Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (April 30, 2010)

It's Friday! Time for another Book Blogger Hop!!

ABOUT THE HOP:
This is a weekly event, hosted at Crazy-For-Books, where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read. It's a great way to network with other bloggers and make new friends! In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start Hopping!!

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

If you start following someone through the Hop, leave a comment on their blog to let them know! Stop back during the week to see other blogs that are added! And, most importantly, the idea is to HAVE FUN!!

OPTIONAL TWIST:
On your blog hop post, tell us about some of the other great blogs you've found while Hopping around!

DISCLAIMER:
The Hop isn't just for you to throw your link in there and not visit any other blogs. It's all about networking and finding new blogs that are of interest. So, in the spirit of the Hop, try to make some time to visit other blogs and don't post your link if you are not planning on visiting other blogs in the Hop that week. This is a weekly event, so if you don't have time this week, that's fine! We'll see you next week!

If you sign MckLinky, please share the love and POST ABOUT THE HOP ON YOUR BLOG! How else will anyone else find out about it and come join the party?

I didn't hop last week but I found these interesting blogs two weeks ago:


I look forward to hopping this week and finding some new, interesting blogs to follow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Review: Mistwood by Leah Cypess

Mistwood
Author: Leah Cypess
Publication: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (April 27, 2010)

Description: The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

My Thoughts: This was a lovely, lyrical novel. It begins in an old, rather frightening forest and a woman who has lost most of her memory. She knows that she could shift shape and elude the prince who has come to find her but she chooses not to. She doesn't know if it is curiosity or loneliness that lets her wait for the prince. She learns about herself from him and learns it is her role to protect the king and kingdom. The prince, Rokan, binds her with a bracelet and a promise.
"Isabel," the prince said with a note of satisfaction in his voice. "By the Shifter's Seal on your wrist, do you swear to serve me and mine with all your abilities and powers, to defend us and to protect us and keep us safe from all harm?"

She looked up at him and said, "What?"

He grinned then, his dark eyes gleaming, and she lost any hope of turning and running before it was too late. It was already too late. Something about that wide, unrestrained smile...
She has flashes of memories and flounders as she tries to protect the prince and learn about the politics of the castle. She is told that the shifter is not human but she struggles with very human emotions. The castle is filled with intrigue. She knows that almost everyone is lying to her. There is the prince's sister who hates her and the the resident wizard who hates and distrusts her and the Northern Dukes who are plotting something. Even the prince she is sworn to protect is lying to her.

The story is filled with betrayals and confused loyalties. Saying more would be to give spoilers which I don't want to do. This book is an enchanting read and I encourage fantasy lovers to give it a try. The final twist comes as a surprise but a satisfying one.

Here is the trailer:



Challenges: 2010 YA Debut Author Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tease Tuesday: Mistwood by Leah Cypess


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Mistwood
Author: Leah Cypess
Publication: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (April 27, 2010) 
 
She knew every inch of the forest, every narrow path that twisted and wound its way beneath the silver branches. They never should have found her.
These are the first two sentences in the book. It is taken from the ARC so may not be in the final version of the book. I just began this book a few minutes ago and like it so far.
 
 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (April 25, 2010)

The weekly In My Mailbox post is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is fun to see what everyone else gets in their mailboxes, shopping bags, and library visits. Click on the link to The Story Siren's site to see the rules and join in the fun.

I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the cool books everyone gets. You will discover lots of wonderful blogs and lots of books that you won't be able to live without.

This was a big shopping week for me.

I added these books to my Kindle.


So, as I was checking out other IMM posts last weekend, I visited Alea at Pop Culture Junkie and she was raving about the Scarlett Wakefield series so I decided to try them and added the first two in the series to my Kindle -- Kisses and Lies and Kiss Me Kill Me.

I also added a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. It was on the top 100s list but I have never read it. It was a free edition.



