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Easter pick – God’s Amazing World by Eileen Spinelli

13 Apr

Here’s a great book for Easter by one of my favorite authors!

 

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God’s Amazing World
by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Mélanie Florian
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Ideals Children’s Books, an imprint of Ideals Publications on March 1, 2014

Cousins Gracie and Bo are amazed by the world around them. Gracie tells Bo about the 7 Days of Creation. Together the children discover how great and beautiful the world is.

This is an extremely cute book! The illustrations are just beautiful and a perfect fit for the story. I love the two little cats in the background of  pretty much all the pictures. They are funny. Gracie and Bo are great characters. I like the happy feeling the story has. I like how Gracie explains the 7 Days of Creation to her younger cousin by just playing outside. It is very simple and fun but not “preachy”. Mrs. Spinelli has done it yet again! :D

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli and her other books, please visit her website HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Florian and her illustrations, please visit her website HERE.

Almost Super by Marion Jensen

26 Mar

I’m feeling a little purple today!

I’ve turned my blog purple too. Why? Today it epilepsy awareness day!

elilepsyPurple Day was founded by 8-year-old Cassidy Megan (she’s now 15). Epilepsy is a serious disease that affects about 50 millions people. Please show your support and help make people more aware of this disease. Please visit purpleday.org or the Purple Day  Facebook page HERE. Follow Purple Day on Twitter @PurpleDay

Now on to my review!

almostsuperAlmost Super

by Marion Jensen

256 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on January 21, 2014

Every February 29th, members of the Bailey family (if you are legally part of the family (adopted, marriage, etc.), it counts too!) 12-years-old and older go through an amazing transformation. This year, at exactly 4:23PM (as always) on February 29th 13-year-old Rafter Bailey and his little brother, 12-year-old Benny Bailey will get their SUPER POWERS! You see the Baileys are a family of superheros. Rafter and Benny are excited to see what super powers they get. Will they fly like their dad? Be super-strong like grandpa? Have fire powers?!? When the time finally comes they receive AWESOME super powers! Well… not awesome… more like… umm, well, the powers are lame and pretty much useless.  Rafter can light matches on polyester and Benny can turn his innie belly button to an outie. How are Rafter and Benny supposed to help their family save the world from the evil family of supervillains,  the Johnsons, with these pathetic powers?!? When things look the worst, the boys find an unlikely ally and realize that together they really are heroes.

Books like this make me think I should change my rating system from number of bookworms to rating it as the number of times I get in trouble for reading the book when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I got yelled at, well, at least 6 times because I couldn’t put this book down. :) I actually ended up hiding under the covers in my bed (when I was supposed to be asleep) using my alarm clock for light (my parents confiscated all my flashlights a while ago because of me reading way past my bedtime) to finish reading the book. It was that awesome.

Mr. Jensen has written a fun superhero story that has a different twist. The book is packed with lots of humor and written in a style that all ages can enjoy, especially fans of comics and superheroes. It is a great choice for young advanced readers who are looking for something more than a chapter book. Rafter is a great guy. You really understand how he feels. He’s surrounded by totally super family – his great-aunt (whose power is way less than it was when she was younger) has a stronger power than he does! Benny is a character you just hope succeeds. He’s the really nice guy and he keeps trying and trying. I ended up cheering for Benny. :) The story also has a good message – Don’t draw conclusions based on rumors/gossip or what other people are telling you. People aren’t always what other people tell you they are. I really hope there is a book two, even though the story ended well. But, it’s sort of a cliff-hanger. Sort of.

 

Five out of five bookworms for this most certainly super book! fivebooks

Noah Zarc and Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

13 Feb

Happy snow day! I think I’ll review a book! 

NoahZarcMT_Cover600x900Noah Zarc and Mammoth Trouble

By D. Robert Pease

210 pages – ages 8+

Published by Evolved Publishing LLC on December 17, 2013

Noah Zarc and his family are on a mission. They are collecting 2 of every animal via time machine so that they aren’t extinct in the year 3024 (Noah’s home time-zone). When Noah’s mom and dad get stuck in time because someone stole their time-traveling spaceship, Noah and his older siblings go to rescue them. But, it turns out that by the time they got there (they arrived a week after the signal) that their mom was kidnapped (by the guy who stole their spaceship). And that’s not all – the evil guy plans to destroy their goal by wrecking the place they have set up for the animals via poisonous gas, so it would take years to remove it. What can Noah and his family do?

