Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett J Krosoczka

This review and giveaway is part of a blog tour sponsored by Random House Children's Books.

This is book four of this series and my first chance to read Mr. Krosoczka's stories. I'm glad I got to participate - it's a fun read!

The story is written in graphic form (resembles the comic book form) and by the time you get to the third page, you know there's going to be excitement at camp. The older boys are threatening the younger ones with the swamp monster. Which can't be true, can it?

Imagine their surprise when they get off the bus and find their lunch lady from school at the camp. What's she doing there???

In time, they will be glad she and her assistant are there. They use wacky kitchen items to do their undercover work and fight off the enemy. Children will laugh at the silly antics going on in the story.

This book is great for those in middle school who like adventure and like to laugh. Doing the story in graphic art form is another plus for this book.

The next stop on this blog is tour is

Mr. Krosoczka will be dropping by my blog on 30th of June to answer any questions posted as comments. I'll be posting a few here, feel free to ask your own questions. This is your chance to chat with an author!

If you would like to have my ARC of this book, follow the steps below:
1) Leave a comment here on the blog.
2) Email me at info @ (take the spaces out of the email address) telling me why you want to read and give me your name and address for shipping.

I will pick a winner in about a week.

Questions for the author from the Book Faerie:

1) Have you always done graphic art or is this a new medium for you?

2) What gave you the idea of using the Lunch Lady as an action hero?

3) Have you ever been to summer camp?

Thanks for visiting my blog and don't forget that the blog tour is continuing for this book. The link above takes you to the next blog review and questions.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lady Lost by Margaret Graziano

Subtitle: The Story of the Honeymoon Cottage in Jerome, Arizona. Copy for review graciously provided by Five Star Publications.

Have you ever remodelled a house? Imagine trying to rehabilitate a house that has been remodelled, rented, added on to, and then abandoned for a number of years...

Jerome was a mining town and in its prime, the mine owner built a "cottage" for his son and his new wife. It was a beautiful home, but they didn't live there long.

When the mine closed down, Jerome became a ghost town. The cottage (which was actually a good sized house)had a variety of owners, all with their own idea of what was in fashion and what they needed in a house. So the cottage's face changed with time. And then, years down the road, it was left vacant and alone...

Margaret brings the cottage to life in her story about restoring the cottage. She gives the "lady" a voice and let's her discuss the changes she sees. The lady shares her sorrow at being in such bad shape, and then her joy as she sees her former grandeur returning.

You meet the contractors and see the challenges they have in finding old building supplies to keep the cottage's integrity.

This is a fascinating read full of Jerome history, pictures of the cottage, and the story of the restoration. I recommend it.

If you'd like to have my copy of this book, follow this two guidelines:

1) Post a comment here on the blog.

2) Email me at info @ (take the spaces out) and tell me your name and address and why you would like to read this book.

I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Love and Pollywogs from Camp Calamity by Mary Hershey

Did you have summer camp adventures? Then you'll love reading about Effie, a fourth grader, going to her first year of camp!

Effie's a typical kid. Has an older sister who bosses her around, her group of very good friends, and one girl that just doesn't like her. She's excited to be going to camp and has big plans on how it will all work out and how she'll be the Outstanding Camper of the Week. But she never planned on "altitude sickness" - other referred to as "homesickness" by the camp counselors.

Her plans begin to go awry when her big sister Maxey comes to camp, too. She has sworn she won't talk to Effie, and she doesn't. But having her around is no fun.

Then the mac & cheese comes with peas in it! And when it's time to swim everyone can except Effie so she says she can.

Can it get worse - oh yes!

There is a lot of action, funny moments, good lessons, and this week at camp is quite a journey for Effie. Children from 9-12 will enjoy reading about her adventures.

Random House has released this for sale on the 8th of June, so look for a copy to share with your youngsters. It's a good read!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

This promotion will be a bit different. The author, Suzanne Selfors, will drop by tomorrow and answer any questions she receives about her book. She's doing a blog tour. Read my review and if you have anything you'd like to ask her about, post your question here on the blog. She'll answer them tomorrow!

Imagine a dog that can't smell - how strange is that???

Homer Pudding is a boy without a place in a life. He has a good family, but he's a bit overweight and not exceptionally smart, and he just doesn't seem to fit in life on a goat farm. He's got chores, but no fun. So he admires his Uncle Drake who travels all over searching for treasure. It's not so much the treasure he wants, but the adventures would be great!

Then his uncle vanishes in a totally mysterious way, which Homer just can't understand. And he inherits Drake's most treasured possession. Which happens to be a bassett hound with real sad eyes...

His Dad doesn't like the dog, he raises purebreds to help on the farm and this dog is no good for that. The dog howls if he can't hang out with Homer. And he eats things he shouldn't because he can't smell anything.

Homer's life is getting worse and worse. And then he finds a coin hidden on the dog's collar and thinks it may be a clue to what happened to his uncle and where the treasure might be buried. But can he find out by himself with an almost worthless dog?

If you'd like to read about Homer and his adventures, I'm giving my review copy of this book from Little Brown Kids away. Just follow these directions:

1) Leave a comment here on the blog.
2) Send me an email at info @ (take out the spaces) with your name and address and why you would like to read the book. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

My questions for Suzanne:

Did turtles come into the story because you live on an island in Washington State?

Have you always had an active imagination?

If you have questions, leave them as comments here on the blog!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Legends in the Kitchen by Mrs. Howard Keel and Linda F Radke

This amazing cookbook is a Five Star Publication and was sent to me review.

You'll be surprised to find some of the stars who contributed to this cookbook. It includes Burt Reynolds, Betty Ford, Larry Hagman, Betty White and Dick Clark and many more!

