Showing posts from July, 2012

Early Reader: Bink & Gollie Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile
Candlewick Press, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3361-5
Grades 2 and up
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Your favorite marvelous companions are back! Meet them at the fair in this delightfully droll sequel to the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award-winning Bink and Gollie.

The state fair is in town, and now Bink and Gollie - utter opposites and best friends extraordinaire - must use teamwork and their gray matter while navigating its many wonders. Will the energetic Bink win the world's largest donut in the Whack-a-Duck game? Will the artistic Gollie wow the crowd in the talent show? As the undaunted duo steps into the mysterious tent of fortune-teller Madame Prunely, one prediction is crystal clear: this unlikely pair will always be the closest of pals. Get ready for more laughs in this wry, warmhearted sequel to the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book Bink and Gollie, written by the award…

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Shadowlands by C. M. Gray

by C.M. Gray
Amazon Kindle, 2012
ISBN:  1471706397
Copy received from Tourz de Codex for blog tour.
All opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Synopsis:

‘I have lived more years than I can remember, probably more than the sum of all your years combined. Kings have called me friend and brigands have sworn to burn the flesh from my bones even if they have to search all seven halls of the shadowland to find me.’

On the night of midwinter’s eve, a storyteller takes his listeners back to the Dark ages and a tale from his youth.

Deserted by its Roman masters, Britain has been invaded by the Saxons at the invitation of Vortigern, traitorous leader of the Britons. Now, as the tribes unite to reclaim their land, one man must rise to lead them and become their true and only king.

Usher Vance and his best friend, Calvador, return to their village from an afternoon swim only to be trapped in a tree by a pack of wolves.  While they wait for the wolves …

MMGM and giveaway: Sleuth or dare by Kim Harrington

PARTNERS IN CRIME (Sleuth or Dare #1)
FRAMED & DANGEROUS (Sleuth or Dare #3)
by Kim Harrington
Scholastic, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-545-38964-8
ISBN: 978-0-545-38965-5
ISBN: 978-0-545-38966-2
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from purchased copies.

Book #1:

Whodunit? When best friends Darcy and Norah have to create a fake business for a school assignment, they come up with a great idea: a detective agency! Darcy loves mysteries, and Norah likes helping people, so it's a perfect fit. But then their pretend agency gets a real case. Someone is missing, and it's up to Darcy and Norah to take on the search. Unfortunately, there's someone else out there who doesn't want the two detectives stirring up any trouble. . . .With the help of hidden clues, spy gadgets, and trusted friends, can Darcy and Norah crack the case in time?
 Book #2

Norah and Darcy's detective agency, Partners in Crime, is taking on a new and chilling case. The girls…

Author Spotlight: Roger Hurn Part 1

Today and Tuesday, I am highlighting the author Roger Hurn and a couple of his books which I quite enjoyed. Also I hope you enjoy the guest post that Roger has so graciously provided.

About the author:

Roger Hurn is the author of over 70 books for children, including The Mystery Mob series, The Alien Detective Agency and The Spook Squad. He is well known for his author visits to schools and has enormous experience as an educator having taught at all levels from Nursery to Higher Education. His experience led to him being a consultant advisor to the UK Home Office and the Children’s Directorate.

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Beware of Faery stories.They say that if you kiss a frog you’ll meet a handsome prince.But what if you meet someone who means you harm?Someone who steals children.Someone like the Pied Piper.
Everybody knows the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, but there is a legend that the Piper reappeared nearly 100 years later in the town of Newtown on the Isle of Wight.He …

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway

Welcome one and all to my Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway!

This giveaway hop is being sponsored by Colorimetry & I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.

For this giveaway I am offering a ...

$20 gift card from Amazon or Book Depository

As long as you can order from either place, you can enter! Rules: You must be over 13.You must be able to use an Amazon or Book depository gift card.You must plan to spend it on wonderful books. :)Just fill out the form below.Thanks for stopping by!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: My Loving Vigil Keeping by Carla Kelly

by Carla Kelly
Cedar Fort, Inc., 2012
ISBN13: 9781599558974
Copy received from publisher through NetGalley. 

