Our rating: ****

Flip is a happy little colt who enjoys life on a Kentucky farm. He can run, buck, and play, but he can never manage to jump the brook in the pasture. One day, Flip falls asleep and dreams he has wings. Jumping the brook should be easy now!

A very short, easy read with a humorous story and wonderful illustrations. It is simple enough for children just beginning to read and is enjoyable for more advanced readers as well. Since the early 1940’s, Flip has pleased many horse-loving youngsters and it is sure to gather even more fans.

Hittite Warrior

Our rating: **½

After the death of his father, Uriah the Hittite journeys from his hometown and eventually comes to the hill country, where Barak and Deborah are mustering the tribes of Israel to fight against Sisera.

I was assigned to read this book for school. It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but it didn’t really grip me. Parts of it seemed a bit cliché, and the author seems to favor blatant foreshadowing. I categorized this book as all ages, but I would suggest using discretion as there is a lot of pagan gods and such in the story. Overall a relatively interesting book, but I think it could have been better.

Pippi Longstocking

Our rating: ***½

Pippi Longstocking lives all alone in Villa Villekulla in a little village in Sweden. When the neighbor children, Tommy and Annika, come over to play, they discover that Pippi is no ordinary little girl. Pippi has a different, crazy way of doing many common things, making every chapter a laughter-filled delight as Pippi becomes a thing-finder, goes to school, and has other adventures.

I really can’t say much about Pippi Longstocking that hasn’t been said. The book, originally written in Swedish, has been around for longer than I have and is a favorite of children everywhere. This book serves as an introduction to the mischievous, big-hearted Pippi, paving the way for the, in my opinion, better sequels. But the first volume is still fun and worth reading.

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Our rating: *****

To all appearance Cedric Errol is just another young American boy. He lives with his widowed mother in their tiny house and has a great many friends. Mr. Hobbs, the grocer; Dick, the boot-black; and Mary, the maid, all think the world of him. Imagine their surprise when it is discovered that little Ceddie is the only living descendant of the English Earl of Dorincourt. Cedric and his mother are packed off to England to live with Cedric’s grandfather the Earl. But only Cedric is to live with him. The Earl has never forgiven his son for marrying an American, and now he refuses to even meet Cedric’s mother. Can young Cedric win the heart of this grumpy, hating old man and use his sudden good fortune wisely? With his mother’s careful guidance, and his own stout courage, Cedric not only succeeds, but completely conquers.

A charming story. I love that so much fun and good reading can come out of a little paperback bought from one of those used book email loops. To me, that’s one of the measures of a good book. If you can forget that the paper and ink isn’t in the best of shape and enjoy the story, it’s a great story. But I digress. This is a very nice, easy to read story. The characters are memorable, the story sweet, and a good dash of stately comedy is thrown in there for good measure. If you fall asleep during anything but action, skip this book. Unless you’re up for a little stretch, of course. It’s so gentle and enjoyable, I find it well worth reading.

The Bones of Makaidos

Our rating: *****

As war looms in Second Eden, Billy and Elam try to prepare their small army for battle. They desperately need the help of Makaidos, king of the dragons. Before they can call him, two sinister figures arrive to interfere with Elam’s plans, but are they really as bad as they seem?

Meanwhile, Bonnie, Sapphira, Billy’s mother, and Gabriel attempt to open a portal to Second Eden. When enemies attack, causing them to separate, things get even more complicated as Bonnie and Sapphira end up in a strange new dimension. Add to that mix a few unfulfilled prophecies that have been floating around since Raising Dragons, and the stage is set for the final chapter of Oracles of Fire.

It is always difficult to write a review of the final book in a series that you have thoroughly enjoyed. You know it’s the end, and that makes you sad, but you also know that everything will finally be put right. Bryan Davis effectively ties up all the loose ends remaining from both Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire, while still (delightfully) leaving a couple small things hanging. Nothing has disappeared from his usual style which convicts as often as it captivates. Themes of unending love and selfless sacrifice abound, often bringing tears to the eyes of the reader. Although I was sad to see the story end, the final chapter left me grinning from ear to ear.