Friday, November 16, 2018
Twelve year old Isa is feeling invisible and neglected as her parents focus all of their energy on her 6 year old sister Junie, who is in the hospital receiving treatment for cancer. When she finds that a magical tree grows in the orchard behind her house, she keeps it a secret until an unexpected friend arrives. The story is touching and tells the story of a sibling of a child with cancer. I think this book does a good job of portraying that as well as including some fun magical realism.
Monday, November 5, 2018
After 15 year old Lane's mother committed suicide, her grandparents, who she had never met, took her in. At first, living in the large, strangely built house with her beautiful cousin and lots of money seemed too good to be true. As time went on, Lane learned that being a Roanoke girl had it's own curse. Lane left the farm at the end of the summer, but was called back ten years later by her grandfather when her cousin, Allegra disappeared. The story goes back and forth between the two time periods as Lane remembered her summer with Allegra while searching for her in the present.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
If you enjoyed the Lux series, you will enjoy this first book in the spin off Origin series. In this YA paranormal romance, 17 year old Evie leans that many things and people in her life are not what she thought. When she goes to a night club with a friend and meets a mysterious young man named Luc who claims not to be a Luxen, but not human either, she is drawn to him but doesn't know why. Mystery, romance, supernatural powers and more abound in this fun to read YA paranormal romance.
Thursday, October 25, 2018
In this prequel to a podcast, seventeen year old Lia, a journalism student, is drawn into the mystery of what happened to Limetown when she learns that her uncle Emile has vanished along with all of the residents of that town. The story tells about her uncle, father and mother's pasts and Lia's investigation into the mystery.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Elise is in 8th grade and has finally talked her mother into letting her go to public school rather than being home schooled. However, socializing in school is not as easy or fun as she had anticipated. After saying the wrong things and having people upset with her, Elise has decided that she is better off not speaking. The fewer words she says, the less opportunity to say the wrong thing. That, however doesn't work well for her either and there are mysteries in her life that she has to solve.
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Seventeen year old Becca has lost touch with reality, and is sent to a mental hospital. We follow her journey as she struggles with the medication that has been given to her to help her sleep, the wizard who appears in her dreams and also when she is awake, and her feelings of disconnect from reality. I like that she makes friends with the other teens in the facility with her and seeing her gradually get better while realizing that some of her friends there may never get better. I think this is an excellent book about mental illness for teens and I like that it is hopeful while still realistic. I highly recommend this book.
Friday, September 7, 2018
Artie is a lovely female research professor who is studying cat viruses. She is in the process of a divorce, when a strange mutation appears in a cat virus that can also spread to humans. Her handsome post doc, Mark, is eager to help with her research and her personal life. When Artie decides to try and befriend the mysterious and creepy mathematicians who work nearby in the basement, she winds up in a situation that could be catastrophic.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Sixteen year old Michael isn't happy that his family has moved for the fourth time and he is even less happy that he has to go to a private Catholic high school, however, he soon finds some friends who also have a variety of views about religion and life in general. Michael is an atheist, Avi is Jewish and gay, Eden is polytheistic, Max is a Unitarian, Lucy is a Catholic and they are all heretics. Together, they try to change the school rules and go through the struggles of being different when you are a teenager.
Monday, August 27, 2018
A new set of characters is introduced in this action packed sequel series to the I Am Number Four series. Human teens who have developed legacies have been asked to go to a special academy to hone their skills, however, not all teens wish to go there and the academy is not the only group who wants to use the teens' powers. Taylor is a healer and Kopano is not sure exactly what his powers are. Together with Ran, Nigel, Isabella and Caleb, they have unexpected adventures as they learn to use their legacies. If you liked the first series, you should enjoy this one as well.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
In this Christian YA fantasy novel, 17 year old Shilo learns that she has inherited the ability to be a healer from her grandmother. Her parents are worried and don't want her to use her power from God to heal others because of the attention that would bring to her and because the gift caused her grandmother to become self-centered. However, Shilo wants to help people and after inadvertently healing 18 year old Misty's son, Tyler, she has to hide her ability and learn how to deal with it. Shilo deals with boyfriend problems and as her family helps Misty to escape her abusive boyfriend, they deal with other issues as well. There are gang problems, a mission trip, romance and supernatural healing in this Christian YA fantasy novel.
This is an excellent book! Written in the form of a two act play, it begins with sixteen year old Lacy awakening, as it were, dead, in a the cemetery where Edgar Allen Poe is buried. Prior to her arrival, the last resident arrived in 1913, so Lacy is seen as a "modern", by the other residents who include Sam, who died during the civil war, Poe's wife Virginia, two sisters who do needlework, and Sam's overly controlling mother, Mrs. Steele, who rules the cemetery and has the disorderly dead "suppressed". Lacy doesn't know she is dead and doesn't remember dying. Her last memory is of being on the way to participate in an open mic night to perform her poetry. Throughout the story we get to know the various dead and they work through their troubles from the past, and present. I would love to see this performed as a play! I think it would be very entertaining. It has humor and sadness and seems original and fun.
Friday, August 10, 2018
In this mystery/thriller, Sarah returns from a business trip to find her husband gone, the security camera footage erased and a gun in her nightstand drawer. Her teenage son said that the last thing his father told him was to keep the doors locked and set the alarm. As more details emerge, and Sarah has no idea if her husband is dead or alive, or guilty of a crime, Sarah recalls the good times in her marriage and becomes more and more determined that things are not what they seem.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
It is 1939 in Poland when 7 year old Anna's father leaves and never returns. She winds up wandering the country and others for years with a man who she knows only as The Swallow Man during the war. The story is sad and intriguing. I think readers of middle grade and YA literature will enjoy it.
Friday, August 3, 2018
This is a sweet, cute children's book. When Eric sees a unicorn in his grandmother's old barn, he begins working for the veterinarian and becomes sort of friends with her daughter, Allegra. Magic, mystery, love and sadness make this a lovely book for readers of all ages.
Sunday, July 29, 2018
I listened to the audio version of this book. Eighteen year old Madeline can never leave her house because she has an autoimmune disease like the bubble boy. Her only human contact is her mother, her nurse Carla. Until a new family moves in next door. Madeline begins messaging Ollie and then secretly meeting with him in person with the help of her nurse. Can she survive meeting him in person? Can she survive love? Interesting story.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
The story is interesting and if it were written as fiction, it would be more fun, but as non-fiction, I gave up on it about halfway through. The author claims to have "spiritual" visions in which she and her daughter go into trances or are hypnotized and see their past lives in which they were their own ancestors or friends of their family. I imagine that some people will enjoy that.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
In this paranormal mystery/horror novel, the main character, Rain, is a recovering drug addict who has been plagued by nightmares about the child that she gave up for adoption when she was 15. As the story begins, she awakens only to later find that she has lost an entire day. She and her recovering addict friends find that they are having nightmares about the same place and they set out to find out what is going on in order to try to save themselves and possibly the world from their nightmares.
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Devastatingly sad, this is a haunting tale of Tangy Mae, one of 10 children whose mother is insane. When the story begins, Tangy is 13 years old and her mother claims to be dying, although in reality, she is in labor. Tangy and her siblings live in abject poverty in the late 1950s in Georgia in a tumble down shack with no electricity. When each daughter is old enough, or not, their mother forces them to join her in the oldest profession. Tangy is the smartest of the siblings and the only one with the desire and opportunity to graduate from high school. The book is well-written, raw, sad and makes you think.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
When Pamela finds her friend Amy dead in the bushes with a knitting needle through her heart, she begins looking at clues to find out who killed her. The story is a fun to read mystery with knitting instructions and a recipe at the end of the book!
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
After falling into financial ruin due to her accountant husband not paying taxes, Jennifer and her husband, David wind up living in a falling down cabin in the mountains, raising chickens and goats, a far cry from their old suburban lifestyle. Jennifer teaches writing at colleges and her book shows that she is a writing teacher using lots of description in her writing. I listened to the audio version which was well done. It is an interesting story, although they had more than two goats.
