Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

Cuckoo Song
What an unusual, creepy horror story.  I think that kids who like scary stories will enjoy this one.  As the story begins, thirteen year old Triss has awakened in bed, not remembering what happened to her.  She is told that she fell into the water but she has little to no memory of that.  Why is her appetite suddenly insatiable and why are dolls looking at and talking to her?  As she yearns to find out what is going on, more and more secrets are revealed and they are really creepy.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

This is such a lovely story.  Fredrik Backman manages to create curmudgeony, yet entirely likeable characters.  Britt-Marie is a character from the author's second book, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry.  At age 63 she is a neat freak and has been told for years, by her cheating husband, who she finally just left, that she is socially awkward.  She manages to get a job running a recreation center in a small, dying town called Borg, where she makes the acquaintance of a woman in a wheelchair known only as Somebody,  the children of the town who play soccer, and Sven, the town's policeman.  I absolutely love the story and the writing and I highly recommend this book and look forward to future books by this author.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft

This is such a very sad story.  It is a story of a suicide and a marriage gone south and the family secrets hidden on both sides of the family.  Based on a true story, it rings true and sad.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.  It is on a difficult topic and is tough to review, but is well written and I do recommend it.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Revealed by Jessica Hickam

In this dystopian young adult romance/thriller, Lily's father is one of two men running to be the first president of the United States after the war.  Lily, however is being stalked by a mysterious group called the Revealed who kidnap eighteen year olds.  Lily is eighteen and has been receiving notes from the Revealed.  She knows they are after her and even being confined to her parent's estate won't save her, so she is determined to get away and live her own life.  Then she meets Kai again, who she knew when she was younger and she finds out that many things she believed were true are not.  This is a fun paranormal thriller/romance for teens.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Relentless (The Hero Agenda #2) by Tera Lynn Childs, Tracy Deebs

I really liked this second book in the Hero Agenda series.  Kenna and her mix of superhero and villain buddies find out that Rex is even eviler than they had suspected, if that is possible, and they are out to stop him and rescue all the heroes and villains whose minds he is controlling.  Kenna learns more about her powers and together, their team hopes to be unstoppable.  I like that she is a strong female character.  The book is a fun read.  I look forward to the next book in the series.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

Ryden is a teenage father.  His girlfriend, Meg, had cancer and died during childbirth and Ryden is raising their daughter.  He lives with his mother, who is supportive, but who is making him be responsible for his own child.  He is working at a grocery store in the evenings and still wants to be on the school soccer team his senior year.  When Meg's sister gives him a journal that Meg left behind for her, he is certain that there are two more journals to find, one for Meg's friend Alan, and one for himself and he is determined to find them.  He struggles with trying to go back to his normal life while still being a father.  He meets a girl at work who he likes, but does not tell her about his daughter.  The book portrays teen fatherhood in a realistic way.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Laughing At My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

Shane is brutally honest as he tells about his life in what he hopes to be a humorous way.  He explains how his parents treated him like a normal kid as much as possible and about the humorous situations he got into when he was little and about how he tried to fit in at school without seeming too different.  I think that many people find his story inspiring.  The book is in the teen section at our library and I think it should really be for high school and older because the topics in the book include sex and some other topics that many parents might not want middle school age kids reading about.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

The Night Garden by Lisa Van Allen

Olivia has always had a way with plants.  They turn towards her and grow faster when she is around.  Unfortunately, she has spent too much time in her father's poison garden and now she, herself is toxic to others.  When Sam, her old boyfriend, returns to town, a broken man, can his old love for Olivia rekindle despite his severe allergies to poison ivy, and to Olivia herself?  This is an intriguing magical realism story.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Calamity (The Reckoners book three) by Brandon Sanderson

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
In this third and final book in the series, David and the remaining Reckoners go after Calamity, who is the source of all of the Epic powers.  Megan's powers become more defined and they try to save the Prof rather than destroy him.  There is a lot of action in this epic adventure.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

I really did enjoy this psychological thriller and had a difficult time putting it down.  I did have to frequently suspend my disbelief but it was a fun read.  As the book begins, Tanya's husband, Frank has just died.  She did not kill him, but she runs from the scene, leaving us to wonder why as she travels across the country frequently changing identities and meeting up with another identity changing woman, who was at one point called Blue.  The book did make me think about how difficult it must be to change one's identity.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I enjoyed it very much.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Born Reading by Jason Boog

So, this is actually, a totally awesome book for parents and educators of young children to own.  I am an assistant youth librarian, mother of 3 and teacher, and while I love checking out books from the library, this is a book that I highly recommend purchasing so that you can refer to it over time.  The book covers reading from birth to age 5 and gives tips on good books and apps to share with your children along with how you should be sharing things with them and the developmental reasons why in order to further their mental growth and development. It is filled with fabulous "Storytelling Lessons" and "Born Reading Playbook" tips along with conversation starters.  I highly recommend this book to parents, children's librarians and teachers of infants and young children.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

