Thursday, July 24, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: Samantha Sanderson On the Scene



Samantha Sanderson On the Scene (Samantha Sanderson, 2) by Robin Caroll, May 6, 2014. 252 pages. Published by Zonderkidz. Source: publisher.
As Samantha and the rest of the middle schoolers prepare for the upcoming Spring Fest, 'mean girl' Nikki faces the reality that her parents are getting divorced. It's hard for Samantha to sympathize because of Nikki's mean girl reputation. But when Nikki becomes victim of a string of attacks, Samantha takes it upon herself and her super sleuth abilities to get down to the bottom of the bullying. Plus, articles on bullying are just the kind of serious topic the school paper needs instead of fluff like popularity tips. Samantha enlists the help of her tech-savvy BFF, Makayla, and while the two track down clues, they leave a trail of trouble behind, and may even be directly responsible for a break in of their very own school's computer lab!
Nikki is touched by Samantha's assistance and warms up to her, which only makes Aubrey all the ruder to Samantha, but Samantha doesn't care. She's comfortable in her own skin, and vows to help others feel the same way.
The Samantha Sanderson series is about an ordinary girl with extraordinary dreams. Each book touches on a crime straight from headlines, from bomb threats to bullying, while following Samantha and her friends as they navigate middle-school and questions of faith.

First Sentence:
Then I just felt the pop.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wish List Wednesday

West of the Moon by Margi Preus April 1, 2014. Published by Harry N. Abrams.
Astri is a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America. After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent “goatman” in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.

Why: I was first drawn in by the cover, but, as I read what West of the Moon was about I knew it would be going on my wishlist. It sounds like one of the crazy, magical books that just begs to be read. Besides, I am quite curious to find out if they'll be reunited with their father.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, July 21, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: Castle Behind Thorns



Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell, May 27, 2014. 336 pages. Published by Katherine Tegen Books. Source: Library.
When Sand wakes up alone in a long-abandoned castle, he has no idea how he got there. The stories all said the place was ruined by an earthquake, and Sand did not expect to find everything inside-from dishes to candles to apples-torn in half or slashed to bits. Nothing lives here and nothing grows, except the vicious, thorny bramble that prevents Sand from leaving. Why wasn't this in the stories?

To survive, Sand does what he knows best-he fires up the castle's forge to mend what he needs to live. But the things he fixes work somehow better than they ought to. Is there magic in the mending, granted by the saints who once guarded this place?

Unexpectedly, Sand finds the lost heir, Perrotte, a girl who shares the castle's astonishing secrets and dark history. Putting together the pieces-of stone and iron, and of a broken life-is harder than Sand ever imagined, but it's the only way to gain their freedom, even with the help of the guardian saints.
First Sentence:
Sand woke, curled in the ashes of a great fireplace.

#ReadFairyland Read-A-Long (updated)



Starting today, I'm hosting an impromptu read-along for Catherynne M. Valente's Fairyland series. As typing this is still quite bothersome with my finger all splinted and about to succumb to the allergies for the night, so I'll keep this short.

I want y'all to join me on reading the Fairyland series. You can be either a first time reader, like myself, or even just interested in re-visiting the series. You could just join in on Twitter to talk about what you enjoyed about this series. Really anything goes...just so long as you play nice.

Over the next few days I'll be posting little snippets on Twitter as I make my way through the series. Please, do feel free to join in with little teasers (non-spoiler please) and help me share your love for this interesting sounding book series.

To join in the fun on Twitter just use #ReadFairyland. I want to know what y'all think of the book as we go along.

Schedule:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Day One: read chapters 1-4
Day Two: 5-8
Day Three: 9-12
Day Four: 13-16
Day Five: 17-22


Are you a middle grade author, want your book to be spotlighted this year during the challenge on my blog? Than this post is just for you. All about Middle Grade Challenge

Sign up for the 2014 All about Middle Grade Reading Challenge.

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