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A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

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A Red Herring Without Mustard is the third book in Alan Bradley’s Flavia De Luce series. Curiously enough, this is the first book I have reviewed because I am woefully behind with my reviews.

Flavia De Luce is a young girl living in a crumbling manor house near a small village in post-WWII England. She lives with her stamp collecting father, her two teenage sisters, and Dogger, their father’s butler/valet/gardener.

A Red Herring Without Mustard concerns the events following a village fair. Flavia invites the gypsy fortuneteller to park her caravan in a remote part of the Buckshaw estate. When Flavia returns to check on her guest, she sees that the woman has been brutally attacked. As if that were not bad enough, Flavia then stumbles upon a body on the Buckshaw estate. With two crimes that may or may not be related, our intrepid young sleuth has two mysteries to solve!     Continue reading

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Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Cleary

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My girls and I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks this summer. We made our way through most of Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins series. Neil Patrick Harris’ narration really brings the books to life, and made the stories even funnier.

Henry and the Paper Route is the fourth book in the series. As the title suggests, Henry‘s main focus is getting a paper route of his very own. This is something that Henry has wanted for most of the series, and he has even helped his friend Scooter with his paper route… but he has been too young to have a route of his own. Of course, it would be too simple for Henry to receive a paper route as soon as he turns eleven, and you’re going to have to read the book to find out how Henry gets his route. Continue reading

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Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary

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I have had my three girls home with me all summer. We have some afternoon activities and we will drive to the lake/pool, so there is plenty of time in the Odyssey. We have been listening to some of Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins books while we drive around.

Henry and Ribsy is the third book in the Henry Huggins series. Henry is a young boy who lives in Oregon with his parents and his dog Ribsy. There are many other children on Henry’s street, and there is always something happening. Ribsy has always played a supporting role in the Henry books, but in this book, Ribsy’s actions have more of an impact on the plot. Henry wants to go salmon fishing with his father, but he needs to prove that he is responsible and that he can keep Ribsy out of trouble. Will Henry be able to go fishing with his father? Continue reading

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Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

51dauu2xfelMy three girls and I have been listening to the Henry Huggins series in the car. A couple of years ago, Audible had a great sale and I picked up most of Beverly Cleary’s book for about $4 apiece. The girls had not really been interested in listening to the books before, but we have been reading the Ramona books, and they recognized Henry as one of the minor characters from the Ramona series. He’s much older than Ramona, so they don’t really cross paths in her books, but she plays the role of young antagonist in his books. This was enough for them, and they were sold.

Henry and Beezus is the second book in the Henry Huggins series. Henry is a ten-year-old boy living in Oregon. He has a dog named Ribsy, and many neighborhood friends. There are many small incidents throughout the book, but the main theme revolves around Henry’s attempts to earn enough money to buy a bike. This proves to be rather difficult, and involves dubious schemes like finding boxes of gum in a vacant lot and selling it to his friends at school. Will Henry ever be able to earn the money for a bicycle of his very own? Continue reading

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Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

81t22mmqwblA couple of years ago, Audible had a great sale on children’s audiobooks. I ended up getting most of Beverly Cleary’s books for about $4 apiece. I’ve been reading the Ramona books with my seven-year-old twins, so we’ve decided to listen to the Henry Huggins books when we drive around town.

Beverly Cleary might be best known for her Ramona series, but she wrote the Henry Huggins books almost twenty years before Ramona’s first book. The girls were excited to listen to Henry Huggins because they know Henry as a friend of Ramona’s sister Beezus. Henry is also the traffic boy when Ramona is in Kindergarten, and she antagonizes him, both inadvertently and deliberately.

Henry Huggins starts a couple of years before the events in the Ramona series. When the story begins, Henry is a third grade boy who finds a stray dog after his swimming lesson. The dog is so skinny that Henry calls him Ribsy. Henry is downtown by himself, and must get the dog home on the bus. This is quite the misadventure, and it sets the tone for the rest of the book- and, I daresay- the rest of the series. Henry is not a naughty boy, but always seems to get himself into “scrapes”, usually involving Ribsy. Henry grows very attached to Ribsy, but what will happen when Ribsy’s owner comes looking for him? Continue reading

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Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

51ddipgw21lA couple of years ago, Audible had a great sale. I was able to purchase most of Beverly Cleary’s most popular books for about $4 apiece. I have been reading the Ramona books to my seven-year-old twins, and now that the girls are out of school, we have been listening to some of the books that we haven’t read.

The girls wanted to start with Beezus and Ramona, which takes place before Ramona the Pest. They were very interested to see what Ramona was like before she started Kindergarten. I’d like to point out that Stockard Channing serves as narrator for all of the Ramona books, so that’s kind of neat in a whimsical sort of way.

Beezus and Ramona differs from the other Ramona books because Ramona’s older sister Beezus is the protagonist. Ramona is certainly the one who serves as catalyst, but the focus is on how Ramona’s actions affect Beezus. Continue reading

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Buckingham Babylon by Peter Fearon

71qgt050qzlI found Buckingham Babylon by Peter Fearon at my town library. I was looking for some British history books, and this book was in the same section. I love books/movies about the Royal Family, so I was pleased to have discovered it.

Buckingham Babylon is subtitled “The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor”, and it was published in 1993. There are some major Royal Family life events that have happened since the early 1990s, so in some respects, this book is woefully out of date. Continue reading