Saturday, June 16, 2012

Getting Air by Dan Gutman.  
This is another Children's Choice 2012-2013 nominee.

Book Description from

They can rule the half-pipe, but can they survive this?
Jimmy, David, and Henry are psyched. It's summer, school's out, and they are on their way to California, where they will be able to do some major skating. But on the plane, the unthinkable happens: They are hijacked by terrorists. As frightened as they may be, they take action and they succeed. Sort of. They may have beaten the terrorists, but now their plane has crashed in the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden, their summer vacation is about finding food, shelter, and a rescue. Can three normal twelve-year-old boys find a way to get by without fast food and skate parks?

My 25 cents:
I picked this up because I thought it was time for an "adventure" type book next.  It definitely fits that label.  It reminded me of the story Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (which coincidently the younger sister in this story was reading!).  The description above mentions three 12 year old boys, but does not mention there are also 3 "girls" very important in the story as well.  The story is action packed, one of those that you say "just let me finish this chapter"...but you sneakily start the next one because you want to know what happens next!  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Here's a double whammy!...

The book Because of Anya is by Margaret Peterson Haddix, well known author of The Shadow Children series.  What caught my eye was the first line of jacket same as the Amazon description:  Ten-year-old girls don't wear wigs...

Book Description from 
Ten-year-old girls don't wear wigs. So why is Anya wearing one? That's what Keely wants to know. But when Anya's wig falls off in front of the whole class, Keely realizes what she really wants is to help Anya, even though she's not sure how -- and even though it means she'll have to do something she's afraid of: stand up to her friends.  As for Anya, she just wants her hair to grow back, but no one can tell her whether it ever will. How can she learn to accept her disease when she can't even look in the mirror?

My 25 cents:
I knew this was a good author, all of the books of hers that I have read I have liked. This one though is realistic fiction and it's SHORT (114 pages!) too!  While the description makes it sound like a real downer, the story actually is a great lesson for all ages. You just never know what a person's "story" is and what they are going through, so be kind!  A great friendship story-maybe even a good "read together" for parent and child.

Book Description from
Imagine a world where families are allowed only two children. Illegal third children -- shadow children -- must live in hiding. If they are discovered, there is only one punishment: Death.
My 25 cents...
While this series has been around for awhile (2004), the story is timeless because of it's fantasy storyline.  This is one of those series that you have to keep reading because you can't stop wondering what is going to happen next. They are stories of survival and suspense.  Was named An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Here's a book I just finished, by the author of Sarah Plain and Tall-Patricia MacLachlan.  Her latest book, Word After Word After Word is a nominee for the 2012-2013 Iowa Children's Choice award and just might convince you to put some words to paper! ('s really short too!)

Book Description from

Every school day feels the same for fourth graders Lucy and Henry and Evie and Russell and May. Then Ms. Mirabel comes to their class—bringing magical words and a whole new way of seeing and understanding.  From beloved author Patricia MacLachlan comes an honest, inspiring story about what is real and what is unreal, and about the ways that writing can change our lives and connect us to our own stories—word after word after word.

My 25 cents:  
The fourth graders in this story are not so sure about this visiting writer who dresses kind of weird and talks about "words whispering to you"?  But she is able to teach them about writing without them even realizing it.  This is a really short (128 pages), fast reading chapter book, which may appeal to someone who doesn't like to read!!! 

I recently read Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee,
another nominee for the Iowa Teen Award 2012-2013.

Book Description from                             
It's not so easy being Rosemary Goode and tipping the scales at almost two hundred pounds- especially when your mother runs the most successful (and gossipiest!) beauty shop in town. After a spectacularly disastrous Christmas break when the scale reaches an all-time high?Rosemary realizes that things need to change. (A certain basketball player, Kyle Cox, might have something to do with it.) So begins a powerful year of transformation and a journey toward self-discovery that surprisingly has little to do with the physical, and more to do with an honest look at how Rosemary feels about herself.

My 25 cents:
I was a little weary to pick this up, but I am glad that I did and that I read it.  When the reader meets the main character, Rosemary-she is at her all time heaviest weight and decides to take some drastic (not smart!) measures to lose weight.  Luckily she realizes that she is making dangerous choices and decides to go about it in a better way.  The story is more than about her physical change though, it shows the reader how Rosemary learns she can cope with her life by leaning on those that love her and things will be okay.  There is plenty of humor in this story to keep it fun to read, despite the serious topics it covers.