Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Lonely Hearts Club
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publication: Point; 1 edition (December 29, 2009)

Product Description: Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It's a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there's this certain boy she can't help but like. . . .
My Thoughts: This was a very entertaining story. Penny (named after the Beatle's song Penny Lane) has her heart broken by her childhood crush and reacts like a typical 16-year-old. She swears off dating because all boys are losers. Her friends and other girls who have been disappointed by boys join her in forming a club to promote friendship between girls. Naturally, there are some girls who are opposed to the club and most of the boys are too.
I liked Penny's relationship with her friend Ryan and her growing realization that he could be a good boyfriend. I liked seeing that all the boys in the story were not scum. But I also liked the way she showed two-timing Nate that she wasn't overwhelmed by his charm and wasn't going to put up with him any longer.
I liked that she revived a friendship with Diane that had ended when Diane became Ryan's girlfriend and starting cancelling plans with girlfriends to be with him. After they break up, Penny and Diane become good friends again as Diane finally feels able to pursue her own interests and not things others told her to like.
I really liked the references to the songs of the Beatles. I liked that Penny's parents were so supportive -- embarrassing, but supportive.

This was a very pleasant read. I think middle graders and high school students would recognize a lot of the situations and really like getting to know Penny.
Challenges: 2010 YA Debut Author, 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The Lonely Hearts Club

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 & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


The Lonely Hearts Club
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publication: Point; 1 edition (December 29, 2009)
Tracy grabbed my hand. "I'm so sorry, Pen--that was an awful thing to say."
I tried to shake the thought from my mind. This was going to be hard enough without having to think about...him.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (Feb. 21, 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.

I bought a couple of books for my Kindle this week.

Old Magic by Marianne Curley -- Jarrod Thornton is mesmerizing, but Kate Warren doesn't know why. The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm inside their classroom. Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey -- one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.

I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy -- Laughs, ghosts, and a lip-gloss-loving teen sleuth! Sherry (short for Sherlock) Holmes Baldwin is spending spring break in California with her best friend, Junie. She can’t wait to hang out in the sun, hit the mall, and spend time with cutie-pie Josh. Then . . . a freaky change of plans. Sherry’s mom, a cop killed in the line of duty, contacts her. Not only is she a ghost, she’s a ghost in danger of flunking out of the Academy of Spirits, and she needs Sherry’s help. Unless she solves an important mystery in San Diego, she’ll be banished to an afterlife for ghost failures! If Sherry wants to be a normal seventh grader (as in, one who doesn’t communicate with ghosts), she can’t tell anybody about her mom—or what she has to do. Not her brother, not Junie, and especially not Josh. It’s up to Sherry alone to save the day. Except . . . she so doesn’t do mysteries.

I also bought these print books on a 4-for-3 deal at Amazon this week.

Cover-Up by John Feinstein -- In his most compulsively readable sports mystery yet, bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author John Feinstein takes on steroids and drugtesting as he takes readers behind the scenes of the Super Bowl and reveals the big money and even bigger egos that make pro football run. I have read other books in this series but not this one.

100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson -- Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but portals to other worlds. 100 Cupboards is the first book of a new fantasy adventure, written in the best world-hopping tradition and reinvented in N. D. Wilson’s inimitable style. This one was the one I chose because I could get a 4th book free. I have never heard of it but it sounds interesting.

The Case of the Bizarre Boquets by Nancy Springer -- Everyone knows Dr. Watson is Sherlock Holmes’ right-hand man—so when he goes missing, it’s a shock. Even Sherlock hasn’t the slightest clue as to where he could be. Enola is intrigued but wary; she’s still hiding from her older brothers, and getting involved could prove to be disastrous. But Enola can’t help but investigate, especially when she learns that a bizarre bouquet—with flowers all symbolizing death—has been delivered to the Watson residence. Enola knows she must act quickly, but can she find Dr. Watson in time?  This is in the Enola Holmes series. I have only read the first so far.