Other titles that I added because I had read recommendations were Twice Dead by Kaylayna Price (I have the first book already), The Poison Diaries by Jane, Duchess of Northumberland (this is the graphic novel version of the book - A YA novel will be coming out soon), and The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge (which was on the top 100 middle grade books list).



I got Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr as a free book for my Kindle last week. This week I bought the paper copies of Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity and Radiant Shadows so I can catch up with the story.



I was also introduced to this new series by Rachel Hawthorne and took adventage of an Amazon 4-for-3 deal to buy the whole set. I new have Moonlight, Full Moon, Dark of the Moon and Shadow of the Moon on my bulging TBR stack.

What did you get this week?
 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Review: The Good Neighbors: Kith by Holly Black


The Good Neighbors: Kith
Author: Holly Black and Ted Naifeh
Publication: GRAPHIX; 1 edition (October 1, 2009)
Description: Rue Silver's life is not what it appears to be. Her mother is a faerie, and has been taken back to the faerie realm. As Rue goes to bring her back, she must travel deep into an inhuman world. At the same time, the faerie realm is venturing into our world too, and taking its toll on those Rue loves. When her grandfather's plans threaten Rue's city, she realizes that she's the only one who can stop him. But is Rue a human or a faerie? Where does she fit? How does she know the difference between love and enchantment?
My Thoughts: This one was a little hard for me to read. I had a hard time telling the characters apart in the drawings. The drawing were nice and scary. I liked the details in the drawings. I still don't think that I am really a big fan of graphic novels. I think it is incredibly hard to tell any sort of a story in the few words that are allowed in graphic novels. The art was nice but, for me, the story bordered on the incoherent.
Challenges: YA Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge

 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (April 18, 2010)

The weekly In My Mailbox post is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is fun to see what everyone else gets in their mailboxes, shopping bags, and library visits. Click on the link to The Story Siren's site to see the rules and join in the fun.

I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the cool books everyone gets. You will discover lots of wonderful blogs and lots of books that you won't be able to live without.

This is my haul.



I bought The Good Neighbors: Kith by Holly Black after I read The Good Neighbors: Kin. This will tell the rest of the story. I found Kin to be an interesting graphic novel and am hoping Kith is as good.

I bought Wings by Aprilynne Pike because I have been seeing so much about her second book lately and haven't read this one yet. Luckily, the paperback was available.


I won a copy of Numbers by Rachel Ward in a contest a bit earlier and FedEx dropped in my door on Wednesday. I entered every contest I saw to try to win this book. I am very eager to read this book by a YA Debut Author.

I bought The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong for my Media Center because I have had girls in almost every day asking when it would be available. While I love Kelley Armstrong's adult books, I will admit that I haven't read the first two in this series yet. I have them both on my Kindle though.



I borrowed a couple of Middle Grade books from a new book order that I got at my Elementary Media Center this week. I read Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jim Benton. It is the first in the Dear Dumb Diary series and was a quick and funny read. Think of it as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls. I laughed out loud and was constantly reading bits to my co-worker. I think my MG girls will enjoy this. (Not so sure it will appeal to boys though.)

A Dangerous Engine by Joan Dash is a book about Ben Franklin as a scientist. My fifth graders are studying scientists right now and making a PowerPoint to illustrate their presentations. I would like to know more and this book looked interesting. Also, I don't read much nonfiction and want to expand my horizons a little.

I purchased a copy of The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones when I realized that I did not already own it. I have many other books by DWJ in my collection and this will fill in a blank.

That's it for me. What did you get in your mailbox?

 

Review: A Dangerous Engine by Joan Dash

A Dangerous Engine: Benjamin Franklin, from Scientist to Diplomat
Author: Joan Dash
Illustrator: Dusan Patricic
Publication: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (January 1, 2006)

Description: Before the world understood that lightning was electricity, Ben Franklin set out during an electrical storm with a kite and a length of wire. At the time of this experiment, Franklin was unaware that his theories about electricity had made him a celebrity all over Europe, esp. in France. Admired by the French court and beloved by French citizens, Franklin effectively became America s first foreign diplomat. A father of the Revolution and a signer of the Constitution, Franklin was a lightning rod in political circles -- a dangerous Engine, according to a critic. And though he devoted the last 25 years of his life to affairs of state, his first love was always science. This is the story of adventure, of one man s curiosity and the extraordinary rewards of his discoveries.

