Tuesday, December 30, 2014

All These Things I've Done

All These Things I've Done By: Gabrielle Zevin

Anya is just trying to get by. She has a lot on her plate, taking care of her dying grandmother, going to school, and making sure her older brother and younger sister are ok.  And, she is the daughter of one of the most notorious crime lords, even though he is dead, his past is still a part of her life. Anya meets Win at school when she is in the office for throwing lasagna on her ex boyfriend, and she really kinda likes him, even though his father is the new DA.  But Anya is framed for a crime that she didn't commit, and her grandmother dies, so Anya has to figure out how to manage everything that comes after.

I liked this book a lot. I really enjoyed Anya's strong character in the face of so many challenges in her life. She truly did what was best for everyone in her life, even if it meant that her happiness was set aside.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-374-30210-8

Let's Get Lost

Let's Get Lost By: Adi Alsaid

It's tough to be a teen, and four of them across the country are going through different things. One thing they have in common is Leila. Leila is on a trip to see the Northern Lights, and she meets each one of these teens at a time when they really need her most.  As she helps them, they also help her, but there is one person she really just wants to see more then the rest, and she has her own past to find.

I really liked this book. It was an interesting story about helping those around you, even if you don't know them. I am sure that some people are going through really hard times, and could use someone to come along and help them out.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-373-21124-1

The Ice Dragon

The Ice Dragon By: George R. R. Martin  Illustrated By: Luis Royo

Adara was born during the worst freeze that anyone had ever experienced, and was a winter child.  She was not like other children, and stayed out to play in the snow for as long as she wanted building great castles of snow.  It was in the winter time that she saw the Ice Dragon, and was able to touch it, and fly on it.  Unrest was coming to her small land, and fire dragons and their riders were coming to attack and take over.  Adara used her ice dragon to rescue her family, and he paid the ultimate price.

This book was beautiful.  I loved the story, and the illustrations were ones that would make me stop and stare. I thought that this beautiful girl who was so alone in a way, had a friend in the ice dragon. This book would be great for any reader upper elementary and up to adult.

I borrowed this book from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-7653-7877-4

Monday, December 1, 2014


Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin By: Liesl Shurtliff

Rump hates his name very much, and we all know why. The kids are always teasing him about it.  Rump has had a hard life, living day to day in the mines so that his grandmother and him can eat. But when he finds a spinning wheel, and is able to make gold his luck begins to change.

I loved this retelling of the story of Rumpelstiltskin.  It was very clever, and will take young readers into the fairy tale quickly.  I liked how Rumpelstiltskin was not told as an evil character, like he is in some of the fairy tales, that he was just a normal boy with a talent that he thought could help him.

I purchased this book from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-545-76586-2

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Iron Trial

The Iron Trial By: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare Illustrated By: Scott Fischer

Call does not fit in anywhere he goes, he has trouble at school, and does not have any friends. His father is taking him to the Iron Trial, and tells Call that he needs to fail the test so that he is not taken to the school for magic.  Call does everything he can, but is still chosen by Master Rufus.  Call is now living at the Magisterium.  Call does his best, but always feels like his is failing. He finally is able to befriend his two partners Tamara and Aaron, and they begin to work together. That is until Call finds out who he truly is.

This is a great read for upper elementary and middle school readers.  I really enjoyed Call's character, he is the misfit kid, who just needs to find his place in the world.  I also enjoyed the relationship between Call and his father, it showed true caring.  I highly recommend this book!  I hope the next book in the series comes out soon.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-545-52225-0

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Girl On A Wire

Girl on a Wire By: Gwenda Bond

Jules is a really great tight rope walker.  She wants her family to have the best in life, so she tricks her family into joining The Cirque American.  She has no idea what is in store for her!  The other members of the Cirque are not thrilled that her family is there, because of the past of her grandmother and the story that she hurt people.  But she meets Remy, and even though their families do not get along, they find themselves falling for each other. With many mysterious things happening, Jules tries to figure them out, while making a name for herself. She has to look out thought because someone is out for revenge.