The Case of the Left Handed Lady by Nancy Springer -- Sherlock Holmes’s sister, Enola, is back on another case! Enola Holmes is being hunted by the world’s most famous detective—her own brother, Sherlock Holmes. But while she is on the run in the world’s biggest, darkest, dirtiest city, she discovers a hidden cache of charcoal drawings and feels as if she is a soul mate to the girl who drew them. But that girl, Lady Cecily, has disappeared without a trace. Braving the midnight streets, Enola must unravel the clues to find this left-handed lady, but in order to save her, Enola risks revealing more than she should. Will she be able to keep her identity a secret and find Lady Cecily, or will the one thing she is trying to save—her freedom—be lost forever? This is yet another in the Enola Holmes series.

That is what I got. What was in your mailbox?

Friday, February 19, 2010

YA Review: Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots

Boys, Bears and a aSerious Pair of Hiking Boots
Author: Abby McDonald
Publication: Candlewick (April 13, 2010)

Product Description: Jenna may hail from the ’burbs of New Jersey, but Green Teen activism is her life. So when her mom suggests they spend the summer at Grandma’s Florida condo, Jenna pleads instead to visit her hippie godmother, Susie, up in rural Canada. Jenna is psyched at the chance to commune with this nature she’s heard about — and the cute, plaidwearing boys she’s certain must roam there. But after a few run-ins with local wildlife (from a larger-than-life moose to Susie’s sullen Goth stepdaughter to a hot but hostile boy named Reeve), Jenna gets the idea that her long-held ideals, like vegetarianism and conservation, don’t play so well with this population of real outdoorsmen. A dusty survival guide offers Jenna amusing tips on navigating the wilderness — but can she learn to navigate the turns of her heart?

My Thoughts: This was an enjoyable coming of age story. Jenna grows and changes as she spends the summer with her godmother, godmother's husband and daughter in rural Canada. She goes there partially to escape the tension at home. She fears that her parents are heading to divorce but doesn't want to think about that. In Canada, they are working to fix up an old house to be a bed and breakfast. Jenna makes friends, gradually, with the local teens. She meets Ethan and his brother Grady and their friend Reeve. Fiona is very hostile from the beginning but even she gradually warms to Jenna. Jenna finds an old guide book to Canadian wildlife and wilderness survival and uses the tips to get along with the people she deals with too. I like Jenna's experiments with the great outdoors. Her experiences kayaking, fly fishing, and rock climbing are really funny. She decides to help out her godmother by designing a website and publicizing the activities that can be done without harming the environment. She also gradually begins a romance with Reeve. The reappearance of her best friend and fellow Green Teen at the end of the novel illustrates how much she has changed and grown over the summer.

I recommend this book to readers who are interested in the environment, romance, and realistic fiction.

I received the ARC as a part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

Challenges: 2010 YA Book Challenge

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Won an Award

I received the Bliss (Happy 101) Award from Christina/Book Addict at Confessions of a Book Addict.

The rules are that I must list 10 things that make me happy and then pass it on to 10 bloggers.

1. Buying and reading books.
2. Having those days when I can see that the kids "get it".
3. Working with terrific, energetic professionals at both my school buildings.
4. Spending time with family and friends
5. Sunny days
6. Summer
7. Visiting the casino and finding a good slot machine
8. the Winter Olympics
9. Working on my blogs and finding new blogs with great ideas
10. learning (mostly about web 2.0 tools lately)

I'd like to pass the award along to:

2. Alexia from Alexia's Books and Such
3. Nelle at Book Check
5. Julie and Karin at Edifying and Edgy
6. Elle at EllzReadz
7. Katie from Katie's Book Blog
8. Bev at The Wormhole
9. Emily at What Book Is That?

Thanks so much, Christina!

Waiting on Wednesday: Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to talk about a book that we are anxiously awaiting. Post your link in the comments at Breaking the Spine and see what others are waiting for.

