Sunday, November 30, 2014

9 Books & Bookish Gifts to Complete your entire Christmas Shopping

Happy Advent! And happy let's-go-crazy-and-spend-money-and-buy-gifts weekend. Don't forget to support all your favorite bloggers by using affiliate links on Cyber Monday and throughout your online shopping trips.

I'm an ocean away from friends & family so I have to do a lot of my Christmas shopping online. Here are a few good books and bookish gifts I've found:

9 Books & Bookish Gifts to Complete your entire Christmas Shopping

Grandparents:
Book stand pillow
Give wrists a rest while reading in bed.

Moms and Aunts:
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond
Over 8000 5-star ratings on Goodreads, over 1300 on Amazon, must be good.
Amazon; Barnes & Noble; ChristianBook

Dads and Uncles:
The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg
Over 1,100 5-star reviews on Amazon and over 1,400 5-stars ratings on Goodreads

Adult nieces, cousins, sisters:
Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Newest book in my favorite series. You know I had to put it somewhere in the list.
Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Adult nephews, cousins, brothers
or 
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Amazon (a deal on Monday!) or Barnes & Noble

Teen nieces, cousins, sisters:
Live Original by Sadie Robertson
I've enjoyed watching her on Dancing with the Stars this season; I'm sure her book is as warm, friendly, and genuine as she appears.

Teen nephews, cousins, brothers:
The Keeper: The Unguarded Story of Tim Howard by Tim Howard with Ali Benjamin
The goalie for Team USA during the World Cup in 2014 tells his story. Releases Dec 9th.
Amazon; Barnes & Noble; ChristianBook

Under 10 niece, nephew, cousin, sibling, best friend's kids:
The Jesus Storybook Bible 
Over 1440 people gave it a 5-star rating on Amazon
CBD (save 59%!); Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Friends:
Any of the above (or below)

White Elephant gift:
Book Pillows

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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com or Independent Bookstores use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Unspoken by Dee Henderson

Unspoken by Dee Henderson. Bethany House, 2013. 441p. (9780764211713) Series: (Not officially but Full Disclosure and Undetected are related, this one falls in the middle)

Oh my. What a complex book of emotions, fear, sacrifice, hope and dreams. And I just love that the author mentioned her O’Malley series and credited them to a character in this book (I hadn’t read Full Disclosure yet and this fun tidbit plays an important part in that story). I think I’ve found a new favorite author.

Goodreads Summary (edited):
Charlotte Graham is at the center of the most famous kidnapping in Chicago history.

The task force of FBI and local cops found her two abductors, killed them, rescued her, but it took four very long years. The fact she was found less than three miles from her home, had been there the entire time, haunts them. She's changed her identity, found a profession she loves, and rebuilt her life. She's never said a word--to the cops, to her doctors, to family--about those four years.

A family legacy has brought her back to Chicago. Bryce Bishop doesn't know her past, he only knows she has coins to sell from her grandfather's estate--and that the FBI director for the Chicago office made the introduction. The more he gets to know Charlotte, the more interested he becomes. But nothing else is working in his favor.

My Review:
Bryce Bishop is “bored out of his mind” with his life and his enjoyable job running a high-end coin shop. But both he and the reader don’t know how much that is going to change when Charlotte Graham shows up in his parking lot. And goodness what a ride it is.

I really don’t want to give away any surprises in this story! The intensity of this book is not in the drama or action, but it simply waiting alongside Charlotte and Bryce for things to progress, for trust to be built, for cold cases to be solved. In watching Charlotte struggle through continuing to figure out life 19 years after being held captive for four years.

Some reviewers have complained about the length – and it is a long book, but who hasn’t wished a story had been a bit longer just so you could spend more time with the characters. Some reviewers have complained about the details regarding the coins in the collection, but I found it interesting and it helps explain the grandfather’s estate, lets the reader get to know Bryce’s character and is an interesting glimpse into the world of coin collectors.

The romance was incredibly sweet and slow and subtle; a very clean romance too. They don’t make a big deal out of their faith either, the author is quite adept at creating characters who are Christians – she doesn’t include any sermons and isn’t pushy.

If you like suspense, mystery and romance, then this is a book for you.


(Paperback/ebook prices good as of November 14, 2014 always double check for yourself)

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Links include affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com or Independent Bookstores use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Rogglewood Press, 2014. 570p. (9780989447850) Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood, #7

I don’t even know where to begin in describing how amazing this book is. Epic, vast, complex, at times humorous, complicated, long (in a good way) would all be apt descriptions. Even though this is book 7 in the series it can be read at any time, chronologically it takes place way before Heartless, Veiled Rose and Moonblood and one mortal year after the Faerie world events of Shadowhand.

Goodreads Summary:
BEYOND THE REALM OF DREAMS IS A WORLD SHE NEVER IMAGINED

Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.

But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave—possessed of his own strange abilities—to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch?

For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn.

My Review:
This is a cosmically complex story. As much as I tend to read books in one sitting I knew I couldn’t with this one. (Though part of that was because I was reading the ARC as a pdf on my kindle and my kindle didn’t like the large file size.) This is a book I fully tend to reread as soon as I can get my hands on a physical copy.

But also the writing and deep themes that Anne Elisabeth weaves into her stories make it such that it takes a bit longer to read (a good thing) and to fully absorb the tale.

Masayi Sairu
as drawn by AES
Goldstone Wood characters are always such “real” people. You get to know them personally. Eanrin as always was amazing (can he please walk out of the Wood and come visit?!). Masayi Sairu is a new favorite heroine; to use a crass (sorry Mom!) but apt word, she’s the epitome of a kick-ass heroine who also keeps a hold of her femininity.

As promised we get to know Sunan’s story and discover in part how he is also the ship captain in Veiled Rose and Goddess Tithe. But there’s still more to his story! What about the portrait on his wall!? I did enjoy finding out the origin of Una’s ring – well, the jewels in her ring. :-) But how did they get to her?!

Lady Hariwan was a first a bit of a conundrum – do we like her, do we fear her? And by the end – do we pity her, do we grieve her, or knowing what Ay-Ibunda is in Veiled Rose do we shudder at her? (Back in January 2012, Anne Elisabeth wrote a blog post about the temple. It’s interesting going back and reading that now.)

The Blue Star 
But more important than all that is the reason for the story: the night of the moonblood, and the goldstone. Two vast and very important pieces in the history of Goldstone Wood that have been hinted at since the very first book are finally told.

If you love fantasy, cosmic epicness, a good moral buried deep in the foundation, and the most famous bard to roam the Woods, then this is a book for you.

If you read this before 7pm - 9pm EST on Nov 10, 2014 then join the Golden Daughter Chat Party on Facebook!




Go read it! Buy it from Amazon ($4.99 / $15.29); Buy it from Barnes & Noble ($4.99); Buy it from Smashwords ($4.99)
(E-book/paperback prices good as of November 9, 2014; always double check for yourself)

Disclosure: I received this ARC for free from the publisher and author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.
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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com or Independent Bookstores use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Bravest Princess by E.D. Baker

The Bravest Princess by E.D. Baker. Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2014. 263p. (9781619631366) Series: Wide-Awake Princess, #3

I really enjoyed the first two books in the series, The Wide-AwakePrincess and Unlocking the Spell, but it’s been so long since I read them that I’ve forgotten the details of the story, including how Princess Annie and Prince Liam met. Which is rather important since they are engaged.

Goodreads Summary:
Sleeping Beauty's younger, non-magical sister, Annie, still can't rest while trouble in the [neighboring] kingdom threatens her good friend, Snow White. Snow White's evil stepmother has disappeared, and her father wants her married off right away--but who should she choose? How can she tell which prince is best? It's Annie and her good friend Liam to the rescue! A hilarious and and fantastical romp through a fairy tale landscape from beloved author E D Baker.

My Review:
The first 50-100 pages or so were a bit slow as the story focus mainly on Princess Gwendolyn’s wedding and then locking up Granny Bentbone who had been captured in the previous book (I assume). But once Annie and Liam got close to Snow White’s castle things got a lot more interesting.

