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Waiting on Wednesday: The Kill Order

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Happy Wednesday everyone!

The Kill Order by James Dashner
My husband and I are pretty excited about this prequel book to The Maze Runner series. We listened to The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials together and we just started book number three, The Death Cure over the weekend. If you haven’t read these books you simply need to! Dashner creates suspense with the best of them and this story leaves you wondering what is truth and what is a lie so many times! Here is the summary for The Kill Order.


Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth and mankind fell to disease. 
The Kill Order is the story of that fall.

So hurry up and read this series before Delacourte Young Readers releases The Kill Order on August 14!

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Top Ten Tuesday: June New Releases

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and Bookish to encourage book bloggers to get to know one another.  It’s always a lot of work, but its one of my favorite memes to participate in!

Every month brings new releases to drool over, and June has plenty to drool about!  So, instead of doing the official theme for the week,  my Top Ten list for the week is June New Releases!

A Girl Named Digit by Annabel MonaghanA Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan (June 5) (MG)

Tales From A Not So Graceful Ice Princess by Renee RussellTales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess (Dork Diaries #4) by Renee Russell  (June 5) (MG)

Timepiece by Myra McEntireTimepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire (June 12) (YA)

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana PeterfreundFor Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (June 12) (YA)

13 Secrets by Michelle Harrison13 Secrets by Michelle Harrison (June 12) (MG)

Rapture by Lauren KateRapture (Fallen #4) by Lauren Kate (June 12) (YA)

Just Flirt by Laura BowersJust Flirt by Laura Bowers (June 19) (MG)

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah StrohmeyerSmart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer (June 26) (YA)

A Midsummer Tight's Dream by Louise RennisonA Midsummer Tight’s Dream by Louise Rennison (June 26) (MG)

Burn Mark by Laura PowellBurn Mark by Laura Powell (June 19) (YA)

Are there any new releases you’re especially excited about?

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Getting His Start: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

It is time for another book review!

This one is an audiobook and I listened to it as part of the 2012 YA Audiobook Challenge  Death Cloud by Andrew Lane.  Death Cloud, is actually the first book in the Young Sherlock Holmes series detailing where and how the famous British detective got his start.  Also, I received this review copy of the audiobook from the super nice people at MacMillan Audio- thank you!

Death Cloud by Andrew LaneThe year is 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. His life is that of a perfectly ordinary army officer’s son: boarding school, good manners, a classical education – the backbone of the British Empire. But all that is about to change. With his father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously ‘unwell’, Sherlock is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire. So begins a summer that leads Sherlock to uncover his first murder, a kidnap, corruption and a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent . . .

Okay. So I have to be completely honest here; I haven’t read any of the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,  but I have always been intrigued by the character and I do own a copy of them all.  So, I’m not a complete classic fiction failure right?!

Can we also talk about the idea of looking at classic fictional characters as teenagers?! How fun is that?!   Let’s get working on a teenage Elizabeth Bennett or a young Hercule Poirot!  I would seriously read them! This is why I was drawn to Death Cloud when I first saw it- come on a teenage Sherlock Holmes?  YES!

Lane creates a cool collected, level-headed, although sometimes incredibly stubborn teenage boy who has all the reasoning skills, without the knowledge (enter is new American tutor).  What I found really interesting about Lane’s portrayal of Sherlock is that he is kind of a social outcast in school.  He knows the other students and sits among them in classes, but doesn’t really have any friends. In fact, Sherlock has never really had any friends growing up, and because of it he is a bit socially awkward at times.   This is incredibly interesting as one would think that those who grow up privileged in an area where you are the wealthiest family, one might not be allowed to know the other children.  But there also seems to be the fact that Sherlock’s precociousness seems to put him on a different plane than the other boys in his school.

My boys at school are usually not into historical fiction (although some of my girls are) so I’ve been debating whether or not to add Death Cloud to my Media Center catalog or not.   My students just don’t have much interest in historical fiction (arrgghh the truth hurts my historical fiction loving heart!)  That being said  this story is pretty action packed, especially once Sherlock and the mystery get underway, so I think I’m going to give it a try and talk it up to some of my boys who enjoy the Alex Rider books, because there are definitely similarities between the two.

