Monday, October 24, 2016

the Girl Who Drank the Moon by: Kelly Barnhill

Magic is at the center of Kelly Barnhill's book The Girl Who Drank the Moon.  If fantasy stories are why you like you will love this book.

There is a witch in the forest near the town of Protectorate and each year the youngest child is taken to the forest and left for the witch.  The people believe that by offering this sacrifice they will be safe from the witch.  This witch is kind and is very confused that a child is left every year in the forest.  She takes each child to families on the other side of the forest.  Families that will love the child and they look forward to the witch's visit each year.  As the witch travels to the town she feeds the child starlight which blesses the child throughout his/her life.  On one journey she accidentally feeds a child moonlight instead of starlight.  This means that the child will have magic and so the witch keeps this child (Luna) in order to raise her herself.  The witch lives with a swamp monster and a tiny dragon the three of them raise Luna and when Luna's magic begins to develop they do their best to stop Luna from using the magic.

There is one man in the Protectorate that wants to stop the witch from taking any more children.  The Protectorate believe that the witch kills the children and since his child is now the youngest he wants this practice of sacrificing a child stopped.  Can he help his people and the witch?  Will those that have raised the abandoned children be able to keep the children?  So many questions in this fairy-tale and you will want to read this book to find the answers.

I enjoyed this new fairy-tale/fantasy story and I'm confident that you will too.

Happy Daily Reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by: Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson is the first in the Evil Librarians series.  This book is a fast paced adventure that I know many readers will enjoy.

Alcatraz Smedry has lived in a variety of foster homes for most of his 13 years.  He moves to different homes because of his "talent" of breaking things.  He isn't sure why he is able to break so many things without even trying but the families cannot have him in their homes for very long.  On his 13th birthday he receives an anonymous package of sand.  Then a strange old man appears at his current home claiming to be his grandfather and he wants to know where is the bag of sand.  The sand has been stolen!  Alcatraz is confused by these two events and wonders if he should he trust this old guy?  He decides it cannot be any worse than his foster homes so off they go and Alcatraz is on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Smedry family has unique talents and the family is supposed to keep the world safe from the Evil Librarians that can be found everywhere.  The Evil Librarians keep secrets from the world, Alcatraz learns that the history he has been taught isn't always the truth, it is just what the Librarians want him and others to know.  Alcatraz always thought of his ability to break things as a curse not a talent.  But when he learns of one cousin who has the talent of tripping and he sees that the tripping talent really does help them get out of a serious situation he sees his breaking things as a unique talent not a curse.  It is these strange talents that enable the Smedrys to take care of the Librarians and our world.

This is a story that all lovers of adventure will not be able to put down until they turn the last page.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, October 17, 2016

I'm Not Scared by: Dan Crisp

Author Dan Crisp's book I'm Not Scared introduces readers to a cute cat who isn't afraid of anything.  Yes, I said anything.  Monsters, Giants, Lion, Tigers and Bears he isn't afraid of anything.  That is his story until someone is at the door.  You and your children will love the ending of this fun read aloud.

Happy Daily Reading

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stars So Sweet by: Tara Dairman

Tara Dairman's third book in the All Four Stars Series, Stars so Sweet, is just as good as the first two.  I highly recommend this series to any foodies and any non-foodies.  The characters in the series are relatable to all of us and most of us do enjoy a good meal or at least good desserts!

In this book we find Gladys Gatsby beginning middle school.  Her summer food reviews for the New York Standard were excellent and she has been offered a full time job as the Standard's new food critic.  How can she have a full time job and be a full time middle grade student?  Her aunt Lydia has come to live with her family and tries her best to help Gladys keep up her work as a food critic.  Aunt Lydia misses Paris and helping Gladys is just what she needs to get moving forward in her own life.  Sandy, Gladys' neighbor wants to be a food legend at his new school.  Not just a regular foodie, he wants to be a legend for eating the most gross food ever found.  Parm and Charisse, two of Gladys' friends seem to be adjusting to middle school and get Gladys involved with many clubs by having Gladys bake items for bake sales.  Each club on campus needs to raise their own money this year so when Gladys' baking skills become known each club on campus wants their own bake sale.  Gladys is soon involved in almost every club on campus. She is one busy young woman.  She decides it is too much to handle and she must come clean, lying to her parents, the editor at the Standard and to her friends is getting to be too hard.  However, she loves all the cooking she is doing...can she come clean and still get to do what she loves?  And what about Hamilton?  Why is he not answering her emails?

I loved this book and all of the characters in the book.  I could relate to most of the situations that involved life in middle school and I was laughing at Sandy and his experiences at eating all the gross foods he and Gladys could find.  You will be surprised at what makes him a legend at his school!

