Crazy Moon by Lucia Greene. Illustrated by Shannon Sands. Book Review.

buy link https://amzn.to/33CjOky

This is the second book I have reviewed by Lucia Greene. Her five star review for A Tunnel in the Pines is available here. https://bferrante.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/a-tunnel-in-the-pines-by-lucia-greene-book-review/

This book is written in the same easy-to-engage style. However, it is less intense and suspenseful than A Tunnel.

Madison goes to summer camp for the first time. Her cabin has a mixture of girls, nice, shy, bully, and bystander. I expected Madison to be an advocate for respect among the girls but she is preoccupied with her own experiences. When Nancy, the ostracized girl runs away, I expected a connection to the title of the book “crazy moon.” This refers to aggressive behavior of animals in breeding mode. There are tales, in my northern community, of hikers and campers attacked relentlessly by moose in heat. But Nancy spent the night safe and sound in a tiny pine hideaway.

I thought the counselor would intervene and have the girls discuss and work on the group dynamics at several points in the book, but there was no real resolution. Madison’s take away from all this was to advise Nancy not to take things so seriously.

This could have been a book on personal and social growth wherein the reader gained perspective and empathy for the bullied girl and some strategies for dealing with put downs and other anti-social remarks. This could have been, like A Tunnel in the Pines, a nail-biting emotional roller-coaster ride for the reader. It was an enjoyable read but not of  the truly high-caliber of Greene’s first book. It will appeal to girls who love riding as Madison falls for Mouse, one of the camp horses. That, too, could have been a theme to expand upon. Why is this horse so afraid? What happens to them when they no longer can be ridden.

While I love Greene’s writing style, I think this particular book had some unfulfilled potential.

Introducing Super Sporty by Ellie Firestone. Booke Review.

This is an action-packed story interspersed with odd unnecessary moments, such as the first page and a half wherein the Sporty and Harley ride the elevator and have breakfast. It is the kind of tale that an unsophisticated reader might enjoy especially if they like space monsters, horses and superheroes. It is quite similar to the stories my junior grade students used to write for me.

The reader must have wide-open acceptance to the unexpected and the unpredictable. First of all, the horses talk and behave like humans, which is fine. Then suddenly the horses have hidden wings and fly. Okay. Then the new horses are actually disguised aliens. Then the good horses can shoot beams of light from their hooves (that is actually a force field) and from the other hoof, a pair of wings (to attach to the injured horse). It is hard to build suspense when there seems to be no limit to the abilities of the superhero. The reader has absolutely no doubt that the horses will defeat the aliens and prevent the invasion.

Unfortunately, the biggest problem with this book is the illustrations. I don’t mean to be cruel but they honestly seem like a child drew them. The horses are barely recognizable and there are visible marker lines. It would be better to take the illustrations out and put in a couple of photographs of horses Photoshopped to look like basketball players or pay someone to draw a few good pictures.

  

This book has potential and will probably be enjoyed by some readers but it needs editing and entirely new illustration.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages