Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Charmed Vengeance by Suzanne Lazear

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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!

This week my teaser comes from the eARC Charmed Vengeance by Suzanne Lazear which is the sequel to Innocent Darkness. Charmed Vengeance will be released on August 8. Here is the description:
When her true love, Steven, is forced to break their magical bond, Noli Braddock decides to join her brother on the crew of the Vixen’s Revenge.

With its gleaming brass, dark wood, and spotless clockwork gears, the Vixen’s Revenge is a beautiful airship. But Noli discovers a dangerous secret beneath its polished exterior—the crew has been hired to steal dozens of priceless Otherworld artifacts. Desperate to keep her past Otherworld experiences hidden from the airship crew, Noli fears that if she doesn’t risk telling her own secrets, the stolen artifacts will be used to destroy both of the worlds she loves.
Teaser:
A wail escaped Noli's lips, a sad, pained cry that broke his heart into as many pieces as the stone on the uneven floor of the tree house.

Monday, July 29, 2013

State of the Stack (July 29, 2013)

This is my monthly State of the Stack post. It is my way to keep track of my review books and to hopefully reduce the stack that I have waiting for me. I take a look at my review commitments on the last Monday of each month. Please feel free to join in and let me know the state of your stack.

Here is my Review Books Spreadsheet. Yellow highlighted books are ones past their publication date that I still haven't read and reviewed. I use pink highlights for reviews due in even numbered months so that I can see at a glance how many I have for each month. Ideally, this keeps me from over-committing to review books.  


My Physical Review Pile

Since I attended my first ALA at the end of June, my stack has grown immensely. I won't be listing the individual titles but you can look at my spreadsheet to see what I got. I emptied a bookcase to have room for these. The top of my entertainment center is no longer adequate to the cause. 




My Kindle Review Pile

Since I have such a large pile of print books, I have been avoiding visiting NetGalley recently. Here are the eARCs on my review stack.
Hush by Carey Baldwin is her self-published romantic suspense novella. It was released on July 6.

Good As Gone by Douglas Corleone was recived through Minotaur Books' eGalley program. It is a thriller that will be released on August 20.
Cast in Sorrow by Michelle Sagara was a NetGalley find. I have read all of the earlier books in this fantasy series. It will be released on August 27.

The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton is also a Minotaur Books' eGalley. It is a thriller that will be released on September 10.
The Impersonator by Mary Miley is my most recent acquisition from Minotaur Books. It is a historical thriller that will be released on Sept. 17.

Will in Scarlet by Matthew Cody was a book that I was invited to read through NetGalley. It will be released on October 8.

I Read This Month

These are listed in the order I read them. Links go to my reviews for all that have been posted already. Otherwise, the date the review is scheduled for is listed.
  1. Slayers by C. J. Hill
  2. Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard
  3. What We Found in the Sofa and How It Changed the World by Henry Clark
  4. Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My! by Candace Havens
  5. SYLO by D. J. MacHale
  6. The White Princess by Philippa Gregory
  7. Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  8. The Resurrectionist by Matthew Guinn
  9. Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier (August 8)
  10. Saving Paradise by Mike Bond (August 1)
  11. Hunter Moran Hangs Out by Patricia Reilly Giff
  12. The Misadventures of the Magician's Dog by Frances Sackett
  13. Dark Waters by Toni Anderson (August 3)
  14. When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears by Kersten Hamilton (August 3)
  15. Charmed Vengeance by Suzanne Lazear (August 1)
  16. The Deepest Night by Shana Abe (August 10)
  17. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (August 7)
  18. Awoken by Timothy Miller (August 15)
  19. Blood and Roses by A. K. Alexander (August 17)
  20. My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush by Laura Toffler-Corrie (August 17)
  21. Good As Gone by Douglas Corleone (August 15)
  22. Hush (Tangleheart) by Carey Baldwin (August 14)
I Added These Books

Here are the non-ALA books I got this month. They are listed in the order I received them. Links go to Amazon. Date received and date published are listed in parentheses.
  1. Slayers by C. J. Hill (6/24; September 27, 2011)
  2. Slayers: Friends and Traitors by C. J. Hill (6/24: October 15)
  3. Uncrashable Dakota by Andy Marino (6/24; November 12)
  4. Altered by Gennifer Albin (6/24; October 29)
  5. Saving Paradise by Mike Bond (7/3; November 20, 2012)
  6. Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My! by Candace Havens (7/4; July 22)
  7. Cast in Sorrow by Michelle Sagara (7/10; August 27)
  8. Love Gone Mad by Mark Rubenstein (7/16; September 1)
  9. The Impersonator by Mary Miley (7/17; September 17)
  10. In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin (7/18; October 29)
  11. Hush (Tangleheart) by Carey Baldwin (7/24; July 6)
Next Month's Plan

My theme this month is to get as far ahead as I can while I am still on my summer vacation. I hope to finish all of my August releases before I begin work again on August 26.

Here are the next few books on my review stack.




Here are the ones scheduled for early September release:



Those should definitely keep me busy during my last month of summer vacation.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stacking the YA Shelves (July 28, 2013)

Tynga of  Team Tynga's Reviews hosts this meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets.


Here are this week's SYNC books. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen and The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. I have already read both but it will be fun to read them again with my ears. By the way, The False Prince is available for $3.50 for your Kindle and The Prince and the Pauper can be had for even less.
So many people have been saying good things about The Distance Between Us by Kasie West that I decided I had to have a copy so that I can see for myself what the buzz is all about. 

Clockwise by Elle Strauss was a free book for my Kindle that sounded good. 
I got a second copy of Horde by Ann Aguirre for review from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. I had received my first copy, also from them, on May 20. However, this one came with a cool cloth patch.
Also arriving from Macmillan this week was a CD with a playlist for This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. I have to say that I have only heard of two of the artists and am totally unfamiliar with the music. If liking the book is dependent on being familiar with the music, I'm in trouble. I've had the book on my review stack since May 16.

What did you get this week?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book Review: SYLO by D. J. MacHale

SYLO
Author: D. J. MacHale
Publication: Razorbill (July 2, 2013)

Description: The ultimate action-fueled end-of-the-world conspiracy trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale

THEY CAME FROM THE SKY
parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce’s idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine.
 
They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy. SYLO’s commander, Captain Granger, informs Pemberwick residents that the island has been hit by a lethal virus and must be quarantined. Now Pemberwick is cut off from the outside world.
 
Tucker believes there’s more to SYLO’s story. He was on the sidelines when the high school running back dropped dead with no warning. He saw the bizarre midnight explosion over the ocean, and the mysterious singing aircraft that travel like shadows through the night sky. He tasted the Ruby—and experienced the powers it gave him—for himself.
 
What all this means, SYLO isn’t saying. Only Tucker holds the clues that can solve this deadly mystery.
 
LOOK TO THE SKY
because Pemberwick is only the first stop.
 

My Thoughts: D. J. MacHale is EVIL! He has written a page-turning thriller narrated by a sympathetic main character and raised more questions than he has answered. 

Tucker Pierce is a high school freshman on the island of Pemberwick, Maine. He and his family moved there after his father lost his job as a civil engineer in Greenwich, Connecticut. His dad has a gardening business and his mom is a free-lance accountant. Tucker loves the island with its tourists and beaches. His best friend Quinn can hardly wait to leave and do big things. But Tucker is content and happy to let things be just the way they are. He isn't an ambitious boy. He prefers to stay under the radar. He has a fear of failing at anything that keeps him from stretching himself.

