Reviews written by Francesca Amendolia

66 results - showing 46 - 60
1 2 3 4 5
Ordering
February 17, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Kids Fiction
When the Monsters Tell the Tale...

The ogre of Oglefort is a terrible ogre. A massive, smelly, mean and horrible ogre. So when some rather mild monsters are dispatched to deal with him, they do not feel optimistic. But he has taken a princess captive and so clearly, something must be done. The...

February 16, 2012 (Updated: February 17, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
The Lonesome Prairie

Like Caroline Starr Rose, I too was an avid fan of all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I admired Laura's wildness, but I also admired the serene order imposed on her life -- and on frontier life -- by her mother. No matter what, the floor was swept, the table...

January 24, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
How It All Began

His name is Bond. James Bond. Only he's not yet double oh seven, shaken-martini drinker and Q-gadget wrecker. As this story begins, James is just a boy, just starting at Eton, just finding his way -- and he really isn't all that good at anything yet. He's not the fastest,...

January 18, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Mounting tension

The first book in this series, We the Children, set the stage for an exciting adventure. This book takes it further. Every so often, maybe walking home from school, you imagine someone's following you, maybe a spy, maybe a murderer. Your heart beats faster and you steal...

June 20, 2011
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
A book to make you melt...

What will the world be like fifty years from now? What if you could visit? What would amaze you? Astound you? Terrify you? So many time-travel books send a hero into an imaginary future, speculating on what might have happened to the world, to society, to people. ...

May 30, 2011
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Some things change, some stay the same...

Junonia shells are rare, but Alice hopes this is the year she will find one, because she’s turning ten, and ten is special. Finding a special shell to mark the occasion would just feel right. Nothing else is right, though. She and her parents come to Sanibel...

May 30, 2011
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade war!

The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies, is about friendship, sibling rivalry, honesty, mathematics and lemonade. Evan should be enjoying the last few scorching days of summer, but he just can’t get over the news that his brainiac younger sister Jessie is not only skipping third grade, but...

May 30, 2011
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Sweet sequel to The Lemonade War

The Lemonade Crime, the sequel to Jacqueline Davies’ The Lemonade War, picks up almost exactly where The Lemonade War left off. Jessie and Evan have just started the fourth grade together, and while Evan is more reconciled to Jessie’s presence in his classroom, he’s still getting used to the idea...

May 07, 2011
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Kids Fiction
Beautiful Pictures, Beautiful Words

Bless This Mouse, a new book written by Lois Lowry and illustrated by Eric Rohmann, is beautiful. I mean, yes, the story is charming, the writing lovely, but more than that -- the actual physical book is just beautiful. The mice are not just cute, but are distinct individuals with...

April 25, 2011
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Charming Retelling of Arthurian Legend

Ah, King Arthur and all his knights. Who cares if he never existed, or if he was a Roman soldier, or some random Celt. Who cares if his table was round or oblong or ovoid. What matters are the legends, the tales of knights errant, of battles lost and won,...

March 20, 2011 (Updated: May 08, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
A young faery must save her home!

Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore, is a little gem of a book. It is as fresh in its re-imagining of the fairy, sorry, faery world as other recent fairy novels like The Night Fairy and Violet Wings. And like those books, despite being about faeries (whose image...

March 20, 2011
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Reissued ebook version of 1975 New York Times' Outstanding Children's Book of the Year

Dragon, Dragon by John Gardner, was the New York Times Childrens Book of the Year in 1975. It has recently been re-released in e-book format, and a good thing too. A slim volume of four funny, surprising fairy tales, this book is equally wonderful in 2011 as it was in...

March 14, 2011
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
A remarkable group of young inventors change the course of history (and eat lots of nice food)

In The Atomic Weight of Secrets, or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch, a group of remarkable children must become masters and mistresses of their own fates, while inexplicable, somewhat vague grown-ups hover around the edges. (Sound familiar? I suspect many children, even if...

February 09, 2011
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Dragons, Dungeons, Magic and Mayhem

Aldwyns Academy, a companion novel to A Practical Guide to Wizardry, will feel very familiar to Dungeons and Dragons aficionados, which is exactly the point. A young wizard, Dorian Ravensmith is already a disappointment to his accomplished and clever mother who wishes he had better control of his innate power....

February 06, 2011
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Don't Call Them Fairies!

Thirteen-year-old Mellie likes to think about things logically. She likes information to be ordered, precise and factual. She does not like imaginative leaps of fancy, and she really does not like fairies. Which are not real. Not even Fidius, the fairy who lived with her for several years when she...

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