The reason I enjoyed the first two books so much is the way so many fairytales were re-imagined and woven into the story. Sadly, that wasn’t the case with this one. Sure there were the several characters from different fairy tales but it lacked the creativity and charm of the previous books.

The adventure was interesting though and the reader is kept wondering where the wicked witch is hiding and who she might be disguised as. The 

Fairy tales very often have a simplistic and idealist view of love and marriage. I liked that the Snow White looked for more than a handsome face and a brave knight when choosing a prince. And that Annie and Liam were learning that love involves caring for the other more than oneself (and recognizing that in the other) and having the freedom to be themselves. Annie and Liam’s relationship was enjoyable and since this is a children’s book and the two are engaged there were a few times they kissed but that’s all that was said about it.

If you enjoy fairy tale retellings then you should read this series. If you enjoy children’s adventure and romance then this is also a book for you.




(Hardback / Ebook Prices good as of October 24, 2014 always double check for yourself)

Disclosure: I borrowed this from the library (after purchasing it for the library). The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com or Independent Bookstores use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish



Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list

1. Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
My favorite series! The next book comes out in November! Can't wait! 

2. The Vow: the true story that inspired the movie by Kim & Krickett Carpenter
While cataloging it for the library I started flipping through it, looks interesting!

3. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Confession: I've never read this book. Yet.

4. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
Yeah, this was on a TTT-read-in-2013 list and this years TTT-spring-TBR list... hopefully this season.

5. When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren
 
I fell in love with Susan May Warren's Deep Haven series last winter and then started her Christiansen Family series. This is book three in the series.

6. An Eye for an Eye by Irene Hannon
Because I enjoyed Dee Henderson's O'Malley series I thought I'd try Irene Hannon's Heroes of Quantico series. Book one certainly kept me turning the pages and I'd love to find out Mark's story.

7. From Slave to Governor by Perry Thomas
I've met the author and my mom really enjoyed this book. But I've never gotten around to reading it. I want to though.

8. The notorious Benedict Arnold : a true story of adventure, heroism, & treachery by Steve Sheinkin
I need to read more non-fiction... And I like American Revolutionary War history. And I really liked the other book by this author that I read. 

9. Thursday's with the Crown by Jessica Day George
I'm reading the first book in the series to 2nd grade and book two ends on a bit of a cliff hanger, so I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next!

10. The Bravest Princess by E.D. Baker
This is also book three in a middle-grade series that I've really enjoyed. A fun twist on classic fairytales all jumbled together. Book #1: Wide Awake Princess

What books do you want to read this fall?

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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com or Independent Bookstores use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

School Book Saturday: Early Islamic trade & Women's sufferage

Trade and commerce in the early Islamic world
by Allison Lassieur. Crabtree Publishing Company, 2012. 48 pg. ( 978-0778721796)
Series: Life in the Early Islamic World
Dewey: J381
Reading level: 6.7, Guided Reading: W
Interest level: 5-8th

Publisher Description:
This important book shows how trade and commerce spread with the conquests made by the early Islamic empires. Key topics explored include: transportation by caravans, ships, and boats; monetary systems; famous explorers and traders; interactions with the East and West; economical principles; and coinage.

My Review:
Lots of great maps, examples of Islamic artwork and photos. In addition to the topics mentioned in the publisher's description the book also covers various trade goods including a variety of luxury items and slaves. At the end are ten very short biographies of famous Muslim traders and explorers, there are also two timelines, glossary (no pronunciation guide), additional resources and index.

I think this would be a good resource for middle schoolers studying Middle Eastern history and learning about trade and commerce centuries ago. This is a series I will consider for my school's library.

Find it at a library near youBuy it from Amazon; Buy it from Barnes & NobleBuy it from an Indie Bookstore near you

Image from Good-
reads, no cover
available online
Women's Right to Vote
edited by Paul A. Kobasa and others. World Book, 2011. 64 pg. (9780716615088)
Series:World Book's Documenting History
Dewey: 324.6
Interest level: 6th-12th

Publisher Description:
A history of the women's suffrage movement throughout the world, based on primary source documents and other historical artifacts. Features include period art works and photographs; excerpts from literary works, letters, speeches, broadcasts, and diaries; summary boxes; a timeline; maps; and a list of additional resources.

