Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kickers Book 3: Benched by Rich Wallace

Ben gets a red card for dangerous moves.  Does this mean his team will fail?

Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers sent me a hardcover copy of this book for review (thank you).  It is currently available in the market and is written for ages 7-10.

It's soccer league play-off time and the Kickers are looking for a tournament spot.  But when Ben plays rough, he ends up benched.  If he's benched, how can he help his team?

Mr. Wallace writes a fast paced story that will keep young ones reading.  He knows about the sport he's writing about, and he also knows the temperament of nine-year-old boys.  He expresses Ben's disappointment well and makes Ben think about what he can do from the bench. 

It's written for middle schoolers and I'm sure they will relate to Ben and his problems.  They'll also learn some solutions to use if they find themselves in the same position.

This is good reading for any active child because it will grab their attention.  Check it out at your local bookstore, it's on sale there now.  And happy reading!

A Good Horse by Jane Smiley

If you had trained and cared for a colt that grew into a beautiful horse and won shows with you as a rider, what would you do if someone else tried to claim the horse as the foal from his stolen mare?

Alfred a Knopf Books for Young Readers has published this story in hardcover and graciously sent me a copy for review.  It's for ages 11 and up, and is available now at your local bookstore.  It's the sequel to The Georges and the Jewels, but does well as a standalone read.

The Lovitts live on a small farm and don't have much money to buy new stock.  So Abby's father travels the states and looks for horses with good potential.  They then work with the horses until they are well-trained and hope to sell them for a good price.  They're a religious family and pray over decisions they need to make.  They had no idea they were buying a stolen mare.

Ms. Smiley obviously knows horses.  She has great descriptions of horse attributes and discusses how Abby must ride the horses to get the most points.  I learned a lot about the horse world from this book.

The story has a smooth flow and reads well.  This book should appeal to any young one that likes animals.  There are several hard decisions to make in this story and they have something to teach the reader, also.  And don't forget the first book in the series, The Georges & The Jewels.  Both books together would make a fine gift.

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin

If you ended up with popcorn with feet (chicks) in front of your nose asking for your help, would you bother?  After all, chickens are chickens and dogs are dogs...

Harper Collins Children's Books will be publishing this book in hardcover in March, 2011.  I got my ebook for review from them and Net Galley (thank you).  Kevin Cornell did the illustrations.

This is Ms. Cronin's first children's picture book and I certainly hope it isn't her last!  Her animals characters are devious, she creates scenes that will make you laugh out load, and Mr. Cornell's illustrations reminded me of the movie "All Dogs go to Heaven".

J J Tully is a former search and rescue dog, but he sure never expected to be asked to find a missing chick!  Ms. Cronin's animals are sneaky, brave, and smart - but not all at the same time.  The story line is funny and this book was a joy to read.

I highly recommend this for your young ones or for yourself.  I'm going to buy myself a copy to put in my own library.  It's too cute to pass up! 

Happy reading.

The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron Hawkins

Imagine being fourteen years old and signing a contract to pay the property owner $8,000 at the end of the apple season after the harvest?  Would you do it?  Or would you rather work at Slim's Scrap Yard for practically no wages?

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published this book in hardcover in September.  I downloaded an ARC ebook from Net Galley to read for review.  (Thanks to both of you!)

What first caught my eye about this story is that it is based in New Mexico - which is where I live.  I always enjoy reading stories that show me a little more of life in other parts of this state.  Farmington is in the northwestern part of New Mexico, near the Arizona border and an Indian reservation.

Mr. Hawkins chose an unusual approach to this story.  It reads a bit like a story from the depression because that's what it's like for folks in small New Mexican towns.  Jobs aren't easily available, and there's not an awful lot of opportunity to make money.  So Jackson decides that since the landowner told him he can make $20,000 on a crop of apples, what's $8,000 for her?  Unfortunately, he did no research on what kind of supplies he might need or just how much work it took to keep an orchard up and harvest it.

Jackson has family to help him, so he promises to share percentages of his "profits" with them.  It's heartwarming to watch the children each do what they can do to help the orchard.  Jackson gets a book on growing apples and gleans what knowledge he can from a nearby neighbor.  It's a lot of hard work with long hours and they all chip in.  Unfortunately, the crop doesn't bring in the dollar value Mrs. Nelson quoted...

As your young one reads, there are mathematical equations included to show how they figure out how much pesticide they should buy, how much to sell their apples for, etc.  They will also learn about farm equipment used on the trees or ground.  And Jackson will teach them a few things, too.

This reads like a classic story, and I enjoyed it.  Why not pick up a copy at your local bookstore for your own budding entrepreneur and give him/her some insight on the challenge of taking on something new when you know nothing about it.  Happy reading!

Friday, October 29, 2010

because of mr. terupt by Rob Buyea

It's the start of fifth grade and they have a new teacher this year.  But they sure didn't expect one like him!

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers sent me a hardcover of this story for review.  It's written for ages 9-12 and is currently available at your local bookstore.

This story touched me, it's special.  The seven students all come into class with their own baggage and their own expectations.  Amazingly, Mr. Terupt doesn't respond to them the way teachers have in the past.  He sees more of what they do (and what they don't) and he handles any problems promptly and with unusual techniques.  None of them are quite sure why he doesn't get more upset, or why he allows them more freedoms and more activities, but they sure are starting to enjoy their classes.  And they are learning a lot about each other, too.

When Mr. Terupt is injured in an unfortunate accident and goes into a coma, they learn even more about themselves.  They also learn how much Mr. Terupt has given them by coaxing them to use their strengths.

I had a very special teacher mentor in grade school and another in high school.  Their belief in me made me what I am today (with the help of Mom, my major cheerleader).  Teachers who really care can be a very strong influence on a child.  Mr. Buyea was a teacher himself, and draws on his experience to give you a true look into one classroom.

I'd recommend this book as good for young readers of both sexes.  It demonstrates how your home life and the problems there can influence how you do in school and why you act the way you do.  It's not all peaches and cream, but it is a positive book overall. 

Go check it out at your local bookstore, it's on the shelves now. 

The Nightwood by Robin Muller

Never go in the Elf woods at night, you may never return!

This oversized hardcover children's book was provided to me by Tundra Books.  It was first published by Doubleday Canada in 1991, but this anniversary edition is something special.  It is well bound, the illustrations are unearthly, and it would make a lovely gift for a collector.

