Sunday, December 30, 2012


Bewitching By: Alex Flinn

Kendra is a witch. She has know this most of her life, she was trained by a very talented witch who used to turn children into gingerbread.  She has had a long life and sometimes tires of being immortal. But then she finds Emma who she believes needs her help.    She tells Emma's story, Emma has had her father since she was three and always has felt very special to him.  Until one day Lisette, her father's real daughter, has come to live with them. Emma tries to be nice but finds out that Lisette is not really the nice sister that she had hoped to have, but someone who will do anything to take everything Emma has had away from her.    Kendra is watching all of this happen and trying to decide if she should step in and help Emma.  But, Kendra's help does not always have the outcomes that she hopes.

I loved this book.  I could not put it down.  It was a mix of many different fairy tales and had such wonderful characters. I felt horrible for Emma because you could see what she couldn't that Lisette was not going to be the person Emma thought she was.  I loved the play on the different fairy tales and the historical events that Kendra was a part of.  One of the best books I have read in a long time. Great for any high school or older reader.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-202414-5

Pop'ss Bridge

Pop's Bridge By: Eve Bunting Illustraed By: C.F. Payne

This is the story of how the Golden Gate Bridge was constructed.  It is told through the eyes of one of the workers son.  He tells the story of how excited everyone is about the bridge that is being built and how he feels when some of the men fall from the bridge when the scaffolding breaks. This book also shows how some of the workers must have felt as they worked on such an incredible bridge that was so important. At the end of the book the author's note tells more about the story. This is a fascinating book that shows just how scary the work on such a huge project was at the time it was built.  I think that it is perfect for anyone and the illustrations were wonderful.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 0-15-204773-5

Dreaming Anastasia

Dreaming Anastasia By: Joy Preble

Anne lives with her mother and father, she has lost her brother who has died of cancer. Anne likes to do ballet and knows that her mother is not quite the same after the death.  Anne always has had strange dreams with a old lady that has metal teeth and she does not know why she has these.  One day she meets Ethan.  Ethan is part of a brotherhood that has sworn to rescue the princess Anastasia from Baba Yaga.  He knows he needs to find the one girl that can help him rescue her.  He has found her and now he must explain to Anne that she is the one and he needs her help.  Anne is hesitant to help at first but is definitely convinced when she is able to perform some magic and sees for herself that someone is out to get her. 

This was a great teen novel.  Normal girl meets guy who has immortality and they must set off on a quest to save someone and themselves.  I thought that the characters were likeable and had honor.  I would say that this would be great for high school readers and it is part of a series so the story continues.  Great read!

I purchased this in Kindle Edition from
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4440-7

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Secret Tree

The Secret Tree By: Natalie Standiford

Minty and her best friend Paz love roller derby! That is what they want to be when they grow up, so on Halloween they dress like their favorite stars.  They are dared to go up to the Witch House and are scared to go.  The Witch House is just one mysterious thing that their neighborhood has along with strange things like the Man Bat, and the crazy Mean Boys.  One day Minty chases something she sees in the woods only to find The Secret Tree where someone is leaving notes about themselves. Minty also finds Raymond, a new strange boy in the neighborhood. But as Minty is headed one direction her friend Paz seems to be leaving her behind. Can Minty solve the mysterious notes?

This was a great book about solving mysteries and how growing up can be sort of hard.  It shows that Minty is trying to figure out how to keep her friend when they seem to be going in opposite directions and how Minty is dealing with her sister Thea changing and getting older too.  Secrets do have a way of changing the way things happen.  I think that any fourth to sixth grade reader would really enjoy this book.

I bought this from the Scholastic Book Fair.
ISBN: 978-0-545-48976-8

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Candyfloss By: Jacqueline Wilson
Floss lives with her Mom, Stepfather, and her little brother Tiger.  She is happy that her birthday is coming soon and is always happy to see her father on the weekend.   For her birthday her mom gives her a lot of things that have to do with going to Australia, and Floss is very confused to find out that her mom and family is planning to move there.  She decides that she would like to instead live with her father. But life with her father is not easy as he is loosing his business and doesn't really know how to help Floss be ready for school.  Can Floss live with her father and keep her friends, or even stay the same person?

I thought that this book was a great one to teach kids that even if your life situation changes you can still be you.  It also shows that as you grow up sometimes you change, your friends change, and your life changes but that it will be okay.  This book would be great for sixth grade readers, as it shows how sometimes your relationships and friends have to change.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-59643-241-3

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Time Traveling Fashionista

The Time Traveling Fashionista By: Bianca Turetsky

Louisa is a normal seventh grade girl. She worries about what she looks like, who her friends are, and is embarrassed by her family.  One thing about her though is that she loves vintage clothing and is so happy when she finds awesome clothes at thrift stores.  Her family and best friend do not share this love with her so she sometimes feels alone.  She receives a very interesting invitation for a vintage sale and decides to try it out.  Little does she know that she will travel in time when trying on the clothing she finds.  She is sent back to the Titanic and has to find her way back before it is to late, and then in the second book she is sent back to Paris and meets Marie Antoinette.   She has fun adventures in history.

