The Liar Society Blog Tour

I am so happy to be able to host Ohio authors Lisa and Laura Roecker on the blog today! They are the authors of a super fun mystery called The Liar Society which takes place in a fictional prep school called Pemberly Brown.

I loved the spunk of the main character, Kate Lowry, who is totally the Nancy Drew for today’s generation. Here is a teaser from the publisher:

Since when do the dead send emails?

Kate Lowry’s best friend Grace died a year ago. So when she gets an email from her, Kate’s more than a little confused.

To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu

From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu

Subject: (no subject)
Kate,
I’m here… sort of.
Find Cameron. He knows.
I shouldn’t be writing.
Don’t tell. They’ll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. She teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not-so)-shining armor-the dangerously hot bad boy, Liam, and her lovestruck neighbor, Seth. But at their elite private school, there are secrets so big people will do anything to protect them-even if it means getting rid of anyone trying to solve a murder…

Lisa and Laura are stopping by the blog today to answer some questions! I hope you enjoy their answers as much as I did. :)

Thanks for putting up with us, everyone! If you want to enter The Liar Society Blog Tour of Awesome contest, and really, who wouldn’t want to enter!?! There’s a $100 Amazon gift card up for grabs! Just click here and enter the super secret password, SOCIETY, for an entry. Remember you can enter one time for each stop on our blog tour, so be sure to click here and see where else we’re visiting this month to maximize your chances of winning.

Posted in Author to Watch, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult Fiction | 4 Comments

Do You Want to Meet Lauren Oliver?

It is no secret that I love Lauren Oliver’s writing. Her first book, Before I Fall, was amazing. I loved the concept of a teen girl looking back at her life and changing herself to become a better person. The characterization and the plotting were so well done. Her newest book, Delirium, is an epic love story set amongst a time where love is forbidden and outlawed. I received a copy from the publisher via Net Galley. My review is forthcoming. :)

Needless to say, I was thrilled when I found that Lauren Oliver would be visiting the central Ohio independent bookstore, Cover to Cover. This awesome children and teen’s bookstore (which receives a lot of my money!) is located in Clintonville. I love their great selection and their attention to helping customers find the right book. (plus the 10 percent educator discount) :) Lauren Oliver is visiting this bookstore on February 7th at 7 pm! Yay! Jenny of Supernatural Snark and I are planning on attending.

Do you live in central Ohio (or want to make the drive?) We would love to meet up with you and meet Lauren Oliver all together! E-mail me or Jenny if you are interested in meeting up! We hope to see you on February 7th and meet some fellow bloggers. (or fellow book lovers)

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Breaking the Spine. This event features books that we can’t wait to be released.

This week I am waiting on…

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

From Goodreads: It’s hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it’s not her mother’s pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin.

When they’re united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town’s animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their badlands town.

Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin’s unique beauty hides a girl who’s troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

My thoughts: A book about friendship and self-discovery? Set in the badlands of Wyoming? This book sounds pretty much perfect. The cover is gorgeous as well – I love the simplicity of the pink and green type and the half face of the girl. So intriguing. Finally, if all of this was not enough to convince you…this book was blurbed by Melina Marchetta. THE Melina Marchetta. If it’s good enough for Melina, then it’s good enough for me.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

She flips through the photos, her face impassive. “Too bad about the flash burnout on this one.”

I look over at the shot she’s indicating. “The what?”

“The flash burnout. You got too close to the subject. So the flash overexposed her. Well, me, I mean.”

15-year-old Blake is a pretty normal guy living a pretty normal existence. He loves hanging out with his girlfriend Shannon, watching Spinal Tap, taking gritty photographs and avoiding the pictures and tools that his medical examiner father brings home. One day, though, he takes a photograph of a homeless woman passed out on the street and shows it in class. He doesn’t realize that it is friend Marissa’s mom. Suddenly, Blake’s world becomes a lot more complicated; he must try to balance his feelings for Shannon and his growing need to take care of Marissa, a girl broken by her past. Blake learns that nothing in life is simple when it comes to love and loss.

Review: If I were to sum up L.K. Madigan’s debut novel, Flash Burnout, in one word it would be heart, because this book has it in spades. This book is so beautifully heartbreaking but at the same time, life affirming. It is a stirring and authentic testimony to how wildly confusing and wonderful and terrifying it can be to be a teenager. (Does it sound like I love this book? I do. Immensely.)

The book first introduces us to Blake – a teenage boy through and through. And wow, is he authentically written. I feel as though L.K. Madigan has some secret connection or direct line to “Boy Think” or “Boy Speak.” It is as if she opened up a teenage boy’s head and got to know everything about him. The humor, the hormones, the inner monologue, the dialogue - all of it was spot on. I loved the range of emotions that we see in Blake as well. I think that being a teenager is one of the most confusing, life-altering times there is. You are getting to know who you are, what you value; you are changing constantly – both physically and mentally. Blake embodied the heartbreak, the emotions, the feeling of “these are the best days of your life,” the youthful enthusiasm. He is right up there with some of my favorite all-time main characters in YA fiction. (yes, up there with Francesca from Saving Francesca and Taylor Markham from Jellicoe Road - pretty lofty company)

Then, as if Blake isn’t awesome enough, you have Shannon and Marissa - two extremely different but beautiful in their own way characters. There is a bit of a triangle of emotions between Blake, Shannon and Marissa. Blake is currently dating Shannon and is friends with Marissa as they share a photography class. HOWEVER – this is not some typical triangle. Instead, their relationships were drenched in realism and in raw emotion. Your heart went out to both girls, and you understood some of the decisions that Blake made and how difficult they were. Speaking of secondary characters, I loved how supportive and normal Blake’s parents were. So often in YA literature, the parents are absent or neglectful or terrible. In this book, Blake’s parents were a guiding force – they still drove him crazy at times but I really liked the positive influence they had on him.

I also loved the photography thread woven throughout the story; I really enjoy dabbling in photography and took a class in college. Photography has the power to transform the obvious and every day and allows us to see the “true” figure or image. I felt that this was a definite theme in the book. The photography quotes at the beginning of each chapter were thought-provoking. I found myself going back to the quote after I finished each chapter to develop connections – they allowed me to think more deeply about the text.

In life, there are no easy answers or solutions. Problems just don’t go away. Decisions that you make change you and define you. Life just can’t be tied up in a package with a neat little bow – it’s messy and bumpy but wonderful at the same time. That’s why I love Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan – just like life, it has raw beauty. I highly, highly suggest moving this book up to the top of your “To Be Read” pile. If I taught high school, I would teach this in my classroom – this book would be so perfect for teenagers looking for books that “sound” like them. L.K. Madigan could teach a master class in voice. Overall, this was a thought-provoking, emotional read.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - I think that this book is so wonderful that I want to give a copy away to one of you! It’s so simple to enter – just comment on this post naming one of your favorite characters in Young Adult fiction + why that character is your favorite. Also, please include your e-mail address so I know how to find you if you win. :) This contest will close February 4th at midnight (EST).

**Sadly, right after I had finished this book, I read that the L.K. Madigan has been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. My heart goes out to her and her family.**

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Recommendation: 15 and up

Awards: William C. Morris Award for Debut Authors

Rating: 5/5

Posted in Author to Watch, Realistic Fiction, Tough Issues, Young Adult Fiction | Comments Off

My Dog is Famous!

Last summer, our English bulldog, Oliver, participated in a photo shoot for a new easy-reader called Rupert Likes to Play. Essentially, the book is about a dog named Rupert who likes to play with different things like shoes, a rope and a red ring. Most of all, though, he likes to play with his friend Oliver!

Oliver is featured in several of the photographs which is very exciting! He is such a dog model. ;) Rupert is actually our friends Bill and Cate’s dog; the author is Cate’s mom!

