Tag Archives: bookworm

Book Birthday and Review! Mission Titanic (39 Clues: Doublecross Book 1) by Jude Watson

24 Feb

missiontitanicRELEASED TODAY! A NEW 39 CLUES SERIES!

Mission Titanic
By Jude Watson
Series: 39 Clues: Doublecross (Book 1)
237 pages – ages 8+
Published by Scholastic on February 24, 2015

Synopsis- Ian Kabra is getting used to running the Cahill family empire. With his second-in-command Cara Pierce, they have it all under control. That is, until someone calling himself the Outcast, hacks into the mainframe Cahill computer, rearranges a meeting scheduling, and arranges a coup. Ian is literally thrown out of the Cahill mansion. The Outcast then challenges Ian. The Outcast has fiendishly recreated 4 of history’s worst tragedies, and Ian must stop the tragedies before innocent people get killed. The Outcast demands that Ian cannot involve outsiders. So, that means that… he must find Amy and Dan in their seclusion, and… *shudder* ask them for help and convince them to come back.

What I Thought- The 39 Clues remains one of my top favorite series. The idea of it is very cool – a different author writes each book in the series, taking the story where they want it to go. It is cool to read the different styles of authors in each book. It is an action-adventure series with complex characters and intriguing plots for kids. The online game that goes with the books is fun too – check it out at http://www.The39Clues.com.

After Gordan Korman wrapped up things so nicely in the  4th book of the Unstoppable series (Flashpoint) -I was wondering where the 39 Clues series was going to go next. Thank you Scholastic for getting Jude Watson to write the first book of this new series! Just like Ms. Watson did with the first book in the Unstoppable series, she sets up what is sure to be another excellent Cahill adventure! I like how the story seems to revolve more around Ian Kabra, as Amy and Dan had retired from the Cahills, even though they do get involved. There is a lot of mystery going on in this book and I was second guessing many of the character’s motives. I like that the story line makes you think and is not predictable at all. Like the Unstoppable series, there are 4 planned books in the Doublecross series. July 28th is WAY too long to wait for the second book in the Doublecross series to come out. Book 2 is titled Mission Hindenburg by C. Alexander London.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! The Lost Castle Treasure (Sir Kaye the Boy Knight – Book 2) by Don M. Winn

23 Feb

sirkay2Book 2: The Lost Castle Treasure
By Don M. Winn
Series: Sir Kaye the Boy Knight
178 pages – ages 8+
Published by Rising Phoenix Press on December 3, 2014

Synopsis- Sir Kaye, Reggie, and Beau are back in an all-new adventure! Kaye and Reggie (who is telling the story) are on their way to live at Castle Forte with the Queen of Knox. Along the way, Kaye receives a threatening message  – a stick-man dressed like Kaye hanging from a tree -from an anonymous knight. Upon coming into the town, Kaye is tossed about by mean-spirited knights and ridiculed in front of the residents. While at the castle, the other knights aren’t much better. They don’t think that Kaye, a mere boy, deserves to be a knight. When Queen Vianne gets a letter from a neighboring country saying that they need a debt paid off immediately to stop a war between the two countries, Kaye volunteers to find the castle’s lost treasure to pay the debt and prove himself. Kaye was all set to go  on the quest when a vile knight got Kaye so angry that Kaye foolishly agreed that if he doesn’t find the treasure in time, he would lose his knighthood. Now Kaye has everything to lose. Add in a haunted castle, and Kaye and his friends are in for quite an adventure.

What I Thought- This was a great book in the series about a young knight that is coming of age and his relationships with his friends. Reggie (one of Kaye’s friends) is a great character that you really get into his head. Kaye becomes more distant in the book, with all of the pressure of losing his knighthood and finding the treasure. Reggie feels left out and useless, even though he really is doing a lot. There are black and white illustrations that  seem to make all of the characters come to life. I really like the adventure in this book. It lets Kaye and Reggie explore the castle while still doing good for the kingdom, and the stakes are rather high too, creating some tension and a fantastic plot for young readers. The Sir Kaye books are completely appropriate for all ages and are a great pick for parents of young advanced readers looking for exciting adventure stories for their kids.

I give “The Lost Castle Treasure” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Stick Dog by Tom Watson

23 Feb

stickdogStick Dog … a really GOOD story with kind of BAD drawings
ritten (and [badly] illustrated) by Tom Watson
Series: Stick Dog
189 pages – ages 7+
Published by HarperCollins on January 8, 2013

Synopsis- Stick Dog is a homeless dog, but he’s happy. He’s never known any different, so he has it good. He lives in a dry pipe under a highway with a discarded old mattress to sleep on.And he has tons of lost balls and frisbees from the park he lives by. Stick Dog has good doggy friends – Karen (a dachshund), Mutt (a… mutt), Stripes (a dalmatian. Don’t ask), and Poo-Poo (a poodle. Also don’t ask. ;) )).  And they love one thing (besides being friends), and that is hamburgers. In the summer, they all go to the park on an epic journey and try to find abandoned hamburgers.

What I Thought- Why I have never read any of these books before now – I will never know. I now <3 Stick Dog. If anything, above all, this book will make you hungry. It mentions food on a lot of pages – I like food. The book reads a lot like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but it is geared toward younger kids. The story is of a boy telling the story of Stick Dog for school. The first chapter is titled “I can’t draw, okay?” and the boy explains why the drawings in the book are – well – really not that good. They are nice stick-figures, but that’s not the point. The story is funny and features Stick Dog as the main character, the boy sometimes gets side-tracked in his story-telling, and mentions slightly odd topics, but that just adds to the wackiness of the book. Altogether the story is hysterical (if you like silly, wacky humor), and a fairly short read. The book is sure to get even the most reluctant reader involved in the story. There are 3 Stick Dog books out now and a fourth coming out in May 2015. Young kids will love this book.

I give “Stick Dog” 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

Want to learn more? Check out the Stick Dog website – HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena

20 Feb

HELLLLOOOO Blogosphere! Happy Friday! What could be better than Perfect Picture Book Friday you ask? (well maybe you didn’t but let’s just pretend you did)

Well, I’ll tell you! How about Perfect Picture Book Friday and I get a TWO hour delay from school!

WOO HOO!!!

What?

Not so excited about that?  Well I am pretty ding-dang-dong excited about that.

OKAY how about this -

After you get done reading about my pick for this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday you click on over the Felicia and my vlog – The Write Chat where we have an all new episode for your viewing pleasure! This month we interview the amazingly talented BIG BOOK author – BART KING!

BartKingTWC7Collage

What is Mr. King’s Dream job?

Why are we interviewing an egg?

Are girls allowed to read the BIG BOOK OF BOY STUFF and are boys allowed to read the BIG BOOK OF GIRL STUFF?

How does Bart King (who is NOT a girl) write a BIG BOOK OF GIRL STUFF anyway?

All these and many more questions will be answered in this exciting episode of THE WRITE CHAT!

Click HERE to go THERE (but only after you read my PPBF post ;) ).

 

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it was illustrated by Christian Robinson, and I like his works. That’s what caught my eye, but there is a lot more to the book.

laststopLast Stop on Market Street

By Matt De La Peña

Illustrated by Christian Robinson

32 pages – ages 3+
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on January 8, 2015

Theme/Topic- Appreciation

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “CJ pushed through the church doors, skipped down the steps.”

Synopsis (from publisher) – “Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.”

Why I liked this book- This is a very inspiring book. It helps you see the wonders of the world, even in places you wouldn’t expect. Mr. Robinson’s art really compliments Mr. De La Peña’s story. It has that warm feeling and points to all the things that matter. I like how the twist at the end of the story reveals that CJ and his Nana go to help others. I noticed that CJ’s Nana never really shushes CJ for asking questions, like about a blind man – “How come that man can’t see?” and his Nana replies “…Some people watch the world with their ears.” That line made me smile. Mr. De La Peña has written a great picture book which makes me want to see the awesomeness in everything around me.

Activities and Resources-

A great activity is to volunteer to help other people like CJ and his Nana did. There are a lot of places you can go to help – just with your family or maybe your whole class room.

I found this list of activities called “Gratitude Games.” They are ways of having kids remember all they have to be thankful for. Click HERE to get it.

Of course the Bucket Fillers activities are a great way to have and show appreciation. Click HERE.

 

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Creative Kid Thursday! Brother – Sister Book Reviews!

19 Feb

Today Josie and I will be reviewing some cool graphic novels that caught our eyes and we rate as 5 out of 5 Bookworm books!

fivebooks

First up – Erik!

VoltronVoltron: From Days Of Long Ago (A Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration)

Edited by Traci N. Todd

Includes: Jeremy Corray, Marc Morrell, Joshua Bernard, Brian Smith, Jacob Chabot

152 pages – ages 10+
Published by Perfect Square on October 28, 2014

Synopsis- From the publisher “Thirty years ago, America was introduced to Voltron: Defender of the Universe. This is a detailed look at the Voltron universe, including the story of how Voltron took the U.S. by storm and continues to be culturally relevant today.”

What I Thought- For those of you who do not know what VOLTRON is, it was a cartoon (a cartoon my parents grew up with and loved) about a team of 5 space defenders that rode around in mechanical lions but then the lions combined to make VOLTRON the awesome evil fighting robot. I actually have a VOLTRON toy. :)

voltron1

This book explains the awesomeness of VOLTRON well and would be pretty interesting for anyone interested in anime. This amazing collection of all things Voltron – TV shows, the beginning, toys, comics, etc. The book is in 2 parts – the first one about Voltron’s behind the scenes creation, and the toys, and the second part about the TV Show history of Voltron (what goes on in the TV Show). I believe that any fan of Voltron really needs to get the book. It is attractively bound and would make a great collectible. There is even a bonus comic at the end of the book!

Now Josie will tell you about some comics she likes.

Hi, it is Josie. I like Hello Kitty a lot. I found Hello Kitty books I wanted to read and review. 

I have 2 books I will tell you about.
hellokitty1Hello Kitty: It’s About Time
By Jacob Chabot, Ian McGinty , Jorge Monlongo,  and Giovanni Castro

Series: Hello Kitty (Book 6)
64 pages – ages 6+
Published by Perfect Square on February 3, 2015

Summary – from the publisher “It’s time for beach parties, dance contests, last-minute birthday gifts and time machines! Plus, journey inside a cuckoo clock and much, much more! Past, present or future, Hello Kitty and her friends are having a blast!”

What I Thought – Hello Kitty is my FAVORITE. Isn’t she cute? I’ve read other books in this series and I like this one just as much. This book has a bunch of stories in it. The stories don’t really have words (there are a few) but the pictures tell the story. I like that Hello Kitty goes to some cool places in the book. I especially like the one with the monster who comes out and yells at Hello Kitty but then they have a party together. I like how Hello Kitty is drawn in the book.

Now my next Hello Kitty book.

This one is very cool.

hellokitty2Hello Kitty: Hello 40

A Celebration in 40 Stories (plus one for good luck)

Foreword by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, creators of Babymouse

144 pages – ages 6+
Published by Perfect Square on October 7, 2014

Summary – from the publisher “In 1974, Hello Kitty stepped on the scene, and she’s had the world wrapped around her little red bow ever since. Here, some of her biggest fans—from comic artists to muralists to toy creators—pay tribute in story and art.”

What I Thought – Isn’t Hello Kitty so  cute on the cover? I didn’t know it was her forty year birthday! This book is so cool. It has stories 40 Hello Kitty stories from all different people! What is really neat is all the people drew Hello Kitty how they would draw her. So they all look kind of different but they are all Hello Kitty. The stories are pretty much with no words (like the regular Hello Kitty stories).  The foreword part is by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm. They make Babymouse. I love Babymouse too. I met Ms. Holm in Lititz at the book festival. She was nice. There are other parts in the book where all the artists say what they like about Hello Kitty. That was nice. My favorite story in the book is Hello Kitty in The Maze of the Minotaur by Gene Luen Yang. It is SO funny. I LOVED seeing all the different artwork. I like art a lot and it was cool to see how all the different Hello Kitty stories are drawn.

