Saturday, December 31, 2016
This is the last book in the trilogy and it gives the story a satisfying ending. Harlow struggles to be free of Ava Mae, her dead twin sister who is possessing her, while trying to keep the secret that dwells within her house. Augustine is working to free her and find out why tourists are disappearing and Giselle, the witch is trying to get rid of Augustine and get the witches out from under the rule of the fae.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
An unusual friendship between a girl who is legally blind and a girl from a very dysfunctional family who become best friends and run away together. The book goes back and forth between the present - when they are on the run, and the past, describing how they became friends, until you finally learn why they are running away. Many issues are addressed in the book from foster care to having a disability to bullying, courage and friendship.
In this book, Harlow learns why her evil father wants his house. He will do anything to get it and when he kidnaps a teenage fae girl, it is up to Augustine and Harlow to save her. There is action from the witch sector of the city as well and Augustine suspects that all the problems are connected. Action, romance and fantasy fill this second book in the trilogy.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Excellent last book in the trilogy. It is up to Lily to save the world - not her world, but Lillian's world and she will need all the allies she can get to help her - even those who are not the usual type. I enjoyed this book and the fact that it was able to end the trilogy with a third book that is just as good as the first one.
Friday, December 23, 2016
In this second book in the series, Lily and Rowan arrive back on Lily's world and are found by Lily's mother and sister. Her mother, Elizabeth, is a spirit walker and was watching Lily and knew when and where she would arrive. There is trouble with the FBI and other authorities since Lily had been missing for 3 months. She is badly burned and Rowan has to heal her. Due to the FBI, Lily must return to school, where she gains a few friends, both new and old. Excellent second book in the series and I am off to read the third.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
In this young adult paranormal romance, 17 year old Lily is whisked from Salem to an alternate universe in which she is a witch and her severe allergies are proof that she is a crucible, a powerful witch. She is guided by her alternate self, who goes by her full name, Lillian, and she meets Lillian's ex-mechanic (healer), a handsome young man named Rowan. Lily sets out to defy Lillian and her evil deeds and to help Rowan and the native people who he lives with who are outcasts from the thirteen walled cities in their world that keep the citizens safe from the dangerous creatures that roam the world. Rowan helps Lily to learn how to use her magical powers and the two are bound together. This is the first book in a trilogy. I look forward to reading the other two books.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
In this second book in the series, Simon finds a postcard from his mother and he and his friends go to the reptile kingdom headquarters to find her and rescue her from her father, Orion. Simon continues to keep secrets from his brother and uncle and fights Animalgams in an attempt to rescue his mother and stop his evil uncle and the evil ex-Alpha. There is action, adventure and more action in this fun to read middle grade novel. I look forward to reading the other books in the series!
This is a short, simple book about gender diversity that is suitable for reading to children in elementary school and can be read by upper elementary and middle school children. The book contains clear and simple explanations about what gender is, what gender dysphoria is and how many people feel when they are transgender. In addition to the story about Kit, there are facts and resources for adults listed in the back of the book.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Like Harry Potter, Simon Thorn has powers that he does not know about or understand. He is 12 years old and has recently been able to talk to and understand animals. Similar to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, Simon eventually winds up at a school for others who have similar abilities, who are also Animalgams, people who can shift into animal forms. The others all grew up knowing about their abilities and world, where as Simon had grown up in the normal world knowing nothing about the other world to which he belongs. He makes some friends and learns more about his family and his destiny and begins to fight the ones who want to take over. I think that middle grade students who enjoy fantasy will enjoy the Simon Thorn series. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
In this paranormalish romance, Molly is a single mom, raising her 8 year old daughter, Cassie. Now that Cassie has developed a gift of premonition and can tell when bad things are going to happen to people who are close to her, Molly finds that she needs help teaching her daughter about her psychic gift. They go to visit Molly's grandmother, who is also psychic, like Molly and Molly's mother was. When she returns to her childhood home, she is reunited with her old love, Owen, who Molly had spurned and left behind when her parents died. Can the four of them work things out? The paranormal bit helped to make this book more fun to read and added a bit of mystery to the story. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
It took me a while to get into this book. The beginning, which is just John, is rather slow. I kept putting it aside thinking "I. Can't. Read. This." Then I would look at the reviews and they were all wonderful, so I gave it another try. Twice. Finally, I got into the book, and it really is great. John tells the story of taking his 19 year old son,Ethan, who is severely mentally challenged, across the country on a road trip to his daughter Karen's wedding. Only, there are problems with the wedding and Karen and her sister Mindy, who acts on SNL, are not getting along. John's ex-wife Mary is none too cooperative herself. The book addresses the challenges of a family who has an adult child who has special needs and the effect that person has on the family. The story kept me reading once I got into it.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
This book discusses a variety of the different genetic differences that can cause a range of gender differences that are often referred to as intersex. There are personal stories and stories about animals who have gender differences. The book is interesting and factual. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
This is a totally fun to read young adult paranormal romance! Set in the 1500s, Elizabeth Grey is a witch hunter. Her parents died of the plague when she was 11 years old and a boy named Caleb took her under his wing and together they were trained to be witch hunters. When Elizabeth is accused of witchcraft herself and put in prison, she is rescued by people working for Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, because she has been designated in a prophesy. There is action, magic, betrayal, love and more action in this fun first book in what promises to be a fabulous series! I look forward to reading the next book.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Eleven year old Daisy has never left the grounds of her home, Brightwood mansion, where she lives with her mother. She has never even spoken to another person in her life. She has no idea what the outside world is like at all. Her mother is a hoarder, filling a box a day with things to help her remember and the house is so full that it has become a maze. One day, Daisy's mother goes out to the store, and does not return. Then, a man shows up at the house. He claims to be her cousin. He is not a nice man. Can Daisy survive? Will her imaginary friends help her? This is an intriguing mystery for middle grade children.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Sixteen year old Rune has grown up in the Black Forest in Bavaria, raised by an old woman who tells people's fortunes using Rune stones. Laurentz, whose step mother is ill and dying, is the son of the Electorate. Rumors of witchcraft, plague and ruin, witch trials and drownings are part of the dark history in the story. Can Rune avoid burning at the stake with the help of Laurentz? I enjoyed this first book in the series and look forward to the next.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Although this is the 8th book in the series, it is only the second one I have read. I found this book and the previous one to be thoroughly enjoyable! Flavia is a delightful 12 year old precocious chemistry loving detective who enjoys solving mysteries. She has returned home from her stint in boarding school in Canada only to find her father in the hospital and herself totally ignored. When she finds a dead body, things liven up a bit and she is off to find out who done it and why. I think that readers of this series will enjoy this book!
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
This is a short, simple picture book that includes a detailed discussion guide and a list of references and other materials that adults can use to discuss gender identity with young children. The book claims to be for children age 4 and up, but could be read to younger children as well. I think this book can be useful for families, schools, and therapists. As the medical community is learning more about the human body and what factors contribute to our gender identity, parts of our society are becoming less fearful and judgmental of people who at various places on the gender spectrum. I hope that this book can help children and adults to gain a greater understanding and acceptance of all people, no matter what their gender identity may be.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Magical realism, racism, bullying, and transgender issues join together in this magical story about the love between Miel, a girl who had been turned into water for a period of years and Sam, who lives as a boy, wondering if he will ever want to stop being a baca posh and live as a woman. Miel, who grows roses from her wrist and Sam makes moons and strings them up all around town to act sort of like dream catchers. The writing is lovely and the magical story is charming.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Yay!, what a fabulous book! I was expecting a mystery, but got an historical mystery/romance/feminist novel. It is the late 19th century and Jo is a rich young woman in New York City, finishing school and preparing to be married off to a wealthy young man from a proper "old money" family. Jo really wants to write and be a reporter like the notorious Nelly Bly who went undercover and exposed social ills. When Jo's father died in what was called an accident, Jo begins to look deeper into the situation and she learns that it was no accident at all. The more clues she finds, the more dangerous her clandestine investigation becomes. Living in a world where nice young women never go out alone and are expected to marry for money, not love, and produce many children, Jo has other ambitions instead. With the help of a handsome young newspaper reporter named Eddie, Jo learns also about the poor, Dickensian side of town and many social ills that she would love to write about. I loved this story and stayed up too late reading it because I could not put it down. I highly recommend this book!
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Thirteen year old Ruthie is tough. She had to be growing up in poverty with her mother Rita. When the story begins. they have been evicted and move in with a "boyfriend" that her mother finds for them to live with. They soon leave him and head out towards the east coast, where Rita is sure that Ruthie will eventually wind up in an Ivy League college. Their car breaks down in a small town called Fat River, where they settle in and make a life for themselves with Rita working as a waitress. Ruthie's best friend is Peter Pam, a transgender waitress who also works with Rita. Eventually, the economy has a downturn and Rita finds herself her richest boyfriend yet. This story is gritty and touching and I could not put it down. I highly recommend this book.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Set in a small Irish village in the late 1800s, shortly after the potato famine, Lib, an English nurse who had worked with Florence Nightingale, has been hired to observe an 11 year old girl named Anna who has supposedly survived for months with no food. The Catholic church wants her fast observed and documented so they can be sure it is actually a miracle from God. The story, while a bit of a slow read at first, is fascinating and takes on many issues. Lib and another nurse, who is a nun, have been hired to observe only, but Lib soon realizes that her interference may be necessary. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
I enjoyed reading this mystery suspense thriller. Lo Blalock, a journalist gets a chance of a lifetime job break when she gets sent on a cruise when her co-worker who could not go. Things begin to go wrong even before the cruise and when she witnesses what must have been a crime on the cruise ship, things go really wrong. It kept me guessing the whole time and I was thrown off by the plot twists and turns.