Monday, June 18, 2018
Meg Ashley, poor little rich girl who grew up ignored by her rich and famous author mother, finally has the chance at revenge. She has been asked to write a tell all memoir about her mother. In order to do so, she must visit the island on which her mother's famous book is based. What is the true story behind her mother's famous murder mystery, Kitten? Who really killed the child? What is her mother hiding? Did members of the Kitty Cult stumble upon the truth? Will Meg be able to find out the truth and survive it? This is a fun mystery suspense novel and I enjoyed it very much.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
It's Ok That You're Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand by Megan Devine
"Grief changes you. Who you become remains to be seen. You do not need to leave your grief behind you in order to live a newly beautiful life. It's part of you. Our aim is integration, not obliteration."
It has been a little over two and a half months since my husband passed away from cancer. He had been diagnosed with cancer two and a half months before that and we had been told to prepare for the end. I thought that I understood death. My mother and my grandparents passed away when I was in high school and my father passed away eighteen years ago. We knew that my husband was dying. But, I was not prepared for this loss. At all. It was, and is much worse than anything I have ever experienced or could have anticipated. I have found this book to be very helpful in dealing with my own grief and with how other people deal with me. I think it is a wonderful book both for people who have lost someone and for other people to learn how to treat those of us who are going through the grieving process. I got this book through an inter-library loan and requested that my library purchase their own copy so that others here may benefit from it. I may even purchase a copy for myself because I want to go back and reread parts of it. I highly recommend this book.
This book tells the story of three sisters; Grace, Lia, and Sky. They have been raised by their parents, King and Mother, apart from the rest of society, which their parents have told them is damaged and damaging. Their parents force them to do all sorts of self-destructive rituals, which they say are good for them and they also drug them. The story is unclear about what really is happening in the rest of the world. Their father, King, has died, three men wash up on the shore, and soon afterwards their mother disappears and the three girls are left to deal with the men on their own. Part dystopian novel and part psychological thriller, this novel tells a unique story.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
In this young adult dystopian novel, society has been partially destroyed by a drug called Heam that is highly addictive and deadly. Heam addicts are seen as scum and their lifespans are not very long. Faye and her best friend Christian were forced to take Heam when she was 11 and he was 13. She survived, he did not. She is now living in squalor with an ex-police officer who rescued her and took her in after her mother kicked her out for taking Heam. She has been training physically since she was 11 years old learning how to defend herself, with plans for revenge on the men who dosed her with Heam. Then, a mysterious, handsome young man shows up who seems familiar to her. Fans of young adult dystopian novels should enjoy this book.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
This is a cute middle grade story in which 6th grader, Clara has moved with her mother to a new town and her grandmother, who they had lived with, has moved to Florida. Clara misses her old neighborhood and friends, but is part of the school newspaper crew ( although most schools don't have newspapers anymore - they have broadcast journalism instead). The student leader of the newspaper, Wesley, assigns Clara to write a horoscope column although Clara would rather write about the school's missing mascott. In the book, Clara makes new friends while searching for clues and begins fitting in with her new neighborhood and her mom's new friends.
Monday, May 7, 2018
This is a story of three women in post World War II Germany who live together for a few years in a castle. Marianne von Lingenfels is the widow of a resistor and she rescues two women whose husbands were friends of his in the resistance against Hitler. The story spans years and tells how each woman fared in Hitler's Germany and afterwards. Each woman hides secrets that we later learn. I found the story fascinating especially since one of the women at one point ran youth camps with her husband. We get to see the story of the ordinary Germans who were drawn in by his promises and who thought that what they were doing was good and right, until they realized what was really going on. The story is quite interesting and I highly recommend it.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
This book, while not technically a paranormal book is very like a YA paranormal romance in many ways. High school student, Sarah, has a sleep disorder that is so severe she has to be tied to her bed or she might hurt other people. This causes problems in her social life. When she meets Wes, who is literally the boy of her dreams, and she finds out they are both taking the same experimental medication at the same sleep clinic which is allowing them to affect people's real lives, a plot of revenge and danger emerges. Action, danger and romance abound in this YA mystery thriller.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Upper elementary age and middle grade students will enjoy this story of 6th grader, Sunny, who has moved with her mother and sister to live with her grandmother. Sunny wants to move back home to where her father lives and she plots and plans ways to get her parents back together. When she learns that her parents have been lying to her all along, Sunny decides that she needs to make sure she gets home to her dad. Along the way she learns lessons about friendship, family, and life.
