Of course, that must be Eliza’s family.
“Nice to meet ya, Eliza,” DJ said in a purposely casual tone. This girl was pretty too, but not like Taylor’s dark and dramatic beauty. Eliza was a tall, slender, impeccably dressed, blue-eyed blonde. She wasn’t exactly a Paris Hilton clone?—?-and she didn’t have a little dog as far as DJ could see?—?-but there was a similarity, except that Eliza’s face was a little softer looking, a little sweeter, but then looks could be deceiving.
DJ wondered if the Botox was starting to wear off, as her grandmother studied her with a furrowed brow, probably comparing her to Miss Perfect Eliza. Naturally, DJ would not measure up.
“Eliza is from Louisville,” said Grandmother. “Her parents are presently residing in France, where her father just purchased a vineyard. But Eliza’s grandmother and I are old friends. We went to college together. When she heard about what I was doing up here in Connecticut, she encouraged her daughter to send dear Eliza our way.”
“Lucky Eliza,” said DJ in a droll tone.
Eliza actually giggled. Then Grandmother cleared her throat. “Desiree will give you a tour of the house,” she said. “And she’ll show you to your room.”
“Which is .?.?.??” asked DJ.
“The rose room.”
Of course, thought DJ as she led Eliza from the office. Next to her grandmother’s suite, the rose room was probably the best room in the house. Naturally, someone as important as Eliza would be entitled to that. Not that DJ had wanted it. And perhaps her grandmother had actually offered it to her last month. DJ couldn’t remember. But she had never been a flowery sort of girl, and she knew the rose wallpaper in there would’ve been giving her a serious migraine by now. Besides she liked her sunny yellow bedroom and, in her opinion, it had the best view in the house. On a clear day, you could actually glimpse a sliver of the Atlantic Ocean from her small bathroom window.
DJ started to do a repeat of her earlier tour, even using the same lines, until she realized that Eliza was actually interested.
“How old is this house?”
“Just over a hundred years,” DJ told her. “It was built in 1891.”
“It has a nice feel to it.”
DJ considered this. “Yeah, I kinda thought that too, after I got used to it. To be honest, it seemed pretty big to me at first. But then you’re probably used to big houses.”
“I suppose. Not that I’m particularly fond of mansions.”
“Why aren’t you with your parents?” asked DJ. “In France?”
“They’re concerned about things like politics and security,” said Eliza as they exited the library. “In fact, they almost refused to let me come here.”
“Oh, I think they felt I was safer in boarding school. If our grandmothers hadn’t been such good friends, I’m sure they never would’ve agreed.”
“So, you’re happy to be here?” DJ studied Eliza’s expression.
“Sure, aren’t you?”
DJ frowned. “I don’t know .?.?. I guess.”
“I think it’ll be fun to go to a real high school, to just live like a normal girl, with other normal girls.”
DJ tried not to look too shocked. “You think this is normal?”
Eliza laughed. “I guess I don’t really know what normal is, but it’s more normal that what I’m used to.”
“But what about the whole fashion thing?” asked DJ. “I mean you must know about my grandmother’s plans to turn us all into little debutantes. Are you into all that?”
“That’s nothing new. Remember, I’m from the south. My family is obsessed with turning me into a lady. That was one of the other reasons my parents agreed to this. I think they see the Carter House as some sort of finishing school.”
Or some sort of reformatory school, thought DJ. Although she didn’t say it out loud. Not yet, anyway.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
OK, this is not the movie. This is the book. "Shredderman" is a great book. Better than the movie.
"Shredderman" is about a guy named Nolan Byrd. He is tired of being pushed around by Bubba Bixby. When he takes things into his own hands, he becomes Shredderman, a cybernetic superhero.
With the help of his teacher Mr.Green he will faces his fears.
This book is a good book. It is about facing your fears, especially facing bullies. Shredderman rocks!
I give Shredderman: Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen a 5 out of 5. I recommend it to ages 10 and up.
See you in the funny pages.
Monday, May 26, 2008
This book rocked!
It was so good I had to get the next one. "The Invisible Detective Double Life" is about group of kids who help the Detective.
It is also about a kid who gets a journal and...never mind.
You will have to read the book! I love this book and had to go to the website.
I give The Invisible Detective Double Life by Justin Richards a 5 out of 5.
I recommend it for 10 and up.
