Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
Now Previous Articles Road Essays Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Archie vs Predator by Alex de Campi
Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti by Bailey Cates
Bookplate Special by Lorna Barrett
Carson Crosses Canada
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Giant Trouble by Ursula Vernon
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
It Might Have Been Worse by Beatrice Larned Massey
It's a Book by Lane Smith
Kleine Katze Chi #1 by Kanata Konami
No Place for Magic by E.D. Baker
Nooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson
Lumberjanes, Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson
Mystery of the Midnight Rider by Carolyn Keene
Paper Girls, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
Road of Her Own: Women's Journeys in the West by Marlene Blessing
A Safe Girl to Love by Casey Plett
Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella
Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman
There Are No Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Winnebago Graveyard #1 by Steve Niles
Winnebago Graveyard #2 by Steve Niles
Woof by Spencer Quinn
Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick

Miscellaneous
August 2017 Reading Sources
August 2017 Reading Summary
Books on Books
Crossing the Cornfield and Saving the World: The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater
Greenglass House by Kate Milford: A road narrative deconstruction
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 11)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 18)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 25)
The maze isn't for you — except when it is

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



Giant Trouble: 09/23/17

Giant Trouble by Ursula Vernon

Giant Trouble by Ursula Vernon is the fourth of the Harriet Hamsterbone series. Harriet is on her way home from cliff diving when she's approached by someone wanting to sell her a bag of beans. Harriet wisely wants no part of this but Mumphrey gets into the bag and eats a bean. By the next morning, Harriet and her quail have a giant beanstalk to contend with.

In every other version of Jack and the Beanstalk, the beanstalk goes up to a castle inhabited by a giant with a taste for blood and bones and a love of gold and magical items. The why behind the castle being there at the top of the clouds is just a given except in this book. Here, the giant's cloud floats around as clouds do and it has gotten snagged on the beanstalk (another reason that Harriet has for needing to cut it down)

Inside the castle we have a fairly standard take on the Jack and the Beanstalk, with the giant being played by a large, dirty rabbit who insists of making everything fit into the standard fe fi fo fum rhyme.

To put it bluntly, Harriet is off her game here for most of her encounter with the giant. She tries to rescue Mumphrey. She tries to free the Harpster. For all her effort she ends up bruised, battered, and nearly falling to her death more times than I care to count.

Of course it's important over the course of a series to see the hero at times of vulnerability. If the hero always wins there's no drama and no character growth. And yet it was rough seeing Harriet have so much trouble.

On the other hand, this book does give Wilbur a chance to step up from his comfortable role as a paperboy to being a hero. Giant Trouble is like those rare Kim Possible episodes where Ron Stoppable ends up saving the day.

There's a fifth book coming in January 2018, Whiskerella.

Four stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment: