Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan-4 stars

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior

McGowan, Maureen, Cinderella: Ninja Warrior. Baker and Taylor, 2011.

With her father dead, Cinderella is forced to be captive to her evil stepmother and do the woman's bidding. The only way she can get out is if she finds her father's wand, learns to use the magic within her to escape, or dies. When the prince of the kingdom announces he is throwing a festival/ball to find the woman he wants to marry, Cinderella works hard to convince her stepmother to let her go. If she can win one of the contests at the festival, she'll not only earn a dance with the prince, but also a free year of lessons from the court's magician. But, if she shows her stepmother she has any magical initiative, the woman will assume she has found her father's magical wand and will stop at nothing to destroy her. Will she succeed and get out from her evil stepmother?

A fun twist on this traditional story told through the choose your own adventure type format. The main character and the prince are fun and likable. The evil stepmother is a hateful woman just like readers will want her to be. Readers who like fantasy, ninjas, choose your own adventure style books, and magic will enjoy reading this book.

Grades 7 to 12, 4 stars.

Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor LaValle-3 stars

LaValle, Victor, Lucretia and the Kroons. Random House, 2012. Ebook.

When Lucretia's cancer-ridden friend, Sonny goes missing, Lucretia heads up into the dangerous 6-D apartment to bring her back. There, she is goes through a portal to the Shadowlands where she meets mutants, lost children, haunted playgrounds, winged rodents, and more. Can she face the dangers and save her friend or is her friend lost to her already?

Confusing in many parts, but the action keeps the reader going. The characters are a little one-dimensional, but likable nonetheless. Readers who like fantasy, adventure, and books about friendship and loss will enjoy reading this book.

Grades 9 to 12, 3 stars.