Thursday, May 10, 2018

Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney

Clara Voyant
This is a cute middle grade story in which 6th grader, Clara has moved with her mother to a new town and her grandmother, who they had lived with, has moved to Florida.  Clara misses her old neighborhood and friends, but is part of the school newspaper crew ( although most schools don't have newspapers anymore - they have broadcast journalism instead).  The student leader of the newspaper, Wesley, assigns Clara to write a horoscope column although Clara would rather write about the school's missing mascott.  In the book, Clara makes new friends while searching for clues and begins fitting in with her new neighborhood and her mom's new friends. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

The Women in the Castle
This is a story of  three women in post World War II Germany who live together for a few years in a castle.   Marianne von Lingenfels is the widow of a resistor and she rescues two women whose husbands were friends of his in the resistance against Hitler.  The story spans years and tells how each woman fared in Hitler's Germany and afterwards. Each woman hides secrets that we later learn. I found the story fascinating especially since one of the women at one point ran youth camps with her husband.  We get to see the story of the ordinary Germans who were drawn in by his promises and who thought that what they were doing was good and right, until they realized what was really going on.  The story is quite interesting and I highly recommend it. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sleeper by MacKenzie Cadenhead

This book, while not technically a paranormal book is very like a YA paranormal romance in many ways. High school student, Sarah, has a sleep disorder that is so severe she has to be tied to her bed or she might hurt other people.  This causes problems in her social life.  When she meets Wes, who is literally the boy of her dreams, and she finds out they are both taking the same experimental medication at the same sleep clinic which is allowing them to affect people's real lives, a plot of revenge and danger emerges.  Action, danger and romance abound in this YA mystery thriller.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Call Me Sunflower by Miriam Spitzer Franklin

Call Me Sunflower
Upper elementary age and middle grade students will enjoy this story of 6th grader, Sunny, who has moved with her mother and sister to live with her grandmother.  Sunny wants to move back home to where her father lives and she plots and plans ways to get her parents back together.  When she learns that her parents have been lying to her all along, Sunny decides that she needs to make sure she gets home to her dad. Along the way she learns lessons about friendship, family, and life. 

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

The Best Kind of Magic (Windy City Magic, #1)
In this fun to read first book in the series, high school student Amber Sand is not a witch, although her mother is one.  Amber is a matchmaker.  She can look into people's eyes and see their true love.  When the mayor's son, a classmate of hers, asks for help finding his missing stepmother, Amber is drawn into more mystery and romance than she had counted on!  I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Anger Volcano by Amanda Greenslade

This is a simple, rhyming book for children about feeling angry and how to control your angry feelings without erupting like a volcano.  Counting backwards, taking slow breaths, and other anger control techniques are introduced in a simple way.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Beauty in the Broken Places by Allison Pataki

Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience
When Allison's husband, Dave, had a stroke, while on an airplane on their way to a vacation, both of their lives changed drastically.  Allison was five months pregnant with their first child, and Dave was a medical student.  After the stroke, which he was lucky to survive, he had no short term memory and had to relearn many things.  Allison had to rely on her faith and help from others and she wrote letters to Dave throughout his recovery to help keep her own sanity and document his journey for him when he recovered.  The memoir is well written and inspiring.