Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman

The Schwa Was Here (Antsy Bonano, #1)This book was recommended by a friend, and I gave it a rating of  four out of five. Antsy Bonano meets a "new" friend named Calvin Schwa, although they've been sitting next to each other in Science all year. Most people have difficulty seeing the Schwa and don't even realize he's standing right next to them. The boys even start making money by using his ability to be virtually invisible. Then, the boys get caught breaking into the house of a mean, old man, and their lives are changed. Instead of having the boys arrested, he forces them to do jobs for him.

The Schwa's ability to be "invisible" makes the plot unique. The boys scientifically test this power, which leads to other antics. The plot changes as Calvin becomes depressed; he wants to find out the truth about his missing mother. This problem gives the book a theme. I don't really like the resolution of the plot, but I get it. Overall, it was a fun book to read.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Anubis Speaks by Vicky Alvear Shecter

Anubis Speaks! A Guide to the Afterlife by the Egyptian God of the DeadThis book is non-fiction, but it reads like a "normal" story. Anubis, Egyptian god of the dead, narrates a guide to the afterlife. He shares information about mummification, rituals, and a journey through the Underworld. You'll learn about the different gods and goddesses, why they used animals as symbols, and why they built the pyramids. But don't let the facts and information scare you; Anubis is a descriptive storyteller. He tells you that mummy wrappings were as long as five football fields, but he also lets you know that the hearts of the damned were chewed up by "Amut's razor-sharp teeth. There was a certain squishiness, a rubber-like smacking..." Their heads were "squeezed in a wine press until they popped like overripe grapes." Pretty detailed, huh!

If you have an interest in mummies, Egyptians, or their rituals, but you don't want to read a boring non-fiction book, check this book out. You'll be entertained by Anubis, Egyptian god of the dead, and you'll learn something along the way.