Tucker's idyllic life is about to come crashing down on him. A death at a football game, a strange new performance enhancing drug called Ruby, and an invasion by a US Navy division called SYLO change Tucker's, Quinn's and his new crush-turned-friend Tori's lives forever. The people are told that SYLO has come to the island because of a new disease on the island. The island has been cut off from the rest of the country. 

Lots of things don't add up for the kids. Why have they never heard of SYLO? How did SYLO manage to get so organized that they could bring in troops, weapons, equipment at such short notice? What are those mysterious black ships that make musical sounds when they travel? What does Mr. Feit, who is pushing Ruby, really want? Why is he running from SYLO? The kids decide that they have to escape from Pemberwick and let the rest of the country know what is happening there? However, the sea is being patrolled by Navy ships and helicopters and that won't be easy.

This is an exciting story that doesn't shirk from hard things. Characters, even important ones, die. People lie and betray. And Tucker needs to step up and take a stand. He can't just let things happen. He needs to act. 

It isn't clear to Tucker, or to the reader, who the bad guys are. No character is all good or all evil. Like, Tucker, we are left with questions about what is happening. But D. J. MacHale's most evil action lies in the last three words of this story: TO BE CONTINUED...

Favorite Quote:
Why work so hard to get ahead if the rug can be pulled out without warning? Or you drop dead during a football game? Maybe that's why I don't try all that hard in school. I figure that whatever comes my way I'll deal, but I won't bother sweating about it until then. That way I'll never have to feel as though I got burned. 
A friend got me an autographed copy of this book at ALA. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Memes: SYLO by D. J. MacHale

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am spotlighting SYLO by D. J. MacHale. My friend got me an autographed copy of this book at ALA. Here is the GoodReads description:
Does Tucker Pierce have what it takes to be a hero when the U.S. military quarantines his island?

Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to fly under the radar. He’s used to navigating around summer tourists in his hometown on idyllic Pemberwick Island, Maine. He’s content to sit on the sidelines as a backup player on the high school football team. And though his best friend Quinn tells him to “go for it,” he’s too chicken to ask Tori Sleeper on a date. There’s always tomorrow, he figures. Then Pemberwick Island is invaded by a mysterious branch of the U.S. military called SYLO. And sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for Tucker, because tomorrow may never come. 

It’s up to Tucker, Quinn, and Tori to uncover the truth about the singing aircraft that appears only at night—and the stranger named Feit who’s pushing a red crystal he calls the Ruby that brings unique powers to all who take it. Tucker and his friends must rescue not just Pemberwick Island, but the fate of the world—and all before tomorrow is too late.  

#1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale brings his brilliant plotting and breathless pacing to SYLO, the first in this ultimate end-of-the-world adventure trilogy.
Beginning:
It was the perfect night for a football game.

And for death.
Friday 56:
Maybe Quinn was right. I was even afraid of failing...at failing. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ARC Review: Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Runt
Author: Nora Raleigh Baskin
Publication: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (July 23, 2013)

Description: An insightful exploration of middle school bullying from multiple perspectives, by the award-winning author of Anything But Typical.

Elizabeth Moon grew up around dogs. Her mom runs a boarding kennel out of their home, so she’s seen how dogs behave to determine pack order. Her experience in middle school is uncomfortably similar.

Maggie hates how Elizabeth acts so much better than everyone else. Besides, she’s always covered in dog hair. And she smells. So Maggie creates a fake profile on a popular social networking site to teach Elizabeth a lesson.

What makes a bully, and what makes a victim? It’s all in the perspective, and the dynamics shift. From sibling rivalries to mean girl antics, the varying points of view in this illuminating novel from the award-winning author of Anything But Typical show the many shades of gray—because middle school is anything but black and white.

My Thoughts: This book was less a novel than a series of vignettes showing a group of middle school kids coping with the jungle that is middle school. 

We have Elizabeth whose mother is a dog boarder and who always is covered in dog hair. She is also a talented writer. 

We have Stewart who acts like the typical bully and big basketball star but who has a handicapped older sister that he really loves. 

