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$15.98 list($16.95)
1. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
$13.57 list($19.95)
2. Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2)
$11.55 list($16.99)
3. Maximum Ride : The Angel Experiment
$10.20 $9.88 list($15.00)
4. Whales on Stilts (M. T. Anderson's
$64.99 list($85.80)
5. Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set
$16.50 list($35.99)
6. The Trouble Begins: A Box of Unfortunate
$10.87 list($15.99)
7. Warriors: The New Prophecy #1:
$9.71 $8.47 list($12.95)
8. Harry Potter Schoolbooks Box Set:
$11.55 $4.95 list($16.99)
9. Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk
$6.50 $3.11
10. The Phantom Tollbooth
$10.85 list($15.95)
11. Among the Enemy (Shadow Children)
$10.87 $10.53 list($15.99)
12. Rough Weather Ahead for Walter
list($15.95)
13. Keys To The Kingdom, The #3: Drowned
$7.19 $2.94 list($7.99)
14. Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book
$5.39 $2.98 list($5.99)
15. Gregor the Overlander (Underland
$7.77 $7.69 list($12.95)
16. Dragon Rider
$10.88 $5.99 list($16.00)
17. How I Became a Pirate (Irma S
$13.59 list($19.99)
18. Forest of the Pygmies
$12.23 $10.09 list($17.99)
19. Peter and the Starcatchers
$8.99 $4.10 list($11.99)
20. The Bad Beginning (A Series of

1. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl (Hardcover))
by Eoin Colfer
list price: $16.95
our price: $15.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786852895
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Miramax
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Book Description

Criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl is back…and so is his cunning enemy from Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, Opal Koboi. At the start of the fourth adventure, Artemis has returned to his unlawful ways. He's in Berlin, preparing to steal a famous impressionist painting from a German bank. He has no idea that his old rival, Opal, has escaped from prison by cloning herself. She's left her double behind in jail and, now free, is exacting her revenge on all those who put her there, including Artemis. ... Read more


2. Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2)
by CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037582670X
Catlog: Book (2005-08-23)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 1770
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3. Maximum Ride : The Angel Experiment
by James Patterson
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031615556X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-11)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 312456
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4. Whales on Stilts (M. T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales)
by M. T. Anderson
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152053409
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 532
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lucky for Lily Gefelty, her two best friends are the stars of their own middle-grade series of novels: Jasper Dash (better known as the Boy Technonaut) and Katie Mulligan (beloved by millions as the heroine of the Horror Hollow series). It's going to take all their smarts to stop this insane, inane plot from succeeding.

This first installment of a riotous and wonderfully weird new series marks the Harcourt debut of award-winning author M. T. Anderson. With Whales on Stilts, he's entering new territory, creating a smart, sassy, and self-aware comedy that fans of Lemony Snicket will snicker and snort over.

Look for future installments of M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales, coming soon!
... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
A got an advanced reader's copy to review through a library program, and at first I was turned off by how "little-kidish" (short, small, and double spaced), but within moments, I couldn't put it down. You don't have to be a young kid to enjoy this - in fact, the older (and, I'm assuming, wiser) you are, the more allusions you're likely to catch.

With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on. Although it is soon obvious how the ending will turn out, it doesn't seem to matter while you're reading it; the reason why Whales on Stilts! stands out from other books is not its complex plot, but its halirity.

Don't miss it... or the whales will crush your home and shoot lasers from their eyes at you.

5-0 out of 5 stars great fun!
We just finished Whales on Stilts--we'll I was reading it to my nine year old and he couldn't wait to finish it so I finished it after him--anyway--very funny, over the top--lol!We loved the end of the book "literature circle" discussion prompts and essay question starters. We spent an hour making up our own silly book club discussion questions after reading MT Anderson's and had fun using his format to lampoon other books my son had to read for literature circle this year.We hope there will be more to come!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Monstrous Thrills! Gruesome Chills! Sidesplitting Laughs!"
"On Career Day Lily visited her dad's work with him and discovered he worked for a mad scientist who wanted to rule the earth through destruction and desolation." Lily Gefelty has always considered herself a little drab next to her friends Katie Mulligan and Jasper Dash, who each have their own adventure book series. But when Lily uncovers a plot to take over the world at her fathers workplace in the clearly labeled Abandoned Warehouse, it's her turn to step into the limelight and save the planet. Cleverly masked as "a midsize company devoted to expanding cetacean pedestrian opportunities," the goings on in the Abandoned Warehouse are not what they seem (er, actually...). Lily and her friends discover that Mr. Gefelty's boss, Larry, is really a whale-human hybrid intent on destroying the world using whales, stilts, lazers, and mind control. And it's up to Lily to stop him.

At first glance, you may think that "Whales on Stilts" is a silly, cheesy story geared towards ten-year-olds. You'd be right. However, "Whales on Stilts" goes so far beyond cheesy that it's positively hilarious for readers of any age, ten on up. If Douglas Adams had made a foray into juvenile fiction, this uproarious book may have been the result. Lily is so normal that she's the perfect main character to put into such a ridiculously overdone book. The other characters are uniquely strange in their own rights. The plot is straightforward and wouldn't be interesting at all in other circumstances, but the story is so stuffed with hilarity that the obvious and cliche plot is perfect. The best part of the book, in my opinion, actually occurs after the ending - an "educational" section written by one Ann Mowbray Dixon-Clarke, who seems to have a bit of trouble writing objectively ("1. How are Katie, Jasper, and Lily different? ... Do you have any friends who are different from you? What are they like? Why don't you think that Ann Mowbray Dixon-Clarke has any friends? She bought a big grill for her backyard, hoping that people would come to cook their ribs...."). "Whales on Stilts" is definitely a must read, because who knows when you'll need to know how to defeat an evil whale-human villain and his lazer-eyed whale minions?

5-0 out of 5 stars Stilted Whales
A got an advanced reader's copy to review through a library program, and at first I was turned off by how "little-kidish" (short, small, and double spaced), but within moments, I couldn't put it down.You don't have to be a young kid to enjoy this - in fact, the older (and, I'm assuming, wiser) you are, the more allusions you're likely to catch.

With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on. Although it is soon obvious how the ending will turn out, it doesn't seem to matter while you're reading it; the reason why Whales on Stilts! stands out from other books is not its complex plot, but its halirity.

Don't miss it... or the whales will crush your home and shoot lasers from their eyes at you. ... Read more


5. Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set (Books 1-4)
by J. K. Rowling
list price: $85.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439249546
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 51056
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Young wizard-in-training Harry Potter has had his hands full during hisfirst four years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As if excellingon and off the Quidditch field isn't enough, Harry has heard evil voices in thewalls, saved lives, and fended off convicts. Only time will tell how Harry willmanage the certain dangers in store for him over the next few years. The firstfour titles of J.K. Rowling's magical, witty, exciting adventures are nowavailable in a gift set, perfect for the legions of children whose big brothersand sisters (and parents) have made off with their copies. These grippingfantasy novels are on the road to becoming classics--don't wait to collect theselovely hardcover editions, illustrated by the talented Mary GrandPré.Each boxed set includes Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, HarryPotter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner ofAzkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Ages 8 and older)--Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (397)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Spellbounding
I remember when I was a child reading books that I found unable to put down, every page full of intrigue and excitement, my imagination would run wild and I was transported into other worlds; as I got older books became something I read for exams and no longer fun, I rarely picked up a book for light entertainment and it was a few years before I started to read books again purely for pleasure. Once I had time to rekindle my love of books I discovered I still got lost in a good novel but never felt involved the way I had as a child.

