Review: The Isle of the Lost- A Descendants Novel

Be prepared to slam head first into a Disney character set where all of the villains, heroes, and their new children run around on either the Isle of the Lost (for banished villains) or the Kingdom of Auradon (for those goody goodies). The plot focuses on 16-year-old Mal who is seeking revenge on Evie—daughter of the Evil Queen—for not inviting her to a childhood birthday party. Four unlikely characters come together in search of an evil, magical scepter, each representing their personal family histories. A parallel story follows Prince Ben who is trying to address very adult grievances in preparation for taking over his father’s kingdom. There are some cheesy adult-geared lines and jokes about how villains get their kicks in writing the wrong names on Starbuck cups and where in the much happier United States of Auradon (USA), the Department of Formerly Magical Vehicles (DFMV) has 5-minute wait times.…

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Review: The BFG by Roald Dahl

Sophie, an orphan, finds herself awake during the witching hour and is snatched by a big-eared, dream-catching giant. This monstrous being happens to be one of the only giants in all of Giant Country who does not eat “human beans,” which is why he is known as the Big Friendly Giant or BFG, for short. The BFG is the master of creating dream stories, and his tales of mean giants inspire Sophie to take action. She devises a plan involving a realistic nightmare and the Queen in order to save the world from this gaggle of man-eating giants. For third to sixth graders, The BFG is magical and imaginative.  Growing up, this was one of my favorite books. As an adult, I have a few more concerns: The references to families in Baghdad having ten children or how the Sultan recently had to chop off heads is racist rather than…

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Review: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

Steve’s family has a newborn baby, Theo, who is in and out of the hospitals and doctors’ offices. Theo has a variety of life-threatening developmental disabilities, including heart trouble, and may not survive. Steve’s family has their hands full as he suffers from anxiety, depression, and what is suggested to be OCD. With the added stress of this sick baby, Steve’s issues are put on the side burner. At the same time, outside of the house, wasps are building a nest. Steve suffers from terrifying dreams that the wasps are building a new baby for his family within this nest. After saying yes to a deal with the queen wasp to swap babies, Steve realizes that he loves his baby just the way he is. Unfortunately, Steve made a deal with the devil and must now try to save himself and Theo. The Nest is an incredibly disturbing and terrifying juvenile Stephen…

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