Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Giveaway: Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen (book 2)

Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen

I have 5 copies of this exciting and action-packed thriller. Fans of book 1 will have to get their hands on this one. If you haven't read book 1, what are you waiting for? Get up, drive to the bookstore and buy both books! Or, buy book 1 and try to win book 2 here.

To enter: post a comment on the blog here or on the review (please scroll down) and include your first name, city, state, and email address.

Deadline for posts is September 13 at noon MST. Winners will be chosen randomly by Randomizer. Winners will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond to my email with their mailing addresses. Sorry, only U.S. mailing addresses.

Books will ship from New York courtesy of Simon & Shuster.

Good luck and start posting, Pamela

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Book Giveaway: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

52 Reasons to Hate My Father

See the book trailer here

I have 5 copies of this great new ya read. It's a funny one! I laughed out loud. See my full review here


You're going to love living in Lexinton Larrabee's life! Don't miss your chance to get a copy. Post a comment to the blog and include your first name, city, state, and email address.

Deadline for posts is September 13, 2012 at noon MST. Winners will be chosed randomly by Randomizer. Winners will be notified by email and have 24 hours to respond to my email with their mailing addresses. Sorry, only U.S. mailing addresses.

Books will ship from New York courtesy of Macmillan.

Good luck and start posting! Pamela
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set for in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Giveaway: Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

by Ian Falconer

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

2012

40 pages

I have 5 copies of this fantastic new early reader up for grabs!

And I have 5 Olivia and the Fairy Princesses Event Kits up for grabs!

That's double the chances to win!

Simply post a comment on the blog and include your first name, city, state, and email address. The deadline for posts is September 12 at noon MST. Winners are chosen at random by Randomizer. Winners will be notified by email. Please check your email September 12. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from New York courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Read my review:



Everyone who meets Olivia becomes an instant fan. She's a pig with wicked fashion sense and a mind of her own. She's outspoken, well-read, incredibly verbose, and headstrong.



Olivia feels she's having an identity crisis. All the kids around her want to be princesses--for Halloween, in ballet class, in life--even some of the boys want to be princesses. Olivia wanted to be a princess, but that is so last year when she was "little." She asks her parents why everyone wants the same thing. Ever the free thinker, Olivia searches for something new to become.



There are so many options! Olivia simply can't decide. She imagines herself as a nurse or a reporter. Until Olivia finally decides...why settle for being a princess when she could be ?????





Beautifully rendered artwork by the author makes this reviewer green with envy over Falconer's talent. Each two page spread will have children captivated. Clever, amusing, and entertaining for kids of all ages. The artwork could stand alone without the print and tell the entire story. Isn't that what any great young reader book aspires to do?



Olivia speaks to the little girl in each of us (yes, even some of the boys).

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)




Monday, August 27, 2012

Paranormal Romance Pick: Mirage


Mirage (sequel to Haven)
by Kristi Cook
Simon Pulse
2012
374 pages

Things are really heating up for Violet McKenna. Not only is it her senior year at Winterhaven--a special school for students who have special abilities—Violet herself has visions or premonitions—but her relationship with vampire Aidan is on shaky ground. Aidan is working on a serum to cure his condition, hoping that he can live as a normal human and share his mortal life with Violet. When newcomer hottie Tyler appears on the scene as a transfer student from California, he begins to stir up trouble between the passionate couple.

Violet experiences disturbing visions of her best friend Whitney. She sees her in New York and in grave danger. The headmistress assigns Dr. Matthew Bryne to be a sort of psychic coach for Violet. He is helping her control her gift and call her visions forth at will.

Violet accepts her fate that she is born a Sabbat, or vampire slayer. She accepts that fact and the fact that she is in love with a dangerous and hungry vampire. What she soon finds out is that not only is she destined to kill vampires, she also has a mysterious and as yet unnamed protector for life. When she turns eighteen, her Megred will reveal himself to her and they are meant for each other for life. Where the dark and moody Aidan fits in all of this is questionable.

A gruesome scene is discovered—a body ripped to shreds in the woods near Winterhaven, and the students are put on high alert. A rogue vampire may be malevolently hunting for victims. Violet has her worst vision yet and asks Dr. Byrne to help her save a friend.

Scintillating and seductive, passionate and creepy, Mirage is the perfect guilty pleasure for fans of Haven and paranormal romances.

Passionate kisses, language, mature situations. Grades 9-up.

FTC required disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Action Pick: Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen

Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen (book 2)
by Richard Paul Evans
Mercury Ink (Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster)
2012
335 pages

Creepy, compelling, and chilling, the second book in this series will have teens frantically racing through the pages to find out what horrific plans Dr. Hatch has in store for Michael Vey and his friends—the electric kids.

There’s McKenna who can create light and heat, Ian -–although blind--can see through electrolocation—which means he can even see through solid objects—very handy when trying to see which apartment the bad guys are staying in or trying to locate Michael’s kidnapped mother in a giant complex, Abigal can take other’s pain away, Zeus, well, you know about Zeus, like the Greek god—he can throw lightning bolts, Grace can download information from any computer and keep it stored in her brain, Taylor can reboot people’s thoughts and memories, and Michael is electric! The teens are on the lam and escaping back to Idaho—far away from evil Dr. Hatch and his minions.

Michael is going to need his friends’ help and his buddy Ostin’s—who isn’t an electric kid, but has a superpower of his own—his near genius intelligence helps out when things get bleak. The Elgen want the kids back and will do anything to control the situation. They have already kidnapped Michael’s mother; next, they take Ostin’s parents and burn down Jack’s house. The kids have no place to hide but they decide to go to Jack’s sister’s tanning salon. While there, a stranger hands Michael a cell phone and the key to a tanning room. He takes them and waits for a phone call as instructed. A voice on the phone convinces Michael to dump the stolen vans—which have GPS devices that the Elgen are using to track them—and change vehicles. The voice directs the kids to a safe house.

Every time the group begins to feel safe, something bad happens. They are on the run throughout the novel. The mysterious voice gets them to the Amazon jungle; they are going to find Michael’s mother and rescue her. Taking down Dr. Hatch and the Elgen will be a nice little bonus.

The macabre secrets they uncover in the jungle are disturbing, yet provocative and are bound to change the course of human history if Dr. Hatch and his army are not stopped. Hatch has created a super-army through brainwashing and mind conditioning. His army will not question an order; they believe him to be a supreme being and their master. If Hatch can unleash his latest invention, it will have ruinous effects throughout the world. He will control governments and kingdoms; no one will be untouched by his evil.

The conclusion seamlessly sets up for book 3. I was happily surprised by the conclusion and some interesting new friends Michael meets.

Michael is an unforgettable hero with a heart. Rise of the Elgen is thrilling, action-packed, and entertaining. This book will have fans eagerly anticipating book 3.

Highly, highly recommended for fans of action and adventure. If you haven’t read book 1, drop everything and go out and buy both Michael Vey books. Once you start reading this series, you won’t want to stop.

Grades 7-up. Some violence. No sex. No language.

FTC Required disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.



This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Music Lover's Pick: Guitar Notes

Guitar Notes
By Mary Amato
Egmont
2012
296 pages with original songs/music for guitar

Don't forget I have 5 copies of this exciting new ya read up for grabs. Just post a comment to the blog and include your first name, city, state, and email address. Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer. Winners will be notified August 31, 2012. Deadline for posts is noon MST on August 30. Good luck and start posting!

Visit the thrum society here (tips on songwriting and songs)

Captivating, inspiring, lyrical, and beautiful, Guitar Notes sings off the pages. Music lovers and opposites Tripp and Lyla share a practice room at school. On odd days, Tripp uses the room to practice guitar, write songs, and just inspire himself. A true music lover, Tripp doesn’t have to play a song; he plays to play for the love of it. Music is like breathing for Tripp.

Lyla has the room on even days. Lyla is Little Miss Perfect. She’s beautiful, smart, popular, and a gifted cellist. Lyla is first chair and works hard to be number one. She finds trash left in the room by Tripp and writes him a note:

“Dear Odd Day Musician, We are sharing this room. Please remove your trash from the music stand when you are done. Thanks, --The Even Day Musician”

Tripp can’t believe it, and leaves Miss Perfect his own little note. He is equally parts insulting, snarky, and funny. Soon, the two are leaving each other daily notes. Can two such different people find each other and themselves through their love of music?

Lyla feels like she’s having a heart attack. She is under unbearable stress to perform in school, at home, on stage, and her parents are forcing her to try out for a prestigious music school. Tripp sees that Lyla is a gifted cellist but really doesn’t feel the music; she is a performer, not a music lover. When Lyla learns a few guitar chords, there’s no stopping their friendship.