Mammoth Trouble is the first book in the Noah Zarc trilogy (Book 2 is Cataclysm and Book 3 is Declaration). This is a fabulous dystopian world! Mr. Pease makes it sound so real and believable. I wouldn’t be surprised if this actually happened in the future (hmm.. maybe Mr. Pease is the time traveler?). I like Noah’s name, it made me smile. Noah is a really cool boy. The fact that he is disabled (Noah is in a high-tech wheelchair) added to the story. It is great to see a very cool MC with a disability. The story is very fun and totally gets the reader involved. I think it would make a great read-aloud for parents to read to younger kids for story time. Older kids and grown-ups will enjoy Mr. Pease’s writing style. The book has no profanity and only mild violence. The sibling rivalry described between Noah and his brother and sister is very believable and pretty funny. I think Noah Zarc is a great series that kids would love. I am definitely finishing this series!

I give Noah Zarc five out of five bookworms!

fivebooks

To learn more about Mr. Pease and his other books, please visit his website HERE!

Check out the series trailer!


 

Wanderville by Wendy McClure

10 Feb

I am starting the week off right – a 2-hour school delay AND a great book to tell you about!

wandervilleWanderville (Book 1 of the Wanderville Series)

By Wendy McClure

224 pages – ages 8+

Published by Razorbill on January 23, 2014

Jack wasn’t an orphan, but his parents put him on an orphan train after his older brother died in a factory fire. His parents couldn’t afford to have Jack live with them anymore. Jack makes friends on the train. His new friends, Frances and her little brother Harold, are just happy to not be separated from each other. The kids hear horrible rumors about the place they’re heading for, the Pratcherd Ranch. So, they hatch an idea. When the train stops, the kids jump off it! Soon after, they meet Alexander, a kid who had escaped from the Pratcherd Ranch. They become friends and they make a town where kids in need can find refuge. The children call it Wanderville.

This was an outstanding, well-written book. Ms. McClure has instantly become a favorite author of mine with this book! The story was one I couldn’t put down. I really identified with the characters who were taken from New York and left in Kansas (we recently moved from just outside Philadelphia to a VERY rural area). Ms. McClure’s writing style really draws you into the story. It made it seem like I jumped off the train with Jack, Frances, and Harold. There is some very minor violence at the Pratcherd Ranch, but most of it happens between chapters and isn’t graphic. I love the history I learned about the orphan trains too. I first learned about them in Clare Vanderpool’s “Moon Over Manifest,” but learned more about them from this book. Jack sounds like a boy I’d love to be friends with. He’s pretty adventurous. I think kids will love this book! I can’t wait for Book 2! :D

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Ms. McClure’s website is packed with activities, history, cool things about her research for this book and much more. To visit her website, please click HERE.

Like Ms. McClure’s Facebook page HERE.

Follow her on Twitter HERE.

Visit the publisher’s website HERE.

Bad Kitty – Drawn to Trouble by Nick Bruel

3 Feb

WOO!!! 2-hour school delay AGAIN!!!  SNOW DAY!!!

Let’s celebrate with something bad… Bad Kitty, that is! :D

drawntotraoubleBad Kitty – Drawn to Trouble

By Nick Bruel

128 pages – ages 7+

Published by Roaring Brook Press on January 7. 2014

Bad Kitty is back! But, this time, she’s not alone! Her creator, Nick Bruel, is right in the plot! With the (unwilling) help of Kitty, Mr. Bruel tells us readers how to write a good story . The reader learns about protagonists, setting, plot, conflict, foreshadowing and much more in a fun-filled way. The is that Kitty needs to go on a diet of turnips, because she’s gained a LOT of weight recently (thanks to Mr. Bruel and his trusty paint brush). But, the thing is, Kitty doesn’t even LIKE turnips. And, Puppy is eating all of her food. Plus, the giant octopuses outside the house (generously provided by Mr. Bruel) keep Kitty from running away.

This is a hilarious addition to the Bad Kitty series. In fact, I think this is my new favorite (sorry Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray) because of all the information it gives about writing a book. Mr. Bruel’s humor is awesome. I love that the antagonist in the story is a turnip. :) Mr. Bruel wrote a great book that teaches kids all about writing and made it a totally enjoyable story. The idea of the author/illustrator and character interacting is very cool (even though Bad Kitty is NOT impressed by it). I like how Mr. Bruel adds comments from his editor, “Neal”, on little sticky notes “stuck” to the pages reminding him of things he shouldn’t be doing in the story. There is also a handy glossary in the back of the book with the definitions of the parts of the story Mr. Bruel  goes over (and a recipe for roasted turnips hee hee :lol: ). I think kids of all ages will enjoy this book for the hilarious story and learn something along the way!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mr. Bruel and his other books, visit his website, HERE.

Like Bad Kitty Books on Facebook HERE.

Check out a preview at Macmillan Publishers HERE.

Review & Giveaway! I Even Funnier by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

4 Dec

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!

Have I got a great giveaway to tell you about today! :D

One lucky person will win a copy of “I Funny” PLUS a copy of  “I Even Funnier”! That’s right – both books in this awesome series by award-winning authors James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein! Read to the end to find out how to enter!

ifunnyIEvenFunnierHC

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IEvenFunnierHCI Even Funnier

by James Patterson

and Chris Grabenstein

Hardcover: 368 pages -ages 8+

Published by Little, Brown and Company on December 9, 2013

After being declared “Funniest Kid in New York State” in I Funny (Book 1), Jamie Grimm is ready to go to the national semi-final comedy competition! Jamie, along  with Gilda Gold, Joey Gaynor & Jimmy Pierce, is ready to make you laugh until you bust a gut!  Jamie is totally psyched about the competition, but everything seems to be going wrong. Joey’s mom is dealing with having cancer and after getting into MAJOR trouble at school, Joey ends up having to move in with Jamie’s super-nice uncle  Frankie. Jamie is still living with his terrible Aunt and Uncle and his horribly mean cousin (we learn in Book 1 that Jamie was hurt (and is now in a wheelchair) and his parents killed in a car crash before the series starts and he lives with his mom’s sister and her family). When Joey moves in with Uncle Frankie, Jamie also goes to live with him, which is good because Jamie’s cousin is being worse than ever. Things are going pretty well until Uncle Frankie has a heart attack! With all this going on, will Jamie become “The Planet’s Funniest Kid” or will all of his dreams go down the drain?

This book was one of those where I remember the characters really well. I really enjoyed the story. The best part of the book – that no matter what happens, the characters don’t give up. All the hardships the characters in the book go through make me care for them even more. The characters are believable middle school kids. Some of the story plot seems a bit sad, but it’s really the kind of things kids have to go through every day. The humor in the book is hysterical and I had a few laugh out loud moments when I was reading it. I love Jamie’s motto – “Laughter is the best medicine” :) Mr. Patterson and Mr. Grabenstein’s writing style is enjoyable to read. The book is very appropriate for middle school age kids even though it deals with some sad topic. I think this book can inspire everyone to persevere and follow your dreams. I can’t wait for the next book (I Funniest) to come out.  :)

I give I Even Funnier 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more, please visit Mr. Patterson’s Middle School Books official website HERE!

Visit Mr. Grabenstein’s website HERE!

Follow Mr. Patterson on Twitter HERE and Mr. Grabenstein HERE!

Like Mr. Patterson on Facebook HERE and Mr. Grabenstein HERE!

Now for the Giveaway!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is comment saying you want to enter. But you can ALSO give me your best joke, OR your best evil laugh (because I like evil laughs)! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! :twisted:

The contest runs until Tuesday December 10th. I will put all the names of people who enter in a hat (I haven’t decided what kind of hat, but I guess it should be funny). My sister Josie will pick a name out of the hat and I will announce the winner on December 11th! Good Luck!

The 39 Clues: Unstoppable Book 1: Nowhere to Run by Jude Watson

23 Sep

unstopThe 39 Clues: Unstoppable Book 1: Nowhere to Run

By Jude Watson

272 pages – Ages 8 – 12 years

Series: The 39 Clues: Unstoppable (Book 1)

