Showing posts from October, 2014

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Spooky Reads by two great middle grade authors!

THE STONE CHILD by Dan Poblocki Random House Books for Young Readers, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-375-84255-9 Middle Grade Thriller (scary) Source; purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

What if the monsters from your favorite horror books were real?

Eddie Fennicks has always been a loner, content to lose himself in a mystery novel by his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead. That’s why moving to the small town of Gatesweed becomes a dream come true when Eddie discovers that Olmstead lived there before mysteriously disappearing thirteen years ago. Even better, Eddie finds a handwritten, never-before-seen Nathaniel Olmstead book printed in code and befriends Harris, who’s as much an Olmsteady as he is. But then the frightening creatures of Olmstead’s books begin to show up in real life, and Eddie’s dream turns into a nightmare. Eddie, Harris, and their new friend, Maggie, must break Olmstead’s code, banish all gremlins and monster lake-dogs from the town of Gatesweed, and solv…

More Halloween Picture Books!

LITTLE BOO by Stephen Wunderli, illustrated by Tim Zeltner Henry Holt & Co., 2014 ISBN: 9780805097085 Picture Book Grades Prek-2 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and one little pumpkin seed tries and tries to be scary. But he doesn’t scare anyone . . . not the snowflakes in winter, not the bees in spring, not even the watering can!

The wind tells him to be patient—he’ll be scary soon enough. But waiting is hard. Will the little seed ever be really, truly scary?

This simple story is more than a fun Halloween read—it is a heartwarming tale perfect for any child who can’t wait to grow up.


There are a lot of things that I really liked about this book.  First, the theme of the book focuses on the need for patience in waiting until the appropriate time to do the things we want to do.  The little seed wants to be scary, but has to wait until he is grown until he can do so.  This idea is presented in a friendly, cute way…


THE SWEETEST WITCH AROUND by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Harry Bliss Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-4424-7833-6 Picture Book Grades PreK-2 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

A young witch's sweet tooth leads to Halloween mischief in this companion to the New York Times bestselling A Very Brave Witch, which School Library Journal called a humorous, not-scary-at-all read-aloud.

It's Halloween night, and one very brave witch has decided to teach her little sister all about humans and what they enjoy, including some yucky stuff called candy. But when it seems the little Witchling thinks candy is yum, her big sister flies off to set her straight and then she gets stuck in a tree! Good thing the little Witchling isn't afraid to be brave!


This picture book makes for an entertaining look at Halloween from a different angle.  When I look for read-alouds I always look for something different that the students hasn&…

NONFICTION MONDAY: Ghostly Evidence by Kelly Milner Halls

GHOSTLY EVIDENCE Exploring the Paranormal by Kelly Milner Halls Millbrook Press, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-4677-0593-6 MG/YA Nonfiction Grades 5 and up Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Do you believe in ghosts? Enter the realm of the paranormal with Kelly Milner Halls. Explore what ghosts are, where they're found, and meet some famous ghost busters. Check out the high-tech equipment modern ghost hunters use, and see their most convincing evidence that ghosts are real. Finally, take a look at a few famous hoaxes. This book is a little bit spooky and a whole lot of fun!


Kelly Milner Halls specializes in high interest, well researched nonfiction for young readers. Her books include TALES OF THE CRYPTIDS, SAVING THE BAGHDAD ZOO, IN SEARCH OF SASQUATCH and ALIEN INVESTIGATION. But she is also an avid YA fan and loves realistic fiction including GIRL MEETS BOY, the anthology she edited for Chronicle (January 2012). Her first short story is in that…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Dan Poblocki--Thrillers for Middle Graders

THE GHOST OF GRAYLOCK by Dan Poblocki Scholastic Press, 2012 ISBN: 9780545402682 Middle Grade Thriller Grades 4 and up Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Does an abandoned asylum hold the key to a frightful haunting?

Everyone's heard the stories about Graylock Hall.

It was meant to be a place of healing - a hospital where children and teenagers with mental disorders would be cared for and perhaps even cured. But something went wrong. Several young patients died under mysterious circumstances. Eventually, the hospital was shut down, the building abandoned and left to rot deep in the woods.

As the new kid in town, Neil Cady wants to see Graylock for himself. Especially since rumor has it that the building is haunted. He's got fresh batteries in his flashlight, a camera to document the adventure, and a new best friend watching his back.

Neil might think he's prepared for what he'll find in the dark and decrepit asylum. But he's certainl…


The Code Busters Club 
giveaway is Books #1-3 in paperback and  Book #4 in hardcover (4 books to one person)
The Code Busters Club series by Penny Warner Ages 8-12 “[A] fun series sure to appeal to graduates of Encyclopedia Brown and Ivy & Bean.”—Shelf Awareness
“This intriguing tale has vivid characters and such a tantalizing cliffhanger that readers won't be able to resist cracking the next Code Busters.”—Kirkus Reviews The Code Busters Club, Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton Key 978-1-60684-390-1 Trade Paperback 2011 Agatha Award Nominee
Bad guys beware!

Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. may be really different, but they all share one thing in common: they love playing around with codes. In fact, they love codes so much, they have their own private club, with a super-secret hideout and passwords that change every single day. 

When Cody and Quinn notice what could be a code on the window of a nearby house, the one owned by their strange neighbor, the guy they call Skeleton Man, the club…

HUGE Preorder Giveaway of Kimberley Griffiths Little Upcoming YA Debut FORBIDDEN!

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.

Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter.
TO ENTER: You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to out the rafflecopter belowUS/Canada…

MIDDLE GRADE BOOK REVIEW: Chum by Adam Glendon Sidwell

CHUM by Adam Glendon Sidwell Future House Publishing, 2014 ISBN13: 9780989125338 Middle Grade Adventure Grades 4-8 Source: eARC for review from publisher All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Thirteen-year-old Levi Middleworth insists he's got a Destiny, even if half the internet's tried to bully it out of him with a viral video. When a Hollywood executive in a trim green suit invites Levi to star on a reality TV show aboard a hi-tech pirate ship, Levi thinks his Destiny's finally come a knockin' a bit of fame is exactly what he needs to finally make some friends his eighth grade year. But almost as soon as they set sail, the games aboard the ship turn savage, and he and his new bud Holly must do everything they can to find themselves some Chums little round-headed autonomous toys since failing to do so means getting thrown to the sharks. With the help of Levi's long-lost television hero and a tech-savvy pirate crew, Levi has to rethink his quest for fam…