Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
"Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled
the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings
embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has
existed since the time of the pharaohs."

So I was really excited to read this book! It is like Percy Jackson but Egyptian style. I enjoyed reading it, but didn’t like it as much as I did the original Percy Jackson series. Part of the reason is that I didn’t know much about Egyptian Mythology and so I didn’t have as much fun recognizing the Egyptian gods as I did Greek and Roman myths and gods. The other part is that I think the author had to do a lot of work to set up the background of the Egyptian Mythology and that sort of slowed down the action a bit, notice it is longer than The Lightening Thief. I felt like I was always having something new introduced and explained to me. The author did do a good job with incorporating the info into the story it was just that there was a LOT of it. The characters were interesting, though, sometimes I felt like Sadie was a bit off. In the end I thought it was a good book with a solid plot. I was totally hooked into what was going to happen at the end. The reader just has to have some patience to deal a lot of introduced background info. I’m wondering if the next book will be a lot more fun to read now that the world and a bunch of the characters have been set up in the first book.

I am really happy that I have a fun fiction book about Egyptian Mythology to recommend to my Latin students though.

Rick Riordan's Website

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just One Wish by Jannette Rallison

Just One Wish by Jannette Rallison

Annika’s main goal in life is to keep her little brother’s spirits up because he has cancer, and cancer patients need to stay positive. The problem is that he wants to meet Teen Robin Hood, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to convince a Hollywood actor to come help a boy with cancer, right? Especially, if her little brother only has a week until he goes into surgery.

Turns out that contacting Hollywood actors is a little more complicated then she thought, but that doesn’t stop her. She would travel to the ends of the earth to fulfill her little brother’s wish. Driving four hours to a movie set in California isn’t going to stop her. It is the sneaking onto the movie set that is the hard part, but Annika has got that handled until Mr. Teen Robin himself decides to throw her in jail. Can she convince this arrogant teenage star to help her brother, and let her go free before it is too late?

I finally got this book at the library. Finally! This one has been on my to-read list since it came out. I think I actually put it on hold at the library last summer, but then I started my first year of teaching and it went off of the read list until life returned to sanity. So, I’m really happy to say I loved this book. I was hooked from the very first chapter, and couldn’t put the book down after that. I really sympathized with Annika’s determination to bring hope into her little brother’s life. I also loved her hilarious capers across a Hollywood set. I couldn’t put this book down and finished it in one day. That hasn’t happened to me for a long time. I was so immersed in the story I didn’t put the book down for hours. I highly recommend Jannette Rallison to anyone who loves a clean romantic comedy.

Jannette Rallison's website

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Signed books: LDS Storymakers Conference

These three got signed at LDS Storymakers Conference that I went to in 2009. I love Janette Rallison. She is such a sweet lady when you meet her in person and she writes funny, clean books! Lisa Mangum gave a ton of ARC of her new series out at the conference and we all got them signed. The second book is out now. Recovering Charles was a freebee in our conference bag. I don't think Jason Wright attended that conference, but I appreciated the signed book anyway.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

"Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It's got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Ellen is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way." (summary from Author's website)

Princess of Glass is a sequel to Princess of the Midnight Ball, which was a retelling of the twelve dancing Princesses. I was interested when I first picked it up if it would be a sequel that would merely take place in the same world created in the book Princess of the Midnight Ball or if it would be another fairy tale retelling. At first it seems that the book doesn’t really relate to any fairy tale, until we meet Elanora, and then slowly the plot weaves into a Cinderella retelling, in which the Godmother really is a nasty witch with a hidden agenda.

George manages to make the fairy-tale fresh by telling the story from a different point of view, and adding a few of her own clever plot twists. I enjoyed reading this engaging tale, but I felt like the witch was defeated a bit too easily. There really wasn’t much detail on how exactly everything ended up fairy tale perfect at the end, but still it was really fun to read. If you love retold fairy tales or just a fun princess story you should totally give this one a shot.

Visit Jessica Day George's Website

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Signed Books: Jessica Day George

Another book signed at the Provo Children's Book Festival. Dragon Slipper's had won the Whitney Award the year before, which I had checked out from the library and enjoyed reading. So, at the Festival I bought Dragon Flight and got it signed by Jessica Day George. I included a picture I took after she signed my book. Ah, I miss Provo sometimes, because they have so many cool author's that do lots of signings in the area.