I just thought that it would be fun to share this book on a snowy and cold Sunday. If you are a parent or teacher of preschool/kindergarten students and want to order this book, check out the Hameray Publishing Group website.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

What’s Hot in the Classroom? January Edition

As a fifth grade language arts teacher, I put a high priority on reading. I want my students reading and talking about books all the time. I do a couple of things to facilitate this:

  1. I keep an extensive, kid-friendly classroom library. Brightly colored book cases, a large collection of stuffed frogs, genre grouped book bins, an audio-listening station and over 1, 300 books make up this library. I keep it current but also pay homage to time-tested classics.
  2. The students and I frequently book-talk books we are reading. It is one thing to show kids a fun book cover but it is another to give a short summary, tell them who would like it, read the first chapter aloud, etc. These are the things that really hook readers. My students have a great handle on how to book-talk. Often times, I hear them book-talking at recess or during our weekly library time. Some parents have even told me that their children book-talk with each other on Skype!
  3. I am a reading role-model to kids. You can talk the talk, but you have got to show your students that you walk the walk. Often times I will use our silent-reading time to conference with kids about their reading but other times I will just read. When the students see that I value and take time for reading, they will know that I truly mean what I say. I am the life-long reader that I want them to be.

Each year, I am so happy with the students commitment to reading, love of literature and awesome book choices! This group of kids is particularly adventurous in their choice of books; many of them are willing to read anything I throw at them!

As of early January, our 68 5th-graders have read over 950 books and over 32 million words. Incredible. With all that we do to help facilitate a love of literature, the students really are the book experts. Therefore, I am unveiling a new monthly feature: What’s Hot in the Classroom? The books profiled below are books that are current hot reads with my students. A hot read is defined as one that I can barely keep on my shelf, has an extensive waiting list, a lot of children are reading it currently or the book is receiving a lot of “buzz” amongst my readers.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

From the publisher: In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

Student WOW-factors: Main characters are Hansel and Gretel (who are familiar to many of the students). The “squeam” factor (beheadings! women who eat children!). The narrator who speaks to the reader throughout the book. Humor.

I read the first chapter to my students, and I had 16 kids on the waiting-list immediately. Several more went out and purchased the book because they “couldn’t wait” for their turn on the list. This book is a rollicking-fun read that really speaks to 5th graders!

Dark Water Rising by Marian Hale

From the Publisher: I looked south toward the gulf, trying to keep an eye on the stalking sea. Wild waves rose up like a great hand and wrenched loose the Pagoda’s long staircase, sending planks tumbling through the air. With horror I watched the end of one twin building sway and dip into the surf.

I yelled at Josiah, but my words disappeared on the wind. I grabbed his arm, pointed, and we stood together, shoulder to shoulder, mouths gaping, watching the impossible.

Like a wounded Goliath, the great bathhouse shuddered, folded in on its long legs, and collapsed into the sea.

Galveston, Texas, may be the booming city of the twentieth century, but to Seth it is the end of a dream. He wants to be a carpenter like his father, but the family has moved so Seth can become a doctor.

Just as things begin to look up for Seth, a storm warning is raised one sweltering afternoon. A north wind always brings change, but no one could have imagined anything like this.

The acclaimed author of The Truth About Sparrows has crafted an unforgettable story set during the Galveston Storm of 1900.

Student WOW-factors: Adventure and suspense. Relate-able historical fiction. Authentic, memorable characters. Edge-of-your seat excitement.

Dark Life by Kat Falls

From the Publisher: Dive deep into the vivid underwater world of Dark Life!

The oceans rose, swallowing the lowlands. Earthquakes shattered the continents, toppling entire regions into the rising water. Now, humans live packed into stack cities. The only ones with any space of their own are those who live on the ocean floor: the Dark Life.

Ty has spent his whole life living deep undersea. When outlaws attack his homestead, he finds himself in a fight to save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a girl from Topside, Ty ventures into the frontier’s rough underworld and discovers some dark secrets to Dark Life. Secrets that threaten to destroy everything.

Student WOW-factors: Kids are working to save the world. Secrets. Suspense and adventure. An alternate world. Dystopian literature (many of my students are HUGE fans of The Hunger Games trilogy).

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix

From the Publisher: Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana, in 1840 — or so she believes. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie’s mother reveals a shocking secret — it’s actually 1996, and they are living in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site. In the world outside, medicine exists that can cure the dread disease, and Jessie’s mother is sending her on a dangerous mission to bring back help.

But beyond the walls of Clifton, Jessie discovers a world even more alien and threatening than she could have imagined, and soon she finds her own life in jeopardy. Can she get help before the children of Clifton, and Jessie herself, run out of time?

Student WOW-factor: Margaret Peterson Haddix is visiting our school in March. Adventure-filled. Suspenseful. Strong girl protagonist. Interesting plot twist.

What books are currently hot in your classroom? Any suggestions on books I should add?

Posted in Middle Grade Fiction, Teaching Ideas | 8 Comments

A Pressing Issue…

Alternative title: Why I am Furious with (some) Book Publishers

For my birthday back in November, I received a Barnes and Noble nook from my husband. I had always been a lover of books – the smell of them, the feel of the pages in my hands, the weight of them, the covers. Simply put, I love books, and I love to read. However, after one too many vacations in which half of the weight of my suitcase was due to books, I knew something had to give. Enter technology. I went over to the dark side and got an e-reader. There is lots that I love about my nook – the immediacy of downloading novels, the compactness of it, the fun covers, the ability to take an entire library of books with me wherever I go. However, one feature that I especially loved was the lending feature. I realized that not all books were lend-able. One look, though, at the books that were like Anna and the French Kiss and Matched, I was sold.

Here’s the thing. One of the things that I love, LOVE about reading is talking about books with other people. I have a book blog for goodness sake. I am a READING TEACHER. I talk about books ALL DAY! And when I talk about books, I like to get people excited about them, so much so that they want to read the books we are talking about. Then, I loan them my copy, and I am happy.

Well, before Christmas I talked up Matched by Ally Condie the other day with my junior high writing group. Some of the students had just read The Giver, and I suggested it as an awesome companion novel. After Christmas, I had a student excitedly return from break telling me about her new nook. She asked if I could loan her Matched. I was happy to do so!

However, when I attempted to loan it to her, I got an error message. Odd. On my nook it said it was lend-able. Then, I tried again. Still, I got an error message so I did some digging; to say that I was not happy with what I found out would be a gross understatement. I discovered that many major publishers are no longer allowing their books to be loaned – even when at one time they were loan-able. Let’s take a quick look at the list of books I have purchased thinking that they were able to be loaned that are no longer loan-able: Matched, Anna and the French Kiss and The Jumbee.

This may not seem like a big deal to you – however, when I purchased these books, I was under the impression that I was going to be able to share them with my friends. To take this away, without even so much as an announcement from any party, is wrong.

I understand that people need to make money, believe me. And I help those publishers make that money – I have over 1,250 books in my classroom library, all purchased by me. I have my own personal library as well. I support reading; I support books. I just can’t fathom why certain major publishers would take away the lend-me feature on their books, the ability to share a book with others. Sharing an e-book is so similar to sharing an actual hardcover or paperback, except that I can loan the same hardcover or paperback out to a lot more people in the time that I can loan one e-book out. This move just doesn’t make sense to me.

What are your thoughts on this? Nook users, were you aware of this? I am just really sad that certain publishers have taken away my ability to share books with others. I won’t stop buying books or loving books; however, it is sure going to make me look at certain companies in a different way.

**Soon, I will be posting my review of the fabulous Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan! And I promise I will be back to my happy self.**

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Scarlett took a step forward, then another, until she was so close to the monster that the rotting stench emanating from his throat choked her. The wolf opened his wide, long jaws, rows of teeth and bloodstained tongue stretching for her. A thought locked itself in Scarlet’s mind, and she repeated it over and over until it became a chant, a prayer: I am the only one left to fight, so now I must kill you.

Two sisters, forever connected by a horrible incident that has come to define their existence, are at the heart of this fairy-tale inspired novel by Jackson Pearce. Rosie and Scarlett March both bear the emotional scars gouged in them by the brutal murder of their beloved grandmother, Oma March, by a wild wolf called a Fenris when they were younger. For Scarlett, the older sister, the scars are physical as well, a searing visual reminder of the wolves that shattered their existence and of the battle in which she saved her sister’s life.

When we meet again with Scarlet and Rosie, they have evolved into fierce hunters, hell-bent on eradicating the world of the Fenris who prey on unsuspecting girls and who killed their grandmother. They are young women now, a far cry from the naïve little girls of yesterday; however, their bond so firmly formed in childhood is still intact – they feel as if they are each one half of the same heart. Their days are spent intensely training – target practice, physical exercise, honing knife and hatchet throwing skills – for their nighttime fights. And as if attempting to eradicate the evil wolf population wasn’t enough, life becomes even more complicated with the return of Silas, the handsome young woodcutter who often acts as Scarlet’s hunting partner. The stakes climb even higher as Rosie, Scarlett and Silas move to Atlanta from their small town of Ellison to hunt the increasingly active pack. The pack is searching for a Potential – a young man who can become a wolf with just one bite. Silas, Rosie and Scarlett must band together to fight the growing evil that not only threatens their small group but the world around them.

Review: Sisters Red is a beautifully rendered retelling of the classic story Little Red Riding Hood. When we first meet the March sisters, we are thrust into their world rather suddenly as we experience the murder of Oma and the subsequent attack on young Scarlett. An overwhelming sense of empathy is formed for these characters as we have undergone such a traumatic event with them first-hand; we are deeply invested with these two girls from the start – the sign of a truly skilled writer. As Pearce begins to adeptly weave a tale of revenge, redemption and love, we are further drawn in – trapped in a delicious web of story. Slowly, we learn about the characters. Sweet, emotional Rosie, so tied to the past and her grandmother’s memory, but longing for a future that is not defined solely by the hunt. Focused Scarlett who is single-minded in her need to avenge the death of her grandmother, the loss of part of her self, and her innocence. Scarlett feels that with knowledge comes responsibility, that she and Rosie must protect those who are unknowing simply because they are all too aware of the evil that lurks in the shadows. And then there is the ruggedly handsome Silas who has long been a hunting partner to Scarlett, but who now begins to see grown-up Rosie in a different way. Silas also longs for a life outside of hunting, a life full of love and adventure. The characters, especially Silas and Rosie, are dimensional and relate-able. We feel the inner conflict that they have with the knowledge of the Fenris and a sense of duty battling against a want for companionship, for wholeness. At times, Scarlett appears to lack that same dimension; however, as an outsider we understand her unyielding and focused drive for revenge. The wolves took her grandmother, cost her an eye and a normal existence. It is only natural that Scarlett would want to take something back at any cost.

The plot builds slowly allowing the reader to fully recognize the danger that faces Silas, Rosie and Scarlett. Packed with action, the fights between the hunters and the oily, foul-smelling Fenris are tightly written – the reader can easily imagine the fights as if they are part of a blockbuster film. It is clear that Pearce has a firm grasp on descriptive writing. As much as I enjoyed the fights, I do feel that there were times when they bogged the plot down slightly and marred the overall flow of the novel. In the midst of the fighting and revenge-seeking, a romantic relationship is blooming in bright contrast to the bleak underbelly of society that we are shown. As the reader, we are privy to the very beginnings of this relationship: the smiles, hidden glances, the excitement. We are also privy to the secretive nature of it – how does one begin a relationship with another when you have been so connected to a singular person your whole life? Even more enjoyable than the relationship is the growth that Rosie experiences throughout the course of the story, and the knowledge and strength that both Rosie and Scarlett exhibit at the end of the novel.

Sisters Red is a strongly written novel that not only does justice to the original fairy tale but elevates it into something new and edgy. With strong characters and plot, only marred occasionally by heavy-handed emotions and a few too many fight scenes, this book is an extremely enjoyable read! If you like your fairy tales darkly told and served up with a side of good, old-fashioned vigilante justice, then pick up Sisters Red today.

Genre: Fairy Tale/Fantasy

Age Recommendation: 14 and up

Rating: 4/5

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

The Cardturner: A Novel About a King, a Queen and a Joker by Louis Sachar

This is very embarrassing.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been with someone for a while and you don’t know that person’s name? It’s too late to ask, but you know the longer you go without asking, the more awkward it will become. So even though you feel really stupid, you finally just have to bite the bullet and say, “By the way, what’s your name?”

That’s how I’m feeling right now, only in reverse. By the way, my name is Alton Richards.

