November 30, 2015

Stacking the Shelves for November

Stacking the Shelves was started by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews.

This is a fun meme were people share the books they got this week. 
I honestly don't have time to do this weekly, so I've decided to do it once a month and share what I got for the month.  

For Review: 
Tiara on the Terrace by Kristen Kittscher
I was so excited when this arrived in the mail! Such a cute series! 

The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst
Tell the Story to Its End by Simon P. Clark
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
Need by Joelle Charbonneau
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (I also got a copy in a book subscription box)
Ghostly Thief of Time by Ruben Bolling

Dead Boy by Laurel Gale
Julius Zebra by Gary Northfield

Won or Bought
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Soundless by Richelle Mead

My friend went to the NCTE National Convention and got some ARCs! She shared with me!
Raging Sea by Michael Buckley
The Radiant Road by Kathrine Catmull

And she got me two signed books!
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Just to share my puppy :)
I shared most of these at another time and didn't use this picture, but I saw it as I was setting up this post and had to share.  Isn't my dog cute!?  His name is Griffin.  He's half Bichon and half Poodle.  A whole 13 pounds.  Our two cats are bigger than him! Well so is that stack of books! 

November 28, 2015

My Black Friday Shopping: Signed Copies

So when you're a book nerd your Black Friday shopping tends to look a little different.  

Barnes & Noble had signed copies of various books that went up for sale on Friday morning.  
One of which was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  
This has been an all time favorite of mine since I saw the movie, read the book and memorized the poem when I was 13.  
As a teacher I've taught it up to 4 times a year for 18 years! 
I HAD to get a copy!

So my son agreed to come along (may have had something to do with the Bill Nye signed book), and we set out.  At 6:15 a.m.

Here we are in line :) 

And this is what we came home with.
These are presents.  Pete the Cat is for my son.  He LOVES him.
The Mitten is for my mom.  She loves Jan Brett!

For my daughter - She loves both of these authors.

For my son (the one who came along)

And his Bill Nye  (he has the book at his dad's so I don't have a picture of the cover)

And of course - for me!
You do not understand how excited I am about this! And it say STAY GOLD!  Stay gold!!! I adore this book so much!!!

I hope your shopping as as successful!!!!!

November 23, 2015

Judy Moody and Stink: The Wishbone Wish +GIVEAWAY

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many of you may be getting hungry for the turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes.  

But are you hungry for a fun read too??

Today I'm sharing with you Judy Moody and Stink: The Wishbone Wish and a giveaway for four Judy Moody and Stink books!

First about this book
By: Megan McDonald and Illustrated by Peter H. Reynalds

On your mark, get set, Gobblers-a-Go-Go! Judy swears she’ll win the race for a Thanksgiving turkey (though Stink has his doubts) in this full-color Moody adventure.

The town’s annual Turkey Trot race and festival is coming up, and Judy and Stink are training to win. Judy has decided that she is going to take home the big prize: a fat, juicy turkey. They can taste it already: the moist turkey, the hot gravy, the savory stuffing, the cranberry sauce! Beep! Beep! Beep!That’s the sound of Stink’s Rapidfire Ultra XE611M25 stopwatch going off as Judy and Stink hop, crawl, and climb toward race day. But what if they don’t win a mouthwatering bird? What then? Flying turkey gizzards! Will the Moody family end up starving on T-day, like ye pilgrims of olde, or will Grandma Lou cook up a tasty Franksgiving solution?

But it's more than that to this book!
With so many young people now getting involved in raising money for local food pantries and other charitable initiatives, Judy and Stink’s story about getting ready, set, gobblers-a-go-go for their local Thanksgiving Turkey Trot is a great way to keep spreading the word about the importance of supporting these ventures, and will hopefully encourage kids and parents to think about how they can get involved in helping local communities in the holiday season and beyond.

So not only is this a cute book, but it has a good message as well!  Having read the book I can attest to the fact that it does have a nice message, but the nice part is that it doesn't clobber you over the head with it! I think younger kids would find the book fun and get at kick, as always, out of Judy.  I loved how the family came together at the end when things didn't happen as they thought it would.  It as a sweet positive way to handle it! But beyond just that fun stuff (I mean really there was a girl dressed as a corncob!), I do think they'd get a bit of an understanding of Thanksgiving and giving and that's nice.  I even learned a bit by reading it about how Thanksgiving became a holiday! You can't ask more of a book for this age group - to be both fun and creating some learning as well!

Here's some praise for the book:
The latest installment in the Judy Moody and Stink series has the trademark humor and grade-school sensibility that its fans enjoy, as well as a surprise at the end when Grandma Lou saves the day. Reynolds’ lively and colorful digital illustrations appear throughout. This beginning chapter book, studded with historical facts, trivia, and wordplay related to Thanksgiving will amuse, and maybe even inform, young readers.

And if you want to have some more fun this Thanksgiving check out the activity kit Candlewick press put together.  You can find it HERE.  

Now for that giveaway!
You can win 4 full-color Judy Moody books!
*Prize provided by Candlewick Press

About Judy Moody
There are more than 25.8 million Judy Moody and Stink books in print worldwide. They have been translated into 26 languages worldwide, including Basque, Slovene and Icelandic. For more information about the books please visit 

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November 18, 2015

WoW: Save Me Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

This post is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Today I'm Waiting On:

Save Me Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
Release Date: March 8th, 2016

I'm not a child of the 90's (80s!!), but this one caught my attention.  I love the premise of it.

Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn’t exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and coconspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom’s wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won’t let go. 

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.

November 17, 2015

Release Day Celebration: Mystique +GIVEAWAY

I'm super excited to be sharing MYSTIQUE by Shari Arnold with you on it's release day! 
Celebrate with us by checking out the book about the town where people go to die…and be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a signed copy of your very own + a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card!

About The Book
MYSTIQUE Author: Shari Arnold
Release Date: Novemeber 17th, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Only Bauer Grant can pull off gorgeous while dead. But staying dead is another thing entirely. When he wakes up at his own funeral, the town of Mystique calls it a miracle, until it happens again. Something is bringing the residents of Mystique back to life, but what? Presley Caine finds herself caught up in the mystery when Bauer asks her to visit him. Presley can’t figure out why the most popular guy in school is so drawn to her. And when Bauer is kidnapped soon after, she looks to Bauer’s brooding best friend Sam, whose dad works for the powerful Mystique military base, for answers. In her quest to discover the truth, Presley’s relationship with Sam deepens, her feelings for Bauer are tested, and it becomes clear that her own mysterious past is somehow connected to these strange events. But is she strong enough to handle the truth when it is finally revealed?

Twitter: @ShariLArnold
About The Author
Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it's her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog
One winner will get a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card + a Signed Copy of MYSTIQUE
Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US only
Sweeps/Giveaway accounts are not eligible to participate. Please see Terms & Conditions for more info.

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November 16, 2015

Book Shelfie Hop! Come see my bookshelves! #theshelfiehop

My Friends are Fiction and Bookiemoji created this fun hop just to allow us all to show off our shelves! 

Sadly my shelves are a mess AND they aren't very big.  
When I was teaching all my books went to school and I had many, many bookshelves.  I had a classroom library of around 1500 books!

Sadly that isn't the case anymore.  Now I just have a small space/bookshelf of books that are filling rapidly. 
Right now my husband and I are in contact with a guy to build us bookshelves in our living room.  
That will make me very happy!

So here is mine

This is the top of my shelves.  It's got a few fun book stuff - mostly stuff from some of the book subscription boxes that I'm getting.  

If you want to check out some more shelves, click on some blog listed!

November 13, 2015

In the Spotlight - The Disney Book: A Celebration of the World of Disney

Title: The Disney Book: A Celebration of the World of Disney

I was very excited to open my mail and find this book! My daughter was even more excited! 

This is a great book that looks at the history of Disney from the start until now.  

It's full of pictures, illustrations and facts about different movies, cartoons and the world of Disney.

Something that was very cool was that it came with a film strip for the movie Brave!

Here are some pictures from the inside:

The portion with the film strip.

One of the inside pages about the animated movies.

One of the inside pages about the live action movies.

This is a really cool book that will for sure please any Disney fan in your family!

November 7, 2015

How to be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras Blog Tour - Excerpt and GIVEAWAY

Today I'm thrilled to be part of the blog tour for 
How to be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

Before being asked if I wanted to participate I had seen this book featured on a few blogs.  I was interested in it for a few reasons - First it had a "bucket list".  I loved that idea! And next I liked that it was about a girl learning to be brave and put herself out there.  So many girls I know need to gather their courage and do the same, so I liked that this was a character dealing with that as well.

Here's a bit about the book:

An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.

Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

About the author
E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College.  She is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing. She now lives in Los Angeles where she's hard at work on her next book.


Today I also get to share with you an excerpt from the book!!!!
Check it out!

This is what it was like:

I didn’t want you to come. I didn’t want you there.
The day before school, the very first year,
we waited in line for my schedule.

They stared. Those in line around us—
the other girls and their moms,
the ones who were my year,
who were never my friends—
They saw how you were big, planetary, next to them.
Next to me.

The girl in pigtails, someone’s sister,
asked:  Is there a baby inside?
Her mother, red now, whispered in her ear.

But the girl didn’t mind:
Oh, so she’s fat.

The other girls, the ones who were my year
who were never my friends—they laughed at you, quietly.
At me.

Her mother said she was sorry, so sorry,
And you said: It’s fine. It’s fine.
But it wasn’t.

You squeezed my hand, and then to the girl in pigtails,
you said: I am big, yes. But I am beautiful, too.
And so are you.

Her mother pulled her child away.
She left the line and let us go first.

I didn’t say: You shouldn’t have come.
I didn’t say: I don’t want you here.

But I also didn’t say: I love you.
Or: Thank you for being brave.

Later that night, I cried:
I don’t want to go. I don’t want to face them.
And every year after.

You’d look at me like I was that girl,
and you’d say, as though it were true:
You are possibility and change and beauty.
One day, you will have a life, a beautiful life.
You will shine.

I didn’t see it. I couldn’t see it,
not in myself,
not in you.

Now, it’s not like that anymore.
This is what it’s like:
It’s quiet in our house. Too quiet. Especially tonight. The day before my first day of senior year.
The A/C hums, the fridge hums, the traffic hums.
I’m standing at my closet door, those old knots churning inside my stomach again.
I don’t want to go tomorrow. I need to talk to her.
Instead, I’ve done what she always did for me the night before the first day of the school year. I’ve picked out three complete outfits, hung them on my closet door.
It’s a good start, I guess.
Outfit #1: Dark indigo skinny jeans (are they still considered skinny if they’re a size 16?), drapey black shirt, long gold chain necklace that Liss gave me, and cheap ballet flats that hurt my feet because they’re way too flat and I hate wearing shoes with no socks.
Outfit #2: Black leggings, dark blue drapey knee- length dress (draping is my thing), gold hoop earrings that belonged to my mom, and open-toed black sandals, but that would mean a last-minute half-assed pedicure tonight. A spedicure, if you will.
Outfit #3: A dress my mom bought for me two years ago. The Orange Dress. Well, really more like coral. With embroidered ribbons etched in angular lines that camouflage my flab. Knee-length (not too short/not too long). Three-quarter-length sleeves (to hide the sagging). It’s perfectly retro. And just so beautiful.  Especially with this utterly uncomfortable pair of canary-colored peep-toe pumps that belonged to my mom.
I begged her for the dress. I made her pay the $125 for it. I knew my parents didn’t have the money, but I couldn’t help crying when I saw myself in the mirror. It fit (it’s a size 14), and I think she saw how pretty I felt because I did feel pretty for the first time, so she charged it.
But I’ve never worn it.
The day after, she went into the ER, her heart acting up again. She needed another emergency stent, which meant more dye through her kidneys, which meant dialysis a few weeks later, which meant the beginning of the end of everything.
I never put it on after that.
It’s just so bright. So unlike everything else I wear.
I could wear it tomorrow.
I could. And if she were here, she would tell me to.
I really need to talk to her.
It’s just so quiet in this house.

HOW TO BE BRAVE by E. Katherine Kottaras.  Copyright © 2015 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.

Doesn't it sound great!

I love how it's almost written in verse for this part (the whole book isn't like that).  For me, a person who loves stories in verse - it just adds a layer to what the words are saying.

And check this out - an interactive book trailer.  You help her decide how to be brave!



“Georgia's realistically profane voice aptly captures her personality, carrying the novel; her traverse through grief and experimentation make for a believable and satisfying character arc. A thoughtful exploration of grief and life.” —Kirkus Reviews

“How To Be Brave does a cartwheel in your heart. It artfully reminds us that bravery forges a path through fear and grief.” —Courtney C. Stevens, author of Faking Normal

“Georgia’s Greek-American heritage offers a distinctive backdrop for the novel’s themes of emotional healing and self-discovery, while Georgia herself emerges as a realistically flawed and genuine protagonist.” —Publishers Weekly

Now for a Giveaway!
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