Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows

Dead Little Mean Girl
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.

The Swift by Alex Banks

The Swift
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

Mark of the Plague by Kevin Sands

Mark of the Plague (The Blackthorn Key, #2)
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

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands

The Blackthorn Key (The Blackthorn Key, #1)
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.

The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

 The Lost and the Found
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

Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives #2) by Kate Elliott

Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives, #2)
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

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Court of Fives by [Elliott, Kate]
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

Jack Staples and the Ring of Time by Mark Batterson, Joel N. Clark

Jack Staples and the Ring of Time (Jack Staples #1)
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

The Best Man by Richard Peck

The Best Man by [Peck, Richard]
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

If Our Bodies Could Talk by James Hamblin

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.

Matylda, Bright & Tender by Holly M. McGhee

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.

Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Proof of Lies
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

The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

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

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

Bookishly Ever After (Ever After, #1)
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

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)
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: A Polish Girl's Stolen Childhood During World War II by Krystyna Mihulka

Krysia: A Polish Girl's Stolen Childhood During World War II
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

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
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.