Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Mom Has X-ray Vision review

My Mom Has X-ray Vision

Matthew's mom is just like all the other moms. She has ordinary hair, ordinary clothes, and a nice smile. Matthew's mom is just like all the other moms . . . EXCEPT she has X-RAY VISION! How else could she always know what Matthew is up to? She knows when he jumps on the bed, or when he uses her pots and pans outside, and she even knows when he is wrestling with sea monsters in the bathtub! Matthew is sure his mom can see through things 4-7just like a superhero! One day... he decides to test his theory. (goodreads summary)

How do moms know what is going on when they are not in the same room? I'm sure this question has been asked many times by children and here is a simple and funny story that kids will laugh to. The illustrations are bold and colorful with cute characters.  Children will enjoy the funny details to look at throughout the book. Even after reading it a second time, I still found some silly new thing I missed the first time.  The front and back inside covers are fun to read while they describe Matthews ordinary mom to a Superhero mom.  I think this is a "just right book" for ages 4-7.~

Title: My Mom has X-ray Vision
Author:  Angela McAllister
Illustrated: Alex T. Smith
Genre: Picture Book
Pub. date: March 2011, Tiger Tales
Hardcover, 32 pgs.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Book Blogger Hop - May 27

Book Blogger Hop

Thanks to  Crazy-for-books for hosting this hop, I hope to hop on from time-to-time......I also found some new blogs and I am looking forward to knowing what others are reading and saying! 

This week's question comes from Britta who blogs at I Like These Books:

 "What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?"

My Answer:  I know that it's so hard to cram a whole book into a two hour movie, so I usually don't think about the book I've read while watching it. A couple of  movies that I know I did like were Charlie St. Cloud and The Time Travelers Wife.  I am waiting to get Percy Jackson on Netflix this upcoming summer so my family and I can watch it since my kids really loved the series. I am hoping good things for that one....

Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!! Looking forward to reading what you liked and disliked for some recommendations to view over the summer break.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Favorite review


Angie Favorite was just eleven years old when her mother disappeared, leaving Angie and her brother Jason to be raised by their grandmother while their rock-star father hit the road with his band. Since that day, Angie has gone through the motions of everyday life. She thinks she has everyone fooled — until the summer morning when she’s abducted from a mall parking lot. She narrowly escapes and her attacker, Scott Bittner, is arrested, but the weirdness has just begun. When Angie receives a letter from Scott’s mother, entreating her to meet so that she can apologize for her son’s actions, the girl reluctantly agrees. But it is soon obvious that Scott’s attack wasn’t random at all and that there is more to the strange Mrs. Bittner than meets the eye. (goodreads summary)

Angie will never forget the feeling of loss from the sudden disappearance of their mother five years ago.  Angie's grandmother believes that her father had ruined her daughter's life by marrying him. But yet, Angie has hope that she will return to them someday because they were a very happy family once upon a time. While running errands one morning, Angie is attacked by a stranger named Scott Bittner.  Luckily, she escapes and he is arrested.  She soon finds that he took his own life before she could find out why he tried kidnapping her and leaving her with no closure on the attack.  Scott's mother writes Angie a letter asking for her forgiveness of her son and offering anything to help ease her suffering by opening up her heart and home.  Angie decides to make contact and after that moment the story twists and turns into a thriller. 

When Angie and her brother accept a dinner invitation, it turns into an abrupt weekend stay when she unexpectedly sprains her ankle.  It seemed a little to easy for Angie to get caught up with Mrs. Bittner, especially since she was traumatized by being attacked by her son.  Her thoughts and actions were a bit immature for a depicted age of sixteen but maybe there are teens who would think different.  Mrs. Bittner is a wealthy widow who uses her money to get what she wants.  She lives on a huge estate and has a son and grandson that live on the other side of the lake. She comes off as sweet but as the story unfolds she shows another side.  I had the feeling there was a mystery between Scott and the disappearance of Angie's mother.  As I kept reading, I found out things were not what I thought and actually became more thrilling. There were many surprises and twists with the characters in the story leaving me satisfied with the outcome.  At first, I wasn't sure how this book was going to turnout but I did like it. I read other reviews and they were not good so it left me wondering. I will say though that it had a beginning, suspenseful climax but the end seemed to wrap up too quickly. Then again, it may be perfect for a teen looking for a short and fast read.   It did keep my interest though and I found myself picking it up frequently because I wanted to finish and find out what was going to happen in the end.  I would read more books by this author to see how they would compare. I think this would be a "just right book" for ages 14 and up.~