We have Matthew who is talented at basketball but doesn't quite fit in with the other kids. He's suspended from school for punching Stewart in the nose despite the fact that Stewart urinated on his shoes first. 

We have Maggie who decides to put up a fake web page making fun of Elizabeth and then can't take it down before others see it because a hurricane knocks out the power for a week. 

We have Freida who is a talented artist and self-conscious about her braces and weight and who dresses in her own unique style despite her older sister's urging to be more normal. 

All of these kids, and a few other two, bounce off each other as their paths cross during the course of time in a typical middle school. 

It was an interesting story. I did feel that the adults were mostly ineffectual and clueless about what was going on among the students though. 

Favorite Quote:
So while I am here I will try to figure it out as best I can. I want to be fed. I want to have a place to sleep. I don't want to be feared, but I don't want to be hurt. 

I want to know where I belong.

Just like you.
A friend picked up this ARC for me at ALA. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

ARC Review: The Misadventures of the Magician's Dog by Frances Sackett

The Misadventures of the Magician's Dog
Author: Frances Sackett
Publication: Holiday House (August 1, 2013)

Description: Peter Lubinsky doesn't even like dogs and can't understand why he asked for one for his birthday. But it turns out that this pet, whom Peter calls The Dog, can talk and do magic—and he needs Peter's help. In return, The Dog promises to teach Peter conjuring and to help him bring his father home from the Middle East, where he is deployed with the air force. Soon Peter finds himself flying through the air on a mission to rescue The Dog's master. But as Peter's magical powers grow, he finds himself filled with a dark anger.

A bedroom full of dinosaur fossils, a waiter who was formerly a mouse, and an epic battle of magician's make for a thrilling read. This imaginative middle-grade fantasy is about the power of enchantment and love.

My Thoughts: This story was entertaining, engaging, and thought provoking. Peter Lubinsky is a pretty ordinary twelve-year-old. He prefers reading and chess to action and adventure. He's quiet and rather shy. He has two younger sisters - Celia and Izzy. He also has a dad who flies fighter jets and who has been deployed. Peter is an Air Force brat. He knows that all dads who are deployed don't come home. He is bottling up his worry, fear, and anger. 

Oh, and Peter is afraid of dogs. So, absolutely nothing surprises him more than hearing his mouth say that he wants a dog for his birthday. A trip to the shelter results in them bringing home The Dog. The Dog is no ordinary dog. He can talk and he tells Peter that he was a magician's assistant. He tells Peter that he can be a magician too. 

The Dog wants Peter to rescue his magician who has been turned into a rock. Peter would like to be a magician so that he could bring his dad home. But things aren't that easy. In order to do magic, Peter has to become angry and has to let the anger change him and take over his life. The Dog says that is the cost of doing magic. The Dog says that his boy was once a nice kid but becoming a magician turned him into someone who does nasty things just because he can.

Peter doesn't know if the benefits of becoming a magician would be worth what it would cost him. He doesn't want to be angry all the time and he certainly doesn't want to hurt people. But he really wants his dad back home with the family. It takes some scary things, like dinosaurs coming to life and threatening his sisters, before Peter finds a way to do the right thing. 

I really liked this story. I thought it had enough adventure and excitement to encourage middle graders to read it and I thought it had a really good message too. I will be buying this one for my elementary media center this fall. Sackett is a debut author to watch.

Favorite Quote:
The first thing The Dog did was pee on the green. His urine ran down the flag and into the hole.

"Gross," said Peter.

"It's not gross," said The Dog. "It's friendly. Like leaving a note when you visit a friend who's not home. It's letting them know I was here."

"Pee is not the same as a note," said Peter.

"It is if you're a dog," said The Dog.
I received the ARC for review at ALA. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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!

This week my teaser comes from Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin. A friend picked up this middle grade ARC for me at ALA. Here is the description:
An insightful exploration of middle school bullying from multiple perspectives, by the award-winning author of Anything But Typical.

