Tag Archives: Random House

Review: The Reason I Jump

Title:  The Reason I Jumpbook-the-reason-i-jump-ftr

Author:  Naoki Higashida

Publisher:  Random House LLC, August 2013

“According to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention, one in 250 births result in autism, meaning that about 1.5 million Americans have some form of the disorder. The Department Of Education suggests that number is climbing, and that in the next decade or so, there could be over 4 million cases in the United States alone.” -Tammy Ruggles in A Brief Overview of Autism 

Autism is often seen as a mysterious disorder with unknown origins. Although the precise cause of autism is unknown, it is believed to be caused by abnormal brain structure or function.  Arguably, autism is disorder which can only be understood in its entirety by those who experience it. For many individuals who have the most profound manifestation of the disorder, however, communication can be a struggle. Individuals with autism have described situations in which it can be painful to have limited control of their body, to not have the “right words” for the situation, or for some to have no words at all.  Communicating all of the details of that which they experience everyday as a part of normative life can extremely challenging.

In The Reason I Jump, thirteen year old Naoki Higashida writes answers to some of the many questions people without autism have about the disorder and those who live with it.  Hisashida, who has a pronounced manifestation of the disorder, has limited verbal communication skills.  He communicates through written word both on the computer or by pointing to letters on a chart, spelling out words, which are written down by a transcriber. The words that Higashida uses to describe his world are candid, direct, and above all, honest. The book ends with a truly moving short story, written by the thirteen year old boy, which pulled at my heart-strings and brought me to tears. The Reason I Jump proves, as author David Mitchell who wrote the book’s introduction pointed out, that empathy and compassion are absolutely felt by those with even extreme forms of autism, despite popular belief.

The Reason I Jump is an eye-opening narrative which has challenged the way I view autism and those who live with autism. A New York Times Bestseller which can be found at bookstores around the world, this book will change the way the world sees individuals with disabilities. I strongly recommend The Reason I Jump for all readers aged 10 and up.

I would like to extend a very special thank you to my friend, Kiva, for gifting this book to me and reigniting the blogger in me.

Posted by: Janine Reads

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Review: The Enchantress

Title:  The Enchantress

Author:  Michael Scott

Series:  The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

Publisher:  Delacorte Press, a division of Random House Children’s Books

FINALLY! I finally get to read and finish the last book in the series. It has been so long that I hardly remember anything from the previous books. Well, here we are again, and first of all, I would like you to know that

THIS BOOK IS TOTALLY AWESOME-ISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah, well it really was awesome, but much darker than the others. Almost half the characters die. But fortunately, in a much less gory way than Billy the Kid (he is not a kid (don’t ask)) gets injured. I’m sorry; I’m just so giddy that I finally read this book that I’ve been trying to get a hold of for almost a year now. I don’t want to spoil it for you if you’re going to read it, but I will tell you that Isis and Osrisis are not Sophie and Josh’s parents and that they are completely evil. Not the kind of evil that makes you livid with anger in hopes that they die a very unpleasant death, but the kind that disturbs you in a way that makes your eyes bug and want to edge the book away from you. But I am not telling you what they are.

I think that the author could have added less grim details in parts of the book, but I also think the epilogue makes up for it. The book is five hundred and nine pages long, but it is easier to read than it sounds. At least for me; I am a mutant book-reading freak. I would recommend this book to anyone thirteen and over. I AM NOT KIDDING. Seriously, if you’re reading this and you’re ten years old and are even slightly disturbed by the idea of a six hundred year-old warrior getting eaten alive by evil, crazed, cannibalistic mermaids, then do NOT read this book. Nevertheless, this is a totally awesome book and if do not fit the description previously listed, go right ahead. I now leave you in a true sentence I just made up:  “If books are frowned upon in my house, then I have four eyes, eight legs, and a tail.”

 

Posted by: Fred Reads

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Review and summary: Georges Secret Key to the Universe

Title:  George’s Secret Key to the Universe

Authors:  Lucy and Stephen Hawking

Illustrator:  Garry Parsons

Publisher:  Random House

            This book was written by the world’s most famous physicist and his daughter. I think that is really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really awesome. This book is strange in the fact that it is more than one type of book. It is science fiction mixed with science fact. The main character is George. He has parents that think technology is wrecking the world. They go on protests and they don’t own a car, a computer, a telephone, or even light bulbs! Everything is lit by candle. George has a pig named Freddy that he really likes but his parents don’t like. Even though his parents try to make him an organic farmer, there is one thing that George really wants to have – a computer. One day George lost Freddy. He knew that Freddy went into the backyard next door but it’s a mini Amazon jungle over there and although he wants to go he knows he’s not allowed to. But he goes anyway and meets his new neighbors Eric, Annie, and their computer Cosmos. Little does George know just how powerful Cosmos is and what he can do.

Soon George joins the Order of Scientific Inquiry for the Good of Humanity or, the O.S.I.G.H. He learns that the computer Cosmos is the most powerful computer on earth and he can speak and have feelings. George then watched a movie called Birth and Death of a Star and learned a lot about the sun and other stars like it. A star is born in a cloud of dust and gas called a nebula. Most people have heard of a nebula before but some do not know that it is a nursery for stars. When a star is about ten thousand years old (young for a star) it will have enough energy in its core to become brighter.

When George got to school the next day he started drawing a picture of Cosmos. He could not get the picture right even though it was clear in his mind. When he was finished, his teacher, Doctor Reeper (whom they called Greeper) came over and asked George what he was doing. George hastily tried to cover it but Greeper saw it anyway and took it. George was devastated, for he had sworn to Eric that he would keep Cosmos a secret. At the end of school George stole his drawing back. After school when George was walking home Ringo and his gang of bums followed George. George ran because Ringo had done terrible things to the kids he caught on the street. When George got home Ringo and his bums were right behind him. He could not unlock the door because he had fallen down earlier and his things had fallen out of his pockets. Just as Ringo was about to squeeze George against the wall, a tiny astronaut leaped in between them and did a karate stance. The astronaut looked at the gang and threatened to put “the curse of alien life” on them. Ringo and his gang were terrified. After the astronaut did a few twirls and kicks that seemed familiar to George, the gang ran away as fast as they could.

George followed the person that had rescued him. When they got inside Eric’s house, George realized that the astronaut was Annie. He thought that the day was pretty bad. He had accidentally told Greeper about Cosmos, he had been chased home by four bullies, and he had gotten rescued by a little girl wearing a space suit. What he did not know was that his day was about to get a whole lot worse.

George asked Annie why she had a space suit and she said that she went on space adventures with her dad. George did not believe her so she made Cosmos open a portal to a comet in the solar system. They got in their space suits and jumped on. They passed two of the biggest planets in our solar system – Jupiter and Saturn. Then they entered an asteroid field which was not very helpful, if you can imagine. When they were almost back to earth, Eric appeared on the comet. He made Cosmos create another portal and soon they were back home. Eric got really mad at both of them and banned them from playing together. The only good news was that there was a science competition at his school and the first prize was a computer! George entered a rock from Saturn’s rings that he had secretly taken on the comet. On Halloween George’s dad was in a sea of people protesting to save the planet. Meanwhile, Ringo and his gang had had delivered a letter for Dr. Reeper. It was for Eric. The next day at school George was visited by Dr. Reeper at his desk. He asked George if he had seen Eric lately. George lied and said yes. At the end of school George looked in the trash can. Earlier, the principal had made him throw away the space rock. But when George looked, it was gone. George went to a meeting at Eric’s house. When the meeting was finished Eric found the note from Greeper. He made Cosmos open a portal and he got sucked into a black hole. Cosmos was computer-napped by Ringo and his gang. When George got to school he told Annie about her dad. George met her mom Susan and they rescued Eric. I would recommend this book to anyone and I do mean anyone ages eight and up. I thought that this was an excellent book.

 

Posted By: Fred Reads

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Review: The Warlock

Title:  The Warlock

Author:  Michael Scott

Illustrator:  Michael Wagner

Publisher:  Random House

 

I finally managed to get my hands on this book. It took me about a month to get it. My favorite part was actually at the very end, so I am really bummed out for three reasons. First, the book ended at the most exciting part, second, the sneak peak of the next book was only one page long, and third, the next book isn’t even out yet. In this book Tsagaglalal – she who watches, Niten, Mars, and Maretheu were added to the really long list of main characters. I think that Michael Scott is a really good author because he expresses the emotions and movements of the characters without making it boring or over the top dramatic. If it feels like you’re being sucked into the book you know that the author has had a lot of experience writing books. He knows what the balance is between to little and to much. He has given his books the perfect dose of excitement and suspense. The reason I like books more that movies is because they are more interactive meaning you can flip the pages and smell the dust if they’ve been left alone for a while. As with movies they get scratched ad are practically unrepairable. I really liked this book. I would recommend it book to kids eight and up. I can’t wait to read The Enchantress.

