Anne Z.'s blog

Review by Luanne Clark and the Kids of Yakima - The Inkwell Chronicles


The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet by JD Peabody

Review by Luanne Clark and the Kids of Yakima!


A  Pacific Northwest author, JD Peabody from Federal Way, WA, has written an intriguing fantasy/mystery for readers aged 9-12. It takes place in post-WWII England where a widowed father is raising his 2 children. Everett and Bea are thrown into the mystery when their father is kidnapped and they set out to rescue him, aided by members of the original group of English authors of that time known as the Inklings.

Well, Inklings Bookshop couldn’t pass up a fortuitous coincidence like that! This summer we presented an opportunity to our middle grades readers and they responded enthusiastically. Any young readers who read the book and replied with a short written review were entered into a drawing for a free copy of the second book of Everett and Bea’s adventures, which comes out this month: The Inkwell Chronicles: Race to Krakatoa. Also, some of the reviews were to be published in the Yakima Herald Republic–and here they are!


  My Thoughts About the Inkwell Chronicles

By Abby


In the book, The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet, the author did a great job of introducing the characters and setting the scene in the first chapter. I like how the author said in the first chapter, ”It’s far more meaningful to be interestED than to try to be interestING”. I also like how the author said, “You have greater influence than you know.”  The middle had so much suspense and adventure I couldn’t stop reading it! The end was so breathtaking it was awesome! I like the part when Everett didn’t think he was courageous but then, after all he went through trying to find his dad, he was, in fact, courageous like Max Courageous in the comic books his dad wrote. The author did a great job detailing the whole book! I felt like I was in every scene! How cool would it be to hold that pen and find an inkwell? I am super excited to read the second book!

Abby–I’m also excited for the second book! And I also loved the part where Everett recognized his courage. You wrote a great review! Adding quotations from a book really helps to bring it to life–and you picked great quotations that are very meaningful.  

The Inkwell Chronicles

By Bailey


For starters, The Inkwell Chronicles book was so good. It had twists and turns on every page and I couldn’t put it down! My favorite part of the story is when Everett figured out that the sticks that Gilroy gave him could navigate him to find ink. He figured out that his sticks could navigate ink because Everett was angry at his sister Bea and his friend Trey because they both got a pen and he did not. But, when Everett did not know where Bea,Trey and Gilroy were he tried to use his sticks and they gave this kind of energy and they started moving forward in all different directions. Then he found his sister and friends. At first he thought they could navigate to find someone. But Gilroy was in a dangerous situation and Everett used his sticks and he found
Gilroy. Once Gilroy was out of the situation, Everett was telling Gilroy that his sticks could navigate someone. But Gilroy said they don’t find people, they find ink. That was my favorite part because he got to know how to use his sticks and he did not need a pen. It shows that you have to be happy with what you have.

Bailey–I love your review. You picked a very important part of the plot and explained it clearly. And you did something that a good reader and reviewer can do: you took what happened in the plot and figured out what the author was trying to tell us. Good work!

The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet

By Brooklyn


I really enjoyed the first volume of The Inkwell Chronicles. The second I started reading I knew I would enjoy it. I felt like I was with the characters, doing exactly what they did. I think the book was really creative, and I want to be able to write like that when I’m older. I also got really excited when they talked about a girl named Madeleine figuring out about the “pinches”. A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorite books! I think this book was definitely worth reading. I want to get the second one!

Brooklyn–I’m glad you enjoyed it! And I’m so happy that you picked up on the references the author made about Madeleine L’Engle. I think you must be a very good reader, I know you’re a very good writer. Maybe one day we’ll be reading a book you have written!


The Ink of Elspet: A Review

By Garrett


The Ink of Elspet was an invigorating story and it is no wonder why you chose it for your summer book program. I was pleasantly surprised when the writers club was named Inklings. Surprisingly, unlike most books, it had a wonderful blend of surprise, mystery, and adventure. My favorite characters were Ermengarde the pigeon and the lovebugs. They were amazing. I especially like the part where they caught Bea when she fell off the tower. I enjoyed the war between the Blotters and the Formentori and its symbolism. This book was amazing! JD Peabody wove a splendid story.

Garrett–You figured out exactly why we chose this book for our summer reading! The Inklings were an amazing group of author friends. If you liked Ermengarde, be sure to come to Inklings on September 16. Mr. Peabody and inflatable Ermengarde will be there!


The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet

By Keegan


It’s about two kids whose father has been kidnapped by Blotters. An evil creature that came out of a book.These kids, Bea and Everett, must save their father, Marcus, by using the power of ink. A powerful, imaginative liquid. Along their way they meet Inklings, a group of people who use ink to write stories, and Formentori who can wield the ink as weapons and who were born from the same book as the Blotters. Will Everett and Bea be able to save their father? Find out in this fantastic journey through stories.

Keegan–Well done! You gave a lot of important plot and character information. Also, you employed a technique that is used by professional reviewers. By asking the question, you tell the basic plot of the book and inspire people to read to find out the answer. 

The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet

By Lyon


The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet begins with the main characters (Everett and his sister Bea) in their room. We figure out that Bea is an escape artist. Then we see their father leaving to go on a work trip. On his way back a creature called a Blotter crashes the train and kidnaps him. After that it gets a little complicated but Bea and Everett get help from 3 Inklings named Dot, Ronald, Jack, a conductor named Gilroy and a kid named Trey. Did I mention I love all the British names in this book? In the end, Everett, Bea, Gilroy and Trey rescue Everett’s and Bea’s father and defeat the Blotters. I believe that this book had a killer combination of action, chases, creativity, and plot twists.

Lyon– You wrote all your plot points in a nice, sequential order. It’s easy to follow. It was a good idea to mention that you like the British names in the book. It makes it more personal and your readers see some of your personality. Your last sentence is powerful!

The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet

By Teresa


After reading the book The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet I rate it a 4 out of 5 because I like the characters and the plot, but I wish there was more mystery. My favorite part was when Osgood turned Mrs. Crimp into a statue because at first I thought Osgood was evil. My favorite character was Trey  because he randomly came and I liked how he retrieved his memory while going on the adventure. I feel like he was the least important character but having him in the book was much better than without him. Lastly, I would recommend this to one of my friends because it was easy to follow along and understand, also because I liked the characters.

Teresa–I love your review! I like the way you recognize that something can be good and not be perfect. It’s very honest. If you like mysteries, have you read The Westing Game? You might like it; it’s a puzzler for sure. Thanks for a thoughtful, well-written review!

Congratulations and thank you to all our young readers and reviewers. We at Inklings Bookshop hope you had a great summer full of good books! And now a special surprise! JD Peabody, the author of The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet will be coming to Inklings Bookshop to meet his readers! He’ll be signing books and he’s going to bring Ermengarde, his giant inflatable pigeon. We have The Ink of Elspet  at the shop now and he will be bringing  Everett and Bea’s second adventure, The Race to Krakatoa. We hope to see lots of you readers:  young, old and in-between!  Mark your calendars to join us–Saturday, September 16, at 1:00 pm.

Review: A Wild Promise, Illustrated and written by Allen Crawford, introduction by Terry Tempest Williams

Review by Sue Domis

 The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 28, 1973. Nixon wrote that the act provided the Federal government with the needed authority to "protect an irreplaceable part of our natural heritage--threatened wildlife.  And, nothing is more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed."                                                                                                                

     It has been 50 years since the Endangered Species Act's inception and there has been a gradual erosion of the act.  Just a few examples are: In 1970 the tiny perch known as the Snail Darter took on the Tennessee Valley Authority's construction of the Tellico Dam., and in the 1990's the Pacific Northwest's wholesale clearcuts versus the Spotted Owl.  The rights of the federal government versus the rights of private land owners sometimes conflict, for example the Bundy standoff at the Matheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2014.   But, the Act of 1973 still endures.

Review: You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith

Review by Jules Galgan

In case you are in need of a big hug, “You Could Make This Place Beautiful” has you covered…

If you’ve ever sat with your best friend in a parked car while they told you about their problems, heartaches, and hilarious moments and thought to yourself, “This is what living is for”, then you’re sure to love Maggie Smith’s memoir, “You Could Make This Place Beautiful”. 

Review: The Connellys of County Down by Tracey Lange

Review by Lex Weber

When Tracey Lange publishes a book, there’s a high chance I’m reading it. Although I’m usually more of a romance, horror fiction fan, her compelling family dramas are something I can never get quite enough of. 

