Shannon M. (confuzzledbooks) - Reviews

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Alphabet Kids - Yang's New Dance (Alphabet Kids)
Review Date: 12/4/2012


Showing the plus sides to diversity in heritage the alphabet kids are always learning something new at there school. Today they learn from Yang grandfather about Tai Chi.

The kids are a curious bunch and see Yang dancing his dance at recess. Instead of making fun of his different dance they want to know more of why it is so fun to Yang, instead of playing with them. Yang grandfather teaches the children some Tai Chi moves and tells them how it can make you happy and healthy practicing these moves. No one is excluded. Everyone can do they even their teacher.

The art is cleanly drawn and captures the characters uniqueness even with out the words. I loved Yangs New Dance because it was different story then you would find in most picture books. I loved the pleasant feeling that the kids all liked each other and seem to accept there differences.


Alphabet Woof!
Alphabet Woof!
Author: Sherrie Ann Madia
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/4/2012


Very creative story for kids. A dog wishing on a bowl of Alphabet soup spilt on the floor. It is a believable fairy tale because most pet owners feel that there animals want to talk to them some how and the dogs wish makes it possible for him to communicate with his owners.

I like the way it flowed the way it sometimes rhymed. I get a little lost when the dog goes on and on, which is probably the point but like the child trying to sleep I wanted the dog to let the kid sleep.

Entertaining and good for children with pets or that like fairy tales.


The Amazing Adventures of Thomas and Erin with Grandad - Market Day
The Amazing Adventures of Thomas and Erin with Grandad - Market Day
Author: john vasey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/1/2013


While the story is cute. I think some of it needed more description of what they did the places they stopped at. Also if I understand the story right they are out all day and night with Grandad..hmm...that seems unlikely to happen in real life


I liked at the end the spot to draw your Grandad. The drawings especially of the Grandad seemed a little creepy.


The Ambassadors (Penguin Classics)
The Ambassadors (Penguin Classics)
Author: Henry James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/16/2014


A young man, Chad, has been traveling Europe ending up in Paris, France. His family wants him home to the States as they fear France has corrupted him.


As you see above the rating for this is a one star and a DNF(Did Not Finish). This is a first for me. I really tried to get into The Ambassadors and to understand it. I got to about 200 pages in and just could not continue. Never have read a book like this where the words that are used I understand on their own but when they are combined with others I know do not comprehend them together.


I do not know if it is just the way Henry James writes since this the first I have read by him but I will not be returning to this book again.


American Gods
American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 972
Review Date: 11/19/2009


The main character is a man called Shadow. He just made it out of prison and is excited to get home to his wife. Unfortunately, the night before he's released he finds out his wife died in a car accident with his best friend. Now Shadow has no ties to the real world, and he makes the acquaintance of a business man named Mr. Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Through Mr. Wednesday Shadow meets many strange and unusual people, but the funny thing is that Shadow seems to fit in with them.
I know there are a lot of metaphors and religious messages in this book, but don't look at me for what they are because I was not thinking that deeply while I read it. Mostly I enjoyed the book. The only time I didn't was when I felt I was supposed to know the people/Gods that Shadow or Mr. Wednesday were talking to. I felt a little confused at the ending; it felt like there was too many people in the pot.
As a character, I liked Shadow and related to him through most of the book except(warning this may spoil the ending for you) when he returns at the end. I just couldn't understand why he would come back after being done with the world. I just didn't see it happening.
In the end, I enjoyed the story and the characters, and I would read the sequels and short stories connected to American Gods.


Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, Bk 1)
Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, Bk 1)
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 11/19/2009


Taking place in the future, the government has issued a law that couples can only have two children. But families like Luke's, who is a third child, have decided not to follow the law. Because he is illegal, Luke has hidden all his life. Distant family members don't know he even exists. He has never been to school or met children other than his brothers.

All that changes when a new family moves in next door. Luke notices that when every one in that family leaves, there is a face in the window, and he wonders if they have a hidden child just like him.

I loved this book. It reminds me a little of The Gift by Lois Lowery. It was thrilling, and I never knew what was going to happen next. The way it grabs you and hooks you in by the end, you just have to read the others in the series to see what happens.


