The Akhenaten Adventure by P.B. Kerr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
John and Phillipa are 12 year old twins living in New York. Summer vacation is looming when they go to the dentist for their annual checkup. Everyone - kids, dentist, and parents- is shocked when it's discovered that both have sprouted wisdom teeth overnight. Things get stranger when both are awakened in the night by an earthquake, and each has an extremely odd dream involving their estranged Uncle Nimrod who tells them to come to England for the summer. The next morning both twins have grown an inch overnight and their parents are acting very strangely. Their father seems almost afraid of them!
The adventure begins as the twins head to England to visit their uncle. They soon discover an unsettling truth - both of them are actually djinn! With their uncle they set out to restore the balance between Good and Evil as they battle an evil tribe of djinn and learn to use their new powers.
I enjoyed this book. It's the first in a series set around the world. I have a copy of the next one and will put it on my to-read list. It's definitely a book for upper level readers. Although the story moves quickly, the language is not always easy. I will be recommending it to a couple of my very able 6th grade readers who are looking for something just a little bit different!
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another very funny entry in the Liturgical Mysteries! The Pirate's Eucharist is way better than the Clown Eucharist. Agnes Day (pun intended) has been the substitute organist ever since Hayden Konig quit his job as music director at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. He's called into church to investigate when the hapless organist is murdered by a handbell. Who did it? The new operatic soprano Renee Tatton? Kenny, the medicinal pot farmer? There are suspects galore. And how will the church spend the $16 million it's receiving? It's all up to the church's most generous donor - who's not Malcolm. The only thing I missed in this installment was Moosey --- not enough of him.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Twelve-year old Moose Flanagan and his family move to Alcatraz Island where his father has just taken a job as an electrician at the prison. It's 1935 and the prison houses crime boss Al Capone. Moose is very unhappy with the move, and once on the island, he's forced to watch his "10 year old" sister Natalie. Natalie is actually 15 but is autistic. Her parents have been unsuccessful in getting her into a school that might help her. The story revolves around Moose's relationship with his sister and his attempt to adjust to his new life. Gennifer Choldenko gets Natalie's character right, and I also think she did a great job developing the relationship between Moose and Natalie. Some of the other characters were somewhat one-sided believable. Piper is the know-it-all bossy daughter of the prison's warden and is terrific at getting everybody else in trouble. She just seemed too one-sided. This was definitely a different sort of story, and I was interested in reading it since I've visited Alcatraz. I think that it will appeal to some of my more able 6th grade boys.