Thursday, September 18, 2014

Minion by John David Anderson

MinionThis is the story of Michael, adopted son of a genius inventor who creates machines for bad guys. Michael has been aiding and abetting his father's crimes for years, and now he's actually helping his father rob banks. Michael's father is super smart, but Michael has his own power. He's able to make people do as he says just by looking in their eyes, but he's not supposed to use his power without permission. Michael sometimes wants to live a normal life, especially when he meets a cute girl at the mall. However, his father is afraid of what might happen to Michael if anyone discovers his special power. There's a new group of masked robbers striking all over town, a new superhero has appeared, and Michael has told his best friend about his mind-controlling power. His father wants to skip town and start a new life, but it may be too late.

I wasn't really sure where the plot was headed during the first half of the book. The main conflict wasn't clear to me. Michael was an interesting character, because we don't often read about the children of criminals like they're regular kids. The story became more focused as the plot moved on, and I really enjoyed it. The climax was a little surprising, but I was able to predict the resolution.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Boggart and the Monster by Susan Cooper

The Boggart and the Monster (The Boggart, #2)Jessup and Emily are excited to revisit the Scottish castle once owned by their grandfather. They especially miss the boggart living there. In this book, a boggart is a mischievous, shape-shifting creature. The new owner of the castle agrees to take the kids to visit the Loch Ness. The boggart tags along and discovers his cousin has been sleeping at the bottom of the loch for hundreds of years. However, his cousin is very sad and has forgotten how to change from the dinosaur shape that many people have seen. The kids want to help, but things get complicated when a snoopy reporter shows up.

I didn't realize until I finished the book, that this book is the second one in a series. I don't think you need to read The Boggart first; I was able to enjoy this book without it. The conflict is pretty unusual. How many times have you read about a monster trying to help his cousin that wasn't in a picture book? It didn't read like a cutesy story, but it wasn't overly serious either. The book was an easy read.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Green Boy by Susan Cooper

Green BoyTrey and his mute, little brother love to explore the little island near their home in Jamaica. Their grandparents allow them to row over to the cay where they enjoy the birds, fish, and their own private cave. Then one day in the cave, the light starts to shimmer, Trey hears a sound, and the boys find themselves transported sometime in the future. The plants have been cut down, buildings and roads have taken their place, and all of the animals they knew are gone. Developers have destroyed all the beautiful nature of the island, and Trey discovers that his silent brother is the only one who can make things right.

Man versus nature. Man versus society. It's hard to stop businesses when they promise people money. The author captured the confusion, frustration, and determination of the two brothers. Little brother Lou had a lot to say even though he couldn't speak. It was amusing that Trey could panic, but Lou would just smile and make things better. The plot skips back and forth in time, as the kids try to figure out how to stop the future society.