Monday, November 14, 2016
This is a cute, fun to read mystery for middle grade kids. Emily is 12 years old, and she and her family have just moved to San Fransisco as part of her parent's quest to live in all 50 states. Although they have moved frequently, for the past few years, Emily and her older brother have been able to play an online game called Book Scavenger where they hide and or find books based on online clues and earn points and positions by doing so. The author who created the game lives in San Fransisco and the day they move there, he is shot and hides a book, which Emily finds. She and her new friend, James, follow the clues, solve ciphers and go on scavenger hunts to find books and clues to the mystery. The book is also about friendship and how to be a good friend. I enjoyed the book and I think that middle grade children will enjoy it as well.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
When 11 year old Darling Dimple is promoted from working in the kitchen to ironing for the princess, she learns that closet number seven holds 100 old dresses, which she later learns are magical. Each dress transforms her so that she looks like someone else, which she needs to do in order to save the princess from marrying an evil prince. The book is a fun read and I think that upper elementary and middle school age children will enjoy it.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
This is a fun to read young adult fantasy. Lila is an orphan living secretly in the basement of a public library in a town known for magic. It is like Disney World, but full of magical people and monsters and tourists visit to see them. Lila's mom had been a guard who died protecting a member of one of the town's wealthy magical "Familes" when Lila was 13 years old. After bouncing through foster care, she decided to live on her own, with the help of an old friend of her mom's. She now lives by stealing, but still goes to high school. When a good looking guy who is also part of a Family is attacked in front of her, she feels obliged to help him and then is drawn into the "Family" business. There is magic, action and romance and I think teens who like YA fantasy will enjoy this book.
This short novella is a beautiful way to look at a sad situation. Grandpa is losing his memory and he shares his love of math and his joy and love with his beloved grandson Noah, even as he loses his memories. Once again I am astounded and impressed by how wonderful Bakman's writing is. I cannot describe this book in a way that will do it justice. I think that people who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia will be very touched by this book and I highly recommend it.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Set in a convalescent hospital for children with Tuberculosis during World War II, this story is both historical fiction and magical realism. Emmaline, one of the girls who lives in the mansion-turned-hospital sees flying horses in the mirrors of the house and one day, she sees a flying horse outside as well. She finds a letter asking her to help to protect the flying horse with an injured wing who she finds in a garden. She needs to find objects with all the colors of the rainbow to hide the horse from another flying horse who is after her. The story is very sad. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
I enjoyed this second book in the Gods of Asgard series. Like Riordan's other books, this one has lots of humor and pop culture references. He also tries to incorporate a lot of different groups of people. Sam is Muslim who wears a hijab and prays the required 5 times a day whenever possible and that is explained several times. Hearthstone is deaf and speaks using American Sign Language, which Riordan makes a point of explaining many times. Blitzen is gay and Alex is gender fluid. Magnus and his friends are on a quest to find Thor's hammer and keep Sam from being married to a giant and save the world. There is lots of action and adventure and the story is fun to read.