A few weeks ago one of my sons bought himself J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter set of books and enjoyed reading them, well he is twenty-five and more into Graham Greene, so I thought if he found them an enjoyable light read I would give them a go. I picked up the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, from the eye catching brightly coloured, shinny box holding the set of four books and settled down with the intention of reading a couple of chapters, four hours later I was still there engrossed, unable to put the book down.

5-0 out of 5 stars This may sound cliched, but the books are magical.
I admit that I had never heard of Harry Potter until the huge fuss over the release of the fourth book. I didn't buy into the hype until a friend of mine dragged me to the movie... I admit that I became a Harry believer after the first 10 minutes of the film and wanted more. I immediately asked to borrow her books and read all four over the next two days. After reading her set, I decided that I had to have my own copies.

The Harry Potter books are wonderfully imaginative and great for children of all ages (I myself am a 31 year old child!!) I loved being taken out of the real world and submersed in a world of fantasy and magic. Some say the stories and events are derivative of other classic "good vs. evil" stories; I don't happen to feel that way. The attention to detail of both the Muggle (non-magic folks) and the Wizard worlds is staggering and fascinating and unique. The J.K. Rowling style is also very refreshing and accesible to everyone even with the immense attention to specifics and details.

These books are great and I highly recommend them. They are so unassuming and pleasant and can teach kids a lot about acceptance, forgiveness, and the true meaning of goodness.

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
I have been a true Harry Potter fan for 6 years now. These books are GREAT. Harry Potter books are fantasy books about wizards and their wonderful world and about a young boy who falls into a world of magic and adventure. Harry Potter is full of bravery and is one of the best characters I have ever had the pleasure of running into. He is surrounded by good and the bad but he faces it all with courage in his heart and love by his side. Harry Potter Books have turned millions of children into readers and never fail to be exciting, sad, and funny. I have fallen in love with the characters that J.K. Rowling presents in Harry Potter Books and envy them for their unique and realistic personalities. If you haven't read these books you are positively insane and you must immidiately read them or be shot. These are the greatest books ever written and I applaude J.K. for her writting that always ceases to fall past perfection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
This is the best way to get all the Potter Books to keep and read forever! This is a great idea for gifts for people of all ages.

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!
This series is without a doubt the best books I have ever read. J.K Rowling sure knows how to write fantasy. I can realte to all the characeters and get lost in a magical world where anything can happen. These books have inspired me to write my own fantasy series.Wyhen I read Harry Potter, I feels happy, sad, excited, anxuious,scared and in suspense the whole time. Trust me, this sries is worth buying and is going to be around for a long time. J.K Rowling and Harry rock! ... Read more


6. The Trouble Begins: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-3 (The Bad Beginning; The Reptile Room; The Wide Window)
by Lemony Snicket
list price: $35.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006029809X
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Sales Rank: 16
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Fans of Lemony Snicket and newcomers to his gleefully ghastly Series ofUnfortunate Events will be elated to discover this boxed gift set of the firstthree books in hardcover: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, andThe Wide Window. While it's true that the events that unfold in Snicket'snovels are bleak, and things never turn out as you'd hope, these delightful,funny, linguistically playful books are reminiscent of Roald Dahl, CharlesDickens, and Edward Gorey. After they get their paws on this boxed set, there isno question that young readers will want to read the continuing unluckyadventures of the three Baudelaire orphans. (Ages 9 and older) --KarinSnelson ... Read more

Reviews (100)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Box of Unfortunate Events: The Trouble Begins (Books 1-3:
Dear Reader,
This series is about three children: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Bauldiare. The books are filled with misery and woe, the children are always followed by misfortune and a crook by the name of Count Olaf. He is always after the Bauldiares enormous fortune, and somehow never seems to get a firm grip, just like you couldn't grab a stick of melting butter with your bare hand. The children (orphans, which we are bound to call them) always find a way to escape the scraggly grip of Count Olaf... The first book started as the three soon to be orphans were walking along the beach examining strange specimens that got washed up on the shoreline. When a strange figure came up to them, it turns out that it was Mr. Poe, the Bauldiares bank manager. This started all of the childrens' misery: the fact that an enormous fire had destroyed their home, and their parents... This has been just the beginning of the first book. There are currently 13 books, where misfortune and Count Olaf follow the poor Bauldiares, trying to get control over the fortune and the their lives.The books are very negative, so I personally don't recommend them for smaller children, but they are good, if your heart doesn't melt in the midst of them. Do the orphans escape Olaf, or do they lose their fortune, and their lives. To find out, read the Series of Unfortunate Events.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Teacher's Review
As a teacher, I am constantly looking for the newest and biggest book to read to my students. During my travels, I came across a book entitled "The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snickett. I decided to take a chance and purchase the book. I sat down at home and read the entire book in about two and a half hours, and it was one of the most enjoyable stories that I had read in a long time! I tried the book out on the kids, and they just ate it up. The students couldn't get enough of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire....and to be quite honest, neither could I!! Soon after reading the first book, I purchased books two and three, and not to my surprise they were just as good! I again read these books to the students, and they again ate them up!!! Unfortunately, by the time we had finished the third book, the school year was over. However, I went on to finish my collection by getting books four through nine. I love these stories! The black humor that they contain should be that of a Coen Brothers film. The kids got every joke, and they totally fell in love with Snickett's radically original storytelling - explaining things in detail, translating Sunny's baby talk, and giving hilarious backstory. My peers often make fun of me because I read so much children's literature, but I have recommended these books to all of my friends. I even believe that these books are more interesting and fun to read than the Harry Potter series...but thats just me! I would recommend this book to parents of third and fourth grade students (it might be a little unfullfilling to the fiercly loyal fifth grade Harry Potter crowd) and also to adults who are unfamiliar with the series. A truly remarkable find and the most entertaining children's novels since Roald Dahl. Summer's the perfect time to pick these up!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Books!
I've bought these books, and I've recieved them in a short period of time. They are interesting to read. It's hard to see these children struggle, and face all the sorrow that comes their way. I thought I would not like these, because they were supposed to be depressing. If you want a series you really get involved in, try these. This collection is by far entertaining, and detailed. I can't wait to buy the next box set!

4-0 out of 5 stars From Bad to Worse: The Story of the Baudelaire Orphans
When I first started reading this series of books I was set back a little because these stories are not written in the style of typical children's books. These stories are dark, and the evil characters are truly evil. A number of reviewers have panned this series because they are dark, and because they often push the boundaries of what some of us may find acceptable for children to read. It is because of the dark imagery that I have typically recommended that age 9 be a minimum age. Some children may be unprepared for these books until later.

