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[Book Review] Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke



Title: Ghost Knight (Originally Geister Ritter)
Author: Cornelia Funke
Translator: Oliver Latsch
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Date of Published: May 1st, 2012
No. of Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-316-05614-4
Format: Hardcover
Category: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy, Ghost, Childrens
Literary Awards: Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Honor (2013)
Bought at: Periplus Pondok Indah Mall for IDR 77,500

From international phenomenon Cornelia Funke, the bestselling author of Reckless and Inkheart.

Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure…

Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. So when Jon summons the ghost of the late knight Longspee for his protection, there’s just one question: Can Longspee truly be trusted?


I didn’t plan to buy this book. I just browsed through childrens and fantasy books on sale, and I found this one along with the other book (I’ll read and reviee the other one later).

I haven’t read Cornelia Funke’s book, but I bought the Ink series and Reckless. I didn’t expect anything, just let it flow and hope Ghost Knight didn’t disappoint me. On the contrary, I looooove this book to the core. Let me tell you why I love Ghost Knight:
1. The main character is just an average boy who’s not happy with his mother’s remarriage.
2. His roommates are weird XD
3. He has a quirky sidekick.
4. Yes, he goes to the boarding school. I’m a sucker for boarding-school books. Reminds me of St. Clare.
5. Ghost stories are always compelling. I just can’t get enough, though I’ll most likely chicken out whenever I see them in real life.
6. The story sets in England. Spooky old buildings.
7. The illustrations are beautiful.
8. This book is a serious page-turner.
9. Humors everywhere. I love funny books.
10. The glossary contains historical events and people.

This Jon Hartgill was sent to a boarding school and he started to see ghosts. Not just ordinary ghosts, but vengeful ghosts who were after Jon’s great-great-great grandfather. His name is Stourton.
Jon met Ella, a quirky girl who’s been in touch with supernatural things. Her grandmother is a witch/ghost hunter and together they help Jon who was haunted by this vengeful ghost. Ella taught Jon to ask an old ghost to help him. This led to ghost-fight and bloodshed.

I enjoy every page of it. I gasped many times, even held my breath everytime I read ghost fighting scenes. Totally entertaining.


We make our best friends in dark times because we always remember how they helped us out of the darkness. (p. 210)



[Book Review] The Twits by Roald Dahl



Title: The Twits
Author: Roald Dahl
Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Publisher: Puffin Books
Date of Published: June 25th, 1998
No. of Pages: 76
ISBN: 978-0-14-130107-5
Category: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Middle Grade
Literary Awards: Zilveren Griffel (1982), Books I Loved Best Yearly (BILBY) Awards for Early Readers (2009)
Bought at: DBNC for IDR15,000
Opening sentence: Until he was four years old, James Henry Trotter had a happy life.


How do you outwit a Twit? Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything — except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don’t just want out, they want revenge.


This is the second book that I read during Roald Dahl Mischief Mayhem 2013.

The Twits are horrible people who do disgusting things. Mr. Twit is a hairy man who never takes a shower. He’s ugly and smelly.
Mrs. Twit is as ugly as her husband. She was a nice looking girl before, but she gets uglier and uglier each year. She carried a walking stick to hit animals and small children.
Mr and Mrs Twit love to do tricks. Mr Twit hid a frog under Mrs Twit’s blanket, and Mrs Twit put a handful of worms and mixed it with a plate of spaghetti for her husband.
To pay Mrs Twit back for the worm-spaghetti incident, Mr Twit added a piece of wood, bit by bit until the stick was getting longer and longer. Mr Twit said that Mrs Twit was shrinking. A very nasty trick. To prevent the shrinking, Mr Twit said that Mrs Twit should stretch. And horrible things happened over and over again.

It’s a quick read, only 76 pages. The moral lesson from the story is very simple: horrible things happen to horrible people.


If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. (p. 9)


Submitted for:

Roald Dahl Mischief Mayhem 2013 here
Fun Year with Children’s Literature here

Until next time:)


[Book Review] James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl




Title: James and the Giant Peach
Author: Roald Dahl
Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Publisher: Puffin Books
Date of Published: August 16th, 2007
No. of Pages: 150
ISBN: 978-0-14-241036-3
Category: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Literary Awards: Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (1982)
Bought at: Periplus PIM for IDR59,000
Openi sentence: Until he was four years old, James Henry Trotter had a happy life.


It’s the 50th anniversary of James and the Giant Peach! Come celebrate and join James Trotter and his friendsNGrasshopper, Earthworm, Miss Spider – on an adventure inside a giant magical peach.