My Thoughts: The book begins with Franklin's early experiments with electricity. He became interested when he saw a science show and when he received a magazine from England that talked about some experiments.
The study of electricity fell into Franklin's lap more or less by chance, but he could not have chosen a branch of science better suited to someone whose schooling ended after two years. It was a young science, almost newly hatched; so little had been written about it that there was no body of learning to be digested before plunging into experiments.
Franklin's curiosity had caused him to get his own education. He loved books and read the ones he could get his hands on. He and some friends had started a library and had Newton's work on Optiks and also the works of other scientists too. He was familiar with Robert Boyle's book on electricity. Many other scientists of the day were also interested in electricity.

Another fascinating quote:
In France during that period and among people of leisure, there was a passionate interest in science. Men and women alike studied meteorology, astronomy, botany, and chemistry; they took courses at such public and private institutions as the Royal Botanical Gardens and the School of Civil Engineering. And they did it solely for pleasure. Fashionable circles discussed scientific subjects in the evening when they met at fashionable homes; these gatherings were ruled by women, well educated, exquisitely dressed, and charming, for France was not England, where society was ruled by men of noble birth who excelled at shooting birds.
French men and women read Franklin's pamphlet on electricity and were eager to try his experiments. He became somthing of a hero in France.

Next in Franklin's life was the turn to politics. When he first ran for a seat in the Pennsylvania Assembly, he thought he would still have plenty of time to do his experiments. But politics and public service had to become first for Franklin because of his beliefs. So science moved to the background as his political life grew. But his scientific reputation helped when he went as a politician to Europe. Franklin spent a period of almost 17 years in Europe from 1757 until 1775 with only a two year break at home in Philadelphia.

Public service took up most of the rest of his life. He did continue to be interested in science and shared many letters and conversations with others who were also interested in science. He wrote about the Gulf Stream while he was sailing home to what he hoped would be his retirement. In fact, he wrote three papers on his month long voyage back to America. He wrote "Maritime Observations" which discussed all manor of things including shipboard diet and protecting ships from lightning. His other two papers both had to do with his invention of the device we now call the Franklin stove - "Description of a New Stove for the Burning of Pitcoal, and Consuming All Its Smoke" and "On the Causes and Cures of Smoky Chimneys".

I would like to end this with Franklin's own words:
The rapid Progress true Science now makes, occasions my regretting that I was born so soon. It is impossible to imagine the Height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the Power of Man over Matter.
This was a fascinating biography of a fascinating man. This nonfiction book read like the best of fiction. It was filled with adventures, discoveries and interesting people.

 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Blogger Hop! April 16-22, 2010

It's Friday! Time for another Book Blogger Hop!!

ABOUT THE HOP:
This is a weekly event, hosted at Crazy-For-Books, where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read. It's a great way to network with other bloggers and make new friends! In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start Hopping!!

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

If you start following someone through the Hop, leave a comment on their blog to let them know! Stop back during the week to see other blogs that are added! And, most importantly, the idea is to HAVE FUN!!

OPTIONAL TWIST:
On your blog hop post, tell us about some of the other great blogs you've found while Hopping around!

DISCLAIMER:
The Hop isn't just for you to throw your link in there and not visit any other blogs. It's all about networking and finding new blogs that are of interest. So, in the spirit of the Hop, try to make some time to visit other blogs and don't post your link if you are not planning on visiting other blogs in the Hop that week. This is a weekly event, so if you don't have time this week, that's fine! We'll see you next week!