In the first three books in this series we learn that the three Baudelaire children, Sunny, the baby, Klaus, her brother, and Violet, a young teen, have lost their parents in a terrible fire. The children are sent to live with their evil uncle Olaf, who has ulterior motives yet to be revealed in later books. The children quickly learn how evil he is, and ultimately escape. They next go to live with their uncle Montgomery Montgomery in "The Reptile Room," only to be forced to move on again. In "The Wide Window" the children live with an aunt who is afraid of everything, only to ultimately be forced to move on again, continually chased by the evil Count Olaf in a variety of disguises.

Book 11 in this series is soon to come out, and the original plan was for there to be 12 books. These books are like potato chips. Once you start one and find it intriguing, you will want to keep reading. If you do not like the first book, plan to stop with the first.

This series is highly creative and many children 9 and older find them enjoyable. My children read them as teens and loved them. They did think they were different and unusual, and since they could not explain why I read them myself. They are different and unusual, but they also introduce children to situations that have occurred to children in the real world. A good way to introduce scary subjects.

5-0 out of 5 stars The first three books = Set-up....
Well, I'll admit its been a while since I've read the first three books of the series. They are are my least favorite in the series. Because in my opinion they get much better after those three. Especially after book 5. However, since this is a 1-3 box set, I MUST review these specific ones right now, so here goes.

Book One: The Bad Beginning - Well in book one we our introduced to the Baudelaire's, they are quite happy children that live with their parents in a large house, and are very rich. These children include: Violet, a 14 year old whom is a genius inventor, and will tie her up when in the midst of inventing, Klaus, her 12 year old brother whom is a genius of books, hecan't get enough of them, and is quite often a well of imformation, and last but not least Sunny, a small baby whom is still crawling, can't really talk yet except with made up words, but she has for EXTREMELY long & sharp teeth.

Now, so the story goes, the Baudelare children were playing on the beach, when they became orphans(wont tell you how), this is where there misfortunes began, because they must live with a gardian now, a relative or something. Well, they end up living with Count Olaf, and really I don't want to tell you more of that book.

NOTICE: If you DON'T want ANYTHING in the books after book one spoiled DON'T the next to descriptions of the books, skip them and read my summary.

Book Two: The Reptile Room - In this book the Baudelaire's have escaped Count Olaf and Mr. Poe has placed them in the care of Dr. Montgomery Montgomery, or their Uncle Monty. He is a man whom studies reptiles and has many interesting and dangerous reptiles. The Baudelaire's begin to feel that they will actually enjoy living there too. But is it safe for them to get comfortable?

Book Three: The Wide Window - After they had to leave Uncle Monty's house(I wont say why), Mr. Poe has placed them in their care of their paranoid grammar obsessed Aunt Josephine. A woman who's husband died a couple years back and wont use stoves in fear that she set the house on fire or something like that. Her house "barely" sits on a ledge next to lake Lachreymose by Domocles Dock. The Baudelaire's don't enjoy living there very much, but how long will it last anyways?

Well, I would say that "The Series of Unfortunate Events" is for those who are morbid at heart. These books have an extremely morbid sense of humor. But it is a great sense of humor, may take some time to get used to. And even though book 4 is the lowest rated on Amazon.com, I'd say that is where the books really hit their stride, in book for. That's where I really began to enjoy the books and their unique sense of humor. So whether you are young or old, though I think older people may enjoy these a little more cause they can understand them better(and most the people I know who've read them have been at least my age, 19yrs), you'll probably still enjoy them, they're fun books. And they have some things to teach, even though they don't seem like it.

God Bless & *enjoy* ~Amy ... Read more


7. Warriors: The New Prophecy #1: Midnight (Warriors: The New Prophecy)
by Erin Hunter
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060744499
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 91235
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8. Harry Potter Schoolbooks Box Set: Two Classic Books from the Library of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
by J. K. Rowling
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 043932162X
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 352
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Now, the classic books from the library of the Hogwarts School ofWitchcraft and Wizardry--Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them andQuidditch Through the Ages--are available in hardcover in a sturdy boxedgift set. (These books are written by J.K. Rowling herself under the pseudonymsNewt Scamander and Kennilworthy Whisp.) Finally, Muggles will have the chance todiscover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is bestnot to leave milk out for a Knarl. The Quidditch textbook explains where theGolden Snitch came from, how the Bludgers came into existence, and why theWigtown Wanderers have pictures of meat cleavers on their clothes. Both books,designed to look like Harry Potter's actual, used Hogwarts textbooks, featuresilly scribblings from Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Proceeds from the sale of thisgift set will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world.Harry Potter fans, rejoice! (All ages) ... Read more

Reviews (308)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you cannot go to Hogwarts, let Hogwarts come to you
Although not a necessary addition to everyone's personal Harry Potter library, these two little books are quite interesting and a lot of fun to read. They are both quite short, totaling less than sixty five pages apiece, but they are wonderfully put together and made to look like copies of real books from the Hogwarts library. None other than Albus Dumbledore himself writes the introduction to each book, explaining how and why these books are being made available to Muggles for the first time and explaining how proceeds from each book go directly to a fund, set up in Harry Potter's name by Comic Relief UK and author J.K. Rowling, which is dedicated to help children in need throughout the world.

Quidditch Through the Ages, penned by Quidditch expert Kennilworthy Whisp explains the ultimate sport of wizards from top to bottom, giving the centuries-old history of the game as it has evolved. First and foremost, he explains why wizards and witches employ brooms to fly on in the first place, and then he proceeds to give an account of the changing rules of the game from its early days of primitive baskets set atop poles to the standardized and world-sweeping format of today. Of most significance and interest is the story of how the Golden Snitch was introduced into the sport. Different strategies and maneuvers are named and explained, the thirteen Quidditch teams of England and Ireland are identified, some of the seven hundred types of fouls are explained, and some of the most memorable games and individual performances are detailed (including the Tutshill Tornados' Roderick Plumpton's amazing snag of the Golden Snitch only three and a half seconds into a game back in 1921).

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander is a compendium of all the fantastic beasts currently known, from the Acromantula to the Yeti. Prior to the actual listings, Scamander explains the criteria by which some beings have come to be labeled beasts (it's more complicated than you might think) and devotes some time to the obvious question as to why Muggles seem to spot such creatures only rarely. Each listing also carries the classification assigned each beast by the Ministry of Magic, which is important information given that these beasts range from the harmless to the controllable to the incredibly dangerous. Along with fascinating descriptions of the animals we have already encountered in the Harry Potter books, there are some real jewels of information included here, solving several Muggle mysteries such as that of the true identity of the Loch Ness Monster. Fantastic Beasts is a copy of Harry Potter's own personal copy of the book, and its margins are dotted with little notes ranging from the mundane to the bitingly funny written by Harry, Ron, as well as Hermione. Now, if we could only get our hands on A History of Hogwarts; I'm sure Hermione has a copy they can use for the printing of a Muggle edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get your Harry fix and support a great cause!
Although the wait for 2002 and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is going to be a hard one for a lot of people, these two brief but fun books should fill the gap admirably as well as supporting a great cause. Released for the first time (well, to the general Muggle public), here's two of Harry Potter's schoolbooks, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through the Ages."

