Friday, April 28, 2017
The lives of several individuals are drawn together as each one loses something important to them. Mrs. Feathersby loses the front wall of her house, Robert loses his job - and his workplace and all the people that he used to work with, Marcus loses the keys off of his piano, Delia loses her sense of direction and Cassie loses her girlfriend. Jake has lost his mother and now he is finding lost items, but losing his father. Interesting story.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
In this book, Kendra uses her magic mirror to search for her lost love James and she shares tales of how she participated in modernish versions of 4 different fairy tales - Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling. The book is fun to read filled with humor, love and excitement in the retold fairy tales.
Monday, April 24, 2017
This story is beautifully written, but heartbreakingly sad. Jules is 11 years old and her sister Sylvie is 12. The story deals with the death of their mother, the death of their friend Sam's older brother Elk's best friend, a soldier who died in Afghanistan, and the disappearance of Sylvie. Jules and Sylvie often wonder what happens when people die? Do they come back as something else? Maybe you turn into wind? Maybe you turn into stars? Maybe...
Friday, April 21, 2017
Wow! I really enjoyed this book! Family secrets are revealed and Marin learns that many things are not what she thought as she meets a half sister and grandmother that she never knew existed while going through issues in her own love life and we see a variety of characters struggle and grow through love, life, death and renewal.
Monday, April 17, 2017
This is a totally fun to read modern Cindarellaish retelling. In this story, Chris is the Cinderella stand-in, living with his not really wicked step-mother and his step-brother and sister. When they all go to a fancy ball for the handsome and eligible bachelor, JJ Kennerly, part of a wealthy political family who his sister, Kimberly hopes to catch the attention of and marry for his money, Chris is left at home. That is, until drag queen Coco Chanel Jones shows up and takes Chris to the ball where he sees the handsome JJ and it is love at first sight for both of them. The story is funny and heart-warming and overall, a fun read.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
I loved this third book in the Kendra Chronicles. It can be read as a stand alone book, but the first two are fabulous and I highly recommend them as well. In this modern retelling of a slightly twisted Snow White story, Violet is an ugly duckling who transforms herself into a total knock out when she finds out she is a witch. Kendra helps her with this. Although Violet has always been in love with Greg, he, alas, only has eyes for Jennifer, a mean girl who bullied Violet mercilessly. Years later, Violet becomes the step mother to Celine, a fair skinned, dark haired beauty, Greg and Jennifer's daughter. Celine is befriended by Goose, a little person, ok, a dwarf, but that term is not politically correct. He is funny and wonderful and totally in love with Celine. The story is a totally fun read and Alex Flinn is one of my favorite authors!
Thursday, April 13, 2017
If you are looking for magical realism for kids, this book is perfect! Such a sweet, encouraging, endearing, wonderful story! I listened to the audio book and I love the reader's voice and singing. Emma lives with her brother and grandmother above The Boneyard Cafe where her brother bakes and Granny Blue makes Boneyard Brew, a special blend of hot chocolate. Emma misses her mother, who passed away several years earlier, and she looks forward to having her Destiny Dream, which all of the women in her family have. Along with her best friend, Cody Belle, and Earl Chance, who survived a tornado, but hasn't spoken since then, she has many adventures while trying to find a treasure to save her cafe. The book is filled with magic and flowers and music and love.
I have had quite a few requests for this book at the library. One little boy very excitedly told me that the book is about zombies! I read the book and can see its appeal to elementary school and middle school age boys. Thirteen year old Jack has survived the monster apocalypse and now his town is filled with monsters and zombies, but Jack is lonely and he is searching for his best friend, Quint and he wants to save the girl he likes, June. Together with Dirk, a bully, who used to be his enemy, and a giant dogish monster who becomes Jack's pet and steed, the kids have adventures and try to have fun, even during a monster apocalypse. I am sure that this series will be quite popular.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
This is such an intriguing story! When he was 20 years old, Christopher Knight drove into the woods and never returned to society until he was arrested for stealing, 27 years later. The book tells Knight's story as well as stories of other hermits and some history about people who have been hermits. Knight lived in an area of Maine that was very difficult to get to, but was surrounded by cabins and a camp and he lived for 27 years by stealing from the cabins and the camp. How he survived, why he chose to do that, and what it was like to live such a solitary life are fascinating topics.