Anyone with a love of music and guitar, anyone with a background in performing, anyone who knows what it’s like to be pushed into something your parents want you to do will enjoy Guitar Notes. Tripp and Lyla are an unforgettable team. Girls will love Tripp’s humor and feel empathy for good girl Lyla who tries hard to overachieve.

I love the cover with the characters’ notes to each other on the guitar. Readers will like the songs and music included in the book. Guitar lovers may be inspired to try the songs and maybe write a song of their own.

Highly recommended grades 7-up. No sex. No language.

Non-Fiction Pick: The Giant and How He Humbugged America


The Giant and How He Humbugged America
by Jim Murphy
Scholastic Press
2012
112 pages

Available October 1, 2012

In 1869, a New York farmer uncovers a petrified giant man when digging a well on his property. Word soon spreads about this ten foot discovery. Could the giant be a member of the Onondaga tribe? Why is he buried here? Was he a victim of a murder?
Within hours, the farm is overrun with people clamoring for a gander at the local wonder. As the news begins to spread, thousands of thrill seekers show up and even scientists travel to see if this discovery is real? Or could it be an elaborate hoax?

Pretty soon, even P.T. Barnum ( of circus fame) is interested in making money from this discovery. Slick men with even slicker motives begin to make money off the Cardiff giant. Believers come forward and swear the giant is real. Pretty soon, the story begins to unravel and accusations begin to fly.

Recommended for readers who love strange and bizarre historical events. This book gives readers a glimpse into the news and media of the 1800s—when a few people could dream up a money making hoax and make it last for a little while. Although they were found out, they go down in history for dreaming up a truly authentic scam.
Middle grades and up.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Teen Pick: 52 Reasons To Hate My Father

52 Reasons to Hate My Father
by Jessica Brody
Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
2012
352 pages

See the book trailer here

Outrageously witty, snarky and bitingly sarcastic, and dripping with teen drama queen behavior, 52 Reasons To Hate My Father is this year’s best guilty pleasure.

Lexington Larrabee is a spoiled teen queen who has everything: a giant McMansion complete with servants, a shiny new Mercedes convertible, scads of designer duds, private planes with pilots who can fly her anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat, credit cards with no limits, and piles of cash. The only thing she’s missing is a real family. Her father is always too busy running his billion dollar empire to “visit” Lexington at their palatial mansion. Her mother died many years before, and her older brothers are grown up and on their own. Lexi acts out and exhibits true bad girl behavior—underage drinking and clubbing; she wrecks her brand new Mercedes, and she’s in for it this time!

Her father calls his clean-up squad and they cover up everything before the press can get all the details. He takes away Lexington’s trust fund of $25 million that was supposed to be hers in a few weeks when she turns eighteen. He hires an assistant who will oversee –babysit—Lexington for the next 52 weeks. If she can work at 52 menial jobs on her father’s list and complete each week without quitting or being fired, she will get her trust fund back. Lexi is livid! Lexington Larrabee work as a maid? Clean houses? Muck horse stalls? Serve fast food? No way! Her dad can’t make her do that.

Sadly for her, she finds out he can and he does. He cancels her credit cards and freezes her bank accounts; he instructs all his employees that no one is to take Lexington anywhere unless it’s to her job. He puts Luke, a twenty year old intern, in charge of her and she can’t catch a break. Luke drives her to and from each job and demands that she send him updates for each week.

Lexington hates her father! And Luke! She drags herself from one awful job to the next until she starts a week at Don Juan Tacos, a fast food place. She actually starts having fun. Rolando, a co-worker, shows her how to have fun at the job and she realizes that if she changes her attitude, she might just have fun, too. Pretty soon, Lexi is looking for “awesomeness” of everything. Luke even notices the changes in her behavior.

Girls who love teen divas getting what’s coming to them will love Lexington Larrabee. And we all want her lifestyle. This novel is indeed a “comedy of heiress.”

The book cover is spot-on. The surly attitude on Lexington’s face, the fast food hat, the diamond jewelry, and the flash of the camera bulbs will cause teens to stop in their tracks and pick up this book. The mop bucket, mop and rubber gloves on the back cover give it a comic touch.

Highly, highly recommended grades 7-up. It does mention that Lexington has drinks and wrecks her car but she does have consequences. That’s the worst of it. No drugs or other bad behavior. A pretty good kiss with Luke. It is pretty tame compared to what teen girls see on t.v. Even the Family Channel is pretty racy these days.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Giveaway: Guitar Notes



I have 5 copies of this great new ya read! This is from the publisher's website:

"On odd days, Tripp Broody uses a school practice room to let loose on a borrowed guitar. Eyes closed, strumming that beat-up instrument, Tripp escapes to a world where only the music matters.

