Hey guys it’s Sam, Tanzania’s typing terror, and if there’s one thing I do for a living, it’s read. Reading is the top support of my writing curriculum, let alone is it the most fun thing to do atop of it. Without books, I’d never have ideas for styling new comics. Speaking of books, guess who’s coming back to review another?…Yep, the jolly good bookie! Today’s book is the third of a companion series to Italy’s famed Geronimo Stilton…but it’s under Thea’s eyes now! Ladies and gentlemice, I present to you Thea Stilton and the Ghost of the Shipwreck.
The series beginning in April 2009 with The Dragon’s Code, this book follows the storyline that has been part of series lore for 2 years: Thea is Geronimo’s brother, and his polar opposite: when Geronimo is such a ‘fraidy mouse, Thea loves embarking on adventures across the globe! The story begins at Mouseford Academy, Thea’s school when she was young. She had a such a good time there that she returned to teach a journalism class. In this era, she met 5 special students: Nicky, Pamela, Colette, Paulina, and Violet. They all became great friends faster than a Cheez-It. They even named their group after Thea, and since, they have been known as the Thea Sisters. Isn’t that cute?
This following installment to The Mountain of Fire follows the Sisters to the discovery of a mysterious shipwreck off Whale Island during a marine biology lesson. Legend has it a diamond of all sorts of rarities called Jasmine’s Heart was aboard the ship when it sank. But that’s just the start. Professor van Kraken, biology teacher, vanishes, and the five must find him and the priceless jewel. And when they think it’s all over, they get an invitation to China for yet another lost treasure hunt! To make a long story short: someone must really like Clash of the Titans.
So the series’ first-ever double feature does follow the “villain is the least expected” format from a lot of books, but it garners what I call that Geronimo touch, rebalancing all the writing, illustration, and perspective to their most colorful. And Ghost of the Shipwreck isn’t half bad for a Geronimo-like book. I don’t even believe I have any flawing points to chew this book out for!
3 out of 5 – Educational value – Each mouse originates from a real-life country. Nicky is Australian, Colette is French, Paulina is Peruvian, Violet is Chinese, and Pamela (best for last!) is Tanzanian! And you may think all they do is sit around filing their nails, but actual facts come from the different places they trek into, such as learning undersea facts, and not just a taste, but a mouthful of Chinese culture.
2 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – The Sisters do find a way out of aspects of trouble, and almost always find a way out of any bad situation. These are what people call “superthinkers”, the people that can rely on their mind to find a way to save their life.
5 out of 5 – Ease of read – Ghost of the Shipwreck is obviously a book all ages can enjoy. It doesn’t show any severe signs of violence whatsoever, it’s funny, informational, and the ultimate friendship. Amongst setting the blog record of scoring a perfect 5!
Entertainment: A+ (5 points)
Fun: A+ (5 points)
Smarts: A (4 points)
Style: A+ (5 points)
Read-Again Ratio: A+ (5 points)
Humor: A (5 points)
Final score: 29 out of 30 (EVEN CLOSER!), 5 stars out of 5
CONSENSUS: Ghost of the Shipwreck must be read, because it’s a perfect mix of every emotion rolled up into one, plus it’s peppered with undersea and Chinese-cultural facts that always keep the book going. If there’s a chart of 2010’s top 10 books, #3, #2, and #1 would all be Ghost of the Shipwreck.
FUN FACTS, GOOFS, AND OTHER SILLY STUFF: On page 108, when Madame Hu is trying to get her paws on a lacquer box, Colette says, “Paws off, cheddarface!”, which is coincidentally the name of Geronimo’s sixth book. Also, on the cover, you see that Colette (the blonde at the bottom) has a blue scuba wetsuit. But in the book, it is pink. I feel so guilty taking off that point for Smarts.
PRICE: Interested in getting the book? Swim over to Amazon and get it for 8 dollars (plus the new and used prices of $4.00 and 30 cents), or scurry over to Barnes & Noble for the same big price, but save 75% getting the marketplace version of just $2.
RENT, BUY, OR SKIP?: Brother, you shouldn’t even be asking that question after all this. YES, OF COURSE BUY! I’ve no doubt that this needn’t be skipped, or my name is not Sammwak!
