Caroline B. Cooney

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Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2018 – The Round Up

Published December 31, 2018 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone and welcome to Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2018, The Round Up where we’ll be talking about our highlights (and lowlights) of our Kid Lit year. As always, we’ve read some fantastic books and series, some of which we will be continuing into 2019. Please find below all the books we read and the links to my reviews. For Chrissi’s reviews the link will be at the bottom of each original post.

JANUARY – The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader -C.S. Lewis

FEBRUARY- Matilda-Roald Dahl

MARCH – The Girl Of Ink And Stars- Kiran Millwood Hargrave 

APRIL- Ratburger- David Walliams

MAY – The Wide Window (A Series Of Unfortunate Events #3)-Lemony Snicket

JUNE- The Face On The Milk Carton-Caroline B. Cooney

JULY – Murder Most Unladylike- Robin Stevens

AUGUST- The Creakers- Tom Fletcher

SEPTEMBER – Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing -Judy Blume

OCTOBER- Nightbirds on Nantucket  (The Wolves Chronicles #3)- Joan Aiken

NOVEMBER – Number The Stars- Lois Lowry

DECEMBER- Time Travelling With A Hamster- Ross Welford

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our year in Kid-Lit blogging.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2018 and why?
BETH: This is such an easy one for me! It would be Matilda by Roald Dahl. It was a childhood favourite of mine and each time I re-read it I fall more and more in love with it. Sorry other kid-lit authors on this list – it was always going to be a no-brainer with the king that is Roald Dahl.
CHRISSI: It has to be the legendary Matilda. It’s a wonderful story that is one of my all time favourites. I don’t think many will ever beat it. I found out recently that my 6 year old nephew loves Matilda which is amazing!
2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2018 and why?
BETH: This is so tough but I would have to pick something that might be controversial – The Girl Of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. It was so gorgeously written but unfortunately I just didn’t connect with it as much as I was hoping to.
CHRISSI: The Voyage of The Dawn Treaderby C.S. Lewis. I wasn’t the biggest fan of it, if I’m honest. I don’t recall reading this one as a child and I wouldn’t be surprised if I started it and gave up! Young Chrissi had no problems DNF-ing books.
3) What was the Kid-Lit book of 2018 that surprised you the most?
BETH: Perhaps The Face On The Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney? I was eagerly anticipating this book as both Chrissi and I were huge Cooney fans back when she wrote Point Horror. However, I believe we were both a bit disappointed with this particular offering and unfortunately, it surprised us in a bad way. 😦
CHRISSI:  I have to agree with Beth. I had such high expectations for The Face On The Milk Carton but I really did find it to be a quite unremarkable read which was a shame.
4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2018?
BETH: Most definitely, from Tom Fletcher. I was really excited to read something from him as I had heard such great things about his children’s books. The Creakers was everything I had anticipated and who knows, perhaps there will be something else on our Kid-Lit list for 2019 from him?
CHRISSI:  Ooh yes. I want to read more from Tom Fletcher and David Walliams for sure. I’m loving that young children (and young at heart adults!) have so many wonderful authors out there to explore.

For anyone who reads these posts, thank you so much for your continued support, we love doing this challenge and hope to continue it indefinitely. Coming on January 2nd – the big reveal for Kid-Lit 2019! Which titles made it this year? And which titles are we going to have to do er…. another year?!

Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit – JUNE READ – The Face On The Milk Carton – Caroline B. Cooney

Published June 30, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

The face on the milk carton looks like an ordinary little girl: hair in tight pigtails, a dress with a narrow white collar, a three-year-old who was kidnapped more than twelve years ago from a shopping mall in New Jersey.

As fifteen-year-old Janie Johnson stares at the milk carton, she feels overcome with shock. She knows that little girl is she. But how could it be true?

Janie can’t believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, until she begins to piece together clues that don’t make sense. Why are there no pictures of Janie before she was four? Her parents have always said they didn’t have a camera. Now that explanation sounds feeble. Something is terribly wrong, and Janie is afraid to find out what happened more than twelve years ago.

In this gripping page-turner, the reader will unravel — as Janie does — the twisted events that changed the lives of two families forever.

What did I think?:

Chrissi and I always enjoy picking our Kid Lit list for the year ahead, we’re usually super organised and do it about November time, picking six books each so that we both get a chance to read things we’re excited about/things that bring back happy memories. Caroline B. Cooney is one of those authors for both of us. Although we’ve never read The Face On The Milk Carton before, we have wonderful memories about the author mainly connected with her Point Horror books, of which we’ve read a few, namely Freeze Tag, The Cheerleader and The Perfume. We were OBSESSED with Point Horror as young teenagers and as we lived in a British army base in Germany for the majority of the time, they were quite hard to get hold of. Back in those days there was no Amazon (haha!) and we lived out in the country with a shopping centre about 40 minutes drive away which had a very limited supply of books and a small school library. This is just one of the very many reasons why we appreciate the easy availability of books nowadays!

