Tag: middle grades

Book Review: One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One for Sorrow
Author:
Mary Downing Hahn

Published: July 18, 2017
304 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Kim’s Review:

Another chilling tale from Hahn! My gosh she is the queen of kids’ horror! This one seemed appropriate for the times since it takes place during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Seems a bit more romantic than covid, but I guess we’ll take what we can get.

I really liked this book. The atmosphere of Baltimore in winter and the cemetery in the snow and the mental hospital were vivid and interesting. The story was unique and satisfying and it gave me goosebumps in several places. And considering how annoying I find kids, I actually really liked Annie. She seemed sincere and relatable. My one issue is my complete and utter discomfort caused by Elsie! Hahn does this thing where she puts the nastiest kids down on paper and I spend half my time wishing they never existed! I know the point is to make them unlikable and downright unbearable … but dang, sometimes it’s just too much! But her horribleness added to the story so I was mostly ok. I would definitely recommend this to horror fans and even to kids who like the scarier stories.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Collector by K.R. Alexander

The Collector
Author: K.R. Alexander

Published: August 28, 2018
224 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Josie always liked visiting her grandmother in the countryside. But when her mother loses her job in the city and they’re forced to relocate along with Josie’s sister, Annie, she realizes she doesn’t like the country that much. Especially because Grandma Jeannie has some strange rules: Don’t bring any dolls into the house. And never, ever go near the house in the woods behind their yard. Soon though, Josie manages to make friends with the most popular girl in the sixth grade, Vanessa. When Vanessa eventually invites Josie back to her house to hang out, Josie doesn’t question it. Not even when Vanessa takes her into the woods, and down an old dirt road, toward the very house Grandma Jeannie had warned her about.

As Josie gets caught up in her illicit friendship with Vanessa, Annie is caught in the crossfire. What follows is a chilling tale of dark magic, friendship, and some verrrrrry creepy dolls.

Kim’s Review:

This might be the scariest kids’ book I have ever read! I was seriously creeped out during the whole thing! And I was very impressed with the unique story, I felt like I was reading something new. Beryl is a terrifying villain! I could totally see her in my head and she scared me. I did feel like some loose ends were left and that keeps me from giving it 5 stars. I still don’t know who Clara is … and it makes my head want to explode! I don’t like unanswered questions! But the story still resolved itself satisfactorily and was even left open ended in a way that doesn’t bother me.

I’m a little surprised that this could be considered a kids’ book considering how mature it felt. Then again, any future children of mine will be weird enough to start out with scary books so what do I know! I think this is a great read for anyone who likes creepy stories!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Friant’s Video Friday: Allies by Alan Gratz

Today Kim brings you a video review of Allies by Alan Gratz.

 Allies
Author: Alan Gratz

Published: October 15, 2019
325 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

June 6, 1944: The Nazis are terrorizing Europe, on their evil quest to conquer the world. The only way to stop them? The biggest, most top-secret operation ever, with the Allied nations coming together to storm German-occupied France.

Welcome to D-Day.

Dee, a young U.S. soldier, is on a boat racing toward the French coast. And Dee — along with his brothers-in-arms — is terrified. He feels the weight of World War II on his shoulders.

But Dee is not alone. Behind enemy lines in France, a girl named Samira works as a spy, trying to sabotage the German army. Meanwhile, paratrooper James leaps from his plane to join a daring midnight raid. And in the thick of battle, Henry, a medic, searches for lives to save.

In a breathtaking race against time, they all must fight to complete their high-stakes missions. But with betrayals and deadly risks at every turn, can the Allies do what it takes to win?

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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