One of the Advanced Reader Copies I received from William Morrow publishing is John Searles' book Help for the Haunted. Currently, he is hosting a sweepstakes where, when you pre-order Help for the Haunted and fill out the form on his website, you are entered to win tickets to the Broadway production of Matilda. (The book is due to be released on September 17, 2013.) I just finished reading Help for the Haunted last night and will put up a special review post soon so that those of you wanting some more information can get it. Short version: I give it 3 stars for an overall good story with a really solid main character, but with a slow beginning and an ending that left me a little disappointed but not unhappy that I'd read it.
If you don't know the story of Matilda, you are missing out. I grew up with that movie and I would love to see it on Broadway! Matilda is a young girl who loves books so much she takes her wagon to the library with her (something I tried to convince my mother to let me do). She's also a genius with more than your average genius-born gifts. But she also has a horrible family and a horrible principal/headmistress and has to rally her friends and classmates together to save their sweet teacher and themselves. It's a story about how being a little weird isn't a bad thing, about how the choices we make affect the people around us; it's the story of how children can grow up to be better than their parents, not trapped in that same crappy life.
John Searles says this about his book and Matilda: “Matilda and Help for the Haunted are each stories about a young girl who loves books, is smart beyond her years, and must rely on her intelligence and curiosity in order to set things right in her world.”
As always, I receive no compensation from author or publisher for any reviews, publications, etc. related to any ARCs. My opinions are wholly my own.
“I make cherries jubilee and I volunteer for dragons and I conjugate Latin verbs – or at least I would if anyone would let me!” is from Dealing with Dragons, the first book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. I absolutely love these books. My sister and I actually made our own audiobooks of these, taking turns lying on the floor in front of a tape recorder, reading into the microphone, and then listening to the tapes at night when we were supposed to be going to sleep. I think I still have those tapes somewhere...
Up next: "It was all imaginary, anyway - not real. It was only in the fairy tales that people were called upon to be so brave, to die for one another."