Book Review of Fablehaven (Book #1) by Brandon Mull

fablehaven book #1 by Brandon Mull
I have to admit that this one took me awhile to get into. I didn’t love it at first. However, I think it has a lot of potential! My friend told me I have to read book #2 and that I’ll for sure be hooked after I read that one. I’ll let you know. I do think it’s an interesting and unique concept, and I’m interested to see what happens to Kendra and Seth later on in the series.
 

Blurb:

“For centuries mystical creatures were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary is one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite…Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven.
 
Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother must face the greatest challenge of their lives to save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world.”
 

My Book Review:

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. It was good and entertaining, but it didn’t capture me from the beginning. It didn’t seem “real,” which is funny because it’s fantasy, but that’s how I felt. It was good, clean reading, and it would be a good read-aloud for younger children. I do know some people that LOVED this book, so it may just be me. I think I will read the rest of the series because I know my children will want to read them and I like to preview books before they read them.  I would recommend it for when you want to read a book and don’t really want to think, just be entertained.

It is an interesting concept that fantastical beings are all around us, but we can’t see them. We see butterflies instead of fairies, goats instead of satyrs, and so forth. Hmmm…what else is out there that we’re missing out on? Kendra and Seth are good characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I definitely relate more to Kendra because she is a rule follower like me. The character development is well done, and I like the uniqueness of the story.

Content Rating PGContent Rating: PG (There are a few kind of scary parts and some gory parts. There isn’t any profanity or “physical intimacy.”)

Age Recommendation: Middle Graders (4th-6th) and up. It would be a fun read-aloud for 2nd-3rd graders too.

My Rating: 3/5

3 Star Rating

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2PQZWRW

 

      Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

      Janitors (Book #1) by Tyler Whitesides   Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold (Book #1) by M.L. Forman   Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

 

This book review was first published on 4/5/10. Updated on 10/22/18.

Review of Six Sisters’ Stuff Copycat Cooking Cookbook

Copycat Cooking by Six Sisters' Stuff

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Book Review of Copycat Cooking by Six Sisters' Stuff

I have reviewed a few of the Six Sisters’ Stuff cookbooks, and I have favorite recipes from each one. Their recipes are usually easy to prepare, turn out great, and I most likely have all the ingredients in my pantry. I’m super excited for this one because it includes some of my favorite restaurant dishes. You know, the ones where you’re saying, “I could make this!” And then you don’t because you’re really not sure how to? Well, they’ve got you covered! Without further ado, I introduce you to your new favorite cookbook: Copycat Cooking by Six Sisters’ Stuff.
 

Blurb:

 
“The popular Six Sisters’ Stuff bloggers come to the rescue with a new collection of more than 100 easy-to-make recipes of popular restaurant dishes and take-out favorites for busy families.
 
With more than fifty recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less, this cookbook can help you make meal planning a breeze as you  mix-and-match side dishes from one restaurant with main courses from another and finish it off with a dessert from a third.
 
Save money while spending more time with your family. Change dining-out to dining-in for a memorable experience your whole family will enjoy.
 
Includes copycat recipes for Texas Roadhouse Cactus Blossom, Panda Express Orange Chicken, Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan, Disneyland Monte Cristo Sandwich, Chili’s Molton Hot Lava Cake, Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcakes, and Universal Studios Butterbeer. “

 

My Book Review:

Ummmm……yummy! I’m so excited for this cookbook! It has recipes for some of my favorite restaurant dishes. And you know what? They’re actually doable! I could make these! They’re not too time consuming, they don’t have a million tricky steps, and they include ingredients that I can pronounce. I have most of the ingredients in my pantry already, or I know which isle they’re on in the the grocery store. It’s so refreshing to find good, easy recipes that my family will love and that I can actually prepare.

Here are some of my favorites (photo credits: amazon.com):

 

Mmmmmm!!! I love me some Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan! I can’t wait to try this one! And look, only five ingredients. I can handle this one! This is my husband’s favorite dish at Olive Garden, so he’ll be very excited!

 

Although I’ve never tried Disneyland’s Dole Whip Floats, I’ve heard they’re amazing. This one will be fun! I’ve never tried this Freckled Lemonade either, but I LOVE strawberry lemonade so I can’t wait to try it.

