Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mom and Me Mondays; Scholastic Edition

I'm hoping these reviews make sense, my youngest kept me up all night and I fear I am more brain dead than normal

The Quiz Book for Boys
by H. Becker
Scholastic Canada Ltd
ISBN: 978-0-545-98032-6
89 Pages
Ages: 8 - 12

Description: Which superhero are you? Or are you a more of a supervillain? Are you left brained or right brained? Do you have a brain at all?  If you do have a brain, does it know much about hockey or the Olympics? Could it tell you how to survive an avalanche or a zombie attack? In this hilarious quiz book, you’ll find out the answers to questions like these and more. With a fun mix of jokes and facts, there’s something for everyone!

Jake's Review: Mom, you are not going to donate this one to the Spina Bifida raffle are you, because I really like it -- and I broke the spine anyway (yup my 8yr old IS trained to be careful with books, much to book hating hubby's dismay)  I can't wait to do these quiz's with all my friends at school. Some of the quiz's were weird, but I still liked them.  This would be a great book for a long car ride instead of those stupid word games you make me play. Are there any more books by this author?
Rating: 10/10

Mom's Review:  The whole family had so much fun with this one -- well except for Jesse - who just wanted to eat it.  The quiz's are short and fun to do and in many cases made us laugh our butts off.  It actually took a long time to get Jake's opinion on it, because he just kept wanting to do the quiz's with us, instead of telling me what he though of it.   I love this author's work, because she truly understands what boys are like and what makes them interested in reading.  BTW, the quiz's are fun for GIRLS too, thank you very much! Jake told me I liked it because I was a mom and not really a girl -- I think that was a compliment.  My only complaint is that I would have liked it to be bigger, with far more quiz's to keep my boys entertained.  What was really nice about this type of book is that Dad gets involved too.
Mom's Rating: 9/10

The Amazing Adventures of Nate Banks: Freezer Burned
by Jake Bell
Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-545-15670-7
161 Pages
Ages: 8 - 12

Description: For a town in the middle of the desert, Kanigher Falls has been awfully cold lately. Sixth grader Nate Banks knows something odd is going on, especially when it starts to snow, and the snow smells like rotten cabbage! It's clear that the supervillian Coldsnap is on the loose. Nate thinks he knows how to defeat him, but superhero Ultraviolet thinks the case is too dangerous. When Coldsnap goes after an American treasure and Ultraviolet can't go it alone, it's up to Nate and his friends to save the day!

Jake's Review: Mom I really want to like this book because it has a comic in it, but I don't.  Do I really have to finish it? I like the comic inside the story.  The front cover is really cool looking.  I don't understand the story and the author uses a lot of big words that I don't understand.  Also, I don't think this guys is Canadian, he mentions US stuff a lot.  You can give this book to someone else, maybe somebody older or Ben, since HE understands this boring stuff.  One of the characters was really irritating and just dumb.
Rating: 4/10

Mom's Review: Wow, this one was a tough one to get Jake to finish reading.  I think the suggested reading level is not accurate in this case. I would suggest it for at least someone over the age of 10 or younger kids with a higher vocabulary.  Also I definitely think it is better suited to an american child since they would understand many of the historical references that a 8yr old canadian boy just wouldn't get.  I also think in this case you probably would understand more if you had read the previous books in the series.   I thought it was an interesting story line and the characters were a little different.  A lot of fun moments, however I think some of them would be lost on the younger viewer, especially the character of Colleen Collins who is obviously based on a certain Hilton Heiress. The author knows how to move the story along and his dialogue is snappy and witty, but again lost on the suggested reading level.
Rating: 5/10


  1. Sorry, you're right, Jake. I'm not Canadian.

    But I'm on a curling team, I grew up watching Mr. Dress-Up and The Friendly Giant on the CBC, and I never miss Don Cherry's Coach's Corner on Hockey Night in Canada. Do I get any points for that?

    Thanks for the review. At least you took the time to let me know what you think. I hope when you get older, you'll try the Nate Banks books again.

  2. Hi Jake
    My son thinks you are the coolest guy now thanks to the comments you put under his review. He thinks its really nice that you took the time to comment even though he had a hard time with your book. We both want you to know that we are passing on the book to Ben who is a little more mature and will appreciate your book. Just wanted you to know that we just thought the book isn't being marketed in Canada to the right age range because they don't teach American History till much later (as I am sure they don't teach Cdn History till later in the US. Not to mention that Cdn history is really boring -- well except for the stuff on Hockey and Tim Hortons) Thanks for being an extremely classy man and know that our review was just an opinion and nothing against you. I have also just requested the first book in the series which Jake and I will read together and I will explain things to him so he gets a better understanding. Loved your twitter comment too, it made me LMAO!

  3. You know, I never even considered that the history could be a turn off outside the US. I threw it in there because I'm a history buff and I wanted to have some educational value to the books. I think you you guys might have liked the first book more (less history and more science), but because of the printing schedule, Scholastic didn't have time to make promotional copies of #1 to send out.

    I am expecting to be doing a signing in Toronto in the fall/early winter (going to try to coordinate it so I can catch a Maple Leafs game while I'm there). If I make it, I hope you guys'll come by and tell me how much you hate book #3 (much, much more history in it than in book 2! Sorry!)

  4. Well Jake, it seems we have done some serious business for the selling of your books. I work in a library and my coworkers read my blog, and now quite a few of them want to read your books. A few have even mentioned that I should have also ignored what the reading level was and based MY review more on the story (Damn, I hate it when they are right)

    I have also ordered the 1st book and pre ordered the 3rd book and we will do a review after we read all 3 in a row. Figured it would be fun to read them with Jake and teach him about American history at the same time (which lets face it, I know far more about than Cdn history)

    Thanks for the laughs today and now I really want you to write a Canadian themed story about Nate!

    We would definitely look forward to coming to see you at a signing and promise to bring you a Tim Horton's Coffee -- I'd say also a picture of the Leafs winning a Stanley Cup, but we both know that isn't happening in our lifetime! Keep on writing and you know we only reviewed you lower because you are American and us Canadians are jealous of our big brother U.S.

  5. I adore this feature on your blog. I don't have any children, myself, so it's not as helpful as it could be for me, but I think it's absolutely fabulous & if I did have kids (especially a little boy) I'd love it even more. : )

    This is my way of saying definitely keep this up. It's such a great idea. : D

  6. Great reviews, and the way did them was awesome! I'm totally going to have to keep up with them! Thanks for stopping by mine!