Friday, June 24, 2011

Fancy Nancy

Fancy Nancy By: Jane O’Connor and Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser  

 Nancy loves everything fancy!  Fancy words, clothes, shoes, food everything!  She tries to make her family fancy by teaching them words that are fancy and making their clothes fancy.  I just love this for the fun that it has!  The words that the author chooses as fancy words also help teach great word choice.  Keep reading the Fancy Nancy  series because there are quite a few books now, and a series of readers.  I love them all! 
 I purchased this book at Target. ISBN: 978-0-06-054209-2 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cinder and Ella

Cinder and Ella By: Melissa Lemon
                Do you think you know the story of Cinderella? Well you don’t! This is the story of Cinder an Ella, sisters who are about to embark on a strange and interesting journey.  There are actually four sisters who have a father who has slowing disappeared, leaving their mother in no shape to care for them. Cinder and Ella work together to care for the two other sisters and their mother, but Cinder is the kinder one while Ella is not. One day Cinder tells Ella that she will be leaving to live at the castle, Ella cannot stand to be alone and so she runs away when she finds out that no one even sees her anymore.      She is brought back to the castle against her will by a knight, it seems the prince has a evil plan for her and her family.  Will the knight be able to save Ella? Will Cinder see the prince for who he really is?  All these questions are answered in this delightfully refreshing story of Cinderella. This book is perfect for upper elementary and junior high readers. It draws you into the story because the writing is so enticing.  A great new twist to an old fairy tale, a recommended read for sure.

This is an advanced readers copy from Bonneville Books, Springville, Utah ISBN: 978-1-599555-906-3  

A Pocket Full of Kisses

A Pocket Full of Kisses By: Audrey Penn Illustrated by: Barbara Leonard Gibson

Chester Raccoon is not happy about having a little brother and wants to give him away.  He thought it was fun until his little brother started taking his things and sharing other things that Chester wants for just himself. He is especially upset when his Mother gives the baby a kissing hand too.  But Chester’s Mom is able to make Chester feel special too by giving him a pocket full of kisses.

This is a touching story and perfect for every kid who maybe does not like or understand how even when there is a new baby around Mom still loves you both.  The illustrations are beautiful and full of detail.  I think that this would be a perfect gift for any child, but especially for a child who is a new big brother or sister.  My children loved this story.

I received this story from in the Kindle form, from Tanglewood Press. Inc.            
 ISBN: 978-1-9337180-2-6

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sarah's Key

Sarah’s Key By: Tatiana De Rosnay
This is a story of Sarah, who was taken with her parents by the French Police during a round up of Jewish people in France during July of 1942.  And the story of Julia Jarmond, a journalist who is doing a journal article about the event 60 years later.  Sarah has no idea why the police are at her door and barging in, all she knows is that her father is hiding in the basement and she needs to hide her brother.  So she tells her brother that she will be back for him and locks him into the closet they like to hide in.  Her mother is scared but believes that her husband will stay hidden and come and get the boy.  When the father comes running to meet the family, Sarah tells him it will be okay they can come and get the brother when they are allowed to return. As the story unfolds it is clear that they will not be back and Sarah is desperate to go back and claim her brother even after being sent to a concentration camp. She just hopes it will be in time.
Julia is an American who moved to France and married a Frenchman.  She is writing for an American newspaper in France and is asked to cover the anniversary story for the sad day called the Vil’ d’Hiv’. She is surprised when not many people really know what happened and those that do don’t want to talk about it.  As the story of this sad day unfolds she is desperate to find out more about the girl named Sarah, who she finds out, was living in the apartment of her husband’s family. As Julia tries to make amends to this little girl she is so enthralled with, her marriage is falling apart. What choice does Julia have to make but to try to help the family of this girl? 
This story will mesmerize you. It will make you cry, but it is totally worth it.  I couldn’t put the book down wanting to get to the end hoping for the best for these two girls’ generations apart.