There is a Celtic tale about Tamlynne, an enchanted knight that the Elfin Queen has captured.  The young daughter of the Earl of March sneaks out when she hears the Elfin music and meets Tamlynne by accident.  It doesn't take long until she falls in love with him.  However, the Elfin Queen's magic keeps him captive in the forest. 

Her parents try to keep her away, but she finds a way to escape - and just in time because the Elves are leaving.  She decides to steal Tamlynne away, but the Elfin Queen and her minions capture her.  Can a mere human beat the Queen in a fight of wills?

This is a classic folktale.  If your child has an interest in fantasy or folktales, they will enjoy reading it.  If you are collector of very nice book editions of a traditional story, this book will work for you, too.

I highly recommend this book for any fantasy enthusiast.  Check it out at your local bookstore.  I bet you'll buy a copy - it will grab you when you open the cover...

Happy reading!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hubknuckles by Emily Herman

Every year a mysterious ghost comes to visit on Halloween.  But this year Lee decides she's old enough to prove he isn't real...

Crown Books for Young Readers has published this story with an updated design on it's 25th anniversary.  (Thank you for my copy to review).  It's hardcover, has illustrations by Deborah Kogan Ray, and is available at your local bookstore.

What a great book for Halloween!  This is a very cute ghost story about a little girl who thinks she's smart enough to prove that their annual ghost visitor is actually one of her parents.  So she sneaks out of the house, speaks to the ghost, dances with him and then comes back to tell the rest of household it has to be her dad.  But what if it's not?

Ms. Herman says that Hubknuckles visits their house in Maine on an annual Halloween visit.  Do you have your own pet ghost???

This book is for ages 5-8.  The illustrations are cool and the story line is more humorous than scary, but it's a fun book for all ages.  Share it with your haunts.  Maybe even give it as a Halloween Treat to your little one.  Look it over at your local bookstore.  And happy reading!

How Tia Lola Learned to Teach by Julia Alvarez

Tia Lola has been asked to teach Spanish at the local elementary school, but she's afraid.  She doesn't speak English well, she never finished fourth grade, and she doesn't know how to teach...

Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers has published this book as a hardcover and it is available at your local bookstore now.  (Thanks for my review copy.)

The story is told from the perspective of the nephew and niece, which is a very nice touch.  When Tia Lola hesitates over the teaching job, Miguel and Juanita devise a way to get her to school without her worrying about the job.  After she meets the students, she is willing to give it a try.

Besides teaching anyone reading the story a bit of Spanish, the story line also covers the issues of immigration and divorce.  It's all handled very well by Ms. Alvarez and I enjoyed the story.

This book is for ages 8-12.  It is the second in the series.  And there will be another one published next year.  So check the series out at your local bookstore.  You might want to pick up the first two books in the series now.  Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To Have and to Kill by Mary Jane Clark

When the soap opera star on the platform with Glenna working at an fundraising auction drinks from a glass of water she hands him and falls to the floor and dies, Piper isn't sure Glenna is going to live long enough to be married...

HarperCollins will be publishing this book in December.  I got my ebook copy from Net Galley to review.

Subtitle is:  A Wedding Cake Murder

Piper has moved back home since her acting career has not been making her enough money to keep her own place.  When she does, she starts to understand that there is something not quite right about her Mom.  What it is, she isn't sure.  When she finally confronts her, she finds out she has macular degeneration and is losing her eyesight.  

So when Piper impulsively volunteered her mother to make the wedding cake for Glenna, they had a problem.  When Mom suggests Piper make it, she checks with Glenna and then begins planning the cake.  But when murder starts popping up around the couple to be wed, she wonders if they will ever get there.

Ms. Clark gives you no end of suspects.  And when Jack jumps in to help Piper solve the case, romance is in the air.  The plot is well thought out, I was surprised about who the murderer was.  Any book that does that to me is better than the average mystery read. 
You even get the recipe for the buttercream icing at the back of the book, what more could you want?

This cozy mystery was a good read and there will be more in this series.  Look for it in your local bookstore in December and settle in a good chair with a good book for a good read!

Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry

Oh, no, Father Murphy is going to call for the Great X and rid the church of mice.  What's Mouse Mistress Hildegarde to do?

This book is being published by Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt and will be published as a hardback in March, 2011.  I downloaded the ebook from Net Galley for review.

It is considered a young middle grade novel, but I sure enjoyed the story.  Ms.  Lowry does a wonderful job of creating a mouse family that you care about it.  They try to stay out of everyone's way and only eat fallen crumbs (OK, maybe Hildegarde does swipe a green gumdrop or two, but Father is supposed to be cutting back on candy anyway), try to not to show themselves to humans, and try not to have too many litters and overwhelm their space.

Despite all this good effort, they're still found out when young mice misbehave.  Can Hildegarde save them from the Great X???

This is a sweet tale that takes the reader through several mouse adventures.  Hildegarde is smart, brave, and willing to take a chance when she needs to.  It even has a surprise ending.  I'd read the next book if this becomes a series.  Eric Rohmann is the illustrator and his mice entice you to pick them up and cuddle them.

You will be able to purchase this book next March.  Make a note of TBR list and share this endearing tale with your family.  It's a good read.  Happy reading.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tell the Truth, B. B. Wolf by Judy Sierra

Big Bad Wolf tries to explain himself.  It doesn't work well...

Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers provided me with a hardcover copy of this children's picture book to review.  It's written for ages 5-8 and has big colorful illustrations by J. Otto Seibold.

B. B. Wolf begins to tell the tale about how it all began:  He was blowing the puff off a dandelion when the first house went down.  And he has explanations for the other houses, too, but the students he's talking to aren't buying the story.  Since changing the tale didn't help, Mr. Wolf looks for another to redeem himself - and finds one, too.

There are other nursery rhyme characters in the story, like the Humpty Dumpty, Gingerbread Boy, and Rumpelstiltskin.  This is a good opportunity to share their stories with your child also.

This book is available at your local bookstore.  Go check it out.  The vibrant illustrations and cool story line should appeal to your child - and they'll learn a little moral lesson on the way.  Happy reading!

Counting on Snow by Maxwell Newhouse

The artwork in this book caught my eye.

