Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Champ Stops By, a Tribute to Two Great Guys, and The Physics of the Impossible,

Greetings, reader guys, we had a visit Monday from the awesome AXEL SIMONE, first-place winner of our March Madness Slam Dunk contest. He picked up his prizes (a gift bag of Charlotte Bobcats stuff, including a miniball signed by Gerald Wallace), as well as a book bag and a few free books.
Congratulations, AXEL! Keep writing to us!
Besdies picking up his prizes, AXEL delivered a fond farewell to two great guys:

Yep, we both are going to miss you both!
Well, we are all going to be sad, but, for today, let's carry on like the MANLY MEN we are!
We have a review from Laurence of a very interesting-sounding book:

Force fields, time travel, and perpetual motion machines: a few of the many “impossibilities” explored in this thoughtful book by Michio Kaku. Michio Kaku is a prominent City college of New York physics professor and author of Physics of the Impossible. This thought provoking, inspiring book explains the so-called “impossibilities” of the modern world by combining the realities of the world we live in with the material found in sci-fi movies.
How can you incinerate a planet? By pointing a giant gamma ray burst in its direction (Of course!). What are two ways to travel faster than light? By stretching space or ripping space. Was Albert Einstein a failure? Surprisingly, yes. Do tachyons travel faster when they lose energy? Yes. These are also some of the odd questions answered in this book. Nearly all impossibilities in this book violate common sense such as objects being two places at the same time and traveling faster when losing energy.
You probably wouldn’t think that the “A fool and his money are easily parted” and “A sucker is born every minute” has anything to do with physics. But Michio Kaku certainly disagrees and ties in famous phrases to spice up the story. Also, he includes words that other famous physicists said such as Stephen Hawking’s famous quote “Time travel may be possible, but it is not practical”
that made headlines in London newspapers.
Also, he sounds a historian because he not only describes the physics behind it all. He put in tremendous effort into knowing the history behind the “impossibilities” and putting into the book all (or almost all) of the important dates and events. An example of some might be Richard Feynman winning the Nobel Prize in 1965, finding the first extra solar planet in 1994, and that the first perpetually running clock was developed in the 1760s by John Cox.
Moreover, Michio Kaku groups the “impossibilities” into three classes of “impossibilities”, a class one “impossibility” being impossible today but do not violate the known laws of physics that could be possible in this century or the next in modified form. Class two “impossibilities” being on the very edge of our understanding that could be possible on a scale of millennia to millions of years. And finally class three “impossibilities” which violate the known laws of physics. He writes with a fundamental understanding of what impossible means; which is not unable to occur but is not possible for our primitive civilization.
Lastly, Michio Kaku was inspired to be a physicist when he was young by watching Star Trek and other sci-fi TV shows and makes reference to that in the book and so relating physics to his lifelong dream: to be a physicist. Michio Kaku’s writing accepts all ideas from all different perspectives (like those from Star Trek). Once he gets into the ideas, he just doesn’t say this is a horrible idea; he debates upon them, perplexing, and wondering whether or not they are truly impossible.

That is all I am going to tell you, now to truly find out how amazing this book is for yourself, you have to read it

Thanks, Luarnece! This really does sound fascinating. Could all this sci-fi stuff be possible? And if it is, would it be worth it? Great questions! You've got me interested in this book. What about you reader guys in blogville? There are plenty of copies in the library system. Go check them out!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Comic Book Stores, The Last Apprentice and Goodbye

Well all out there in "The Land of Blog," I guess you have heard the bad news about the Library System, a bunch of people were laid off, but the good news is that at least for the next couple of months all libraries will remain open. It's looking like my last day will be April 1. I just want you all to know how much I have enjoyed my time employed with this Library System and working on this blog. You all are the best and I hope you have found some good reads here along with having a few laughs. I want you all to carry on and help Mr. Carl with this great "Boys Rule Boys Read" Blog. I'm sure I speak for Zack in that we will be continue to follow the blog and post reviews in the future (we will just be members of the general public).

Okay, now for some happy stuff.

On May 1 a brand new Comic Book Store will be opening in Charlotte called "Spandex City" (after all many superheroes wear spandex costumes). This is also Free Comic Book Day and Michael, who owns the store and is a super nice guy, will be contributing 10% of all Opening Day sales to The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System. So be a hero for a day and have a good time by dropping by the store. I know I will be. The web site for the store is

Now a word of endorsement from a well known Superhero!!!!!

May 1st Grand Opening Endorsement from Green Lantern!!!!!!

Be there or be square!!!!!!!!

Now for my last official book review and boy is it a good one:

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch by Joseph Delaney - Tom is the seventh son of a seventh son and in the world of magic that makes him extremely special. Tom lives in what appears to be medieval England (or around that time) and has just turned 12. At this age Tom is expected to start learning how to make his own way in the world. His mother knowing of his potential arranges for him to be the apprentice of a local Spook - Old Gregory. What is a Spook you ask? Why Spooks deal with the world of the supernatural. They deal with boggarts * gasp*, witches and all sorts of creatures that go bump in the night. Tom turns out to have the potential of becoming a great Spook under the tutelage of old Gregory, if his mistakes don't kill him as they did Old Gregory's previous apprentice. As you have probably guessed from the title of this book, one of Tom's first challenges is a very evil witch named Mother Malkin (read the book to find out how she got this name; it's pretty creepy). This is a great read and the first book in a series. The rest of the series is definitely on my must read list. Warning: This book can be quite scary as the creatures that a Spook must take on do some pretty horrible stuff. So if you or your parents don't want you reading this sort of material, DON'T!!!!!!!!!

It's been fun guys and thanks for the memories.

I'm so glad we had this time together,
Just to have a laugh, or sing a song.

Seems we just get started and before you Know it
Comes the time we have to say,
"So long".

Good Bye and Good Luck All,


P.S. This is a special shout out to my fellow Spangler Room Crew: Mona, Carl, Ellen, Teresa, Casey, Leah, and Beth. Love you guys and will miss you so much.

Monday, March 29, 2010

We Have Winners!!!

It's gone right down to the buzzer but we do have the winners! Oh, man, what an exciting finish!! Just like a championship game in which the game is decided in the last few seconds, the March Madness Slam Dunk Contest ends with a flurry of shots that leaves everyone amazed! Here we go!

First one on the court is the awesome AXEL SIMONE:

i have read, this book is not good for is by pseudonymous bosch. cass' mom is kidnapped by the evil chef senor hugo while trying to rescue her mom she runs innto the midnight sun. [ouch that must hurt.] this is 1 of the funniest books ever. i loved it. i recommend it to everyone. Bye

i have read antsy does time. it is by neal shusterman. i loved it. it is a companion
book to the schwa was here. just like the schwa was here it is really rude. in this book there is a kid named gunnar umlaut who has only 6 months to live so antsy donates a month of his life to gunnar. i recommend it to everyone. Bye

i have read gabriels triumph. it is by alison hart. i loved it. in this book gabriel rides his favorite horse aristo in the saratoga chase. will he win? read to find out. i recommend it to everyone. bye.

i have read witch and wizard. it is by james patterson andgabrielle charbonett. i loved it. it is about whit and wisty allgood when they are accused of beuing a witch and wizard and thrown in prison. irecommend it to everyone. bye.