So happy that I read Roald Dahl this year. Just found this site about Roald Dahl Day. Surely it would be fun to be a kid once a year ^^. I decided to read at least one Roald Dahl’s book every year to celebrate Roald Dahl Day.

I chose this book because I’m curious about the story. I read a bit of Matilda and I loooove that book. I will finish Matilda this year, I promise. I didn’t know that Disney already adapted the book to movie. I’ll watch the movie and write the review later. It’s been awhile since the first time I joined Mbak Maria’s Book-to-Movie Challenge.

Back to James and the Giant Peach, it’s about James who lost both of his parents. They were eaten by a huge rhino who escaped from London Zoo. James had to live with his wicked aunts, Sponge and Spiker. They hate children and very cruel. They never called James by his name.
One day after a long hard work, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker scolded James who asked them to take him to the seaside. Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker were furious and promised to beat him when the day’s not so hot. James ran to the end of the garden. He cried. Suddenly, a mysterioue appeared behind him. He gave him a paper bag full of tiny green things look like crystal or crocodile tongues. The old man gave him instructions if he wanted to see wonderful things. James ran back to his aunts’ house to do what the old man told him to do. But, on the way to the kitchen, James fell on the ground and all the tiny green things scattered near the peach tree.

Then the magic started to happen. Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker noticed about a peach that grew on the tree. It grew bigger and bigger until it’s as big as a house. Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker who were so greedy sold the tickets to all the spectators who wanted to see the giant peach in their garden.

James met his new friends: the old green grasshopper, the earthworm, the centipede, the ladybug, the spider, and the silkworm. The insects swallowed the crocodile tongue. Now they’re as big as James. Together, they were going for an adventure.

This book tells about the abusive aunts. I think it’s one of Dahl’s remarkable signature to write about miserable protagonists. The choice of words are too harsh for kids. This is not a childrens book, though the character is a kid.
I smiled a lot while reading James and the Giant Peach. I was sucked in the peach and went together with James and friends to Empire State Building. In the end, this book gives me a good feeling.
I’m so happy that I read Roald Dahl. I missed it when I was a kid. I still have 3 more books to read during Roald Dahl Day event. Can’t wait ^^

Happy Birthday, Sir Dahl.


Most people – and especially small children-are often quite scared of being out of doors alone in the moonlight. Everything is so deadly quiet, and the shadows are so long and black, and they keep turning into strange shapes that seem to move as you look at them, and the slightest little snap of a twig makes you jump.

“What are you looking so worried about, Earthworm?” the Centipede asked. “What’s the problem.”
“The problem is…” the Earthworm said,”the problem is…well, the problem is that there is no problem!”


Submitted for:

New Authors Reading Challenge here
Roald Dahl Mischief Mayhem 2013 here
Fun Year with Children’s Literature here

Until next time:)


[Book Review] The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne



Kisah tentang Anak Lelaki Berpiama Garis-Garis ini sulit sekali digambarkan. Biasanya kami memberikan ringkasan cerita di sampul belakang buku, tapi untuk kisah yang satu ini sengaja tidak diberikan ringkasan cerita, supaya tidak merusak keseluruhannya. Lebih baik Anda langsung saja membaca, tanpa mengetahui tentang apa kisah ini sebenarnya.

Kalau Anda membaca buku ini, Anda akan mengikuti perjalanan seorang anak lelaki umur sembilan tahun bernama Bruno (Meski buku ini bukanlah buku untuk anak kecil). Dan cepat atau lambat, Anda akan tiba di sebuah pagar, bersama Bruno.

Pagar seperti ini ada di seluruh dunia. Semoga Anda tidak pernah terpaksa dihadapkan pada pagar ini dalam hidup Anda.

thou-ghtsSuatu hari, Brun0 mendapati Maria, pelayan keluarganya, mengepak barang-barangnya. Sejak saat itu, garis hidup Bruno berubah. Ayahnya adalah ‘orang penting’ di dunia militer Jerman, bahkan The Fury (Hitler) beberapa kali datang menemui orangtuanya di rumahnya.

Keluarga Bruno pindah ke Out-With (Auschwitz), tempat orang Yahudi ditempatkan di kamp konsentrasi. Awalnya Bruno sedih, dan mengalami homesick. Ia teringat ketiga sahabatnya, Karl, Martin, dan Daniel. Tetapi, tentu saja Bruno tidak bisa kembali ke Berlin karena ayahnya adalah komandan tentara yang bertugas di Auschwitz.

