A Listening Experience

A Review of Audible, Wizards, Detectives and Dragons

By Sam S aged 12

So here I am writing a review on the audible app – not a book, an app. I got here by trying to write a review on the second Wizards of Once book, Twice Magic, but I listened to it on audible and kept falling asleep. It is annoying.

Twice Magic carried on from the Wizards of Once, now the world is in peril, can the wizard and warrior meet up to save it?

I keep falling asleep before the end of the book, so here I am writing a review on audible, the audio book app I use.

The great thing about audible is you can listen to your favourite books anywhere. On the train, on a plane, driving to work (not by me because 12 year olds don’t drive). The point is, it’s flexible.

Next there are thousands of books on audible, you can buy them individually, but it is cheaper if you have a monthly subscription. Every month you can choose a free book, which is soo cool.

This moth I chose The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fford. It is about a woman detective trying to make sure the people in fiction books behave themselves. It was very funny and very good, but it took me a week to finish.

I listen when I’m trying to go to sleep, and I fall asleep about a quarter of the way through, so I always have to find where I left off. It does not stop me from listening though.

The let down is that sometimes a book you want to listen to will not be read by someone you like the sound of. For me that was The Scorch Trials. This is one of my favourite books, but I didn’t like the mans voice. It was too scratchy, like nails on a blackboard, and he sounded like a robot. So I could not listen to it.

My favourite narrator is David Tennant. He does the Wizard of Once and The How to Train our Dragon books. I also liked Stephen Fry narrating Sherlock Holmes the Definitive collection.

I think that if you like books but don’t have enough time to read them, or don’t like reading, this is a great compromise. So I suggest trying it. If you like it you can subscribe, if you don’t you have given it a go and can go back to reading books.

P.S this was not sponsored by audible.

Sam’s Top Ten of All Time!

Booktopia

Sam’s Top Ten of All Time

 

 

Hello fellow  bookworms and blog readers I have been reading quite a lot of books this month and it made me think I would like to share with you my top 10 books of all time!!!!! (2011-2018)

10: Trials of Apollo – The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

The first book in this series was good, but there wasn’t much continuity in the stories and so many changes all in one book I just lost interest by book 2, so this book goes to number 10.

9: Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief  (Series) by Rick Riordan

Honestly, this was a good book when I read it and it has aged well over time, but as I went along my journey through the book world I found so many more exciting and wonderous books. So, I must put this book at number 9.

8: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades is a story about a world with heroes, villains and normal people and was a great read. It was very intriguing and thought provoking, with hints and nods to the real world and its problems. With the twists and turns and all the story in between, this book easily makes number 8.

7: York by Laura Ruby 

With ints unusual steam punk setting, a tale of mystery and intrigue full of plot twists and character developments, with a great story arc, it is no mystery why York made number 7 in the blink of an eye.

6:  Heroes of Olympus (Series) by Rick Riordan

There was no question that this series would make the list. I have read it at least 4 times through and I have found more details as I read each book again, taking more time and being intrigued by different mysteries and plot twist, observing each character and their habits. Number 6 is really good.

5: Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

I read this book recently and couldn’t put it down. The way Phillip Reve writes is with passion and a twist of fun such as calling a CD a seedy, this post-apocalyptic quartet is filled with thrills and fun and had to go at number 5.

4: Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rolwing

This book series is one of the most famous by no doubt. I love the magic and the world it is set in, and as with the heroes of Olympus have read through many times so at least had to go at number 4.

3: Wonder by R.J Palacio

This book brought me to tears when I read it and it is a tale to be read by all ages as it teaches an amazing lesson of love, kindness and acceptance. It needed to go to number three.

2: The Summoner Series by Taren Matharu

This series written by Taran Matharu is compelling. The fantasy world of Corellium amazed me and drew me in. The cover and the blurb enticed me, but when I read it was one of the best books that I had read in a long time. I have to say I counted the days down until the second book and the third came out. When the prequel came out I read it, and got annoyed with myself because I lost the book and recently found it, I read it again and it was as good as I expected, so the series had to go to number 2!

1: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This book when I read it was the best book I had read, and still is. When my mother asked which book I liked more, the novice (from the summoner series) or ready player one I couldn’t decide so I just took a gamble and put this amazing book first. 

