November 2009

These are the books the Children's Area staff reviewed in November 2009. Click on the "check the catalog" link to see if the book is available. If it isn't, ask a librarian to put it on hold for you.

Scroll past these book reviews to see an archive of all of the previous book reviews.


The Fantastic Mr. Fox

This is quite possibly one of the best books that I have read in a while. If you haven't yet had the opportunity to enjoy one of the many amazing books by Roald Dahl, The Fantastic Mr. Fox is a wonderful place to start. Although this book is written for children with slightly higher reading levels, content wise, it would serve as an ideal read-aloud book for parents with younger children who are becoming interested in longer works of fiction. Read along to discover how fantastic Mr. Fox really is as he outwits his greedy neighbors, Farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean, and saves his family and neighbors from imminent peril. And then read all of his other books, because I bet you'll want to.

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The Magic Thief: Book One

Stealing was a way of life for him until he stole a magic stone from a passing wizard. Connwaer was an expert pickpocket and this time it changed his life for the better. He had been on the streets of Wellmet for as long as he could remember, but now Connwaer is thrown into the world of magic and wizards. He becomes an apprentice to Nevery, the wizard whose pocket he picked, and must help Nevery in his task of saving the magic that is being stolen from the city of Wellmet. Conn's determination to convince Nevery where he has located the source and Conn's search for his own locus magicalicus (a stone that every wizard's apprentice needs) is a great read. Look for the second book of this series next month.

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

In this book, Brian Selznick uses an innovative approach to story-telling. The author set out to make a book that was "not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things." He achieves this by relaying certain pivotal moments in the story through a series of images, complete with the pan-outs and close-ups one would expect to see in a film, but not typically in the illustrations of a novel. The plot is very interesting and, upon finishing the novel, the reader will learn something new and unexpected. The plot is intriguing and suspenseful; I did not put the book down until I had finished it!

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Three Samurai Cats: A Story From Japan

  • by Eric Kimmel
  • Call number: JNF 398.2095 KIMMEL
  • check the catalog
  • Recommended for ages: 4-8 years

A rat has taken over the castle. The daimio needs a Samurai cat to vanquish the ferocious rat. The rat, however, is not an easy foe to defeat. Splat goes the first Samurai cat. He is no match for the villainous rat. Splat goes the second armored Samurai cat. He is also defeated by the rat. Next, it is up to an old, ragged and toothless Samurai cat to stop the rat from plundering the castle. What could the ancient cat do to with such a giant pest problem? Read Three Samurai Cats and find out.

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Muzzy Club, BBC

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