AXEL gets 6 points; three for his review of Gabriel's Triumph and three for the others.
After AXEL comes Jumpin' Justin B:

I am writing a review on Summer of the Monkeys.
It is about a boy named Jay who had a blue-tick hound named Rowdy and a sister named Daisy who had a crippled right leg. They used to live in Missouri sharecropping then they moved to the middle of the Cherokee Nation. One day he went down in the Ozark river bottoms and Rowdy treed a monkey; then they went to his Grandpa's store. When he got to his Grandpa's store, his Grandpa was sitting on the porch and told him about how a circus train wrecked and the monkeys got loose and there was a reward for the monkeys: two dollars apiece and for one, a hundred dollars. His Grandpa said it was probably one of those monkeys. His Grandpa handed him some traps. Then Daisy started talking about the Old Man of the Mountains, and Jay asked if he were a farmer and Daisy said he didn't have time for any farming because he was too busy taking care of the mountains and little creatures. Jay went back into the bottoms and set the traps out around the tree he saw the monkey in. He placed an apple above each trap and then he saw a little bunch of brush to crawl behind and watch. Before ten minutes was up, he heard monkeys. The monkeys started coming out of everywhere! Before the were about to grab an apple, a chimpanzee (the $100 monkey) came down out of the trees and plopped down in front of the trap. He kept screeching and grunting and telling the monkeys to stay away because it was a trap. He used one of his long arms and grabbed the apples and give them to the little monkeys. It sounded to Jay like the chimpanzee was laughing at Jay. Jay tried again, and a similar thing happened. The he went off to a spring he had found, got a drink, then Rowdy started barking and looked up on a tree limb; there sat the $100 monkey with his gunnysack, traps, and lunch. He got his bean shooter out, put a rock in the shooter, and shot the monkey where his belly button would have been. Then the chimpanzee sics all the monkeys on Jay. He doesn't look for a trail, he just runs! He runs through briers and tears his clothes. Finally he finds his way back home. Then he goes to his Grandpa's store again and talks about how he had been fooled. His Grandpa says he has something that might help: a net with a yellow ring to open the net and a blue ring to close it. He goes to his house and tries the net out on their old gander, catches him, and he kept squirming. Daisy comes around and calls for their mom. The gander keeps squirming, and Jay opens the net, but the gander's still stuck. Daisy and their mom finally untangle him, and he flew off. Jay said he was probably clear off into Arkansas by now. That night, Jay and his dad dug a hole, tested it out for how the hole would fit Jay and Rowdy. The next day, they went out to the hole, put the net out, covered it with leaves, put an apple on the net, then crawled in the hole to wait. They waited for what seemed like an hour. Finally, they hear monkeys. Two little monkeys went for the apple; then he closed the net, crawled out, and started going away. The big monkey and all the little monkeys showed their teeth and started swinging after him. They caught up and bit Jay and Rowdy all over. The big monkey slipped down and let the two little monkeys out. Jay decides to make friends with Jimbo, the chimpanzee, and after a big storm, he goes to check on the monkeys. Jay found them all huddled up in a hole in the bank. One appeared to be hurt, and Jay took care of them all. Jimbo and the other monkeys followed Jay back to his house and he led them into the corn crib. The owners of the circus came and got the money and gave them free passes for life to the circus and the reward money. Jay took that money and some money his grandparents had been saving and gave it to help Daisy's leg.
It's a great book!

And, in a stunning finale, bouncin' Brian B slams in a bunch of reviews:

Today I'm reviewing Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. It has 224 pages and is about a kid named Greg Heffley who has to survive all the mishaps that occurs to him lifting weights and building a haunted house to building a giant snowman to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records.This is a good book for everyone.

I read Long Shot for Paul by Matt Christopher; it has 155 pages.It is about a disabled kid Paul, his brother Glen, and his sister Judy. Glen and Judy try to get Paul to join the basketball team, but some kids make fun of Paul because he is disabled. His disability is that it takes longer for him to learn things. The coach finally let him join, and he ended up being very crucial to the team. He ended up making the winning basket in becoming the second-place team; last year they finished in the cellar.This is a good book; I recommend it to basketball fans.

I'm reviewing an audio book called Double Fudge by Judy Blume; it lasted 4 hours, 39 minutes.It is about the Hatcher family, Peter, Fudge (real name: Farley Drextel), their mom, their dad, and their dog Turtle. Fudge loves money; he even created his own song..."money, money, money; I love money, money, money". The family decides to go to Washington to see the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. While there, they meet up with their long-lost cousins, the Howie Hatchers of Honolulu, Hawaii. The Howies decide to come to New York where Peter and Fudge live. Then some crazy things happen like the elevator stopping with Fudge, the youngest Howie Hatcher, and Olivia Oscarman (the person who has lived in the apartments the longest).

I'm reviewing the audio book of The Light Princess by George MacDonald; it lasted 1 hour, 30 minutes.When the king has a christening party for his daughter, he forgets to invite one person, his sister. His sister is also a witch, and she decides to go without an invitation. Then she puts some sort of curse on the baby that makes her lose all her gravity and makes her laugh at sad times and happy times. A young prince runs away from his parents, trying to find someone to marry. He walks into a deep forest, and when he comes out, he's at the castle with a beautiful pond by it where the princess is, who is about 18 years old now. He goes swimming with her, and they jump off a cliff and fall into the water. While the princess is in the water, she regains her gravity, but only in the water; when she is out of the water, she loses it again. The wicked sister of the king hears that, so she makes a potion that makes a deadly rare snake, the white snake of darkness. She goes to the cellar, then 100 doors further down. The snake bites the ceiling, which is under the pond, and the water starts to drain. She waits 7 days and 7 nights, and the snake lets go. She picks up the snake and runs through the doors, locking them behind her. In the morning, all the babies are crying, but without tears. Some people find a golden plate at the bottom of the pond, that says if the water ever drains, they must find the hole and have a living sacrifice who would not mind drowning himself to get the water back. The young prince does that because he loves the princess so much; he has one condition: the princess must be by him and look at him while he does it. The king agrees, and the princess goes into a boat. The prince blocks the holes, and the water starts filling up. The princess pulls him out of the water right before he drowns. When she got home, she cried real tears and that gives her her gravity back. They were betrothed immediately, but first she must learn to walk. She learns how to walk, and she is mad at the wicked princess who cursed her. When she hears that her castle collapsed on her because of the water, she feels sorry for her. I liked the book; it's nice.

I read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson with 202 pages. The story is about Jim Hawkins and how he finds a treasure map and goes hunting for treasure with Dr. Livesey and the squire. The squire meets up with Long John Silver, the first mate of Captain Flint the notorious pirate, and LJS is going to be the boat's cook. LJS also added a bunch of other people and got rid of some of the squire's people. Jim Hawkins from inside an apple barrel overhears LJS talking to his people; once they found the treasure, they were going to get rid of all the others. After they get to the island, there is a bunch of sword fights and treasure hunts. Jim meets up with Ben Gunn, one of the original members on the boat with Captain Flint who helped bury the treasure. LJS was supposed to kill all the people who buried the treasure, but he just marooned Gunn. They find the treasure with the help of Gunn, and then they were going to leave all off LJS's people who survived marooned on the island, but Ben Gunn let LJS escape with a bag of gold off a boat.
I had also gone to the play and noticed a few differences.
* The captain gave the treasure map to Jim in the play, but did not give it to him in the book. They had to find it out of his chest.
* Ben Gunn let LJS escape in the book, but in the play Jim Hawkins lets him escape and gives him some gold.
The play shows most the highlights, but the book is more in depth, so I'm not sure which I liked the most.

I read Football Nightmare by Matt Christopher; it has 119 pages.It's about Keith Steadman, who plays wide receiver for the Bucks, the local football team. The last play of the championship game, they are down, and for the game-winning touchdown, the ball is perfectly thrown, but it goes right between Keith's hands. A photographer takes a picture of Keith after the missed play while he's on the ground. After that moment, Keith isn't sure he wants to play football anymore. He keeps thinking about making another bad play like that. After some convincing, he decides to play football some more, but some people are determined to make sure the play is always remembered. He and a teammate who is trying to keep that memory alive must work it out. They eventually work it out and win the first game of the season.I liked this story; it was a good book.

