Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Great adult historical fiction!

I am normally a YA reader but was drawn to the cover and title of this book. I enjoyed the story very much.  Sort of a "Driving Miss Daisy" meets the Civil Rights movement. Very powerful story and I have already recommended it several times to many other readers.  The story is moving  and keeps you locked on until the very last page.  The characters and the plot are riveting.  The realistic portrayal of the time period was accurate too.  I can not say enough good things about "Calling Me Home" by Julie Kibler.  I hope to read more by this author.

Fun Read!

I got the galley print of this through NetGalley and I then shared this book with students. They absolutely loved it! As I read it they were always engaged and wanting more.  They loved the drawings and the storyline.  Stitch Head is a very lovable monster.  I look forward to more adventures and so do my students.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Was having trouble accessing the website but should be up and running again shortly. Thank you

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

Now don't get me wrong, this book had its moments and it was the moments that got me to read the whole book.  I love the premise but I just felt that I was reading a bad teen love story.  Wait a minute, I did and it was.  The basis for the story is a revamp of Tristan and Isolde love story only now they are in high school.  It is like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (in this case Isolde is a witch) meets Conan the Barbarian (Tristan is the hero from the magical realm).  Other books in this genre do very well.  I did not enjoy this one.  At times it flowed well and was quite believable and others.......well I will just not say anything.  If you have nothing but time on your hands perhaps read this otherwise read something else!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sheesh! Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Sheesh!  Okay I got this from (totally awesome site BTW).  I request a lot from them so when I started reading it I thought "I didn't know I requested a realistic fiction?"  Sheesh, until I got to the half dead flesh eaters!  Man, I actually almost stopped reading then!  I had to go look up some reviews and see what I was reading about. All the reviews said "keep reading" so I did.  Not one regret either.  Totally great book. It can make your skin crawl in places but it is a really great book. 

Now for my totally short summary. Alex is an orphan girl with a brain tumor.  She runs away to the mountains of her youth to toss her parents ashes.  While away, the world gets shocked by a big electromagnet pulse.  If you don't die automatically one of two things happen to you. 1) You turn into a flesh-eating pseudo-zombie or 2) you hide from the flesh-eating pseudo zombies and try to survive.  Alex is in the later bunch.  She meets many good and bad people.  Told you it was simplified and short summary.

This is the start of a trio and it is totally fast paced and brain sucking---meaning you can't put it down once you commit to the ride.  So my advice is to put on your helmet, hook your seat belt and enjoy the ride.  Can't wait till the next one!  

This from a totally non-zombie lover!

Summer Readings

Summer has been here and the reading has been easy.  Well sorta ;)  Been hitting for some of my reading selections.  Highly recommend them for those who read, review and recommend books to others.  I tried to note where I accessed the book when reviewing below.

Netgalley selections:

Hoopskirts, Union Blues and Confederate Grays by Kate Havelin

Since we had a trip to Gettysburg and this is the 150 anniversary of the beginning of the US Civil War this and a purchased book, Your Travel Guide to Civil War America (Passport to History) by Nancy Day, were a great books to read before the trip.  Havelin's book focuses on the clothing of the era from 1861-1865.  The photography and pictures are excellent.  It includes a Contents, Timeline, Glossary, Source Notes, Selected Biography, Further Reading/Websites and an Index.  It covers all types of people from every socioeconomic strata along with the expected explanations of both the Union and Confederate uniforms.  The details are what drive this book.  How the clothing defined the person, their work, their background, education, status, etc.  Easy to read format and an inviting look.  It appears it, along with Day's book, are both part of a series.  Nice for Librarians looking for something nonfiction that is engaging for readers.  The Day book treats the reader as a time traveler who might indeed visit the Civil War period.  Somewhat short on information it does provide a unique overview of the war and the major encounters and situations that occurred during the war.  It is a good jumping off point into other more thorough books.  Photographs and pictures are again the draw to this book.  Reluctant readers would easily pick up these two books.

Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

A definite upper elementary early middle school read.  I found this book fun. David is shipped off to Grandma's for the summer.  If that isn't bad enough he finds out that Grandma runs the "Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast" which turns out to be a vacation for aliens.  Soon David finds himself helping his grandma by entertaining the aliens, helping them feel comfortable and blending in on Earth.  Of course their are some disastrous outcomes but also some highly humorous ones too. This could be the start of a series since the author left the ending with many possibilities. Grab this one for a fun read.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

A high school or adult Christian fiction read, this is a retelling of the story of Hosea and Gomer during the 1800's Gold Rush period.  I liked how the story was able to cover difficult topics of prostitution and child abuse with limited detail.  Although definitely a Christian message it is also a love story and a story of redemption for the main character.  This is the republished work of the author from a decade ago but still reads very fresh.  Enjoyed this story as you can tell.

What to Expect When You Are Expecting Larvae by Bridget Heos

Hillarious nonfiction picture book for elementary school kids.  All kids are fascinated by bugs and I love the way the author describes the "birthing and raising" process of insects to children in an "expectant parent" format.  The illustrations are bright and colorful and the descriptions are detailed. Accurate information is presented and there is a glossary, bibliography and a "further reading" section included. Every buddy entomologist should get this book.  Her latest book is also available at, What to Expect When You Are Expecting Joeys. I plan to read it too.

Public Library:

Overbite by Meg Cabot

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

The first Meg Cabot book I read was not one of her popular ones it was even written under a pseudonym.  I was so under-impressed I don't even remember the title of the book.  That said it took something for me to volunteer to read another of her books even though I have thoroughly enjoyed the movies spawned from her "Princess Diary" series.  That being said believe it or not I read not one, but two Meg Cabot books.  Both were written for adult audiences but would be suitable for upper high school.  I say this only because there are adult situations in them that are blatant and have details that some in a school situation might feel uncomfortable having in a school library.  Of course I read them in the reverse order of the story but actually that wasn't too bad.  I really can't believe that I read another 2 vampire books!

If you are looking for a light vampire read these would be it.  Standard good vs. evil plot-line.  Everyone compares every vampire book with a love story nowadays to Twilight  so why not me?  Twilight safe it is not although there are no very torrid love scenes.  There is the incredible angst and looks and "I-am-so-drawn-to-you" moments.  There is the slash and burn the bad guys scenes too.  Over all not bad books, not Shakespeare, but if I am reading books like these I am not looking for depth.  I would definitely say fun summer reads or good light reading anytime.  Go enjoy them!

Junior Library Guild Selection:

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
This upper elementary to early high school book is reminiscent of the "Sisters Grimm" series.  High school characters are the protagonists in this book.  The main character, Elizabeth, is not only the lonely new girl at school but the stepsister who does all the work at home. Then she is recommended for a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository by one of her teachers and a whole new and unusual world opens up for her.  It seems the Repository houses some interesting circulating materials such as period shoes from through out history. But some materials are only available to certain people such as the unique and not known "Grimm Collection" from the actual Grimm brothers.  With in this collection are certain "magical" items that inspired their stories and some of these are going missing.  Elizabeth is swept up into the intrigue when she is hired at the repository.  Along with adventure, if she can survive her new job, it looks like she may also get new friends and a social life.  This was a fun quick read.

As you can see I continue to read across diverse genre.  If you have "must reads" please pass them on to me.

Friday, July 1, 2011

If I haven't already mentioned it is fabulous!  It is one of the many sources I go to read galley prints (pre-published books).  I started downloading books from there about the same time it started and it has grown tremendously.  If you are a reader and a blogger go and sign up.  It has a broad range of genre and publishers.  If you have an iPod, iPad, Kindle, they got ya covered.  What more can I say?

Oh, I almost forgot, there is a contest for reading the most Netgalley books at Red House Books Blog

I am not participating but it looked like fun and I wanted to promote it.  There are prizes too!

Happy reading.  Hoping to write more reviews soon about my latest reads.