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Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Trends I’m a Fan Of

Hi Friends!

It is time again for another Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by the lovely bloggers at Broke and Bookish! For those of you who aren’t aware of Top Ten Tuesday it’s a weekly meme where book blogger create lists based on a particular theme.

For this week, our theme is centered around cover trends! I’ve decided to focus on cover trends I’m a fan of and although some of the trends I’ve listed below are not necessarily current (some may be a few years old now), they’re all trends that I like!

    Rivals In the City by YS Lee Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Statistical Probability of Love and First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Font Focused

I love it when a cover uses strong typography as the main focus of the cover!

     The One by Kiera Cass Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

Gowns

I’m always a sucker for a cover with a gorgeous gown on it!

     Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell All Four Stars by Tara Dairman The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Illustrations

Sometimes I get sick of covers with photos of people’s faces on them. Just give me some good ol’ illustrated cover artwork!

     Guitar Notes by Mary Amato The Diviners by Libba Bray The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Symbology

Covers that focus on a specific symbol rather than a person is always a good thing. I particularly like it as a middle grades librarian because it doesn’t alienate students based on the skin color of the cover model.

    Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan Unspoken The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

Gates

There is just something so appealing and mysterious about a gorgeous wrought iron gate!

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould 2 The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist

Masks

To me masks on covers represent decadence and mystery. I like both!

    Spy School by Stuart Gibbs The Crossover by Kwame Alexander Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Silhouettes

This is another cool way to show a person without focusing on the cover model’s skin color!

    Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick

Boats

I have no idea why these have been popping up so much, but I like the idea of the boat representing a journey of some sort.

    The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Clockwork

Any implication of a steampunk setting and I’m all over it!

    Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan Mark of the Dragonfly The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Animals/Creatures

Animals and creatures bring another cool alternative to whitewashing book covers!

What about you? Do you also love the trends on my list or did I list some you’re not a fan of?  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section!

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Extending Trust: Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

Well hello there!

Is it true? Am I posting a book review?! I know…it’s been a while right?!

Well, it IS true.  In September (yes September…that’s how behind I am!) I read Wild Things by Clay Carmichael.  This is one of the fifteen Florida Sunshine State books and I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed it.Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

A headstrong girl. A stray cat. A wild boy. A man who plays with fire. Eleven-year-old Zoe trusts no one. Her father left before she was born. At the death of her irresponsible mother, Zoe goes to live with her uncle, former surgeon and famed metal sculptor Dr. Henry Royster. She’s sure Henry will fail her as everyone else has. Reclusive since his wife’s death, Henry takes Zoe to Sugar Hill, North Carolina, where he welds sculptures as stormy as his moods. Zoe and Henry have much in common: brains, fiery and creative natures, and badly broken hearts. Zoe confronts small-town prejudice with a quick temper. She warms to Henry’s odd but devoted friends, meets a mysterious teenage boy living wild in the neighboring woods, and works to win the trust of a feral cat while struggling to trust in anyone herself.  Zoe’s questing spirit leads her to uncover the wild boy’s identity, lay bare a local lie, and begin to understand the true power of Henry’s art. Then one decisive night, she and the boy risk everything in a reckless act of heroism.

This was the last Sunshine State book I read this year.  I just wasn’t interested in the summary. It sounded slow and honestly, a little boring. Which is why I was so shocked to find myself liking this book as much as I did.

This is mostly a story about trust and relationships.  Zoe is the main character, but is not the only one learning how to trust and love people better. Everyone from Zoe, to Henry, to the cat, to the boy was grappling with the relationships (or lack there of) in their lives. The side-by-side narratives of Zoe and the cat was perfectly done as Zoe was trying to earn the cat’s trust while also struggling to extend that same trust to the adults in her life.

This book was heartwarming, but not in a “ugh make me vomit way” (how I normally respond to “heartwarming” tales). Zoe has enough sass and sarcasm to give this story humor and the supporting small town characters were lovable and sweet. There is just enough depth to Carmichael’s story, without dragging the reader down.

At times, I did wonder about the dialog, especial the words and phrases Zoe used. It seemed a little false and too mature for a teenage girl to be using-even one as mature and well read as Zoe.

