#899 The Ruby Moon by Trisha Priebe and Jerry Jenkins

The Ruby Moon by Trisha Priebe and Jerry JenkinsThe Ruby Moon by Trisha Priebe and Jerry Jenkins

In the kingdom, strange things are going on. Teenagers, thirteen-year olds to be precise, are disappearing. One day a kid is there, the next, they’re not. The Olympiads are coming up. The winner of the run will get a private audience with the ailing king. Avery finds out her friend is the son of the king. Currently, the king has no heir and Avery’s friend could be just the ticket.

There are strange circumstances surrounding the first queen and her child. She disappeared, or something.

Avery decides to run in the race even though girls aren’t allowed. Meanwhile more teenagers disappear and others decide to go and live underground. Will the sick king find out about his son? What will happen to Avery?

What I liked

The whimsy in this book is nice. I could tell this wasn’t meant to be a real time or place. There is definitely a lot of intrigue going on here.

What I didn’t like

I obviously missed a book. I would have liked to have known what the deal with thirteen-year olds was. I’m guessing it’s because the lost heir would be thirteen? I’m not sure.

I kind of feel this idea of the Olympiads is out-of-place in this book. I feel like this is a middle ages type of setting, but yet, the Olympics, which is a Greek thing, has a part in the book. More over, the event is something like the 800 yard dash, which is a modern Olympic event. Sure, maybe people in feudal middle ages kingdoms did compete in running, but it doesn’t seem like a real thing. This is, of course, a fiction work, so maybe it doesn’t matter at all.

Overall

The queen is out to get a teenager’s ┬áhead, better hope you don’t end up dead.

Weigh in

Have you read any books in this series?

Would you run a race you weren’t supposed to run because of your gender?

#899 The Ruby Moon by Trisha Priebe and Jerry Jenkins was originally published on One-elevenbooks

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#893 What the Dickens by Gregory Maguire

What the Dickens by Gregory MaguireWhat the Dickens by Gregory Maguire

What the Dickens finds himself alive and names himself “What the Dickens.” He’s not sure what he is or why he’s here. He meets a white creature, he finds out is a cat named McCavity. He gets befriended by a mama bird who thinks he might as well learn to fly. He falls down a chimney and meets and old woman. At one point, he meets another creature like himself. Her name is Pepper. She explains to him that he is a Skibberee.

The Skibbereen fly around collecting teeth, which they plant in the ground, which become candles, which become wishes. Pepper calls herself an Agent of Change. What the Dickens finds out that life isn’t so easy. There are rules in place and societal expectations. Sometimes, someone else can get in trouble for something you did and it’s not fair. What the Dickens knows he has to help Pepper complete her task. He comes to find out that he has a special ability that the other Skibberee don’t possess. He’s still not sure where he came from, but he does find a place to be.

This story is all told by Gage, a cousin watching over his younger cousins during a terrible storm when people were supposed to have evacuated.

What I liked

This book was really fun. I’ve never really thought about the origins of the tooth fairy before. It is a bit of a strange custom. I’m not even sure it’s practiced outside of the United States. All cultures have their customs surrounding growing-up mile-markers, but I’m not sure how many of them make a big deal out of losing a tooth.

I never believed in the tooth fairy. I knew it was my mom. I was a fairly skeptical kid as far as things like the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa Clause goes, which is awfully weird, considering how much I like stories about similar things. I’m a bit of a skeptic at heart I guess.

I like that Gregory created this entire world and mythology surrounding the tooth fairy. I don’t think I would have thought up the idea to create an entire race of little creatures with societal problems and external enemies that also happen to be tooth fairies. Good job, Gregory.

I love folklore and ghost stories. The Skibberee part of this book feels like folklore.

The main concept of this book is that someone is telling children a long story. I think we’ve fallen away from telling stories, orally, which is sad, because it’s a great thing. There’s nothing quite like sitting around, huddled close, listening to a story that unfolds as the minutes tick by. You can’t find the story anywhere else; you have to get it from the story-teller, so it’s in everyone’s best interest if you sit quietly and listen.

What I didn’t like

I was a bit concerned as to why these children were left in a house during a storm in which everybody evacuated, except them. There was also a bit of religious fanaticism going on, it feels like. If the government calls for an evacuation because of a storm, you should probably go. I also don’t like the idea of religious fanaticism.

Overall

Gather ’round, let’s listen to a story about the tooth fairy.

Weigh In

Did you ever believe in the tooth fairy?

What would you do if you had to hole up for a long storm?

#893 What the Dickens by Gregory Maguire was originally published on One-elevenbooks

#889 Perfectly Oblivious by Robin Daniels

Perfectly Oblivious by Robin DanielsPerfectly Oblivious by Robin Daniels

Bianca and Bethany aren’t twins, but a lot of people think they are. The two are less than a year apart. It’s just them and their father. Bianca remembers the day when a cute boy moved in across the street. His name was Cameron, or Cam, as she calls him. With pretenses of practicing basketball, Bianca soon got to know Cam, who called her Bebe.

Bianca is crazy about Cam but has a couple of problems. She doesn’t think he likes her and she also thinks that if she admits someone likes her that it will end badly. She won’t even tell her own sister, Bethany, who is her best friend.

Things are different now, because Cam does like Bianca and wants to tell her, but he doesn’t think she likes him. He thinks he’s been friend-zoned. Bethany soon wriggles the secret out of Cam and they make plans to tell Bianca, big plans, which involve a little dishonesty and some dramatic gestures.

Will it ever be made known that the two actually like each other? Does the universe actually have it out for Bianca and her love life?

What I liked

As teenage romance goes, this was actually one of the better ones I’ve read. Nobody is trying to kill anybody else and nobody is a vampire. It’s about two kids you could have at your school. It’s plausible is what I’m saying.

I identify with Bianca to a degree. I never thought that people liked me. I thought nobody liked me. I thought I was doomed to be alone. There was a large part of this problem which was me. Bianca is in the same boat. There’s nothing wrong with her; she just thinks there is. If you think that nobody likes you and nobody pays attention to you, then you’re not going to pick up on when someone actually likes you. There was more than one boy I kind of dissed or ignored because I thought nobody liked me.

Sometimes, you just have to let people love you despite the many perceived faults that you think you have. I have a boyfriend who loves me even if I’m not super skinny and I do really weird things sometimes, like going around the house saying, “You’ve cat to be kitten me right meow,” or singing, “cat loves food, yeah, yeah, yeah,” when I feed the cats. It’s from a YouTube show called Dragon Ball Z Abridged, look it up.

What I didn’t like

Bianca is identifiable to many young women, but she’s not identifiable to everyone. What about that girl who doesn’t play sports and is on the electric car team? Obviously, you can’t make a character identifiable to everyone. For girls who are in less popular circles in high school, Bianca isn’t going to resonate with them as much.

This book is very sweet and wholesome, for the most part. Despite that fact, I tend to have issues with teenage romance stories, not because of the story itself or the characters in the story, but because of the very idea of teenagers being serious enough to be in a major relationship. Most teenagers are not that serious. They are not that mature. They have no real idea of what loving someone is. Loving someone is respecting that person for who they are, but also being responsible for them to a degree; these two things are very difficult for most teenagers. I do give teenagers who have had to be responsible a little more credit in this area. For example, a teenager who has had to help raise younger siblings or a teenager who has helped take care of a parent or grandparent, will be more responsible and better able to understand the concept of love.

With all that said, I do think Cam respects Bianca, which is certainly a plus because that’s something very difficult for a lot of teenage boys.

Overall

Sweet story to read when you want something a little uplifting.

Weigh In

Looking back on you as a teenager, do you think you would have had the same capacity to love someone that you possess today?

Were you one of those people who thought nobody liked you?

#889 Perfectly Oblivious by Robin Daniels was originally published on One-elevenbooks

#875 Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R.L. Stine

Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R.L. StineWelcome to Camp Nightmare by R.L. Stine

Billy’s parents have sent him to camp, which is obviously in the middle of nowhere. The uncomfortable bus drives all the children out into the desert and leaves them there. Some strange animals chase the children before the camp counselors show up, but nobody says anything about it.

Immediately upon getting assigned bunks, another boy in Billy’s cabin is bitten by a snake. There’s a forbidden bunk which no one is supposed to go near. There isn’t a nurse. Kids start disappearing.

Billy goes on a terrible canoe rafting experience and even more strange stuff happens afterwards. What in the world is happening to the children at Camp Nightmoon?

What I liked

I do like stories where things are not as they seem which does end up being the case in this book. The world isn’t always as understandable as people would like to believe.

What I didn’t like

Some things in this book seem pretty severe to be happening to children. I imagine that if I had read this book as a child, which I did not, at least as I recall, that I might have been a little freaked out by the snake incident. I don’t fear snakes, but the idea of getting bit without available medical attention is anxiety inducing.

Overall

Sometimes summer camp isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and we’re not even counting the bugs or toilets you have to walk outside to get to.

Weigh in

If you found out you were in a murderous summer camp, what would you do?

If you could take one television survivalist with you to the murderous summer camp, who would you take?

#875 Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R.L. Stine was originally published on One-elevenbooks

#869 The Abduction by Gordon Korman

 The Abduction by Gordon Korman The Abduction by Gordon Korman

The Falconer family has been through heck. The parents were arrested and imprisoned, which made life difficult for their two children, Aiden and Meg. One day, a van shows up and snatches Meg. Aiden tries his best, but he cannot catch them. The police and FBI are soon involved.

There’s a demand for ransom and Meg is trying to escape on her own. It’s up to Meg, Aiden, and the FBI to get out of this situation.

What I Liked

I liked that Aiden was so dedicated to his sister.

What I didn’t like

There’s a story here, but I’m not sure what it is. I feel like I’m missing a whole lot. I know there are books after this one in the series, but I feel like there should be books before it. I hope there are because I’m confused.

Also, kidnapping is not cool.

Overall

A girl got kidnapped for some reason.

Weigh in

What would you do if your sibling was kidnapped?

If a member of your family was wrongfully imprisoned, what do you imagine the charges would be?

#869 The Abduction by Gordon Korman was originally published on One-elevenbooks