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Reviews - GoodReads.com

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This is a group for library patrons and staff to review books they've read and share what they are currently reading.


Non-Fiction Reviews: (View All)

  • Mao and Me
  • Author: Chen Jiang Hong
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: Teton Co Call No: J 951.056 Chen J
    Julia's rating: 4 stars

    I've long been intrigued with the cover of this book and its placement in the library. A book about growing up in China under Mao - for children? I wondered.

    Finally, I sat down to read this curious picture book. And, I am so pleased that I did because this thoughtful, informative and sometimes sad book serves as yet another reminder that children's literature is simply not just for kids. And, that picture books may not always be aimed at the youngest of children.

    The story, written and illustrated by Chen Jiang Hong, is a memoir about the author's life growing up before, during and after Mao's Cultural Revolution. It's a beautiful story about traditions, family and survival, while also a bracing reminder about sacrifice, survival and mortality. The illustrations are magnificent, too.

    I would recommend this book for high school students - and anyone older - interested in learning about modern Chinese history. It's a brief look but one with depth and scope.
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  • Great Big Book of Children's Games
  • Author: Debra Wise
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: J 796 Wise D.

    Kay's rating: 3.5 stars

    This is a good resource for parents, grandparents and early childhood & elementary teachers. The games included in this book will get children moving and will take them outdoors; perfect for summer time fun.
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Fiction Reviews:(View All)

  • The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1)
  • Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
  • User Rating: 4
  • Review: TCL CALL #: J PLAYAWAY BOSCH P

    Chris’s Rating: 3.5 Stars
    The only thing worse than not knowing a secret is—knowing one. This story follows two kids, Cassandra (whom we assume is a survivalist) and Max-Ernest (who might be quite the talker)…Really it must be put in the above terms, because although something like the story must have happened, names and details (perhaps even personalities) were probably changed to protect the children’s identities…for this book is most definitely centered around a secret…a secret the author is only telling because he (I assume he’s a he) can’t keep a secret. Anyways, the two children try to find the reasons behind the death of a magician, the book of smells, and the kidnapping of a social outcast from their school. In doing so they run into an ancient society seeking the secret to immortality…for themselves…not for the children, whom they’d as soon knock off it they pose a threat to their plans.
    If you need your book to have plenty of details and reasoning behind it…this is not the book for you. The secret book is perhaps a mix of A Series of Unfortunate Events (Snicket) and the Alcatraz Smedley (Sanderson). The author begins by letting us know that anything and maybe everything that is written has been changed (because it must be kept a secret) but that is surely happened as it really did. While the author interruptions and lack of detail on some points is sometimes annoying, it can be appealing at the same time. I listened to the recorded MP3 version and the reader did a great job. The book (and corresponding series) is likely to appeal to 9-12 year old readers who like mystery (with randomness) and puzzles.
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  • Sidekicks (Sidekicks, #1)
  • Author: Dan Danko
  • User Rating: 3
  • Review: TCL CALL #: J SHORT CHAPTER DANKO D

    Chris’s Rating: 3 Stars
    Guy Martin aims at being a real super hero. As the fastest person in the world (with a top speed at 92.7 miles per hour) he has potential; but first he must deal with having a crush on a girl who doesn’t know he exists, while being sidekick to the mighty Pumpkin Pete, the superhero with all the powers of a pumpkin! When the League of Big Justice is attacked and most of the superheroes go missing (many of the sidekicks are also taken shortly after), Guy (aka Speedy) must track them down and save the day.
    This book is one to be read for laughs more than for the actual story. The plot has been rehashed time and time again, but the spoofy nature of the writing is quite farfetched and fun. It is a short book, so can be read very quickly and is likely to appeal to Reluctant Readers. Half the Superheroes, Supervillains, and sidekicks have utterly useless abilities (adding to the humor), and the conclusion, while funny in its own way, is not very conclusive. Best for young readers ages 8-11 who like zany superhero action that is more silly than serious.
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