Thursday, June 27, 2013

163. Fun for the Secret Seven by Enid Blyton

The children befriend an elderly man who desparately needs help paying the vet bill and caring for his lame horse. The Secret Seven save the day by raising funds which inspires the grown ups to help too.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

162. The Piltdown Mystery by Donald Miller

In 1912, the discovery of skull fragments near the village of Piltdown, Sussex caused a great stir in the scientific world. It appeared to be the skull of the "missing link" between ape and man. For decades few questioned the find and it wasn't until 1943 that it was proved a fake. Was it a hoax or a forgery? And who was in on the act?

Monday, June 24, 2013

161. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

 Annabeth gets her wish - a quest of her own  - and she and Percy have to outwit the enemies of Camp Half-Blood and find their way through Daedelus' Labyrinth.  Grover also gets his wish - to find Pan - with surprising consequences.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

160. The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

When Percy, Thalia and Grover rescue siblings Nico and Bianco from the clutches of Dr. Thorn, Annabeth goes missing. When Artemis likewise vanishes, a quest to find her and Annabeth leads the heroes into a trap set by "the General" who is working for Kronos.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

159. Guinea Pigs Far and Near by Kate Duke

Charming illustrations help to teach opposites, relational words and adverbs.

158. The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket

In typical Snicket fashion, this book presents the instruments of the orchestra in a way that's fun and easy to remember. Paired with Nathaniel Stookey's music, on CD with the book, a great teaching tool.

157. All My Friends are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John

A quirky book that will make you shake your head and smile. Funny and thought provoking at the same time, a fun read for people with warped senses of humour.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

156. The Pirate Prince: Discovering the Pricelss Treasures of the Sunken Ship Whydah by Barry Clifford

Written with Peter Turchi, this book has two timelines - 1717 when the Whydah Gally sunk off the coast of Wellfleet, Massachusetts and the 1980s when Barry Clifford and his team find the wreck after years of searching. The financial, legal and ethical battles faced by private salvors also makes for interesting reading. Clifford concludes with, "The real treasure is the story".

Thursday, June 13, 2013

155. Real Pirates: The Untold Story of The Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship by Barry Clifford

Stunning paintings by Gregory Manchess and artifacts from the wreck photographed by Kenneth Garrett richly illustrate the text. Cape Cod based underwater archaeological explorer,  Barry Clifford, details the history and the fate of the Whydah Galley, built in 1715 and wrecked just two years later.

154. The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan

An anthology of short stories, puzzles and illustrations based on Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Includes the aptly titled "Son of Magic" penned by Riordan's 16 year old son Haley who was the inspiration behind this popular series.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

153. Disasters at Sea: A Visual History of Infamous Shipwrecks by Liz Mechem

An interesting collection of shipping disasters both natural and man made - from storms and ice bergs to casualties of war and poor design. Many maps, historical paintings, photos and diagrams put these tragic events on a human scale

152. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

In this second book of the series, Percy and Annabeth must travel through the Sea of Monsters to rescue Grover from the cyclops Polyphemus. Their ultimate goal is to steal the Golden Fleece from Polyphemus and bring it back to Camp Half-Blood so that it's healing powers can stop the destruction of the camp.

Friday, June 07, 2013

151. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This first book in "The Olympians" series is based on the premise that Greek gods are truly imortal. Set in today's world it is Greek Mythology retold with an ironic twist. Interesting characters and exiting battle scenes make the story come to life.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

150. The Engagement by Chloe Hooper

Not since Yann Martel's Life of Pi have I been undecided about the true nature of a book's characters and the truth behind the story line. Liese Campbell left her debts behind in England and started working at her uncle's real estate business in Melbourne, Australia. Her affair with farmer Alexander Colquhoun begins when she is showing him properties for sale. They continue their assignations, for money, in homes for sale. When Liese tells him that she's leaving Australia to return to England he offers her a four figure sum to spend the long weekend at his property in the bush. This psychologial thriller leaves you wondering who wrote the bizarre letters slandering Liese to Alexander.

149.Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham

A biochemist discovers an anti-aging compound when running tests on a lichen found in Manchuria. The moral, legal and ethical implications of giving people injections of a substance that will extend their life expectancy to two hundred years causes grave consequences.