Book review: The Courage Test, by James Preller

Preller, James. The Courage Test. Feiwell and Friends, 2016. 212 pgs. $16.99. ISBN: 978-1-250-09391-2. Gr. 4+. P7 Q8

William Meriweather Miller, what a name–all due to his professor father who loves anything to do with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. William has plans for the summer, playing on the all-star baseball team. His mother and father are divorcing and his mother wants him to spend time with his dad. William, does not want to go on a road trip that follows the Lewis and Clark Trail, he wants to play baseball. Loaded with his essentials, phone, computer and his  iPod they start out. William is on a journey of growing up and coming to terms with himself, his father and a family crisis.

Verdict: This book would be a great read aloud to students who are studying the Lewis and Clark Trail.

April 2017 review by Carol Bernardi.


Book review: Swamp Monster, by James Preller, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

Preller, James. Swamp Monster. (Scary Tales series.) Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno. Feiwel and Friends, 2015. $15.99. ISBN 9781250045232. 83 pgs. Ages 8-12. P8Q7.

Preller Swamp MonsterPart of the Scary Tales series, this story is about twin brothers who find a swamp monster and decide to try and keep him as a pet.  The swamp monster’s mother has other ideas though and the twins and the swamp monsters have fun, though scary, adventures before returning to their own lives.  The onomatopoeia throughout the book makes the language fun and interesting and could be a great introduction to onomatopoeia during the Fall season.  The drawings are eerie and remind me of a Tim Burton movie (Coraline, Nightmare Before Christmas, etc.).  Although this book is part of the Scary Tales series, the books can be read in any order.

December 2015 review by Cody Rosenthal.