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Bella’s Nook: Songs of Magic by J.L. Bryan Review

28 Jun

Hi everyone!  *waves*

This is Bella and I’m here on my mom’s blog to review J.L. Bryan’s books, The Songs of Magic.

There are three books in this series, Fairy Metal Thunder, Fairy Blues and Fairy Struck.




This is my review.

These books rock.  I loved these books.  J.L. Bryan is an awesome author!

First of all, he has so much imagination.  I love the way he describes the Fairy World.   I love that he writes his stories around a human rock band.  They steal the instruments of a fairy band in order to get more popular and then they have all kinds of problems.  They are chased by a troll,  there are banshee wolves, Teddy Bears of Zarmof, music, magic and so much fun!   In my opinion, these books are great for kids my age or adults like my mom.  They’re good for everyone.

My mom said that I can’t tell too much because I’m not supposed to spoil it for you.  But you should read all three of these books today.  I have and I highly recommend them.

My mom is putting the links to the books below so that you can look them up and buy them.   They’re really good- so you should do that right away.

Bye!!  *waves*

Links to buy The Songs of Magic Books:

Fairy Metal Thunder  (and it looks like Fairy Metal Thunder is free right now, so you should definitely try it today!)

Fairy Blues


To learn more about J.L. Bryan (who really is pretty awesome), you can read more about him here.  Or you can follow him on Twitter.  Or Facebook.    Or Goodreads.    He’s everywhere, so pick your poison.  🙂




Bella’s Nook: A Review of Fairy Metal Thunder

14 Nov

Hi everyone!  As you know, from time to time, my daughter Bella reviews books on my website.  She recently read and loved JL Bryan’s book, Fairy Metal Thunder, book one in the Songs of Magic series.  She’s here today to talk about it….

Hi!  I’m Bella and I’m going to review Fairy Metal Thunder by JL Bryan.  My favorite thing about this book is that nothing in it made me sad.  I really hate it when books make me cry.  This book is happy- it’s got fairies, goblins a dragon, a unicorn named Buttercup and a teenage rock band. I ended up really loving the book- so much that I changed my Halloween costume so that I could be a Rock Star Fairy. 

 Fairy Metal Thunder begins when one of the teenagers  find some magic instruments from the fairy world and they start using them in their band, which of course they weren’t supposed to do.  All kinds of things happen because they did this- and I have to say that J.L. Bryan is very creative.  I loved not knowing what was going to happen next.

Until they found the enchanted instruments, the band, The Assorted Zebras,  wasn’t very good.  Well, they were, but no one knew about them. Once they used the instruments, they became really popular and even though they should’ve given the instruments back, they didn’t. 

Jason, the main character, has a crush on Erin, the lead singer in their band.  The problem with that is that she already has a boyfriend, a really rich, cool guy.  I was really happy when Jason and Erin kissed and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book. 

The Fairy World that Jason ventured into when he found the instruments is amazing.  JL Bryan described it in such detail that I honestly felt like I was there.  I hope in the next books we see more of this world because it was very interesting.

My opinion is that this is a great book- and it is a great book that everyone can and should read. There aren’t any parts that are inappropriate for kids my age and it is also a good book for adults to read, too.  I think it is a magical, fun book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Bella’s Nook: The Candle Star

15 Aug


Hi, I’m Bella and this is the first review that I’m doing on my mom’s website.  I chose to review The Candle Star by Michelle Isenhoff and I really loved it. 

The Candle Star is set back in the slave days and is about a 12-year old girl, Emily Preston, who lives on a plantation in South Carolina, but whose parents send her to stay with her uncle in Detroit.   Apparently, her parents think that she could use an attitude adjustment and that her uncle could maybe help with that.  And her parents are right.  Emily is sarcastic and self-important.  When she first arrives at her uncle’s, she decides that she will be so unlikeable that her uncle will send her home. 

Ms. Isenhoff writes in a very descriptive way.  It is so colorful that I felt like I could really see what was happening. There were a couple of times, like when Emily was being mean to the old slave man who accompanied her on her trip, when I just felt like crying.  But that’s a good thing- it was just because Ms. Isenhoff’s writing was so good.  She showed Emily’s character development from the beginning, when Emily was self-absorbed to the end, when Emily had learned that there are larger things in life than herself.

I liked the Candle Star because it showed a period of time that I haven’t had a chance yet to learn much about.  And Ms. Isenhoff made it come alive for me.  Her characters were all so vivid that I felt like I actually knew them and I was sad when the book was over.

The only thing that was hard for me was some of the slave dialogue.  It was hard for me to understand and I had to read it twice.  But that wasn’t the author’s fault- it seems like it was the way they truly spoke, so she was being true to the era. 

I would recommend The Candle Star to anyone. And in fact, when school starts, I’m going to recommend it to my teacher.  It would be great for my class to read.    The characters were likeable, the writing was vivid and interesting and the plot was complex.  I give it 5/5 stars. 


When Emily was a little girl, her father had taken her outside in each season and pointed out the pictures in the stars, explaining the ancient lore behind them.  She wondered if he was looking up at the same stars right now.

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?”

Emily started.  She hadn’t heard Malachi approach. 

“Looks like you can just reach up and pluck one down, maybe set it in a ring,” he said.  “It’d be the most beautiful piece of jewelry you ever laid eyes on.” 

He pointed to the giant dipper.  “See the last two stars in the bowl of the spoon?  They line up just right and point the way to the North Star.”

Emily had learned that when she was six.

“When I was little, I remember Mama setting a candle in the window on the nights Daddy would get in late.  I slept sound on those nights, confident that beacon was guiding my daddy home.” 

He paused as he contemplated the night sky.  “The North Star is sort of like a candle that God hung up special to guide His lost children.  Lot of black folks looking up at it right now, directing themselves home to freedom.”

About Michelle Isenhoff

Michelle Isenhoff is a children’s lit junkie.  She grew up with a book in hand, choosing a career in teaching, in part, because she never outgrew these fabulous stories.  When she quit teaching to raise a family, she tried her hand at a children’s novel.  She was hooked!  Since then, she has released three books celebrating American’s unique history.  Ever a teacher at heart, she makes a variety of teaching tools available on her website to use her books in a classroom.  Currently, Michelle is finishing the final book of her Civil War trilogy and putting the final touches on a brand new fantasy.  To learn more about Michelle, you can find her on her website:

Links to find The Candle Star: