Tag Archives: books

Review! The Scavengers By Michael Perry

19 Nov

thescavengersScavengers

By Michael Perry

336 pages – ages 8+
Published by HarperCollins on September 2, 2014

 

SUMMARY – Maggie was an OutBubbler. She and her family live outside the “Bubble-cities” that most people choose live under. The bubble-cities were cities that are under bubble-like domes that “protect” the inhabitants from danger. The OutBubblers live out of the cities and fend for themselves, with no electricity, guns, or other things like it.  When Maggie’s family disappears and her house is ransacked, she and her little brother find refuge with their neighbors, Arlinda and Toad Hopper. Maggie soon finds out that her father had things he was doing with the government, and that he had deserted, and the government wanted him back. What will Maggie do?

WHAT I THOUGHT – This was a really cool book. The dystopian factor was cool, but also slightly creepy. I would like to know more about the back-story about the bubble-cities and how they came to be. Toad Hopper, Maggie’s neighbor, is a cool guy. He is sometimes hard to understand, because he uses tons of word-play and pig latin in what he says (for example: Nule Rumber Half A Dancing Skirt) – but it is also kind of fun to decode what he’s trying to say. Maggie is a great female character that you come to care for. She is brave and spunky at the same time. The setting is important to the story. Fortunately for the reader, Mr. Perry is a great story-teller and he vividly described the world. The world really makes it hard for the OutBubblers to live, but it makes it more worthwhile when they succeed. The way the land is described makes me think of a barren wasteland outside of the bubble-cities (besides huge government-run fields of genetically-modified corn). The story-telling in the book is really, really good.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms.fivebooks

Review! Future Flash by Kita Helmetag Murdock

2 Nov

futureflashFuture Flash
by Kita Helmetag Murdock
208 pages -  ages 9+
Published by Sky Pony Press on June 3, 2014

Laney Magee has always been different. She’s the girl that draws on her falling-apart-sneakers, and always wears her favorite black hoodie. It doesn’t help that she has this weird power that when she meets someone new and makes contact with them, she sees a short vision of their future, to the exact detail. A new student comes to their school, and Laney is dreading it. She touches his hand in gym class (they are learning about square-dancing), and she gets a horrible vision, the worst she sees – the new boy, clothed in flames, in a burning building. Laney decides to stop his fiery fate from happening. To do that, she must stay close to him. Which might be hard, because he, well, kind of hates her.

This was a cool book about an ordinary girl with an extraordinary power – when she makes contact with someone, usually for the first time, she catches a glimpse of something in the future concerning that person. Laney is a nice, art-loving, “oddball”-type girl who risks her skin to try to save someone she doesn’t even know, who doesn’t really like her (at first – they become friends). She is a marvelous role model, and a great female lead character. The setting is perfect for the story – a small, rural town. Literally – there are only 13 kids in Laney’s class! My school is small, but it isn’t that small! The cover is gorgeous and fits well with the story. I like the silhouette on it a lot. Ms. Murdock’s style kept me reading. I like how she gave every character a unique personality. For example, you know that saying “Never trust a skinny chef” – well, apparently the town baker is super skinny. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms.fivebooks

Review! The Bloody Book Bag Ordeal by C. Maguire

25 Sep

bloodyThe Bloody Book Bag Ordeal
by C. Maguire
194 pages – ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace on April 22, 2013

SUMMARY -  3rd grader Mary Fountain has bad luck. When her mom has finally gotten her to pronounce “pen” right (she pronounced it “pin”), pens keep causing her to get in trouble! Pens start leaking left and right! Worst of all, Mary gets accused of having something horrible in her backpack! And it’s not her fault that her sister put her dress on Mary’s bed and then ink got on it… Will the inky imperil ever stop?

WHAT I THOUGHT - I wasn’t sure if I would like this book – the title really threw me off (in reality, the book bag wasn’t bloody – it was ink from a red pen). The book is good, and actually quite funny. The plot shows how one disaster after another follows Mary. Mary is likeable character. She acts like someone her age would, and I like her creativeness. I like how she tries to be good, but whatever she does gets messed up. Ms. Maguire made all of her characters realistic and believable and that makes all the wacky stuff that happens even more funny. Ms. Maguire’s writing style is fun to read and kept me reading/interested in the book. The story is appropriate for all ages. I am glad I read this book!

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms!fourbooks

Review! Tales of an Alien Invader by Michelle Brown

22 Sep

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00095]Tales of an Alien Invader

By Michelle Brown

160 pages – ages 9+

Published by Pants On Fire Press on August 4, 2014

Felix Winters is not who he says he is. He is not the troubled son of two archaeologists. He is not visiting his aunt and uncle for a year while his parents are off on a dig. He is a Bopton, an alien species from a galaxy far, far away… Right now, he was sent to Earth to study it and he is to decide the fate of the world. Is the human race worthy of being? “Felix” must try to fit in with the Earthlings in order to study them. But there’s one problem that “Felix” encounters – he’s starting to think too much like a human…

This was an amazing book. I think the plot is a great one for an MG book. It is one that made me think about Felix’s purpose. I like that “Felix” isn’t evil. He is a normal alien, who was assigned to check out Earth and, well, to decide its fate. Ms. Brown’s writing style makes the book exciting and the story is explained well. Felix is a believable character (for an alien) who you really like. The character relations seem natural and I like the struggle Felix has with being too human.  It is interesting to see how he changes in his thoughts about Earthlings and their habits. At 160 pages the book was a fast read for me. I think I would have liked the story plot to be expanded a bit. I really enjoyed it and would have loved to have a longer book with this one. The book ends well, but also leaves room for a sequel – which I’d be very happy to read.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Like Tales of an Alien Invader of Facebook HERE.

Learn more about Ms. Brown and her other books at her website HERE.

Review and Giveaway! The Guardian Herd Book 1 – Starfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

25 Aug

 

Mark your calendars for this wonderful book that will be released September 23rd!  Can’t wait?!? Well comment below and enter to win a signed copy (US residents only, please). On September 1st I will… I mean my little sister Josie will  pick a name out of a hat and declare the WINNER of a SIGNED copy of THE GUARDIAN HERD: STARFIRE! WOO! :D

I reviewed Ms. Alvarez’s book “The Pet Washer” a while ago (see my review HERE) and I really enjoyed her writing style. I was very excited to get an ARC of the first book of this new series by Ms. Alvarez and really looked forward to reading the story. I wasn’t disappointed!

guardianThe Guardian Herd Book 1 – Starfire

By Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

272 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on September 23, 2014

Anok is a land full of pegasi – winged horses – and no humans.

Star is the “black foal” – a black pegasi that is born once every 100 years. On the black foals’ first birthday (at midnight), the Hundred Year Star gives its power to the black foal of the century. With this power, the black foal can become either the Destroyer or the Healer of the herds. Either way, the foal will become more powerful than any pegasi in Anok. Thunderwing (and most of Sun Herd) thinks that Star will become the Destroyer, if he lives. Star doesn’t blame them – he isn’t so sure himself! Thunderwing, the over-stallion (chief) of Sun Herd now is the head of the Guardian Herd, the herd to which the black foal is born. It is the Guardian Herd’s responsibility to keep track of the black foal and to determine it’s fate when the time came. Thunderwing gave Star until his first birthday to live and then declared that Star must be killed in case he becomes the Destroyer. When the lead-mare of Sun Herd helps get Star to safety by bringing him to a secluded cave, she gets kicked out of Sun Herd. She dares to go back only to warn the Sun Herd about the pegasi army about to attack the Guardian Herd because they lost track of Star. The warning didn’t help. Now Star’s friends’ lives are in danger! What can he do?

This is an amazing book! It reminded me a little bit of the Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter, with all of the Herds and all – but it was also very different (not just because it’s about pegasi). I liked it. The Guardian Herd series is very unique and I like that it hooks you right in the first paragraph! I could not put it down! ( Seriously. I didn’t really leave my bean-bag chair at all until I was done… ;) )! Ms. Alvarez is a great author with a descriptive writing style that gets the reader involved. Star is a character you really come to care for. He is a great main character, and is a nice guy pegasi. I like how Star’s character developed during the time he spent exiled in the cave. I love how Ms. Alvarez describes the world of Anok. It felt like I was really there, diving through the trees, galloping through the plains! I thought all the interactions between the herds and members of each herd was interesting. You got to learn about their society and chain of command and such. I can’t wait for the other books in this series! Bonus points for an awesome cover too!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Ms. Alvarez and her books, please visit her website HERE.

Book Review! How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied by Jess Keating

1 Aug

ourtruncrocHow to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied

My Life is a Zoo Series: Book 1

By Jess Keating

288 pages – age 9+

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on June 3, 2014

Ana Wright was having a horrible year. Her best friend, Liv, has moved to New Zealand (A.K.A. Half-Way around the World), and doesn’t seem to want to move back. Her famous grandfather is having a documentary on his life filmed, and will be featuring his family in it, including socially awkward, extremely shy Ana (UGH!). It doesn’t help that her parents, zoo workers at the local zoo, are moving them into a house at the zoo for the summer (now Ana actually LIVES in a zoo). And don’t forget those nasty Sneerers (the three popular girls who hate Ana)! Will Ana Wright ever make her life right?

