Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Michael! Michael! He's Our Man!

Hey, all you cool reader guys. Our old friend Michael has sent TWO more of his first-rate book reviews! Michael always finds the most interesting reads and always gives his straight-up thoughts on them. Let's see what he's read lately:

Bone: Quest For the Spark, book 3
by Tom Sniegoski
Tom, Percival, Lorimar, Abbey, Barclay, Randolf, Stinky, and Smelly are all back one last time for the fateful conclusion! The Nacht is incredibly close to his goal, Tom only has one piece of the Spark left to find, and Lorimar is ready to betray her friends in order to save her people, the First Folk. Plus, Rock Jaw (Master of the Eastern Border) returns! Isn't that guy just a boss? And for long-time Bone fans, the great cat performs an encore of his odd behavior back in Crown of Horns! Plus, this is one fantasy book that is 300 pages of non-stop action! No, I mean literally, someone is always engaged in action during this book. This book is really not just a step up, but like, a whole flight up from the previous Quest books. And although I considered this sequel trilogy just a way to make more money from Bone, it really has turned out so well. I can say with confidence once again that Bone is the best fantasy series I've ever read. Definitely a must-read for any fans of fantasy, supernatural, or action!

The Infinity Ring, book 3
The Trap Door
by Lisa McMann
The daring trio of Dak, Sera, and Riq are back again in their third book, but fifth adventure. They've landed in America again, but this time they're not in Washington, D.C., but they're in Maryland in 1850. What's stopping them this time? SQ disguised as slave traders disguised as abolitionists! Whew! While the three are in peril nearly the whole book, Riq is in the most danger, being an African-American. He is quickly sold into slavery, and Dak and Sera must help him out while dealing with problems of their own. And where is the Hystorian? This is a pretty decent book. It's slower than the previous two, because those two took place in battlefields, and this one is pre-Civil War, making the action more sparse and not as weapon-filled as one (meaning me) might like. I do think, however, that the author does a very nice job of explaining not only why slavery is wrong, but also why some people of the time thought it was OK, answering the oft-asked question, "How could one person treat another human being that way?" The climax was good, and there's a bit of a surprise ending. To join in the friends' next adventure, set in Japan, with samurai and ninjas, log onto and get in the game! And don't forget book 4, Curse of the Ancients, by Matt de la Pena, coming soon. And one more thing guys: Don't mess with the cards!
Michael Lanier
Pianist, guitarist, banjoist, autoharpist, jaw harpist, Ukeist, Mandolinist

Thanks, Michael! Once again, you've picked a couple of books that sound really good. I have not read any of the Tom Sniegoski Bone series but I really want to now. Keep up the good work! Can't wait to hear from you again.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Guys LOVE Graphic Novels!

Hey, all you reader guys out there. We survived yesterday. You what day I mean--the one devoted to all the stuff that makes MANLY MEN like us shudder in our manly boots. The day devoted to kissing and hugging and romance. In other words, Valentine's Day, the one devoted to looooove!!! 

The MANLY MAN view of romance
So to get the thought of all that stuff out of our minds, let's ask ourselves--what do guys LOVE? And the answer to that is obvious--GRAPHIC NOVELS!! Yes, indeed, graphic novels are great! You've got exciting stories, laughs, heroes punching out villains, and sometimes whole planets blow up! So let me tell you about a few graphic novels that I and a regular contributor to this blog have read and enjoyed lately.

 Star Wars: The Clone Wars--The Colossus of Destiny by Jeremy Barlow; art by the Fillbach Brothers

This was a great story. Jedi Master Mace Windu speeds to the planet Simocadia to stop a Separatist invasion but Yoda appears and tells him it's a mistake. Mace goes anyway and has to face the results of his decision. This one has lots of good Star Wars action, cool artwork and Mace Windu, one of the best Jedi Masters. How could you go wrong?