I really liked this book.  I loved the storyline, the mystery, and the cool circus things.  I highly recommend this one.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1477847916

Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Long Haul

Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Long Haul By: Jeff Kinney

It is no secret that I really love the Wimpy Kid books. This one was just as funny as ever.  I loved the idea of the long road trip, because when I was little we took them every summer.  The pig addition to the family made me laugh and laugh.  Keep writing Jeff Kinney, you are hysterical.

I purchased this book from Scholastic Book Clubs
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1499-3


Atlantia By: Ally Condie

Rio has always known that she wants to go Above. But she stays with her twin sister Bay in Atlantia so that she is not alone after their mother dies.  Rio is shocked one day when her sister decides to go Above and leaves her alone. Rio has always had to hide her true self, because she is s siren, and now it will be even harder. Rio meets True, who helps her make money so that she can buy her way to the top. Things do not go as planned though and what Rio thought she wanted may not be so anymore.

This was a great young adult book.  I was interested in it immediately because of Rio, she would do anything for her sister and when her sister leaves her she is left uncertain of things.  I also liked that Rio was able to find a way to do what she needed to do in order to survive and figured out quickly who she could trust.

I borrowed this book from the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-525-42644-8

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Back To Blogging!

I don't really think anyone checks out this blog, but for any who might I am back!

Here are a few things I read while I was gone.

Divergent Series By: Veronica Roth
     This is the story of Beatrice Prior, in a post apocalyptic Chicago area. I was instantly hooked on this series again (I read the first one a while ago).  I finished all four of the books in two days.  Although I hated the end. 

The Pledge By: Kimberly Derting

     I loved this book about Charlania who has to hide her ability to understand all languages. She meets the prince, who is in disguise, and they end up finding friendship.  Charlania is the key though to overthrowing the evil reign of the kingdom.  I can't wait to read the next two books in the series!

Mortal Instruments Series By: Cassandra Claire. 

    I finished this series and was thrilled with the ending  I am glad I was able to find out what happened with Clary and Jace, and how they work tougher with their friends to overthrow Sebastian, Clary's brother.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Jewel

The Jewel By: Amy Ewing

Violet has always known what her job will be in life. She understands that she will be sold, and then forced to carry the children of someone with power.  It doesn't matter what she has been told, after being sold to the Lady of the Lake, reality is much worse than she feared.  The powerful people are able to do things to the weaker ones that are terrible, and Violet finds that she has a lot more to learn.  But with the promise of someone that claims they want to help her, and meeting Ash, Violet has a little hope for her future.

This was a great book.  I enjoyed Violet's character, she was determined to help her friend, even though life was hard for her too.  I thought the balance of power over the people who were buying girls, and the way they treated the people without the ability to fight for themselves was terrible.  Honestly the plot was really strange, but I didn't want to stop reading, because I wanted to make sure that Violet was able to get out.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-223579-4

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Heir Of Fire

Heir Of Fire By: Sarah J. Maas

Celina has been sent away by the King of Adarlan.   She is not expecting to be caught by Rowan, the prince of her Aunt Maeve.  Maeve wants something from Celina, because she is the rightful Queen Aelin.  Maeve sends Celina to train with Rowan, and they spend countless hours every day, with Rowan forcing Celina to be who she is meant to be.  Chaol is fighting a battle of his own as he works with Aedion, who is trying to overthrow the evil of the King of Adarlan.  Manon is an evil witch who is preparing for the battle against anyone who stands to fight the King of Adarlan.  The fate of everyone is in the hands of Celina, and we will see just how strong she is.

It is very hard to explain the depth and character of this book.  There were so many things going on in the book and so much action to follow.  I loved this book just as much as the rest of the Throne of Glass series. Celina is absolutely one of my favorite characters,  I love her strength, and her fight for what is right. The only problem I have with this book is that it ended, and I wanted more.

I borrowed this book from a friend.
ISBN: 978-1-61963-065-9

My Crocodile Does Not Bite

My Crocodile Does Not Bite By: Joe Kulka

It is bring your pet to school day and Ernest has decided to take his gigantic crocodile with him.  Cindy Lou, the very mean girl, says that he can't have him because he will bite the other kids. Ernest insures everyone that he does not in fact bite, and shows off all his tricks to the class. But, Cindy Lou just gets more and more upset because no one in the class cares about her dog, so she does something mean.  Ernest is correct, his crocodile does not bite, but he sure can swallow.  This book was really funny, my boys loved it, and think they need a crocodile for a pet.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-7613-8937-8

The Nuts: Bedtime At The Nut House

The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nuthouse By: Eric Litwin  Illustrated by: Scott Magoon

This is a hilarious book about a family of nuts.  The little Nuts do not wish to go to bed and are trying to find anyway to get out of it.  Mama Nut is not happy with Wally and Hazel and uses her big voice to make sure they will listen.  The story has a free download of the song and lullaby of the book. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and perfect for the story.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-316-32244-7

Night Knight

Night Knight By: Owen Davey

This is a cute story about a knight who goes on many adventures on his way to bed. He rides his horse down the hall, swims through the ocean in his bath, and finds treasure on his way into his room.  The illustrations in this book are really great.  My five year old son couldn't get enough of this book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5838-0

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lily Quench

Lily Quench and the Dragon of Ashby By: Natalie Jane Prior

Lily is part of a family of dragon slayers.  She is brought to the castle of Ashby to hunt down and kill the dragon that is making a mess.  Lily finds that she would rather be friends with the dragon, and the Dragon Queen takes her on an adventure she will never forget. She gets taken to Monkey Island and is given clues to the missing prince. But the whole time she is gone there is another fight in Ashby, one that could change it forever.

This was a cute book that any third through fifth grade reader would enjoy.  Lily is a lovable character, and so is the dragon she is taken to quench.  The story reminded me a lot of Roald Dahl's writing style and characters.  Strange with a twist.  I loved her adventures.

I borrowed this from the school library
ISBN: 0-140240020-3

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Wilfred By: Ryan Higgins

     Once there was a lonely giant named Wilfred, who only wanted a friend. He came to a town that had a whole bunch of little people in it, and none of them had hair. When he tried to introduce himself the people all ran away, except one boy. The boy and Wilfred became friends and had a ton of fun, until the other people in the town told Wilfred that hairy monsters were not allowed to be in the town.  If he wanted to come back he had to give them all his hair. So they took all of Wilfred's hair, and he was cold and lonely. The little boy tried to help him, but he got lost in the snowstorm.  Wilfred found him and protected him, and then the people of the town knew that they had done wrong.

     I loved this book. It was touching and had a great story.  I thought that it showed that people can be very selfish, and that sometimes the things that are different are the object of our torture.  I loved how Wilfred protected his only friend in this story.  My boys loved listening to it, and I cannot wait to share it with my class.

   I borrowed this from the public library
   ISBN: 978-0-8037-3732-7


Nightsong By: Ari Berk and Loren Long

     This is the story of Chiro, a young bat, and how he learns to use his echolocation for the first time. His mother tells him to go out into the wold and find his dinner.  He says it is dark and he doesn't know how to fly in the dark. She tells him to use his song, he flies out and is able to find his song and see the world as only bats can do.
     This is a beautiful story.  It was well written and had really great illustrations. When I read this book to my class, every kid was attentive and waiting for what happened.  We talked all about the pictures and the fact that bats are amazing because they can use a skill that we do not have as people.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7886-2

Sunday, August 3, 2014

No More Kisses For Bernard!

No More Kisses For Bernard! By: Niki Daly

Bernard loves his aunts, but he hates that they always kiss him.  He makes a rule that there is to be NO MORE!  Bernard even wears a knight helmet to stop his aunts. What a cute story about a boy who hates kisses. Having boys myself I totally understand what it is like. My boys hate them!  This would be a fun read aloud for young children

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-84780-105-0

City of Ashes

City of Ashes: Mortal Instruments Book 2 By: Cassandra Clare

Clary 's life is anything but normal, and she really wishes she could get back to normal.  Unfortunately that is never going to happen.  In this part of the story, Clary is still dealing with her feelings for the men in her life.  Simon, her best friend, wants to spend more time together, and Clary would love to.  Jace, the boy she loves, but found out he is actually her brother, is back, and she cannot sort her feelings.  After a visit to the Faerie Queen,  things get even more confusing. Clary only knows that she has to track down Valentine, a rogue Shadowhunter, that is also her father.

