Review: The Mozart Girl

Title: The Mozart Girl
Author: Barbara Nickel
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical
Publisher: Second Story Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 18, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Nannerl Mozart’s twelfth-birthday wish is to become a famous composer. She’s already considered a brilliant musician, touring eighteenth-century Europe with her little brother, Wolfgang, and playing for queens and kings in the great courts. But Papa doesn’t take her seriously as a composer, Mama usually has a list of chores for her, and Wolfi always manages to steal everybody’s attention. Can Nannerl defy everyone’s expectations and capture some of the spotlight that shines on her brilliant younger brother?

Review:

This is a great historical middle grade novel.

I didn’t know this story about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s older sister. She was also a musician, but since she was a girl, she wasn’t given the same opportunities or credit as him. It’s a shame that just because she was a girl, she wasn’t able to pursue her dreams of playing music. Still today, we know his name but her name isn’t as recognizable.

I found it fascinating to read about how they learned and played instruments in the 18th century. I play the piano, but not as well as those kids, and I only started to learn when I was a teenager. It must have been amazing to see the children play their instruments so well.

I loved this story!

What to read next:

The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi

Have you read The Mozart Girl? What did you think of it?

Review: Twilight of the Elves (The Adventurers Guild #2)

Title: Twilight of the Elves (The Adventurers Guild #2)
Author: Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 13, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

I should probably start at the beginning, Zed wrote, when things first went wrong?.

Zed, Brock, and their friends may have saved Freestone from destruction, but the fight against the Dangers is far from over. No one knows what to expect next from the dark power that forced the elves to abandon their city. And the influx of elf refugees in Freestone strains resources and brews resentment among the townspeople. Things have shifted between best friends Zed and Brock, as well, with their friendship crumbling under the weight of the secrets they’re keeping from each other.
When tensions reach an all-time high, Queen Me’Shala, leader of the elves, approaches the Adventurers Guild with a mission. She wants a small group of adventurers to go behind the king’s back on a covert mission to save her city, and Zed, Brock, Liza, Jett, Micah, and their elven friend Fel join the quest. To face a powerful form of magic thought to be extinct, the adventurers will have to learn how to rely on each other and fight harder than ever before.


Don’t miss this second installment of Zack Loran Clark and Nicholas Eliopulos’s Adventurers Guild trilogy, where the stakes are raised, the action is breathless, and the dangers will stop even the bravest of hearts.

Review:

This is a fun story in the Adventurers Guild series.

I love the group of kids who form the Adventurers Guild. They are like a bunch of misfits because they don’t really belong anywhere else. There was a lot of tension between Zed and Brock, the two main characters, because they are both keeping secrets from one another. The characters got a little confusing at times because there were so many new ones, such as the elves they travelled with, and some characters have similar names.

I was reminded of Game of Thrones throughout this story. There were different creatures and species, such as dragons. The elves play an important role in this story. The Adventurers Guild has to try and help the elves get rid of the Lich, which is causing all of their dead to spring to life and attack. Their trek reminded me of when the characters in Game of Thrones go beyond the wall. This story is like a kid-friendly version of Game of Thrones.

I really enjoyed this action-packed story! This is a great series!

What to read next:

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

Have you read Twilight of the Elves? What did you think of it?

Review: The Revenge of Magic (The Revenge of Magic #1)

Title: The Revenge of Magic (The Revenge of Magic #1)
Author: James Riley
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When long-dead magical creatures are discovered all around the world, each buried with a book of magic, only children can unlock the dangerous power of the books in this start to a thrilling new series from the author of the New York Timesbestselling Story Thieves!

Thirteen years ago, books of magic were discovered in various sites around the world alongside the bones of dragons. Only those born after “Discovery Day” have the power to use the magic.

Now, on a vacation to Washington, DC, Fort Fitzgerald’s father is lost when a giant creature bursts through the earth, attacking the city. Fort is devastated, until an opportunity for justice arrives six months later, when a man named Dr. Opps invites Fort to a government run school, the Oppenheimer School, to learn magic from those same books.

But life’s no easier at the school, where secrets abound. What does Jia, Fort’s tutor, know about the attacks? Why does Rachel, master of destructive magic, think Fort is out to destroy the school? And why is Fort seeing memories of an expelled girl every time he goes to sleep? If Fort doesn’t find out what’s hiding within the Oppenheimer School, more attacks will come, and this time, nothing will stop them! 

Review:

This is a great start to a new middle grade fantasy series!

At first, I thought I could predict what would happen in this book. It reminded me of Rick Riordan stories, where there is a big event that happens to the main character, causing them to find their mysterious powers. However, I couldn’t have predicted the rest of the story!

This story was so exciting. There was a lot more to the story than what happened in this book. There were events leading up to the monster attack at the beginning of the story, which we just learn a little about at the end. It was just a taste of some world building, which I’m so excited to read about!

I loved this story, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!

What to read next:

Story Thieves (Story Thieves #1) by James Riley

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

Have you read The Revenge of Magic? What did you think of it?

Review: Secret of the Time Tablets (Cleopatra in Space #3)

Title: Secret of the Time Tablets (Cleopatra in Space #3)
Author: Mike Maihack
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Graphix
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Cleo and her friends journey from Yasiro Academy to the city of Hykosis, where some of the most notorious thieves and assassins live. They’re in search of information about the time tablets that could determine Cleo’s fate – whether she wants them to or not. But the group is separated when Xaius Octavian’s fleet attacks their ship, and Cleo and Akila are on their own until they run into an old nemesis. Will Cleo find the information she needs and get out of Hykosis alive? 

