Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Seeing Redd

I read the first of the Redd series so long ago it took me a little while to get into this book, but once I got into it I finished it easily. I enjoyed the new relationships that came from this installment and of course the rivalry of good versus favorite. I am looking forward to what comes after this. I of course hope that White Imagination will overpower in the end.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jodi Picoult

So I just got done reading Picoult's newest book Change of Heart. It was typical. A tough decision had to be made. An interesting take on something we seem to make quick decisions about. I like typical Picoult. I always wonder what I would do in the situation these characters find themselves in.

This particular book was about a family (a mother and daughter) who needs a heart and a man that wants to give them his. It seems so easy when you say it like that, but the man was accused of killing the little girls father and sister. As the reader we get so much more information and Picoult does a good job of letting you have compassion for this accused killer. I marvel at how she comes up with these topics and forces you to re-think the way you think. It ends in typical Picoult fashion as well....a little something different so you can never guess the real ending before you finish the book completely.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gotta Love Percy Jackson

Ok, I am a sucker for a character who makes mistakes, but tries their best to do the right thing. Percy Jackson is that kid and he is part of the reason I like the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series of books so much.

The first book is called The Lightning Thief. Percy finds out in this book he is a half-god, the illegitimate child of Poseidon. In order to prevent a war between his father and Zeus he is sent on a quest to return a lightning bolt that was stolen. Fortunately for him he is a quick learner, gets to bring along some friends and seems to get lucky a lot.

The second book, The Sea of Monsters, leads Percy on another quest. Before he leaves on this quest he finds out he has a brother. He isn't exactly happy about it either. I personally love the addition to the characters with Tyson and I think he adds an amazing depth to the dynamic of family going on within these stories. So, Tyson and Percy go out on this new adventure, but Percy wasn't exactly invited so he not only battles his enemies but a few of his allies.

The third book is called The Titans Curse and probably my least favorite of them all so far. I did enjoy this book very much especially the addition of Thalia, the Hunters and Rachel Elizabeth Dare , but Tyson was not in this book as much as the last and I think I might enjoy him more. On this particular quest Percy and his comrades must travel west to help Artemis, although in secret Percy is really hoping to find Annabeth who was lost.

The fourth book, The Battle of the Labyrinth, again brings the children together for a quest. With Annabeth finally getting to lead a quest of her own she leads the way into the ever-changing labyrinth in order to save the half-blood camp and prevent the Titans from gaining control once again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

By the end I was in the Grip of the Shadow Plague

If you have read any of my other blogs you know I have gotten into a series called Fablehaven. I really enjoyed the first book and the second book was fun to read too so I was eager to read book 3. I bought it soon after it came out and started reading it right away. Again it started off where the last book left off and it was slow going. First of all it was a much longer book compared to the previous two and the author had to spend time setting up for the events of the story.

Last night I finally got to the point of the book where I couldn't put it down. I eventually had to go to sleep, but I quickly finished the book this afternoon. I really enjoyed the events in the second half of the book and the ending has made me look forward to the next installment. My favorite things about this particular book were the new characters introduced and the return of past characters as well as the fact that I still felt like the events were not far above and beyond belief.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Penderwicks...again.

I love the Penderwicks. I love Batty the littlest Penderwick who loves her dog Hound and whose imagination is amazing. I love Sky who is so logical and analytical. I love Jane and her love for books and stories. But my favorite has to be Rosalind who is always in charge and handles it with ease....usually.

In this book The Penderwicks on Gardam Street Rosalind gets thrown off a little bit and you see her be a kid. You see her make mistakes and forget things. It is all because her father gets a letter from her dead mother telling him he must date again. It is a story of minor deceit. All of the Penderwicks are guilty of it. It is the introduction of more characters and of minor catastrophes....which are common for the Penderwiks. It is in wonderful Penderwick fashion though. Simple and human, yet wonderfully entertaining.

If you have not read either of the books about the Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall I recommend you pick them up. I do not think you will be disappointed.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

YA Challenge

I have been slacking on the challenges lately, so I went on a search for one that would be perfect for me and I have found it. The YA challenge is especially great because I read YA anyway and so it may actually get done. The Challenge is that I read 12 YA titles in 2008.

