Monday, May 30, 2016

The Lincoln Project by: Dan Gutman

Flashback Four is a new series by author Dan Gutman and the first in the series The Lincoln Project will have you eagerly waiting for book number two.

Luke, Julia, David and Isabel receive invitations from Chris Zandergoth (Miss Z) and even though they don't know who sent the invitation they are curious enough to go and learn more.  It is at Miss Z's company that the four meet for the first time and are surprised to learn that they have been selected to go back in time to get a photo of an American historical event.  Miss Z has invented a smart board that takes people back in time and she believes that children can get the job done better than adults.  Miss Z wants a photo of President Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address.

Once the four arrive in Gettysburg it isn't as easy as they think it will be.  They arrive one day too early and they need to try to fit into the 1863 lifestyle.  Which is VERY different than life in 2016.  A couple of them are tempted to take an item or two from 1863 and bring it back to the future.  This cannot happen!   When President Lincoln gives his speech they must act fast, it is a short speech.   But, do they get the photo for Miss Z?  Miss Z is a collector of photos she believes that if you don't have a photo you don't have proof that the event really happened?  So, come along on a great adventure with the "Flashback Four" to see if they get the shot for Miss Z.  The adventure is worth it as you learn more about our history as well as enjoy the adventures of our four time travelers.

After Reading this book go and read some more about President Lincoln.

Happy Daily Reading

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by: Jonathan Auxier

"Once Upon a Time" is the beginning to many wonderful stories but I really love the beginning of author Jonathan Auxier's newest book Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard.  This book begins with "It has often been said that one should never judge a book by its cover."  This book has a nice cover but the story is so great that once you begin reading you won't want to put it down.  You might still admire the cover but you will LOVE the story within the pages.  

Sophie is a young girl who works repairing books at her family's bookstore.  She doesn't remember her mother since her mother's death occurred when she was very young.  When a mysterious book (the Book of Who) is brought to Sophie to repair and she finds her mother's name in the book, Sophie begins a life changing quest to find out more about her mother.  Peter Nimble and his friend Sir Tode are the two that bring the book to Sophie from Professor Cake.  Professor Cake advises the trio that they must work together to find and protect four books (The Book of Who, The Book of What The book of Where and the Book of When) that will save the world, not just Sophie's town of Bustleburgh.  Professor Cake tells them that "worlds and everything in them are made real by the stories that inhabit them...stories are a type of magic spell...the impossible becomes a little more possible.  When a populations loses its stories, it loses its capacity for wonder...what remains is a life of drudgery and toil."  You see the inquisitor of Bustleburgh is insisting that all the books be burned on Prye day.  He believes that the "nonsense" of books is not needed in the world and he will stop at nothing to make sure all the books are destroyed.  He even wants to find the books that Sophie, Peter and Sir Tode are trying to save.  

Many times Sophie and others face death to fulfill their quest.  They find friends and enemies as they travel near and far.  I think one of the best parts of the story is when the books begin to fly and tell their own stories.  Imagine so many books sharing their marvelous stories at once!  Can Sophie really be the last Storyguard?  Can she really do this important job?  She must because if we lose our stories we lose "what if" and we don't want that to ever happen.   

There is advice from the author too!  He suggests that if the reader ever meets an author he/she should shower the author with gifts and praise.  I haven't had the chance to meet Mr. Auxier but I hope he accepts my praise for this book in my review and perhaps a gift if we ever do meet.  

Happy Daily Reading

Friday, May 20, 2016

Echo by: Pam Munoz Ryan

This is one amazing Pam Munoz Ryan's Echo is a book you will enjoy reading and one you won't forget.

An enchanted harmonica brings happiness to a boy in Germany, another in Pennsylvania and a young girl in California.  The owners are not only living in different areas of the world they are decades apart in ages.  Each individual's story of obtaining the harmonica is interesting.  It becomes a blessing to each family helping all of them obtain their dreams and finding happiness.  As you continue reading each individual story you really come to love each character and his/her family.  Everyone of them has hardships that they must endure.  The harmonica is what gives them peace.  Can the gift of music really change a life?

The three children grow and as adults they come together one very special night.  You just might find a tear in your eye, I did, as you read about this night. You will be amazed at how the harmonica  changed their lives for the best.

I know you will love this Newbery Honor book.  Buy this book or find it at your public library quickly!  After reading this book you might want to learn how to play a harmonica.