Bruno yang menyukai petualangan, mulai berani menjelajah daerah yang membuat ia penasaran: pondok-pondok dengan kumpulan orang berpiyama garis-garis yang kerap ia perhatikan dari jendela kamarnya. Karena sangat penasaran, ia menelusuri jalan hingga sampai di daerah gersang yang dihadang oleh pagar kawat berduri. Di sana ia berkenalan dengan Shmuel, seorang anak Yahudi yang lahir pada tanggal, bulan dan tahun yang sama dengan Bruno.

Persahabatan backstreet mereka berlangsung hingga suatu saat, karena ibu Bruno tak tahan dengan suasana mencekam di Auschwitz, Bruno, Gretel (kakak Bruno) dan ibunya diminta untuk kembali ke Berlin. Bruno sedih karena ia mulai bersahabat dengan Shmuel.

Bruno adalah anak yang cerdas dan penuh dengan curiosity. Sedangkan Shmuel adalah anak dengan hati yang tulus. Pagar kawat pemisah antara dunia luar dengan kamp konsentrasi adalah simbol tentang ‘perbedaan’ yang memagari orang-orang untuk ‘berbaur’.

Novel ini sukses membuat gue banjir airmata, memikirkan Bruno dan Shmuel, hingga sampai saat ini masih belum bisa move on ke novel lain. (Damn you, John Boyne).

Gue bakal baca ulang novel ini dan mewariskannya pada AJ.



Book Haul 30/4/2013


Pengakuan dosa lagi. Hari ini iman goyah gara-gara Periplus PIM menggelar diskon up to 50% (grrrr…). Siapa yang nggak ngiler beli buku seharga 12 ribuan?
Itu pun udah dipilah-pilah dan dengan sangat terpaksa tidak bisa membeli semua buku incaran mengingat ketatnya dompet.


Kebanyakan buku yang dibeli genre-nya paranormal romance/fantasy. Beberapa memang udah diincar/koleksi karena series.

Point: -16

List of books bought at Periplus PIM:

1. The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol.1: Phantom – created by L.J. Smith (14rb)
2. James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl (41rb)
3. Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side – Charlaine Harris, etc (15rb)
4. Red Glove – Holly Black (24rb)
5. Art Geeks and Prom Queens – Alyson Noel (12rb)
6. Heresy – S.J. Parris (12rb)
7. How To Train Your Dragon Book 7: How To Ride a Dragon’s Storm – Cressida Cowell (9rb)
8. Vampire Academy: a Graphic Novel – Richelle Mead (19rb)
9. Tiger’s Quest – Colleen Houck (24rb)
10.Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite – P.C. Cast, etc. (14rb)

Total pembelanjaan untuk 10 buku = 184rb. Lumayan ya?!

Share juga dosa-dosamu ya 🙂


Pic credit here

[Book Review] Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata


Judul: Weedflower (Bunga Liar)
Penulis: Cynthia Kadohata
Penerbit: Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Kategori: Fiksi Terjemahan
Genre: Historical Fiction/Middle Grade/Cultural/Asian Lit
Jumlah halaman: 270
Terbit: Oktober 2008

Book Blurb

Sumiko yang berumur dua belas tahun merasa hidupnya terbagi atas dua bagian: sebelum dan sesudah Pearl Harbor. Bagian yang baik dan bagian yang buruk. Dibesarkan di perkebunan bunga di California, Sumiko sudah terbiasa menjadi satu-satunya gadis Jepang di kelasnya. Meskipun anak-anak lain mengejeknya, Sumiko memiliki rumah, keluarga, dan bunga-bunga liarnya.

Semua itu berubah setelah peristiwa Pearl Harbor. Orang-orang Amerika curiga bahwa seluruh warga keturunan Jepang—termasuk mereka yang lahir di Amerika Serikat seperti Sumiko—adalah mata-mata Kaisar. Ketika kecurigaan itu semakin membengkak, Sumiko dan keluarganya mendapati diri mereka diangkut ke kamp konsentrasi di salah satu padang gurun terpanas di Amerika.

Warna-warni bunga yang melingkupi hidup Sumiko lenyap sudah, berganti dengan badai debu yang menghitamkan langit dan menerobos setiap pori-pori barak militer yang merupakan `rumah` barunya.Sumiko dengan cepat menemukan bahwa kamp itu terletak di daerah reservasi orang India, dan orang Jepang tidak diterima di situ seperti juga di tempat sebelumnya. Tapi kemudian Sumiko bertemu dengan seorang pemuda Mohave. yang mungkin bisa menjadi sahabat pertamanya, kalau saja sang pemuda mau melupakan amarahnya kepada orang Jepang yang dianggap menyerobot tanahnya.