Great teen read.  I enjoyed this book because of it's many different twists and turns. I think that Clary is a strong character who has been dealt a lot on her plate.  I feel for Jace, who loves Clary, but now knows that it is not possible.  I can't wait to see how the story continues.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7224-2

Monday, July 28, 2014

An Abundance Of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines By: John Green

Colin is not your typical teenager, he is brilliant but lacks social skills.  In his life he has dated 19 Katherines, but this last one has broken his heart. To help him get over Katherine XIX, Colin's friend Hassan suggests that they take a road trip.  They set off from their home and drive for a long time ending up in  Gutsthot, Tennessee, and meet Lindsay and her mom, Hollis.  They decide to stay and work for Hollis, all the while Colin is trying to get over Katherine XIX.  What Colin is able to find in this small Tennessee town just might save him.

This book was just another great one from John Green.  I love Colin's character, all the quirkiness, the sadness, and the abundance of facts. I think what really got me was that Colin may not have been like the other teens in his life, but he had so much more than them, it just took someone longer to find it.  I feel like that is real life, not the typical teen drama.

I purchased this book at Costco.
ISBN: 978-0-14-241070-7

I Am Malala

I Am Malala By: Malala Yousafzai

This is the fascinating and terrifying story of Malala, a young woman from Pakistan.  Malala was raised differently than the normal Pakistani child, because her father owned a school and felt that it was important for his family and children to learn.  Malala's father spoke out against the people in the country that did not think that education was a good thing.  On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban.  They did not believe that she would live, but she proved them wrong in so many ways by living and then telling all about her story.

This was a book I will not forget.  To think that something that most people take for granted, caused this young girl so much in her life.  I cannot imagine living in a country where kids were not able to go to school, and where there is so much fighting and terror.

I borrowed this book from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-316-32240-9

Born of Decption

Born of Deception By: Teri Brown

Anna has just been given the chance of a lifetime, a part in a show in Europe. She is very excited because this also means that she will be closer to Cole.  When Anna comes to Europe, she is so excited, and nervous to meet the people in Cole's life. To make matters worse, other Sensitives in the area are starting to disappear.  While Anna has to focus on her job, Cole becomes more and more distant.  Anna feels that the Society should look in one area, and Cole does not agree. Anna has to find a way to keep Cole close, but solve the mystery her own way.

This was a great sequel to Born of Illusion. Anna's story continues on a path that I was not expecting.  What I really enjoyed about this part of the story was that Anna becomes very strong, she knows what she believes and will not let anyone tell her what to think.  Great young adult read.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-06-218757-4

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Black Rabbit

The Black Rabbit By: Philippa Leathers

One morning Rabbit woke up and as he was walking out of his hole he saw a scary Black Rabbit.  The Black Rabbit would not leave him alone.  Rabbit tried everything he could think of to rid himself of him, but he couldn't do it.  Eventually Rabbit headed into the woods, and he believed he was safe.  But there are wolves in the forest, and now Rabbit has a bigger problem.  Black Rabbit comes to the rescue, and Rabbit knows that he now has a friend.

This book was super cute.  I loved the story and the illustrations. The fact that the Black Rabbit was just Rabbit's shadow was so funny. I know that any elementary reader will love this book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5714-7

The Orphan of Ellis Island

The Orphan of Ellis Island By: Elvira Woodruff

Dominic does not want anyone to know his secret.  He hides it every day at school, but on one class trip it seems that he will have to share it.  His class is on a tour of Ellis Island, and the tour guide is asking everyone to share their story.  When it is Dominic's turn, instead of telling everyone he is an orphan and doesn't know anything about his family, he runs away.  Dominic finds a place to hide, and wakes up later to find that he is in the museum at night. Knowing he will have to wait for someone to find him, he walks around and listens to the recordings of the immigrants that came to Ellis Island, one recording gives him more than he asks for and he is transported back in time.

This was a touching book with a great historical base.  Dominic's story is so much like many kiddos today, and they will relate to it.  I thought the idea of him going back in time, and finding out what it was like for immigrants to come to America was a great story. Great read for upper elementary and middle school readers.

