November 30, 2017

Nonfiction Review: History's Mysteries: Curious clues, Cold Cases and Puzzles from the Past by Kitson Jazynka

Title: History's Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases and Puzzles from the Past
Author: Kitson Jazynka

Why were the Easter Island heads erected? What really happened to the Maya? Who stole the Irish Crown Jewels? The first book in this exciting new series will cover history's heavy-hitting, head-scratching mysteries, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Bermuda Triangle, the Oak Island Money Pit, Stonehenge, the Sphinx, the disappearance of entire civilizations, the dancing plague, the Voynich manuscript, and so many more. Chock-full of cool photos, fun facts, and spine-tingling mysteries.

What a great book!!! Loved it! I'm totally into all things mysterious, so this was a perfect fit for me.  Some of the stories I had heard about before (Yeti), but others were new.  I think that's what I liked the most - that it included some stories I had never heard of before.  And since I love stories like this it was nice to hear about some new ones.  

The pictures in the book are great - real photographs for the most part.  Very colorful, large and detailed pictures.  That really added to the enjoyment of the stories. I could see kids really looking at the pictures to see the details talked about in the pieces. 

Library Thoughts: I would for sure add this to the library! This falls in the high interest nonfiction catigory 100%!

Final Thought: Great little book.  Loved it and can see kids loving it too.  

November 28, 2017

Book Place: Children of Refuge by Margaret Peterson Haddix +GIVEAWAY!

Super excited today to be a part of the book blast for Children of Refuge!!!
I love Margaret Peterson Haddix, so I jumped at the chance to promote her latest. 


After Edwy is smuggled off to Refuge City to stay with his brother and sister, Rosi, Bobo, and Cana are stuck alone—and in danger—in Cursed Town in the thrilling follow-up to Children of Exile from New York Times bestselling author, Margaret Peterson Haddix.

It’s been barely a day since Edwy left Fredtown to be with his parents and, already, he is being sent away. He’s smuggled off to boarding school in Refuge City, where he will be with his brother and sister, who don’t even like him very much. The boarding school is nothing like the school that he knew, there’s no one around looking up to him now, and he’s still not allowed to ask questions!

Alone and confused, Edwy seeks out other children brought back from Fredtown and soon discovers that Rosi and the others—still stuck in the Cursed Town—might be in danger. Can Edwy find his way back to his friends before it’s too late?


This is a topical thriller that brings heart and thought to the sci-fi genre. ―Kirkus Reviews

The plot twists are multiple, exciting, and completely logical… An excellent dystopian adventure for tweens. ―Booklist


Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois.

She has since written more than 40 books for kids and teens, including Running Out of Time; Double Identity; Uprising; The Always War; the Shadow Children series; the Missing series; the Children of Exile series; the Under Their Skin duology; and The Palace Chronicles. She also wrote Into the Gauntlet, the tenth book in the 39 Clues series. Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and numerous state reader’s choice awards. They have also been translated into more than twenty different languages.

Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio. They are the parents of two grown kids.

Photo Content from Margaret Peterson Haddix

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15 Winners will receive a Copy of CHILDREN OF REFUGE by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

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November 20, 2017

Review: Random Illustrated Facts

Title: Random Illustrated Facts: A Collection fo Curious, Weird and Totally Not Boring Things to Know
Author: Mike Lowery

A collection of illustrated trivia unlike any other. From glow-in-the-dark cats to Jupiter's diamond showers to the link between dancing goats and the discovery of coffee, here are up to 100 obscure and fascinating facts brought to life in Mike Lowery's quirky, hilarious style. Each illustrated fact is paired with a handwritten web of related tidbits, recreating an entertaining dive down a trivia rabbit hole. 

What a fun little book!!!!! I can see kids loving this book and laughing at parts of it.  My 10 year old saw it and was immediately drawn to it, so I know it's one kids would enjoy.  Honestly I can see leaving it in the car, so on trips the kids could pick it up and flip through it. I can see the random facts spurring more conversation about different topics. 

Oh and the illustrations - so, so fun!! I love the colors too. It's made with muted bright colors (yes I know that doesn't sound right), but that's what it is.  And it almost looks like someone  just sat down a created doodles for the whole thing.  It gives it a fun whimsical look. Well done!

For the library:  YES! 
Best for ages: ANY! 

