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Month in review

Reviews
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
Enter, Night by Michael Rowe
Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby
Heat Rises by Richard Castle
The Homecoming by Ray Bradbury
The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker
How to Party with a Killer Vampire by Penny Warner
If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Last Night by Hyewon Yum
Listen to my Trumpet by Mo Willems
Little Bo in France by Julie Andrews Edwards
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
One Moon, Two Cats by Laura Godwin
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Rise of the Evening Star (audio) by Brandon Mull
Sheep in a Shop by Nancy E. Shaw
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
The Southernmost Cat by John Cech
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb
The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 04 by CLAMP
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 05 by CLAMP
The Watchlist edited by Jefferey Deaver
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey
Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
xxxHolic 11 by CLAMP

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Hotel Under the Sand

The Hotel Under the Sand: 08/02/12

Link goes to PowellsThe Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker opens with Emma surviving a terrible storm in which she loses everything and everyone in her life. She washes up on the Dunes and spends the first night surviving a sand storm. On her second day she meets a ghost and discovers a long buried hotel.

The narrative style brings to mind Roald Dahl. It begins with extraordinary but relatively unexplained circumstances and proceeds through a series of adventures. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie, though destitute, finds the last remaining Golden Ticket, and for the remainder of the book, takes the our of Willy Wonka's factory where each new room is more usual and dangerous than the last. Emma's adventures are contained within the walls of her hotel and are primarily focused on a treasure hunt left behind by the hotel's owner.

Along the way Emma brings together an unlikely set of friends, comprised of a ghost, a runaway, a pirate and a cook. These sorts of ensemble casts with a single child and her collected friends, was de rigueur when I was a child but have fallen out of practice in lieu of a pair (or sometimes trio) of adventuring siblings. Emma's solo status was a refreshing change.

The book would work well for a class read along. The relatively straightforward treasure hunting plot combined with a manageable vocabulary would make it fun book for teachers looking for something newer to read with students.

The Hotel Under the Sand was nominated for a 2009 CYBILS.

Four stars

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