Nethercliff, Beryl. The Snowstorm.
1967, Alfred A. Knopf
Caroline, Kit and Richard are sent rather hurriedly to their great aunt Amethyst's when their parents must go out of town for several months. Farthingdales is a huge but run down English manor house, and their aunt is having trouble keeping it from falling to bits. The children are intrigued by the house, especially when they find a snow globe with a replica of the house inside it-- a snow globe which is a portal into other times. They meet Michael, a boy from the early 1800s, as well as other people who lived in the house, and try to ask them about where treasures might be hidden so that their aunt can get some much needing funding to keep the house from ruin. Some of the people from the past are a bit shady, but when the children are stranded alone in the house when their aunt is caught up in a snowstorm, the ghosts of the past come through to save their aunt as well as Farthingdales.
Strengths: **SIGH** A teacher found a copy of this book in her classroom-- we have no idea where it came from. When she handed it to me, I knew that I had seen it reviewed at Charlotte's Library, and it was all I could do to not sit down right in the middle of the school day and read it! I ended up waiting until a Friday evening, when I curled up in my favorite chair with a cup of tea and some biscuits and just wallowed in the old timey world of this one. For some reason, I adore snowbound books, and this had the added attraction of an English country house, lots of food, and "delicious" feather beds. I was so happy with those things that I was completely oblivious to the writing quirks Charlotte mentioned.
Weaknesses: So much of what goes on would be completely incomprehensible to students today-- parents go off for three months because sea air is good for the father's health? Parents don't really tell aunt children are coming? House is falling to bits? There would be no point in putting this book in the library-- I guess I will just have to suffer and keep it for myself, in case I come down with a horrible case of flu and need some comfort reading!
Pilkey, Dav. Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers (#10)
15 January 2013, Scholastic.
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Okay. While I have decided that my reading tastes are that of a 12 year old boy, they are not that of an 8 year old boy. Still, because of my son's undying devotion to Captain Underpants, I did read the newest book, greatly motivated by the impression that it was the last one. Although I don't have a publication date, there is an 11th book in the works with the title The Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000. This was time travel at its goofiest and most confusing!
Oh, I give up. From the Publisher:
"When we last saw our
heroes, George and Harold, they had been turned into evil zombie nerds
doomed to roam a devastated, postapocalyptic planet for all eternity.
But why, you might ask, didn't the amazing Captain Underpants save the
boys from this frightening fate? Because Tippy Tinkletrousers and his
time-traveling hijinks prevented George and Harold from creating Captain
Underpants in the first place! Now, having changed the course of human
history forever, they'll have to figure out a way to CHANGE IT BACK."
A note-- flip-o-rama does NOT work in e Books, although the Captain Underpants series is now available in that format. Just not the same!
Here's a good list of the Youth Media Awards from ALA Midwinter in Seattle at the Sacramento Bee. My one story-- over a year ago, Katherine Applegate e mailed me and asked if I wanted to review The One and Only Ivan! (Review here.) It's been my number one pick to win the Newbery! Do I have the lovely copy Ms. Applegate sent me? No. I always feel funny about having ARCs and feel I should help the publishers get their money's worth by passing them along. I am SO glad that this book won. Well deserved, and given to a very lovely person as well!