Hannah Reads: Peter Pan in Scarlet

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And now, a guest post from Hannah, aged 10:
peter panLots of kids have seen movies of Peter Pan. However, I think not many have read the book. I have read the original Peter Pan and it is SO much better than the movie. The movies leave out details and put new ones in, which can really complicate your memory. You are left thinking, “Hm, is this detail from one of the many Peter Pan movies, or from the book?”

Since I liked the real book of Peter Pan, I thought I would like to read the follow-up. There was a contest for writing the sequel. I’m pretty sure I was too young to have entered it, or else I probably would have. Anyway, the judges voted on the sequel ideas and Geraldine McCaughrean won. So Peter Pan in Scarlet is the first OFFICIAL sequel. Apparently there have been other sequels, but I have not read them.

When I started Peter Pan in Scarlet, I found it had a slow start. My brother thought it was boring. But once you get into the book, it becomes extremely interesting. In the book, the characters are in World War I. Michael went to war, and it isn’t very clear, but it says he was “lost.”  You could interpret that in many ways. He could be dead, he could be actually lost (like he doesn’t know where he is and has forgotten his life), or he could have been captured by the enemy. The book is not very clear about that. All of the other characters except for Michael have dreams, and wake up to find clues from their dreams in their beds! As you can imagine, you’d be in big time trouble if you dreamed about a cutlass! The characters go back to Neverland and search for treasure.

Overall, I found Peter Pan in Scarlet very exciting, especially at the end. I recommend it highly for people who can stick with a book to get to the interesting part.

Hannah’s questions for kids (and adults):

  • Have you ever read Peter Pan?
  • Have you ever found a sequel as good as the first book?
  • Would you like to go to Neverland?
  • Have you ever wanted to fly?
  • What would you do if you woke up and found something from your dream in your bed?

 
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Hannah Reads: Marie Antoinette

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From Hannah, our resident ten-year-old:

Personally, I do not keep a diary, but I have always wanted to do that. I’ve tried before, but I couldn’t keep up with it. My days are often the same old routine, so it turns into writing the same thing over and over again. Also, what I do doesn’t seem that interesting to me–can you imagine if I wrote down the step-by-step way I unload the dishwasher? BORING!

However, I do enjoy reading other people’s diaries in books. You can come to understand their feelings, even if they are really a stinker! That happens a lot in books, that someone seems like a stinker, but then you understand their feelings and then you can start to take their side.

For example, lots of people think that Marie Antoinette was mean to her subjects and cared only for pleasure. However, Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles gives a whole different look at her character and personality. The book is fiction, but written as if it was Marie Antoinette’s diary. I think the author did that so readers might change their minds about Marie Antoinette.

I, for one, sympathized with Marie Antoinette from early on in the book. She had almost no friends in her life, and her mother was busy being an empress rather than taking the time to get to know her children. So I felt bad for her because that seems like a dreadful life. She was also forced to marry a French guy she didn’t know!  And he was fat! She was very disappointed when she saw him. If she had gotten to know him first, she might have come to like him in spite of his fatness and the fact that he did not even know how to make a snowball, if you can imagine that!  Personally, I would rather marry someone who knows how to make snowballs even if he is fat, because I would like to have snowball fights be a part of my life! Or, if I live where there is no snow, perhaps sock ball fights!

Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles is a fascinating book to read, full of interesting facts about French etiquette, not to mention details about fine dresses. If you like historical fiction, I would recommend it.

Hannah’s questions for kids (and adults):

  • Have you ever wanted to be part of a royal family?
  • Do you keep a diary?
  • Would you let other people read your diary?

 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click through our links and make any purchase, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to pay for website hosting and also helps to keep Hannah and her siblings supplied with more reading material to review!

Hannah Reads: The Lightening Thief

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A review from Hannah, our resident 10-year-old:

Mythology, as you may know, is not made up of things that actually happened. When I think of mythology, I think it’s like fairy stories–not true but they often end with a good moral of the story. If you’re interested in Greek mythology, I think you might find The Lightning Thief enjoyable.

lightning-thief1The book is about Percy Jackson, who is used to bullies calling him names and treating him horribly. He’s also prone to crazy freak accidents. But when he visits a museum of ancient Greek history, and has a run-in with a creature from mythology, things start getting weird. It turns out that Percy is the son of Poseidon! When Zeus’s master bolt is stolen and he blames Percy, Percy has to go on a quest to find it and is in very great danger.

The Lightning Thief, as you can tell, combines everyday life with Greek mythology. That’s very unusual and interesting to think about! You might find yourself wishing you were part of the story too, except for the part about possibly dying an extremely painful death. You might find this scary depending on your personality. Some people may be afraid of the monsters in the book, although I personally do not have that problem since I know mythology isn’t real.

Hannah’s questions for kids (and adults):

  • Have you ever wanted to be part of Greek mythology stories?
  • Have you ever imagined yourself in the story of a book you were reading?
  • Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? How did you handle it?

 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click through our links and make any purchase, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to pay for website hosting and also helps to keep Hannah and her siblings supplied with more reading material to review!

Hannah Reads: A Lunchmeat Book About Cats

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This week’s review by our resident ten-year-old:

Not all books are good literature, but that doesn’t mean they are bad!  If you want to know what good literature is, ask yourself:

  • Does the author write really well? Does he or she use beautiful words and imaginative writing?
  • Is the story captivating?
  • Does it have important ideas that make you understand things better?