This is a Tundra Books children's picture book in softcover.  (Thanks for the review copy.)  It's only a few pages long, but I expect you'll find your child picking it up again and again.  It's like those books where you flip the pages to see the action in them.  It starts snowing and keeps on going until the end of the book.

Mr. Newhouse's motive is to get your child counting the Arctic animals, but he makes it all the more fun because each page keeps getting increasingly white.  By the time you get to one moose, you almost can't see him!  There are two pages for each animal type to help your child remember the animal's name.  It almost turns into hide and seek before you get to end of the book, and that's sure to snag the child's attention.

I'd recommend this for ages 3-6.  If you're going to learn to count, why not do it with a fun book?  Check out your local bookstore for a copy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sir Seth Thistlethwaite and the Soothsayer's Shoes by Richard Thake

Do you have a good imagination?  Then you'll love this book...

Owlkids Books sent me an ARC of this book for review.  It comes in hardcover or paperback and it's currently available in the market.

Seth and Ollie are 10 years old and they are The Mighty Knights of Right & Honor.  Instead of sitting around and saying they have nothing to do, they visit an imaginary world and have great adventures.  They use odds and ends they have around the house or in the yard for dress up.  The dog is a horse.  When they run into Lady Sheri-Sue Shrood who needs their help to recover the soothsaying shoes that have been stolen, they accept the quest and move forward, through foot-sucking bogs and fire-breathing bats. They are a bit astonished to find a saber-toothed sloth named Edith-Anne, but she joins them on their journey and the adventures continue.

This reminded me a bit of the odd characters you meet in the book Alice in Wonderland.  Mr. Thake uses his imagination to create fun, silly characters and Mr. Vince Chui provides the illustrations to make the word pictures clearer in the child's mind.

There will be more books in this series, this is book one.  I found Seth and Ollie entertaining enough to watch for the next book.  It's written for ages 7-10.  Why not visit your local bookstore and pick up a copy for your young reader.  Everyone likes to go on adventures.  Happy reading!

I'm offering my ARC as a giveaway.  If you'd like to have the book, leave a message here, and then email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (take the spaces out with your NAME AND ADDRESS and tell me why you'd like to snag it.

Dogs Don't Lie by Clea Simon

Pru Marlowe talks to animals and they talk to her.  No, really!

This is another Poisoned Pen Press book that I downloaded from Net Galley for review.  It will be published in hardcover, trade paperback, and large print.  Publication is scheduled for April 5, 2011.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It's a bit like a cozy mystery with animals involved, so it had two facets to it that increased my enjoyment.

Pru has come home because her mother was ill and needed care, and stayed on after her death.   She needed to get out of the big city and come somewhere all the voices in her head wouldn't overwhelm her.  She didn't always "hear" animals talk, so it was a shock when she suddenly started to hear them in her mind.

She works as an animal behaviorist and that's how she met Charles and his dog, Lily.  Lily is a pitbull that was being abused, and Charles is learning how to gain her trust and help her recover from the abuse.

When Pru goes for yet another morning lesson with them, she finds Charles on the floor dead and the dog's mouth covered in blood.  She knows the dog didn't kill him, but how is she going to prove that to the local police who believe all pitbulls are killers?

Trying to get clues from the animals is a bit challenging because animals think about things from their perspective, not ours.  But with a piece of information from here and there, from humans and animals, and with some reseach into Charles' past, she finally gets closer to the killer.  Unfortunately, the killer is getting closer to her, too...

As usual, Poisoned Pen Press has picked another author that writes a good story.  The plot isn't obvious, Pru's interaction with animals is authentic (even if they don't talk to you), and the story moves at a good pace.

The mystery and the animals spoke to me, maybe they will to you, too.  Make a note on your TBR list to pick this one up when it comes out in April.  Happy reading!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Secrets of Eden by Leslie DuBois

This book haunts you.  You might be done reading it, but you won't be done thinking about it.

Solstice Publishing provided me a copy of this ebook for reviewing.  It is currently available for purchase on their site.

Garrett is a young man who has never known his father.  His mother gave him to an older relative to raise after her husband went to jail.  Garrett learns a word a day and to use his mind while with this relative.  Then his mother comes to claim him.  Garrett is black, his new little sister is white.  That doesn't change how much he loves her and how determined he is to protect her.

When the man his mother lives with turns aggressive, Garrett stands up to him and gets some bruises for his efforts.  But no one is going to hurt his little sister while he's on watch!

Eventually Mom wants to marry again and Garrett learns about his father and visits him.  But he still finds lots of doors closed to learning about his family.

This fragmented family has a history of abuse, but no one wants to admit it.  Ms. DuBois writes a realistic story with a regrettable outcome, but there are consequences for any action you take...

The author makes Garrett a very strong, very good young man that you like.  But when he finds his sister is hemorrhaging and it's because she's having a miscarriage (at twelve), he loses his good sense and goes for revenge.  When he comes back to his senses, he's in jail, his stepfather is dead, his mother said she did it, and he can't remember!

Years go by before he finally finds out what happened.  And then he has to decide what he's going to do about it.  I found myself wondering what I would have done.  Maybe you will, too.  The story is ugly, but it's real.  These things happen in the real world.

Visit Solstice Publishing and buy a copy for yourself.  This is a disturbing book and it will make you think.  Take my word for it.

Rascal A Dog and His Boy by Ken Wells

Oh, no!  Rascal's boy is stuck on a rotting bridge and Rascal has to find some way to save him.

Alfred A Knopf Books for Young readers sent me a copy of this hardcover for review.  It's currently available in the market and is for ages 8-12.  The illustrator is Christian Slade, and he brings the animals to life as you follow Rascal's tale.

Mr. Wells writes this story from the dog's perspective, and I like it!  He's obviously familiar with animals because their interactions are authentic.

Rascal is part beagle and part blue tick, and loves to hunt.  He's a good natured pup, so he ends up going home with Miss Henrietta to keep the boy she adopted company.  Rascal loves Meely.  He's good company and he takes him out in the bayou hunting.

Rascal still visits his friends at the farm.  And that's a good thing because he is going to need their help to save his boy from bad trouble.

This is a good book for middle school children who love animals or nature.  And the fresh "dog voice" telling the tale is great!  Visit your local bookstore and pick up a copy. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy Keyes can get in more trouble in one day than most people do all month.  And she's doing it all over again...

This is an Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers hardcover (thanks for the review copy) and is now available at your local bookstores.  It's written for ages 10 and up.