Review! Duke ‘N’ Matt: Rescue Road Warriors by Rhonda Paglia

18 Feb

dukenmattDuke ‘N’ Matt: Rescue Road Warriors
by Rhonda Paglia
Matt Pi, contributor
40 pages – ages 5+
Published by CreateSpace on August 5, 2014

Summary- Duke, a cute and friendly red beagle, tells the story of how he and his adopted human, Matt, help other animals by driving them all around the United States to be with their new families. Duke and Matt have been together since 2009. They rescue dogs from puppy mills, shelters and dogs that the owners can’t take care of anymore. This story tells kids how Duke and Matt work with many other volunteers to transport dogs to safe places.

What I Thought- This is a wonderful nonfiction story. It really makes you smile – partly because of the cute pictures of dogs in it, but also because of the happy story. It does mention puppy mills, but describes them in a kid-friendly way (the mommy dogs only have puppies, and they can’t leave their crates) – some of the dogs are not cared for correctly etc. Mrs. Paglia wrote a great story that informs you in a simple way about dog rescue, told from the point of view of Duke the beagle. The story covers a part of animal rescue that a lot of kids (and maybe some adults) don’t know about – how dogs are matched with adoptive or foster families, sometimes way across the country, and how the dogs get to their new families. There is a ton of resources in the back of the book that covers everything from what rescues are to definitions of terms to the geography of the United States! This is an uplifting, informative book that both adults and kids can enjoy.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! The Inquisitor’s Mark by Dianne K. Salerni

17 Feb

inquisitorThe Inquisitor’s Mark
By Dianne K. Salerni
Series: The Eighth Day (Book 2)
352 pages – ages 8+
Published by HarperCollins on January 27, 2015

Synopsis- Jax Aubrey is unique. He and his guardian Riley Pendare/Pendragon are Transitioners – people who are able to experience a special eighth day (nicknamed “Grunsday”) between Wednesday and Thursday, and have a family magic talent (Jax’s is inquisition, Riley has the voice of command, etc.). They are able to protect (and fight) the Kin – super-powerful magic people, all with different talents. Some Kin, like Evangeline, are good, while some Kin are evil and want the eighth day to be the only day.

All was going well, until Jax (who was in hiding)’s former best friend, Billy, was kidnapped because he knew Jax. Not only that, but he was kidnapped by Jax’s uncle. And Jax’s dad had told Jax that he had no other relatives, besides his mother’s cousin, so what is going on? When Jax is forced to join his family, and the evil Transitioners that they serve, he can’t believe it. They work for the enemy and they want Jax to join them. But, Jax is loyal to Riley and Evangeline.

What I Thought- This was a very thrilling book. It explains a lot about Jax, and Transitioners in general. There is a lot of mystique added to the plot and the characters. Jax, especially in this book, is a character you can care for. His family is working for the enemy, and they want Riley and Evangeline in their clutches. The story draws you in, and gets you asking questions. The story is appropriate for all ages, and the publisher rates it for ages 8+. But there is a lot going on in the plot that may make it a bit hard for younger readers. This is a great series, and I cannot wait for Book 3!

I give “The Inquisitor’s Mark” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

The Sanctum Series Book 2: Scarlet’s Escape by Katrina Cope

15 Feb

scarletScarlet’s Escape (The Sanctum Series Book 2)

By Katrina Cope

338 pages – ages 10+

Published by CreateSpace on June 26, 2014

Synopsis- Before, Jayden was an orphan who had lived on the streets. Now, he lives in an ultimate school/campus called The Sanctum, run by the kind elderly man, Avando. Jayden has lived there for about a year now. The school, while devoted to education, also helps fight terrorism with advanced technology. Jayden and his friends help with scouting out and fighting the terrorism, from a distance of course (using robot people and remote hacking, etc.). But things start going wacky around The Sanctum, and it looks like the technology that they have is glitching and the school’s super computing AI, Scarlet is acting wonky. What if the technology is being used incorrectly? And who would do that?

