Thursday, March 31, 2011

Forever by Judy Blume

Forever by Judy Blume
199 pages
BANNED BOOK! that makes this a must-read!

I thought this book was beautifully written, an honest look at relationships, a good look at how 'forever' can go so quickly to 'fleeting'. Overall a good message. Now don't get me wrong...I would find it hard to recommend this book to a teen, but if a parent were looking for a book to open up dialog with their own kiddo, this would be one of the first I would recommend to a parent.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch

139 pages
53 minutes

Cool!  Deutsch has combined Jewish culture with troll-fighting AND a smart girl.  What more can you ask for?

I Am a Taxi by Deborah Ellis

I Am a Taxi by Deborah Ellis
204 pages

Very good book that dives into the exploitation of children in many countries of the world.

(from jacket cover)
San Sebastian Women's Prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia, is hardly the ideal home for a twelve-year-old boy. But that's where Diego ends up after his parents are falsely accused of smuggling drugs during a trip into town to sell their coca crop. Their sentence? Sixteen years.
Diego has adjusted somewhat to his new life-an odd mix of incarceration and limited freedom. He is smart and determined, and he has learned how to cope. Thought his parents remain locked up, he can go to school and help out by babysitting his sister, and by selling his mother's knitted goods at the local market. He also runs errands as 'taxi' to earn money to help pay for food and the rent on their tiny cell.
And that is his life, week in and week out-working hard, keeping his wits about him, and dreaming of the day when he and his family will be back on their farm.
Yet even that familiar but difficult existence soon comes to an end, and Diego is suddenly forced to consider a plan proposed by his best friend, Mando-a plan to make a lot of money, very quickly.

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chim

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
426 pages

I was super impressed with this book. It had a mixture of old world wizardry mixed with modern teen interests such as soccer tryouts and soccer. The story blended all aspects smoothly, with a little twist towards the end. Guys and girls both would like this.

(from jacket cover)
Before he knew about the Roses, sixteen-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great-until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer tryouts.
Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: he is Weirlind, part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this society sit the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determine by playing the Game-a tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.
As if his bizarre heritage weren't enough, Jack finds out that he's not just another member of Weirlind-he's one of the last warriors, at a time when both houses are scouting for a  player.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BELIEVING THE DREAM by Lauraine Snelling

415 pages 6 3/4 hours

Book Two in Return to Red River Series. Thorliff is in college and working for his room and board at a local Minnesota newspaper. He misses the farm, his family and his girlfriend. The daughter of the owner of the newspaper is also attending college and creating some disturbing feelings for the young man.

A DREAM TO FOLLOW by Lauraine Snelling

316 pages 6 1/2 hours

This is book One of the Return to Red River Series, a continuation of the series about immigrants from Norway settling in the Dakotas. Thorliff who was a very small boy when he came to America is now college age, caught in a quandry about being needed on the farm and leaving his girlfriend versus his desire to attend college to follow his dream of becoming a writer/journalist.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

269 pages
4 hours 29 minutes

I enjoyed the book but by the end, felt like it was a version of Just Like Heaven, the movie with Reese Witherspoon. 

Boy Proof by Cecil Castelucci

Boy Proof by Cecil Castelucci
203 pages

I don't know if I liked this book or not. Starting out, I thought it was going to be science fiction, set in another world. The main character was "Egg", and this was on the first page:

Monday. January 5. 6:59A.M.


ok. Obviously she is on a different planet, checking on the status of earth to see when mankind could return to their home. But no, she is just a normal girl making sarcastic remarks about the world around her. But her entire family is in show biz, her dad being a sci fi special effects tech. Too much confusion. The story did redeem itself when she drops the persona of her favorite sci fi movie star and decides to find herself.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Such a Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb

467 pages
7 hours 47 minutes

Have a box of tissues near when you read this book.  Filled with tragedy and hope.  I found some of it predictable but still moving.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
188 pages
2011 Newbery Honor

Turtle's story, told from Key West is a mixture of adventure and historical fiction, based on the author's own Conch great-grandmother. Joining the diaper gang, Turtle learns the secret formula for diaper rash, and how to calm a fussy baby, always working for candy in a time of extreme poverty for that area. The kids all dream of one day finding the legendary hidden gold of Black Caeser.

(from back of book)
Folks have always told me that I look like Mama.
Our eyes are different, though. I think the color of a person's eyes says a lot about them. Mama has soft blue eyes and all she sees are kittens and roses. My eyes are gray as soot, and I see things for what they are.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
218 pages
2011 Newbery Honor Book

Great book! Delphine and her sisters get shipped off to live with the mother that abandoned them in the summer. They get a frosty reception, and get sent to a Black Panthers day camp every day to stay out of Cecile's hair. They make up their own minds how they feel about their mother, as well as the proper way to fight their own black revolution.

(from jacket cover)
Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though  Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past. When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes the eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.
Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, One Crazy Summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them-an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

BLOOD TEST by Jonathan Kellerman

308 pages 5 1/4 hours

Dr Alex Delaware, psychologist, is consulted regarding a 5 y/o who has cancer and the parents are refusing to agree to the recommended treatment. When he sets out to speak with the parents they have left the hospital taking their son with them.

Alex calls in his friend Detective Milo Sturgis for help, they go to the motel where the family was staying to find an empty room which has been thoroughly trashed but is empty of people, there is also a large suspicious looking stain on the carpet!

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur
262 pages
Mark Twain Nominee

Great book!

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—How does a child recover from unspeakable loss? For Aubrey, 11, it takes time, love, stability, and the emotional release that comes from writing letters. After her father and younger sister die in a car accident, Aubrey's mother becomes psychologically unstable and abandons her. Uprooted from her home in Virginia, Aubrey goes to live with her grandmother in Vermont. Along with Gram's love, she finds solace in spending time with the family next door and acquires a best friend in the process. When her mother materializes and begins her emotional recovery, Aubrey must decide whether to return home or to remain with her grandmother. Throughout the grieving process, her emotions are palpable. LaFleur captures the way everyday occurrences can trigger a sudden flood of memories and overwhelming feelings of renewed loss. She details the physical responses of the human body to emotional trauma with an immediacy that puts readers inside Aubrey's pain and loss. The child's progress is reflected in her letters, which are at first directed to her sister's imaginary friend, then to her dead father and sister, and finally to the mother who hurt her so deeply. While the grandmother's patience and insight at times stretch credulity, for those who want or need to experience grief vicariously, this is an excellent choice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry

Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry
161 pages
Mark Twain Nominee

Interesting book. About a young boy whose dad is deployed to Iraq, his brothers are all away at school, or in various military training. "Brother" stays at home with his Quaker grandfather, and his Catholic grandmother, taking care of the family ranch. This boy has so much on his shoulders, you truly ache for him. Very uplifting story.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–8—In this coming-of-age story, Ignatius, the youngest of five brothers in a military family grounded in the Christian faith, promises to take care of the ranch while his father is deployed in Iraq. Since his mother left years earlier to pursue life as an artist, and his older brothers are off to school or military training camps, the 11-year-old looks to his grandparents for guidance, but often feels angry and alone trying to keep his heroic promise. Although some of the realities of the Iraq war are threaded in, the author primarily focuses on the details of contemporary Oregonian ranch life. Ignatius's series of firsts that move him beyond his absolute, always-saying-never ways are the novel's most suspenseful scenes: he stitches up his brother's head, births a calf, and survives a wildfire. In the end, his relationships with his Quaker grandfather, an Ecuadoran shepherd who works on the ranch, and a new Catholic circuit priest help him to discover his true calling, to become a military chaplain. Despite a heavy-handed message and an unevenness in tone—the present-tense first-person narrative changes awkwardly between a reflective and an imaginary play voice—it remains a good purchase for readers who are looking for realistic fiction written from the point of view of a soldier's child.