I love the character Sammy Keyes.  She's living a non-traditional life, has friends of all sorts, and gets involved in mysteries and adventures that almost unbelievable - but they could be true...

She's in the eighth grade now, and she's still got a crush on Casey.  Of course, his sister Heather is in her class and hates her so it's a bit of a challenge to have a relationship with Casey.  Then she finds out her movie star mother think she's in love with Casey's father.  Oh no, what a disaster!  She doesn't want Casey as a brother!

Grams is her usual lovable self and the story is action packed.  Imagine Sammy wearing a frilly lavender dress with heels?  Me neither.  But her police officer friend is getting married and the other bridesmaid can't be there, so...

She also has this teacher she hates (so does everyone else) who is being harassed.  For some reason they think she is the doing it.  What a mess.

My favorite part of this book was the reference to "foofoo juice".  That was my husband's aunt's word for perfume.  Anyone who put too much on was informed they were wearing too much foofoo juice.  Nice to see someone else use the term and remind me of Aunt Sigrid.

If you like fast moving action with a mystery thrown in, this book will work for you.  I enjoyed the previous book I read about Sammy, too, so check out the others in the series when you visit your favorite bookstore.  Let your young adult enjoy reading a humorous, fun tale with a little danger thrown in.

Gigi in the Big City by Charise Mericle Harper

What a fun book!  This book is interactive and has lots of flaps to lift, wheels to turn, and more. 

This is a Robin Corey Books Novelty Book, and I was provided with a hardcover for review.  You can find this book at your local bookstore right now.  It's 14 pages long and was written for ages 4-8.

If your child is rough with books, you might want to wait a bit to share this one with them, or you may want to read it together to make sure the flaps don't get ripped out.  The book is sturdy, but moving parts always seem to be a bit fragile.

It's more like a game than a book.  You have to search for the flaps - they blend right into the illustrations.  And you can visit the various places she goes by lifting flaps and finding out what's in the Museum Natural History or the Museum of Art, etc.  You also get to help Gigi try on clothes, shoes, and hairstyles - with lots of various combinations that can give her a different look.

If you have a reluctant reader, this would be a good choice for them.  The text is in small "bites", the activities will make an entertaining read, and I know they'll pick it back up and go through it again.  It's the type of book that will have something new each time you read it.

If your child likes lift the flap books, this is a great choice for them.  Visit your local bookstore and pick up a copy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SPOOKTASTIC ARC GIVEAWAY!

No tricks, just treats! 

In conjunction with Little Brown Books for Young Readers, I have three sets of books to giveaway with two or more books in each set.  Giveaway is limited to Canada and the US, and you must have a street address for delivery.

Here are the books offered:

And here are photos of the books:
Grab some books for your young reader and be a hit with a them!

Leave a comment here on the blog and then email me at info @ bookfaerie.com (take the spaces out) with your name and address, which set you want, and why you want it.  I'll picking the winners in about a week, so get your entry in!

Alvin Ho by Lenore Look

Alvin is a typical little boy.  He was born scared, so he carries his PDK (Personal Disaster Kit) with him all the time.  You never know when you might need it!

The subtitle to this book is:  Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects and Other Man-Made Catastrophes.  It is published by Schwartz & Wade Books in hardcover and is currently available in the market.  (Thanks for my review copy!)

Alvin's troubles all start when he goes to school and finds out he has forgotten that they have a field trip planned.  Thank goodness he has his PDK with him.  Then he finds out they are going to the Old Hill Burying Ground.  And, while there, he meets Ralph Waldo Emerson's ghost.  Ugh!  The worst part is that that isn't the only ghost he meets on the trip...

Ms. Look's writing style is perfect for children ages 6-10.  The illustrations by LeUyen Pham make Alvin stand out in your mind and add to the funny story.  Despite himself, Alvin survives his adventures in this book.  Not without a few disasters, though.

I'd recommend this book for young readers or reluctant readers.  Even those who read well will enjoy the antics of Alvin and his friends.  School time has never been so dangerous...

Visit your local bookstore and check it out.  I bet you take home a copy.  There are two earlier Alvin Ho books you might like want to eyeball, too.  Good fun can come in small packages.

The Rivalry by John Feinstein

The Army-Navy Game is always full of fighting spirit, pride, and high achievements, but this time there are other factors involved.  The president is coming to the game...

Subtitle of this book is:  Mystery at the Army-Navy Game.  Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this hardcover for review (thank you).  It's currently in the market and is for ages 10 and up.

This is definitely a good book for boys.  You need a good knowledge of football regulations to follow the game talk in the book.  While the story is fiction, it reads almost like fact and will keep a young man's interest.

Susan Carol and Stevie are teenage reporters who have been invited to help cover the game.  They get introduced to the secret service guards and learn that they are checking out all the players, all the employees, and everybody that has any connection to the stadium they are playing in to ensure the president's safety.

In the meantime, Susan Carol and Stevie are having a run in with the umpires because a Susan Carol wrote an article stating that the umpires made some miscalls in the last game she reported on. 

The day of the game finally arrives.  And then the action really begins!

The main characters remind me a bit of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.  They just find what clues they can and try to make sense out of them.  The story moves along at a good pace and is believable.  I'd recommend this for boys who love football.  They'll "eat it" up.  You can buy a copy now at your local bookstore.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hudson by Janice Weaver

Henry Hudson is not a name I remember from history.  I was aware of the Hudson Bay Company's Fort Vancouver; I've toured it.  And Hudson Bay was named after Henry.  Tundra Books is teaching me history again.

Tundra always does a real nice job of picking good authors and illustrators for their books.  This hardcover picture book is for ages 8-12 and is illustrated by David Craig.  His illustrations are strong and accurately depict the voyages and troubles of Captain Hudson.

Hudson was determined to find a northwest passage to China.  That would decrease shipping route time and increase the revenue of the merchants who sold spices from the Orient.  He was the grandson of a trader, and got money from that firm to make two exploratory trips - with no luck.  When that money source ran dry, he then sailed under a Dutch flag.

Hudson was not a people person, he was a sailor first-and-foremost.  He expected his sailors to accept harsh weather, hard work, lack of food and whatever else (such as trading with the Native Americans) all in stride and to keep on towards their goal - finding a new waterway to China.  After multiple trips, his crew was growing very testy.  He struggled through the first mutiny, but when they mutinied again, they set him adrift with his son and a few companions in an old rowboat and none of the party was never seen again. 