Caroline B. Cooney, author of The Face On The Milk Carton.

Sadly, I found myself slightly disappointed by The Face On The Milk Carton. I don’t know what it was, perhaps it’s an age thing and her young adult fiction doesn’t read as well when I’m a grown adult? Maybe. Or perhaps it’s her Point Horror alone that gives me that warm, nostalgic feeling? Who knows. It follows a teenage girl called Janie Johnson who looks at a milk carton one day at school on lunch break with her friends and recognises her own childhood face on the carton. Her life is instantly set into turmoil as she assumes that she must have been kidnapped from her “birth parents,” who are still desperately looking for her. The trouble is, Janie can’t remember anything and has a strong, loving relationship with her “current” parents who are mostly all she can remember. As Janie begins to investigate the picture on the milk carton she begins to realise a few foggy memories of a strange kitchen, other children and an ice cream parlour. Has she really been kidnapped? Why? Piece by piece, the clues start to come together in the most unexpected way.

 

Our female lead, Janie Johnson finds her childhood photograph on a milk carton similar to the above image.

Let me just start by saying that if I read this book as a young teenager, I would probably absolutely love it. It is purely reading it as an adult and rolling my eyes at the dramatics of teenage angst that is the problem here, I promise! The premise for the novel is brilliant, suddenly finding out as a teenager your parents aren’t who you expected them to be? There’s definitely be dark points of my adolescence where I’ve ashamedly wished for a different parent or wondered if I was adopted but luckily these were only fleeting as I happen to have (in my opinion of course!) the world’s most wonderful mother!

So yes, initially I was quite gripped by the mystery behind Janie’s parentage and was keen to find out what was going on as the narrative continued. Unfortunately it just didn’t really continue the way I had pictured it in my head. It’s obviously a horrific thing to find out as a teenager and I really felt for Janie as she discovered her perfect parents might not be so perfect after all but there was so much drama. It became positively melodramatic as she wanted to find out what was going on, came close to confronting the situation then backed off and decided to stick with what she knew i.e. the parents that had raised her. Fair enough, you might think, that’s a normal response, right? But this happened over and over again and just became too repetitive for me. I feel like the author could have used her time better by delving deeper into the emotions that Janie was experiencing but it just seemed to be either one level or the other – the extreme reaction then just….nothing!

Saying that, I would recommend this book for young adults with a note for parents that there is a bit of tame sexual content so perhaps not suitable for very young children. It’s an interesting little mystery with relatable characters and a plot that could definitely be a conversation starter between friends and family.

For Chrissi’s fabulous review, please see her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

COMING UP IN JULY ON BETH AND CHRISSI DO KID-LIT: Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens.

Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit – The Titles For 2018 Revealed!

Published January 2, 2018 by bibliobeth

Image from: http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/04/03/even-more-outlandish-further-thoughts-on-the-role-of-translation-and-childrens-literature/

JANUARY – The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader -C.S. Lewis

FEBRUARY- Matilda-Roald Dahl

MARCH – The Girl Of Ink And Stars- Kiran Millwood Hargrave 

APRIL- Ratburger- David Walliams

MAY – The Wide Window (A Series Of Unfortunate Events #3)-Lemony Snicket

JUNE- The Face On The Milk Carton-Caroline B. Cooney

JULY – Murder Most Unladylike- Robin Stevens

AUGUST- The Creakers- Tom Fletcher

SEPTEMBER – Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing -Judy Blume

OCTOBER- Nightbirds on Nantucket  (The Wolves Chronicles #3)- Joan Aiken

NOVEMBER – Number The Stars- Lois Lowry

DECEMBER- Time Travelling With A Hamster- Ross Welford

Generally, we had a wonderful Kid-Lit year in 2017 but generally, I didn’t think it was as strong as 2016. However, lots of beauties to look forward to on this list. We are continuing with our Narnia series with The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, the fifth book in the Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, The Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket with the third book in the series and the third book in The Wolves Chronicles by Anne Cassidy which we’re very much excited about. We’ve also got some old classics like Matilda by Roald Dahl and one of my favourite childhood authors, Judy Blume to look forward to and some newer authors like Tom Fletcher and Kiran Millwood Hargrave. I’m expecting great things for this year and I can hardly wait. Join us at the end of January for our first post!

Beth and Chrissi’s Points Of View On Point Horror – The Snowman by R.L. Stine

Published February 27, 2016 by bibliobeth

image (1) (1)

Welcome to Round Three of our Points of View on the classic Point Horror series of books that Chrissi Reads and I loved when we were teenagers. For this year, we thought we’d have a bit of a theme and as it’s still quite cold round here we thought we’d choose something wintry to chill your bones. The book that I am hosting is The Snowman by R.L. Stine and over on Chrissi’s blog will be Freeze Tag by Caroline B. Cooney. Hope you enjoy our trip down memory lane…

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What’s it all about?:

Heather feels cold all the time. Alone. Her guardian hates her. He’d like to see her dead. He’d like all her money. But for now he settles for controlling it, and making Heather’s life miserable.

Poor little rich girl, just like Cinderella…

Then the gorgeous, ice-blond guy shows up at the crummy restaurant where Heather works after school. He understands about Heather. He’s her Prince Charming. No one can get to Heather now.

Heather feels so safe. So loved. So warm…

Beth’s Points of View

  • The Snowman was one of the Point Horrors I remember enjoying but I could never remember exactly what the story was about. It all came flooding back as soon as I began reading though!
  • Heather’s Uncle James is such a horrible character and I can understand why Heather had such strong feelings towards him. However I wasn’t expecting what happened to him..
  • I was fully prepared for there to be something of the paranormal about Snowman in the way it was written. However, he is just a ordinary teenager. (If extremely warped is ordinary that is!)
  • I was slightly more cynical of the relationship between Heather and her boyfriend Ben. Perhaps it was the way she treated him but I really didn’t think she deserved him when he turned out to be the ultimate hero.

Chrissi’s Points of View

  • ​Reading this as an adult, I couldn’t believe that I was okay with the main character cheating on her boyfriend. No, just no!
  • Heather is SO gullible. I just wanted to reach into the book and tell her she was being a fool.
  • The Snowman is an engrossing story. I read it in one sitting.
  • It’s quite a bit darker than the previous Point Horror we’ve read!

Would WE recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!

BETH’s Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

CHRISSI’s Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

Why not hop over to Chrissi’s blog right now and check out what we thought of Freeze Tag by Caroline B. Cooney?

Next time on Beth And Chrissi Do Point Horror, we look at some Spring themed Point Horrors:

April Fools by Richie Tankersley Cusick AND Spring Break by Barbara Steiner.

Join us then!

Beth and Chrissi’s Points of View on Point Horror: #1 Thirteen Tales of Horror – T.Pines (Editor)

Published October 31, 2014 by bibliobeth

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Happy Halloween everyone! Every so often Chrissi and I will be revisiting Point Horror, a series that we loved as young adults. On each of our blogs, we will post our Points of View on the story. We are starting with Thirteen Tales of Horror, a short story collection on my blog and The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney on Chrissi’s blog. We hope you enjoy our trip down memory lane…

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What’s it all about?:

You don’t really want to read this …do you? The masters of horror are waiting to take you on a terrifying ride, and there are 13 stops.

Meet the new guy in town, very handsome, very sexy, and very deadly.

Dine on sweet and wonderfully inviting confections – they’re good to the last breath.

Learn that some spells can never be broken…

Inside you’ll find the works of 13 masters of horror. Let Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine and the rest of our macabre crew show you the beauty in your worst nightmares – and the terror in your most exquisite dreams….

Beth’s Points of View:

  • My favourite story in this collection has to be Collect Call: The Black Walker Parts I and II which I read over and over again as a teenager.
  • Creepiest read? Probably The House of Horrors. You’ll never look at mannequins the same way again…
  • The authors this book showcases were among the top names writing in the Point Horror genre at that time including one of my favourites R.L. Stine.
  • The strangest story in the collection for me is probably Where The Deer Are by Caroline B. Cooney. I’m still trying to figure that one out!

Chrissi’s Points of View:

  • I like how it’s a collection of Point Horror short stories. You can easily dip in and out of it.
  • Wide range of topics
  • Incredibly dark stories, perfect for Halloween!
  • There’s a story about a doll by Carol Ellis that sticks so vividly in my mind. If you’re scared of dolls DON’T READ IT!

If you’d like to know our Points of View about The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney, visit Chrissi’s blog HERE.

Would WE recommend it?:

BETH: Probably!

CHRISSI: Yes!

BETH’s Star Rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

CHRISSI’s Star Rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

 

 

WWW Wednesday #51

Published September 3, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, and thanks as ever to MizB for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:

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I’m a big fan of Caitlin Moran and loved her book How To Be A Woman. I was lucky enough to go to a talk she did in London and pick up a signed copy of this. I’m nearly halfway through already because I just can’t put it down.

What did you recently finish reading?:

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Ah, a blast from the past! I used to love Point Horror novels when I was a teenager and had literally dozens of them. I read this in preparation for a new feature that will be appearing on my blog, coming soon!

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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Next up for me is Daughter, the first book on the Richard and Judy Autumn 2014 reading list here in the UK. My sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads has already read it and enjoyed it so I’m looking forward to it!

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link or comment and I’ll come pay you a visit! Happy Reading Everyone!