Friday, August 28, 2009

What happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles

A very quick and easy read, but a very dark one! I don't know that I loved this book, but it held my interest. Cass McBride is kidnapped and buried alive. With a walkie talkie taped to her hand, and a small airhole, the reader experiences the horrific sensation of being buried alive. Giles gave a very detailed description of her feelings and fear, that make you feel almost claustrophobic while reading it. You hear Cass's version of the story, along with Kyle (the one who buried her), and the police officer investigating the dissappearance of Cass. Each chapter alternates with these characters. I can see why teens would find this book intriguing, I didn't really find it scary per say, but just a bit disturbing. It has some language in it not appropriate for young readers, and would probably be best recommended for high school grades 9-12.

A Curse dark as gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

What a wonderful book!!! I loved this book. I was drawn to it because it is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. But it doesn't have anything to do with a King, becoming a Queen, and it doesn't even mention the name Rumpelstiltskin. It is cleverly set in the 1700's on a running mill. Charlotte Miller and her younger sister are left to run their fathers mill after he dies. Everything imaginable happens and then come close multiple times to losing the mill. Charlotte is certain that the mill has been plagued by a curse, a curse that is the culprit of the disasters that have been happening. She bargains with a mysterious man named Jack Spinner, but ends up getting in too deep. 

A page-turning adventure and I loved Bunce's take on this classic fairytale! She writes beautifully, and combines magic and historical fiction together very well. Historical fiction isn't my favorite genre, but the story is captivating and intriguing at the same time! I would highly recommend this book, especially for 9-12 grades. I think some 7th and 8th graders may like it, but it might have a bit more depth to it than usual middle school reads.