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Book Review: Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice

Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice is a young adult horror novel originally published in April 1997.  Marnie and her cousin Peter drive up to the mansion that Marnie's father rented for the summer ahead of her father.  When the cousins arrive at the mansion called Stonycraig and settle in, Marnie is nervous because she thought she saw a shadow in one of the windows.  Then, she starts hearing a woman crying late at night.  Are the stories about Stonycraig being haunted true? This is a book I originally read as a teenager, and I remember being impressed by the storyline and writing.  I recently decided to reread it as an adult to see if it was as good as I remembered.  I have to say it was phenomenal.  Well-written and unputdownable.   Even though there were parts that came back to me as I made my way through Music From The Dead , I still found it to be perfectly eerie and creepy.  There was even a little bit of romance but nothing inappropriate for a tween or teen.  The only com

Book Review: Horseback Summer (Horse Crazy # 1) by Virginia Vail

horse crazy 1 by virginia vail
Back in October, my local library system, which has 16 libraries throughout the county, had their semi-annual book sale where all proceeds help the library system. I was originally supposed to be in Nashville for the weekend but had to cancel my plans at the last minute, so I decided to go to the library sale instead. Browsing through the books, I came across a book that I loved in middle school called Horseback Summer (Horse Crazy # 1) by Virginia Vail. I didn't even hesitate, I grabbed the book and bought it for old times sake. Now if I can only get my hands on the rest of the series!

There was some drama in my neighborhood earlier this week and knowing that there might be some additional drama tonight, I decided I needed to read something that wouldn't be too dramatic or to difficult to read. It was a perfect time to read Horseback Summer (Horse Crazy # 1). As I began, it was exactly as I remembered and brought back all those fuzzy wuzzy feelings of my childhood.

First and foremost, I love the fact that the synopsis of each book, which appears on the back cover, is in the form of the main character writing a letter to her friend. I have always thought this to be a brilliant idea and great way to catch a reader's attention, especially those who may not enjoy reading. It is after all what first caught my attention all those years ago.

The characters in the series are stereotypical, but I don't think it really detracts from the actual storyline. Surprisingly, the characters are very well developed for a book aimed for 9-11 year olds and the length being so short. And, from what I remember, the characters become even more developed as the series goes on. I had no problem picturing the characters either, but it didn't hurt that there were a few pictures sprinkled throughout the book as well.

Horseback Summer is the book that made me want to go to camp and one that was an overnight camp that lasted the entire summer. I never did make it to an overnight summer camp, but I probably would have been way too homesick to stay anyways. I am such a homebody. This book also made me want to be a jockey . . . if you haven't figured it out from the title, it's about horses! Little did I know at the time it takes years of work to become a jockey!
horse crazy 1 back cover by virginia vail
If you have a child that doesn't like to read or finds it boring, I definitely recommend you find a copy pronto for your kid to read, especially if they love horses.  ThriftBooks.com is a great resource for used and out of print books.

Synopsis:  Emily Jordan and her best friend Judy are going to Webster's Country Horse Camp for the summer for their first time ever. That is until Judy falls out of a tree and breaks her leg trying to rescue her cat Sprinkles from the very same tree. Follow Emily and her cabin mates as they learn the ropes at camp.



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