Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review of Throne of David by Ann Farnsworth

When a secret letter is delivered 32 years after it is written, it throws the ascendancy of the British throne into question and sets in motion an alliance that will do anything to suppress the truth. The search for the rightful heir uncovers the existence of a sacred stone destined to reveal the true king. Follow the clues through ancient history and discover the truth about the Throne of David! This high-stakes thriller has a mind-blowing ending you have to read to believe!
Throne of David
by Ann Farnsworth

Publisher: Cedar Fort
Pages: 288 (paperback)
Genre: fiction, historical, suspense, thriller
Content: Clean, some violence

What did I think?

First thought was WOW! It was a great adventurous ride, like reading a PG version of Dan Brown. I was absorbed from the first chapter thinking what a great treasure to find 32-year-old letters. Then the plot flew off from there, with story going on both sides of the Atlantic. The characters were running out of time-- the intensity,  the on-the-run adventure and suspense. I couldn't put the book down and I had to go to work (one of life's tragedies when there is such a book to read). There are a couple of good twists near the end, but the author has foreshadowed and it all makes sense.

I want you to know that I rarely give 5 pencils for the books I review. My daughter is more generous than I am. I'm giving this book 5 pencils and it deserves every one for thoroughly entertaining me without any unnecessary baggage. This was the most fun I've had reading for a long, long time! Read this book--you won't be sorry!

Want to know more about the author?

Ann Farnsworth: author of 10 kids and one novel!

Short and Snappy:
Ann Farnsworth spent a lifetime studying ancient and modern history, and discovered a fascination with the plots used to construct a best-selling novel, a love of precise vocabulary and a true devotion to memorable characters. All of these interests came together and enabled her to write ‘The Throne of David’ when the youngest of her 10 children turned 9.

More Detailed:
I have always been a voracious reader and sometime writer even while raising a large family of 10 children.  In fact, reading allowed me to escape for a few minutes (or longer) during the day while staying connected to the needs of our family.
Our youngest is now ten and the stories that have been stewing inside my head as I washed dishes, cooked dinner and helped with homework these last 25 years are bubbling up and out of my fingertips. My favorite books to read are Da Vinci Code, Pride and Prejudice, the scriptures, any of the Harry Potter books and of course, Good Night Moon.

It is said that about 80% of us feel we have a book we’d like to write. If I can do it, anyone can. That is the truth!

Check out her website at

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Amy's Review of Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

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When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren's refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.
As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren's two suitors--one welcome, and the other decidedly less so--brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.
With Shannon Hale's lyrical language, this forgotten but classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise.
Book of a Thousand Days
by Shannon Hale

Genre: Fiction
Content: Some  violence
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release date: September 15, 2009)
Number of Pages:  336

My Opinion:
I was interested in this from the very beginning.  I love the way Shannon Hale tells stories.  She has a way of getting you to really understand and identify with the characters in the book.  The main character is so unique, and the whole civilization at the time has a bizarre structure based on their beliefs in their "Ancestors."  It is such a different society that it creates a story in itself.  I love the way everything comes together at the climax - finally everything makes sense.  It is very well written, and I always love happy endings. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Two Top Favorite books of Grandson 1.1

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Grandson 1.1

This grandson loves to play soccer, the piano, and started playing the trombone last year. He also loves to read. He has a couple of favorite series, but today we're spotlighting two books.

Journey to the Center of the Earth
by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth is a classic 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano Sn√¶fellsj√∂kull, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards. 

Grandson 1.1 likes this book for its slower, more serious, technical side, building high-stakes tension.

Around the World in 80 Days
by Jules Verne

Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager (roughly £1.6 million today) set by his friends at the Reform Club. It is one of Verne's most acclaimed works. The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1, 1872.

1.1 enjoyed this story because it was a lighter, more fun adventure.
I love that he's reading some of the classics as well as today's series of fantasies.

Other books by Jules Verne:


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Review of Children's Book of Magic: 30 Magic Tricks for Young Wizards by Konrad Modzelewski

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Abracadabra, Hocus Pocus... With this book you'll not limit yourself to these magic words, but you'll actually do magic! You'll be able to break the law of gravity, make objects disappear or even read people's minds...

Some books require an endless list of things you should buy before enjoying its content. To perform the tricks from our ebook you will need just a few everyday items such as coins or a pencil!

Children's Book of Magic will take your child into a fascinating world of magic and illusion. The secrets are revealed by a young, yet famous illusionist Konrad Modzelewski. The book is a fantastic source of both entertainment and education, which will help your child:
  • improve their memory
  • boost their creativity
  • develop their manual, acting and interpersonal skills
  • introduce them to basic physics concepts

    The book contains 30 beautifully illustrated cartoons as well as the trick explained, along with the tips and additional information on how to perform it. The tricks are of different difficulty levels, therefore they are recommended both for small children aged 4 and older ones up to 9. It's a great opportunity for valuable family moments: younger kids can learn the tricks with the help of parents or siblings, and older ones can show off the tricks they mastered to family members or friends!

Age Level: 4-9

What I liked about this book:
  • The illustrations are vintage/steampunk, I'm a huge fan. The entire book is illustrated. The tricks are drawn out with the written explanation, but it's fun just to look at the pictures.
  • The whole book is very well organized. Tricks range from easy to medium to difficult. Everything you need is listed right there.
  • The tricks can be done with ordinary, household objects.
  • With a little practice your child can be mastering the easier tricks right away.
  • This book made me feel like I was part of a big secret club. If you read this book, don't give away the magician's secrets!
  • It's a great how-to book for any budding magician.