Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria by J.M. Bergen [Book Review]

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I was given a free ARC of this book from the author’s publicist at Book Publicity Services. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria
Author: J.M. Bergen
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Series: The Elandrian Chronicles, book 2
Publisher: Elandrian Press
Publication Date: May 20, 2020

Plot

Book two takes place three months after the events of book one. Thomas and his friends seem to believe the battle is over though more dangers await them.

The plot was well done since it picks up where the previous book left off. The story was already established with new ideas put into place. This was another fun adventure.

Characters

Most of the characters were already introduced in the first book. We get to know them a little more in this one but it’s refreshing to see them again. The kids are the lot of fun to follow in this story. They’re serious when they need to be but their kid-antics and mannerisms still come out here and there and it’s realistic.

Writing Style

Even though this book is classified as middle grade, I think it’s a fun read for all ages. The writing style isn’t “too young” yet it’s not complicated for a younger audience.

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria is a great sequel to a unique series. I’m looking forward to book three.

5

Favorite Quote

“Dying would be a terribly ineffective way to save the world.”

J.M. Bergen, Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria

About The Author

J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five.

When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping, or dreaming up new adventures.

If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).

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I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

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I borrowed a paperback copy of this book from my library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived, 5
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 1, 2012

Summary – I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

Ten-year-old Leo loves being a newsboy in San Francisco — not only does he get to make some money to help his family, he’s free to explore the amazing, hilly city as it changes and grows with the new century. Horse-drawn carriages share the streets with shiny new automobiles, new businesses and families move in every day from everywhere, and anything seems possible.

But early one spring morning, everything changes. Leo’s world is shaken — literally — and he finds himself stranded in the middle of San Francisco as it crumbles and burns to the ground. Does Leo have what it takes to survive this devastating disaster?

First Thoughts

I’ve read the first couple of books in the series and I’m going down the line.

Book Cover

The cover is “realistic” enough in the sense that shows the heart of what the story is about – right in the middle of the natural disaster.

Plot

Leo goes about his normal life, selling newspapers and occasionally getting beaten up by some local bullies. He treasures his father’s piece of real gold that was passed down from his father’s father.

Then the earthquake happens and the fire spreads. Leo and his friend stick together in order to survive and possibly get out of the city – but there’s really nowhere to go. The journey they go on for those few hours is a great one of determination and survival that no one should ever have to go through. It was an interesting read.

Characters

Leo and his friend Morris were great characters to read about through this tragedy. They even help the two bullies out when they were in trouble and even become friends with one of them. It was great character development for all of them throughout.

Writing Style

As always, this book was a quick and easy read. There was just enough information about the natural disaster, but it wasn’t thrown into your face.

I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This is another great, informative read. Even though it’s a big young, anyone can read it and get something out of it.

3.3

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I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

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I borrowed a paperback copy of this book from my library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941 By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived, 4
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 1, 2011

Summary – I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941

History’s most terrifying moments are brought vividly to life in the action-packed fictional I SURVIVED series! Do you have what it takes to survive … the bombing of Pearl Harbor?

Eleven-year-old Danny Crane is alone on his favorite beach in Hawaii when the world is torn apart and World War II officially hits the United States. Does he have what it takes to find his way home in the midst of the bombs, the smoke, and the destruction of the day that will live in infamy?

First Thoughts

I’ve read the first couple of books in the series and decided to continue them.

Book Cover

The cover says a lot of what the book is about and set it right at the climax of the story.

Plot

Danny and his mother move to Pearl City, Hawaii from New York City. She’s a nurse on the island and Danny isn’t too thrilled to be there. When she leaves for work, he’s torn with the idea of running away back to New York, but he doesn’t want to hurt his mother. Then the attacks happen.

Like the other books in this series, the plot is well-executed and the fictional character is always set up to be brave and help out in any way during the disaster. It was certainly an interesting read.

Characters

I liked all the characters in this one. Danny was a great protagonist and he was great with all the other characters. The supporting characters such as Mack and Mrs. Sudo were helpful and had a purpose throughout the story as well.

Writing Style

Like the rest of the series, this is a quick and easy read. There’s a lot of information about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in this one, including facts, resources, and other information in the back of the book. It’s certainly a good read.

I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This was a great read and, in my opinion, the best so far in this series. It’s worth a read to learn more about this tragic event.

4.3

Favorite Quote

“You’d have to be crazy not to be scared, with what was happening in the world, with America at war with both Japan and Germany now.”

Lauren Tarshis, I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 (I Survived 4)

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I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission should you purchase anything from these links. It’s no extra cost to you and supports this blog. If you’d like to learn more about affiliate links on this website, please read my Privacy Policy. Thank you.
I borrowed a paperback copy of this book from my library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived, 3
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 2011

Summary – I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005

His whole world is underwater…

Barry’s family tries to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hits their home in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. But when Barry’s little sister gets terribly sick, they’re forced to stay home and wait out the storm.