 

Chili’s Molten Lava Cake is one of my favorite restaurant desserts. Seriously. It’s sooooo good!!! I love how the melty chocolate and the ice cream melt together. Mmmmmm! This is making me hungry and it’s 7:30 in the morning! Now I need a chocolate fix. I’ll need to make this dessert this weekend!

As you can see, the Six Sisters have done it again! Copycat Cooking by Six Sisters’ Stuff is a fun, practical, and delicious cookbook that will make your whole family happy. Even the picky eaters will find new favorites. If those pics didn’t convince you, how about a few of these:

  • Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate
  • Chick-Fil-A Frosted Lemonade (One of my favorites!)
  • Nestlé Tollhouse Cookie Pie
  • The Cheesecake Factory Oreo Dream Cheesecake (Yes, please!)
  •  Cafe Rio Steak Salad
  • Applebee’s Honey Grilled Salmon
  • Kneaders Chicken Bacon Avocado Sandwich
  • Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
  • Disneyland Clam Chowder

And the list goes on and on and on… Need I say more? This would be a fantastic birthday or bridal shower gift, or just a fun addition to your cookbook collection. We’ll be having fun with this one for a long time!

Want to buy Copycat Cooking by Six Sisters’ Stuff? Click on the image:

Content Rating GRating: G 

Recommendation: Everyone from the littlest chefs to the professional ones!

My Rating: 4.5/5

4.5 Star Rating

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

 Six-Sisters-Stuff-A-Year-with Six-Sisters-Stuff  celebrate-every-season-six-sisters-325x325
 
 

[Book Review] Celebrate Every Season With Six Sisters’ Stuff Cookbook

Celebrate Every Season with Six Sisters' Stuff

[Book Review] Celebrate Every Season With Six Sisters' Stuff Cookbook by Six Sisters' Stuff

Blurb:

“From New Year’s Eve to Christmas Day, there is always a good reason to celebrate! Whether you’re highlighting a favorite holiday of the month, hosting a party, planning a summer picnic outing, or simply wanting to create a few family memories, Celebrate Every Season with Six Sisters’ Stuff is the perfect one-stop resource for great food, new traditions, and family fun. Every month includes flavorful and delicious recipes as well as fun, fast, and easy ideas for celebrating the season with your family, from hosting a ‘New Year’s Eve Family Countdown’ to ‘A Summer Bucket List of 50 Fun Things to Do’ to ’12 Days of Hot Cocoa for Christmas.’ Along with some of the Sisters’ most popular recipes are all-new creations for refreshing beverages, delicious snacks, succulent entrees, and decadent desserts. So invite the Six Sisters to your next celebration with this low-stress, go-to guide that can help your family enjoy every month of the year.”
 

My Review:

I have reviewed a couple of the Six Sisters’ Stuff cookbooks, and I have to say, I think this one may be my favorite! It’s such a fun idea for a cookbook! There are fun recipes for New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Summertime, Back to School kid favorites, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! One thing I love about Six Sisters’ Stuff recipes is that they are real. Right? They use ingredients that I know, and I usually have them in my pantry. There’s none of the “What is that?” recipe frustration. I can’t wait to try some of these out! I’m going to start on the Christmas recipes this week! Chocolate Reindeer Cookies, Christmas Tree Brownies, and Egg Nog French Toast, need I say more? I love that at the end of each category there is a page or two of fun traditions. For example, at the end of the Christmas recipes the tradition is “12 Days of Hot Cocoa.” What?? I LOVE hot cocoa. Seriously love it. I know I’m too late to do all 12 days, but I’m starting that this morning for sure! Raspberry Hot Chocolate, Caramel Hot Chocolate, S’mores Hot Chocolate, Candy Cane Hot Chocolate…I think I’m in Heaven! And then after next week I can plan my family’s New Year’s Eve party. On New Year’s we usually have what we deem our “Processed Food Extravaganza.” We go to Costco and buy all the processed stuff we don’t buy the rest of the year: corndogs, egg rolls, chicken nuggets, pigs in a blanket, french fries, you name it! Then yes, we totally pig-out! This year, however, we may need to break tradition and try these yummy Shrimp Taco Bites, Sweet Polynesian Meatballs, Cowboy Caviar, and the Snowmen on a Stick. Or better yet, does anyone want to make them and invite me over? I am excited to delve into this cookbook! 


