Friday, June 5, 2020

A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro

A Question of Holmes is the last novel of Cavallaro's Holmes series. Jamie and Charlotte finally have the business of the Moriartys firmly behind them, and are excited to go to college together at Oxford. When Charlotte hears of a cold case resulting in the disappearance of a girl at Oxford, Jaime has no choice but to follow along as she sets off on a hunt to solve the case. Even more worryingly, the perpetrator seems to be back in action, and no one can be trusted in this final case for Holmes and Watson.

I really, really enjoyed this book and the whole Charlotte Holmes series. It has very witty commentary, is amusing to read, and is a mystery with plenty of action. I enjoyed basically everything about it, besides the (intentionally) vague mystery. It was very thrilling to read, whether about action or even the relationship between Jaime and Charlotte. Although it had a bittersweet ending, I still loved the way it was put together. Readers of Sherlock Holmes or mystery novels would love this novel. Readers of teen novels would also love to read this, as they would like the way the book was written. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, but only after they have read the previous three books.

Reviewed by NK, Grade 10
Montrose Library

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Alex and Conner Bailey are twins, but they could not be more different. Alex focuses on her schoolwork and is always the first one to raise her hand to answer in class. Conner is lazy and sleeps in the back of the class instead of paying attention, but the teachers don’t say anything about it since the tragic death of the twins’ father. At home, things are not easy as their mother struggles with money and they have to sell their old house. It’s almost their birthday and the mom has to go to work, so she calls their grandma. The kids love the grandma since she’s such an interesting person and she travels everywhere. Their grandmother brings them dozens of presents with it a fairy tale book. To them it’s a plain fairytale book filled with stories like the ones their father used to tell, but one day it proves to be much more. Alex hears a noise coming from it and discovers it to be a portal she goes through it and Conner jumps in after her. Together they must find a way back home and live through many fairytales.

I read this book growing up, years ago, and it is such an interesting story, especially to kids and early teens. People get to read fairy tales all over again, but each story is written with an original twist to it that makes it different from the fairy tales we’ve heard as kids. I recommend this book to people who like to read books filled with adventure and fantasy. I also like this book for showing the development of brother and sister, Alex and Conner, throughout their adventures in the Land of Stories, a relationship which makes the story overall better.

Reviewed by AK, Grade 9
Montrose Library