November 29, 2018

Cover Crush: Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl

I love book covers! I love walking around Barnes and Noble just looking at all the different covers.  

A good cover will make me pull the book off the shelf!  It's almost like I have a crush on them :)

Today I'm crushin' on:

About the Book:
When Alice's dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family's old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team's record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school's science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice's best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. A funny and honest middle-grade novel, this sharply observed depiction of family, friendship, and Alice's determination to prove herself—as a babysitter, as a friend, as a daughter, as a person—rings loud and true.

Why I'm crushin':
We have this book in the media center and when it first came it I left it sitting out because it was so pretty.  In real life, it has glittery specks in the dark part towards the top.  Then the green against the dark is so rich and pretty.  I just love it! 

November 15, 2018

Cover Crush: Angel and Bavar by Amy Wilson

I love book covers! I love walking around Barnes and Noble just looking at all the different covers.  

A good cover will make me pull the book off the shelf!  It's almost like I have a crush on them :)

Today I'm crushin' on:

About the Book:
After the death of her parents, Angel has a lot to get used to: a new home, a new family, a new school. The last thing she’s interested in is making new friends. Until she meets Bavar, a strange boy who slips through the shadows, a boy who might understand her nightmares.

But Bavar doesn’t want to let anyone in. Everyone—and everything—in his enchanted house is already urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift and the fearsome monsters traveling through it, a responsibility he wishes he could ignore.

Then Bavar discovers that the monsters are the same ones that killed Angel’s parents. Determined to stop the creatures for good, he reluctantly accepts Angel’s help. Together, Angel and Bavar must find the courage to stand up for each other and themselves to repair the rift between worlds…before it’s too late.

Why I'm crushin':
So much is conveyed in this cover.  I can feel the main characters sadness or loneliness.  The way she's standing alone so small just draws me to her and makes me already begin to care about her.  Then the starkness of the rest of the cover - bare branches, dark house, snow - it just sets such a strong mood for the story.  BUT then that spot of sunlight coming out! Love it all. 

November 13, 2018

Graphic Novel Review: DC SuperHero Girls: Search for Atlantis

Title: DC Super Hero Girls: Search for Atlantis
Author: Shea Fontana 

Copy Obtained: From Publishers

About the Book from Goodreads
The team is back and ready to rescue Mera's home in DC Super Hero Girls: Search for Atlantis! 

Things are going swimmingly for new students Mera and Raven until afield trip to Mera’s hometown of Atlantis when they find that the underwater city has vanished! Batgirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Bumblebee, Raven, Miss Martian, and Starfire discover that Atlantis has been shrunk and bottled by the powerful villain Brainiac. This gigantic problem calls for a small solution and to infiltrate Brainiac’s bottled city collection, Bumblebee and Raven combine technology with magic to shrink the heroes. But will they save the lost city of Atlantis or will their little plan lead to even bigger trouble?

Graphic novels are the thing in my media center right now, so I'm always learning for new and different ones.  This one is a good solid one to add to our collection.  Kids will love it, and girls will enjoy one focused on the girl superheroes.  I found it fun even though it was a bit predictable.  I'm not the target audience, and I don't think the target audience will notice that or even care.  The story is fun, has some action and it has a great little message about being proud of who you are.  And I'm sure it will make the reader want to read more in the series.  I think it's one I'd add to our ever-growing collection! And always a bonus that it's not focused on the boy superheroes! 

November 12, 2018

In the Spotlight: New Anne Ursu Book! The Lost Girl

Sometimes I come across a book that, although I haven't read it, it sounds fantastic and I just need to share.  

Today I have that book!

The Lost Girl 

Anne Ursu
Coming out: February 2019

When you’re an identical twin, your story always starts with someone else. For Iris, that means her story starts with Lark. Iris has always been the grounded, capable, and rational one; Lark has been inventive, dreamy, and brilliant—and from their first moments in the world together, they’ve never left each other’s side. Everyone around them realized early on what the two sisters already knew: they had better outcomes when they were together.

When fifth grade arrives, however, it is decided that Iris and Lark should be split into different classrooms, and something breaks in them both. Iris is no longer so confident; Lark retreats into herself as she deals with challenges at school. And at the same time, something strange is happening in the city around them, things both great and small going missing without a trace. As Iris begins to understand that anything can be lost in the blink of an eye, she decides it’s up to her to find a way to keep her sister safe.

I love Anne Ursu.  Love her.  As a person and an author.  I've met her a few times and both times she has been so kind and gracious. I hope she has a signing for when this one comes out! So when I saw she had a new book coming out I was so excited.  I cannot wait for this one to come out, and I knew I needed to share it with you.  

To see more of Anne Ursu check out my posts about her and her books:

November 8, 2018

Audiobook Review: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Title: Book Scavenger
Author: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Narrator: Jessica Almasy 

A hidden book. A found cipher. A game begins . . . .

Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold's attackers make them their next target.   