On another note I found it ever so very hard to decide between the hundreds (and I’m not joking) of books that I have to find ten of my favourites. Most of these books here I have read more than once, and will remember for quite a while, especially the top 6.  Hope this helps with your Christmas shopping.      

 

Sam

 

 

The 1000 Year Old Boy

The 1000 Year old Boy by Ross Welford

By Sam (Aged 12)

Last school holidays I gave reviewer Sam a different sort of book to read and was surprised at how much he enjoyed it, in fact it was a struggle to get his nose out of it!

Alve is a Norse boy hiding with his mother and cat Biffa in the woods in the 21 century. They have a nice life until two kids, Roxy and Adean, find out where they live, and from then it all goes all catastrophically wrong. His house burns down and he loses his mother, and to make thing even worse there is a strange man following Alve claiming to be his long lost father. Can he trust this mysterious man? Can he find a way to live a normal life even though he is 1000 years old and does not age?

My favourite character is Alve because he has the strength to carry on through the hardest of times and the endurance to continue on his journey, but Biffa made me smile because he always showed up at the weirdest of times.

My favourite part in the story is when Alve escapes his house when it is burning. The description was very good and detailed the situation very clearly, which meant I could really imagine I was in the story.

I recommend this book for ages 9 to 12. Younger readers will enjoy the great story, even if it is read to them, older readers will enjoy the descriptions. Although it is a longer book, the story is fast paced and can be read read quite quickly.

Buy The 1000 Year Old Boy from Booktopia

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Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman – A Big Hit!

Ice Wolves – Elementals #1 by Amie Kaufman

(By Sam S Aged 11)

I showed Sam this book I was going to read for review, and he was immediately taken in by the cover. He read the back, and that was it, I knew who was going to review Amie Kaufman’s first book in her first solo series.

 

Ice wolves is a fantasy novel set in a mystical land where you can be one of two elementals who are sworn enemies. The ice wolves, the protectors of common folk, or the evil scorch dragons hiding in the mountains and snatching up children from their homes and setting fire to the houses. But are they what the seem? Anders is a twelve year old orphan living on the streets with his sister Rayna but when they both turn into different elemental forms, Anders an ice wolf and Rayna a scorch dragon, their world is plunged into one of chaos as the Ice Wolves prepare for war against the Scorch Dragons. But first they have to find them.

My favourite character is Anders because in his heart he is doing the right thing, but almost everyone else says he’s doing the wrong thing. His best friend and sister believe him so he pushes on!

I recommend this book for ages 9-12 because this is not too hard to read, but has larger words an more complex sentences and for an early reader this is the equivalent to reading a dictionary because of  the complexity of the words. I applaud the writer as this book is a work of art in the fantasy/ adventure genre. IT IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great read! (:-). 

 

I think Sam will be hanging out for the next book in the series.

 

Buy Ice Wolves from Booktopia
Buy Ice Wolves from The Book Depository

 

 

Ready for Ready Player One?

Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

(Review by Sam Aged 11)

Ready Player One  by Ernest Cline is a science fiction novel set in a run down version of earth where the only place you can go to escape reality is online world called The Oasis. Wade Watts is a hunter for the Greatest Easter Egg in the history of gaming, power over The Oasis. Corporate giant Innovative Online Industry  (I.O.I) want to turn The Oasis into a corporate playground for rich individuals, but to do that they need the egg.  Wade and five other Oasis users band together to stop I.O.I from taking over the Oasis but; three keys, three gates and six puzzles between them and the egg. Whose side are you on?

My favourite character is Wade because he is a smart and motivated boy who has researched every thing 80’s, and I like motivation in people because it shows strength. I really like this book  because it has a great story line and plot as well as great characters. I enjoyed this book so much!

Recommended for ages 15 to 80 as this book has coarse language. But mature 11 to 12 year olds who with permission from their parents may read this book. The greatest Sci-Fi book full of 80s references and characters to bring nostalgia to parents and grandparents alike. 100000000000 out of 10

Buy Ready Player One from Amazon

Buy The Sequel Ready Player Two from Amazon

 

The Wizard of Once

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

Review by Sam (Aged 11)

I had planned to review the new book from How to Train Your Dragon’s Cressida Cowell, but the book was stolen by reviewer Sam, and so I had to ask him to do the review this week.

