writing-writer - Reviews

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882 1/2 Amazing Answers to Questions About the Titanic
882 1/2 Amazing Answers to Questions About the Titanic
Author: Hugh Brewster, Laurie Coulter
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/11/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This book is perfect for younger Titanic researchers, though older children and adults will discover a few things they did not know. I mean, this is 882 1/2 answers! Where'd they get that number? That's how long the Titanic was... bet you didn't know that (:


The Action Bible
The Action Bible
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/9/2012
Helpful Score: 1


There are pros and cons to this comic-book-style children's Bible.

Pros: it is fun to read, and the stories are easy to follow. Kids will at least get the gist of the original Bible stories.

Cons: the stories are abridged, for obvious reasons, however, that leaves the kids reading what the author interperets from the stories. While the art is fairly good, there seems to be a few things that are a little off (King David has red hair while the rest of the Hebrews have brown hair... which if that were the case, wouldn't David have brown hair too??)

So, in some ways I REALLY like this Bible, in others, I'm skeptical...


Algebra 2 A Teaching Textbooks Complete Curriculum
Algebra 2 A Teaching Textbooks Complete Curriculum
Author: Greg Sabouri and Shawn Sabouri
Book Type: Spiral-bound
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/23/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I have tried several different math programs, but Teaching Textbooks has been the best ever!

Up until this year (2011), the grades up to 7th have automated grading, and game-like lessons. Students can interact with their math. Their "buddy" (A small object, animal, or person sitting up in the top left corner) offers hints- which are more like small reminders of what the student just learned or learned long ago-, and they type their answers right onto the computer recieving a "That's right!" "You did it!" etc, for correct answers, and "Nice try, but that's not the answer" etc for incorrect answers.

This year, Teaching Textbooks is redoing pre-Algebra (8th grade) and Algebra 1 (9th grade), so that they have all this as well! It is really cool. Next year, they are doing the same for GEOMETRY and Algebra 2.

Really awesome program. Way worth it for understandable, fun math.


All the Places to Love
All the Places to Love
Author: Patricia MacLachlan
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/22/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Told from the eyes of a child, 'All the Places to Love' teaches the importance of family, and heritage. Eli learns that the places you can really love are right outside your door in the wonderous world of Creation.

Beautifully told, beautifully illustrated, 'All the Places to Love' is a book YOU will fall in love with.


Among the Brave (Shadow Children, Bk 5)
Among the Brave (Shadow Children, Bk 5)
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/16/2011
Helpful Score: 1


"Great. I do one brave thing in my entire life, and now it's like, 'Got anything dangerous to do? Send Trey. He can handle it.' Doesn't anyone remember that Cowardice is my middle name?"

Actually, only two other people in the entire world know Trey's real name. As a third child, Trey has spent his life in hiding - that is, until his mother took him to a school for boys with a fake ID. That's where he met his best friend, Lee, another third child.
Trey hasn't ever done anything brave. Until last night, when he saved Lee's life. It was an accident, his being brave, and now his friends are expecting him to do it again.
He can't, he won't...

but he does.

Among the Brave, the 5th book in the Shadow Children series, is one of the best books of the 7. [Read my review for "Among the Hidden" to read more about the plot]
Keep in mind that reading the books in order is KEY to understanding the ongoing plot. Where one book ends, the next book begins. The books revolve around different characters (though Luke/Lee appears in 4 of the series)

#1: Among the Hidden (Luke)
#2: Among the Impostors (Luke)
#3: Among the Betrayed (Nina)
#4: Among the Barons (Luke)
#5: Among the Brave (Trey)*
#6: Among the Enemy (Matthias)
#7: Among the Free (Luke)


Among the Enemy (Shadow Children, Bk 6)
Among the Enemy (Shadow Children, Bk 6)
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 4/16/2011
Helpful Score: 1


"An ache grew in his throat and he wanted to sob, but he set his jay and held it in. He'd been wrong to send Nina away, wrong to refuse to help her, wrong to let the commander treat him like a pet. He'd been wrong to think that everything ended when he lost Percy and Alia... 'I can stop this evil,' he thought."
~Among the Enemy

The 6th book in the Shadow Children series, Among the Enemy, is frrom the viewpoint of Matthias (from Among the Betrayed).
Please note that it is KEY to the plot to read these books in order, because where one book ends, the next one begins.