Elizabeth Moon grew up around dogs. Her mom runs a boarding kennel out of their home, so she’s seen how dogs behave to determine pack order. Her experience in middle school is uncomfortably similar.

Maggie hates how Elizabeth acts so much better than everyone else. Besides, she’s always covered in dog hair. And she smells. So Maggie creates a fake profile on a popular social networking site to teach Elizabeth a lesson.

What makes a bully, and what makes a victim? It’s all in the perspective, and the dynamics shift. From sibling rivalries to mean girl antics, the varying points of view in this illuminating novel from the award-winning author of Anything But Typical show the many shades of gray—because middle school is anything but black and white.
Teaser:
From experience, I've figured out that stubborn dogs will respond more to male voices. I think in general, the dads in their families are more alpha than the moms, so basically I am trying to sound like a dad.

Monday, July 22, 2013

ARC Review: Hunter Moran Hangs Out by Patricia Reilly Giff

Hunter Moran Hangs Out
Author: Patricia Reilly Giff
Publication: Holiday House (August 1, 2013)

Description: When Hunter and his twin brother, Zack, hear from Sarah Yulefski that there is going to be a kidnapping in Newfield, they are on high alert. But the most shocking news is yet to come: they figure out that Steadman, their younger brother, is the kidnapper's target. After erecting a rickety lookout tower high in a tree in nearby Werewolf Woods, they discover suspicious activities going on around town: a probable ax murderer is hiding in the cellar of an empty house, Bradley the neighborhood bully is poking at what must be dead bodies in the pond, and a suspicious letter arrives for Mom. Meanwhile, Mom heads to the hospital to give birth to a new sibling whom the boys hope to name Killer Godzilla while hapless Nana tries to hold down the fort at the chaotic Moran family home.

My Thoughts: Hunter and Zach Moran have all sorts of exciting adventures in the four days before they begin sixth grade. A friend overhears a kidnapping threat and the twins are busy trying to keep their five-year-old brother Steadman safe. Of course, their older sister Linny thinks she might be the victim. When the family dog Fred disappears the hunt picks up steam.

Could it be the strangers who have moved into the empty house across the street? Is it Linny's friend Becca who doesn't like Fred anyway? Why is the local bully Bradley hanging around the bottomless pond in the woods? What is going on at Gussie's Gym?

Other things are happening in this action-packed story too. Mom is getting ready to have baby number seven and all the kids have come up with names for the new arrival. And, worst of all, Hunter and Zach have put off their summer reading and now have just four days to read three books.

The story is filled with slapstick humor and middle grader logic. It is a quick read that will have middle graders trying to solve the mystery along with Hunter and Zach. 

Favorite Quote:
"Have a boy," we call after her, crossing fingers and toes.

"Think of names," she calls back.

We don't have to think. We've figured it out already. K. G. for Killer Godzilla. We'll tell Mom it's for Kevin George, or something regular like that.
I got this ARC for review at ALA. You can buy your copy here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Stacking the YA Shelves (July 21, 2013)

Tynga of  Team Tynga's Reviews hosts this meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets.

Here is what I got this past week.
I bought finished copies of the first two books in Kersten Hamilton's Goblin War series for my keeper shelves. In the Forests of the Night and Tyger, Tyger are very good fantasies that need to be publicized more. Tyger, Tyger was a bargain priced hard cover. In the Forests of the Night wasn't when I bought it but is now a bargain priced hard cover. I also added a copy of In the Forests of the Night to my Kindle where it will join Tyger, Tyger.
I bought two books that are the first in a series because I picked up the second books at ALA and want to read the stories in order.

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon is her debut novel and is a thriller.

False Memory by Dan Krokos is his debut novel and is science fiction/paranormal.  
I fed my Kindle with The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy by Kady Cross which is a novella the supports her steampunk series (The Girl in the Iron Corset, etc.).