So if you haven’t had the chance to read this series, don’t wait any longer! Go to the library, get one of their books, and embark alongside their adventures!
p.s. If there’s one thing I have a habit of doing, it’s starting new blogs. After several failed experiments like Gamers United League, Sammwak en Espanol, and vice versa, I have settled on my legitimate companion blog…2Sam2Mwak! Named after Potter Puppet Pals creator Neil Cicierega’s 2nd channel (2Neil2Cicierega), and honoring several famous YouTubers’ second channels (freddiew2 and finebros2, for instance), I’ll have even more juice that goes more behind-the-scenes than ever before! Stay tuned for the world premiere of 2Sam2Mwak on October 28, the nearest I could ever get to the Halloween special without intersecting into it!
Hey guys it’s Sam, and I probably know one thing on your mind: “What movie am I going to watch for the summer?” For some, you might be interested in the DC Comics superhero movie Green Lantern. Alien invasion junkies might be satisfied in the Spielberg summer flick Super 8. For fans of children’s literature film adaptations, you might keep your eyes peeled for Jim Carrey’s new comedy Mr. Popper’s Penguins. But for fans of famed Disney animated comedies, Cars 2 is the one for you. Some July movies are Winnie the Pooh, the second half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the third and final of the Transformers series (another Spielberg flick), and the Weird Western sci-fi Cowboys & Aliens. But the one I’d like to talk about is a children’s literature film adaptation. One of America’s most beloved book series. All I say is…it’s super RARE!
That’s right. It’s coming, people. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is what you’ll watch for the summer. Picking up where Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody series leaves off, with the moodiest third-grader heroine planning a super-duper-double-rare vacation with friends Rocky and Amy. But here’s the thing–Rocky has left to circus camp to learn to become a lion-tamer, and Amy has headed to Borneo to save a lost tribe with her mom. Even her own parents also take a trip—to California, leaving Judy behind with Stink, her never-met-before Aunt Opal, and her 2nd-best paste-eating friend, Frank Pearl. It looks like Judy’s best summer has taken the road to the worst. Will the feisty, frisky and moody Judy avail her summer (with some unexpected sources)? Or will it really be a bummer?
Like I said, Jordana Beatty tackles the lead role as the titular Judy Moody. Parris Mosteller is Judy’s brother Stink, and Heather Graham (from The Hangover and Bowfinger) as the never-met-before Aunt Opal. Janet Varney (Psych, Dante’s Inferno) casts as Mrs. Moody, and Jaleel White (Family Matters) as teacher Mr. Todd. 10-year old Preston Bailey is the paste-eating Frank Pearl, and Ashley Boettcher as Jessica Finch. Check out this DOUBLE-SUPER-EPIC-TOTALLY-MEDIUM RARE trailer:
A treat from Relativity Media and Smokewood Entertainment, the moodiest movie of all is due to release June 10. Get those tickets, raid those snacks, and hit some good seats!
If you’re a fan of Dan Gutman, especially if you’re younger, you’d love his My Weird School series. If you’re not exactly picking up what I am putting down, here are some titles:
This series follows A.J., Ryan, Michael, and even A.J.’s nemesis, Andrea, and her “crybaby” friend Emily, through a series of one weird teacher after another at Ella Mentry School. Miss Daisy barely knows how to teach second grade. Mr. Hynde raps. Mr. Docker got his hair caught on fire. The weirdness could not stop. My Weird School was acclaimed so much, Dan decided to give it a sequel series in 2008! This series is known now as My Weird School Daze with teachers as weird as…
Mr. Granite is actually an alien humanoid residing of the planet Etinarg. Mrs. Jafee gives their students tests underwater. The weirdness didn’t stop; it just evolved into bigger and bigger things. Heck, I wouldn’t be shocked if a film adaptation of this came out in 2013. But then, as 2010 ends and 2011 begins, Dan has decided to cook up ANOTHER new series called My Weirder School.
The only known working titles are Miss Child Has Gone Wild!, Mr. Harrison is Embarrassin’!, and Mrs. Lilly is Silly! You can find out about other forthcoming Dan Gutman books at Dan Gutman’s own site. The series, according to the site, is scheduled to be alive from 2011-2013.
A.J. is probably still a third grader like the rest of the cast, but look forward for publications of My Weirder School titles in the future!