I'm reviewing Hank the Cowdog #51 Case of the Blazing Sky by John R. Erickson. It has 129 pages.It is about Hank the Cowdog and his wanting to eat one of his master's chickens. He ends up getting trapped in the chicken house, and he has to run away from the farm because he thinks he is going to get into a bunch of trouble. He ends up coming back when he sees that a prairie fire is on the loose because of some lightning. He ends up coming back just in time to save the ranch, and they start a backfire to try to stop the prairie fire. It ends up not working, and they start running away. Hank runs into a tree. Then a thunderstorm happens, putting out the fire with the rain.I liked the book. I like the whole series, and this book had some games in the back from The Hank Times, the official newsletter of Hank's Security Force.

I'm reviewing Too Hot to Handle by Matt Christopher, and it has 128 pages. It is about a boy named David Kroft. Baseball runs in the Kroft family: his father is a good baseball player; his uncles also are good; even his brother is a good baseball player. But David struggles with it. When his brother hurts his leg. It's up to him to keep up the family name. This is a good book I recommend it to all.

Brian B gets 11 points today; five for his review of Treasure Island and 6 for the rest. He doubled his score today!! Well done!

WHAM!! SLAM!! We've finished this contest with TWELVE REVIEWS!!! Woo Hoo!! Way to go, men!

AND NOW--the moment you've all been waiting for! The CARLMAN has tallied up the results and it's a close one:

Michael--18 points
Dakota T--19 points
AXEL-25 points
Chandler--8 points
Brian B--22 points
Justin B--7 points
Shannon--3 points
Demitri--9 points
Keegan89--2 points
Josh--9 points

The winners are:




Congratulations!! Come to the Imaginon library to claim your prizes. Or, if you can't get here, call me at 704-416-4630 and I'll see if I can send it to another library or find a way to mail it or get it to you. (Dakota T, I know you live outside of town. I'll mail it to you)

Very well done, everbody! (and I mean everybody!!) Thanks so much for participating. We had a lot of fun. But don't stop writing in! We really do like to hear from you. It's good to hear what boys are reading and, don't forget, other guys want to know what books are good. You're providing a valuable service. So keep it up!!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Sluggers and Sherlock Holmes

Hey, reader guys, this is Carl with a post that I wrote on Friday and scheduled to publish today, since this is a weekend I'm away from the library. Just wanted to remind you again that we'll accept reviews for the March Madness Slam Dunk Contest until midnight tomorrow. I'll get your reviews even though I'm not at the library, so send them on! I'll post them and the final results on Monday.
I thought I'd take a minute and talk about books. I'm really excited because I got the latest Sluggers book this week and will have time to start it now. Click here to see more. This latest one is called Blastin' the Blues and takes place in New Orleans. I'm a HUGE fan of this series. You'll like them too. AXEL talked about the first one yesterday--check out the post to see.

One reason I didn't start it this week because I was caught up in London in the 1890's, chasing down dangerous criminals with Sherlock Holmes. That's right; I was reading The Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. Wow! What great stories!! There are 9 of them and some consider them the best of the SH stories. There's "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" with a particularly nasty villian with a particularly nasty way of murder, "The Red-Headed League," a funny mystery, "The Greek Interpreter, " with a very creepy setting and very creepy bad guys, and the last two stories, which were so suspenseful I could hardly stand it! These stories may be old but they still get you! Perfect thing for guy reading! (the only complaint I have is that the illustrations are kind of lame. Other than that, this books' terrific)
All right, enjoy the weekend and send those reviews! It ain't over 'til it's over!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Eyepatch Carl Brings the Slam Dunkers on Deck!

AAAARRRRR, me hearties, 'tis Eyepatch Carl, the scurviest sea dog in the seven seas. I'm going to see the Treasure Island play tonight, I am, and I can hardly wait. AARRR! Here's a picture of me in the Rusty Rudder Inn, hoisting a tankard of me favorite root beer and waitin' for the next tide-- --when all of a sudden I'm attacked the infamous Trout of Terror. (he was singing something about giving him back a fish sandwich)Want something to eat, do ye? I'll give ye a taste of my steel!! AARRR!! Another one sent to Davy Jones's fish locker! Well, I'm going to present the latest reviews from those scalawags--I mean slam dunkers. This had better be good, mateys, or ye'll walk the plank!!

First on deck is Chandler:

Ivanhoe was written by Sir Walter Scott and is 238 pages long.
Ivanhoe is about a two kinds of people Saxons and Normans they both hate each other. So Ivanhoe (a Saxon) disguises himself as the disinherited knight so he can beat all the Normans in the tournament and impress the lady he loves named Rowena and name her the queen of beauty of love.
He was to good for all the Norman knights and took them all off their horses. The crowd cheered as he defeated all the knights. Then his last challenge was against Brian De Bois-Gulbert. The best knight in the stadium. He had challenged him to a fight to the death.
Will Ivanhoe survive or will he be killed by the evil Norman read this book to find out.
I liked this book because it had a lot of action, fantasy, romance, and excitement.

Then we have Demitri:

This is Demitri reviewing The Earth Dragon Awakes by Laurence Yep.This is a really good book about a Chinese family that lived through The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. It is written as a journal accounting true historical events with fictional characters. I liked the book because it made me feel as if I were there. And there are pictures in the back.

Now Demitri has recieved a special dispensation from Darth Bill, that worthy sith pirate, and me to get three points. He wanted to review one of the Tiger's Apprentice books but his library doesn't have any, so we told him he could read any Laurence Yep book and get a three-pointer. AARRR, anyone with a problem with that will have to face me and my cutlass!!

Next comes Justin B:

I am writing a review on The Boxcar Children #33 The Pizza Mystery by G. C. Warner. It is 121 pages long. It started out when the Aldens were on their way home and stopped where they always stop to get gas, Tom's gas station. When they got there the co owner of Mighty Mufflers was there. Then they went to their favorite Pizzeria the Piccolos. When they got there the Piccolos weren't doing too good so they decided to help them. It turned out the Piccolos needed their help cause when they started it pretty much got better. Then they hired another worker who actually just wanted experience. I recommend this book to any reader.

I'm writing a review on Hardy Boys #3 Boardwalk Bust by Franklin W. Dixon; it has 164 pages. Frank and Joe were at home folding sheets, and a fake girl scout came and gave them their next mission. They headed for Ocean Point, NJ in their plane and on their way they landed in Atlantic City. They met a man named Arnold; his nickname was Bump who turned out to be Mayor of Ocean Point. Actually he turned out to have been arrested for jewel theft so he changed his name to Bump. They investigated the place of the latest crime. The woman who owns the shop said it might be Ricardo Myers he owns a tattoo parlor on the pier, so they checked it out. Then they decided to camp out on the beach. The lights went off at 3am. They were caught and buried up to their necks in sand; then a vehicle came out of nowhere and they almost got their heads chopped off, but the driver noticed them, and the vehicle came to a stop about ten feet away. It turned out that the vehicle was a tractor and the driver dug them up, and then Joe got hit in the head with a gold bracelet. Then they decided to camp out in Bump's plane, and they caught him in the act of dumping jewelry out of his plane. They went back to Bayport in a limo.

After him, we've got his brother, Brian B:

I'm reviewing the book I got last Thursday called Free Baseball. It is written by Sue Corbett and has 144 pages. A young boy named Felix loves baseball; in fact his father Claudio de la Portilla was a famous Cuban baseball player. He won tickets to the local team the East Naples Egrets on a radio station called Hot 102. He has to go with his least favorite person in the entire world, his old babysitter Maryann. They have great seats until Maryann decides for them to sit with some of her friends. The Egrets lose to The Miracle and some how he becomes The Miracles Bat boy and everything in the end turns out even with a odd twist. I recommend this book to everyone.

Finally we see AXEL SIMONE:

i have read gabriels horses. it is by alison hart. it is about a boy who is a slave at a horse farm and his dad enlists in the army during the civil war. it was a lot better then i thought. i recommend it to everyone. Bye

i have read barnstormers game 1 porkopolis. it is by loren long. it is about 3 kids & a magic baseball. it was better than i thought. i recommend it to everyone. bye. ps the magic baseball only works when ruby, griffith and graham hold it at the same time
All right, me buckos, ye fared well! Especially AXEL, since he got two three-pointers for reiviewing Gabriel's Horses and the first Barnstormers/Sluggers book. (See our March 1 post for a list of 3-point books) Don't forget that the first place winner gets, amomg other prizes, a signed copy of Gabriel's Horses!

So here's where ye stand:

Michael--18 points
Dakota T--19 points
AXEL-19 points
Chandler--8 points
Brian B--11 points
Justin B--6 points
Shannon--3 points
Demitri--9 points
Keegan89--2 points
Josh--9 points

AARRR, ye'll see that Carl's math has been wrong for Justin and Brian B the last few days and he's corrected it. What can ye expect from a landlubber? But ye'll also see that we have a tie for first place!!! It's between AXEL and Dakota T. And Michael is right on their heels. Brian B and Demitri surged ahead. So keep writing them in! The contest ends at midnight thhis Sunday. The final reviews will be posted Monday along the results. So keep yer eyglasses on this spot--anything can still happen!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Slam Dunks and Chandler and His Sister

Hey, one and all, we have some more outstanding reviews but, before we get into that, we have a picture of that expert slam dunker Chandler. He was here Wednesday to see the Treasure Island play and stopped by to see us. He also picked up a couple of free books for his reviews. His sister Laura was with him and, because guys are so awesome and generous, we gave her a book too.Bill, that world-famous ninja, gave Chandler some points on how to use the Flashing Book Ends of Death.It turns out that Chandler is friends with Justin and Brian B, those two first-class skam dunkers who've sent in reviews. It was good to see you, Chandler! Let us hear from you again. And don't forget that you can get three points for a review of the play!

OK, here we go. Josh is the first to run onto the court:

Title: Safe at Home
Author: Mike Lupicia
Reviewed by: Josh Forster
Safe at home is about 12 year old Nick Crandall who doesn’t fit in anywhere except on the baseball diamond. One day even that gets taken away from him when the varsity coach puts him on the varsity team even though he’s only 12 years old. I like this book because it is about a catcher in baseball and that is the position I play as well but this book has an odd ending that I didn’t like.

Book A Single Shard
Author Linda Sue Park
A single shard is a story about Tree Ear who is an orphan who dreams of one day making a beautiful pot on the potter’s wheel. One day he gets caught looking at pots in the potter’s studio and he accidentally breaks one. The master potter Min says that he must work for him for ten days as punishment for breaking the pot. Tree ear pays of his debt by working for the potter then, comes back to ask for more work. He gets a job helping the Min. One day a royal emissary comes to their town. While the emissary is staying he asks the potter Min to make some pots for him. The potter say’s yes. This book has an exciting ending that you’ll have to read to find out. I like this book because I do pottery as well and the book very unique.

Book Title: Swindle
Author: Gordon Korman
Reviewed by: Josh Forster
Swindle is a book about Griffin Bing and a mean antique shop owner who tricks him out of a valuable baseball card. Griffin comes up with an awesome plan to get it back. I liked this book because it is full of secret plans, robberies and blowtorches. The book also has an awesome middle and a great ending. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone over the age of ten because of all the mischievous fun.

Then Michael steps up:

Sardine in Outer Space 4by Emmanuel Guibert

Sardine, Captain Yellow Shoulder, and Little Louie continue to explore space in the Huckleberry, fighting Supermuscleman and Doc Croc. Ten fun stories in one hilarious book. The featured story is Sardine in Time. What devious plans do Supermuscleman and Doc Croc plan for in the future? Find out in this story! Check it out!!!

My Grandparents Are Secret Agents!by Scott Christian Sava

When two children are left with their grandparents for the week, Grandma and Grandpa are suddenly called into their secret agent service. They must defeat their worst enemy, a man who has built a time machine so that the entire world will live in the '60s. Can their grandchildren, who have learned their secret, be able to stop the villain and save the world from the terrible 1960s? Find out in this great comic book. Groovy, er, I mean, awesome!

by Scott Christian Sava
A boy finds that he has a super power. He can run so fast that you can hardly see him. But when the government and several companies all owned by the same villain find out about his powers, the family shuts themselves in. But that won't stop the villain from getting his way. When he captures the parents, the boy must rescue them from the villain's evil clutches. The villain figures out how to take his powers away and use them for a super-powered army. Can the boy get his powers back, rescue his parents, and defeat the villain?

And then, certainly not least, comes Dakota T:

The book I'm reviewing is A long way From Chicago by Richard Peck. It is about a boy and his sister who spend many of their Summers with their grandmother. Their grandmother isn't ordinary, she keeps a shot gun and most of the teenagers and men are afraid of her. In this book you will find a truly wacked out adventure containing a great plot. This is an excellent book and I'd recomend it to everyone.

The next book I'm going to review is Small Steps. It is an interesting sequal to the award winning book Holes by Louis Sachar. Usally the second or third books are less enjoyable as the first, but this is a different senerio. This book is about Armpit when he returns home. He becomes freinds with a ten year old girl who has cerebral palsy. Together they make small steps that improve their social skills. This is a realistic book that keeps me reading and reading.

My next review is going to be about The magician's Elephant by the same author of The tale of Desperou. It is about a young orphaned boy who goes on a journey to find his lost sister, if she still lives. He, as instructed by a fortunteller, follows an elephant on a thrilling adventure. This is a good, quik book.

All right! Very well done, men! Hey, wait a minute--when did "Groovy" become a thing that grandparents say?? That's what everyone said when I was young! Which was only--only--was it that long ago?? Ummm--well, let's see the latest standings:

Michael--18 points
Dakota T--19 points
AXEL-13 points
Chandler--7 points
Brian B--9 points
Justin B--6 points
Shannon--3 points
Demitri--6 points
Keegan89--2 points
Josh--9 points

Dakota T keeps his lead but Michael is still one point behind. Josh has jumped ahead as well. Keep burning them in, guys! Don't forget that you have until midnight this Sunday. Winners will be announced this Monday. That's still plenty of time!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time In!

All right! Time to get back up and go forward, difficult as that may be. (although we still need your support! Check on yesterday's post) We have more Slam Dunks. Let's all come to the line. First up is Chandler with FIVE reviews!

The Last of The Mohicans is by James Fenimore Cooper and is 238 pages long.
the time period is the French and Indian War. it’s about a man named Natty Bumppo who was nicknamed by the Indians Hawkeye and his fellow companions Chingachkook, and Uncas who were the last of the Mohicans. while they were roaming they found a group of Travelers. there names where Cora, Alice, Heyward, and David gamut. they were chasing a runaway indian.
they didn’t find him so Hawkeye lead them to an island on a boat there they find shelter. in the morning they woke up and where attacked by Iroquois they killed them all, but one took there boat. so Hawkeye, Chingachkook, and Uncas go get help, but when they leave the indians invade again.
will Hawkeye’s friends escape or die by the indians. read this book to find out.
I like this book because it has a lot of excitement

Magic Treehouse is by Mary Pope Osbourne and is 111 pages long.
It’s all about two kids named Jack and Annie they find a magic treehouse and they do missions for a man named Merlin. in this book they go to a place called Ireland they have to inspire people to share there talents with the world. They have to inspire a girl named Augusta who lives with a rich family. She tries to find these magical people called the Shee, but she couldn’t find them so she gives up and becomes sad. So Jack and Annie have to help her find them and share the Shee’s stories to the world.
Read this book to find out if Jack and Annie can help her find the Shee or will the old Irish legends be lost forever.

