Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: Scumble by Ingrid Law

Full of heart and humor, Scumble is another winner from Ingrid Law!

Nine years after Mibs Beaumont takes us on her Savvy adventure, her cousin, Ledger Kale, turns 13 and has his own story to tell in Scumble.

Ledger has a more active Savvy than Mibs, and he's having a hard time with his ability to scumble it.

Under the orders of his mother, who happens to have the power to control people, Ledge is able to control his savvy while at a family wedding on Uncle Autry's ranch, but she can only control him so much and Ledge makes a bit of a mess.  He is left on Autry's ranch with his sister and a few of his cousins in the hopes that they can help him. 

Unfortunately, Ledge breaks the first rule of having a Savvy - keeping it secret.  A girl named Sarah Jane became witness to something she was not meant to see.  Not only is his savvy a danger, the secret is out and Sarah Jane could endanger the whole family.

Scumble truly is a companion book, there is no order, and either one could be read on its own. That being said, I welcomed the familiar and lovable Beaumonts from Savvy when they made a few appearances - or disappearances as the case may be - and we got a chance to see what became of them after nine years.

If Savvy was hearts and flowers, Scumble is metal and electricity.  Not to say boys won't enjoy Savvy and girls won't enjoy Scumble, but the points of view are different and offer readers a different look at the family secret.   The characters are just as vivid, the imagery will stay with you, and if you're like me, you'll want to jump into this world and catch yourself a savvy!

I am a new fan of Ingrid Law and can not wait to see what she comes up with next.  I would love to see another companion book, for I still haven't had enough of this amazingly different, loving family.

Book Extras:
Scumble/Savvy minisite - excerpts, trailers, reviews, etc.

Book Trailer:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Savvy by Ingrid Law

Extra special fun!  I highly recommend this delightful book to all Middle Grade readers!

Don't call it 'magic'.  Don't call them 'powers' or 'abilities'.  The Beaumont family has SAVVY. 

"We Beaumonts are just like other people...we get born, and sometime later we die.  And in between, we're happy and sad, we feel love and we feel fear, we eat and we sleep and we hurt like everyone else...And...we've just got know-how of a different flavor."

Mibs Beaumont is about to turn 13, the magical age where people in her family come to learn which Savvy they have.  Grandpa Bomba can move mountains.  Her brother, Fish, can create hurricanes.  It takes time to scumble, or tame, a savvy, so a 13th birthday is usually a quiet affair with no outsiders.  It also means the beginning of home schooling, in case you get a savvy like Mibs's brother, Rocket, who still can't quite scumble his electric savvy.

Unfortunately, Mibs's birthday comes with sad news.  A few days before her birthday, Poppa gets into a car accident and is seriously injured.  When Mibs wakes up on her 13th birthday, she is convinced that she can wake up Poppa from his nightmare and bring him home to everyone.  So, she stows away on a bible delivery bus...but she's not alone...and they aren't going in the right direction!

What follows is an adventure full of excitement, friendship, and fun. 

The Beaumont family's savvy is not necessarily what brings them together - it's their love, patience and support of one another as they each learn how to scumble their savvy and get through the ups and downs of growing up. 

Even the most unlikable characters in this book are a joy to discover.  I'm shocked that this book hasn't been made into a movie yet! 

Savvy is already high up on my recommendations list - I just spent the afternoon chatting about this book with a 3rd grader who loves to read.  She's excited to read it...and what's better than that?

Book Extras:
Author Ingrid Law: Website
Ingrid Law's Blog
Official Savvy minisite
Teacher's Guide
Penguin's Savvy page - excerpts, audio clips, reading group guide

Book Trailer:

About the Book:
Savvy by Ingrid Law
Reading level: Ages 9-12

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Puffin (March 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0142414336
ISBN-13: 978-0142414330

About the Author:
2009 Newbery Honor winner INGRID LAW is the New York Times Bestselling author of Savvy and its new companion novel, Scumble. Ingrid is a fan of words and stories, small towns and big ideas. Born in New York, Ingrid's family moved to Colorado when she was six years old. Ingrid still lives in the West, but now has a teenage daughter and an imaginary pet cat, and is trying her hardest to keep at least one plant alive as she works on new stories and adventures.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox

Each time I put up this picture, it makes me long for spring...at which point we will be making our mailbox area look pretty.  I'll be sure to put up a picture of my own mailbox so you can see just where the magic happens!

This weekly meme is hosted by The Story Siren.  The idea is to share the books I receive for review, borrow from my library and purchase at bookstores, bookfairs and the kids' Scholastic Book Club.  I love seeing what books are making their way into your homes as well!

Board Books/Picture Books:

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna MozartJam & HoneyBig BunnyWhere Do Giggles Come From? (Little Golden Book)

For the Love of Music:  The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart by Elizabeth Rusch (Random House, Februrary 2011)
Jam & Honey by Melita Morales (Random House, January 2011)
Big Bunny by Betseygail Rand (Random House, January 2011)
Where Do Giggles Come From? (Little Golden Book, January 2011)

A Book of SleepPretty Penny Sets Up ShopSnow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing SeasonsI'm Not.

