Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I totally loved this book!  Don Tillman is a genetics professor who is autistic, but does not actually realize that.  When he creates a questionnaire to find a proper wife, his life changes forever.  He meets Rosie, who does not fit the bill for his questionnaire at all, but, he decides to help her find out who her father is through DNA testing.  The book is funny and romantic and overall a very fun read!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spaced Out (Moon Base Alpha Book 2) by Stuart Gibbs

Spaced Out (Moon Base Alpha #2)
This is a fun second book in the series.  Once again, something has gone wrong at the Moon Base and it is up to 12 year old Dashiell, along with his alien friend, Zan Perfonic, to solve the mystery and save the day.  This time, Nina, the base commander, goes missing.  She disappears and no one can find her.  Dash was the last person who saw her before she disappeared. The book is a fun to read mystery and I think that kids from grade 4 and up will totally enjoy it!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Raelia (The Medoran Chronicles #2) by Lynette Noni

I totally loved this second book in the series and I eagerly awaiting the rest of the books!  In this book, Alex returns to Medora for the next year of school and she further develops her powers.  She is the chosen one and only she will be able to save  - oh, probably the world - from the evil Aven and his lackeys.  There is a little romance, lots of action and fighting and there is one Harry Potter reference.  I liked Alex's spunky personality.  I really look forward to the next book!  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Not If I See You First
Parker is just starting her junior year of high school.  Her father passed away 3 months ago and her aunt and uncle and their children have moved into Parker's house. She is blind, but very self-sufficient. The story has some romance and deals with several heavy issues.  It is well-written and I enjoyed reading it.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Akarnae The Medoran Chronicles Begin by Lynette Noni

So fun!  It is like a little bit of Harry Potter, some Alice In Wonderland, a bit of The Wizard of Oz and some Hunger Games all mashed up together!  Sixteen year old Alex is going off to a boarding school as her parents will be traveling in a country with no way to communicate with them.  She gets to the school which seems totally dreadful, but when she goes inside to check in, she opens a door to another world and winds up at Akarnae, a school for gifted teens in a different world.  There is a sentient library and books that open doorways and lots of adventure and friendship!  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I look forward to reading the next book.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Sign of the Cat by Lynne Jonell

I loved this book! A boy who can talk cat who is kidnapped and trained as a ship's boy.  A missing princess.  "It would have been so much better with a tiger".  And of course, there was Brig, the tiger.  Cats and kittens and bad guys and so much adventure!  I think that kids in grades 4-8 will enjoy this book, although sensitive children should beware and stay away because kittens are squished, ground, and eaten. There is not a lot of description of that, but it is one thing the bad guy does, so be aware.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I enjoyed the story very much.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson

Wow!  This is quite a gripping story.  Laila is a refugee from an unnamed middle eastern country in which her father had been the dictator.  After her father was killed by her uncle's men, she and her mother and brother were brought to the United States.  Now, Laila and her 6 year old brother go to American schools and struggle to fit in to a foreign and frivolous culture while the war continues in her country.  Laila tries to fit in and enjoy the American culture, but as she learns more about what her father did, she wants to right the wrongs that he committed.  The story is fast paced, tense and compelling.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust : A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley

I have not read the other books in this series, but I thought this one was quite good.  Twelve year old Flavia de Luce has been sent from her home in England to a boarding school in Canada that her deceased mother had once attended.  On her first night there, a dead body falls out of the chimney in  her room giving Flavia a mystery to pursue.  Flavia is smart and spunky and a fun girl to read about.  I enjoyed this book and may read others in the series as well.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Another Day by David Levithan

This book is a companion story to Every Day.  
It is the same story, only it is told from Rhiannon's 
point of view.  
I liked this book, but I liked Every Day better.  
In this book, we see how Rhiannon sees 
A and how she reacts to him/her and 
we learn a bit more about what her life is like.  
I would love to see a sequel to 
Every Day telling more of A's story.  
I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan
Wow.  I am tired.  I read this entire book in 4 hours because I could not put it down.  Every day A wakes up in a different body.  Some days he is a boy, other days she is a girl.  He is 16 years old now and falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon.  He keeps in contact with her through e-mail and meets up with her in a variety of bodies.  His experiences in each body are interesting.  He also spends one day in the body of a boy who remembers that he was there and thinks he had been possessed by a demon.  This book kind of reminded me of Being John Malcovich in reverse - sort of.  Totally fascinating and I am going to read the next book soon.

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

I highly recommend this book to people who wish to know more about autism.  It is incredibly comprehensive, and long, explaining how autism has been studied and treated over the past 100 years or so.  Much of it is rather horrifying, like the fact that in Germany during WWII, crematoriums were built connected to children's hospitals so they could easily dispose of the bodies of the autistic children who they said died of natural causes.  Equally appalling is the fact that in the US, autistic children used to be put into institutions, treated with electric shock therapy, LSD and other bizarre and horrific treatments.  We see that some of the doctors who created diagnoses cared more about getting their name in print for discovering something than they cared about actually helping people, yet their research and findings were accepted as being correct. The book explains how the movie Rain Man and author Temple Grandin brought adult autistics into the public eye.  It explains that autism is "not a single unified entity but a cluster of underlying conditions... that produce a distinctive constellation of behavior and needs."  It says that "There are roughly as many people on the spectrum in America as there are Jews."  Rather than seeing autism as a curse or something that must be eliminated, the book shows how Neurodiversity "is a valuable part of humanity's genetic legacy" and that rather than simply trying to eliminate it, we should focus on helping autistic people and their families live healthier happier lives.  This is a very long book and I read it and listened to the audio book and it took me a while to get through it, but it was worth it.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones

This is a fun middle grade fantasy book.  Twelve year olds Annie Nobody, who has been bounced from foster home to foster home and Jamie, whose father and grandmother treat him cruelly and threaten to eat him, are brought together in an adventure to save a magical town where they both may finally fit in and have a welcoming place to live.  After all, Annie is supposed to have magical powers and Jamie might or might not turn into a troll. They just have to be brave and resourceful. Luckily, they have the help of Eva, an heroic dwarf, Bloom, an elf and a magical dog.  Together, they must make some magic and defeat evil.  This is the first book in a new series and I think kids will enjoy it.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal
Such an excellent story!  Told alternately by David and Leo, it is a story about what it is like to be transgender in high school.  David has known that he should be a girl all his life, but he has always hidden it.  He has written many letters to his parents telling them about it, but has never given them one.  Leo has had to change schools and is new at David's school.  He lives on the poor side of town and is glad to have a second chance at a school where kids really care about learning. The book addresses many issues, from poverty and bullying to single parenting and transgenderism. I think that teens will enjoy this well written book.  I received this book for an honest review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Map of Bones (The Fire Sermon #2) by Francesca Haig

I enjoyed this second book in the trilogy.  If you have not read the first book, you must read it before reading book two. Cass, along with Piper and Zoe are trying to stop the Reformer, who is her twin brother Zach, and the General, from putting all the Omegas into tanks keeping them in a suspended state while their Alpha twins enjoy life without having to worry about them. The writing is beautiful and poetic. I have an advance copy, so I am not sure if the wording will remain the same, but I think my favorite line is "Words were bloodless symbols we relied on to keep the world at bay."  The story shows what prejudice and hatred do and the Alpha twins, in hating their Omega twins are really just hating themselves, their own other halves, which is what all prejudice and hatred in the world really is since we people are all people, and in hating and killing other people, is similar to hating and killing one's twin.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I look forward to the next book.