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Archive for the ‘9 out of 10’ Category

Today I am reviewing Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It is a comic strip about a group of kids in a neighborhood, particularly one unfortunate kid named Charlie Brown.

On the cover we see, from bottom left to right: Franklin, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Sally. On top: Woodstock, Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

On the cover we see, from bottom left to right: Franklin, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Sally. On top: Woodstock, Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

Peanuts has lasted so long, until Charles M. Schulz was taken away from us, that it is impossible to list all plot lines, threads, running jokes, and personalties of all the characters like I try to do with other books. The Wikipedia page on Snoopy, just 1 character, is longer than the whole Calvin and Hobbes page, and about the same size as the Watchmen page, one of the most complex comics ever made. A way to think of it is a comic of your childhood. You can’t tell someone all of it by once, but you can tell it a little. Day, by day, by day. Ironically, that is exactly what it is about. Childhood. My favorite character, like many, is Snoopy, the beagle. I enjoy how he pretends to be the Red Baron, his simple views on the way of life, the way he sets out to do things.

Even though this is definitely not the best comic of all time, it has a quality to it. It reminds everyone of their childhood. I dare you do read through a collection, and not stop once and say, “That happened to me when I was a little kid.” It gives off a nostalgic quality, is very funny, simple, elegant, and many other qualities not found in many comics today. Sometimes the punch lines of the strips are cheesy, which is the only knock against it, and other times make you roll on the floor laughing. This comic is wonderful. That is really all I can say about it.

This comic gets a 9 out of 10

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Today I will be reviewing Tintin, by the artist and author, Herge. This one of the first graphic novels i read, and it was a great one to start on. The story, (or stories, as there are multiple issues) focuses on a young reporter, Tintin, solving  mysteries with his dog, Snowy.

On the last cover of the series, we see the dog, Snowy, and from left to right, Tintin, Professor Calculus, and Captain Haddock running away from an unseen force.

On the last cover of the series, we see the dog, Snowy, and from left to right, Tintin, Professor Calculus, and Captain Haddock running away from an unseen force.

The series The Adventures of Tintin are usually focused on Tintin solving various mysteries. Sometimes these mysteries span issues, other times they are contained in a single issue. Midway in the series, we are also introduced to two characters: Professor Calculus, a hard-of-hearing genius, and Captain Haddock, a good-at-heart captain with a drinking problem. Together they go to solve anything, from trivial mysteries, like finding a jewel, to vitally assisting a revolution over a merciless dictator.

I love this series. There is not much depth to the story, like Maus, or Lord of the Rings, but it is one of the most fun books I have ever read.  Every single character is likable, including the villains. The art is amazing. The characters looks are simple, elegant, and you can tell what s/he is feeling. The background, by contrast, is amazingly detailed. If not for the simple colors popular at the time this comic was made, it would have looked incredibly real. In fact, it does so already. The mysteries are dark, complex, and do have some basis on reality. The solutions always make sense, but they are unexpected. People might wonder why I’m not giving this a 10 out of 10. I would, except for the fact that there was some racism in the book. Sometimes, especially in early issues, it was blatantly obvious. However, like I said, every character was likable, so the series still remained popular. Still, it left a stain on the book that was hard to remove. Other than that, this series was wonderful.

This book is great for all ages, especially those looking for a book on a lazy sunday.

This book gets a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing Maniac Magee, a story about a boy who ran away from home and changed the lives of several people in the town of Two Mills. This story, written by Jerry Spinnelli, won the Newbery Award in 1991.

 

On the cover is Jeffery Lionel "Maniac" Magee

On the cover is Jeffery Lionel "Maniac" Magee

Maniac Magee’s parents died when he was only 3 years old, and he was put in the foster care of a husband and wife who hate each other. When Maniac was 11 years old, he got sick of it and ran away. A year later, he arrives in the town of Two Mills. At Two Mills, he affects some lives forever, such as a smart girl named Amanda, an out of his luck minor league pitcher named Grayson, and a tough kid named Mars Bar.