See you in the funny pages.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
"Watch This" is a good book. Jeffrey Dean knows everything about teen boys.
This book is about growing in God. It talks about what a real man is. This book does deal with sex, pornography, and other mature topics. It also talks about family, friendships, dating, and evangelism.
So talk to your mom and dad before you read this book. Talk to your dad as you read this book. This book could help dads and sons bond.
I give this book a 5 out of 5. I recommend "Watch This" by Jeffrey Dean for 13-25.
See you in the funny pages.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
It's May 21st, time for the Teen FIRST blog tour!(Join our alliance! Click the button!) Every 21st, we will feature an author and his/her latest Teen fiction book's FIRST chapter!
Thomas Nelson (May 6, 2008)
Robert Liparulo is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly. He has sold or optioned three screenplays.
Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.
Here are some of his titles:
Comes a Horseman
—Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Thirty years ago
The walls of the house absorbed the woman’s screams, until they felt to her as muffled and pointless as yelling underwater. Still, her lungs kept pushing out cries for help. Her attacker carried her over his shoulder. The stench of his sweat filled her nostrils. He paid no heed to her frantic writhing, or the pounding of her fists on his back, or even her fingernails, which dug furrows into his flesh. He simply lumbered, as steadily as a freight train, through the corridors of the big house.
She knew where they were heading, but not where she would end up. In this house, nothing was normal, nothing as it appeared. So while she knew in advance the turns her attacker would take, which hallways and doors he would traverse, their destination was as unknowable as a faraway galaxy. And that meant her taking would be untraceable. She would be unreachable to searchers. To would-be rescuers. To her family— and that realization terrified her more than being grabbed out of her bed. More than the flashes of imagined cruelty she would suffer away from the protection of the people who loved her. More than death.
But then she saw something more terrifying: her children, scrambling to catch up, to help. Their eyes were wide, streaming. They stumbled up the narrow staircase behind her attacker, seeming far below, rising to meet her. The thought of them following her into the chasm of her fate was more than she could stand.
“Go back,” she said, but by this time her throat was raw, her voice weak.
The man reached the landing and turned into another corridor.
Temporarily out of sight, her son yelled, “Mom!” His seven-year-old voice was almost lost in the shrillness of his panic. He appeared on the landing. His socked feet slipped on the hardwood floor and he went down. Behind him, his little sister stopped. She was frightened and confused, too young to do anything more than follow her brother. He clambered up and started to run again.
A hand gripped his shoulder, jarring him back.
The boy’s father had something in his fist: the lamp from his nightstand! He past the boy in the hallway. His bare feet gave him traction.
Thank God, she thought.
He reached her in seconds. With the lamp raised over his head, he grabbed her wrist. He pulled, tried to anchor himself to the floor, to the carpeted runner now covering the wood planks. But the brute under her walked on, tugging him with them. The man yanked on her arm. Pain flared in her shoulder. He might as well have tried pulling her from a car as it sped passed.
She caught a glimpse of the bizarrely shaped light fixtures on the corridor walls—mostly carved faces with glowing eyes. The bulbs flickered in time with her racing heart. She could not remember any of the lights doing that before. It was as though the electrical current running through the wires was responding to a disruption in the way things were supposed to be, a glitch in reality.
“Henry,” she said, pleading, hopeful.
His grip tightened as he stumbled along behind them. He brought the lamp’s heavy base down on her assailant. If the man carrying her flinched, she did not feel it. If he grunted or yelled out, she did not hear it.
What he did was stop. He spun around so quickly, the woman’s husband lost his grip on her. And now facing the other direction, she lost sight of him. Being suddenly denied her husband’s visage felt like getting the wind knocked out of her. She realized he was face to face with the man who’d taken her, and that felt like watching him step off a cliff.
“Nooo!” she screamed, her voice finding some volume. “Henry!”
His hand gripped her ankle, then broke free. The man under her moved in a violent dance, jostling her wildly. He spun again and her head struck the wall.
The lights went out completely . . . . but no, not the lights . . . her consciousness. It came back to her slowly, like the warmth of fire on a blistery day.
She tasted blood. She’d bitten her tongue. She opened her eyes. Henry was crumpled on the floor, receding as she was carried away. The children stood over him, touching him, calling him. Her son’s eyes found hers again. Determination hardened his jaw, pushed away the fear . . . at least a measure of it. He stepped over his father’s legs, coming to her rescue. Henry raised his head, weary, stunned. He reached for the boy, but missed.
