Hot off the press! The Ogre of Oglefort, the beloved Eva Ibbotson’s last book, came out only earlier this month. Yes, I know, I’m a bit late in writing about it. But I’m here now, aren’t I? Here is the story of a hag, a troll, a wizard, and Ivo, a boy without a family. It is they who are charged to rescue the Princess Mirella, who has been stolen away by the dreadful, the vile, the evil Ogre of Oglefort, and must be saved (and the monster killed) as soon as possible. But arriving at the estate of Oglefort yields a startling discovery, and the rescuers quickly learn that everything is not as it seems, and they very wells may have something quite different on their hands than retrieving Princess Mirella. In fact, she’s hardly the normal type of princess at all, and the ogre is not your run-of-the-mill ogre. Fully equipped with violent ghosts, talking animals, and a cast of diverse (and I mean DIVERSE) characters, this book’s writing is great and has an attractive plot. Eva Ibbotson has done it again! It’s not terribly big, but it is kind of gruesome. Some parts made me inwardly shiver, and some were just plain funny. I advise you to go to the library, the bookstore, or wherever it is you go for literature–just go check this out. And (this may astound you) the ogre is one of my favorite characters…
Okay…in case I haven’t said this before, I am Greek/Roman mythology-obsessed. Really. As in, any book that has anything to do with it, I’ll probably at least read the summary and the first few pages. And Athena is my all-time favorite goddess. So, after reading another book in this series about the goddess Hera, I went straight to this. Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess is the second in a brand new graphic novel series by George O’Connor called Olympians, but you can actually read them in any order. I may have only read two, but so far this one is my favorite. (Are you surprised?) Throughout the book you are accompanied by the Moirae, otherwise known as the Fates, three ancient women who are in charge of our destinies. They will weave the tapestry that is Athena’s life; her dynamic birth out of her father Zeus’s head, and on through her many adventures. George O’Conner tells the stories well and the illustrations suck you in. Plus, it taught me new things about Athena I had no inkling about before–and I thought I knew it all. It’s a quick read, but that’s no reason to let it alone. It would definitely be a bit too scary for little kids, but I bet some older ones would love it. Give it a try!
Finally, written by Wendy Mass (also author of The Candymakers) is the story of Rory Swenson. And there is only one thing on Rory’s mind these days: Her fast approaching twelfth birthday. Cellphones, ear piercings, it’s all only going to happen when Rory turns twelve, courtesy of her overprotective parents. Sigh. But the day is finally getting close, and Rory is ready. She’s got a carefully constructed chart including all things, big and small, she can do as soon as the big day begins. And who can fail to be in a good mood when they’re about to get everything they’ve been asking about for ages? But things seldom turn out exactly the way you’re expecting them to, as our birthday girl soon finds out. Everything she’s been looking forward to…nothing is as she envisioned it. Could it possibly have something to do with the cryptic words of the old lady she met while stuck in a drainpipe? (No, I didn’t mistype. Trust me.) I actually think I enjoyed this book more than The Candymakers, maybe because for some reason it grabbed me more, perhaps because it made me laugh. Like Rory, I looked forward to my twelfth birthday more than others, so we have that in common. This is a great book for kids who like to read realistic fiction. It’s a story about wanting and wanting to grow up, and discovering that it’s trickier than it sounds. The surprising twist at the end only adds to the book’s appeal. Take a look soon!
That’s right, it’s #1-0-0! The countdown is over. And this occasion will be marked by highlights of my favorites, YOUR favorites, and perhaps some utterly random stuff. So let’s get started.
1. Month of the Most Views: December, 2010. It’s the busiest month of the year for us, too. I guess it’s for gift ideas!
2. Random But Cool: Really, the only truly random but cool post would have to be Book Dominoes. I mean, come on, it’s a video with books falling over one another in intricate designs that…well, I won’t give it away.
3. A Book I REALLY Liked: This highlight goes to The Sisters Grimm, by Michael Buckley. Fairy tale characters coming to life, mysterious disappearances, a dog by the name of Elvis–who isn’t at least SLIGHTLY interested, hmm?
4. Your Favorite Genres: As some of you may recall, back in May I published a poll asking everybody what their favorite genre was. And the results are in…Mystery and Fantasy tie for first place. So there you have it!
5. Most Helpful Book: Now, for you it may be different (in fact, it’s probably different), but probably the most useful book I have ever read would be Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly. This is most likely just because I want to be a writer, but I have found it to be quite valuable in getting me a little closer to my goal. Gail Carson Levine has done it again!
6. Most Touching: The most touching book I have ever reviewed is most certainly Anne Frank: The Story of a Young Girl. It so vividly brings to life the struggles a teenage girl went through in the Holocaust that it brings tears to the eyes and makes your heart pound. A must-read.
7. ONLY Post About Authors Whose Books I’m Not Allowed to Read: Brontë Sisters, Power Up! is a funny and intriguing video. Just look at the title!
8. Not Really a Post, But: This isn’t a post, but I thought it would be interesting. Girl Knows Books got its most views on January 20, 2011. Thank you to everyone who got bored while at their computer and thought they’d check me out. Your boredom is appreciated.
9. Informative (But Not in the Textbook Way): I find my most informative posts, in a real life way, are the Author Tidbits, just because they give a bit of background of the authors whose books we have fallen in love with. And sometimes, you can find out pretty interesting things! I guess that’s actually why I write them.
10. People Who Have Helped Me: No, I never actually wrote a post about this. But I figure some people have helped me so much I’d like to put a bit in about them. Like my family, who have helped me out tons, and my friends, who have supported me. A lot. Thanks! Without you, I probably wouldn’t have made it to this post.
Well, that’s the end. Tomorrow, it’s back to regular old reviewing. But I’m glad I got to do this post. Hope you all have had great summers!