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by: Will Mabbitt

Author Will Mabbitt continues the adventures of Mabel Jones in his book Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City.  This time Maggie, Mabel's baby sister, has been taken by an evil witch.  Mabel must travel through the Forbidden City in order to rescue her sister.  Along the way she meets some old friends and makes a few new ones as well.  Can she make it through another daring adventure?

Let me tell you, YES she can!  Mabel is one girl that finds adventure everywhere she looks.  Luckily she is friends with pirates and some other unlikely heroes that help her in this quest to save her sister.  There are some amazing treasures too.  Can she keep her sights on saving her sister or will diamonds distract her too much?

I know that you will love this story as much as the first one.  I look forward to more Mabel Jones adventures.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, May 16, 2016

Demon Dentist by: David Walliams

It took me awhile to get my hands on this book.  I had heard great things about it and I had to know for myself if what was said was true.  And it is all true!  I literally couldn't put Demon Dentist by David Walliams down once I began reading.

This is the story of Alfie who is being raised by his father.  Alfie's father is quite ill so Alfie is the one taking care of his father and himself.  Alfie has only been to the dentist once in his life and it wasn't a pleasant experience.  In fact Alfie never brushes his teeth and he is known as the kid with rotten teeth at his school.  When children begin finding bugs and other disgusting items under their pillows instead of coins from the tooth fairy Alfie and his friend Gabz try to find out what is going on in their town.

Miss Root is the new dentist in town.  She visits the school and while teaching students about proper care of their teeth she is shocked at Alfie's teeth.  She now wants to see Alfie in her chair ASAP.  Of course Alfie does all he can to avoid her.  However he is also trying to avoid the crazy social worker Winnie.  Winnie isn't sure Alfie's dad is healthy enough to take proper care of Alfie.  Winnie is one crazy lady who wears crazy clothes and eats all the food in Alfie's home!  Alfie wonders how can he or is dad take care of each other when she is the one eating all their food.

This is one great story.  It is so much fun with all the characters doing some strange and amazing things.  You will be so surprised at what is happening with all the teeth from the children in this town.  

Children will enjoy that there are many drawings in this story and if your child enjoys stories by Roald Dahl they will definitely enjoy this story.  I am confident that your chid will want to find more books by author David Walliams.  I would recommend this book as a family read together story as I know readers of all ages will love it.

After reading this story make an appointment to see your dentist.  Perhaps you will want to take a copy of this book to your dentist.

Happy Daily Reading

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bounce, Stretch, and Wiggle by: Doreen Cronin

These three books might be books that you have already read but I just discovered them and shared them with my younger students.  We all fell in love with these stories and had a fun time wiggling and stretching with the dog who stars in the stories.  Thank you Doreen Cronin for writing these books, Bounce, Stretch, and Wiggle.  I love them all and plan on giving these as gifts to many of my young reader friends.

As you read these alone or with your child you will have a fun time getting up and moving.  These books make reading more than just a sitting activity.

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Genie in a Bottle by: Sarah Mlynowski

Fairy Tales are stories that I enjoy reading and when there is a unique twist in the tale I love it even more.  Author Sarah Mlynowski in her series WHATEVER AFTER takes readers into fairly tales in which the heroes must fix the problems that they have created in order to insure a Happily Ever After for the fairy tale characters.

Genie in a Bottle is the Ninth book in the series and it is a good as the others.  Siblings, Jonah and Abby once again go through the magic mirror and find themselves in the middle of a game similar to dodge ball.  Abby ends up hurting another player in the game and that player is Aladdin.  Now he isn't in the street when the evil Dracul is looking for a child to go into the desert and get him the magic lamp of the genie.  Abby and Jonah end up going with Dracul in hopes that they can get the genie to Aladdin.  However, when Abby sets the genie free by mistake they must work even harder to get Aladdin to meet the princess.  They are able to meet a new genie that has limited powers but with her help and the flying carpet that Jonah loves they just might get the princess and Aladdin together to enjoy their Happily Ever After.

At the 2016 LA Times Book Festival I was able to meet the wonderful Sarah Mlynowski.  It is always fun meeting authors of books that I enjoy.

Happy Daily Reading
Me and Sarah Mlynowski

Monday, May 9, 2016

Where's the BaBOOn? by: Michael Escoffier

This book is a great read aloud that all my students enjoyed.  I loved sharing it with them too!

