Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Huge Prize Pack Giveaway!



Give the gift of reading to your child this holiday season! Scholastic books make the perfect stocking stuffer for any child on your list.
We have a HUGE prize pack filled with the most popular children’s books in the marketplace to offer one lucky reader! Titles include CAPTAIN SKY BLUE, IT’S CHRISTMAS DAVID, OOK and GLUK as well as TONY BALONEY, ODIOUS OGRE and I SPY CHRISTMAS A CHRISTMAS TREE!

One (1) Winner will receive a HUGE gift pack, including:

CAPTAIN SKY BLUE

IT’S CHRISTMAS DAVID

OOK and GLUK

TONY BALONEY

ODIOUS OGRE

I SPY A CHRISTMAS TREE!


Prize Pack Valued at $89.75

Giveaways open to US Mailing Addresses only.





About Ook and Gluk

In this all-new graphic novel, George Beard and Harold Hutchins present the sensational saga of two silly caveboys named Ook and Gluk. Ook and Gluk have a pretty awesome life growing up together in Caveland, Ohio, in 500,001 BC—even though they’re always getting in trouble with their nasty leader, Big Chief Goppernopper. But Ook and Gluk’s idyllic life takes a turn for the terrible when an evil corporation from the future invades their quiet, prehistoric town. When Ook, Gluk, and their little dinosaur pal, Lily, are pulled through a time portal to the year 2222 AD, they discover that the world of the future is even worse than the devastated one they came from. Fortunately, they find a friend in Master Wong, a martial arts instructor who trains them in the ways of kung fu, so that they may one day return home and make things right again. And, like the other Captain Underpants books, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future features the world’s cheesiest animation technology, “Flip-O-Rama,” in every chapter.


About the Author
Dav Pilkey has written and illustrated numerous popular, award-winning books for children, including the Captain Underpants and Dumb Bunnies series; Dog Breath, winner of the California Young Reader Medal; and The Paperboy, a Caldecott Honor Book. He lives with his wife in the Pacific Northwest. Visit him online at www.pilkey.com

OOK and GLUK BOOK TRAILER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODksCOUXbHA





Truly no one does children's books like Scholastic.  If you are interested in purchasing these and other Scholastic Books this holiday season, check out the Scholastic Store.



Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14) by Janet Evanovich

My reading candy is still sweet!

9 Million dollars is missing - that's enough money to smoke out all the two-bit criminals in Trenton. 

Steph is working with Ranger babysitting an aging pop star.  She is also working with Morellis watching his distant cousin's kid, a gamer named Zook.  They are watching Zook until his mom can make bail...until she goes missing.

Between babysitting jobs, and keeping people out of Morelli's yard looking for the 9 mil, Stephanie hears a rumor, which might be more than a rumor, about Morelli, and her head nearly springs off her neck. 

I wish I could quote entire pages of dialogue between Zook and Moondog, but I can't for two reasons.  One, none of it would make any sense out of context; and two, it wouldn't be half as funny as reading it exactly where it should be - in the middle of Stephanie's chaotic life.


Favorite Quotes from Fearless Fourteen:
(Because, let's face it, this is your favorite part of my Stephanie Plum reviews!)

"I'm old.  I got rights."  - Grandma Mazur

"How about taking a look at my assets?"  - Morelli

"I hate when we find dead people."  - Lula


Book Extras:
http://www.evanovich.com/
Audiobook Excerpt
Book Excerpt

About the Book:
Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 389 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2010)
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English
ASIN: B0011UGLR4

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankfully Reading Weekend: Mini Challenge #2


My To-Be-Read Corner!

Welcome back to the Thankfully Reading Weekend, hosted by Jenn's Bookshelves, Beth Fish Reads and Devourer of Books.    This mini-challenge is hosted by Beth Fish Reads, and she wants us to post a picture of our To-Be-Read Pile or any bookshelf.

The Man was getting tired of tripping over my piles of books - I had a method to my madness!  But he wanted me to get everything off the floors, desk, kitchen counters, dressers, nightstands, etc. and into a book case.  Silly me, I thought ONE bookcase would be enough!  Hahahaaaa!



Here is my To-Be-Read corner.  These are only the unread books in my house. I'm on the lookout for a comfy reading chair, lamp, and rug to make this my reading nook.  One step at a time.  I'm lucky the books aren't still stacked on the floor.