Over the huffing breath of the man, the soft patter of her son’s feet reached her ears. How she’d loved that sound, knowing it was bringing him to her. Now she wanted it to carry him away, away from this danger. Her husband called to him in a croaking, strained voice. The boy kept coming.
She spread her arms. Her left hand clutched at open air, but the right one touched a wall. She clawed at it. Her nails snagged the wallpaper. One nail peeled back from her finger and snapped off.
Her assailant turned again, into a room—one of the small antechambers, like a mud room before the real room. He strode straight toward the next threshold.
Her son reached the first door, catching it as it was closing.
“Mom!” Panic etched old-man lines into his young face. His eyes appeared as wide as his mouth. He banged his shoulder on the jamb, trying to hurry in.
“Stay!” she said. She showed him her palms in a “stop” gesture, hoping he would understand, hoping he would obey. She took in his face, as a diver takes in a deep breath before plunging into the depths. He was fully in the antechamber now, reaching for her with both arms, but her captor had already opened the second door and was stepping through. The door was swinging shut behind him.
The light they were stepping into was bright. It swept around her, through the opening, and made pinpoints of the boy’s irises. His blue eyes dazzled. His cheeks glistened with tears. He wore his favorite pajamas—little R2D2s and C3P0s all over them, becoming threadbare and too small for him.
“I—“ she started, meaning to say she loved him, but the brute bounded downward, driving his shoulder into her stomach. Air rushed from her, unformed by vocal chords, tongue, lips. Just air.
“Moooom!” her son screamed. Full of despair. Reaching. Almost to the door.
The door closed, separating her from her family forever.
Saturday, 4:55 P.M.
“Nothing but trees,” the bear said in Xander’s voice. It repeated itself: “Nothing but trees.”
Xander King turned away from the car window and stared into the smiling furry face, with its shiny half-bead eyes and stitched-on nose. He said, “I mean it, Toria. Get that thing out of my face. And turn it off.”
His sister’s hands moved quickly over the teddy bear’s paws, all the while keeping it suspended three inches in front of Xander. The bear said, “I mean it, Toria. Get that—”
At fifteen years old, Xander was too old to be messing around with little-kid toys. He seized the bear, squeezing the paw that silenced it.
“Mom!” Toria yelled. ”Make him give Wuzzy back!” She grabbed for it.
Xander turned away from her, tucking Wuzzy between his body and the car door. Outside his window, nothing but trees—as he had said and Wuzzy had agreed. It reminded him of a movie, as almost everything did. This time, it was The Edge, about a bear intent on eating Anthony Hopkins. An opening shot of the wilderness where it was filmed showed miles and miles of lush forest. Nothing but trees.
A month ago, his dad had announced that he had accepted a position as principal of a school six hundred miles away, and the whole King family had to move from the only home Xander had ever known. It was a place he had never even heard of: Pinedale, almost straight north from their home in Pasadena. Still in California, but barely. Pinedale. The name itself said “hick,” “small,” and “If you don’t die here, you’ll wish you had.” Of course, he had screamed, begged, sulked, and threatened to run away. But in the end here he was, wedged in the back seat with his nine-year-old sister and twelve-year-old brother.
The longer they drove, the thicker the woods grew and the more miserable he became. It was bad enough, leaving his friends, his school—everything!—but to be leaving them for hicksville, in the middle of nowhere, was a stake through his heart.
“Mom!” Toria yelled again, reaching for the bear.
Xander squeezed closer to the door, away from her. He must have put pressure on the bear in the wrong place: It began chanting in Toria’s whiny voice: “Mom! Mom! Mom!”
He frantically squeezed Wuzzy’s paws, but could not make it stop.
“Mom! Mom! Mom!”
The controls in the bear’s arms weren’t working. Frustrated by its continuous one-word poking at his brain—and a little concerned he had broken it and would have to buy her a new one—he looked to his sister for help.
She wasn’t grabbing for it anymore. Just grinning. One of those see-what-happens-when-you-mess-with-me smiles.
“Mom! Mom! Mom!”
Xander was about to show her what happened when you messed with him—the possibilities ranged from a display of his superior vocal volume to ripping Mr. Wuzzy’s arms right off—when the absurdity of it struck him. He cracked up.