Della's giving up all the comforts of bustling Salt Lake City to teach school in a rural coal mining camp. Little does she know, she may soon be giving up her heart as well. But when tragedy strikes in the Scofield Mine, Della's life will be changed forever. Based on true events, this thrilling new romance from award-winning and bestselling author Carla Kelly is a must-read!

There are some books that just seem to speak to me as a reader.  This is one of those.  There are several reasons for this. First, the story involves a mining disaster in Utah and my grandfather died in a coal mining accident when my father was only nine days old.  This left my grandmother with three children to raise on her own.  After reading this book, I have a much deeper appreciation for what she must have gone through.  

Another reason I found this book so compell…

Young Adult Review: Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

by Ginny Rorby
Carolrhoda LAB, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7613-8498-4
Grades 7 and up
Copy received from author during giveaway.
Opinions expressed are solely my own.

A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah's new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren't exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an airboat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape—an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts—and a guy she barely knows—if they have any hope of making it back alive.

Lost in the River of Grass takes on the classic survival genre using one of the country's most unique wild places as a backdrop. In this tense, character-driven thriller, Sarah must overcome prejudice and the unforgiving wilderness in a struggle to survive.

Nonfiction Monday: They Stood Alone by Sandra McLeod Humphrey

by Sandra McLeod Humphrey
Prometheus Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61614-485-2
Grades 3 and up
Copy provided by author for review.

Synopsis from

Imagine this: For centuries everyone has believed that the sun and all the planets revolve around the earth. But by studying the old books and observing the heavens, you have concluded that the earth and all the other planets revolve around the sun. Your theory is so radical that you are hesitant to tell others about it. Your name is Nicolaus Copernicus. Although at first your beliefs are denounced and ridiculed, your observations are eventually proved correct. In time, you come to be called the founding father of modern astronomy.
Or imagine this: It's the early 19th century and women have few legal rights. Married women can't own property, their wages belong to their husbands, and they don't even have the right of guardianship over their children. You know the l…

MMGM: My Extra Best Friend by Julie Bowe

MY EXTRA BEST FRIEND (Friends for Keeps, #5)
by Julie Bowe
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3692-4
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Summer camp is more fun when you have Friends for Keeps!
It's Ida May's first time at sleepaway camp, and her two BFFs, popular Stacey and highly organized Jenna, are also coming along. But when they arrive at camp, their bunkmate is the last person Ida expected to ever see again: Elizabeth Evans, her last best friend who moved away before the start of this series. Ida was heartbroken when Liz didn't answer her letters, and now Liz won't even apologize. All the other girls are ready to welcome Liz back, but Ida just can't be the peacemaker this time. Not until she and Liz talk. Chockablock with fourth-grade wisdom, laughter, jealousies--and apologies--this conclusion to the series is a must read for all Ida May fans.
While I love most kinds of middle grade literature, I have a special love of contemporary mi…

Heirs of Prophecy Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all those who participated in this giveaway. 
The winner of a copy of Heirs of Prophecy is...
Jess H.

Fantastic Friday: Vikram and the Enchanted Seals by Sanjiv Behera

by Sanjiv Behera
Richshaw Books, 2010
ISBN: 9780983104216
Grades 4 and up
Copy sent by author for review.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Vikram, an apathetic kid from California, doesn’t want to be in India. But a death in the family leaves him no other choice. So he finds himself in a rural village, at his ancestral home where he meets his imposing grandfather. A special bond forms between them, and the old man gives Vikram an enchanted seal – a mystical relic from India's earliest civilization. It turns out that the seal is one of only a handful that combine to form the Dharma Cube, the most powerful weapon against evil the world has ever seen. Before Vikram can fully grasp the seal's profound significance, Grandpa is taken by Rakshasas – evil giants from the epic Ramayana – who are intent on destroying the Cube once and for all. Vikram enlists the help of younger brother Jai, and Manu, the family’s loyal servant, to search for …

Early Chapter Series: The Buddy Files by Dori Hillestad Butler

There are two subjects that as a librarian I can count on to catch the interest of almost any child.  One of those subjects is animals and the other is mystery.  Kids love mysteries.  The series I'm spotlighting today is a great one for younger readers (6-8).  The detective is the dog (yes, you read that right). The latest book in the series is highlighted below.  The rest of the books in the series are:

The Case of the Lost Boy

While searching for his mysteriously lost human family, King the dog detective is adopted by another family, who names him Buddy. Buddy succeeds in solving the mystery of their missing boy.
The Case of the Mixed-Up Mutts

Buddy wonders what has happened to his first family, but right now he's got another urgent case--two dogs, Muffin and Jazzy, have been switched. How can Buddy get poor Muffin and Jazzy back to their real owners?
The Case of the Missing Family

Buddy has settled in with his adopted family, but he still misses his original people. When …

Early Chapter Book: Magical Monty by Johanna Hurwitz

by Johanna Hurwitz, illustrated by Anik McGrory
Candlewick Press, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5008-7
Grades 1-3
Reviewed from copy provided by publisher through NetGalley.

Monty tries to master a magic kit - and finds some real-life situations tricky - in this spot-on story about an endearing, utterly relatable first-grader.

First grade is almost over, and Monty will soon be seven. He's now a big brother, too, which makes him feel very grown-up. But when he tries to use the magic set his grandmother gave him, he has a little trouble. Maybe the card trick would work if he were eight years old? Mother's Day is coming, and Monty wishes he had something better to give his mom than the picture frame he made out of ice-cream sticks at school. But how is he supposed to guess from the TV call-in ad how much flowers cost, or that you need a special card to get them? Whether involving his baby sister in his library project, losing a sneaker while marching with his karate cl…

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Flutter by Erin E. Moulton

FLUTTER: The story of four sisters and one incredible journey
by Erin E. Moulton
Philomel Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25515-1
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from personal copy.

Big things are about the happen at Maple's house. Mama's going to have a baby, which means now there will be four Rittle sisters instead of just three. But when baby Lily is born too early and can't come home from the hospital, Maple knows it's up to her to save her sister. So she and Dawn, armed with a map and some leftover dinner, head off down a river and up a mountain to find the Wise Woman who can grant miracles. Now it's not only Lily's survival that they have to worry about, but also their own. The dangers that Maple and Dawn encounter on their journey makes them realize a thing or two about miracles-and about each other.
I have mixed feelings about this book.  I did enjoy it, but as a teacher, there were parts where I wanted to jump into the book and tell the girls not to make such fooli…

BLOG TOUR: The Only Living Man with a Hole in his Head by Todd Colby Pliss

THE ONLY LIVING MAN WITH A HOLE IN HIS HEAD by Todd Colby Pliss S.B. Addison Books, 2012 ISBN: 978-0983868170 Reviewed from copy provided for book tour. Synopsis:

One man. One Tamping Iron. One medical marvel.

Based on a true story, “The Only Living Man With A Hole in His Head” tells the tale of railroad foreman Phineas Gage, whom in 1848, had a three-foot long, inch-and-a-half in diameter, thirteen pound iron rod blast though his skull, taking out part of his brain, and the doctor who treated him and valiantly fought the medical establishment to prove the authenticity and merit of the case as Phineas Gage entered a journey into changed personality, the P.T. Barnum freak show and driving stage coaches in South America. It ended with medical science forever changed.
Topic: The Story Behind the Story (where the idea came from, research required, etc.)
I have always been a history buff and possess my teaching credentials in the social sciences. My mom sent me a newspaper – printed up lik…