On even days, Lyla Marks uses the same practice room. To Tripp, she’s trying to become even more perfect—she’s already a straight-A student and an award-winning cellist. But when Lyla begins leaving notes for him in between the strings of the guitar, his life intersects with hers in a way he never expected.

What starts as a series of snippy notes quickly blossoms into the sharing of interests and secrets and dreams, and the forging of a very unlikely friendship.

Challenging each other to write songs, they begin to connect, even though circumstances threaten to tear them apart.

From beloved author Mary Amato comes a YA novel of wit and wisdom, both heartfelt and heart­breaking, about the power of music and the unexpected chords that draw us together."

Post a comment on the blog. Please include your first name, city, state, and email address. Deadline for posts is August 30 at noon MST. Winners will be chosen randomly by Randomizer. Please check your email on Aug. 31 to see if you won. Books will ship from New York.

Good luck and please start posting. Pamela

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Middle Grades Pick: Sailing To Freedom

Sailing to Freedom
By Martha Bennett Stiles
Henry Holt and Company
2012
245 pages with glossary

Sailing To Freedom is Kentucky's Exhibit Choice for the 2012 National Book Fest.

The year is 1839 and slave ships still deliver human cargo to America’s shores.
Twelve year old Ray Ingle dreams of going to sea with his father. Father tells him he’s still too young and too short, and to appease him, he leaves behind Allie, a tiny capuchin monkey. Ray is appeased for a while, but when his mother falls ill, Ray must live with his greedy and spiteful Uncle Slye. Uncle Slye hates Allie and makes Ray feel terrible, so Ray jumps at the chance to board the Newburyport Beauty and sail with his nice Uncle Thad.

Uncle Thad says Ray can help Cook in the kitchen. Cook is almost as mean as Uncle Slye, but Allie manages to get better food. Soon, she’s stealing the kitchen blind, and Cook is having a fit! They run into trouble and bad weather; next, they have to face tough bounty hunters who are looking for runaway slaves. Uncle Thad has a secret, and every member of the crew keeps the secret safe. Cook used to be a slave, and now is hiding something, too. Cook needs Ray’s help each day, and as he depends on Ray, he comes to trust him.

Told from Ray’s point of view, the story comes alive. Allie the monkey adds comic relief and is a worthy sea-worthy sidekick. The glossary is helpful for readers not familiar with sailing terms.

Recommended grades 4-up. Students may need some background information about America and slave ships, Abolitionists, bounty hunters, and the Amistad.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fun Pick: The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (book 3, Origami Yoda)
By Tom Angleberger
Amulet
2012
190 pages with illustrations
Hilarious, goofy and churlish, downright disrespectful, and insanely entertaining, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee picks up as the kids continue another school year at McQuarrie Middle School without their beloved Dwight. Dwight was suspended last year and is now attending Tippett Academy and word is out that he’s BEHAVING. Dwight…behaving??? The kids all miss Origami Yoda and wish Dwight was back at school.

The origami kids are making a new case file and meet daily in the library. Principal Rabbski thinks origami is a big waste of time and “a major disruption of the learning environment.” Harvey disagrees and Mrs. Calhoun—the world’s greatest librarian---backs him. The librarian gets major props from the entire group of origami Star Wars fans. The students each comment in the new case file and then they sometimes comment on everyone else’s comments. It is truly hysterical. Tom Angleberger must be channeling his inner 7th grade nerd because whatever he’s doing, it’s clearly working.

Mike whines about having to attend church and dress up every time. His mother says it’s disrespectful to wear jeans in the “Lord’s house.” Tom says, “Personally, I think it’s disrespectful to be itchy in the Lord’s House.” Later, he says WTS? for What the spaghetti? at the church’s spaghetti dinner.

Sara makes a cootie catcher (her new origami puppet) that she swears tells fortunes and students begin to ask the Fortune Wookiee for answers. Another student, Murky, has invented his own vocabulary but is so hard to understand that the other boys write a Murkish Dictionary with words like “plastic dinosaurs,” “bolt,” and “Jell-o” --all Murky’s adjectives for when something is awesome. Harvey comments that all Murky says is awesome, but the other boys disagree—he doesn’t even use the word awesome—he has invented a whole new language for awesome.

Tommy visits Dwight and tries to persuade him to come back to McQuarrie. He asks him to take Yoda down from the wall. Dwight realizes that maybe he misses Origami Yoda after all.

