Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Dogs

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Cameron and his mom have been on the run fromhis father for years.  Cameron remembers bits and pieces of abuse but always wonders if his mom is just a little paranoid. Their latest move lands them on a old farmhouse with a secret of its own.Turns out the former owner was killed by his dogs.  But is there more to the story - what happened to his wife, their son Jacky, and a neighbor. Cameron starts seeing Jacky and gets glimpses of what really happened. All the while he struggles with his mom's new relationship and curiosity about his dad.

I really enjoyed this book.  There was good back and forth between an old mystery and the current situation with Cameron's dad.  I can definitely see this in a middle schoolor high school.  It is a bit too edgy- language, smoking, sex- for mykiddosbut agoodbook.

Monday, September 28, 2015

River Runs Deep

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This was a very interesting book about a boy, Elias, who has consumption.  After his father dies of the same disease, his family sent him Mammoth Cave in Kentucky where a doctor is trying different "cures" for people with consumption.  While deep in the cave Elias meets the slaves who work for the doctor and meets the other patients.  He also learns a secret.  Can Elias protect Haven - a refuge for runaway slaves deep in th heart of the cave system.

Based on history, this was an interesting look at the cave, runaway slaves, and consumption.  The only problems are length and the difficulty of getting students to read historical fiction.  Would I have enough students interested in the era to give it a go?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dead Boy

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Loved the beginning of the book. Nothing like finding out the main character is dead...but still lives at home with maggots crawling out of him.  Yep...  Crow died but his parents wished him alive again and he is... kind of.   Poor Crow is kept at home because the maggots and smell would freak people out.  But when he meets his new neighbor Melody, he longs for more freedom and frankly, more of a life.  Together the two of the them discover the magic involved in Crow's "life" and work to undo it.

There was good friendship, some fun puzzles and problem solving, and just enough creepiness.  I liked this one.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


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Sarah's family has always moved around, but suddenly her mother leaves for good and her dad starts acting very strangely.  Then he does the unthinkable...he takes her to a grandmother she has never met who lives in a tower and leaves her there. Soon Sarah learns of a family curse - a grandfather who is a beast, a grandmother who is a witch, and a tale of love lost and revenge.  Can Sarah find a way to break the curse before she too becomes a beast?

Honestly I wantd to like this more than I did.  Sarah herself was interesting but I found the curse to be confusing and the other characters were not developed well enough for me to really care.  This just didn'twork for me.

The Case of the Missing Moonstone

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This book was al ot of fun.  Inspired by the real Lady Ada Byron and Mary Goodwin, the author imagines what might have happened if the 2 girls had lived at the same time and became detectives.  With nods to historical figures (Percy Shelley, Charles Dickens, etc) and to the first mystery novel (also about a missing moonstone) this book had a lot of flair.  Ada was a hoot of a character.

I did feel that it took a long time to get to the mystery - I was on cd 2 of 3 before the mystery was actually introduced.  This was probably due to the build up and characterization.  I felt there were a few loose ends - near the end Ada didn't seem satisfied with the mystery's conclusion but then we were left hanging.  

Overall I enjoyed this quirky mystery.

The Jumbies

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Everyone knows Jumbies aren't real.  But when Corinne sees something mysterious in the woods and then a woman named Severine starts hanging around, Corinne discovers the truth. With the help of new friends and her mother'shiddenmagic, Corinne must fight to save her island.

This book was really good. I listened to the audio and the narrator was fabulous.  A great folk tale, creepy story. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Rhythm Ride

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This book was an interesting look at the History of Motown - how it started and evolved and the social backdrop.  I have obviously heard of Motown but did not really know that much about it.  As an adult I enjoyed the book. I could see this book working as part of a curriculum looking at the 60s and 70s and the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam.  In my own school I am not sure the book would find an audience but I feel like the bookwould be successful in the right hands.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wolf by Wolf

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That is a cool cover!!!

I hate getting behind in my reading.  2 of my books on NetGalley have archived but things have been busy and I am fighting a cold. Sometimes I think it would be nice if my job fit the librarian stereotype and I could read at work - ha ha.  

In this book Yael is a Jewish girl who was selected for experiments when she arrived at a concentration camp.  Those experiments changed her.  Not only does she now have blonde hair and blue eyes, but she can also shift her whole appearance.  With the help of others she survives and then escapes the camp.  Now, 11 years later, after Germany won the war, Yael is part of the Resistance and her task is to assassinate Hitler.

To do this, she must impersonate the winner of the previous year's motorcycle race across Axis lands, win the race again,dance with Hitler and kill him.  But,in spite of all her preparation, she doesn't know what to do when her "twin" shows up and when another competitor has a stronger relationship with "her" than she knew.

Good action, intrigue, some what ifs. For my school this book is a bit high but I think it would work in a junior high or high school.