Alton Richards needs a summer job, and his mother has just the one for him. Alton is going to be the new cardturner for his blind, diabetic, bridge-playing “favorite uncle.” His mother sees this as a way of staking the family’s claim on his uncle’s inheritance. Alton just sees this as terrible way to spend his summer. However, as Alton begins to take his uncle to bridge games and learn about the game, he also forms a relationship with his uncle. And then he meets Toni Castaneda. Suddenly, this job doesn’t seem quite so bad anymore.

Review: As an avid supporter/reader/cheerleader for Louis Sachar’s book Holes (amongst his many other great titles like There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom – LOVE!), I was thrilled to learn that he had written another novel called The Cardturner. From the start, I knew that this book involved the game of Bridge which I know to be a difficult, hard-to-explain game. However, I knew that if anyone could pull off a book with Bridge in it, Louis Sachar could. He did not disappoint. In traditional Louis Sachar style, this book is anything but typical – totally quirky, off-the-wall, and uniquely crafted. At turns, this novel is heart-warming, witty, emotional and smart but throughout, it is definitely unconventional.

The first thing that struck me about this book was the unique narration style. The protagonist, Alton Richards, breaks the fourth wall and crosses the boundary between the story and the audience. He addresses us directly in a witty, self-effacing way. Sometimes, I find this type of narration to be off-putting. However, in this novel, it really draws you into the story and makes it seem like you are actually friends with Alton. Alton was such a well-rounded character. I felt for him and was cheering for him to succeed and come into his own through the whole novel.

In all of Louis Sachar’s books, he crafts such unique secondary characters that add depth and sparkle to his stories. I loved Theodora with all of her new-age yoga and healthy ideas. Cliff, Alton’s best “friend”, and Katie, Alton’s former girl-friend, made me both cringe and seethe with anger. They often stood in Alton’s way to gaining confidence and finding true love. I love when I hate characters like that! They weren’t evil or some giant arch nemeses but they are the kind of characters that quietly needle you. I find these kind of characters to be very true to life.

I was worried with all of the “Bridge speak” but it actually was well explained and fascinating. Throughout the course of the novel, you will learn about the basics of Bridge and the vocabulary and plays associated with it. Sachar puts an icon of a whale, referencing Moby Dick and all of the “whaling speak”, before large sections of Bridge explanations. Therefore, if you want to skip these sections you can flip to the text box which summarizes the Bridge lesson. The story is still cohesive even if you skip the whale sections. However, I would suggest reading them as he writes these sections to be interesting and engaging.

Finally, I loved the budding relationship between Toni and Alton. Based in assumptions, then friendship and finally romance, I found their relationship to be extremely palpable – rooted in the past but focused towards the future. It was surprisingly refreshing to read about such a sweet pairing.

Louis Sachar really took a risk with this book. A book about the game of Bridge? Well, yes. But it is so much more than that – it is a book about a young man challenging himself, learning about himself and growing. Full of wacky characters, witty asides on life with an interesting magical, supernatural element that sneaks up on you, this book is sure to please. I suggest picking up The Cardturner by Louis Sachar today!

Genre: Realistic Fiction/Bridge Fiction (creating a new genre here!)

Age Recommendation: 12 and up

Rating: 4.25/5

Posted in Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction | 5 Comments

Melina Marchetta Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my Melina Marchetta giveaway. :) I was so excited to see that so many people entered. To choose a winner, I put all entrants with their extra entries into a spread sheet in the order that the entry was received. Then I used a random number generator to pick the lucky book lover!

Congratulations goes out to, Christina @ Confessions of a Book Addict, who is our winner. I wish that I had enough Melina Marchetta books to send you each one, and I do hope that you will give her books a try. Thank you to everyone who entered. :)

And a la the Price is Right, show her what’s she won….

Well, Christina, you are the new lucky owner of FOUR books by Melina Marchetta, Australian author extraordinaire. Finnikin of the Rock, Saving Francesca, Looking for Alibrandi, and Jellicoe Road are now yours to read!

And don’t forget to spay or neuter your pets. Control the pet population! Congratulations again, Christina! I hope you enjoy these reads as much as I did. :)

In other news, Christmas break was a very productive reading time for me! I finished a total of eight books: Leaving Paradise, Return to Paradise, Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction, all by Simone Elkeles; The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, a memoir by Elna Baker; Delirium by Lauren Oliver; The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. What books did you read over the holidays?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments