Book Reviews

Through the Looking Glass

A whimsical, psychedelic, beautiful read, this is a 3 on the 5-star Reading System “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass This is no longer a simple, wild fantasy – Through the Looking Glass is Alice in Wonderland, but older. As Alice learns… Read More »Through the Looking Glass

The Hobbit

One of the first of the modern long-form original fairytales, this is a 3 on the 5-star Reading System “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit or There and Back Again What are Hobbits? You could say they are beings of woolly feet, big stomachs, and small stature, but the defining characteristic is that they like to sit comfortably at home in their dry, well-stocked Hobbit-holes. So what happens… Read More »The Hobbit

Taran Wanderer

I only learned about this series last year, and how I wish I knew about it as a child! I would have devoured these books many, many times, and I cannot recommend them enough! A tale of adventure and personal discovery, this is a 3 on the 5-star Reading System “Trust your luck, Taran Wanderer. But don’t forget to put out your nets!” Lloyd Alexander, Taran Wanderer Taran, a young man without family or homeland, journeys… Read More »Taran Wanderer

The Silver Chair

The second book with Eustace Scrubb and the first with Jill Pole, and of course, the only one with the one and only, ever-lovable Puddleglum, The Silver Chair is a step above the other Narnia books. Jill’s struggles with belief, Puddleglum’s indomitable fighting spirit, and Eustace’s attempts at chivalry combine into an adorable three-person journey. From the heights of heavenly mountains down to the depths of the earth and back again to the warm sunshine,… Read More »The Silver Chair

The Once and Future King

When I first read The Once and Future King, I cried allot! “I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob!” But seriously – I did indeed laugh and cry, and most of the time, my chest constricted and tightened and heaved with pain, joy, and beauty, and as much as I wanted to keep reading, I often had to put it down just so I could breathe. A modern retelling of King Arthur and the… Read More »The Once and Future King

Peter Pan

A tale of innocence, childhood, and pure imagination, this is a 3 on the 5-star Reading System. “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”  J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan Second star to the right, and straight on till morning, you will find the world of Neverland! In a place that is pure child, free from the restrictions of political correctness, and questions of right and wrong, a handful of children live out… Read More »Peter Pan

The Great Gatsby

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby The first time I read it, I was curled up on the armchair in my room, sick with a mild flu, and I read it from cover to cover without pause. I did not thoroughly understand it, and even at the time, I knew there were layers and layers of nuance that were passing over… Read More »The Great Gatsby

The Secret Garden

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden The Secret Garden was the first really difficult book I ever read. At first I made my way through pretty easily, although I had almost no idea how to picture the first chapters that took place in India, until Martha, the English servant, builds a fire in Mary Lennox’s room. As soon as she… Read More »The Secret Garden

The Brothers Karamazov

“For we must love not only occasionally, for a moment, but forever. Everyone can love occasionally, even the wicked can.” Father Zossima, The Brothers Karamazov When I was fifteen, my mother gave me this book for Christmas, but two months later, after she had read it, she told me I was not allowed to read my Christmas present for a few more years. I was actually relieved, since I kept feeling like I should read… Read More »The Brothers Karamazov

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

A twisting, turning, exciting read, this is a 3 on the 5-star Reading System “If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.” Alice in Wonderland Step into a fabulous wonderland, a world of upside down, a world where animals talk, little girls change sizes, and birds are very touchy. Here, a Caterpillar has questions about identity, a Mad Hatter and March Hare are stuck in… Read More »Alice's Adventures in Wonderland