What he had discovered was named Hudson's Bay (in Canada) and he also explored New York City (in US).

I especially like the little snippets of information added in here and there on the pages giving you more tidbits of facts that add to the basic story.

If you have a young one who needs to make a report on an historical figure, this is very good beginning with more resources listed at the back of the book.

You can find this book at your local bookstore now.  Give the gift of history to young ones.

Draculas by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, F Paul Wilson

This story scared me to death - it's like one of my worst nightmares.  If you like horror stories, you need to get this book.

While four authors were involved in this novel, the story flows seamlessly and there is no overt change of tone.  It's almost as if one person wrote the whole thing.  They must all be on the same wave length because the story is chilling.

The story begins with an old man who is mortally ill.  His household consists of himself and his nurse and a biological anthropologist he has hired.  He's on morphine and is making himself live to accomplish his goal:  acquiring an old skull that has the power to return him to his former days of youth and strength and make him a man again.

But it doesn't change just him...

When they take him to the hospital because he's failing and dying, he suddenly has a spark of life and manages to scratch himself with the skull's impressive teeth.  No one could anticipate what comes next.  He metamorphoses into a creature from hell!

The hospital is on lock down, the people the monster kills come back to life as misshapen as he is and there's no escape.  This is where my nightmare comes to life.  Everyone is running and trying to get away and fend off the creatures but there's nowhere to go...

I'd recommend you don't read this right before you go to bed.  You'll never get to sleep.  Or you'll have dreams.

As this phase of the story ends, you notice that there are a few characters still alive - so there may be a sequel.  If there is and I read it, I'm going to do it in the daylight.

This is a great story for the Halloween season.  Check with your local bookstore to get a copy or it is also available as an ebook.  The author's graciously sent me a copy of the ebook to review.  Go ahead, scare yourself.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Interview with Elise Primavera

I asked Ms. Primavera how hard it is to write a picture book.  I review a lot of them and there is a real talent in doing a good job at it.

Here's her answer:

"Picture books—seems like it should be a breeze to write one of these babies. Come on, there are often only 32 pages to contend with, and then there are all those pictures that take up a lot of room. So, not a lot of words to write—how hard could it be? Turns out pretty hard because that’s just the problem. How do you create a character, and tell a story using few words? That is the challenge of the picture book.

 My latest book THUMB LOVE had a built in conflict—thumb sucking. Right away I knew I needed to get my character to quit her thumb, but how? A 12-Step Program that’s how! This was a great little device to use to get my point across in a way that was simple. It also afforded me a way to use humor. I could make up my own steps based on my own recollection of what it was like to quit my thumb.


I do think the most difficult part of the process in creating a picture book is getting the initial idea. You want to write about something that is fresh and different but you start to think that everything’s been done. The thing is, pretty much everything has been done, but giving it a new slant, is what I try to do. The way I tell a story can make any subject feel new and fresh.


What do I mean by “the way” to tell a story? For instance, if I want to do a story about a monster under a kid’s bed –it’s been done a million times, right? But then I ask myself questions about this monster. Where did he come from? Why this kid’s particular bed? How did he get under the bed? Who is this kid? Is he a timid kid? Or is he a brave kid? Maybe I want to write this with the monster being afraid of the kid. The point is by asking myself these questions I am drawing from my own experiences and the book will reflect what is uniquely me. Asking these questions in the beginning, along with not editing myself too soon, allows me to be as creative as possible."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for the info Ms. Primavera!  You made some very good suggestions on approach in that discussion, I appreciate the time you took to write it up.

Here is a link to her book trailer, and that's also well done.  Check it out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5kU44KMofo

And don't forget there are two more stops on this tour:

October 17th – Picture Book Review http://picturebookreview.com/


October 18th – Mundie Moms http://mundiekids.blogspot.com/
 
And, last but not least, Random House Children's Books is offering three FREE copies of this book to those stateside.  Just email me your name and address and tell me why you'd like to have a copy.  Send it to info @ bookfaerie.com (take out the spaces).  I'd appreciate it if you would leave a comment here on my blog, too.  Best of luck to you in winning a copy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lost Island Smugglers by Max Elliot Anderson

Sam is making friends in the new city his family has moved to, and he even gets to learn how to scuba dive.  But when he sneaks off with them on a rental sailboat, he never expected to get caught in a storm...

This is a Sam Cooper Adventure 1.  Max Elliot Anderson sent me a copy for a review.  I've reviewed Mr. Anderson's work before and I admire it.  He was a reluctant reader as a child, and his goal is to write books that boys will enjoy reading.  They need action, excitement, some danger and a good text flow.  He manages all of that in his books.

There are different family lives for the three boys, and Sam is very happy he has both his parents and they live in the same household and love each other and him.  But playing on a boat just is too much temptation for him and he's afraid they'll say no, so he goes without permission.

As soon as he gets on board, he begins to regret going without advising his parents, but it's too late.  And it could be even later than he thinks when a big storm hits them and they find themselves in the sea...

Young men will enjoy the descriptions of the adventures of Sam and there is a moral message in the story also.  I think this is the best book Mr. Anderson has written so far, and I know he has more planned.  Check out your local bookstores for a copy and watch for the next Sam Copper adventure.

Jake by Audrey Couloumbis

Jake and his Mom are walking to the car after doing some shopping at the mall after Christmas when he turns around to talk to her and finds her missing - where did she go?

Random House Books for Young Readers has published this book in hardcover.  It's written for ages 8-12.  They graciously sent me a copy for review.

Jake is a young man who isn't very taken with sports, but does do Karate with his Mom.  He has gold fish for pets (they don't bother his allergies).  And it's just he and his Mom.  His father died early in his life and he doesn't remember all that much about him.

His mother fell in the icy snow and has broken her leg and must go to the hospital.  It doesn't appear that she will be recovered enough to come home by Christmas day.  So the social worker at the hospital tries to find out who to call to come and get Jake.  All his mother's friends are out of town.  His grandfather is in another city and he doesn't know him.  So their neighbor in the apartment across the hall takes him.

