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Sunday, September 27, 2015

At Home with Books

Book #121 Read in 2015
At Home with Books by Estelle Ellis et al

This book is perfect for book lovers.  It shows lovely photographers of the libraries of the rich and famous and literary.  Each person's section details that person's organizational method when setting up the library.  It is amazing how a room filled with books can provide insight into a person's inner workings.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Edge

Book #120 Read in 2015
The Edge by Roland Smith

This is the sequel to Peak, which was a good read.  In this book, Peak is back and is requested to go on a "climb for Peace".  He agrees and heads to Afghanistan for the climb; his mother, a former climber, accompanies him.  Shortly after their arrival, Peak's mother and fellow climbers are kidnapped and Peak decides to try to follow their trail and rescue them.  Will he succeed?  Or will he be killed? This series is great for middle school and high school readers...especially reluctant and boy readers.  Peak has matured since the first book, which helps make him a believable hero.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Bubble Wrap Boy

Book #119 Read in 2015
The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle

Charlie is known at school at the little, clumsy kid.  His mother is very overprotective and won't let him do anything.  Needless to say, Charlie's newfound love of skateboarding would not meet Mom approval so he hides it from her.  He soon learns that his mother has been hiding one heck of a secret from him.  Will the discovery of secrets bring this family closer together or tear them apart?  This is an excellent book for middle schoolers.  I received this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Scorpion Rules

Book #118 Read in 2015
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (YA)

In order to keep countries from declaring war on other countries, leaders and royals are forced to give up their children as hostages.  They are the keepers of the peace.  If war breaks out, the hostages are killed; this killing is caused by their parents making bad decisions.  Greta is one such hostage but she begins to question her way of life when Elian, a new hostage, arrives at the compound.  Will Greta's mother sacrifice her child for her country?  This book was full of action, as well as some romance and humor.  High school students as well as adults would enjoy this book.  I was sent this book by Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Book #117 Read in 2015
Browsings by Michael Dirda

Browsings is a collection of year-long columns that Dirda wrote about his love of reading, books, libraries and book sales.  It was nice to read about someone with a similar love for words and books.  I could relate to his excitement over finds at a book sale.  These columns were quick, good reads.  I borrowed this book from the town library.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dead Boy

Book #116 Read in 2015
Dead Boy by Laurel Gale

This would make a good Halloween read aloud for upper elementary students/read for middle schoolers.  Crow was dead but his parents wished him back...but he's not quite alive.  His mother won't let him go outside or go to school...she is worried what people would think when they smell him (it isn't a nice smell) or see maggots come out of his ears.  Crow just wants to have friends.  He finally gets one when Melody moves into the house next door.  Crow and Melody go trick-or-treating (the one night of the year that Crow can fit in with the crowds) and they come across a magical shape-shifter.  Crow realizes that his parents didn't tell him the whole story about how he died and how they brought him back.  Will he ever be able to live a normal life?  This was a quick read that was creepy but not too scary, had humor in it and a plot with enough action to keep readers engaged.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Book #115 Read in 2015
Need by Joelle Charbonneau

I enjoyed The Testing by this author and jumped at the chance to get this book to review.  It did not disappoint.  This book had twists and turns throughout the entire book.  Need is a new media site where the local high students receive invitations to join it and then they are asked "what do you need?"  If it is a true need, their wish will be fulfilled.  If it is a want, not a need, as most requests are, the students are giving a task to do to have the need met.  A first seemingly harmless, the tasks soon take on a sinister, and often deadly, turn.  How many people will be harmed before someone stops this site?  This book was a gripping read and both high school boys and girls, as well as adults, would enjoy it.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Crenshaw (children's)

Book #114 Read in 2015
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (children's)

Jackson is in 4th grade and has a little sister named Robin.  He also has an imaginary friend named Crenshaw, who is a cat the size of a human.  It has been a few years since he last saw Crenshaw but one night he returns to Jackson's life.  Jackson's parents are having financial issues and facing eviction.  Jackson doesn't want to go back to living in the family's mini van.  Can Crenshaw help Jackson navigate the path to talking to his parents about these serious issues?  This book was well-written and handled serious issues in an appropriate way for its targeted reading age group.  I love this author's writing.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dumplin' (YA)

Book #113 Read in 2015
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (YA)

Willowdean (called Dumplin' by her mother) is an overweight teen, living in Texas.  Will doesn't shy away from her size; she calls herself fat and tries not to obsess over her weight.  She is a well-adjusted, intelligent and confident girl.  Or at least she is until she has a fight with her best friend and has a handsome boy tell her that he likes her.  Then she begins to doubt her self-worth.  Will Willowdean be able to bounce back to her old self?  This book is full of sarcastic humor and great characters.  There is some teenage romance in it but it is low-key.  Dumplin' is a great protagonist and her story will inspire readers.  I think high school girls will love this book.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sophomores and Other Oxymorons (YA)

Book #112 Read in 2015
Sophomores and Other Oxymorons by David Lubar 9YA)

This is a sequel to a good YA read, Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie (which came out in 2007).  Scott Hudson has survived freshmen year of high school and sophomore year is upon him.  He realizes that he has reached a point where he might actually begin to enjoy high school--until he meets a few of his new 10th grade teachers, gets into some trouble and realizes that his old friend Kyle is still avoiding him.  This book has a lot of humor in it, as well as realistic dilemmas faced by high school students.  The characters are intelligent, flawed but realistic and interesting to readers.  Both high school boys and girls would like this series.  I borrowed this book from the town library.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tombquest: Valley of the Kings (YA)

Book #111 Read in 2015
Tombquest:  Valley of the Kings by Michael Northrop (YA)

This is the third book in a middle grade paranormal/mystery series.  Alex is trying to find his mother as well as dealing with Death Walkers....Egyptian Gods who are coming back to life.  "The Order" is trying to use the Death Walkers to bring evil into the world.  Alex, with help from his friend Ren and his cousin Luke, are trying to stop the order.  These books are quick reads packed with lots of actions and both male and female students in middle grades would enjoy these books.

August Reads

August Reads:

1.  Never Always Sometimes (YA)  4.5/5
2.  The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (3/5)
3.  Bless Her Dead Little Heart (5/5)  1st in series
4.  Took (YA)  4.5/5
5.  Made You Up (YA)  5/5  library book
6.  The Book of Ivy (YA) 5/5  1st in series
7.  Max the Brave (4/5)  children's
8.  The Revolution of Ivy (YA)  5/5  2nd in series
9.  Walk on Earth a Stranger (YA)  5/5  1st in series
10.  Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (5/5)  Kindle book
11.  The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer (5/5)  2nd in series
12.  Legacy of Kings (YA)  4.5/5  1st in series
13.  Not After Everything (YA)  5/5  library book
14.  Voracious (5/5)  library book

110 books read in 2015