The author tells the story of her life as a psychic, but the story is as much about her strange, sad family life as it is about her psychic abilities and readings. All in all, her story is rather depressing. Her mother never showed her any affection and Suzan's love life and personal life was a mess. The psychic readings scattered throughout make it more interesting.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
So, Sunshine is back home and now it is up to her to save the world. There is a nasty demon who wants to use her to end the world, but with the help of her boyfriend, Nolan and her father, Aiden along with others, she is determined to do whatever it takes to save everyone, even if it means that she must make the ultimate sacrifice.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
In this YA dystopianish novel, the Nazis had won the war and the goal of Aryan purity has been pursued with "imperfect" people killed or living on the outskirts of society in hiding as Renegades. Ellyssa and her siblings have been genetically engineered to be perfect Aryans and soldiers with the ability to wipe out the rest of the imperfect society and begin anew. Ellyssa can read minds and her siblings have other abilities that their "father" wishes to hone and reproduce in others. When a Renegade sends a message to her mind, she flees the facility where she was raised and is found by a group of Renegades who take her in. Rein is a handsome young man who she falls in love with, having just learned how to experience emotions. The book ends in a cliffhanger and there should be more in the series.
Monday, April 3, 2017
In this forth book in the series, twelve year old Celie tries to help the castle to find the escaped evil wizard Arkwright as her sister Lilah prepares to visit Grath with her fiance, Lulath. There are griffins hatching and mysterious noises and parts of a ship as the castle shifts and the magic continues.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Having returned to earth and a sense of normalcy, Zeke suddenly finds out that there is an alien intelligence that has taken up residence in his brain, who he names Smelly since his entire name is too long and complex. Zeke is finding earth rather boring and he misses his friends. He does make a friend at school, Alice, who is a UFO buff who recognizes Zeke and wants to find out if aliens are real. Once again, Zeke is sent into space on a dangerous mission and he is reunited with his friends. There is action, danger, and all sorts of fun sci-fi references in this second book in the series.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
This is such a totally fun, spoofy type of sci fi book for middle grade readers! When the POTUS comes to see 12 year old Zeke, and asks him to go on a secret space mission, Zeke is sure it is like Star Wars, Star Trek, Ender's Game, The Hitchhiker's Guide and more. So many fun sci fi references! As Zeke and 3 other young people are sent into space as a delegation from earth, he learns that while the other three were chosen because of their intelligence and skills, he is the random member of the team and they chose to leave him out of things to boost their points. After saving their ship when it is attacked and being branded a war criminal, he is befriended by two other Randoms and it is up to them to save the day.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
When Emma's mom has her girlfriend move in, the girlfriend's daughter, Quinn moves in too. Quinn is a mean girl, a beautiful, mean, cheerleader, queen bee and bully whose parents have no control over her at all. Quinn delights in ruining people's lives including Emma's. When Emma finally stands up to her, Quinn moves back in with her father, for a while, then she is back. This book explores the high school stereotypes in a realistic way and is a very good read. It makes you think.
What a fun book! Twelve year old Pete's life has not been the same since his father died and his grandfather began developing Alzheimer's. Now, his mother is having to sell things so they can get by. As he and his twin brother, Henry, are cleaning out the attic, they find an old sea trunk containing a ship in a bottle. When they take the ship to their grandfather in the old folks home, the adventure begins as they travel through time and fight pirates!
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
I enjoyed this second book in the Blackthorn Key series. The black plague has come to London and while the other apothecaries have left town, Christopher is left behind. Because he is an apprentice without a master, he is unable to sell anything and he is barely scraping by. There are frauds selling fake plague remedies and a mysterious "prophet" who is predicting who the plague's next victims will be. Then, an apothecary comes to town with a cure for the plague, but things are not all as they seem and Christopher and his friend Tom need to solve the mystery before it is too late!
Monday, March 27, 2017
This is a fun to read historical fiction novel for middle grade students set in London in 1665. Fourteen year old Christopher is an apprentice to an apothecary. He is very smart and is learning the chemistry of the time, and how to decipher codes. He enjoys his job until his master is brutally murdered and leaves clues for Christopher to solve the crime. This is the first book in the series and I look forward to reading the next one.
This is a captivating story about the sister of a girl who was abducted at age 6 and returned 13 years later. Faith tells the story of how her life had been changed by her sister Laurel's abduction and how it is changed once again when Laurel is returned. There is mystery, intrigue and plot twists in this sad story.
Friday, March 24, 2017
In this second book of the series, Jessamy continues to try to secretly care for her family while participating in the game of Fives. There is more action and adventure, romance and politics. While she really only cares about saving her family, Jes learns that the political situation that she has been thrown into cannot be ignored. I think fans of Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy this series as well.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Totally fun to read young adult fantasy novel! Jessamy and her 3 sisters have lived sheltered lives as Patrons with their lovely mother, who is a commoner, and their father who is a Patron war general. While her father is away at war, Jess has often sneaked out and learned to be a competitor in the game of Fives, an athletic event in five sections rather like the American Ninja Warrior course. Then her father comes home unexpectedly, and Jess is recognized competing in her first Fives game. There is action and romance as she is thrust into a new life and must rescue her mother and sisters with the help of a handsome prince.
Monday, March 20, 2017
This is a fun first book in a middle grade fantasy adventure series. Jack is 11 years old and after he mysteriously survives a fire at the circus, he learns that he is part of a world that he did not know existed - and coincidentally - or perhaps not - Alexia, a girl who was performing in the circus is also part of the mystery. His ageless teacher, a boy named Wild, and another boy named Arthur are all part of the magical story. I think that middle grade children will enjoy this book!
Saturday, March 18, 2017
This is an absolutely fantastic book! I give it 10 stars on a 5 star scale. Archer tells his story from elementary through middle school about his friends, family and school. The book is funny and heartwarming and just totally wonderful. I highly recommend it for middle grade readers!
Friday, March 17, 2017
This book contains a wide variety of interesting facts about the human body. From why don't tattoos wear off to why do ears ring, what is gluten, are we made to eat meat, how does flouride work, how does gender transitioning go and more, you will find easy to read and understand explanations and some cute illustrations. I think that lovers of trivia and facts about the human body will enjoy reading this book.
In this very sad book, Sussy and her best friend Guy get a gecko from the pet shop that is kept at Sussy's house because Guy's mother says there is not room for a pet at his house. Then, while they are on a bicycle trip to the pet store, Guy is hit by a car and killed. For the rest of the story, Sussy struggles to deal with the death of her best friend and tries to keep Matylda,the gecko alive and well.
This is a totally amazing suspense filled young adult mystery with a bit of romance! I read it all in one day because I could not put it down. Anastasia is a junior in high school, living with her older sister, Keira since their parents had died in a tragic accident several years before. When Keira disappears and is presumed to be dead due to the amount of her blood that was at the scene, Anastasia refuses to believe her sister is dead and sinks into a deep depression. Then, evidence turns up that Keira may be alive and Anastasia is determined to find her. She is sent to Europe with Marcus, a boy from her high school whose parents and brother work for the same company her parents worked for. There is lots of action and plot twists and this is the first book in a series and I look forward to reading the rest when they come out!
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
This story is told alternately by Robin and Izzie, who have met one another again twenty years after the first time they met. They become involved with one another and both remember the past, but their memories are different. Izzie and her teenage daughter, Claire are still mourning the death of Claire's father, and Robin has been living on the streets. We later learn why he was living as a homeless person as the story gives clues to both of their pasts. The story is a mystery and a romance and a story of two lost people who find one another.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
This is a fun quick read. Sixteen year old Phoebe loves reading, knitting, and archery, which she took up because her favorite fictional character does archery. She takes notes from her favorite books on romance and relationships and tries to put them to use when she finds out that Dev, a friend of hers in band, likes her. Her friends try to help her out and there are mishaps, friendship and romance in this fun book.
Friday, March 10, 2017
In this second book, Ruby has been training with the Children's League and is sent out on missions. She has learned that Liam is in danger and has, unbeknownst to him, a flash drive that contains information about the virus that gave the children who did not die from it various abilities. Ruby and her friends face bad guys and help one another and there is more action, adventure and some romance. I look forward to reading the next book.
