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Tuesday Book Review: Twenties Girl, by Sophie Kinsella; Friend or Fiend? With the Pain and the Great One, by Judy Blue; Monsterology: The Complete Book of Monstrous Beasties, Candlewick Press

August 4th, 2009

Reviewed today:

Sophie Kinsella is good. Good plotting, good characters, good reading. (And not just summer reading, either. She gets a rep for that because of her popular “Shopaholic” series, but I like to read her year round.) I loved “Remember Me?” even though I just dug through my archives and it looks like I forgot to review it. Whoops.

Her new one, “Twenties Girl,” (Dial Press) is a lot of fun. The set-up: a 20s-something woman, Lara Lington, who is in work and love trouble, is required to attend the funeral of her 105-year-old great-auntie, Sadie. Sadie, you would think, would be occupied. Being dead and all. But no — she is at the funeral (but seen only by Lara) and demanding to know the whereabouts of her necklace. Good reading.

Judy Blume’s latest, “Friend or Fiend?” (Delacorte Press, $12.99, 109 pages) stars two of my favorite Blume characters, the Pain and the Great One, aka first-grade Jake and third-grade Abigail. They still aren’t getting along that well, but they’re having a lot of fun, anyway. Blume also gives us the backstory of one Fluzzy, the cat the siblings fight over. What happened on that dark and stormy night? We enjoyed this one a lot at our house, especially the New York scenes with the Pain and the Great Ones hideous cousins. Perfect for readers up to fourth- or fifth-grade.

“Monsterology” (by Dr. Ernest Drake, edited by Dugald A. Steer, Candlewick Press, $19.99)… where do I start with the “‘Ology” books? We have several of them at our house, and enjoy them all. They’re big, they’re fancy, they’re not too expensive, and they’re not too precious. By that I mean — even with the fold-out maps, the “samples” of amber, hippogriff feathers, the “scrap of spell-casting parchment for attracting mermaids” and all the other oodles of goodies — they’re still usable. You can play with them, pore over them, really use and learn from them and they don’t (easily) fall apart at the seams. I like that in a book, especially a fancy one.

This one features several of Wacky Boy’s favorites: the Loch Ness Monster, the Hippogriff, the Mermaids and Mermen. We like the Griffins. We appreciate the “challenges to the charlatans.” And the map of “Fabulous Creatures of the World”? Fabulous. Nice work, team.

1 Comment

  1. Nan says

    *Gasp*, a new “Ology” book?? Hooray! That will keep the boys busy when we get ot the UK!

    August 4th, 2009 | #

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