 

Posted By: Fred Reads

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Compare and Contrast: Day of the Dragon King and Night of the Ninjas

Titles:  Day of the Dragon King and Night of the Ninjas

 Author:  Mary Pope Osborne 

Illustrator:  Sal Murdocca

Publisher: Random House

 

 These books were part of a series called The Magic Tree House. My favorite one is Night of the Ninjas  because it talks about ninjas and it takes place in Japanwhich is the country that I am studying for social studies this month. They both were very good but I wish they were longer. It took me about forty – five minutes to read them both. They are both sixty – eight pages long. Day of the Dragon King took place in China which was the country that I studied last month. Both books took place in ancient times. They are about two modern day kids that have a tree house that has a library inside. To do there missions (which are given by an ancient sorceress named Morgan) they have to find an opened book, point to a picture inside it, and say I wish we could go there! Then they are sent back to the time the book takes place. There mission is usually to get a book for Morgan’s library or a special object or series of objects for a spell. There are about forty – two books in the series right now and I am sure that Mrs. Osborn is working on another one right now. In total, I have either read or listened to about six of The Magic Tree House books. I read the others in second grade. When you read the books it really does feel like you are being sent back in time! Soon, very soon, I will go to the library again and pick out six other Magic Tree House books.

Posted by: Fred Reads

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Review: The Necromancer

Title:  The Necromancer

Author:  Michael Scott

Cover Artist:  Michael Wagner

Publisher:  Random House

The Necromancer is the fourth book in the series of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel. It was a lot like the first, second, and third. My favorite parts were when Sophie, Nicholas, and Perenelle used a crystal skull to see through Josh’s (Sophie’s twin brother) eyes and when they fought Dr. John Dee, Virginia Dare, and Coatlicue (the first vampire). My least favorite part was when Josh sided with Dr. Dee and Virginia Dare. Virginia Dare, Aoife of the shadows, and Prometheus, the Master of fire are added to the now long list of main characters in the series. In this book, Prometheus teaches Josh the magic of fire. My favorite parts in all of these books are the battles. This book did not have as many battles as the last three. It was not as long as the other three either. The elder Mars Ultor awakened Josh’s powers and therefore has temporary control over him. That is why Josh sided with the bad guys. The creepiest part about that is when Mars takes control over Josh, Josh’s eyes turn the same color as the elder’s, which is a glowing crimson. There are two more books left in this series that I know of. The next book is The Warlock and the last book is The Enchantress and is not out yet. I can’t wait to read The Warlock.

Posted by: Fred Reads

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Review: The Sorceress

Title:  The Sorceress

 Author:  Michael Scott

 Cover Artist:  Michael Wagner

 Publisher:  Random House

The Sorceress is the third book in the series of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel. Like the first and second one it is adventure and fantasy and I would recommend it to children ages ten and up. Cernunnos – the Archon, Gilgamesh – the King, Nereus – The Old Man of the Sea, Areop Anap – the Old Spider, Palemedes – the Saracen Knight, William Shakespeare, Billy the Kid, and the Gabriel Hounds were added to the list of main characters in this book. At this point, after reading The Alchemyst and The Magician, the book’s not confusing at all. This is a very good thing because it lets you admire the words that Michael Scott, I cannot think of another word for it, spun, out of pure imagination. Michael Scott, in my opinion, has written such good books that he could start a business with J.K. Rowling herself, and dominate the world of reading. I am very, very excited to start reading the fourth book in the series:  The Necromancer.

Posted by: Fred Reads

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Review: The Magician

Title:  The Magician

Author:  Michael Scott

Publisher:  Random House

Cover Artist:  Michael Wagner

The Magician is the second book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamell series. It was a lot like the first book.It was full of adventure and fantasy. The “immortals” Joan of Arc and Saint Germain are added to the list of main characters in this book, as are Niccolo Machiavelli and the Genii Cucullati. I would recommend this book to children ages ten and up. It got less confusing after I read it because I sort of got used to the fact that modern teenage kids were talking to people who lived over seven hundred years ago. For example, Dr. John Dee served Queen Elizabeth and he is one of the main characters in this book. I really liked this book. As soon as I finish the third book, The Sorceress, I will write a review. That will be in about two days.

Posted by: Fred Reads

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Review: The Alchemyst

Title:  The Alchemyst

Author:  Michael Scott

Publisher:  Random House

Cover Artist:  Michael Wagner

The Alchemyst is the first book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamell series. This one was also like the Harry Potter book series and the Spiderwick Chronicles book series – it was full of action and adventure. The things that I didn’t like were that there were too many things going on and that Michael Scott left some pretty big things missing in the middle of the book that you only found out in the next book. The main characters are Dr. John Dee, Nicolas Flamell, Perenelle Flamell, and Sophie and Josh Newman. The Flamells and Dr. Dee are real historical figures which makes it more thrilling and even confusing to read. I would recommend this book to ages ten and up. I would not recommend it to children ages 9 and under simply because it is too long. Against my negative comments I thought it was a really good book. I am already on the third book! Expect a review on The Magician very soon!

Posted by: Fred Reads

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