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Showing posts from September, 2011

Review: Blood Wounds

Ahh, in case you missed it, I have added  a GFC follower box to the right. As you may remember, I am kind of against these things because I don't blog to get free books (it is lovely when they show up, however), so I don't have a huge urge to prove I have followers.
I never require following when I host a giveaway (yes, I know I am way overdue for a new one).
BUT, I did read something today that kind of changed my mind about how bloggers stay in touch and how they link to one another and the truth is, if you do not blog on Blogger, you could not follow me before unless you bookmarked the site and checked in. Thank you for all of you who have done that (some of you for a long time). I hope this makes things easier! I wasn't trying to be difficult, I swear. Also, it is my great hope that the arrow above is actually pointing at the GFC box when I publish.
Plus, I promise a new giveaway soon.
No, you still will not be required to follow me. Only if you want too.....

In my quest to read more Middle Grade books, I am trying to read many of the books that folks think may win the 2012 Newberry. I am working my way along this ongoing  list.

Today, I would like to share my thoughts on Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor.

This book was not for me.

First, the History major in me was going crazy trying to place this novel in time. Here is my mathematical formula for narrowing this down:

First, no mention of cellphones or internet= time <1995
Mama's "hippie" stint in Amsterdam= time >1969
Several mentions of "paisley" and peasant blouses= 1970's
Raine is 12, going on 13 + Mom (hippie)= late 70's to early 80's
Final result= 1978-1989
Still, it is a range.
Next, my major, major problem with this story is that it features a bunch of non-functioning adults who rely too much on a 12 year-old. A 12 year-old that they do not tell the truth to, and then expect her to make mature decisions. HUH? Several times, I wanted to …

Review: I Finally got around to reading Yoda

The other day I was forced to admit, I just do not read enough Middle Grade books. This is ironic, because the majority of my reference questions are about MG books. A woman came in and said that her son was done with the My Weird School series, and she wanted to know what he should read next.
Thank goodness for Novelist, but when the list printed out (contemp., mg, humorous) I realized I had not read many of them at all. So, I plan to correct this.
I started with The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. I must admit I had checked this one out when it first came in simply because the crafter/Star Wars fan in me wanted to make a yoda. I did not actually read it then.
The crux: A creepy kid named Dwight walks around school with an origami yoda puppet on his finger dishing advice. Some of the advice is brilliant, some...not so much. Tommy has compiled a case file of incidences in order to get to the bottom of the "mystery".
Last night, I sat down and plowed through it. It took me abou…

Review: Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen

Beyond the Grave
By Mara Purnhagen
Book Three of the Past Midnight Series
Out: now
Review copy from NG
4 out of 5 stars

I love this series. Seriously.
This is the third book and we meet up with Charlotte only weeks after the big events in the second book. So, unlike the first two, this book really should not be read as a stand-alone. There are several reasons for this.
First, the reader needs to understand what happened to put the Silvers in the situation they currently find themselves in. Secondly, this book has a different feel than the first two. The family is sad. The family is disjointed, and scattered. As I have loved Charlotte from the first book, I can see the change in her character, and a first time reader may not understand her motivations in this novel.
That said, the pacing is fantastic, the action moves along at a good clip, we get a new character, and see a new side to a returning one.
My favorite part was a flashback to an investigation at a bed and breakfast called the…

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

By Marie Lu
Published: Nov. 29/2011
ARC from publisher
4.5 out of 5 Stars

In the Republic, children are sorted by a trial that they either pass and go on to lead productive Republican lives or fail and go to work camps.
June is the daughter of a proud Republic family. She is the best of the best, even entering high school three years early due to her perfect score in the trial. She is 15.

Day is a criminal mastermind who has brought nothing but trouble to the Republic-disrupting supplies, breaking into government facilities, and taking his spoils and giving them to the poor. This futuristic Robin Hood is also 15.
Now, things have gone horribly wrong and it's the best of the best vs the worst of the worst. June vs Day.
  I loved this book. It was like reading manga that had been converted to novel form. The action is solid, the conflict between the two solid characters is even and perfect. It reminded me very much of Death Note.
The world building is excellent, although I ha…

Scarecrow Craft- Happy Fall Y'All

I am so glad summer is over. To celebrate, we had a scarecrow craft at a neighboring library branch that is a little short staffed at the moment. It was fun to host a craft at a different branch, but a little strange-like making dinner in someone else's kitchen!
The craft was for kids ages 6 to 12. I had many 8 year olds come, and that was perfect.
We started with a great story: Waltz of the Scarecrows by Constance W. McGeorge

So, to make all of my standing crafts, I start with two normal sized paper plates. Shear off about an inch off the bottom. Now the circular plates have a flat edge. Flip the plates so the tops face one another and staple the sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Use a  small paper plate as the head. staple that to the body. Once the body is stuffed with crumpled paper towels (or newspape…

Review: Burnout

Burnout  By Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Published: September 13, 2011
Review Copy: ATWT
Stars: 4 out of  5

I don't read much contemporary YA fiction. I'm not sure why. I guess part of me feels a story is always better with a science fiction element, or a zombie thrown in.
I wanted to read Burnout because it takes place on Halloween, or the day after- depending on whether or not you count flashbacks.

There are no supernatural elements in this story. Still, it is one of the spookiest, page turn-y novels I have read in years.

Nan wakes up on a subway car. She is covered in makeup, shoeless, and is wearing a costume that is way too tight. On top of that, Nan cannot remember the last 24 hours. 
The story alternates between NOW, and what Nan is doing to figure out what has happened to her, and THEN. The flashbacks are really well done and the reader gets to know Nan, her mother, and her crazed best friend Seemy through these glimpses of the past. I was only a little disappointed in the end, wh…

Review: Frost by Baer

Frost Marianna Baer Goodreads link Published: September 13, 2011 Stars: 4 out of 5

I love crazy, quirky books. Sometimes I find a jewel of a nutty read and some of the images stick with me forever.
This is one of those books.
Perfect for Fall, Frost drops us back to school (a boarding school) and in a house on the property that is a dorm for four students and a totally absent house mother.
Leena, studious and nerd-girl cool, is rooming with her two besties. Forced on them is Celeste, the school's crazy girl and the reader thinks "Oh, great, another book about friendship dynamics and how they change in senior year".
Oh, hell to the no. This is a flat-out horror story complete with a gothic setting, unreliable characters, false leads, and red herrings. It is a strange (in a good way) read. Yet another book I wanted to put down and call everyone who was reading it and say, "Hey, did you just read that? Did that really just happen?"
I needed a break from the end of the wor…