Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Warning (Animorphs #16) by K.A. Applegate

Title: The Warning
Series: Animorphs (book 16)
Author: K.A. Applegate
Length: 146 pages

Warning: This is a review of book 16 of the series, so watch out for spoilers of earlier books! The first book in the series is The Invasion, which I reviewed on my adult book blog here.

The Story

Jake discovers a website about yeerks. Some of the information seems pretty accurate, while some is way out there. But the most interesting part of the site is the chat room. People are chatting about yeerks, swapping information, some of them obviously yeerks in disguise, others potential allies to the Animorphs. So they decide to break into the ISP's offices to find out who the people behind those screen names are.

My Thoughts

The Animorphs books always involve the kids coming up with a plan, and some of their plans make more sense than others. Breaking into the office of an internet service provider to find out who some people in a chat room are does not strike me as a very smart plan. But other than that, I liked the plot of this book. The Animorphs face another big moral question, and those always make for the best stories in this series. There are also the usual cool fight scenes and moments of suspense.

The Animorphs series is great for elementary school kids who are striking out on their own with chapter books. Because there are so many of them, they can keep reading about the same characters and seeing them grow, like in a longer novel, but in bite-sized chunks. The reading level is probably a bit above the really early chapter books. There are lots of animal-alien fight scenes, but the violence is not gratuitous.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chickenhare by Chris Grine

Title: Chickenhare
Author: Chris Grine
Length: 157 pages

The Story

Chickenhare is a rare animal with the ears and body of a rabbit and the feathers and legs of a chicken. He and his friend, a bearded turtle named Abe, are captured and sold to a crazy taxidermist named Klaus, who wants to stuff them. Chickenhare and Abe, with the help of their new friends Banjo and Meg, have to escape to avoid being stuffed. Along the way, they meet the Shromph, strange creatures who live in caves, and the ghost of a goat named Mr. Buttons, whose spirit can't rest until she's stopped Klaus once and for all.

My Thoughts

Chickenhare's story is a fun adventure with interesting characters. You'll be cheering for Chickenhare and Abe as they use their wits to escape from the evil Klaus, and Banjo and Meg will keep you guessing with their mysterious identities.

This book is a great introduction to graphic novels, since the text and pictures are easy to follow. It would be enjoyed by pre-teen (tween) readers, and maybe readers a bit younger than that. Scholastic rates it for ages 9-12.