Showing posts from 2015

SERIES THURSDAY: The Secret Room/The Ghost at the Fire Station by Dori Hillestad Butler

THE SECRET ROOM The Haunted Library #5 by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Aurore Damont Grosset & Dunlap, 2015 ISBN; 978-0-448-48332-0 Ages 7-10 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Now that Kaz can finally pass through walls without feeling all “skizzy,” he can go explore Beckett’s secret room at the back of the library. What he finds there is a mystery he never expected!


Kaz and Claire return in a new mystery.  This time the mystery revolves around a secret room in the library.  For the first time, Kaz is able to visit this room and he and his brother and Beckett discover that the room is full of objects that were originally solid before being turned 'ghostly'.  But who did these items belong too?  And Claire runs into additional problems when her mother discovers what they are up to and doesn't approve of Claire's talk of ghosts.  Butler has kept this series fresh and interesting with each new mystery as well as the ongo…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: This Side of Wild by Gary Paulsen

THIS SIDE OF WILD Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs by Gary Paulsen Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-4814-5794-1 Ages 8-12 Source: ARC from publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

The Newbery Honor–winning author of Hatchet and Dogsong shares surprising true stories about his relationship with animals, highlighting their compassion, intellect, intuition, and sense of adventure.

Gary Paulsen is an adventurer who competed in two Iditarods, survived the Minnesota wilderness, and climbed the Bighorns. None of this would have been possible without his truest companion: his animals. Sled dogs rescued him in Alaska, a sickened poodle guarded his well-being, and a horse led him across a desert. Through his interactions with dogs, horses, birds, and more, Gary has been struck with the belief that animals know more than we may fathom.

His understanding and admiration of animals is well known, and in This Side of Wild, which has take…

Three New Christmas Picture Books

THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE AT CHRISTMAS by Laura Murray, illustrated by Mike Lowery G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-399-16866-6 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

This Gingerbread Man was loose in the school and on the fire truck, and now he’s loose at holiday time!

Everyone in class is busy practicing songs and making goodies for their trip to town to thank community helpers, and the Gingerbread Man has made a gift for someone extra sweet. But before he can deliver his gift, whipping wind and swirling snow come to town, too. Slushy sidewalks are no place for a cookie, but this Gingerbread Man won’t let a little bad weather stop him!

“I’ll search on my own, as fast as I can!
I’ll dash through this snow. I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

With all the flavors of the season and generous dashes of kindness and gratitude, the Gingerbread Man’s newest adventure makes for a perfect read-aloud throughout the holidays.


Murray's adorable Gingerbread …

MMGM: The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015 ISBN; 978-0-8037-4081-5 Middle Grade Historical Fiction Ages 9-12 Source: public library All opinions expressed are solely my own.

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada a…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester

CURIOSITY HOUSE The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester Harper, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-06-227081-1 Ages 9-12 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.


What you will find in this book:

– A rather attractive bearded lady
– Several scandalous murders
– A deliciously disgusting Amazonian shrunken head
– Four extraordinary children with equally extraordinary abilities
– A quite loquacious talking bird

Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-
thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events. When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.

This sensational new series combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich

SERIES THURSDAY: Piper Green and the Fairy Tree by Ellen Potter

PIPER GREEN AND THE FAIRY TREE by Ellen Potter, illustrated by Qin Leng Alfred A. Knopf, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-553-49923-0 Early Chapter Book Source: school library All opinions expressed are solely my own.

From award-winning author Ellen Potter comes a charming new chapter book series where kids, lobster boats, and a hint of magic are part of everyday life.

There are three things you should know about Piper Green:
1. She always says what’s on her mind (even when she probably shouldn’t).
2. She rides a lobster boat to school.
3. There is a Fairy Tree in her front yard.

Life on an island in Maine is always interesting. But when a new teacher starts at Piper’s school—and doesn’t appreciate the special, um, accessory that Piper has decided to wear—there may be trouble on the horizon. Then Piper discovers the Fairy Tree in her front yard. Is the Fairy Tree really magic? And can it fix Piper’s problems?


I thoroughly enjoyed this new early chapter book series.  Piper reminds me a g…


About the BookTitle: The Knights Before Christmas | Author:Joan Holub | Illustrator: Scott Magoon| Publication Date: September 8, 2015 | Publisher: Macmillan / Henry Holt | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 8
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-MillionGoodreads | Indiebound | iBook | KoboBook Description: 

'Twas December 24th, and three brave knights were just settling in for the night when out on the drawbridge, there arose such a clatter! The knights try everything to get rid of this unknown invader (Santa Claus!), a red and white knight with a fleet of dragons . . .
But nothing would stop their white-whiskered foe. No matter their efforts, he just would not go! This parody of Clement Clarke Moore's well-known poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is kid-friendly, clever, and just plain silly. Sure to become a holiday classic of a different kind!  
Sneak Peek The Buzz About the Book “There's an excellent interplay between the amusing illustrations a…

BLOG TOUR w/GIVEAWAY: Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew

EVIE BROOKS IS MAROONED IN MANHATTAN by Sheila Agnew pajamapress, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-927485-87-3 Source: publisher for review Middle Grade Contemporary

After Evie Brooks’ mother dies, her American uncle Scott, whom Evie barely remembers, arrives in Dublin. Much to Evie’s dismay, she’ll have to go and live with Scott in New York City.

Having never owned a pet more substantial than a goldfish, Evie is intrigued by her uncle’s NYC veterinary practice. Scott engages Evie as an assistant in the clinic. Thus begins a series of light-hearted adventures with lovable animals and their sometimes lovable owners.

At the end of the summer, Evie has to make the choice of whether or not to return to live in Ireland with her godmother, Janet..


Evie Brooks moves to New York to live with her Uncle Scott after her mother dies.  Having lived in Europe her whole life it is rather a bit of a shock and at first she is eager to return to live with her mother's friend in Ireland.  But as…