This was a great book. I read it in one sitting – that’s how good the story was – I didn’t want to put it down. It was very realistic, and I thought that, given certain circumstances, it could actually happen. Ms. Keating has gotten the middle school experience down pat. Ana is a nice girl and I think if I knew her, I would be friends with her. I was cheering her on while she tries to make sense of her life. Ms. Keating is a great author. Her writing style draws one in. There is a good amount of humor in it. I love the ending of the book. I thought it suited the book well. I would like to read other books from her and am looking forward to the next book in this series. I think that the book is a good length, and that it is good for kids who like school stories.

I give “How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes are Untied” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Ms. Keating and her books, visit her webpage, click HERE.

Find Ms. Keating on Twitter HERE.

I already have Ms. Keating’s next book in this series on my TBR list. It comes out in January 2015

howtoshark

Book Review – Kat McGee Saves America! by Kristin Riddick

25 Jul

katmcgeeKat McGee Saves America!

By Kristin Riddick

104 pages – ages 7+

Published by In This Together Media on June 2, 2014 (ebook)

After her adventures at the North Pole and Treatsville, Kat McGee was ready to just sit back and relax for the 4th of July. But that doesn’t go as planned. When her Gram asks the McGee kids what they know about the 4th of July, the kids don’t really answer, Gram takes them to Philadelphia to learn about what happened there to help make the 4th of July so important. When Kat goes through a door and pops up in a place called Libertyland, she is shocked. Kat meets a giant lady in a greenish dress called Liberty. She is the governor of Libertyland, and she needs Kat’s help. The Declaration of Independence has gone missing, along with Thomas Jefferson, two days before he was supposed to present it to the Continental Congress! Kat must go back in time and find Jefferson and the Declaration before the fate of the United States is changed forever!

YAY – Historical fiction for younger kids! This was a great book. Ms. Riddick writes stories that are easy and fun to read. I like how she incorporated the time travel, and historical facts into this book. I really enjoyed Kat McGee and the School of Christmas Spirit (see my review HERE).  I didn’t know that there was a second in the series (this is book 3) and I saw on the publisher’s website a book 4 is planned (click HERE). Good news for parents looking for a great Magic School Bus type series for their kids! I like the character of Kat McGee a lot. She is a great girl who perseveres. I also like that she meets John Quincy Adams in the book (just because I am a super American history buff).  The story is packed with American history facts and kids will learn without knowing it! The cover art is pretty cool too. I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

I give Kat McGee Saves America five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell by Jen Barton

22 Jul

fiona thornFiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell

By Jen Barton

201 pages – ages 9+

Published by Flickerfawn on September 3, 2012

It wasn’t Jaydin the fairy prince’s fault. He was framed. Fiona Thorn, his best friend, knew that. She was going to break him out – ER rather BLOW him out of jail. After all, she IS an explosive worker. Taught by the Demolitions master McClane, Fiona knows just about everything about explosives. She’ll use that knowledge to bust Jaydin out. Riding her trusty Bright Eye horse (Bright Eyes are extremely smart animals, as in that they can talk to humans), Manzanita Rose (or Manzy, for short), Fiona knows that nothing can stop her. What she didn’t expect was 3 princesses to get in her way. 3 spoiled princesses, at that. Soon Fiona finds herself (and the royal pains) on the run from the King because of a misread letter, which made it seem like Fiona kidnapped the princesses. It doesn’t help that there is a murder plot against the king, his brother, and Jaydin. What will Fiona do?

This was a fun book. I think that Ms. Barton did a great job of creating this fantasy world. I really felt like I was there. I loved the sense of adventure and the fact that Fiona is a demolition expert. The magic in it was pretty cool. I loved the “gifts” that the 4 girls got. Fiona is a great female heroine for this book. I loved that she always kept her cool (despite her being hotheaded) and knew what to do. Manzy is a great supporting character. The book is a good reading level for middle grade readers or young advanced readers. At 201 pages, the book was a quick read for me but the story felt very complete. I would really like to read another book by Ms. Barton.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

The Dark Eagles Book 2: Wells In Desolation by David R. Smith

21 Jul

wellsThe Dark Eagles Book 2: Wells In Desolation

By David R. Smith

320 pages – ages 12+

Published by Vrigham Distribution on February 13, 2014

Kief and his friends are back in an all new adventure. After breaking Flinch, a friend, out of jail, Kief and Tarc, along with Flinch flee their country, which was invaded by soldiers from Gar. They are going to Gar to find Kief’s father, who had been held captive there for a long time. When mysterious “Stone Hunters” start chasing Kief, going after the mysterious stone that his grandfather gave to him, the friends get reckless and get a job on a ship that will take them to Gar. Little do they know that they will soon become prisoners for no good reason. Making a friend with a fellow prisoner, they escape. The man joins them and they head towards the Wells In Desolation – where Kief’s father is being held. But will they make it there, and back, ALIVE?

This was an action-packed book, much like the first book (to read my review of it, click HERE)! I love the thrills. Mr. Smith has got the fantasy world down! I love the descriptions and the humor in the dialogue. At first I was confused at the beginning of the book because it didn’t recap the first book (and I read the first book a while ago), but I soon got past it and just enjoyed the story. Kief is a great main character. He acts like you would expect him to act. At first I wasn’t sure about his age, but apparently, because Fundautum is a different planet, they age differently. That really helped, it’s just that it explained the aging differently at the end of the book – I wish it was sooner. I DO think that it was cool and nice of the author to have information about Fundautum at the beginning and end of the book – nice touch. The story is good and the plot is solid. I really like how the characters get along with each other. The book is a tad violent but not graphically. It is a great read for middle graders.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Check out Mr. Smith’s website HERE!

 

 

MINION by John David Anderson – BLOG TOUR!!!

14 Jul

minion1

 

Have I got a treat for you! Not only do I have a review of a great superhero book, but I also have videos of the author, John David Anderson, reading aloud from it!

 

minion2MINION

By John David Anderson

288 pages – ages 9+

Published by Walden Pond Press on June 24, 2014

My Summary – New Liberty. The city that nobody’s ever heard of. The town with two rival crime bosses (Tony Romano and Mickey “Six Fingers” Maloney). The town with no Super. The town that Michael Marion Magdalene Morn lives in, with his adoptive father, Professor Benjamin Edson. They make electronic boxes with unique powers, and sell them to the highest buyer. They do small crimes, only stealing what they need. It may help that Michael has a hypnotizing “gift”. Surprisingly, the town’s crime rate isn’t out of hand (a few banks robbed, a couple of houses broken into, etc.). That is, until a supervillain calling himself The Dictator shows up, with henchmen in bullet-proof outfits and silver masks. And, as most things happen, when a supervillain comes, a superhero soon follows. The Comet. A bullet-proof, super-strength, flying superhero who leaves a blue streak in the air when he blasts off. The Comet may ruin everything that Michael and his dad have built (literally and figuratively). And it doesn’t help that The Dictator has taken an interest in the Edson family…

THIS IS AN AWESOME STORY!!! Mr. Anderson is an awesome author of superhero stories! At first, reading the summary for Minion, and seeing that it is a companion to Mr. Anderson’s book, Sidekicked, I thought the superhero would be The Sensationalist (Sidekicked’s Main Character), but I was pleasantly surprised to see a new superhero. Michael Morn is a great character. I like how this book isn’t about good or evil. It’s about doing what you believe in. It’s about being true to yourself. Michael and his dad aren’t bad, but they aren’t completely good either. They’re… neutral-ish. Mr. Anderson handles these subjects very well. New Liberty is actually nice. The crime bosses aren’t tyrants to the people – in fact, I think that most people don’t really know that they exist (except from what they read in newspapers). They’re just rivals to each other. This is an extremely well-written story, especially for us Middle Graders. I really like the world Mr. Anderson has created. The book is pretty much everything I want in a story. I can’t wait until his next book comes out!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Now, onto the fun stuff!

I asked Mr. Anderson if he’d read an excerpt from Minon for my wonderful blog readers as part of the blog tour! He agreed to do it! :) Plus he sent a hysterical version of it in which he has a “chipmunk voice.” :)

Check them out!

Normal Voice:

Chipmunk voice. (Mr. Anderson wanted me to share this too, for “people with not a lot of time on their hands” ;) )

Who is this John David Anderson?!?

John David Anderson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, IN HIS OWN WORDS:

John David Anderson writes novels for young people and then, occasionally, gets them published. Besides Minion, he is the author of Sidekicked, and Standard Hero Behavior. He lives with his patient wife and brilliant twins in Indianapolis, Indiana, right next to a State park and a Walmart. He enjoys hiking, reading, chocolate, spending time with his family, playing the piano, chocolate, making board games, chocolate, not putting away his laundry, watching movies, and chocolate. Those aren’t his real teeth.

To find out more: www.johndavidanderson.org

Check out the book’s trailer too!

 

Follow Walden Pond Press on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Check out the other stops in the blog tour!

June 23 Maria’s Melange

June 24 The Library Fanatic

June 25 The Next Best Book 

June 26 Jean Book Nerd

June 27 Book Egg

June 28 Word Spelunking Book Blog

June 30 Ms. Yingling Reads

July 1     The Book Monsters

July 2     The Book Monsters

July 3     Read Now, Sleep Later

July 6 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

July 7 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

July 8 Candace’s Book Blog

July 9 Middle Grade Mafioso

July10 Librarian’s Quest

July 11 Unleashing Readers

July 12 Trisha Perry

July 14 This Kid Reviews Books

July 16 Charlotte’s Library

July 17 Literacy Toolbox

Go to Mr. Anderson’s website HERE!

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