Welcome, welcome one and all to the EIGHTEENTH meeeting of our Book Review Club. Eighteenth! According to Wikipedia, if we were awarding ourselves a gift for 18 years of marriage, it'd be something turquoise or porcelain. So...grab a porcelain mug, fill it with the best coffee we could afford, choose a cupcake decorated with turquoise sprinkles and have a seat. We've got some great book reviews for you!
In honor of Child #4 who turned ten this past weekend, I'm reviewing a book I picked up a little over 9 1/2 years ago in Seoul, Korea when I traveled there to bring her home.
Actually, I picked up several of these folktale books. There are two tales per book. Each is told in both English and Korean. What do I love about these folktales? The pictures. AND you never know what twists and turns the story's going to take. A folktale from another country is a peek into its culture. Priceless.
In The Ogres' Magic Clubs, a young man, who thinks first of his parents' and his brother's welfare, happens upon a group of ogres in a cottage. He spies on the ogres and observes them whacking the floor of the cottage and singing, "Gold, gold, come ye forth! Oh, silver, come ye out!" A bunch of gold and silver flies out from wherever the ogres whack. Totally by accident, the young man scares away the ogres. Then he steals all the gold and silver and one of the magic clubs. Now, he's a rich man. Enter the older, greedy, lazy, less respectful brother. You didn't see that coming, did you? Anyway, he finds the same cottage, observes the same ogres and their cottage-whacking ritual. UNFORTUNATELY, the ogres spot him, think he's the man who stole their magic club, and they proceed to whack him "as hard as they could" with their clubs! They beat him "over and over" and eventually they let him leave. He goes home "sore but wiser." Here's the last line of the story: "And he never went back to that shack in the woods again."
Oh, you say, thanks a lot. Get us all excited about Korean folktales that we can't even get our hands on. Wrongo. If you go to amazon.com, type in "Korean folktales," a bunch of these books pop up. Quite incredible.
And now, drum roll, onto the amazing reviews from amazing reviewers!! Please, please visit. You won't be sorry.
MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT BOOK REVIEWS
Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: I, CORIANDER by Sally Gardner (middle grade)
Cassandra of Misadventures of a Teenage Writer: I SO DON'T DO MAKEUP by Barrie Summy (tween mystery) **I so did NOT pay this reviewer! But I am flattered! :)**
Stacy Nyikos: BEFORE YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Steed (middle grade)
Thao of serene hours: LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green (young adult)
Scott Parker: THE PALLBEARERS by Stephen J. Cannell (mystery)
Kathy Holmes: ORIENTAL HOTEL by Janet Tanner (historical romance)
Beth Yarnall: LONG LOST by Harlan Coben (mystery/suspense)
Kaye of the Book Review Forum: THE SECRET DIARIES OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE by Syrie James
Linda McLaughlin: KUSHIEL'S MERCY by Jacqueline Carey (fantasy)
Sarah Laurence: THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY by Heidi W. Durrow (literary)
Patti Abbott: THE ELEGANCE OF A HEDGEHOG by Muriel Barbery (contemporary)
Sarahlynn of Yeah, but Houdini didn't have these hips: A SUDDEN COUNTRY by Karen Fisher (literary historical)
Staci of Life in the Thumb: WHITER THAN SNOW by Sandra Dalls (historical)
Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: JUST KIDS by Patti Smith (memoir about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe)
Lucy of lucysartain: THIS TIME TOGETHER: LAUGHTER AND REFLECTION by Carol Burnett (memoir)
**Exceptional previous reviews are only a click away.**
Note to Reviewers: You know the drill.:) If I missed you, leave me a comment and I'll rectify the situation pronto. And award myself one less chocolate today!