Escape in Time: Miri's riveting tale of her family's survival during World War II Kindle Edition by Ronit Lowenstein-Malz
Told as a story within a story, 12 year old Nessya has learned that her grandmother, Miri, is a Holocaust survivor, and when she asked about it, her grandmother wrote down the story for Nessya to read. Miri tells her family's story of escaping from Czechoslovakia, just in the nick of time before the Jews there were sent to concentration camps. She tells how they had to use false papers and how they moved to Hungary. They tried to warn other Jews about what was happening, but they refused to listen until it was too late. Nessya shares her feelings about her grandmother's bravery during that time. I think this book is a well told story about the Holocaust that is appropriate for middle school age children. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Monday, October 10, 2016
While this picture book is not for young children, I think it should be a must read for children in grades 5 and up. Even adults will be touched by this story about a soldier, who is in a hole, shooting at the enemy every day, wanting to kill the enemy before the enemy kills him. He knows the enemy is not a human being because his manual told him that. However, one day he sneaks out and winds up in the enemy's hole and finds photographs of the enemy's family and the enemy's manual, which is just like his, except in that manual, the enemy has his face. The story and illustrations are simple, but the message is powerful. I highly recommend this book.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
This is the 4th and last book in this fun series for middle grade kids. I have only read the first book and this one, but I am sure the other two are fun reads too. This book is several months after the first book. Thirteen year old Finn now has to complete four impossible tasks or else he will have to go live and train with Scatach, a goddess, for many years. Gideon and his friends help Finn to deal with the challenges and hopefully pass them. There is magic and action and adventure in this last book of the series. I am sure that readers will enjoy the book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
This sad psychological thriller/mystery begins with a hit and run that leaves a 5 year old boy dead. We follow Ray Stevens as he investigates the crime and Jenna Gray who moves away to the coast to escape her past. There is violence, abuse, and plot twists throughout the sad story. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
In this mostly non-scary ghost story, a bunny named Gracie gets glasses. One day while playing on a mountain with friends, she loses her glasses. When she gets home and realizes that, she goes out at night to find her glasses. Because things look blurry, she mistakes other animals and things for her glasses. When a ghost tries to scare her, Gracie can't see it well enough to know it is a ghost so the ghost looks for her glasses so it can scare her once she puts them on and sees it. Happily for Gracie, once the ghost finds and gives her the glasses, the sun rises and the ghost disappears. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Lots of adorable photographs of cats and kittens accompany fifty facts about cats, some well known and others that people may not have heard before. From how cats fit through spaces the size of their heads due to free floating collar bones to the fact that adult cats only meow at humans, I learned quite a few fun facts about cats from this book. I did not know that unlike most mammals, cats can drink seawater because their kidneys filter out salt. I wonder if that is part of why they survived so well on ships? I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.
This is a cute, simple, rhyming story in which a little girl who has two dads explains to a little boy at the playground that her Daddy and her Poppa take care of her very well. The book is quite simple, but shows that to a child, having two dads is fine. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Monday, September 26, 2016
This is a short, simple chapter book. Dani is staying with her friend, Ella, on an island, having a lovely time while her father is recovering from being hit by a car. Then, her father comes for a visit and he brings a girlfriend. This is totally unexpected to Dani and was not handled well by her father and Dani reacts quite negatively. I think that this book could be used to talk about the characters' feelings and the situation of a parent having a new girlfriend or boyfriend. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
This is a fun to read paranormal romance. Harlow has gone to ask her mother, who she has been estranged from for years, for money, so she can pay a fine for a cyber crime and stay out of jail. However, the day after she arrives, her mother is murdered - by a vampire. And so, Harlow gets to know her mother's sort of foster son, Augustine, a very handsome fae who, after Olivia's death, becomes guardian of the city of New Orleans. With witches, fae, vampires and voodoo, New Orleans is at it's finest. This is the first book in a trilogy and I look forward to reading the others.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Magic and mystery, passion and sorcery abound in this story of Hisdadukh and her second husband, Ravi, a rabbi learning Talmud together. They deal with demons, fight off evil and curses and heal people's hearts and bodies as they raise their family together in the Jewish community in the 4th century.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
In this second, totally awesome book in the trilogy, Irene, who is a Librarian and spy, must save Kai, her assistant, who is also a dragon, from the Fae who have kidnapped him in order to start a war. She must disguise herself and travel with the Fae to a planet deep in the chaos part of the universe in order to save him. In the alternate Venice, it is always carnival and people wear masks, which is helpful when disguising oneself. Once again, Irene is bold, brave and a totally kick ass Librarian-spy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the third one!
Monday, September 12, 2016
This is a really fun fantasy novel. Irene is a Librarian for the Library that exists between the alternate worlds of the multiverse. The invisible Library where she lives is large and Librarians are sent to various alternate worlds to collect books that are considered valuable. She is sent on her mission with a new trainee named Kai, who seems a bit unusual. There are fae and dragons, chaos, magic, vampires, werewolves, lots of bad guys and an important book to steal or somehow acquire. This is the first book in a trilogy. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the others.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Fielding Bliss tells this story of the summer that he was 13 years old in 1984 in Ohio. He is telling the story as an eighty-something year old man, so that means it must be in the 2050s in his present. He does not spend much time in that time period, but it seems no different from now. So, in 1984, the summer was unusually hot and a 13 year old black boy named Sal showed up in town claiming to be the devil after Fielding's father placed an ad in the paper inviting the devil. Fielding's family takes Sal in as the sheriff tries to locate his family to which Sal provides no clues. A large contingent of the population seems to believe that Sal is actually the devil and they blame everything that goes wrong that summer on him. The story is well written and interesting and many people love the book.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Set in Russia, in 1983, Max is a seventh grader, who along with his best friend Alex and others, are dealing with an 8th grade bully named Tolik, who has claimed ownership of what soon becomes the only soccer field in the area when a building is constructed in the field they used to play in. In addition, Max finds that Alex likes Tanya, the same girl that he likes. The story is well written, funny, and all around, a great read. I think that middle grade kids will enjoy it a lot. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.