At first, Katrina doesn’t seem to be as severe a storm as forecasters predicted. But overnight the levees break, and Barry’s world is literally torn apart. He’s swept away by the floodwaters, away from his family. Can he survive the storm of the century – alone?

First Thoughts

These are quick reads and I enjoy the historical tidbits. After reading the first two books in the series, I grabbed the next three.

Book Cover

The cover shows Barry and a dog he rescued in the middle of Hurricane Katrina trying to find their way to safety. As always, it shows a lot about the plot and the design is well done.

Plot

Life is normal for 11-year-old Barry until the forecasters urge everyone to evacuate for the upcoming storm. Everyone is worried, though Barry doesn’t fully understand why until the storm is directly on top of them.

The plot was well executed with enough information about the historical tragedy without laying it on thick.

Characters

Barry was a good protagonist to follow along with such a story. He was strong and brave throughout the whole event. He followed his parents’ lead and overcame the storm. It was interesting to see the events through his eyes, even though he’s fictional.

Writing Style

This is a super quick and easy read. I learned more about Hurricane Katrina than I thought I knew. The information is easy to comprehend and it’s quick enough to read in one sitting.

I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This is another great addition to the I Survived series. If you’re looking for something quick with a little history boost, this is the one for you.

4

Favorite Quote

“Out there in the flood, Barry had discovered some powers of his own.”

Lauren Tarshis, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 (I Survived 3)

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Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

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I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop | Middle Grade | Fantasy | Book Review | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Title: Peter Green And The Unliving Academy: This Book Is Full Of Dead People
Author: Angelina Allsop
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Series: The Unliving Chronicles (Book 1)
Publisher: TCK Publishing
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Summary – Peter Green And The Unliving Academy

Fourteen-year-old Peter Green can’t remember how he died. 
All he has are his pajamas, a silk tie, and a one-way bus ticket to Mrs. Battisworth’s Academy and Haven for Unliving Boys and Girls, a strange and spooky school for dead orphans like himself. But that’s all he needs: the Unliving Academy has everything, from vampires in the hallways, to monsters in the cafeteria, to ghosts in the basement. 

And that’s just the teachers; the students are far stranger.

As Pete learns to fit in with his new supernatural schoolmates, he starts to discover his own uniquely undead abilities, and even begins enjoying his life after death…but he just can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgotten something (or somebody!) important. 

Somebody he left behind in the land of the living. 

Somebody he loved very much. 

Somebody who’s in terrible danger. 

First Thoughts

I was approached by the author’s publicist through her publisher about reading and reviewing this book. The blurb sounded intriguing so I decided to give it a try.

Book Cover

I like the colors of the book cover. It’s a cartoon-like design, though the building in the background looks more “real” and ominous.

Plot

Peter Green is dead. How he died and why is a mystery to him. However, he’s young and is not allowed to have his memories until he graduates Mrs. Battisworth’s academy. Peter adjusts quite well but he can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgetting something important from his life when he was alive.

Unfortunately, the plot wasn’t as interesting as it sounds. Some parts of the story seemed to drag on for no reason while some parts were too quick. I honestly didn’t get into the story until the end. There was a lot of build up for the last handful of chapters.

It was an interesting concept though. The world was well done and I enjoy the idea of living after you die. Peter wasn’t able to get his memories until after he graduated, which is explained with good reasoning. However, at the same time, I felt like that was just put into place to make the plot more intense or suspenseful, but it didn’t work for me.

Characters

I enjoyed all the characters in this book. Peter had a great group of friends and they were diverse with unique personalities and tones. It was easy to tell them all apart and I enjoyed going on the adventure with them.

However, Peter is 14 though he acts much younger in the story. I actually forgot he was 14, which is mentioned in the summary, and went through the whole story thinking he was about ten. It wasn’t until I started writing this review that I realized my mistake.

Writing Style

This is a quick read. It’s not too long, though there are some parts that tend to drag on. The ending was really well done and that was when I started to get into the book. Before I knew it, it was over.

The world building was great and the characters, even though Peter was portrayed much younger than he actually is, were done well too. On the other hand, it was tough to read at times because there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors. Normally, I don’t mention that in my reviews, but there was more than just a handful which made it hard to read at times.

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy isn’t a bad read. It’s worth it to give it a try if you enjoy fantastical worlds with some paranormal sprinkled in.

3.3

Favorite Quote

“Did you know that the root of most hate is love?”

Angelina Allsop, Peter Green and The Unliving Academy: This Book Is Full of Dead People (The Unliving Chronicles, Book 1)

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About The Author

Angelina Allsop | Book Review | Peter Green and the Unliving Academy | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Angelina Allsop lives with her husband, Bryce (and a very old and quite fat bulldog called Roree) in San Tan Valley, Arizona. Allsop enjoys reading, rainy days, and (of course) writing all about the many adventures that take place in her imagination. Peter Green and the Unliving Academy is her first book, and while she’s never personally been to AfterLife, Allsop supposes she will visit one day. As will we all.

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