My Review:
A very information rich book about women's efforts to obtain the right to vote around the world. I really liked that the book wasn't only about the suffrage movement in America but included other countries around the world - mainly those in the former British Empire.

I fully expected to find this individual book for sale through Follet or a book retailer. Unfortunately that is not the case. It's a good resource for any middle school report on women's suffrage with lots of pictures, excerpts from letters and books, and at the end a timeline, sources, additional resources, and index.

Find it at a library near you; The only place online that I could find that sells it is World Book as part of a series.
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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

School Book Saturday: Adams, Shackleton & Obama (Who was/is....? series)

 Who was Abigail Adams?
by True Kelley, illustrated by John O'Brien. Grosset & Dunlap (Imprint of Penguin Group), 2014. 112 pg. (9780448478906)
Series: Who was/is…?
Dewey: J973.4
Reading level: 4.6
Interest level: 3rd-6th

Publisher Description:
Abigail Adams was a strong woman far ahead of her time. She urged her husband, President John Adams, to "remember the ladies" and despite having no formal education herself, she later advocated for equal education in public schools for both boys and girls. She was also the first First Lady to live in the White House! This biography tells the story of Abigail Adams and her role in America's Revolutionary War period.

My Review:
I enjoyed this brief biography of this truly remarkable woman. It is an excellent introduction to her life and what she did while her husband was away serving the fledgling US government. At one time they didn't see each other for five years!

The sentences were short; easy for young readers. The pen and ink illustrations show the clothing, housing, tools and modes of transportation of the day. There are a few maps and several boxed inserts focusing on specific events or people in her lifetime. The careers of her husband, John Adams (2nd US president) and son, John Quincy Adams (6th US president) are also told about as they relate to her.

At the end is a timeline of her life and the world, a brief bibliography including books for young readers and a list of websites (only one didn't work) for further research.

Great for 3rd to 5th graders looking for a biography of an amazing woman from the American Revolution and the early years of American government.

4 stars

Find it at a library near you; Buy it from Amazon ($4.49); Buy it from Barnes &Noble ($4.49); Buy it from ChristianBook ($4.49); Buy it from an Indie Bookstore near you
(Paperback prices good as of July 12, 2014; double check for yourself before purchasing)


Who Was Ernest Shackleton? 
by James Buckley Jr., Illustrated by Max Hergenrother. Grosset & Dunlap (Imprint of Penguin Group), 2013. 112 pg. (9780778729563)
Series: Who was/is…?
Dewey: J919.89
Reading level: 4.6
Interest level: 3rd-6th

Publisher Description:
As a boy he preferred reading sea stories to doing homework and, at age 16, became an apprentice seaman. Subsequently, Ernest Shackleton’s incredible journeys to the South Pole in the early 1900s made him one of the most famous explorers of modern times. His courage in the face of dangerous conditions and unforeseeable tragedies reveal the great leader that he was. His historic 1914 journey aboard the Endurance has all the drama of an action movie.

My Review:
I quite enjoyed learning more about this explorer of the freezing cold. This book was more interesting to me than the Abigail Adams book since I knew (in the recesses of my mind) most of her story and Shackleton's story was for the most part a new bit of history to me.

The writing is simple and engaging. Kids will enjoy his adventures living in a boat and on ice for months on end. The illustrations are very well done and really enhance the text.

At the end of the book are two timelines, one of his life and one of world events. There is a bibliography that includes several websites. Nothing listed is specifically geared toward children but students 5th grade and up should find the websites interesting and informative.

4 stars

Find it at a library near youBuy it from Amazon ($4.49); Buy it from Barnes & Noble ($4.49); Buy it from ChristianBook ($4.49); Buy it from an Indie Bookstore near you
(Paperback prices good as of July 12, 2014; double check for yourself before purchasing)

Who Is Barack Obama? 
by Roberta Edwards, Illustrations by Nancy Harrison and John O'Brien. Grosset & Dunlap (Imprint of Penguin Group), 2009. 112 pg. (9780448453309)
Series: Who was/is…?
Dewey: J973.932
Reading level: 4.9
Interest level: 3rd-6th gr

Publisher Description:
As the world now knows, Barack Obama has made history as [the] first African-American president [of the United States of America]. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this biography is perfect for primary graders looking for a longer, fuller life story than is found in the author's bestselling beginning reader Barack Obama: United States President.

My Review:
All but the last three chapters are apolitical (for the most part). At that point the story reaches his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, his run for US Senate and then of course his US presidential campaign. Since the book was published in 2009 there is no mention of his presidency, but that is for the best since it takes a while before the big picture can be seen and he's currently the president.

I enjoyed learning more about Obama's childhood and college years. The book doesn't go into very much detail, but it highlights the main events and tells about the many places he grew up. Kids would find this a great source for a biography book report or for a project on the president.

The Civil Rights Movement is mentioned but simplified and misrepresented to the point that it strongly implies no African-Americans had the right to vote until the 1960s. Which of course is false and misleading since African-Americans had been voting for almost 100 years, though they had quite a bit of difficulty in some southern States. Hence the Civil Rights Movement.

As with all the books in this series there is a timeline of the person's life and a timeline of world/US events. There are five books listed in the bibliography - two are for young readers and two are Obama's own books. No websites were listed.

Find it at a library near youBuy it from Amazon ($4.49); Buy it from Barnes & Noble ($4.49); Buy it from ChristianBook ($2.29); Buy it from an Indie Bookstore near you
(Paperback prices good as of July 12, 2014; double check for yourself before purchasing)

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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Blogging Confessions


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Blogging Confessions

1. I am woefully behind on NetGalley reviews. There's even a book or two that I requested last fall that I haven't read yet and a few that I requested this spring that I have read but haven't written reviews for yet.

2. I read what I want to read, when I want to read it. Which is probably the cause for #1 (well and they have so many books!), but also means I'm terrible at reading ARCs. Especially ebook ones from new to me authors.

3. I would rather read than write reviews or other blog posts. Hence my irregular posts.

4. I don't like it when two posts, for whatever reason, end up being posted the same day.

5. Time zones are tricky things when scheduling posts. When working in Africa I've got an extra 6 hours in a day to get a post scheduled before the US East Coast wakes up. Which is bad for when I'm in the States and have to remember to post and schedule the night before.

6. I don't read blogs I've subscribed to via Feedly very consistently. There are currently 879 unread posts. But I do like Feedly for the most part.

7. I have not read Harry Potter, or Divergent, or the second two Hunger Games bks. Maybe someday I'll get around to them, especially since a number of my students enjoy them. But there are so many other books I want to read!

8. I judge books by their cover. But be honest, you do too.

9. I have lost a lot of hours of sleep because of books. Unfortunately I also have to be up by 7am during the school year so starting a book at 11pm or midnight and finishing around 2 or 3am doesn't make for a good night's sleep.

10. There are 346 bks on my Goodreads to read shelf. If I don't add anything more and only read books off that list it would take almost three years. We all know that's not going to happen … such a depressing realization.

Do you have any blogging or book confessions?
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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com or Independent Bookstores use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Blossom Promise by Betsy Byars

A Blossom Promise by Betsy Byars. Holiday House, 2008. 176p. (978082341473) Series: Blossom Family, #4

I needed to read a book by an author whose name started with the letter B. And it had to be over 150 pages. And I had to be able to get and read it tonight. This book fit the bill. Unfortunately it was number four in a series so the jumping back and forth between characters was a bit confusing. Still engaging though.

Goodreads Summary:
The Blossom spirit endures as the family confronts the frailty of human life in Newbery Award-winning author Betsy Byars's fourth Blossom Family book. It's a time of ups and downs for the Blossoms. Maggie is thrilled to be the youngest member of the rodeo circuit...until she witnesses Mom kissing a handsome bull rider. Back at home, the family has weathered the worst flood in the state's history. Now Vern and his friend Michael can't wait to test their homemade raft down at Snake Creek, but they don't count on the creek's raging current. Hearing their screams, Pap lassos his old rodeo rope and runs to the rescue when suddenly a heart attack strikes. As Pap clings to life, the Blossoms must rely on the strength of their family and pull together as never before.

My Review:
Start with book one, things would make a lot more sense. The characters were all entertaining and seemed spot on for their ages. I could easily picture the kids doing and thinking exactly what the author had them doing and thinking.

The story did start a little slow and jumped from Junior to Vern to Maggie and then back again so it was a bit confusing. But I got used to it and the method works to tell what the three kids are up to on a fateful day in the Blossom family history.

Junior witnessed Pap’s heart attack and at first thinks Pap died before his very eyes. The author does a great job soothing Junior’s fears about the moment a person dies and at the same time teaches kids it isn’t terrible and also is a lesson to parents that they should talk to their kids about what happens and what is expected from the child when a grandparent is nearing death.

I’m going to look up book one, The Not-Just-Anybody Family, and if it’s anything like this one, I think it would make a good read aloud. The end of this edition has a reader’s guide, an interview with the author and several photos of her life.

4 stars as a children's book

(Ebook / paperback prices good as of July 7, 2014; always double check for yourself)

Disclosure: I borrowed this as an ebook from the library. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com or Independent Bookstores use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2013. 272p. (9780307977939)
Interest Level: 3-6 grade ; Reading level: 4.1

I saw this book this spring on another blog somewhere and thought it looked interesting and something that might appeal to the students at my school. The bonus was that I enjoyed it as well and it made a flight across the US pass by quicker.

Goodreads Summary:
In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.

A Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection, Rump is perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted or Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm.

My Review:
A fun middle grade story. At the beginning there were some phrases I thought didn’t flow, but either I got used to the author’s writing style or there were just two unfortunate editorial mishaps at the beginning.

The story kept me wondering how it would unfold and how Rump could untangle himself from the mess. Even though I know the classic story.

Very imaginative, enjoyable story. There are some jokes about Rump’s name that middle schoolers would find funny, but the author never let it go too far. This is one I’ll be buying for my school’s library and might consider as a read aloud for 3rd or 4th grade. 3.75 stars



(Prices good as of June 26, 2014 always double check for yourself)

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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Remember - Anytime you visit Amazon.com or BarnesAndNoble.com or ChristianBooks.com or Independent Bookstores use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Stephanie Ricker - Five Glass Slippers Blog Tour

Oh my! What a marvelous ball gown! Stephanie Ricker, author of A Cinder's Tale, is the Cinderella of the Day.

This week is the blog tour (with a fun giveaway!) for Five Glass Slippers, the collection of Cinderella stories that I reviewed a few weeks ago and that released just last week. Here's the link to my review.

And here's the link to the blog tour home page so you can be sure to visit Rachel's other's stops on this tour and to find out her favorite dance song, ball gown, and "Cinderella moment" on the main host blog.

As she is chatting with us before stepping into her space pod she kindly answered the following question:

Your story takes place in the far corners of the universe. Do you have a favorite spot in outer space and a picture of it?

Stephanie: Thanks for your question.  I’m a huge science fiction fan (surprise, surprise), and I’m fascinated by space exploration in general.  I like to browse NASA’s astronomy picture of the day archive, and there are tons of beautiful shots there.  One of my favorite constellations is the Pleiades (also called the Seven Sisters) because on most nights they’re hard to see; you almost wonder whether you’re imagining them or not.  This shot from the Hubble telescope is lovely. Overall, though, I really just enjoy learning about it all, and reading the different fictional representations of life among the stars.

The picture Stephanie sent


About “A Cinder’s Tale” by Stephanie Ricker

It’s a dangerous life, yet Elsa wouldn’t trade this opportunity to work at Tremaine Station, mining cendrillon from the seething surface of planet Aschen. Nevertheless, when a famous deep space explorer and his handsome son dock their starcraft at the space station, Elsa finds herself dreaming of far galaxies beyond Aschen's blistering heat. There is no time for dreaming, however, when danger threatens the space station, and Elsa and her fellow miners are tested to the limits of their courage.

