Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Loula is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villeneuve

Loula Is Leaving for AfricaLoula Is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villeneuve
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loula has had enough! She is tired of her three mean, horrible brothers. So she takes her essentials (her cat, her tea set and her best drawing) and heads for Africa. But she is not sure just where Africa is. Coming to her aid is Gilbert, the family chauffeur. He helps her find Africa on the map and away they go. With Gilbert in tow, Loula has the adventure of her life going to Africa.
I believe every child needs someone like Gilbert in their lives for those times when everyone else seems too busy to listen to them. Loula embodies every child who has run away (not very far) when feeling sorry for themselves. If only every child had a Gilbert. The muted watercolor illustrations give the story a soft comfortable feeling to let us know Loula will be alright. I wouldn't mind having a day like Loula every once in a while.
Recommended for children ages 5 - 10.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Book Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jasper Francis Dent - good name for a serial killer right? And if your dad is the infamous William Cornelius "Billy" Dent aka The Artist aka Green Jack aka Hand-in-Glove aka the Gentle Killer, well then you are absolutely destined to join the ranks in the serial killer hall of fame. But Jasper, or Jazz to his friends, is desperately fighting his destined place in society. When a naked body turns up in his small town, Jazz does the only thing he can - he uses all Dear Old Dad taught him to hunt the killer. But in doing so, will Jazz become more like his father than even he is willing to admit?

This is a fast paced, thriller which could actually be right from headlines today. Jazz is absolutely driven by the fear he might become his father and take up the family business. At times I found him hard to like and a little scary. As a character he is unique: the child of a serial killer. As we find out about what goes on in Jazz's head, I began to wonder about the families and children of serial killers, how many might be out there and what their lives were like. Jazz's love for his girlfriend, best friend, the Sheriff and even his paternal grandmother make him a more likable character than if all we had was the son of a serial killer. I recommend this book for readers who like thrillers or who are interested in serial killers and their lives. Recommend for ages 15+.

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