Published by Scholastic Inc. October 1, 2013

Dan and Amy Cahill, the two kids in charge of the world’s most powerful family and keepers of The 39 Clues serum are back in an all new adventure! The 39 Clues are a list of ingredients that when you mix them together, they make a serum that makes the person who takes it 90% invincible (it happens to be very toxic, so you die soon after taking it)! The 39 Clues is too powerful to ever to be used, but there are those who will stop at nothing to get it. After defeating the Vespers (an evil family who want t o rule the world or destroy it) in the Cahill vs Vespers series, all Dan and Amy want is to return to a normal life or at least a life where they don’t have to look over their shoulders 99% of the time and wonder who is out to get them. Sadly, that is not going to be. J. Rutherford Pierce (a super-rich and super-powerful media guy) is out to get the Cahill kids. He is trying to ruin their reputations and even worse. The Cahills decide it is time to stop Pierce, but they soon realize their worst fears have come true. Someone has assembled the serum, which a Cahill had just perfected (now 99.9% safe, and taken in daily doses!

The 39 Clues is one of my favorite multi-series (I say multi because there are a bunch of series: The 39 Clues, Rapidfire: The Cahill vs Vespers etc)! I am the kid at the front of the line at the bookstore every time a new book comes out. I was very thrilled that I was able to get an ARC of this book because of two words – Jude Watson! Ms. Watson is a favorite author of mine, and one of the original 39 Clues authors, and I think she writes really well. I was a little disappointed in the last book of the last 39 Clues series (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 6: Day of Doom – each book in the 39 Clues series is written by different authors). In Day of Doom, there were some character things and things that happen in the plot I wasn’t really fond of. I was hopeful that this series would start off well. I was not disappointed! Ms. Watson not only tied up things from the last series, she sets this series up to be another great Cahill adventure. Ms. Watson puts in a bunch of action, humor, and adventure into her books and tells a great story for kids. I thought the plot of this book was especially intense and exciting because of the new bad-guy, Pierce. Pierce is very cunning, smart, and absolutely diabolical.

This is one of those books I want to give more than 5 bookworms to, but my scale only goes to 5 :) – 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

You can find out more about The 39 Clues and play the online game (which I think is very cool) by visiting the official 39 Clues website – click HERE!

The next book in The 39 Clues: Unstoppable series is called Breakaway by Jeff Hirsch and will be published by Scholastic Inc. on January 28, 2014! I can’t wait!

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Momo by Michael Ende

14 Aug

Before I get to a review of one of the best books I read this year…

At 4pm today (EST), you can join me today for a TWITTER PARTY for Bruce’s Hale’s book, Playing With Fire (School for Spies Book 1 – my review of this fun and exciting adventure story will be coming soon)!!! The chat is moderated by @DisneyHyperion (Mr. Hale’s twitter name is @storyguy1 and my twitter name is  @ThisKid_Erik). Mr. Hale will be answering questions about being an author and writing and publishing. Disney Hyperion will also ask Mr. Hale to summarize his book in one tweet! I’m looking forward to that! :)  Look for hashtag #PlayingWithFire!  Hope to see TWEET you there!

 playingwithfire

Now to the review!

momo

Momo
By Michael Ende
240 pages – ages 12+
Published by McSweeney’s McMullens Anniversary Edition edition on August 13, 2013

Momo is a young orphan girl living by herself in an abandoned amphitheater who has many friends from town because Momo listens. Momo is so good at listening that people from town come to tell her their troubles and Momo makes them feel good again. Momo also helps kids imagine. But it all changes when the “gray men” come to town and start to convince the townspeople to “save” time by doing things very quickly. In reality, everyone who agrees loses time and becomes super grumpy! No one visits Momo anymore except for the kids, who have no where else to go. Momo realizes she must save everyone from the gray men.

This edition of Momo is a 40th anniversary edition (just released yesterday!) and it is a MUST READ book. The plot of this book is very unlike anything I’ve read. It is unique and fun to read. I love Master Hora, the guy in charge of keeping time going. He’s cool. I like the idea of the gray men as bad guys. They are really creepy. Momo is a great character. I like her “power!” I wish I had a power like that. I love the adventure in this book! I really like Cassiopeia, Master Hora’s turtle, which can see exactly 30 minutes into the future and she can also “talk” by having letters appear on her shell to spell out sentences. I find that very cool. The illustrations scattered through the book are awesome. I like the last picture – Cassiopeia showing two words that appear only to the readers – The End!