#1: Among the Hidden
#2: Among the Impostors
#3: Among the Betrayed
#4: Among the Barons
#5: Among the Brave
#6: Among the Enemy*
#7: Among the Free


Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, Bk 1)
Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, Bk 1)
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 193
Review Date: 12/20/2010
Helpful Score: 5


Luke has two older brothers, Matthew and Mark, which makes him a third child, which also makes him illegal. By law he should never have been born, by law he should be dead. So he hides on his family's farm in constant fear that someday, someone will find him.
However, it is he who finds someone.
When the government takes away the forest that surrounds his house, cuts down all the trees, and builds dozons of new houses, Luke must remain in his attic bedroom for what seems like is going to be the rest of his life!
He takes to looking out a small window in his attic at all the houses and their people. He knows that each house can have no more than four people living in them: a father, a mother, two children... legally, that is how it should be.
Then he sees a fifth face in the window of one of the houses. Could it be? Could it actually be another third child like himself? Luke must find out and soon meets daring, adventurous Jen Talbot... a friend that will change his life forever.

Please note that it is KEY to the plot to read these books in order, as where each book ends the next book begins.

#1: Among the Hidden*
#2: Among the Impostors
#3: Among the Betrayed
#4: Among the Barons
#5: Among the Brave
#6: Among the Enemy
#7: Among the Free


The Buccaneers
The Buccaneers
Author: Iain Lawrence
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/18/2011
Helpful Score: 1


The 3rd and final book of the High Seas Trilogy is the Buccaneers.

John is back, but this time with an honest crew and a very good friend for the captain. All seems as it should be, no misadventures in sight. John decides it is finally time for him to relax and enjoy life on the sea.

That is, he thought he had decided.

The Buccaneers proves to be the best book yet, introducing exciting new characters and bringing back favorites from the earlier books.

For older children, teens, and adults alike!


The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye (Enola Holmes, Bk 6)
The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye (Enola Holmes, Bk 6)
Author: Nancy Springer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/18/2011
Helpful Score: 1


The equation is simple.

Missing person + unsolvable mystery = Enola Holmes

Now if only her obstinate brothers would learn it, maybe Enola's life would be simpler. She does not want to be put in boarding school and learn to be a "proper" young lady. Enola would much rather follow her brother Sherlock's line of work: a detective!

What she does not know is that Sherlock does not want to catch her anymore. He wants to befriend his little sister, and make sure she does not come to harm, as any good brother should. He also wants to give her a package that might reveal where their missing mother is.
Now if only she would stop running away, maybe life would be simpler for both of them.

However, Mycroft Holmes has yet other intentions. His sister should not be running loose like a wild girl. She should be safe within the walls of a proper boarding school, learning proper things a young lady should know if they ever want to marry or live a decent life.

Each intention is for the best, each sibling thinks, but will they come to an agreement that will bring them happily together?

Nancy Springer does a beautiful job tying up loose strings in her final book in the Enola Holmes series.
I've read that some people think these mysteries are predictable. I just have one thing to say about them: they should be detectives!
A natrual at writing mysteries, Nancy Springer will leave you wondering until her heroine saves the day...

SLIGHT SPOILER WARNING!!

... and in this case, Doyle's famed hero as well.


The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery
The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery
Author: Nancy Springer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/31/2011
Helpful Score: 1


On her 14th birthday, Enola's mother disappears. Its seems she had done so on her own accord, but one can never assume. What if she was kidnapped? What if she was injured? Or what if...? Enola knows she must search for her mother in case something terrible has happened.

However, when Enola's investigating gets her nowhere, she knows she must send for her older brothers in London. She has not seen them for over 10 years, since their father's death.

