Monday, March 30, 2015
Set sometime in the past in London, an orphan boy known as Dogboy because he is good with dogs and a homeless girl named Caz become entwined in a politically driven war against the rats. Efren is the main rat character along with Malaika, his female rat friend/love interest. Efren lives in the rat kingdom in the sewers where the rats communicate by "revealing" their thoughts to one another mind to mind. Caz is able to hear the rats "revealing" and so she can communicate with them. Dogboy has two jobs - he works for a "doctor" who is fascinated with rats and helps start the war on rats and he also works for a man named Bill who supplies rats for pit fights where dogs compete to kill rats the fastest. Eventually, it is up to the children and the rats to stop the war on rats before all the rats are destroyed. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
This is a beautifully written coming of age story set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The narrator tells the story in a series of flashbacks to his teen years with his adult perspective weighing in on things at various times. As the story begins, the narrator is 14 and Lindy, a 15 year old girl who he has a crush on, has been raped. We see through his eyes, the effect of that violence and loss of innocence on not only Lindy, but on her family and on the people in the neighborhood and on him. Over the years, he tries to figure out who the rapist was. We are introduced to the various suspects, including the narrator himself. I love the vivid descriptions of Louisiana and the narrator's perspective as he looks back in time and understands events differently from an adult perspective. At one point he says "But for every adult person you look up to in life, there is trailing behind them an invisible chain gang of ghosts, all of which, as a child, you are generously spared from meeting." I look forward to reading future novels by this author.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Total tear jerker. So sad. Major crying involved in reading this book. Just warning you. Beautiful writing. Oh my. Topic is suicide and teens. Just so sad and lovely. Wow. Sometimes, when I write a review, the book is so wonderful that there is not much I can say other than READ IT. This is one of those books. Read it. And I think you will enjoy it.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
In this second book in the series, Callie Vee is 12 and turns 13. She continues to eagerly learn science from her grandfather, her kindhearted younger brother Travis feeds stray animals trying to turn them into pets and cousin Aggie, a victim of the "flood" created by the hurricane of 1900 when it hit Galveston, which Callie and her grandfather predicted using a homemade barometer, has moved in with the family and shares Callie's bedroom. The story is great and is filled with interesting science and Texas history facts and has a definite feminist leaning since in 1900, girls were only expected to marry and have families and not be interested in learning and science. I think that this series of books would be great to add to the required reading or books that kids could chose from for school reading in seventh grade since that is when Texas history is studied in Texas schools. I loved the characters of Callie and her grandfather and totally enjoyed this book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Great historical fiction for middle grade kids. Eleven year old Calpurnia Tate lives in central Texas in 1899 with her parents, her six brothers and her grandfather who is a scientist and a naturalist. The summer of her eleventh year, Calpurnia becomes friends with her grandfather who teaches her science and together they catalogue the various plants and animals that they find in hopes of finding a new species. Calpurnia is spunky and fun and a feminist before her time. The book is totally terrific and I am sure that many middle grade girls will love it! I look forward to reading the next book about Calpurnia! This book has lots of great science and Texas History!
With bright illustrations and photographs, this book is a good general introduction to how the human body works. It contains interesting facts and is appropriate for elementary grades and middle school and I think that children who are interested in how the human body works will find this book very interesting. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
A cute little book
That teaches young children
How to write haikus
Great for elementary school teachers and homeschoolers, this book has a short story and explains how to write haikus. The illustrations are nice and bright and I think this book would be a great resource for teachers. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
I totally loved this book! Miri has been sent to a swamp to run a Princess Academy for three cousins of the king in order to stop a war from happening and to save her home town. However, the princesses live in poverty and don't know they are related to the king, and Miri soon realizes that many things are not as they seem or should be. There is lots of action, adventure, humor, some romance and strong female characters in this fantastic book. I think this book is the end of the trilogy, but I would love to see the story continued with the fabulous characters that were introduced in this book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.
Monday, March 16, 2015
I laughed, I cried, I could not put this book down. Jess is an overworked single mom raising her 10 year old daughter Tanzie, who is a maths wiz and her teenage stepson Nicky, who is frequently beat up for dressing goth. Jess is a part time bartender and part time house cleaner. One of the homes she cleans belongs to Ed, a geek who has made it big in the computer industry - except he made a big mistake and is now being investigated for insider trading. Norman is the dog, he is big, and drools a lot and odorizes wherever he goes. He is an important character in the story. When fate brings them together and they go on a road trip to Scotland together, their lives are all changed and there is romance and happiness and sadness and I am so sad that I finished reading the book and it is over. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.
Friday, March 13, 2015
Disturbing, creepy and sad, this mystery/psychological thriller is one that you won't be able to put down. Sixteen year old Allie has had a rough life, raised by her mother, who was a prostitute and murderer. Her father left when she was young, and now that her brother is also dead, Allie considers herself to be an orphan. After 9 months on the run, when she returns home, Allie is put into foster care with Miss Bitty, who has secrets of her own. Then the murders begin. Who is the murderer? I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Magic and love, joy and hope, heartache and sorrow and a two hundred year old curse in a small town in Massachusetts where people still believe in witches and monsters encase this lovely tale told by twelve year old Twig. Her mother has forbidden her to have friends, but friends find her and they are the ones who are needed to help to break the family curse. This is a beautiful, lyrical tale for middle grade children ages 8 to 15 or so. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
This book begins when Alicia's daughter Chloe, who has Down Syndrome, is 25 years old. Chloe goes to an adult day care while Alicia works as a teacher at a college. When Chloe says that she loves her new friend Thomas from day care and wants to marry him, Alicia has to deal with her daughter's very adult feelings. This story brings up many issues and really made me think about what it must be like to be a parent of an adult mentally challenged person. The book is gripping and powerful and I could not put it down. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
This is a gripping mystery/thriller. Liv Bergen is a new FBI agent who works with a bloodhound tracking people. Through a series of coincidences, she is called in on a case of a 5 year old boy who went missing from the airport. Liz's 12 year old nephew Noah, has severe cerebral palsy, but he plays a big role in the story. I must admit that Noah is my favorite character in the book. He plays a key role in solving the mystery and I really liked him a lot. There were other things about the book, though, that I found to be less than thrilling. It was a bit overly descriptive in parts; I was not thrilled with the love triangle aspect; and despite a thank you at the end of the book by the author to the editor, I was distracted by quite a few editing errors including a woman with a thin "waste". I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
This is a fabulous dystopian YA adventure story for middle school age children. Hope is a strong female protagonist even though she does not have a lot of confidence. However, when bandits come and hold her town hostage for anti-biotics, it is up to Hope and her friends to try to save the whole town. I totally loved the story, but, since Aaron had invented a thermometer and made some anti-biotics, it would seem to me that Hope's dad could have taken some of those and gotten better. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I look forward to reading others in the series.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
This is an adorable rhyming board book about rain with colorful, bright, cute illustrations. I am sure that young children will love it and adults will enjoy reading it to them. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
This is a YA thriller/mystery/romance. Elle is 17 and has moved around frequently with her father whose job has required frequent moves since Elle's mother died when she was six years old. Since then, she has had nightmares and now she is a caffeine addict to try to avoid sleep. This year, her overprotective father has put her in a private prep school where students live on campus for her senior year. Several times she feels like she is being followed, and Brian, a seriously hot guy who she met at a flea market in another town and who seemed to like her, mysteriously shows up and enrolls at her school and is in a lot of her classes, but ignores her other than when he tells her outside of school to be careful. I stayed up late to finish this book, so it is gripping, but many of the "facts" just don't quite add up and the editing needs a bit of help. The book seems like it has potential, but lacks polish. I am guessing that it may be self-edited and self-published. I think that a good editor would have been helpful. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
This is a cute early reader book with bright, colorful illustrations of multi-racial children and their colorful small dragon friend touring an aquarium. They see many, many, many animals and fish. The book ends with reading reinforcement lessons for parents to do with their children including phonics, vocabulary and fluency. I think the book is cute and should appeal to young readers. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
This is a cute book with silly, but cute illustrations about three animals who go on a walk and decide that competing against one another makes things rather dangerous. Cooperation, however saves them. When they slow down and look around they find adventures that they did not realize were there. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
I received this book free to review from Netgalley. It has bright, colorful illustrations in the story about a little boy who is the chief of his African village and he solves problems by being a good leader and helping the people share with one another. One thing that I noticed was that in the story and in the online Reader's Theater script which goes with the book, the boy's name is spelled Wusuri, but at the end of the book in the letter and in the Social and Emotional Learning Focus, his name is spelled Wasuri.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Lots of action, lots of killing in a medievalish setting where thieves have their own guilds and fight to rule the city which is under the control of three wealthy families and a king. Thren is the theiflord and he is raising his son Aaron to be his successor. Aaron, however, has other ideas about becoming the brutal murderer his father wants him to be. The story is well written and intriguing. I received this book free to review from Netgalley. Apparently, it has been rewritten, the first edition having been self-published. This book is fine, and I am glad that the author re-did it - I despise poorly written and poorly edited self-published books. Editing is very important. The book is good and I look forward to reading the others in the series.