The Secret of Droon: Knights of the Ruby Wand is by Tony Abbott and is 120 pages long.
The story begins with Julie, Neal and their friends trying to hunt down hunters who had escaped into the Upper world (our world). They chased them to there school, where they almost caught them. Suddenly out of nowhere the magic soccer ball rolls in telling them to come to Droon.
When they got to Droon they met up with there friends who were still trying to find a cure for Eric. They meet a genie named Anusa who tells them that Galen is captured, and they need three things to find him. She sent them after the Ruby wand, but the ruby wand. The wand was being held by the tree weasel who were known for their trickery. WIll they save Galen and Eric or will Droon fall to Gethwing. Read this book to find out
I liked this book because it had humor and excitement.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid:Greg Heffley’s Journal
Greg Heffley is one of those kids who gets picked on everyday, tries to get girls to like him and has a big brother named Rodrick and a little brother named Manny. He has a best friend named Rowley who acts really weird.
Greg has all kinds of ways to get away with stuff Without his brothers finding out. One of his secrets is that he writes a diary about things he did. The worst thing that would ever happen to him is his brother Rodrick stealing it.
Will it be kept a secret or will Rodrick steal it and spread the word. Read this book to find out if Greg Heffley has life going good for him.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
Greg Heffley his a kid that is always getting in trouble always laying around and being lazy and never does anything manly. He has a weird friend named Rowley and his brother who’s a bully. His mom and little brother are also weird.
Well Greg’s dad gets jealous cause he wants a son who’s like a man not laying around while other kids are playing football or working out to grow really strong.
So his dad wants him to go off to military academy to become a man. Can Greg show his dad that he is manly or will he be saying goodbye.

After him comes Demitri:

This is Demitri.I am reviewing Amulet Book Two The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuish. This is a continuence of book one. Emily and her friends get to the city of Kanalis,where they find a Doctor that sends them to Demon's Head Mountain to get the gadoba fruit that has the healing power needed to save their mom. They meet Leon Redbeard in this story. I enjoyed this book as much as the first, and cannot wait for book three. If you enjoy adventure and suspense,these are the books for you!

He gets a three-pointer for the Amulet Two book.
Then we have AXEL:

i have read the name of this book is secret by pseudonymous bosch. i loved it. it is filled with humor and action. it is about 2 kids trying to save a kidnapped classmate. i recommend it to everyone. bye.

Finally Michael comes to the basket:

The Time Navigators, book 1
The Dangerous Voyage
by Gilbert Morris
When Danny and Dixie Fortunes dad disappears, they go to their strange great-uncles, who are mad scientists. They say they'll give the Fortunes 10 thousand dollars if they travel in the Chrono-Shuttle, their time machine. They go back in time to the year 1620 and see what life was like with the Pilgrims. But when the Mayflower sets sail, Danny and Dixie find that their mini-time machine, which is their key backto the present, has gone missing! They must find the Recall Unit before they are trapped in the past forever. I loved this book! It's educational, and, most importantly, it's time travel! So definitely check this one out!!!

The 21 Balloons
by William Pene du Bois
Professor William Waterman Sherman has been a school teacher for 40 years, and now that he's retired, he is looking forward to spending a year floating over the ocean in a hot air balloon. But after a seagull pops it, he is forced to crash land on the island of Krakatoa. There he finds a secret village with citizens on the seemingly uninhabited island. All seems well, until the volcano in the center of the island starts acting worse than usual. The people of Krakatoa and Professor Sherman must escape the island before the volcano buries the entire thing in the biggest explosion in history. Can they do it? Great book, definitely one to get.

Thanks, men! Good reviews, all of you. I'm especially glad some of you are reviewing the classics, like Last of the Mohicans. Whenever guys hear the word "classic," they automatically think "old and boring." Some of them are but others, like Last of the Mohicans and Treasure Island are still alive and kicking. I'm reading some of the original Sherlock Homes stories now and, man, do they still pack a punch! Some relatively newer books, like The 21 Balloons, are now considered classics and, as you see, guys are reading them. Some people consider Harry Potter as classics now. Do you think the Percy Jackson books will be classics one day? Could be!!

OK--the standings:
Michael--15 points
Dakota T--16 points
AXEL-13 points
Chandler--7 points
Brian B--9 points
Justin B--6 points
Shannon--3 points
Demitri--6 points
Keegan89--2 points
Josh--6 points
Dakota T still has the lead but only barely! Michael is one point behind and AXEL is coming up quickly! Things can still change, though. Demitri doubled his points today and Chandler more than tripled his! Stay tuned, fans! It's not over yet!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Time Out for a Serious Matter

Hey, guys, it's Carl. I've received your reviews over the weekend and I'll post them tomorrow but I need to call another time out. I hate to do it, but this is serious. All of you who live in the Charlotte area have probably heard that the county has lost a lot of money because of the economy. Mecklenburg County has lost so much, in fact, that they're having to make major cuts to a lot of its services like the schools and the libraries. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library system is going to lose $2 milllion by the end of June, which means they're planning to close 12 of its 24 branches and lay off 148 people. As things stand now, those branches will close on April 3, which also will the last day for those who are laid off. Fortunately, I am not one of them. Very unfortunately, both Bill and Zack recieved lay off notices. I hate it. They're good guys and I'll miss them. I know a lot of you will too.
And it gets worse--the library system could lose another $17 million in June and force closings of almost all the libraries in July. That means I could get laid off with that round of cuts. If you want to read more, click here.

So what does this mean to all of us reader guys? First, I'm going to keep this blog open as long as possible. You all deserve it. There aren't enough blogs or websites devoted to guy reading and I want to make sure this one keeps going. (Will Bill and Zack continue to contribute? I know they'd like to. Let's get things sorted out first)

Second, if you want to help, you can donate. Click on this link (not on the picture) to find out how. Check with your parents first, of course. And encourage them to get involved. And your teachers, grandparents, or any other adults you know. Spread the word. The more people who know, the more we can do to save the library. Every little bit helps.

Thirdly, I'm also determined to finish out the March Madness Slam Dunk Contest. Once again, you guys deserve it. But I'm going to shorten the time. I was going to run it through the end of the month but now I'll run it through March 28 so that I will have the last week of the month to get prizes out. Therefore, I will accept reviews until midnight on Sunday, March 28. I'll publish the results on Monday, March 29. Those who live in the Charlotte area can come to the Imaginon library to claim your prize. If Imaginon is too far, call me at 704-416-4630 and we'll work something out. You could also give me your mailing address, and I'll get it to you. If you live way outside of Charlotte or North Carolina, call me or snail mail me with your mailing address at The CARLMAN--Spangler Library/Imaginon--300 E. 7th St.--Charlotte, NC 28202 and I'll get it to you. Even if you don't get a prize, you can still get a free book.

All right, this has been a very painful post, but bad things happen, guys. That's why, as I've said so many times before, READING IS IMPORTANT! Sure, it's fun, but it also prepares you for tough times. I've really enjoyed all the books we've talked about, but every one of them has helped me. Think about it--Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, the brave men and women in the nofiction and biographies, even the characters in the graphic novels have faced tough situations and prevailed. Reading helps build you up for times like this. So keep writing to us and...


Friday, March 19, 2010


The CARLMAN is calling a halftime break. Well, OK, it's a little bit past the halfway point for the month, but I've got a three-day weekend break from the library. I'll be back Monday, so don't stop writing! Can't wait to see how many more dunks we'll get by then!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

For the First Time--Video Dunks!

The NCAA tournament starts for real today. My beloved Tarheels aren't even in the Big Dance this year and the mighty ACC teams look flabby this year, so the tourney won't be as exciting for me this year as it ususally is. But our March Madness Slam Dunkers show no sign of getting soft. We've got some first-rate reviews today, so SLAM! DUNK! Here they come:


Flight Explorer, Volume 1
In this continuation from the popular Flight series, the best cartoonists have been chosen to do this amazing comic book. There are mini-comics from Kazu Kibuishi's Copper, Kean Soo's Jellaby, and other comics from Rad Sechrist and Bannister. From purple monsters, to space mice and space girls, to mushrooms that talk, it's all possible in this book. Go beyond anything you could ever imagine and check it out!


