Young Adult Book Review – Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor

Jun 15

Author Jessica Taylor, has crafted an amazing tale in her Young Adult novel, “Wandering Wild.” It’s a story of family, love, hopes and dreams and sometimes doing something painful to be where you need to be.

Wandering Wild

Wandering Wild

The characters Jessica created are likable and real. Talia “Tal” and her brother Wen belong to a family of Wanderers, where they’ve learned to live by cons and scams. Tal, wants more. She wants to wander on her own, travel to places a Wanderer would never go. But she’s got two problems:

1) She’s been bought and paid for, and her groom comes calling for her.

2) She fell in love with a Markie, a non-wanderer. Unknowingly, Tal has set in motion a chain of events that can’t be undone.

I never like to give away and ending, so you’ll have to read it for yourself to see if Tal adheres to the Wanderer’s life and goes with the man who bought and paid for her, or go the way of the Markies?

You can get a copy of your own here:

Barnes and Noble.com

Amazon.com

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Book Review Blitz: Finn’s Rocket A Surfer Catches Air

Dec 07

Rocket-front cover

About the Book

Title: Finn’s Rocket: A Surfer Catches Air (Finn’s Fast Books, Book #3) | Authors: Serena Schreiber | Publication Date: November 1, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 176 | Recommended Ages: 7 to 12

Amazon * Goodreads

Book Description:

Finn’s summer vacation plans didn’t include leaving the planet.

When his little sister gets kidnapped from space camp, Finn will do anything and go anywhere to get her back. Even the international space station.

 

The Buzz About “Finn’s Fast Books”

Finn’s Ship: The story blends Finn’s American upbringing with his German heritage, acquainting the reader with the many similarities and differences in food, culture, language, transportation and family values.~ Candy 613, Amazon

Finn’s Ship: The author did a marvelous job bringing the characters to life and making the reader feel apart of each scene.~ Glen G., Amazon

Finn’s Car: I really enjoyed reading this book! Very fun to read and it’s something that teens will love to read. I recommend it to everyone!~ Jocelyn, Amazon

Finn’s Car: A well-paced, funny and highly infectious read!~ Bree W., Amazon

My Review of  “Finn’s Fast Books”

If your young reader likes action and adventure they will enjoy Finn’s Rocket. Although, I was slightly confused about the appropriate age group, I believe this is a good fit for a middle grader.
It’s packed full of interesting characters, suspense, surfing, space, science and more. I love the relationship between Finn and his sister, they’re both smart and brave with a sense of humor. The family’s life style may be a little bit out of this world, but that’s ok, that’s what reading is for, to escape, imagine and dream.
I would say boys and girls a like would like Finn’s Rocket: A Surfer Catches Air. Serena, has a done a great job in capturing the voice and characterization of all the characters in the is book

 

About the Author: Serena Schreiber

serenaschreiberFirst published in Brooklyn in third grade, Serena Schreiber took a circuitous route through Europe to settle in Florida. When not writing for kids or scientists, she follows her other muse, fantasy. She’s a happy co-conspirator of Florida Writers Association Youth Program and runs the Howl at the Moon Writers Jam. Serena has two amazing children, a handsome husband, and a turtle named Bolt.

Author Website | Book Website

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

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Scary Bedtime Stories – If You Dare

Oct 13

Do you love to read before bed?   When my kids were little, I read to them every night before bed and scary stories were always the favorite.  I love to read scary stories at lunch, before breakfast, before bed…well anytime.  My type of scary has more suspense in it than gore, and a slight twist of dark humor.  All of the authors and books I recommend fit my requirements for scariness at it’s best.

Before you begin you need a few things to make the experience just right: a big mattress, a blanket to throw over your head, a teddy bear to squish, and scary voices for each character. Bundle these all up together and you’re set to have these stories add to your perfectly scary Halloween.  Boo.

Here’s a few of my picks for the younger readers:

The Dark by Lemony Snicket,  Illustrated by Jon Klassen

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Afraid of the dark? I mean who isn’t afraid of the dark?  What lurks in the closet or under your bed?  The story begins with: “The dark lived in the same house as Lazlo, a big place with a creaky floor, smooth, cold windows and several sets of stairs.”  I’m already scared.  Aren’t you?  Read it to the end, and find out what the dark has to say.

Jerry the Boy Who Cried Monster, by Sally Spratt

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Okay, well I have to say this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE.  Did I mention I wrote this one?  Jerry, has a problem…monsters.  They are everywhere and no one believes him.  The monsters mess up his room, eat his homework and even try to eat the class hamster.  This is a fun but still scary book. because it has monsters in it, e-book available in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt book app called MeeGenius.  Don’t want to read alone? Turn on the narration and have it read to you.

For kids who are just getting started reading on their own, or your middle grade readers.  Here are a few of my favorite scary authors (not too scary):

 

The Zombie Chaser Series by John Kloepfer. 139_TheZombieChasers-cvr

A 7 book series full of zombie chills and guts.  Book one drops you into the story of Zach and his best friend, Rice along with the mean queen Madison.  Everyone in the world around them is changing into ZOMBIES, includes Rice’s sister.  Its’ up to these three to survive and save the world. Can they do it without getting turned into zombies themselves?

