Book Review- Gideon the Cutpurse

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Gideon the Cutpurse (also published as The Time Travelers) by Linda Buckley-Archer
Published by Simon & Schuster on January 1 2006
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Time Travel, Historical Fiction
Pages: 404
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Goodreads

1763.

Gideon Seymour, cutpurse and gentleman, hides from the villainous Tar Man. Suddenly the sky peels away like fabric and from the gaping hole fall two curious-looking children. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer have fallen straight from the twenty-first century, thanks to an experiment with an antigravity machine. Before Gideon and the children have a chance to gather their wits, the Tar Man takes off with the machine — and Kate and Peter’s only chance of getting home. Soon Gideon, Kate, and Peter are swept into a journey through eighteenth-century London and form a bond that, they hope, will stand strong in the face of unfathomable treachery.

Gideon the Cutpurse was full of adventure. From the moment Peter and Kate were thrown back in time, there was not a second of rest. The narrative follows both the events of 1763, where Peter and Kate meet Gideon and set out to find a way to get home, and present day (or not so present because the book came out in 2006), where the police along with Kate’s father and NASA are trying to find the children.

Although the events had all the promise to be a five star read, the actual story fell a bit short. I felt bored at times, like there was a cycle between excitement and boredom throughout the book. Then there were parts that could have been so much better, but weren’t. I feel like there could have been so much more done with the characters that would have brought the story to life. The reactions I read didn’t feel realistic, it felt like a bedtime story.

I also found it a bit strange how there were pages at the end of some chapters from Gideon Seymour’s personal journal. They felt a bit out of place, and didn’t really add anything to the plot. I don’t know if they evolve into something more in the rest of the trilogy, but I can only hope that there is a greater reason for them being there.

There is so much I wish I could add to this book, but at the same time, I can’t say I didn’t like it at all. It was a fun read, even if I had to read it in little chunks at a time. I do however think that an elementary school kid would eat this book up, and I definitely recommend it for preteens and younger who love time travel and adventure. I just don’t think this book was quite for me.

I am going to give Gideon the Cutpurse three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Book Reivew- The Candymakers

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The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
Published by Little, Brown on October 5, 2010
Genres: Childrens- Middle Grade, Mystery, Fiction
Pages: 453
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Four children have been chosen to compete in a national competition to find the tastiest confection in the country. Who will invent a candy more delicious than the Oozing Crunchorama or the Neon Lightning Chew?

Logan, the Candymaker’s son, who can detect the color of chocolate by touch alone?

Miles, the boy who is allergic to merry-go-rounds and the color pink?

Daisy, the cheerful girl who can lift a fifty-pound lump of taffy like it’s a feather?

Or Philip, the suit-and-tie wearing boy who’s always scribbling in a secret notebook?

This sweet, charming, and cleverly crafted story, told from each contestant’s perspective, is filled with mystery, friendship, and juicy revelations.

The Candymakers is a sugary sweet feel good book, that is told in a pretty (cool) unusual way. The first part is told from Logan’s perspective. Then, it is retold from the perspectives of Miles, Daisy, and Logan respectively. Then, Logan takes the reigns again to continue the story.

I love how the book is written. Each time the first two days are told from a different character, key parts of the story fall into place and you slowly get the bigger picture. Each of the children is so unique and has such an interesting and unexpected story, and it makes the book so amazing!

Another thing I love about The Candymakers is how every character has their own challenges to face, yet they are all linked together by events that happened in the past (that some of them don’t even remember!). They each have different motivations and as the children get to know each other and spend time in the (amazing) candy factory, they learn important things about themselves.

Also, lets be real here for a minute: WE NEED THIS CANDY TO BE REAL!!! All I want to do is eat Neon Yellow Lightning Chews and a Pepsicle and Harmonicandy and Bubbletastic ChocoRockets and every single other candy in this book! Even the Bacon Pops! It needs to happen. All of it.

I am going to give The Candymakers five out of five hearts. If you haven’t read this, you need to!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Reivew- Miss E.

