Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
(Iowa Children's Choice nominee 2016-17)

Book description from
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?

My 25 cents...I really liked this book!  I am not normally a fan of fantasy/sci-fi kinds of books, but this one grabbed me.  I think I liked the thought of going to school with my grandpa?!  What would THAT be like?  Ellie learns a lot of things during this experience, but also have the chance to teach her own grandfather a few things as well!  It left me wondering...will there be another book to carry on the story?!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
Book description from
Eleven-year-old Gilly has been stuck in more foster families than she can remember, and she's disliked them all. She has a reputation for being brash, brilliant, and completely unmanageable, and that's the way she likes it. So when she's sent to live with the Trotters—by far the strangest family yet—she knows it's only a temporary problem.
Gilly decides to put her sharp mind to work and get out of there fast. She's determined to no longer be a foster kid. Before long she's devised an elaborate scheme to get her real mother to come rescue her. Unfortunately, the plan doesn't work out quite as she hoped it would...

My 25 cents...I picked this up after learning that this will was made into a movie in the near future.  I have read other books by this author, but never this one. I thought this was a great story and seemed very "real". Gilly has issues, is difficult to talk to, but who wouldn't having been moved from family to family so many times?! Little does Gilly know, this last family is a good fit even though she is fighting against liking them. I found myself rooting for Gilly to reunite with her bio mom, but also letting the foster mom love her the way she deserved to be loved too!?

SORRY! I promise I have been reading since January, I just hadn't posted!!  SO--here are many, many new posts!!

Timmy Failure; Mistakes were Made by Stephan Pastis
Book description from
He may be clueless, but the comically self-confident Timmy Failure is CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Now Timmy’s legion of fans are invited to set off on their own path to mastery with the help from Stephan Pastis. Added material includes step-by-step instructions on how to draw Timmy and his impressively lazy business partner, the polar bear Total.

My 25 cents...Timmy is a funny dude!  He is very serious about his detective agency, but is a little "in the dark".  Readers can't  help but root for Timmy as he tries cracking cases that he is hired to solve.  This is the FIRST in a series of 5 books (so far) so plenty of chances to laugh and say "C'mon Timmy, really?!?
I enjoyed this book as a fun break from all of the serious books I'd been reading.  
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
(Iowa Teen nominee 2016-2017)

Book description from Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.   Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child.

My 25 cents...This book is told in verse, which means it's not written in regular chapters, it's considered poetry.  Many people find these to be a "quicker read", even though it is 320 pages!  The author does a  fantastic job of showing us what her life was like growing up in the 60s and 70s.  I found it interesting to compare what my own life was like compared to hers, and was surprised to find many things similar.  If you are doing the 40 book club, this book could easily count as an autobiography OR poetry book!  No wonder it's won so many awards (you can see that by the cover above)!   A Newbery Honor Book and A Coretta Scott King Award Winner
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Book description from and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.  At his grandfather's house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.
Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .

My 25 cents...I am a dog lover, so any animal relationship book is high on my list!  I loved this story.  The reader can feel the love  Peter has for  Pax as well as his determination to get him back despite his father's instructions to set him free.  Peter learns some lessons along the way, as does Pax.  
Body in the Woods by April Henry  This is the same author of GIRL STOLEN, which was a book that also kept me on the edge of my seat! (see that book earlier in my blog too!)
(Iowa Teen nominee 2016-2017)
Book description from, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom's mental illness, Nick's bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn't understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear and courage, the three team up to find the girl's killer―before he can strike one of their own.

My 25 cents...I really enjoyed this story.  Imagine getting to be part of a search and rescue team as a teenager, and then finding a DEAD BODY?!  These characters find themselves involved in a mystery that they are determined to solve no matter what the risks!  Readers that enjoy "criminal investigation" type shows will get into this story for sure!  Says that this will be a series of books too, so if you enjoy this watch for others soon. The series is called: A Point Last Seen.