Yes, yes, yes, guys, this is one exciting month! Not only have I read three terrific new books, but two my most eagerly-anticipated books of the year have come in. I'm talking, of course, about The Secret of Ashona by Kaza Kingsley and The Whisper by Emma Clayton. What??? Did you say you don't know about them?? Well, let the Iron Guy educate you! The first one is the latest book in the fan-tastic Erec Rex series and the second is the sequel to The Roar, which was one of the most thrilling sci-fi books I've ever read. You can see my review here and you'll also see that it got 7 comments, the most for any book ever reviewed on this blog. You can also click on the "Erec Rex" label under this post to see what I've written about those books and why I like them so much.
All right, enough about things I'm going to read. Here's some great stuff I've already enjoyed:
The King's Ransom by Jude Watson
This is the latest in the Cahills vs. Vespers series, which is a continuation of the great 39 Clues series. In this one, Vesper One, that totally evil leader of the Vesper family, still has seven of Amy and Dan Cahill's relatives and friends held hostage. Vesper One is ordering Dan and Amy to find an antique map as part of the ransom for the hostages. Of course, Vesper One doesn't give the directions to the map or how to retrieve it; the villain gives only the deadline. If it's not delivered before then...
This book has the thrills, spills, and action that you always find in this series but there is also a BIG surprise at the end that will hit you like an A-bomb!
Stupid Stupid Rat Tails: the adventures of Big Johnson Bone, frontier hero by Tom Sniegoski with artwork by Jeff Smith
This is one fun read! It's a graphic novel based on the Bone characters and it's seet in a time before the Bone series takes place. Big Johnson Bone is a frontier explorer in the Davy Crockett tradition. In other words, he's tough enough to ride tornadoes and ain't afraid of nuthin'! So when a tornado really does pick him up, he lands in a new valley. It turns out, however, that the woodland creatures in the valley are terrorized by the rat creatures. Well, who else would rescue them but Big Johnson Bone! So he strides up to the cave of the Rat Creature Queen--and gets swallowed by the Queen's giant son!! Can he survive? Well, getting eaten by giant ugly creatures is just a minor inconvenience for Big Johnson Bone! This is a rip-roaring good yarn. Included in this book is "Riblet", another story by Tom Sniegoski with artwork by Stan Sakai. In this one, the cute woodland animal creatures are playing until Riblet, the little pig, gets captured by the rat creatures. Isn't that terrible? Yes, it is--for the rat creatures! You'll laugh our loud at this one. I sure did!
PS: The illustrations in this book are in black and white, like the original Bone series. If you'd like to see them (and others) in color, be sure to check out Bone: Tall Tales by Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals and Other Fatal Circumstances by Lenore Look
Alvin Ho, the second-grader who's afraid of everything, has to go to a funeral! Yipes! Alvin's grandfather's best friend died unexpectedly. His grandfather is very sad, of course, and Alvin tries to make him feel better by agreeing to go to the funeral. Everyone is very proud of Alvin but then the boy realizes something terrible--he's actually going to have to do it! Can he overcome his fears? For his grandfather's sake? This book is every bit as good as the other three Alvin Ho books (and that's saying a lot!) but in a different, more subdued kind of way. It isn't as bust-your-gut, laugh-out-loud funny as the others, except for one part I'll tell you about in a minute, but it will make you smile a lot and give some good insights into growing up. I liked it a lot and recommend it highly to all reader guys. And there is one part that did make me laugh uproariously. Alvin is too afraid to talk in school, so when his grandfather's friend dies, some kids think it's actually Alvin's grandfather! Will he ever tell what really happened? And if not...well, you got to read it to find out! It will make you laugh!! Besides, how could you resist a book in which the dad curses in mock-Shakespearean language? Listen to what he says while trying to fix the car: "Thou goatish crook-pated canker ratsbane...Thine horrid image doth unfix my hair." That's right--I told you that you'd laugh!
PS--the photos of the new Erec Rex book and The Whisper didn't turn out well, so I'm putting better pictures down here. Either the flash reflected off the covers or it was the glow of manliness that radiates from the Iron Guy.
All right, men, go find these books! And let us know what you think of them.