Thursday, October 4, 2012

Original Sin by Beth McMullan-4.5 stars

McMullan, Beth, Original Sin. Hyperion, 2011. Pgs. 304.

Lucy Hamilton is a fantastic multi-tasker. Code-named, Sally Sin, she’s a former spy. She’s been trying to cut it as a mother while keeping her past a secret from her husband, Will. Her past, however, has come back to bite her in the form of her former boss, Simon Still. He needs her help to bring down the Blind Monk, an arms smuggler, and Ian Blackford, a former spy turned traitor/Weapons of Mass Destruction dealer believed to be involved. Unfortunately, Blackford also has a habit of kidnapping Sally on missions. Now she’ll have to juggle and her spy duties. Soon Simon wants her to break into a scientist named Albert Malcolm’s lab and see what he’s really up to and may entail purposely getting Blackford to kidnap her. Can Sally bring down the Blind Monk and Ian Blackford before it’s too late? Will she be able to keep her identity a secret from her husband or will he find out?

Although the long jumps into her past are a little confusing at first, readers will enjoy the humor mixed in with the action and mystery. The characters are likable, even the villains. The plot is intriguing and has some fun plot twists. Readers who like spy novels will enjoy reading this book.

4.5 stars, Adult

Friday, September 7, 2012

Till Death Do Us Bark by Kate Klise-4.5 stars

Klise, Kate, Till Death Do Us Bark. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.

Seymour is still living with Olice C. Spence and Igantius B. Grumply for a while now and couldn't be happier. When a dog named Secret follows Seymour home, he hopes to the big golden retriever a part of his new home. His guardians, however, aren't so thrilled with the idea of having a dog. As a compromise, they agree to let him keep the dog, but only if Seymour does everything he can to find the owners. Soon he discovers that the dog belonged to the recently deceased Noah Breth. His children have come into town to claim their inheritance and all of their father's property, which might include Secret. The two are horrible people and are only into themselves. To top it all off, Secret is in the heart of the mystery of what happened to all of Noah's legacy and wealth. Can Seymour find a way to keep Secret?

A fun, short read for fans of humor and ghost stories. The story is well-developed, but simple enough to keep its younger readers interested. The illustrations are detailed, entertaining, and add a lot to the text. Readers who liked the first 2 books in the series and like a little adventure in their lives will enjoy reading this book.

Grades 2 to 4, 4.5 stars

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Fifth Specter by T.S. Welti-4 stars

Welti, T.S., The Fifth Specter. pgs. 349. Create Space, 2011. 

Parker Chance is a 13-year-old about to leave his oppressive past behind and start an adventure to a new life. Parker enters Stonyford Hollow for the first time so does the reader. Parker with his new friends, Norah and Lucas embark on a dangerous mystery concerning the disappearances of Parker and Norah’s moms. Something dark is going on in Stonyford Hollow and it’s up to the trio to find out. Can the three find the missing moms and solve their dark mystery?

 The description in this book are amazing. The characters are well-developed, likable, and more interesting as the story moves forward at a good pace. Although the readers may see elements from Harry Potter, X-Men, Holes, and Michael Vey, the book is extremely entertaining. Readers who like any of the above series or who like fantasy, science fiction, adventure, and mystery will enjoy reading this book and will want the next book.  

MS, HS. 4 stars

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Limit by Kristen Landon-4.5 stars

Landon, Kristen, The Limit. Aladdin, 2010. Pgs. 291.

When his family goes over their debt limit, Matt is sent to live at a government workhouse to pay off the debt. When he gets there, however, he discovers that everyone is getting sick and disappearing. As he dives in to the inner workings of the government and their debt rehabilitation facilities (workhouses), he discovers some dangerous secrets that could cause his death. Only problem is, he can’t reach the outside world. To make matters worse, his kid sister has been sucked into it as well and is sick.  Will he find a way to expose the workhouses for what they are? Will he ever escape? Will he save his sister?

The characters are likable and entertaining.  The plot is suspenseful, fast-paced, and unique. If you like science fiction, mystery, and dystopian-type fiction you'll enjoy reading this book.

Grades 5 to 9. 4.5 stars.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Big Bouffant by Katie Hosford-4.5 stars

Hosford, Katie, Big Bouffant. Carolrhoda Books, 2011.

