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MFS "mfshermantank"

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Artemis Fowl The Arctic Incident
Artemis Fowl The Arctic Incident
by Eoin Colfer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 13.13
80 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars As wild and funny as the first Artemis Fowl adventure, Aug. 10 2003
A quick review by JFS:
Artemis Fowl II is back, bad, and bold. The book starts with our young criminal in a boarding school, where he he outclasses his fellow students and teachers. On the way home to his manor, Fowl checks his email and gets quite a shock. His father, presumed dead for three years, is asking for help: The Russian Mafiya has him, and they want cash. Artemis devises a plan, and all goes well --- until they run into Holly Short (the kidnapped fairy from the first book).
Look for better plot development and the same loveable characters in this lightweight but terrifically entertaining installment in the Artemis Fowl series.

Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 13.51
93 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A fun, quick read, Aug. 10 2003
This review is from: Artemis Fowl (Hardcover)
A quick review from JFS:
Meet Artemis Fowl II, the heir to a criminal empire, twelve years of age, and smart enough to rule the human world. For many months, Fowl has been traveling the world in search of a fairy. He finally gets a hit and meets a fairy who has been passing as a healer in the human world. Using the information she gives him, Artemis devises a plan to abduct a fairy and take fairy gold for ransom. All goes well until the captive fairy's (Holly) rescuers show up.
I was spellbound (darn fairies!) throughout the book. It was well written and told a captivating tale. It's sure to enchant other readers, especially those looking for something post-Harry Potter.

Ender's Game
Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
127 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, Aug. 23 2002
Our family chose Ender's Game for one of our summer meetings. My son wrote the following mini-review:
Taken from his home on Earth, Ender Wiggin is shuttled off to battle school, where young boys and occasionally girls are taught the ways of warriors and trained to fight in the war between humans and buggers. The children are separated into armies and thrown into mock battles in a special room in which they become weightless.
Ender swiftly moves through the ranks and soon leads an army of his own. Only later does he learn that the commanders of the school are training him to lead the humans to victory during the Third Invasion.
What I thought was going to be an "easy" Star Wars type of book was actually a book that turned me into an upright, wide-eyed, page-turning mad man; Ender's Game could not be left untouched for long.
My favorite scenes took place in the battle room. I wondered, What new tactics will Ender come up with this time? And the ending! Wow, was that a shock... for Ender and the reader.
JFS

Stet: An Editor's Life
Stet: An Editor's Life
by Diana Athill
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.59
37 used & new from CDN$ 3.18

5.0 out of 5 stars The most delightful book I have read in the last year!, Aug. 23 2002
This review is from: Stet: An Editor's Life (Paperback)
Reading Stet is like taking a seminar in the art and craft of editing and then being invited to tea with the professor afterward. While reading it, I remembered that the relationships most responsible for shaping my professional life were those I enjoyed with professors who made themselves available outside of the classroom or office. I was particularly lucky over the course of college and graduate school to enjoy the company of three wise, interesting, experienced scholars who had spent what amounted to a whole lifetime in the "real world" before beginning their academic careers. That Athill's finely crafted memoir reminded me of my debt to Dr. A-, Mr. R-, and Mrs. S- is the highest recommendation I can give.
Consider this gem:
"[A]n editor must never expect thanks (sometimes they come, but them must always be seen as a bonus). We must always remember that we are only midwives - if we want praise for progeny we must give birth to our own."
Or this (she is writing about the shrinking population of critical readers):
"Of course a lot of them still read; but progressively a smaller lot, and fewer and fewer can be bothered to dig into a book that offers any resistance. Although these people may seem stupid to us, they are no stupider than we are: they just enjoy different things."
Whether you edit church bulletin or your city's daily, whether you answer phones at a small press in the hopes of moving up or you cull gems from the slush pile, don't miss Athill's attempt to prevent her experience from being erased with her passing.

Nursery Crimes
Nursery Crimes
by Ayelet Waldman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap mind candy... bleah, Aug. 23 2002
The "Mommy-Track" mysteries are less than lightweight entertainment. Like butter-flavored popcorn and orange soda at the movie theater, they seem to taste good going down, but they inevitably lead to a stomachache. The writing is uninspired and downright sloppy in places, and Juliet Applebaum is just not that likeable. I'm guessing that Waldman expects to find a niche with female readers who share some of her protagonist's ambivalence about stay-at-home-motherhood. But when the public defender turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned amateur sleuth settled her preschool daughter in front of PBS for the umpteenth time while she called former colleagues, surfed the net, and visited convicts (all in the name of solving the murder of a woman she had met exactly once!), Waldman lost me.
In Nursery Crimes, Juliet's daughter doesn't make the cut in the admissions game at a tony preschool (which is not surprising; Ruby's steady diet of television and carbs has made her more than a little difficult to manage). But when the preschool's director falls victim to an apparent hit-and-run accident, Juliet dons her professional cap to investigate what she feels is a murder. Call me crazy, but I think it's helpful for amateur sleuths to have a plausible reason to tackle a case than, "Oh, Peter, I don't know why I'm crying. I didn't even like her."
I love a little mind candy now and then, just love it. But this wasn't M&Ms, folks. It was the stuff that the neighbors you don't like give out on Halloween - cheap, stale, hardly worth opening. Bleah.