Highly, highly recommended for anyone who loves Star Wars and origami. Fans of the series will have to read this one. This will be a big hit for middle grades and up. Grades 4-up.

Don't forget that there are 5 copies of this book FREE. Win your copy today! Post a comment after this review or on the giveaway (scroll down). Deadline for posts is August 15 at noon MST. Please include your first name, city, state and email. Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer and will be notified by email. Thanks, and start posting!

FTC Required Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Action Thriller Pick: Cold Fury


View the book trailer here

Cold Fury
By T.M. Goeglein
Putnam
2012
312 pages

Unstoppable, fierce, feisty Sara Jane Rispoli is an uber-cool teen heroine with an in-your-face attitude and she won’t cower down from bullies, bullets, or baddies. Girls will admire her and want to be her; guys will want to meet her and if they’re brave, date her. From the first words in the “prelude,” I was reading with breathless anticipation of what would happen next. This book is a suspenseful thrill-ride that will have teens reading into the wee hours of the morning.
The day of her sixteenth birthday, Sara returns home to an empty and darkened house. It’s unusual—where is her family? She enters and can’t believe her eyes. The living room is tossed—someone was looking for something—and whoever it was didn’t appear to find it. She investigates and finds blood on the wall and their family dog has been badly beaten. Just then, a man jumps on her in the dark basement. Sara is a fighter—she’s been training at a local boxing gym for years, and she gets in a few well-aimed licks and jumps into her dad’s old Lincoln along with Harry the dog who helps her escape. Sara’s on the lam and running out of time to find answers.

She goes to the gym where she thinks she can find a safehouse until she can figure out what happened and who is after her. She knows not to trust the cops because they are now looking for her, too. The one thing she carried out of the house is a cheap plaster bust of Frank Sinatra that always sat on their mantle. It has a camera in it, and Sara Jane replays the tape and sees her father’s last message to her. He is in a panic and tells her to go to the God of Fire. It’s code for the Vulcan oven in her family’s bakery.

Sara Jane follows the clues and finds a hidden room, a coded notebook, a Sig Sauer .45 (gun), $96,000 in cash and an American Express Black card in her name. What did her father intend when he left all this behind? Sara Jane deciphers what’s in the notebook—much of it is yellowed and very old and some of it is in Italian.

She reads the history of her family and realizes that their very being is a sham. Her grandfather was a powerful man in Chicago and her whole family is “mobbed up.” The notebook holds the ultimate key, and whoever wants it will stop at nothing to get that notebook away from Sara Jane.

Her pudgy but helpful friend Doug steps in as “Robin” to her “Batman” and they take the fight to the criminals. This books sets up the sequel nicely. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

I predict this is going to be a huge title. The cover with the picture of a tough looking girl holding a steel briefcase is edgy and screams, “BUY ME! “ The back cover and inner cover hooked me, and I had to purchase this book for myself. Teens are going to love this one.

Highly, highly recommended grades 7-up. Some violence, mob references to crimes, Doug mentions he doesn’t know if he likes boys or not—but he doesn’t go into detail and he’s never acted on it. No other sexual references.


FTC Required Disclaimer: I bought this book for myself. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gothic Romance Pick: The Dark Unwinding

The Dark Unwinding
By Sharon Cameron
Scholastic
2012
336 pages
Available September 1, 2012

visit the author's website here

Gothic, gorgeous, glooming and grand, The Dark Unwinding will captivate teen readers with its spunky heroine Katharine Tulman and her deep and dark family secrets. Katharine slaves over keeping the books for her witchy Aunt Alice until Aunt sends her to the countryside to her uncle’s estate on the windswept and lonely moors. Katharine is to find proof that Uncle Tully is batty, so that he can be sent away to an asylum and Aunt Alice and her greedy, gluttonous son Robert (Katharine’s cousin) can inherit the family fortune. Katharine feels she has no choice, since she is reliant on Robert and Alice to provide her with room and board. She has no money of her own and no other family.

Upon arriving at Stranwyne Keep, Katharine takes in the monstrous, looming Victorian palace and its grounds. Mrs. Jeffries, the cook, is dismissive and rude; Uncle Tully is nowhere to be found and Davy, a little waif of a boy, is a silent enigma. Katharine spends a restless night in a spooky red room, and vows to meet her uncle in the morning.