Book: The Devil’s ArithmeticAuthor: Jane Yolen

This praiseworthy book focuses on a Jewish girl named Hannah, or Chaya when spoken in Hebrew. Devil’s Arithmetic follows Chaya as she makes an unexpected journey back in time to World War II. There she is captured by the Nazis and put into a concentration camp. This book is an amazing story describing her life during the Holocaust. This story shows how prisoners struggle to survive. This story was magnificently written and depicts the pure horror of the holocaust.

Dakotat T:

The next book I'm going to review is another book by Roald Dahl entitled The Twits. it is about a married couple named Mr. and Mrs. Twit. They hate everything that is good. They are the nastiest people you'd ever meet. Finally, Muggle Wumps have had enough. They, like Matilda and the BFG, come up with a devious plan to get a fraction of their revenge. This is a short, but meaningful book . It was very interesting, but mainly written for younger kids.

And now for something totally different. Justin B and Brian B were here at Imaginon today because Brian came to see the Treasure Island play. So they got their free books for writing reviews and also gave us a couple of video reviews! Brian talked about the play and Justin told us about The Brixton Brothers. (I couldn't be there but a certain master spy with an eyepatch filled in for me. BTW, Justin has a Boxcar Children book and Brian has Free Baseball)

Thanks, everyone! Well done! Because Brian reviewed the play, he gets a three-pointer. Justin gets one for his review, as do Michael, Dakota T, and Keegan89. Here are today's standings:

Michael--13 points

Dakota T--16 points

AXEL--12 points

Chandler--2 points

Brian B--9 points

Justin B--6 points

Shannon--3 points

Demitri--3 points

Keegan89--2 points

Josh--6 points

Dakota T still has the lead but Micheal and AXEL are still right behind. Yet the others can still catch up at any moment. Just like in the NCAA tournament, anyone can come and upset the leader. Oh, man, they're going to be dunking on the court and on the blog!! Keep tuned in for more excitement!!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Dunks and the First Buzzer Beaters!

The competition has just gone up another level! We have our first reviews of the Treasure Island book and, as you know from the March 1 post, those reviews are Buzzer Beaters and count as five points! Before we get into that, though, let me let you all know that your reviews of the Treasure Island play have been mentioned on Imaginon's Facebook page. Take a look and good work, men!

We have three new reader guys jumping into the competiton today, so let's start with them. First up is dunkin' Demitri:

This is Demtri Stirewalt doing a review on Amulet Book One The StoneKeeper by Kazu Kibuishi. This book is about a little girl,Emily, that finds a necklace and tries to save her mom with the help of her brother Navin. I enjoyed this book so much that I read it twice and I cannot wait to read the second book The StoneKeeper's Curse in this series. I recommend this book.

Then we have crunchin' Keegan89:

The Kite Rider By Geraldine McCaughrean
This book takes place in thirteenth century China; a young boy saves his widowed mother from a horrible second marriage to the man that killed his father. Twelve year old Haoyou joins the circus as a kite rider, one who rides a large kite into the sky, to pay for his mothers expenses. However none of his money ever reaches his mother, instead his grandfather takes it and gambles it away. Haoyou is captured by the Mongol ruler. He soon escapes and makes his way back towards his home in Dagu. When he arrives he finds that his mother works at the tavern and is only paid in food and housing. She and her baby girl had not seen the light of day in months when they leave the tavern to find a place to sleep. They use the boat house that belonged to Di Chou, the man who killed his father. They stayed there until he returned from the voyage Haoyou sent him on. Haoyou distracted Di Chou by gambling with him losing everything including his mother. As Di Chou was removing the goods the men who they belonged to came and requested their money back, but he did not give it to them. He was then beaten by the debt collectors as he fled town. This emotional story follows the turmoil of a young boy struggling to please his Great Uncle. He has been taught to always obey his elders even though his Great Uncle is nothing more than a gambler, earning no money himself. The Kite Rider is an easy read and I recommend it for ages 10 to 12.
And then we have joltin' Josh with two shots:

Book :Treasure Island
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island tells the story of Jim Hawkins, a young teenage boy who embarks on a journey to find a great amount of money after stealing a treasure map from an old buccaneer. Little do Jim and his companions know of the treachery that pursues them every step of the way. They must find the treasure while guarding
themselves from murderous pirates who are willing to kill for the money. I liked this book because there is lots of adventure and action with a great ending that you won’t see coming.

Book Dracula (abridged)
Author: Tania Zamorsky (possibly a vampire)
Jonathan Harker, a lawyer working for the firm of Mr. Hawkins, travels to Transylvania to conduct business with a count Dracula regarding the purchase of an old home in London. While at the count’s estate he is questioned about life in London and discovers the count is keeping him prisoner. The count leaves for London leaving Jonathon at the mercy of three vampire sisters (author possibly one of them). While in London the count is wrecking havoc by turning Jonathon’s fiancĂ©, Mina into a vampire. A band of three men plans to kill count Dracula to find out if they succeeded or not you will have to read the book. I liked this book because it is very suspenseful, and even shocking at times. If you spook easily you should not read this book!

And the final competitor today is dominatin' Dakota T with three shots:

The book I'm going to review is Treasure Island. It is about a boy who is on a pirate ship and the captain, who drinks too much rum, passes away and leaves a treasure map in his possetion. It was very hard for me to understand at first but you kind of get used to it. This book kept me confused, but reading, so I'd advise it for more experienced readers.
The next book I'm going to review is the book The BFG by Roald Dahl. This book is about a Big Freindly Giant who takes away a young girl who was one of the few to see him. She learns (in the giants cave) that the long, clarenet shaped instrument that he caried around was something that blew dreams into your mind. A little while later, the girl sees other giants lazily lying around. The BFG tells about what they do at night and that he couldn't do anything because he was half their size, but that didn't stop her. They come up with devious pranks that has little effect, so they come up with a wonderfull idea... This boook was exciting and out of the ordinary. This was one of my favorite books growing up because it was clever and it made me want to read another book by this author.
Another book I read by Roald Dahl was Matilda. The is about a very young girl who at a very young age starts to read, and she loves it. Her parents though, are uncaring and cheaters. When She becomes of age, she goes to a school that is led by the TRUNCHBULL. She is a mean, strong lady that abuses that students in ways so that when they tell their parents, they don't belive them. Her assigned teacher is Mrs. Honey who is exactly the oppisite of the TRUNCHBULL. She seems like the only one to notice Matilda's true abillity to do math, read, and apply her knowlege. Matilda gets so smart that something happens in the story that will change her life. In this book there is a hidden secret, humor, and thrilling activity. I recomend this to all ages-even if you are fourty five.

SLAM!! Thanks again, everybody! These were very good today and made me want to read them. Hope it does the same for all you reader guys out there. I'm especially interested in ancient China, Keegan. And Josh, you could be right--"Tania Zamorsky" sounds like a vampire name to me!

Sooooo--here are today's standings. Don't forget that the Amulet graphic novels are worth three points each so that means that Demitri starts out with a three-pointer.
Michael--12 points
Dakota T--15points
AXEL--12 points
Chandler--2 points
Brian B--8 points
Justin B--3 points
Shannon--3 points
Demitri--3 points
Keegan89--1 point
Josh--6 points

That means we have a new leader, Dakota T!! You go! But it's still close and, as you see, there are new guys coming in big. Stay tuned, everybody!!! The Madness never ends!


Monday, March 15, 2010

March Madness Monday (Guys Love the Treasure Island Play!)

