Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head

Sheila's favorite books »

2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 6 books toward her goal of 90 books.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Review of "Hazzardous Universe" by Julie Wright and Kevin Wasden

A guy who works in his grandfather's magic shop expects weird things to happen. But Hap Hazzard has never had a day like this. First, a freaky old man in a cape who calls himself "Torval" visits the shop and somehow makes a trash can explode. Then Torval delivers an ominous message to Hap's grandfather, upsetting the old man so badly that he yells at Hap for the first time ever. Next, this girl Tara shows up to apply for a job, and for reasons Hap can't understand, his cool magic tricks send her away in tears. But that's nothing compared to what happens next. Under orders to apologize to Tara, Hap searches for the girl. But he can barely say he's sorry before three spaceships appear, the biggest of the three looking like a burnt slice of pizza.

The weirdness only ramps up as Hap and Tara soon find themselves aboard the pizza-shaped ship piloted by a pair of aliens. Even though they were accidentally abducted, the two humans are now forced to join an out-of-this-world mission that includes razor-toothed multilingual beetles, a psychic queen bee, manic ape frogs, a coveted crystal, and a hundred other bizarre things that just might make sense-if Hap could only remember and understand Torval's cryptic message. Join Hap and Tara as they begin a fantastic journey into the far reaches of the universe.

As a 2nd grade teacher I try to read as many books as possible that my students may like reading. Parents always ask me, "What books should I buy for my child?" I never like to answer, "Well I've heard that _________ is a good book, but I haven't read it yet." Seriously, that is not what they want to hear. As I read a Middle-Grade book (Books written for children ages 8-12), I try to read it from their perspective. In fact, I try to do this with any genre book that I read. I focus in on the target audience and judge/critique from their standards; what they like and would want to read. So, as I read Hazzardous Universe I shifted my thinking to my students. I knew right away that they would love this book! This age group(8-12 year old crowd) is so into space (Star Wars) and aliens. The idea of traveling on a space ship and exploring the Universe is right up their alley. There are great creatures and interesting planets to explore. Wonderful characters, Hap Hazzard and his eventual friend, Tara, learn some good lessons as they take a ride on Nana, the pizza shaped ship. I especially enjoyed the character of Mosh.

I have read books written by Julie Wright before, but this was a new adventure for her writing this Middle-Grade book. It is amazing what she has done with this story. Kevin Wasden, the illustrator, came up with the sketches for Hap and his alien friends back in 1993. When he met Julie, many years later, he knew that she was the one he wanted to write Hap's story. The illustrations are really wonderful. You can see them by watching the book trailer. 

There is a fun contest going on at their website:   Here is what it says on the blog.

"Kevin and I are in the process of creature creation for book HU3 (that doesn't sound as cool as HU2, does it? I'll work on it). This is your chance to get your work in a book! Draw us a picture of an alien creature. It can be as wacky or cool as you'd like. Give us a paragraph of background description on what your creature eats, where it lives, and what its life is like. The contest will run from September 1st through February 14th of 2012. Why February 14th, you ask? Well, because it's Valentine's Day, and I LOVE aliens, of course!

The winner of the contest will get a totally out of this universe T-shirt featuring Hap Hazzard and his cohorts, free copies of HU1, HU2 and HU3 when they are released, and your creature featured in HU3.

To read more about it, head on over to their website for additional details.

I also want to thank Julie for coming to my school for an author visit. The kids loved her!! She got them excited about her book and about believing in themselves. Julie gave a super presentation!

If you would like to purchase Hazzardous Universe, (and why wouldn't you), here you go!
Julie Wright, Kevi...
Best Price $9.95
or Buy New $12.99
 Last, but not least, meet Julie and Kevin.

Julie Wright has written over a dozen books, but especially loves writing about the fantastic.  She enjoys speaking to writing groups, youth groups, and schools.  She loves life and everything life has to offer, except mayonnaise and mosquitoes. She especially loves reading, eating (especially ice cream), writing, hiking, playing on the beach with her kids, and snuggling with her husband to watch videos. Julie’s favorite thing to do is watch her husband make dinner.  

Visit her at her website:
Kevin Wasden has an overactive imagination, is unable to sit through meetings without drawing, and tends to be silly at the most inopportune moments. He is an advocate of creativity in education and enjoys speaking to youth, writers, artists, and educators.  He studied illustration at Utah State University and has studied figure-drawing and painting from the exceptional figure artist, Andy Reiss, in New York City. Kevin teaches visual art at DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts.   

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