The Captain’s Log – call it courage (Armstrong Sperry)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This be the second read in me April BookBum Club Challenge!  This read is long overdue.  Ye see it all stems from a post I read from me matey Jackie @ deathbysundoku back in October 2017.  She be on the Great Newbery quest wherein she be reading all Newbery medal winners by January 2022 when the 100th Newbery Award happens!  Worthy goal indeed.  I meself had embarked on this journey many years ago before adverse winds and scads of other adventures sent me off course.  I had managed 24 of them at last count. 

So this be number 25.  Arrrr!  As always I love me sea yarns.  This one is short but sweet.  It is the story of Maftu who grows up on an island.  A childhood mishap caused him (rightly) to be afraid of the sea.  Due to the fact that the sea supports the livelihood of the tribe, Maftu is known as a coward.  The day comes where he resolves to face his fears.  So he steals a canoe and takes off with his trusty dog companion to sail on the sea only to be thrust into an even bigger adventure.  Can he face his fears, learn to accept himself, and survive long enough to make it back home?

As me matey Jackie says, “Yes, this 1940 Newbery Award winner certainly has some representation issues. Yes, Call It Courage does play on all the noble-savage action-adventure boy serial tropes, such as those in the Tarzan serials. Yes, it portrays sexism, bullying, and submitting to peer pressure in a positive light. Yes, it does fall into a bit of a predictable storytelling mode where our protagonist magically conquers everything.”

That said, I also very much enjoyed this tale when cultural context is taken into account.  Ye cheer on Maftu in his journey and come to respect his resourcefulness, hard work, and fortitude.  From the modern perspective, it is interesting to note that Maftu would not have survived his ordeal if he hadn’t mastered the “women’s work” that is scorned by the men of the tribe.

The author was well known for his travels to the South Seas and the stories he brought back.  The tale of Maftu was one such tale that was still told around the fires of the Polynesian islands.  One of the highlights of the book were the author’s own illustrations.  He became known for this artwork and illustrated over 40 books and magazines. His pictures of Maftu adventures and island life were wonderful.  Like this one:

 

I do think all readers could find something to enjoy in this tale.  I highly encourage all the crew to read Jackie’s review because it is basically perfect in its representation of the book and its impact.

Much thanks to the BookBum Club for giving me the incentive to finally read this delightful “short and sweet” book (128 pgs).  Day two – challenge complete!  Next up: phoresis.  Check out that review tomorrow!

Side note: For this list of all the Newbery award winners thus far (taken from Jackie’s site) and the ones I have read that be highlighted, scroll to the bottom of the page!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

A boy tries to overcome his fear of the sea in this treasured classic and winner of the Newbery Medal.

Maftu was afraid of the sea. It had taken his mother when he was a baby, and it seemed to him that the sea gods sought vengeance at having been cheated of Mafatu. So, though he was the son of the Great Chief of Hikueru, a race of Polynesians who worshipped courage, and he was named Stout Heart, he feared and avoided tha sea, till everyone branded him a coward. When he could no longer bear their taunts and jibes, he determined to conquer that fear or be conquered– so he went off in his canoe, alone except for his little dog and pet albatross. A storm gave him his first challenge. Then days on a desert island found him resourceful beyond his own expectation. This is the story of how his courage grew and how he finally returned home. This is a legend. It happened many years ago, but even today the people of Hikueru sing this story and tell it over their evening fires.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Armstrong Sperry – Author

To buy the novel go to:

call it courage – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous BookBum Club Monthly Reviews

March 2018 – “And the award goes to – pick a book that has won an award!”

Me Newbery Reads (in italics)

2017: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin)

2016: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin)

2015: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

2014: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)

2013: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

2012: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (Farrar Straus Giroux)

2011: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)

2010: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)

2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick)

2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson)

2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)

2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)

2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)

2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children)

2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park(Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin)

2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (Dial)

2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)

1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)

1998: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (Scholastic)

1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum)

1996: The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman (Clarion)

1995: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins)

1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry (Houghton)

1993: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (Jackson/Orchard)

1992: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum)

1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown)

1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Houghton)

1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (Harper)

1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (Clarion)

1987: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow)

1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Harper)

1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Greenwillow)

1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Morrow)

1983: Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum)

1982: A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard (Harcourt)

1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)

1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos (Scribner)

1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)

1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)

1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (Dial)

1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (McElderry/Atheneum)

1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton (Macmillan)

1974: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (Bradbury)

1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (Harper)

1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (Atheneum)

1971: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars (Viking)

1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong (Harper)

1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander (Holt)

1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)

1967: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (Follett)

1966: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (Farrar)

1965: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (Atheneum)

1964: It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville (Harper)

1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Farrar)

1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)

1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Houghton)

1960: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)

1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)

1958: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (Crowell)

1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (Harcourt)

1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (Houghton)

1955: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (Harper)

1954: …And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)

1953: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (Viking)

1952: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (Harcourt)

1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Dutton)

1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Doubleday)

1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally)

1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking)

1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (Viking)

1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (Lippincott)

1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (Viking)

1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Houghton)

1943: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (Viking)

1942: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds (Dodd)

1941: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (Macmillan)

1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty (Viking)

1939: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (Rinehart)

1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy (Viking)

1937: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (Viking)

1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Macmillan)

1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon (Viking)

1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs (Little, Brown)

1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis (Winston)

1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer (Longmans)

1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Macmillan)

1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (Macmillan)

1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (Macmillan)

1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (Dutton)

1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James (Scribner)

1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman (Dutton)

1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger (Doubleday)

1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes (Little, Brown)

1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (Lippincott)

1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Liveright)

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The Captain’s Log – etiquette & espionage (Gail Carrigar)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This was an audiobook that I picked up because I was looking for a fluffy fun read and the cover, title, and the small part of the blurb that I read sounded appealing.  The story involves a finishing school where girls learn the traditional arts like dance and how to curtsy and the not so usual arts of espionage like poison, knives, and seduction.

The cover looks like this:

Therefore I was surprised to find out that the main character was only 14 and that this was YA.  I had assumed from the cover that the protagonist would be at least 16 but more like 17 going on 18.  She does NOT look 14 in the cover.  Apparently the author has another series called the Parasol Protectorate that stars an older spinster which is what I mistakenly thought I was reading.  This book was part of the Finishing School series marketed more for the younger set.  Should have perhaps read the blurb in full.

That being said, I got mostly what I wanted.  I did like the protagonist, Sophronia.  She is a bit of a special snowflake but I was won over by her in the end.  The plot is fluffy and makes little sense at times but I did enjoy it.  I chuckled at many parts which was nice.  And I loved the pet “mechanimal” and its part in the story.  The other students were fun but didn’t get nearly enough page time.  I also would have liked more descriptions of the espionage training, especially in the use of the fan.

Light on plot and characterization but full of fun and silliness, I do think I would read the next in the series.  I also am tempted by the other more adult series though I hear it is more of a romance.  If the crew has any opinions on these series then please chime in!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Gail Carriger – Author

To buy the book go to:

etiquette & espionage – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Second Reflections – lirael (Garth Nix)

Ahoy there me mateys!  While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read.  In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder!  And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends.  So I decided to remedy that and thus created me new category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin’ it again . . .

lirael – Garth Nix

Now I had touched upon this novel and the author in me previous log post, the first Broadside No. 1.  I adore Garth Nix and have re-read the Old Kingdom series many times over the years.  I only recently began listening to audio books and generally prefer to listen to old favourites while I multitask so I feel like I’m not missing anything.  Well me best friend told me that the Tim Curry narrates this book and so I knew I had to listen to it.

But before I give me second reflections, a story . . . I had read a negative review of this book by dan @ onemanbookclub where he states “Huh. There are a lot of people who really love this book. Obviously I missed something.”  He thought the plot was tedious and that the characters were idiots.  I of course told him that while he had an interesting take on it, he was of course, wrong!  Dan said he was happy to be convinced otherwise if I could explain it to him.  While I don’t feel that I can capture the true love I have for this book and in fact delayed writing this review for quite some time while pondering the question, here is me response to give Dan (and crew members) me ideas about it.

After a small adjustment period getting used to hearing Tim Curry’s voice reading, I ended up sucked right back into one of me favourite stories.  One of the elements that hit me this time around was that ye have two main characters in opposite situations but with similar feelings.  One, Lirael, wants nothing more than to have the Sight like everyone else and finally feel like she belongs in her family and community.  She feels worthless without it.  The other, Prince Sameth, has been told that he is the next Abhorsen and has been training all his life for a role he doesn’t want.  He is surrounded by love and affection but feels horrible because he wants nothing to do with this future that has been plotted for him.  I found the juxtaposition of the longings of the characters to be rather interesting this time around because I never thought of it before.  One wants the birthright she thinks she should have and the other spurns the birthright that has been given to him.  And both are miserable about it.

I do see how the two characters could maybe become tedious in their immense focusing of how they don’t fit in and are disappointments.  But as a rather quirky human meself, I remember being the odd one out so often in life.  I have always wanted different goals then “average” people and felt adrift due to me own expectations and desires.  So I guess ultimately I can sympathize with young folk who are so concerned about their futures and the expectations of society.  I mean, I look back at me earlier self and how different life has become and how much I have changed and wish sometimes that I could go back to me younger self and tell her that those feelings would lose their power and almost seem silly in retrospect.  Of course in this book Prince Sameth and Lirael are facing actual world-ending problems and the deaths of many if they don’t succeed so their stakes are way higher than mine ever were!

The plot is slowly built and so much of it is in day to day descriptions.  There is action but it is in small bits that tend to happen towards the end of the book.  I just love the world building so much that I feel that the Old Kingdom exists and it is almost like I am an invisible spirit getting to watch someone I admire go about their lives.  Cause Lirael is a wonderful, strong fabulous person despite her own self-doubt.

Nowhere is this better shown then from her adventures in the library.  Now, I have always believed that libraries, especially old cool ones, are some of the most awesome places on the planet.  For example, I got to visit the United States Supreme Court’s library and was in heaven!  Lirael works in a library full of books of amazing facts.  There is magic and danger in the library.  There are hidden passages and monsters and mysteries.  Lirael’s work in the library gives her a strength of purpose and solidifies her love of learning.  Also how I wish that I could sneak into forbidden sections and learn magic and other things forbidden to me.

This book shows Lirael making mistakes and learning from them.  She is a person who finds comfort in her own company.  As an introvert in a family of extroverts, it was wonderful reading about someone who felt like me.  She has a best friend that is a magical dog!  I prefer cats meself but I adore their relationship.  Ye get to follow Lirael as she grows up and matures and I love her.

As for the ending of the book, this really is only half of a story that doesn’t pick up pace until the next book in the trilogy.  That can be off putting for some.  But for me, I feel that this trilogy is basically perfection.  So if ye haven’t read this series by Garth Nix, I for one recommend it wholeheartedly.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr’s birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Garth Nix – Author

To buy the book go to:

lirael – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

Nix, Garth (Broadside No. 1)

Goldenhand – book 5 (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

frogkisser! (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)

The Captain’s Log – skulduggery pleasant (Derek Landy)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I don’t know where I first found out about this one.  But I do know that it has a kick-ass cover:

With that cover I had to see what it was about.  So this involves a detective named Skulduggery Pleasant who just happens to be a walking, talking skeleton who can do magic.  Through a series of truly quirky circumstances that I won’t spoil, he meets 12-year-old Stephanie who inadvertently becomes involved in a mystery and then refuses to go back into her ordinary life.  Curiosity wins.  The banter between the two and the humor in this story overall made this a quick and fun read.  The downsides were that Stephanie didn’t do very much, her parents are clueless, and the mystery was not the focus of the plot.  I wanted it to be a skeleton and girl solving weird cases.  Instead it is the two of them fighting the evil ancient enemy to save the world.  That said it was very enjoyable and I liked the magical world the author has set up.  I think I might read more in the series but there are 10 books in it which makes me wary.  But every now and again this might be just the type of light fluffy fun read I am looking for.

Side note: I truly loved the illustrations by Tom Percival!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
and
Walking, Talking,
Fire-throwing Skeleton

—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.

These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.

The end of the world?

Over his dead body.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Derek Landy – Author

To buy the book go to:

skulduggery pleasant – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

The Captain’s Log – akata witch (Nnedi Okorafor)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I was mesmerized by books one and two of the Binti series but couldn’t get a hold of the third book quickly.  I then spotted this book instead.  I thought it was a novella.  Nope!  Check out the beautiful cover:

While the Binti series is sci-fi, this one is young adult fantasy.  It had a completely different feel from the author’s other works and I loved it.

