I debated about whether to write a post about this book, as the content pushes it a little higher than the normal interest level I usually blog about. However, I have included the first two books in the series, so I felt as though I should finish it out. Darkfall (Lexile: HL580; Interest Level: Grades 6-8) by Janice Hardy is the third (and final, I believe) book in the Healing Wars series. If you have not read the first two, you may want to choose not to read this review!
Picking up where Blue Fire ends, Nya is leading her friends right into war. She is finding allies in unlikely places, but is very careful of whom she trusts. It is up to her and her friends to stop the Duke and his powerful army that seems invincible. Only Nya has the power to stop the death soldiers, but many are willing to rally to her cause and fight along side her.
The adventure in this story, from the first book to the last, is remarkable. The growth of Nya's power and strength of conviction is amazing. What makes this book move up in Interest Level is just the more advanced content of the intensity of the story, so if you have been reading the series, it will be fine to continue. However, you definitely want to read this series in order, starting with The Shifter. (421 p.)
The full title of this book is Horton Halfpott; or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset (Lexile: 880; Interest Level: Grades 3-6). In it Tom Angleberger takes the reader into the crazy life of one of the servants of Smugwick Manor, Horton Halfpott. Horton is a kitchen boy who makes one penny a week being ordered around by the cranky head cook of the Luggertuck Family.
The crazy adventures begin when M'Lady Luggertuck asks for her corset (a type of lady's undergarment that makes her seem skinnier than she is) to be a little looser. Because of that (or so it is claimed), everything else at the manor seems a little less "tight," and strange things start happening, including the theft of the valuable Lump. Horton, as much as he tries to follow all of the rules, ends up right in the thick of the mess that happens as a result, including run-ins with pirates, beautiful girls, pickle eclairs, and kidnapping plots!
The language in this book may make it a harder read for third graders, but the ones who listened while we read it aloud seem to really like it! It is a really funny book with lots of twists in the plot, and it will certainly be enjoyed by those who can read it! (224 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.