Here are some individual shots of my book cases...



And here is a close up shot of the shelves I'm going to focus on this weekend...




Some of the titles on that shelf:
Virals by Kathy Riechs
Letters to Ethan by Tom McQueen
Oogy by Larry Levin
Torment by Lauren Kate
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English  by Natasha Solomons
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

After seeing some of the videos and other bookshelves other bloggers have posted, I'm tempted to add more pictures.  Stay tuned.  (I'm going to try and get a shot of my kids' bookshelves - I love our Children's Book Collection!)

Thankfully Reading Weekend: Mini Challenge #1



I'm reading this weekend!  Ahh, happiness...

So far, so good on my reading challenge - thanks to The Man who is currently keeping the boys occupied!  I finished Room by Emma Donoghue and Annexed by Sharon Dogar.  And I started Law of Attraction by Allison Leotta this morning!

Law of Attraction: A NovelAnnexedRoom: A Novel

Jenn's Bookshelves is hosting the first Mini Challenge of the weekend.  Jenn wants to know...

What Book Are You Most Thankful For?

I would have to say the book I am most thankful for is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  This is the first book that made me fall in love with the written word.  

Little Women (Signet Classics)


What book are YOU thankful for??  Why?


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!




Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book to Movie Review: HP7 Part 1

The Harry Potter film francise sets itself apart by having the unique ability of living up to readers' expectations.  The first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was no exception. 

I spent Saturday re-reading Book 7, before I went to see the movie on Sunday.  While I had originally intended to stop after the scene which closed the movie, I couldn't help myself and read all 700+ pages (for the 3rd time).  What an amazing book.  Yet, it was very different from the others, and this was translated well into the movie.

Each book, and each movie, gets darker, more intense, and has more plot than action.  And the action is no longer Quiddich games and Troll boogies, some of our favorite characters are being killed.  The plot in Harry Potter and the Deatlhy Hallows is heavy, and full of details and deeper meanings which are reflections from the earlier installments, but not so intricate that one might not be able to follow along.  This could make for a slower film for some moviegoers, but the filmmakers did a wonderful job at moving the plot along, even though they may have skipped some minor details that may have been too troublesome to shoot - for example, Harry, Hermione and Ron used the Invisiblity Cloak much more in the book than the movie.  In fact, I don't recall the cloak coming out in the movie at all, yet I felt they spent most of the book hiding beneath it.



Even though the movie was intense, there were a few one-liners - mostly delivered by Weasleys - that kept some of the more intense scenes from bringing us down too far.  There was one line that completely fell flat - mostly because I don't think anyone wanted to see Daniel Radcliff in a lace bra.  Other than that, I found myself chuckling at all the right parts.

I can't talk about right parts without talking about one wrong part.  I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone, but there was one addition to the movie that was not originally in the book.  The motivation behind the scene was confusing, and we had one teenage girl who simply yelled out, "WHAT?!?"  And the rest of us chuckled, because we all felt the same way.  What WAS that scene?!?  It didn't belong.



The only other thing I didn't like about the movie?  Not being able to see Part II NOW!  I think the end of part one was clear when reading the book.  There is definitely a shift in tone, pace and emotion, so I am happy with where they chose to make the break.

A word on the cast.  Many readers who fell in love with these books as children have grown up with this cast, and I feel they all delivered their best once again.   The friendship among Harry, Ron and Hermoine is so natural at this point, and Daniel Radcliff, despite the bra scene, is serious without pulling faces or becoming over affected.  The Dracos were especially brilliant, and Alan Rickman is always genius as Snape. 



It's no secret, I am a huge fan of Harry Potter - the books and the movies.  I must attribute the films' success to the writing of J.K. Rowling.  She sets such a vivid scene in her books that normally would have different images for different readers, but somehow we all manage to come up with similar images, which are then translated to the big screen.   Bravo to the filmmakers for staying true to the vision, but I extend a deep bow of gratitude to Ms. Rowling who gifted us the most beloved children's series of our time.

In short, I loved the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and can't wait to see Part II.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Alyson Noel's Night Star


Night Star, the 5th book in Alyson Noel's The Immortals series is now available!

For those of you who are fans of Ever and Damen, you'll enjoy the new book trailer for the newest installment in the series. 