This is the perfect series for any girl who loves fashion and also has a flair for the exciting time travel.  With tons of colored fashion drawings and great story lines you can do no wrong.  This is the perfect book for any middle school and older reader!  Check them out!

I borrowed these from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-316-10542-2 and 978-0-316-10538-5

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Cupcake By: Charise Mericle Harper

Cupcake is so happy to have been made and loves his nice white frosting. That is until he is left alone and the rest of his colorful and creative family has been chosen.  But he meets Candle and together they decide to find out what to put on top of Cupcake.  Candle has lots of crazy ideas and they cannot settle on any of them.

This is a cute and fun book!! I love the illustrations and the fun story line.  It is a great book about finding your perfect pair!!   Perfect for any age!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN:  978-142311897-8


Shift By: Jennifer Bradbury

What would happen if you went off to college and found out your friend was missing?  What would you do if you knew that you left your best friend alone, not really knowing where he went?  What would you do if his parents think that you know where he is?  That is what happens to Christopher, his best friend and him had taken a cross country bike trip, but left on uncertain terms, and now his friend is missing.  He must prove to himself and his friend's family that he is not to blame, but how when he doesn't know where he is?

This was a great book.  It had an element of suspense and mystery that kept me reading.  I thought the idea for the book was great in that, it sounds like something teenage boys would love to do. Ride across the country together on a bike as an end of high school trip, living off the land and sleeping under the stars.   The mystery of how one disappears was great!  Perfect high school read!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4169-4732-5

The Reinvention of Besssica Lefter


The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter By: Kristen Tracy

Bessica is starting middle school. She always hoped she would be going with her friend Sylvie, but after forcing her to ditch their journal and convincing her to get her hair cut short, Sylvie's mom has other ideas. So Bessica is left to face middle school alone.  She does not get off to a  great start and must find a way to fit in and not feel lonely.  But Bessica finds that you can make friends, you just have to be yourself

This is a great book for anyone that is unsure of what to do when you go to middle school.  It has all the classic elements that tweens feel when they are getting ready to start a new school.  The relationship between Bessica and her best friend, Sylvie, shows that even when you think you are alone you really are not.  Perfect 5th or 6th grade read.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-385-90634-0

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel By: Jeff Kinney

This addition to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series finds Greg looking for a date the the Valentine's Day dance.  He takes advice from his Uncle Gary, who has moved into their home because he is out of work and money, and tries many things.  Turns out when Greg finally finds a date she seems more interested in Rowley!!  All the while Greg is afraid he is going to get the chicken pox that are going around, getting Rowley elected to Student Council, and bringing his own personal stash of good toilet paper to school and hiding it!

Another funny Diary of a Wimpy Kid book! I love these books and this one does not disappoint.  The beginning of this book had my hooked.  Greg talks about how he remembers being in his mom's stomach and hearing her music and her talking!  Funny pictures with that story.  So if you are like me and love the humor of a 5th and 6th grader get the book as soon as you can!! I know that many teachers think that they are not great literature, and maybe they are right, but I for one do not believe in choosing books for kids. I love whatever they choose to read. 

I purchased this from Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0729-2

Monday, November 12, 2012


Changeling: Order of Darkness 1 By: Philippa Gregory

Luca Vero has been accused of thinking to much in the monastery, because he is challenging the artifacts that they have there.  He is taken away from the monastery and given the job of being the inquirer!  He must travel the country being the judge of all things in the church.  Isolde has lost her father and her brother has informed her that on his death bed he changed his will and made her brother the sole heir and set her to be the Lady Abbess.  This is not what she thought was going to happen and she does not want to be there.  Luca is sent to her nunnery because as soon as she arrived the nuns began to go crazy and strange things began to happen.  The church believes she is to blame and Luca must determine the truth.  But he meets resistance and struggles to figure out what to believe.  What is the truth and what is the lie?

I liked this book for it's mystery and suspense.  You have a feeling you know what is going on but you cannot place exactly what the problem is.  I thought that the characters were great as they were both strong teens that wanted more of life and where not going to let anything stop them.  I also think that they both show great resilience to the problems that they face. Great high school and up read! I can't wait to hear more of the story in the books to come.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4424-5344-9

Keeping the Castle

Keeping the Castle By: Patrice Kindl

Althea knows that she has to marry someone rich and has known this for a long time.  So she is wiling to put aside her love for any gentlemen as long as he has money.  The problem is that she is always says what she feels so she usually tells the gentlemen this and so they run off.  And she also has to deal with her not so kind step sisters that do have money, but will not share it, and so she tricks them into helping keep her family's home in good repair until she can find a husband.  Soon new neighbors arrive and one shows an interest in her, she is happy because she likes him and not just for his money.  But she does not like his friend Mr. Fredericks at all!!  But as the story unfolds her heart will be broken and someone else will have to come and rescue her and her family's home. 