Overall, I really enjoyed the audiobook narrator, Daniel Weyman, who apparently mostly does theater work. His voices and accents were consistent the whole way through, although his American accent was slightly humorous to me because it was such a stereotypical southern accent.  I guess that’s how we sound to everyone else! haha

I really enjoyed this book and if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or a fan of historical fiction you’ll probably have fun with it too!  It is intended for readers 12 and up, so I’d say that anyone who likes a good mystery would appreciate Death Cloud.

Author: Andrew Lane

Publisher: MacMillan Audio (February 1, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 7 hours and 17 minutes

Narrator(s): Daniel Weyman

Series: Book 1 in the Young Sherlock Homes series

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: Death Cloud (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins)

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Tasty Treats (1)

Howdy!

A few weeks ago I decided not to participate in the In My Mailbox meme.  Not out of protest but out of personal conviction regarding my obsessive blogger behavior.  You can read that post in full here.

So, while I will no longer be writing a weekly post about what books I received, I will be posting about this randomly…or better yet, whenever I feel like it! :)  The posts will be called Tasty Treats.  I tend to view all books as tasty treats just waiting to be devoured, so why not just call it that?!

Now let me just tell you that May was a busy month for my digital mailbox as well as the physical one.  I somehow managed to win like three giveaways and received some really exciting books from authors and publishers!  I’ve already posted about some of the books I got this month here. So, today I am showing off  the second group of tasty treats I got during May!

Insurgent by Veronica RothFirst let me show off an audiobook I received from Harper Audio- Insurgent by Veronica Roth!  I just finished it yesterday in the car and am already ready for the third book in the series! It was sooo good! Thanks to Harper Audio!

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy

A huge thanks to author Joanne Levy for sending me a review copy of her debut novel Small Medium at Large and the book marks (not shown).  I can’t wait to share them with my students!

Birthmarked and Born Wicked

Also, thanks to Kare at Ex Libris for the two books I won in one of her recent giveaways!  Above you see Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien and Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood.  Now I have two copies of Born Wicked- one of which will go to my school library.

Lexapros and Cons and Lost in the River of Grass

Also, I snagged a copy of Lost in the River of Grass by Giny Rorby from my Media Center since it’s on the Sunshine State list this year.   And finally, a big thanks to Heidi at YA Bibliophile for Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo, which I won in one of her recent giveaways!

You can see I got some really rad looking books over the past few weeks!  I can’t wait to get started on them and it’s going to be soon because school is almost out for the summer! YAY!

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Book Trailer of the Week: Of Poseidon

Book Trailer of the Week Banner

So, what do you think of my swanky new Book Trailer banner?!

Isn’t it cute?!  My husband is the master craftsman behind my book monster and I am so thankful for him to take the time to book trailer-ify the little guy (THANK YOU!!).

Of Poseidon by Anna BanksI’ve said it before, but I think book trailers are made of so much awesome, so every week I pick a book trailer to spotlight.  This week’s trailer is for Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, which is a fantasy filled with mermaid lore—which sounds totally fun!

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen’s not fully convinced that Emma’s the one he’s been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves  that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help–no matter what the risk.

So, now that you’ve read the summary, lets watch the book trailer!

Doesn’t it sound intriguing?  I have yet to read any mermaid fiction, which has recently become pretty popular, so I’m going to have to rectify this sad situation and get my hands on Of Poseidon as soon as I can. I need to add it to my ever-growing Summer To Read List!

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Waiting On Wednesday: Small Medium at Large

Hello everyone!

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers get to showcase the upcoming titles they’re excited about.  I love this meme because it helps me know what soon to be released books to add to my To Read List!

The book I’m highlighting this week is Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy.  A few months ago I saw this book get some notice on a few other blogs so I’ve had my eye on it for a little while now and it is scheduled to be released July 3, 2012  (my husband’s birthday!!).

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy

After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her over opinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.

Doesn’t this sound like a cute middle grades read?  I love the idea of gaining a supernatural gift a lightning strike – it sounds so superhero-esque!
Now, I do have a review Advanced Reader Copy that the lovely Joanne Levy sent my way (THANKS SO MUCH!)  so keep your eye posted in July for a Small Medium at Large Giveaway and interview with the author!  I can’t wait to get started reading this one!

In the mean time, check out Joanne Levy’s blog and website for more news on Small Medium at Large!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Recently Bought for My Media Center

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to help book bloggers get to know each other a little better while talking about what we all love- books! This week’s official theme is Top Ten Blogs/Sites You Read That AREN’T about Books. Well, I don’t visit too many blogs that aren’t book blogs so I’m going to mix it up a bit today.

Two weeks ago I held the school’s Spring Book Fair in my Media Center. It was a successful fundraiser for the Media Center and I always end of buying new books to catalog. In fact, if I could I’d buy the whole Book Fair! But I cannot…alas!

Since I did spend some money on new books (as usual) my theme for the week is Top Ten Books I Recently Bought for my Media Center.

Revenge of the Loser by HN KowittThe Loser List #2: Revenge of the Loser by H.N. Kowitt

Danny Shine might have gotten his name off the Loser List in the girls’ bathroom, but he’s still got problems — like the new kid, Ty Randall. Ty seems perfect: handsome, serious, committed to worthy causes — everything Danny’s not. Will out-of-control jealousy wreck Danny’s life, or can he undo the damage before it’s too late?

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny RorbyLost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

A science-class field trip to the Everglades is supposed to be fun, but Sarah’s new at Glades Academy, and her fellow freshmen aren’t exactly making her feel welcome. When an opportunity for an unauthorized side trip on an airboat presents itself, it seems like a perfect escape—an afternoon without feeling like a sore thumb. But one simple oversight turns a joyride into a race for survival across the river of grass. Sarah will have to count on her instincts—and a guy she barely knows—if they have any hope of making it back alive.

Drought by Pam BachorzDrought by Pam Bachorz

Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved. She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood. So she stays. But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?

Vietnam: Sharpshooter by Chris LynchVietnam #2: Sharpshooter by Chris Lynch

Of all his friends, Ivan is the only one looking forward to war. That’s because Ivan has never backed down from a fight–especially when it comes to fighting for what’s right. He has protected his friends from bullies for years. And now, as war erupts in Vietnam, Ivan wants nothing more than to fight for his country, just as his father did in World War II. Enlisting in the United States Army, Ivan is trained to be a sniper. And he’s good at it. Very good. But Vietnam is not the war he was expecting. Somehow the glory and heroism of his father’s war stories do not come so easily in the jungle.

The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh BaskinThe Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Julia and Eliza are best friends. Julia’s mother is serving in the National Guard in Iraq, and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. So the girls lose themselves in their summer, hanging out at the resort where Eliza’s father works. But when they meet a new boy, neither of them is prepared for how it impacts their friendship, and Julia has to cope with the possibility of being separated from yet another person she loves.

Chomp by Carl HiaasenChomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called “Expedition Survival!”, Wahoo figures he’ll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show’s boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out. They’ve only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun . .

The False Prince by Jennifer A NielsenThe False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

Zit Face by Emily HowseZit Face by Emily Howse

Thirteen-year-old Olivia Hughes knows what she wants to do with her life—be an actress. And she’s already on her way. She just landed a national ad campaign that should get her noticed. But then her luck runs out. A little pimple turns into a full-blown case of acne, with serious side effects for her career, relationships, and budding romance with J.W., the new guy at school. Now all Olivia wants to do is hide, but she can’t. She goes from being the girl at school everyone wants to be…to Zitface, a girl who is teased, dumped, and even fired. What do you do when you’ve lost control of everything in your life? Olivia has to find out the hard way. And maybe what she finds isn’t so bad after all.

 

The Boy on Cinammon Street by Phoebe StoneThe Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone

A story about a wounded girl and the boy who won’t give up on her. Seventh grader Louise should be the captain of her school’s gymnastics team – but she isn’t. She’s fun and cute and should have lots of friends – but she doesn’t. And there’s a dreamy boy who has a crush on her – but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her – so what is it that’s holding her back?

Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon

Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . .

Aren’t these a great looking bunch of books?! I can’t wait to read them all and share them with my students!

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Those Awkward Middle School Years: Click Here by Denise Vega

Hi there!

School is almost out for the summer!  Work has been so busy lately.  It always seems to get crazy right before the end of the school year due to all the end of the year activities.  I’ve been reading like normal, but my reviewing has been slow so I’m pretty behind in my reviews.

Click Here by Denise VegaToday, I finally had some time to devote to the blog, so here I am working on reviews!

I recently read Click Here (To Find Out How I Survived Seventh Grade) by Denise Vega.

Seventh-grader Erin Swift has a talent for computers, a love of Snickers, and big feet that are great for soccer and useless for dancing.  She has a lot on her mind: a new school where she and her best friend Jilly are separated for the first time in school, a crush on the Cure Boy in her home room, and leading the school intranet project.  Then real disaster strikes, and Erin sets off a surprising journey to self-discovery – and the many meanings of cherry-flavored Tootsie Pops.

I picked this book up after I stumbled across it in the return bin at school.  I saw the cover and thought it looked like a cute middle grades read and I must say that I really enjoyed this book.

Did you have that part of yourself you weren’t happy with?  Like your hair, or your braces, or your nose…whatever!  For Erin Swift it’s her feet – they’re big and she is incredibly insecure about them.  I totally felt like Erin did in middle school (doesn’t everyone?!) so I can relate to having an awkward middle school experience.  Erin is very self-conscious and unsure of navigating the halls of Molly Brown Middle School but she is also funny and smart and talented with computers, and graphic design.  So talented that she earns an important spot on the school’s Intranet Club.  Erin’s troubles don’t just center around her huge feet though, but instead she deals with a maybe “not-so best friend”, the mean popular girl in school, and then to make matters worse the whole school knows her innermost secrets!

Erin is likable and her struggles are easily relatable to anyone who has experienced middle school.  Her inner thoughts and fears are all displayed on her own private website, that only she (and us!) get to see.  What I really find relatable about Erin is that she is sometimes just as mean as those who antagonize her.  Who hasn’t said horrible things about the mean people in your life while venting to a friend?!  I know I have, and that’s one thing I appreciated about Erin-she has her flaws like we all do.

As a blogger I loved the internet/blog theme Vega weaves throughout Click Here (to go along with Erin’s favorite hobby).  Even the pages have tabs at the top like a website would! It’s all very cute without being overdone.

My only complaint is that some of the characters are pretty stereotypical and not very complex, Serena most of all. However, Click Here (To Find Out How I Survived the Seventh Grade) is a fun read and I recommend it to any one who has survived middle school and anyone who is afraid they might not.

Author: Denise Vega

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 5, 2006)

Format: Paperback

Length: 224 pages

Series: First in a series of two

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book: Click Here (to find out how i survived seventh grade)

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Book Trailer of the Week: Gone by Michael Grant

Happy Friday!

It’s time to highlight the Book Trailer of the Week.  I think book trailers are wonderful, but incredibly underused forms of promotion for books and  I wish they were on TV like movie trailers.  So, I like to showcase some book trailers on BookTasty, and I focus on a new one each week.

Gone by Michael GrantThis week’s book trailer is for Gone by Michael Grant.  This book is currently in my To Be Read Stack, so I wanted to give it some more attention.  I’ve heard amazing things about this series.

In the blink of an eye.  Everyone disappears.  Gone.

Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.  Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.  It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.  The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way.

Check out the book trailer!

Doesn’t it sound like an awesome read?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Temptation

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Well, hello there!  It’s that time again where I spotlight another upcoming release that I am really excited about. This event is hosted by Breaking the Spine and was created to bring attention to new books. Pretty fun huh?!

I don’t know if you know this (have I ever confessed this on the blog?!) but I have a humongous interest and obsession with the Amish. Temptation by Karen Ann HopkinsI have never been to Amish country, which is probably why I have such an infatuation with the Amish, but I do have a friend with an Amish house maid (very cool!). Haha

Well the book I’m highlighting this week is called Temptation, by Karen Ann Hopkins, and guess what, it has to do with the Amish!!!

Your heart misleads you. That’s what my friends and family say. But I love Noah. And he loves me. We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each others arms. It should be ROSE & NOAH forever. But it won’t be. Because he’s Amish. And I’m not.

Te second I saw this book I knew I must read it! It looks so awesome and has seems to have a ton of Amishness in it! This romance is expected to be published by Harlequin on June 26, 2012. Only about a month away! Get ready! Get Amish! :p