Slim and quick reads, these books nevertheless are a great deal of fun. "Quidditch" provides us with a brief evolution and history of everyone's favorite broomstick-riding sport, with rules of play, focuses on top world teams, and the revelation that Americans don't really play Quidditch on the world-class level, preferring an American variation called "Quodpot." "Fantastic Beasts" is a brisk and humorous guide to mythical, er, totally real monsters and magical creatures from the Acromantula (giant spider) to the Yeti. This book is Harry Potter's own personal copy, and is enlivened with Harry and Ron's writing and jokes in the margins of the book. Both books feature a wonderfully dry-humored introduction by Albus Dumbledore. Both books are written with a friendly and light sense of humor that's delightful to read and makes great background for the serious Harry Potter fan. Quidditch team Chudley Cannons' motto is said to have been changed from "We shall conquer" to "Let's all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best."

The most important reason to buy these books, however, is to support Comic Relief UK, the British relief organization set up to help children in the disadvantaged countries of the world. Although we can't save the world from manticores or score the winning goal in a Quidditch World Cup match, we can still be heroes by supporting this great cause.

4-0 out of 5 stars Warning
If your children are Harry Potter fans and read these books the odds are very good that they will throw quotes and 'facts' from these books at you at every opportunity.

These books are very short and filled with information that fills in and enhances the novels of the Harry Potter series. I have found that the information within them rounds out Rowlings magical universe.

If you are looking for a novel however these are not for you. They are reference books describing some of the magical creatures in the Harry Potter series or explaining the origns and rules of Quiddich. Good easy fun.

I would also like to add that these books would be ideal for a child who does not like to read but likes the H.P movies. They just might entice the non reader to pick up the H.P novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two words? Must have.
Harry Potter is a very popular series, and for any fan of the series, this is a must have. It will give you more information about the world of "Hogwarts" and you will feel good about yourself since it's also for a good cause, i only hope J.K. Rowling will write more of these. Books, Movies, and these schoolbooks i consider the official harry potter merchandise, and then Harry Potter themed candy, figures and such is nice also. I have both of these books, and i read them all the time. It's a good price too. I hope you purchase them, have fun reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars While You Wait.
This is a great "While you wait for book 6" collection. It has the spirit of the Harry Potter books.

The writing is as good as the harry potter books. but the content is not.

For breaif looks into the history of the Harry Potter boos they are great. Particularly for the history of monsters. Hoever id you are looking for a solid READ this is not the book collection for you. ... Read more


9. Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk (Septimus Heap)
by Angie Sage
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060577312
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Sales Rank: 2931
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The seventh son of the seventh son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a new born girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this myster ious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?

The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart.

... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Goosebumps & Giggles
Rebeccasreads highly recommends SEPTIMUS HEAP: Magyk as a treasure trove (it looks like a book of spells) of fantastical fun, taking you into a magical realm where dishes wash themselves & magicians do marvelous things. There's a fantastic journey & conflict about good & evil, lost & rediscovered identities. It is rich with humor & heart, & filled with quirky characters & magykal charms, kind ghosts & frightening towers.

A gladsome & grand fantasy with lots of goosebumps & giggles, & a serious theme. Angie Sage hails from London, England & is now living in darkest Cornwall. She has infused this first book about a boy who grew up without a name, with both the light & dark side of life. For those of us who remember learning about the English civil war of the 1600s when the colorful Cavaliers & dour Roundheads battled for the throne (as too for anyone who's read anything about Communism), the life of SEPTIMUS HEAP, until he is found by his family, will ring many alarms bells.

SEPTIMUS HEAP: Magyk is a tale about taken & found children, lost happier times & oppressive rules written in a refreshing & enchanting way. A fine beginning to a new series.

5-0 out of 5 stars By far the best book I've read!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This book is great! So magykal! Its keeps you turning the pages. I'm almost through with it and I'm so sad to end it! You never want to leave this fantasy world Angie Sage invented. As soon as you finish the first chapter........your hooked. BUt basically it has the same fantasy plot as Harry Potter. I totally recommend it! You absoloutly have to read this book.....and the ones following it!

5-0 out of 5 stars It's really Magykal!
You will surely have fun with this book. I liked the plot, characters, and the "magyk" system and type.

The action take place early in the book, which I found good, and it didn't stop to some boring phase that goes for a long long while in the middle. Actually the events sequence & timing is so marvelous.

And just for the record; I loved Boy 412 soooo much the whole time. He is funny and rational at the same time. Also I loved Stanley, the massage rat.

I recommend this book to my friends and any reader, especially children; I think they will just love it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Magical Fun Read
The story begins with the much anticipated births of "special" babies - the seventh son of a seventh son and the Queen's future heir. But nothing goes as it's supposed to go. There are faked deaths, babies switched, babies found, until nobody know exactly who's who. An evil necromancer overthrows the ExtraOrdinary Wizard (the good guys) and everyone is on the run. The following chase and adventures make this a fun, exciting read.

This is no Harry Potter, but that's okay. There can be only one Harry and I think it wise the author didn't try to imitate Harry. (Although, the name Trelawney does pop up.) In some spots there seems to be a lot being done by the characters but the story doesn't progress much. That's really my only complaint.

I look forward to the next in the Magyk series. I'm glad the Harry books only come out every couple of years. It's opened the door to so many good authors to step up to the plate and really enhance juvenile litature. Not to mention entertaining the adults, too!

4-0 out of 5 stars Rowling Has a Run For Her Money
I'm in children's publishing and found the advance galleys for Sage's book on a bookshelf at the office. I've seen it mentioned in PW and I've seen it in bookstores, but couldn't bring myself to plop down the money for it. (Which is understandable since, being in children's publishing, I get my books for free.) Spying the ARC, I delightfully borrowed it from my editor, cackling all the while.

This book is engaging. Each word is purposeful, thoughtful, and executed with such precision, it's hard to believe that they were not done so with the greatest of intention. And I thought it was great that Magykal words were treated in a different typeface. (There was a reader who reviewed that they did not like this effect. I myself thought it was a nice visual pop; Magykal words in a different typeface signal a departure from the regular typeface, e.g., the "norm.")

Sage has come to passage as a fine writer, along the vein of Shannon Hale and Cornelia Funke. I've read a lot of children's books in my life--as a kid and for my job--and I'm greatly impressed with Sage's body of work. Though it may discourage readers to find that this is quite a hefty tome, the reading goes rather quickly. I actually slowed my reading down in hopes of making the book last.

