Reviews written by Francesca Amendolia

66 results - showing 1 - 15  
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Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   February 21, 2013
(Updated: February 21, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

A Magical Sequel

What kid doesn’t love magic, in any form? Sure, there’s the lovely, wish-it-were-so magic of Harry Potter and Oz and a million other books, but real-life magicians and their fabulously complex illusions are just as intriguing. This kind of magic also has the added bonus of being REAL, being about...

Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Zounds! It's Zita!

Zita, plucky intergalactic adventurer and deep-space heroine, is back, but the alien paparazzi are getting to her. Constantly surrounded by admirers, she longs to return to Earth, or maybe just for a bit of peace and quiet to wander around by herself. A lonely, discarded android, capable...

Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Dickensian nightmares abound

Eddie Pipkin, called Pip, is an orphan. One fateful night, before the drunk, cruel, greedy Mr. Oakes who runs the orphanage can sell Pip to a pirate, the brave, skinny lad pushes his captor into the brine and escapes. He sneaks onto a wagon belonging to a group of traveling...

Kids Fiction
Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

A halo for Mr. Spinelli!

The world is full of ordinary kids doing ordinary things: going to school, thinking about life, playing with friends, taking baths, reading books. You know. Stuff. It doesn’t seem at first glance that there are a lot of stories hiding among those ordinary kids and their ordinary days. ...

Kids Fiction
Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   September 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Floored!

I have promised myself I will never compare anyone to Roald Dahl. Only Roald Dahl is like Roald Dahl. Only he manages to be so perfectly creepy and so perfectly safe, all at once. Only he seems to manage to call things Snozzwhizzlers and Wangdoodles without sounding twee. Other writers...

Young Adult Fiction
Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   August 29, 2012
(Updated: August 29, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

HIDDEN DEPTHS AND YOGA MATS

In SINCE YOU LEFT ME, the new book by Allan Zadoff, Sanskrit is confused, although at first, he doesn't seem too bothered by that. Life is confusing, parents are confusing, religion is really confusing, and so on. That's just sort of how things are, and he's resignedly, if not happily,...

Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   August 28, 2012
(Updated: August 28, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Quantum Leaping

A few years ago, when I first noticed the 39 Clues series, I was very dismissive. "Boy band books," I called them, because they were sort of reverse-engineered. What I mean is that first, a group of editors came up with an idea for a series, and then asked writers...

Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   August 21, 2012
(Updated: August 21, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

More Miri! Marvelous!

When I first heard Shannon Hale had written a sequel to Princess Academy, I admit, I was worried. I loved Princess Academy, and felt utterly satisfied with how it ended. I adored Miri and Mount Eskel, and all the girls, but I was content for their stories to continue in...

Kids Fiction
Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   August 08, 2012
(Updated: August 08, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Another triumph for the Newbery-winning Rebecca Stead

While it must be utterly wonderful to win a Newbery, as Rebecca Stead did in 2010 with When You Reach Me, I imagine it must be terribly difficult to write the next book. Oh the expectations! The pressure! I loved When You Reach Me, and resonated with...

Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   August 08, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Wondrous indeed

The imagination evinced in THE WONDROUS JOURNALS OF DR. WENDELL WELLINGTON WIGGINS is astounding, and quite enjoyable. It’s not easy to conceive of one entirely new fantastical creature, never mind several dozen, yet that is what Lesley M. M. Blume has done, and what the illustrator David Foote has visualized....

Kids Fiction
Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   August 01, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

What's the magic word?

HOCUS POCUS HOTEL, by Michael Dahl, is two stories in one, kid-friendly mysteries set in the marvelous, mysterious, almost magical Abracadabra Hotel. A quickly read, nicely designed book, it certainly held my interest, even if it only rarely piqued my curiosity. The action begins when the...

Kids Fiction
Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   August 01, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Dirty Bertie strikes again!

FANGS! by Alan MacDonald and illustrated by David Roberts (and based on characters created by David Roberts) is a fun, lively early reader – three early readers, in fact, since three separate stories are housed in this one volume: Fangs! Hairy! and Fashion! First published in the...

Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   August 01, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Katie Woo strikes again!

The latest offering in the Katie Woo series, KATIE WOO RULES THE SCHOOL, by Fran Manushikin, is an early-reader with lovely watercolor illustrations and simple text, perfect for those readers just risking the giant step away from picture books. The main character, Katie Woo, wears bright blue...

Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   July 19, 2012
(Updated: July 19, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Atmospheric and compelling

It was while reading Tim Conrad's graphic novel retelling of Victor Hugo's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME that I realized how very visual the story is, how the story hinges on appearance, and how that can disguise what lies beneath. How apt, then, to have the opportunity to read the...

Young Adult Fiction
Francesca	AmendoliaFrancesca Amendolia   July 10, 2012
(Updated: July 10, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

A story of scales, both musical and other

Rachel Hartmann’s astounding debut novel, SERAPHINA, is an utter joy. Set in a refreshingly original world of dragons, music, princes and revolution, the book unfolds organically – and compellingly. Like the title character, the tale seems quiet, almost unassuming, at least at the beginning, but it quickly swells to full...

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I Got Next
It’s game day! In this action-packed picture book from Daria...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Friend for Bently
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4.0
 
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The Great Pumpkin Contest
Mimi and Clara are neighbors. Both cats want to win...
 
5.0
 
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Save Your Friends!
This laugh-out-loud adventure encourages family sharing and is a perfect...
 
3.5
 
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Dibs!
Teaching your little brother his first word —dibs —is funny....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Where Are You From?
This resonant picture book tells the story of one girl...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Out of Place
When twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein becomes the target of a school-wide...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Salvation Day
A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Startup Squad (The Startup Squad, #1)
Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Possibility of Whales
Twelve-year-old Natalia Rose Baleine Gallagher has to move, again. ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Peppa in Space (Peppa Pig)
Get ready for a Peppa Pig story that's out of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Stars We Steal
Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo”...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Pete the Cat and the Itsy Bitsy Spirder
Pete the Cat’s cool adaptation of the classic children’s song...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Superlative Birds
Explore the fascinating world of superlative birds―from the bee hummingbird,...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In Another Life
Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Even Monsters Go To School
What’s a school day like for you? ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

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A Monster Calls
 
4.7
"4.5 Stars This low-fantasy middle grade story is at once hefty and heartrending—despite its relative brevity and target audience..."
I Got Next
 
4.0
"I GOT NEXT is a picture book about self-confidence. A boy encourages himself to challenge the other kids who are..."
A Friend for Bently
 
4.0
"A FRIEND FOR BENTLY is a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship. Bently is the only pig on the farm..."
The Great Pumpkin Contest
 
5.0
"THE GREAT PUMPKIN CONTEST is a sweet and fun read about friendship. Mimi and her neighbor Clara are each entering..."
Save Your Friends!
 
3.5
"SAVE YOUR FRIENDS! is a simple, interactive story told in speech bubbles. The shark is about to eat your friends,..."
Dibs!
 
5.0
"DIBS! is a story about brotherhood. Julian constantly calls dibs on toys and snacks from his younger brother Clancy. Clancy..."
Where Are You From?
 
5.0
"WHERE ARE YOU FROM? is a stunning celebration of heritage/ancestry as well as an acknowledgment of the unnecessary question. A..."
Salvation Day
 
4.3
"Zahra wants the world to know the truth about her father. She believes he wasn't to blame for the deaths..."
Out of Place
 
5.0
"OUT OF PLACE is an absolutely gorgeous story about bullying and feeling alone. Cove lives with her mother on Martha’s..."
The Startup Squad (The Startup Squad, #1)
 
3.0
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A Possibility of Whales
 
4.0
"THE POSSIBILITY OF WHALES is a middle grade contemporary story that deals with a lot. Natalia Rose (Nat) is almost..."
A Place for Turtles
 
5.0
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The Stars We Steal
 
4.7
"Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie "Leo" Kolburg has a title, but not much else. She's heir to an older European spaceship.When the..."
Peppa in Space (Peppa Pig)
 
5.0
"PEPPA IN SPACE is a fun picture book, featuring Peppa Pig and her family as they learn about space and..."
Pete the Cat and the Itsy Bitsy Spirder
 
3.5
"We are all familiar with the Itsy Bitsy Spider, who climbs up the water spout before being rained out- but..."
Superlative Birds
 
4.7
"SUPERLATIVE BIRDS is an interesting read. Each spread features an illustrated bird with a superlative, such as “smelliest” or “longest..."
In Another Life
 
4.0
"I really loved this storyline. The Story: Chloe is going through a tough time with her family. After her..."
Even Monsters Go To School
 
5.0
"This book is so completely adorable it's hard to figure out where to begin. The story is about..."
Can Cat and Bird Be Friends
 
3.5
"This was an odd one. Cat and bird are trying to determine if they can be friends or..."
Origami Bible Stories For Kids
 
5.0
"They really thought of everything. This origami kit is more than just folding paper, every part of it..."