Review:

This series is a lot of fun! In the first book, Cleopatra is transported from ancient Egypt into a planet in the distant future.

Cleopatra finds the time tablets in this story. These tablets have the ability to send Cleo back to her time and her family. She goes on an adventure with her friends and she has to escape the evil villain, Octavian. We get to see another planet in this story after they have a battle in space and are stranded.

My favourite character is Khensu. He is Cleo’s history teacher and he is a cat. He’s hilarious, but wise. I love it when he appears in the story.

This is a great series that I highly recommend!

What to read next:

The Golden Lion (Cleopatra in Space #4) by Mike Maihack

Have you read Secret of the Time Tablets? What did you think of it?

Review: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1)

Title: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1)
Author: Jen Calonita
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Would you send a villain to do a hero’s job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she’s not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its sweet mission. There’s a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villain really change?

Review:

I love fairy tale retellings! There are so many great middle grade series about fairy tales these days. After reading Misfits, which is set in the same world as this series, I wanted to check out Jen Calonita’s other fairy tale books.

In this book, Gillian, a cobbler’s daughter, is sent to the Fairy Tale Reform School after being caught stealing. The school is meant to reform kids in the fairy tale school. It is run by Flora, who was Cinderella’s stepmother. The teachers are reformed villains, such as the Big Bad Wolf, the Sea Witch, and the Evil Queen.

This story was very fast paced. There was lots happening in the story. Since there were so many villains, it was hard to know who to trust. It made the story more exciting, because it was unpredictable.

I really enjoyed this story! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

What to read next:

Charmed (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita

Misfits (Royal Academy Rebels #1) by Jen Calonita

Have you read Flunked? What did you think of it?

Review: Dream On (Whatever After #4)

Title: Dream On (Whatever After #4)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the magic mirror bite….

It was supposed to be the best sleepover ever. Just me, my best friend, Robin, and an awesome night of s’mores, secrets, and staying up late. No pesky little brothers allowed. And DEFINITELY no magic mirrors.

Everything was perfect…until the mirror sucked Robin into Sleeping Beauty’s story! My brother and I dove in after her, but we couldn’t stop her from pricking her finger on the spindle. Now we’re REALLY in trouble. Robin’s fast asleep–and Sleeping Beauty is wide-awake! To save the day I’ve got to:

– Host a fake birthday party for Jonah
– Find a prince to wake up Robin
– Avoid getting cursed by scary fairies

We only have ten hours to make things right…or this day will become a nightmare!

Review:

This was a really fun story! It had some elements that were different from the past books in the series.

When Abby and Jonah travel to Sleeping Beauty’s story, Abby’s friend Robin ends up going with them. The problem was that when they got there, Robin pricked her arm on the spindle that was meant for Sleeping Beauty, aka Bri. Robin fell asleep instantly, taking the spell that was meant for the princess. The kids had to figure out a way to wake Robin up and fix Bri’s story.

Some of the parts didn’t go as smoothly as they did in the other stories. They planned a birthday party for Jonah in order to get wishes from fairies to save Robin. However, that didn’t work out when the fairies discovered that it wasn’t actually Jonah’s birthday. They had to find another way to fix their problems.

I was glad to see more of Abby and Jonah’s real lives in the story. Even though Abby’s friend was asleep for most of the story, I liked hearing about her friends. Up until this book, we only really heard about their adventures in fairy tales. There was even an addition to the family at the end of the story, who I believe will be making appearances in later books too.

This was a fun adaptation of Sleeping Beauty! I’m excited to read the next book!

What to read next:

Bad Hair Day (Whatever After #5) by Sarah Mlynowski

Cinderella Stays Late (Grimmtastic Girls #1) by Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams

Have you read Dream On? What did you think of it?

Review: The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #4)

Title: The Girl Who Wasn’t There (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #4)
Author: Stefan Petrucha, Sho Murase
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Papercutz
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 1, 2006
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Nancy gets a call for help late one night from a girl she befriended over the phone when getting technical support to help fix her computer. When the line goes dead, Nancy is determined to get to the bottom of things. Soon, Nancy, her Dad, and friends George and Bess are on their way to India to find Kalpana, the girl who wasn’t there! It’s only a matter of time before Nancy is captured by Sahadev the crime lord and is being sacrificed to Kali! Ages 8 to 12.

Review:

This graphic novel had a silly premise. Nancy became friends with a telemarketer in India. When the girl, Kalpana, called Nancy, she discovered that she was a fan of Nancy Drew, so they kept chatting. However, one day Kalpana went missing. Coincidentally, Nancy’s father was going on a business trip to India. Nancy and her friends tagged along to search for her friend.

It was a little strange that Nancy would drop everything to go find a girl who she had only spoken with on the phone. She didn’t know the girl well, but she was willing to travel across the world to find her. It may make Nancy seem like a great friend, but it was also foolish because she had no idea who this girl could be.

Though I had problems with the plot, the graphics in the book were great. I love how there was a depth of field because certain parts of the images were in focus while others were blurry or out of focus. It made the images look real. There was also movement in the pictures by making them look blurry on the edges to show people or things moving.

Despite the silly premise, I think Nancy Drew fans would like this graphic novel.

What to read next:

The Fake Heir (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #5) by Stefan Petrucha, Sho Murase

The Ocean Osyria (The Hardy Boys Graphic Novel #1) by Scott Lobdell, Lea Hernandez Seidman

Have you read The Girl Who Wasn’t There? What did you think of it?