"Night Star continues the epic love story that has enchanted readers across the world. In this installment, Ever and Damen face down bitter rivals, jealous friends and their own worst fears—all in the hope of being together forever. Night Star is guaranteed to mesmerize fans and leave them breathlessly awaiting the sixth and final book!"





Immortals Series Website:
http://www.immortalsseries.com/


Immortals Series Facebook Fan Page:
http://www.facebook.com/ImmortalsSeries?v=app_6009294086



I have not read Night Star yet - did you?  What did you think? 


About the Book:
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (November 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312590989
ISBN-13: 978-0312590987

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2010


Next Thursday, I will be elbow-high in Turkey and all the trimmings, and I plan to welcome almost 20 guests to my dinner table.  Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday.  What's not to love about a holiday based on family, food, and being thankful for our blessings?

I am adding a new tradition to my Thanksgiving weekend...

Thankfully Reading

Thankfully Reading is the 2nd annual read-a-thon hosted by Jenn's Bookshelves, Beth Fish Reads and Devourer of Books (three of my favorite book blogs - go check them out!)  They took the long Thanksgiving weekend and turned it into a wonderful excuse to do an "obscene amount of reading." 

After busy weeks of preparation, cooking, cleaning, and serving, I can't wait to find a quiet spot and catch up on a whole lot of reading!  There will be mini-challenges too, but no pressure.  This is all about no-pressure reading.

Maybe I can fill in some more blanks on my Fall Into Reading challenge. 

There are no rules except to read, so if you want to join in, follow the links above and on Twitter at #thankfulreading


On a side note, I had a conversation with The Man the other night.  It went something like this:

Alison:  Thanksgiving weekend, all my friends are doing their Christmas shopping. 
Do you know what I want to do?
The Man:  Read?
Alison:  That's right.  Read.

He's a good man. 


Review: Thanking the Moon by Grace Lin


I enjoyed this book more than my son did. 

I love the autumn and all the wonderful traditions that go along with this time of year.  I was really looking forward to learning about a new custom for my favorite season.  This is the story of Thanking the Moon:  Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin.

The illustrations were lovely, the vocabulary was simple enough for an early reader, and the story was quick enough for a child without a long attention span. 

Before I read the book to my son, maybe I should have read the expanded explanation of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival provided by Grace Lin at the end of the story, so I could have explained it to him in my own words, because the pace on the story and the explanations were off for us.

For us, the story itself felt too short, and didn't give enough detail; yet the explanation was too long for my son to listen to without the help of more illustrations.   As I said, I should have read it before I sat down with my son, so he could flip through the pages of the book as I went into further detail about the festival. 

The way we read it, he didn't enjoy it like I hoped he would and wasn't open to another telling a few nights later. 

Fans of Grace Lin's Dim Sum for Everyone! will love this book, since it is the same Chinese-American family celebrating another tradition.



Synopsis (From Grace Lin's Website):
The family from Dim Sum for Everyone! and Bringing in the New Year are now celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. This simple, young, and satisfying story follows a Chinese American family as they celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.



Each member of the family lends a hand as they prepare a moonlit picnic with mooncakes, pomelos, cups of tea, and colorful lanterns. And everyone sends thanks and a secret wish up to the moon.


Includes an informative author's note with further details on the customs and traditions of the Moon Festival for parents and teachers. The Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays of the year along with the Lunar New Year, so this book makes an excellent companion to Bringing In the New Year!


About the Book:
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 14, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375861017
ISBN-13: 978-0375861017

About the Author:
Grace Lin includes an informative author’s note with further details on the customs and traditions surrounding the Lunar New Year for parents and teachers. Grace Lin has written and illustrated several picture books about this Chinese American family (based on her own!): Dim Sum for Everyone!, Kite Flying, and Fortune Cookie Fortunes. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.


http://www.gracelin.com/
Grace Lin's Blog

*Disclosure:  A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy by Doug Bratton

Call the cops, because Doug Bratton has another stalker - me!

The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy is like Diary of a Wimpy Kid for adults with a sense of humor *just* this side of wrong.

I usually read novels, so this unique twist to a compilation book of comics was new for me...and I loved every minute of it.
I am already a fan of Pop Culture Shock Therapy, Doug Bratton's daily syndicated cartoon.  Every day, I look forward to that little bit of funny in my InBox.  Still, I wasn't sure what to expect in this book.  I am in complete awe. Deranged Stalker is terrific! Not only are these the best of the best comics Doug Bratton has ever done, including some I am seeing for the first time, but the way they are grouped together is perfect!

You know what the flow of the book reminds me of? Did you ever see that movie with John Cusak, "High Fidelity"? (A movie based on the novel by Nick Hornby) At the very end he talks about the art of making a great mixed tape. (God, remember those? I'm so old.) My point is, this compilation is the perfect mixed tape of comics. It gives you a few good chuckles in the beginning to get you hooked, then eases off a bit, and then hits you with a belly laugh. Then, it lets you catch your breath before dealing you a guffaw. The COMMENTS are perfect.

A note about the stalker.  Only because my own husband was unsure, as he's not used to Doug's twisted sense of humor like I am, he didn't know that the opening comments are FICTION.  No need to worry about the author's family.  They're just fine.  The stalker, whom you can see in the Webisodes I posted here, here, here and here, is seriously demented.  The stalker is a little less creepy-scary and a lot more it's-so-wrong-it-has-to-be-hilarious, which is what Pop Culture Shock Therapy is all about!

My favorite page?  The Peter Pan/Tinkerbell comic and then the stalker's comment "Told Bob I don't think this comic is even possible." I can't breathe...laughing...too...hard! Brilliant! The comic was funny to begin with, but then it made me look back up at it and see it again in a completely new (and even funnier) way!   THAT is the genius of this book.  The artist took his best comics and made them even better. 

I only have two warnings for my readers.  The first:  This book is not for children.  My son saw SpongeBob Square Pants and Batman on the cover and immediately thought it was for him.  NO.  It's not.  The second:  This book is not for anyone without a sense of humor.  If you're offended by the idea of Sponge Bob No Pants strolling on the beach in Bikini Bottom, move on to Charles Shultz, you're too uptight for Doug Bratton.
If you're looking for a little extra laughter in your life this holiday season...look no further.  The Deranged Stalker's Journal does not need to be read in one sitting.  In fact, to pick it up and read a few pages at a time is perfect.



Synopsis (from Andrews McMeel):
Ah, what would popular culture be without characters such as Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson, along with the pop culture--centrific media that covers them? For starters, Doug Bratton's The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy might not exist, and, well, that would be very sad indeed. Inside The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy, Bratton skewers pop culture icons ranging from Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie to Harry Potter.

Fashioned as a mock-style journal whose author is just a little bit unstable, The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy lambastes the best--and worst--of popular culture, one cartoon panel at a time. From recent news headlines to celeb-inspired mockumentaries, Bratton offers a humorously skewed view of fame, popular culture, and American Idol-worship. So if you are one of the millions of people who often wonders what it would be like if a psychopath and his imaginary friend kept a journal of a funny-yet-obscure comic that will most likely never appear in your newspaper, this is certainly the book to read!


*Disclosure:  A review copy was provided by the publisher. 


Book Extras:


About the Book:
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original edition (November 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0740799045
ISBN-13: 978-0740799044



About the Author:
Doug Bratton is a self-syndicated cartoonist and currently the New York Metro chapter head for the National Cartoonists Society. His comics have appeared in Nickelodeon Magazine, MAD Magazine, and in dozens of college papers and alternative newsweeklies throughout the United States. He lives in Rockaway, New Jersey.











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The Swan Thieves: A Novel


Enter to win one of THREE copies of The Swan Thieves: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova, click HERE to go to the contest page where you can fill out the entry form. Good Luck!
The Deranged Stalker's Journal to Pop Culture Shock Therapy


Enter to win one of TWO signed copies of The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy by Doug Bratton. Click HERE to go to the giveaway page, where you can fill out the entry form.  Good Luck!







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Review: Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka

For the number of times I have recommended Spaceheadz to kids and parents, it's embarrassing that I haven't reviewed this book yet!

Michael K. is the one of the new kids in his 5th Grade class.  His teacher sits him next to two kids who also happen to be new to the class - but this is where the similarities end.  In fact, they are not of the same species!  These two kids, Bob and Jennifer, are aliens who have learned how to speak English from watching television, and are especially prone to sudden outbursts like "Ready to Rumble!" and "Just do it!"  They have been sent to Earth to recruit kids to help save the planet.

Spaceheadz sits on the same shelf as my 8 year old's Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.  There are fun illustrations throughout the book, which make this a quick read for reluctant readers.  And for kids who might watch a little too much TV themselves, the ad slogans shouted out by the aliens give them a funny way to connect to the book.

Once your child has read the book and heard the call to be one of the kids needed to swear "to protect and serve and look up" - a SPHDZ - they can go online, sign up, and make it official.  (See below for a list of web addresses)

In short, this book was a quick, fun read with enough kooky language and silly illustrations that will make any kid laugh out loud!   The multi-platform approach will keep kids interested and excited about this series between installments.

I feel I must add that after seeing the creative genius that is Jon Scieszka, I will be on a constant lookout for his other titles whenever The 8 Year Old asks me for a new book!   Jon Scieszka gets it. 

Synopsis (from Simon & Schuster)
The perfect combination of the age old experience of holding and pouring over a physical book with newest media technology that kids love!

Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn't hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren't kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ. But with a hamster as their leader, "kids" who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment?

Book Extras:
SPHDZ Wiki
■ At http://www.sphdz.com/, you can sign up to be a SPHDZ and help stop the Earth from being turned off.
■ At http://www.antialienagency.com/, you can see what the government is doing to protect the Earth from the alien menace.
■ At http://www.mrshalleyscomets.com/, you can see Michael K.'s fifth-grade class website.

Book Trailer:




About the Book:
SPHDZ Book #1 by Jon Scieszka
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, June 2010
Hardcover, 176 pages
ISBN-10: 1416979514
ISBN-13: 9781416979517
Grades: 2 - 5

**SPHDZ Book #2 is coming out December 2010!

About the Author:
Jon Scieszka is the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, named by the Library of Congress. He is the author of some of the best known and funniest books written for children including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Time Warp Trio series and the Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales. He is the creator of the Trucktown series, of which Smash!Crash! was an NY Times bestseller for many weeks. Jon is a former elementary school teacher, and a avid promoter of literacy—particularly for boys. His website http://www.guyssread.com/ focuses on his national campaign. Jon lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.

*Disclosure:  A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, with special thanks to Big Honcho Media.


















Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review: Imogene's Antlers, Written and Illustrated by David Small

I had better hurry and write this review so I can put Imogene's Antlers back onto The Soon-to-be 6 Year Old's shelf!

This 15-year classic was new to me when it came into my house a few weeks ago, and it has already become one of our new favorites and is a regular in the weekly rotation.

Imogene wakes up one day with antlers!  Her parents are horrified and try to find a way to hide them, but the other people in Imogene's life find the silver lining of her peculiar addition, finding new uses for her antlers. 

Our favorite part of the book is the very last page - Imogene wakes up the following morning with her antler problem solved, but another surprise is just around the bend!

We loved the illustrations and the message that when faced with a challenge, attitude is everything!


About the Book:
Imogene's Antlers by David Small
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (September 14, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 037581048X
ISBN-13: 978-0375810480


About the Author: (from Random House)
David Small grew up in Detroit, Michigan, studied art and English at Wayne State University, and completed his graduate studies in art at Yale University.
http://davidsmallbooks.com/



In addition to children's books, David makes editorial drawings for such publications as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and is a frequent contributor to many national magazines as well. David also writes book reviews for The New York Times Book Review.

*Disclosure:  A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie is a must read for anyone over the age of 12. 

A thought-provoking, poignant novel, Matched takes a hard look at how a futuristic government impacts the life and love of a teenage girl. 

Instead of calling it a government, Cassia's world is run by the Officials of the Society.  They are always watching and make all the decisions, and as long as one goes along with those decisions, he or she will get their equal share.  They take all of the choices away from the people - who to love, how many children to have, where to live, where to work, and even when to die.

The Society gets everyone to comply with these choices by promising them equality, security, and a good match.  Cassia's story begins with the Matching.  When a girl in the Society turns seventeen, she is matched with the boy she will eventually marry.  Their courting is approved and supervised by the Officials.  After Cassia finds out who her match is, she is able to open and view a file with information of him, but for a brief second, the face on the screen is not of the match she received at the ceremony, it is a different face.  In that brief moment, something happens to Cassia that she never planned - she has feelings.  Feelings that she wants something...different.  In this Society, different is dangerous.  Will she choose to follow her own path, and suffer the consequences, or will she follow the path that was chosen for her, and suffer heartbreak? 

There are so many different layers of this novel to discuss - freedom, equality, choice, control, privacy, art, security, government, politics, law, order, prosperity, friendship, passion, trust, technology, family, life, death, and, ultimately, love. 

At its core, Matched, it is a love story. Cassia is a seventeen year old girl, who was not only fine with her life, but excited about the direction her future was heading.   When her heart got in the way, all bets were off.  She started to question what she wanted, what she desired, what was important, and what, if anything, was beyond the Society's boundaries.  The question that started it all was who was meant to be her Match? Ky or Xander?


I fell in love with both Ky and Xander. How could she choose between her best friend, with whom she could trust and feel safe and has loved, on some level, her whole life or a boy that is shrouded in mystery and filled with passion?

There are issues in Matched which may sound extreme now, but when you boil it down to where it all began, we may find ourselves at a crossroads in the present day.  How much control do we want the government to have?  What kinds of choices are we allowing the government to make for us, under the pretense that it's for the good of the people?  Are we giving up our freedoms with the hope of equality? 

The back cover of Matched says:

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

I couldn't agree more!


Read this book. Talk about this book. Pass it on to a friend, a teacher, a family member.


Parents' Note:  There is no sex or drugs to worry about with Matched.  Even with the heavy dose of government surrounding the story, your child will either look at it as background, or, if they are mature enough, this book may spark some wonderful discussions around the dinner table! 

The Man's Note:  The Man finished Atlas Shrugged while I was reading Matched.   I needed to talk to someone about this novel, and he was lucky enough to be sitting next to me.  We had a wonderful discussion, and in the end,  he felt that Atlas Shrugged would be a wonderful companion piece to Matched

Book Extras:
Author Website
Author on Facebook
Matched website
Penguin website (Matched extras)

About the Book:
Matched by Ally Condie
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 30, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0525423648
ISBN-13: 978-0525423645


About the Author (from author's website):
Allyson Braithwaite Condie taught high school English in Utah and in upstate New York. Currently, she is employed by her three little boys, who keep her busy playing trucks and building blocks. She enjoys running with her husband, Scott, listening to Neil Diamond (really!), reading, traveling, and eating


Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) by Janet Evanovich

Two words:  Squirrel Bomb

Inconsistencies?  I don't care.  Still so much fun!  We know Stephanie is going to blow up a car. Does it really matter which one?  Nah, I didn't think so. 

Stephanie is asked to do a favor for Ranger while investigating her slime ball ex-husband, Dickie Orr.  Unfortunately, Dickie goes missing and Stephanie is the number one suspect.  Things get blown up.  There's a psycho taxidermist.  Ranger makes Stephanie all hot and bothered.  I laughed out loud.  That's as much as I can remember. 


Favorite Quotes from Lean Mean Thirteen:

"Sometimes you freak me out."  - Stephanie to Ranger

"I don't know how you do it.  In a matter of days, you've managed to turn a perfectly good piece-of-shit car into something so f-ed up it's a work of art."  - Ranger to Stephanie

"The guy who invented the cell phone should rot in hell."  - Morelli

" I don't know much about cars, but I think someone took my engine."  - Joyce

"It's not as bad as it looks.  Joyce wanted to shoot him in the n--s, but the gun discharged prematurely.  Probably that happens a lot with you guys, right?"  - Stephanie

"She got woodchucked."  - Stephanie

Book Extras:
Audiobook Excerpt
Book Excerpt
http://www.evanovich.com/


About the Book:
Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 384 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (June 17, 2008)
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English
ASIN: B0010SGQUY
















Thursday, November 11, 2010

PW's Best Children's Books 2010

I love this time of year, do you know why?  Everyone is coming out with their "Best Books" lists.  Don't worry, my friends, I'm working on my own!

PW's Best Children's Books 2010

Publisher's Weekly has come out with their Best Children's Books, 2010.

Some of the books on this list are my absolute favorite in children's books and YA - others have automatically been moved to the top of my TBR pile.

Just a sneak peek into what you will find below, but for the full list, click on the link above!

The Last Summer Of The Death WarriorsMatched
Matched by Ally Condie
*This is my favorite YA of the year.  Review will be posted on Friday!




The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

Countdown

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Before I Fall 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Countdown by Deborah Wiles


Bink and Gollie (Junior Library Guild Selection (Candlewick Press))
Art & MaxBink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Art and Max by David Weisner
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