 

This book is great. Nice plot, great setting. The strength is the characters. You can feel the emotions of everyone. The only weakness is descriptions. They are, sometimes, not the best. However this a great book for anyone, anytime. I like to read it on a rainy day.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing Sabriel, the story of a necromancer, who instead of rising people from the dead, put them back to sleep. This story, written by Garth Nix, has gotten great reviews from acclaimed authors such as Phillip Pullman and Llyod Alexander, and also got good reviews from Publishers Weekly and the ALA Booklist.

 

On the cover is Sabriel. Behind her is Kerrigor.

On the cover is Sabriel. Behind her is Kerrigor.

 

 

Sabriel is a girl who has just graduated from Wyverly College. But when she receives a message from her father Abhorsen, a necromancer who puts the dead back to sleep instead of rising them from the dead, says that he is dying, Sabriel quickly runs over to the neighboring country, The Old Kingdom where he is dying, hoping to bring him back to life using her training. But The Old Kingdom is a dangerous place, with the Dead hiding behind every corner. With help of a talking cat named Mogget, and a man named Touchstone who doesn’t know his origins, will Sabriel save her father?

 

This book is great. The characters are well developed and the plot is great. The only weakness is the description, which is sometimes in the book not strong, it makes up for it in the setting. The setting is amazing. In addition, it has two sequels, which are just as good as the first.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing The Book Thief, the story of a girl who lives in Germany when it was ruled by Hitler. This book won the Printz award, and it was written by Markus Zusak. This book was also a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

 

On the cover is Rudy's hand, about to topple his domino chain.

On the cover is Rudy's hand, about to topple his domino chain.

 

The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a girl put in foster care in Nazi Germany. At first she is slightly resentful, but as time goes on, she starts to think of her foster parents as her real parents and befriends a boy named Rudy. She lives an okay life, considering she was in the lower class, but her true joy was reading. Since her family can’t afford books, she steals them from Nazi bonfires, and the mayor’s house. Soon she gets caught up in the joy of reading, sometimes forgetting she’s in Germany during World War 2.

 

This book is great. The setting, descriptions and characters are all wonderful. It is easy to see why it is a bestseller. However, the ending is not that good. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and you feel there could be more to the ending. It feels like the book ended in a rush. However, the beginning and middle are great. This is a great read to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction and historical fiction.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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That was a quote from Animal Farm, the story of mistreated animals that have had enough with the farmer. This is George Orwell’s most famous book, besides 1984. It is a great book, and is a great book for a car trip.

 

On the cover is the pig, the leader of the Animal Farm

On the cover is the pig, the leader of the Animal Farm

Animal Farm is the story of a group of mistreated farm animals, who decide to rebel against the farmer and her wife. At first they are a democratic society where everyone has a say. But as time goes on, it starts to evolve to a totalitaristisiam which is even worse than before. 

 

This book is really good. The characters are great, the story is incredibly intresting, and has pretty good details. The only thing is the setting. The setting could use more work. But, other than that, it is great. This would be great for any fan of 1984, any fan of politics, and some lovers of animal books. 

 

P.S. A lot of people think, because of the title, this is a baby book. It is not. It is a great book adults and middle and high school readers.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing a great book called Chasing Vermeer. I read this during a road trip. It captivated me from the first paragraph. The author is Blue Balliett.

 

On the cover is Petra and Calder.

On the cover is Petra and Calder.

Chasing Vermeer is about a observant girl named Petra and a pattern finding boy named Calder. When they became friends because of a book called Lo!, weird things begin to happen. Their teacher assigns an unusual assignment, an old lady is discussing with them about flying frogs, and A Lady Writing, a stolen painting appears in Petra’s  dreams. Soon they are caught up in a mystery that even the FBI and CIA can’t solve and no one, not even friends , family, or teachers is safe from suspicion.

 

This book was fantastic. This book has wonderful descriptions, imagination, and setting. You can identify with the characters, and the plot is excellent. I read it in one sitting. The only thing that is bad is that it leaves a couple things unexplained. This book would be great for anyone, at any age.

 

I rate this a 9 out of 10

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