Krysia was a child in Poland during WWII. She tells her story of how her father had to go into hiding and her family was removed from their house and shipped to Russia to live in a strange land. They had a very rough time and very little food. This book does tell about a part of WWII that many people don't know about and could be good for people who are researching that time period.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Seventeen year old Hawthorn Creely doesn't fit in well at school. She has one real friend, Emily, who is making other friends now and Hawthorn feels left out. Other students make fun of her and she hates school and the people there except for Emily. When Lizzie Lovett, a girl who was a senior when Lizzie was a freshman, goes missing, Hawthorn decides to find out what happened to her. She always saw Lizzie as the perfect girl, you know, cheerleader, beautiful, happy, popular. But as Hawthorn looks at things, she begins to see that perhaps Lizzie was not what she had appeared to be. Hawthorn gets Lizzie's old job, and boyfriend, and has many learning and growing experiences. I really enjoyed the book and I think others will enjoy it too.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began by Alex Cooper, Joanna Brooks
Wow, very sad and scary story. When she was 15 and told her LDS parents that she was gay, Alex had no idea that they would send her away to be degayified, which is not rally possible. The people her family sent to stay with were not certified or state regulated as a treatment program and she was basically held captive tortured physically and emotionally for 8 months in their home. She was lucky that they finally allowed her to go to school where she opened up to a friend about her situation and she was rescued out of it. The fact that such thing as gay conversion therapy even exists is horrible and the situation that Alex was in was physically and emotionally abusive and she was lucky to survive. She did go to court, and won the right to live in Utah and be protected from her parents or anyone else trying to put her into any gay conversion therapy again, which should help other teens.
Friday, February 24, 2017
In this young adult dystopian novel, a virus has hit the US, that either kills children between ages 10 and 17 or gives them psychic powers. Ruby is put into a government run camp where children who are affected are kept. Their parents are told they are being rehabilitated, but they are not. She convinces the camp that she is a Green, with powers that are not dangerous, so she is able to survive. Then, when she is 16 years old, a woman breaks her out of the camp along with another boy who is also an Orange, those who can control the minds of other people. Ruby quickly realizes that they only want to use her and she escapes and winds up first with a small group of other children; Chubs, Liam and Zu, but they later join a group of children who are living in a camp that is supposed to be free children. Danger, romance, psychic powers and evil adults and children fill this YA dystopian novel. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.
Like the others, the third book of this series is a very fun and adventurous story. I think that fans of Harry Potter and The Lightning Thief will enjoy this series. Ronan and his friends in the Blood Guard struggle to keep Greta, who is a Pure soul, although she doesn't know it, safe from Ronan's father and the evil Bend Sinister group. When Greta's mother and their cat are kidnapped, it is up to Ronan and his friends to save them. I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to the next one!
Friday, February 10, 2017
This is a well-written and researched and important book about the toxins in our environment. From plastics, medications, pesticides and herbicides to toothpaste and shampoo, we are stewing in a chemical soup. The author not only tells us about the various chemicals found in our homes, drinking water, lawns, the products we buy and how they wind up in our bodies. The book has a helpful appendix with resources to help find better products to use and groups to contact. Most importantly, we need to demand legislation that will protect our environments and ourselves. I highly recommend this book.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Filled with Russian folklore, this story begins when Anouk is 15 years old and is being punished for being outspoken with an arranged marriage to a mean old man. She runs away and is taken in by kind villagers where she learns more about gathering herbs used for healing. When the leader of the village falls mysteriously ill, Anouk feels it is her duty to find a cure to repay him for his kindness and that of the entire village. She goes into the dangerous Dark Woods to find a healer and finds adventure and romance as well.
Twelve year old Shane Woods is a transgender boy who has moved with his mom to a new city and new school and is keeping the fact that he is transgender secret, or as his mother calls it, private. His best friend, Josh does not know he is transgender, nor does anyone else at his school. He is ready to take hormones, but his father is concerned about that. The book discusses the issues of being a transgender child and also has a good story. I think middle grade children will enjoy this book.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Oh my goodness! Such a sad and horrible, yet at the same time great book! I read it all in a few hours today. I couldn't put it down. The story is told alternately by 14 year old Julian and 18 year old Adam. Many serious issues are dealt with, death, abuse, foster care, adhd, dyslexia, bullying, but there are also wonderful friendships and love. Years earlier, after his parents died, Julian lived with Adam and his mother who provided a foster home for him. Now, living with his uncle, Julian's life is quite different. The relationships and friendships between Adam and his friends and Julian are wonderful and Julian's uncle is evil and horrible and the story will make you cry. It is an unforgettable story.