The stories she writes are usually highlighted by big Irish-Catholic families who are as irritated with each other as they are loyal to each other. It’s that aspect that gets woven so well throughout her novels that I love. The idea that, no matter how upset you might be with someone, you’ll always have their back because “family” means everything. 

This book falls right in line with that very idea.

Review: The Godparent Trap by Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken will tear your heart out and slowly but surely give you hope and put the pieces back together. 

The Godparent Trap tells the story of two Godparents that got the worst news of their lives and became instant parents to two wild but lovely kids.

Colby is leaving her best life, completely and 100% carefree. She is a popular food blogger and gets to travel around the world and experience new things constantly. Her world comes crashing down when her best friend passes away leaving her to co-parent her two kids with her brother. She will have to learn to settle for the sake of the kids. And she will have to learn to get along with her friend's brother Rip, another momentous task since the two have never been able to get along. Colby is a hurricane, a force of nature. Rip is the exact opposite. 

Review: Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma by Claire Dederer

A Review by review by Alicia McClintic, a friend of Inklings

In the current age of “cancel culture,” Claire Dederer explores the age-old question: “Can we
separate art from artist?”
What do we do with beautiful art made by terrible people? What do we do with the music or
books or films we love when we cannot love the maker? What do we do with important classics
that have made eternal impacts on their field when the personal impact of the artist is horrific?
Can we continue to be a fan of that album, or cherish that book, or appreciate that film, or
admire that painting? Or are those artistic creations forever stained by the bad character and
bad actions of the creator? Are we allowed to be fans of things made by monsters– or does that
fandom make us monsters too?

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston

Review by Lex Weber

With the middle of July comes longer days, fuller lakes and more time for lounging. For many people, it’s the best time of year as it is also one of the most nostalgic. Remembering good memories from the past while creating more is the perfect representation of summer. Personally, when I’m in the mood for a good book during the hot summer days, I’m always looking for one that embodies that energy. 

The quintessential beach read is one that touches on many of those summer themes we hold dearly to our hearts and most importantly doesn’t let us down too hard. A good beach read doesn’t make you want to go back inside the house to cry, but it can pull at your heartstrings every now and then.

Review: The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreak, Mutiny & Murder by David Grann

Author David Grann is by far one of my favorite non-fiction authors. I enjoyed his book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, for which he is likely best known, and is also being made into a movie later this year. But I believe his newest book, The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder, is his greatest work yet. Grann is an amazingly skilled author that infuses his non-fiction writing with passion to bring out the real-life intrigue in these histories so they read like fiction and his newest book is an incredible example. 

Review: Good for a Girl, A Woman Running in a Man's World by Lauren Fleshman

Review by Sue Domis, Bookseller

 Two Books published in 2023 deal with the subject of women running, and doing well enough to become professional runners.  Women runners have often been traditionally discounted by men who have set the rules for the sport.   

Young female runners have had trouble remaining in the sport as they reach puberty.  Those who do, often suffer injuries due to eating disorders and other struggles.  Male coaches have sometimes discouraged girls from gaining weight, convincing them to become thin to look like a runner.

Review: Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara

Greek Mythology inspired books have always been popular and lately they don't seem to leave the bestsellers list. Adult fiction books like Circe and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, kids books like The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Romance series like The Dark Olympus by Katee Robert, are all very popular. And really, I am not surprised. I am myself a huge fan of Greek Mythology inspired stories. Are you?

If so, there is a new one just out that has captivated me. Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara is everything you could hope for in Greek Mythology inspired books and more. It has gods, magic, adventure, tragedy, and love. 

A prophecy claims that Psyche, a human princess, will one day defeat a monster feared even by the gods. Because of the prophecy, Psyche's father goes against what is expected of women at that time and allows her to be trained to fight and hunt, mastering blade and bow, like any boy would. 

But Psyche, unintentionally and unknowingly angers the love goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite sends Eros, her adopted son and the god of desire, to pierce Psyche with a cursed arrow. Eros, accidentally pricks himself. He finds himself wanting someone he can never have. The curse is that they will be torned apart the moment their eyes meet. Eros never tells Aphrodite his arrow didn't fly true and has to be very careful to not be anywhere near Psyche and ignite the curse. Angering a major god like Aphrodite is not something even he, a god himself, should do.