Review: A Girl Called Problem by Katie Quirk

A Girl Called Problem
Katie Quirk
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Published April 18, 2013

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Shida is not a child anymore. At thirteen, she is now a young woman and her mother constantly reminds her to conduct herself as one. No more tree climbing and running around alone. Soon she will be ready to marry, if any young man will associate himself with a girl whose name means “problem” and whose family is cursed.

While her widowed mother sinks deeper into depression, the village leaders talk of moving the people to join a nearby community to share resources. Shida is excited. At last, she may have a chance to go to school, to become … Continue reading

Review: The Scratch on the Ming Vase by Caroline Stellings

The Scratch on the Ming Vase
Caroline Stellings
Second Story Press
Published September 15, 2012

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Fourteen year-old Nicki Haddon arrives in Canada, ready to begin her training at the Fire Dragon Academy. But when she reports to the academy to meet kung fu master David Kahana, Nicki finds him lying in a pool of blood. He is only able to slur out a few words and begs Nicki to find a priceless vase and return it to its owner.

The search for the Chinese vase causes Nicki to question her past. She wrestles with the absence of her wealthy adopted parents as they manage their hotel chain, and her origin as an abandoned baby from a Chinese … Continue reading

Review: Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Once Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published October 1, 2002

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Christian is a young inventor living in the forest with his foster father, a troll named Ed. Life is pretty sweet until the day Christian discovers the lonely Princess Marigold and decides to send her a message via carrier pigeon (p-mail). To Christian’s surprise, the princess replies to his message and the two become best friends.

When Christian uncovers a vicious plot to kill Marigold, he can’t sit by and do nothing. But how can a commoner do anything to save the princess?

Once Upon a Marigold is a spunky, cute fairy tale type story about having courage to … Continue reading

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darnkess
Andrew Peterson
Waterbrook
Published March 18, 2008

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After escaping from one of the fiersome Fangs of Dang, Janner, Tink and Leeli Igiby and their loyal dog Nugget find their troubles are only beginning. As the Fangs’ search for the lost jewels of Anniera intensifies, the Igiby family only seems to fall deeper into the center of the conflict. Janner can’t let go of the mystery that surrounds his father. Why won’t anyone speak of him? And why does the strange recluse, Peet the Sock Man, seem to be protecting them?

Peterson’s style is both off-beat and uplifting, humorous and tender. There’s definitely something in it … Continue reading

Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman
HarperCollins
Published September 30, 2008

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They say it takes a town to raise a child. Or in this case, a graveyard.

After his family are murdered by a stranger named Jack, a toddler escapes to a graveyard where he is adopted by a pair of ghosts who name him Nobody. A vampire speaks up as Bod’s guardian, eventually sharing this responsibility with a werewolf.  Bod befriends other ghost children and even a witch buried on unconsecrated ground near the graveyard. But the mysterious man who murdered his family still seeks him and intends to finish the task he … Continue reading

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