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Showing posts from April, 2016

Fuzzy Mud

Fuzzy Mud
Louis Sachar
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2015
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Children, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
"Be careful. Your next step may be your last."

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodbridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Wilson challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya reluctantly follows. They soon get lost, and they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined. 

In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.


I wonder how Louis Sachar got the idea for this book. Did he take a walk and see some fuzzy mud, and BOOM story idea? I’m curious. What inspired Fuzzy Mud?

Ooo, so good. Bullying caused big problems for everyone in this book…

Eligible

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
Curtis Sittenfeld
Random House, 2016
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-tow…

Camp Midnight

Camp Midnight
Steven T. Seagle
Image Comics, 2016
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Older Children

From Goodreads:
Reluctant Skye is accidentally sent to the wrong summer camp. Not wanting to please her "step monster," Skye is dead-set on not fitting in. That won't be a problem, as everyone at Camp Midnight-with the exception of fellow camper and fast-friend Mia-is a full-fledged monster! The perfect book for fans of Raina Telgemeier's "Smile, " but wish it had more bowls of gooey eyeballs. 

What a genius idea. I wish that I would have thought of it first. How creepy is a camp full of fantastical creatures? It turns out there’s more to the monsters at the camp. It’s a fun story that I think older children will like, especially if they enjoy the Bailey School Kids series!

Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies
Lauren Groff
Riverhead, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Adults

From Goodreads:
Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.


I’m sure that Fates and Furies has plenty of literary devices and is technically a well-written book. However, it was painful for me to read. I hated Lotto and wasn’t a big fan of Mathilde, although I am glad that I stuck with the book to see her perspective of their marriage. (Honestly, the reason that I stuck wi…

Nimona

Nimona
Noelle Stevenson
Harper Collins, 2015
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it "a deadpan epic."

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and…

Trouble is a Friend of Mine

Trouble is a Friend of Mine
Stephanie Tromly
Kathy Dawson Books, 2015
Audience: All Teens
Source: E-Galley

From Goodreads:
Of course I didn’t like Digby when I first met him. No one does.

The first time Philip Digby shows up on Zoe Webster’s doorstep, he’s rude and he treats her like a book he’s already read and knows the ending to.

But before she knows it, Zoe’s allowed Digby—annoying, brilliant, and somehow…attractive? Digby—to drag her into a series of hilarious, dangerous, and only vaguely legal schemes all related to the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that might be connected to the tragic disappearance of his little sister eight years ago. When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can’t say no.

But is Digby a hero? Or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exorcize his own obsessive-compulsive tendencies? And does she really care anyway?

This is a contemporary debut with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and a d…

Space Dumplins

Space Dumplins
Craig Thompson
GRAPHIX, 2015
Source: Library
Audience: Younger Teens, Children

From Goodreads:
Highly acclaimed graphic novelist Craig Thompson's debut book for young readers about a plucky heroine on a mission to save her dad.

For Violet Marlocke, family is the most important thing in the whole galaxy. So when her father goes missing while on a hazardous job, she can't just sit around and do nothing. To get him back, Violet throws caution to the stars and sets out with a group of misfit friends on a quest to find him. But space is vast and dangerous, and she soon discovers that her dad is in big, BIG trouble. With her father's life on the line, nothing is going to stop Violet from trying to rescue him and keep her family together.

Visionary graphic novel creator Craig Thompson brings all of his wit, warmth, and humor to create a brilliantly drawn story for all ages. Set in a distant yet familiar future, Space Dumplinsweaves themes of family, friendship, and l…

Page by Paige

Page by Paige
Laura Lee Gulledge
Harry N. Abrams, 2011
Source: Library
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
Paige Turner has just moved to New York with her family, and she's having some trouble adjusting to the big city. In the pages of her sketchbook, she tries to make sense of her new life, including trying out her secret identity: artist. As she makes friends and starts to explore the city, she slowly brings her secret identity out into the open, a process that is equal parts terrifying and rewarding.

Laura Lee Gulledge crafts stories and panels with images that are thought-provoking, funny, and emotionally resonant. Teens struggling to find their place can see themselves in Paige's honest, heartfelt story.


I have to support any book that features a redhead! We need to stick together!

Page by Paige was well-done. It was arty and introspective. Paige definitely wanted to learn more about herself and become a better person. Yet, she feels doubt and second guesses herself almost…

Away We Go

Away We Go
Emil Ostrovski
Greenwillow Books, 2016
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Westing is not your typical school. For starters, you have to have one very important quality in order to be admitted—you have to be dying. Every student at Westing has been diagnosed with PPV, or the Peter Pan Virus. No one is expected to live to graduation.

What do you do when you go to a school where no one has a future? Noah Falls, his girlfriend Alice, and his best friend Marty spend their time drinking, making out, and playing video games on awaywego.com. But when an older boy named Zach (who Noah may or may not be in love with) invites Noah and Marty to join his secret Polo Club, the lives of both boys change as they struggle to find meaning in their shortened existence.

With an innovative format that includes interstitial documents, such as flyers, postcards, and handwritten notes, Away We Go is a funny, honest look at first love and tragic heartbreak.


I didn’t finish Away We…

Grigory Rasputin: Holy Man or Mad Monk?

Grigory Rasputin: Holy Man or Mad Monk?
Enid A. Goldberg, Norman Itzkowitz
Children’s Press (CT), 2007
Source: Library
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
Features:
- Engaging biographies of famous and infamous figures in history
- Sophisticated design will attract high-school and middle-school struggling readers, yet on-target reading level makes these books accessible to readers of all levels
- Controlled vocabulary and sentence length make these books highly readable
- Directly Correlated to Social Studies Standards for Middle and High School Students
- Includes etchings, maps, photos, and primary source documents
- Cool, digest-like trim size
- Gripping, dynamic storytelling



Ok, so the Goodreads description is not the best. However, this quick book is great for reluctant readers. Not only is it short, but it has plenty of pictures and an interesting story - so the book goes by fast! I learned about Rasputin in elementary school, but in college, I found out how interesting he really was. …

I Survived: The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937

I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
Lauren Tarshis
Scholastic Paperbacks, 2016
Audience: Children
Source: Library

From Goodreads:
The greatest flying machine ever built is about to crash...

For eleven-year-old Hugo Ballard, flying on the Hindenburg is a dream come true. Hugo, his parents, and his four-year-old sister, Gertie, are making the thrilling four-thousand-mile journey across the Atlantic in a zeppelin as big as the Titanic.

But as the zeppelin gets ready to land, a blast rocks the Hindenburg and fire consumes the ship. The entire disaster lasts a mere thirty-two seconds, but in those few seconds, Hugo finds himself separated from his family and in a desperate race to escape the flames. The Hindenburg is doomed. And so, it seems, is Hugo. Will he survive this historic disaster?


The only reasons that I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937 did not get five stars from me were that the main character (still) wasn’t a girl and the author didn’t explain in the back if the spy s…