Click the link below for a cute, short video about this fun cookbook!  
https://www.facebook.com/ShadowMountainPublishing/videos/1879585068737568/ 

Content Rating G

Rating: G (Clean!)

Recommendation: Everyone!

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
 

Also by Six Sisters’ Stuff:

A Year With Six Sisters' Stuff Cookbook by Six Sisters' Stuff   Six Sisters' Stuff Cookbook by Six Sisters' Stuff
 
 

 

 
 

Simplify Supper

Simplify Supper
by
Krista Numbers

Blurb:
“From her grandfather Salvatore Granato’s roots in Southern Italy to the legacy of her family’s beloved Italian deli in the heart of Salt Lake City, Krista Numbers has a deep-seated love for good food. In Simplify Supper, this busy wife and mother proves that simple can be satisfying as she dishes up dozens of delectable dinners. According to Krista, “Some of the best recipes are a simple combination of fresh and flavorful ingredients made with care and served with love.” From a few of her family’s best-loved Italian meals to fast feasts with an international flair, discover quick comfort foods you’ll want at the heart of your dinner table, such as
-Angel Hair Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce
-Smoked Turkey Panini with Pears and Blue Cheese
-Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
-Teriyaki Chicken with Ginger Rice
In addition to her collection of simple and satisfying meals, Krista shares personal anecdotes, sanity-saving kitchen tips, and suggestions for making family dinner a time for good food and good conversation. No matter the occasion, there is a recipe here to help you get a delicious supper on the table, pronto.”
My Review:
You have to know that I’m an ok cook. If I have a good recipe I may be able to make a decent meal. I like fast and easy (think grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup), and there can’t be any crazy ingredients. I know I won’t go out of my way to find one strange ingredient. I’ll either not put that ingredient in, or I’ll make something different. So I’m definitely in need of simple recipes. These recipes all look delicious. Some of them look simple; some of them don’t. Last night for dinner I made the “Easy Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches.” They were actually really good! The recipe wasn’t difficult. It was definitely the first time I’ve gone to the deli counter to ask for sliced roast beef, but it won’t be the last! The meat was easy to prepare, and the cream cheese was the perfect touch. It added a lot of creaminess. I will for sure be making them again-even the kiddos liked them! My 13 year-old doesn’t like green peppers, but he admitted that “in this particular instance” the green peppers tasted good. Yay! There were lots of dishes that I wanted to try. The sloppy joes looked really good, as did the enchiladas and the different pastas. There are even some delectable desserts. I was a little disappointed that there were a couple of things that if I did them it would definitely make my life less simplified. For example, buying dried pasta in a bag is very simple. Making my own pasta = not simple. Eating my sister-in-law’s homemade tamales = simple. Making my own tamales = not simple. I guess it would simplify the ingredients, and for someone who has time and enjoys doing it, go for it! (And then call me-I’ll be right over!)  I, however, will not be trying those recipes. Now, the Italian Sodas or the Sopaipillas, yes, I will for sure be trying those! I also enjoyed her little snippets of info. throughout the book. She has advice on hosting, things you need to have in your kitchen, how to plate your dishes, and even a bit of info. on salt. Yep, who knew salt could be interesting? I’m excited to try more of these recipes!
Rating: Clean!
Recommendation: Everyone

