Let Your Spirits Soar: A Review of Catherine, Called Birdy

When someone says “Middle Ages,” what do you think of? Dashing princes on white stallions and blonde princesses in long blue gowns? Or maybe peasants that cheer as their lady and lord ride through the streets? In any case, most people aren’t likely to think of a freezing stone mansion, a young troublemaking lady, and…

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Magnum Opus: A Review of The Mysterious Benedict Society Trilogy

Many people, if not all, know the saying “Never judge a book by its cover.” A couple years ago, I had resolved never to judge a book by its cover. I was pretty sure that I had followed that rule—until now. You see, a few years ago a friend gave us a book. Unfortunately, the…

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A Wonderful Surprise: A Review of The Bronze Bow

Strangely, when I picked up The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare, I was as skeptical as when I picked up The Witch of Blackbird Pond, also by Speare—but both books wonderfully surprised me! Always trust Speare’s books to have unassuming covers and astounding contents.  The Bronze Bow is a story about a young man…

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From Simple to Sinister: A Review of And Then There Were None

I used to think that nursery rhymes were silly, simple, and annoying. They rang in my head, over and over: Little Jack Horner and Little Miss Muffet and Humpty Dumpty and Little Bo Beep. Why would I “waste my time” reading nursery rhymes? But after reading And Then There Were None, my perspective changed. I…

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Beautiful Simplicity: A Review of The Good Master 

When I visited Budapest last year, we took a ferryboat to see the Danube River. I loved looking down at the Danube from the boat. Its waters were fresh, dark and magical. When I looked up from the river, I saw Budapest’s Statue of Liberty on a hill: a young girl standing against the wind,…

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The New Symbol of Friendship: A Review of Holes

When I bit into a raw onion, my taste buds were met by an explosion of different flavors. At first, the onion was sweet. All of a sudden an outburst of bitterness attacked my mouth. The back of my throat felt like a porcupine was ramming it. I coughed and spluttered, and my sister shot…

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A Fight to Put It Down: A Review of The Alliance

Is it possible to have paradise on Earth, a place where there is no anger, war, or pain? Your immediate reply will probably be “no,” and I’m pretty sure you’re right. However, if you were a citizen of Shalev, you might think otherwise. What is Shalev? Only a fictional city, built after a world that…

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A Realization: A Review of The Book Thief

A few days ago I was pacing in front of our friend’s two bookshelves and wondering which book to read (don’t worry, our friends had granted me permission to read their books) when a familiar book caught my eye. I took the book from the shelf and glanced through it. I approved it, my mother…

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The Six Robinson Crusoes: A Review of Swallows and Amazons

My “Aunt” Rhiannon (she’s not really my aunt, but she is so nice that I consider her one) has always told me to read this book. I finally acquired it, and have decided that “Aunt” Rhiannon made no mistake in recommending it to me. Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome, is a story about four…

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