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Showing posts from November, 2015

The Wolf Wilder

I added The Wolf Wilder  to my TBR as soon as I saw it. I didn't read the synopsis. I just saw it was by Katherine Rundell, whose Rooftopers  I enjoyed, and that it had an intriguing cover. Author plus cover is often all it takes for me. I was in for a pleasant surprise when I started reading. Feo has an odd job. She and her mother rare Wolf Wilders. Their job is to take in the wolves Russian aristocrats have kept as pets but have lost control of and now want to send far away from them. It is terrible luck to kill a wolf so the Wolf Wilders exist to take in the wolves and train them to be wild creatures again. They teach them to run, to hunt, to howl. Feo loves the wolves and her life with them. When General Rakov arrives at her home to tell them they must stop wilding the wolves, Feo's idyllic world shatters. Dodging soldiers and trying to do their work in secret, it isn't long before Feo's mother is captured and there is a large bounty placed on Feo's head. With

Things to be Thankful For

This year has been a struggle for me when it comes to books and reading. Regular readers of this blog probably already know that. I wrote about being in the worst reading slump of my life earlier this year, and my posts lately have been sporadic and not as focused or as enthusiastic as in the past. Part of it is that, while we have found a lovely community here in Michigan, I miss teaching. SO. MUCH. Of course I still teach my own two kiddos and that is no small thing, but I miss being in a classroom discussing books with teens and tweens and helping them learn to think about them on different levels. It was only one day a week when we lived in Tennessee but that day was a highlight of my week. I miss the prep work for it. I miss the grading. Yes, I do mean that. I loved reading my students' papers. Another factor is that a lot of what I read this year was just disappointing. I've been getting my groove back as far as reading goes, but it's been slow going and hard. If it

Dream On, Amber

I will be honest. I've been reading a lot of depressing MG books lately. They are all about the same things and the plots are starting to run together in my head. And then I read Dream On, Amber  by Emma Shevah, and it was like a ray of sunshine burst into my world. Ambra Alessandra Leola Kimiko Miyamota has many problems, not the least of which is the terrible name her Italian mother and Japanese father saddled her with. To make things easy on herself she goes by Amber. But she can't hide how short she is and is tired of telling people yes she is really 11. She can't hide her mixed heritage either, and is tired of the questions and people asking her to say something in Japanese. (Her standard response is "sushi"). She hates that she has a boring old flip phone that doesn't even have a camera or connect to the Internet. How uncool does her mom want her to be? Most of all she hates having the hole in her life caused by her father leaving them. When her little

WoW: The Left-Handed Fate

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of  Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Lucy Bluecrowne and Maxwell Ault are on a mission: find the three pieces of a strange and arcane engine. They're not  exactly  sure what this machine does, but they have it on good authority that it will stop the war that's raging between their home country of England and Napoleon Bonaparte's France. Despite being followed by mysterious men dressed all in black, they're well on their way to finding everything they need when their ship, the famous  Left-Handed Fate , is taken by the Americans. And not just any Americans. The  Fate  (and with it, Lucy and Max) are put under the command of Oliver Dexter, who's only just turned twelve. But Lucy and Max aren't the only ones trying to put the engine together, and if the pieces fall into the wrong hands, it could prove disastrous. Oliver is faced wit

The Detective's Assistant

If you are looking for a fun adventurous historical fiction for MG readers, The Detective's Assistant  by Kat Hannifin is a great choice. Synopsis (from Goodreads): Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless. Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate...and not just by helping out with household chores. For Aunt Kate is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present. Nell is such a fun character and she has a strong unique voice. Smart and witty, she is more than a match and the best partner for her Aunt Ka

The Wrinkled Crown

Anne Nesbet is one of those authors who always surprises me. Her book like they will be one thing, but they have so many fascinating layers. The Wrinkled Crown  is my favorite book she's written yet.  Linny has been tethered to Sayra all of her life. From the moment it became obvious Linny had a talent for music, she was put at Sayra's side to keep her safe. To keep her from even picking up a Lourka and allowing her talents to be realized. In the town of Lourka if a girl even brushes against a Lourka accidentally before her twelfth birthday, she is spirited off by mysterious voices to the Away. Linny and Sayra have developed a special bond, and they have secrets. Sayra allows Linny to run free in the woods. Linny unable to resist the call of music uses these times to craft her very own Lourka. Sayra feels she's failed Linny and wishes that Linny's fate would be hers. When that is what happens, Linny feels guilty but also determined to be the one to rescue her friend.

WoW: Masks and Shadows

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of  Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress--a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.   THE