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: 4/27/2010


Taking place in the future, the government has issued a law that couples can only have two children. But families like Luke's, who is a third child, have decided not to follow the law. Because he is illegal, Luke has hidden all his life. Distant family members don't know he even exists. He has never been to school or met children other than his brothers.

All that changes when a new family moves in next door. Luke notices that when every one in that family leaves, there is a face in the window, and he wonders if they have a hidden child just like him.

I loved this book. It reminds me a little of The Gift by Lois Lowery. It was thrilling, and I never knew what was going to happen next. The way it grabs you and hooks you in by the end, you just have to read the others in the series to see what happens.


Amulet (Dragon Blade)
Amulet (Dragon Blade)
Author: Nancy Lee Parish
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/16/2014


Amulet, is the start of a fantasy series that reminds one of Christopher Paolinis Inheritance series. A boy, Tristan, who stumbles across a magical amulet creates a dragon and finds out he is part Ecli (wizard). His world suddenly gets much bigger as his sister is also part Ecli and they both discover that the gems and amulets they carry are part of a bigger picture. There is also a dark Ecli that rules over parts of the land and creates havoc on the whole town Tristan lives in. The dark Ecli tries to get all of the 12 amulets killing people in its path.

I enjoyed reading about certain characters like Mina (dragon), Mayla(girl), Bub(dog), and Clare (dragon). Some of the stories of the dark characters did take a turn I did not expect. Each of the dragons had their own personalities which made them relatable and most of them had a good sense of humor.

I read this in ebook format so sometimes it is hard to tell if the book is long. This book was long, with over 100 chapters and only 500+ pages. I think the chapters made it feel longer because most book even if they are big have maybe up 35-40 chapters.

If I were to be asked Would you read more from the series? I would probably say, Yes. It was not a story that enveloped me like say Harry Potter but had some interesting moments. I almost thought there was going to be a George R. R. Martin moment in the book but...the author went a different way.


Anacaona, Golden Flower: Haiti 1490 (Royal Diaries)
Anacaona, Golden Flower: Haiti 1490 (Royal Diaries)
Author: Edwidge Danticat
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 12/4/2012


I have only read two of the Royal Diaries series and while I like them the future never seems to bode well for the history of royalty. Anacaona does have an unfortunate fate but her life is somewhat unknown. The author takes some liberties having the future queen fear for her future as if she some how knows what will come.

I do not know much about this history but what is this tale is based on. So I do not know how much is true. Reading this childrens book make me want to find a more involved history of the Haitian Queen.

I picked this up wanted to know more about Haiti after the most resent events there. There is so much history that gets lost I think this is one tale that does because I have never heard of her.

These Royal Diaries are geared more towards girls being that all of them in the series are royal young girls but this book to me had less of a girly feel to it. It mentions her brother and how close they were. I think even boys would like this one.


And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians)
And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians)
Author: Agatha Christie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 253
Review Date: 12/4/2012


10 people meet for the first time at a house on a island. They were all invited by the owner of the house. As they get to know each other, they begin to wonder where the owner is and strange circumstances follow. First they find a morbid poem about ten Indians who die one by one in specific ways, and then people start dying under the same circumstances as the Indians in the poem.



I was a little afraid when I started reading this book that I would have to remember every detail of the characters being presented, but that wasn't necessary. It was a quick read and fast paced, and I never guessed who the killer was in the end. It was also complicated, but not so much that I didn't understand what was going on. I had never read anything by Agatha Christie, and this was a good one to start with.


Angel Coming
Angel Coming
Author: Heather Henson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/16/2014


A little girl awaits the delivery of a new sibling. As the postman comes on horse she looks for a package big enough to be a baby brother or sister.

While the book is not a completely true story on how babies come to families, it is not one I ever thought of. It is a fun way to think of a baby coming and is probably for children under 5. The art is amazing.

Something in the pacing through me off from the story. I felt I also wanted more at the end.

Angel Coming is cute, heartwarming and visually stunning book.


Animal Naps
Animal Naps
Author: Catherine Ham
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/4/2012


This book just did not work for me. The pictures are adorable but the prose switches back and forth to rhyming then not rhyming. Sometimes it almost seems like the words do not make sense together. This frustrates me to give it such a low rating but it was not good.
Yes it had some bits of information about animals and how or what they do when they take there naps which was cute when you catch the drift.

For such a cute cover I really thought it would of stayed cute all the way through and not here and there. There are only so many times you can use the word chap for a animal to make it rhyme.


Animal Tails
Animal Tails
Author: Beth Fielding
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/4/2012


Excellent pictures throughout the book and interesting facts. I wasnt fond of the layout between the pictures and text. It made it less interesting to read. I found some of the descriptions to long and skimmed over the writings more then once to gather the information in my head.

I did not know a lot about animal tails to be honest I never thought about them before. It was fun learning about them I just wish it had been presented better.


The Ankh of Isis (Library of Athena)
The Ankh of Isis (Library of Athena)
Author: Christine Norris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/27/2010


This is the second book in The Library Of Athena. Returning are Megan and her friends Claire and Rachel. This time the girls must save Rachel, who accidentally gets pulled into a magical book with a crazy, gun-toting colleague who wants the Ankh of Isis. To get through the adventure, they will need all their knowledge of Egyptian history and any other clever skills they have.

With the end of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, this series is a nice one to turn to. It is mostly girls going through the adventures, but this one did feature a boy. The Ankh of Isis was really dependent on the kids knowing Egyptian history, more so than in the first book, The Crown Of Zeus. The clues were harder, and to be honest, if I were stuck in that book alone I'd be living in it for the rest of my life.


Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina
Author: Leo Tolstoy, Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 266
Review Date: 2/21/2014
Helpful Score: 1


This book is titled Anna Karenina but Anna is not the only main character. Levin a young man trying hard to be successful at work and to marry his sweetheart. Anna on the other hand is married and also has a sweetheart on the side. Annas story is probably the one that dominates the book. Anna wants freedom from her husband to go off with her lover. Of course her husband is anything but happy when she tells him this.

I was more a fan of the character Levin. Although I did have trouble in his interest in farm work. I did however love the idea of Kitty and Levin as a couple even though there is struggle to get there. Levin as understand it may also be representing the author Leo Tolstoy.

Most of the characters in this book are unlikable (Anna, Vronsky, Annas husband, and Annas brother). What I found made Anna more unlikable was I saw her weakness in myself. That made me dislike her more. I wanted her to gain a little backbone and stop whining.

The book as a whole did not get interesting until exactly half way through it. And that was when Levin became more of a focus. This was a hell of a book to get through. This is definitely not one I am going to reread.


Anne of Green Gables (Puffin Classics)
Anne of Green Gables (Puffin Classics)
Author: L. M. Montgomery
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 4/30/2014


When siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide they need help on the farm they decide to adopt a boy to bring some youth and strength to help them. As Matthew makes his way to pick up the orphaned boy at the train station he finds that the orphanage made a mistake and sent a girl. Not just any girl but redheaded,and dramatic Anne Shirley. Anne is a dreamer, a free spirit and full of exuberance. Matthew and Marilla end up falling in love with and Anne even if she is drawn to trouble.

Anne Of Green Gables is the first book in a series written by Lucy Maude Montgomery (L.M. Montgomery). When I was growing up the t.v. channel PBS made this series of books into movies. I knew of them but only caught bits and pieces here and there. I hear they are excellent and hope to one day catch them. Not only had I not seen the movies but I had never read the books. Anne Of Green Gables was completely new to me. I loved Anne Shirley and her friend Diana. They were such dreamers and so passionate about life and its beauties.

If I had to pinpoint anything I disliked about Anne Of Green Gables it would have to be actually it would be nothing. I can not think of a thing I disliked about story. I mean Anne gets in trouble but the way she gets in trouble is just another piece of Annes character because usually when she in hot water it was because she was trying to be good.

HIghly recommend for girls from ages 10 and up. Boys might like it but it is a book of a girl in her world.