If you sign MckLinky, please share the love and POST ABOUT THE HOP ON YOUR BLOG! How else will anyone else find out about it and come join the party?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's Pretend This Never Happened
(Dear Dumb Diary series #1)
Author: Jim Benton
Publication: Scholastic (May 1, 2007)
 
Description: School was okay today. Actually, it was better than okay. Angeline got her long, beautiful hair tangled in one of the jillion things she has dangling from her backpack, and the school nurse -- who is now one of my main heroes -- took a pair of scissors and snipped two feet of silky blond hair from the left side of her head, so now Angeline only looks like The Prettiest Girl in the World if you're standing on her right. (Although personally, I think she would look better if I was standing on her neck.)
 
My Thoughts: This humorous diary is a good fit for middle grade girls who like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. The main character is Jamie Kelly and she dishes on her middle school life complete with crushes on the 8th cutest boy in her grade and hair dye emergencies and the fear of being stuck with a terrible nickname. The book is in Diary form (Dear Dumb Diary series) and is complete with Jamie's drawings to illustrate the events she is writing about. We learn that Jamie has a dog named Stinker and a mother who is the worst cook in the world. This one talks about Angelique who is blond, nice, smart and perfect (at least in Jamie's eyes) and who is a rival for the attentions of the aforementioned 8th cutest boy in the class.
 
I added the first 8 books in the series to the collection at my Elementary K-5 Media Center. After reading this, I am planning to add the series to my 6-12 Media Center too. I can see my middle schoolers really liking this series.
 
Challenges: In the Middle Reading Challenge
 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Lists: The Top 100 YA Books

Here is another list from April at Good Books & Wine. It will be interesting to see if I do better on this list than on the Middle Grade list.
 
The Top 100 YA List In Entirety
 
Wow, so excited to post this in it's entirety. If you want more in-depth information on the books, I have linked them to their goodreads page on previous posts where I have broken down the list in groups of 20, so each book would have it's own little blurb. Here are links to each post 100-81; 80-61; 60-41; 40-21; 20-1.

Here we go:

100. Hate List by Jennifer Brown

99. Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
98. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

97. Among The Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
96. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Claus

95. Forever by Judy Blume
94. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

93. Tithe by Holly Black
92. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

*91. Wings by Aprillynne Pike

90. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

89. Angus, Thongs And Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

88. Marked by PC And Kristin Cast
 
*87. Maximum Ride series by James Patterson

86. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

85. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

84. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

83. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

82. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot
81. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

80. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

79. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
78. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen

*77. Evernight by Claudia Gray

76. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman

75. Life As We Knew It series by Susan Beth Pfeffer

*74. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

73. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
72. Alana: The First Adventure series by Tamora Pierce
71. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

70. Unwind by Neil Shusterman

69. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

68. Paper Towns by John Green

*67. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

66. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
65. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

64. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon

63. The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

62. Blue Bloods series by Melissa De La Cruz -- First two

61. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
60. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

59. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

58. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

57. Eragon by Christopher Paoloni
56. Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine -- First two

55. The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith -- first two

54. Fallen by Lauren Kate

53. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot

51. Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke

50. Number The Stars by Lois Lowry
49. Lord Of The Flies by William Golding

48. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

47. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares

46. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

45. The Summoning series by Kelley Armstrong

*44. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
*43. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

42. Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card
41. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
40. Wake series by Lisa McMann

39. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

38. Are You There Good? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume
37. Looking For Alaska by John Green

36. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
35. A Great And Terrible Beauty series by Libba Bray
34. His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman
33. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
32. Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare

31. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
30. Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr -- First two

29. Forest of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan

28. Holes by Louis Sacher
27. The Outsiders by SE Hinton
26. The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger
25. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
24. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
23. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
22.Uglies series by Scott Westerfield
21. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
20. Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder
19. Book Thief by Markus Zusak

18. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carlson Levine
17. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
16. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
15. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
14. Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery

13. The Giver by Lois Lowry
12. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare -- First two

11. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
10. Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
9. A Wrinkle In Time series by Madeline L'Engle
8. Graceling series by Kristin Cashore
7. Percy Jackson And The Olympians by Rick Riordan -- Just the first one so far

6. Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

5. Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

3. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
2. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
1. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
 




I did a little better with this list. I have read 52/100 of this list. I do have seven more of them on my TBR stack (marked with an *) and most of the rest are available in my HS Media Center.
 
