Marshmallow reviews When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

This week Marshmallow reviews When You Reach Me, a 2009 novel by Rebecca Stead.

Marshmallow reviews When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
Marshmallow reviews When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like mystery or science fiction, or if you enjoyed reading other books written by Rebecca Stead, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Twelve-year old Miranda, a sixth grader in New York City in the late 1970s, has just started to receive notes that tell her that someone is coming to save her friend’s life and their own. Here is the first note:

“M,
This is hard. Harder than I expected, even with your help. But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well. I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I ask two favors.
First, you must write me a letter.
Second, please remember to mention the location of your house key.
The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you.”

After this first note, Miranda starts to receive more notes. These notes say that she must not share them with anybody and that she must believe the notes. Then the person starts to send proof of what they’re saying is true. For example, the note says “Tesser well” and then her mother’s boyfriend gives her a copy of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle signed by Madeleine L’Engle that says “Tesser well”.

In the middle of this, Miranda is also having school trouble. Her mom is preparing to go on a game show with the hopes of winning a large sum of money. Miranda is also having some problems with her best friend Sal.

There is in short a lot going on in Miranda’s life, and though some of it is normal kid stuff, the secret notes make things all quite mysterious. (And if you want to know more, you have to read the book!)

Marshmallow is reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.
Marshmallow is reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book. It has a very interesting but also a very complex plot, and the reader may have a hard time finding who wrote the notes.

I think that this is also a very good book because the author, Rebecca Stead, is great at creating characters. My favorite character is probably Julie or Miranda. Miranda is really realistic, and she does things that make her unique, like tying and untying knots. 

This book might be a little hard to understand for kits (baby bunnies) because of its complex plot, and it is also not a particularly easy book to read. I think therefore that it would probably be best for bunnies aged eight and up. 

I think the best part of this book is that the author is an expert at making the reader want to finish the book soon. The mystery is great because the reader wouldn’t be able to guess who the writer of the notes is because they are concealed by the author wonderfully. I think that this is a great book that is an excellent mix of mystery and science fiction and many other genres.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 100%.
Marshmallow rates When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 100%.

Caramel reviews Star Trek: Ships of the Line by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda

Caramel and the rest of the book bunnies household have been watching Star Trek Voyager during these months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Voyager is the third Star Trek series Caramel has watched, after The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. In other words, he is a little Trekkie. One of his favorite things about the whole series is the star ships. As a result it was natural that he would fall in love with the book Star Trek: Ships of the Line, edited by Doug Drexler and Margaret Clark, with text from Michael Okuda. Below he shares his enthusiasm about this book, as Sprinkles takes notes and asks followup questions.

Caramel reviews Star Trek: Ships of the Line by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda.
Caramel reviews Star Trek: Ships of the Line by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about this book?

Caramel: It’s a good book if you like space ships and that kind of stuff.

S: Do you also need to like Star Trek?

C: Not exactly. As long as you like star ships, you are in luck. The book is packed with pictures of star ships.

S: All ships are from Star Trek, right?

C: No, not quite. There are some real ships too. There is a picture of the United States space shuttle Enterprise.

S: I see. I think that also fits in the Star Trek universe narrative though, right?

C: I guess.

S: Are the pictures photos or hand-drawn?

C: I think there are both kinds of pictures.

Caramel's favorite page of Star Trek: Ships of the Line, by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda, is the front cover, because it has all the ships all together all in one place.
Caramel’s favorite page of Star Trek: Ships of the Line, by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda, is the front cover, because it has all the ships all together all in one place.

S: What else can you tell us?

C: So on each two-page spread, there is a whole-page picture of a ship, and some writing.

S: What kind of writing?

C: There is a name for the photo or drawing and who it is by. Then there is a paragraph about the picture.

Caramel is checking out USS Voyager and the Delta Flyer in Star Trek: Ships of the Line, by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda.
Caramel is checking out USS Voyager and the Delta Flyer in Star Trek: Ships of the Line, by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda.

S: The content seems to be arranged in eight chapters (altogether in over 350 pages). Can you tell me a bit about that?

C: The chapter names are: “In the Beginning”, “The Creation of a Legend”, “Rebirth”, “The Finest in the Fleet”, “Of Gods and Men”, “There Will Always Be An Enterprise”, “Delta Voyager”, “Semper Exploro”.

S: Hmm, so I can guess that “Delta Voyager” is about the ships in Star Trek Voyager.

C: Yes, and “Of Gods and Men” is about Deep Space Nine.

S: And “In the Beginning” seems to be about the more recent Star Trek Enterprise. We have not yet watched that show. But so it seems that the book is telling us the stories of the star ships in the Star Trek universe in their chronological order.

C: Yes. Exactly.

S: Do you know who the people who put together this book are?

C: No, not really.

S: Apparently Drexler and Okuda both worked for the Star Trek shows, and Clark wrote many Star Trek books and novels.

C: Oh, I didn’t know that! But that is good. They must know what they are talking about!

S: Right! So Caramel, let us wrap up this review, but first give me your three words to describe this book:

C: Awesome star ships!

S: That works!