It's Monday again but no blue Monday this week. We've got new Slam Dunks and you'll see that two guys have reviewed the Children's Theatre of Charlotte's production of Treasure Island. Those two guys also happen to be Michael and AXEL SIMONE. The first one to appraoch the basket is Michael:

Treasure Island: The Theatrical Drama
playing at Imaginon

When Jim Hawkins' father dies, he is put in charge of his mother's inn. But one day a very strange man named Billy Bones comes in. When Jim is put in possesion of a valuable map taking him to an island filled with treasure, he must avoid evil pirates, and he must be careful of whom he chooses as friends.I loved the play! It's a fast-paced story, and there's no waiting for the next scene to be put up because they make it part of the show. You won't get bored with this, and I guarantee you'll love it too!

Flight, Volume 1
In this great comic book about things that fly, there are a myriad of different stories both adventurous and humorous as many cartoonists band together to create Flight, Volume 1! Some of the more popular cartoonists are Kazu Kabushui, Kean Soo, and Jeff Smith. Amazing!

Right behind Michael is AXEL SIMONE:


Next in line is Dakota T:

The next book that I'm reviewing is The London Eye Mystery. This is another mystery book that made me really have to think. This is about a brother and sister whose cousin comes for a visit. When they show him around and take him to the London Eye, he gets on. Thirty minutes later, the doors open and everybody comes out, except for their cousin. This is a great mystery for all ages and it puts your mind to the test. I really enjoyed it and would read it again.

I just finished the book The Phantom Tollbooth and it was amazing! Some parts were strange but overall it really hooked me. It was about a boy who finds a toll booth in his house with two coins. When he put one in he was lead to a magical place that had an interesting history. He eventually runs into a dog named Tock that had a clock in his belly area. He takes him to Dictionapolis where he goes from there on his quest to free Rhyme and Reason. But he has to go through an adventurous journey and many 'demons' to which are guarding the tower in which Rhyme and Reason are locked inside. Overall this book deserves a nine out of ten for its high action.

And finally Brian B comes to the line:

I'm reviewing No Arm In Left Field by Matt Christopher. Terry Delaney wants to play baseball with the local team but will his skin color make a difference? This is a great book, and it shows that skin color doesn't matter.

Swish!! Thanks, everyone! I agree with Dakota T about The Phantom Tollbooth. One of the funniest and most action-packed stories ever, especially if you like puns. I heard a great audiobook version of it--see my review here.This Flight book looks very interesting. Several of the best comics artist are in it. Fortunately the library system has copies. (are you sure that Jeff Smith is in this one, Michael? I didn't see his name in the credits) Hey, Bill, comics meister, have you seen this one?

Very well, here are today's standings. (Don't forget that reviews of the Treasure Island play are worth three points)
Michael--12 points
Dakota T--10 points
AXEL--12 points
Chandler--2 points
Brian B--8 points
Justin B--3 points
Shannon--3 points

Once again, we have a TIE!! Micahel and AXEL continue to battle it out! Dakota T is right behind them, though, and Brian B threatens as well. But new guys can write in and the others on the list may come roaring back. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings!!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Time In! SLAM! DUNK!

Man! You guys have been ACTIVE!! I'm gone one day and, when I come back, my email box is FULL of book reviews! You all are GREAT!!

Since I've received so many reviews, I'm not going to comment after each set, but hold any comments until the end. In fact, I'll list the reader guy's name, put his reviews after that, thank everybody at once, and give the standings.

But before I do that, let me direct your attention to a comment from Jana, a librarian, a mom of boys, and one of the faithful followers of our blog:

I am running a Favorite Authors March Madness at my library. I invite you and your readers to come over to my website and vote! The polls are on the sidebar. The address is:

OK, guys, go over there and vote! I've already done it. Jana runs a good blog and recommends some good stuff. Take a look.

Now for the Slam Dunks. First up is magnificent Michael:

The Elijah Project, book 1
On the Run
by Bill Myers
People have started noticing 7-year-old Elijah's supernatural God-given powers... even the people who want them for their own purposes. When the villains make an advance, Elijah and his siblings: 13-year-old Piper and 15-year-old Zach, find that their parents have dissapeared, and now they must run away on their own. With the help of their friends Cory and William, the group must believe in God to help them defeat their enemy the Shadow Man, and the ultimate villain the Supreme Master, who in reality is Satan. Bill Myers makes another home run with this amazing book!

Jellaby, book 1
by Kean Soo
Meet Portia. She has no friends, her parents are divorced, and now she's got a monster for a friend! But that won't stop her and her friend, Jason, from finding Jellaby's home. Fast-paced, funny, and creative, this comic book is perfect for everyone!

Then we have the dynamic Dakota T:

The next book that I read was High Rulian By Brain Jaques. this book was about a young ottermaid who's skills in the sling exceed any others. When a Giant bird and a barnicle goose , both injured by a Tyrant who rules over Green Isle, come to Redwall to find refuge. They both tell them of where they come from and how the otter tribes are getting tormented by a raging cat who will stop at nothing to remain Tytrant of the Isle. It's up to the ottermaid to rescue the tribes enslaved. This book has more than it's fair share of action, adventure, and care for others. This was one of my favorite book in the entire Redwall series. The flaw in this series is that most of the books get off on a slow start.

I read a book entitled Holes by Luis Sachar and it's about a poor boy who is taken to Camp Green Lake where you get to dig a hole five feet wide and five feet deep. If you find anything you are to report it to the warden who turns out to be a girl. But why? This book is creative, yet realistic, and is one of my all time favorites. While telling the story of Stanely, It also tells a story about a teacher and an onion farmer. It was amazing how everything just fit together and made sense. Hope you read this and enjoy it!

Someone Named Eva is a suspensful book about a young blond hair, blue eyes girl during the holocost. Despite the title, her real name is Milaida. As you probably have gussed she is taken from her family and taken to a place where every other girl there has something in common to her, blond hair, blue eyes. There, she is renamed to Eva. While she's there she meets another girl who, in her opinion, has the prittiest blue eyes. After a year or two of being there a Nazi family adopts her. She quilkly becomes freinds with her new sister and learns from her that no one is alowed in the father's office. Everything is getting better but there's an aweful odor that haunts the house. What's behind Father's door? Where is the smell coming from? These are things that she wants answered, as well as where are her parent's. When the allies bomb the area of where their house is, they have to go down in the basement to hide. Will the war ever end, is what Milaida wonders. This book is mysterious and action packed, so I'd recomend this to anyone who can read.

The book I'm reviewing is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. This book is about a boy, named Brain, who's parents recently got devorced and he is on his way to his father's house in Canada. Traveling in a small biplane, only the pilot, his luggage including a hatchet, and himself are on board. Flying over the wilderness, the pilot has a heart attack (and dies) and the radio stops working. Before he knows it, he's all alone over the vast Canadian wilderness. Soon the fuel runs out and the engine stops... This is a great book full of action and adventure. Brain has to use his wits to survive and find food to live. Soon brain see's changes in himself and you get to learn the real reason to why his parents split. I really enjoyed this book and would recomend it to anyone who enjoys a good book.

The book I am reviewing is a series entitled The Series of unfortunate Events. Is is about three newly orphans that go from gaurdian to gaurdian escaping from the ever lurking Count Olaf. The three names of the children are Violet, the eldest who loves to invent things, Kluase, the middle child who loves to read, and Sunny who loves to bite. After they're parents die in a mysterious fire, they were entitled to live with Count Olaf who is only after fortune. He attemps to marry Violet to inherit the Baudelaire fortune (their last name). When Sunny is locked up in a cage, Violet has no choice but to agree, it's all up to Klause to put a stop to this. This book is adventurous, and a great mystery series for people who are about in seventh grade, basically because of mild violence. This no doubt was one of my favorite books because of all the problem solving, and the teamwork.

