BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: How do you know what's good?

While there are many places (especially on the internet) where you can read book reviews, how do you really know if it's a good book or not when a single book might receive anywhere from one to five stars?
The answer: read the reviews of a book-addicted teacher librarian.

** The age recommendations are guidelines only; whether or not a certain book is suitable for a particular child depends on multiple factors, including their maturity, reading level, interests, and in some cases their experiences.
** While the ratings are largely based on my own personal appreciation/enjoyment of the book, they are also influenced by my experiences as a teacher and the potential attraction for the target-aged child (acknowledging that what one child may love, another may find exceptionally boring). A rating of 5 indicates the book is likely to be popular with the majority.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Conjuror (Middle-Grade/Pre-Teen Fic)

AUTHOR: John and Carole E. Barrowman (US)
PUBLISHED: Head of Zeus ; 2016.
PAGES/ILL: ~300 pages.

Matt and Em are Animare: people with the ability to bring art to life; whatever they draw appears in real life. They work for Orion, a group which investigates other Animare who use their gifts for evil.
Remy is a conjuror: he can change reality with music, by playing his harmonica or singing. After watching a rogue Animare kill his mother, he is on the run. Matt, Em and Remy work together to search for the secret she died to protect, and the painting the rogue Animare comes from.

I thought the plot of the story had a lot of promise, but the execution was a big let-down. There were gaps in the story, leaving the reader having to fill in who, what, where, when, how, why to try and make sense of events. There were also jumps between present and past which weren't completely explained. The authors should have put in more details to support the world-building.

There was also a few moment of homosexual innuendo that the story really could have done without, and the age range gets a higher minimum because of this.

In short, this book could have been great, but wasn't. I don't recommend it.

AGE: 12+.
GENRE: Fantasy.
RATING: 2 stars.

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