This author knows children.  When they tell Jake that his mother can't see him yet because she's been sedated, he asks what that means.  When the lady says that means she's been put to sleep, he immediately remembers taking an animal to the vet to have it put down and thinks his mother is dead!  Children take every thing literally and Jake was horrified until someone explained that she was only sleeping, not dead.

Jake's Granddad arrives the next day and it's quite an adventure for the two of them to learn about each other and learn to get along.  Plus Granddad has a dog, which scares Jake.  Ms. Couloumbis does an excellent job of showing the various emotions between the two.   The next door neighbor lady is sort of a mediator between the two, but she sides with Jake more than Granddad.

I found it a very entertaining read, and young readers should have lots of fun reading about Jake's adventures, worries, and how he and Granddad work on solving all of them.  The story demonstrates you can still have a family, even if it is a non-traditional one.  All it takes is love and caring.

I'd recommend this book for any child who enjoys reading about families or is experiencing some change in their life or their family.  It's a positive book that will make them feel better about any change they may be dreading.

This book is available in your local bookstores now.  Why not introduce your child to Jake?  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wolf of Tebron by C. S. Lakin

When Joran sees his wife consorting with his neighbor, he orders her out of his house and tells her to go to her family and think about her vows.  She tries to talk to him, but he doesn't listen.  He knows what he saw.  But when she suddenly is missing and just "vanished" on the wagon ride to the other community, he decides he'd better go find out what happened to her.

The subtitle to this book is:  Gates of Heaven Series Book 1.  It is from AMG Publishers under the imprint Living Ink Books.  I got my copy from Net Galley as an ebook for review.  (Thanks to both of you.)  This book was published in trade paperback in June and is currently available at your local bookstore.

Even if the title didn't include Book 1, you'd know that this was just the beginning of an epic journey.  Joran is having nightmares about trying to save his wife, who seems to be held captive by the Moon.  When the little stocky woman who sells goose eggs at the market tells him she can see his dreams, he doubts her.  But when he can no longer function because the dreams overwhelm him, he visits her for advice.  She tells him to travel to the house of the Moon for his answers.  Not quite sure where that is, Joran begins his adventure.

He helps save a wolf right at the beginning of his journey, and they travel together.  He not only visits the Moon, but visits the Sun, too.  And his journey still isn't over.

This is a comprehensive fairy tale with strong characters.  They aren't always right, they have their own internal challenges to conquer, and the route they take is dangerous.  But they maintain their belief it can be accomplished, help each other, manage to overcome the problems they encounter.  Joran even finds he can do something that he abhors doing because he must. 

This book is being marketed for adults, but I believe young adults would enjoy it, too.  The author takes you through a gauntlet of emotions and keeps your attention all the way through.  The feeling you get at the end of book is that the future is hopeful.  I'm sure the next book in the series will have some magic involved, too.

I enjoyed this read.  Why not get a copy and "taste" it yourself?

Jim Who Ran Away From His Nurse and Was Eaten by a Lion

This is a not a story you read to your child before bed...

Alfred A Knopf for Young Readers has published this book, and sent me a copy for review.  The hardcover picture book with pop-ups is lavishly illustrated.  Visit your local bookstore and pick up a copy to check it out.  The lion leaps out of the pages at you!

Mini Grey is an author/illustrator and Hilaire Belloc (1870-1935) wrote this tale originally.  This is not a tame Mother Goose Nursery rhyme.  This is a dark tale of a bad boy.

Jim is bored with his life and manages to actually escape the clutches of his nurse at the zoo.  The rest of his life is certainly exciting, even if it is short.

If your child has a dark sense of humor, this is just the book for them.  It's for ages 3 and up, but I'd be cautious about sharing it with the young ones.  This book could cause nightmares if they are sensitive.  The original Brothers Grimm wrote fairy tales that didn't have happy endings, and this book fits right in.  The pop-ups are fun, and the illustrations are very colorful.  I'm sure children will enjoy it because it's not all saccharine, it's scary.  Take a look and see what you think.  (Be sure to enjoy the lion!)

Vanishing Girl by Shane Peacock

When a wealthy young woman disappears in Hyde Park in broad daylight and the police can't find her, Sherlock begins his hunt...

This hardcover young adult book is published by Tundra Books and is available at your local bookstore now.  Tundra graciously provided me with a copy for my review, thank you.  The boy Sherlock Holmes is on his third case in this book.  The first two books were:  Eye of the Crow and Death in the Air.

I've never really been fond of the adult Sherlock, but the tale of his younger version is really delightful.  The Victorian background is authentic and real.  The characters are strong, full bodied and varied, with quite a few that are a bit odd.  And, of course, Sherlock and the law don't like each other.  After all, the Inspector takes credit for crimes that Sherlock has actually solved.

He also has a personal nemesis, the young man who leads the street boys and is interested in Irene - who would like to be Sherlock's "Watson". 

The dangers portrayed in the book are real and the living conditions are appropriate for the era.  Times were tough for the folks who didn't have money in Victorian times.

Mr. Peacock's stories always flow well and I find myself reading them quickly because I want to know what happens.  I'm sure if you introduce your young adult to the world of Sherlock and his detecting, they will enjoy his adventures and the chances he takes.  All the books in this mystery series are good reading and I'm looking forward to reading the next one.  I'm sure Mr. Peacock isn't through with us yet.  There's lots of "food" for thought in this series.  Check it out at your local bookstore.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Edge Chronicles The Immortals by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Amazing worlds, even stranger creatures, lots of danger, an eclectic group of adventurers, and away you go an adventure that won't let you rest until the end!

This is a David Finkling Books hardcover and came out on sale September 14th.  Random House sent me a copy for review (thank you).   There are some eye-catching illustrations in the book done by Chris Riddell.

This is the final book in the Edge Chronicles.  It's also the first one I've read, and I can see I missed some very good adventures. 

Nate Quarter is a lamplighter in the phraxmines of the Eastern Woods.  He's pretty sure his father was murdered in the mines and that the mine sergeant is after him now.  When his best friend is murdered in front of his eyes, he begins running for his life. 

There is greed, graft, warring factions, and odd animals and plants in the other worlds.  As Nate travels along, he seems to pick up different solitary folks who need a friend.  Nate can use their strength, various talents and help to progress on his journey.