If you think about good literature as your favorite meal, like steak or spaghetti, you might want to eat that all the time. But sometimes you might want to eat lunchmeat.

warriors_into_the_wild_frontcover_large_5ApjLPT94NmCZNpInto the Wild is like lunchmeat.  Long lunchmeat.  Even though it may not be good literature, it’s very enjoyable!

The book is about Rusty, a kittypet, which is what the book calls a cat that lives with a human (the book calls humans “twolegs!”). Rusty longs to go into the forest. One day, he does, even though his friend, Smudge, warns him against it. While Rusty is in the forest, he is ambushed by Graypaw, an apprentice warrior of the Thunder Clan. There are four clans of cats who are not pets: Thunder Clan, Shadow Clan, Wind Clan, and River Clan. The clan is a group of cats who live together in the forest. It’s kind of like an Indian tribe that doesn’t move around. The leader of the Thunder Clan invites Rusty to join the Thunder Clan.

Rusty has to choose. Should be join a clan and become an apprentice? Or, will he stay warm and pampered and live a safe kittypet life?

Into the Wild may not be a steak and spaghetti book, but it’s very enjoyable! As long as you read a lot of good literature too, it’s fine to read lunchmeat books sometimes.

Hannah’s questions for kids (and adults):

  • Do you only read good literature, or do you read lunchmeat books too?
  • Do you have a pet cat? If so, do you think the cat secretly wants to join a clan and live in the wild?

 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click through our links and make any purchase, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to pay for website hosting and also helps to keep Hannah and her siblings supplied with more reading material to review!

 

Hannah Reads: Star Wars

2Welcome to Hannah Reads, wherein our resident 10-year-old talks about books and the literary life.

From Hannah:

star warsDo you like Star Wars? If so, you simply must read Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know. It’s fantastic! I learned so much!

For example, did you know:

  • Yarael Poof has TWO brains–one in his head and the other in his chest!
  • “Koh-to-yah” means “greetings” in Keldor, which is the language of Plo Koon’s people!
  • The sound you hear when Princess Leia, Han, and Chewbacca are inside the space slug in Empire Strikes Back was made with melted cheese!

Until I read this book, I had no idea! The book also has cool peek behind the scenes sections, which tell you about the making of the movies–including the new movie, The Force Awakens.

At first, my brother thought this was a book for boys only, but it’s not! Girls will find a lot to like about it too. Usually movies with lots of fighting are considered “boy movies,” but the Star Wars movies also have resourceful girl characters and have adventures both boys and girls find interesting. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know focuses on each character and gives details about the spacecraft and stories that boys and girls will like.

Even if you are not a Star Wars fan, you can still read Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know, although I suggest you watch the movies first. The quality of the illustrations is excellent, the details about technology are awesome, and knowing about the characters on both sides may give more insight into the movies so you could learn to enjoy the movies more.

Hannah’s questions for kids (and adults!): What’s your favorite book about Star Wars? Which Star Wars movie is your favorite?

 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click through our links and make any purchase, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to pay for website hosting and also helps to keep Hannah and her siblings supplied with more reading material to review!

Hannah Reads: Options For Liking Books

2From Hannah, our resident 10-year-old:

Do you always finish every book you start? Personally, I don’t!

How do you know if you should finish a book, or simply throw it to the wayside? Most times, I’d recommend reading fifty pages, and then if you still don’t like it, stop.

Wildwood_by_Colin_Meloy_coverBut sometimes it takes longer for you to get into a book. For instance, Wildwood took me a long time to get into, but I wound up really liking it. Always bear in mind that just because the first chapter of a book is boring, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole book is boring.

Here’s a tip: sometimes certain books are better to listen to than to read. Check to see if your book also comes as an audio book. Then, not only do you get to listen to a good book, but it also passes the time on long car rides!

bad-coverHowever, I do not recommend the audio version of The Bad Beginning from A Series of Unfortunate Events unless you are ten or older! Depending on your personality, the audio version of that book may have too much intensity. The music is in a minor key, which can be scary if you remember it at night. And the narrator uses very evil voices for villains. Actually, I applaud him for using different voices. He is imaginative! But the voices may be too scary for little kids or those with more sensitive personalities.

 

Related Reviews: Hannah’s mama’s take on the Wildwood series and on The Bad Beginning.

 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click through our links and make any purchase, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to pay for website hosting and also helps to keep Hannah and her siblings supplied with more reading material to review!

Hannah Reads: The BFG

2Welcome to Hannah Reads, a new weekly feature on A Spirited Mind. Our guest blogger, Hannah, is a voracious reader with strong opinions who hopes her reviews will inspire the younger set. In addition to reading, Hannah enjoys writing family newspapers, producing plays, and creating imaginary games with small odds-and-ends she repurposes as miniature worlds.

Hannah’s Review of Roald Dahl’s The BFG

BFGThe BFG is a wonderful story by Roald Dahl about a little girl named Sophie. The story begins when Sophie is captured by the BFG (Big Friendly Giant). The BFG is actually the smallest giant and is called a runt by the other giants. Unlike the other giants, the BFG does not eat kids. His self-appointed job is to give good dreams to children.

The BFG takes Sophie to the land of the giants, where she sees the other giants who eat kids. One day, Sophie makes a daring plan to destroy all the giants. Will she succeed? Read The BFG to find out!

 

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click through our links and make any purchase, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to pay for website hosting and also helps to keep Hannah and her siblings supplied with more reading material to review!