One Small Boat by Kathy Harrison

201 pages
1 hour, 40 minutes

Fascinating look into the life of a foster family.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This is one of Scottoline's early books with female attorney, Rita Morrone who is 1/2 Italian and a dedicated attorney as well as a poker buff. As she defends a prominent federal judge accused of sexual harrassment, things get pretty sticky when the accuser ends up dead, murdered by ?.

A quote from USA Today, "Scottoline's writing style is SHARP, INTELLIGENT, FUNNY AND HIP.".................AND I will add, "good reads"


296 PAGES 5 Hours

Even though I have not read these "IN DEATH" books in order, they pretty much stand alone.

Detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas is tough throughout these books, and to me a very likable character.

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
299 pages

Incredible book! It is written in first person present tense, so at first I had a hard time getting into it. But quickly Christopher pulls you into the story and  you feel like you are sitting in the ramshackle building in the middle of the Australian desert right along with Gemma.  I thought the storyline was very realistic, as well as Gemma's reactions towards her kidnapping, and her curiosities about her kidnapper.

(from jacket cover)

You saw me before I saw you.
A girl: Gemma, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.
You had that look in your eyes.
A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.
Like you wanted me.
She steps away. for just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it.
Wanted me for a long time.
He takes her, before she even knows what's happening.
 To sand and heat.
To emptiness and isolation.
To nowhere.
 And expects her to love him.
Written as a letter from a victim to her captor, this is Gemma's desperate story o survival. Ty has Stolen her body. Against every instinct screaming inside her, will he also steal Gemma's heart?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk

pages 192

2 hours

Tell-All literally means to tell-all, even if what your telling is what you created. When a nobody with cunning found a beauty without brains her quest began. The quest to create the perfect Starlet and then watch her fall, silently documenting the whole thing, planning out her leading role and romantic intrests, to carefully setting the stage for her final mintues of life. Tell-All shows that its true what they say, you can bring someone into the world, you can surely take them out. Come curtin call time, it's the stage hands that get the last bow.

Amazing as always Chuck Palahniuk creates a world where starlets thrive and fall all at the drop of a hat or the pull of a string. It's beautifully tragic and tested through time.

432 pages

4 hours

In the beginning there is an idea, this idea grows and a master piece is made, but master pieces need time to form and so enters the retreat of a life time, for better or worse. A group of people give it thier all to creat the next great masterpieces by isolating themselves from the outside world. How is this accomplished you ask? By blindly following a mad man into the firey pits...or they would like you to believe. Each of these strangers is haunted by thier past and they will do anything to make sure the future is worse for the telling, because if you can't find a story, you make one, and if you can't find a devil, you become one yourself.

Amazingly disturbing and accurate human nature, like high school drama to the extreme, filled with death, murder, sabotage and plotting all to create a story worth telling.

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

304 pages

3 hours

Brandy Alexander is perfect in every way; she's what you make her, literally. This perfect barbie is nothing like she appears, from her head to her toes she's completely redone to be perfection and in reality Brandy has a darker past. In contrast Shannon was a beautiful super model who, thanks to a freak accident is permanently disfigured; she is draw to Brandy's beauty, just as she is draw to Shannons monsterious appearence. Neither fully understanding the tangled web they weave that can only end in death.

Brilliant! This story shows that beauty and happiness are not always one in the same and hardly ever what they seem. It's stark, stunning, and disturbingly relatable in an extreme case sort of way.

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
233 pages

An amazing book! I loved the creepy factor, and had absolutely no idea where the story was going. The main character, Kendall, suffers from OCD, and her whirring and rambling thoughts keep your nerves revved up right along with her, and I gotta say, she sucked me right into the story. I am looking forward to checking out McMann's other YA reads.

