Phillip is bored one day in his stepfather’s mansion, so he builds an enormous city out of anything that comes to hand. To his great surprise that night, he shrinks down (or the city gets bigger) and finds himself in a realm containing every city he’s ever built. Through various magical rules, his stepsister Lucy joins him in the city, and they set out on a quest to perform seven tasks and fulfill an ancient prophecy of a coming deliverer who will be king. But their progress is hindered at every turn by the Pretenderette, who wants to claim the throne for herself.
The Magic City is signature Nesbit. How else do you describe her delightful style and humor? The story world is cleverly put together in a way that leaves you guessing about what will come next, but it makes perfect sense once Nesbit explains. I only took off half a star because the main character is bratty enough in the first couple chapters to make you think it’s not going to be any good. Keep reading! This one has made it onto my list of favorite Nesbit books.
(And as a side note, The Magic City inspired Edward Eager’s Knight’s Castle, which makes it great fun to compare the two and see where Eager plays off of Nesbit in his unique take on this concept.)
Walter has been warned about jumping on his bed, but he chooses to disobey. An extra hard bounce sends his bed crashing through the floor and into the room below where Miss Hattie is enjoying dinner. Though Walter would love to stay, he continues the descent through every floor of the apartment, taking the occupants and their possessions with him.
Quite the funny story. The list of people and objects gets longer with each page. The rhyming names of the occupants makes the list even more humorous. Make sure that you pay close attention to the illustrations, especially the dinosaur on the television. All in all, this book is much more fun to read out loud than for one person to read it by himself.
Anne is off to college! There she meets many new friends and stays in touch with just as many old ones. In between exams, finding the perfect house to rent, various escapades, and college social life, Anne must accept that she has grown up. Which means entertaining a few suitors…
Anne of the Island follows a somewhat more condensed style as four years of college are condensed into a single book. This feels rather rushed to me, especially with the suitors bit of my synopsis going on. It’s no secret that Anne discovers somebody she loves by the end of the book, but with the time so squished together, I never felt like I got to know some of her options. That’s really my biggest complaint, though, and it’s certainly no reason to pass up this delightful third Anne book.
The Herdman kids are the most rotten children ever. They’re so rotten that when they come to church in the hopes of free dessert, nobody expects them to want to stay. But the biggest surprise comes when the six Herdmans decide they want to star in the Christmas Pageant — with hilarious and heartwarming results.
I’ve grown up with this short book. Every year, I revisit it and find it better than I remembered. Up until the last chapter, the laughs come fast and furious as the Herdmans get a crash course in the Christmas story, but the final chapter is the gem where the true meaning of Christmas shines through.
This is the story of motion-study pioneer Frank Gilbreth. He and his wife decide to have a dozen children and actually do it. Then hilarity ensues as Mr. Gilbreth applies his factory-efficiency job to raising a family.
Written by two of Frank Gilbreth’s children, Cheaper by the Dozen is meant to be the true story of the life of their father. I don’t know if they made anything up for the book, but it’s certainly a lot of fun to follow the Gilbreth family through life in America during the early 1900s.