The story centers around 12 year old Sunny.  She was born in the US but currently lives in Nigeria with her family.  Not only does Sunny’s Americanism set her apart but so does her albinism.  Yet Sunny tries her best to be a normal kid and to do well in school.  She is bullied and one day is attacked by a popular female classmate.  Only one person tries to come to her aid, a boy named Orlu.  As she and Orlu become friends, Sunny soon discovers that she may have the magical powers of the Leopard People.  How did she get these powers?  And how is she supposed to help stop a killer?

I loved the magical system of this book.  I loved that magic had very dangerous side effects and rules.  I loved that Sunny still has to stay in “regular” school in addition to her magical training.  I loved her friendships.  I loved that her family was present in the book even if there were problems.  I loved the rich tapestry of world building involved with the Leopard People.  I wanted to go into the magical bookstore!

This book was another that led me to read more about the history of the Leopard People, Igbo people, and Efik people.  I loved this post about the Efik, particularly the section about the written language mentioned in the book.  I will certainly be reading the next book in the series once I get ahold of it.  Arrr!

Side note:  Lots of people seem to be calling this series the African Harry Potter.  Personally I think it trivializes a book that completely stands on its own.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in to the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?

To visit the author’s website go to:

Nnedi Okorafor – Author

To buy the book go to:

akata witch – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

binti – book 1 (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

home – book 2 (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

The Captain’s Log – scat (Carl Hiaasen)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This was another audiobook that I picked up because of a cat on the cover:

I am so glad I did.  Nick and Marta are in a biology class taught by the dreaded Bunny Starch.  She is feared by students and teachers alike.  The class goes on a field trip to the Black Vine Swamp.  A fire breaks out and the kids are evacuated but Bunny Starch doesn’t come out.  Who started the fire?  Where is their teacher?  Is she dead or alive?  Nick and Marta have to find out or an innocent student might end up behind bars!

This book was so funny and clever.  The narration by Edward Asner was fabulous.  The story has multiple viewpoints from the crazy people involved with the school and the case.  The principal, the substitute teacher, and Smoke’s dad were me favourites.  I personally enjoyed the first half of the book best.  Once the mystery is “solved,” the story then becomes about protecting the environment and how to stop the bad guys.  It wasn’t bad at all.  It is just that in the first half, I had no idea where the plot was going to go.  And that was fun!

It was a fantastic introduction to the author’s work and I will be reading other novels by him.  Apparently he has 3 other books in this series.  And a non-fiction book that makes golf sound interesting.  Can’t wait.

Side note:  The First Mate told me that Carl Hiaasen is an award winning journalist!  I didn’t know that.  The First Mate didn’t know that he wrote novels.  Arrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved.

But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a “family emergency,” Nick and Marta just don’t buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance.

And he does! But not in the way they think. There’s a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they really begin to see the big picture.

That’s life in the swamp, kids.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Carl Hiaasen – Author

To buy the book go to:

scat – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Here be Dragons – the tea dragon society (Katie O’Neill)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So along with me love of the sea, I also have a fierce love of dragons.  This be graphic novel.  I never read a graphic novel before as I am not a visual person and wasn’t sure if the medium would work for me.  But the cute cover and subject matter kept luring me back to looking at this one.  Then I read this post by milliebot @ milliebotreads.  She does an awesome series where she does, in fact, judge books by their cover and showcases some of the stunning books that she owns.  I was convinced that I had to read it.

And I have to say that the artwork in this book is absolutely fabulous.  I loved the world that the author has created.  Tea dragons are adorable and I kinda want one.  Look at how cute they are:

from the author’s website

The artwork alone was worth reading this for me.  The only downside is that I thought the story that went with it was odd.  There didn’t seem to be an actual through-line.  The tea dragons were adorable but didn’t really do anything.  The main character, Greta, was charming and kind and I liked her.  The themes of friendship and hard work were also lovely.  I was able to understand what was happening in the book as the visuals were clear.  There was just no plot or exploration of character.  It seemed to be more of vignettes with no exploration or answers.  So I treated it like an art book and just enjoyed the visuals in the way that I enjoy perusing art museums.

I am not sure if this is usual for graphic novels or is just a side-effect of this particular one having begun its life as a webcomic.  I don’t mind me books having pictures but I have to say that I prefer me stories to be told in words.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Katie O’Neill – Author

To buy the e-book go to:

the tea dragon society – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List