About Stephanie Ricker

Stephanie Ricker is a writer, editor, and tree-climber. She adores the cold and the snow but lives in North Carolina anyway, where she enjoys archery, hiking, canoeing, and exploring with friends.

Stephanie’s fiction has been published in Bull-Spec, a magazine of speculative fiction, and in four consecutive editions of The Lyricist, Campbell University’s annual literary magazine. She was the editor of the 2009 edition of The Lyricist, which won first place in the American Scholastic Press Association Contest. Stephanie’s non-fiction has been published in an assortment of medical magazines and newsletters, and her senior thesis on Tolkien was published in the 2009 issue of Explorations: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity for the State of North Carolina.

You can find out more about Stephanie and her writing on her blog: Quoth the Girl.

Giveaway

Here’s your chance to be Cinderella of the ball! One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of Five Glass Slippers, several Cinderella-themed items (including a bookmark crafted by Belle on a Budget, a journal, and a DVD copy of the Disney movie), as well as special gifts handpicked by a few of the collection’s authors (a glass slipper cookie cutter with recipe, freeze-dried astronaut ice cream, and an Apple Tree Inn cup and saucer). This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kindle eBook Sale!
The Five Glass Slippers collection will be on sale for only $.99 in Kindle format for the duration of the blog tour (June 23-28)!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rachel Heffington - Five Glass Slippers Blog Tour

Ooo-lala! Another lovely ball gown! Rachel Heffington, author of The Windy Side of Care, is the Cinderella of the Day.

This week is the blog tour (with a fun giveaway!) for Five Glass Slippers, the collection of Cinderella stories that I reviewed a few weeks ago and that released just last week. Here's the link to my review.

And here's the link to the blog tour home page so you can be sure to visit Rachel's other's stops on this tour and to find out her favorite dance song, ball gown, and "Cinderella moment" on the main host blog.

As she is chatting with us before stepping into her carriage she kindly answered the following question:
'The Windy Side of Care' takes place in both the country and city. Where would your ideal home be?

Rachel: In a similar situation to that in which I live, actually. I live in the country where I have privacy and beautiful and unimpaired views of nature but I'm only forty minutes from a mall, a movie-theatre, and shops while only one hour from a big old city. As for location, it is my dream to one day own a farm in the Lake District of England/Scotland. :)

About “The Windy Side of Care” by Rachel Heffington

Alisandra is determined to have her rights. She knows that she is the king’s secretly dispossessed daughter, the true heir to the throne. Prince Auguste is an imposter, and if she plays her cards right, Alis will prove it to the world! That is, if charming Auguste doesn’t succeed in winning her heart before she gets her chance . . .

About Rachel Heffington

Rachel Heffington is a Christian, a novelist, and a people-lover. Outside of the realm of words, Rachel enjoys the Arts, traveling, mucking about in the kitchen, listening for accents, and making people laugh. She dwells in rural Virginia with her boisterous family and her black cat, Cricket.

In February 2014, Rachel released her debut novel, Fly Away Home, and is excited to collaborate on Five Glass Slippers with her fellow authoresses. She hopes to release her second full-length novel and first mystery (Anon, Sir, Anon) in autumn 2014. For more on Rachel, her current projects, and writing in general, visit her on her blog: The Inkpen Authoress.

Giveaway

Here’s your chance to be Cinderella of the ball! One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of Five Glass Slippers, several Cinderella-themed items (including a bookmark crafted by Belle on a Budget, a journal, and a DVD copy of the Disney movie), as well as special gifts handpicked by a few of the collection’s authors (a glass slipper cookie cutter with recipe, freeze-dried astronaut ice cream, and an Apple Tree Inn cup and saucer). This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kindle eBook Sale!

The Five Glass Slippers collection will be on sale for only $.99 in Kindle format for the duration of the blog tour (June 23-28)!
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