I hope that when you have finished reading this book (and hopefully the entire series) you will want to try some of the foods that Gladys cooks in the books.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, October 10, 2016

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

It was 15 years ago when all of our lives were forever changed.  Author Jewell Parker Rhodes in her newest book Towers Falling has written about this event in a remarkable way.  After reading this book your life will once again be changed forever.

Deja is a fifth grader who is currently living in a homeless shelter.   She is the new girl at her school and is confused by the assignments given to her as they all have to do with the two towers that are missing from the skyline out her classroom windows.  What she wonders is what can those towers have to do with her?  Deja makes friends with Ben and Sabeen who also do not know much about these towers since they fell before they were born.  As we come to know these three students we see how all three of them have had their lives influenced because of the towers.  Each of them have experienced different things because of the towers and as they question and learn they see how they are all connected because of the towers.  From the teachers to their individual families all were changed by the events of September 11, 2001.

Deja's father is distant and is unable to keep jobs.  She comes to learn why he is like this and comes to acknowledge that even though America had this horrible experience, we as Americans must come together to help each other heal.  We need to keep hope alive in our individual lives in order to help the world be a better place.

I loved this book and I really hope we can have a sequel to this story.  I'd love to see where Deja, Ben and Sabeen are ten years from now.  I'm sure they will have done their best to make the world a better place.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has middle grade children, it is a good story about an important day in our history.

Happy Daily Reading

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Going Wild by: Lisa McMann

One month from today on September 27, 2016, I high recommend that you go to a bookstore and buy this book!  I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Readers Edition and I know you will enjoy this new book series from author Lisa McMann Going Wild is the first of trilogy which will keep you up late at night turning page after page to see what happens next.  This is one exciting adventure.

Charlie and her family move from Chicago Illinois to Navarro Junction Arizona right before the beginning of a new school year.  Charlie isn't sure that this small town will be as much fun as Chicago was because in Chicago she had friends and soccer.  On the day of the move an anonymous package arrives that says "Charlie, you will know what to do".  Charlie just throws the package into the moving van with the rest of her things and doesn't think about it until unpacking a few days later.  When she opens the package she finds a strange looking bracelet.  She wears the bracelet and when she tries out for the school soccer team she is suddenly running VERY fast.  She isn't sure why she was able to run so fast but is thrilled when she makes the team and makes new friends.

One day running into class just a bit late she notices increased strength.  She cannot explain what is happening and she cannot remove the bracelet either.  As she goes through the first few months of  school a few different things begin to happen to her, once when she is angry she accidentally damages a school bathroom!  Her new friends try to help her remove the bracelet and to try to figure out why Charlie has these super powers that seem to be out of control.  Charlie is never sure when the powers will begin to work.  As her friends help her she begins to see the patterns that help her use the bracelet to her advantage.

Her powers are noticed by the wrong people and when a friend is kidnapped she is soon on the chase to rescue him.  As he is rescued a handful of other bracelets are found.  Her friends are excited to see what these other bracelets will do and it looks like Charlie's family is in danger.  Will she be able to help her family?

This is a great story that will keep your interest from the very first page.  There are lots of soccer references as Charlie is a good player with or without the bracelet.  Many of Charlie's school experiences are those that we all face in school.  We are also entertained by comics and superheroes throughout the story.  I am sure all readers grades 4 and up will love this new series. I don't want to give away too much information but after you read this book I would recommend a visit to your local zoo.

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Roller Girl by: Victoria Jamieson

Another Graphic Novel (Comic Book Style) that surprised me at how much I enjoyed the story.  This isn't just a "picture" book it is a story that we can all relate to.  It is also a 2016 Newbery Honor book.  You will want to read this book very soon.

Roller Girl is the first book by author/illustrator Victoria Jamieson and I am looking forward to more books by her after reading Roller Girl.  Astrid and Nicole have been friends since the first grade but as they enter the summer before Junior High things begin to change.  When Astrid's mom takes the girls to a Roller Derby game Astrid is thrilled and cannot wait to begin a Roller Derby summer camp.  She is sure Nicole will join her at this camp.  However, Nicole has other plans, she wants to attend Dance summer camp.  As each girl begins to make new friends doing their new interests they begin to not get along like they used to.  Will their friendship survive the summer and Junior High?

This book will show the ups and downs of friendship and you will learn about the sport of Roller Derby.  Astrid loves the game but learns that it is harder than she thought.  Through hard work and lots of practice her skills become better and I'm sure she will continue playing the sport she loves.

Thank you, Victoria Jamieson for helping me see how wonderful a graphic novel can be for all readers.

After reading this book go out and roller skate!

Happy Daily Reading