Category: Boys fiction


ascendance 1 asendance 2

Synopsis:  In the kingdom of Carthya, a royal prince is missing.  A fiendish plot finds the royal family dead (although no one knows it yet) and four pretenders trying for the crown.  Full of twists and turns that leave the reader learning secrets as fast as the characters, this is a great plot with a lot of action and intrigue.  In the second book, the character who becomes king must save his country from the pirates in a most unusual way.

Ben:  This book had me looking back several times because the main character revealed things I hadn’t noticed earlier.  The plot was good and very engaging with a twist at the end.  At the very end you get the “wait, what!” factor that makes you read the whole book again.

Mom:  I love a good action plot that is clean and focuses on great writing, not shock value.  This book really makes you think about the plot and how you could have missed certain things.  I love the way that the main character, Sage, hides his thoughts from the reader and almost from himself, so you have to reconstruct your perspective several times.  Clever and engaging!

Advertisements

cjj not readingcjj extra credit

Synposis:  Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading and Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit, by Tommy Greenwald, report the hilarious adventures of Charlie, who will stop at nothing to avoid reading a book or studying to get good grades.  Charlie is in middle school, with all the usual social pressures and parental problems.  But he creates more trouble for himself by refusing to do any actual work.  The chapters are short, the lists of tips are really funny and this is an easy read.

Ben:  An awesome book- perfect for the reluctant reader.  This book is funny because of so many different reasons.  Also, it feels pretty real with all the same things that happen in middle school.  Just try reading only 5 pages-it won’t work.  You have to read the whole thing.

Mom:  Usually this type of  book feels fake to me, but I thought Greenwald perfectly captured how it feels to be a tween boy.  I laughed out loud more than once.  There is a lot here to appeal to reluctant readers.  I found nothing inappropriate, although some of the situations were uncomfortably real.  Hand this book to any middle-school boy you know!  (The girls will love it too!)

wings of fire wings of fire2

Wings of Fire:  The Dragonet Prophecy (Book One) and Wings of Fire:  The Lost Heir (Book Two)

Synopsis:  Wings of Fire is a fantasy novel in a world populated by dragons.  Humans play a minor role as scavengers, but dragons rule.  Five dragons were prophesied to end the war between the different dragon tribes.  The Talons of Peace work to make that prophecy come true by stealing five dragon eggs and raising the resulting dragonets underground and in secret.  Book one follows the dragonets as they make their escape into the world.  It is written from the perspective of Clay, the mudwing dragonet.  Book two is in the voice of Tsumani, the seawing dragon, who discovers that she is the lost heir of Coral, the seawing queen.

Ben:  One of my favorite series ever!   It was awesome and I loved it.  My favorite part was the fact that it was so different from any other book I read.

Rachel:  I enjoyed this book.  It was one of the best books I ever read.  I read it in an afternoon.  It is a page-turner.  My favorite part is the whole entire book!

Mom:  I didn’t expect to like this series as much as I did.  Ben and Rachel insisted that I read them and I’m glad they did.  They were funny and engaging and the plots had lots of twists and turns.  There was some violence, but nothing graphic.  I think middle-grade and junior high kids would enjoy these books.  The third book in the series comes out in June – we can’t wait.

templeton

Synopsis:  John and Abigail Templeton are 12-year old twins who are smart and inventive, although in different ways.  Their father, a professor and inventor,  runs into a enemy bent on stealing one of his inventions and kidnapping his children.  John and Abigail have other ideas.  The real star of the show, though, is the narrator, who describes himself as wonderful, exciting, fantastic, and amazing.  If you are a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians or Pseudonymous Bosch’s The Name of This Book is Secret, you will love this book.

Matthew:  I really liked this book. My favorite part was definitely the sarcastic narrator who kept the book interesting. It took him three chapters just to get the book started!

Mom:  I haven’t laughed like this in a long time!  My favorite part was the “review” questions at the end of each chapter.  This book was absolutely clever.  It didn’t feel heavy-handed or awkward the way some books written in this style do.  I think it would be very accessible for fourth-grade and up.

InfinityRing-book2-flatcover

Synopsis:  Dak, Sera and Riq are back, but this time they are facing Vikings!  The break in time occurs in the 800’s in Paris, when the French were facing attack from a group of invading Vikings advancing up the River Seine.  Through a series of misadventures, the trio find themselves separated and on opposing sides of the battle.  Sera finds a touch of romance, while Dak explores a real Viking ship.

Matthew:  I really enjoyed this book.  The cool feature that I’ve rarely seen in other books, is that you can download an app to go along with the book.  It is a really cool game.  I enjoyed the app and the book quite a book.  I would highly recommend this series!

Gasp!  Dad read this too!  His comment:  Great story with a lot of action.  It had some surprising twists and turns.  Just when you thought it was over, something unexpected happened.

Mom:  I wasn’t sure how this series would change with a change of author.  I was disappointed with 39 Clues when that happened, but this series continues to have the same standards.  No swear words or inappropriate scenes!  This was a little more violent, but not graphically so.  We are talking about Vikings, after all.  I particularly enjoyed learning more about a time in history that was unfamiliar.  The romance seems a little sudden and a little cheesy, but I don’t think that will bother many young readers.

Heros-Guide-Galley-Cover1Synopsis:  Do you think you know who Prince Charming is?  Think again!  This book tells the story of four Prince Charmings who inhabit four familiar fairytales – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Snow White.  Each Prince is his own person with very different personalities and failings and goals.  They ban together after being rejected by their respective princesses to save their kingdoms.  Fate sometimes works in their favor and sometimes  against them, with totally hilarious results.

Ben:  Totally awesome! Made me laugh so hard my family thought I was insane. I could not put this book down.  Such a great twist on the “Prince Charming” stereotype.

Matthew:  I couldn’t put it down. This has to be the best “fairy tale” I’ve ever read. All the characters have funny personalities and back stories that really add to the book.

Mom:  What a delightfully funny book!  Most fairytales only interest girls, but this one immediately caught my boys’ attention.  I laughed out loud a few times!  Everything here was respectful of marriage.  Three princes were not yet married to their princesses; one was married and happy but got really lost.  (You’ll understand when you read the book!)  I highly recommend this book – can’t wait for the sequel.

InfinityRing-book1-flatcoverSynopsis:  Infinity Ring is a series like 39 Clues, where each book has a different author.  The premise is that history has been altered by the evil SQ corporation, and needs to be put right before the world collapses into chaos.  Our heroes, Dak, Sera, and Riq, have missions from the rebel group Hystorians in which they must correct the breaks in history.  This first book sets the backstory, and lands the adventurers in the time of Christopher Columbus.  Once the book is completed, there is a separate adventure/game on the website infinityring.com involving a different time period.  Each book will have a separate bonus adventure on the web.

Matthew:  I liked the Infinity Ring series.  The plot really got my attention.  My favorite parts were actually the sarcastic remarks the characters said when they were arguing.  This book combines two of my favorite story elements: time paradoxes and humor.

Mom:  James Dashner is one of my favorite authors and he has a wonderful creative imagination.  The book was engaging and funny and a very quick read.  It almost belongs in the steampunk genre, with lots of fun changes to modern history that kids are sure to pick out.  I hope that future authors keep to the same line, with no swear words or inappropriate situations.  I spent about 2 hours playing the online game, which is set in the French Revolution.  It was somewhat challenging, but not so much that a preteen would give up in despair.  The graphics are really cool.  All in all, this is cool enough that it will tempt a reluctant reader to give it a try.

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

 

Synopsis:  Nicholas St. North is a pirate and a ruffian who turns out to have a heart of gold.  But this book isn’t just about Nicholas.  It is also about the wizard Ombric, a girl named Katherine, the man in the moon, and a fearsome villain called Pitch.  Moonbeams play a role, as well as nightmares and fearlings, with a surprise appearance from an army of yetis.

Rachel:  It was surprising that I really didn’t know everything about St. Nicholas.  This book was adventurous.  If I were a character in the book,  I’d be Katherine!

Benjamin:  I liked the book, but it was a little weird.  It was a fun book to read.  It’s not my favorite, but I really did like it.  All the references to the moon and the man in the moon made it kind of strange.  Otherwise it was an awesome book.

Mom:   I agree with Ben that this book was a little strange.  The writing was kind of uneven and the character development wasn’t the best.  However,  the ideas in this book were creative and unusual; not your standard sort of fairy tale.  If you are expecting a sappy recreation of the life of Santa Claus, forget it!  This is not that book.  I really enjoyed the fabulous illustrations, which change the whole character of the book.  This book might tempt a reluctant reader who enjoys adventures.

 

9780316206938_p0_v1_s260x420

Synopsis:  Jamie Grimm, a young comedian in a wheelchair, wants to try his luck in the “Funniest Kid in America” contest.  There is a big mystery in his past that is slowly revealed during the course of the book.  Jamie has a lot of  issues that are common to middle school kids and a cheerful courageous attitude toward life.  Written in first person,  this book contains a lot of jokes and really wonderful illustrations.

Matthew: I funny had me cracking up.  All ages will enjoy this hilarious middle school story. James Patterson has written a lot of great teen books and this was no exception. I really liked that the book was not all jokes, but also taught an important lesson.

Ben:  If you are looking for funny, come to this book.  If not, leave this book far, far away from you.  I loved it!  It was totally awesome.  The kissing part was kind of weird and I didn’t enjoy it that much, but over all the book was pretty good.

Mom:  I’m not all that into silly junior-high jokes, but I really liked the story and the mystery.  Unlike some of Patterson’s books, there is nothing objectionable here (unless you are a preteen boy and count a kiss as objectionable).  This book says a lot, subtly, about overcoming trials and troubles cheerfully and making the best of bad situations.


8100267From the  inside front cover:  A powerful secret.  A dangerous path.

Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets.  Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts.  But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him – secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny.  And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

Rigg’s birthright sets him on a path that leaves him caught between two factions, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead.  He will be forced to question everything he thinks he knows, choose who to trust, and push the limits of his talent  . . . or forfeit control of his destiny.

Matthew:  A very intriguing book, in particular the dealings with time. Card has a whole new take on the time paradox, which was confusing at first, but eventually grew to be my favorite part of the book. If you are interested in mysteries, space exploration, time exploration, and the many possibilities of evolution this is the book for you.

Mom:  Wow!  I thought about this book for a long time.  There are two separate and very different plot lines which converge at the end in a surprising way.  Unlike Card’s Enders’ Game, this has no bad language, which makes it a much more readable book.  Since the plot is so complex, I wouldn’t recommend this for younger readers.  I found it fascinating!