(from jacket cover)
The small town of Cryer's Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn't that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain.
When a second student goes missing-someone close to Kendall's heart-the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall's not sure she can hold it together. When she start hearing the voices of the missing calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she's losing her grip on reality.
But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school-messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there-Kendall decides that crazy or not, she's never forgive herself if she didn't act on her suspicions.
Something's not right in Cryer's Cross-and Kendall's about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

272 pages

2 hours

What happens when you have the power over life in death with just a thought? What about a song? In this story an unsuspecting report stumbles across the greatest story never told...and the deadliest, it's called the lullaby. The lullaby is a culling song written long ago with the ablility to kill anyone within ear shot. It answers every cases of SIDS on the record and also the unexpected death of the reporters wife and daughter. Now what's a man to do with the power of the world at his fingertips and nothing left to lose but his soul?

I truly love Palahniuk's work, the constant fight of morality and power is both classic and compelling.

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk

2 hours

256 pages
This book highlights all that is to be paranoid, with xenophobia at the forefront this book brings to light the fact that American's don't trust foreigners....and maybe that we shouldn't. The extreme cases of foreign terrorism in the form of foreign exchange students shows just how easily swayed the youth of the US are and maybe, just maybe we should fight terror with the only weapon it has no defense against...exceptance.
I loved this book, it was racist, filled to the brim with stereotypes, and obscene language and yet it captures the true heart of haters and the hated.

Hush by Eishes Chayil

Hush by Eishes Chayil
359 pages
from ALA Best Books for Young Adults (update March 2011)

(from jacket cover)
Inside the closed community of Borough Park, where Brooklyn's Chassidim live, the rules of life-everything from how to dress to whom to marry-are very clear, determined to the last detail by an ancient script written thousands of years before. Then young Gittel witnesses an unspeakable act of violence against her best friend, Devory, an act that goes against everything she's been taught as a Jew. For the first time i her life, there are no guidelines to tell her what to do, so she remains silent. But even inaction has consequences, and sometimes they are deadly...
Now a teenager, Gittel is racked with guilt over the choices she made and those that were forced upon her by the community she once trusted. She must question everything about herself-her own innocence, her memories of the past, and the beliefs of her sect-to find peace for Devory and for herself.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
375 pages
3 hours

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
406 pages
3 hours 23 minutes

Wintersmith by  Terry Pratchett
446 pages
3 hours 50 minutes

Witch by Barbara Michaels

292 pages
2 hours 26 minutes

An oldie but goodie from the master of suspense!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

266 pages
4 hours 26 minutes

from the back cover:

We don't want to tell you what happens in this book.  It is truly a special story and we don't want to spoil it.  Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this:  This is the story of two women.  Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face.  Two years later, they meet again -- and the story starts from there. . .

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry

242 pages
2 hours

This book was originally published in 1955 and  some of the portrayal of Harriet in her later years was a bit romanticized.  However, it is a riveting read about a woman who dedicated her life to making a difference.

Friday, March 18, 2011


by Ted Dekker


Think with your heart and prepare to die for you have been Chosen.
Thomas Hunter, supreme commander of the Forest Guard, has seen a great evil decimate much of his beautiful world. With a dwindling army and epic threat, Thomas is forced to supplement his fighters with new recruits aged 16 and 17. From thousands, four will be chosen to lead a special mission.
Unknown to Thomas, the chosen four are redirected to a different endgame. They must find seven lost Books of History before the Dark One. For these seven books have immense power over the past, present, and future, controlling not only the destiny of their world...but that of ours as well.


by Francine Rivers

In the first of five novels on the women of the Bible, Rivers (Leota's Garden) draws on the Bible's brief mention of Tamar to create a tribute to hope. Tamar is sold as a child to be the bride of Judah's oldest son, Er. When Er dies, Tamar believes that he was struck down by God for pride and arrogance. According to custom, she is given Onan, one of Er's brothers, as husband to beget a son in Er's memory. When Onan refuses her rights, he too falls dead. The third brother, Shelah, is deemed too young to be a husband, but when Judah promises Tamar a child when the boy grows up, she lives on hope for years. When she realizes that Judah has no intention of keeping his promise, she dresses as a temple prostitute and seduces him. After being threatened with death because of her disgraceful pregnancy, Tamar forces Judah to honor his promise. In return, she bears twin sons, Zerah and Perez, a forefather of Jesus. The different mores and customs of Tamar's time take some adjustment for a modern mindset, but a glimpse into what might have happened is worth the effort.

