Friday, March 30, 2018

Shen of the Sea

Shen of the Sea: Chinese Stories for ChildrenGoodreads Synopsis:    A series of fascinating Chinese stories, strong in humor and rich in Chinese wisdom, in which the author has caught admirably the spirit of Chinese life and thought.

My Thoughts:

-    The first Newbery committee must have loved folk tales, because this is the second one I've read, and I'm trying to read them in order.

-    Some of these stories were okay, but most of them were eh. 

-    I don't think middle grade readers would enjoy this.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Raid of No Return

Raid of No Return (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, #7)Goodreads Synopsis:    A top secret mission needs volunteers.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States joined World War II. And soon after that, young pilots were recruited fro a very secret - and very dangerous - raid on Japan. No one in the armed forced had done anything like this raid before, and none of the volunteers expected to escape with their lives. But this was a war unlike any other before, which called for creative thinking as well as bravery. 

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales are graphic novels that tell the thrilling, shocking, gruesome, and TRUE stories of American history. Read them all - if you dare!

My Thoughts:

-    I'm a Hazardous Tales fan, and this is now one of my favorites in the series. 

-    The story and characters were a little more serious, and I really appreciated that. I enjoy the silliness, but it can get too silly sometimes. 

-    I didn't know about this mission to Japan. I really enjoy learning new things about history, and I like that Nathan Hale tells history in fun ways. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


GeekerellaGoodreads Synopsis:    Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad's old costume, Elle's determined to win - unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons - before he was famous. Now they're nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake - until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

My Thoughts:

-    I didn't think I would love this book as much as I did. It was so fun!

-    The story is Cinderella meets You've Got Mail at a convention! It was awesome!! I loved all the Comic Con type stuff. 

-    I really liked Elle. I connected with her on so many levels. I loved the moment at the convention where she felt like she was somewhere she really belonged. She was among fans! I get that way every time I go to Comic Con. Geeks unite!!

-    I liked all the little connections to Cinderella. I liked that the prince wasn't a real prince, but a prince from her fandom. I liked that the food truck was called The Magic Pumpkin, ha! I like that her dress was a cosplay. All the little things were just so great.

-    I really liked that Elle found a friend, and I like that her friend was kind of a loner with green hair. I also love that Elle shared Starfield with her.

-    This was such a fun read! It is something I know I'll need to pick up and read over and over again.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Settings

Created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in Jan 2018

Top Ten Books That Take Place in Another Country

It didn't specify real or fictional places, but I'm going to stick with places that actually exist.

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) The Book Thief
David Copperfield Emma
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) Les Misérables
Between Shades of Gray What Alice Forgot
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)

Monday, March 26, 2018


Defiance (Defiance, #1)From Goodreads:    Defiance by C. J. Redwine is rich postapocalyptic YA fantasy perfect for fans of Graceling and Tamora Pierce.

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

My Thoughts:

-    This book was one crazy adventure. Yeesh! The author packed so much into this one book.

-    Terrible things kept happening to the main characters. I felt so bad for them. 

-    I kinda got tired of Logan getting the crap beat out of him though. I really don't think he would have been able to climb trees and fight off people when he had a broken rib and other severe injuries.

-    I got tired of Logan and Rachel ogling each other. Ugh! Just kiss and get if over with!

-    I can't decided if I like the characters or not. The story is really good, but the characters are eh.

Friday, March 23, 2018


PashminaGoodreads Synopsis:    Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she's ever dared and find the family she never knew.

In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a fun and poignant little graphic novel. 

-    I didn't connect with the story as much as I wanted to, but I still enjoyed it.

-    I enjoyed learning a little more about Indian culture. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Anne of Green Gables Read Along: Discussion Part 2

Woo! We've finished chapter 26!

Twitter chat tonight at 7:00 MDT.
Our next discussion will be on Jenni's blog on March 31.

1. Anne has a gift for loving nature in all its forms, she even gives them delightful names. Do you find yourself appreciating nature more as you read this?

I do, whenever I read this I notice trees more, and I appreciate being outside more.

Related image2. We have finally met Gilbert! What do you think of him? Do you think Anne is justified in hating him so much?

I LOVE Gilbert! He was my first literature crush. I wish Anne didn't hold her grudge for so long, but I do love the academic competition they have going.

3. Anne's imagination finally got the better of her in the Haunted Wood. Do you think she learned anything from that experience? Do you think she'll tone down the imagination a bit?

Despite Anne scaring herself silly, I think she probably enjoyed the whole experience. She is such a romantic, and being a damsel in distress in haunted wood is probably exciting to her.

Image result for Anne of Green Gables gif4. What do you think of Diana and the other school girls? Do you think Anne chose wisely for her bosom friend?

I'm really happy that Anne found a friend, and that she didn't have to have made up friends anymore. I think it would have been easy for Anne to become a friend to a jerk too, so I'm glad she found Diana. I hate Josie Pie and some of those other girls, but at least all of them aren't mean.

5. I've always dreamed of visiting Prince Edward Island some day. Do you want to visit there also? What other real life literature places do you want to visit?

Prince Edward Island is on the top of the list for literature places to visit. I've heard it is just as beautiful as Anne describes. I would also love to visit London.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Dark Frigate

904372From Goodreads:    In seventeenth century England, a terrible accident forces orphaned Philip Marsham to flee London in fear for his life. Bred to the sea, he signs on with the "Rose of Devon," a dark frigate bound for the quiet shores of Newfoundland.

Philip's bold spirit and knowledge of the sea soon win him his captain's regard. But when the "Rose of Devon" is seized in midocean by a devious group of men plucked from a floating wreck, Philip is forced to accompany these "gentlemen of fortune" on their murderous expeditions. Like it or not, Philip Marsham is now a pirate--with only the hangman awaiting his return to England.

With its bloody battles, brutal buccaneers, and bold, spirited hero, this rousing tale will enthrall young listeners in search of seafaring adventure.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a fun pirate adventure. There should be more pirate books out there. 

-    The book is older, so the writing was harder to read. It was a little slow and a little boring at times.

-    I liked Philip a lot. He reminded me of Jim Hawkins.

-    Hooray for one more Newbery winner read!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in Jan 2018

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

I love easy prompts like this.

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) Lost Stars
Acid The Trumpeter of Krakow
Twilight Company (Star Wars: Battlefront, #1) Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve, #2)
All's Faire in Middle School Patient Zero (Joe Ledger, #1)
Check Me Out The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, #1)

Monday, March 19, 2018


Image result for Wonder Poster

My Thoughts:

-    In the book, I imagined Auggie's face looking much worse than it did in the movie. I suppose they didn't want to scare kids too much though.

-    I liked the cast. Everyone was good. Jack and Auggie were SO cute!

-    I liked that Via's boyfriend got a HUGE upgrade. He was kinda dumb in the book, and I like the movie boy better.

-    I thought this was a really great adaptation of the book. The book is more powerful, and I liked it better, but the movie was really good. It captured the essence of the story and the same feelings. 

-    I love that this story is for anyone and everyone. The message is a timeless one.

Friday, March 16, 2018


20758044Goodreads Synopsis:    He’s the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly . . . and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion.

Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. Under Tarkin’s guidance, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel—by intimidation or annihilation.

Until then, however, insurgency remains a genuine threat. Escalating guerrilla attacks by resistance forces and newfound evidence of a growing Separatist conspiracy are an immediate danger the Empire must meet with swift and brutal action. And to bring down a band of elusive freedom fighters, the Emperor turns to his most formidable agents: Darth Vader, the fearsome new Sith enforcer as remorseless as he is mysterious, and Tarkin—whose tactical cunning and cold-blooded efficiency will pave the way for the Empire’s supremacy . . . and its enemies’ extinction.

My Thoughts:

-    Both Star Wars books by James Luceno have been pretty boring. I hope he doesn't write any more in the Star Wars universe. It takes a lot of talent to make a space battle boring.

-    I enjoyed getting to know Tarkin. He is one evil dude! His whole family is messed up.

-    I also liked the Tarkin, Emperor, and Vader dynamic. I didn't know Palpatine orchestrated Darth Vader and Tarkin working together, and that he always knew they were instrumental in his plans.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Princess in Black

20708771From Goodreads:    Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

My Thoughts:

-    Gnome and I both thought this book was just eh. It was a little too fluffy for Gnome. 

-    I feel like the author accomplished the opposite of what she wanted. Why don't princesses wear black? Can I get an explanation? Lots of princesses wear black. 

-    The illustrations were really cute.

-    Luckily this was short, so it went by quickly. We won't be continuing the series.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lords of the Sith

22012290When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely on each other, the Force, and their own ruthlessness to prevail. 
"It appears things are as you suspected, Lord Vader. We are indeed hunted. " 

Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, is just a memory. Darth Vader, newly anointed Sith Lord, is ascendant. The Emperor's chosen apprentice has swiftly proven his loyalty to the dark side. Still, the history of the Sith Order is one of duplicity, betrayal, and acolytes violently usurping their Masters and the truest measure of Vader s allegiance has yet to be taken. Until now. 

