Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Falcon in the Glass

Renzo's father was a famous glassmaker in Venice in the late 1400s.  When his father is killed, Renzo must try and become a glassmaker against all odds to support his mother and sister.  Everything is against him but it gets worse when he enlists the help of a girl and her bird.  He soon becomes involved with not only the girl but several other "bird children".  Although, the girl helps him make a new type of glass bird and earn his apprenticeship the success leads to the children's discovery.

Will Renzo maintain loyalty to his own family or will he go to the aid of the bird children?  Can he forgive his uncle for causing his father to be killed? And can he avoid the assassin who still tracks his uncle and maybe even Renzo himself.

I really enjoyed this book.  I wish I had had time to read it during 2013 because it might have been a contendor.  Too many books and not enough time...but it will be going in my library.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Summer Experiment


Roberta and Marilee are best friends and have big plans to win the science fair next year.  Part of their plans involve the UFO sightings in the Allagash in Maine.  In the 70s 4 young men were abducted and now people are seeing strange new lights in the sky including her own family and the sheriff.  When the two girls try to play a prank on Roberta's brother, they find themselves encountering a strange light and then mysteriously forgetting things that happened for 2 hours.  Later in the book, the girls purposely try to contact the aliens and have an unforgettable journey...or is it forgettable?

This was an interesting book...I enjoyed the references to Maine and overall I liked it but I am not sure it is ranking at the top of my list right now.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hidden Like Anne Frank


This book had several short accounts of people - mostly younger children and some teens who were hidden during the Holocaust like Anne Frank.  I had a NetGalley version of the book which I found a bit distracting - some of the font was red and some was in the wrong place.  I found the stories to be interesting but were often too short to get invested in each person.  

As a member of a student book award committee I am primarily reading to determine what might get on our list.  Our list is for grades 4 - 8.  Some of the stories dealt with sexual encounters so I will not be able to recommend it for our list.  I thought the book was good but not appropriate for our students. 

Scan by Sarah Fine


Tate feels that his dad is pushing him too hard...secrets, workouts, prescribed meals and it never seems to be enough.  To top it off his dad doesn't like Christine, his girlfriend who keeps him grounded.  When Tate discovers a mysterious scanner in his dad's secret lab and then takes it to school the trouble begins and all of the things his father did to prepare him start to make sense.

The earth was invaded hundreds of years ago by an alien race called H2 who have infiltrated every aspect of earth and have intermarried.  Most people on earth don't know that there are aliens or that they are part alien themselves.  There are a few "pure" families" including Tate's.  The scanner can tell the difference and it quickly becomes clear that Christine is an alien.  But what is Tate supposed to do with the scanner - Tate's dad dies trying to get it back and both sides seem to want it for various purposes.

The story ends on a cliffhanger with the scanner missing, his closet ally dead, his mom injured, and Tate still not knowing too much...

I enjoyed the book, it was a quick read.  The language will keep me from purchasing it for my school library.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill

I really loved The Water Castle so I was expecting to enjoy this one as well and I was not disappointed.  Hazel was a spunky believable character caught up in the McCarthy era in a small town.  While trying to investigate the goings on in her own small corner of the universe she gets caught up in the same suspicions and jumping to conclusions that plagued that time period.  She is also navigating through a new friendship and growing up in a family that she doesn't quite understand.

I really enjoyed this book and it helped pass the time on the train from DC to Boston - we'll not the whole time, on to the next.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

I really thought I would like this which is why I requested it from Netgalley but I really could not get into it at all and it took me forever to read.  Sorry :(

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Playing With Fire by Bruce Hale

This book was the only paper copy of a book I brought on our train trip to DC.  I finished it in Boston before we even got on the train.  It was a book I received last year but never got a chance to read.  

Max Segredo's dad disappeared years ago and his mom has died.  He has been shuffled through the foster care system with mostly bad results.  After a mysterious fire, for which he has been blamed, he finds himself at a new school, for spies.  Although he makes friends and the director tells him to think of them as family he can't resist the urge to look for his father especially when he gets coded messages telling him his father is alive and he gets offers of help.  Is he willing to betray his new friends?

I really enjoyed the book but there was an overuse of clunky similes.  It was very noticeable and distracting.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Finisher by David Baldacci


The cover of this book appealed to me.  I was imagining a good dystopian novel.  But, just didn't work for me at all.  It was long and I just never felt that it got anywhere.  There were too many loose ends, unexplained world issues, and unknown characters.  Sorry...

Ninja Librarian Blog Tour


This week's question is "Which historical figure would you like to be an apprentice for?  What would you like to learn from them (or get from them, since clearly Marcus has no intention of learning gardening….)?"

Wow...tough to approach it?  Silly?  Serious?  Historical?  Work related?  

Ultimately I have to go with Jesus.  As a follower of Jesus Christ I need to be his apprentice anyway and follow his examples and his leading.  My biggest thing to learn would be how to communicate with him better.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Frankenstein Journals


J.D was abandoned when he was a baby.  When the orphanage he was living at goes out of business he discovers a journal that reveals he is the son of Frankenstein's Monster.  He sets off on a quest to find his "cousins" - relatives of the people Frankenstein used to create the monster.  But, Fran Kenstein is alos looking for these people in order to create her own monster.  In this book, J.D locates the relative of the person whose feet were used and the relative of the person whose green eye was used.

The book was a quick read and I can imagine the younger boys at my school enjoying it.