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Thursday, August 17, 2017


Book #63 Read in 2017
Bang by Barry Lyga

When he was four years old, Sebastian picked up his father's unattended handgun and shot and killed his infant sister.  That haunts Sebastian, now a teenager, and his parents.  The parents split up and Sebastian lives with his mother, hardly ever seeing his father.   Though not named in the press, all of his hometown knows what he did.  He has one friend until Aneesa moves into the neighborhood.  She does not know his past so Sebastian can have a "clean" relationship with someone new.  Sebastian has thoughts of suicide as a way to stop his pain.  This is a powerful read.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Book #62 Read in 2017
Caraval by Stephanie Garber

This is the first book in a young adult fantasy series.  Scarlett and Donnatella have an abusive father.  Scarlett is engaged to marry a Count she has never met.  But she really wants to attend Caraval--a festival of games and trickery.   She repeatedly writes the man in charge, Legend, for tickets to the event.  She and Tella end up there, with help from a young man Julian, but will they make it out of the game with their lives?  This book had a good mix of action, romance and intrigue.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Reading with Patrick

Book #61 Read in 2017
Reading with Patrick by Michelle Kuo

Kuo taught English for two years in the Delta at an alternative school were the students went after being kicked out of their regular schools.  She wanted to make a difference in their lives.  Patrick was one of her students who was a leader in the class and was a relatively quiet kid.  A few years after she left the area, Patrick murders a man from the neighborhood and the author begins to visit him in prison.  To keep his mind engaged, she begins giving him homework, brining him books and reading with him.  The pair's connection is evident and is what every teacher hopes to have with a student.  Teachers should check this book out; I borrowed the book from the public library.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Complete Chi's Sweet Home Part 1

Book #60 Read in 2017
The Complete Chi's Sweet Home Part 1 by Konami Kanata

I do not really read manga but if it is about a cute cat looking for his forever home, I am game.  This was a cute read and encompassed a few volumes in a collection with more apparently to come.  Chi is found by a family as a kitten and they keep him even though they are not allowed to have pets in their apartment.  They go through many pains to keep him a secret from their landlord.  What will happen if they are caught with Chi in their place?  Kitty hijinks fill this book and readers will get a kick out of Chi.  I borrowed this book from the school library.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Lilac Girls

Book #59 Read in 2017
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

This is my book pick of the year.  It is incredible--powerful, captivating and heartbreaking.  Set in World War 2, this book is told in three viewpoints--Kasia; Caroline and Herta.  Kasia is a Polish prisoner of war at the only all-female concentration camp; Caroline is in New York working to send relief overseas and Herta is the only female doctor in the all-female concentration camp, doing horrible things to the prisoners.  This book details "the Rabbits", the female prisoners who were violated by horrible operations and experimental medical procedures.  But overall, this shows the strength of women.  Even more powerful at the end is the author's note, describing how these women were either real or based on real women.  This book was extremely well-written and I will keep an eye out for the author's future books (this is her debut, amazing!)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Marriage Lie

Book #58 Read in 2017
The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

In the first few chapters of the book, we meet Iris and her husband Will.  They have a happy marriage and have recently begun trying to get pregnant.  Will is on his way to an IT conference in Florida.  Or is he?  A plane heading to Seattle crashes and Will's name appears on the passenger list.  Why was he heading to Seattle?  Why did he lie to Iris about going to Florida?  What else was he hiding?  Iris begins to look into her husband and realizes she may not have known anything about the man she married.  This was a good read, with twists and turns to the very end.  Readers will be kept engaged and guessing.  I highly recommend.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Katana at Super Hero High

Book #57 Read in 2017
Katana at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee

This is the fourth installment in the Super Hero High series; each book focuses on one super hero student.  This book focuses on Katana and her samurai background and heritage.  The series has more well-known super heroes (Wonder Woman, Supergirl) and lesser-known such as Katana and Hawkgirl.  Middle school readers especially would enjoy this series.  I borrowed the book from the public library.