What I Liked- This was a fun, adventure-filled book – as good as the first one in the series (see my review HERE)! While you don’t need to read the books in order, it would make a little more sense to do it. Jayden and his friends are wonderful characters, and everything that they do is realistic, and they are all strong characters. The terrorism fighting is an intriguing plot line. There is implied violence in the book, nothing gory (the kids fail to save a hijacked passenger plane from crashing into the ground, but save it from crashing into a crowded building, just into a field, and the newsfeed they watch afterwords implies that people died). It’s nothing that a tween couldn’t handle. The book also uses d*** (or d***mit) here and there – no other cussing. The story itself is a good one with a solid plot. The title of the book threw me. Scarlet is the super-computer running The Sanctum, with amazing Artificial Intelligence, and I thought she would be rebelling in this book, but that’s not the case. This is a highly enjoyable action series and another example of a well-done self-published series.

I give this book five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Red: A Crayon’s Story

13 Feb

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it really shows how we need to look inside of a person, and not judge by appearance or expect them to be a certain way.

redRed:A Crayon’s Story

Written and Illustrated by Michael Hall

Hardcover: 40 pages ages 4+
Published by Greenwillow Books on February 3, 2015

Theme/Topic- Being yourself

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “He was red.

Synopsis (from publisher) – “Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone!”

Why I liked this book- This seems the ultimate “be yourself” book. It shows that if you just judge by appearance, you can get an entirely different outlook than on what’s inside the “wrapper”. The illustrations are quirky and fun to look at. I like how the white page is really “paper” for the crayons to draw on. That was pretty cool. This is a wonderful book, and I was happy to review it. “Red” is a nice crayon who you care for. There is some humor in the story, because the reader instantly knows that Red is blue. This is a nice book for diversity teaching.

Activities and Resources-

There is a printable activity and teacher’s guise to go along with the books at the publisher’s website. Click HERE to get them.

Get some crayons and make an adventure for them! Or, have the crayons DRAW the adventure for them!

Or how about getting coloring pages and have kids color the pages colors that aren’t the “normal” colors for the picture – like this one – I think the woolly mammoth wants to be pink with a little brown. ;)

color

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Review! X: A Novel by Kekla Magoon and Ilyasah Shabazz

12 Feb

xX: A Novel

By Kekla Magoon and Ilyasah Shabazz (the daughter of Malcolm X)

384 pages – ages 15+
Published by Candlewick on January 6, 2015

Synopsis- Malcolm Little was 6 when his father “fell” onto the tracks and died. He was 12 when he was separated from his mother and siblings, and forced to live in a foster home. His family who always told him he could be anything he wants is gone. At 15, he left for Boston to find a new life, and he does. He gets going with the neighborhood kids, and becomes known as Red. He starts in on “reefer”. Then he catches a train to Harlem, and becomes known as Detroit Red (he was from Michigan). Now Malcolm is learning how to run the “numbers” as a hustler. He was doing pretty good, but soon enough, everything spins out of control.

What I Though- Wow. Just wow. This was an amazing fictionalized novel. I really didn’t know about Malcolm X before reading this book. This book covers his life from early childhood up to his early 20s. The writing is compelling. It really captures the feeling of the time period. I like how it shows the way the Malcolm saw things and how he handled them. While the book is definitely a young adult (cussing, and Malcolm drinks and does drugs (smokes marijuana), etc.), it is still a very well-done story, and is appropriate for a mature 13-14 year old, or just 15+ for reading level. I like the parts where it shows how Malcolm Little “turned into” Malcolm X. It was a very inspiring story about a person overcoming adversity. It was pretty cool that Ms. Shabazz is Malcolm X’s daughter, and she got information about the book by asking her father’s relatives and friends from the time “before the X”. Realizing the book is a work of fiction, it made me want to find out more about Mr. X and his life so I read some books suggested by my history and English teachers. While I found many of his adult teachings and views are controversial, I think any book like this one, that gets a kid to read more about the subject is great. The overall story in this book is one of a young man trying and failing over and over, but still pulling himself together in the end. Ms. Shabazz captures the story of a young Malcolm X in a riveting story. Bonus points for the cover art too!

I give “X: A Novel” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

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