C: And stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

It is clear that Caramel is not done with Star Trek: Ships of the Line, by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda. He expects that he will read and reread it many more times in the coming weeks and months.
It is clear that Caramel is not done with Star Trek: Ships of the Line, by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda. He expects that he will read and reread it many more times in the coming weeks and months.

Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle

Marshmallow reviewed A Wrinkle in Time, the first book in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, a few weeks ago. Today, for her first post after the book bunnies’ 2020 summer break, she reviews the second book in this collection: A Wind in the Door.

Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
Marshmallow reviews A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like science fiction, or if you have enjoyed reading books by Madeleine L’Engle, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): One day when Meg Murry comes home from school, her brother Charles Wallace tells her that there are dragons in their garden. (This is not the first time that something unusual happens to the Murrys. In A Wrinkle in Time, the children rescued their father from an evil entity.) When Meg goes outside she sees her old school principal Mr. Jenkins is there. Then the pet snake of her twin brothers hisses at him, and Mr. Jenkins turns into a winged monster and rips the sky.

The Murry family discusses the fact that there is a strange sound that scientists are hearing and things in space are disappearing. They are vanishing, becoming nothingness. When Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend, Calvin O’Keefe, see the “dragons” that Charles Wallace had mentioned, they see that it is a Cherubim, an extraterrestrial creature made up of wings and eyes. If not observed up closely, the Cherubim would look like a drive of dragons.

This also leads the three friends to learn that the Cherubim, Proginoskes, whom Meg nicknames Progo, is a Namer, a creature who names things, as opposed to an Echthroi, a creature that would unname things. Proginoskes apparently learned the names of all of the stars once.

Before all of this started, Meg and Charles Wallace’s mother started researching mitochondria and the mitochondria’s farandolae. (Mitochondria are real things: they are organelles in found in many cells. According to Wikipedia, the farandolae are “micro-organelles inside mitochondria that exist in the Time Quintet fantasy universe.”)

Meg eventually starts to notice that her brother has been tired and exhausted for a long time and that she had been ignoring his strange signs because she didn’t want to believe that he was sick. Meg gathers from her mother and from her brother, that their mother thinks that something is wrong with Charles Wallace’s mitochondria and his mitochondria’s farandolae. If his farandolae and mitochondria die, then Charles Wallace is in big danger.

Marshmallow is reading A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.
Marshmallow is reading A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book that shows the bond between Meg and Charles Wallace. Meg is willing to risk her life for her little brother. To save him she even goes into one of his mitochondria and meets one of his mitochondria’s farandolae to save him. 

It is very interesting that Madeliene L’Engle’s fantasy universe has some real parts and some created parts. I didn’t know what mitochondria were before I read this book. It is so cool that there are mitochondria in everyone, even in bunnies like me! 

I think that this is a good book for all ages of bunnies, but it is on the longer side, and so younger bunnies might want to read it with older ones or have an older bunny read it to then. It might be scary for younger bunnies in some parts, so maybe older bunnies reading it with younger bunnies is a good idea. 

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 95%.
Marshmallow rates A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle 95%.

Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Today Marshmallow reviews a classic: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, first published in 1962. This is the first book of L’Engle’s Time Quintet.

Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Marshmallow reviews A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like classic science fiction or just like some of Madeleine L’Engle’s books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary: Meg Murry wakes up on a stormy night and finds a mysterious guest in the kitchen. Soon Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin O’Keefe set off to find Meg and Charles’s father who was sent on a dangerous and secret mission. The Murry family stopped receiving letters from him and they had not seen him since.

The children set out to find Mr. Murry and the mysterious guest, Mrs. Whatsit, helps them with her friends, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Meg and her companions learn that there is an evil entity, the Black Thing, that is taking over the universe and that their father is in danger. They travel to the world in which he is captive and try to rescue their father. They face a man with red eyes, who can control the people who look into his eyes. Charles Wallace looks in his eyes intentionally and they manage to rescue Meg’s father, but Charles Wallace gets stuck on the planet. They have saved Meg’s father, but now they have to save Charles Wallace. 

Marshmallow is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
Marshmallow is reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very intriguing book because there are very interesting characters and the plot is very well written. My favorite character is Charles Wallace. He is very logical. He is also different from everyone else but he is ok with that.

I think that A Wrinkle in Time makes a great read for bunnies of all ages, but if the bunny is very young then there probably should be an older bunny reading the book to them because it is on the longer side. (It has 232 pages.) I think that A Wrinkle in Time is probably best for bunnies ages 8 and up because it may not be an easy read for younger bunnies. 

A Wrinkle in Time starts with a very famous sentence, Snoopy‘s favorite:

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

The sentence even has its own Wikipedia page! Apparently L’Engle used the sentence intentionally, even though it is seen by many as a cliche.

Madeleine L’Engle’s book has been made into a movie, twice. The first one was made in 2003. The second one was made in 2018. Caramel, Sprinkles, and I saw the movie in the theatre and we enjoyed it. Here is the trailer:

This is the trailer to the second movie. It was made in 2018, and was directed by Ava DuVernay.  

Madeleine L’Engle’s book is a classic and a great read for all ages. It is an entertaining read for all bunnies but also gets scary or sad at some points (more scary than sad). I really enjoyed reading it.  

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 100%.
Marshmallow rates A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 100%.