Category Archives: Children

Catching Up on Reviews

I haven’t been sharing reviews much on here, not because I don’t enjoy and want to “share” but I feel like 2013 I am speeding through books and hate taking the time to sit and actually write about books when I just want to pick up another one and read more.

I started another blog/website that I thought may replace this one, but decided I wanted to keep them separate but link to each other. I’m sure I will end up sharing monumental reads, and more, over there as well, but wanted to try and slowly catch up on reviews over the past who-knows-how-long.

Now … onto the first five books read in 2013!

1. The Witch Tree Symbol by Carolyn Keene
finished January 2, 2013

Another fun Nancy Drew mystery. I’ve been trying to play catch up from childhood and read the original 50+ series. It’s a nice way to start off the year since it’s such a quick read.

2. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
finished January 6, 2013

In the latest Stephanie Plum, Stephanie finds herself with the possibly the biggest bond in her hands and a lot of danger to follow. That doesn’t seem like anything new with Stephanie, and it doesn’t help that she’s still confused and wavering between the two men in her life. This time Stephanie finds herself fearing this may be the one bond that she won’t recover from.
It was a fun quick read. So glad I’m all caught up and can enjoy them as they come.

3. Love Works by Joel Manby
finished January 6, 2013

This was a recommended book for a gal at work and I thought it was amazing. While it’s primarily a book for organizations and managers, it ties directly into 1 Corinthians – Chapter 13 (the love chapter). Manby discusses how the seven timeless principles from the Bible create effective leaders and makes an organization better.
His seven principles are: patient, kind, trusting, unselfish, truthful, forgiving, dedicated.
I highly recommend this book. It’s a quick read and very informative.

4. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
finished January 8, 2013

This was another recommendation from our little group of girls who needs a quick, funny, naughty read every now and again.
It’s a fast and hilarious read about a girl who’s new neighbor keeps her up at all hours of the night with his bedroom shenanigans. When they come to realize that they have more in common than just the wall between their bedrooms, they call a truce and become friends. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.
If you only read this book for the sidekick and feline friend of the main character, it’s worth it. He is hilarious but I’m not really jealous that my cats are more docile.

5. Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet
finished January 9, 2013

This was a fun Christmas present, plucked off my Amazon wishlist and completely judged by the cover (and the title had BOOK in it). I couldn’t resist.
This quick little book – which every book lover must read – is really just a book about books and bookshelves and great and fun research tidbits following the authors obsession with books. There is a very distinct possibility this could be me someday, if not now.
After reading this, I’m sure I can safely call myself a “bibliomaniac” – collectors and manic readers. Check and check.

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Filed under author: carolyn keene, author: janet evanovich, Children, Fiction, Non-Fiction

REVIEW: Matchless

Title: Matchless
Author: Gregory Maguire
Finished: December 7, 2011
Pages: 112
Published: 2009
Format: First Edition

I saw this one at the library and picked it up on a whim having reading Wicked by the same author. I have always been intrigued by his stories and did not hesitate to pick up another one.

Oddly enough, I got this book for Christmas as well so that was very fun!

This short little story is another take on the little match girl story and tells the tale of a boy and his mother trying to survive and how the fight for just one match to cook their food and warm their house becomes a reunion they never expected and creates happiness in the unlikeliest of places.

Cute little story.

*challenges: 11 in 11 reading challenge, 100+ reading challenge, countdown challenge

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REVIEW: Nancy Drew Books #28 & #31

Title: Clue of the Black Keys
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: June 17, 2011
Pages: 174
Published: 1951
Format: Hardback

From Wikipedia:

Prof. Terry Scott went to River Heights to ask the help of Carson Drew to help him to find Dr. Joshua Pitt. Mr. Drew thought that the case was more of a mystery, so he referred him to Nancy Drew, his daughter who loves detective work. Terry Scott and Dr. Joshua Pitt, together with their teammates, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Graham, found the clue to the treasure during their expedition in Mexico, a cipher carved in a stone tablet and three black keys. Before the professors had time to translate the cipher, the tablet disappeared together with Dr. Pitt, leaving only the bottom half of one of the keys. Terry suspected the Tinos because they vanished when the cipher stone and Dr. Pitt disappeared.

