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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/24/15

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

I read Small Bones by Vicki Grant to review for Library Media Connection. It is one book in the Secrets series, which follows the fate of seven Canadian teenage girls who find themselves homeless after their orphanage burns down in 1964.


Need by Joelle Charbonneau will be published on 11/3/15. I was lucky enough to read this DRC through NetGalley because I’ve been looking forward to it since Charbonneau teased it in our Skype with her in May.

When a new social network exclusively designed for Nottowa High School pops up, students are intrigued at the thought of being able to ask for what they need. A new iPhone, an A on a physics test, and an extra week of winter break are all things these Wisconsin teens feel they need, but Kaylee knows that those “wants” are nothing compared to her need for a kidney donor for her brother DJ. At first, teens only have to invite others to the NEED site to get their wished granted, but after only a short time, NEED begins to require that they complete a small task like taking a photo, leaving a note, or delivering a box of cookies before their “needs” will be fulfilled. Of course, the stakes get higher and higher, and Kaylee starts to put together the pieces that connect NEED to local disappearances and even deaths. Can she figure out who is behind NEED and stop the madness before her best friend Nate, her brother DJ, or even she, herself, pays the ultimate price? This book built up the tension gradually, and then at about the halfway mark turned into a thrilling page-turner. Charbonneau keeps readers on the edge of their seats and guessing until the end. I do think that once the story got to the “reveal” all the details about NEED came spilling out at once, perhaps a bit too fast for my taste–but it’s still a fascinating and exciting book, and will make readers think about how far people might and do go to get what they think they need. The students at my schools will definitely eat this up, so I’m planning to buy multiple copies.

Currently Reading:

unquietpast

On Deck: 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/17/15

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

stonesonagrave nightgardener

Stones on a Grave is another book I am reviewing for Library Media Connection. It is one book in the Secrets series, which follows the fate of seven Canadian teenage girls who find themselves homeless after their orphanage burns down.


The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier is a delightfully creepy Gothic horror tale set in Victorian England. Fourteen-year-old Molly and ten year-old Kip were separated from their parents while sailing from Ireland to England and are desperate to find jobs–because that means a warm place to sleep and food to eat. So desperate that they agree to sign on at the Windsor manor even though the rumors surrounding the imposing dwelling and its gaunt inhabitants are many and unsettling. It doesn’t take long for the siblings to encounter a secret room, a gigantic gnarled tree, and a mysterious night visitor and to see how the family is at the caught in a self-woven web of terror. Wow! It has been a long time since I read a story that is so well-paced and suspenseful. And the horror is a thought-provoking kind not often encountered in middle grade books. This is definitely one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. This book counts for my Horror Reading Challenge 2015.

Currently Reading:

smallbones

Another in the Secrets series

On Deck: 

need

Soooo excited that I got approved for the DRC for Charbonneau’s latest. She talked about it in our Skype session this spring and it sounds amazing!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/10/15

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

I am quite late in the game in coming to Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ epic comic series, Saga, but wholeheartedly must say better late than never. Readers who work with young people, please note that this is an adult comic which includes adult language and sexual situations, and I would recommend it for adult public library collections. The hardcover book I read collects issues 1-18 of the series. Hazel is the story’s narrator, although at this point in the story she is an infant, born to parents who started out on opposite sides of a terrible war. Saga chronicles their flight from the societies that seek to find and punish or destroy them. Filled with memorable characters, breath-taking artwork, and elements of both science fiction and fantasy, this story is incredibly engaging and it will be hard for me to wait for the next hardcover collection–I may just have to read the trade paperbacks and/or individual issues first. This book counts for my Award Winning Books 2015 Challenge, as each year since 2013 the series has won multiple Eisner and/or Harvey awards.


Speaking of award-winning graphic novelists, Craig Thompson is releasing his first book for young readers on August 25. I received an ARC of Space Dumplins to review for Library Media Connection, so I must save my comments for publication. Look for Space Dumplins from Scholastic’s Graphix imprint.


Half a Chance is another excellent piece of realistic fiction by Cynthia Lord. Lucy and her parents have just moved to an old house on a lake in New Hampshire. There she meets Nate, whose family is spending the summer at the cottage next door, as they have in years past. Although hesitant about making friends who will just leave at the end of the summer, Lucy can’t resist joining the Loon Patrol, which reports on a breeding pair of loons that live on the lake. Lucy’s summer is also filled with secretly shooting photos for a contest of which Lucy’s world-famous photographer father is the judge. With Nick’s help Lucy plans to enter the contest under a false name, but come clean if chosen as the winner. Nick’s family is having difficulty adjusting to Grandma Lilah’s fading memory and possible dementia, and it might be her last year at the cabin she loves so. Nick and Lucy’s friendship is tested when Lucy takes a powerfully emotional photo of Lilah at a moment when she is feeling lost and scared. Favorite line: “Oh, people will think what they think!…Don’t ever choose the people who don’t matter over the ones who do.”

Currently Reading:

stonesonagrave

On Deck:

nightgardener

August Random Read

It’s time for my August Random Read! Thanks to imlovingbooks.com for hosting this meme. This month random.org chose #3, and that means I will be reading More Than This by Patrick Ness. Yes! Patrick Ness!

morethanthisHere is the Goodreads description:

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembersdying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? The street seems familiar, but everything is abandoned, overgrown, covered in dust.

What’s going on? Is it real? Or has he woken up in his own personal hell? Seth begins to search for answers, hoping desperately that there must be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife…

2015 Challenges: July Progress

  • Goodreads goal of 125 books: 8 this month, 82 total
  • Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge (24 specific categories of books): Zero this month, 10 total – Need to get back on track here
  • Award Winning Books goal of 11-24 books: None this month, 11 total
  • Horror Reading Challenge 2015 goal of 6-10 books: One this month, seven total: Trollhunters by Daniel Kraus and Guillermo del Toro
  • Random Reads goal of one book per month: One: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/3/15

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

Loki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstron and M.A. Marr is the first book in the fantasy series The Blackwell Pages. Thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen’s family are descendants of Thor. When they learn that Ragnorak (the end of the world) is coming, a champion must come forth to fight in the place of Thor. Matt is the chosen one, and he must find the on-Earth manifestations of other mythical heroes such as Balder and Odin so they can help him in the final battle. Along for the ride are Fen and Laurie, descendants of Loki, who usually rivals Thor. This time, the three work together to avoid the Raiders, who can take wolf forms, and prepare for the final fight. This book has some satisfying action scenes and an interesting concept, but focuses mostly on Matt’s gathering the right people for further adventures in forthcoming books. In fact, the ending bothered me because it did not seem to wrap up this first book; everything just seemed to stop and wait for book two. Still, fans of the Percy Jackson books will find much to enjoy here.


Slappy’s Tales of Horror by R.L. Stine presents classic Goosebumps tales in graphic format, told by award-winning graphic novelists and artist. Although I can’t say much about the book since I am reviewing it for Library Media Connection, I am certain this book will sell itself. The question is not whether I will buy it for my middle school students but how many copies I will buy. This book counts for my Horror Reading Challenge 2015.

Currently Reading:

saga

Note: This is an adult graphic novel.

On Deck:

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