This cookbook includes many unique recipes as well as some old stand bys with a different twist. For example, beef stew with walnuts from Betty Ford. There are a few recipes from the Gunsmoke characters, too.

My favorites were Wrangler Corn Puddin' by Morgan Woodward, Milburn Stone's Bean Soup, Marlowe's LowCholesterol Lemon Cakes by James Garner and Banana Bread by Linda Purl. But there are many more nummy recipes to tantalize your taste buds in this cookbook.

I'm going to give away my copy of this book so if you'd like to win it, here are the steps for you:

1) Leave a comment here on the blog.
2) Send me an email at info @ (take out the spaces) with your name and address for shipping and tell me why you'd like to win.

I'll choose a winner in about a week.
Happy cooking!

Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash by Wendelin Van Draanen

This is a Random House Yearling Book written by the Edgar Award-Winning Author, Wendelin Van Draanen. This is the 11th book in the Sammy Keyes series.

Sammy is a little girl who lives in an adult only apartment complex. She has figured out methods to sneak in and out of the building and tells the doorman she's there to work for some of the women who live in the building.

While she's sneaking about to go in her secret way, she runs into someone coming out of the building - and can't understand why he doesn't see her. But when he has an attack, falls down the stairs and can't hardly breath, she tries to help him. He hands her money he was carrying and tells her to throw it away. She complies and then races into the building to get to the phone to call for help. Unfortunately, there's no help for him and he dies.

But that money? It's still out there behind the bushes. And since Sammy lives with her grandmother and they never have much money, it's a big temptation to her. I mean, who's going to miss it? And why waste it?

The book is plotted well, you sympathize with the characters, and you know her troubles are just beginning when she spends the first $100 of the group she's hoarding.

If you want to find out where the money came from and who is looking for it, and how much trouble Sammy gets in, be sure to grab yourself a copy.

Based on how much fun this book was to read, I'm going to watch for other books in the series. This one was a great read!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol

This edition was published by Tundra Books, and they kindly sent me a copy for review. It's an oversized book that has been bound and decorated in a lovely manner, a very collectible edition.

The outstanding feature of this edition (besides the binding) are the illustrations by Oleg Lipchenko.

This classic tale has been standing alone for years and is a favorite with many people, but Oleg's illustrations bring the story to life. You can watch the progress of the story by "reading" the illustrations on the pages before you read the text. It's delightful!

I had never actually read the story (saw the movie years ago) and I'm very glad this elegant copy was my first "read".

If you have an Alice fan in your household or you just want to give a someone a lovely collectible gift, this is the book for you. It's a wonderful tale with magical pictures to keep you turning the pages.

I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Deliver Us From Evil - David Baldacci

This book is scary. David Baldacci has a very active imagination and writes a fast paced thrill-a-minute book in most instances, but this one is outstanding.

The "monster" in this book is a man, but a man who loves power and enjoys killing people. He's changed his identity and is a very prosperous business owner now, but he hasn't changed his habits.

Shaw is going after him because he's now playing with nuclear power. But he's not the only one pursuing him! Reggie Campion, a member of secret vigilante group wants him dead for his past crimes.

Shaw and Reggie eventually realize they are going after the same man, and neither one of them is happy about it. They each have their own agenda and they both high achievers. However, sometimes you have to compromise. But are they really compromising?

As you close out the story and get into the last few chapters, you just keep reading and don't want to be interrupted. You know something bad is going to happen and you hope the good guys win. But the bad guys have all the weapons. And they have dogs on the trail...

You won't be bored if you read this one!

Grand Central provided me with this copy for review. Go get yourself a copy and read this one, because I can tell there will a sequel for follow up soon...

I Came as a Stranger by Bryan Prince

Subtitle: The Underground Railroad. This book was provided courtesy of Tundra Books.

This is a non-fictional account of those who were slaves and escaped to Canada for freedom that touches your heart.

There are factual accounts of how the slaves were treated, how they were viewed as chattel, and how desperate they were to have lives of their own and a place to call their own.

The book is filled with photographs, articles, and other historical documents.

It's a heart-rending part of history, but it's our history.

There are pictures of the various locations used for the underground railroad as well as a guide to where they are located. Several of them are museums at this point in time.

I'm sure if I visited these homes, I'd feel the ghosts from the past. Just like I did when I visited Gettysburg.

This is a very good resource for young adults that will give them a chance to live history all over again.

I highly recommend it.

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weird

Junior edition. By David Borgenicht and Justin Heimberg and illustrated by Check Gonzales.

This is a fun read filled with fact and fiction for young adults. It has folklore,history and science information in a format that is fun to read and learn. And there are enough silly items in it to keep the child reading the real facts, too.

Chapter 1 covers Aliens and Other Outer Space Oddities. Such as how to survive an alien abduction.

Chapter 2 covers Monsters, Mummies, and More. Such as how to win a zombie showdown.

Chapter 3 covers Hauntings and Other Mysteries. Such as how to investigate a crop circle.

Chapter 4 covers Time Travel. Such as how to survive in prehistoric times.

Chapter 5 covers Magic and Myths. (My favorite!) Such as how to be a sorcerer's apprentice.

It's written a bit tongue in cheek, but it's very readable, the illustrations are a bit corny (and fit the book well) and your child should laugh as well as learn while reading it. Good fun for all.

And, if my examples didn't excite you, there's also a discussion of how to tame and train a dragon...

I can easily recommend this book for those who don't like reading much, but can enjoy fast facts and fun.

Eeny Up Above! Jane Yolen, Kathryn Brown (Illustrated by)

Eeny is a mole.  Her sisters are very happy in their home but Eeny is more adventuress.  She goes up and samples all of the seasons of the y...