This is a very funny and fun to read vegan cookbook! I totally enjoyed the commentary which include things like ways to know if the taco cleanse is right for you - "Do you experience recurring feelings of hunger on a daily basis?" and more along that line and " Can a pie be a taco? Is Frito pie even a pie? Does Frito pie translate to "fried foot"? These are the things you must contemplate while you eat the Frito Pie Taco." The recipes are simple and easy to follow. There is also a section on living a taco based life that includes things like taco yoga, a crossword puzzle, and a certificate of completion.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
In this YA paranormal romance, complete with a love triangle or perhaps quintuple, Sam is the chosen one, although she does not know it. She is also, of course, drop dead beautiful and many good looking guys like her. When her best friend Julie dies, Sam's dream guys show up in reality and the Greek myths come to life as she is caught up in a prophesy and epic battle. This is the first book in a trilogy. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
The recipes in this cookbook are quite good, well written and easy to follow. I have found, however, that they tend to be higher in meat and lower in vegetables than I prefer. I have made quite a few recipes from this cookbook and I often add more vegetables. For example, when I make the chicken and sausage jambalaya, I add in diced zucchini squash, diced carrot, corn, mushrooms, okra and/or other veggies that I have at the time. I also add carrot, zucchini and corn to the Layered chicken and bean enchiladas and instead of using 6 corn tortillas I cut up a couple of flour tortillas into squares and mix those in and make it a casserole.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Blue, who is in debt, returns to his Grandmother's house to sell it and pay off his debt. He is accompanied by Elisa, his best friend and sometimes lover, her husband Jason, and Gabe, a young man who is in love with Blue. They wind up in an old artist's colony in Canada that has long ago been burned down in a community that has stories of the "Others" who are not fairies, but something else. Blue finds clues to his past, which he cannot remember. When he was 5 years old, he and a girl the same age had disappeared, only to return two weeks later, with no memory of where they had been. The supernatural elements take over and we follow the characters as we learn how each one deals with the reality that they find. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Bizarre, creepy, horror, paranormal strangeness goes on in Ian's life. He has chronicled a version of his life in his best selling graphic novel series about Fatboy, who is Ian's past and alter-ego and Priss who has been Ian's best friend since childhood, until now, when he has a real girlfriend and Priss is jealous. Who or what is Priss? Ian is not really sure, and that is the mystery. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Monday, August 29, 2016
Well, this is an interesting story. Seventeen year old Mina is visited by a mysterious - ok, strange - old woman as she is closing up the pizza shop where she works. The woman knows Mina's name, and Mina finds her creepy so when she asks Mina for her permission - for what, Mina has no idea - she says yes, just to get away from the creepy old woman. Later, Mina discovers she is pregnant. She is totally a virgin and her boyfriend and father don't believe her. The only people who do believe her are her mother, and Jesse, a co-worker who was there that night and had also been spoken to by Iris, the creepy old woman. From there, the story covers Mina's life until other people hear her story and then how society would treat someone who claims to be a pregnant virgin.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
First of all - trigger warning - this book covers several controversial subjects including bullying, rape, pornography and others. As the book begins, CeCe is dreading returning to school since her mother, who had been a teacher there, had committed suicide after a student revealed that she was having a sexual relationship with him. CeCe's dad does not believe that was true and she has no idea what to believe. A new student, Sam, is writing a story about the situation in order to win a journalism scholarship. CeCe wants nothing to do with him, but he is good looking and nice and they become friends anyway. As they investigate things, it becomes clear that there is more to the story than meets the eye. Mystery, suspense and rather dreadful things going on fill the story as CeCe is bullied while trying to uncover the truth. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Is Courtney crazy? Was her grandfather crazy too? Or do aliens really visit her and talk to her? Her mother thinks she is crazy and her mom's creepy doctor boyfriend has Courtney admitted to a mental hospital. That does not stop Courtney from eventually learning the truth. The aliens are real, the world could end, and only Courtney can save the world. I like this book and think it should appeal equally to girls and boys who enjoy stories about aliens and adventure. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.