Book Review

Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio-4 Stars

Wonder is a middle grade fiction about August Pullman and how he is defined by his facial deformity. After being home-schooled he starts fifth grade in a private school. August just wants to be accepted and fit in without being treated like he has the Plague but he is still unique and stays true to himself which I think is wonderful. Even though he looks different, he is funny, intelligent, and a loyal friend.

This story didn’t wreck me emotionally like I thought it would, granted, there are some really mean, sad, and heartbreaking moments, but it’s still funny and lighthearted feeling.

There are a few different POV’s besides August’s and I thought they melded nicely together to bring August’s past and future together. Like I think all middle schoolers can attest, those particular grades are hard-even if you don’t have a facial deformity. Kids are cruel, but August has a big, kind heart, and I love how authentic and genuine he is.

I feel this will be a wonderful book for children this same age, on up to adults, because the message it brings of how to be yourself and how to treat others is one we can all take to heart.

 

Book Review

Book Review: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd-4 Stars

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The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is a middle grades fiction set during WWII in a home for sick children. Emmaline is one of the girls in this hospital. Like the other children, she is ill with the stillwaters, which I come to learn is tuberculosis. Emmaline can see beautiful winged horses in the mirrors of the hospital, but the other children mock her, because only she and the groundskeeper claim to see them. When she finds an injured winged horse named Foxfire on the grounds of the hospital, Emmaline is tasked with keeping the horse safe from the Black Horse by the Horse Lord. She must collect items of all the colors of the rainbow to create a spectral shield in order to protect Foxfire. But with no family, a war raging, and a terrible sickness raging inside, Emmaline feels as if she’s only surrounded by gray. Where can she possibly find color in her world?

Filled with magic, mystery, wonder and hope, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is a beautifully crafted novel. There’s black and white illustrations within that add to the allure of the novel. Shepherd creates a imaginative world perfect for readers of all ages to get lost in.

*I received a copy of this novel via Netgalley. All opinions are my own!

 

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Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty- 5 Stars

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Review to Serafina and the Black Cloak here.

Robert Beatty is back and even better with the sequel to Serafina and the Black Cloak. Serafina and Braeden, along with their animal friends defeated the man in the black cloak, thinking that all would go back to normal after his death. But the second book brings more trouble. Animals are fleeing the forest, and a detective, Mr. Grantham, arrives, who is looking in to Mr. Thorne’s (the man in the black cloak) murder. Book two also introduces another new character from England, Lady Rowena, who quickly makes friends with Braeden.

This book is ten times scarier than the first book! It was full of non-stop action, suspense, plot twists, thrills, and mystery. Serafina is a brave heroine who isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes is right. She desperately wants to shift into her catamount form but hasn’t succeeded. While struggling with her sense of belonging, she learns many lessons and proves to be a great role model for young readers. Strange, magical, unexplainable things are happening at Biltmore  and Serafina is the only one who truly understands what is going on, but doesn’t know how to stop the evil.

The author creates such an amazing, magical world at Biltmore, complete with characters so real, you find yourself experiencing their same emotions. You’ll find yourself cringing in fear, crying, and pumping your fist in the air over successes. I can’t wait for the next book!

* I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review!*