Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

Archive for the ‘History’ Category

THE SHIELD-MAIDEN by Michael “Tinker” Pearce and Linda Pearce

June 3, 2013

The Shield-Maiden is part of the Foreworld saga and focuses on the Vikings. In particular, the story focuses on Sigrid Pettirsdottir, a Viking maiden who fights in battle beside the male warriors. She’s noticed by Halldor, one of the Shield-Brethren that tend to take center stage in the Foreworld novels. Halldor has the Vor – […]

CARPATHIA by Matt Forbeck

May 4, 2012

The plot is so good for this one that I wish I’d thought of it first. Imagine the Titanic sinking only to have part of the doomed passengers rescued by a ship filled with bloodthirsty vampires. Cool, huh? Real movie potential. Matt Forbeck is a good writer and world builder, and he’s learned how take […]


December 30, 2008

  Enola Holmes is back in her second adventure, and this time she’s in the heart of London. While she’s prowling the dark streets and dangerous alleys of 19th century England, she’s also being hunted by her brother Sherlock Holmes. Nancy Springer has created an excellent series for young readers as well as Holmes aficionados. […]

WEASEL by Cynthia DeFelice

September 11, 2008

Weasel by Cynthia DeFelice is one of those great books for kids that I read to all five of my children. My ten year old and I just read it this weekend, and he enjoyed it just as much as my oldest kids. Quite frankly, I never get tired of it myself. Over the span […]

HIDDEN LETTERS by Marion van Binsbergen-Pritchard, Deborah Slier, and Ian Shine

April 21, 2008

    When you read Hidden Letters, the book is going to leave a mark. It’s going to hurt down deep and leave you thinking about things long after you’ve finished the book. After receiving the book, I admit to approaching the book warily. The subject matter is brutal, and it’s devastating to anyone who’s […]


March 11, 2008

Scraps of Time 1960: Abby Takes A Stand is the first of a series of juvenile novels by Patricia McKissack. A group of kids help their grandmother explore the contents of her attic and find scraps of memories. As each scrap is found, the grandmother, Gee, tells a story from her childhood and from the […]

BROTHERS IN HOPE by Mary Williams

March 10, 2008

My 10 year old son and I read a lot of books together. Usually we read for adventure and for laughs, but we’re currently working on the 2008 Children’s Sequoyah Masterlist, a group of 12 books thought to be the best of recent books by authors living in the United States. The award is named […]


March 9, 2008

Only twelve years old, Edmund Amos Peters has already lived a life filled with incredible adventures. He and his father went down in a ship after leaving New England. Edmund was saved by Captain Gallows, one of the fiercest pirates still taking prizes in 1846. Nicknamed Shipwreck, for obvious reasons, he stays on as a […]

THE LAST KINGDOM by Bernard Cornwell

February 16, 2008

Bernard Cornwell is my favorite historical novelist of all time. No one delves into history and comes back with a humdinger of an action-packed and fact-filled story as he does. I first found out about him because I’m a Sean Bean fan, too. I watched a Richard Sharpe movie (set in the Napoleonic War) and […]

THE PIRATE QUEEN by Susan Ronald

December 17, 2007

I love history and I love pirates. Thankfully history never goes away and pirates are more popular than ever. I grew up on stories of Sir Francis Drake, the most prominent of her majesty the queen’s privateer, who took his letters of marquee and seized a place in legend for himself. But I never really […]