I really loved this book.  Set in the antebellum south, Lisbeth is raised by her wet nurse, Mattie, who cares for her more than her standoffish mother and father.  Although she is being groomed to be a fine southern woman who will be a mistress of a plantation one day herself, her close relationship with Mattie and some of the other slaves has opened Lisbeth's eyes to the true tragedy that slavery was.  The story is compelling and well told and fantastic.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Powerless (The Hero Agenda) by Tera Lynn Childs

This is a totally fun to read young adult novel!  Kenna is normal in a world of superheros and villains, and she knows that superheros are the good guys and villains are the bad guys.  After all, her dad was a superhero who was killed by villains.  When villains break into her mother's lab, and one of them is an incredibly good looking guy, Kenna fights back even though she has no superpowers of her own.  When her mother is kidnapped though and she learns that the superheros are doing things that are definitely evil, her world is turned around as she and a group of teen superheros and villains band together to save her mother and some villains.  There is tons of action, romance and more action.  The book ends with a cliffhanger and I look forward to reading the next book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it!

The Lie by C. L. Taylor

This is a fun to read, creepy psychological thriller.  The book goes back and forth between Jane in the present and five years ago when an incident occurred that caused her to change her name and her life. Now, it seems that her past is catching up with her.  She barely survived five years ago.  Will she survive it now?  The book was fast paced and kept me wondering who were Jane's friends, and who were her enemies.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I enjoyed it and recommend it.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius by Stacey Matson

I totally loved this book! Written in the form of 13 year old Arthur's Reading Journal, school newspaper articles, e-mails to Kennedy, his writing partner who he has a crush on, and his notes about tutoring Robbie, his nemesis, the story is simple to read in short bursts.  I like the teacher's responses to some of his writing attempts and the cartoon illustrations.  I enjoyed the book so much that I read parts of it aloud to my husband and daughter who also thought it was hilarious.  Throughout the book, Arthur is also dealing with his mother's death and his father's sadness and the general life of a 7th grader.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch Book 1: Foundling Witch by Max Candee

This is a nice little witch story for upper elementary and middle grade girls.  Anna was raised in an orphanage and goes to a private school because a trust fund has been left to care for her.  Some of her friends have been adopted by a rich couple in town and though they won't say what is wrong, Anna knows that there is something not right about that family.  When she learns that she is a witch she decides to save her friends and the other children by using her magic.  She must be careful only to use good, kind magic rather than evil magic though.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White

In this sad story, 12 year old Liberty cares for her 8 year old sister Billie after they are abandoned by their father at a gas station.  The book covers a few days while they are on the road and tells a bit of their back story.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Raging Sea (Undertow #2) by Michael Buckley

I enjoyed this second book in the series.  Lyric, along with Arcade and Bex has set off to find and rescue her parents and the others who are being held hostage and tortured in a government facility across the country.  This book becomes a chosen one book because it seems that, unbeknownst to her, only Lyric can save the world. She, of course has no idea of this, but is pushed into trying to do so.  There is more action, humor and romance and this book ends with what on dry land would be a cliffhanger, but since it is in the ocean, it is an Abyss hanger.  One might even call it an abysmal ending.  I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry

 Stronger Than You Know
This is a heartbreaking story about a girl who was abused by her mother and the men that her mother allowed into their home and how she was able to recover from that once she was rescued and went to live with her aunt and uncle.  I read the story in one day and it really made me think about how difficult it must be for abused children to learn how to get along in the world after so much suffering.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

The One Thing
So, I read this whole book today.  Could not put it down.  Wonderful, tear-jerker, feel good story.  Romance, overcoming difficulties, everything.  Seventeen year old Maggie has been blind for 6 months and after a prank she pulled at her new school for the blind, she is on probation.  While meeting with her probation officer, she meets, and, for some reason, sees, Ben, a wonderful, fabulous, incredible ten year old boy.  As Maggie struggles with her blindness, Ben helps her not only to, for some reason, see him and a bit of the world around him, but herself and the way she has been since her blindness.  Ben's brother is the leader of a hot new band that Maggie is a total huge fan of and when she meets him, sparks fly.  I really enjoyed this book and I am sure that others will too.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I totally highly recommend it.

Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards

Piper is the school photographer and her senior year begins to go downhill after a viral video of the girl whose locker is next to hers goes viral and then the girl winds up dead.  Around the same time, Piper finds a notebook at school that lists crimes and sins of many of the students whose names are in code.  Then, she begins to receive anonymous texts asking her to pick who goes down next.  There is mystery, bullying, vengeance and romance in this young adult novel.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Weird Sh!t True Stories to Shock, Stun, Astound and Amaze by Mark Leigh

This book is full of fun to read interesting weird facts.  I liked it and I think that people who enjoy reading odd facts will enjoy it as well. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Monday, March 7, 2016

God is in the Pancakes by Robin Epstein

God Is in the Pancakes
In this touching story, Grace, who works in a nursing home, is going through a number of problems.  Mr. Sands, her favorite friend at the nursing home, has asked her to help him die, she has romantic feelings for a boy who has been her best friend for years, her parents have divorced and her dad moved away and has problems with her sister as well.  The story is well told and I think that young teen girls will enjoy it.

The Awakening of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, #2) by Paige McKenzie

I liked this book even better than the first one!  Now I have to wait a  year until the last one.  Ugh.  So, in this book, Sunshine goes with Aiden to Mexico to learn how to control her powers.  While she is there, she learns more about her past.  Who is the bad guy? Can Sunshine actually be and do what they want and hope she can do?  More ghosts and demons and drama abound in this second book in the Sunshine girl series.  This is another fun story to read.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it!

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

I decided to read this book because several people came into the library asking for it in one day.  It is in the scholastic book fair selections and several teens saw it there in their school and wanted to check it out from the library to read.  Our copies were already checked out and I had to put it on hold for a few people. The book started out as a Youtube series, and then was picked up to become a book series. That is an interesting way to write a book. I have only watched the first video so far so I am not sure how well the book follows it. This is a fun to read, creepy ghost story for teens.  Sixteen year old Sunshine and her adoptive mother have moved from Texas to Washington state where it is perpetually dark and damp and Sunshine is sure that their new house is haunted.  At first, her mother laughs that off, but later, she denies it and gets angry when Sunshine even mentions that.  As her mother gets stranger, Sunshine is befriended by a boy at school named Nolan who is excited about the idea of a ghost and wants to help her find out what is going on.  The book is fast paced and I look forward to the next book in the series!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Six by Mark Alpert

The Six
Science fiction examines possible future technologies and it's benefits as well as the frightening ways it can go wrong. This book does that quite well.  In this story, the military has developed an Artificial Intelligence that has gone rogue and they have also developed technology for transferring human minds into technology.  That has the unfortunate effect of destroying the body and does not work with adults so a group of teens who are dying of various diseases are selected to have the opportunity to live on virtually.  Adam, whose father came up with this project, is dying of muscular dystrophy and is one of the teens who is chosen for this project.  Can he and the other teens outwit Sigma, the AI who is determined to win against all of humanity?  Fabulous story!  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Relax, It's Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You're Not Religious by Wendy Thomas Russell

This is an excellent book about how to teach your children religious tolerance, whether you are religious or not.  It has good, practical advice about how to talk to your children about the fact that different people have different religious beliefs and ideas.  I love that the author references Todd Parr, one of my favorite children's authors who writes wonderful books about inclusiveness, diversity and self-confidence.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Well of Witches (The Thickety #3) by J.A. White

Well of Witches (The Thickety, #3)
This third installment in the Thickety series has more adventure and magic as Kara and Taff go to the World so that they can go into the Well of Witches and rescue Grace so she can reverse the spell and release their father from Timoth Clen.  It ends with a cliffhanger so there will be more to come.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

I totally loved this fabulous book!  Rainbow Rowell took her characters Simon and Baz from their fictional existence in her book Fangirl and brought them and their Harry Potter knock off story to life in this fun to read book.  Simon Snow is the chosen one who is the most powerful boy magician when he is brought from foster care to Watford, a boarding school in Great Britain for children with magic.  All the other kids grew up in magical families and he is the only "Normal" among them, not knowing he had any magikal power until it rather erupted when he was 11 years old.  His best friend is Penny, a very smart girl, and he has a beautiful girlfriend named Angela and his roomamate, Boz, is a vampire who has been trying to kill him for years.  This is their senior year at Watford and they are still battling the Insidious Humdrum who is creating non-magikal spots throughout Great Britain somehow and is stalking Simon.  There is magic, mystery, adventure and romance in this really fun to read book.  I also like that the author gave this book a proper ending.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Reading Picture Books with Children How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See by Megan Dowd Lambert

I think this book will be a good professional development resource for librarians and teachers.  The Whole Book Approach, which is advocated in this book looks at how the book is arranged as well as the story and pictures.  It gives librarians and teachers a good set of resources in which to discuss picture books in a wide variety of ways with children.  I know that it made me look at picture books in a whole new way!  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.