Dengan pemahaman yang tajam dan mendalam, dan dengan meminjam mata seorang gadis remaja yang mendambakan tempat, Cynthia Kadohata mengeksplorasi dampak pengeboman Pearl Harbor terhadap orang-orang Jepang di Amerika pada masa Perang Dunia II. Weedflower adalah kisah keindahan dan tantangan persahabatan antar-ras, dan mengangkat kisah nyata bagaimana pertemuan warga Amerika keturunan Jepang dan penduduk asli Amerika telah mengubah masa depan keduanya.


Beberapa tahun lalu, gue sempet beli buku ini di Gunung Agung PIM. Murah banget, kalo nggak salah 20 ribuan. Setelah itu, gue sempet nyari-nyari buku ini di lemari buku, tapi ternyata raib digondol maling yang pernah gue piara di rumah.

Setelah googling sana-sini, gue nemu lagi buku ini di salah satu OL seller dan pas datang gue buru-buru baca.

Cover buku versi terjemahan jauh lebih bagus daripada versi Bahasa Inggrisnya, menurut gue. Suka dengan komposisi warna dan gambar cewek Jepang pake kimono setengah badan.

Gue juga suka dengan tokoh Sumiko yang walau keras kepala, ia melindungi adiknya Tak-Tak. Sumiko juga digambarkan sebagai remaja yang tough, terutama setelah peristiwa Pearl Harbour yang menyebabkan dia dan keluarganya dipindahkan ke kamp penampungan. Yang bikin sedih, Sumiko harus berpisah dengan kakek dan pamannya.

Air mata gue menggenang waktu Sumiko ditolak masuk ke rumah teman sekelasnya (yang berkulit putih) di acara pesta ulang tahun. Langsung inget dengan kejadian waktu gue kecil yang bikin nyesek. It hurts when your friends ditch you because you’re different.

Kesukaan Sumiko akan bunga dan tanah juga menjadi cemoohan teman-temannya. I wonder whether the kids still do that these days: mocking their friends who (they think) are weird.

Sumiko dan keluarganya pindah dua kali. Di tempat penampungan terakhir, ia bertemu dengan Frank, cowok keturunan Indian yang hidupnya lebih memprihatinkan daripada warga keturunan Jepang yang hidup di kamp penampungan.

Sedikit demi sedikit tumbuh rasa suka diantara keduanya.

Yang gue suka dari buku ini adalah family values yang dijunjung tinggi tokoh-tokohnya. Baik Sumiko yang keturunan Jepang, maupun Frank yang keturunan Indian. Lalu, secuplik-dua cuplik adat Jepang dan Indian juga menjadi bumbu manis di buku ini.

Gue kurang puas dengan ending-nya yang agak nanggung. Gue berharap penulisnya mau nulis kelanjutan buku ini, karena gue membayangkan Sumiko dan Frank dewasa.

Istilah-istilah di buku ini:

kusabana = bunga liar
Nikkei = orang-orang berdarah Jepang yang ada di Amerika
hanafuda = permainan kartu dengan perangkat kartu khusus (bergambar bunga)
Gaman = Kita harus mampu menanggungnya
Hakujin = orang bule
Issei = generasi pertama imigran asal Jepang
haji = malu

Buku ini cocok untuk dijadikan bacaan referensi di kelas Sejarah SMP.



[Book Review] Radiance: Death Can Be Cute


Author: Alyson Noël
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: August 30, 2010
Pages: 183

Radiance is a cute book about death and afterlife. Buku ini ringan tapi sarat makna.
Pertama: tentang kematian yang digambarkan Alyson Noel, penulisnya, sama sekali tidak menakutkan.

Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she’s summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can’t quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he’s never met Riley.

Riley yang sewaktu hidup tidak puas dengan dirinya dan selalu menjadi bayang-bayang kakaknya, Ever, baru tersadar akan sikapnya yang annoying setelah ia meniggal.

Berbekal pengalaman sewaktu hidup, Riley berhasil membujuk the Radiant boys, kakak-beradik badung yang gentayangan di kastil. Riley dan mentornya, Bodhi, diminta untuk menangkap arwah penasaran agar kembali ke dunianya. Mereka dinamakan Soul Catcher

Buku ini walau untuk ABG, masih cocok dibaca oleh segala usia. Kematian bukan hal yang menakutkan.
Gue bahkan ngakak di beberapa bagian. Penggambaran Here and Now juga jelas, terbukti penulisnya memang riset terlebih dahulu tenang kematian dan kehidupan setelah mati. Yang paling seru adalah saat Riley dan Bodhi terbang di kota London. Magnificent!

Surely I will buy all the series ^^


Happy reading,