Posted in Book Review, Grades 3-5, Sci-Fi, Sunshine State 17-18

The Wild Robot Escapes

Review: owlowlowl

The Wild Robot Escapes - Peter Brown

 

Our story begins in a city, with buildings and streets and bridges and parks.

– First sentence

At the end of the first book, Roz is taken away from her island home and brought back to the factory. She is reactivated at Hilltop farm to work for the Shreef family. As much as she enjoys her new home (kids, cows, etc.), Roz misses Brightbill and all her friends on the island. Will she be able to keep her secret? And will she ever make it back to her island home?

This is a great follow up and just as quirky and fun as the first one. I read this to my book club at school. The kids liked the first book better, but they did enjoy this one. It took a while to get going, but the end is worth it.

Recommended to: 3rd-5th graders who like quirky stories with talking animals

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1766311/the-wild-robot-escapes

Posted in Book Review, Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi

Red Rising: Sons of Ares – graphic novel (vol. 1-6)

Review:

I’m a huge fan of the Red Rising series, so I had to read this graphic novel prequel.  It was very well done. The illustrations depict the mood of the series perfectly: the darkness, the bloody fighting scenes, and the emotional torture. I read a couple of reviews that commented on the sketchy style and lack of detail in the illustrations, but I think it fits the mood and story perfectly. The storyline was interesting, fast-paced, and as violent as the books.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series even more now.

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1764661/red-rising-sons-of-ares-graphic-novel-vol-1-6

Posted in Book Review, Grades 6-8, Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, Sunshine State 17-18

The Nerdy Dozen

Review:

owlowlowl

 

The enemy fighter jets surged past Neil Andertol, soaring over desolate, sandy terrain.

-opening line

So, another 6-8 grade Sunshine State nominated book. I wasn’t planning on reading this one because I didn’t think I would like it. That’s what I get for judging a book by its cover. Anyway, one of the 4th-grade students was really enjoying it and she asked me to read it with her. It’s actually pretty good and I can’t wait to talk to her about it tomorrow. Though I finished it and she is probably around halfway through.

Neil loves video games, like most 13-year old boys these days. He especially enjoys one called Chameleon. Chameleon, it turns out is a training tool used by the Air Force to teach pilots to fly an actual plane called the Chameleon that is capable of seeming invisible. Neil and a bunch of other kids get recruited by the Air Force to find a lost plane and save the day. I know, I know. Big suspension of disbelief here, but kids love that sort of thing.

Anyway, Neil ends up meeting a few people in real life that he only previously knew online. So, there are expected surprises there. And the kids make a couple of decisions that mess up something that Major Jones had planned, resulting in more unlikely situations. At least the kids don’t make some half-assed decision based on their guts and end up being right over the Major who is an adult and should know better than them.

This is a fast-moving story that kids will devour. And now that there are 3 books in the series, it will keep the kids reading.

Good for 4th – 8th graders who enjoy video games, strong female characters, soldiers, edge of your seat adventures… it has something for everyone.

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1640334/the-nerdy-dozen

Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

owlowlowlowl

In a not-so-distant future, the pro-choice and pro-life forces went to war. The compromise that ended the war was The Bill of Life. Under this bill, human life is protected from the moment of conception until the age of 13. Between the ages of 13 & 17, parents can choose to have their children “unwound”. Unwinding is a process that harvests ninety-something percent of the body and then transplants the parts into other people’s bodies. Supposedly, this means the child doesn’t die but lives on divided into the bodies of other people.

Three children selected for unwinding for various reasons come together in this story, Connor, Risa & Lev. The reasons they became unwinds vary as much as their outlooks on life, but they are thrown together by circumstances and must find a way to survive together.

WOW. I loved this book. The plot is complex and exciting, the characters are flawed (in other words, human), and the circumstances are believable. The idea of unwinding is just terrible, but somehow it is common practice in this world. There are a lot of details I won’t mention because I wouldn’t want to spoil this book. But, the most intense and disturbing are the moments the reader witnesses an unwinding – chilling. And all the more so in the audio version. The voices and the technique the narrator uses fit the situation perfectly.

I love the story, the narration, everything about this book. I purchased the next 3 books in the series and have already started listening to book 2 – UnWholly.

Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Grades 6-8, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Sunshine State 17-18

Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

owlowlowlowl

Piper, a young girl with a talent for fixing mechanical things, finds Anna (a young girl with amnesia who needs her help) and together they take the 401 train trying to escape the man pursuing them. There they meet Gee, a boy who can transform into a dragon and who might be able to help them.

Piper is smart, brave and mechanically inclined, who could ask for a better heroine. She is alone and barely scraping by until she finds Anna in the meteor field (each meteor shower brings items from other worlds that the scrappers find and fix or sell). Anna doesn’t know who she is but she has the mark of the dragonfly which means she is someone important to the king. Piper sees her chance to help Anna and maybe get a reward that could change her life at the same time.

This story is filled with magic, adventure, steampunk, humor, and a smidge of romance. I highly recommend it to readers in grades 4 through 8 (and adults who enjoy strong female characters and a bit of western/sci-fi; sort of like Firefly for the younger set). A promising series which I plan to continue.

Posted in Adult, Book Review, Classic, Sci-Fi

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

owlowl

This is a classic that I never read and I always meant to, and it’s short so it didn’t take long at all. It was just okay for me. My favorite parts of the book were the beginning and the end, not so much the parts when the time traveler is actually in the future. But, it is amazing to think that Wells came up with the idea of a time machine and how so many movies, books, etc. went on to use and further expand on the idea. Wells was truly a visionary.