“I mean it,” he laughed. “This thing is driving me crazy.” He shook the bear at her. It continued yelling for their mother.
His brother David, who was sitting on the other side of Toria and who had been doing a good job of staying out of the fight, started laughing too. He mimicked the bear, who was mimicking their sister: “Mom! Mom! Mom!”
Mrs. King shifted around in the front passenger seat. She was smiling, but her eyes were curious.
“Xander broke Wuzzy!” Toria whined. “He won’t turn off.” She pulled the bear out of Xander’s hands.
The furry beast stopped talking: “Mo—” Then, blessed silence.
Toria looked from brother to brother and they laugh again.
Xander shrugged. “I guess he just doesn’t like me.”
“He only likes me,” Toria said, hugging it.
“Oh, brother,” David said. He went back to the PSP game that had kept him occupied most of the drive.
Mom raised her eyebrows at Xander and said, “Be nice.”
Xander rolled his eyes. He adjusted his shoulders and wiggled his behind, nudging Toria. “It’s too cramped back here. It may be an SUV, but it isn’t big enough for us anymore.”
“Don’t start that,” his father warned from behind the wheel. He angled the rearview mirror to see his son.
“What?” Xander said, acting innocent.
“I did the same thing with my father,” Dad said. “The car’s too small . . . it uses too much gas . . . it’s too run down . . . ”
Xander smiled. “Well, it is.”
“And if we get a new car, what should we do with this one?”
“Well . . . .” Xander said. “You know. It’d be a safe car for me.” A ten-year-old Toyota 4Runner wasn’t his idea of cool wheels, but it was transportation.
Dad nodded. “Getting you a car is something we can talk about, okay? Let’s see how you do.”
“I have my driver’s permit. You know I’m a good driver.”
“He is,” Toria chimed in.
David added, “And then he can drive us to school.”
“I didn’t mean just the driving,” Dad said. He paused, catching Xander’s eyes in the mirror. “I mean with all of this, the move and everything.”
Xander stared out the window again. He mumbled, “Guess I’ll never get a car, then.”
“Xander?” Dad said. “I didn’t hear that.”
“He said he’ll never get a car,” Toria said.
Silence. David’s thumbs clicked furiously over the PSP buttons. Xander was aware of his mom watching him. If he looked, her eyes would be all sad-like, and she would be frowning in sympathy for him. He thought maybe his dad was looking too, but only for an opportunity to explain himself again. Xander didn’t want to hear it. Nothing his old man said would make this okay, would make ripping him out of his world less awful than it was.
“Dad, is the school’s soccer team good? Did they place?” David asked. Xander knew his brother wasn’t happy about the move either, but jumping right into the sport he was so obsessed about went a long way toward making the change something he could handle. Maybe Xander was like that three years ago, just rolling with the punches. He couldn’t remember. But now he had things in his life David didn’t: friends who truly mattered, ones he thought he’d spend the rest of his life with. Kids didn’t think that way. Friends could come and go and they adjusted. True, Xander had known his current friends for years, but they hadn’t become like blood until the last year or so.
That got him thinking about Danielle. He pulled his mobile phone from his shirt pocket and checked it. No text messages from her. No calls. She hadn’t replied to the last text he’d sent. He keyed in another: “Forget me already? JK.” But he wasn’t Just Kidding. He knew the score: Out of sight, out of mind. She had said all the right things, like We’ll talk on the phone all the time; You come down and see me and I’ll come up to see you, okay? and I’ll wait for you.
Yeah, sure you will, he thought. Even during the past week, he’d sensed a coldness in her, an emotional distancing. When he’d told his best friend, Dean had shrugged. Trying to sound world-wise, he’d said, “Forget her, dude. She’s a hot young babe. She’s gotta move on. You too. Not like you’re married, right?” Dean had never liked Danielle.
Xander tried to convince himself she was just another friend he was forced to leave behind. But there was a different kind of ache in his chest when he thought about her. A heavy weight in his stomach.
Stop it! he told himself. He flipped his phone closed.
