A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown

Title: Darth Vader and Son
Author: Jeffrey Brown
Pages: 64
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9781452106557
Publication Date: April 18, 2012
AR Levels: TBD
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13163846-darth-vader-and-son

In a nutshell: What if Anakin Skywalker hadn't turned to the Dark Side and instead got to raise his son?* This collection of single-frame comics attempts to answer that question. The zany antics of Darth Vader and Luke are sure to charm you.

I'd recommend it for grades: 2 and up! Even adults will love this one.

I'd recommend it to: Star Wars fans young and old!

What I liked most about this book: What isn't there to love about a humorous Star Wars-inspired graphic novel? Even those who are not huge Star Wars fans will enjoy this one, but for the hardcore fan, there are tons of inside jokes that literally made me laugh out loud.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y):
I won't give away too many of the jokes, but one of my favorites was when Luke tried to hit a baseball with a lightsaber. Not so successful but very funny!

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 Death Stars ;)

*P.S.: The companion book, Vader's Little Princess, will feature young Princess Leia. It hits shelves April 23, 2013!  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

VerseDay 2013: Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

I'm a huge fan of verse novels, and they're a great way to introduce yourself to reading more poetry! We were very kindly asked to participate in VerseDay 2013, a year-long celebration of all things poetry! VerseDay is sponsored by Gabrielle Prendergast over at VerseNovels.com. If you'd like to participate or learn more about VerseDay2013, check out the VerseDay page. Without further ado, here's my review of a fantastic verse novel that won the National Book Award and was a Newbery Honor Book as well. Enjoy!

Title: Inside Out & Back Again
Author: Thanhha Lai
Pages: 272
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780061962783
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
AR Levels: Book Level: 4.8; Interest Level: 4th-6th grades; Points: 2.0
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8537327-inside-out-back-again

In a nutshell: Ha lives in Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. She leads a simple life that she loves even in the midst of a war-torn nation, but the Communists are coming to take her city, and she and her mother and three brothers must board a ship and flee to America. After weeks on a ship and in a camp in Guam, her family is sponsored by a man from Alabama to start a new life in the Deep South, which feels like a whole other world.

I'd recommend it for grades: 3rd to 6th

I'd recommend it to: historical fiction lovers, poetry fans, and anyone who's ever felt out of place or longed for home

What I liked most about this book: The language and writing style are so believably age-appropriate and yet beautiful and wise beyond her years. It's mostly based on the author's own life, so it has that added authenticity to it. This is another one of those books that just the right amount of sadness and humor. Also, I don't comment much on book covers on our blog, but this one cannot go unnoticed. Is that gorgeous or what?!

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): Ha has a somewhat difficult time learning English because there are so many exceptions to the rules, and she gets frustrated. She learns that to make something plural, you add an "s" or "es" to it, and so she feels like a snake always hissing English words. As we all know though, there are so many exceptions to that rule, and this annoys her. She comments, "Whoever invented English should be bitten by a snake." Such poetic justice haha. There's also a hilarious part where her family eats fried chicken for the first time! You'll have to read that to see for yourself. ;)

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 stars!

Saturday, March 2, 2013