Tag Archives: scholastic

Review! The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

27 Nov

The Goldfish Boy
By Lisa Thompson
320 pages – ages 9+
Published by Scholastic Press on February 28, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- “Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac.

When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child’s life… but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets, and stepping out from the safety of his home?”

What I Thought- I think this was an excellent debut novel. Matthew is thoroughly developed, so that we as a reader feel that we sort of understand why he has germaphobic, agoraphobic, obsessive compulsive tendencies, even if we don’t get a clear picture until almost the end. It’s quite an insight into the mind of someone who middle-grade readers may not “meet” so often. One thing I thought was interesting was that Matthew understood he wasn’t thinking normally, but was unable to stop his thoughts and actions. The book focuses a lot on the inner turmoil of Matthew, and how he must face his fears to be able to help find the missing toddler. The actual plot and the mystery are solid, with lots of clues that keep you guessing as to who did the crime. Thompson has an incredible way of  writing that keeps you drawn into the story. I cannot wait to read what she comes up with next!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

My Latest Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Article – The World is Watching: the US Election

4 Nov

KidsPressLogo

Check out my latest Scholastic News Kids Press Corps article over at the Kids Press Corps Notebook blog!

With  the American Presidential election just around the corner, spoke with people outside the US to see how they  are feeling about the election in America this year.

A big thank you to Catherine Johnson CatherineMJohnson.com, D. Tulloch, from ThePatientDreamer.com, and Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal, from GatheringBooks.org for giving me their perspectives on the election.

Click HERE to read the whole article!

My Latest Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Article: The 2016 National Book Festival

1 Oct

KidsPressLogo

I recently went to Washington, D.C. to cover the 2016 National Books Festival as a Scholastic News Kids Press Reporter!

Click HERE to read the whole story on the Kids Press Corps Notebook blog and check out a video of me interviewing the awesome authors Calvin Trillin, Sharon Robinson, Raina Telgemeier, and Pam Muñoz Ryan about their most recent books!

Me interviewing the Library of Congress' Chief Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian Jane Sanchez

Me interviewing the Library of Congress’ Chief Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian, Jane Sanchez

My Scholastic News Article on the Pennsylvania Primary is out!

27 Apr

Check out my article on the Pennsylvania Primary I wrote for Scholastic News!

KidsPressLogo

Get on-the-scene coverage of the Pennsylvania Primary! Click HERE to get the full story!

 

 

My Latest Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Article Featuring Gene Luen Yang!

14 Feb

KidsPressLogo

Check out my latest Scholastic News Kids Press Corps article over at the Kids Press Corps Notebook blog!

Here is the Blurb –

“Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang is named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.”

Click HERE to read the whole article!

REVIEW! Tombquest: Book of The Dead by Michael Northrop

19 Jan

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THIS ONE!

tomb

Tombquest: Book of The Dead

By Michael Northrop

197 pages (ARC)- ages 9+

Published by Scholastic on January 27, 2015

Synopsis: You know that life isn’t good when you’re 12 and you’re gonna die. The doctors don’t know what disease you have and they can’t help you. That’s Alex Sennefer’s life. That is, until his archaeologist/museum curator mom (think Indiana Jones – she works for the Metropolitan Museum of Art) finds the Lost Spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and uses it to bring Alex back from the dead (he had been dead for 10 seconds). Great, right?  Well now a bunch of strange stuff is going on – museum mummies changing positions, strange weather patterns – and an ancient cult rising. The Death Walkers threaten everything in the world and Alex (and his best friend, Ren (who is a girl)) have to stop them.

What I Liked: This is a great start to a new series. There are 5 books planned for the series with the last one being published in March or April of 2016. Unlike Scholastic’s other multiplatform series, Tombquest will be written by just Mr. Northrop (the other series have different authors writing different books). Multiplatform means there is an online game to go with the books. I think that’s cool and a way to bring kids into reading when they may not be so interested in reading. Mr. Northrop really built up a great story. Alex is a great character, and Ren really reminds me of one of my classmates. The beginning of the book is a bit tense because Alex is always sick, but it builds up for the adventure that is going to happen. The book is non-stop action-packed. The dialogue was hilarious and very realistic. Plus, the online game (see it HERE) for it is really cool!

screenshotThe game is easy to use and appropriate for kids. It requires a Scholastic account (free to sign up for). I think it would have been better to have an example of the game on the main page so kids and parents could read what it is about before signing into it, but that’s only a minor point. The graphics are very cool. You can build your own tomb and raid others’. It is a nice compliment to the book.

I like how there are lots of little touches in the book – like the chapters are numbered with Egyptian numbers and there is an Egyptian alphabet in the back of the book.  Mr. Northrop wrote a great adventure with a satisfying ending but left a ton of questions  and plenty to write about in the next book. I am looking forward to the next adventure!

I give “Book of The Dead” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Want to know more? Check out Mr. Northrop’s website HERE or Scholastic’s website HERE.

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!

unstop2

Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born by Brandon Mull

11 Sep

Happy Wednesday!

First I get to tell you some happy news!

contagiousprie

The winner of THE CONTAGIOUS COLORS OF MUMPLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL (By Fowler DeWitt, see my review HERE) prize pack is…

Tina Cho!

YAY!!! Congratulations Ms. Cho! I will email you to get the address to send your prize to!

spiritanimalsSpirit Animals Book 1: Into the Wild

By Brandon Mull

224 pages – ages 8+

Published by Scholastic Inc. on September 10, 2013

It was the day that Conor,  Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan turned 11. Four kids from lands far apart from each other all turning 11 on the same day. Not really a big deal right? Wrong! When a child turns 11 in the world of Erdas they get a chance to summon a spirit animal. If they are meant to have a  spirit animal, it comes out of nowhere and forms a bond with the child forever. The bond gives the child and animal great powers. These four kids summon the great legendary animals that were killed in battle – Briggan the Wolf, Uraza the Leopard, Jhi the Panda and Essix the Falcon. Together the four children and their Spirit Animals must stop the evil Devourer from destroying Erdas before it is too late!

When I first read about this new series by Scholastic I thought, “Okay so they are making another 39 Clues type series” (series of books written by different authors). When I read further I saw it was Brandon Mull (author of the Fablehaven and The Beyonders series) who was writing the first book (that got my interest). Brandon Mull is a great fantasy author. The books of his I’ve read gets me totally involved in the story. The Spirit Animals series is a fantasy series and Mr. Mull’s book in the series was the perfect start. I love his style of adding a bit of humor (like Conor is a sheep-herder and his Spirit Animal is a wolf – HA!) to a whole lot of action. The world of Erdas is described well and I liked learning about the new characters and their Spirit Animals. Conor was my favorite character in this book.  I think fans of The 39 Clues and fantasy books will love Wild Born, Book 1 of Spirit Animals!

Like The 39 Clues and The Infinity Ring, Spirit Animals has an online game.  The online game is a fantasy role-playing game where you choose a character and a Spirit Animal. You get to train your animal and go around and collect items and try to defeat animals infected with a poison called  “the Bile.” It plays well and is easy to use. My sister and I have both tried it out and we both agree it’s very cool.

Five out of five bookworms for Wild Born! fivebooks

To learn more about Brandon Mull and his books, please visit his website HERE.

To learn more about the Spirit Animals Series and online game, visit the official webpage HERE.

BUT WAIT!!!

Now that you are done reading about this awesome book, why not hop on over to The Story Reading Ape’s blog where I am guest posting! I am interviewing myself over there. Click HERE to go THERE!

After you get done hopping to TSRA – check out Mother Daughter’s book Reviews where they are reviewing my book today! 🙂 Click HERE to go THERE!