On his mental list of the reasons to hate the move to Pinedale, he moved on to the one titled “career.” He had just started making short films with his buddies, and was pretty sure it was something he would eventually do for a living. They weren’t much, just short skits he and his friends acted out. He and Dean wrote the scripts, did the filming, used computer software to edit an hour of video into five-minute films, and laid music over them. They had six already on YouTube—with an average rating of four-and-a-half stars and a boatload of praise. Xander had dreams of getting a short film into the festival circuit, which of course would lead to offers to do music videos and commercials, probably an Oscar and onto feature movies starring Russell Crowe and Jim Carrey. Pasadena was right next to Hollywood, a twenty-minute drive. You couldn’t ask for a better place to live if you were the next Steven Spielberg. What in God’s creation would he find to film in Pinedale? Trees, he thought glumly, watching them fly past his window.
Dad, addressing David’s soccer concern, said, “We’ll talk about it later.”
Mom reached through the seatbacks to shake Xander’s knee. “It’ll work out,” she whispered.
“Wait a minute,” David said, understanding Dad-talk as well as Xander did. “Are you saying they suck—or that they don’t have a soccer team? You told me they did!”
“I said later, Dae.” His nickname came from Toria’s inability as a toddler to say David. She had also called Xander Xan, but it hadn’t stuck.
David slumped down in his seat.
Xander let the full extent of his misery show on his face for his mother.
She gave his knee a shake, sharing his misery. She was good that way. “Give it some time,” she whispered. “You’ll make new friends and find new things to do. Wait and see.”
Saturday, May 10, 2008
"Across Five Aprils" is a cool story about a guy named Jethro Creighton and how he grows up during the time of the Civil War. Jethro and his family go through the troubles and the hard times of the beginning of the Civil War.
During the war, they shared a lot of laughter and sadness both. Some of his family die in this story, which makes it kind of sad. The laughter comes in with how they are such a close family and how they share everything together the way families should.
I liked this book because it has a good message for anyone learning about the Civil War, which is that war is hard to go through, but with a good family you can get through it. People die during wars, and you hurt and are sad, but the bad times don't last forever.
I recommend this book for ages 12 and up, because it can be a little difficult to read for younger ages. I'm giving this book a four out of five rating.
See you in the funny pages,
"The Mysterious Benedict Society" is one of the few books that is very, very, very good and kept me guessing until the very end. This book is about friendship, bravery, and facing your worst fears.
Reynie Muldoon and Sticky Washington, along with Kate Wetherall and Constance Contraire have to face The Mysterious Institute. There are a lot of dangerous people, good people, and some people who are in between. Sometimes, it isn't so easy to know who is who!
I love this book! It's a little long, around 484 pages, but it's worth it. I give "The Mysterious Benedict Society" a five out of five rating, and recommend it for ages 13 and up (it's hard to read at times).
See you in the funny pages,
Thursday, May 1, 2008
This book is not for the faint of heart. It gets scary at times and is very suspenseful. "Nightmare Academy" deals with nightmares and how the monsters under your bed are REALLY there. The Boogeyman does exist, and he's NOT a nice guy!
At the Nightmare Academy, they teach especially gifted people how to hunt these bad guys down and put them in their places, which is called The Nether. Charlie Benjamin is one of the most powerful students at the academy, and he must learn how to control his powers.
Violet and Theodore are his best friends and are two completely different people. All three of them together have to fight off evil, huge people...big monsters of evil.
I liked this book because there's suspense, action, and some scary moments, and at times I wanted to throw this book out the window. When I finally finished it, I felt like this was one of the greatest books I've ever read.
I recommend this book for ages 14 and up, because it is kind of scary. I give "Nightmare Academy" a four out of five.
See you in the funny pages!
Monday, April 21, 2008
It's April 21st, time for the Teen FIRST blog tour!(Join our alliance! Click the button!) Every 21st, we will feature an author and his/her latest Teen fiction book's FIRST chapter!
Thomas Nelson (January 1, 2008)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.
After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.
Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. To see a complete list of Dekker's work, visit The Works section of TedDekker.com.
Here are some of his latest titles:
Black: The Birth of Evil (The Circle Trilogy Graphic Novels, Book 1)
Our story begins in a world totally like our own, yet completely different. What once happened here in our own history seems to be repeating itself thousands of years from now,
some time beyond the year 4000 AD.
But this time the future belongs to those who see opportunity before it becomes obvious. To the young, to the warriors, to the lovers. To those who can follow hidden clues and find a great
treasure that will unlock the mysteries of life and wealth.