The story is fast-paced, kept me reading longer than I should have one evening (it's 688 pages long), and I love Mr. Riddel's artwork.  He makes the characters come to life right before your eyes.  I found the storyline well thought out, with lots of turns and twists, and very enjoyable to read.  There are some evil people and practices in the different worlds that you might want to discuss with your young ones if it appears to bother them.  (It may not, but my imagination made them seem ugly.) The story ends well and has some magical elements.  I was pleased with how they how handled it.

They say this is the end of this series, but it's not the end of the story.  Nate and the Professor are going over the edge for more adventures and I expect there may be another series.  If so, I will be reading them.  This type of adventure is fun and great for your imagination.  

It's suggested reading ages are 10-12, but it would work for older readers, too.  After all, I liked it.  Visit your local bookstore and pick up a copy.  I'm sure if you have read the earlier books in the series, you're primed for this one - get a copy! 

Gunner Hurricane Horse by Judy Andrekson

Imagine a horse lost and alone during Hurricane Katrina; that's what happened to Gunner.

This is a young adults trade paperback published by Tundra Books, who sent me a copy for review.  It is non-fiction and currently available at your local bookstores.

When Heather first saw the little Paint, she wondered why her husband had bothered bringing him home.  When he bit her on the butt, she decided she really didn't like him!  But even if she didn't like him, he sure liked her.

With time, he was trained to be a show horse and she began to love him.  Then came Katrina...

This amazing true story will pull at your heart strings for more than one reason.  Not only is the horse missing, the family is separated and their home has been destroyed.

The author does a good job of making you feel like you're "there" and it lets young readers feel the effects of a hurricane as well as the worries and heartache of the people experiencing it.  It's a good history lesson.

If your child enjoys horses (you'll learn about the Paint breed in the story, too) or adventure, this book should intrigue him/her.  I'd suggest it for ages 6-8.  Check it out at your local bookstore.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crying Blood by Donis Casey

When Shaw and his brother take their sons hunting in a long forgotten woods, he never expected his bird dog to bring him back an old boot.  Especially not one that still had bones in it!

Poisoned Press has published this book in hardcover, trade paperback and large print, and it is available at your local bookstore now.  I got my ebook for review from Net Galley (thank you).

The story is set in the early 1900s and the author does a very good job of depicting the daily activities of a family when you grew your own food and harvested it and cured it, too.  The historical context makes the story interesting in its own right, and the mystery just adds some spice to the mixture.

While Shawn and his family camp for the night (it's too late to go after the local sheriff), he sees ghostly feet go through camp.  Was it real or was he seeing things?  He decides to let the sheriff do his job and not worry about it.

After they have slaughtered their pigs and let them hang overnight, he finds that someone has helped themselves to a choice cut of his pigs.  He knows then the moccasins he saw that night are most likely real.

The plot is multi-faceted.  There are several side plots that don't directly impact the first murder, but they do explain why and how it happened.

I found this a good mystery because the time in history is accurately represented and the plot is complex.  Get yourself a copy and see what you think.

Elise Primavera Blog Tour

There is a Blog Tour set up for Elise Primavera and her new book, Thumb Love, which is being hitting bookstore shelves on October 12th. 

Here's the Blog Tour Schedule:

October 11th – Booking Mama http://bookingmama.blogspot.com/
October 12th – Through the Looking Glass http://lookingglassreview.blogspot.com/
October 13th – Random Acts of Reading http://randomactsofreading.wordpress.com/
October 14th – Two Writing Teachers http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com
October 15th – Where the Best Books Are http://wherethebestbooksare.blogspot.com
October 16th – The Book Faerie http://www.bkfaerie.blogspot.com
October 17th – Picture Book Review http://picturebookreview.com/
October 18th – Mundie Moms http://mundiekids.blogspot.com/

When Elise visits my blog, she will be answering some questions I asked her about writing children's picture books.  It's not as easy as it looks...

Here's the book trailer to tempt you even further:  Thumb Love

Each tour stop will be a bit different, check them out and see how each of us handle the author visits!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Winter Shadows by Margaret Buffie

When Cass accidentally finds a star brooch that must have been lost for years, she decides to wear it.  That connection with her relative five generations ago allows her to have visions of a time past and shows her a personal diary...

This a hardcover young adult novel published by Tundra Books (who graciously sent me a copy to review).  Tundra does a lot with Canadian history for children and this book illustrates the type of author they choose and how well they do the job of bringing history alive.

Beatrice is a teen in the winter of 1856, and her father's new wife is driving a wedge between the child and her father.  Her mother was Cree, and Ivy doesn't want anything that belonged to her left in the cabin.

Ms. Buffie does an excellent job of showing how tough life was back in the late 1800's.  Living in the frontier wasn't easy for any of them, and being female meant she had few choices in how her life will proceed.  

Cass' father also has a new wife, and she's not any more understanding than Ivy was about old mementos from "mom".  When Cass finds and reads the diary, she realizes she is not alone, someone else has walked the path she now walking.

I found the story line intriguing.  It's like two different novels are being merged into one using the diary as a vehicle.  There's a special ending to both stories and I won't give away what happens.  This book is available at your local bookstore now.  Get yourself a copy and read this charming tale of two young women coming of age.  You won't be disappointed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Butt Book by Artie Bennett

Here's a book with an uncommon subject matter:  butts.  How many books have you read that celebrated butts?  This is my first one, too.

This children's picture book is published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books and the author provided me with a copy for review.  It has been published and is available at your local bookstore.

What intrigued me about this book was the idea it was about "butts" and done in a humorous manner for children.  Mike Lester is the illustrator, and his pictures make the silly subject matter come to life.  Mr. Bennett is very good at rhyming "punny" humor and creating a story that children will enjoy reading.  He even introduces some foreign countries terms for them.  In England, they call them "bums".

He also ventures into the world of animals and shows where their butts are located.  He  points out one animal who does NOT have a butt.  You'll have to read the book to find out which one...

This would be best for children between 4-6.  They will find reading about butts is fun, they'll laugh at the illustrations and they'll have fun learning to how to pronounce some new words.  After all, it's reading about a body part you don't talk about much, how could it not be fun for them?

Visit your local bookstore and take a look at the luscious illustrations and check out Mr. Bennett's prose.  I'm sure you'll agree it's a winning combination. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Want to be the Mayor of Seussville?

Be the Mayor of Seussville!


RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN’S BOOKS LAUNCHES A SEUSS-THEMED PROMOTIONAL GAME ON FACEBOOK® PLATFORM TO CELEBRATE THE ALL-NEW SEUSSVILLE.COM

Earn the most votes to win by Election Day, November 2nd!

