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Horizon (Above World)
Horizon (Above World)
by Jenn Reese
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.75
68 used & new from $0.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, April 18, 2014
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This review is from: Horizon (Above World) (Hardcover)
Oh, I loved these books so much. My son and several of his friends (girls and boys, ages 10 to 15) have loved them too. This third and final of the trilogy was just released last week and I've finished reading the series now and they are BEAUTIFUL and glorious. Far-future adventures of kids challenging the status quo to heal the world. Coming into their own, developing skills, fighting battles, and most of all finding friends who become family. Get all three of these gorgeous hardcovers (I think of them as the blue book, the red book, and the green book) and give them as a gift to every kid you know. They'll thank you for it.


Tools of the Trade Belgique 10" Hard Anodized Fry Pan
Tools of the Trade Belgique 10" Hard Anodized Fry Pan

5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite, March 16, 2013
Huh, weird... I'm seeing three terrible reviews in a row, but it's like they're talking about a different pan. Maybe they are? The handle on this one is silicone and I've always found it comfortable to the touch, even when hot. I actually came here looking to buy more pans in this line, because I've been using this 10" one for about two years for everything and it's the best frying pan I've ever had. Nonstick surface that holds up, good heat distribution, and oh yeah: comfortable handle.


Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My Head
Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My Head
by Jen Larsen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.74
109 used & new from $0.81

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, February 21, 2013
Jen Larsen is always a wildly funny writer, but for this book she gets super-real. It's about how this one time, she got weight-loss surgery and lost a full person's worth of weight? That event provides the framework for her stunningly honest portrait of depression, addictive behavior, transformation, and how it truly feels to be messed up and human. To quote one reviewer: "STRANGER HERE offers a take on weight-loss surgery that turns out to be an exploration of the deepest, darkest secrets of the human heart -- and the comedy of carrying around such an unwieldy organ." I've no doubt STRANGER HERE has got to be the best-ever book about the brutal realities of weight loss surgery; but you don't even need to be interested in that to love this smart, moving, poetic memoir of a person struggling to come to terms with herself and get a grip on her life.


The Demon Catchers of Milan
The Demon Catchers of Milan
by Kat Beyer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.42
72 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars pure pleasure, January 1, 2013
This is a really lovely book that's odd and original in ways that make it subtly haunting. You know those stories that you enjoy while you're reading, but then years down the line, you realize just how much they've stayed with you, so you can still remember the strange and delicious feeling of being "in" that story? There's so much atmosphere and great detail in this book that I felt as though I'd shared the main character's experience of being a newcomer to Italy and becoming immersed in a whole different culture. With, of course, an ancient magical subculture running through it! The book brings a vision of Milan alive for me, through its visitor's unique outsider/insider view. I love the wonderful sense of family in here too, a rootless American teen discovering her roots in the old country, along with a varied and tight-knit bunch of relatives she'd never known she had. And along with that, discovering her own inner strength and power. There's a strong thread of personal ethics and integrity running through Mia's way of trying to understand the world, and not a simplistic one; it feels very humanistic and thoughtful.

The book warms up as it goes along, until by the end I was deeply immeshed in its world and just wanted to keep reading more. The author has managed to make a whole assortment of ghosts and demons feel not cartoonish or high-fantasy, but natural and organic to real life. They fit into reality in ways that make so much sense that it feels like the author is not inventing a magical system but uncovering one that's already there -- she makes it feel totally believable that this is how the world works! And as dangerous as that demon-infested world might be, I wanted to linger there with Mia and learn the family secrets with her, to find out what would happen next. It's so satisfying to feel her figuring out who she is, learning how to stand up for herself, finding her own path through the dangers, gathering courage and strength. The Demon Catchers of Milan is a pure pleasure to read.


Goblin Secrets (Alexander, William)
Goblin Secrets (Alexander, William)
by William Alexander
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.99
144 used & new from $0.01

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic, original, beautiful., March 6, 2012
A beautifully-written children's book that breaks the mold. I've never read anything quite like it. The book gently submerges the reader into a mysterious world of strange and wholly original magic, where masks have power and sometimes, through the art of performance, you may discover hidden truths about the world, and yourself.

During a brunch with friends, my husband picked up this book out of curiosity, casually flipped it open to the first page, and that was the last we saw of him for the rest of the morning -- he was too busy reading! He loved it, and we brought it home to give to our fifth grade son.

Evocative and poetic: this really is a special book. Highly recommended for kids (or the rest of us) who love anything to do with theater, magic, excitement, goblins, masks, or beautiful writing. A haunting story that sparks the imagination like those favorite fantasy novels you loved as a kid. This is the good stuff.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 12, 2014 6:09 AM PDT


Above World
Above World
by Jenn Reese
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.73
85 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story!, March 6, 2012
This review is from: Above World (Hardcover)
When I was a kid, I used to dream of adventures where I'd travel to different realms with wonderfully loyal friends. Sometimes these friends were animals, or human-ish people with special animal powers. I'd dream of being strong and brave, and discovering secret ancient mysteries. Of fighting bad guys, and protecting my people. We'd go to places where you could fly, or live underwater, or create weird, amazing machines.