Enola sends for them promptly. If anyone can help her, surely her brother Sherlock Holmes can! He is, after all, the best detective in the world! Yes, if anyone can solve the case of their missing mother, it will be him.

Enola did not take into account that her oldest brother, Mycroft, would be coming along. Feeling a sense of duty, he insists that Enola be sent to a proper boarding school. He does not care to listen to reasoning, what must be done must be done.

So Enola runs away. It seems the only sensible way to escape the horrors of a "proper" boarding schools where they will confine her to a corset.

No, Enola decides, she can try to find her mother herself, in London, where her brothers will never find her.

Again, Enola does not take into account that her older brother Sherlock is the best detective in the world... if anyone will find her, it will be him.

Nancy springer breathes new life into Doyle's old stories of daring adventures, and seemingly unsolvable mysteries. By introducing Miss Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of the great detective, she unfurls a whole new series that is sure to please.


Claim to Fame
Claim to Fame
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/10/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I must admit, it seemed Haddix could have done better. While a cool story in many ways, it wandered and skipped around too much for my taste.
However, I do think it is worth reading, and my opinion is just one. Who knows, I could just be out of the loop and everyone else loves it! (o;


The Convicts
The Convicts
Author: Iain Lawrence
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/17/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Tom Tin's life is unraveling into a tangled mess before his eyes. After his six-year-old sister drowns, his mother haunts the graveyard and looms over her daughter's grave. Mr. Tin decides it is time to move from the home Tom has always known to save what is left of his wife's sanity.
However, London only brings more trouble on the Tin family. After innumberable misadventures, Tom is wrongly accused of a crime, sending him to huge prison ship for boys as a convict.
Struggling to survive the harsh conditions of the prison ship, Tom makes a friend and too many enemies.

This book is darker than most of the books I have read by Iain Lawrence, but it must be taken into account that this is a YA book.

I have to give this book five stars because, in spite of Mr. Lawrence's accurately gritty details, this is a wonderful must read for teens and adults alike.


The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean (R. M. Ballantyne Collection)
Review Date: 1/6/2011
Helpful Score: 2


15-year-old Ralph Rover has dreamed of going to sea. He has gone as far as he can go in his family's small boat, but that is not enough to quench his thirst. When his parents decide it is time to let him go, he packs his things and heads out for the Pacific ocean.
On board ship he meets 14-year-old Peterkin Gay and 18-year-old Jack Martin. Peterkin is a mischivious but bighearted boy you cannot help but like from the start. Jack is an admirable, kind, leader sort who instantly tells Ralph they will be good friends.
Not long into their journey, they're shipwrecked. While all the crew makes it to a lifeboat, Ralph, Peterkin and Jack are thrown into the open water. Stranded on a beautiful coral island, this book tells through the eyes of Ralph Rover the adventures that took place thereafter.

Personally, I love the Coral Island for more than just a storyline. The characters are believable and likeable from the start, and as they learn lessons in friendship and depending on the Creater, you learn right along with them.

Unlike other reprints, this Vision Forum edition is unabridged. The first time I read this book it was a softcover, and it left out alot of the Christian thinking that the main characters depend on.

This book has a wonderful sequal, The Gorilla Hunters, which is worth reading almost as much as this one.


A Dog's Purpose
A Dog's Purpose
Author: W. Bruce Cameron
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 56
Review Date: 6/19/2011
Helpful Score: 3


You may call him Toby, Baily, Ellie (in this case, he was a she), or Buddy because he'll answer to all of them.
This book was splendidly told, and very believable. Our hero lives and dies, and, through reincarnation (very strange), lives and dies again... 3 times!! However, through each life he prepares for his next, and saves and changes lives of the human's around him.

A very sweet story with a few overlookable oddities.


Gemini Summer
Gemini Summer
Author: Iain Lawrence
Book Type: Library Binding
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/7/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I am both happy and disappointed in this book. Really, it could have, and is, a very good book. My main complaint is the language sprinkled throughout. I was surprised, and thought it was a pointless venture to take with a children's book.
Seriously! This really made me have second thoughts on this book.

