It's been a long time since I've loved a book as passionately as I love DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. Laini Taylor has created a fascinating novel witIt's been a long time since I've loved a book as passionately as I love DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. Laini Taylor has created a fascinating novel with a lush, atmospheric setting and terrifyingly beautiful characters. I really, truly never wanted to leave.
Karou leads a double life. As art student in Prague, she creates fantastical artwork and elaborate stories that amuse and entertain her peers and teachers. She has an ex-boyfriend that she can't seem to shake and a protective, and adorably vicious, best friend.
What no one knows is that Karou's artwork and stories aren't just a product of an overactive imagination. The "monsters" she depicts and fanciful stories that accompany their images are all true... These "monsters" are her family.
Karou has no memory of a time before her unconventional family. She was raised in a curious shop by even more curious creatures. Many would call them monstrosities - they call themselves chimaera. Chimaera have both human and animal characteristics and speak a language entirely their own.
I found myself particularly drawn to a specific member of Karou's family: Brimstone. He's a very private creature and that deals in teeth and wishes. He shoulders an immense responsibility - though Karou, and the reader, aren't exactly sure what this responsibility entails. The mystery surrounding his past, his shop, and his wishes was one of the many reasons I couldn't set this book down.
Karou herself is a mystery. She has no recollection of who she is and where she came from. In one moment she appears very young, using wishes to create awkward itchiness for her ex-boyfriend, the next moment she seems much wiser and older than the body she inhabits. Who is this peculiar blue-haired girl?
All of this, coupled with the arrival of painfully beautiful Akiva, builds to an truth of epic proportions....more
Bob Staake once again delights readers with his newest read aloud, MY PET BOOK. What kind of pet do you get when you don't care for puppy dogs and kitBob Staake once again delights readers with his newest read aloud, MY PET BOOK. What kind of pet do you get when you don't care for puppy dogs and kittens make you sneezy? Why, a pet book of course! After all, pet books don't run away, they have no fleas, and they don't have to be fed. Inside, there are all sorts of tales sure to keep every owner occupied for hours. And, as our young book owner quickly learns, no matter how big or small, new or old, every book is a friend....more
This rhyme-filled train adventure will keep readers engaged from beginning to end as they pass through ghost towns, explore the various things I trainThis rhyme-filled train adventure will keep readers engaged from beginning to end as they pass through ghost towns, explore the various things I train can carry, and experience a visit from a friendly mechanic. Accessible illustrations and plenty of fun sound effects are sure to win over even the littlest listeners....more
Mosquitoland is one of those books that I love so deeply that writing any kind of coherent recommendation is near impossible. We all have those booksMosquitoland is one of those books that I love so deeply that writing any kind of coherent recommendation is near impossible. We all have those books - the ones that we just want to place reverently (or, perhaps shove immediately) into the hands of every reader we know. David Arnold's debut is truly that type of book.
With Mosquitoland, I find myself speaking in declarative, one word sentences. Visceral. Bold. Honest. But it's also more nuanced than one word or an even entire essay can accurately describe. I read a good portion of Mosquitoland aloud while on a road trip with my brother. There were points where I would pause in reading and look over to see my brother shaking his head and, when I questioned his slow head shake, all he could do was shrug, grin, and say "Mim." Because, sometimes, when a character is so real and her journey is so fully realized, you don't need to say anything at all.
“I swear the older I get, the more I value bad examples over good ones. It's a good thing too, because most people are egotistical, neurotic, self-absorbed peons, insistent on wearing near-sighted glasses in a far-sighted world. And it's this exact sort of myopic ignorance that has led to my groundbreaking new theory. I call it Mim's Theorem of Monkey See Monkey Don't, and what it boils down to is this: it is my belief that there are some people whose sole purpose of existence is to show the rest of how not to act.” - from Mosquitoland
Mim's got some serious angst. She's resentful towards her father and stepmother and feels adrift in a new environment where she's unsure of her place. Mim also struggles with mental illness and that blurry line between illness and normality. As a reader I was often unsure of her reliability, not because she was prone to purposeful deception, but because part of her journey is learning to truly trust herself.
“Home is hard. Harder than Reasons. It's more a storage unit for your life and its collections. It's more than an address, or even the house you grew up in. People say home is where the heart is, but I think maybe home is the heart. Not a place or a time, but an organ, pumping life into my life. There may be more mosquitoes and stepmothers than I imagined, but it's still my heart. My home.” - from Mosquitoland
Many road trip novels are about leaving home, often to experience something new or with some grand adventure in mind. But Mim's road trip is more complicated. She thinks she's running home, to something she once had and is now missing, to the mother she's been distanced from and away from her father and stepmother. Of course, nothing is ever quite that simple. Mim's search for home - that feeling you long for when you're at your most distressed and adrift, rather than the physical place - is a journey I particularly related to.