Title:  Favorite
Author: Karen McQuestion
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: April 2011, Amazon Encore
Paperback, 162 pgs.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Follow Me review

Follow Me

Swing high into the sky and explore a world full of earthy and elegant colors with the girl in this story as she experiences nature with a twist of her imagination. After she’s ventured far away, she floats gently back down and heads home, where her mother is waiting.
(goodreads summary)

How could a book with such simple lyrics and illustrations capture my heart the way it did?  Mainly by the author portraying the feelings of a young girls imagination through beautiful illustrations and taking me back to my own childhood, swinging for hours on the backyard swingset. This book is charming with its poetic verse guiding the girl on a daydream adventure through her backyard. The illustrations were done by a colorful etching process and the girls facial expression tells the moment, reminding us of being a carefree child once again. This story enlightened my spirit and put a smile on my face. The lyrics are quite short but would make for a peaceful bedtime or quiet time read. A great book for getting that imagination flowing.  I think this would be a "just right book" for ages 4-8.~

Title: Follow Me
Author: Tricia Tusa
Genre: Picture Book
Pub. Date: April 2011, Harcourt Children's Book
Hardcover, 32 pgs.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Family Forever Friday - May 20

Here is a brand new meme that was started by E&K Family Book Review to share stories about the people behind the blogs. What a great idea and since I'm all for something new and fun, count me in!

This week's question is:

What is your most embarassing moment as a kid?

My Answer: Wow, there could be about 100 answers to this question but one that sticks in my mind is when I was in 7th grade I wanted to try out for cheerleading and really wanted to make it with my best friend. We practiced like crazy all the time after school. Especially the jumps.....well, when it was time for tryouts I was so nervous standing in front of everyone that my knees were shaking and I totally forgot the words to the cheer, so that I was way off sync from my partner and ended after her.  I couldn't wait to sit back down again........I've learned to grow from a moment like this.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  I'll be looking forward to next weeks question.

Book Blogger Hop - May 20

Book Blogger Hop

Thanks to  Crazy-for-books for hosting this hop, I hope to hop on from time-to-time......I also found some new blogs and I am looking forward to knowing what others are reading and saying! 

This week's question comes from Ivan who blogs at Ivan Bookworm:

 "If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?"

My Answer:  The first thought that popped in my head would be Harry Potter. But that seemed too easy of a choice, so I thought a little harder (glad it is Friday and not a Monday) and came up with the world of  Frell in the book Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.  I think it would be fascinating to visit a time with castles, fairies, giants and of course, a prince........

Hope you have a great hop weekend and looking forward to reading other answer!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ruby Lu Star of the Show review

Ruby Lu, Star of the Show

Ruby is starting third grade, and she can't wait! In third grade you get to join clubs, like for knitting and ballroom dancing and yoga. In third grade you get to sign up for a musical instrument (Ruby is convinced that she is destined to play the harp) and play in the orchestra. In third grade you also get to learn cursive...and that's only the beginning! But for Ruby Lu, third grade also means an especially big change: her father loses his job. When her mother goes to work to support the family, Ruby and Oscar have to adjust to her father's bizarre caretaking, which is definitely not all fun and games. And then there's the fact that money is tighter than ever. Ruby is determined to change things, though. (goodreads summary)

Ruby is looking forward to many new and exciting things in third grade.  The best thing she was looking forward to was taking her new dog Elvis to obedience school so he can learn normal dog tricks. Elvis does unusual stuff like balancing plates and balls on his head or doing yoga poses.  The last thing she was expecting was the loss of her dad's job and cutting back on expenses including the dog training classes.  Life is not the same around the house when her mom finds a job leaving her dad to stay home and fill in for the time being.  But with a little creativity and help with her friends,  Ruby thinks of ways she can contribute to the family's tight budget.