One sentence review: For book lovers, this is a fantastic book, but also a great story about leaning into your circumstances. 
Best stick-with-you image: The bookstore that James and Emily visit.  Wish I had one like it near me! 
Thoughts on the audiobook: Very well done.  Lots of voices to differentiate, and she did a great job! 
Final Thoughts: I've been selling this one to all my huge readers knowing they'd love the concept.  They have! 

My 12-year-old self LOVED this book.  It had everything I would've loved as a 12-year-old.  It had books! Lots and lots of books.  And it had a game where you hide and find books! AND it had a mystery.  All those pieces were fantastically fit together to make a fun story that had laughter, tension, mystery and just plain fun.  I've been reading some super serious books lately and it was so great to listen to this book and just have it for enjoyment.  Not to say there wasn't some seriousness in it.  Emily has a learn how to be a good friend, and she's struggling with accepting her families lifestyle.  Her family moves a ton because her parents are on a mission to live in all 50 states.  This had gotten hard on Emily.  So yes some bigger topics, but it's also just fun and enjoyable.  I loved trying to figure out everything with Emily and James.  It really pulled me into the story even more.  I had a few things figured out before them but not all.  

Can I just say that I loved the story part of the story with Emily's brother Matthew? He's pretty cool.  I really liked how he explained to Emily how he came to accept all their moving.  He talked about leaning into the experience and how he realized he'd miss things staying and moving.  It was a great perspective.  Plus I loved his obsession with a band named Flush. 

I did have an issue with the parents moving the kids around so much - especially as they got older.  It seemed selfish.  I will say that was address to my satisfaction.  Thankfully.

Great book that I'll continue to hand sell! 

November 6, 2018

Cover Crush: Tangled in Time: The Portal by Kathryn Lasky

I love book covers! I love walking around Barnes and Noble just looking at all the different covers.  

A good cover will make me pull the book off the shelf!  It's almost like I have a crush on them :)

Today I'm crushin' on:

About the Book:
Life used to be great for Rose: full of friends, a loving mom, and a growing fashion blog.

But when her mother dies in a car crash, Rose is sent away to live with a strange grandmother she hardly knows and forced to attend a new school where mean girls ridicule her at every turn.

The one place Rose finds refuge is in her grandmother’s Tudor-style greenhouse. But one night, she sees a strange light glowing from within it. She climbs a ladder to investigate . . . and finds herself transported back four hundred years to Hatfield Palace, where she becomes servant and confidante of the banished princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII. Rose soon discovers something else surprising—a locket with two mysterious images inside it, both of them clues to her own past.

Could her grandmother’s greenhouse portal offer answers to the mysteries of her family . . . and their secrets? And how will she ever unravel them all?

Why I'm crushin':
Have you looked at it??? I think it's clear why I'm crushin' on this one!  It's just so pretty.  I love the colors.  That color green is my favorite.  And then the smaller picture between the two girls - such an amazing detail! And finally the chain tangling the two girls together is so pretty and it really makes me wonder how the whole time travel works.  

November 5, 2018

MGM: Two Books Featured - The Lost Boy's Gift by Kimberly Willis Holt and The Miraculous by Jess Redman

Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday is hosted by Greg 

at Always in the Middle.

As a middle school media specialist, middle-grade books have a very special place in my heart.  I don't always feel they get the recognition they deserve, so I know want to do my part to promote them!For MMGM, on Monday bloggers promote middle-grade books.  For me, that might mean a review or a spotlight.  

To see other middle-grade books, check out Always in the Middle for links! 

Today I'm sharing two new middle-grade books I saw recently.  They both sound so fantastic and the covers are amazing.  I can't wait to get the chance to read them!

First one:

There are places where you want to go and places where you want to leave. There are also places where you want to stay.

Ten-year-old Daniel must move across the country with his mom after his parents’ divorce. He’s leaving behind his whole life—and he’s taking a suitcase of anger with him. But Daniel is in for a surprise when he settles into While-a-Way Lane and meets his new neighbor, Tilda Butter, and many other inhabitants. There are some people who can see into our souls and help make things better. Tilda Butter is that person. And While-a-Way Lane is that curious place where it all happens.

This one is coming out April 2019, so we've got a wait for it.  But I think it sounds so very very good! And that cover.  Just so makes me want to explore the book more!

Second One:

Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. These miracles fill Wunder with the feeling that he is not alone, that the world is magical, that he is part of something brighter than he can imagine.

But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles don’t exist. So Wunder gets rid of The Miraculous. And he stops believing.

Then Wunder meets Faye—a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and the old woman who lives there—and who might be a witch. The old woman asks for Wunder and Faye’s help. She asks them to go through graveyards and forests, to townhalls and police stations, by bike and by train. She asks them to believe. And together, they go on a journey that leads them to friendship, to healing—and to miracles.

We have an even LONGER wait for this one.  It doesn't come out until next June!  But it just sounds amazing and covers a topic not typically cover in middle-grade books.  I will be searching this one out come June.  

What are you thoughts on these two?