Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dead End In Norvelt

Jack Gantos, Dead End In Norvelt. Square Fish, 2013.

Dead End In Norvelt takes place during the Post-WW II era. The book is about a boy named Jack, who gets grounded for half a summer for shooting his father's  Japanese sniper rifle from WW II.  Then he gets grounded for the other half of the summer when he mows down his mother's corn crops to make a runway for his dad's airplane. The only break in his punishment is to go next door to his ancient neighbor, Mrs. Volker, to write obituaries and protect her from her nutty old boyfriend, Mr. Spizz. He doesn't want to hang out with a old lady, but visiting her leads him to a mystery about the deaths of the old ladies in Norvelt. 

The book is one of my favorites, and I've  read it six times. The story is longer than The Cat Who Came In off the Roof, but still short enough to read in a day or two. 

If you like mysteries or comedies you would definitely like this. Jack Gantos also wrote a sequel, From Norvelt To Nowhere, which may be my next post, so stay tuned!

Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Chris Grabenstein, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library.  Yearling, 2014. 

I've just finished a book called Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. It's about a boy named Kyle, who is basically a nobody next to his two brothers, a brainiac and a Jock. Then he wins a essay contest for the first library card to the new library, which was designed by Mr. Lemoncello, the legendary game maker. With the library card comes the prize of a lock-in at the new library. The lock-in becomes too literal when they become part of a contest to get out of the library.  Kyle heads a team, team Kyle, and his arch-rival, Charles Chilington, heads team Charles. The two teams battle until one manages to escape and win the prize.

I completely loved this book. It totally hooks you, and after you read one chapter you cannot stop.

If you like mysteries or board games, then I would  recommend this book for you. Chris Grabenstein wrote two other books, The Island Of Dr. Libris and the sequel to Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics,  which I am reading and will finish soon.


Monday, February 8, 2016

The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof

Annie M.G. Schmidt, The Cat Who Came in off the Roof. Pushkin Children's Books, 2014.

I have just finished reading The Cat Who Came In Off The Roof. It is about a man, Mr. Tibble, who works at a newspaper and only writes about cats. One day, the newspaper's editor-in-chief told him if he wrote another story about  cats he would be fired. He was walking home from work that same day when he spotted a lady in a tree who appears to be hiding from a dog. Mr. Tibble helps her down, and she tells him she used to be a cat. Mr. Tibble tells her of his problems. They talk late into the night and devise a plan. Taking advantage of how the woman can still understand cats, she will talk to the cats in town to get all the latest gossip. Then, Mr. Tibble will make the stories into  articles. By writing the stories he is able to keep his job at the newspaper. This plan works until he writes a story about a man in town whom everyone likes. This is as far as I can go without giving away the ending, so you'll need to read it yourself!
I liked the entire book especially the disagreeable tatters cat. The only problem with the book was the size. It was short, so it left you wanting more.  
If you like mysteries, animals, or fantasy (ish) stories you would definitely like this. She wrote lots of other books like A Pond Full Of Ink. I may read them, so stay tuned for more reviews!