The latest Nancy Drew books are getting more interesting and in depth. Nancy is surely growing as a great detective and I’m looking forward to slowly finishing the series out.

*challenges: spring reading thing, cozy mystery challenge, 100+ challenge, nancy drew reading challenge, 11 in 11 reading challenge

Title: Ringmaster’s Secret
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: June 18, 2011
Pages: 178
Published: 1953
Format: Hardback

This one joins my list of favorites as Nancy joins the circus to help solve her latest mystery, using all her skills to trick not only her friends but the bad guys into thinking she is someone else.

Definitely a fun read and one that every Nancy fan is sure to enjoy, or even those reading for their first time.

*challenges: spring reading thing, cozy mystery reading challenge, 100+ challenge, nancy drew reading challenge, 11 in 11 reading challenge, monthly mix up

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Filed under author: carolyn keene, Children

Nancy Drew Update

To save time and posts, here’s another update on a handful of Nancy Drew books I’ve read over the past month.

Title: The Ghost of Blackwood Hall (#25)
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: April 9, 2011
Pages: 178
Published: 1948
Format: Hardback

From Wikipedia: When Mrs. Putney seeks Nancy Drew’s help in recovering her stolen jewellery, the search for the thieves takes the teenage detective and her friends Bess and George to the colorful French quarter in New Orleans. But the quest is hampered by the strange behavior of Mrs. Putney and two young women who are being victimized by so-called spirits. How cam Nancy fight these unseen perpetrators of a cruel hoax? And how can she help the gullible victims when the spirits warn them not to have anything to do with Nancy? The young sleuth’s investigations lead her to a deserted old mansion called Blackwood Hall, haunted by a phantom organist. How Nancy uses her own ghost like tactics to outwit the ghost of Blackwood Hall and aids the police in capturing agroup of sinister racketeers will keep the reader tense of suspense.

It’s been long enough since I read this one that I don’t remember much but I still enjoy the Nancy Drew stories. This was no exception.

*challenges: 100+ reading challenge, support local library challenge, nancy drew challenge, 11 in 11 reading challenge, spring reading challenge

Title: The Clue of the Leaning Chimney (#26)
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: April 9, 2011
Pages: 176
Published: 1949
Format: Hardback

When a series of pottery is stolen, leading Nancy and her friends on a search for the painter and the criminals, everything is as they least expect. A piece of property leads them right into the hands and more mystery of the very people they have been searching for. Unsure of how to proceed, Nancy once again puts herself into danger to save multiple lives and retrieve the stolen goods.

*challenges: off the shelf challenge, 100+ reading challenge, nancy drew challenge, 11 in 11 reading challenge, spring reading thing

Title: The Secret of the Wooden Lady (#27)
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: April 24, 2011
Pages: 176
Published: 1950
Format: Hardback

Nancy is hired by a ship captain to find out the mysteries surrounding a strange visitor on his boat, as well as to find the history and help him succeed in buying the boat through legal channels. Just when Nancy thinks she may have reached the conclusion and solved the mystery of the boat and the Wooden Lady, more confusion enters the mystery and she pulls in all her friends to help.

*challenges: 100+ reading challenge, support your local library challenge, nancy drew challenge, 11 in 11 reading challenge, spring reading thing

Title: The Mystery at the Ski Jump (#29)
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: April 26, 2011
Pages: 6
Published: 1952
Format: Hardback

When Nancy’s family is directly affected by a jewelry scam, Nancy makes it her personal goal to find out the truth behind the old lady who is stealing money for people in River Heights. Nancy and her friends follow the clues to a ski resort where Nancy befriends a young man, causing Ned to become a little jealous and her friends to become worried about their relationship and Nancy’s safety. This was a very interesting and fun mystery to read, another favorite so far.

*challenges: 100+ reading challenge, support your local library challenge, nancy drew, 11 in 11 reading challenge, monthly mix up mania, spring reading thing

Title: The Clue of the Velvet Mask (#30)
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: April 26, 2011
Pages: 177
Published: 1953
Format: Hardback

At a masked party, Nancy stumbles upon a new mystery when objects suddenly begin disappearing in households holding parties. When a mask is left behind, Nancy takes on the strange persona of the criminal to try and track down who is behind all the mystery. But little does she know, that the mask holds more clues than she could imagine. Another great mystery, full of fun and adventure and all her friends.

