Waiting on Wednesday (27)

Wednesday September 29, 2010 

Waiting on Wednesday...books I can't wait to read hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

by Kate Cann
Februrary 1, 2011


The thrilling sequel to POSSESSED finds 16-year-old Rayne still entwined in the creepy history of Morton's Keep -- and about to discover that she's the only one who can stop the evil lurking there.

Rayne's countryside escape has proven to be anything but -- the remote mansion house where she lives and works holds terrible secrets, and she feels trapped there. And when a new manager shows up, things take an even more sinister turn.

Rayne doesn't know who to trust -- even the ghosts of Morton's Keep seem to be warning her. It's up to Rayne to overcome the ancient evil lurking here -- but how?
I really enjoyed Possessed so I'm super excited for this sequel! 

If you haven't read Possessed....

Rayne can't wait to start her summer job at a remote country mansion, far from the crowded, noisy London she so desperately wants to escape. But the retreat soon turns into a nightmare -- the mansion is creepy, the legends of ghosts keep Rayne up at night, and she doesn't feel safe anywhere.
Can Rayne figure out why she's so freaked -- before she becomes a ghost story herself?

Tween Tuesdays (15)

Tuesday September 28, 2010

Tween Tuesdays is a meme I first saw at Green Bean Teen Queen and really liked because she is also a librarian who deals with teens and tweens. So, since most of my blog is devoted to YA and teen books I figured that on Tuesdays I can do posts for all the tweeners out there!

Turtle in Paradise
by Jennifer L. Holm
May 2010
Random House
Goodreads Summary: Inspired by family stories, two-time Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Holm beautifully blends family lore with America's past in this charming gem of a novel, rich in historical detail, humor, and the unique flavors of Key West.

Life isn't like the movies, and eleven-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935, and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to stay with relatives she's never met.

Florida's like nothing Turtle has ever seen. It's hot and strange, full of wild green peeping out between houses, ragtag boy cousins, and secret treasure. Before she knows what's happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she has spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways.

Review: Turtle in Paradise is truly a treat to read.  Using the Depression as the historical background, author Jennifer Holm develops Turtle, the 11 year-old main character, into a fascinating young girl.  The use of nicknames (Slow Poke, Too Bad, Pork Chop) takes on a special meaning, as it ties in to solve the family secrets.  Turtle learns her role in the Diaper Gang, earns the respect of her boy cousins, and teaches a few lessons of her own to Nana Philly.  When life becomes too good to be true, Turtle and her mom learn the hard lessons of life, even as they discover the special acceptance of family.

by Patricia Reilly Giff
September 14, 2010
Wendy Lamb Books (Random House)
Goodreads Summary: While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds something remarkable: a drawing. It hangs on the wall, a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee. She looks like Elizabeth.

The girls’ lives intertwine as Elizabeth’s present-day story alternates with Zee’s, which takes place during the American Revolution. Zee is dreamy, and hopeful for the future—until the Revolution tears apart her family and her community in upstate New York. Left on her own, she struggles to survive and to follow her father and brother into battle.

Zee’s story has been waiting to be rediscovered by the right person. As Elizabeth learns about Zee, and walks where Zee once walked and battles raged, the past becomes as vivid and real as the present.

In this beautifully crafted, affecting novel from beloved author Patricia Reilly Giff, the lives of two girls reflect one another as each finds her own inner strengths.

Review: Storyteller is both a historical tale and a modern-day novel. Elizabeth's mother died when Elizabeth was just a girl.  Raised by her artist father, she is suddenly left with her mother's sister,  Aunt Libby, when her father goes to Australia to sell his carvings.   

At her aunt's she sees a drawing of an 18th century ancestor and farm girl. Seeing the drawing of Zee, her mother's relative alive during the American Revolution, Elizabeth relates to Zee as an extension of herself.  Able to imagine Zee's trials 300 years previously, Elizabeth traces Zee's story through the modern-day setting.  Aunt Libby takes Elizabeth into Zee's life through story, exploration, and historical details. The intertwined stories of love and loss and the similarities that the girls share make this heartwarming story a definite must read. Another great book by this talented author!

Im My Mailbox (44)

Sunday September 25, 2010
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

So, without further adieu, the following are books I received this past week...enjoy! 

The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Wildwing by Emily Whitman
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
The Shifter by Janice Hardy
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
A True Princess by Diane Zahler
The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander

The Immortals by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell
The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman by Ben H.Winters
Making Mixed-Media Art Charms & Jewelry 
by Peggy Krzyewski & Christine Hansen
Stitching Beaded Jewelry by Lesley Weiss
Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry by Helen Harle

That's what I got...hope you had a great week too!

Book Review - Fire Will Fall by Carol Plum-Ucci

Thursday September 23, 2010

Fire Will Fall (Streams of Babel, Book 2)
by Carol Plum-Ucci
May 3, 2010
Goodreads Summary: ShadowStrike poisoned the water of Trinity Falls two moths ago. Now the Trinity Four, the teens most affected by the poison, have been isolated in a remote mansion under 24-hour medical care while scientists on four continents rush to discover a cure. 

Meanwhile, U.S. operatives scour the world for the bioterrorists responsible for this heinous crime, as two teen virtual spies, also infected, hunt for the criminals on the Internet. The danger remains real—for ShadowStrike has every reason to pursue the Trinity Four, and their evil plan will unleash a new designer virus that’s even deadlier than the first.

Review: I read the first book in this series, Streams of Babel back in 2008 when it first came out and reviewed it for our local librarian review group. I really enjoyed  the whole concept of the book which was about a terrorist group called Shadowstrike  plotting to attack the US in unique and deadly ways and the people who foil their attempts.

The unique part of the story line was that teens are the heroes and victims of the post 9/11 - terrorist-hypersensitive society (I especially enjoyed the teen v-spies which are like computer hackers who infiltrated chat rooms in hopes of discovering the terrorists evil plans!)The first book had a fast-moving plot and the ending was left open and rather vague so I was excited to find out about Fire Will Fall. Thank goodness I wasn't left disappointed!

(The following may have some spoilers if you haven't read Streams of Babel yet!!!)

The story begins two months after the end of Streams of Babel and involves the four surviving members of Trinity Falls otherwise known as the Trinity Four...Scott, Cora, Owen and Rain. Despite being released from the hospital they are still dealing with symptoms from the terrorists poisoning of Trinity Falls water supply. They are now isolated in a remote mansion where their symptoms are monitored while scientist race to find a cure for the deadly virus they were exposed to. 

As Shadowstrike plans another attack on the U.S. they are also after the Trinity Four who foiled their previous attacks. Figuring who they can trust is getting tricky and the plot heats up as readers anticipate the impending terrorist attack. 

A fast pace enjoyable read that will keep readers turning the pages to find out what happens next!

Appropriate for ages 14 and up.

Book Review - Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart

Thursday September 16, 2010

Dangerous Neighbors
by Beth Kephart
August 24, 2010
Egmont USA
Goodreads Summary: Could any two sisters be more tightly bound together than the twins, Katherine and Anna? Yet love and fate intervene to tear them apart. Katherine's guilt and sense of betrayal leaves her longing for death, until a surprise encounter and another near catastrophe rescue her from a tragic end. 

Set against the magical kaleidoscope of the Philadelphia Centennial fair of 1876, National Book Award nominee Beth Kephart's book conjures the sweep and scope of a moment in history in which the glowing future of a nation is on display to the disillusioned gaze of a girl who has determined that she no longer has a future. The tale is a pulse by pulse portrait of a young heroine's crisis of faith and salvation in the face of unbearable loss.

Review: A snapshot into the life of a girl on the brink of becoming a young woman  in 1876. Katherine's story is one of heartbreaking grief and guilt. It's as if her life ended too on the day of the tragic accident that killed her twin sister.

The story reads as a combination of Katherine remembering the events that led up to the death of her sister and then her present state of mind as she plans to end her own life amid the many attendees of the Philadelphia Centennial fair. The story centers around Anna's forbidden relationship with a local bakers son who is deemed below her station because he has no money. Katherine not only has to deal with the secrets she must keep for Anna, but also the fact that Anna is growing up and moving on and in a sense replacing her with this new boy in her life. Katherine just isn't ready...

This is a wonderfully written book and I really expected nothing less from this talented author. I'm excited to pass this book around to students and at a mere 176 pages I know the audience will be much wider :) A story with impact that in the end is about forgiveness, moving on and leaves you with the knowledge that one single event can change peoples lives forever. 

Recommended! Best for ages 12 and up

Tween Tuesdays (14) Shelter From the Wind by Marion Dane Bauer

Tuesday September 14, 2010

Tween Tuesdays is a meme I first saw at Green Bean Teen Queen and really liked because she is also a librarian who deals with teens and tweens. So, since most of my blog is devoted to YA and teen books I figured that on Tuesdays I can do posts for all the tweeners out there!

