Reviews by Becky Quinten
Imaginary friends are born on secret islands and must wait for a real child to imagine them and give them their name. For a long time, no one imagined him. He sat in the scary waters until he reached the real world. Wandering, he found a playground and climbed a tree. His friend still did not come. Suddenly, out of the darkness, a little girl spotted him and said hello. That felt just right. Now, his name is Beekle, and he and Alice share adventures, snacks and jokes. The illustrations are indeed delightful. Aspiring artists and children will find them inspiring.
“The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” By Dan Satat
Age Range: 3 to 6 years old
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2014), 2015 Caldecott Medal Winner for
ISBN-10: 0316199982; ISBN-13: 978-0316199988
A mishap involving a plummeting dumbwaiter and a flying trifle sends 14-year-old Sophronia Temminnick, the youngest daughter of a middle class Victorian family in the 1850s, to an exclusive finishing school. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is no ordinary finishing school — it also teaches the arts of espionage and assassination.
Sophronia is a strong female role model, and her new school gives her plenty of opportunities to explore her love of technology.
She and her classmates battle vampires, werewolves and other supernatural elements while she miserably fails curtsying. Sophronia soon thwarts some of her classmates own espionage tricks that would destroy her new school.
“Etiquette & Espionage” is a Victorian steam punk mystery that’s thoroughly engaging.
“Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School) ” By Gail Carriger
Age Range: 9 to 12 years old
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2013)
ISBN: 0316190101 ; ISBN-13: 978-0316190107
Dr. Kim Reggis and his daughter Becky enjoy a dinner of burgers and fries at the Onion Ring on Prairie Highway until Becky becomes gravely ill. Despite being a physician, Dr. Reggis cannot get AmericaCare to perform a simple culture because it’s not “cost effective.” Additionally, Becky’s care at the ER is delayed because she is only suspected to have juvenile diarrhea. In the end, Becky dies from E. coli bacteria in her hamburger.
Dr. Reggis is stunned by his daughter’s death. Becky was a national gymnast finalist and in perfect health. Was it product tampering, a disgruntled patient, “cost control” of insurance administrators or just an accident?
Grief stricken, Dr. Reggis immediately takes a leave of absence to devote himself to solving this mystery full time. He is joined by his ex-wife as they navigate the deadly evidence from the slaughterhouse floor to the corporate boardroom. They are physically threatened by corporate politics and greed. And rediscover why they married in the first place. Overall, “Toxin” is a good read and medical thriller.
“Toxin” By Robin Cook
Publisher: Berkley (1999)
ISBN: 0425166619; ISBN – 13: 978-0425166611