Monday, March 29, 2010

The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters

Okay, I know I'm not doing well at keeping up on this. I have so many things to blog about that I'm not doing any of them. For now, I'll do a quick review of The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters by Frank Cole.

This book is definitely kid-friendly. I didn't even bother counting swearing or violence incidents because it is very clean.

I found this book a fun ride, but if you are into serious books that have to make perfect sense, then it's not for you. It takes place in a fantasy land called Pordunce Elementary; fifth grade to be exact. It's a zany world where almost every child, in order to be somebody, must have a nickname. So, in addition to following the exploits of Hashbrown, we get to meet Snow Cone, Whiz, Four Hips and Hambone.

This is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time and is a quick read. It's mainly intended for a younger audience, but those of us who are still kids at heart will enjoy it.

Next up: The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Canticle Kingdom by Michael Young

This weekend I finished The Canticle Kingdom by Michael Young. It is a fantasy novel that combines magic with music. As a musician, I have often tried to think of story lines that did this, but I haven't come up with anything that works. Michael did.

First off, I would give this book a clean rating, meaning I would have no problem letting my kids read it. There is a little violence, but nothing very extreme or gory. There is nothing even close to resembling a swear word.

The Canticle Kingdom weaves post World War II Europe and America with that of a magical fantasy land. We first start off with some German craftsmen who make a music box. It goes through several hands and causes mysterious disappearances around it. Meanwhile, we also meet Johann and Brigitta, two youths who live in the Canticle Kingdom. They begin an adventure in their realm that seemingly has nothing to do with the one going on in Europe. I was intrigued and wanted to keep reading to see how these two worlds would come together.

This book was refreshing because it was a magical fantasy without the cliche. As much as I like Tolkien, it seems too many books rely upon the type of world he created. The Canticle Kingdom gives us a new perspective on fantasy that is truly unique.

Oh yeah, beware the Ides of March.