Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Book review: 'Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer' (aka "I am that person")

So .... it is confession time ....

I am the first person to admit that I am not perfect, but there is one thing I do semi-regularly that I know horrifies some people.

I am the sort of person who buys someone a book and reads it before I give it to them.

My only mitigating factor is that I do only do this to certain people; mostly Mum, my sisters, and my daughters. I do also confess to them straight afterwards. However, considering how rarely I buy books for people I am not sure this is much of a mitigating factor. 

People are surprised that I don't often buy books. I tend to only buy them for people I know extremely well, and when I know their tastes in books and what books they already own. Can you see the problem? Well, except DB. I am constantly buying him books that I think he might like. I don't think he has read most of them. On the upside, it is not unheard of for me to get books from him that other people have given him and that he has no intention of reading. Winning!

There is one other exception. There is one book I have bought for a number of people because it is literally laugh-out-loud funny. Have you read my post on my most favourite books of all time? If not, I will write about it again later.

It was Tink's birthday last week. 

I got her a book. Well, I also got her other things, but I did get her a book.

I read it first, and it was awesome.

If you have read and enjoyed the Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, you will love this new series. 

The first book in the series is 'Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer'. Magnus is a older than Percy, and the themes are a little more grown up. Life at 16 is different to life at 11 whether or not you are a demi-god.  

I have always had an interest in Greek mythology, but I didn't know very much about Norse mythology. This book opened a whole new world of legend for me to explore and I had to read the book with my phone next to me so I could quickly search points that I wanted more information on. From that point of view the book is perfect. It is intriguing; a taster of what is out there if you want to delve further into the mythological world. I am very much hoping all three of my girls read it for that reason alone.

The story line is action packed. The biggest problem I had was sneaking in time to read it when the girls weren't around as it was a present for Tink. 

For adults or older teens who read Percy Jackson and found the writing and the story a little juvenile, Magnus Chase is a more complex and it is clear it is targeted at an older reader. That said, it would still be good for younger readers who like longer stories.

I am really, very much looking forward to the next installment of Magnus Chase, and in the meantime I am re-reading the Percy Jackson books!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • No-one actually asked me to review this book, I just liked it so I thought I would share
  • I would suggest trying the book yourself rather than just trusting my opinion on it.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Flying the nest

Ok. I have a confession! I actually wrote a different post with the same name on the other blog. I just liked the name. That's not too bad is it? I liked the name and it works for both posts. I don't mind if you write it off to laziness.

I mentioned in my last post that Tink and the Pixie went to a Girl Guide Jamboree during the school holidays and had an amazing time. (To any of the organisers reading this BRAVO and thank you so very much for all your hard work and dedication!)

It's not the first time they've been away without me. In fact, the very first time they left me for a week was when all three of them went to Queensland for a once-in-a-lifetime weekend commemorating 100 years since the rally where Girl Guides began. The Pixie had only just turned 6, but as it was never going to happen again, they went.

I spent the week at home burying myself in an intensive unit at uni, so I coped ok.

The very first thing the Pixie said to me when she hopped off the plane was this: "Mama! Mama! I rode a camel and he went like this [insert very vivid imitation of a camel chewing]".

They have been on week long school camps, other Guide events (including two interstate Jamborees for Buglet, and one interstate Jamboree for Tink), and trips with my family.

One thing I always notice every time they are away for more than a weekend is that they come home just a little bit more grown up; a little bit more independent.

It really hit me this time.

Do to reasons beyond my control (ok not totally, beyond my control, partly due to panic and not reading signs properly) when I picked the girls up from the airport, they had disembarked from the plane and collected their luggage. This is what I was greeted with .....

My travellers
Backpack on her back (which she proceeded to almost knock out approximately one person every five minutes), day pack on her front. They totally had it sussed.

I had a flash of insight that this was only the first time I would be doing this. All three of the girls have been bitten by the travel bug and are all planning various trips, some as a family and some independently. I know I want them to be independent, but why does it happen so quickly?!

The flash forward to young adult years was quickly broken by our fist verbal exchange ....

Pixie: Mama! Look! I stole a blanket from the plane!
Me: Pixie!!! You can't steal things!
Pixie: Except from aeroplanes.
Me: Not at all.
Pixie: Except when you don't get caught.
Me: Not at all!
Tink: I wouldn't worry too much if I were you, she was waving it around showing the aeroplane people as we were getting off. They just smiled.
Pixie: I am surprised more people don't steal things from planes. It was really easy.

This was followed by a Pixie who could not understand why we had not brought Flip-Flop with us to the airport.

Happiness is a puppy who is reunited with her person

Meanwhile, Buglet has just scored a trip to the NT to babysit her cousins for a week before helping my sister bring the babies home for Christmas and then it is my turn to travel!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am definitely not qualified to give travel advice.
  • I am working hard on the Pixie and her attitude towards petty crime.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.