I purchased this book at Bookman’s, a local used book store. ISBN: 978-0-312-37084-8

Bible Animal Stories for Bedtime

Bible Animal Stories for Bedtime By: Jane Landreth Illustrated by: David Miles
What a fantastic collection of Bible stories for children.  This book is a great one to share with anyone with children who love animals and the Bible.  A true treasure.  I loved how each story started with a verse, told a story about that verse, and then they ended with a prayer. I read some of the stories to my children and the loved them and kept asking to hear more, we can't wait to read all of them.  The way the stories are told just draw them in, and they are learning something at the same time about God which is fantastic. 
I read this book in the Kindle edition from  ISBN:978-1-61626-339-3

Friday, June 17, 2011


Bossypants By: Tina Fey  Tina Fey is an interesting character!  In her book Bossypants she explains events in her life that have lead her to where she is today.  So why read it?  Because the way in which she explains her life is hysterical. It is filled with humor and jokes.  I liked it because she tells it how she sees it and doesn't hold back.  She tells about events that hurt her, made her happy, and nearly killed her.  My favorite chapters include the two that she tells about how people should just not comment on other people's weight, one is about being to thin and the other is about being to fat. So why not just leave people alone as long as they are healthy.  And there is a section on how her mom explained her period to her that was funny, because her mom really didn't tell her anything just gave her a book to read.  I recommend this book not only for just an interesting story of a really funny lady but because it is funny and just a laugh out loud book.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Can't Wait

Okay so I will admit it! I LOVE the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney!! And I just saw on the Scholastic Site that Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever #6 is coming out November 15!  These are the funniest books and I am so excited!! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker

Set in the Netherlands on a beautiful sunny farm, this story presents the life of Helmer and the ghost of his twin brother, Henk. Henk is athletic, good looking and the favorite of Helmer's father. He tragically is killed before his wedding to the beautiful Riet. Helmer has to return to the family farm to work. He later has to care for his ailing and crippled father. We learn of his anger and longing that stemmed from his brother's death. The story twists when Riet contacts Helmer for help with her teenage son. Helmer agrees to have him come work on the farm to "straighten him up". Of course, what happens is healing and transformation in Helmer as he dives into his father figure role. Who would have thought a book about a middle aged man would be such a good read?

What Is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman

The main character, Wyatt Hillyer, is a middle aged man who decides to tell his story to his 21 year old daughter through a series of letters. It is an intriguing story told in a flashback way. The story unfolds in a very untraditional manner. We learn of his choices and demons that in the end explain current position in life. I enjoyed the setting, the Atlantic coast of Canada since it lended well to the dreary, dampness of Wyatt's life, past and present. The stories that occur deep and secretly are the most interesting!

Room by Emma Donoghue

I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator is Jack, a 5 year old boy who lives with his Ma in Room. The entire story unfolds for us through his perspective. We later find out that Ma was kidnapped by a man who keeps her prisoner in his shed in his backyard. Horrific. But, the fact that Jack tells the events in the story, it is his whole world - a world he loves! It's eery to listen to their daily lives in Room and how they pass the days and weeks and years. It is a book that delves into a terrifying event but in an eerily innocent way. It also tells us a complete story of Jack and Ma. It's hard to say "I really liked it" because it was very unnerving but the author's choice to tell in Jack's words was very fresh and engaging.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Unlocked By: Karen Kingsbury  Holden has autism.   He is in high school and many of the students make fun of him.   He does not talk but uses cards to communicate what he tries to say, but in his mind he talks and prays for all the people in his school that are mean to him.   Tracy, Holden’s mom, is struggling to understand and help her son. She is sad and lonely and wishes things would change.  Ella sees Holden staring at her and does not understand. Then she finds pictures in her house of her a little boy and realizes that that little boy is Holden.  Why are they not friends now?  Holden knows that he knows Ella and when Ella begins to talk with him and help him he begins to talk and sing again.  This is a heartwarming story about the power of friends and love and never giving up on others. 


Detours By: Bette Nordberg  Callie is a single girl who just started 2 businesses. She thinks she is finally making something of herself.  But as we all know life isn’t always what we think.  When Callie’s renter and friend Celia is in a car accident and in ICU Callie is the only one who can care for Celia’s son.  Callie is terrified because she has no idea what to do with the  four year old.   But with a little praying and hope she is able to do it and falls in love with the little boy. Marcus is tired of hiding out and plans to return to where he started out.  He is tired of running and not making ends meet.  He finds out that the man he is hiding from is out of jail and he knows he is coming for him.  Then he finds out that his sister in law is in trouble and he tries to find her so he can help her.  But he is to late, when he gets there Celia has already passed on and Callie won’t be honest about where his nephew is.  Callie and Marcus get into a battle over who is going to be the guardian of the boy. That is all I am going to tell you so that you read the book.  This is an uplifting story about when times are hard what people can accomplish. It also shows that if you love people you can make things work. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life is so Good