Thirteen years have passed since the lush, colored forests were turned to desert by Teeleh, the enemy of Elyon and the vilest of all creatures. Evil now rules the land and shows itself as a painful, scaly disease that covers the flesh of the Horde, a people who live in the desert.
The powerful green waters, once precious to Elyon, have vanished from the earth except in seven small forests surrounding seven small lakes. Those few who have chosen to follow the ways of Elyon now live in these forests, bathing once daily in the powerful waters to cleanse their skin of the disease.
The number of their sworn enemy, the Horde, has grown in thirteen years and, fearing the green waters above all else, these desert dwellers have sworn to wipe all traces of the forests from
Only the Forest Guard stands in their way. Ten thousand elite fighters against an army of nearly four hundred thousand Horde. But the Forest Guard is starting to crumble.
Qurong, general of the Horde, stood on the tall dune five miles west of the green forest, ignoring the fly that buzzed around his left eye.
His flesh was nearly white, covered with a paste that kept his skin from itching too badly. His long hair was pulled back and woven into dreadlocks, then tucked beneath the leather body armor
cinched tightly around his massive chest.
“Do you think they know?” the young major beside him asked.
Qurong’s milky white horse, chosen for its ability to blend with the desert, stamped and snorted.
The general spit to one side. “They know what we want them to know,” he said. “That we are gathering for war. And that we will march from the east in four days.”
“It seems risky,” the major said. His right cheek twitched, sending three flies to flight.
“Their forces are half what they once were. As long as they think we are coming from the east, we will smother them from the west.”
“The traitor insists that they are building their forces,” the major said.
“With young pups!” Qurong scoffed.
“The young can be crafty.”
“And I’m not? They know nothing about the traitor. This time we will kill them all.”
Qurong turned back to the valley behind him. The tents of his third division, the largest of all Horde armies, which numbered well over three hundred thousand of the most experienced warriors, stretched out nearly as far as he could see.
“We march in four days,” Qurong said. “We will slaughter them from the west.”
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I like this book because it's an interesting story. It tells a really good Christian message of any bad situation can become good when God is in it.
The story is about a kid named Caleb who gets adopted by a father who's no good. But Caleb gets surrounded by lots of Christian people. After a while a carnival comes to town and Caleb ends up hiding out in the carnival.
He meets this old clown named Guillaume Pascal and he's a Christian who helps Caleb know God a little better. If I tell you any more, I'll end up giving away the ending, and I don't want to do that!
I recommend this book for ages 7 and up. I really want to get the other books in this series!
See you in the funny pages!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
My mom challenged me to join her in the Spring Reading Challenge, so here's my list of books to read by June:
Candy Bombers by Robert Elmer
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Book of the King by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry
Crash At Cannibal Valley by Jerry Jenkins
Dragonquest by Donita K. Paul
Mom says I can add to my list, change it, and I won't get in trouble if I don't finish it, so I may add books to it. But I've still got homework and chores, so I can't be a hog!
See you in the funny pages!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
"Kingdom's Dawn" is really, really, really good! Chuck Black takes Old Testament Bible stories and puts them in a fantasy setting.
He writes about prophets as knights, and they can be dark knights or white knights. Kings can be spiritual figures from the Old Testament, and creatures represent things that happened to certain Bible characters.
For example, in the book, the main character gets put in the desert and ends up attacked by animals. This is about Moses after he ran off into the desert.
This book includes discussion questions and the author writes a section at the end that helps you understand the story from the Bible and how it fits into his story.
"Kingdom's Dawn" is the first book in this series, and I can't wait to get the rest of them and hope to give you more reviews.
I recommend this book to people twelve and up.
See you in the funny pages!
Friday, March 7, 2008
In one month Jeremy Fink will turn thirteen. But does he have what it takes to be a teenager? He collects mutant candy, he won't go more than four blocks from home if possible, and he definitely doesn't like surprises. On the other hand, his best friend, Lizzy, isn't afraid of anything, even if that means trouble now and then.
Jeremy's summer takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious box arrives. According to the writing on the box, it holds the meaning of life! Jeremy is supposed to open it on his birthday, but the keys are missing, and only the keys can open the box without destroying what's inside. Jeremy and Lizzy set off to find the keys, but when one of their efforts goes very wrong, Jeremy starts to think he'll never be able to open the box. But what he doesn't know is that there just might be other ways to find out the meaning of life.
