Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sasquatch in the Paint by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


Theo has grown 6 inches over the summer and now everything looks different.  He still wants to be on the Brain Team for academics and he's good at it but he can't help being flattered at being asked to be on the basketball team.  Only problem...he's really not that good at basketball.  Added into the mix is a mysterious girl named Rain and some motorcycle guys who seem to be on her case, his dad's ventures into the online dating scene, his changing relationships with his best friend, and the discovery that his cousin's musical aspirations might have some validity.  Taken together the book was engaging and interesting with a good plot twist.

When I think about the book as a whole I have to decide whether students at my school will be interested.  For some reason sports books are not real big in my school so that is a point against it.  With the main characters being 13 year old boys there is some sexual talk.  It wasn't anything bad but my school now only goes up to 5th grade.  Although I liked the book okay I probably won't get it for my library.

It was a ribbit because the story was pretty good...

Bluffton by Matt Phelan


This is the type of graphic novel I enjoy.  The graphics themselves were more muted and less frenetic.  There was a great story going on and I felt I could keep up with the action.

Bluffton tells the story of Bluffton, MI where vaudeville spend their summers including Buster Keaton and his family.  The narrator of the story is a teenager like Buster at the time and they spend the summer swimming, playing baseball, and goofing around.  The narrator is interested in learning more about Buster's tricks but Buster is content to just laze around.

I really enjoyed the story.  I have a little bit of background into Buster Keaton.  The problem is that I am not sure what the draw will be.  While it is well done I am not sure I'll find an appreciative audience at my school.

Ribbit from me...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyers


Finally finished the book.  This may not be the most coherent entry.  I was about 1/2 done with the book last Sunday when I went to take a relaxing bath.  I thought I was over a bout of fever/chills.  When I got out I proceeded to pass out several times.  Somehow - before or after I passed out I ruptured my spleen.  I also had a bloody nose and a black eye.  I have been in the hospital all week.

Anyway, I really enjoyed Scarlet.  I liked how the book came together with Cinder and look forward to the next book in the series/  I heartily approve.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rose by Holly Webb

Interesting to note...this is what the cover looks like when I read it on NetGalley but when I did an image search I found quite a few other covers.  When I looked around it appears that this was originally published in 2009 in the UK and is now being published in the US in paperback.  Not sure if it will qualify for MSBA.

Rose was abandoned as a child and all she has ever wanted was a place to work and be productive.  When an offer comes up to work in the home of Mr. Fountain, a famous alchemist, she jumps at the chance.  However, weird things are happening all around her.  When she was telling a story at the orphanage she saw a moving picture of the story in a shiny surface.  When she is in Mr. Fountain's house she can talk to the cat and the floors move.  Does she have magical blood?  Does she want to?

Then there is the mystery of the missing children, including Massie, one of Rose's friends from the orphanage.  Are they all runaways or is there something more sinister afoot?  And what about Miss she what she appears to be?

Rose, Freddie (the apprentice), Isabella (Mr. Fountain's spoiled daughter) and the cat join forces to solve the mystery.

I enjoyed this book.  In a way it reminded me of Far, Far Away but not quite as dark. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown


I really enjoyed this.  It will be an excellent crossover for my Star Wars fans and the Dairy of a Wimpy Kid fans.  There was enough familiar from Star Wars to appeal to diehard fans and yet not so much that a newbie couldn't enjoy it.  Nicely done!!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams

I got this book on NetGalley and per usual I chose it because of the cover not realizing it was part of a series.  That hampered my understanding of the book somewhat.  I still enjoyed it though.  

Jonah Kinlock survived the Thorn Hill Massacre but at a terrible cost.  He and the other survivors have become savants with special abilities but also health issues.  Years later they are still trying to figure out what caused the massacre and there is a lot of infighting among the guilds.  Emma is also a savant who lived at Thorn Hill before the massacre.  But there is a lot of mystery surrounding her - who was her mother, what did her father have to do with the massacre if anything, and what is her special ability.  There is also a love interest between Jonah and Emma but since his very touch is fatal their first kiss results in her (near) death.  

This was an interesting book and I'd probably read more in the series - in my spare time - ha.  It was a bit too violent and explicit for my audience though.



A History of Just About Everything by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky

This book had a lot of great information about 180 things that changed the world.  I think they missed a few things like the Challenger explosion and maybe left some things out - the hostage crisis part of the Iranian Revolution but overall I think they did a good job of compiling important things in history.  Each entry was concise.  This book would be great for background knowledge, a stepping stone to further research, a debate over what was and was not included.  I liked it.