A long-standing family quarrel leads two cousins on a treasure hunting adventure in The Mystery of Broken Spur Ranch by Barbara Bockman.
After the death of his grandfather, James and his parents fly from India to the family ranch for the reading of his will. Fifteen years ago, differences between James’s father, Gerald, and his Uncle Lawrence over the running of the ranch divided the brothers, and Gerald left to create a new life outside of the States. The family’s return to Broken Spur Ranch shows the brothers’ stubbornness remains alive and well.
Before his death, Grandfather Hanover devised a plan to reunite his sons with the help of their children. James and his cousin, Thomas, must work together to solve grandfather’s riddle and save the ranch … and their families.
I loved everything about this story. It brings together two boys brought up in different parts of the world who must work together despite their cultural differences. The boys are tasked with a tall order considering James knows nothing about ranch life and doesn’t even ride. Thomas seems to have the advantage, but he still must learn to lean on James’s abilities if he wants to solve the riddle. The hardest part: can the two boys find a way to end the long-standing disagreement between their fathers and save the ranch? The stakes don’t get much higher than that.
The Mystery of Broken Spur Ranch has a fun cast of characters, an interesting plot, and a great ending. The story moves along at a good pace, and the mystery keeps the reader moving forward. This is not the first book I’ve read from Bockman. I certainly hope it won’t be my last. She knows how to tell a story that engages young readers.
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Paperback: 114 pages
Publisher: Independently published (August 9, 2019)
I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
Alyssa McCarthy thought she left magic behind for good. But, she was wrong. When her uncontrolled powers are unleashed on her hometown, her school, and her friends, Alyssa must boost her bravery and confidence to defeat Errol’s evil plan.
Published as Wizardry Goes Wild in 2016 and The Unruly Curse in 2019, A Curse of Mayhem by Sunayna Prasad continues the adventures of thirteen-year-old Alyssa after her return from Fiji. Now cared for by her godfather Alex, Alyssa lives the life of a normal teenager. She has a great group of friends and has a crush on a classmate. Alex and Alyssa have a good relationship now that Uncle Bruce is out of the picture. Normal flies out the window, however, as soon as Alyssa discovers her powers have returned with a vengeance and she can’t control when or how they will be unleashed. Her life now turned upside down, she learns with the help of her magical friend Simon about the curse Eerol placed on her and how she must boost her bravery and confidence if she ever hopes to defeat him.
The second book of the Magical Missions series opens with a startling revelation. This swift-moving plot encourages the reader to turn the pages. Filled with magic, chaos, and a bit of humor, A Curse of Mayhem is an exciting story with a protagonist middle-grade and teen readers will relate well to. The underlying message of increasing your bravery and confidence is nicely woven in.
This reader found challenges with the choppy dialogue and how totally unsympathetic the adults acted. A top-notch editor could help shape this story in those areas and perhaps break up the enormous amount of dialogue with some narration and description; though when the author creates descriptions she does a fantastic job of it. It is my sincere hope we see a continuation of Alyssa’s adventures in a new story soon.
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
File Size: 2839 KB
Print Length: 173 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: S.A. Prasad Publishing (July 15, 2019)
Publication Date: July 15, 2019
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
I received a digital copy from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
In Britfield & the Lost Crown, C.R. Stewart invites readers into a fantastic adventure of a daring escape that winds up uncovering secrets no one could imagine.
Having spent most of his life locked behind the cruel walls of Weatherly Orphanage, Tom is excited to learn his parents may be alive. Armed with only one clue, Tom plans a daring escape with his friend Sarah that will put them in more danger than they could ever have anticipated. They travel from town to town in search of answers with many people hot on their trail determined to make sure Tom never learns the truth.
Wow! What a great way to start a series. With the help of his friends, Tom and Sarah wind up on a journey where they don’t know who is friend or foe while on the run from a multitude of people. Stewart is wise to create sympathetic characters from the start. With a well-rounded cast of good guys and bad guys, this phenomenal adventure engages the reader from beginning to end.
While the editor in me would like to see less passive voice, it didn’t detract much from the story. I’m also not a personal fan of third person omniscient point of view, but that didn’t slow down my desire to keep turning the pages.
With a great ending that will lead nicely into the next book in the series, I am eager to see what is coming next!
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Lexile Measure: 700 (What’s this?)
Series: Britfield (Book 1)
Paperback: 402 pages
Publisher: Devonfield Publishing LLC (August 1, 2019)
I received a free copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
Bubba, the goat, and Bridgette, the horse, escape their boundaries to venture out into the world to visit a nearby subdivision. The rooster, Roadie, climbs on the goat’s back to ride along on the adventure.
Age Range: 6 – 12 years
Grade Level: 1 – 6
Paperback: 26 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing (February 26, 2019)
Guardian Angel Publishing
Barnes and Noble
From StacyPlays, creator of the mega-popular YouTube series Dogcraft, comes a thrilling illustrated novel about a girl raised by a pack of wolves and her quest to protect their shared forest home. The first in a new Minecraft-inspired fantasy adventure series!
Stacy was raised by wolves. She’s never needed humans to survive and, from what she sees of humans, they’re dangerous and unpredictable. For as long as she can remember, Stacy’s pack of six powerful, playful wolves—Addison, Basil, Everest, Noah, Tucker and Wink—have been her only family.
Together, Stacy’s pack patrols the forest to keep other animals safe, relying on her wits and each wolf’s unique abilities to accomplish risky rescue missions. But as the forest changes and new dangers begin lurking, are Stacy and the wolves prepared for the perils that await them?
Fans of DanTDM: Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal and the Warriors series—plus shows like Ranger Bob—will love this Minecraft-inspired adventure.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: Wild Rescuers (Book 1)
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 5, 2019)