Although I don’t think this is a book that would grab a reluctant reader’s attention, middle graders (and up!) who enjoy reading will find Wild Things to be a rewarding read.

Author: Clay Carmichael

Publisher:  Front Street (May 1, 2009)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 240 pages

Series: standalone

YA/MG: MG

Buy the Book:  Wild Things

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Book Trailer of the Week: Chomp

Book Trailer of the Week is my weekly event where I get to showcase my love to book trailers! Every Friday I highlight a young adult or middle grades book trailers.

Chomp by Carl HiaasenI think book trailers are fabulous methods of marketing and I love to use them frequently in my Media Center and school to promote books and reading.  This week’s book trailer is for the newest Carl Hiaasen middle grades novel, Chomp.

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 . . .

If you haven’t read any of Hiaasen’s middle grades fiction, you absolutely must.  They’re full of mystery, adventure, animals, and humor! And his books’ covers are always AH.MAZE.ING!  Check out the trailer for Chomp to see what I mean!

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Book Trailer of the Week: Showoff

I reviewed Showoff in early January and now am spotlighting the book trailer.  Gordon Korman is seriously an Showoff by Gordon Kormanamazing middle grades author and not only do I enjoy his books, but my students do too!  The reluctant readers, especially the boys, at my school are always checking out the first three books in the Swindle series, and this is the newest addition.  You have mystery, adventure and animals all mixed together for a really fun read.  But don’t take my word for it; watch the trailer and see if you’ll like Showoff by Gordon Korman.

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Best in Show: Showoff by Gordon Korman

Happy 2012! This is my first post/book review of the new year!

There is no way I can’t start this review without referencing one of the funniest movies ever, Best in Show. It relates I promise!

The movie and this book (although not connected in any way) are both centered around a dog show. (See, I told you it’d all relate!)

The fourth SWINDLE book, centering around a dog show that goes horribly awry!

The heroes of Swindle, Zoobreak, and Framed are back – and this time, things have gone to the dogs! When Luthor goes berserk at a mall dog show, he’s accused of ruining the career of the three-time best-in-show beagle. Griffin always knew that Luthor’s viciousness was simmering just below the surface – so why does he feel bad enough to spring him from the pound?

Showoff by Gordon KormanGriffin and his team have a new plan. This one involves New York City, a sinister saboteur, a reclusive dog-trainer who’s quit the business, an international dog show, and a whole lot of dye. But if they pull it off, no one will even notice their sting operation…right?

To start I really, really love Gordon Korman. He is such a prolific author, with over seventy-five books written, and is so good at his craft! Korman writes for kids/teens and seems to know what they want. In fact, the Swindle series is hugely popular among the most difficult portion of readers at my school—teen boys. Although there is no waiting list for these books, they are consistently off the shelf and going home with a student (Thank you Korman for making my job that much easier!).

Now, I must confess that I have not read the first three books in this series, but that being said, I really enjoyed Showoff and feel that this series is written in such a way that the reader could read them out-of-order and not be lost.

The characters in Showoff , although fun to read about, didn’t have much depth to them. For example, each character’s personality could be completely explained in one word. But this doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy what I read, because I really did like the story and trying to figure out if Griffin and his team of friends would manage to pull off their wild plan. I did appreciate how every one of Griffin’s friends have their own special skill or talent that makes them essential to the success of the scheme. Plus, Luthor (the dog) is a lovable character despite his sometimes scary security dog behavior!

Korman set this story in the middle of a dog show and dog show culture. I’ve always loved watching dog shows on TV and have been interested in the type of culture that breeds (haha get it?!) in this unique environment. Maybe that’s why I hold Christopher Guest’s Best in Show as one of my favorite movie comedies ever. Korman manages to pull a little bit of that same eccentricity and humor into Showoff.

Overall the story is entertaining and adventurous with a hint of mystery added in and I think that it is a fun read and would be enjoyed by readers in the early middle grades and older.

Author: Gordon Korman

Publisher: Scholastic Press; January 1, 2012

Format: Advanced Reader Copy

Pages: 248

Series: Fourth in the Swindle series

YA/MG: Middle Grades

Buy the Book: Showoff (Swindle)