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Miss E. by Brian Herberger
Published by Birch Cove Books on May 9, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Children’s Books
Pages: 256
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Being the new kid in town is a way of life for Bets, but moving to California in 1967 is different. Her father leaves for the war in Vietnam, her history teacher gives an assignment that has the whole school searching for clues, and the town’s most mysterious resident shares a secret with Bets that has been hidden away for decades. When a peaceful protest spins out of control, Bets is forced to reconsider how she feels about the war her father is fighting and her own role in events taking place much closer to home.

Miss E. was a great book. I was sucked into the story from the very first sentence, and I finished the whole book in one afternoon.

The book was very easy and fun to read, and I feel in love with the characters. Bets is strong willed and an independent thinker. As the story progressed, she not only learned about Miss E., she learned about herself. The whole story left me all warm and fuzzy.

I loved how each character was so unique. Even the characters with smaller parts had their own story and individuality without much being said about them. It was so easy to imagine myself back in 1967, meeting each of the characters and going to Sonny’s to eat pizza and hang out with them.

I also love Miss E. I love her so much! All I want to do is go in her house and drink tomato juice and listen to her stories… and of course go on adventures with her! Although the story is about Bets, Miss E. is a huge driving force behind her actions, and teachers her some important life lessons without saying more than a few words.

This is a book I would recommend to anyone and everyone. It is a fun and easy read, and it is such a feel good story!

I am going to give Miss E. five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

*This book was given to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way influenced my views of opinions of the book.

Book Review- Billy Bedivere in the Quest for the Dragon Queen

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Billy Bedivere in the Quest for the Dragon Queen: A Kingdom of Legends Adventure  by Alan Sproles
Published by Bookbaby on December 3, 2015
Genres: Children’s Books, Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Pages: 222
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Amazon

Would you like to leave on a camping trip poor and come back rich? But what if that meant fighting a vicious huge blue bunny, or a big black bear, or man-eating trees or a two-headed dragon guarded by giant spiders? That’s what happened to Billy on a weekend camping with his dad and friends. Told by his dad not to cross the creek, Billy does just that when he hears the call for help from inside a large cave in the side of a cliff. Billy, the good scout, goes in the cave alone concerned that someone was in trouble. As he moved deeper and deeper into the cave Billy falls into a vortex that sweeps him into another world. It is a brilliant but very strange place. It appears to be a one-way trip until he acquires some very strange and even famous characters as friends starting with a rose that has been calling out for help because a large bunny has been eating them. Rose informs him that the only person who can help him get home would be the genie and tells him how to get there. On the way Billy encounters Hansel and Gretel who accompanies him on his journey. After their near fatal encounter at the chocolate house of the witch they make it to the genie who informs them that the only way home is to defeat the Dragon Queen, a two-headed dragon at Flagara’s house of Sad Faces. To return home Billy must grow up fast if he is to survive and conquer the biggest challenge of his life- if he can. Does he have what it takes? He’s just a kid but he’ll need to be a man to get home. Billy Bedivere must defeat the Dragon Queen but first his life will change forever along the way! It changes because of his new friends- a droll named Sparkie, a pixie named Pippy and a talking dragon named Dreadon to name three, and there are many more. Billy succeeds in getting through the Dark Forest and to Flagara’s house of Sad Faces where the great dragon is protected by a hoard of giant spiders. The Dragon was once a princess that was cursed by another very evil witch. Billy is victorious in his battle with the dragon but that victory will reveal something even more shocking. And that will change everything again!

Billy Bedivere was an interesting book. The story itself makes a good children’s story, however, it did not feel like I was reading a children’s book. The writing style was strange… some version of third person present tense, but there were several places in the book where it slipped in to second person, which did not exactly read well. If anything the way the book was written kept it from being more exciting.

This is a book that would be amazing if it were rewritten. The story itself is somewhere between Narnia and The Magic Tree House, and definitely has a lot of potential. It’s just the writing that makes it fall short. The writing takes away some of the magic.

All of the characters in the book are great. There is a good mix of fairy tale characters and magical creatures that team up together to go on an amazing quest/adventure. It’s a heart warming tale and I really did find myself enjoying it, and I do think that I will read the second one when it comes out. I just really wish the writing was a bit different… I think that would make a huge difference.

I am going to give Billy Bedivere in The Quest for the Dragon Queen three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

*This book was sent to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way affected my views or opinions of the book.