This book was donated to my class.
ISBN: 0-590-48246-7

Thursday, July 17, 2014

On My Honor

On My Honor By: Marion Dane Bauer

Joel isn't sure that he likes being Tom's friend. Tom always likes to do things that Joel is not supposed to do and is a little afraid of.  One day Tom convinces Joel that they should ride their bikes on an adventure.  Joel's father gives them permission, but has them promise not to do anything other than ride to the park.  Along the way, Tom decides that swimming in the river will be fun.  Although reluctant, Joel decides to join him, and challenges Tom to swim out to the sandbar.  Tom disappears, and Joel realizes that Tom has gone under.  He tries to find help, but by the time he does Tom is nowhere to be found.  Joel hides the information and tells a lie to the police and Tom's family. He is distraught with guilt.

I usually do not dislike any books. I wish I had not read this.  It made me so sad, I cannot imagine a boy whose friend has just drown, hiding it from the police and his family.  Not only because that is such the wrong thing to do, but because the guilt that that the child will carry for the rest of his life is unimaginable to me.  When I got to the end of the book, I was shocked and disappointed. It won a Newbery Honor and is based on actual events in the town it is based on, but I don't think that I will have this in my room.

This book was donated to my class
ISBN 0-440-46633-4

The Twenty-One Balloons

The Twenty-One Balloons By: William Pene Dubois

Professor William Waterman Sherman attempted to fly across the world with his twenty-one balloons. He was not successful and was found in the Atlantic ocean floating on his wreckage.  The world wants to know his story, but he is in no hurry to tell them.  When he does finally start talking he tells the tale of his adventures.  No one knows is the professor's tale is true or false, but they all know that it is one that they want to hear.

This was a quirky and fun story for the adventurous readers.  The contraption that the professor makes is out of this world, and unbelievable.  Written with the main character telling the story of his fantastic journey makes it even better and it reads as a nonfiction story.  Even though this story was written in 1947, it still is a great story for students today.

This book was donated to my classroom
ISBN: 0-590-56925-2

Marshfield Dreams

Marshfield Dreams When I Was A Kid By: Ralph Fletcher

This is an autobiography of what Ralph Fletcher remembers as a young child.  He was the oldest child and had 8 brothers and sisters.  He loved his small town, and all the things that his family did together. Fletcher recalls the bests memories he had as a child. This is a perfect book for a study of biographies, or authors.  Upper elementary students will have a great time comparing what it was like for Ralph to grow up and what it is like for them.  I loved the part where there is a girl in his class that always knows that his mom is going to have a baby before he does and she asks him, "Do you know the scuttlebutt?" 

This book was donated to my classroom
ISBN: 978-1-250-01024-7

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure By: Anna Walker

Peggy lives in the yard and does the same thing every day.  One day a gust of wind carries Peggy to a new place. A place with a lot of people, and none of them will help her find her way home.  Peggy has many adventures in the city, but is lucky to see some sunflowers, like the ones in her yard. Peggy follows them as far as she can, and is still not home. Her pigeon friends find Peggy and help her get the rest of the way. 

This was a cute story.  Elementary school children would love it, even the bigger ones.  Peggy is an adventurer, and it would help with a discussion on what types of adventures the kids would like to go on. The illustrations are beautiful in this book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-544-25900-3

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Across The Universe

Across The Universe By: Beth Revis

Amy and her family have been frozen, and will be awoken in three hundred years to start a new colony.  As she is frozen she dreams on.  Elder has only ever known life on the Godspeed.  He is to take the place of Eldest when it is time, and is learning how to run the ship.  When Amy is pulled from her frozen sleep early, things start to change.  It becomes apparent that things are not what they seem on the ship, and the future they were all hoping for may not come true. Amy is going to fight for what she thinks is right, and to stay alive herself.

While I don't know that I really liked this book, I did  not put it down.  I was hooked on finding out the answer to the crimes that were being committed. I wanted to make sure that Amy survived, and wanted to see what she would do as she found out more and more.  I also so hoped throughout the book that Elder would make the right choices. Interesting book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-59514-397-6

Friday, July 11, 2014

George's Secret Key To The Universe

George's Secret Key To The Universe
By: Lucy and Stephen Hawking

George lives a very different life. His parents do not believe in any modern technology, that includes even a phone, a dishwasher, and a washing machine.  All George really wants in life is a computer and he is saving his money for one, but knows it will be a very long wait.  One day George's pet pig escapes into the house of the neighbor, in his hunt for the pig, he meets his new neighbors.  They have what George really wants, a computer, and not just any computer, one that can take George to space! But others are looking for this computer too!

