I don’t want to grow up – My love for children’s books seems endless.

I enjoy reading children’s books. I am for sure not the intended audience but I love reading them. Not all of course, but the majority.

Funnily enough I enjoyed reading books from authors like Barbara Wood and others when I was about 13 years old – why I have no idea. During my studies in which I read many classics, I turned to fantasy and during the past say 4 to 5 years I discovered or better rediscovered my love for children’s books. Maybe I liked them because (of)

  • the nostalgic factor of my own childhood,
  • the fact that children are mostly straight forward and don’t hide what they feel,
  • they see things differently maybe even clearer.

Whatever the reason, they are fun, entertaining, usually contain a moral and just beautifully written and thought out.

As the international children’s day has been on June 1st, I just want to share some of my favorite children’s books which some might categorize under different or more specific sub-genres but from me they are still books for children – and in the end, I am still a child and will always be my parents kid no matter how old I am.

   

 

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Shawn T. Odyssey – Oona Crate und das dunkle Geheimnis des Orakels/ Magician’s Tower

Oona Crate 2

Hardcover
Verlag: Thienemann
veröffentlicht 2014
Seiten: 288

Klappentext/Blurb:

In her first big case, Oona Crate was able to solve the mystery of her uncle’s–the wizard of Dark Street–disappearance while exposing Red Martin as a criminal mastermind. Despite her success, Oona’s detective agency has failed to take off. But a new challenge arises to capture her attention – The Magician’s Tower Contest. Held every two years, no one has ever completed the array of dangerous tasks, riddles, and obstacles. Now brave souls–including Oona–from all over Dark Street will enter the contest in hopes of becoming the first successful contestant.
As the contest commences, a new case arises. A punchbowl–one with great magical powers–has disappeared from the carnival surrounding the Magician’s Tower.
If Oona can find the culprit, she could use the bowl to answer her long-standing question about her mother and sister’s death ­was she really at fault? (Amazon)

Alle fünf Jahre wird in der geheimen und magischen Dark Street der Magierturm-Wettstreit ausgerufen. Knifflige Herausforderungen erwarten die Teilnehmer – und dabei gehört ein Ritt auf einem fliegenden Teppich noch zu den leichteren Aufgaben! Auch Oona und ihr sprechender Rabe Deacon lassen sich das natürlich nicht entgehen. Der Fairness halber will sie sogar auf die Anwendung von Zauberei verzichten. Doch dann verschwindet plötzlich ein mysteriöses Orakel, von dem es heißt, dass es jede Frage beantworten kann. Und obwohl der Wettstreit bereits ihre gesamte Konzentration erfordert, erwacht Oonas detektivischer Spürsinn … (Amazon)

In (Very) Short/In Kürze:

+ Oona Crate’s second adventure
+ entertaining and thrilling throughout
+ loveable characters and wickedly wonderful antagonists
+ fantasy story with crime story wrapped in one
+ Oona Crates zweites Abenteuer
+ durchweg spannend, unterhaltsam
+ sympathische Charaktere und wunderbare Antagonisten
+ Kriminalgeschichte und Fantasy Buch in einem

My Opinion/Meinung:

Oona Crate is off to another adventure. After she used her investigative skills in the first book, they are highly requested this time around. The Magician’s Tower Contest takes place every five years and Oona decides to participate. But her concentration on the tournament is diverted once an old oracle, which can predict the future, disappears. And then there is something really off with some of the other contestants. So, Oona starts to investigate…

The story was very well-developed and the arc of suspense increased rapidly but consistently. The characters are old acquaintances and as likeable as the previous time. Oona’s sidekicks are irreplaceable. And Oona’s antagonists (at least one of them) is as annoying as before and I really would have liked to stick my tongue out to her. But since I am a grown up, I refrained from doing that 🙂

The mixture between fantasy story and crime story is very balanced and even after I debated it for a while, I could not definitely categorize the novel clearly as part of one genre. It’s a lovely mixture of both, without one suppressing the other. But since I have spent many years with researching anything crime fiction (in different mediums), I might be that I see a crime story in many things. Others might not agree with me after reading this novel.

Oona Crate begibt sich in ihr nächstes Abenteuer. Nachdem Oona im letzten Band ihren detektivischen Spürsinn einsetzen musste, ist dieser auch in diesem Band wieder gefragt. Alle fünf Jahre findet das Magische Turnier in der Dark Street statt und Oona nimmt ebenfalls daran Teil. Doch kann Oona gewinnen? Das Verschwinden eines alten Orakels zieht Oonas Aufmerksamkeit auf sich und außerdem spielen nicht alle mit offenen Karten. Irgendwas stimmt bei diesem Turnier ganz und gar nicht und Oona beginnt zu ermitteln…

Wieder einmal hat mir die Geschichte sehr gut gefallen, da die Erzählweise spannend und schnell war und der Spannungsbogen sich gleichmäßig aufbaute. Die Charaktere sind altbekannt und genauso liebenswert. Oonas Sidekicks sind einfach unersetzlich. Die Kontrahentin ebenso nervig wie das letzte Mal und ich hätte ihr gerne mal (sehr reif wie man dann ist) die Zunge rausgesteckt.