Creation in Death by J.D.Robb

372 pages 7 1/2 hours

Creation in Death is another futuristic crime novel with Lieutenant Eve Dallas leading homicide investigation of deaths that strongly resemble a surge of deaths from six years earlier that were never solved.

I like Eve Dallas as a character but still have to ignore the "futuristic" components of the story.

Nothing but the Truth by John Lescroart

435 pages..................................61/4 hours

Another Dismas Hardy thriller, this one involves his wife, Frannie, and his family.

Frannie is in jail because she refused to betray a confidence when she was called before the grand jury, then she exacerbated that by refusing to answer the queries of the judge, so she was in contempt of court.

Hardy is working against a timeline to find the true criminal in his exciting case.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
359 pages
(sequel to Hex Hall)

Seriously this book will make you want to call in sick to work, tell the kids you are sick and need to rest. Wonderful fantasy pitting witches and warlocks, vampires, werewolves, demons and demon hunters together in a fierce battle. Mix in some sarcastic humor and a little bit of romance, and you have the perfect read. Cannot wait for the next installment!

(from jacket cover)
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a witches, shapeshifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for the Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.
Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.
But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They're demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they're using Archer to do it. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Shadows by Jacqueline West

The Shadows by Jacqueline West
241 pages

Great mystery/fantasy for middle school aged children...and it's a series!

(from jacket cover)
When eleven-year-old Olive moves into the crumbling old mansion on Linden Street, she's right to think there's something weird about the place, especially the walls covered in creepy antique paintings. But when she finds a pair of old-fashioned glasses in a dusty drawer, she discovers the most peculiar thing yet-
She can travel inside these paintings to Elsewhere, a world that's strangely quiet...and eerily sinister.
Olive soon finds that Elsewhere has secrets to hide-and the most annoying of them is Morton, a small boy with a big temper. As he and Olive form an uneasy alliance, Olive finds herself caught in a plan darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined, confronting a power that wants to be rid of her by any means necessary. It's up to her to save the house from the shadow, before the lights go out for good.

New Boy by Julian Houston

New Boy by Julian Houston
282 pages

This was an amazing historical fiction novel about a 15-year-old boy who is the first African American accepted into an exclusive boarding school. His attention is divided by doing well in school and his friends back home who are fighting segregation by planning a sit-in at the lunch counter at Woolworth's.
When I finished, it was straight to the computer to find more facts about the struggle.

(from jacket cover)
Fifteen-year-old Rob Garrett wants nothing more than to escape the segregated south and prove himself. But in late-1950's Virginia, opportunity doesn't come easily to an African American. So Rob's parents take the unusual step of enrolling their son in a Connecticut boarding school, where he will have the best education available. He will also be the first student of color in the school's history. No matter-Rob Garrett is on his way.
But times are changing. While Rob is experiencing the privilege and isolation of private school, a movement is rising back home. Men and women are organizing, demanding an end to segregation, and in Rob's hometown, his friends are on the verge of taking action. There is even talk about sitting in at a lunch counter that refuses to serve black people. How can Rob hope to make a difference when he's a world away?
This picture was taken in 1960 in Greensboro, South Carolina, one of the many sit-ins where African American politely sat, waiting to be served at the Woolworth's lunch counter. To read more of the history, go  here

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shelf Life by Suzanne Stempek Shea

subtitle: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore

223 pages
3 hours 43 minutes

Lovely book!  I learned a lot about how bookstores are similar (and at the same time, completely different) from libraries.  A pleasurable read.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Hey, what's everyone's feelings about books that we re-read?  I have re-read three of the Tiffany Aching books since we started this challenge.  Please let me know whether you vote for allowing books that are re-reads or not.

Strength In What Remains by Tracy Kidder

277 pages
4 hours 37 minutes

The genocide in Burundi took place about six months before the Rwanda massacres.  Both tragedies were between the Tutsi and the Hutu.

