Georges (the s is silent) has just moved into his family's new apartment. He makes a new friend in the building, a boy named Safmiddle school & up
Georges (the s is silent) has just moved into his family's new apartment. He makes a new friend in the building, a boy named Safer. Safer seems to be a little obsessed with spying on one of the other neighbors, a man he calls Mr. X. Safer decides to try to break into Mr. X's apartment and Georges decides his new friend is a little too unusual. Georges is also dealing with some bullies at school and his nurse mom having to spend extra long hours at the hospital.
Confession: I got all teary. Georges is an awesome kid. I actually put that in my notes on the Kindle when I read the part about capture the flag in gym class. I think a lot of kids will really like Georges. He isn't one of the super popular kids but he isn't incredibly geeky either. He's one of the regular kids: sometimes he gets picked on but still gets along with most people. Most kids are like that. The way he deals with it is what I particularly liked. Other stuff I loved-- All the language arts connections I could make with this book. I wouldn't read the whole thing to my 4th graders but I would read the parts where Georges and Safer discuss onomotopeia. Plus, Georges has a friend at school who has an interest in words and spelling. He talks about spelling reform and an alternate spelling of the word fish. I use this in my classes. Any time we work on spelling or grammar, I tell my kids that English is a very crazy language and ghoti is one of the words I use to prove it. I borrowed the below from Wikipedia.
Everyone in Zoel's Community are logical, orderly and unemotional. They are, quite literally, wired that way thanks thigh school & up #1 in trilogy
Everyone in Zoel's Community are logical, orderly and unemotional. They are, quite literally, wired that way thanks to their V-chip implants. Except Zoel, she keeps glitching. Now, she can see colors and she can feel emotions. If anyone in authority notices she'll be reprogrammed, or worse, deactivated. While trying to hide her glitches she meets a boy who wants her to join the resistance and help save all the other glitchers and eventually overthrow the whole system.
I'm so happy that this is first in a trilogy. I really, really enjoyed this one. The pacing is perfect, Zoel (or as she prefers Zoe) is a great character and there are quite a few twists and turns that really had me anxious to find out what was going to happen. There is one of the usual complications you'll find in YA: two boys to choose from. What's a girl to do? The handsome one with all the danger and excitement or the other handsome one with all the promises of safety and high living? Even so, this book managed to put a bit of a new spin on it. The author did a good job of informing us about the Community. We get enough details and description to make it seem real but not enough to be boring. This book was mostly detail on the Community so I'm hoping the next book we'll get to know more about the resistance.
Katie is recording her efforts at correctly "operating" her grown-up, a.k.a. Mum. She believes she is an expert and efficientlymiddle school & up
Katie is recording her efforts at correctly "operating" her grown-up, a.k.a. Mum. She believes she is an expert and efficiently operating her Mum to Katie's own advantage. Katie is writing her parent manual so that other kids will also be able to control their own model of grown-up.
From the description I read I thought this would be more "user's manual" than diary. I was incorrect. There is some user's manual type stuff but mostly it is more of a diary. Basically, the manual stuff serves as an intro to each diary entry. I think this book is either going to be completely fascinating or it will confuse the heck of the kid reading. It is set in a small village in England which, let's face it, is not at all usual. Some kids will love it and go crazy for the British slang. Some kids will stop at the first British-ism because they won't know what it means. I'd suggest using this as part of a book club scenario or introducing British slang before hand. That could actually make an interesting lesson on the development of language, especially considering the differences of British English and American English. Katie is pretty funny and her entries about her mom having a new boyfriend sound very realistic to me. I'm sure lots of kids have been in similar situations. Death of a parent (dad) like Katie or a divorce and then one parent starts dating and gets serious with someone new. That can really be hard to deal with.
Verdict: recommended. It gets bonus points with me for having Dr. Who references.
Darcy is reluctantly on the way to the first ever family summer vacation. When she gets there she is immedimiddle school & up Gateway Chronicles #1
Darcy is reluctantly on the way to the first ever family summer vacation. When she gets there she is immediately greeted by the always cheerful and bubbly Samantha. Sam is really nice but Darcy is an extreme introvert. In order to get some time alone, Darcy lies to Sam. This causes the other teens at the camp to mistrust her. During a hike, Darcy finds herself in another world called Alitheia. The people she meets are friendly and want her to come back with the other five teenagers. Thanks to Sam's unwavering loyalty she manages to convince the others to return with her. In Alitheia, they learn that they are the fulfillment of a prophecy that will lead to Alitheia's liberation from the Tsellodrin.
I enjoyed this book, it has some pretty obvious parallels to Narnia and a few things in common with Harry Potter. I think it has potential on its own though. In the beginning, I really identified with Darcy. I too am an introvert and Sam would probably drive me crazy. Too huggy and chatty. Towards the middle, I really just wanted to slap Darcy. I don't want to say too much because of spoilers but her attitude --"oh, nobody understands me, I'm so mistreated, why doesn't everybody just realize I'm the most fabulous." I don't think it is too much of a spoiler to say she gets over it. Eventually. The story is paced very well when you consider nothing too major actually happens. The eponymous Six spend most of their time learning about their place in the prophecy. Which is one of those Harry Potter parallels.
Verdict: recommended. Great for the middle school fantasy crowd.
Maggie & her sister Giovanna have lived with the Aldens even since their parents died after crossing the prairie and there wmiddle school & up
Maggie & her sister Giovanna have lived with the Aldens even since their parents died after crossing the prairie and there was no one else to take them in. Maggie is mostly content to accept the benign neglect of Ma Alden as normal. This begins to change when Maggie starts to have dreams of Ma Alden smothering a baby. Maggie soon is convinced that the baby is the baby sister she'd forgotten. She is desperate to know (and afraid to find out) what really happened to her baby sister Noemie.