A Year With Six Sister’s Stuff

A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff: 52 Menu Plans, Recipes, and Ideas To Bring Families Together 
(Summary taken from the inside book cover) “What’s for dinner?” Three words every mom dreads. Don’t panic! The Six Sisters are here to help you answer that question. The sisters have gathered together more than 150 of their most popular recipes for entrees, side dishes, and desserts and have combined them into 52 stress-free menus of perfectly prepared three-course meals. Filled with delicious tried-and-true family favorites and oh-so-easy-to-make dishes, A Year with Six Sisters’ Stuff features all-new recipes using basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Each menu is designed to make your dinner plans as easy as possible–and with such wide variety and a photograph accompanying every recipe in the book, you can easily mix and match menus to create a year’s worth of dinner ideas. In addition, the Sisters share some of their favorite family dinner traditions and crafts, as well as 52 dinner conversation starters, a list of pantry staples, and, food storage plan for beginners. So, what’s for dinner? Whatever you’d like.”
Oh, how I love these six sisters! They have saved many a dinner time for me! I reviewed their previous cookbook, and some of those recipes have become new family favorites. I make them all the time. I was really excited to get this new book and try some more recipes! I love the format of this book. It is different from the last one in that the recipes are combined into three courses. So, there’s usually an entree, a side, and a dessert. Sometimes instead of a dessert there’s a fun slush or dip. It’s great. I also love the extras that come in this book. The 52 conversation starters are fun. For example, number 13 asks, “Which character in a book best describes you and why?” There are instructions for a DIY chalk menu board and a list of staples you should have in your pantry. I love the idea for a “Thankful Tablecloth” and I will definitely be doing it with my families at Thanksgiving this year! One idea that is not really healthy, but super fun, and the kids will absolutely love, is the “Crazy Dinner” tradition. On Thanksgiving Eve, mom is cooked-out. She has been working, and will continue to work very hard to get Thanksgiving dinner ready. To give her a break, everyone gets $5 and you head to the grocery store. Each person gets to purchase whatever food they want with their $5, and that is what you have for dinner. The sisters say that one of them picked a frozen pizza, another picked “crab dip, chicken nuggets, French bread, waffles, chocolate cake.” Crazy and random, right? Once a year is good for this tradition, but we may need to try it out one time. I made the “Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken,” and it was very good. I’ve been making my mom’s Teriyaki chicken for as long as I can remember, and everyone loves it. Well, don’t tell my mom, but I’ll probably be making this version from now on. It is so good! It didn’t turn out sticky, but that is most likely the cook’s error. The taste was divine, and I’m glad I put in an extra chicken breast because we ate it all! I’ve also made the “Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas,” and they are fabulous. Are you hungry yet? Just listen to these names: Layered Peanut Butter Brownies, Twix Caramel Popcorn, Balsamic Asparagus, Crunchy Black Bean Tacos, Butterfinger Blondies, Creamy Chicken Lasagna, and on, and on, and on. Yummy, right? Yay! I’m so excited to continue trying these new recipes out. I love adding new favorites to our list!
Rating: G (Clean and Delicious!)
Recommendation: Great for everyone!
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Six Sisters’ STUFF: Family Recipes, Fun Crafts, and So Much More!

Six Sisters’ STUFF: Family Recipes, Fun Crafts, and So Much More! by Six Sisters (Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra)

(Summary taken from the press release) “In their debut cookbook, the sisters (yes, six biological sisters–Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra) show families just how simple putting dinner on the table can be. From Baked Chicken Fajitas to Slow Cooker Pot Roast Sliders to Mini Oreo Cheesecakes, Six Sisters’ STUFF has nearly 100 easy-to-follow recipes that use ingredients commonly found in your pantry. Each recipe includes easy-to-follow instructions and photographs that eliminate any guess work.”

I have been making recipes from the Six Sisters’ website for a long time. They have some very yummy recipes! So when I got the chance to review their new cookbook, I jumped at the chance! I haven’t had the opportunity to make many of the recipes in the cookbook yet, but I did go through the entire book, page by page, and I can’t wait to get started. I want to try the “Cheesy Vegetable Soup,” the “Baked Ziti,” the “Baked Chicken Bacon Ranch Taquitos,” and the “Smores Bars” today, tomorrow, the next day…….All of the recipes look family-friendly and fairly easy to prepare. I think I already have most of the ingredients I saw in my pantry or fridge, so I should be good to go! The instructions are easy to understand, and something even I should be able to handle. Yay!

Surprise! There are not only recipes in this book, but crafts and other tidbits as well. There is a cute wooden snowman, a wreath, a sock puppet, an ice cream cone pinata, a kid sprinkler car wash, and a bunch more. There is also some really good information like putting together 72 hour kits, a 14 Days of Valentine’s Day for your spouse, and one that I will be using shortly (if spring ever comes….)–a spring cleaning guide. What more could you want? This book is the Everything-Family manual. It’s a lot of fun, and I am excited to jump in and make some stuff!

The Six Sisters think it is very important that families eat dinner together, and they hope this book makes it easier for families to do just that. They are launching a 4×4 Dinner Challenge in conjunction with the release of their book, and are hoping families will go to their website www.SixSistersStuff.com and register. You will receive meal tips, ideas for family activites, and helpful recipes to assist in making this challenge a reality.