The Answer: "A Journey From Anger to Peace"
The Answer: "A Journey From Anger to Peace"
Author: Allison Wynn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/4/2012


A husband reads a journal found on a table that changes his view on how he has been living his life . The woman who wrote the journal and him decide to share the journal entry with others. They try to help people make peace within themselves.

Very moving and thought out story that takes place back and forth between the journal owner the husband and his wife. They are all trying to find peace and love in there life without or with less anger. Realizing how angry they have been with themselves and each other is the first step into changing there lives.

I agree with other who said it is hard to express this book correctly. There are just some eye opening ideas these people have come across and just bringing them to each other attention is something I am in awe of.

I do believe that this is one of those books you do just want to share with everyone and get there opinion to just have a open discussion. It is a short read and does not take much time to read but one that you can read over and find new insights again and again.


The Antidote
The Antidote
Author: Shelley Sackier
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/12/2019


Author Shelly Sackier weaves a high fantasy world with magic, deception, and intriguing characters. Ophelia (âFeeâ) is studying to be a healer in Fireli, a kingdom where plague rages, magic is forbidden, and certain bloodlines cannot mix. As a child, she had a magic ability to make plants grow. But her best friend and the crown prince, Xavi, has begged with her not to use her magic. Now Fee is betrothed to Xavi's brother Rye, who was sent away to protect him from the plague. As the years' pass, Fee and Xavi remain in Fireli by continually taking the antidote, but Fee is convinced the plague is gone and does not always take hers. Her magic awakens as Xavi becomes ill to the point of death, and Fee is accused of poisoning her best friend. Imprisoned, she must convince Rye that she is innocent and her knowledge might save Xavi. But Xavi has been kidnapped by Princess Quinn, his fiancee, and taken to her kingdom with the mysterious healer Mistress Goodsong.

Intriguing characters keep the reader invested as Fee uncovers the secrets that oppressed her powers and kept her from knowing her true family. It is an enjoyable book that in my opinion could be the start of a series.

I feel the title isn't fitting for the book though. I am curious to know if there were other choices. I thought the antidote that the characters take in the long run wasn't the main focus and it just seemed off to me.

This was the author's Shelley Sackier third book and would like to check out more titles by her. The Freemason's Daughter looks promising. I think people who like Mercedes Lackey and Tamora Pierce will enjoy this book.


The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud (Amazing Tales of Max and Liz, Bk 1)
Review Date: 4/27/2010
Helpful Score: 1


We are introduced to Max, the Scottish terrier. He is a brave dog led on an adventure by the Maker (God). He follows a cloud that looks like it is on fire and feels that the Maker is speaking through the cloud to him. Max finds on his journey that he is not the only animal who believes it is getting messages from the Maker. He meets another dog, birds, a whale, cats, cows and more. They are all being drawn to Noah's ark.

I really love stories that give you the idea that animals have a deep thought process, like humans. We have Max, who is brave and believes the Maker is bringing them all together for a reason. Then there is Liz, a black cat who is a library of knowledge. This is a very creative story of how things came together for Noah's Ark, and I am interested to see where Max and Liz end up next.


Arnold and Louis. Reach For The Stars.
Arnold and Louis. Reach For The Stars.
Author: Harvey Storm
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/11/2019


A meteor falls through space and falls asleep. As he wakes up he realizes he is too close to the earth and crashes down. Arnold the moose and Louis the goose watch the meteor fall from afar. They meet Mick the meteor and find that Mick wants to go home. Arnold and Louis try to help him back to space but the task is not easy.

The art is spectacular and continues the story forward even when there is not much described. The humor is really tied into the art. The way that Arnold and Louis try to help Mick is something that seems like silly kid logic in a good way.

On the downside even though the art moves the wordless moments it also takes you out of the story. I think it would be a hard story to read to a group of children unless the book was enlarged because the art is very detailed and may be hard to see for a classroom.

I like the idea of a moose and goose being friends. Seems like they should be. I have nephews that I think will like this series. I would recommend it for boys and girls that are toddlers and up.


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