In this fun to read first book in the series, high school student Amber Sand is not a witch, although her mother is one. Amber is a matchmaker. She can look into people's eyes and see their true love. When the mayor's son, a classmate of hers, asks for help finding his missing stepmother, Amber is drawn into more mystery and romance than she had counted on! I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series.
Friday, April 20, 2018
This is a simple, rhyming book for children about feeling angry and how to control your angry feelings without erupting like a volcano. Counting backwards, taking slow breaths, and other anger control techniques are introduced in a simple way.
Friday, April 13, 2018
When Allison's husband, Dave, had a stroke, while on an airplane on their way to a vacation, both of their lives changed drastically. Allison was five months pregnant with their first child, and Dave was a medical student. After the stroke, which he was lucky to survive, he had no short term memory and had to relearn many things. Allison had to rely on her faith and help from others and she wrote letters to Dave throughout his recovery to help keep her own sanity and document his journey for him when he recovered. The memoir is well written and inspiring.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
These are cute and unique dishcloth designs! They are so adorable that I would just want to hang them as decoration. The instructions are well written and I think that people will enjoy crocheting them.
This is a fun read for middle grade kids and teens. When Ozzy was 7 years old, he and his parents, who were scientists, moved away to live in the woods far away from anyone. Then, his parents are kidnapped and he is left alone. He survives and most of the story takes place when Ozzy is 14 years old and re-enters society and goes to high school and finds an ad for a wizard named Rin, and hires him to find his parents. Along with a sentient mechanical bird made by his scientist parents, Ozzy and Rin search for his parents. Is Rin really a wizard? The reader must decide.
This book rotates among three refugee families in different times and places. Josef is a 12 year old Jewish boy in Germany as WWII begins. His father is put into a concentration camp and is able to be released, but his mind is never the same. Their family winds up on the ship, the Saint Louis, a ship full of Jewish refugees that is turned away from many places.
Isabel is a 12 year old Cuban girl in 1994 whose family escapes from Cuba on a leaky, homemade boat.
Mahmoud is a 12 year old Syrian boy in 2015 whose family leaves Syria in search of a better life.
Their stories are compelling and sad and are all tied together at the end.
Friday, April 6, 2018
Such a fun series for middle grade readers! In this second book, Midnight and her friend Tabitha must protect the town from mysterious robberies that are spectral in nature and causing excessive rain and could cause much worse problems for the town and it's people and possibly ruin Midnight's mother's plans for an outdoor viking themed wedding. Mystery, friendship, and a little bit of romance make this book a wonderfully fun read!
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
The future is perfect. No hunger, no illness, no death, unless one is purposefully gleaned by a Scythe in order to assist population control. The Scythes are supposed to be impartial and glean randomly without feeling. When two teens, Citra and Rowan, are chosen as apprentice Scythes and pitted against one another, they learn that not all Scythes follow the rules.
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Wow. Based on a true story, this is a story of survival, love, hope and strength. Lale was one of the early prisoners in Auschwitz and as the tattooist, he managed to survive and to help Gita, who later became his wife, to survive as well. His story is touching and horrible and shows yet another aspect of the horrors of the holocaust. I highly recommend this book.
Monday, March 5, 2018
This is a fun to read comedy for middle grade children. Leo goes on an unexpected road trip with his grandmother and his cousin Abbey and her dog, Kermit in search of dinosaurs and the meaning of life. Together they have adventures and learn about life and each other on the way.
Such a sad story! Thirteen year old Connor's mother has cancer. He has nightmares and a monster in his backyard also talks to him. The monster tells Connor stories and says he is there to help, but is he really? This story is a heart wrenching tale of how Connor deals with his feelings about his mother's illness and impending death.