They are also doing a book giveaway. To enter, you need to either:

1) Like the Six Sister’s STUFF facebook page and comment that you are joining the 4×4 Dinner Challenge https://www.facebook.com/SixSistersStuff

2) Click the 4×4 Family dinner banner on the website www.SixSistersStuff.com (on the right sidebar) and
leave a comment that you are joining the challenge.
 
I loved looking through this cookbook and will definitely be spending a lot of time with it in the weeks to come. There will be lots of new dinners to try for sure! And, I think the crafts are easy enough that I (completely non-crafty) will be able to do them.
 
Rating: G (Clean!)
 
Recommendation: Everyone
 
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Light Bridge Legacy (#1) Destiny’s Call

The Light Bridge Legacy (#1) Destiny’s Call by Elayne G. James

(Summary taken from an email the publisher sent me) ” [Destiny’s Call] is book one in a YA series that chronicles the adventures of an
American girl who learns just before her twelfth birthday that she has been
chosen by a race of ancients in Peru to inherit the most powerful magical
object in the world. Her move from the Mojave Desert to NYC in book one,
parallels her inner journey from sheltered little girl to self-assured young
woman, and her growing magical abilities intermittently aid her and get her in
trouble. The
underlining themes of overcoming fear and embracing who you really are, will
resonate with anyone who has had to overcome adversity while trying to find
their place in the world.”


I really enjoyed this book. It took me by surprise and hooked me from the beginning. I liked Ms. James’ writing style. I thought it flowed well, was easy to read and understand, and had just enough mystery to keep me reading. It was  a little confusing, at times, because some of the characters have unusual names, and there are some fantastical words introduced. It took me awhile to get the hang of some of it, but once I did, I read it quickly. It is fantasy, which I like, and there are some different worlds that brush paths. Not alien-like. I don’t do aliens, usually, but this is different than that. I liked the characters a lot. I especially liked Ani and Kahete. I liked the parents at the beginning, but didn’t like the dad at all towards the end of the book. I’m still not sure what I think of CJ. Sometimes I liked her and sometimes I didn’t. I felt bad for her and her circumstances, but didn’t approve of a lot of what she did. I found Kahete intriguing and wished there had been more about him.  Sophia also intrigued me. I wanted to know more about her, and her magic, as well. I liked the story and thought the lesson of finding yourself in a big world was very pertinent to today. I didn’t like the decision that Ani made without her father’s permission. I hope that doesn’t give any young adults reason to make similar decisions. I worried about it when I read it, but then when I started to think of other books I have enjoyed where younger characters make similar decisions, I felt better about it. Still, when my children read this we will definitely chat about not making that choice.

This book is fairly clean. There is some language, some stealing, and a domestic violence scene. A man attacks a 13 year-old girl. It is violent, but it is not a rape, and the girl gets out okay. She is injured, but heals fine. There are also a few sketchy choices made by Ani and CJ: disobedience, lying, that kind of thing.

The ending of this book definitely leaves you hanging. I am excited to read book #2, and I would recommend this book, with the previous warnings.

Rating: PG-13 (some language, stealing, a domestic violence scene, and some sketchy choices)

Recommendation: 13 years and up. I think a 13 year-old will be able to handle everything that happens. I would recommend that parents read it first to make sure it is appropriate for their child. Each child is different.

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Little Woody Stories

Little Woody Stories by Woody Dykes

(Summary taken from the back cover) “In a land far, far away called Wichita there was a magic street called Rutan. This street had a tree-lined tunnel that covered the sky. On this magic street lived a tribe of Indians called the Rutan Indians. These are their stories. I am the last of this tribe. These are stories of my childhood when I lived in Wichita, Kansas, on Rutan Street. I was six to eleven (I think) during this time. The stories are true and actual, to the best of my memory. I had two friends who shared most of these adventures with me–Eddie Kangus and Larry Rochillen. This was my crew. Tall Larry and Loud Mouth Eddie–the Rutan Indians. These stories are called “Little Woody Stories” by my family and friends. ~Woody Dykes”

This book reminds me of stories my grandparents would tell me when I was growing up, especially my grandpa. Some of them are very funny and some of them make me cringe (like the one where he jumps off the roof with the red spring shoes on). They also remind me of stories my dad would tell of things he did growing up, and yes, some of them remind me of things I may have done (but don’t tell my kids…..). It’s fairly well written and I like Mr. Dykes’ humor. It’s a fast, easy read (I think it took me less than an hour), and is ok for the older elementary-age kids. I had my son, who is in 5th grade, read it, and he liked it as well. He also read it quickly and the only thing I was concerned about was him getting some not-so-good ideas from the stories. We had to look up the definition of mercurochrome and google “Kit candies,” but it was great to turn a fun story into a teaching moment. I like the “Lessons Learned” bit at the end of each story. This is a fun book and would be fun as a read-a-loud as well.

Rating: PG (Just don’t get any ideas……) I had to tell my son that if I ever found a hole cut in our roof he wouldn’t leave his bedroom….ever….

Recommendation: 4th or 5th grade and up. Parents may want to read it first to see if it is appropriate for their child. And, if nothing else, it may bring back some fun childhood memories.

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Last Olympian

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson #5) by Rick Riordan

(Summary taken from the back book cover) “All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time. In this momentous final book…the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.”

I have loved all of these books, especially since I have been reading them aloud to my boys. Even though they are 10 and 8, I love reading to them, and I like to hope that they still enjoy it as well. These books have all been action-packed and fun, and this one was no exception. There were the usual characters plus a few new ones, and I enjoyed seeing how the series came together in the end. I thought it ended well and my boys liked it, except for the kissing scene (oohhhh-I won’t tell you who was kissing), which I think they liked but they won’t admit it. Hahaha. There were some good twists and turns in the storyline, and some surprises. Some of it was a little predictable as well, but not enough to make us dislike it. There was a little more violence in this book, and some of it was a bit graphic, but it was a war for Western civilization, so it was expected.

I still love that Mr. Riordan can take mythology and make it so fun. My boys know so much more about mythology than I ever did at their age. I took a mythology class in college……

I highly recommend this series! It is fun with a bit of hidden education in it, which I love.

Rating: PG+ (Lots of fighting, especially against monsters, some main characters die, no language, and a kissing scene)

Recommendation: 3rd grade and up. If your child has read the previous ones then he/she should be fine with this one. It is a little more violent, but my third grader did fine with it. I still recommend a mythology lesson with these books, if they are not being read aloud.

1378 Oak Street

1378 Oak Street by Lovely Whitmore

(Summary taken from www.amazon.com)

Kid’s today don’t know how to play… Growing up in Atlanta,
Georgia in the 80’s was filled with fun, friendship and lots of adventure.
Especially for me and my siblings, on Oak Street!

We weren’t rich, but we
learned to take what we had and have fun with it. We played restaurant, made mud
pies and had barbecue chicken made out of sticks and dirt. There was never a
dull moment as we fought monsters, played chase and took turns riding one bike.
It was a time when imagination reigned supreme and dreams were the stuff of
life.

Take a walk down my memory lane. Take off your shoes, grab a cup of
lemonade and stay awhile…you’ll enjoy your visit to Oak Street. A heartwarming
story the whole family will enjoy.


This is a short novelette and it is a fun story.  I went the entire story thinking it was autobiographic, and then on the last page she says that it is fiction, and that it is loosely based on her experiences. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed, but that’s ok. It  was still fun to read. I agree with her that children do not play enough these days. I’m always kicking my kids outside. I
 
I like the tone and voice of this story. Ms. Whitmore’s writing definitely makes you feel like you are standing right there on Oak Street watching the story unfold. I related to some of her experiences, but not all of them. I shared a room with my sister, as did she, and we had some fun times together. My siblings and I also made plenty of mud pies out in the sandbox, so that was a fun memory to remember. The experiences she had with the neighbor kids were interesting. They were not very nice. Thankfully I didn’t have neighbors like that.
 
I didn’t love the ending of the story, but it was ok. It just seemed out of place, I thought, but it did have a purpose. It was fun to read about life in another part of the country.
 
Overall I enjoyed the story. I would recommend it.
 
Rating: PG (It’s clean!)
 
Recommendation: 13 and up. It is clean, but some of the subject matter might disturb some of the younger readers (They eat goat at a bbq and there is a church scene with them getting baptized at the end. Also at the end a thief runs into their house and there is a police standoff.)
 
Disclosure: I received a free book in exchange for my honest review.