When Annabelle starts second grade, everyon'e hair looks the smae with braids and ponytails. Tired of looking like everyone else, Annabelle tries to mix things up. At first her mom doesn't want to help her make a bouffant, she eventually agrees. When Annabelle goes to school, however, girls make fun of her hairdo. Will she continue to be herself amongst the jeers and sneers?

A cute picture book with great pictures. Although kids might not know what a bouffant is, the pictures do a good job of depicting that for the reader.The story's fun and the text is easy enough to follow. Young children and readers who like stories about hair will enjoy reading this book.

Pre-K through 3. 4.5 stars.

I Love Him to Pieces by Evonne Tsang-5 stars

Tsang, Evonne, I Love Him to Pieces. Lerner Publishing Group, 2011.

Dicey finds true love with nerd boy, Jack, but it may have been doomed from the beginning. When a zombie apocalypse starts and Jack gets bitten, will Dicey find a way to get him cured and save everyone else from a zombie-infested future?

A cute romance with a lot of action. The characters are entertaining. The plot moves quickly and keeps the reader's attention. Readers who like zombies, romance, action, and end of the world scenarios will love reading this book.

Grades 5 to 9.  5 stars.

Variant by Robison Wells-5 stars

Wells, Robison, Variant. HarperTeen, 2011.

Benson Fisher is a foster kid with no hope of a future past high school. When he hears of a scholarship opportunity at Maxfield Academy that could lead to bigger and greater things, he jumps at the opportunity. When he gets to the academy, however, he discovers nothing is what he thought it would be. There are no teachers, the school is surrounded by a razor-sharp fence, and breaking the rules can mean death. A sinister man by the name of “Iceman” monitors everything through the video cameras around the school and dishes out award points and punishments/detentions as he sees fit and changes the rules daily. Get a punishment and you’ll never be seen again. With factions forming to survive and no way out, can Benson figure out a way to escape? A great suspense thriller for fans of Hunger Games and Maze Runner. The characters are complex and likable. The bad guy is mysterious and an intriguing unknown. With slowly unfolding secrets about the school and death on the line, this book can’t help but keep you on the edge of your seat. But, be warned, you’ll wish that sequel was coming out tomorrow instead of in October.

Grades 7 and up. 5 stars

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Beginning by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson-4 stars

Johnson, Jenna Elizabeth, The Beginning. pgs. 379. CreateSpace, 2010. ISBN n/a
It’s been 12 years since Jahrra was found by the dragons. She’s now fifteen and still has no idea who she is or her role in the prophecy. Upset by the way she’s treating at school, Jahrra seeks refuge and advice from a mystic called Denaeh. After helping Jahrra to trick some girls at her school into believing there’s a monster at the bottom of the sea near Oescienne, she asks Jahrra to repay the favor by going over Ehnnit Canyon and getting her some magical apples from an apple tree. The canyon, however, is considered dangerous and cursed. Creatures are following her every move and not all of them want her to succeed. Will Jahrra succeed in her mission to get the apples? Are the apples somehow connected to her real destiny? Will she find out what she really is and her role in the prophecy?

A great adventure for fantasy fans. The characters are entertaining and likable. The plot is unique and does a good job of holding the reader’s interest. Readers who like fantasy, mystery, and adventure books will enjoy reading this book.

Grades 5 to 9. 4 stars

Prime Evil by Chris Lynch-4.5 stars

Lynch, Chris, Prime Evil. Scholastic Press, 2010. pgs. 160. ISBN 9780545027953

In a world where everyone is wired, computers are, in some ways, smarter than their humans, and evil scientists are valued, lives a boy named Zane and his dog, Hugo. In Cyberia and Monkey See, Monkey Don’t, Zane thwarted Dr. Gristle’s evil plans. As punishment, the evil doctor and the government are exiling him to a camp in the middle of nowhere. When Zane gets there, he discovers that not only is the man who runs it the evil scientist’s brother, but that he and his wife are also evil scientists. Experimenting with “Cattlelivid Converters” as an alternative energy source, the two camp scientists are purposely trying to make the animals hostile. Unfortunately, Zane’s roommates are the hostile animals. Can Zane survive his camp experience and thwart the Gristles’ evil plans?

A great science fiction book for reluctant readers. The characters are well-developed. The plot is uniquely crafted and does a good job of holding the reader’s interest. Full of slapstick humor and fun adventure, this book will appeal to readers who like science, animals, adventure, and survival stories.

4.5 stars. Grades 4 to 8.

Artemis the Brave by Joan Holub-4.5 stars

Holub, Joan, Artemis the Brave. Aladdin, 2010. pgs. 240. ISBN 9781416982746.

Artemis is know by her friends for being brave and a great huntress. To her brother, Apollo she’s not only a friend but a friend in arms. When a mortal named Orion comes to school and catches her eye, she starts to think that she might be able to have a boyfriend too. Orion, however, is making everyone at the school mad and keeps trying to rewrite Principal Zeus’ play to fit his image of what a lead role should be. Could Artemis have made an error in judging Orion?

A great novel for anyone who likes mythological fiction. The characters are likable and recognizable figures in Greek Mythology. The plot does a good job of holding the reader’s interest. The story is easy to relate to even though they are mythology characters. Readers who like realistic fiction, mythology, fantasy, and school stories will enjoy reading it.

4.5 stars. Grades 4 to 8.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo-3 stars

Klimo, Kate, Daughter of the Centaurs. Random House Books, 2012. pgs. 369. ISBN 9780375869754

When the Leatherwings hit her village, Malora is forced to flee with her family's horse, a few provisions, and the clothes on her back. Three years later, she, and the horses she rescued along the way, fall into a trap set by her people's enemies, the Centaurs. Forced to become their "guest" and adopt their ways, Malora feels unsettled. She likes most of them, but their ways are strict and stifling to her. When a group of rogues start attacking people on a well-used trade route, innocent people begin dying and deep secrets about her race's past with the centaurs begin to emerge. Will Malora save the centaurs? Will she find a place she can call home?

This book is really slow to start and doesn't have much of a plot until about pg 200. Still, the characters are likable and the spread-out action does keep the reader wanting to read more. Readers who are fans of fantasy, books that take place in the future, or who like books that are more character-based than plot-based might enjoy reading this book. MS, HS. 3 stars

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-5 stars

Collins, Suzanne, The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2010. pgs. 384. ISBN 9780439023528

When Katniss Everdeen agreed to take her sister's place as District 12's girl tribute for the Hunger Games, she promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to return home alive. Not so easy a task, when the whole point of the Hunger Games is to be the last one alive and standing. At the training center, she trains hard in survival skills and attempts to win the judges over. This is hard to do, however, since there are other tributes stonger and faster than she is. Her only hope is to team up with Peeta, the boy tribue from her district. When the games begin, Peeta seems to have other ideas and teams up with the tributes who spend their whole lives preparing for the Hunger Games. With high stakes and the feeling of betrayal looming over her, can Katniss win?

A great book fo reluctant readers. The main characters are well-developed and likable. The author does a great of job of intermixing a romance, survival, and suspense into her novel. Readers who like dystopian literature or man versus nature stories will enjoy reading this book. MS, HS. 5 stars

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One for the Money the Movie

I went and saw One For the Money the Movie this past Saturday. It's about  Stephanie Plum who loses her job as a lingerie department manager only to become a bounty hunter for her morally loose cousin, Vinny Plum. Joe Morelli, a good-looking cop who Stephanie has a grudge against for something that happened behind the pastry counter in high school, goes FTA (doesn't appear in court) and Vinny wants him caught. Being new and inept at her job, however, might just get in the way of fulfilling an age-old grudge and cashing in on Joe's 100,000 bond. With death threats, cars going boom, and a hot guy to catch, this movie is sure to make you laugh. Cute show. I was impressed on how they kept in cleaning instead of accentuating more of the sexual innuendos. My dad even enjoyed it. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for children under 13, though.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese New Year Storywalk

Our library has discovered a fun little passive program our patrons enjoy. It's called a story walk. This is probably the 12th storywalk we've done since Summer Reading started last year. How it works is we get permission from the publisher to display pages of a picture book up around the library for the kids to read. When they're done, they come up to the Information Desk to get a prize. It makes for a great passive program and our staff members seem to enjoy it. We always have a little something they have to do at the end of the walk to get their small treat or prize.

Welcome to My Blog!

This a blog dedicated to storytime fans, library junkies, and booklovers everywhere. Some will be about my crazy library day, storytime I've done, and book reviews. Others may just be random stuff. I'm not sure how regular I'll be at posting, but I'll try. Feel free to comment and say hello!