Uncle Tully’s workshop is a fantastical, whimsical place where creativity and invention thrive. He has created amazing puppets, steam powered machines, and inventions that no one has ever seen before. Katharine finds that Tully is not demented; he is a genius! He does have quirky habits that may seem strange to some people: he only winds his clocks on specific days, playtime is on a regimented schedule, and Tully can do the most difficult math problems in his head in less than a second. When Katharine discovers that her uncle employs over 900 men to work in his village and keep the workshop running, she vows that she will shut it down. This is Fat Robert’s inheritance, after all.

A strange turn of events finds Katharine torn between her family—she has come to love eccentric Uncle Tully and even mean Mrs. Jeffries, she feels protective of Mary, her constant companion, and she is attracted to Lane, her uncle’s helper. Can she offer the proof that will put her uncle in the loony bin? What will happen to Stranwyne Keep and all the people?

This luscious novel has all the elements that romance readers could want. Think Jane Eyre with a bit of steampunk thrown in. A spooky, creaky mansion, deserted moors, howling winds at night, crazy machines and inventions, a mean housekeeper, a silent orphan, a poisoning, a plot to send Katharine to the asylum, a childlike, genius inventor, a handsome helper, a wolf in sheep’s clothing (a villain), a plot to destroy England, and a wee bit of romance.

Highly, highly recommended for fans of steampunk and romance. This is a remarkable read that is not to be missed. Grades 7-up.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Giveaway: The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee
By Tom Angleberger
Amulet Books
2012
208 pages

Available August 7, 2012

I have 5 copies of this great new addition to the series. Author Tom Angleberger’s earlier books The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back were hits with the middle grades and tween crowd. Win a copy of the new book.

Post a comment and include your name, city, state, and email. Deadline for posts is August 15 at noon MST. Winners are randomly chosen by Randomizer and will be notified on August 15. Please check your email. Books will ship from New York.

More about the book:

From the publisher’s website:

About the book:
With Dwight attending Tippett Academy this semester, the kids of McQuarrie Middle School are on their own—no Origami Yoda to give advice and help them navigate the treacherous waters of middle school. Then Sara gets a gift she says is from Dwight—a paper fortune-teller in the form of Chewbacca. It’s a Fortune Wookiee, and it seems to give advice that’s just as good as Yoda’s—even if, in the hands of the girls, it seems too preoccupied with romance. In the meantime, Dwight is fitting in a little too well at Tippett. Has the unimaginable happened? Has Dwight become normal? It’s up to his old friends at McQuarrie to remind their kooky friend that it’s in his weirdness that his greatness lies.
With his proven knack for humorously exploring the intrigues, fads, and dramas of middle school, Tom Angleberger has crafted a worthy follow-up to his breakout bestsellers The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back.

Visit the author’s website here

Now get busy and post a comment :)
Good luck! Pamela

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

High School Pick: Burn for Burn


Burn for Burn
By Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Simon & Schuster
2012
368 pages

Available September 18, 2012

Revenge. A great word; a powerful word--so full of nuance and danger, and that’s what makes Burn for Burn a great new ya read. Readers meet the three main characters: Mary, Kat, and Lillia and many (perhaps too many) bit players in this “Gossip Girls” meets “Revenge” inspired story.(“Revenge” was one of last season’s great t.v. shows). The girls have all been wronged and they meet secretly to discuss their next targets and mean girl plans.

At first the girls plan practical jokes, but then it escalates into minor criminal behavior and before blowing up into someone facing death. That’s the problem with power---it can get you in trouble fast, and when there are others willing to use their power, will you be strong enough to face them? And can you face the consequences of your own actions?

Jar Island is its own little Peyton Place—it’s insular and set apart from the mainland and the rest of civilization. Everyone knows everyone and everyone knows your dirty, little secrets. Lillia is a teen queen at her high school—she’s smart and popular but she’s had enough of some people’s pettiness. She’s fed up and she won’t let anyone take advantage of her younger sister. Kat is the sullen girl, the one who smokes cigarettes and hangs out with older boys. She loves danger and isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty. Mary returns to Jar Island after going away for four years. She has a terrible secret, yet she is drawn back to the island like a moth to a flame. When the three of them band together, they will not be stopped.

One problem with the book: there are many characters and readers may become confused with storyline. Also, Mary seems to have a strange power? Or does she? There are a couple of hints that she may have some paranormal power, yet then that plotline is never developed.

Kat and Mary were my favorite characters due to each of them being both weak and strong. They are also the most developed characters in the novel.
Recommended grades 9-up. Language, sex, mature situations.


FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.