Life is so Good  By: George Dawson and Richard Glaubman  George Dawson is an African American man that has survived many things in his life. In this story the 100 year old man talks openly about the things that he experienced in his lifetime as a African American man that lived through many experiences that were driven by people's ideas of race and being free.  One of the most extraordinary things about George Dawson is that he learned to read when he was 98 years old!  He worked until he was told not to and her only saw a doctor a few times in his life, he didn't have the money when he was younger and then as he got older he realized he did not need one, he made it this far without one.  I found this book fascinating. Not only because of what this man lived through but because of his will to make things right with himself and the pride that he had for who is was and that was good enough.  I thought that this book was well written and was very thoughtful of what his life was.   It is a collection of stories of his life that flows nicely and tells of the suffering and sadness that many people had to live through.  I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Raiders' Ransom

Raiders’ Ransom  By: Emily Diamand  Lilly is a fisher in the future world where many floods and collapses have happened and most of known London is underwater.  She is out fishing one day on her boat, even though her Granny and others believe she should not be because she is a girl, when disaster strikes her home.  The Raiders have come and destroyed things in her village and killed her Granny.  They were looking for Lilly’s seacat and the jewel that will help them win over Scotland.  In hopes of avoiding being married off because she is an orphan, Lilly steals the ransom that is meant to rescue the Prime Minister’s daughter and sets out on an adventure to rescue her.  She winds up finding out that the jewel is really a “puter” game from the past and meeting the son of the man who kidnapped the girl and the adventure continues. What happens to Lilly, does she rescue the girl, get caught and killed, you will have to read for yourself.   I really liked this books adventures, I think that it might be great for a 6th-8th grader or older. The theme is definitely adventure and daring people making a difference and it is left way open for a sequel.  I really liked the writing style and it was a “quickish” read as it was fast paced. The story was interesting in that the world is partially underwater and people are living I places that did not get flooded or plunged into water in London, and makes references to things of olden days like computers (puters) and Harry Potter.  It was a fun read and would be interesting to see a sequel.  


Beastly By: Alex Flinn  A new look at Beauty and the Beast. Kyle is a know it all rich kid with a bad attitude.  He is the King of his class and is taking the most popular best looking girl in the class to the dance.  He thinks he rules the school with his attitude and his manners.  He picks on the wrong girl though when he picks on Kendra, who is she anyway? Kendra turns out to be a witch who casts a spell on Kyle to make him the Beast he really is.  Can Kyle find someone to break the spell or will he be a beast forever. Can he find a girl that will love him for the person he is becoming or will all of them think he is a beast.  This was a great book, it fit the story very well and the modern elements made the story interesting.  I liked how Flinn was able to create characters that you really liked and how she made the story new again. Even though you know how the story is going to end because you know it, it was a fresh look at the story and that is what made it interesting.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Vintage Affair

A Vintage Affair  By: Isabel Wolff  Phoebe Swift has just opened her own vintage clothing store and left the man she was supposed to marry.  All of this comes after a very tragic incident with her closest friend Emma.  Phoebe is trying to make her business work and get on with her life when she meets a very wonderful Mrs. Bell, who has a story similar to Phoebe.  Phoebe wants to help her and is able to help in small ways to make the end of Mrs. Bell's life better. Phoebe also meets a man that she thinks she can move on with who ends up not being the one for her. Little does she know there is another man that helps her along the way.  Phoebe is able to put many things in her life behind her while moving forward and changing others lives around her. This book made me happy in the end.  It was such an endearing story of loss and love and making it through hard times.   I really felt the author painted a lovely picture of how people sort things out in their lives. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Rest Falls Away

The Rest Falls Away  By: Colleen Gleason  What would you think when you found out you were one of many in your family chosen to become a vampire hunter? And to find out right as you are about to be presented into society to find a husband? Victoria knows just how you feel. She is a vampire hunter by choice and is trying to balance working with Max who does not like her and falling in love with a man and hiding who she really is from him.  She sneaks out at night to hunt vampires and fine the Book that cannot fall into their hands.  She marries the man she loves, but is keeping many secrets from him, does it last? Read to find out. This is the first book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles and it was great. I cannot wait to get the rest of them to read.  It kept me on my toes wanting to see what was going to happen next and how it was going to play out.  I like book s like this not truly for the vampires but for the action that is happening in the story.  We shall see if the rest of the series holds up to the adventure and great writing that this book gave.

The Crowfield Curse

The Crowfield Curse By: Pat Walsh  William is working at an abbey because his family’s house burned down and he was the only survivor. The monks of the abbey took him in so that he had a place to live and they had a servant.  William works very hard but one day he meets and injured hob. William decides to help the hob and from there on out things are very different for him.  Things in his life begin to get interesting. There is a strange visitor at the abbey and he hears of a buried angel.  William is set off on an adventure that is unbelievable.  This was a great book, I’m not going to tell anymore because it is a mystery and adventure and you don’t want to know more about it.  I liked the book because it kept you going to find out the ending.  It is categorized as a child book but I think it would be great for anyone older than about 5th grade reading level.  It is pretty long at 326 pages so younger readers might be a little overwhelmed by it.  But I can see a high reader who loves a challenge and is interested in magical things reading this book with no problem.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Seven Year Switch

Seven Year  Switch   By: Claire Cook  So what happens when your husband leaves you without a word and you finally get on with you live after seven years?  You are finally on what you think is the right track. Then guess what? Your husband comes back into your life. Do you let him in and to see your daughter? Jill did, and had a hard time with it.  She felt her daughter was so happy to see him that she was left behind, and she felt that finally she was moving on with Billy and now she is confused. What better way to deal with your stress but to go on a trip for work and leave your ex with your daughter to sort things out.  This book was a great summer read. It was quick and fun, and you were rooting for Jill's happiness in the end. I liked it and recommend it , if you like stories of people overcoming things.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Cloaked By: Alex Flinn  Do you like the fairy tales “The Elves and the Shoemaker”, “The Frog Prince”, “The Six Swans”, and “The Fisherman and His Wife”?  If so Cloaked is a book for you. It is a modern remake of these fairy tales into one crazy adventurous book.  This book is filled with many magical things and events that make you never want to put it down. I liked how Flinn merged the fairy tales together to make one story that is interesting and fun. Again Flinn has charmed me with her fun ways of telling fairy tales differently.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss By: Stphanie Perkins Cute love story for young adults. A girl, Anna,  gets sent to live at a boarding school in Paris and is very unhappy. She meets a few friends and one in particular, St. Clair,  begins to hang out with her more than the others. He becomes her best friend. Try as she might she ends up falling in love with him. But he has a girlfriend and she does not want to mess that up. Any young adult would love this book if they are looking for a quick love story read.  So all of you teenage girl moms recommend this one to your daughters!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Alice I Have Been

Alice I Have Been  By: Melanie Benjamin This is historical fiction. It is the story of the girl that the book Alice in Wonderland is based on .  It tells the story of a little girl with a bright spirit that has a story told for her.  She is in awe of the man that wrote it and begs him to write it down for her.  He does and gives it to her when she is a little older. She ends up growing up and the story still follows her. The first man she actually loves, is in love with her because she is the Alice of the story, which makes her sad.  She marries, has three sons, two of them die in the war and then she looses her husband, who at the end of his life she finally realizes that he is the only man that loved her for who she was not because she was Alice.  This book was sad for me. First it starts with the man who writes the story for Alice being in love with her when she is seven. I find that odd to focus on because it is so strange.  The story is told that this man Dodgon loved her and took many pictures of her and then Alice as she gets older feels love to him and actually at one point wants to marry him, he is then sent off by her parents and she moves on with her life, but he never does he wants her to stay as a little girl because he loves her that way.  That part was a little strange to me.  All in all I think it is a good book because it is interesting to see a story behind one of the most famous stories of all time. 

Moby Duck

Moby Duck   By: Donovan Hohn So, this book is about the true events of 28,800 bath toys that get dumped in the ocean and the story of how they went about trying to find all of them.  Here is what the book actually says in it’s description. “When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read u on Arctic science and geography. “But questions can be like ocean currents: wade to far in and they carry you away.” Hohns’s accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories”  WOW right!  I really wanted to read this book because it sounded so cool, a book about missing bath toys floating in the ocean!  It was really a hard book to read as it was so informational though.  I liked the idea but was bogged down by the writing.  I skimmed it and read the interesting parts about how the toys were lost at sea and how people tried to find them.  If you really like informational books this is a good pick for you because it is a really interesting topic.