Brava, Madame Sage! ... Read more


10. The Phantom Tollbooth
by NORTON JUSTER
list price: $6.50
our price: $6.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394820371
Catlog: Book (1988-10-12)
Publisher: Yearling
Sales Rank: 730
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Illustrated in black-and-white. This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom. ... Read more

Reviews (363)

4-0 out of 5 stars Take an adventure inside your own imagination
I read this book as a child, and very happily reorded it when a memory of it surfaced. The plot is as excellent as I remembered it. A young boy named Milo finds the entire world to be completely uninteresting, and he's already bored, cyncial and jaded, despite the fact that he can't be more than 12 years old. Somebody gives him a way to explore, and he's off to a fantastic land of imagination in his little electric car. Once there, he finds that knowledge and thought have become personified. He encounters cities of words and numbers, a woman who guards and saves sounds, he literally jumps to Conclusions, takes a swim in the sea of knowledge. The main plot involves Milo and some assorted friends (my favorite is the watch-dog Tock, who has a real watch on him, but then I've always loved dogs) rescuing two princesses who are trapped in the Mountains of Ignorance. Milo must battle all of the demons that plauge goodness and knowledge to accomplish his goal. Along the way, he discovers that he and the world are much more interesting and exciting than he thought. Besides that, another little gem is hidden in here. Life is not just about learning and pursuing knowledge. There are many varities and experiences out there. Math, science, art, history and so on. The key is not just learning about them, but learning how to balance them so that they all work together to make us better people. Milo got the message in the end, and I hope that more follow in his footsteps. This book is written on a children's level, but the author never talks down to kids or patronizes them. It's a pleasant read for all ages. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get better than this
My father read this book to me the first year it was published. I was nine and it has been on my bookshelf since. I can't tell you how many copies of this I have purchased for people.

This is a great book to encourage thinking, not simply memorizing. Each page contains new language, new ideas, new ways to play with learning. It also happens to be a wonderful story. I may have been too young at nine to read it on my own, but certainly it is a great read-aloud for children nine or a bit younger. At nine, I didn't understand all the fancies, but like the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, this book succeeds on many levels.

The Phantom Tollbooth encourages a child's love for language. It paints wonderful pictures (with the help of Feiffer's charming line drawings). It is as perfect a thing as can be written.

Oh, and if you're an adult without any children at home - buy the book for yourself. It will take you away from the Doldrums and into the Kingdom of Wisdom where your spirit can be renewed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic wordplay!
This book is fun for all ages, one of the handful of great children's books that will still be fun to read 50 years from now. It's like Dr. Seuss for older children. Buy it. You won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book
This book is just so clever. I mean the word play in this book never ends. I love all the ideas in this book, but my favorite ideas are that sounds are made and that someone plays the color in the world. I will most likely allways remember when Milo claps his hands and all the paper surrounds him. This is my third time reading this book and I highly recomend it to anyone and everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars REALLY REALLY GREAT!
this book is so so good. I really like the spelling bee.I think this book is the funniest book I have ever read in my life.this book should get all the awards. ... Read more


11. Among the Enemy (Shadow Children)
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689857969
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Sales Rank: 57261
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12. Rough Weather Ahead for Walter the Farting Dog (Walter the Farting Dog)
by WilliamKotzwinkle, GlennMurray, Robert Bendiner
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0525472185
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Sales Rank: 783
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Walter makes his third appearance in yet another unapologetically silly picture book, this one dedicated to "everyone who's ever felt misjudged or misunderstood." The story begins when animal gas expert Professor Kompressor pays a visit to Walter's family, equipped with a contraption that looks like a cross between a vacuum cleaner and an old phonograph: "I understand your dog has a farting disorder," he says. At first it seems as if the professor's prescription of powders and potions is working, but one day, young Billy and Betty see Walter floating like a helium balloon over the trees, so full of pent-up gas he has become airborne. Unable to release his gas, the unfortunate dog floats over hill and dale for days and days. The formula for these books requires the much-maligned Walter to redeem his gaseous self by saving the day (he gasses out burglars in the first one and helps catch bank robbers in the second). Here, even more absurdly, he saves millions of butterflies from a freezing windstorm by letting rip a warm cloud of air that melts the frost off their wings.Colorful, crisp, almost three-dimensional art, generated with a digital painting and collage technique, gives the book a bizarre, sophisticated style that both complements and elevates the cheap laughs. (Ages 6 to 9) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very cute!
My 2 1/2 year-old daughter and I love this book! The illustrations are bright and fun and the story really is adorable! It's a fun, imaginative story and it's gotten us hooked on the Walter series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Funny, different, and a little out there!
I read this book and think Walter is very cute. I like the idea of using the farting dog to interest kids in reading. Kids enjoy farts, so why wouldn't they want to read about them? lol. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and the people in them have a photo quality. There are spiders hidden on every page and half the fun is trying to find them. The storyline is more than a little out there, but kids might buy into it more readily than adults. All in all, good book and I'd definitely recommend it to kids & parents with a sense of humor. Just imagine Grandma & Grandpa reading it aloud!

4-0 out of 5 stars appaling, but incredibly good and funny
I'm not into potty humor, i'm not into any of the other potty humor type kids books or cartoons, I just loved this book though. The subject should be really weird, I mean a book about a dog with perpetual farts? it wasn't though it was just hilarious, perhaps because of the potty humor. I liked the book almost almost more than my little sister did. ... Read more


13. Keys To The Kingdom, The #3: Drowned Wednesday : Drowned Wednesday (Keys to the Kingdom)
by Garth Nix
list price: $15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439700868
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Sales Rank: 397453
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Book Description

Everyone is after Arthur Penhaligon.Strange pirates.Shadowy creatures.And Drowned Wednesday, whose gluttony threatens both her world and Arthur's. With his unlimited imagination and thrilling storytelling, Garth Nix has created a character and a world that become even more compelling with each book.As Arthur gets closer to the heart of his quest, the suspense and mystery grow more and more intense....
... Read more

14. Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1)
by Eoin Colfer
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786817070
Catlog: Book (2002-05-03)
Publisher: Miramax
Sales Rank: 1135
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Four cassettes, 6 hrs

Artemis Fowl is a one of the greatest criminal minds the world has ever seen. He is heir to the Fowl family empire—a centuries old clan of international underworld figures and con artists. He is arguably the most cunning Fowl of all. He is also twelve years old.

Artemis' interest in mythology and an obsession with the Internet leads him to discover proof of the existence of "The People"- otherwise known as fairies, sprites, leprechauns and trolls. He learns every fairy has a magical Book. If he can find the Book, it will lead him to "The People's" vast treasure of gold.
With his brutish sidekick, Butler, he sets his plans in motion. Artemis tricks a drunken old fairy woman into loaning him her Book, a tiny golden volume, for thirty minutes. He scans it with a digital camera and emails it to his Mac G6 computer. Back in his mansion in Ireland, he is the first human to decode the secrets of the fairies.

Artemis needs a leprechaun to help him with this plan. He and Butler hunt down Holly Short, a tough, female LEPrecon, part of a gung-ho Fairy commando unit, who is on a reconnaissance mission.
He kidnaps her, and a major battle begins. It's satyr against gnome, man against elf, and for the first time in his life, Artemis must decide what he values most.