This is one man's story -- Deo -- about survival and choosing how to live afterwards.  

Sad and hopeful at the same time.

The Conspiracy Club by Jonathan Kellerman

376 pages 6 1/2 hours

I have read Kellerman before and really enjoyed but this one I had to make my self continue to the end. Did not like this book at all.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
120 pages

This book is amazing! Salva is a young man who when war breaks out during school hours in 1985 in Southern Sudan must flea into the bush without seeking his family. The group of Dinka tribesmen walk to Ethiopia to find refuge. Nya, in Southern Sudan 2008 literally walks eight hours every day in order to have water fit to drink for her family. As their stories came together, it left tears in my eyes. It is truly amazing what people are capable of when they truly want to make a difference.

(from back of book)
Home for just long enough to ear, Nya would now make her second trip to the pond. To the pond and back-to the pond and back-nearly a full day of walking altogether. This was Nya's daily routine seven months of the year.
Daily. Every single day.
Salva ran until he could not run any more. Then he walked. For hours, until the sun was nearly gone from the sky.
As Salva walked, the same thoughts kept going through his head in rhythm with his steps. Where are we going? Where is my family. When will I see them again?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Billie Standish was Here by Nancy Crocker

Billie Standish was Here by Nancy Crocker

This book was a heart breaker. Filled with so much sadness...but also filled with hope that you can recover from just about everything. Would definitely recommend this for older readers.

(from jacket cover)
Can one unlikely friendship save a life?
Billie Standish has pretty much no one. Her parents are too caught up in their own lives, and the only two girls in town her age want nothing to do with her. When it looks like a nearby levee might break, and Billie's elderly neighbor, Miss Lydia, is the only to her person besides her family to stick around, a friendship is born out of circumstance. What happens during that time, in that empty town, is a tragedy that Billie can't bear alone. Can the love of one woman nearing the end of her life save the life of a young woman just at the beginning of living hers?

The Potato Chip Puzzles by Eric Berlin

The Potato Chip Puzzles by Eric Berlin
244 pages
Mark Twain Nominee

Great book! About a group of middle schoolers involved in an all-day puzzle solving competition for the grand prize of $50,000 to go to the winner's school. Berlin set this up beautifully, involving the reader in almost all of the puzzles. For all of the puzzles the character comes across, the reader has the chance to solve it themselves, and flip back to the end of the book for the answer, or just continue reading. Add in a little romance, some cheating, this makes for an exciting read for middle schoolers.

(from jacket cover)
Puzzle addict Winston Breen and his best friends are off to an all-day puzzle hunt! There's a $50,000 grand prize for the winning team's school, and Winston is ready to play and ready to win. The puzzles are in surprising places like a planetarium and an amusement park, but the day is not all fun and games: along for the ride is a high-strung and highly competitive teacher. On top of that, there are plenty of tough competitors on the other teams and someone in the contest is playing dirty. If Winston wants to win, he'll have to do more than just solve all the puzzles-he'll have to stop the cheater before it's too late.

The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington

The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington
282 pages

Felt like I was missing a lot reading this the fact that all of a sudden everyone had gills. Wouldn't they explain that fact? Reread so much of it. Guess I was just distracted?

(from jacket cover)
Toni V is a teenager working for the City Five demolition crew. While drilling through concrete he unearths a battered water can containing a parcel wrapped in faded brown paper. Though he's supposed to turn over anything he salvages, Toni V smuggles the package back to his room, unwraps it, and finds a notebook.
This is the diary of Pelly D. It's totally secret, so if you're reading it I hate you already.
Toni V figures there's no harm in paging through it since he doesn't even know this Pelly D.
I'm not being arrogant. That's just the way it is at school...I'm Pelly D. It's pretty simple...I RULE!
The more Toni V reads, the more he thinks Pelly D is rich, stupid, and petty. Yet he can't help starting to care for her, especially as her words slowly reveal the chilling state of the world.
I know it doesn't matter what gene tag you have-Mum's made that clear again and again like a stuck CD. It's just...How can I face everyone at school if...
What happened to Pelly D? Toni V needs to know. And he has one clue:
Dig-dig everywhere.