I give this book 5 out of 5 book worms!fivebooks

PS – My parents were surprised I never heard of or read “The Never Ending Story,” Mr. Ende’s most popular book (he wrote Momo six years earlier than The Never Ending Story). Guess what I will be checking out of the library next? ;)

neverending

Sir Nathan and the Clammy Calamity (A Somewhat Silly Story Book #3) by Mark Simon Smith

18 Jul

Have I got a surprise for you! Since everyone wanted to know more about my legendary bass of legend, I thought that I would post a picture of it (besides, Rhythm asked me if I had a picture and some of you questioned my awesome fishing abilities :) ).

bass-pic

I was told to “Smile BIG!” :D

sir-nathan#3Sir Nathan and the Clammy Calamity
By Mark Simon Smith
Illustrated by Derek K. Gebler
310 pages – ages 7+
Published by CreateSpace on May 3, 2013

When an evil whale (named Kale) tries to flood Mariskatania (because he’s upset of all the litter that goes into the sea from Mariskatania), Sir Nathan, the Hero of the Land, is called in. Sadly, Kale the Whale anticipates this and he takes all of the courage out of Sir Nathan! Now all the Hero wants to do is weep, sob, and cry. Who’s going to stop Kale the Whale from flooding Mariskatania now? Why, everyone, that is! From the tiny hobnobber squirrels (blue squirrels that crave nuts that are incredibly poisonous to them) to the spoiled Princess Abbey who only cares for herself, everyone gets their chance to be a hero on this adventure!

I loved this all-new adventure of Sir Nathan (Read my review of book 1 right HERE and book 2 over THERE)! It was even funnier than the other two books! The message of this book is great – it says that there is no thing to hold courage – it comes from within. You don’t need some fancy weapon to have courage. What you need is a heart. I really like the plot, especially how everyone (including Tupolev, Sir Nathan’s faithful steed and Amazing Grace, a knight-friend of Sir Nathan) “became” the Hero of Mariskatania. That was hilarious! Plus, I like the Licorice sheep. They are pretty smart. (they were building a sheep-friendly ladder, for candy’s sake!) I love the illustrations, but wish there were some more. I really like Kale the Whale. He’s just your average inventor who wants to take over the world, although being a whale in a walker-mechanism (4 legs & 2 hands) makes it a funny sight to behold. This is a great book for young readers, whether it’s a read-aloud, or just a read-alone.

I give this book a whopping 7 out of 5 book worms! twobooksfivebooks

Taylor Davis and the Flame of Findul By Michelle Isenhoff

12 Jun

taylordavisTaylor Davis and the Flame of Findul
By Michelle Isenhoff
256 pages – ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on May 8, 2013

Taylor Davis didn’t want to move to the Caribbean. He didn’t want to have his school cheeseburger stolen by a girl six inches taller than him named Elena. He also didn’t want to save the world with Elena, an eccentrically dressing guardian angel, and a pink handbag to hold the most important sword in the world. Taylor didn’t have much of a choice. He got that sword after he met the immortal Davy Jones falling in to a pit that swallowed up Elena. Davy Jones gave Taylor the sword and told him it is a flaming sword that guards the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden, but the flame has gone out because of a terrible mistake made by his guardian angel. Taylor has to find the smith that made the sword and relight it. Taylor, Elena and their guardian angels set out on a dangerous mission to save the world.  He must also stop the evil Bartholomew Swain (a horrible pirate who ate a rotten piece of fruit from the Tree of Life) from finding Taylor and Findul and taking over the world.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! It is so action-packed! The plot is totally unique, I am amazed at how authors can come up with such cool story ideas.. The characters are very realistic. I like Taylor a lot – he acts a lot like a normal boy would act under these circumstances. That makes him very real to me. I like the plot a lot and how it has angels and Davy Jones mixed in. ;)  I also like how Mrs. Isenhoff has a religious twist to the story, but it is totally an action adventure plot. Mrs. Isenhoff’s book are totally clean and appropriate for all ages. I like how Mrs. Isenhoff writes with a bunch of humor in her stories. I think humor in kids books, especially ones that have tense parts, is a great thing to do. I think kids of any age would love this! This is one of those books I think would make a GREAT movie (no never mind – the movie is never as good as the book ;) ).

I give this book five out of five bookworms and am adding it to my Erik’s Favs shelf!fivebooks

BONUS!!! Get Taylor Davis FREE TODAY!!! GRAB IT HERE!!!

To learn more about Mrs. Isenhoff and her other books, please visit her website HERE.

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