I really loved this story.   A girl who knows that to support her family she has to set aside what she wants for them.  And she is willing to do so, but hopefully does not have to in the end.  I really enjoyed the characters and was sad when the book ended because I really wanted the story to continue on.  I think this would make a great high school read. 

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-670-01438-5

Confectionately Yours Taking the Cake

Confectionately Yours Taking the Cake By: Lisa Papademetriou

Hayley just does not understand why her ex best friend, Artie, is being so mean to her.  But at least she has her new friend, Meghan, to help her along the way.  Hayley also is trying to be nice and help Marco with his homework and makes a bad choice to let him copy her work, she thinks he would be more thankful than he is and is confused when things just are not going her way.  Not to mention that she is not happy about her father dating and now her mother too!  But at least she has cake to help her solve her problems!

This is another great addition to the Confectionately Yours series.  I love how these books help kids that are maybe going through some awkward tween years come to terms with how friendships can change, and how you should just be who you are no matter what.  I also love that they come with cupcake and cake recipes throughout the story.  Great for fourth grade through seventh grade readers.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-545-22229-7


Wrapped By: Jennifer Bradbury

Agnes is headed into her debut season.  But her heart really is not in it, she would rather further her knowledge and read to learn about the world.  Lord Showalter has shown an interest in her and at her first party of the season he calls her out to be the first to help unwrap a mummy.  She finds a special piece of metal in the wrapping and decides to keep it. But she wants to know what it is so she heads to the museum and meets Caedmon.  Together they figure out that this is not just a piece of metal, but a secret message to someone who is trying to help bring Napolean down.  Can they solve the mystery together without getting hurt or caught?

I loved this book and did not want to put it down for a second.  I thought the writing was great and really kept your interest.  It had wonderful mysterious qualities along with the fun of a girl who is going against what society wants her to do.  This is a perfect middle school through high school read for anyone who loves a good mystery.  The end is sort of left open so I am hoping that there will be a sequel to the story.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9007-9

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy  By: J.K. Rowling

This is the story of a small town who has just lost a prominent member of society.  With the death of Barry Fairbrother, many people's lives are changed.   Some people want his place on the town council, some people realize he was their best friend, and some just think it is a great loss.  This town is full of secrets and stories.  There are many people who feel the poorer side of the town should not be allowed in, some teens are out to get back at their parents, and some adults are in the middle of affairs that they should not be in.  One thing is for sure, everyone wants the seat on the town council and many will stop at nothing to get it.  

I cannot say that I loved this book.  It was a tough read. Very adult and full of things that reading about was hard.  What struck me as the hardest parts were the lives of the teens in the town.  Rowling really focused on the kids that were suffering and what they were doing with their lives. I know that that is what happens to teens, but it was hard to read.  I also thought that the adults in the town, while like many have many hidden secrets were just very self involved.  I was trying to not compare this book to Harry Potter, but those I loved, this book was just not for me. 

I borrowed this from a friend.
ISBN: 978-0-316-22853-4

Monday, November 5, 2012

Neon Tiki Tribe

Neon Tiki Tribe The Brightest Heros On Earth! By: joe Lorenzano & April Sopczak  Illustrated By: Jason Lester

The Neon Tiki Tribe is a band of Tikis that are out to help the Earth.  They along with thier friends Greg and Sniff Sniff help those around them to solve problems and fight the bad things that are happening.  The books were created so that children with dyslexia can easily read the words. They are filled with colorful, bright images that jump out of the pages.   The books each focus on a battle that the tikis help to win. 

These books were pretty good. They each had a great message that would help teach students a lesson about bullying, keeping the earth clean, and helping out friends that are in need. I think that any elementary school would love to have them in their library for students.

I borrowed these from the school library.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Zorro Gets An Outfit

 Zorro Gets An Outfit By: Carter Goodrich

Zorro and his pal Mister Bud love to play outside!  But today is not a great day for Zorro.  His owner gives him an outfit and he does not like to go outside in it!!  Zorro is completely embarrassed and teased by the other dogs and even by the neighborhood cat Slim.  But at the park Zorro meets Dart who is super fast and also has an outfit. So, Zorro does not feel so bad about himself after all.

 I loved this book. The pictures are fabulous and the story made me giggle.  I loved the characters faces and expressions because it made it all the more funny.  I loved the name of Zorro's buddy Mister Bud!!  It was just a fantastic book to read!!!  All ages would love this book!

I found this at the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-4424-3535-3

Infinity Ring: A Mutiny In Time

Infinity Ring: A Mutiny In Time By: James Dashner

Dak and his friend Sera have always been sort of nerdy and they do not care. He is obsessed with history and she is obsessed with science.  Things in their time are controlled by the SQ, and so when they sneak into Dak's parents lab and Sera solves the problem with the Infinity Ring things begin to happen for them.  They travel into time with Dak's parents straight into the revolutionary war. Things get heated up and they loose his parents in the past. only to come to the future to be captured by a group of people that are trying to correct the past. They are then set off on an adventure to keep the Infinity Ring safe and correct the wrongs of the past while trying to find Dak's parents.

This is a perfect book for a 4th grade and up reader who likes adventure and science fiction.  It had great characters and an exciting plot.  It hooked you from the beginning and the action never let up.  I think that if you liked the Percy Jackson series this is a new series for you.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-545-38696-8

Ruby Red

Ruby Red By: Kerstin Gier

Gwen lives with much of her extended family  in London.  She goes to school and enjoys her life with her friends.  She is not popular and is in the shadow of her cousin Charlotte who has the family's "special" gene.  But suddenly Gwen starts to feel strange (even more than when she sees a ghost which she has always been able to do) and strange things begin to happen to her.  She feels sick to her stomach and then suddenly she is transported into another time.  Apparently her family had it wrong and she is the one to hold the special gene, not her cousin Charlotte.   This upsets the entire family and sets Gwen into a position to have to work hard to make up for the things that she was never taught to do.  She meets Gideon who makes her feel un-special and frustrated, but she does not think that maybe she might fall for him too! 

This was a great book full of adventure and romance.  It was a perfect high school read.  I loved the characters and was hooked instantly.  I thought that the way that Gwen had to face the unknown was fantastic and the action that was involved in the story line was great. I cannot wait to read the next two in the series Sapphire Blue and  Emerald Green

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-312-55151-3

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys By: Maggie Stiefvater

Blue and her mother spend each St. Mark's Eve in the cemetery waiting to see who will be joining the land of the dead in the next year.  Blue never sees them but this year is different! This year she actually can see one boy, Gansey, and she knows that he will die but does not know how to help him.  Blue also knows one fact, stay away from boys especially if they are part of the Raven Boys!  But when she meets Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Gansey she cannot help but to get pulled into their world. She is instantly joined with them in their hunt for answers to their questions.  With much danger ahead and not knowing what exactly will be happening they set off on this quest together.

This book had so much mystery in it.  It was full of twists that I was not prepared for.  I thought that unlike her other books that were more laid out in a clear story, I was confused at times by where this story was going. I did really enjoy this book and cannot wait to see what is going to happen to the characters in the rest of the series.  It had quite a bit of paranormal strange things in it that made it quite an interesting plot.  Great read for high school readers.

I bought this from
ISBN: 978-0-545-42492-9

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tiger Lily

Tiger lily  By: Jodi Lynn Anderson

This is the story of Tiger lily and how she came to know and love Peter Pan.  Told from the perspective of Tinker Bell.  Tinker Bell acts as the narrator in Tiger lily's life and tells how she was raised as sort of an outcast in her community.  Tinker Bell tells us how Tiger lily finds a man on shore and against the wishes of her tribe saves him from death, only to loose him again to the evil pirates.  It shows how Tiger lily and Peter Pan develop their relationship and shows the love that she has for him.  It also shows how Tiger lily beats the odds in her life and makes herself the person that she is at the end of the book.

This was a fascinating twist on the story of Peter Pan.  It was a little more dark than the stories that are told today, but I really could not put it down.  I found myself trapped in the story with Tiger lily and just kept hoping that she would be happy.  I found the character portrayals in this book to be very insightful and sort of scary at the same time. This would be a great read for high school readers and up!!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-200325-6

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Wild By: Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl was going through a very rough time in her life. She had lost her mother to cancer, and her marriage was not what she wanted it to be. She was trying to fix herself for others and that just was not working for her.  She decided to take up a hike, not just any hike, she was going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail!  For someone who had not hiked very much, this was a strange way to find yourself. She met many people on her way, and did some crazy things as she hiked alone such a long long way!

I cannot say that I loved this book, but I found it sort of fascinating.  Cheryl definitely found a way to be alone and work through the issues that were plaguing her in her life.   I thought that she was very brave, and very dumb at the same time to hike alone, hitch rides with strangers, and just have no way to tell people if she was okay.  It is an interesting read though, but I would not have chosen it if my book club had not read it.

I borrowed this from a friend who purchased it at Costco
ISBN: 978-0-307-59273-6

UnEnchanted & Fairest

UnEnchanted & Fairest By: Chanda Hahn

Strange things have begun to happen to Mina Grime.  She has always been an awkward. clumsy girl, but now she is a hero. She has saved the most popular boy from a deathly fall on her high school field trip.  She cannot believe her luck that he is finally noticing her and seems to have taken an interest in her. That is until she is told by her mother about the curse on her family.  She is told that she is actually a member of the Grimm family, that is cursed to play out fairy tales and capture evil Fae into the special book called the Grimoire.  She is given the help of a not so friendly Jared, who tells her she will not last, but helps her fight her fairy tale battles!  But what can she do, she has to fight them to save herself and keep the curse from transferring to her younger brother.  In her epic battles, can she stay alive?

I loved these two books and truly hope there is another.  They were a great read for high school readers and show courage of the main character and just fun teen drama.  I loved how the character, Mina, was so adamant to keep the curse from hurting her brother and felt compelled to do the job that she was given.  I like the drama that plays out between Mina, Nan, Brody, and Jared and want the story to keep going so I can see how it all plays out.  GREAT read!

I bought these from in Kindle Edition UnEnchanted was FREE!! and Fairest was only $2.99 a Steal!!

ISBN: 978-1475070309  and 978-1478215776

Monday, September 3, 2012


Mimi By: John Newman

It has been 149 days since Mimi's mom has died.  Her family is in a terrible place, as her father has lost his job and does nothing but sit at home sad and make horrible pizza for the kids to eat.  Mimi and her brother and sister are trying their best to survive and make it.  Mimi is never on time to school and never does  her homework.  But something has to change.  Mimi's new teacher will not take excuses from her and that finally makes her break and try to get her family back on track. 

I thought this was a very touching book about how families deal with tragedy. It shows that now matter how low things get there is always hope  that things will change.  I love how the family finally snapped out of it and took care of each other and the things that were important. Continuing living.  Great read for fourth grade through seventh grade

I borrowed this from public library
ISBN: 978-0-7696-5415-3

Wait Till Helen Comes

Wait Till Helen Comes By: Mary Downing Hahn

Molly and her brother Michael are not happy about moving into an old church out in the country with their mother, step dad, and step sister.  They try to make the best of it, but when Heather, their step sister finds an old graveyard just off their property where there is a hidden grave of a girl about the same age things begin to get creepy. It is no secret to Molly that Heather does not like her, but when she starts to threaten Molly and Michael with the threat that the ghost Helen is going to get them Molly is really scared.  Helen, has taken over Heather and tries to convince Heather to come with her into death. Can Molly save her and fix the household before it breaks into pieces?

This was a creepy ghost story that was perfect for fifth through eighth graders.  It had so many elements to it that would appeal to readers, such as changing family dynamics, sad past experiences, and just plain ghostly fun.  I really liked that the character Molly was trying everything to make people  believe her and despite the nasty things that Heather did to her she still went out of her way to save her and make Heather feel that she could be part of the family. 

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-547-02864-4

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel By: Cassandra Clare

Tessa is on her way to London to meet her brother. But when she arrives two strange women pick her up and tell her that her brother is waiting for her.  Then after being imprisoned with the Dark Sisters, and forced to perform a skill that she had no idea she had, she wants out.  The Dark Sisters tell her that she is set to marry the Magister, and Tessa decides to escape.  But she is unable to do so and is locked to her bed.  Little did she know that a rescue was on its way, in the form of the Sahdowhunters.  Tessa is rescued and taken back to their home where is told that she is not human but probably a warlock, she is still searching for her brother, and is confused about the people around her. Especially the two gentlemen Will and Jem.  She is forced to change into people and help the Shadowhunters out but at what cost to herself and her brother? And can she get her feelings straight and accept what she really is?

I enjoyed this book.  It had a different plot and was full of different twists and turns. I like how there were many unexpected things that happened that I was not aware were coming.  The relationship between Tessa and Will is one that I think will play out more in the rest of the books (there is one published Clockwork Prince and one due out in 2013 Clockwork Princess)  I also enjoyed that the book was set in 1878 but had robots that were being created with the abilities of demons.  Very great read for high school and young adult fans!!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7586-1

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Heist Society

Heist Society  By: Ally Carter

Kat is trying to stay away from her family, as she decided that she would rather get an education. But someone has set her up, her friend Hale, and is trying to bring her back into the family business. Kat really does not want back in, but is forced when she realizes that her father is being blamed for a heist that he did not commit, by a very bad man with connections.  Kat is then forced to make one of the biggest heists in history, with the support of her family.  Hopefully she is able to do it to free her dad, and is also able to prove to Hale that she really does want him in her life.

I really really liked this book. I was hooked from the beginning.  It was a perfect book about art thieves from their perspective.  I loved the point of view of the book, and loved that the whole family was involved in stealing things.  This book would be great for any high school reader and older.  Great Read!!  And after looking around, apparently the rights to create this as a movie are held by Disney, so maybe soon there will be a movie to watch too!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0142311639-4

Sunday, August 19, 2012

For Darkness Shows the Stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars By: Diana Peterfreund

Elliot had a very close friend growing up named Kai.  They were the best of friends, even though Elliot was a Luddite and Kai was a COR who was a servant at her families home.  They grew up together and their friendship became more, but when Kai decides to leave to find a better life for himself Elliot chooses to stay at her families home so that she can be the lady of the house and try to help keep the COR people (or the Reduced) safe from her father.  Elliot is heartbroken, but strives on and decides to break the laws and try to change the wheat that is growing in her field.  But when a mysterious Cloud Feet ask to rent her grandfathers land, which will help Elliot's family who is running low on money, things get a little tricky.  Kai has returned, but is no longer the boy Elliot remembers.  He doesn't want anything to do with her and seems to blame her for who she is.  Can Elliot manage to continue to protect the people she cares for and show Kai she is not the horrible person he thinks?

This was a fantastic story.  I will admit I was confused in the beginning because of the strange words and the way the people lived. But as I went through it is really a timeless story of people who think they are better than another and in turn enslave those people.  While some do not agree, they try their hardest to make the lives of the people that they are in charge of better.  It also is a wonderful story of love and forgiveness. Just Beautiful!!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-06-200614-1

How Rocket Learned To Read

How Rocket Learned To Read By: Tad Hills

Rocket is a dog who loves his favorite quite nap time under a tree.  One day a little yellow bird thinks that Rocket has come to it's school.  Rocket tries to find another place to nap and the bird begins to read aloud.  Well, Rocket is unable to ignore the wonderful book and decides to join the little birds class. They spend the entire spring and summer learning to read together and when the little yellow bird goes away for the winter, Rocket keeps up with his lessons.  He is so excited when the bird returns and they begin to read again!!

I love the story of this book. It is so sweet and beautiful.  It has the most wonderful pictures too!!  I read it to my fifth graders and they asked if we could read  it again because they really liked it.  I talked with them about how we learn to read when we read it and we discussed how hard reading can be.

I purchased this from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-375-85899-4

If You're a Monster and You Know It

If You're a Monster and You Know It By: Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley

Well you should know the tune of this book by the title. But if you are a monster you can snort and growl, smack your claws, stomp  your paws, and give a roar!! 

This book was perfect for my boys. They loved it!!  They made us read it over and over and act it out. It is filled with awesome illustrations that literally jump out of the black background!!

I purchased this book from Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-21829-0


Bailey By: Harry Bliss

Bailey is a dog who is headed off to school!!  He has to get ready and go through the steps of smoothing his fur, and picking out which collar to wear.  But Bailey always misses the bus and the kids have to have the bus driver stop for him. Bailey has a very different take on life and so he offers a lot of different ideas to his class. His class loves him though and some want to do things just like him. Bailey can't wait to go to school again tomorrow!

I love this book! I read it to my students on the first day of school and we talked about how different Bailey was then we are when we get ready for school. The kids I have this year are in fifth grade and they still thought it was a fun book to hear. We also talked about personification with this book and we wrote stories about animals that go to school.  Great read!!

I purchased this from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-545-23344-6

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hex Hall

Hex Hall By: Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer knows she is a witch.  But at 15 she has been sent to Hex Hall because on prom night she casts a spell that goes wrong.  At Hex Hall all sorts of special teens are there and the fun of high school is made even more crazy.  Sophie is roommates with a vampire that nobody really trusts and she has a crush on a certain warlock that gets her nothing but heartache. But when girls begin to show up looking as though they have been drained of blood, and Sophie's roommate is made out to be the attacker things start to speed up.  Not only that but Sophie finds out the truth about her dad and great grandmother along the way.

This was a great teen read. Full of suspense and teen drama. Perfect for the high school reader and with lots of twists. The reading style was full of fun and was very entertaining. I wish the public library had the rest of the series because I cant wait to read them.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-142312139-8

Monday, July 30, 2012


Flutter By: Erin E. Moulton

Maple's house is about to experience  a big change.  Maple's mother is having a baby and the baby comes way to early.  Grandma comes to stay with Maple and her two sisters, Dawn and Beetle.  But Maple hears that the baby is not doing well and decides that she is going to set out on her own for help from the Wise Woman who guards a pool in the woods.  Dawn finds out about Maple's plan and will not let her go alone. So the two girls set off together.  Little do they know of the danger they are putting themselves into. But they forge ahead to set off and save their little sister.

I loved this book for the willingness to be in harms way over the love of a sibling.  I thought the characters did the right thing by doing anything they could to help their new little sister. The characters were fun to read about because they had all the great sibling problems but showed so much love for each other. Great fourth or fifth grade read.

I was given this from a student.
ISBN: 978-0-545-45853-5

The Book Thief

The Book Thief By: Markus Zusak

Liesel Meminger is a foster child who has been taken into the home of a family near Munich, Germany.  She has already witnessed the death of her brother and feels the loss of her mother and is so young. When her brother is buried, she begins her career as a book thief, even though she cannot read very well. As the Nazis begin to take over she begins to understand the way of the world as she knows, it and finds a love for books even though she is not a good reader. But to calm her nightmares her father stays up late at night teaching her to read.  Things get even trickier for her and her family when they begin to hide a Jewish man in their house.

I liked this story a lot. I would have to say that it was not an easy read for me. The topic was not something that I enjoy reading about because of its depressing nature, and it was not a simple read and took a lot of thought. I did think that it was well written and  a must read for high school and older.  I liked the perspective of the book, being from a third person who is not involved in the book but tells things as they come.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 0-375-83100-2

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Embrace By: Jessica Shirvington

Violet has never known her mother, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches and her father is more distant she misses her a lot.  She has always been alone, as her father worked long hours and she did not get along with her nannies. Recently she has moved schools, because of what a teacher did to her at her last school, and she has a new best friend Steph, and another good friend Lincoln.   Lincoln is much older and is helping Violet to hone her defense skills, but her feelings for him run a lot deeper.  But on her birthday she gets a strange note from her mom, and she begins to sense things around her are changing.  She finds out that Lincoln has been hiding his true identity and hers, and so she runs to her new friend Phoenix.  But will the choices she has to make be tainted by the friends that she holds dear, and will she make the right choices and accept her destiny?

I thought this was a great read for young adults, I would say out of high school, or mature high school readers.  I liked that the story was about an angel that didn't know she was one, and that she is given the choice to become what she was destined for or not.  The added two boys like one girl thing gave a lot of tension to the book, and being an avid reader you know that one of them is not the right guy for her. The cover illustration was very beautiful!  I also like how it was open ended and that there is another book Enticed to come!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-4022-6840-3

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Divergent By: Veronica Roth

It's a whole different world and people are broken up into factions.  Candor (honest), Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave), Amity (peaceful), and Erudite (intelligent).  Which ever faction you are born into that is the life you live, until you are given the choice to choose which faction you would like to be, you are given a series of tests when you turn sixteen and these tests show you which faction will suit you.  But when Beatrice takes her test she finds out that she is divergent, meaning she doesn't fit into one specific faction.  On choosing day she and her brother both shame their family by choosing not to stay as Abnegation, Beatrice chooses the Dauntless, who she has always watched from afar.  This sets her off on a rough journey to be accepted and to stay alive, along the way she meets Four, who is intrigued by her, and finds out information about her mother's past and what dangers lie ahead for her.

I thought this book was way out there. But I really liked it.  I think that the story of teens picking where they think they will fit in the world is one that every teen makes, and sometimes it upsets their parents the path they choose and they must prove they made the right choice. Add in the element that as a divergent Beatrice is no longer safe and the pressure mounts. Great adventurous read, I cannot wait to read the sequel  Insurgent.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-06-202402-2

Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil   By: Wendy Higgins

Anna Whitt is able to see the emotions of people around her.  She also feels compelled toward danger and drugs.  But her good girl side always wins out and she is as clean as an angel.  This is until she meets Kaidan Rowe, who makes her feel something totally dark.  He leads her to the discovery of her true past.  Her parents were not quite normal. Her mother, who is deceased, was an angel of light, her father, who is in jail, the demon of substance abuse!  Quite a combination.  As Anna tries to discover her true self and find out about her past, she cannot help but be drawn to Kaidan.  But is this a good thing?  This sets off the adventure of a lifetime and no one knows if Anna will survive!

I really liked this book. I loved the storyline  about angels and demons and felt myself get lost in the story.  It really drew you in and was so much fun to read.  The story was both dark and light and showed that good may not always win, but it will sure try hard to do so.  I think this is a perfect high school read and up.  And, it seems open to a sequel as the ending doesn't quite tell the whole story of these two!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-06-208561-0

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Masters of Disaster

Masters of Disaster By: Gary Paulsen

This is the story of three friends who decide to make themselves famous by completing a few stunts and hoping to be in the book of records, and recreate scenes from the books they are reading in class. Led by Henry, Riley and Reed join up to do some pretty amazing things! These things unfortunately for Reed most end with him doing something crazy and ending up covered in poop.  But when the murder mystery presents its self to them, they just can't hold back and have to try to solve it!  Talk about one crazy time!

Honestly the cover alone called out to me and I thought this book was so funny. It is full of boys doing crazy stunts and getting into interesting situations. The writing shows such humor it made me laugh out loud.  I loved that the boys are so willing to do all these things and that Reed is always the victim of some kind of poop landing on him.  So funny.  I know, boy humor, but right up my alley, as I have three boys in my house and work with a bunch of fourth and fifth grade boys! :)  Perfect boy read.

I was given this as a gift.
ISBN: 978-0-545-43129-3

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf

Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf  By: Judy Sierra  Illustrated By: Jotto Seibold

B.B. Wolf has been asked to tell his story at the library.  His villain  friends tell him to make the story better by adding details. But when he gets to the library Little Pig number 2 is there to set the record straight and tells B.B. Wolf to tell the truth! So to make it up to them he decides to do something nice for the Three Little Pigs and makes the book a happy ending.

I like this book for the fun of it. It is really fun to read out loud because the kids are telling me while I am reading that it is wrong!  So it is a fun take on the Big Bad Wolf stories!

I bought this from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-375-85620-4

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Detective Little Boy Blue

Detective Little Boy Blue By: Steve Metzger  Illustrated By: Tedd Arnold

Little Boy Blue is solving the crimes of the story world. He is on the lookout for Little Miss Muffet. Along the way he runs into Bo Peep and her missing sheep, Humpty Dumpty, and Old Mother Hubbard.  He just hopes he can find Miss Muffet soon!

I love that this story takes you into the land of stories with a twist.  It has awesome illustrations and is a delightful read aloud for any elementary classroom.  I think that all kids love it!

I bought this from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-545-17286-8

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sequel Day!

I have read a couple sequels today and thought I would just put them in the same post! :)

Where She Went By: Gayle Forman Sequel to If I Stay

It has been three years since the accident took place.  Adam is doing great by the entire world’s view.  He is now a successful music artist with a beautiful girlfriend and an awesome record deal.  But to Adam things are not right. He is so stressed and anxious and feels he is living another person’s life.  He has no idea what is happening with Mia, she went off to Julliard six months after the accident and never returned.  She just disappeared. But a chance encounter with Mia has left him shaken. Can they resolve their issues and find a way to be together again?

I really liked this book as a sequel.  I loved how it told the story from Adam’s point of view.  I liked how even though at the end of the first book I thought things were going to be happy ever after, but they ended up completely different!  I really thought that this book did a great job of continuing the story and making it just as good as the first one.  Perfect high school read!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-525-42294-5

Crescendo By: Becca Fitzpatrick  Sequel to Hush, Hush

Nora loves Patch, and she tells him that! But he is unable or not willing to return the words. This upsets Nora because she feels betrayed. Then Nora finds out that Patch is spending a lot of time with her enemy Marcie and she is even more hurt. She decides to break it off with Patch, which makes her feel lost, but makes her best friend Vee very happy.  When Scott enters the picture, Nora only spends time with him to make Patch jealous, but when someone begins sending Nora letters about her father, and she believes that she has seen her father things get a little crazy.  Nora is forced into a battle for her life and has to piece together the story of her parents past (and who her real father is) and who is this Black Hand that is threatening to hurt her.

Great sequel!  This is again a great way to continue a story.  It added more twists and turns to the story and continued with a suspense filled, action packed, story of just how to survive and love one person.  I really liked how the new characters came into the story with a history that you knew would reveal some interesting facts. I thought that the storyline about Nora’s father also added a bonus!  All in all a perfect sequel for high school and older readers.  AND there is a third book that I am looking forward to reading soon!!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8943-1

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Extreme Dot To Dot

Extreme Dot To Dot BY: MindWare

These are my new favorite fun things to have for my classroom. I cannot wait to share them with my students!  They are so cool. They have dot to dot images with hundreds to thousands of dots to connect to make an awesome image!  I purchased the Around the USA and Explorers ones but they make them with rainforest animals, dinosaurs, and sports!  SO COOL!

I purchased these from

Geology Rocks!

Geology Rocks! By: Cindy Blobaum  Illustrated By Michael Kline

I just finished coordinating a science camp about geology and I found this book to be one of my most favorite places to get information and hands on activities. This book is FULL of 50 hands on activities to explore the basic systems of earth.  I loved it!  The activities were really fun and creative and the kids at camp loved doing them too.  One of my favorite activities was the push those plates.  The kids were given graham crackers and frosting and were able to move the crackers to imitate the movement of the plates on the earth.  Great book for any teacher!!

I bought this from
ISBN: 978-1-885593-29-0

Thursday, July 12, 2012

If I Stay

If I Stay By: Gayle Forman

Mia has a choice, does she stay and live or does she die.  She had everything but was in a car accident that took the life of her whole family (Mom, Dad and little Brother).  She is now stuck wandering the hospital where she is in in ICU fighting for her life. She is watching her grandparents, best friend and boyfriend and how they are handling the accident. While doing this she remembers much about her life and all the wonderful and not so wonderful times with her family.  Is it worth still living without them? That is the choice she has to make.

I really liked this book. It was a great story of how much the people around us mean to us and what it would be like to have to live without them.  It makes you think about how fast things can change and if you were able to choose what you would choose to do on Earth without those you love the most.  Perfect high school read.

I borrowed this from a friend
ISBN: 978-0-14-24153-6