Sunday, June 30, 2013

Marissa Burt

Storybound & Story's End By: Marissa Burt

Imagine that one day you fall into a story?  That is exactly what happens to Una!  One day she is in the library at her school and finds a book that is about her! The next thing she knows is that she is in a place with a dragon, and a boy named Peter.  Peter is not sure about her because she is not in the story, she is a write in.Una is confused but realizes that she is in the land where the book characters live and train to be the ones we read about in stories. But Una finds that not all is well in Story, because there is evil at work here to destroy Story forever.  In her quest to help save Story, she just might find that she is making things worse.

This is a great set of books. I thought the storyline was great, falling into the land where the stories come from.  Una is  a great character who adapts to situations well.  I also liked how the characters that are in Story, have their own story outside of the books that we see them in, it's a world of characters that makes you think of books in another way. This is a perfect book for the upper elementary reader that loves adventure stories. 

I borrowed these from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-202052-9 & 978-0-06-202054-3

Friday, June 28, 2013

Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms By: Morgan Rhodes

Princess Cleo is disgusted with the royal that she keeps close.  She feels terrible about the boy that Aron killed in front of her.  This murder has fueled the war between kingdoms. Jonas, the brother of the murdered boy vows to get revenge.  While Prince Magnus becomes the man that his father wants, and also seeks to destroy Cleo, while wanting his sister for himself.  All of these players are in the middle of a battle, and in every battle there has to be a loser.  Princess Cleo, just might loose everything that is close to her.

This was a great read!  I was hooked from the beginning, the story sucks you in big time.  I definitely dislike the bad guys in this story and was angry at the end of the book and am not wanting to wait until December 2013 to continue.  Great read, that I believe all young adults will love.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-59514-584-0

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Runaway King

The Runaway King By: Jennifer Nielsen

Jaron is now the king.  But his life has been threatened and his council is agreeing that he should not be the one in charge. To protect the ones he loves and prevent the war that is coming, he decides that he will disappear and find the pirates that have come after him.  He goes in disguise as a petty thief, but finds it hard to keep his identity hidden from those around him.  He finds that being around the pirates is not an easy thing

This is the second book in the Ascendance Trilogy and it does not disappoint.  Jaron shows that even though he is king he is having a hard time adjusting from being gone for years. He also knows what he has to do to keep his country and people he cares about safe.  He is not afraid of danger, and in the end just wants to be the king his father would have valued. This is a great series.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-545-28415-8

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore By: William Joyce

Mr. Morris Lessmore loved reading and words.  He lived the life in his book as he sat and wrote everyday.  One day he looses his books and all the writing he has done. He wandered around until he met a lady with flying books. One of these books took him to a place with so many books and he was so happy.  He spent the rest of his life with these books until he was old and it was time to move on.

I loved this book.  It had the most beautiful illustrations and a message that I truly love.   The images of him with piles of books around him remind me of me. When you are surrounded by books you can truly be amazed, and that your life is a story that you write each day you live.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4424-5702-7

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies By: Mick Cochrane

Molly misses her dad.  He passed away six months ago.  Her mother is now a different quiet person who barely talks.  Molly misses playing catch in the backyard with her dad, and having pitching lessons with him.  To feel a little closer to him, Molly decides to try out for the school baseball team.  She is a great pitcher, but baseball is for boys.

This was a terrific read for upper elementary and up.  What a wonderful story about loss and moving forward, and also about doing what you love even when you face trials. I loved the main character and was sad that she as a young person had to suffer the loss of her father.  Wonderful!!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-375-85382-2

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Heart of a Samurai

Heart of a Samurai By: Margi Preus

This is a historical fiction novel based on Manjiro, a fourteen year old Japanese young man in 1841. Manjiro and his fishing partners set sail one day like a regular day, but they did not make it home.  They were shipwrecked on an island.  A group of "barbarians", Americans, finds them and takes them aboard their whaling ship.  Manjiro sets off on an adventure, and is known as the first Japanese person to set foot into America.  This is the story of how no matter what he does he always just wants to make it back home.

This was a fantastic historical fiction for teens. The story is interwoven with pictures that Manjiro drew of his experiences.  I enjoyed learning about him and thinking what an amazing adventure he had.  I thought it was interesting too to have a look at what it might have been like to be on a whaling ship. Great read!

