Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Dog Boy by Noel Anenberg

                The Dog Boy is an emotionally entertaining novel set just at the end of WWII in Los Angeles. It follows Phosie, an African-American maid who moves to Los Angeles to be with her son who was wounded in the war and is in the hospital recovering. She works as a maid for Lucille Goldberg as a means to making a living during her son’s recovery and encounters Jakie, Lucille’s brother, and Lucille’s son who believes he is a dog and acts and lives like one at all times, thus the title of the book. Racial issues are at the forefront of this book as care for Phosie’s son is not what it should be due to his color. Also explored quite beautifully is the relationship Phosie has with Lucille to whom she becomes somewhat of a mother figure, albeit one who knows her place. The key relationship is between Phosie and the little dog boy to whom she also becomes somewhat of a mother as well. The author does a brilliant job of exploring the life of an African-American maid during this time in post war Los Angeles without making it the main point of the book. Instead, the focal point is Phosie herself, a strong woman who only wants the best for her son. I really enjoyed this book and found myself completely taken in by the story. I read this on my ereader which formatted it to digital form perfectly and the cover was intriguing as to how it correlated to the book title. This is definitely worth the read.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Beast of Seabourne by Rhys A. Jones

                The Beast of Seabourne is book two in a series called the Artifact Series. The target audience of readers are middle schoolers but, much like the Harry Potter series, even adults will enjoy this action packed magical adventure. The author states in the back of the book that some of his inspirations are J.K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman, among others, which I found interesting because as I read the book I thought about how it reminded me of those authors’ works. I haven’t read book one yet and although it would be enjoyable and beneficial to do so, it’s not necessary in order to read book two because the author does a great job of giving just enough back story to know what is going on without ruining the story of book one. The friendship between the three friends is realistic and heartwarming as they argue and stick up for each other whether against bullying classmates or the terrifying beast that has been terrorizing Oz’s classmates. There’s also lots of science tidbits written in such a way that a kid reading this book may actually learn something from it. There is lots of action that will keep even the most reluctant reader interested. I read this on my ereader and the formatting was perfect. The cover is a good representation of the story. This is an excellent book and it’s worth checking out the rest of the series.

Tales from Little Lump: Night of the Undead Snow Monkeys by Jeff Folschinsky

                Tales From Little Lump is a series of short tales (this particular one is around fifty-four pages) about the town of Little Lump, named after lumpy coal, and the extremely strange residents whose antics are so funny I found myself giggling out loud and I am definitely not a giggler. This is book two in the series and aptly titled Night of the Undead Snow Monkeys. Without giving book one away, a colony of snow monkeys are contaminated, killed and come back from the dead in zombie form, hell bent on eating and killing the residents of Little Lump. The story follows Gertie and Cousin Tommy as they try to find cover from these marauding zombies. This is a great short tale with hilarious characters. The dialogue is funny and the whole series belongs on television. This book is perfect on my ereader format wise and the cover is as funny as the book. I can’t wait for more Tales From Little Lump and, except for the marauding monkeys, wouldn’t mind living in Little Lump myself.