As to the story, it was a really sweet, sad story that leaves you thinking in the end.

I think I will white-out the bad words and call it good, because, besides that, I really liked this book.


Geometry: A Teaching Textbook, Complete Curriculum
Geometry: A Teaching Textbook, Complete Curriculum
Author: Sabouri; Greg, Sabouri Shawn
Book Type: Spiral-bound
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/11/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I have tried several different math programs, but Teaching Textbooks has been the best ever!

Up until this year (2011), the grades up to 7th have automated grading, and game-like lessons. Students can interact with their math. Their "buddy" (A small object, animal, or person sitting up in the top left corner) offers hints- which are more like small reminders of what the student just learned or learned long ago-, and they type their answers right onto the computer recieving a "That's right!" "You did it!" etc, for correct answers, and "Nice try, but that's not the answer" etc for incorrect answers.

This year, Teaching Textbooks is redoing pre-Algebra (8th grade) and Algebra 1 (9th grade), so that they have all this as well! It is really cool. Next year, they are doing the same for GEOMETRY and Algebra 2.

Really awesome program. Way worth it for understandable, fun math.


Ghosts of the Abyss: A Journey into the Heart of the Titanic
Ghosts of the Abyss: A Journey into the Heart of the Titanic
Author: Don Lynch, Ken Marschall
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 8/21/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This is a very cool book. Darker than most Titanic books, this explores and compares the wreck of Titanic with her formor splender through photographs, and beautiful paintings by Ken Marschall.

Five stars all the way!


The Giver (Giver, Bk 1)
The Giver (Giver, Bk 1)
Author: Lois Lowry
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 978
Review Date: 1/4/2011
Helpful Score: 1


In a seemingly perfect world, Jonas feels safe. Everything happens when and how it should. There is no hunger, no fear. The only surprises in life is when you become a Twelve and you are given your job. It is the job the Elders picked with your interests and talents in mind. However, none of the jobs are that unusual.
Except for Jonas's job.
Under the special care of a mysterious man called the Giver, Jonas begins to see that his world is not perfect-- and that, in fact, is even more mysterious than his teacher.

Books in the trilogy by Lois Lowry:
#1 The Giver
#2 Gathering Blue
#3 The Messenger

This book is not only good for entertainment, but also for tons of discussion for book clubs, family time, etc. For adults and children alike, this book will cause you to really think about what a "perfect world" really means.


God's Smuggler
God's Smuggler
Author: Brother Andrew, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 33
Review Date: 1/13/2011
Helpful Score: 2


The inspiring true story following the life of Brother Andrew who learns what it really means to have faith in God at all times... no matter what! This book is by no means a boring read.

When I read this book, I was so inspired my heart throbbed. I have just recently read another book by Brother Andrew called Secret Believers. Both of these books are a must read for every Christian.


The Gorilla Hunters: A Tale of the Wilds of Africa (R. M. Ballantyne Collection)
Review Date: 1/6/2011
Helpful Score: 2


Six years have lapsed since we last saw Ralph Rover. Now back in London, Ralph still wonders after his best friends whom he has not seen nor talked to since they got home all those years ago. Seems they forgot to exchange addresses, so he does not even know where they are.
That's when a mysterious visitor arrives who knows much too much about Ralph Rover. The results of this encounter sends Ralph to the wilds of Africa in search of the gorilla, a beast only the country's natives have ever seen.
The Gorilla Hunters rejoins Ralph, Peterkin, and Jack; now young men hungry for a new adventure. Along with new adventure comes new danger, and not a single one of our beloved characters comes out of Africa without a singular adventure of their own.

While recognizable, Ralph, Peterkin and Jack have changed, which means new conflict when the friends meet again. However, their differences are not enough to sever their close friendship.

The second and final book following the Coral Island, the Gorilla Hunters ends leaving you wanting more. Sadly, R. M. Ballantyne does not give us another adventure following his most loved characters.


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