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8981-8

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Circus Galacticus

Circus Galacticus By: Deva Fagan

Trix knows that she doesn't belong in the snotty boarding school. But with no parents, and friends she has nowhere else to go.  One night a strange man comes to her room and tells her that she needs to go with them, that the meteorite piece that she keeps from her lost parents is important and she should give it to him.  The next day, the day that her school attends the circus, she finds that her hair has turned pink.  She also sees the man again, in her mission to get away from him she falls into the mix of the circus, and decides to run away with them.  This choice leads her to space where the circus lives and into the battle between the forces that live there.

Great read.  Super exciting and all around fun.  A circus of aliens in space, who could ask for more.  I enjoyed Trix and her spunk, and loved that she was able to find a place to belong.  The interesting setting also made this a quirky fun read, a flying spaceship big top, with a bunch of performers with different abilities. Fun!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-547-58136-1

The False Prince

The False Prince By: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Sage is an orphan who always seems to get himself in trouble.  One day a man named Conner, finds him and pays for him.  Conner has gone to many orphanages to find the perfect boys. Conner tells the boys that they have two weeks to prove themselves or else they will die.  Conner is trying to find a prince, to replace the long lost prince Jaron.  Sage knows he does not fit the part but finds himself in the middle of it all.

I loved this book.  It was really good, Sage was a great main character that I instantly enjoyed reading about.  Even though he did not want to be a prince, and wanted to escape at every turn I found myself wanting him to win.  With an interesting twist in the book, this book is well worth your time.

I bought this from Mostly Books a local book store.
ISBN: 978-0-545-28414-1

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Lost Children

The Lost Children By: Carolyn Cohagan

Josephine lives a lonely life, alone with her father that doesn't talk to her. She is hated at school because her father made a law that you must wear gloves at all times, and people hate them.  One day a mysterious boy comes to her house and she follows him through the shed into a different place and time.  Fargus and his friend Ida are in an orphanage in Gulm, where children disappear.  Josephine, Fargus, and Ida run away from the orphanage, their adventure begins, with kidnapping, children eating monsters, and a Master who controls the land of Gulm and takes the children. 

This was an interesting book, a very twisted tale.  I did think that the main character would appeal to children who are feeling lost and alone.  What I liked the best was that it was definitely not somethings that I have read before, a very original tale that I don't believe that others have gone with.  Perfect for the upper elementary and middle school readers.

I was given this book as a gift
ISBN: 978-0-545-38316-5

Monday, June 17, 2013

Treasure Island

Treasure Island By: Robert Louis Stevenson

Jim's family owns and runs the Admiral Benbow Inn. They usually have a few characters that come and visit, but one of the most important people to stay changes their lives.  Billy Bones, an old seaman, brings some trouble and then leaves a chest with a map. Jim takes this map to Dr. Livesey and they find that it is a treasure map. Jim sets off on an adventure of a lifetime, as he tries to help find the treasure and learns the way of the sea, and pirates

I have never read this classic book.  I was instantly drawn into the story of pirates and treasure, and the ways of greedy men.  I enjoyed reading about Jim and how he changed through the book. I cannot wait until my boys are ready to listen to this book.  Great read for any pirate loving person.

This book was purchased on
ISBN: 9781612184166

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Earthsea A Wizard of Earthsea

Earthsea A Wizard of Earthsea By: Ursula K. Le Guin

Although Ged was of humble birth he became a great sorcerer, better than all the rest, with a strong lean toward nature. As a young sorcerer he was not always careful with the power that he used.  In one moment he cast a horrible shadow into the world, one that would haunt him.  In his journey to conquer this shadow he learned many things. Along his journey he was able to help those around him, find that there is a plot to take his powers,  and come to deaths door to fight the evil that he unleashed.

This was a classic tale of a young person on a quest. All the classic elements of magic and a young man that knows he has to make things right and learns a lot on his journey.   Originally written in 1968 this proves to be a timeless tale. This is the first of six books in the Earthsea series, so if you are itching for more you should continue your journey.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-547-72202-3

The Last Apprentice

The Last Apprentice Revenge of the Witch By: Joseph Delaney

Tom Ward has been chosen to be the apprentice to Old Gregory The Spook.  He is leaving his farm home to follow and learn the ways of the Spook. But he is a little frightened as everyone is wary of the Spook and his ways. Tom makes it through his first night challenge in the Haunted House and then is taken to the Spook's home, where he learns quickly to follow the rules.  But Tom doesn't follow one rule and that is he talks to a girl with pointy shoes, and promises to help her. In helping her he helps a witch escape, and she wants his blood.