Bears, Boys and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
Author: Abby McDonald
Publication: Candlewick Press, April 2010

Back Jacket Copy: Seventeen-year-old Jenna may hail from the 'burbs of New Jersey, but environmental activism is her life. So when the opportunity arises to spend the summer in the wilds of Canada with her hippiegodmother, Susie, this Green Teen jumps at the chance to explore this nature she's heard so much about--and the cute plaid-wearing boys she's certain roam wild and free. But after a few unpleasant run-ins with local wildlife (from a larger-than-life moose to Susie's sullen Goth stepdaughter, Fiona, to a hot but hostile boy named Reeve), Jenna realizes that her long-held ideals, like vegetarianism and conservation, don't play so well with this population of real outdoorsmen. With the help of a dusty survival guide, Jenna begins to navigate the wilderness, and those who call it home--but can she learn to navigate the surprising turns of her heart?

Sure to delight fans of Sarah Dessen, Meg Cabot, and E. Lockhart, this book is a breezy, compulsive read with unexpected substance--exactly what you'd expect from the enormously talent Abby McDonald.

I got this one as part of the Early Reviewer program at LibraryThing. It is well outside my usual kind of book. I admit I'd like to see a werewolf or two. But I hope it lives up to the jacket blurb.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots

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!

Bears, Boys and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
Author: Abby McDonald
Publication: Candlewick Press, April 2010

Ethan give me a supportive grin, waving the video camera. We cocooned it in a bunch of plastic bags to make it splash-resistant, and I just pray that it's enough. "Now could you look less, you know, terrified? This is supposed to make people want to come out here, not be some public safety warning."


Monday, February 15, 2010

Review: Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

Rapunzel's Revenge
Author: Shannon and Dean Hale
Publication: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (August 5, 2008)

Product Description: Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.
Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.

And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.

Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.

My Thoughts: This was a fun middle grade graphic novel. It started with the story of Rapunzel but quickly went beyond the story. Rapunzel and Jack have lots of adventures as they try to stay ahead of pursuers and find a way to defeat Mother Gothel. Along the way Rapunzel uses her long hair as a whip and a lasso and Jack keeps carting along a goose. The illustrations were well-done and the story exciting.

Challenges: In the Middle Challenge, RYOB Challenge

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great Contest from Maggie Stiefvater (Ends Feb. 21)

You know how much I loved Shiver so how could I resist this contest to win a copy of Linger months before it comes to stores.

Linger Cover LargeIn Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. Pre-order here.

Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER, Sisters Red, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Replacement on Maggie's blog.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Movie Talk: Percy Jackson...The Lightning Thief

I went this morning to see Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief with a friend and her daughter. I had just finished reading the book and my friend had read it a couple of years ago. My friend's daughter has not read the book. We all enjoyed the movie.

I liked the visuals and the special effects. I missed the character development that is possible in a book but not in a two hour movie. I didn't really feel that I got to know Percy's mother's motives. She just seemed to be there as someone Percy loved and would do anything for. He didn't seem resentful that she had kept the knowledge of who his father was from him. I think I would be very resentful in the same situation. Especially considering Percy's relationship with his stepfather. The whole dynamic at the camp was different too without the rivalry between the houses and Percy's uncertainty of who his father is. Also, making Luke the villain stripped some of the mythology from the story as we lose the connection with Ares and Kronos.

I thought that it was interesting that the Parthenon in Atlanta took the place of the Arch in St. Louis. There must have been a movie-making reason for the switch. I also wondered at the change of the location to the entrance to Hades and missed the character of the fashion conscious gate keeper that was in the book. I suppose the Hollywood sign is a more iconic representation of Hollywood though.

I did like the relationship between Annabeth, Grover and Percy. I think it worked better with them as teenagers rather than pre-teens in the book. Of course, upping their ages also assisted in the logistics of them travelling the country. Except, how did they get in a casino? Last I knew you had to be 21 in Nevada.

