Category Archives: Book Buzz

Win an ARC of A CRACK IN THE SEA

Standard

9780399545191_p0_v1_s192x300

I just finished reading the ARC of A CRACK IN THE SEA by Heather Bouwman (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/January 2017). I loved this amazing MG novel so much I want one of you to be able to read it well in advance of the pub date. What’s it about? Hmmm….there are three stories interwoven: a boy with a gift for speaking with the fish is kidnapped from his island home by the Raft King, a slave ship full of sick slaves including the heroic and courageous Venus, and a boy and his make-shift family escape war-torn Vietnam – and a crack in the sea. Oh…and did I mention a Kraken love story? Leave your name in the comments section and I’ll draw one name at random tomorrow morning and send the ARC to a lucky winner. (I’m also posting this on my personal FB page so you’ll have some additional competition.) You must have a U.S. mailing address.

Good luck and happy reading!

EDITED TO ADD: The winner is Kristen W. Nitz! (Names were also drawn from comments made on my personal Facebook page. I normally don’t do that, and in the future will revert back to only choosing names from this blog.)

Buzz Review: The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

Standard

9781452129365_p0_v1_s192x300

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller (illustrated by Frank Morrison)

Chronicle Books/2016

It’s the day before the big parade to honor three-time gold medalist Olympic runner Wilma Rudolph. Alta can’t wait and imagines herself being as fast, as quick as Wilma. But then along come Charmaine with her brand new shoes and challenges Alta, whose shoes are worn out, to a race. Alta wins, but then Charmaine does in a second race, upsetting Alta. The day of the parade, Alta tries to hurry with her banner but it’s awkward and hard to run with it. Charmaine offers to help, and the two girls along with Alta’s sisters take turns relay style until they all make it to the parade in time. The girls sit together as friends rather than competitors to cheer for Wilma Rudolph. In 1960, in segregated Clarksville Tennessee, Wilma agreed to a parade only if it was integrated – and the organizers agreed.

Fabulous story and fabulous illustrations!

The author’s web site

The illustrator’s web site

Book Buzz! Cooper & Packrat Are Back!

Standard

jpeg

Cooper & Packrat: Mystery of the Eagle’s Nest by Tamra Wight, illustrated by Carl DiRocco

Islandport Press, 2014

Cooper and Packrat are back in another Wilder Campground adventure. This time after they discover one of their campgroup geocache boxes filled with illegal eagle parts, two goons chase them down. Cooper and Packrat are determined to discover the mystery of these illegal activities, while trying to evade the thugs. When they find out that the campground eaglets may be in danger, they enlist the help of their friend Roy and try to protect the eagles. Will they save the baby eagles? Will they find out the mystery behind the stolen eagle parts? And will Cooper get grounded by his parents for sleuthing? An adventurous story with fascinating eagle facts.

This book is perfect for young readers who love adventure, mystery, and nature. I already look forward to the next installment. I hope there’s a next book!

For more about Tamra and her books, see my spotlight interview with her here.

Happy reading!

.

A Fabulous Fairy Tale

Standard

9781599903347_p0_v1_s260x420The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

Bloomsbury/2009

I love to support authors, particularly ones I meet and like. I heard Julie Berry speak at a novel revision retreat I attended at Vermont College earlier this year. I picked up her book and recently dove in.

One thing I admit is after years of reading MG and YA, I’ve grown impatient. I know there are tons of fabulous books out there. So when a book doesn’t capture my attention and draw me in within the first chapter, I often put it down. This was a book I could NOT put down! I adored the characters and didn’t want the story to end.

Once wealthy and greatly loved by her parents who died in a carriage accident, 15-year-old Lucinda now works as a servant to her hen-pecked uncle and his second wife at their jewelry shop. A mysterious woman shows up with a unique gem to be re-set, and Lucinda and her family are told she is the Amaranth witch. Aunt insists Lucinda return it lest the gem be a cursed, but Lucinda keeps it and what follows is fantastic fairy tale full of adventure, mystery, and romance. All my favorite things, plus a smart, loyal, and loveable goat named Dog. I shed tears and laughed out loud as I cheered for Lucinda to find true love and a happy ending.

I’m waiting with great anticipation for Julie’s next book, a YA titled The Truth About Me, due out from Viking in September. Looks intense!

A Joyful Surprise – The Crimson Crown

Standard

One of the “problems” with reading so much and loving so many series in progress is sometimes not being able to keep up with new releases. I fell in love with Cinda Williams Chima‘s Seven Realms series the moment I started reading the first book, The Demon King.