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na (Random House, September 2009)
Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop by Devon Kinch (Random House, December 2010)
Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na (Random House, January 2011)
I'm Not by Pam Smallcomb (Random House, December 2010)

Easy Readers/I Can Read

Biscuit Goes to School (My First I Can Read)Marley & Me: Meet Marley (I Can Read Book 1)

Biscuit Goes to School (My First I Can Read) by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Marley and Me:  Meet Marley (I Can Read) by Natalie Engel

Children's Books with CD:

Skippyjon Jones in Mummy TroubleDuck on a Bike

Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner (Puffin, 2008)
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon (Scholastic Audio, 2002)
Middle Grade:

A Dazzling Display of DogsGuys Read: Funny BusinessThe Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1)

A Dazzling Display of Dogs by Betsy Franco (Random House, January 2011)
Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka, et al (Waldon Pond Press, October 2010)
The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1)[graphic novel] by Kazu Kibuishi (Scholastic, January 2008)

Young Adult:

Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend

Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend by Linda Wisdom (Sourcebooks, April 2011)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

A paranormal YA that doesn't take itself too seriously!

I listened to the audio version of Paranormalcy, and I was really worried that the teenager-y voice was going to grind on my nerves, but it didn't.  Not at all!  In fact, since I'm not a teen of the 2k generation, I would not have had the right sarcastic tone that the reader, Emily Eiden, brought to Evie. 

Kiersten White brought the perfect balance of sarcastic wit and fun first love with dangerous monsters, death and destruction.   Especially at the very beginning of the book, Evie reminded me of an updated Buffy - coming from me, that's a huge compliment! 

This was a lighter read for those of us who usually gravitate toward the heavier, dark prophecy type paranormal series.  It was a nice break.

Look for Kiersten White's sequel to Paranormalcy, Supernaturally coming Fall 2011 from HarperTeen.

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA), her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Book Extras:
Author Kiersten White Website
Kiersten White on Twitter
Kiersten White's Blog
Kiersten White on Facebook

Listen to an excerpt of Emily Eiden reading Paranormalcy
About the Book:

About the Author:
Kiersten White is the NYT Bestselling author of Paranormalcy.  She has one tall husband and two small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal.  This abundance of normal led her to a fascination with all things paranormal, including but not limited to vampires, faeries, and pop culture

Book Trailer:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  It's for us book lovers to share what pre-pub books we're excited to read.  We're not patient people...so we have to let out our excited anticipation somehow. 

I don't participate every week, but when there is a book I'm really excited to read, I will share. 

This week's WoW is:

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
(June 2011, Simon & Schuster)

Why Am I Excited?
1. I wanted to read this book as soon as I read the synopsis. (see below)
2. The movie rights have already been optioned by Ridley Scott. (story here
3. Moira Young is a Debut YA Author
4.  Not coming out until June, there is sure to be buzz surrounding this book at BEA in May 2011. 

Synopsis (from publisher):
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

About the Book:
Reading level: Young Adult

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442429984
ISBN-13: 978-1442429987

Simon and Schuster Blood Red Road page.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

The pages turned easily inside this gorgeous cover.

The Dark Divine fell slightly short for me because it had the same basic formula for most YA paranormal novels:  Clueless girl (Grace) meets mysterious boy (Daniel) + boy tells her to scram + her family doesn't like him and proves he's no good for her + he seems dangerous and not quite human, yet she leaps at him with reckless abandon anyway = perfect love story?  Hm. 

Even though Grace and Daniel are supposed to be the center of this story, I remember with vivid clarity the character of Grace's brother, Jude.  Here was the most interesting character in the book and wanted to see more of him.  Jude was a complex character, who held an old grudge, which slowly unfolds throughout the novel.  Plus he was fiercely protective of his family.  He had that gorgeous, mysterious thing going in his own right. This is a guy I want to read more about!

The pages of The Dark Divine turn quickly, and Bree Despain takes her time in building her characters. 

The sequel to The Dark Divine entitled The Lost Saint, was just released December 28, 2010.  Even though I was not blown away by The Dark Divine, I put my hold in place at the library for the sequel. 

As much as I complain about the same formula used all over YA fiction...the formula works and I'm a sucker for it. 

Book Extras:
Bree Despain website
Bree on Twitter
Bree's Blog

About the Book:
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (December 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606840576
ISBN-13: 978-1606840573

About the Author: (from author's website)
Bree rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo.

What Are You Reading?

Today is Monday, January 17, 2011...What Are You Reading? 

This weekly meme is hosted by our super-savvy, stylish and sly Sheila from Book Journey!   Send a soft, satisfying salutation to Sheila...no stuttering.  Success!  Stymied?  Surely.

Straight to it, then.

Books I Completed This Week:


Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau
Savvy by Ingrid Law
Scumble by Ingrin Law
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Currently Reading:

WarpedThe Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable

Warped by Maurissa Guibord (Delacorte, 1/11/11)
The Genius Files:  Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman (2/1/11)

Currently Listening To:

Ahh, I can't decide what to download next!! 

Plan To Read Next Week:

Delirium (Delirium - Trilogy)The Lying GameLady in Waiting: A Novel

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (2/1/11)
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard (12/1/10)
Lady In Waiting by Susan Meissner (9/7/10)
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