Thursday, March 1, 2018
I listened to the audio book of this story and it was very well done! I enjoyed hearing the French words pronounced in French. The book is set in France during World War II, which is a bit different setting for a middle grade book. It follows twelve year old Marcel who rides his bicycle to deliver loaves of bread for his parents who run a bakery. He dreams of riding in the Tour de France one day, but the race has been canceled due to the war. As the German occupation increases, Marcel must bring gingerbread to bribe the soldiers guarding the bridge in order to pass by. He soon learns that he is not only carrying bread. When a new girl, Delphine joins his class in school, he finds that they both share a love of bicycles and the Tour de France. She also has a big secret though and soon needs his help. I think that middle grade readers will enjoy this book.
As the story begins, in 1903, seventeen year old Kathleen, pregnant and homeless, stumbles through the snow and is found and rescued by a kind family that has two brothers who both fall in love with her. The story follows the family through World War I and afterwards. The historical part of the story is interesting and informative.
Monday, February 26, 2018
More lies, mysteries, intrigue, world travel and danger and murder are in this second book in the series. Who can Anastasia trust? Can she believe or trust anyone? How many people are lying to her? I enjoyed this second book in the series and look forward to the next one!
Saturday, February 24, 2018
This is the first book in a fun new middle grade series. When 12 year old Prosper and his twin sister Prudence are taken to their evil grandmother's home and met by all of their relatives, Prosper knows something is wrong. It turns out even worse than he imagines when his family attacks him and an uncle that he has never met rescues him and he awakens in a haunted house. Will his uncle and cousin be able to help him get rid of the demon who is residing within him? I think that readers will enjoy this book!
Thursday, February 22, 2018
This is a simple picture book for children about a boy who has two dads and gets made fun of for a wearing a t-shirt that has a rainbow heart and the words love is love. The little boy talks about how he doesn't like hearing that gay is bad and he talks about all the wonderful people who he knows who are gay. The book is positive and includes parts for parents and educators at the end.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
As the story begins, fifteen year old Quin is training to be a Seeker who will help people and right the wrongs in the world. She soon learns that her job as Seeker does not live up to her expectations. She has been training with two boys (love triangle alert), John, who she is in love with, and Shinobu, who is a distant cousin. The story is told by several different characters and covers the beginning, a year and a half later, and the distant past. There is romance, sci-fi/fantasy, and lots of action in this first book in this YA series. I think that readers of YA fantasy will enjoy it.
Saturday, February 17, 2018
In this middle grade fantasy, 13 year old Valor who is better at archery than most adults, gets herself arrested through an elaborate ruse so that she can be put in the same top security prison as her twin sister so she can break her sister out of that prison that no one has ever escaped from. Set in frigid Russia, the story has mystery, intrigue and politics all on a 13 year old level. I think middle grade children will enjoy this story.
The author shares her life story of how she came to realize that she was white and privileged and how she has tried to help educate other white people about how privileged they are to combat racism.
I think she has a lot of guilt. She did bring up some points about things I was unaware of with the GI bill and systematic housing discrimination. I listened to the audio version of this book. I think some people will be very touched by it.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Weylon Grey's story is told by a varried cast of characters consisting of people who he interacted with in his life including his adoptive sister,Lydia, and his girlfriend, Mary. Weylon was raised by wolves for several years and he can talk to the animals and perhaps he can control the weather. This is the author's first book and I look forward to her future books.
"Anti-Semitism tends to be invisible until it isn't." This book is a chilling reminder that anti-semitism, often a less visible form of bigotry, is alive and thriving in the US and growing in popularity and acceptance under the Trump regime. Jews face hatred from the alt-right who back Israel because they want the Jews to all leave the US and go to Israel, and from the far left who promote the BDS to the point that they are anti Israel and anti Jewish. The author shares his experience as a journalist of the virulent hatred of the online attacks on Jewish journalists especially and the technique of the alt-right neo-Nazis of surrounding the name of a Jewish journalist with three parentheses on each side to mark them for easy searching to target them online with hateful messages and images including death threats and gas chamber photos. Many policies of hatred perpetuated by the Trump regime and its followers as well as an explanation of the alt-right and neo-Nazis are explained in eye opening ways. I highly recommend this book.