Wizards of once is the first book in a new series by Cressida Cowell and it follows the adventures of two unlikely heroes from two opposing sides in a war between wizards and warriors. They are called Xar and Wish. Xar is the son of the Wizard King and has no magic and will try to get it at any cost. Wish is the daughter of The Warrior Queen and is secretly hiding magical items. By some miracle they have found their way to each other and have to try and fight the return of witches!!!!!

My favourite character is Wish because she shows a girl can be a badass as well as a  boy. She also has good motives for her mission but I can’t tell you what that is because of spoilers!

I recommend this book for ages 7 to adult because it is a fun read all around and just to show that I will tell you that I am impatient for the second book in the series and it comes out next year. Also if you liked the how to train your dragon series you will like the series.

Buy The Wizards of Once from Booktopia
 Buy The Wizards of Once from The Book Depository

In a Fever About The Fever Code

The Fever Code by James Dashner

Reviewer Sam recently had a birthday and was fortunate enough to receive a lot of books. He loved all of them, but he has chosen his favourite to review for you today.

This is the fifth and final instalment in the Maze Runner series, but it is also a prequel to the first three books (it fits in the timeline after Kill Order but before Maze Runner).The story flashes back to Thomas when he was part of W.I.C.K.E.D and it tells how Ava Paige became chancellor and how the trials in the Maze Runner were set up. This is a story riddled with detail, secrets, action and revelations.

My favourite character is Thomas because he is a leader, a doer and a thinker who will do any thing to protect his friends no matter the cost.

My favourite part is when Thomas, Teresa, Newt and Minho all meet in the secret spot to talk. They are the main characters of the story, and it showed that they were all friends before the maze.

I recommend this book for ages 11 up because of the violence. I have read all the books in this series and I think this is one of the best of the books and I think both boys and girls will like this.

Buy The Fever Code from Booktopia

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Battlemage – Final of The Summoner Series


Summoner Book Three The Battlemage

by  Taren Matharu

In this weeks review reviewer Sam looks at the final book in one of his favourite series – The Summoner Series by Taren Matharu.

In books one and two Fletcher leant he was a summoner. He learnt how to summon demons and to control them so the demons would fight for him against other sommoners, and eventually all summoner would be sent to fight in the war against Orcs. Fletcher was to become a soldier, but he was imprisoned by Inquisitor Rook. Once he was found innocent of charges he was sent to the front lines on a mission to go to the orc temple to bring down the orcs from the heart of their empire. But all did not go to plan and Fletcher and his team got trapped in the orcs part of the aether realm.

In book three fletcher is trapped in the ether with Sylvia, Othello, Briss and his mother Alice Ralaigh. They try to escape the jungle of the orcs aether to find a way back to hominions part of it. But unfortunately the orcs leader khan is chasing them ruthlessly eventually they get out of the aether only to find hominom in chaos because of the apparent dwarf rebellion so Fletcher and his friend make a daring plan to get inquisitor rook and lord Forsyth. After that fletcher goes to rebuild Raleighshire but when the orcs attack his army and Didric show their one fighting and one running in cowardice will the orcs win and break the barrier to hominion and destroy the empire?

My favourite character is Fletcher because of his. Bravery and humility .

I’d recommend this book for ages 10 to 15 because it is more of an older story that most children wouldn’t understand.

P.S best book in the series so far Taran Matharu is a very good author and his books are some of the best I’ve read!

 

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Graphic Novels – What’s The Buzz?

Graphic Novels – What’s the Buzz?

Comics – well they aren’t real books!

That was the view of the lady that ran the Children’s Library in my home town. She was a great librarian and story-teller in the old tradition, and she was instrumental in assisting a large number of children to fall in love with books. But in this instance she was wrong, and I am so pleased she was.

Reviewer Sam has long loved reading graphic novels. I had thought I was indulging him letting him read these types of books as I had grown up with the belief that comics and graphic novels were akin to letting him have some time on the iPad, and we all need to relax with some fun activities. Turns out my ‘bad parenting’ was actually helping him develop as a reader. Yeah for me!

It seems that graphic novels rather than dumbing down reading and language abilities can actually increase them. The words used in graphic novels are some of the most frequently used words in the English language. Combining these words with pictures actually helps develop language skills, as the images help with decoding unknown words. In addition, the images help readers develop a deeper understanding of the book’s plot and characters by offering additional clues to the text.

These two characteristics of graphic novels means they are great tools for developing reading skills in reluctant readers and those with learning disabilities, they can also help develop English language skills in non-English readers. (Actually when I was learning French we often read the Asterix books in the original French to help with our learning).

The other thing about graphic novels are they are the great leveller. Children of all ages and reading abilities can read the same book and talk them. What a way to encourage children into books. In fact reviewer Sam read the graphic novel of Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief before he read the actual novel, so they can actually encourage children to move on and read mainstream novels. As an added bonus graphic novels are also exposing children to different forms of art, capturing the imagination of a very visual driven generation.

The range of graphic novels has expanded from the traditional super-hero comics and Asterix and Tintin to graphic versions of classic novels and children’s books. There are also novels that only come in a graphic format. I asked reviewers Sam to explain why he likes graphic novels. He responded that they are a quick read, and good to read when you are tired or sick, but you actually know more about the story because of the pictures.

Sam has given us a brief review of two of his favourite graphic novels.

Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Emily’s father died in a car crash. Now she, her mum and her brother Navin head to their Great Uncle Silas’ house, where they find an ancient amulet and another world.

I liked this graphic novel because it is about a young heroine learning to control her powers, but she has the weight of two worlds and her family on her shoulders. I also like Emily because she is a bad-ass butt kicker.

I would recommend this book for readers over 8.

Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan

This story is about three friends (Percy – son of Posiden and stubborn as a mule, Anabeth – daughter of Athena ad smart as…well Athena, Grover the satyr who is hungry for Pepsi cans).  The friends go on a quest to find Zeus’ (the Greek God of Thunder) Lightening Bolt. But Hades also wants the Lightening Bolt and has Percy’s mum hostage. What will Percy do?

This book is also good fo readers 8 and over.

 

 

Buy The Amulet from the Book Depository

Buy Percy Jackson from The Book Depository

 

 

Sites I used while Researching this Blog

http://dyslexia.yale.edu/EDU_GraphicNovels.html

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-raise-reader/raising-super-readers-benefits-comic-books-and-graphic-novels

http://www.readingwithpictures.org/2012/04/why-teach-with-comics/

Two Children’s Fantasy Books by Two Reviewers

Two Fantasy Reviews by Two Young Reviewers

For today’s blog we have two very very different Fantasy books being reviewed by two of our young reviewers, The Gift and The Hidden Oracle. They are both the first book in a series and so there should be many birthday’s and Christmas presents covered if your young readers like them as much as our two do.

 

The Gift By Alison Groggan

(Reviewed by Ruby E Aged 8)

 

 

 

 

 

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A girl called Maerad who finds out she is a bard. A bard is someone with magical powers.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Maerad because she is brave and cool

What is your favourite part of the book?

When Maered and Cadvan are in Innail because it’s the funniest part.

Why is this book better than other books?

Because it is violent and fantasy

 

The Trials of Apollo, The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

(Reviewed by Sam S Aged 10)

This is a book about a Greek god who gets cast down to earth in the form of a gawky teen called Lester Papadopulos merely because Zues had to find someone to blame for the Giant War. Lester has a quest to find a Hidden Oracle, with the help of a new Demigod called Meg Macafree and the famous Percy Jackson. But as the enemy the roman tribunal advances on the Oracle – CAN APOLLO SURVIVE ?

I recommend this book for ages 8-17 or older. I liked this book because it was full of fun and adventure and I liked the characters, especially Lester because who does not like a god who is full of himself who is turned into a gawky, acned teen.

P.S I have read the second book and don’t think it was as good as the first.

 

Buy The Gift from The Book Depository
Buy The Hidden Oracle from the Book Depository

Buy The Trials of Apollo from Booktopia

Buy The Gift from Booktopia