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Showing posts from September, 2013

WONDER by R.J. Palacio

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.


Hardcover, Books for Young Readers, 315 pages Published February 14th 2012 by Knopf

First line:
"I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid."

This is a story that grade school children should read or have read to them. It teaches toler…

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cassandra Chronicles #1) by Cristin Terrill

You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protec…

THE ORIGINALS by Cat Patrick

17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.


First line:
"My part is first half."

How would you like to be a set of triplets who were identical but you really weren't tr…

ANDY SMITHSON: BLAST OF THE DRAGON'S FURY by LRW Lee

From the After Life, ten-year-old Andy Smithson’s relatives initiated a curse 500 years ago. Now they no longer agree it should continue and one is willing to sacrifice Andy’s life to end it. Unaware of the disagreement and with no say in the matter, Andy is unexpectedly and magically transported from his home. He finds himself in the Land of Oomaldee, facing mortal danger at every turn as he seeks to find a scale from a rare red dragon, the most ferocious of dragon species, to break the curse and save his life.

First line:
As soon as Imogenia died, the spirits that manage new arrivals escorted her to the terminal just inside the cemetery grounds in the land of Oomaldee."

 Dragons, magic and time travel. This book has everything a middle grade reader, especially a boy, will love!


OUTPOST (Razorland #2) by Ann Aguirre

Deuce’s whole world has changed.

Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn't fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.



Hardcover, 317 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
First line:
"I…

JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham 17, finally confronts her past. Hannah, the closest adult she has to family, disappears. Jonah Griggs, moody stares and all, is back in town. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

First line:
"My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die."

Three things I liked about this book:
1. Relationships
2. Jonah Griggs
3. Ending

Told in two narratives: one earlier, one twenty-two years later,  I was emotionally drawn into the story of five kids tied by tragedy and of Taylor Markham. I was also confused in the beginning trying to figure out where everyone fit in but it worked. I loved it.
First person was a good choice for this story. Taylor had a strong voice and emotions. I loved her tough girl persona and her weaknesses. All the characters were strong and weak. Ben, Raffy, Santangelo, Jessa, they are in our schools and neighborhoods. And bes…

JACOB OF AVONDALE by P. Craig Packer

The king’s servant, Jacob, makes a shocking discovery in a secret room. What he finds could change his life forever. Witness the transformation of a commoner into a conqueror in Jacob of Avondale.
As Jacob reached the top of the staircase with the tray of soiled food still in hand, he heard a strange whispering coming from the room near the far end of the hall. In all of the years that Jacob had been a servant in the castle, he had never seen the inside of that room. He saw the court jester standing near the far wall with his back to the door. The little man seemed to be profoundly captivated by something and was whispering in an eerie, monotone voice.


The tyrannical reign of King Humphrey and Queen Millicent has inspired growing discontent among the people of Avondale. Few hold out hope for any change.

The king’s servant Jacob, an orphan who’s seen little beyond the castle walls, makes a shocking discovery in a secret room. What he finds could change his life and the futu…

CLOCKWORK ANGEL(The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Orphan Tessa Gray, sixteen, crosses the ocean from New York to find her brother Nate in Victorian London, her only possession a clockwork angel necklace from her mother. She is ignorant of her power to transform; the Dark sisters are not. They kidnap her for the Magister, who wants to marry Tessa and claim her power.

Shadowhunters, warriors of angel blood, battle demons and keep the peace in the Downworld of vampires, warlocks and other supernaturals. Orphan teen Shadowhunters Jem, Will, and Jess rescue Tessa and agree to help save Nate. Vengeful vampire Lady Camille Belcourt and her current lover, warlock Magnus Bane provide entrée to the Magister's secret Pandemonium Club.



First line:
"London, April 1878. The demon exploded in an shower of and guts."

How? How does Ms. Clare keep me reading her books? Sigh.

Rating: PG 13
S: No. Tensions
L: No
V: Fighting, intense images of death and paranormals

Liked:
Will
Jem


Disliked:


4 STARS

THE ROSE THRONE by Mette Ivie Harrison

Richly-imagined fantasy romance from the author of Princess and the Hound, a tale of two princesses--one with magic, one with none--who dare seek love in a world where real choice can never be theirs. For fans of Megan Whalen Turner, Catherine Fisher, and Cassandra Clare.

Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she's impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father's court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power--or the magic--to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to le…