What a great read!! I cannot wait for my kids at home and school to read it.  With a fun imaginative story and facts about space it's a winner!  George's life is so different from all the kids I know, that I know they will love it.  And George's story continues in George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt

This book was donated to my classroom
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8584-6

Waiting For Normal

Waiting For Normal By: Leslie Connor

Addie really wishes that her life could be normal.  It really isn't though, her father died when she was little and her mother has just gotten a divorce from her husband.  Dwight is very nice to Addie and treats her as his own, but she isn't and so instead of moving with him and her little sisters, Addie is forced to live in the tiny trailer with her mother.  Mommers is not great at taking care of Addie and she spends a lot of time alone, but she makes friends with Soula and Eddie that run the gas station next door.  As Addie's mom continues to leave Addie for longer and longer, and Dwight moves away, Addie has to fend for herself, and she gets more and more lonely.

I loved this story, but it broke my heart. I felt so sorry for Addie, she really just wanted a family and know that she was loved and cared for.  She had so many in her life that tried to help her.  I wish every kid in her situation could have the heroes Addie had.

I was given this book.
ISBN: 978-0-06-089090-2

The Birchbark House

The Birchbark House By: Louise Erdrich

This is Omakayas' story.  She lives in her village and works along with the others.  She loves living in the birchbark house more than the cabin for winter.  When everyone in her village gets sick with smallpox, Omakayas does not, and she cares for those around her.   During her growing up she finds out many things about how she can take care of others, how she is connected to the land, and then how Old Tallow was the one who saved her from the village that she was orphaned in.

This was a great read for upper elementary or middle school readers.  It was true to the historic nature of the Native Americans it represented.  The story of Omakayas was a wonderful tale for any young person growing up and one that many could relate to.

I was given this as a gift
ISBN: 0-439-20340-6

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Maple By: Lori Nichols

When Maple was going to be born, her parents planted a tree for her.  Maple loved her tree and spent a lot of time around it.  The only problem was that sometimes a tree is not the best of friends, as it cannot throw snowballs with you and she tried to give her tree someone to play with.  One day a new little tree appears in her yard, and Maple becomes a big sister.  She loves and takes care of her sister, Willow, and they both love to lay underneath their tree.

This is a simple, wonderful story perfect for any age reader.  The illustrations were beautiful.  Lovely book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-399-16085-1

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Escape From Memory

Escape From Memory By: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Kira's friends think it would be fun to hypnotize her at a party.  She agrees, but what happens is more than she expects.  She starts getting memories of a time that she doesn't know about in her life.  Determined to get the answers her mother will not get her, Kira sets off to find them.  But when Kira's mother disappears, and a strange women who calls herself Aunt Memory takes Kira she knows something is wrong.  Aunt Memory takes Kira to a strange place Crythe, and tells Kira that it is where she is from.  Luckily for Kira her friend Lynne somehow managed to sneak along for the trip, because they are going to need all the help they can get to escape.

I love Haddix's books, and this one was no different.  I was instantly drawn into the story, because it was so strange that I knew something was up.  The relationship between Kira and her mom was a strange one, and the way her mother acted about everything was off.  As soon as Kira went with Aunt Memory, I knew bad things were going to happen, as who goes with strangers.  Great teen read

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-4424-4602-1

Monday, June 30, 2014

Helen Keller

Helen Keller By: Grace Norwich Illustrated By: Mark Elliot

This is a biography of Helen Keller. It tells the hard times and the amazing things that Helen went through in her life.  It explains the events of her life and gives details of what she went through. It is a perfect read for upper elementary and middle school readers.  With illustrations and little informational facts sections you really learn a lot about her and the time in which she lived.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-545-44779-9

Mermaid Queen

Mermaid Queen By: Shana Corey Illustrated By: Edwin Fotheringham

Annette Kellerman was born in Australia and lived with her parents who were music teachers.  Annette loved music, but was unable to dance because she had a problem with her legs that prevented her from walking.  Her father taught her how to swim, and she loved it She started performing her swimming and dancing routine when she was a teen When they moved to England people were appalled by her swim attire, and she was shocked when she came to America to see that women were swimming in their clothing. Annette was arrested for not being properly dressed, and when she went to court she told the judge that swimming was a great sport, but women needed to be able to move in the water.  Because of what Annette did, women were able to change their swimming clothes and enjoy the water.

This is a great non fiction picture book.  I had never heard of Annette before and am glad I read it.  She is truly an inspiring person, having the courage to stand up for what she was doing when she lived in a time that told her not to do it.  Great read for elementary readers.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-439-69835-1

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Destined to Live: A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust

Destined to Live: A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust By: Ruth Gruener

Ruth lived with her parents, who owned a candy shop in Poland.  Her family had a good life, that is until the Nazi party came through her town.  Her family was sent to live in a ghetto with the rest of the Jewish people in her town.  But unfortunately even there they were not safe. Her family hid under the porch during one time when the soldiers came to take them, and escaped to  a cave.  Then a women came to her parents to tell them that she would take Ruth and keep her safe. Ruth had to go and leave her parents, not knowing if they would ever see each other again.

This was a wonderful book.  The story that Ruth tells is so sad, and it is amazing what her family went through.  My heart broke for her with each new thing, and the fear that all the Jewish people went through was so tragic. Great read for any upper elementary and middle school reader.

I purchased
this from Scholastic.
ISBN: 978-0-439-89204-9

Friday, June 27, 2014

You Choose

The Revolutionary War Experience & The Civil War Experience
By: You Choose Books, Capstone Press

These are two great books for upper elementary and middle school readers.  They are historical fiction books, but with a new twist. They are choose your own adventure books. In each book you choose your path through the war. You can be a soldier, a civilian, and make your own way.  What I liked about these is that readers learn a ton of information, from the eyes of someone in history.  Great books!!

I purchased these books at Costco
ISBN: 978-1-4914-1712-6 & 978-1-4914-1710-2

The Scorch Trials & The Death Cure

The Scorch Trials & The Death Cure  By: James Dashner

Books two and three in  The Maze Runner series continue to follow Thomas and his collection of Glade friends on their journey after leaving the Maze. In the second book The Scorch Trials, Thomas and the others must find their way through the desert and away from those who are infected with the Flare.  And they only have two weeks to complete this task given to them by the people of Wicked.  In book three The Death Cure Thomas doesn't think things could get any worse then what they have been through. But of course he is wrong.  Wicked is not done with them yet, and will do anything to stop them from escape.  The one thing Thomas learns is that finding who you can really trust may be his biggest challenge yet.

The last two books in this series were just as good as the first. With constant action, and twists in the story, you have to stay on your toes to keep up.  This is a great series in young adult science fiction.

I purchased these books at Barnes and Nobel.
ISBN: 978-0-385-73576-7 & 978-0-385-73878-1

Thursday, June 19, 2014

back home

back home By: Julia Keller

Rachel knows that something is wrong when her mother sits her and her brother and sister down to talk.  Their mother tells them that the good news is that their dad is coming home from Iraq, but the bad news is that there was an accident, and their father was badly hurt. Rachel doesn't know how she feels about everything that is happening to her family.  But when dad comes home, she knows that he is not the same, and this takes it's toll on her family.

This book was hard to read.  It truly showed the side of war that we know happens, but we don't all experience.  It was interesting and heartbreaking to see it from a child's perspective. This book is for middle school readers.  I am so thankful for all the men and women that serve our country, and for their families that serve from home.

I purchased this book from the Scholastic Book Order
ISBN:  978-0-545-26010-7

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Pencil

The Pencil By: Allan Ahlberg & Bruce Ingman

This is the story of a pencil who began to draw, he drew a boy, a dog, and then just kept going. His characters asked for some color. so he draws a paintbrush. He fills his world with people and things, and the paintbrush paints it.  One day the people say that they do not like some things, so the pencil draws an eraser. The eraser goes out of control, erasing everything it can. The pencil has to find a way to stop him. I thought this was a great book.  It had a wonderful fun story, and my boys loved listening to it.