I really liked this book.  It definitely teaches to listen to those who are wiser than you and to not go where you were told not to. I enjoyed the main character Tom, he really was trying to do a good job, and didn't mean to cause trouble, he just didn't know enough to stay away.  The pictures at the beginning of each chapter gave a little hint as to what was going to happen next, which added a fun element.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-06-076619-1

Friday, June 14, 2013

Michael Vey Rise of the Elgen

Michael Vey Rise of the Elgen By: Richard Paul Evans

Michael and his friends have escaped from the prison they were held in in Pasadena.. They are now on the run and trying to find a way to find Michael's mother, who was taken by Dr. Hatch.  Their escape is much harder then they thought, as when they return to Idaho they find that their families are also in danger.  A mysterious person helps them find a way to Peru, where Michael's mother is being held. What they find there is a even greater problem then they though, as Dr. Hatch has created a huge compound that is creating electric rats, and he is on his way to trying gain global domination, with his terrible evil ways. 

This second book in the Michael Vey series does not disappoint.  Filled with action and some interesting plot lines, like rats created with electricity that will help take over the world, and a cliffhanger ending that leaves you groaning. Perfect read for middle school and up!  If you have not read the first book Michael Vey Prisoner of Cell 25, I highly recommend that you start there so that you understand the background. 

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4424-5414-9

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Flint Heart

The Flint Heart By: Katherine Paterson and John Paterson  Illustrated By: John Rocco

The Flint Heart was created a long time ago to give power to the person wearing it.  But in return the wearer also lost his compassion.  The first person to have it destroyed everything good, when he died the Flint Heart was through into the moor. Many years later the Flint Heart was found by a farmer, he took it and became and angry man, his children decided to turn to the pixies for help in saving their father.  With the pixies help they were able to make things right, but the Flint Heart was found again.

This was a great read for upper elementary school and up. Full of great word choices and imagination.  I loved the illustrations and the message of the book. While you may gain tons of power you could lose the things that matter most in the world.  Great book!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4712-4

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Okay For Now

Okay For Now By: Gary D. Schmidt

Doug Swieteck refers to his new home as "The Dump" and he hates the small town he has moved to. Most people in town don't seem to trust him, and that is because they blame his brother for things that have been happening.  Doug is not his brother, but does have a hard life.  He knows to stay clear of his father, and is in eighth grade without knowing how to read. He proves people wrong in this town, he learns to draw from one of the librarians, his teachers figure out he cannot read and they help him, and he finds a friend in Lil.  But Doug knows that for every good thing there will be something challenging, and this proves true when bad things continue to happen. Doug shows that if you keep at it you can help those around you.

I loved this book.  It made me sad, in a good way.  One of the best books I have read and also one that will stick with me.  My heart broke for Doug and his situation, but loved how his character grew through all his trials.  Great read for middle and high school especially. The character from this book can be found in The Wednesday Wars

I was given this book as a gift
ISBN: 978-0-547-15260-8

Life After Theft

Life After Theft By: Aprilynne Pike

Jeff has just started a new school in California after moving from Phoenix.  On his first day her sees a girl lying in the middle of the school floor, unfortunately he is the only one who can see her. Kimberlee cannot believe that after a year someone can finally see her! Jeff does not want to believe his eyes and is shocked that Kimberlee dares to ask him for his help.  See when Kimberlee was alive she stole a whole lot of things from people, now that she is dead she knows she cannot rest in peace until everything she took is given back.  But as Jeff helps her he finds out that she was not the nicest person around.

This story had a great message.  It showed that if you are mean to people in life, they don't really care about you in death. It also showed that if  you are a mean person you can always make it right.  I thought it was fun that the main character stuck helping Kimberlee was a boy who had no idea about her anyway so he didn't have the jaded view of her.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-06-199900-0

Orangutans Are Ticklish

Orangutans Are Ticklish Fun Facts From An Animal Photographer By: Steve Grubman with Jill Davis

This book shares facts and information about different animals.  Each animal has been photographed and the photographer tells a little about what it was like to take pictures of them.  My boys are really interested in animal facts this summer and so this was a fun book to read together.  And of course the pictures are great.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-375-85886-4

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing  By: Judi Barrett Illustrated By: Ron Barrett

This is a cute and creative short book about why animals should not wear clothing.  The pictures are hysterical and my kids laughed and laughed about it.    Some of my kids favorite reasons include, "because it would be disastrous for a porcupine", "and most of all, because it might be very embarrassing" (This was with the picture of a lady who is standing by an elephant wearing the same dress!)  Fun read for kids of all ages.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-689-70807-7

Of Triton

Of Triton By: Anna Banks

Emma learned that she is a Half-Breed human and mermaid. She now knows that her mother is the Poseidon princess that has been missing since WWII.  She is trying to come to terms with this when her mother kidnaps her because she is afraid that the Syrena people think she killed her mate.  But when her mother heads back to sort out where she went missing to Emma is told to stay out of the water, but the forces that be make bring her right into it and she must prove that she does in fact hold the Gift of Poseidon.