For fans of J.R.R.Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Philip Pullman, Artemis Fowl is a high-tech fantasy, mixing faries, leprechauns, and computers, in a brilliant, thrilling story that is destined to become a cult favorite.
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Reviews (599)

4-0 out of 5 stars I raced through it!
This is a very fast-paced book indeed. There is something happening on every page so that you never get bored. I read 90% of this book in one sitting and the rest the next morning (I needed my sleep). There is no over-description or indulgence here. It's a story told quickly and smartly.

And I really cannot understand any of the negative reviews here. There are no REAL good guys or bad guys in this book. Everything is rather evenly balanced. So when people moan about Artemis Fowl being a nasty little boy and a villain and so on it really puzzles me. This book is written to be accessible to all ages, so when adults cannot get into the story it's a bit odd.

The plot twists, while intelligent and clever, are NOT hard to follow. You'll be almost oblivious to them practically if you turn the pages as quickly as I did. I like the idea of setting it in Ireland and a 12 year old boy as the lead makes it appealing to kids moreso. My fave character tho was Foaly, the gadget-fixated centaur. I worry tho that maybe the presence of so much super high-tech gadgetry might date the book badly in a few years to come. It's cool to see fairies using plasma screens and surveillance cameras but the original Star Trek series looks badly dated now in retrospect and I worry that the same thing might befall Artemis Fowl. It's a shame because this really ought to be a timeless book.

I'm certainly looking forward to the sequel. And if you like fantasy novels or intelligent fiction for all ages then quickly pick up a copy of Artemis Fowl. I got the hardback copy with the glittering sparkles all over the cover. And it looks way cool.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting!
Contrary to some of the opinions that have been expressed, one of the things I liked most about the Artemis Fowl was the lead character himself, 12-year old Artemis. His ingenuity and brilliance combined with an appalling ruthlessness makes him one of the most fascinating characters I've read in a long time. Artemis is the sort of anti-hero you would despise in real life but root for in a story. In that sense, he reminds me of Carmen San Diego who proves to be just as big a challenge to her adversaries as Artemis is to the LEPrecon unit.

Also, I have to add that comparing Artemis Fowl to the Harry Potter series doesn't really help since the two books are different in so many aspects. First of all, Artemis is definitely NOT Harry. He may be young but he's far from innocent or well intentioned. And I really wouldn't recommend him as a role model for young kids. Secondly, while the Harry Potter series is about the battle between good and evil (to put it simply), Artemis Fowl's story is about a battle of wits between the humans and the fairies where each group tries to outsmart the other. No one side can be simply classified as good or evil (although some people out there would probably disagree and promptly classify Artemis in the latter category). There are many other differences between the two but so far the only thing in common I can find for both Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter is that they both belong to the fantasy genre which really doesn't provide much of a basis for comparison.

All in all, I'd say Artemis Fowl is a pretty good read. The story is inventive and interesting with an exciting pace and an intriguing lead character to match. While it's probably not the best reading material for young impressionable kids out there, I'd definitely recommend it to young adults and everyone else interested in fantasy and sci-fi.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best books ever
Artemis Fowl was fun and exciting. I couldn't put this book down. Who knew fairies could be so tricky, especially the LEP officers. These aren't your regular fairytale fairies. I was so enchanted by it that I immediately started book 2 in this series. I have to know what happens next!

5-0 out of 5 stars A magical and brilliant parody
People have been known to look for gold in the strangest of places. But the twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl, a brilliant criminal mastermind, decides to beat them all. Everyone knows that faeries possess a lot of gold, and they are exactly from whom Artemis wants to steal it away. But to accomplish his evil scheme the young master Fowl will have to learn the laws and rites of those long forgotten People. He has first to get a hold of one of their Magic Books. When one day his faithful servant Butler brings him a message from their sneaky contact Nguyen Xuan it seems that they finally found what they were looking for. And indeed, what better place is there to start their search from than Ireland, the land of Goblins and Faeries?

First of all an important message: stop comparing this book to Harry Potter! It is like comparing it with Shakespeare, just because it also is published on paper. If you cannot resist comparing it to any book, then take a book written by Terry Pratchett. Maybe Artemis Fowl is in a way more a parody of life than it is a fantasy novel.
But then again, Artemis Fowl is quite unique. Contrary to the older generation of adolescent novels, it treats its readers as a smart, intelligent audience. It is refreshing to see a story unfold where the difference between good and evil is not necessarily defined on the first pages.

Although the novel is action packed and can easily be classified as a page-turner, in the end the complexity of the story is not its biggest asset. Like most first novels in a series it pays more attention to getting the characters and settings in place than it is concerned about the storyline. Even more reasons, I would say, to run to the shop and buy its sequel - something I will definitely do, right now...

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
This is great! It seems the author is a mastermind too! ... Read more


15. Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles)
by Suzanne Collins
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439678137
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 130495
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars A breathtaking, unforgettable tale!
This is the best fantasy novel I've read in a long, long time. I found out about this book by chance and want to tell everyone I know about it because they might not see it at the bookstore. Everybody who likes fantasies MUST read this book. You absolutely have to. If you like suspense, prophecies, awesome fantasy, mysteries, battles, survival, reunions, friendships, heroism, and characters you will never forget, you will love, love, love this book. PLEASE Ms. Collins hurry up with the sequel!! I just have to know what happens to Gregor and his family and all the Underlanders. I HAVE to find out about The Prophecy of Bane. I think Gregor is such a great hero. The plot for this novel is so perfect. Every detail fits just right. Ms. Collins has thought of everything. The Underland is a very believable world. All of the characters are fascinating and very real. Aside from Gregor and Boots, my favorite characters are Tick and Temp, Solovet, and Ripred. Oh, most of all, I love Ares. I laughed and cried and shivered and lost my breath reading this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars SPECTRUM Children's Book Club GOOD READ!
Reading Level: 9-12

The adventure begins in an unlikely place: the laundry room of a New York apartment building where Gregor is washing the family clothes and babysitting his two-year-old sister, Boots. Gregor is doing laundry while most of the other kids in the neighborhood are at summer camp because, since his father disappeared, his mother works very hard to support the family, which includes another, younger sister and Gregor's grandmother.

When the curious Boots is discovered dangerously close to an open vent shaft, Gregor is horrified to see her sucked in. In his attempt to grab her, Gregor is himself propelled into the shaft and begins his long fall down to Underland. While the fall and the name of the topsy-turvy underworld are Collins' acknowledgement of the inspiration of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, that's where the similarity ends.

Gregor the Overlander, is a well-written, fast-paced, extremely entertaining read populated with likeable characters and fantastic creatures. Gregor and Boots are endearing protagonists and the fantasy elements are mostly exaggerations of real-life urban creatures like bats and roaches rather than dragons and such. The straight-forward, non-stop story, with its sense of family, hints of romance, and a few gross-outs, should appeal to both boys and girls. If you are looking for a good read-aloud family book, Gregor the Overlander will fit the bill superbly.