On Ryloth, a planet crucial to the growing Empire as a source of slave labor and the narcotic known as spice, an aggressive resistance movement has arisen, led by Cham Syndulla, an idealistic freedom fighter, and Isval, a vengeful former slave. But Emperor Palpatine means to control the embattled world and its precious resources by political power or firepower and he will be neither intimidated nor denied. Accompanied by his merciless disciple, Darth Vader, he sets out on a rare personal mission to ensure his will is done. 

For Syndulla and Isval, it s the opportunity to strike at the very heart of the ruthless dictatorship sweeping the galaxy. And for the Emperor and Darth Vader, Ryloth becomes more than just a matter of putting down an insurrection: When an ambush sends them crashing to the planet s surface, where inhospitable terrain and an army of resistance fighters await them, they will find their relationship tested as never before. With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force, and each other to depend on, the two Sith must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries. 

My Thoughts:

-    This one was interesting, but a little slow, and I don't think it added anything to the overall Star Wars story/timeline.

-    I liked seeing the conflict in Darth Vader. Even from the beginning, he was torn between the light and dark. 

-    Most of the book is one giant battle, and I wish the story had been broken up more with different events.

-    I liked being introduced to Cham Syndulla, I've heard his daughter is a pretty significant character later on. 

-    Isval was an interesting character. I wish we had gotten more of her back story. I really liked when she saved the slave girl. 

-    Overall, this wasn't an essential read, and I'd probably advise people to skip it. It wasn't the best Star Wars book, but it wasn't the worst either. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me

Created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in Jan 2018

Top Ten Books That Surprised Me

I'm going to go with both good and bad.

In a Good Way
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Still Alice My Father's Dragon (My Father's Dragon, #1)

In a Bad/Disappointing Way
How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon, #1) Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1)
Dark Matter Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)
The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1) Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Anne of Green Gables Read Along: Discussion Post Chapters 1-13

Sorry that my post was a day late! I'm the slacker host!

Related image1. In chapter 2, when Matthew is driving Anne back to Green Gables, she asks him: “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive.” Given her tragic childhood, how do you think Anne is able to maintain such a positive attitude?

I think Anne has a very optimistic nature, and she finds the good in everything. She also has a very vivid imagination, and it has made bleak things into beautiful things.

2. Anne is insistent on renaming places and inanimate things.  Why do you think she does this? 

Related image
Why not? Anne has a deep appreciation for nature and anything she deems lovely. She hasn't had anything special of her own, and she hasn't had any friends or people that truly love her. By giving things names, she is making her own friends.

3. Marilla gives several reasons for finally deciding to keep Anne. What reason do you think most changed her mind? 

Deep down Marilla is a softy, and I believe that Anne really grows on her. I think Matthew and Marilla enjoy the spark that Anne brings to their home.

4. If Anne grew up today, would she have been happier with how she looked? What would she have pined for, looks- and fashion-wise? What is our society's equivalent of plumpness, dark hair, and puffed sleeves? 

No matter the time period, I think Anne would still hate her red hair. Everyone's fashion is so different and diverse. It is hard to say what she would have liked. 

5. How would Anne have turned out if Marilla had let Mrs. Blewett take her? Would that life have crushed Anne's imaginative spirit, or would she have changed in a different way?

I don't think Mrs. Blewett would have kept her very long. Anne probably would have kept on going like she has been. She would have found a friend in a mirror or window and imagined she was in a different place.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Kid Presidents

Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America's PresidentsGoodreads Says:    The kids who grew up to be president were like a lot of other children. Some struggled with schoolwork and got into fights; others pranked their teachers and infuriated their parents. William Howard Taft was forced to take dance lessons. Gerald Ford struggled with dyslexia. Teddy Roosevelt had a bedroom "museum" full of dead animals. "Kid Presidents" features 20 captivating true stories from the childhoods of American presidents, complete with lively text and more than 200 cartoon illustrations. Laugh-out-loud funny and packed with cool facts, it's the perfect read for all young future leaders of the free world.

My Thoughts:

-    I read this for President's Day, and it was really fun.

-    I loved the opening of the book. They made fun of the Washington and the cherry tree fable. It was SO funny.

-    I enjoyed learning something new about each of our presidents. The book covers everyone up to Obama. 

-    It was weird to think of these men as little kids, but it was also enlightening to see where they came from and what it is like to be a kid in their time. 

-    The illustrations were really great and fun. I loved the style and what was depicted. 

-    I think a lot of kids could benefit from this book when they are learning about he US Presidents.

Other Kid Legends Books