A great teen dram read.  Emma and Galen want to be together but she is not acceptable to the Syrena people until she proves that she has the gift that another is lying about.  This is the sequel to the book Of  Poseidon, and you do not have to read that one but it would help explain the back story.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-250-00333-1

Monday, June 10, 2013


Partials By: Dan Wells

Kira has grown up after the war with the Partials and she knows that the human race is dying.  She is tired of working in the nursery and seeing baby after baby dying of the RM disease that the Partials have given the human race. She also is not ready for turning eighteen when all girls are forced to start trying to have babies. So she decides that she is going to cure the human race from RM.  She gets her friends to help her grab a Partial and bring it back to try to research what makes them different so that she can find the reason the human babies are born and die.  But she is not expecting what happens to her as she decides to partner with this Partial to try to help him.

This was an interesting read.  Not unlike the other novels in which humans are becoming extinct and there is a group of people that want to help save human kind. Although I did like the plot line, that there is another race of part humans,  and the main character being determined to do what she wants even when others tell her she is crazy. I am interested to see what happens in the next book in the series Fragments as the end of the book is definitely a strong cliff hanger.  

I borrowed this book from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-06-207105-7

The Egypt Game

The Egypt Game By: Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Melanie Ross does not think they she will like April Hall when she first meets her. But they begin to spend time together and they find that they both love ancient Egypt.  So the two set off to create Egypt in their own way.  They find the abandoned lot behind The Professor's shop, and they carefully create their own Egypt there, being careful to stay clear of The Professor because people say he is not to be trusted.  They also meet Elizabeth and she begins to play with them even though they thought she was to young at first. But when a child is murdered in their neighborhood they are forced to stay indoors but they are itching to go back to The Egypt Game.

This was a terrific story of how unlikely friends can become close and how the imagination of young children when allowed to grow can expand into hours of creativity and wonderful things.  I liked the characters in this book and felt that they were typical kiddos that can come up with amazing things.  Being written in 1967 this book is different from the types of stories that are written today, but still proves to be great literature for young children.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6065-2

Take Me To Your BBQ

Take Me To Your  By: Kathy Duval and Adam McCauley

This is the story of a cowboy who is visited by aliens one night while barbequing.  It describes how the cowboy and the alien interact and then take the cowboy with them and leaves the other aliens to take care of his farm.  My boys loved this book because they think aliens are cool.  The illustrations were funny.  Great twist on the regular cowboy story.  

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-142312255-5

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Humming Room

The Humming Room By: Ellen Potter

Roo has had a hard life and finds it easier to hide than anything.  When her parents are gone, she is sent to live with her uncle that she never even knew existed.  Roo's uncle lives in an old children's hospital with many rooms and mysteries.  Roo loves to be outside and alone, one day while running from the live in tutor, Roo finds herself in a hidden garden.  Roo also meets the mysterious River boy, who helps her, and the secret to the humming she hears is finally revealed.

This was a great book.  Roo was such a unhappy character when she was first introduced and then she turns into a character who finds her place in the world. This story reminded me a lot of the book The Secret Garden, because there was a mysterious garden that just needed love, and while giving the love to the garden the people were healed too.  Great read for 4th grade and up!

I bought this book from Scholastic Book Clubs
ISBN: 978-0-545-49445-8

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Three Times Lucky

Three Times Lucky By: Sheila Turnage

Some people believe that Mo is not lucky, because she was left to float down a river during a hurricane the night she was born. But Mo thinks that she is three times lucky, because her Upstream Mother tied her to a raft, two because the Colonel was in an accident and found her, and three because Miss Lana took her in.  But this does not stop Mo from wanting to find her mother, she sends messages in a bottle to her often down the river and hopes she will find them. This summer Mo thought she would be hanging with her friends, and writing her autobiography, but when a strange detective shows up and a murder takes place, her and her best friend become detectives instead.

This was a great book for middle school readers. The main character was a strong young lady that worked hard to find the best in each situation.  Filled with quirky characters and strange names this book is a winner.

I purchased this book from Scholastic Book Clubs
ISBN: 978-0-545-50844-5

How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers

 How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers By: Mordicai Gerstein

This book takes you on an adventure to the Moon.  It starts with a boy who decides to cheer up the Moon by traveling there to plant sunflowers to make it happier.  The book then goes through this young man's ideas on how to bicycle to the moon. It is a clever story that shows that with a little imagination you can come up with great ideas. I liked the format of the book because it showed the readers how to construct a plan and invent something new. I plan to use this in my fifth grade classroom as a fun story to read while we complete our solar system unit, and see if my students can invent different creative ways to travel to the Moon.

I purchased this book from Barnes and Noble.
ISBN: 978-1-59643-512-4


Apothecary By: Maile Meloy

Janie Scott is not happy about her parents making them move to London.  She doesn't understand why they are running away from America, and she is upset about leaving.  Janie meets Benjamin, the apothecary's son, and they are thrown into a strange adventure when his father is taken. Before he is kidnapped Benjamin's father gives them a book and tells them to protect it.  This book is full of potions and spells that Janie and Benjamin do not understand.  Soon Janie and Benjamin are in a race to solve this mystery before things get worse.

This was a very adventurous and fun book to read.  Set in 1952 in the aftermath of World War 2 this book has a ton of interesting elements. I enjoyed how the characters decided to take things into their own hands, and try to solve the mysteries so that they could save help.  I loved the magical elements, when they were able to escape by turning into birds.  Great read.  This book also won the E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and the story will continue in The Apprentices.

I purchased this book from Mostly Books a local book store.
ISBN: 978-0-14-242206-9

Monday, June 3, 2013

Innocent Darkness

Innocent Darkness: The Aether Chronicles Book 1 By: Suzanne Lazear

Noli has gotten in trouble for the last time.  This time her friend, V, and her were caught in her flaying auto when she does not have permission to do so.  Her mother is told that there is only one option for her, go to a boarding school that will teach her the ways to be a lady.  Noli is heartbroken to leave her mother and her best friend V.  When Noli gets to the boarding school she finds that things are not as they seem, and she is punished severely for everything.   Noli makes a wish to be taken anywhere, and unfortunately it lands her in the hand of Kevighn, who is looking for the next girl to sacrifice to keep magic alive.  But V comes to her rescue, and she finds she cannot live without him, but he has not been truthful with her either.  Noli only wants to go home.

I normally do not like science fiction, but this one was for me!  I loved the characters in this book, and when Noli is being hurt in the boarding house I truly cried for her.  I loved the bond between the characters and the struggle that Noli faced when she realized that in the faerie world things are not always what you think they are.  It was such a well written story that I felt like I was inside the story.  I cannot wait until I am able to read book two! Definitely a great young adult book!

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-7387-3248-0

Interrupting Chicken

Interrupting Chicken By: David Ezra Stein

This is the story of the little red chicken who would love for  his father to read him a bedtime story.  The problem is that whenever Papa starts to read little red chicken become the interrupting chicken. Papa cannot get through a story without being interrupted and he begins to get frustrated.  Little red chicken decides to read a bedtime story to Papa instead.  But he is also interrupted, by Papa's snoring.

This is a perfect bedtime story for any age. My boys love it! I also plan to read it to my 5th grade class because I know that they will enjoy the funny illustrations and the basics of the story.  I loved it!

I purchased this book from Barnes and Noble.  I love teacher gifts!
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4168-9

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Spellcaster By: Claudia Gray

Nadia knows that she is a witch.  She was trained by her mother, and now is alone because her mother will not speak to her or her family. To get away from things Nadia's father has moved them to Captive's Sounds. While  driving there her family is in an accident, but Mateo helps save them.  Mateo has lived in Captive's Sound for his whole life, everyone there knows that at some point he will go crazy.  Each of his family members have.  But when Nadia comes to town things change.  Nadia and Mateo are thrown together by fate, and become inseparable.  But when Nadia figures out that someone in town is not who they think she is, things start to happen.  Nadia and Mateo along with their friend Verlaine must work together to save each other, the town, and be together.

This was a classic teen drama book.  Boy falls for new girl but there are challenges to being together.  The characters all had interesting life stories, and they all fit together nicely.   It was interesting and I enjoyed reading it, but truly would be perfect for the high school reader.  

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-196120-5

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure 

In each of the books in this huge series, readers are able to choose the path they would like to take throughout the book.  Each choice either leads you to continue your reading or if you choose incorrectly you find the end of the book.  I remember as a child checking these out constantly at the library.  Now that I have a fourth grader he has found this series as well, I could not be more excited about it.

Currently he is reading Zombie Penpal By: Ken McMurtry  and he loves it!!