In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin is the third book in her futuristic trilogy where chocolate is an illegal substance controlled by the mob. This is my first digital ARC from Macmillan and is the only review book I got this week. 
This week's SYNC audio books were Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers and Hamlet by William Shakespeare. I have read Grave Mercy and am eager to listen to it as well. These are still available through Wednesday.

What did you add to your stack this week? Leave me a link and I'll check out your additions.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

ARC Review: What We Found in the Sofa and How It Save the World by Henry Clark

What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World
Author: Henry Clark
Publication: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (July 2, 2013)

Description: The adventure of a lifetime begins between two sofa cushions....

When River, Freak, and Fiona discover a mysterious sofa sitting at their bus stop, their search for loose change produces a rare zucchini-colored crayon. Little do they know this peculiar treasure is about to launch them into the middle of a plot to conquer the world!

The kids' only hope is to trap the plot's mastermind when he comes to steal the crayon. But how can three kids from the middle of nowhere stop an evil billionaire? With the help of an eccentric neighbor, an artificially intelligent domino, a DNA-analyzing tray, two hot air balloons, and a cat named Mucus, they just might be able to save the planet.

This clever comic adventure from debut author Henry Clark is a truly original and utterly wacky story about the importance of intelligence and curiosity in a complacent world.

My Thoughts: This story was a combination of fantastical elements and elements common to all middle schoolers. It had a couch with dragon feet that could tesser (Loved the shout out to A Wrinkle in Time!), a talking domino, an inside out universe, and a villain who wants to use mind control enhanced by cell phones and snack food to take over the world. It also had an orphaned main character, a color blind main character who loved science, and a main character who was dealing with an alcoholic and angry father. 

River, Freak and Fiona are the only kids still living in an abandoned subdivision. An underground coal fire has made the area dangerous. When they come upon an old sofa outside an old and scary mansion, they don't imagine that they will soon be involved with trying to save the world. 

I liked the sly humor that permeated this story. I also liked River's thoughtful narration. I liked the way he was equally accepting of the magical sofa and his own state as an orphan. He was a typical middle schooler cycling by the moment from child to young adult. He was also courageous and intelligent. 

The plot which involved a rare zucchini color crayon and a villain with Compulsive Completist Disorder which compels him to drop his plans of world conquest to complete his collections. The story is filled with action that will appeal to middle schoolers. From exploring the dangerous Hellsboro with its underground coal fires to runaway hot air balloons, the action never stops. 

I think this book will appeal to many upper elementary and middle school students. 

Favorite Quote:
The house was big and boxy with castle-like turrets on three of the four corners. It looked old enough for George Washington to have slept in, assuming George was capable of dozing off in a place that looked like it might be infested with zombies. 
I got this ARC at ALA. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Memes: What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am spotlighting What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark. I got this middle grade story at ALA and was intrigued by the title. Here is the description:
The adventure of a lifetime begins between two sofa cushions....

When River, Freak, and Fiona discover a mysterious sofa sitting at their bus stop, their search for loose change produces a rare zucchini-colored crayon. Little do they know this peculiar treasure is about to launch them into the middle of a plot to conquer the world!

The kids' only hope is to trap the plot's mastermind when he comes to steal the crayon. But how can three kids from the middle of nowhere stop an evil billionaire? With the help of an eccentric neighbor, an artificially intelligent domino, a DNA-analyzing tray, two hot air balloons, and a cat named Mucus, they just might be able to save the planet.

This clever comic adventure from debut author Henry Clark is a truly original and utterly wacky story about the importance of intelligence and curiosity in a complacent world.
Beginning:
The sofa wasn't there on Monday but it was there on Tuesday. It sat in the shade just down the road from the bus stop.
Friday 56:
I suddenly realized I was gripping the edges of the cushion I was sitting on very tightly. As I started to let go, I thought I felt the cushion squeeze back.