Big Nap
Big Nap
by Ayelet Waldman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap mind candy, Aug. 23 2002
This review is from: Big Nap (Mass Market Paperback)
The "Mommy-Track" mysteries are less than lightweight entertainment. Like butter-flavored popcorn and orange soda at the movie theater, they seem to taste good going down, but they inevitably lead to a stomachache. The writing is uninspired and downright sloppy in places, and Juliet Applebaum is just not that likeable. I'm guessing that Waldman expects to find a niche with female readers who share some of her protagonist's ambivalence about stay-at-home-motherhood. But when the public defender turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned amateur sleuth settled her preschool daughter in front of PBS for the umpteenth time while she called former colleagues, surfed the net, and visited convicts (all in the name of solving the murder of a woman she had met exactly once!), Waldman lost me.
In The Big Nap, Juliet breaks down in a Jewish grocery store, the hapless victim of sleep deprivation. The store tender suggests that her niece babysit for the distraught mother a few hours each morning. The beautiful young babysitter performs her duties exactly once, then disappears. Of course, Juliet is compelled to solve the mystery of the girl's disappearance - with her four-month-old son and preschool daughter in tow.
Bleah. Too many scenes of Juliet "struggling into black leggings." Too many scenes in which the former lawyer leaves her young children in the car (!) while she talks to her leads. Too much television-as-babysitter. And the dialogue between the protagonist and her husband left me wondering how we were to believe this fictional couple made their children.
I love a little mind candy now and then, just love it. But this wasn't M&Ms, folks. It was the stuff that the neighbors you don't like give out on Halloween - cheap, stale, hardly worth opening.

The Seven Songs of Merlin
The Seven Songs of Merlin
by T. A. Barron
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
64 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Entrancing and suspenseful, April 10 2002
After the Great Council selects Merlin to carry the flowering harp to restore life and nature to the lands of Fincayra, Merlin decides to bring his mother to Fincayra, as well. The evil Rita Gawr sends down a curse that reaches Merlin's mother instead of Merlin. To save her, Merlin must master the souls of the Seven Songs of wizardry. He must then enter the Otherworld Well, which is guarded by an ogre with a single eye, an orb that brings death to all those who look into it.
The Seven Songs of Merlin was the March selection for the local library's teen book club, and I neglected it until just days before our meeting, although after I reached page ten, I was hooked. So far, T.A. Barron's Merlin series is entrancing and suspenseful.
~ JFS

The grave
The grave
by James Heneghan
Edition: Hardcover
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Decent historical novel, Feb. 27 2002
This review is from: The grave (Hardcover)
The teen book club at the neighborhood branch of our city library system chose The Grave for the February book -- but I was the only one who showed up for the discussion!
What was the book about? Well, the construction of a new school is no secret, but something the builders find is. Tom and Brian decide to check it out. What they learn is extraordinary: the excavation site is a grave with hundreds of coffins! When a guard discovers the youths and comes running, they begin to flee the gruesome site, but Tom stumbles into the grave. The next thing he knows, he's flying through time back to 1847, back to the Irish Potato Famine.
Well written, suspenseful historical novel that teaches as it entertains.
~ JFS

The Star Wars Jedi Apprentice #17: The Only Witness
The Star Wars Jedi Apprentice #17: The Only Witness
by Jude Watson
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 1.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!, Feb. 27 2002
After Qui-Gon "recovers" from Tahl's death, the Council asks him to escort a witness who plans to testify before the Senate. It turns out that the witness wishes to expose the Cobrals (a leading crime family). She requests escorts because she think someone is out to kill her.
This gripping story is difficult to put down.
~ JFS

The Star Wars Jedi Apprentice #15: The Death Of Hope
The Star Wars Jedi Apprentice #15: The Death Of Hope
by Judy Blondell
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy-to-read entertainment for young Star Wars fans, Feb. 27 2002
After pledging herself to Qui-Gon, Tahl is kidnapped, and Qui-Gon will stop at nothing to get her back. In a race against time, Qui-Gon risks the life of the dead governor's daughter and Obi-Wan, his apprentice.
Full of action and suspense, this addition to the Jedi Apprentice series, like the Young Jedi Knight books, is easy-to-read entertainment for young Star Wars fans.
~ JFS

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