All in all, I thought it was an entertaining movie with a good story and great visual effects. I don't think it did the book too much of a disservice and may entice people into reading the books to find out more of the story. The book was better but the movie wasn't bad.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Want to Read Wednesday Feb. 10

Want to Read Wednesday was started by Robbie at Boy With Books. Each week we share a book in our TBR pile that we just haven't gotten to yet, but we really want to read it or a book that's already out that we really look forward to reading.

Dragon's Heart
Author: Jane Yolen
Publication: Harcourt Children's Books (May 4, 2009)
Summary from Amazon: Austar IV isn't the planet it once was, and when Jakkin and Akki finally return to the dragon nursery, their homecoming arouses mixed emotions. Together they've survived the insurmountable, and now they can weather the brutal conditions of Dark After and communicate with the dragons they love. But with this knowledge comes responsibility. What they've learned about survival could transform the planet--or, if entrusted to the wrong hands, bring about its destruction. Akki's insistence that she return to the Rokk to finish her training and begin new experiments drives a chasm between her and Jakkin. Suddenly she finds herself in the midst of a political battle that could claim her life. Only Jakkin can save her. If only he could reach her. . . .

Why I want to read it: There has been a 12 year gap since the last book in this series. I remember enjoying the other books and really want to know what happens next. The first three books have come with me during three moves and the shelf purgings that accompanied each move.
I think that I would do better if I read the first three again though since it has been years since I read the first three.
Books in the Series:
  1. Dragon's Blood (1982)
  2. Heart's Blood (1984)
  3. A Sending of Dragons (1987)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Publication: EgmontUSA (December 22, 2009)

Summary from Amazon: Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

My Thoughts: This was an interesting take on the werewolf trope. I didn't think that it was possible to combine werewolves and Christianity by Bree Despain manages and manages very well. I found the werewolf mythology invented by Ms. Despain to be fascinating.

Pastor's daughter Grace Divine, her brother Jude, and neighbor Daniel Kalbi were best friends growing up until something extraordinary happened. Grace loved Daniel and was tremendously hurt when he dropped out of contact with her. But now he is back and Grace doesn't know what to feel. Jude hates him, her father supports him and Grace is torn between Daniel and her brother.

I liked Grace. She is trying to live a Christian life and follow her father's example of charity and forgiveness but is also a typical teen who wants what most teens want -- including a cell phone and a car that starts without divine intervention. She is an artist and a good student. Jude is the perfect brother who is handsome, popular and a model of virtue but he seems to have an unreasonable hatred for Daniel.

I loved Daniel. He had a horribly difficult childhood but somehow survived with his character intact. He loves Grace and wants to protect her - even from himself.

This was a quick read and a memorable one. I recommend it for lovers of paranormal romance.

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

Teaser Tuesday -- The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

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!

The Dark Divine
by Bree Despain
EgmontUSA (December 22, 2009)

"So what part of 'stay' did you not understand?" he whispered. His warm breath brushed down my neck like careessing fingers. Heat encircled my while body.
"Well, since I'm not a golden retriever..." (page 153)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Review: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis

The Viper's Nest (The 39 Clues, #7)
Author: Peter Lerangis
Publication: Scholastic Inc.; Har/Crds edition (February 2, 2010)

Dan and Amy travel from Indonesia to Pretoria, South Africa and learn all about Shaka Zulu and Winston Churchill in this the seventh adventure in the 39 Clues series. They are on the run from the evil Isabel Kabra and the evil but inept Eisenhower Holt. They have encounters with Alastair Oh and still don't really know whose side he is on. They also meet some friends of Grace and learn what family branch they are part of. They hear some unsettling things about their parents.

This series is a fun read for middle grade students. Readers have a chance to solve puzzles and work along with Dan and Amy to try to find all 39 clues. The books are also supported by the website which also has games and clues for puzzle solvers. Card sets are also available for the truly devoted. I am collecting the cards and trying to solve the clues along with my students.

There are even educator materials available here for those who might want to use the books in their teaching. Educators are encouraged to bring the excitement of The New York Times bestselling series, The 39 Clues, into the classroom! Explore geography, history, literature, and math while motivating reluctant readers with this action-packed series

Challenges: In the Middle Reading Challenge

In My Mailbox (Feb. 7, 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:

The House Under the Sand by Kage Baker -- This is Ms. Baker's only middle grade book. She wrote science fiction for adults. It has gotten good reviews.

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan and The Battle for the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan. I needed books 4 and 5 in this series to go with the boxed set of the first three that I got at Christmas time. The movie comes out next week.

L. A. Candy by Lauren Conrad will help me expand the kind of books I read. It is not a paranormal book.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. I was shopping at Amazon and needed to buy four books for the price of three. Since I have never read anything by Dessen, I decided to try this one as my free book.

The Vampire Diaries Vol. 2 by L. J. Smith -- I recently finished Vol. 1 and want to know what happens next.


Golden, Tattoo and Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes were chosen because I have never read anything by her. I know she has a new book coming out soon called Raised by Wolves which I really want to read. I thought I would try these first.

I also won a book this week from Karin at Karin's Book Nook. The book is The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg. It is a book by a 2010 YA Debut Author (even though it was published on Dec. 29, 2009.)

Don't they look good?

Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication: Hyperion Book CH (September 16, 2008)

Product Description from Amazon: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

My Thoughts: I thought this was an excellent adventure story. Percy is a likeable 12-year-old kid with problems including dyslexia and ADHD who lives with his loving mother and her husband Smelly Gabe when he is not in boarding school. He is also the target of mythological monsters. That is explained when his mother tells him that he is the son of a greek god and takes him to Camp Half-Blood so that he can be safe. There he meets other half-blood children and the other greek gods and creatures who are the camp counsellors. He also learns more about his heritage and begins to learn what his strengths are.

However, Percy can't just learn in safety and have a relaxing summer. He is soon embroiled in a quest along with his friend Grover who is a satyr and Annabeth who is the daughter of Athena. Someone has stolen Zeus' lightning bolt. Percy is being blamed and, if he can't find and return the lightning bolt before the solstice, war between the gods will break out. Percy, Annabeth and Grover have many adventures during the quest but always display both courage and ingenuity in the face of great danger.

I think these books are perfect for their audience of middle grade readers. The story has a lot of adventure, friendship, and also manages to sneak in a lot of information about greek mythology. The characters are all well-rounded and interesting.

I am hoping that the movie will also be good. I know they are upping Percy's age to make him a teenager but I hope the rest will stay the same. Here is a photo of the movie Percy Jackson as played by Logan Lerman. I can picture him as Percy.

Challenges: In the Middle Reading Challenge, Flashback Challenge

Edifying and Edgy Blog

There is a new blog on the block. Edifying and Edgy which was created by Karin and Julie. They read very different kinds of books. Julie reads books that are edifying and Karin reads books that are edgy. Every once in while they agree.

Today they agree on Candor by Pam Bachorz and are having a contest to give a copy away. I have been looking at Candor and trying to decide if it was the right book for me. A free copy sure would help me make that decision.

Check out their blog. It is both attractive and informative.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. "Waiting on Wednesday" spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. What are you waiting for?

The Viper's Nest (Book 7 in the 39 Clues)
by Peter Lerangis

It's no longer a game. The body count is rising. Shaken by recent events, Amy and Dan flee to a distant land and trace the footsteps of their most formidable ancestor yet: a military leader of mythic proportions. Yet just as the siblings begin to master the art of ancient warfare, they confront a dangerous enemy that can't be felled with a sword: the truth. With the stakes higher than ever, Amy and Dan uncover something so devastating it changes everything – the secret of their family branch.

I am following this series (and collecting the cards). They are filled with adventure, danger, and puzzles to solve.