Reviews written by Angela Blount, Staff Reviewer

272 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
January 10, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Lore for All

A middle-range Middle Grade fantasy romp, written for enthusiastic gamers while remaining accessible to the Minecraft unfamiliar. The worldbuilding is simplistic, and the story itself is presented with a balance of humor and heart. Note: This is my first Minecraft book. I've only played the game for...

January 06, 2022 (Updated: January 06, 2022)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Siege. Sorcery. Sourdough.

An absolute delight. <3 This is Middle-Grade/YA fantasy at its most accessible and well-paced. Kingfisher manages just the right balance of likeably flawed characters, tongue-in-cheek humor, and dire stakes. She even worked in the consistent themes of not relying on the people "in charge" to...

January 05, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Semi-Modern Folklore

Based loosely around the legend of the Celtic water horse, the entirety of this book takes place on a small, fictional island called Thisby--set somewhere in the Atlantic ocean off from the British isles. With a small population reliant on tourism, Thisby hosts an annual November race that pits mythical...

October 03, 2021
Overall rating
 
3.5
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Young Adult Nonfiction
A Timely Collection

This is a quick perusing read--the whole collection coming in at about 99 pages, with poems ranging from just 4 or 5 short lines all the way up to 2 1/2 pages with fairly dense coverage. Thakur is a young United Kingdom based poet with a...

September 13, 2020
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Defying Extinction

A vividly descriptive Middle-Grade work with an ecological focus--enriched by elements of music, friendship, and atypical neurology. When her parents get busy with work, Canadian-born Louisa is shipped off to spend the summer with an uncle she's never met--in the Tarkine forests of Tasmania. Initially, Louisa is...

September 10, 2020
Overall rating
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
3.0
Brain Stimulation

The book sets expectations a bit high by touting the claim of unique puzzles for all skill levels, with a subtitle that promises to aim for a "superior mind." Fairly sturdy for a paperback, this is indeed a varied collection. There are at least twelve distinct types...

September 04, 2020
Overall rating
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
3.0
Young Adult Nonfiction
A Story of Bullying and Loss

A (quasi-creative?) non-fiction graphic novel, aimed at a Middle Grade or lower YA audience. It addresses the topic of bullying and teen suicide from a very personal angle. Art-wise, the cover is probably my favorite aspect. The style makes good use to contrast and a semi-muted...

August 26, 2020
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A Solid Continuation

Strap in, sci-fi fans. This series continuation goes off-world and ups the ante to a galactic scale. Blessedly, Sanderson's second installment doesn't suffer from the slump of second-book-syndrome. Although it DOES pluck our heroine completely out of her element and sends her on an espionage mission into...

July 14, 2020
Overall rating
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
An Oratory Introduction

A compilation of excerpts from fifteen noteworthy speeches, selected from across American history. The chosen pieces represent great variety, stretching as far back as George Washington and reaching as close to modernity as Hilary Clinton. And though a number of obvious classic choices are named (Lincoln's Gettysburg...

June 25, 2020
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
The Series Prequel

A prequel and an origin story; in more ways than one. It becomes easy to see why this book has sometimes been placed as the first in the seven-book series. But personally, I like it where it is--retroactively answering questions the reader may or...

May 17, 2020 (Updated: May 28, 2020)
Overall rating
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
2.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Young Adult Nonfiction
A DC Starter

An alternate reality take on the Super Sons series, featuring the middle-school aged offspring of Batman and Superman. When "climate disruption" threatens coastal cities, both boys are displaced. And with their fathers busy off trying to save the planet in their own ways, they get caught somewhere between school bullies...

April 12, 2020 (Updated: April 12, 2020)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Old Kingdom--New Adventure

Nix dives back into the Abhorsen series with the same quality and intrigue we’ve come to expect from this world built on Charter and Free Magic. (And thanks to the addition of two finely detailed black-and-white maps at the front, the worldbuilding is expanded in more than one sense.) ...

April 01, 2020
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Sorrow and Joy

Both heart-wrenching and soul-soothing, this vibrantly illustrated story is a sort of basic introduction to the concept and impact of losing someone close to you. An unnamed little girl opens by taking us through the seasons and all the adventures she's had with her beloved grandfather. Long...

March 09, 2020
Overall rating
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Young Adult Nonfiction
A Historical Memoir

This graphic novel is an early life personal account of a major historical event (the internment of Japanese Americans durring WW2), and a present-day retrospective analysis. Format-wise it jumps back and forth, giving it a sense that's part memoir and part TED Talk. George is just 5 years old when...

January 22, 2020
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Neo Wonder Woman

I snapped this one up because I love Wonder Woman, and I much appreciated Leigh Bardugo's adept writing in Six of Crows. (I know shameless fandom pandering when I see it, but I found this one harder to resist than others in this vein.) Disclaimer:...

272 results - showing 1 - 15
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