I borrowed this book from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3894-8

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Friendship Doll

The Friendship Doll By: Kirby Larson

Miss Kanagawa is a doll that was sent to the United States in 1927 as a gift to the United States from Japan.  These dolls were taken around the United States and shown to different people.  What is different about them, is that they are truly able to see and experience those around them, and Miss Kanagawa tells us the story of four girls that live through hard times in our history.  We see how different people were affected by The Great Depression.  Each child that she meets Miss Kanagawa, finds herself a part of their life, and she never forgets them.

This was a great book.  I loved learning about so many different characters, and it was interesting to see them through the eyes of a doll.  I enjoyed the actual history of the dolls from Japan in the back of the book. This is a great read for upper elementary and middle school girls.

I purchased this book from the Scholastic Book Fair.
ISBN: 978-0-545-49233-1

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner By: James Dashner

Thomas wakes up and has no idea where he is. All he knows is that he is now with a bunch of other boys, and they are all calling him the "Greenie". Thomas finds out that he is in a strange place, where the group of boys has made a society, each having their own jobs. But the big thing looming in this world is the maze.  The Runners spend their days trying to find a way out of the maze, but don't get locked inside, because at night the Grievers come out, and they only kill.  Another strange thing is that the next day, a girl comes out of the hole, and she claims to know Thomas, and he doesn't remember her.  The others are suspicious of Thomas, and he makes things worse when he goes into the maze as the doors are closing to help two other runners. He makes it out alive, but those around him know that something is going on and things are different. They have to figure out what is happening, but they all know they have to get out fast.

This was an interesting science fiction read. A colony of boys, who have banded together to make a home, and a civilization of their own, knowing that their purpose is to work on the maze and get out.  I thought the concept of the book was one I had never read before, which made it really different.  This is a great young adult read, and not only are there more books in the series, but this book has been made into a movie.

I purchased this book from Barnes and Noble.
ISBN: 978-0-385-73795-1


Victory By: Susan Cooper

Molly is not happy to be living in the United States, she really wants to go back to her home in London. But her mother and step father have decided that Connecticut is where they should be. Sam didn't choose to be a sailor, he was snatched up and signed into service. He misses his home, but knows that this is probably a better life for him.  Neither of the two living 200 years apart know each other, but a chance find in an old store, Molly has a piece of Sam's life in her hands.  This piece of cloth, sends Molly on an adventure, and through Sam's life we see how the cloth got there.

I thought this book was really great. Perfect for upper elementary and middle school readers. It was packed with historical details, and told in a catching way.  I liked how the two character's lives were intertwined, even though they were so far apart.  Great read.

I purchased this book from the Scholastic Book Order
ISBN: 978-0-545-07438-4

The Raft

The Raft By: S. A. Bodeen

Robie is visiting her aunt in Hawaii, and having a great time.  She normally lives on the secluded Midway Atoll, and always likes to be a part of real life when visiting her aunt. Unexpectedly her aunt must go on a trip, but Robie thinks she can handle staying alone. One her first night alone, she is scared, so she decides to hop on the next cargo plane home.  The plane goes down in bad weather, but Max, the copilot saves Robie's life.  She is thankful that he is with her,as they float endlessly on the raft in the ocean, not knowing just what to do.  Finally Robie washes up on an island, where she tries to make the best of things, and encounters very terrifying things, she just hopes she can get rescued soon.

This book is definitely for older readers.  It was very intense and at times scary.  I kept thinking in my head, please let her live, and what if that happened.  Robie is one strong character to make it through the things she does in this book.  Great book

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-250-02739-9

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ruby's Slippers

Ruby's Slippers By: Tricia Rayburn

Ruby does not want to leave her home town. She loves where she lives in Kansas, and is sad to leave, she must though because her mother says they  need to go live with her grandmother.  When they get to Florida, Ruby knows she is not going to fit in. Worst of all is that she has to start middle school, and is very different than the others.  When the annual mandatory Talent Show comes around, and she is forced to be in a group with one of the meanest girls she has met, Ruby is ready to throw in the towel and leave.

This was a great read for girls entering middle school.  It shows that you just need to be yourself, even when others are not kind to you.  Never loose sight of who you are.  I enjoyed the characters of Ruby and her mother.  Ruby's mom was definitely different, in that she was stuck in the past, it took Ruby's grandmother to help her get out of her old ways.

I purchased this book from the Scholastic Book Order
ISBN: 978-0-545-37899-0