Shelter From the Wind
by Marion Dane Bauer
Available now
Marshall Cavendish
From the publisher: It used to be just Stacy and her dad, ever since Stacy’s mother left them five years ago. But Stacy’s stepmother, Barbara, seems to have taken over their world—and now she’s pregnant, too. One hot June morning Stacy runs away, not sure where she’s going or what she’s looking for—her mother, maybe? She heads across the Oklahoma panhandle where she has always lived, without supplies, without a plan.

After a scary night alone on the prairie, a pair of white German shepherd dogs finds her. They lead her to their mistress, Old Ella, a woman who lives alone in a small secluded cabin. It is here that Stacy confronts the true source of her anger and learns what it really means to be a woman, a daughter, a friend. 

First published in 1976, Shelter from the Wind is a heart-rending story of a girl’s coming of age set against the backdrop of the harsh Oklahoma panhandle.

Review: At just over 100 pages, I sat down and read this gritty, heartwarming coming-of-age story in one sitting. I instantly connected with Stacy and couldn't put this book down until she finished her journey.  

Stacy is a headstrong, tomboy who wants nothing to do with her step-mom Barbara's pregnancy and girly ways. Its been just her and her father for the last five years since her mom left and she is not happy at all with the arrival of Barbara and the pregnancy was just about the last straw. After an argument at home, Stacy spontaneously and without forethought heads out into the Oklahoma plains. 

Along her journey Stacy thinks a lot about her mother, and maybe why she left and that maybe that's what Stacy should do, head out and find her mom. Soon her thoughts stray to other things though...like food, water and shelter. She didn't really plan very well for this little adventure. Her saving Grace ends up being a couple of dogs who lead her to a little house out in the middle of nowhere where she meets Old Ella, a strong, gruff old woman who has many stories to tell. 

Stacy spends some time with Old Ella and her experiences there lead her to the real source of all her anger and with the help of some new friends she learns the meaning of friendship, growing up, becoming a woman and being a daughter. 

I highly recommend this book!

Book Review - Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Monday September 13, 2010

by Kelly Creagh
August 31, 2010
Goodreads: Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

Review: Kelly Creagh has taken the real-life mystery behind the death of Edgar Allen Poe and created wonderfully spine-tingling psychological mystery! As a lover of Poe it was very cool to see how his poem's and life history were threaded through out this contemporary read. If you didn't know much about Poe before you read this book I guarantee you'll be "google-ing" him at some point while reading this book....hey maybe you'll even become a new fan!

There really is a LOT to like about this book and I loved every minute of it. The only drawback might be its size because some teens are  intimidated by anything over 300 pages and at a hefty 543 pages this book can seem imposing! I'm going to do some classroom book-talks to really push for readers and then I think this one will spread with word-of-mouth like most good books do. 

Great characters in this book and I especially liked how vague the author was when it came to Varen and why he is like he is...it made the revelation towards the end of the book much more impacting. Isobel turns out to be the popular cheerleader with a conscience and as she starts to learn more and more about Varen and the part she will play in his life I couldn't help but liken her to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (despite the absence of vampires:)

I recommend this book to any and all paranormal lovers and Poe lover's alike. With star-crossed lover's Varen and Isobel, romance lovers will be swooning too.  The ending is left open to what seems to me could be a sequel so I'll cross my fingers!

Recommend for ages 14 and up.

Sunday September 5, 2010
Sorry I've been out of the "blogosphere" this last week but with the beginning week of school and all, well I've been sooooo busy and when I get home I swear I basically pass out from exhaustion! But here are some of the great books i received this week!

In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

So, without further adieu, the following are books I received this past week...enjoy! 

Oh and click on the book title to go to Goodreads!

by Lucienne Diver
September 1, 2010

The Ruby Notebook
by Laura Resau
September 14, 2010
Delacorte Press

The Things a Brother knows
by Dana Reinhardt
September 14, 2010
Wendy Lamb Books

Along the River
by Adeline Mah
September 14, 2010
Delacorte Press

by Patricia Reilly Giff
September 14, 2010
Wendy Lamb Books

by Ginger Rue
September 14, 2010
Tricycle Press

The Dark Deeps
The Hunchback Assignments 2
by Arthur Slade
September 14, 2010
Wendy Lamb Books

Once in a Full Moon
by Ellen Schreiber
January 1, 2011
Katherine Tegan Books

Big Nate Strikes Again
by Lincoln Peirce
October 19, 2010

Strings Attached
by Judy Blundell
March 1, 2011