T&P1BLOGTOURBANNER

The Winners of The signed ARCs of The Infinity Ring Book 1 “A Mutiny in Time” by James Dashner are…

21 Aug

I just want to thank the wonderful people at Scholastic who sent me the really awesome prizes for this give-away. Last Monday, I reviewed Book 1 in The Infinity Ring Series, “A Mutiny in Time” by James Dashner. See my review HERE. I also was hosting a giveaway of things related to the book (including some signed ARCs)! I put all the entries in a hat and Josie picked out the ten lucky winners!

And the winners of the signed ARCs of “A Mutiny in Time” are…

Darlene Foster!

Katie S.!

Renee C.!

Lynn Davidson!

Jill The O.W.L.!

Maria Riedel!

Cheryl Costella!

S.W. Lothian!

Reneilda de Leon!

Patricia Mamaw!

 

Congratulations! I will be contacting you to get your mailing addresses so I can send you a book!

You guys get a signed ARC of the first book in The Infinity Ring series by James Dashner, a cool poster, a cool sticker, and a pamphlet from the online game!

I hope you guys like them! Thank you everyone who entered!

The Infinity Ring Book 1 – A Mutiny in Time By James Dashner AND Give-Away!

13 Aug

I am so excited to tell you about a new series from Scholastic called “The Infinity Ring” series! It is a dystopian adventure where history is all wrong, and the main characters have to go back in time to fix it.

The Infinity Ring Book 1 – A Mutiny in Time
By James Dashner
192 Pages – Ages 9+
Published by Scholastic Inc. on August 28, 2012
(Advanced Reading Copy read and reviewed)

Dak Smyth and Sera Froste had no idea what would happen to them when Sera fixed Dak’s parent’s invention, the Infinity Ring. The Infinity Ring allows someone to travel back in time with anyone touching them. The Historians (a group of people who try to change the things that went wrong in the past) find out about the Infinity Ring and bring Dak and Sera to their HQ. When the SQ (the evil government controlling the US and maybe other countries) find out, they attack the Historian base. Two of the leaders tells Riq, a juvenile Historian agent, to go with Dak and Sera on their adventures. The kids go to Spain, 1492, where the Amancio brothers were about to set sail to find the quickest route to India but find America instead (according to the history they know). The kids arrive just in time to stop a mutiny aboard the ship. It turns out that the Amancio brothers were trying to overthrow some guy named Columbus (who was kind of a mean guy) and take over his three ships (you can guess what the ships are named 😉 ). Will the kids save history?  

This is an AWESOME first book to the new series! Like The 39 Clues series, each of the books in this series is written by a different author but the new series is very different from The 39 Clues. The Infinity Ring is set in a dystopian world where the main characters (three kids) have to travel in time to fix whatever is wrong with history. I LOVED “A Mutiny in TIme”! Mr. Dashner put a lot of action, adventure, and excitement in he book! I really liked how Mr. Dashner wrote a lot of humor and sarcasm in the dialogue of the characters. The main characters are Riq, Dak and Sera. Riq was just cool. He was fluent in 16 languages (which is cool). Dak is the “history” expert, which I think will come in handy. Sera is pretty scientific. I like scientists. 😉 I like the format of the series (much like The 39 Clues) where a different author writes each book. I think it’s cool to read how each author changes he story a little.  I also like how these stories involve time-travel and history. I recommend this book to kids 9+ and young advanced readers.

I give this very exciting book 5+ out of 5 bookworms!

Check out the website for the series HERE. So far, you can only read an excerpt from book 1, but the website will be functional when the book comes out on August 28th! I can’t wait to check it out! I know you can get cards and do missions. I can’t wait to do those too! 🙂 Here is a video you can watch to learn about the book and online game!

Now folks, don’t stop reading yet! ‘Cause I have a great deal for you! I am giving away several copies of signed ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of “The Infinity Ring”! THe AWESOME people at Scholastic are sending me some copies to give away.  All you have to do is comment on this post for a chance to win in a random drawing and I will give away as many copies as they send me! It starts today and the last day to comment is on August 20th! I will pick the winners randomly on August 21st! All you have to do is comment to enter! Don’t forget to put your email address in the part where it asks you for it so I can contact you if you win (emails won’t be published).

%d bloggers like this: