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Review: The Silver Rings (Samuel Valentino)

The Deets: 
Audience: MG, intermediate
Pages: 223
Publisher: July 1st 2014 by Brattle Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780985429546
Genre: fairytale
Source: eARC from Netgalley

The Silver Rings 
Meet twin sisters, Celia and Alice, whose bid for freedom from their evil stepmother leads them on a hilarious journey through a world of fantasy and imagination. Join the sisters as they encounter a sarcastic fairy godmother, giants, charming princes, an overly dramatic fox, and more! Readers will recognize familiar themes from their favorite tales and read new ones taken from cultures around the world. Author and illustrator Samuel Valentino has cleverly woven together a delightful fairy tale that teaches us resilience and creative thinking pay off in the end.

When I saw this cover on NetGalley, I had to read it. It looked so cute. As an added bonus, I love fairytale retellings. The Silver Rings looked like it would fit into the fractured fairytale genre, and it did!

I also saw a copy of this book in my local Barnes and Noble last week. It was sitting on a shelf in the young readers section, which I believe is for ages 7-12. I am not sure I would agree with the 10+ age range, but I can see it appealing to younger readers. I would be more likely to call this an intermediate (grades 3-5) read than a middle grades read (grades 6-8).

The story in The Silver Rings is straight forward. It unfolds like a true fairy tale. Readers will enjoy spotting old favorites that have found themselves twisted up in this plot. Also, like true fairy tales, there isn't a lot of character development. The sisters are very close--connected because they are twins, and because they have magical rings. The sisters are not, however, profoundly deep. None of the characters are for that matter. I don't think they really bothered me because I knew this was a fractured fairy tale and I wasn't expecting a super detailed story in only 223 pages. But, that simple fact is what makes me consider this book for younger readers (intermediate level). I do not think older readers will be happy with the quick plot and sometimes random/rushed actions by the sisters.

Overall, I thought this was cute. It would be perfect for a little girl looking for her first "big" chapter book. The pictures help illustrate what is going on in the plot, and the chapters aren't too long for a younger reader. I enjoyed it. 

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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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