The Adventures of Daniel Boom aka Loud Boy: Game On!  by D. J. Steinberg; illustrated by Brian Smith

If you like cartoon series with whiz-bang action and goofball humor like Fairly Odd Parents or TUFF Puppy, you'd like this graphic novel series. Loud Boy is one of the five kids who've discovered they have super powers. In this one, Loud Boy and friends are charged by their Uncle Stanley to keep the Flooggget out of the hands of Old Fogey and his evil cohorts. But along the way, Loud get sucked into a video game--literally! Unless he can win the game and get out, every kid on earth will disappear into cyberspace.Can Loud Boy do it? Read and see--and have a really good time as you do!

Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarret J. Krosoczka

I've been a fan of Lunch Lady, the cafeteria supervisor and crime fighter, for a long time. In this book, Lunch Lady and her sidekick Betty.are working a summer camp--which supposedly has a swamp monster in the lake. It couldn't be true--or could it? Lunch Lady  will have to use all their high-tech school cafeteria crime-fighting equipment to save the camp! I really like these graphic novels--mystery, suspense, and good campy fun. CAMPY fun!!!! I just made a joke! Har, Har Har, Har!!!!!

And to prove that I'm not the only one who enjoys graphic novels, here's a review from our old friend Michael:

Lunch Lady, book 8
Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril
by Jarret J. Krosoczka
Lunch Lady, Betty, Hector, Terrence, and Dee are all back! When a school photographer scams school kids out of thousands of dollars and then runs, it's up to Lunch Lady to find her, or the student council's fund will be ruined. I do think that the scene transitions are a bit jerky, but there's an action scene that I consider the best of the series so far. Plus, does the ending suggest the start of a serial? I guess book 9 will reveal that. But for comic book readers, this is a good one to check out!

And here's one more from Michael:

Mal and Chad, book 3
Belly Flop
by Stephen McCraine
Comic-book duo Mal and Chad are back for their third and longest adventure yet! When Mal learns that Megan is pushing him away, he wonders how cool he has to be to hang out with her. Also, a talent show is being held at Einstein Elementary, and Mal sees this as an opportunity to show his level of coolness. Plus you can expect plenty of episodes with his inventions. Comedy, romance, sci-fi, inspiration, and action all come into play in this book as well as the other books in this series. As far as graphic novels go, this is one of the best! I was a little bored during the first few chapters because this book focuses more on the romance and inspiration than anything else. The five elements I listed above did not blend together as well as it has in previous books. However, what action there was was very well-done, and this book is definitely worth reading!
Michael Lanier
Pianist, guitarist, banjoist, autoharpist, jaw harpist, Ukeist, Mandolinist

So you see, guys really do LOVE graphic novels! If you'd like to read about more graphic novels, click on the "graphic novels" tab under this post. And what about YOU? How you read a good graphic novel lately? One that you LOVED? Write in and let us know! And remember--these graphic novels are:

Guy Tested--Guy Approved!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thank You, Lenore Look!

Greetings, all guys everywhere! This is Iron Guy Carl and I'm sorry I've been gone so long. Life has been busy and busier at the library but that's one of those good problems. It shows that people value their libraries and we're glad you do.

The Iron Guy had something truly extraordinary happen while I was so busy, however. Lenore Look, one of my favorite authors, read the December post--the one in which I said that if I could have any book for Christmas, I'd want a complete set of the Alvin Ho books. Well, guess what--that's what she actually sent me!! The Iron Guy is now the proud owner of all four volumes of the adventures of nervous little Alvin Ho. Oh, I am so totally and completely thrilled!!! THANK YOU so much, Lenore Look!! That was extremely generous of you. No wonder we made her an Honorary Guy!

If you'd like to see what I'm so excited about, click on the "Alvin Ho" tab underneath this post and you will see all the reviews of these hilarious books and the audiobook. Better yet, scurry on down to your local library and check one out. If they don't have any, make a giant sign that says, "Get the Alvin Ho Books" and march up and down the street until they do! Well, maybe you don't need to go that far, but find one and read it and you'll see what I mean. And if you have read them (or some of them) write in and let us know what you think.

 Thanks again, Lenore Look!!