Jenn Reese seems to have a direct line to the young dreamer in me, because she's written a book that's bursting with exactly those things. It's this beautiful fantasy story, all wrapped up in a cool futuristic science-fictional setting. The main character is a strong girl leading the search for answers, and she's joined in this quest by an assortment of lovable friends, each with their own stories and their own chances to shine. ABOVE WORLD is sweet and fun and moving and exciting, and there is such a feeling of *goodness* to these characters, even as they struggle to figure out where they belong, and how to navigate dangerous situations and moral quandries -- the kid in me wants them all to be my best friends!

My eleven year old son read this and declared it "epic". Halfway through, he told me he was sad because it was so good that he wanted it to go on forever. (I reassured him there were more ABOVE WORLD books on the way and he perked right up!) It's a story that draws you in. His older (seventh grade) friend picked up the book while visiting our house, and couldn't put it down, so we loaned it to him. My son reports seeing him the next day reading it during school lunchtime, oblivious to everything around him.

I love a good kickass heroine, but there's something special about Aluna. She's drawn from the inside out, so that she comes across as a real person, not just an idealized image. Even though the narrative doesn't dwell on it, you get the clear sense that she's felt a lot of pain, that she's worked hard to overcome it. She's driven to save the world for reasons that resonate: because she's rebelling against a flawed status quo, because she's got something to prove, because she refuses to become a passive victim, because she has a fierce desire to protect the people she cares about. And also, because she does have a strong internal urge to do what's right. It's the combination of all these things that make her such an admirable character.

I'd say this is a book that can find a home with a wide range of young readers, male and female, who are fans of fantasy and/or science fiction; or basically anyone looking for a thoughtful, exciting read that appeals to the imagination and the heart.


The Boy at the End of the World
The Boy at the End of the World
by Greg Van Eekhout
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from $4.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars high quality science fiction for kids!, February 18, 2012
My ten year old son was already a huge Greg van Eekhout fan after reading KID VS. SQUID a year earlier, because that book was tons of fun and he absolutely adored it. But when he started reading THE BOY AT THE END OF THE WORLD, he got so immersed in the story that he forgot about everything else. On Friday night we found him curled up in bed with the lamp on, two hours past his bedtime, still compulsively reading. I had to pry the book from his hands, and then he woke up the next morning and ignored all suggestions of breakfast because he wanted to keep reading.

When he finally put down the book for long enough to eat some cereal, he had to tell us all about the book. How he loved the characters, how the situation was so exciting, how he felt like he was there on the journey with Fisher. He talked about the world of the story and all the fascinating ideas it made him think about, and he told us about all the funny bits, and how he was so eager to keep reading to find out what happened next. When he finished the book, he was thrilled with the ending, and jumped around happily shouting about everything that had happened and how "epic" it all was.

In conclusion: two thumbs up are not enough thumbs to express this ten-year-old boy's happiness with this book. Recommended for any kid who loves a smart, fun, thoughtful, well-written adventure with plenty of heart.


Jack O' the Hills (Wonder Tales)
Jack O' the Hills (Wonder Tales)
by C.S.E. Cooney
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
22 used & new from $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the real deal, February 18, 2012
A lyrical and original little book, brimming over with dark, bright, vicious vitality. The thing that fascinates me -- well, one of them -- is that it manages to disturb and delight me in that deep-down way that fairy tales did for me when I was very young. I almost never get that effect anymore, and had just chalked it up to being past the age when one is completely susceptible to the twists and turns and amoral resonance of those stories. But this story got under my skin and left me with a lingering sense of mood and imagery that will, I think, stay with me, and be stored in the same area of my memory allotted to strange fairytale moments from long ago.


The Children's Shakespeare
The Children's Shakespeare
by E. Nesbit
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.35
68 used & new from $0.63

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent primer, August 12, 2011
Of course this book is no substitute for Shakespeare, but I don't think it's meant to be. What it does is break down the plays into simple (but reasonably thorough) stories kids can understand, while conveying some flavor of the original. If you've ever taken a little kid to see a Shakespeare play, you'll know that they can totally get into the action and mood, but may have a hard time following the plot (the man wrote some mighty complicated plots). I've used this book twice now to introduce my kid to the plays before taking him to see them. Thanks to E. Nesbitt's lovely storytelling, he goes in already understanding the plot, which leaves him free to appreciate the language and performance because he gets what they're all about. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to introduce their kids to Shakespeare, especially if you plan to follow it up by seeing the play!


The Honey Month
The Honey Month
by Amal El-Mohtar
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.54
26 used & new from $7.76

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bewitchingly beautiful, August 19, 2010
This review is from: The Honey Month (Paperback)
Every day for a month, the author tastes and describes a different kind of honey, which inspires twenty-eight poems, or short stories that read like poetry. The Honey Month doesn't proceed along a straight linear narrative; piece by piece, with elegant illustrations to help spark the imagination, it envelops you in a sensual world of sharp, clear magic. There are queens to be found in here, and all sorts of bees, and forests where rings grow on trees; there are angry crows and dangerous women. Read it out loud: these are stories that dissolve on the tongue.


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