*challenges: 100+ reading challenge, support local library challenge, nancy drew challenge, 11 in 11 reading challenge, spring reading thing

Title: The Scarlet Slipper Mystery (#32)
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: May 16, 2011
Pages: 179
Published: 1954
Format: Hardback

My most recent Nancy Drew mystery read, finds Nancy and her friends coming to the rescue of a couple locals who begin to fear for their safety when a threatening letter is left on their door.  Suddenly it becomes more a mystery as to who they can trust than how to solve the case. Mystery upon mystery follows her every step and it’s only moments before she finds herself worried for her own life in order to save everyone else.

*challenges: 100+ reading challenge, support local library challenge, nancy drew challenge, 11 in 11 reading challenge, spring reading thing

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Filed under author: carolyn keene, Children

Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon

Title: Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon
Author: Crockett Johnson
Finished: April 9, 2011
Pages: 256
Published: 2000
Format: Hardback

Harold and the Purple Crayon has always been one of my favorite children’s stories so when I found this collection, I couldn’t resist.

Not only does it contain the original story, but three others for enjoyment. It was so much fun to read on an early morning for the read-a-thon and I can’t wait to share it with my future kids and family.

*challenges: off the shelf challenge, new authors challenge, 100+ challenge, a-z reading challenge, 11 in 11 reading challenge

Other Reviews: Girls Just Reading

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REVIEW: Clue in the Old Album

Title: Clue in the Old Album
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: February 25, 2011
Pages: 180
Published: 1947
Format: hardback

This was another fun mystery as Nancy finds herself searching for a group of gypsies who may hold the secret for a young girl who feels like she’s lost everything and her only hope could be in an album. She is in for more trouble than she could imagine as the secretive clans want nothing to do with outsiders and Nancy soon finds herself and everyone around her in a harmful kidnapping situation they are unsure they will escape from.

I’m almost halfway through the series and I find myself still enjoying the series and I look forward to the next adventure.

*challenges: 100+ challenge, support your local library challenge, nancy drew challenge, 11 in 11 challenge

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Filed under author: carolyn keene, Children

REVIEW: Nancy Drew Books 20-23

Title: Clue in the Jewel Box
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: January 4, 2011
Pages: 181
Published: 1943
Format: hardback

This was a fun adventure as Nancy not only tries to solve the mystery of a missing grandson for a nice old woman who turns out to be secret royalty who escaped during troubling times in her home country.

While searching for this missing man, Nancy finds her suspicious of many characters and the secret to the true identity lies in a jewel box with hidden compartments.

*challenges: 11 in 11, off the shelf, 100+, a-z challenge, nancy drew challenge


Title: Secret in the Old Attic
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: January 11, 2011
Pages: 177
Published: 1944
Format: hardback

Another fun mystery has Nancy searching for some old music left behind by the deceased grandson of a very nice man taking care of the young girl left behind. Nancy finds herself doing everything in her power to help the family succeed and find the riches rightly owed to them by someone stealing the music from an old mysterious attic.

I especially enjoyed this one.

*challenges: 100+ challenge, a-z challenge, nancy drew challenge, 11 in 11 challenge

Title: Clue in the Crumbling Wall
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: January 7, 2011
Pages: 181
Published: 1945
Format: hardback

Nancy has her hands full in this next mystery as she searches for a missing dancer who could be the only one to save a troubled young girl and her mother from poverty and despair. In her efforts, Nancy comes across some bad men who try to do everything in their power to keep her from finding the woman and claiming what is rightfully hers.

*challenges: 100+, nancy drew, 11 in 11


Title: Mystery of the Tolling Bell
Author: Carolyn Keene
Finished: January 18, 2011
Pages: 181
Published: 1946
Format: hardback

When Nancy meets a mysterious man in a restaurant while helping out a friend, and finds herself searching not only for a special jeweled bell worth a fortune, all the while searching for another person who seems to be swindling people into buying shares of a company that doesn’t really exist, taking their whole life savings.

*challenges: 100+, a-z challenge, nancy drew challenge, 11 in 11

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Filed under author: carolyn keene, Children