- KB Shaw, Publisher
SPECTRUM Children's Book Club
www.incwell.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Do not miss this book!
This is a terrific fantasy novel that will appeal to guys and girls. Giant cockroaches, bats to ride, and a prophecy to fulfill make this a very fun read. I loved Gregor's love and concern for his little sister. This book is going to have wide appeal to fantasy readers. I am a school librarian and have watched what kids read for many years. I cannot wait to introduce this book to them. Redwall fans will enjoy this series-to-be.

4-0 out of 5 stars Big Bugs
Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins, is a intense book about an eleven year boy who is pulled into the Underland. I was at first curious when he started to fall slowly downward towards the Underland and the currents sucked his little sister into the Underland he then was kidnapped by roaches. I thought that it was strange that the cockroaches thought that boots was a goddess and helped her all the way through the book. I thought that it was neat that the rats could smell everything extraordinarily well. The best part of the book was when the root beer hit the spider in the fangs causing it to drop Luxa the queen of the humans. I do not know which I disliked more the ending of the book or how the people die.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book! Now! Or giant rats will chase you!
If you don't love this book, then you are a nitwit! Gregor is a young boy who has had to assume many responsibilities since his father mysteriously vanished 2 years ago. When his baby sister falls down a chute in the laundry room, he goes after her. What he finds is a whole new world with gigantic roaches, evil rats, enormous spiders and an odd race of humans. Gregor's arrival is seen as a possible warrior who can save the Underland according to an prophecy written in stone hundreds of years ago. All he knows is his mom is going to be worried sick if he doesn't get home soon with his sister (as utterly charming a human as ever existed!) I loved this book. You will love this story. I can't wait for the next book in her series. Highly recommended to kids and moms, and everyone in between! ... Read more


16. Dragon Rider
by Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell
list price: $12.95
our price: $7.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439456959
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Chicken House
Sales Rank: 102
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Amazon.co.uk

It's a fantasy, it's long, and it's got dragons in it. Dragon Rider is bound to be another hit book from Cornelia Funke! Ever since the popularity of bestselling fantasies The Thief Lord and Inkheart went global a few years ago, legions of fans have demanded more books from the German author than she can reasonably hope to write each year. So, re-discovering this hefty, earlier novel from 1997 was a logical development--and her keenest readers will devour it as before.

Aimed at slightly younger readers than her previous novels, despite its massive five hundred pages, Dragon Rider is about a brave young dragon called Firedrake who embarks upon a dangerous journey to the Rim of Heaven in the Himalayas--a magical place where silver dragons can rest easy, free from the threat of destruction by mankind and their only hope of sanctuary. The key to its location is a map rendered by a rat who is a master cartographer.

Firedrake is joined on his quest by Ben, an orphaned boy, and Sorrell--a wise-cracking Brownie that is an odd, but ingenious, grumpy kind of fairy. Their journey is not a straightforward one by any means. Created by an alchemist called Petrosius Henbane in 1424, Nettlebrand (a malevolent creature covered in impenetrable gold plates) is their biggest threat--he is intent on destroying them. Nettlebrand is aided by Twigleg, a homunculus who has stowed away in Ben's bag and who is feeding reports on their progress back to his master.

Their exciting encounters are many--and the colorful fold-out map in the book's centre is an added bonus. It is easy to forgive the narrative's excessive length when readers are gorging on such a wonderfully inventive and readable story from an author who has her readers in the palm of her hand on every page. (Age 9 and over) --John McLay ... Read more


17. How I Became a Pirate (Irma S and James H Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature (Awards))
by Melinda Long
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0152018484
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Sales Rank: 171
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Young Jeremy Jacob is plucked from obscurity while innocently constructing a sand castle and is thrust into a brand-new life as a pirate. Captain Braid Beard and his crew recognize Jeremy as an exceptionally talented digger and they happen to be in desperate need of a digger to help them bury a treasure chest. Jeremy thinks a pirate life sounds like fun, as long as he’s back the next day in time for soccer practice, and so he goes along with the ragtag group of seafaring thugs (with hearts of gold, naturally). And while Jeremy adores the pirates’ lack of table manners and opposition to vegetables, he comes to realize that a life away from his parents lacks some of the niceties to which he’s become accustomed. Nobody tucks him in at night, for instance, and the only book available to read is a treasure map. Melinda Long’s story, narrated with a sense of boastful exaggeration by Jeremy, is full of a sense of high adventure that's lovingly evocative of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tales. David Shannon's illustrations, full of a goofy vibrancy, are a perfect accompaniment to the story. (Ages 4 to 8) --John Moe ... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful illustrations & cute story
'How I Became a Pirate' is about a little boy who goes away with pirates one day. He learns how to live like a pirate, the joys (eat anything you want, don't brush teeth, go to sleep whenever) and the pitfalls (no one to comfort you, no one to tuck you in). Finally he decides to go back to his family.

This story is fun to read and the illustrations even capture my babies's eye :) I do like the importance based on having a family & having someone to comfort you & read to you.

The only potential drawbacks & why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars (and I might be being critical) is that:
1.) it might give the message that it is okay to leave your family to go off with strangers
2.) also it is fun to not brush your teeth & eat like a slob.

Overall, though, I would recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Little Boys Book
I bought this book for my 3 y.o. son this past February. It has by far become not only his favorite book but the favorite book of my five year old daughter. They love screaming the words of the crew when we read this book together. The story line is wonderful - a small boy who joins a crew of pirates, learns what he likes and doesn't like about the pirates, lots of exciting adventures, a shark, a bad storm, and a treasure to bury. It's precious, and the illustrations are superb. This is perhaps the best little boys book I have ever bought (I should know - I'm a kid's book junkie), and it's a great book for little girls as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Pirate Book
2 boys at home almost 4y and just 2y. They love pirates and this is the best pirate book I have found (and we have several) My opinion on other pirate books. Pirate Pete 2.5 ; Everything I know About Pirates (would be better for older kids) 3.5; Pirate School 4; Do Pirates Take Baths 4.5; Pirates (by Anastasio) not a story, just "facts" 4.5. But How I Became a Pirate is the most fun to read aloud.

5-0 out of 5 stars AYE MATEYS! My 4yo Daughters Favorite Book!
Great Book! My 4 year old daughter wants to hear this book every night! So Cute! Buy It your child will love it

5-0 out of 5 stars Golden Trap Award Winner
This book is great. I ran out and bought it as soon as I heard it for the first time. This book won the Golden Trap Award winner for all of the islands in our area. My son loves it! ... Read more


18. Forest of the Pygmies
by Isabel Allende
list price: $19.99
our price: $13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060761962
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Rayo
Sales Rank: 578788
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Book Description

Alexander Cold knows all too well his grandmother Kate is never far from an adventure. When International Geographic commissions her to write an article about the first elephant-led safaris in Africa, they head -- with Nadia Santos and the magazine's photography crew -- to the blazing, red plains of Kenya. Days into the tour, a Catholic missionary approaches their camp in search of his companions who have mysteriously disappeared. Kate, Alexander, Nadia, and their team, agreeing to aid the rescue, enlist the help of a local pilot to lead them to the swampy forests of Ngoubé. There they discover a clan of Pygmies who unveil a harsh and surprising world of corruption, slavery, and poaching.