Though Mim is clearly an important element of this novel as the main character and not-so-reliable narrator, the cast of characters that surround her cannot be understated. So many of the characters Mim meets and befriends along her journey sparkle. I can't help but wish I could visit each of their own stories as well. So often I'll finish a book and miss the main character and maybe the occasional love interest, but it's rare that I miss a whole rag tag group; rare that I feel each secondary character has made a lasting and important contribution to my reading experience. I wouldn't be entirely surprised to run into these characters myself if I hopped on a Greyhound bus and retraced Mim's steps.
I have no doubt readers will fall for Mim’s sardonic voice and the quirky cast of characters that surround her. Mim Malone is going to be okay ... and you are going to love this book.
A charming little story from Tad Hills about a dog named Rocket who loves words... and a bright red boot. Rocket is a good dog, so when he finds new tA charming little story from Tad Hills about a dog named Rocket who loves words... and a bright red boot. Rocket is a good dog, so when he finds new things, like a yellow hat, a leaf, and a star, he promptly drops them when requested. But, when he finds the red boot, he refuses to drop it. Though his friends offer him many alternatives, including a ball, a stick, and a sock, the boot remains firmly in his mouth. It seems Rocket will never let go, until Owl wisely offers Rocket the one thing he loves more than his new boot: a book! Hills doesn't disappoint with this newest offering; utilizing short, repetitive phrases and giving Rocket mannerisms and expressions sure to amuse, DROP IT, ROCKET is a great pick for beginning readers....more
Margaret descends from a family of time travelers, but she, as all of her relatives before her, has sworn never to use her gift, no matter how temptinMargaret descends from a family of time travelers, but she, as all of her relatives before her, has sworn never to use her gift, no matter how tempting it may be. When Margaret's father is wrongly convicted of a horrible crime and sentenced to life in prison by a corrupt judge, she feels she has no choice but to break her promise. Her plan? Prevent Judge Lucas Biggs from becoming the corrupt, jaded man that he is today. So, with the help of her best friend, Charlie, and his grandpa Josh, Margaret sets out to rewrite history and change her present.
To be honest, I knew very little about this book before reading. The real reason I decided to read it was the cover. It's striking; I kept finding myself drawn to it. If you look closely at the branches of the trees, you'll see hidden images, like a clock, a pickaxe, a star, and a fountain pen. I had to know what part each item played in Margaret's story.
One of my favorite parts of this novel was the dual perspective. Margaret narrates some chapters, while Josh, her best friend's grandfather, narrates others. The twist is that Josh's chapters take place during his childhood, the time Margaret decides to travel back to. This plot device created a situation in which readers can clearly see the connection between past and present, the choices that inform who you become, and the lasting power of family and friendship.
In the end, it's Margaret's actions in the present, not her extraordinary powers, that save her father and Judge Biggs. This, perhaps, is the element of Saving Lucas Biggs I most appreciated. Readers will pick up this novel for the time travel and mystery, but they'll walk away with a clever and important message: You have the power to be a hero. To affect change. To make a difference.
Listened to this one on audio. For the most part, I loved the story, but the narrator drove me bonkers. Will definitely be continuing the series, butListened to this one on audio. For the most part, I loved the story, but the narrator drove me bonkers. Will definitely be continuing the series, but probably not on audio....more
When secret and unlikely friends Maria and Mouse Mouse both discover their mothers aren't there to tuck them in, they set off on a parallel search toWhen secret and unlikely friends Maria and Mouse Mouse both discover their mothers aren't there to tuck them in, they set off on a parallel search to find them. Readers will explore upstairs with Maria and downstairs with Mouse Mouse until their independent searches bring the two friends together for a climactic surprise! The downstairs world of Mouse Mouse in comparison to Maria's life upstairs will enchant young readers and amuse adults, while the deceptively simple story imparts a lesson about friendship between two very different girls....more
The Snowman has returned to delight a new generation of young readers! The Snowman, first introduced to readers by Raymond Briggs in 1982, returns witThe Snowman has returned to delight a new generation of young readers! The Snowman, first introduced to readers by Raymond Briggs in 1982, returns with a new friend in this continuation by Joanna Harrison.
As winter falls a young boy is missing his beloved dog and, this year, he wants nothing more than a new canine friend from Santa. When he discovers an old hidden box and a picture of a boy much like himself standing next to a snowman, he follows suit. Outside he builds his own snowman... and a snowdog companion. When the two magically come to life, the boy embarks on a wondrous adventure, flying high over his town and competing in the Snowman's Annual Downhill Race!...more