Is It Night or Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman

Is It Night or Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman
205 pages
(Based on true events of Immigration and Survival, 1938-1942)

(from jacket cover)
What was it now, I wondered, Night or day? An ending or a beginning?
Twelve-year-old Edith has lived a protected life in the tiny
German town of Stockstadt am Rhein. Now, as brutal acts of anti-Semitism explode in Hitler's Germany, she is about to travel thousands of miles over land and sea to a place that seems as foreign as the moon: Chicago, Illinois. And because her parents can't get permission to leave Germany, she is traveling alone.
Haunted by losses, Edith must adjust to life in a country where everyone she meets tries to define her with a single phrase-German, Jew, enemy alien. And as she struggles to uncover who, in her heart, she really is, the answers arrive from some surprising places.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Devil's Rooming House by M. William Phelps

303 pages
4 hours

The subtitle is: the true story of America's deadliest female serial killer. During the summer of 1911 in New England over 2,000 people died of the heat. In Amy Archer-Gilligan's Archer Home for Elderly People and Chronic Invalids, more people died from drinking lemonade laced with arsenic. "Sister Amy" was convicted of killing both of her husbands and sixty-six of her patients, although some of her patients may have actually died of natural causes. Her daughter insisted her very religious mother was being framed, but Amy was really a greedy drug addict. She even had her patients going to the general store to purchase the rat poison that killed them. After four years in prison, she was declared insane and lived the rest of her eighty-seven years in a mental hospital.


Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke

379 pages
4 hours

This is another Hannah Swensen mystery with recipes. Hannah's bakery in Lake Eden Minnesota is threatened when a rival bakery opens across the street. Shawna Lee and Vanessa Quinn, two Georgia transplants, have plenty of money and don't care about making a profit. Hannah's business partner, Lisa gets married and Hannah's boyfriend and Shawna Lee are no shows at the wedding. Then Hannah finds Shawna Lee murdered in the Quinn's bakery which puts Hannah at the top of the suspect list and has her wondering about her boyfriend. More problems ensue when Hannah's mother gets mixed up with a con man.


Tender Mercies by Lauraine Snelling

300 Pages 5 hours

Book 5 in the Red River of the North Series.

The community of Norwegian immigrants continues to grow and now has a general store, post office (in the store), a bank, a church and school and is a stop on the railroad. They have voted to name the community, Blessing. Even as the inhabitants begin to enjoy some prosperity, soddys have been replaced by wooden homes with windows, families continue to grow and more settlers move in, there are still many challenges and hardships on the prairie.

The Reapers' Song by Lauraine Snelling

5 hours 299 pages

This is book 4 in the Red River of the North series. The Dakota Territory is being transformed into rich farmlands, the homestead is finally yielding treasures. However the challanges of homesteading the vast prairie continue. More Norwegians come over to try their hand at living in the new land.

LADY KILLER by Lisa Scottoline

413 Pages 6 3/4 hours

Attorney Mary DiNunzio is surprised when her high school rival Trish Gambone walks into her office. Trish is terrified of her boyfriend who is into guns, drugs and abuse of Trish.

Mary dated this guy in high school. Trish vanishes, a dead body turns up in an alley and Mary is in the middle of a real nightmare. While she is trying to find the killer she finds a new love and nearly loses her job..

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel

The Monuments Men
473 pages
6 hours

This is a fascinating account of the WWII Allied division whose mission it was to save the world's treasures from the Nazis. Their initial mission was to lessen the damage bombs did to churches, museums, and other monuments. As the war progressed, their responsibility changed to recovering the European treasures looted by Hitler. Most of these people were in their 40s and recruited from museums. Some traveled hundreds of miles, working on tips, while others stayed close to home. Rose Valland was a volunteeer at the Jeu de Paume museum, adjacent to the Louvre. She remained at her position through the four years of Nazi occupation in Paris, and her journals helped recover much of the art looted from Paris during the war.

Mary Slater