Alexander and Nadia, entrusting the magical strengths of Jaguar and Eagle, their totemic animal spirits, launch a spectacular and precarious struggle to restore freedom and return leadership to its rightful hands.

The final installment of Isabel Allende's celebrated trilogy of the journeys of Jaguar and Eagle soars with radiant settings, spirits, beings -- and the transformation of an extraordinary friendship.

... Read more

19. Peter and the Starcatchers
by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson
list price: $17.99
our price: $12.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786854456
Catlog: Book (2004-08-31)
Publisher: Disney Editions
Sales Rank: 292
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Amazon.com

Humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Pearson have clearly taken great delight in writing a 400-plus page prequel of sorts to Scottish dramatist J.M. Barrie's beloved Peter Pan stories. The result is a fast-paced and fluffy pirate adventure, complete with talking porpoises, stinky rogues, possible cannibals, a flying crocodile, biting mermaids, and a much-sought-after trunk full of magical glowing green "starstuff." Ever hear of Zeus? Michelangelo? Attila the Hun? According to 14-year-old Molly Aster they all derived their powers from starstuff that occasionally falls to Earth from the heavens. On Earth, it is the Starcatchers' job to rush to the scene and collect the starstuff before it falls into the hands of the Others who use its myriad powers for evil.

On board the ship Never Land, an orange-haired boy named Peter, the leader of a group of orphaned boys being sent off to work as servants in King Zarboff the Third's court, is puzzled by his shipmate Molly's fantastical story of starstuff, but it inextricably binds him to her. Peter vows to help his new, very pretty friend Molly (a Starcatcher's apprentice) keep a mysterious trunk full of the stuff out of the clutches of the pirate Black Stache, a host of other interested parties, and ultimately King Zarboff the Third.

The downright goofy, modern 8-year-old boy humor sometimes clashes with an old-time pirate sensibility, and the rapid-fire dialogue, while well paced, is far from inventive. Still, the high-seas hijinks and desert-island shenanigans will keep readers turning the pages. Greg Call's wonderful black-and-white illustrations are deliciously old-fashioned and add plenty of atmosphere to a silly, swashbuckling story that shows us how Peter Pan came to fly and why he, and his story, will never get old. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson ... Read more


20. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
by Lemony Snicket
list price: $11.99
our price: $8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064407667
Catlog: Book (1999-09-30)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 71
Average Customer Review: 4.01 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Make no mistake. The Bad Beginning begins badly for the three Baudelaire children, and then gets worse. Their misfortunes begin one gray day on Briny Beach when Mr. Poe tells them that their parents perished in a fire that destroyed their whole house. "It is useless for me to describe to you how terrible Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny felt in the time that followed," laments the personable (occasionally pedantic) narrator, who tells the story as if his readers are gathered around an armchair on pillows. But of course what follows is dreadful. The children thought it was bad when the well-meaning Poes bought them grotesque-colored clothing that itched. But when they are ushered to the dilapidated doorstep of the miserable, thin, unshaven, shiny-eyed, money-grubbing Count Olaf, they know that they--and their family fortune--are in real trouble. Still, they could never have anticipated how much trouble. While it's true that the events that unfold in Lemony Snicket's novels are bleak, and things never turn out as you'd hope, these delightful, funny, linguistically playful books are reminiscent of Roald Dahl (remember James and the Giant Peach and his horrid spinster aunts), Charles Dickens (the orphaned Pip in Great Expectations without the mysterious benefactor), and Edward Gorey (The Gashlycrumb Tinies).There is no question that young readers will want to read the continuing unlucky adventures of the Baudelaire children in The Reptile Room and The Wide Window. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Reviews (675)

5-0 out of 5 stars a deliciously dark delight!
suspend your disbelief for a moment and imagine that tim burton, edward gorey, and charles dickens were locked in a room for a brainstorming session to create a new series of children's stories. this is what i can easily see when sitting down to read any of the books in lemony snicket's dark, humorous, and cleverly written series.

they are not harry potter. the comparisons alone are ridiculous. they're not even remotely similar. apparently, a "reviewer" can find two books in the same store, one of them being harry potter, and proceed to lambast the non-potter book solely on the fact that they co-exist. i just have to roll my eyes, shake my head, and write a review whenever i see this.

by now, you know the plot of these books. yes, they're pretty much the same, and yet they're different. i think you need to gauge your own child's sense of the morose before opting to read these to them. older children, i think, will delight in them, particularly those with a slightly twisted sense of humor.

i, personally, will continue to read each book in the series, if for no other reason than to see how count olaf will turn up next!

2-0 out of 5 stars Okay, I can't understand what all the hype is about!
First of all, I want to state that I am very passionate when it comes to 'good' children's books. The HARRY POTTER books are some of my favorite books of all time (my top twenty list). The Newbery Awards were all given to deserving books that I have adored. For a while everywhere I went, the Lemony Snickett books were being lauded as fabulous children's literature. After seeing a segment on CBS Sunday Morning, I went out and bought the whole 'shebang' (is that even a word?) at my school's book fair (I'm the counselor)! I was terribly disappointed with the first book. Yes, it is easy reading, and yes, it does introduce new words (even though my parents always said, "Go look it up, you'll remember it!"). But the content of the story is so depressing and so unhappy that I was miserable the entire time I was reading! Character development was so poor that I wasn't even sad when horrible things happened to these children. Normally I cry when a baby is kidnapped, bound with duct tape (even over her mouth) and put in a birdcage to hang from the top of a tower! Well, I didn't bat an eye (and I become a sprinkler when reading a Patricia Polacco book).
There are eight books left in my crowded library to read; I'll keep you posted if they get any better!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Original!
A very interesting, original story about all the bad things that happen to the 3 Baudelaire children. I absolutely loved the way this book was written and seems to flow smoothly.

However, I think that some of the situations in the book were depressing, and may be scary for very young children. Otherwise this book was wonderful, and I found myself rooting for the Baudelaire children, and despising Count Olaf and his friends.

2-0 out of 5 stars pointless
Maybe if I hadn't heard so many wonderful things about this book (as well as the entire line of follow-ups) I wouldn't be reviewing it so harshly.
This book is nothing but pointless, weightless children's fluff. Amusing if you are under 10 years of age & looking for some light (ULTRA light) reading, but completely unsatisfying if you crack the cover expecting something more along the lines of 'Harry Potter'.
The plot is very thin, and I can only assume it's due to this being one of a series, and thus the overall tale of the Baudelaire orphans is spread over the 10+ novels that have since been released. But this left the first book with very little substance, and left me feeling like I didn't care enough to give it another go with the second installment.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bad Beginning
I thought that this book was one of the best books I have ever read. Lemony Snicket's writing style is interesting as when there is a complicated word he tells you what it means. I thought that there was some humorous parts where he either tells you not to continue the book or he takes you away from the book and mentions some thing irrelevant to the story. ... Read more


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