My first thought on starting this book: Where the hell is the punctuation? There were no periods, no question marks, no exclamation points and not nearly as many commas as there should have been. There were also some random capital thrown in for good measure. All of which made it a bit confusing at times to correctly read sentences. This was probably just because I was reading an ARC. Hopefully, they punctuated before publishing.
My first thought on finishing this book: "That's it?" I have no quibbles with the story. I enjoyed it. But the story didn't end. It just stopped. Not stopped like it was setting up a sequel either. Although, it made me want one anyway.
Maggie is a good character. She's hard-working but still got some spunk to her. We meet Maggie just at the point in her life when it is becoming clear that she and her sister are treated differently than Ma Alden's "real" daughters. They are fed and clothed but not taught or educated even as much as the other girls. (Which wasn't all that much to begin with; we're talking about 1857-ish here.) As Maggie's suspicions grow, I really admired the way she was determined to protect her little sister (she originally had two little sisters- the living one, Giovanna and the dead one, Noemie.) You definitely can't accuse Maggie of sitting around and waiting to be rescued.
As I think about the story, it seems almost like a morality tale to me. Which could explain, or at least justify, the ending. Well, the stopping point anyhow. There isn't really much resolution but if you learn from the moral of the story you may be able to discern what should happen next.
The stopping is actually what would make this great for a writing class. The assignment? Finish Maggie's story. What happened next? And I can't ask any more leading questions because of my vow to remain spoiler free.
Verdict: get it. Give a copy to every writing teacher in your school. Warning: it is about Mormons so it is probably going to piss off somebody. Either the Mormons because it alludes to some historical events they'd probably rather forget or others because it mentions Mormons. There is one tiny mention of multiple wives although really it is barely noticeable.
**oh-- the book isn't available for Kindle on Amazon. Which is really funny considering the ARC I read was on my Kindle. I wonder why publishers make eARCs available to reviewers but don't make it available for purchase? Plainly, they had the ebook or they couldn't have sent it to me for review. ** http://www.lifeisbetterwithbooks.com/......more
Alexis & family have just moved back to her mom's old hometown. Soon, Alexis begins experiencing weird deja vu and rememberimiddle school & up
Alexis & family have just moved back to her mom's old hometown. Soon, Alexis begins experiencing weird deja vu and remembering things that happened to someone else. The someone else is her aunt Nan who left home years ago and never came back. No one has seen or heard from her since. Alexis becomes convinced that this is because Nan is dead and that her killer is still out there and now is after Alexis. She thinks she is in danger because she believes she is the reincarnation of Nan.
I don't like the cover I attached but it is the only one I found. This cover makes the book seems much darker than it actually is. The story is narrated by Alexis and two words kept coming to mind about her "overly dramatic." Not melodramatic, because I think that has a negative connotation and I liked Alexis. She seems like a very innocent, almost naive, teenage girl. The kind who still believes in love at first sight and is convinced her high school boyfriend is her soul mate and they'll be together forever. The whole story feels that way; like it is from an easier, simpler time. So I checked the copyright date. Earliest copyright date was 1996. (1996? I remember '96. Cell phones were around but not quite as ubiquitous as today. I mean, come on, Zach's phone was a freakin' brick.)
Which brings me to the second reason I checked the date. A character was driving along and couldn't find an available phone booth to make a call. Yeah, that kinda clued me in on the whole 'not set in current times' thing. (1996? I remember '96. Cell phones were around but not quite as ubiquitous as today. I mean, come on, Zach's phone was a freakin' brick.)
The pacing is really strong. I was never bored and didn't feel like the author was thinking "been a few pages, I should make a monster pop out of a closet." The story is positively littered with red herrings though. I must brag and say I never fell for them. Then again, I'm old and used to watch "Murder, she wrote." (Yes, really)
Verdict: recommended. Especially if a literature teacher is doing a unit on mysteries....more
Laurence & Temeraire continue their adventures; they have resigned themselves to settling in Australia whenTemeraire series #7 high school & up
Laurence & Temeraire continue their adventures; they have resigned themselves to settling in Australia when an old acquaintance from China arrives. He brings with him the possibility of restoring Laurence's rank and requests that they come to the aid of the beleaguered Prince Regent of Portugal. The Prince Regent is currently in Brazil and Portugal is key to the hope of beating Napoleon.
Oh, I love this series. Temeraire and Laurence are quite out of the common way, I'm sure. Check out Fantastic Fiction to get the list of novels in order.
The series is basically historical fiction with a dash of fantasy thrown in for good measure. Although it isn't usual fantasy. It is simply that dragons exist and are used by many countries as part of their military forces. Naomi does a great job of making this sound perfectly reasonable. After all, if you had a fire-breathing dragon wouldn't you want to use him to break a blockade? She has really done a great job of imagining the necessary details that come along with having a bunch of dragons in the military. What is really interesting is some of the ideas that Temeraire comes up with about society and a dragon's place in it. I love Temeraire; he is so earnest and funny. He makes a great counterpart to Laurence who is every inch an officer and a gentleman. Laurence sees it as as necessity to do whatever his duty requires of him. His duty to the military and to King and Country. He actually reminds me of Ashley from Gone with the Wind (my favorite book since the 5th grade) , but I like Laurence much better. He isn't a wuss the way Ashley was.