Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This sequel to Jeremy Draws a monster, is delightful. Jeremy gets an unexpected call to draw a telescope and look out his window. There is his monster wanting to come home. Jeremy calls all of his friends and has them each draw a monster. When his monster shows up they all call out surprise! Now Jeremy's Monster has friends too! Delightful. Ages 3-6  Henry Holt $16.99


Sasha is looking forward to becoming a Young Pioneer. It is eqivelent of being a young communist with loyalty to Stalin. His father is supposed to come to school and present the award. But the night before he is arrested and sent to prison for treason. Sasha doesn't know what to do, he is kicked out of his apartment and goes to an Aunt's house where he is turned away. This book gives you insight as to what it was like for millions of people under the rule of Stalin. A book to be read together as a family as the content is something that needs to be discussed, a topic we don't usually come across.
This was a Newbery honor book this year. Ages 9-12  Henry Holt

Monday, January 30, 2012


I BROKE MY TRUNK  By: Mo Willems
This is an Elephant and Piggie book. It is an easy reader that won and honor book for the Theodore Geisel award. If you have any reluctant readers in your midst get these books. There are many Elephant and Piggie books.
In this book Elephant has a broken trunk and comes to tell Piggie all about it. He has balanced a hippo, a rhino, hippo's sister and her piano on his trunk, but that isn't how he broke it. You won't believe how he broke his trunk. But you really don't expect me to tell you, do you? Check it out. $8.99 Hyperion


This book is the recipient of the Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) award. It is the award for best book for young readers.
It truly is one of the funniest chapter books I have read lately. The first chapter "Tale of the Disgusting Broccoli". When James says to his father "It's disgusting" his father offers him alternatives. From eating fine dirt, to gum that has been chewed one thousand times. Of course he decides to eat the broccoli. All the chapters are similar in nature and I too have a very picky grandson. He loved the book, but it didn't convince him to eat the broccoli. $14.99 Clarion Books

REBEL MCKENZIE By: Candice Ransom

REBEL MCKENZIE  By: Candice Ransom
Rebel is determined to become a paleontologist, and she knows just how to begin. She is going to convince her parents to send her to the Ice Age Kids' Dig and Safari camp. But little does she know that her older sister needs her to babysit her nephew while she goes to beauty school. That means going to her sisters mobile home and living without air conditioning and other creature comforts.
Then to top it off they have a cat that came with the mobile home, it even uses the toilet! Add Bambi Lovering and a beauty contest, and you get an uproariously funny book. A great read with lots of humor.
Ages 9-12 $16.99  Disney Hyperion  Coming in June, 2012.


This remarkable book just won a Newbery honor. It is the story of a young girl Ha and her family who have to flee Vietnam because of the bombing. It is their courage to leave a life that will change them forever. Ha's father is still missing after nine years. She only remembers him from pictures for she was a year old when he never came back from the war. The family heads for America and is sponsored by a family in Alabama. But people aren't as kind as you would hope. Ha has to start a new school, not even able to understand the customs or the language. Add to that the taunting of the other children and you really get to know what it felt like in 1975.  I have read the book twice and each time I find something more remarkable. It is told in prose and is beautifully written. $15.99 Harper

Sunday, January 29, 2012

VISION By: Jen Nadol

VISION By: Jen Nadol
Cassie knows that when she sees "the mark" someone is going to die. She also knows that she can intervene and attempt to change fate. But saving one means condemning another and Cassie is having a hard time coming to terms with her new power. Wit no family to guide her, Cassie sets off to find others like her. When she meets Zander, a boy who seems to know everything about her, Cassie can't help but feel drawn to him. But dating Zander is becoming more than Cassie can handle, forcing her to choose between who she is and what she believes is right. Ages 14 and up. Bloomsbury $16.99 Reviewed by Maggie age 16.

LAST ECHO By: Kimberly Derting

LAST ECHO  By: Kimberly Derting
In the third book of the Body Finder series, Violet has just begun working for a secret government group, using her abilities to help catch murderers. Finally feeling as though she belongs, Violet is desperate to prove herself to her new team. So when she discovers a body of a young girl killed by "the girlfriend collector", she is determined to solve the case. Her connect with her mysteriously cryptic, partner Rafe is causing a rift between her and her boyfriend, Jay, and Violets parents are pushing her to quit the team, yet Violet refuses to give up on the case. But things change when the serial killer chooses Violet as his next victim. Now instead of solving the case, Violet is fighting to stay alive. Ages 14 and up. $17.99 Harper Collins Coming in April 2012.  Reviewed by Maggie age 16.

KISS CRUSH COLLIDE By: Christina Meredith Ages 13 and up

KISS CRUSH COLLIDE  By: Christina Meredith
Leah had her life planned out. Get good grades, date the perfect guy, wear the right clothes, and do everything her two elder sisters did before her. It was the perfect plan, only problem was Leah didn't want it. She just wanted out, out of a dead-end relationship, out of the spotlight, out of her sisters' shadows. So when Leah meets Porter, she sees her chance to break out of perpetual cycle. But Leah's plan for a little forbidden romance soon back fires, forcing Leah to choose between love and family. No matter what she chooses, Leah knows that nothing will ever be the same. Age s13 and up. $16.99 Greenwillow  Reviewed by Maggie age 16.

CARL AT THE DOG SHOW By: Alexandra Day

CARL AT THE DOG SHOW  By: Alexandra Day
If you aren't familiar with Carl you will be delighted by this new book. Carl is a Rottweiler who watches over little Valerie at the the dog show. A book with few words, but a story that will delight your children, as Carl takes Valerie around the show, sometimes she is riding him just like a horse. There is even a glossary of all the dogs in the show so you can go back again and again to find the breed. Aidan my four year old grandson was delighted with the book and we had to read it over again. $14.99  Ages 2 up. Farrar Straus and Giroux

FRACTURE By:Megan Miranda

FRACTURE By: Megan Miranda
Delaney Maxwell was walking with her friend Decker meeting friends across the lake when she heard a crack in the ice. Before she realized it she was underwater. The next thing she remembers is hearing the doctor in her room six days later say she was in a coma that long and she had irreparable damage. Well she was under the water for eleven minutes. She should be dead, but she's not.
As Delaney recovers she is drawn to people who are dying and so is another young man in town, Troy. When their paths cross Delaney is worried that she is causing the deaths of the people she is drawn too. Will Delaney's best friend Decker help her, or will she be drawn to Troy and the consequences. A powerful novel by a first time novelist. $17.99 Walker  Ages 13-17

Saturday, January 28, 2012

UNITL I DIE By: Amy Plum

UNTIL I DIE  By: Amy Plum
After saving her boyfriend, Vincent's life, Kate Mercier has finally been welcomed into the world of revenants. Though Kate is still very much a human and her friends are still reanimating, immortal people set on saving other from death, she feels like has found her place in the world. Vincent has promised Kate that innocent people die. Kate begins searching for a way to curb Vincent's compulsion to die for others. But Kates' search grows more and more dangerous each passing day. And when a new enemy surface, Kate realizes that more may be at stake for Vincent than ever before. Someone is coming after the revenants and Vincent's immortality is their target. Ages 14 and up. $17.99 Harper Teen  Reviewed by Maggie age 16

GLIMMER By: Phoebe Kitanidis

GLIMMER  By: Phoebe Kitanidis
Marshall and Elyse wake up tangled in each other's arms with no memories of how they got there or even who they are. Terrified, they make a pack to find clues that may help restore their memories. As they search, they discover that they are living in a resort town called Summer Falls. But to Marshall and Elyse's horror, Summer Falls is anything but perfect. The town is not only haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its residents can retain any bad memories. Lonely and scared, Marshall and Elyse, search for answers in thier haunted town. But as they soon learn, nothing is as it seems in Summer Falls, and their choices could lead to the destruction of everyone and everything they love. Ages 14 and up. *Sex (not graphic) $17.99 Balzer and Bray  April 2012  Reviewed by Maggie age 16

UNDERDOGS By: Markus Zusak

Underdogs By: Markus Zusak
Cameron and Ruben Wolfe are not star athletes. They are not cunning, nor geniuses, nor overly ambitious. Constantly getting into fights and coming up with half-baked schemes of robbing dentist offices and grocery stores, Cameron and Ruben are pretty much a disappointment. But even at their worst, the brothers are intensely loyal to each other. So when Cameron falls deeply in love with Ruben's girlfriend, the strenghth of their relationship is pushed to its breaking point. As the brothers duke it out, friendship, love and loyalty are put to the ultimate test, and Cameron and Ruben learn what it really means to be a family. Ages 12 and up. $19.99 Arthur Levine Reviewed by Maggie age 16

Friday, January 27, 2012

CHOMP By: Carl Hiaasen Ages 10-14 Coming March, 2012

CHOMP   By: Carl Hiaasen
Reading a Hiaasen novel is so much fun, for you never expect what is about to happen. So I was not surprised when it happened again.
Wahoo is you average young man helping his father at their wildlife refuge, feeding the alligator and numerous snakes and other assorted animals. One day a reality television show comes to hire Wahoo's father and the animals. The star of the show is supposed to be fabulous with animals and great in the wild. But unfortunately it is all an act and his father really isn't interested in working for them. However money is an issue at the moment and he has to do the job. So begins the hilarious saga of the actor and the animals. Then instead of working at the wildlife refuge the actor wants to go into the everglades and work with only wild animals. Thus begin the adventures of Wahoo and his friend Tuna in the everglades. A book everyone in the family will enjoy. Ages 10-14 Knopf $16.99 Coming March, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

OKAY FOR NOW By: Gary D. Schmidt

OKAY FOR NOW  By: Gary D. Schmidt
When Doug moves to his new home in upstate New York he refers to it as the dump. The year is 1968 and the Vietnam veterans are returning home. Doug's hero is Joe Pepitone a Yankees player and he was given a ball cap from him, only to be stolen by his brother and lost forever. But as Doug explores his new home he finds the library and the plates that James Audubon painted. There he makes friends with one of the people who work in the library and finds he has a talent for drawing. With his help he discovers his love of birds. Meanwhile his gym teacher is giving him a really hard time and detentions. At detention it is discovered he has a reading problem. So is the saga of Doug. Interwoven is a story of friendship, his brother coming home from war without his legs, and the meaning of loss and recovery. A must read that everyone will enjoy. I couldn't put it down. $16.99 Ages 10-14  Clarion


Oh what fun this book is for all you Bad Kitty fans out there. Old Kitty can't run for President of the Neighborhood Cat Club, and elections are coming up. So Bad Kitty decides to run. The humor in this book is wonderful, but the great part is it has all the terms for running for office. So the children are learning all about the election process that is happening right now. So all of you teachers, parents and grandparents be aware...they will learn while they are laughing! My eight year old grandson love these books and really took off reading when he was introduced to them.
Roaring Brook Press $13.99


Oh what a fabulous cookbook! Filled with marvelous recipes for those of us who can handle spicy Mexican foods. The book has incredible photographs so you know exactly what your dish will look like when completed. The recipes take you step by step and I am sure your family will treasure this book for years to come. I would love to give this for a shower, picking out the pot to cook it in and adding all of the dry ingredients for the bride or groom to make the dish. A real keeper. $26.99  Atria Books


We all know that Paula Deen's food is rich in butter and calories, but her dishes are delicious in moderation. Let's say once a month. This cookbook gives you great southern dishes you can easily make for your families. I was disappointed there weren't any pictures, but then it would have need at least two editions. The desserts are scrumptious and I am sure y'all will enjoy them.$29.99 Simon and Schuster


This cookbook has many great ideas for meals that cook in 20 minutes or less. The author is under the assumption that we should know how much of an ingredient we should add to our dishes. It does not give exact quantities or pictures. But the recipes are sound if you have knowledge of cooking. I wouldn't give this cookbook to a new bride, but to someone who has experience in the kitchen.  $15.00 Simon and Schuster

Friday, January 20, 2012


Sonia is half Indian and half Jewish American. She goes to a wonderful private school until her father loses his job. Then the trouble begins when she has to attend public school. Her new classmates ask her tons of questions, some of which she has know idea how to answer. She doesn't really fit in with the popular girls, but ends up trying out for cheer leading anyway. As she tests the water at school, she has to deal with her father's depression at home. Then one day her father disappears. Will she be able to cope with all this pressure. A well crafted novel dealing with tough subjects.  $16.99  Ages 9-12  Delacorte Press

Thursday, January 19, 2012

WONDER By: R.J. Palacio Ages 9-12

WONDER  By: R.J. Palacio
August was born with a rare genetic flaw, a facial deformity that prevented him from attending a normal school. So he was home schooled by his mother. After much thought his parents have decided it is time for Auggie to go to school. So they take him before school starts and a few students come to show him the school. Thus begins the process of trying to fit in. It is Auggie's story, but also the story of the students faced with trying to fit into middle school. Will Auggie get the chance to show he is just like any other person. This novel will remain in your heart and soul. It reminds me of Freak the Mighty, but even more poignant. A must read for everyone.  Coming February 14, 2012  $15.99 Alfred Knopf 
Ages 9-12

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CINDER By: Marissa Meyer Ages 12-17

CINDER  By: Marissa Meyer
Cinder is not your normal Cinderella. Sixteen years old and part human and part cyborg. She lives of course with her step mother and two step sisters. Cinder is a mechanic, can repair anything and has a stall at a market place. One day Prince Kai comes by to have her fix his android. He is quite smitten with her and wants to get to know her, but things get very complicated. She is willing to please the prince but then her step sister and a friend come down with a deadly plague and Cinder is sent to be a test subject by her step mother. Will Cinder be able to survive the plague? Go to the ball? All these questions, to be answered when you read this incredible novel. I could not put it down. Ages 12-17 $17.99 Feiwel and Friends

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

JUST GRACE AND THE FLOWER GIRL POWER By: Carise Mericle Harper Coming, May 2012

JUST GRACE AND THE FLOWER GIRL POWER By: Carise Mericle Harper   Grace really wants to be the flower girl for her best grown up friend's wedding. When you read the book you find out how she solves the problem. Grace is good at training pets. This book is like a mystery but there are lots of mysteries in the book and all the mysteries get solved at the end of the book. Reviewed by Ella age 8. $15.99 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Ages 6 and up. Coming out in May of 2012