Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter (MMGM)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hiiii! I'm back! (Missed y'all very much, don't worry) I've been so busy this week with school, juggling with homework, review requests (Don't act surprised, haha), etc. Seventh grade at BLS is CRAZY!!! It feels so good to be back to blogging, trust me. I don't have to use the specified font, format, use fancy language...blogging is awesome. (I might not be able to blog as often as usual, for those of you who were wondering. But during the summer I will make up for that, I promise.) Anyway, this week I'm featuring one of the very few books I've gotten the chance to read: Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter! Check out the amazing artwork for the cover...

The cover already gives me the chills. Haha, get it? Because it's snowy on the cover? Get it? Okay, we'll pretend. Here's some info about the book: 

  • Age Recommended: Perhaps 8 and up? I feel like some of the content is really creepy. I don't mean it in a negative way or anything. It's just creepy. Like it will give you the heebie jeebies or whatever they're called. 

  • Paperback: 312 pages

  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 26, 2014)

"Chewy Noh has many problems. Besides his mom becoming a mu-dang—a Korean fortune-teller possessed by his dead grandmother who can read minds—the school bully, Kent, is still on the warpath to get Chewy kicked out of school. With his secret ability to win at everything, none of this bothers him until he starts disappearing for no reason while a mysterious force attacks his fellow students, and he must scramble to figure out what’s going on before he becomes its next and final victim."

My Call On "Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter": 

1. Plot. Absolutely, positively, wonderful! The writing is so well woven and the plot fits perfectly into the story and the story is just so so so so so so WONDERFUL! (Just as good as rainbows and unicorns. Ahhhhh...)

2. Structure. Like I said in the first call, it was very well woven. The book is, obviously, fiction, but it's just so amazingly well written! I'm not gonna lie. I loved it! 

3. Characters. I love how all of the character's have a weakness in this story. It shows that they are far from perfect and I think that makes us more relatable to them. For example, Clint, Chewy's best friend, has leg braces. I've never seen something so realistic in a fictional book. This is awesome! And not to mention, Chewy, the main character has the ability to win at everything. It's cool. Just not cool for long. His teacher is about to get him expelled because he aces whatever test he takes and she thinks he's cheating. These characters have serious problems. This is awesome! 

My Rating...

This book is GOLDEN! I love it I love it I love it I love it! 


About the Author: Tim Learn! 

I have always loved books. While younger, I read voraciously the classics and experimental forms of narrative. But, more recently I've backtracked and started enjoying authors like Gaimen, Sachar, and Dicamillo. My writing tend to tackle issues of spirituality, paradigms, and the way we think. My love for reading and writing has only expanded by becoming an English teacher in Korea.

A HUGE thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout my entire time in MMGM always commented positive things to help me feel like I actually had an audience. Thank you and I'll see you next week for MMGM! ]



If you would like to go back to Shannon Messenger's blog or check out more MMGM's click HERE

If you would like to learn more about Chewy Noh and his adventures or to tell Tim Learn how amazing he is, click HERE

Walk Softly, Rachel (MMGM)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

HELLOOO, everybody welcome to MMGM! Before starting the review, I wanted to wish everyone a happy Labor Day! :-) And as usual, school's starting tomorrow! New school, new start. I'm so excited! Now, that we have gotten that out of the way, I would like to introduce this week's MMGM feature: Walk Softly Rachel.

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (September 9, 2003)

This book is on the shorter side, but it's crazy how much it can change the way you see life. Take a look at the summary from Amazon: 

"Fourteen-year-old Rachel remembers little about her brother, Jake, except that he died in a car accident when she was seven and he was seventeen. Her parents rarely talk about him, but his presence in the family can be felt and his room has been left untouched. It's by means of Jake's journal that Rachel begins to know her brother and learns that his death was a suicide. With candor and humor, Rachel filters Jake's anguished journal entries through her own experiences – her relationship with her parents and grandmother; the departure of her best friend, Adrian; and her growing involvement with the likable son of family friends who may be as troubled as Jake. In unraveling her family's secret and examining her own shortcomings, Rachel gains sympathy for her parents, realizing that they are all survivors. 

Kate Banks explores inner lives with exquisite sensitivity and precision. Sometimes funny, often sad, but painfully true, Walk Softly, Rachel is a story of love, loss, and letting go."

I definitely recommend this book to older kids (12-17, as stated on Amazon), due to the fact that the story is really depressing and includes a suicide. I still recommend it because despite the sad part, you learn a lot about how people cope with losing someone they love. I think this story is really cool because you get to read both Rachel's story and Jake's journal entries and see how similar their experiences are. 

My rating for this book is...

3.5 stars! I gave this book 3.5 stars because I wanted to learn more about Jake and read more of his journal. I can say that I am satisfied by the writing and how the book started and ended, but I just wish the author included more from Jake's journal. 

Since I'm writing this review super late, I have to cut it short and end it with the "ABOUT THE AUTHOR". 

Walk Softly Rachel was written by...

Kate Banks!

I was born and rais
ed along with my two sisters and one brother in New England (USA) where we spent a lot of time outdoors. Wildlife and the nature, the rhythm of seasons, were a big part of growing up and learning about life, and they have remained an integral part of my creative work.
My parents loved reading and shared that passion with us through bedtime stories, trips to the library, and visits to the bookstore. Our house was filled with books and I guess you could say that reading began as a habit and became a pleasure. Later books would become a refuge, somewhere to escape to after a disappointment, a place to meet new people or to have a laugh or a cry. I met a lot of people I liked in books and some that I didn’t like. I remember feeling very close to many of the characters and learning a lot from them. And as I matured, I found books helped me to sort out life. They were a safe place to become familiar with emotions—confusion, sadness, anger, grief, humiliation, happiness and love. I especially liked picture books, and the way in which words and illustrations could create a whole new world in which sometimes real and other times magical and unexpected things could happen.
I attended Wellesley College and received a Masters degree in History from Columbia University. After a stint in publishing I moved to Europe where I’ve spent the past 25 years, dividing my time between Italy and France with my husband Pierluigi and sons, Peter Anton and Max. I have written many award winning works for children—from picture books to YA novels.
I am often asked where I get ideas for my stories. I used to think that inspiration was a product of my experiences, big and small, which somehow found their way into my writing. While I still believe that to be true to some extent, my own journey has taught me that there is a larger force at work, and I am but the vehicle of an expression that belongs to something collective as well as individual.
After a life threatening medical accident in 2003 I became deeply involved with Energy Medicine Therapies and trained in Reiki, Pranic Healing, Emotional Freedom Technique, TAT, Bodytalk, and Reconnective Healing. I am also a certified hypnotherapist and member of thePast Life Regression Academy.
When I am asked what I do for a job, I am often tempted to say that I don’t work. That’s because I am lucky enough to do something I love for a living. Whether journeying through a story or navigating a therapy session my greatest joy is helping people find their way to the place where head meets heart, where all things are possible.
When I’m not writing or practicing therapy, I love playing the piano, doing pottery, puttering around outdoors, and cooking. I especially like making birthday cakes, but I hate cleaning up. And I love being with children. I love watching them and listening to them as much as I love writing for them.

(Bio from her website)

Thanks so much for visiting Cindy Reads A Lot this week for this rather short MMGM, and I hope you have a nice week! :-)


Here are the links: 

If you would like to learn more about Walk Softly, Rachel or Katie Banks, click HERE

If you would like to go back to Shannon Messenger's blog or check out more MMGM's click HERE. 

Please don't forget to comment below what you thought of my review! I love hearing your thoughts!