Sunday, October 30, 2016

Saltwater Taffy by: Eric Delabarre

Make sure you have some free time when you sit down to read this book once you start reading you won't be able to put the book down.  Saltwater Taffy written by Eric Delabarre is a story filled with adventure, fun, friendship and life lessons that you won't  forget.

Scott, Gary, Jaq, Jimmy and Zippy's  summer had begun as any other.  Hanging out in their secret clubhouse, riding bikes and playing baseball.  Their rag-tag baseball team has made it to the city championship but that takes second place when they once again begin a search for pirate treasure.

In Port Townsend, Washington there is rumored to be the treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte.  Each year the city celebrates this hidden treasure by seeing who can find and solve the next clue.  When Scott along with his brother Gary and friends Zippy, Jimmy and Jaq, find the next clue and are double crossed and lose the clue they don't give up on the treasure hunt.  They keep close eye on their rivals and are able to solve the clue leading them to the final piece of the treasure map that belonged to the pirate Jean Lafitte.  As they follow the may their summer is unlike any other they have experienced.   As they work together to stay ahead of other treasure hunters they learn more about themselves and each other.

They encounter a variety of adventures as they throw water balloons at their rivals, explore "old man Sheesley's property and sneak out to explore a nearby island.  They also find the strength to go on when things get a bit hard.  They are chased by a bear and have to get across a very old bridge.  I was very nervous for them all as they crossed this bridge.  What exactly does saltwater taffy have to do with anything?  The answer to this question will surprise you!  Will they finally find the treasure?  When they have to deal with a cave-in the reader will wonder if they will make it back in time to play the city championship baseball game?  This is a MUST read story!

I loved this story.  So much summertime adventure for these five friends.  I also loved all the "treasure tips" offered by the author.  I was able to learn life lessons as I came to know these children.  The life lessons are important to the characters and to the reader alike.  When your child finishes this book I'm sure they will be on the lookout for adventures of their own.

Happy Daily Reading

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Leo a Ghost Story by: Mac Barnett

Leo a Ghost Story written by Mac Barnett is a sweet story about Leo who has been a house ghost all of his life.  When a family moves into his home and he tries to serve them tea they are scared.  Leo doesn't want to bother the people so he leaves his home.  He is now a roaming ghost. When he meets a kind girl who invites him to play with her his life changes forever.  However, this new girl believes that Leo is her imaginary friend.  What will happen if she learns the truth?

After reading this book invite a few imaginary friends over for a play date.

Happy Daily Reading

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