Monday, November 28, 2011


Torn Erica O’Rourke

            Mo Fitzgerald has just lost her best friend in the whole world. And with her friend's death Mo is learning that she was not as honest as Mo thought she was.  Verity, Mo’s best friend, had just returned from a trip to New Orleans for the summer and has come back changing the plans the best friends had made for their future in college.  Mo is struggling to understand what has change and to figure out who is responsible for her death at the same time. Mo meets Luc, who seems to know the new Verity and who also knows what types of beings are responsible for her death.  Mo’s uncle, who is somehow connected to the Mob, believes that this was supposed to be a hit on Mo, so he hires Colin to be her bodyguard.  Mo doesn’t know who to believe and finds out about the magic that Verity was involved in.  Trying to find the killer and solve the murder just might put Mo in greater risk but she is willing to risk it.  That is after she works out her feelings for Luc and Colin. 

             Great teen novel.  I loved the characters, especially Mo, who has a spirit of fight in her. She is a strong female character that is working to find the answers she seeks even if it means risking herself. She is  a great friend to Verity even after learning that Verity was not always truthful about what she was doing in New Orleans, and she really just wants to do the right thing, even if it does not help those around her complete their plans.  This is the first book in a series and I am excited to read the rest to see what happens next.  I would say high school or older for this young adult book!

I purchased this in Kindle edition from
ISBN: 978-0758267030

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

This is the story of Hugo Cabret, a young man who lives to be not seen. He takes care of the clocks in the clock tower and stays hidden.  But when a old toy selling man and a young girl come into his life he is no longer able to keep to himself.  He must work with them to solve a mystery and find out more about the toy man that has been around him his whole life.  Can he work with others to figure out the ending of his story?

This is the story of a boy named Ben who just wants to find out who his father is.  His mother has passed away and he is living every day with his aunt and uncle, who take wonderful care of him, make him miss her more.  He decides to run away to New York to find his father with only a book and a bookmark to lead him to the right place.  It also is the story of a young girl who wants to belong to someone and feel wanted instead of trapped in a house where nobody wants her.  Both of these young people live in different times and are connected by being deaf children, but is there more for them?

Both of these books were magical and beautiful. They were told in words and pictures. They look overwhelming when you first pick them up based on the size of the novels. They are really not that long but are filled with original art works that can take your breath away.  Both novels are beautiful in their own way, due to wonderful story telling, and artwork.  I think that at times the pictures tell more than the words because they are so detailed and expressive. I believe these would be great books for mature elementary readers and older. Beautiful books!

I borrowed The Invention of Hugo Cabret from a friend. ISBN: 978-0-439-81378-5
I borrowed Wonderstruck from the public library. ISBN: 978-0-545-02789-2

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Thankful Each Day

I'm Thankful Each Day!  By: P.K. Hallinan

This is a great book that teaches kids that there are things every day that they can be thankful for.  It's about looking around you at what God has created and being thankful that you are a part of it. Thankfulness is something that I am trying to teach my children, not just for the stuff that they get but for just being alive and having a life.  For being able to see things around them that are special and one of a kind. And knowing that God made wonderful things in the world that if we just take a minute every day to look around we can  see something to be thankful for.

Great read aloud to your kids!

I was given this book by my mom.
ISBN: 0-8249-5396-7

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Night Circus

The Night Circus By: Erin Morgenstern
Le Cirque des Reves appears out of nowhere and is open for you to wander through and enjoy.  It is full of magical things and wonders that you cannot explain.  What you do not know is that it is there so that two magicians can duel, both fighting for what they do not understand but have been brought here to do and have trained since they were young. They are bound to the circus and keeping it going while not understanding the true meaning of this duel.  But when the two dueling magicians Celia and Marco find that they not only cannot leave the circus because it will spin out of control, but they find themselves also in love with each other and cannot be without each other the problems begin.  They are trying to find a way to let the  circus go on without them so they can be together but do not realize the terms of the duel.  Can they figure out how to let  it go and survive for the many people who live and work in the circus and still be able to be together? Or will one of them not survive the break from the circus?

I loved this book.  I think that it was a clever mystery and romance built together. I loved the characters in the book, at first they have no idea who their duel is meant to be with but one is able to figure it out first and that is what brings them together in love.  I felt that there were many, many elements to this book and at times you might have to pay attention to what is going on to fully understand the connections of the people and the story line, this to me helped to create the mystery and enjoyment in the book.  I thought the writing style was good and the end made me… well I guess I won’t tell you that because it might give it away.   Great Magical Read!!

I borrowed this book from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-61173-202-3

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reasons To Be Happy

Reasons to Be Happy  By: Katrina Kittle

Ever thought about how you might feel if you are going to a new school, your movie star mom has cancer and is dying, and your movie star dad just can’t seem to handle it? Well Hannah is finding out. When she enters the new school and is suddenly part of a group of popular girls and boys who make her feel not quite right about herself, she wants to be thinner but turns to bulimia to solve her problem.  Next she starts to steal food. Her life is spinning out of control and gets even worse when her mom dies.  Hannah just wants to know what has happened to the girl who used to make lists about reasons to be happy.  She wants someone to catch her and make her stop but cannot control herself. When she goes to visit her aunt and her aunt catches her and tries to help her she thinks nothing could be worse, until her dad is arrested and she has to go with her aunt to Africa.  Here is where she finds herself and realizes that there is more to life than what she has been doing. Will she be able to control the fight within herself, and can she win her battle and come home?

At first when I started reading this book I thought why would anyone write such a sad story about a girl.  It is really raw and edgy to me because it was awful to read and feel the emotions that Hannah was going through. I didn’t think I would continue reading but felt I had to see how the book ended.  When finally someone cared enough about Hannah to talk about the bulimia I felt relieved for her, and then when she started to make changes on the trip to Africa I started to enjoy the book. I think that this is a powerful story of sadness and shows you that it is never too late to give up. And I think it also shows that people need others in their lives to help them and support them, it makes you take a minute to look at the people in your life and see if maybe you are missing something.  I think that I would not suggest this book for anyone that is mature, maybe freshman in high school if they can handle it.  It just is such an emotional book. I think that it has an awesome message and I really did end up liking the way Hannah was able to turn herself back around and get back to what really mattered in life.

I borrowed this book from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-4002-6020-9

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever

Diary of a Wimpy  Kid Cabin Fever By: Jeff Kinney

Kinney has done it again!  Book number 6 in his Wimpy Kid Series does not disappoint.  Greg walks us through his thoughts on the holiday season, bullies at school, the lack of playground equipment at school, and a stint with vandalism?  I cannot even go into the details of the book because it is all so fun, and the images just add to the hilarity of this book. My favorite part of this one is the “Santa Scout” stuffed animal that is supposed to watch over the kids and report back to Santa each night with their behavior. It is the creepiest looking stuffed elf I have ever seen. And when Greg decides to make some money by helping the neighbors clean their sidewalks of snow. He uses a sprinkler on one and tries a lawn mower on another!!  So funny!  This book is laugh out loud funny and I recommend it to any kid at heart!!  If you have never checked out this series start at book one, you will not regret it!

I preordered by book from the Scholastic Book Club!

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0296-9

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cupcake Diaries: The Cupcake Cure

Cupcake Diaries: The Cupcake Cure By: Coco Simon

Middle School really is as hard as people think at least that is what Katie Brown finds out the first day of school.  Her best friend since birth is no longer hanging with her, and things just don’t seem to be going right for her. But she makes friends with Mia, Alexis, and Emma as they bond over cupcakes and create the Cupcake Club, because who doesn’t love a good cupcake?  As Katie finds out that it is okay for things to change she is able to relax a little at school and be comfortable with who she is. Then the Cupcake Club decides to challenge themselves to make 200 cupcakes for the school fundraiser and sell them.  Will they succeed?

I admit I am a sucker for cupcakes!  I love them and I tend to pick up books about them. This book was a great one for any girl afraid to start middle school.  It was a great story of not just about cupcakes but how to deal with the way things sometimes change when you go to middle school. People you had as friends forever may not be your friends anymore and there are always new people to meet. I really liked the story line and the characters were cute. And if you really like them, this is the first in the series of books!

I bought this from the Scholastic Book Club

ISBN: 978-0-545-35657-2

Friday, November 11, 2011

Library Lion

Library Lion By: Michelle Knudsen  Illustrated By: Kevin Hawkes

A lion has walked into the library! Nobody knows what to do, but the head librarian Miss Merriweather says that as long as he is not breaking any rules he may stay. And stay he does he sleeps, listens to story time, cleans, and helps children reach the books they cannot.  Miss Merriweather and the lion become great friends and one day Miss Merriweather gets hurt, in his haste to get help the lion Roars as loud as he can, Mr. McBee does not understand and sends him out of the library.  Miss Merriweather is okay with just a broken arm, but the lion does not return.  They are so sad to see him gone and look for him at the library everyday. Finally Mr. McBee decides to go look. He finds the lion and apologizes to him for yelling at him, and tells him that he was right to roar for help. The lion returns and everyone is happy.

I like this book for its messages.  That there are times to break the rules when others need help. And for admitting that you made a mistake and finding the person to say sorry to.  I think that the pictures are beautiful and lovable.  Great read to any listener.

I dont remember where I purchased this book.
ISBN: 076362262-1

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races By: Maggie Stiefvater

In November they come. In November some people die trying to ride them.  The capaill uisce, or water horses, come to the island of Thisby from the sea each year. And each year the men try to tame them enough to ride them for a large money prize in The Scorpio Races. Sean Kendrick knows this well as his father always trained these horses and died riding one. Puck “ Kate” Connolly also knows these horses can kill because one took the life of her parents.  But this year Sean and Puck both enter the race because they need to win.  Sean needs to be able to take the money and purchase his favorite horse and leave the job he is tiring of.    Puck needs to win so she can have money to save her parents house, which she finds out is not paid for.  Sean decides that Puck intrigues him and so he decides to help her train, but the men of the island believe that a woman should not be allowed to run in the race because none have done so before.  Will they both be able to get what they need from the race, and stay alive trying?

This was another great book from Maggie Stiefvater.  The story is a beautiful one of hope, love, and promise. It shows the wonderful side of people and also shows some horrible sides of people desperately trying to get what they want in different ways. The characters are ones that you take with you when you leave them.  The writing style is so easy to follow and creates vivid images in your mind. The mystery of the water horses is something that intrigued me the whole time, these horses come out of the ocean and the people believe that they can actually ride them and train them. I also liked that at the end Stiefvater talks about the actual myth about the water horses and how it came about that she wanted to write about them.  I would recommend this to high school or older because of some adult language and content. 

I purchased this book from
ISBN: 978-0-545-22490-1 

Friday, November 4, 2011


Moosetache By: Margie Palatini  Illustrated By: Henry Cole

Moose has a big problem!! He has a huge Moosetache. It gets in his way every where he goes and with everything he tries to do. He has tried everything to get rid of the moosetache and have a normal moose life of cooking, skiing, and dancing. It isn't until he meets with a huge bouffant that he is able to live his life, and live it he does with her of course!!  The secret is in the glue! :)

I love this book. It is one of my kiddos favorites.  It is funny to read alone or out loud.  The pictures make the book so lovable.  The character of Moose is fun to see, his hair is really big. My favorite part is when the animals take nest in his moosetache. My kids favorite part is when the moose get married and dance.  All around awesome book. And there are more books about Mr. and Mrs. Moose that you should read too!

I bought this in the Scholastic Book Order.
ISBN: 0-590-53827-6

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bigger Than a Bread Box

Bigger Than a Bread Box  By: Laurel Snyder
Rebecca knows there is something wrong between her parents.  She is still caught off guard when her mom tells her that they are leaving and going to stay with her grandma for a while. Then she finds out that her mom means for a long while.  She wishes she could go home, and runs to hide in the attic.  In the attic she finds a bread box, this is a magic bread box that gives her things that she wishes for.  She doesn’t even think about it and continues to wish for things that she wants or think she needs. When she realizes she does not know where the things are coming from, because the jacket she wishes for is actually stolen from the girl at school who she wants to look like, things begin to unravel.  On her way to return a special spoon she is accused of grave robbing by an elderly woman and locked in her basement. The police come and get her but they take her to the child protection place.  Will her parents work together to find her, and can they be a  family again?

I thought that this book taught a good lesson. That no matter what your circumstances are there are choices that you make that will determine your future.  Rebecca didn’t think about what she was doing because she was lost in feeling sorry for herself. All she cared about was getting her parents together again and returning home even if it was not the right thing to wish for. She did feel bad when she realized she was stealing things that were magically appearing from the bread box and so she learned a great life lesson. Great read for middle school age and up!

I borrowed this book from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-375-96916-4

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye By: Sarah Dessen

Moving is no longer new for Mclean. Ever since her parents divorced and she came to live with her dad they have moved 4 times in the last two years. She is now starting her senior year and is lost for who she really is. Every time they have gone somewhere new she changes her name and also her personality. But this time things just work out that she goes by her given name Mclean. This is hard for her because she really doesn’t know who she is.  Her mom is now married to another man and has twins and they do not get along at all, Mclean feels left out and replaced by who her mom has become.  Her dad continues his job of taking over a restaurant and trying to fix it, and Mclean starts to feel like she is a part of something when her and some people from school begin to build a model of the city.  As she draws closer to some people around her, particularly the boy next door Mclean is lost for what to do. When her dad tells her they are moving again she is finished.  Can Mclean find out who she is and can she just become able to not say goodbye to everyone.

I liked this book. It was sort of sad how oblivious to Mclean’s changing personalities her parents were, they really didn’t pay that much attention to her.  I did like that the character was able to grow throughout the book, and showed that people can change, even if it takes a bad experience.  I would recommend this book to high school or older.

I borrowed this book from the public library

ISBN: 978-0-670-01294-7