THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH is a fun, unique take on a girl who feels lost in her parents’ world of theater, and is sad to realize her longtime best frienTHE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH is a fun, unique take on a girl who feels lost in her parents’ world of theater, and is sad to realize her longtime best friend is drifting away to a place she can’t—and doesn’t want to—follow. She doesn’t know what her calling is, but it isn’t theater or sports. When her scientist grandfather Melvin suddenly becomes a socially-challenged teenager as the result of his own experiment, Ellie discovers where her heart lies—science. But as Ellie, Melvin and Ellie’s multi-pierced friend Raj attempt to recover the evidence of Melvin’s experiment, Ellie is faced with some stark realizations of the power of science.
The science aspect of this novel would be a great classroom talking point, but there are social issues that would make good discussion, too, such as the several role-reversals. Practical Ellie is more motherly than her mother is, and when her grandfather shows up as a teenager, Ellie’s mom has to cope with a teenaged Melvin who never approved of her acting career. Melvin has to deal with having his flighty daughter as his guardian and his granddaughter as his peer. A good-natured absent actor/handyman father completes this dysfunctional family, with Ellie as the glue that holds them together.
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read this ARC. ...more
This follow-up to THE DIRT DIARY is even more fun than the first book! Rachel and her best friend Marisol are back wI received my copy from Netgalley.
This follow-up to THE DIRT DIARY is even more fun than the first book! Rachel and her best friend Marisol are back with a new scheme. Just as a glossy new cleaning company comes to town, nasty rumors about Rachel’s mom’s business start flying around the neighborhood. Outraged, Rachel determines to level the playing field, and like a true friend, Marisol bravely joins the ill-fated adventure.
Meanwhile, Rachel’s dream of studying with a real pastry chef turns into a nightmare. The chef hates her, everything she does in class goes wrong, and her cooking partner—a cute but snobby new boy—witnesses each disaster. When Rachel encounters heartache over her almost-boyfriend Evan and new worries surface about Dad, the tension in this book becomes nearly unbearable.
But in spite of everything Rachel does wrong, she always follows her heart—and we love her for it! Full of friendship, laughs, and bad choices, THE PRANK LIST will delight fans of THE DIRT DIARY. These books would make a great television series! ...more
This book was so much fun and was exactly what I was looking for--a rollicking adventure with kids I'dI received this book for review from Netgalley.
This book was so much fun and was exactly what I was looking for--a rollicking adventure with kids I'd love to be friends with. Each character is likeable on their own, but the two oldest kids Sarah and Marco clash as each blames the other's parent for tricking their own parent into marriage. Sarah is more obnoxious about the whole situation than Marco, but he has his little brother Nacho for companionship, while Sarah feels left out of everything.
I knew nothing about this book before I read it, but it starts as a realistic adventure and continues as a realistic adventure until sixty percent of the way through the book. When fantastic things began to happen more than halfway through the book, it felt like the floor was tilting--not what I expected. However, I enjoyed the fantasy aspects of this story and I doubt kids who like this kind of adventure would care one whit that the change had not been adequately foreshadowed. It is fun!
That cliff-hanger ending is a little mean, though. It's March and this book isn't even scheduled to come out until July. How long before the second book is released? Too long! But in July, I will console myself with a nice hardback of the first book in this exciting new series....more
When thirteen-year-old Abby’s teacher poses the essay question, What do you want the most, Abby lies and writes excitement, but what she really wantsWhen thirteen-year-old Abby’s teacher poses the essay question, What do you want the most, Abby lies and writes excitement, but what she really wants is to meet her father. In a twist of coconut-allergy fate, she ends up getting both in one person—a dad who’s a Bollywood mega-star heart-throb! After recovering from her emergency trip to the hospital, Abby travels to India to meet the dad she’s never known, and in an unexpected bonus, she meets a boy who might be her very own heart-throb. The larger culture clash of an American girl finding her Indian roots is set amidst another clash—between India’s extremely wealthy citizens and those who live in the direst poverty. And while Abby learns about India, her superstar dad must learn what it means to be a father. ABBY SPENCER GOES TO BOLLYWOOD is a sweet adventure about finding family—those who are related to you and those you pick up along life’s journey....more
This book was so much fun! I started reading THE DIRT DIARY while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room. I laughed out loud so often, people were beginniThis book was so much fun! I started reading THE DIRT DIARY while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room. I laughed out loud so often, people were beginning to stare.
The main character, Rachel, is a true-to-life middle-schooler—self-conscious and shy, but with secret talents and dreams. When Rachel’s father dumps Rachel and her mom and moves to another state, only two things hold Rachel together—her best friend Marisol, a budding fashion designer, and Rachel’s love of baking.
The school’s queen bee, Briana, makes life miserable for Rachel, who harbors a secret crush on Briana’s boyfriend. Rachel’s misery skyrockets when her mother enlists Rachel to help start a house cleaning business to earn desperately needed cash, and their first client turns out to be Briana’s mother. Briana is delighted with this opportunity to ramp up Rachel’s humiliation.
Writing notes about the odd things she sees while cleaning the homes of her classmates starts innocently—she doesn’t intend for anyone to see these notes but herself. But in her zeal to get even with the loathsome Briana, Rachel makes some poor choices, risking her friendship with Marisol, her relationship with her mother, and something that was getting close to almost, maybe, becoming a romance.
At times, the impending disasters and humiliations had me cringing so much I wasn’t sure I could go on, but the author handled the situation with such skill that by the end of the book I was grinning and cheering for Rachel, Marisol and their bashful film-maker friend Andrew. I want to see more of these three kids! ...more
The real-life experience of the dog-sledding author makes for jump-off-the-page realism in this outstanding adventure.
After the main character, fourtThe real-life experience of the dog-sledding author makes for jump-off-the-page realism in this outstanding adventure.
After the main character, fourteen-year-old Vicky, and her team of huskies find an unconscious boy with a wrecked snowmobile, she faces devastating odds to get them all home safely. Faced with one disaster after another, Vicky’s fierce love for her dogs keeps her moving forward to find a way home. This story is page after page of tense moments, laced with vivid descriptions of the beautiful Alaskan wilderness.
This is a book I know I will read over and over....more