Wilson, E. (1981). The Ghost of the Lunenberg Manor. Toronto: HarperCollins.
While on vacation in Nova Scotia, Tom and Liz Austen meet Prof. and Mrs. Zinck, owners of Lunenberg Manor, which Tom is certain is haunted. When strange events start to happen, the siblings’ relaxing vacation turns into a mysterious case for them to solve.
Eric Wilson was one of my favourite authors as a kid. I could plow through his books so quickly and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen to the adventurous Tom and Liz. Wilson even visited my school once. That’s why I chose this book.
What I found out? This book didn’t measure up to my memories. Perhaps it was the book (and not representative of the entire series) or perhaps it was me. Either way, the book felt dated and unrealistic, which was a big disappointment.
I will say, though, that Wilson incorporates Canada into his books in an interesting and engaging way. It was exciting to read about places that I had heard of: Halifax, Peggy’s Cove, Oak Island, Lunenburg, the Valley, etc. And as a kid, I learned a lot about Canada, its places, and its history by reading Wilson’s books.
So while Wilson’s books had a great effect on me as a kid, I’m not sure if that’s still true for kids today. At the very least, this one (which is number 17 in the series) was a disappointment, giving it a 3 out of 5.
Langston, L. (2014). Hot new thing. Victoria, BC: Orca.
When Lily gets her big break in a Hollywood movie, she is swept away from her high school life in Vancouver to the luxurious lifestyle of a hot and young actress. But, when she gets to Los Angeles and starts to work on the movie, she realizes that there is a lot more to Hollywood than acting, nice clothes, and pretty faces.
Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to be a celebrity? Readers get a chance at finding out what this is like by living vicariously through Lily. The story wastes no time in roping in readers, and they’ll be left flying through the pages to find out what happens to Lily. Anyone interested in the lives of the stars and looking for a short and entertaining read should check this novel out.
The teaser of the text left me expecting a generic and clichéd story. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this novel. The concept may have been done before, but Langston offers a unique and engaging take on it. In all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I would give it a 4.5.
Korman, G. (2007). Son of the Mob. Listening Library. Retrieved from http://elnb-bnnb.lib.overdrive.com/FDC8E104-1046-4D83-AFF1-79F1AFA35BDF/10/50/en/ContentDetails.htm?id=DF993C4D-FC2B-43A6-A6BF-2E0E449E347A
Vince Luca is like any other high school kid. He’s just trying to pass his classes and maybe find a girlfriend. Except, there’s one thing that sets Vince Luca apart from his classmates: his father is a mob boss.
Told with Korman’s trademark humour, Son of the Mob is the young adult perspective of Mafia classics like The Godfather. It has the classic elements of young adult literature: identity struggle, family issues, love, heartbreak, planning for the future. This means that any readers could relate to Vince, even if their own father isn’t a mob boss. Guys and girls alike can get wrapped up in Vince’s world.
Readers can also continue to fulfill their Mafia obsessions with the sequel Son of the Mob 2: Hollywood Hustle, which follows Vince to college.
The audiobook version brings the story even further to life with Max Casella’s classic New York mobster’s accent.
This book is, without a doubt, a 5. Korman’s humour alone is superb. Paired with the well-developed storyline and hilarious characters, this book is a must-read (or a must-listen, if, like me, you choose to listen to the audiobook).