Also, I have really, really tried to read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver but I just couldn't get into it. I abandoned it a third of the way through when I realized that I was calculating the number of pages I still had to read after each page. The vast majority of the reviews I have seen say the book is amazing but it just wasn't for me.

 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Top 100 Middle Grade Books

Elizabeth Bird of Fuse #8 Productions asked bloggers to list their top 10 Middle Grade books of all time and to put the list in order from 1 - 10. Then she compiled the results in a weighted scale.
 
So which of the Top 100 Children's Novels have you read? I put mine in bold.
 


100. The Egypt Game - Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe - Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950
94. Swallows and Amazons - Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn - Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted - Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Sachar (1978)
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall - MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)
88. The High King - Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday - Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937)
84. The Little White Horse - Goudge (1946)




83. The Thief - Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three - Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family - Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain - Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust - Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)
72. My Father's Dragon - Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning - Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy - Lovelace (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart ( 2007)
68. Walk Two Moons - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins - Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes - Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago - Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake - Enright (1957)



62. The Secret of the Old Clock - Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl - Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart - Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars - Lowry (1989)
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins - Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG - Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows - Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays - Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell (1960)
49. Frindle - Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks - Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy - Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows - Rawls (1961)




45. The Golden Compass - Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest - Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie - Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me - Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling (2003)
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It's Me, Margaret - Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling (2000)
34. The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach - Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - O'Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic - Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh - Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising - Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess - Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II - Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet - Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women - Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux - DiCamillo (2003)


21. The Lightening Thief - Riordan (2005)
20. Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda - Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee - Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy - Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie - DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Rowling (1999)
13. Bridge to Terabithia - Paterson (1977)

12. The Hobbit - Tolkien (1938)

11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978)
10. The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden - Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)
6. Holes - Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter #1 - Rowling (1997)
2. A Wrinkle in Time - L'Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte's Web - White (1952)
 


My score is 46/100. I have a lot of reading to do!



 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Review: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken


Brightly Woven
Publication: EgmontUSA (March 23, 2010)
 
Description: When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.

The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.  
 
My Thoughts: The summary pretty much says it all. Sydelle was a contradictory character. She wanted to leave home but then was angry with North when he took her with him. At the same time, North didn't seem to pay too much attention to her needs on the trip. This was one of those books that would have been a good deal shorter if the characters ever really talked to each other.
 
I liked the adventure as they traveled and learned more about each other. I liked that both characters were strong and opinionated. I was surprised to find out that Sydelle had the magic that she did. I would have thought that it would be more tied to her weaving. I thought the magic of wizards being tied in talismans was interesting. North's variety of cloaks and Sydelle's ability to repair them was a new take on magic for me.
 
While I enjoyed this book and found it quite readable, I never found myself engrossed in it. I found it easy to put down to do other things. It was a pleasant fantasy in an interesting and well-developed fantasy world but I didn't find it extraordinary or really memorable in any way. While the story does reach a satifying resolution, there are questions still to be answered. I'd like to know more about the Hedge witches and I do wonder if Sydelle and North will ever find a cure for his curse.
 
Challenges: 2010 YA Debut Author Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge, RYOB Challenge
 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Review: The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman


The Emperor's Code
(The 39 Clues, Book 8)
Author: Gordon Korman
Publication: Scholastic Inc. (April 6, 2010)
 
Description: As the race to find the 39 Clues builds to its explosive finish, Amy and Dan must explore an ancient culture and steal a Clue guarded by thousands of the world's best-trained soldiers. It's the most dangerous Clue search yet. As their enemies crowd in, Amy and Dan find themselves separated for the first time ever. The choice lies before them – find the next Clue, or find their way back to each other.