I have always enjoyed the Ruby Lu series for young readers and was delighted to come across another new book.  This story realistically touches on the unexpected loss of employment and the effect it can take on families.  Ruby devises some very funny plans to help with the tightened budget such as opening her own spa, the neighborhood kids photocopying money as payment for makeovers and starting doggy boot camp for Elvis so he can sign up to be an animal actor to help pay for his excessive eating habits.  Ruby later finds a wallet with money in it and thinks her troubles are over.  When her dad places an ad to track down the rightful owner, she learns a wonderful lesson about character and the spirit of giving to others in need. Towards the end of the story, she must also make a tough decision of her own when it comes to giving back herself.  The story is heart warming and humorous in many places and focuses on family love, friendship and giving to others in a time of need.  There are also many cute illustrations throughout and has a sweet ending for Ruby. I think this is a "just right book" for ages 7-10.

Title:  Ruby Lu Star of the Show
Author: Lenore Look
Genre: fiction
Pub. Date: February 2011,  Atheneum Books
Hardcover, 136 pgs.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Blog Hop - May 13

Book Blogger Hop

Thanks to  Crazy-for-books for hosting this hop, I hope to hop on from time-to-time......I also found some new blogs and I am looking forward to knowing what others are reading and saying! 

Are you going to Book Expo America (BEA) and/or the Book Blogger Convention (BBC) this year?"

My Answer:  I think that both of these would be a great opportunity to attend but I have to say No, I am not. Like many other blogs I have been viewing, I am in the same boat as everyone else financially. What a bummer cuz it sounds like a worthwhile trip..........

Have a good hop weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shimmer - A Riley Bloom Book review

Shimmer (Riley Bloom, #2)

Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories? (goodreads summary)

Riley is warned by Bodhi that any lingering spirits she finds are to be left alone and can only be assigned by the Council. Ignoring this, she insists on helping crossover a hellhound she runs into at the beach of St. John Island only to find more trouble attached to it.  Deciding to chase after the beast she meets Rebecca, a thirteen year old ghost filled with so much anger and hate that she keeps other souls from her time trapped in their own horrible memories and torment. Unfortunately, she also captures Bodhi and Buttercup in their own bubble of bad memory and it is up to Riley to find a way to free them from re-living their internal anguish. She meets a spirit of a Prince who knows Rebecca all to well and assists Riley with the knowledge she needs to help Rebecca free herself and the other souls from their imprisoned past.

Riley is once again a strong, spunky and brave character.  However, this book has taken a much darker and scarier turn than the last book Radiance.  I did like it, but I feel that the series has moved towards an older reading audience now.  It was well-written in a twelve year old girls voice and gave strong visualization in many parts.  We learn a little more about Bodhi while in his bad memory moment of a bullying incident involving another student. I felt heartbroken after learning his pain because it is something so true to life today.  Even Buttercup had a sad memory to tell.  The story was not light on the treatment of slaves on the plantation.  Riley viewed glimpses of their horrific lives with the help of Prince Kanta to better understand how Rebecca was tied to them and the revolt on the plantation owner.  Although sad and unthinkable, it plays an important part that led up to Rebecca's murder and how Riley must reach the souls to release them from her angry wrath. She also needs to encourage Rebecca towards a path of forgiveness before she too can crossover for a much better afterlife. There is alot of emotion depicted in this book and an underlying message that holding onto anger and hate can trap you.  The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, leaving you thinking about Riley's adventure in the next book Dreamland due out in the fall of 2011. I did find the story interesting but felt that it was a little dark and dreary. Sensitive younger readers may not understand the full historical storyline and find more than they want to know in the details on how Rebecca dies.  I think this is a "just right book" for ages 12 and up.

Title: Shimmer
Author: Alyson Noel
Genre: Fiction
Pub. Date: March 2011
Soft Cover, 196 pgs.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Blogger Hop - May 6

Book Blogger Hop

Thanks to  Crazy-for-books for hosting this hop, I hope to hop on from time-to-time......I also found some new blogs and I am looking forward to knowing what others are reading and saying! 

This weeks question comes from Twitter! Thanks to Melissa (aka Miel_et_Lait) who blogs at Miel et Lait.

 "Which book blogger would you most like to meet in real life?"

My answer:  I don't think there is any one book blogger I have in mind that I would like to meet. I like all the blogs that I follow and think that each one offers me something unique in their own way. Just by their reading and writing styles, I enjoy meeting people this way and happy just being a follower for now.  It is pretty cool to see so many different blogs from around the globe and that we all share the same love.....

I look forward to hopping around this weekend to see what everyone else says. Looking forward to finding some new blogs this way too....have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Last Day of Kindergarten review

The Last Day of Kindergarten

A little girl is sad that kindergarten is coming to an end. She wishes it were the first day again, when everything was exciting and new and there was such a fun year ahead. But then she realizes that graduating is exciting, too and maybe first grade won't be so bad after all! (jacket description)

The end of another school year is fast approaching... There are so many books about the start of school, how about a book about the end of school? A little girl reflects back on her first year in kindergarten and all the wonderful things that made it so fun and special.  Leaving a favorite teacher and friends behind can give children mixed emotions and this story helps by remembering good times and preparing for the transition to the next grade. It would spark wonderful discussion on what they themselves would be looking forward to when starting a new grade.  This would be a fun last day of school read before that final goodbye. I think this is a "just right book" for ages 5-6 and perfect for kindergarten classrooms.~

Title: The Last Day of Kindergarten
Author: Nancy Loewen
Genre: Picture Book
Pub. Date: February 2011, Marshall Cavendish Children
Hardcover, 32 pgs.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hothead a novel by Cal Ripken, Jr. with Kevin Cowherd

Hothead (Cal Ripken Novel 1)

Connor Sullivan is an All-Star third baseman on his Babe Ruth League team, the Orioles. He can hit and field with the best of them, but he's got one big problem: his temper. When he strikes out or makes an error, he's a walking Mt. Vesuvius, slamming batting helmets and throwing gloves.  The coach is ready to remove him from the team. When the sports editor of the school paper threatens to do a big story on his tantrums - complete with embarrassing photos - Connor realizes he has to clean up his act. But can he do it in time to regain his teammates' trust and help the Orioles win the championship against the best team in the league? (goodreads summary)

Twelve year old Connor is the best shortstop and hitter on his team. The best thing about him is that he is humble.  Lately, he is finding himself having a temper he's never had before and is exploding on the field when plays don't go right. Connor comes from a good family being hit with troubled times right now. His dad is layed off from his job at a car dealership and his mom is working extra shifts to make ends meet.  Money is tight and tension builds within the home as well as inside Connor and manifests out on the field during games. Connor feels embarrassed to admit to anyone about his family's situation.  To make matters worse, Melissa the school reporter wants to do a story on him and she seems to be filming his rants and raves. He's worried it will be posted on the Web and what the news story will end up to be.  Will Connor regroup himself so he can play his best for the upcoming playoffs? 

First thing I can say about this book is that it made for a wonderful change of pace when it came to kids sports.  Kuddos for the character Coach Hammond teaching good team sportsmanship and fairness with put-downs and heckling as not acceptable.  Although, Connor is in jeopardy of being kicked off the team because he is unable to manage his anger.  Many kids find themselves in the same situation when it comes to tempers and the book opens up on the importance of talking about bottled up feelings and emotional reacting to stressful topics.  Given the economy today many families are facing these situations and something that also affects our children, even though we think it doesn't. Connors Coach, friends and family were especially supportive and dialogue between the kids was easy and pleasant.  He even finds Melissa willing to help him regain his composure on the field.  There is a lot of baseball action that will appeal to die hard baseball fans.  This would be a good choice for reluctant readers because it is shorter for a quick read and full of sports lingo kids will recognize.  This book also sends great messages without being to heavy or preachy. Kids who follow Matt Christopher novels will enjoy reading this new series. Another book will be following the winter of 2012 called Super-Sized Slugger.  I think this is a "just right book" for ages 8-12. ~

Title:  Hothead
Author: Cal Ripken , Jr. with Kevin Cowherd
Genre: Fiction
Pub. Date: March 2011, Hyperion Books
Hardcover, 135 pgs.

you may also like:

Cal Ripken, Jr.'s All-Stars: Super-Sized Slugger  Super-Sized Slugger