Scary School by Derek the Ghost

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I don’t even have to say this is scary, the title tells you all. Plus it’s written by a ghost named Derek.  This is the first in a 3 part series (so far). Derek is a ghost, he’s 11 and he died in science class when one of Mr. Acidbath’s experiments went horribly wrong.  Derek walks you through the  school where your homeroom teacher is Ms. Fang and T. Rex is there to help you through detention, if he’s not too hungry.   There’s a web-site filled with scary stuff, fun and games:  www.scaryschool.com.

The Haunted Library, by Dori Hillestad Butler

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Is the first of a 7 book series.  It’s more than a haunted library book, it’s a mystery too.  Kaz is a ghost, a kid ghost who got separated from his family and is now “stuck” in the library.  Claire is a human who can actually see Kaz.  Together the two work on their first mystery of who is haunting the library, and they try to find Kaz’s family.  It’s fun, and not too scary, if you don’t mind a ghost here and there that is.  If you want to read an excerpt and find out more about the series visit: www.penguinrandomhouse.com

My Teacher is an Alien, by Bruce Colville

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So maybe this title doesn’t sound so scary to you.  But what if your teacher WAS an alien and you saw him peeling off his face?  That’s what happened to Peter.   He and his best bud Susan discovered Mr. Smith’s (a.k.a. the alien) horrible plans for their class mates.  They have to work fast to get rid of the  extraterrestrial visitor—and save the rest of the sixth grade class and the world.  This is just the first book in a four part series.  But Bruce also has more series titled: Camp Haunted Hills and The Chamber of Horrors.  Visit his sight for details about all of his books and more:  www.brucecoville.com

What are your favorite scary stories?  How do you prepare?  Do you read on your bed under tucked under the blankets?  Maybe you read UNDER the bed?

 

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Book Review “Stop That Frog!” by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Sep 07

“Stop That Frog!” is the perfect little chapter book for your early reader.  An added bonus the publisher Grosset & Dunlap has used a font called Dyslexie.  The Dyslexie font was designed by a graphic designer specifically for dyslexic readers.  It makes it easier for them to read with out jumbling, inverting or flipping the letters.  The font will encourage dyslexic readers not to give up, they’ll be able to reader faster with less errors.

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It’s not all about the font either, Hank is one of those kids that most kids can relate too.  He is a little bit impulsive, a little forgetful, some may use the label ADHD.  But, Hank is a fun kid with brilliant ideas and a kind heart.  In this book of the Hank series, Hank is chosen to take care of the principal’s frog for the weekend.  It’s a big job and a lot of responsibility.  There are few rules and things Hank can’t forget, like putting the lid back on the cage.  Can Hank do the job?  He does fall into a little trouble, when he forget to put the lid back on, even after a lot of reminders (it’s Hank’s world).  But in the end his friends and family come to his aid and the frog is safe, and everyone is happy.

If you have a struggling reader, this book is perfect.  If you have an avid new reader who just can’t get enough books, add the Hank series to your to read list.

 

 

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Book Review: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Jun 10

I loved, loved, loved “Dead End in Norvelt” by Jack Gantos.  This is a perfect book for your middle grader boy or girl.  I’m not sure what category it falls into: historical fiction, humor or mystery because it has all three.  Jack does a wonderful job depicting life in Norvelt, and it just happens to be about a boy named, Jack Gantos.

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It’s the start of summer vacation, and Jack gets caught in the middle of his dad’s schemes and his mother’s quest to help those less fortunate and suddenly Jack is grounded for life.  Part of Jack’s punishment is he has to help the old neighbor lady with a mysterious chore.  Turns out he helps her by typing up obituaries which are filled with stories of the founding members of Norvelt who are dying off one by one.  Throw in some rat poison, Hell’s Angels, a man rides a trike, a WWII Japanese rifle, constant nose bleeds and Jack’s dad building a landing strip and bomb shelter…you’ve got quite a story.  Jack throws in some history, which doesn’t make it seem like you’re actually learning anything.  And perhaps there is a murder or two, maybe three.

Jack has a clever witty style of writing that doesn’t talk down to kids.  The fact that this is based on his own life and the real town of Norvelt makes it even better.   I’m looking forward to reading “From Norvelt to Nowhere”.

 

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Book Review: Miss Daisy is Crazy! by Dan Gutman

Apr 28

 

 

 

Perfect little chapter book for an early reader.  A.J. hates school.  What he really loves is football.  A.J. can see no reason to go to school if he’s going to be a football player when he grows up.  But, as much as he hates school, he finds it a little strange that his new teacher, Miss Daisy can’t read, write or do math.  She’ is the dumbest teacher in the history of the world.  A.J. and the rest of the class come up with a plan to buy the school and turn it into a  video-game arcade.  Who needs school…right? The real question is, how did Miss Daisy become a second grade teacher if she can’t read, write or do math?

 

Book 1 in the Weird School series.  Your young reader will enjoy Dan Gutman’s humor and Jim Paillot’s illustrations.51HU3++1oLL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

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