Author Michael Escoffier in his book Where's The BaBOOn? takes readers on a hide and seek adventure.  Readers are not only looking for animals they are looking for words inside of other words.  For example when asked Who is the Headmaster? the animal that is the Headmaster is found in the word Headmaster as well as in the picture, Hamster!  Illustrator Kris Di Giacomo does a great job with each page and the reader is anxious to turn the page to find the next animal.  And exactly where is that BaBOOn?

After reading this book I suggest you head off to a zoo near you!

Happy Daily Reading

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Island of Dragons by: Lisa McMann

This is the seventh and final book in Lisa McMann's series THE UNWANTEDS.  I've been anxious to read this book and Island of Dragons did not disappoint me in any way.  If you have not read this series of books, I highly recommend them to you.

Aaron and Alex are together on the island of Artime.  They are bringing together the people of Quill and Artime into one community on the island.  Most of the residents of Quill are happy with the changes but there are a few that want the old Quill back.  Aaron is wanting to return to the island of Shipwrecks where he has found his personal peace and the company of three dear friends.  Alex agrees to take Aaron back but once they are on the island of Shipwrecks word comes that the pirates and the people of Warbler are getting ready to attach Artime.  This will be one huge battle and Alex will need all the help he can get.  Aaron agrees to go back and fight alongside Alex.

The people of Artime are outnumbered and their magic isn't working as good as it usually does.  The pirates really prepared themselves to be protected from the magic.  The creatures of the sea and the dragons come to help Artime but the real heroes will surprise you.

I loved this book, as well as all the previous six in the series.  If you enjoy fantasy and adventure this is the series you need to read.

Happy Daily Reading

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Real Boy by: Anne Ursu

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu was a book I enjoyed reading and I'm sure you will too.

Oscar, an orphan, has been living with the Barrow Village's magician for a few years.  He spends his days alone working in the basement with herbs for the magician to use.  Oscar likes to be alone, he is unsure how to act around people.  He is very happy working with the plants and talking with his pet cats.  Wolf is the apprentice to the magician and makes Oscar's life miserable.  Oscar does his best to stay away from people, especially Wolf.  When the magician leaves on a trip Wolf decides to explore where he shouldn't and is found dead the next day.  Oscar finds himself alone in the magician's shop and he does his best to meet customer's needs.  When he finds damage to the herb garden in the woods he begins to worry about his future.

Callie is the apprentice for the Barrow Village's healer and she too has been left alone to run the healer's shop.  It isn't a good time for her to be running things because the children of Asteri are becoming ill, something that has never happened before.  Callie comes to the magician's shop to find herbs to help her try to cure some of the children.  When she sees Oscar struggling to run the shop she steps in to help him.  Soon Oscar and Callie are doing all they can together to figure out what has happened to the children and to their home in the woods.

This is a story you will not soon forget.  It has magic, friendship, adventure, etc...I know you will come to love Oscar and cheer for his success.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, May 2, 2016

Red - The True Story of Red Riding Hood by: Liesl Shurtliff

Liesl Shurtliff is an author I was able to meet at the 2016 LA Times Book Festival.  I was so very excited to meet her and I was excited to get her newest book just a few days before it was released to the public.  It's now a New York Time's Bestseller!  Get your copy soon.  

Red-the true story of Red Riding Hood is the third book dealing with fairy tales written by Liesl and it is another great book!  Red is first introduced to us in the book Rump she is a friend of Rump and their relationship is mentioned in this book.  However, it is Red's new friend, Goldie that we really get to know in this story.

Red's Granny is very sick and Red is asked to go and get the ingredients for the medicine that will help Granny.  As Red sets off to find the ingredients she learns about magic that can help her Granny live forever.  Red meets Goldie when Goldie is trying to get some honey from Red's beehive.  Goldie follows Red and soon they are working together to find the magic that will help Granny.  Red and Goldie face water sprites, a wolf, dwarfs and a huntsman as they are in the woods.  They also face danger when they come close to obtaining the magic for Granny.  However, is magic really what is needed?  Is the biggest danger facing them the wolf or the huntsman?  Red learns much about herself and because of her adventures she is a better and stronger person.

After reading this book go outside and have your own adventure!

Happy Daily Reading

PS  Be sure to check out my reviews of Liesl Shurtliff's other books.
Author Liesl Shurtliff