Be the first to find out where the next Clue is! There are three messages hidden on the cover of Book 8: The Emperor’s Code. Go to www.the39clues.com/theemperorscode for a blow up of the cover, enter the secret messages you find, and unlock a page from The Emperor’s Code that reveals the whereabouts of the next Clue.
 
My Thoughts: This was another exciting episode in the 39 Clues series. Dan and Amy are in China. They get separated and Dan falls in with Jonah Wizard for a while as they visit a Shaolin monastery and Emperor Qin's terracotta army. Meanwhile, Amy and Nellie explore the Great Wall of China. Both find clues that lead them to Mount Everest and to a confrontation at the peak. They also learn a little more about Nellie and she questions where her loyalties lie.
 
Challenge: In the Middle Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge
 

In My Mailbox (April 11, 2010)

The weekly In My Mailbox post is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is fun to see what everyone else gets in their mailboxes, shopping bags, and library visits. Click on the link to The Story Siren's site to see the rules and join in the fun.

I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the cool books everyone gets. You will discover lots of wonderful blogs and lots of books that you won't be able to live without.

Here is what I got this week.



Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr was being offered for free for my Kindle this week. I have read it but didn't own a copy; now I do.

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones is a much anticipated book for me. I love her fantasies and look forward to reading this one.

Try Me by Parker Blue is new on my Kindle. I read her first book and wanted to read the second.



Nine Gates by Jane Lindskold follows Thirteen Orphans (which I designated as one of my 2010 TBR Challenge books this year.) I was at Uncle Hugo's for a book signing, saw it, and decided to add it to my stack.

Shapeshifters by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes was another Uncle Hugo's find. It contains five complete paranormal novels by this YA author.
How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier was a book I saw a Book Closeouts when I was doing some shopping for school. I decided that I had heard enough good things about it that I wanted to read it.

I saw The Crescent by Jordan Deen and noticed the werewolf on the cover and had to add it to my stack. I love werewolves!


The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman is the 8th in the 39 Clues series. I have been following along in this series and enjoying the books, the card collecting, and the website. This should be read by Sunday afternoon so that I can donate it to my Elementary Media Center. I have avid fans waiting there.

That was my week. What did you get?


Reviews: Twilight the Graphic Novel and Kin (The Good Neighbors)

Twilight the Graphic Novel
Author: Stephenie Meyer; art and adaptation by Young Kim
Publication: Yen Press; Original edition (March 16, 2010)

Description: When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret...

Beautifully rendered, this first installment of Twilight: The Graphic Novel is a must-have for any collector’s library.

My Thoughts: While I am not usually a big fan of graphic novels, I thought this adaptation was very well done. I thought that the important, key events of the novel were included and were well handled. My objection to graphic novels is mainly that the story needs to be so abbreviated to fit into the graphic format. Plot subtleties and characterization is minimal.

I thought the drawings were incredibly interesting. Bella was lovely in a wispy, big-eyed way. I loved the emphasis on the eyes of the characters. My only quibble is that I thought the male characters were drawn a little androgenous.

Edward was attractive and I liked the way the sparkles were drawn. (In fact I think the drawn Edward was more attractive than Robert Pattinson.) This book was originally purchased for donation to my HS Media Center but I will be keeping it in my home collection and adding a copy to my next book order. I don't want to part with this one.

Kin (The Good Neigbors)
Author: Holly Black and Ted Naifeh
Publication: GRAPHIX; Reprint edition (October 1, 2009)

Description: Rue Silver's mother has disappeared . . . and her father has been arrested, suspected of killing her. But it's not as straightforward as that. Because Rue is a faerie, like her mother was. And her father didn't kill her mother -- instead, he broke a promise to Rue's faerie king grandfather, which caused Rue's mother to be flung back to the faerie world. Now Rue must go to save her -- and must also defeat a dark faerie that threatens our very mortal world.

My Thoughts: Rue is an ordinary teenagers (she thinks), but when her mother disappears and her father is accused of killing her and a student, Rue starts to learn secrets about herself and her parents. Her mother is faerie and her father betrayed her by having an affair. Her faerie grandfather wants her to embrace her faerie blood but she doesn't want to. She is starting to see the strangeness around her as she can see the faeries passing for human.

This was a darker graphic novel than the first I read today. I liked the art and the story. The pictures were somewhat creepy. The faeries were not at all the Disney variety. I liked the subplot about the swanmaid. The whole mystery part was well done.

It ends, however, on a major cliffhanger. Luckily, I bought book two and should have it in a couple of days. My main objection to graphic novels is that the format does not allow for much depth in the plot or characterization. It is hard to tell much of a story in thought balloons and talk balloons. I would like to read a novelization of this story so that the plot and characterization could be expanded.

Challenges: RYOB Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge, 2010 TBR Challenge, 2010 Bottoms Up Reading Challenge 


Friday, April 9, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

The hottest book is my media center today has been Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. One girl read it and passed it on. Now all my girls want it or want books like it. (I have a copy at home on my TBR stack and haven't gotten to it yet. I didn't think that my semi-rural students with virtually no ethnic diversity would get behind this story.) They have really surprised me!






They came in looking for books like this. Help please! What would students who liked Perfect Chemisty like?
 

Kids Against Hunger Event

Today was an exciting day at my Elementary School. Students in grades K-5 (along with assistance from our Senior class) packed meals for the Kids Against Hunger program. This is a project that we have done for a couple of years. Some of the meals remain in our local community but the majority are sent to feed hungry families abroad.
 

Elementary students have helped to raise the money to fund this program by having a Hat Day and other fundraisers. The Seniors are fasting today and donating the money they would have spent for lunch to help fund the meals. Businesses in our community have also contributed. We could still use some more funds. Watch the video and see our students at work.
$25 will allow us to make 147 meals. We would like to raise enough money to make 50,000 meals.

 
 

If you have an extra dollar or two, donations would be gratefully accepted. Checks can be written to Feeding Children International of Stewart. Checks can be sent to:

 
Dover-Eyota Schools
Atth: Carrie Frank
615 South Avenue SW
Eyota, MN 55934
 

Book Blogger Hop: April 9-15, 2010

It's Friday! Time for another Book Blogger Hop!!

ABOUT THE HOP:
This is a weekly event, hosted at Crazy-For-Books, where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read. It's a great way to network with other bloggers and make new friends! In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start Hopping!!

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

If you start following someone through the Hop, leave a comment on their blog to let them know! Stop back during the week to see other blogs that are added! And, most importantly, the idea is to HAVE FUN!!

OPTIONAL TWIST:
On your blog hop post, tell us about some of the other great blogs you've found while Hopping around!

DISCLAIMER:
The Hop isn't just for you to throw your link in there and not visit any other blogs. It's all about networking and finding new blogs that are of interest. So, in the spirit of the Hop, try to make some time to visit other blogs and don't post your link if you are not planning on visiting other blogs in the Hop that week. This is a weekly event, so if you don't have time this week, that's fine! We'll see you next week!

If you sign MckLinky, please share the love and POST ABOUT THE HOP ON YOUR BLOG! How else will anyone else find out about it and come join the party?

This week, let's do something a little bit different! When you enter your link, please include the following information:

(New or Old Blogger) Title of Blog (Country of Residence)

A "New" Blogger is someone who has been blogging less than 3 months!

Example:
(Old) Lori's Reading Corner (USA - MA)

Let's see where our fellow book bloggers live and play!

So, let's do the Hop!

P.S. BEFORE YOU ENTER YOUR LINK - DID YOU READ ALL OF THE RULES AT CRAZY-FOR-BOOKS?? DON'T FORGET TO TELL US WHERE YOU LIVE!