Then we have jumpin' Justin B (who is indeed brother to Brian B):

Yes I am Brother to Brian B. No I have not read The Brixton Brothers The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity, but I would like to read it.I'm writing a review on the Hardy Boys #12 Trouble in Paradise. It started when Frank and Joe were at home and they got a mysterious letter that said there will be a box arriving in ten seconds. It also said go to St. John Island because the Ambassador's son Esteban was missing. The box contained a wad of cash and credit cards, so they went to St. John Island. Frank fell for a girl named Jenna which was a decoy. Esteban really was not kidnapped; he was the leader of the smugglers.

I am writing a review on The Hardy Boys #4 Missing Chums. Joe was working on his motorcycle in their garage. They left for Shantytown a place around Bayport in their boat the Sleuth. Before they got there they almost got rammed by a boat named the Black Cat. They saw a bank being robbed and followed them to the dock. Then the police arrived and had mistaken them for the bank robbers. The robbers had on hats, pea jackets and masks. Then Chet and Biff went missing. They figured that they were kidnapped and taken to hermit island so they went there with some of their friends, but they were fooled by a false hermit. They went there again and found a cave which contained their friends.I would recommend this book to Hardy boy fans. It's a great book.

After Justin comes bouncin' Brian B:

I'm writing a review on the Hardy Boys graphics #15 Live Free Die Hardy. A.T.A.C. (American Teens Against Crime) decides to throw a surprise party for Fenton Hardy. The Noir sisters decide to crash the party. Can the Hardy boys stop them?This is a good book but I would read #7 The Opposite Numbers for a introduction to the Noir sisters.

I'm reviewing the all new Hardy Boys #12 Trouble In Paradise. The Hardy Boys go to the Caribbean to hunt down the kidnapper of a man named Esteban. A Spanish galleon gets found and the boys go diving at the spot of the wreck to look for clues. It turns out that Esteban didn't get kidnapped he just continually went diving at the wreck and decided that instead of diving he would just use his very rich fathers money. But rebellion from his helpers put him in a jam. I love the all new Hardy Boys because you can be Frank or Joe every other chapter. It's good for all you fans of the Hardy Boys.

I'm reviewing The Dare Boys On The Brandywine by Stephen Angus Cox. This 100 year old book has an inscription giving it to "Harris in 1910 by the S.S." It has 192 pages and 23 chapters. It is about Tom and Dick Dare and their neighbor-friend Ben Foster. The lively youths join General Washington and help fight in the Revolutionary War. Dick becomes the best spy for General Washington. It is a good book and if you like Revolutionary War books this is the series for you.

I'm reviewing Skateboard Renegade by Matt Christopher. It is about a kid named Zach Halper who is in a crew which loves to skateboard. When he gets a letter saying that he has been accepted into Amherst Academy his life will change. It is a good book perfect for skateboarders.

Finally we have awesome AXEL SIMONE:


Thanks, everybody! Wow, this is terrific! Yes, I agree about the Percy Jackson series. I'm one of the biggest fans in the library and tell everyone about them. Did you see the movie, AXEL? Did you like it? Hatchet is one of the best survival/adventure stories ever and a true guy favorite. I did a review of The Missing Chums way back when. In fact, Mac Barnett, the Brixton Brothers author is such a Hardy Boys fan that he titled one the chapters in his book The Missing Chum. And I love Revolutionary War stories. One of my favorites is King's Mountain--take a look at my review here. Click on any of the labels under this post to find out more about any of these topics.

Here's the part you're all waiting for, the current standings:
Michael--8 points
Dakota T--8 points
ALEX--9 points
Chandler--2 points
Justin B--3 points
Brian B--7 points
Shannon--3 points

Once again, AXEL has taken the lead but, once again, we have a tie. Michael and Dakota T are in second place with 8 points each, while Brian B breathes down their necks with 7 points! The tension mounts, men! And who knows what the rest of the weekend will bring!



Friday, March 12, 2010

The CARLMAN Calls a Time Out!

Sorry, everybody, but I'm away from the library today. I have received all your reviews and will do my best to get them posted this weekend, although weekends are busy for us and it may take some time. In the meanwhile, tonight marks the opening of Children's Theatre of Charlotte's production of Treasure Island. If you live in the Charlotte area, you don't want to miss it!! It's got pirates, sword fights, buried treasure--all the things a guy wants! Don't forget that you'll get three points if you see it and send us a review. (sorry about that, if you live outside of Charlotte, but if you read the March 1 post, you'll see there are plenty of other opportunites for three-pointers)

Yo ho ho,


Thursday, March 11, 2010

TWO New Competitors! ALEX Takes the Lead!

Wow! What a day! Today starts the ACC tournament, which is a roundball lover's dream. Go Tarheels! (I say without much hope. Well, there's always next year) On top of that, though, we have new excitement in the March Madness Slam Dunk contest because we have not one but TWO new competitors. The first is Justin B. I wonder if he's a brother to Brian B, who just wrote in yesterday. Could be--he reviewed one of the same books. That's OK--we like it when guys talk about the same book. Let's hear him:
I'm new to this and I am writing a review on the Hardy Boys #18 Pushed. It is about a teenager named Evan who got pushed off of a subway platform in the way of a subway and got ran over. Frank and Joe pretend to runaway to The Haven a place for runaway teenagers. Olivia lives in the park and killed Evan and another boy at The Haven. Frank and Joe find out because Joe was in the subway and Olivia had stuck a needle in Joe to overdose him with some drugs but didn't have time. It is a good book.

Thanks, Brian B! I'm glad guys read the Hardy Boys and glad writers still write them. Have either you or Brian read The Brixton Brothers: The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity? If not, go get it! Any fan of Hardy Boys would like it. Click here for my review and here for an interview with the author, Mac Barnett.

The next new competitor is Shannon, an English teacher and mom of a 13-year-old boy. She should know about guy reading! She's started off really strong with three reviews!

Will has been chosen to be a ranger. They are feared, respected, mysterious, elite. They guard the kingdom and protect the people. But a battle is brewing. Will his training be enough? My oldest son (almost 13) and I love this series. We pre-order every new book and wait anxiously for them to arrive. Then he gets to read them first, while I try to be a nice mom and patiently wait my turn. Not always easy. If you are looking for a new fantasy series or a good series of boy books, The Ranger's Apprentice series is wonderful!

I have mentioned this book, The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, on so many blogs recently, that I decided I needed to post a review. Right off the bat I want to say, if you have not read this book, READ IT. This book weaves together several separate storylines, each original and fascinating - a lost kitten, an evil swamp snake-witch, a magical daughter and her bird-man husband... Kids love it! :-)

Chris Crutcher is an author truly beloved by most boys. I can't tell you how many non-readers I have watched become avid readers because of his books. He aims to hit boys where they live - to write about issues important to them in language they both use and understand. If you are looking for good books for high school aged boy readers (not for younger readers), I enthusiastically recommend ANY title by Chris Crutcher.

Thanks, Shannon! Bill recently reviewed The Ranger's Apprentice and liked it a lot. Click here for his review, everybody. I have a copy of The Underneath at home. Wow, how can I ever keep up with all the new stuff you all tell me about?? Please keep writing to us, Shannon, and ask you son to write too! And, as we do with all girls or grown-up ladies who send us reviews, we'll give you the greatest honor we can possibly bestow and make you an Honorary Guy!

No need to thank us--you've earned this extreme honor!

And, certainly not least, we have two more reviews from ALEX SIMONE:




We appreciate it, ALEX! Guys really like David Lubar's stuff. Our brother readers at the SMS Guys Read blog actually got to meet him once!
OK, here are the new standings:

Michael--6 points

Dakota T-3 points

ALEX SIMONE--8 points

Chandler--2 points

Brian B--3 points

Justin B--1 point

Shannon--3 points

Man, the action gets more intense by the day! Keep them coming everyone! There's still plenty of time for new competitors. The ACC tourney and great book reviews--gotta love it!