Lively characters, surprising twists, and thought-provoking ideas make Wendy Mass's latest novel an unforgettable read.
Jeremy Fink is a mysterious kid that it takes awhile to get to know. You don't know much about him at first except he likes peanut butter...sandwiches. His best friend, Lizzy, is a little tougher than Jeremy is, and both of them are about to go on an adventure of a lifetime.
It involves a mysterious box, keys, and a trip around town..sort of. All of this adds up to one thing: the meaning of life.
This book has more suspense than any other book I've read, more surprises on every page, and I think it is really great. I recommend this book for ages 12 and up, especially for kids turning into teenagers soon.
Well, that's about it.
See you in the funny pages!
Monday, March 3, 2008
Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.
I think this is a good book! It's like Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings, but in a different and better way. With new creatures, new characters, and people that have their own kinds of problems, I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading fantasy.
One of my favorite scenes was when the Igibys attacked Slarb the first time. I also like it when Peet the Sockman beat the snot out of Slarb. Another favorite thing about this book are that all the characters are very interesting. My favorite character was Janner, because he was always cool headed and whenever he did lose his cool, he tried to regain it as fast as he could.
Highly recommended for fantasy fiction fans.
See you in the funny pages!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Warning: this description has not been authorized by Pseudonymous Bosch. As much as he'd love to sing the praises of his book (he is very vain), he wouldn't want you to hear about his brave 11-year old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest. Or about how a mysterious box of vials, the Symphony of Smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. And he certainly wouldn't want you to know about the hair-raising adventures that follow and the nefarious villains they face. You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story inside is, too. For it concerns a secret. A Big Secret.
What can I say about "The Name of this Book is Secret" that I have not already said about "Skullduggery Pleasant"? This book has suspense, action, and mystery. This book reminded me a lot of Lemony Snicket's series, and I'm hoping the author writes more, because he left a lot to finish up.
Cass and Max-Ernest unravel a plot about murder and a kidnapping. They have to solve a magician's murder and prevent another one.
I liked this story as much as my favorite book, "Skullduggery Pleasant." I recommend "The Name of this Book is Secret" for ages 10 to100.
I give it a 4 out of 5.
See you in the funny pages!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
"I don't suppose you have a friend who is a warthog. You probably don't have a friend who is a professional detective, either. So it's very unlikely that you have a friend who's both. But I do."
Bill the warthog is, as you guessed, a warthog named Bill. He has a friend named Nick Sayga . The book is about Bill solving mysteries and they are really cool.
Like, there was this mystery about this guy who is trying to get kids to buy stock in his product, but the product was fake, and Bill proves it by solving the mystery.
The part about God is in the title.
"Full Metal Trench Coat" means the armor of God. In the back of the book, the author talks about what it means to wear the full armor of God. That's great, because you get a great story and a Bible lesson in one book.
This book is for all ages. I give Bill The Warthog Mysteries:Full Metal Trench Coat By: Dean A. Anderson 4 out of 5.
See you in the funny pages,
This book describes what everyday life was really like in ancient Israel. As part of the 2:52 series for boys, this humorous book is full of factual, gross information that is sure to get boys reading their Bibles, and make them thankful for the blessings they enjoy today.
This book is gross and it is cool. It deals all kinds of stuff. It covers things from life way, way back then to Jesus's life.
For example, in the book they explain why they had to wash their hands so often, and it is really gross and cool at the same time!
This is not for the queasy or faint hearted. It is for boys.
I love this book.
I give it a 5 out of 5.
See you in the funny pages,
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Images of Inca ruins fill the minds of thirteen-year-old twins Justin and Jenny Parker as the arrive in Bolivia, but the temple ruins of Tiawanaku hold more than history for the twins. As their Bolivian friend Pedro leads them through the history and legends of an ancient civilization, the three children stumble across the path of men who would do anything for treasure! Recommended for ages 8 to 12.
This book is awesome! There is so much adventure in this book. A strong christian message. This is a good book. Any person who can read will like this book. Justin and Jenny Parker have to defeat smugglers from stealing treasures. Pedro their friend needs to be saved. Will he?? You have to read this book.
"Page turning,action-packed adventure. These books are cool!"-BILL MYERS,author of Forbidden Doors.
I never knew what was going to happen!
I give this book a 5 out of 5. See you in the funny pages,