Die Mischung zwischen „Kriminalroman“ und Fantasy Buch finde ich sehr ausgeglichen, denn ich kann das Buch nach längerer Debatte nicht in eine der Kategorien einordnen. Es ist irgendwie eine Mischung aus allem. Allerdings habe ich mich auch lange genug mit Krimis in jeglicher Form beschäftigt, um vielleicht in vielen Geschichten eine Krimi zu finden. Andere sehen es vielleicht anders, wenn sie Oona Crate lesen.

Bottom Line/Fazit:

A great and entertaining novel with a loveable protagonist and wonderful sidekicks.

Ein gelungenes und spannendes Buch mit einer liebenswerten Protagonistin und tollen Sidekicks.

Ratings:

rating 5

My Reading Month March

My reading months seem to get a little better lately and the number of read books slowly increase. Very slowly. I read four books this month and listened to 5 audiobooks. ( I continue to include them because including them makes the monthly review look a little better.)

Beth Revis – Across the Universe

I finally read a little YA science fiction. I was a little reluctant because I didn’t want to start another series and YA Sci-Fi was just … I don’t know … I wasn’t sure this was something for me. It was a good read and I enjoyed the book. The storytelling was good, the characters interesting yet sometimes a little flat. Yet it took me quite some time to find my way into the story world and into the story. I was able to understand the characters and empathize, but sometimes I just couldn’t. It was a bit of a bumpy read for me.

across the universe Oona Crate 2

Shawn T. Odyssey – Oona Crate und das dunkle Geheimnis des Orakels/ The Magician’s Tower

The second book in this series was as entertaining as the first. It took me a short moment to get back into the world, but once I was in, I was in. The story was adventurous, mysterious and thoroughly enjoyable. The characters were still as likeable as in the previous book and the narrative pace was great because I just wanted to know who would win and what those mysteries were all about.

Terry Deary – Abgefahrene Ägypter/ Awesome Egyptians

This is the German version of the Horrible Histories series this time about Ancient Egypt. I really love this series because it is a great and fun introduction into history for the younger (not the very young) reader because it is not text-book like, but told through comics and stories and it is a little lighter. I really enjoyed it.

Abgefahrene ÄgypterGoldene Salamander

Renée Holler – Das Geheimnis des goldenen Salamander (The City of Lost Children)

A historical children’s novel set in 17th century England written by a German author. Alyss’ father disappeared and her uncle wants to get rid of her to get the inheritance and there the adventure starts. This is a really lovely and entertaining read. The characters are likeable, the story quite well paced, the author was able to capture the protagonists spirit and lets them occasionally be children – they do believe in magic, magicians and children being transformed into rats by the magician – without letting them be stronger or more grown up than the grown ups. Yet they are not weak either. I really liked that.

My audiobook month was a little better than my actual book month, but just because some of those were quite short.

Nicholas Sparks – Mein Weg zu dir/ The Best of Me

This was my first Sparks. I have not seen a movie nor read a book. It was an interesting audiobook and I liked listening to it. Mainly due to the narrator because the voice was just incredibly soothing and comforting. The story was nice to, but I am not into those types of stories at least not now. But still good.

Ralf Schmitz – Schmitz’ Häuschen

This German comedian has written several books about his experiences and I have listened to all of them. This time around he tells the story or stories connected to the construction of his house and the weird, idiotic, and funny situations that he encountered. It was very funny.

Gayle Tufts – Miss America

Gayle Tufts is an American who moved to Germany many, many years ago and writes about her experiences, surprises, and cultural misconceptions. It is interesting and funny. I have not perceived me and “my people” as weird but seeing it through someone else’s eyes, we really are weird people. 🙂

Alan Bradley – Falvia de Luce: Mord im Gurkenbeet/ The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

I really love Alan Bradley and I have read this book some time ago. In addition to the book just being great, the person narrating it, is one of my favorite audiobook narrators. This crime story’s detective is the 13 year Flavia de Luce, who loves chemistry and uses it to satisfy her curiosity and solve the case. Loveable and quirky. Just the right mix for me.

Heidi Rehn – Gold und Stein

The historical novel tells the story of twins, who have been separated at birth, and the circumstances of and reasons for their separation. It was a good story, yet it lacked a little narrative pace for me and did not really draw me in that much. Still good, but listened to better.