Monday, July 30, 2012

Extra Credit

A Minnesota Youth Reading Award pick!
When Abby Carson learns she's in danger of failing the sixth grade, her teacher assigns her an extra credit assignment to help with her social studies grade. Abby will write to a pen pal in Afghanistan and then present a report to the class. When Sadeed writes back to her, Abby learns that although they are different, they are also the same, and she begins to see her life in America through new eyes. 

Reviewed by Abby Johnson at Goodreads


Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn is a love story about two people who meet over and over through multiple lives from prehistory through the present time. Amazingly they are able to find one another in each life, their story growing with each lifetime. Through every lifetime, both characters bring something of their former selves and are easily able to recognize one another, even though they don't exactly know why. Each part of the story ends tragically, with their love never quite working out, with the exception of the final story, in which they find one another and are together even now!

This was a really cool way to tell a story. It was fun to read about the same couple through different times and places in history. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good love story that ends happily ever after!
Reviewed at the Raving Reader blog

The Clockwork Three

by Matthew Kirby

Three ordinary children are brought together by extraordinary events. . . Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom. Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it. And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers' guild -- if only he can create a working head. Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears.
Synopsis from Shelfari

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak
Death tells the story of a young girl growing up in wartime Nazi Germany. Against a backdrop of Allied bombings, book burnings and concentration camp marches, she learns about life through her foster parents, her best friend and a Jewish man in hiding.
Reviewed by Sioned Bannister at Book Drum

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pemba' Song: A Ghost Story

by Marilyn Nelson
Pemba, an African-American teen, and her widowed mother move to Connecticut, and she is unhappy about it--she misses her friends, and even her cell phone doesn't work there. Once she is settled in the old house, Pemba knows something is unusual, and begins having blackouts, during which she sees a young slave woman who lived in this same house many years before--and who now needs Pemba's help. Something terrible happened to this young slave long ago and she will not rest without Pemba's help.
Reviewed at A Book and a Hug blog.

Friday, January 6, 2012


by Ursula Le Guin
This is the beginning of the delightful Catwing series about a mother cat who has four kittens. Now, these are not your normal kittens-they have wings and they can fly. Their wings will take them away from their birthplace in an alley and there is hope they will find a better, happier place. The kittens will struggle to find a new place to call home but eventually there is security and happiness for all.
Reviewed at A Book and a Hug blog.

Just Ella

Phyllis Naylor
Just Ella is a very good book. It is a familiar story. You know it. Cinderella goes to the ball, meets the prince, lives happily ever after. But what really happens is recorded in Just Ella. Ella lives in the castle and hates it. Being a princess-to-be, Ella is annoyed with royal lessons she must take. Then she loses interest in Prince Charming and all of the Charmings and resolves to call off the wedding. But can a princess-to-be really do that? Find out when you read Just Ella.
Reviewed by shampoollamadancing at Zuckerman's Barn blog. 

Palace of Mirrors

by Margaret Haddix
Now Cecilia knows the truth. She is a princes being kept hidden in a cottage in the forest so the evil forces who killed her parents cannot find her. Princess Desmia is pretending to be Cecilia as another ruse to protect the real princess. Then, the unthinkable starts to happen and the evil forces come to the cottage in the night Cecilia and her friend, Harper, flee back to the city to reveal the truth and claim her throne. Boy are they in for a surprise. This is a fun tale for those readers who fantasize that they, too, have been born into the wrong family and are princesses at heart. (A companion book to Just Ella).

Reviewed at A Book and a Hug blog.