9781423121367_p0_v1_s260x420

In a time when wizards are bound to the queen and streetlords thieve and run ragged in towns, Han (Hunts Alone) sheds his streetlord status and tries to go straight and raise money for his mother and younger sister.  His only escape is to the clan where his best friend Fire Dancer and matriarch Willo care for him and provide shelter.  Raisa, the princess heir, feels bound by her role and can’t seem to reach her mother, who is strongly influenced by her wizard advisor. When it becomes apparent that things are not right, Raisa chooses to act on her own, with help from old friend (and now part of the Queen’s Guard) Amon Byrne.  From there it’s a heart-pounding adventure that grabs onto the reader and doesn’t let go!

The second and third books in the series, The Exiled Queen and The Gray Wolf Throne are just as gripping and fantastic and definitely don’t disappoint. I’m so in love with Han and Raisa. I don’t want to provide a summary of the books here because I don’t want to give anything away. I highly recommend this series if you love epic high fantasy with absolutely amazing characters.

So, when I was recently in New York City browsing the amazing children’s book store, Books of Wonder, I was thrilled to see a signed copy of the fourth book in the series, The Crimson Crown!

9781423144335_p0_v2_s260x420At this writing (and a day before this post goes live), I plan to start reading this very book as soon as I finish running errands this morning. Joy!

Books of 2013

Standard

You will not be surprised to know that I have a towering pile of books to read. You will also not be surprised to know that I plan to add to it.

These are some of the books I’m highly anticipating come 2013!

9780525425915_p0_v1_s260x420

Just One Day by Gayle Forman (release date: Jan. 8, 2013)

9780316102551_p0_v1_s260x420

Return To Me by Justina Chen (release date: Jan. 15, 2013)

9781423166009_p0_v2_s260x420

Perfect Scoundrels: A Heist Society Novel by Ally Carter (release date: Feb. 5, 2013)

9780802733900_p0_v1_s260x420

Also Known As by Robin Benway (release date: Feb. 26, 2013)

9780399256615_p0_v1_s260x420

The Madness Underneath Book 2 of The Shades of London by Maureen Johnson

(release date: Feb. 26, 2013)

9780374379919_p0_v1_s260x420

Unremembered by Jessica Brody(release date: March 5, 2013)

9780805094343_p0_v2_s260x420

Fox Forever: The Jenna Fox Chronicles by Mary Pearson (release date: March 19, 2013)

9780316212823_p0_v1_s260x420

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith (release date: April 2, 2013)

9780316205016_p0_v1_s260x420

The Lucy Variation by Sara Zarr (release date: May 7, 2013)

0000000000000_p0_v1_s260x420

Isla and The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (release date: May 7, 2013)

9781442430389_p0_v4_s260x420

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler (release date: May 21, 2013)

9780670785605_p0_v1_s260x420

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (release date: June 4, 2013)

Oh and there will be more to add as I learn of other release dates – and more for the second half of the year! I’d better get reading!

Happy holidays to all of you! Thank you so much for joining me, here! I’ll see you in 2013!

Good Read! 52 Reasons To Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Standard

If I were more clever I’d post 52 reasons why I so enjoy Jessica Brody’s books, but alas, I’m not so clever. 😉

I recently read this book:

52 Reasons To Hate My Father by Jessica Brody (Farrar Straus Giroux/2012)

Lexington Larrabee is the stereotypical spoiled rich daughter of a multimillionaire media mogul and expects to receive her $25 million trust fund when she turns 18, just as her four older brothers had. After she crashes her new Mercedes into a convenience store, drunk, her entire world changes. Her father withholds her trust and to earn it she must successfully complete 52 menial jobs (one a week for a year) and report to his college intern lackey, Luke. Lexi is mortified and the jobs are HARD, especially when she’s never had to do a thing for herself her entire life.

Jessica Brody takes a character who would be easy to hate, and makes her sympathetic to the readers by making it very clear from the outset that all Lexi wants is the love and attention of her too-distant too-busy father.  I loved the scenes involving Lexi and a new job – and I laughed out loud when she had to Google how to turn on a vacuum cleaner at her first job as a maid. The story is filled with humor and emotion, and I was rooting for Lexi the entire time! Great, fast-paced, fun read!

I read Jessica’s previous novel, My Life Undecided, and thoroughly enjoyed that one, too. Jessica does a fun thing and plants “Easter eggs” in her stories – I caught the reference to My Life Undecided while reading 52 Reasons.

What are you reading that you’re enjoying these days?