Archive for September 19, 2018

Cats vs. Robots: This Is War

Written by Margaret Stohl & Lewis Peterson
Illustrated by Kay Peterson

Completely outrageous yet entirely believable, this series launch is well worth a look by both girls and boys, both computer geeks and animal lovers. Everyone will fall in love with all the characters, be they robot, software, four-legger, or human.

A planet of robots and a planet of cats have been at war for as long as anyone remembers. The problem is, no one remembers why. Meanwhile, both the cats and the robots discount the contributions of humans (aka two-leggers) to the universe. When two human scientists develop a Singularity Chip, which supposedly prolongs a cat’s life indefinitely, the hunt is on to win the war by way of the chip. Twin siblings Max, a game-playing boy, and Min, a robot-building girl, are caught in the middle. Throw into the mix an evil House, confused but soft-hearted drone, a dying alien cat, a non-binary uncle, and two kittens and you have the whole story.

Math, coding, and everything kitten figure greatly in this book, making it wonderful for encouraging such pursuits. And kids will love it until the very end. Of course, the robot general will not let the war go, setting up for the sequel.  

  • Cats vs, Robots This Is WarTitle: Cats vs. Robots: This Is War
  • Author: Margaret Stohl & Lewis Peterson
  • Illustrator: Kay Peterson
  • Published: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Children’s, 2018
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
  • Grade Level: 3 to 7
  • Genre: Chapter Book, Science Fiction, Humor
  • ISBN: 978-0-06-266570-6

The Bookshop Girl

Written by Sylvia Bishop
Illustrated by Poly Bernatene

Delightfully quirky and whimsical, this fun new novel proves that each of us has talents that stand us in good stead.

Property Jones is an eleven-year-old abandoned waif, found in a bookstore and stashed briefly in a lost property cupboard at age five. Her adopted mum, Netty, is a bit scatterbrained and not a very good businesswoman, but she loves her bookstore, a restored pub named the White Hart. Neither Netty nor her son Michael realize that Property doesn’t know how to read. When the Jones family wins an opportunity to own the best bookstore in London, they immediately take off, only to find more adventure than they bargained for. Their new store, the Montgomery Book Emporium has nearly magical properties, with hundreds of rooms to choose from. Naturally, a villain wants to steal it away from the Joneses. With the help of a peculiar kitten referred to as the Gunther, right must win.

Property has many unusual talents that make her a valuable asset to the family. She is extremely observant and can therefore spot a fake, whether a man or a document. Her loyalty and ability to inspire others are unmatched. The reader must cheer for her and for the Joneses and hope that she does learn the joy of reading in the end.

The author sets a perfect pace for this escapade. The amusing illustrations give a view into Property’s world.

  • Bookshop GirlTitle: The Bookshop Girl
  • Author: Sylvia Bishop
  • Illustrator: Poly Bernatene
  • Published: Peachtree Publishers, October 1, 2018
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 135 pages
  • Grade Level: 4 to 6
  • Genre: Chapter Book, Books, Adventure, Family, Friendship
  • ISBN: 978-1-68263-045-7