I'm a mom of 3 kids, and I love to read and watch movies, and I'm picky about what my kids read and watch.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

BOOK: The Casual Vacancy (2012)

The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling

Ugh.  What a disappointment.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter series, even though the books are "technically" for "kids," so I was eager to read her first novel for adults.  I didn't make it past page 14; I was too annoyed by obnoxious characters that weren't even remotely interesting, and completely turned-off by the extensive use of the f-word, along with other vulgar language.  It's just not worth my time.

Why is that some authors think they have to resort to trashy content and vulgar language to appeal to adults?  Apparently Rowling thought she had to in order to move beyond her "children's books."  If so, that's a shame.... does she not realize there is much in her Harry Potter books that appeal to BOTH kids and adults? 

As a side note:  I was surprised when I received this book so quickly after reserving it at the library... I figured it would be a long time before my name came up since the list was very long.  Maybe it's because other people abandoned it just as quickly as I did making it available for other suckers, I mean people like me. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

BOOK: What Came from the Stars

What Came From the Stars
by Gary D. Schmidt

I couldn't resist checking out Schmidt's latest book since I have thoroughly enjoyed all the others I have read by him.  Once again I was not disappointed.  This capitivating Tolkein/C.S. Lewis-esque story is part family drama, part coming-of-age tale, and part adventure, with a sci-fi twist.  It is also well-written and compelling.

There is no offensive language.  There is some violence in the form of battle scenes, and yet the author somehow manages to leave out all descriptions of violence without taking away from the intensity of the scene.  Authors who feel the need to include gratuitous violence should take a page out of Schmidt's book. 

Recommended for:  Ages 12 to adult

Thursday, October 4, 2012

BOOK: The Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark

The Kingdom Keepers:  Disney After Dark
by Ridley Pearson

This is the first book in a series about a small group of middle-schoolers who fight real-life Disney movies villains who "come to life" after the Magic Kingdom closes.  It's cute and fun, especially for Disney fans.  I haven't read the rest of the series (it didn't entice me enough to read more), but it was pretty entertaining. 

There is really nothing offensive, though it's probably geared more toward older children and young teens (the age of the characters).  There are some mildly frightening scenes involving the villains (kids in peril and such), but it's all fairly silly and fun, and there is nothing graphic. 

Recommended for:  Ages 10-16

BOOK: Heart of a Samurai

Heart of a Samurai
by Margi Preus

This true story (in novel form) is a fascinating read both for children and adults.  It's a story of courage, adventure, family, determination, and friendship.  The book if full of action, and the story moves along quickly, but there are also plenty of tender scenes, and even a few that produce tears.  It would be a great read-aloud for families to enjoy together.  I really enjoyed it.  In fact, I was surprised to find I had a hard time putting it down!

There are a couple of scenes of mild violence involving 19th century whaling practices, and a couple of scenes of bullying/fighting, but nothing graphic or intense.  There is no offensive language. 

Recommended for:  Ages 10 to adult