In a world where there are now superheros and super villains, 15 year old Danny is a boy who wants to be a girl. When he is an unwitting witness to the death of a superhero named Dreadnought, she gets her wish, a female body, along with superpowers and the choice of what to do next . Her father is abusive and very much against her being transgender and her mother is unable to stand up to him. There is prejudice against her being transgender even among the superhero community so though she now has the body she has always wanted, some things have not changed. She befriends another girl who calls herself Calamity, who fights against evil whether it is outside of the government or within it, and begins to learn more about the superhero community and the evil villain who killed Dreadnought. I like that Danny has to overcome her own fears and learn to use her powers and chose whether to use them for good or not. This book is a fun read and I think teens will enjoy it.
Friday, February 3, 2017
In this intriguing science fiction book for teens, eighteen year old Ella is helping to run her family business, allowing people to relive memories. Her mother is ill and dying and her father was murdered a year ago. She has been having disturbing dreams and when a young man named Jack shows up and warns her about her best friend, she begins to realize that things are not as they seem. Jack claims to have known Ella in the past, but he has been erased from her memory. Now it is up to Ella to figure out what is real and what is going on because only she has the key to stopping another war from happening, but she doesn't know what it is.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
In this short, first book of a series, Citrus sleeps late and when she gets to high school, sees herself already in class. She learns that she and several other students now have doppelgangers - identical look alike people who are taking their places. Together with a boy named Aedan, who also has a doppel, they try to take the doppelgangers on and find out what is going on. To be continued in the next book....
Saturday, January 28, 2017
In this book, Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery shares his experiences of reporting about the shooting of Michael Brown and the uprising and protests in Ferguson and the subsequent protests of other police shootings as all people were made more aware of the police violence in America. The book is quite comprehensive and has an index and notes at the end.
When Ani and her best friend Weevil are captured by the governor's wardens and tested for the scourge, they are surprised and sad to learn that they have this deadly disease. After being transported to Attic Island, the former prison, now turned into a colony for scourge victims, Ani learns that things are not as they seem. Why has the scourge returned? What is really happening to the prisoners who are sent to the infirmary from which they never return? The story is full of action and is a well-written, fast, fun read.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Set in East Berlin in 1989, Noah is 11 years old and had lived a normal life in the USA until the day his parents packed his things and told him his name was actually Jonah and they were going to live in Germany for a while. He was forbidden from using his old name and from talking about his other life. Instead, his parents had made him a scrapbook/photo album about his life as Jonah. In Germany, Jonah meets a neighbor girl named Claudia, which pronounced in German sounds like the word cloud with ia at the end. The word for whale - as in Jonah and the whale in German sounds like wallfish in English. The two form a friendship, but are not supposed to even speak to one another. This historical fiction novel is filled with facts about East Germany and the political situation during the time right before the wall came down. The story is interesting and I think that middle grade children will enjoy it.
Friday, January 20, 2017
This fascinating story based on Russian folklore is the story of Vasya, who can see and speak with the demons who guard the homes and crops. As the Christian religion takes over, and offerings to the guardians are stopped, there is danger that only Vasya, a wild child who has inherited her ability to communicate with the guardians from her mother's family, can stop - or can she? The story is intriguing and a fun read!
Sunday, January 15, 2017
This is a fun to read mystery/fantasy for kids. When eleven year old Ruben, a loner who sneaks around town exploring, finds an old pocket watch that had been hidden in a crack in a wall, his life becomes an adventure. He tries to find out about the watch, hoping to sell it and get money so that he and his mom can move into a better neighborhood, but he learns that the mysterious leader of his city, known only as "the Smoke", is interested in the watch, and now he and his mother are in danger. I enjoyed reading this adventure story and I will definitely recommend it to middle grade readers!
Monday, January 9, 2017
This book is an excellent conclusion to the two book series. Elizabeth no longer has her stigma, and must learn to live without it's self-healing properties. John, who now has the stigma, is changing due to Blackwell's magic, and Elizabeth wishes to save him and kill Blackwell. There is war and romance, magic and transformation and growth of the main characters.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
In this young adult fantasy steampunk novel, time is controlled by the clock towers that fables say are inhabited by clock spirits. Mechanics are strictly forbidden from becoming involved with clock spirits. Danny is a 17 year old clock mechanic whose father has been trapped in a town where the clock tower was damaged and time has been stopped for the past 3 years. Danny was also injured in a clock tower explosion. Even so, he is determined to find a way to repair the clock tower in the stopped town and release his father. When he meets a handsome young man while repairing a clock in Enfield, he finds himself in a forbidden romance.