November 14, 2017

Pocket Flyers by ken Blackburn and Jeff Lammers

About a month ago I got a package in the mail and was excited by what I found inside.  Inside were three books on making paper airplanes! 
I've got two boys at home, and I knew they would love these.

Pocket flyers Paper Airplane Book, a flyaway impulse book if ever there was one. Developed by the same team of Ken Blackburn and Jeff Lammers, Pocket Flyers Paper Airplane Book features 12 Lilliputian-size models, for a total of 74 planes. The models are about one-quarter the size of the planes in the previous books and are designed with original full-color graphics. There are easy folding instructions for each, as well as special tips on how to fly smaller aircraft. The portable package and its planes are perfect for small spaces: the office, the den, the back of the minivan, drinking establishments. The obsessed among us will try to establish a mini plane world record. The rest of us will be content to just fly these flashy Piper cubs of paper from one side of the room to the other. And with the Microjet, Angelfish, Flying Sneaker, Gargoyle, and Dragonfly, there promises to be a lot of contentment.

These books are awesome! First they show you how to make the airplane (or creature), and then they supply several copies of the paper for that model.  Love it! My boys are always looking for paper and news ways to fold, and these books allowed that.  

I ended up bringing them to school and putting them in our maker table.  Several kids have dived in and make some of the creations.

I'd definitely recommend the books to anyone who loves to make paper airplanes, likes to tinker with things, or just likes to be creative! 

November 5, 2017

Audio Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Narrator: January LaVoy
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

This one took my awhile to get into.  It was slow moving at first because there were so many characters introduced.  Be warned - the cast of characters is HUGE.  As I was listening I had to remind myself who was who sometimes.  I'm guessing as the series goes along they'll come together more (actually this started happening towards the end), and that will help.  But during much of the book they were very separate, and that was a bit confusing.  To be honest I only kept listening because I heard it got really good towards the end.  I'll agree with that - it did get much as the book went along.  I just had a ton of set-up it needed to get through first.  I ended up liking the book, and would recommend it with the warning about the set-up aspect.  

Oh also - the creepy factor was very good at part which is why I wanted to read the book in the first place.  The book did a great job in that regards.  When it was suppose to be creepy - it was! Many times I was like "Evie no! Don't! Go back!".  That kind of stuff! 

Thoughts on the audio book: 
The narrator did a great job with all the voices and SINGING! I would definitely listen to this narrator again.  I will say tho - part of Evie started to bug me, and I think that's because I was listening to it.  She used a lot of time period slang and it grated on m after awhile.  If I had been reading as oppose to listening I don't think it would've been as bad.  

November 3, 2017

The Life and Death Parade Cover Reveal +GIVEAWAY!!

Today Eliza Wass and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for THE LIFE AND DEATH PARADE, which releases June 26, 2018! 
Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win an ARC!

On to the reveal! 

Author: Eliza Wass
Pub. Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 256
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads

One year ago, Kitty's boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he's dead.

With the Bramley family grieving in separate corners of their home, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate. Instead she finds Roan, an enigmatic boy posing as a medium who belongs to the Life and Death Parade--a group of supposed charlatans that explore, and exploit, the thin veil between this world and the next. A group whose members include the psychic... and Kitty's late mother.

Desperate to learn more about the group and their connection to Nikki, Kitty convinces Roan to return to the Bramley house with her and secures a position for him within the household. Roan quickly ingratiates himself with the Bramleys, and soon enough it seems like everyone is ready to move on. Kitty, however, increasingly suspects Roan knows more about Nikki than he's letting on. And when they finally locate the Life and Death Parade, and the psychic who made that fateful prophecy to Nikki, Kitty uncovers a secret about Roan that changes everything.

From rising star Eliza Wass comes a sophisticated, mesmerizing meditation on the depths of grief and the magic of faith. After all, it only works if you believe it.

About Eliza:

Eliza Wass is an author, journalist and the wife of the late musician Alan Wass. Her debut novel, The Cresswell Plot, was published in 2016 to critical acclaim by Disney-Hyperion. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, Grazia, NME, Shortlist and THE FALL.
Her second book with Disney-Hyperion, The Life and Death Parade, will be published in June 2018.

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of THE LIFE AND DEATH PARADE (when they become available), US Only.

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