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Showing posts from September, 2016

Quarterly Round-Up and Giveaway

It is time for the Quarterly Review Round-Up where I talk about the best of the best, the one's I couldn't finish, and the adult novels I'm reading that I don't review here. Plus there's a GIVEAWAY.

The DNFs (links to my reasons why-if I shared them-on Goodreads):
The Eye of Midnight by Andrew Brumbauch
The Galleryby Laura Marx Fitzgerald
The Kidnap Plot by Dave Butler
Serpentine by Cindy Pon
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallari
The Wild Robotby Peter Brown
The Wolf's Boy by Susan Williams Buckhorn

Adult Books (links to reviews on Goodreads):
The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne (historical romance THIS BOOK-my heart!)
Close-Upby Virginia Kantra (contemporary romantic thriller)
My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne (historical romance)
Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne (historical romance)
Roses and Rot by Kat Howard (fantasy/fairy tale)
The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne (historical romance/adventure)
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim Hines (fantasy)
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (…

I'm a Cybils Judge!

The 2016 Cybils Judges were announced today.


I am so happy to be back on MG Speculative Fiction this year. I'm a Round One Panelist which means all of my reading is about to become Middle Grade Science-Fiction and Fantasy.

I will be working with these lovely ladies:

Charlotte Taylor from Charlotte's Library

Sherry Early from Semicolon

Kristen Harvey from The Book Monsters

Brenda Tjaden from Log Cabin Library

What's next? Nominations for the Cybils open on October 1st. Start making your lists of books you want to nominate. Books need to have a US publishing date of October 16, 2015-October 15, 2016.

Shorter Musings

Some shorter musings on recent reads.

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbit
Cloud and Wallfish is a story of friendship and adventure set in East Berlin in 1989. It is an interesting look into a time and place that we typically don't see much of in MG. Each chapter has a "case file" addition that give some explanations and historical background. I'm not entirely sold on this format, but these sections are not necessary to the story and kid readers will make up their own minds what they will do with that. I adored both Noah/Jonah and Claudia and the growth of their friendship. I was really annoyed by Noah's parents through the entire book. It lessened my enjoyment of the overall story quite a bit. I kind of hated them. It is a fun story though and definitely one I'll be adding to recommendation lists.

I received an ARC from the author.

The Extincts by Veronica Cossanteli
Kids who get part time jobs working at a farm for extinct animals have many adventures. How cute i…

Two Naomis

Two Naomisby Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick first caught my eye due to its cover (well done Balzer and Bray). I'm so happy that I decided to read it and that this book now exists in the world.

Naomi Marie likes West African dance, board games, and being the best at whatever she attempts to do. She is an excellent big sister and adores her family. She feels lucky that she lives just blocks away from her dad and can visit him whenever she wants despite her parents' divorce.

Naomi Edith likes reading, anything creative, and spending her Saturdays with dad doing the things they love. She desperately misses her mom who has moved to California since her parents' divorce. Skype just isn't the same.

When Naomi M's mother and Naomi E's father begin dating more seriously, the girls are reluctantly thrown together. Both enrolled in a computer programming class at the Y, they don't see why they should have to spend so much time together because their p…

Shadow Magic

I heard a little bit about Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan last year, but not much buzz since it came out. I'm curious as to why that is because, while not perfect, it is a book that kids will eat up like candy. Blurbed by Rick Riordan, Jonathan Stroud, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Cinda Williams Chima, it had some fairly lofty expectations to live up to and it for the most part it meets them.

Thorn leaves home to find his father, who was condemned as an outlaw for something Thorn did. He is captured by slavers and bought by Tyburn. Tyburn is the executioner for the House of Shadow. Thorn finds himself in the country of Gehenna residing at Castle Gloom itself. He is a peasant who befriends nobility, becomes a hero, and shares an odd bond with a bat.

Lily Shadow is the new ruler of Gehenna following the death of her parents and brother. In one day she went from being a 13 year old girl who loved to run and play to the person on whom the weight of the kingdom rests. She is reluctantly fulfil…