Showing posts from September, 2014

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK REVIEW: Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West

RISE OF THE EARTH DRAGON Dragon Masters #1 Scholastic, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-545-64623-9 Early Chapter Book Fantasy Grades 1-3 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

The DRAGON MASTERS series is "How to Train Your Dragon" meets the DRAGON SLAYERS' ACADEMY!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

DRAGON MASTERS has it all! Dragons, a Dragon Stone, a king, a wizard, and magic! In the first book in this fully-illustrated series, 8-year old Drake is snatched up by King Roland's soldier and taken to the castle. He is to be trained as a Dragon Master. At the castle, he is joined by three other young Dragon Masters-in-training: Ana, Rori, and Bo. The Dragon Masters must learn how to …

MMGM: Doll Bones by Holly Black

DOLL BONES by Holly Black Scholastic, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-545-76602-9 Middle Grade Contemporary/Fantasy (depending on whether the ghost is real or not ;) Grades 3-5 Source: school library All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity…

NONFICTION MONDAY: The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Murder, Rebellion & The Fall of Imperial Russia
by Candace Fleming Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-375-86782-8 YA Nonfiction Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

“[A] superb history.... In these thrilling, highly readable pages, we meet Rasputin, the shaggy, lecherous mystic...; we visit the gilded ballrooms of the doomed aristocracy; and we pause in the sickroom of little Alexei, the hemophiliac heir who, with his parents and four sisters, would be murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.” —The Wall Street Journal

Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost;The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an ut…


I am very much honored to be a part of this year's upcoming Cybils.  I am a round two judge for the Middle Grade Fiction category.  Here are the other judges for Middle Grade Fiction:

First Round Mark Buxton Buxton’s Blog O’ Books
Earl Dizon The Chronicles of a Children’s Book Writer @ea12l
Rosemary Kiladitis Mom Read It @roesolo
Kyle Kimmal The Boy Reader @theboyreader
Deb Marshall Read Write Tell @debamarshall
Brenda Tjaden Log Cabin Library @LogCabinLibrary
Karen Yingling Ms. Yingling Reads @msyingling
Second Round

BOOK REVIEW: Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

PERCY'S JACKSON GREEK GODS by Rick Riordan, illustrated by John Rocco Disney Hyperion Books, 2014 ISBN: 978-142318364-8 YA Mythology Grades 8 and up Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

'A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don't need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.' So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic--and sarcastic asides--to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who's who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. 'If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it d…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Earthquake Shock by Marlane Kennedy

Disaster Strikes #1 by Marlane Kennedy, illustrated by Erwin Madrid Scholastic, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-545-53044-6 Middle Grade Contemporary (Survival) Grades 2-5 Source: school library All opinions expressed are solely my own.

When disaster strikes, the only thing you can count on is yourself!

It had seemed like the perfect California day. But as Joey Flores walked home from the skate park with his friends, the ground began to tremble, and Joey knew they were headed for trouble....

The earthquake that followed devastated their neighborhood, collapsing a nearby overpass with Joey and Fiona on one side and Kevin and Dylan on the other. Now Joey and his friends must rescue each other, endure the aftershocks, and find a new way home as the earth cracks beneath their feet.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (see website)


This first book in a new series about surviving natural disasters features four kids making their way home from the local skating park.  The four kids get separated w…

BLOG TOUR w/GIVEAWAY: Charlie Bumpers vs. The Squeaking Skull by Bill Harley

CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE SQUEAKING SKULL by Bill Harley, illustrated by Adam Gustavson Peachtree Publishing, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-56145-808-0 Middle Grade Contemporary Grades 2-5 Source: publisher for review (Thanks!) All opinions expressed are solely my own.

This Halloween Charlie and Tommy have big plans. They hope they can get out of taking their little sisters around and go trick-or-treating in Alex's upscale neighborhood instead. There they'll get tons more candy, they'll be on their own, and afterwards they'll get to attend the sleepover at Alex's house. But when Charlie finds out that the entertainment at the party is to consist of the "Scariest Horror Movies Ever," he is struck by panic. Charlie loves candy, he loves sleepovers with his friends, but he absolutely hates horror movies. There is yet another wrinkle in Charlie's Halloween plans. He is determined to win the big prize (ten movie tickets) that will be awarded for the best costume, …

TEMPLE RUN Giveaway!

Temple Run, the fastest-growing mobile game app, is taking its biggest leap yet, jumping into children's books!
Ages 8-12
Temple Run Book One Run for Your Life!: Jungle Trek Chase Wilder     978-1-60684-571-4           On Sale: 09/23/2014       Trade Paperback
You're a lucky kid--for your birthday, you're having a destination party: a campout and scavenger hunt in an exotic locale. Depending on the choices you make, you will reach safety in time to enjoy your party, or you will be kidnapped and held for ransom, buying Guy and Scarlett time to make off with the treasure. You decide!

MMGM: Paperboy by Vince Vawter

PAPERBOY by Vince Vawter Delacorte Press, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-385-74244-3 Middle Grade Historical Fiction Grades 5-8 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

An 11-year-old boy living in Memphis in 1959 throws the meanest fastball in town, but talking is a whole different ball game. He can barely say a word without stuttering, not even his own name. So when he takes over his best friend's paper route for the month of July, he knows he'll be forced to communicate with the different customers, including a housewife who drinks too much and a retired merchant marine who seems to know just about everything.

The paper route poses challenges, but it's a run-in with the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, that stirs up real trouble--and puts the boy's life, as well as that of his family's devoted housekeeper, in danger.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from author's website)

Vince Vawter, a native of Memphis, retired after a 40-year career in newspapers, mo…

T.A. Barron's ATLANTIS RISING being released in paperback! With new prequel about the villain!

TA Barron’s Atlantis Rising to be Released in Paperback Along With Companion E-book, Never Again: The Origin of Grukarr Revealing Villain’s Painful Past

NEW YORK, NY, September 10, 2014 – Atlantis RisingbyT.A. Barron, the first book in an exciting new trilogy about the origin of the legendary isle of Atlantis that Publishers Weekly calls “inventive and entertaining,” will be released in paperback on September 25, 2014. Aimed at readers ages 9 and up, Atlantis Rising inspires readers to examine real-life issues of bravery, honesty, loyalty, and conservation—themes T.A. Barron consistently explores in his work. 
Atlantis Rising follows the adventure of a young boy, Promi, and his friend, Atlanta, in their quest to save their magical homeland from ruin. The two young characters battle Grukarr, the evil Deputy High Priest, and set off a chain of events that lead to the creation of Atlantis.
The scoundrel Grukarr, however, takes center stage in the simultaneously released companion story Never…