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Smashwords book reviews by Cheryl Christensen
- The Adventures of Anna of Waverly Manor
on Feb. 24, 2012
A Ghost-Witch in Review!
I purchased this book for $.99 a while ago, thinking I would get right to reading it. After a few months, I finally managed my time and read the book during the two weeks I was internet free. This book is a children’s book and is a good read for the ages presented above (7 and up).
The story starts with the death of the witch-child Anna, many years ago in a small village. She dies attempting to revenge her father’s murder. The scene is not overly graphic for the ages targeted. It simply explains how Anna dies and gives her a reason to resent those who are of the “fleshy world.”
The story then jumps ahead to modern day and Jackie’s family. You get to know them as they find themselves moving to a small town to occupy the company-owned house, Waverly Manor. The adventures unfold from there.
This is a delightful tale for children with vivid imaginations. They will enjoy the thought of a red-headed witch flying her ghost buddies over the town at night, frightening the community. The bravery of Jackie is something they can relate to as well. The fact that Jackie has disabilities that prevent her from opening up to kids is set aside by the friendship she develops with Boo, a ghost who reminds me of Casper in some ways. (For those of you who are old enough or have access to the old cartoons.) I really enjoyed the fact that Jackie’s disabilities gave her something special, the ability to see the ghosts.
This story was fun to read and I can recommend it to any of your children. It isn’t so scary that they will be up at night or crawling into your bed to be protected from the ghosts, but it still gives them a delightful flavor of a ghost story.
- Spider in my Soup
on March 13, 2012
Spider in my Soup is a children’s story that would be wonderful with illustrations. It is very short, less than 500 words, but tells the story of Gordon, the kitchen spider. I read the story and immediately thought that the adventures of Gordon the spider could be expanded into a great children’s book of a longer length and filled with delightful pictures. Don’t get me wrong! I enjoyed his short escapade into the bowl of soup.
This is a good story to help young children find the author within themselves. This length of story is “do-able” for children in the lowest grades of school. I can recommend this story to readers who like spiders and have often watched the spider in the corner of the room. Children, take up the challenge and write Gordon’s next adventure where this story leaves him!
You can’t lose with a free e-book, so take a chance and read this one.
- Hopping Bird's New Name
on March 27, 2012
Hopping Bird’s New Name is a short story (seven pages) that tells the adventure of a young Sioux boy who is determined to become a great hunter and get a better name. He is greatly disappointed when the day has been dedicated to finding plants for healing – he wants to practice hunting!
This tale shows the determination of every 10 year old boy to be considered older. He is growing up and wants to be seen as something other than a little boy. How does his determination complicate the day – for himself and his tribe? That’s the adventure!
I enjoyed this story. It is short enough for the busy child, but still teaches the dangers of not heeding parents’ warnings. However, bravery and quick thinking are also rewarded. I was amused by the ending – I certainly didn’t see it coming. Dakota Douglas is a story teller who leaves you talking with your child about the possibilities as you finish the last sentence. This book is worth the read.
- King Arthur's Story from Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
on March 29, 2012
This is an intriguing glimpse at King Arthur as he establishes his kingdom. He also catches his first sighting of his wife-to-be, Guinevere. This is a delightful tale, six pages worth, that gives you the flavor of the book it was extracted from. I like the writing style, clear and concise, but still medieval. It is written for pre-teens. I find myself needing to read Cheryl Carpinello’s Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend. Good thing it’s available!