So Here is the list I have as of right now of what I would like to read:

1. Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague (book 3) by Brandon Mull (To be released April 12th) Finished 5/13/08 Shadow Plague Review
2. Farworld-Water by JScott Savage (Coming out in September I believe)
3. The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
3. Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
4. Maximum Ride-The Final Warning by James Patterson
5. The Book Theif by Marcus Zusak
6. Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pheffer
7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
8. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
9. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
Finished 4/14/08 Penderwick Review
10. Once Upon a Time in the North by Phillip Pullman
11. Tweak by Nic Sheff
12. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer (To Be released August 2nd)
13. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (To Be released April)
14. Thou Shall Not Dump The Skater Dude...and other commandments I have broken by Rosemary Graham Finished 4/18/08
15. Size 14 is not Fat Either by Meg Cabot
16. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
17. The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
18. The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel-Frederick
19. Lost It by Kristen Tracy

I know I will add many more to my list so stay tuned.

And here is a link to the challenge:

YA Challenge

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Check this Writer Out!

Ok so I first figured out who this was when he left me a message in regards to one of my blogs. I immediately went to check him out because he had similar interests to me. Once I visited I knew I would love to read his book. I am especially excited to share this with my friends at Library thing and my students at school. So please go check him out and if I am lucky I may just be able to help you and me both get an advance copy of his book.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fablehaven: The rise of the Starcatchers

So I liked Fablehaven so much that I immediately put the second of the series on hold at my local library. We picked up basically where the last book left off. The kids returned home with their parents and all was normal until a new kid showed up at school. He was not actually a kid at all but only one person could tell that.....Kendra. Kendra amazingly finds someone to help her get rid of the new kid and in the process her brother unknowingly gets into more trouble. Despite all of this is still seems safer for the pair to return to Fablehaven and help their grandfather protect Fablehaven from the Starcatchers and to prevent them from obtaining the hidden artifact hidden on the property. They are not the only ones there to help. There are three others: a potions master, an expert on magical creatures and a relics collector.

Before long it becomes apparent that someone on the property is helping the starcatchers and fooling the Fablehaven protectors. It is quite difficult to tell who is the devious person and as they search for answers they turn to anyone they can. One person who seems especially helpful is the Sphinx who teaches Seth how to get rid of his curse. It isn't an easy road for these kids but they fight hard to keep Fablehaven safe.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Fablehaven was a very pleasant surprise for me. One of the kids in my class showed it to me, yet another great book that I didn't even have on my list. I am normally not a fan of fantasy and this book looked too fantasy like to me, but I like to read what my students are reading so I figured I would give it a try.

This is one of those books I am coming to love. It is an explanation of fantasy things with use of realistic devises. Peter and the Starcatchers did the same thing and I thoroughly enjoy them.
This story is about a brother and sister pair, Kendra and Seth, who are sent to stay with their grandparents while their parents go on a vacation. They end up at their grandparents estate called Fablehaven. This is obviously, now that I look back on it, a set up for future books because they do spend a lot of time setting up the background of the events that will take place. It takes a while for Kendra and Seth to figure out the difference their grandparents home has in comparison to other places and their grandfather does everything he can to keep it from them. Seth's disregard for the rules gets everyone in all kinds of trouble which forces him and his sister to go on an amazing adventure. The second half of this book is packed with action, adventure and magic. The children encounter all kinds of magical characters and are forced to plead with many for help. Some are there to help and some are not. It ends just as you would expect and leaves questions for what the second installment will present.

This is a fun book and would be great for any older child. I am already on the waiting list at the library for book two and will tell you all about it once I get it finished.

Good Dog. Stay.

Good Dog. Stay. is basically a long eulogy of Beau, a great black lab. Anna Quindelen has apparently won writing awards, but I have not previously read any of her writing, or even heard of her (oops!). I am glad that I picked this book up despite the fact I had no previous knowledge of this person. Just on a side note, I don't always have to have heard of, or read a book by an author, but I often have heard of well known authors and was surprised to have not known this one.

I finished this book in about an hour I think. It is filled with adorable pictures of all kinds of dogs and moves quickly. My favorite thing about the book was the way Anna Quindelen generalized the lessons she learned from Beau to apply to all dogs, in all stages of life. I only read this book a day or so ago and already forget the particulars of Beau's life, but I do remember the day they put Beau down. It was a family event and all were crushed because of the effect this animal had on their lives. That part will stay with me.

If you enjoy reading about the relationships between animals and their families then you will enjoy this really quick read. There have been other dogs in Anna Quendelen's life and I beleive she wrote about this dog in particular for a reason.

I will leave you with my favorite quotes from this book:

"For children, the point of having a dog is something like the point of having a mother and father. Our job is not to do but to be, not to act but to exist."

"Dogs make messes, it's true, but they clean them up as well."

And my favorite: "In a world that seems so uncertain, in lives that seem sometimes to ricochet from challenge to upheaval and back again, a dog can be counted on in a way that's true of little else."