Friday, May 31, 2013

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

For some reason I had a hard time getting into this book…which is not a great way to start a review about a book I LOVE.  I think it was more a reflection of my reading ADD that I have been experiencing lately and less about the book.  I am so glad I stuck with it – the story was fantastic.  I absolutely love Ruta Sepetys characters and Josie is my new favorite.   The setting is so interesting…you could almost feel like you were in New Orleans while reading.  I will be eagerly waiting for her next endeavor.  This is cataloged as a Young Adult book but it has HUGE adult appeal.

Book Description via Amazon

Release date: February 12, 2013

It's 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks *GRAPHIC NOVEL*

Book Description via Amazon

Release date: May 7, 2013

You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.

It's only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club's robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!

In Faith Erin Hicks' and Prudence Shen's world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Children's Book Roundup - Friday Edition



Adventure, pirates, ghosts, creepy china dolls…what’s not to love?  But this is less of a creepy ghost story (although there are shades of that within the story) and more about a group of friends caught in that great “tween stage”, between being kids and growing up.  This reminded me of a certain group of 11 year olds that I know, ehem, that it made me want to cry thinking of them all on that cusp.  Perfect for ages 10 and up.


Book Description via Amazon

Release date: May 7, 2013 | Age Range: 10 and up | Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)

A doll that may be haunted leads three friends on a thrilling adventure in this delightfully creepy novel from the New York Times bestselling cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?



Can’t say enough good things about this book – so, so, so great!!!  The illustrations are bright and colorful, the rhyming text is fun, and it teaches about color mixing.  Robbie and I both LOVED it.

From School Library Journal

PreS-K-Bloblike monsters in primary hues energetically scribble, mix, dance, wiggle, and otherwise enjoy playing with color. Each creature makes a statement about what its color stands for, without any particular logic: why red is the color of snore, yellow the color of growl, and blue the color of nibble are not explained. The primary colors offer to make new ones for some little gray monsters and produce orange, green, and purple in turn. On the final page, they pull together a rainbow, but while the colors are in the proper order in the word rainbow, the illustration shows red followed by yellow, not orange. Better books that describe the color-mixing process include Ellen Stoll Walsh's Mouse Paint (Harcourt, 1989) and Arnold Lobel's The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments (Harper & Row, 1968).-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJα(c) Copyright 2011..


For any kid in your life that wants to hear the same story over and over and over and over… This book is for you (and them).  The illustrations are great, the story adorable and all parents will empathize with the poor tired mommy dragon.  A great bedtime story to be read AGAIN!

Book Description via Amazon

Release date: April 16, 2013 | Age Range: 2 - 6 years

A little dragon and his favorite book make for a combustible combination in this clever picture book with a surprise ending.

It’s nearly Cedric the dragon’s bedtime, and for Cedric, bedtime means storytime! When his mother reads him his favorite book, he likes the story so much that he wants to hear it again…and again…and again!

Cedric’s mom understands that the best stories are ripe for repetition, and she tries very hard to be patient. But sometimes dragons will be dragons—which is why this bedtime tale ends with an incendiary surprise!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

This was a cute book with a great premise and it made me want to dump Facebook, cell phones, and all technology.  My only drawback was the main character – Mallory – I found her whiny and annoying at times (but I loved, loved, loved her sister.)  This is a good book if you’re looking for something quick and easy.

Book Description via Amazon

Release date: March 26, 2013

When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to "go vintage" and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn't cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma's list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy's cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she'll get it done. Somehow.

Lindsey Leavitt perfectly pairs heartfelt family moments, laugh-out-loud humor, and a little bit of romance in this delightful contemporary novel.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Children's Book Roundup - is BACK!

Stranded by Jeff Probst

A great start to a new adventure series for kids, ages 8 and up (and another great series for boys.)   If you have a Man vs. Wild fan (or any survival show) this is a perfect fit.  It is a quick read with plenty of action.  Just a warning, this ends on a cliff hanger, with book number 2 being released in June.

Book Description via Amazon

Release date: February 7, 2013 | Age Range: 8 and up | Series: Stranded (Book 1)

A New York Times Bestseller!
As seen on The Today Show, Rachael Ray, and Kelly and Michael.
From the Emmy-Award winning host of Survivor, Jeff Probst, with Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life co-author, Chris Tebbetts, comes a brand new family adventure series!

A family vacation becomes a game of survival!
It was supposed to be a vacation--and a chance to get to know each other better. But when a massive storm sets in without warning, four kids are shipwrecked alone on a rocky jungle island in the middle of the South Pacific. No adults. No instructions. Nobody to rely on but themselves. Can they make it home alive?

A week ago, the biggest challenge Vanessa, Buzz, Carter, and Jane had was learning to live as a new blended family. Now the four siblings must find a way to work together if they're going to make it off the island. But first they've got to learn to survive one another.

Kite Day:  A Bear and Mole Story by Will Hillenbrand

This was our first book for our “Let’s Fly a Kite” theme….and it was a perfect choice.  The story is super cute with lots of rhyming and the illustrations are bright and cheerful.  It made us want to go outside and fly a kite!

Book Description via Amazon

Publication Date: February 20, 2012 | Series: Bear and Mole Story

On a windy spring day, what do Bear and Mole decide to do? Why, fly a kite, of course! But first they have to build one. They design, measure, and finally construct their kite. With a zoom, zoom, zoom the kite soars up, up, up in the air. But when a storm rumbles in --SNAP!--the kite string breaks! The chase is on as the two friends tear after their kite and find it in a tree, protecting a nest of baby birds from the rain. This sweet story makes a perfect read-aloud for preschoolers.


Super Duck by Jez Alborough

Our second book for “Let’s Fly a kite”… and this one was funny!  Duck gets himself into some interesting situations that just make kids laugh.  Perfect for 3 and up.

Book Description via Amazon
Duck and his long-suffering friends Frog, Sheep and Goat take off on their latest unforgettable adventure. A runaway kite is all it takes the resulting chaos makes Super Duck ideal for reading and laughing out loud. Alborough s timeless sense of humor and rhyme bursts from the pages, and will have the youngest super heroes shouting along.