 
(October 7, 2010, New York, NY)—On the heels of the August 2010 launch of the all-new Seussville (www.seussville.com), the official online home of Dr. Seuss, Random House Children’s Books announced today “Mayor of Seussville”, a new Facebook game for Seuss fans of all ages. Just in time for the election season, the game kicks off today and will run until Election Day, November 2nd. In the game, players will be challenged to run a campaign by creating slogans, selecting cabinet members, and completing tasks in a race to win as many votes as possible. Join the race now! http://apps.facebook.com/mayor-of-seussville The winner will be announced on Seussville.com.


Do you have what it takes to be the next Mayor of Seussville? Similar to other popular social games on Facebook Platform, the game will allow players to accumulate votes by completing a variety of Seuss-themed activities for Dr. Seuss’s most beloved characters in pursuit of becoming the Mayor of Seussville. Players will create their own Seussian cabinet to perform the tasks with and will compete with contestants worldwide. The player with the most votes gained by Election Day will earn the official title of Mayor of Seussville and their picture will be featured on Seussville.com.


Random House Children’s Books collaborated with Big Bad Tomato Interactive Agency, based in Los Angeles, to develop Seussville.com in addition to the new Facebook game.


Seussville—the official home of Dr. Seuss on the Web—is the place for children of all ages to play and learn with Dr. Seuss’s wonderfully whimsical books and classic characters. The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and all of the Dr. Seuss books leap to life through interactive games and activities that will enrich each child’s reading experience.


Dr. Seuss believed that books and learning to read should be fun and exciting for children. The site maintains this spirit of fun and honors the tenets of his work: discovery, imagination, and creativity. Visitors will explore the lush animated environments as they uncover a wealth of games and information, including a comprehensive Dr. Seuss character guide, a searchable Dr. Seuss book catalog, biographical information, educator resources, parent tips, and more.


ABOUT RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN’S BOOKS


Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English-language children's trade book publisher. Creating books for preschool children through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books and novels, Random House Children’s Books brings together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. In 1957, Random House pioneered the beginning reader genre when it launched the Beginner Books series with Dr. Seuss’s classic The Cat in the Hat. Each year, Random House Children’s Books, along with Dr. Seuss, proudly supports the National Education Association’s Read Across America initiative, which calls on America’s children to celebrate the joys of reading in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent
company is Bertelsmann AG, a leading international media company.


ABOUT DR. SEUSS ENTERPRISES, L.P.


The primary focus of the Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. is to protect the integrity of the Dr. Seuss books while expanding beyond books into ancillary areas. This effort is a strategic part of the overall mission to nurture and protect the relationship consumers have with Dr. Seuss characters. Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) said he never wanted to license his characters to anyone who would “round out the edges.” That is one of the guiding philosophies of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Audrey S. Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, heads Dr. Seuss Enterprises as President.


ABOUT BIG BAD TOMATO


Big Bad Tomato is an award winning interactive creative agency specializing in the development of mixed-medium, multi-platform interactive experiences for the entertainment, education, and consumer product industries. Big Bad Tomato’s mission is to drive new media innovation through creativity using technology to engage audiences in new, fun and creative ways. Big Bad Tomato is a ‘full service’ development company supporting concept, design, build and marketing for entertainment sites, online learning destinations, mobile applications, social media, viral promotions, and ecommerce solutions. Big Bad Tomato maintains locations in Los Angeles, California and Manila, Philippines (www.bigbadtomato.com).


Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

MEDIA CONTACT
Dominique Cimina, Random House Children’s Books
dcimina@randomhouse.com / 212-782-9314

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Missing Mabel by Nancy Mehl

Hilde has an interesting job:  she works as a hairdresser for mortuaries and make their clients look nice for viewing.  But what do you do when you realize the person on the table is NOT the person it's supposed to be?

Barbour Books has published this book under its imprint, Hometown Mysteries.  I was lucky enough to download an ebook from Net Galley to do the review.  These books have a Christian theme, but it's not overwhelming and goes well with the tale.

Ms. Mehl had my attention right from the beginning with this premise for her story.  It gets even worse for Hilde when she tries to tell the mortician about it.  He checks, finds no problem with identification and then accuses her of stealing the lady's diamond ring.  It looks pretty damning when it's found in her purse.

It's a good solid mystery with a variety of unusual characters, just like life has.  Hilde and her Mom have a conflict.  Hilde is worried about losing her job, and nobody seems to care where Mabel's body might have gone.  So Hilde has to work on solving the mystery herself.  And she's not the best equipped for this kind of work.

The ending surprised me a bit.  I generally get an idea of who the murderer is, but this time I was clueless.  So it made it even more fun to read.

This is a nice cozy mystery that would be great fun to read by the fire or in your reading chair.  It's available in trade paperback.  Why not check with your local store and get yourself a copy for your reading enjoyment?  Happy reading!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner

Goldie has never done anything by herself.  She wears a silver guard chain and has to obey the Blessed Guardians.  She's never even been on the street by herself.  So why has she run away?

This ARC was provided to me by Delacourte Press.  The book has been published in hardcover and ebook form.  It is currently available at  your local bookstore.

This is a fascinating tale of a tightly controlled society that has two warring siblings trying to control it.  It's the traditional good versus evil story with magic, fantasy creatures, a museum that straddles more than one world and expands by will, and two young children who have to play important parts in the quest to save the people they love and stop the evil brother.

The story line is strong, there is action on every page, and young readers will love the adventures Goldie and Toadspit go on.  The author has a good imagination, but writes the story so smoothly it's easy to believe it as you're reading about the creatures.

I could easily empathize with Goldie, who had never been everywhere alone.  I went from a Catholic parochial school to a public high school and felt like I'd be set adrift in another world.  Goldie has the same problem.  But she's a strong character and meets her challenges, even if means thieving a bit.

Children ages 12+ should really enjoy this action/adventure/fantasy story.  Get yourself a copy at your local bookstore.  Or, if you'd like my ARC, here's what you need to do to enter the contest:

1)  Leave a comment here on my blog;

2) Send me an email at info @ bookfaerie.com (take the spaces out) with your name and address and why you would like to read this book or give it for a gift.

I'll pick a winner in about a week.  Happy reading!