Orbiting Jupiter

by Gary D Schmidt

 

 

I’ve been seeing this book at my library for a few years now, and I’ve grabbed it many times but never read it before returning it. Well I finally grabbed it and sat down and read it in one sitting. Oh my gosh this book wrecked me! I had so many feels while reading this heartwarming and heartbreaking book!! I hope it wins many book awards because they would all be very well deserved. I was immediately drawn into the characters and felt like I had known them for a long time. Jack telling the story of his foster-brother Joseph and how Joseph’s only real goal was to find his daughter Jupiter was what intrigued me about this book. It is told by a 12-year-old boy  about a 14-year-old boy. That right there I’m not sure has ever been done, add the fact that they are just babies themselves. Joseph had a bad home life, heck he had the worse home life and got put into foster care. After a few tumbles he ended up with a loving opening family that ended up being his forever home. He wasn’t going to settle down till he got Jupiter back even if it meant doing it on his own. The book takes a drastic turn and I pretty much bawled through the last half of the book. Grab a copy of Orbiting Jupiter you will not be disappointed!!

About the Book: 

Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.

Awards & Honors: Capitol Choices 2016
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2015, Middle Grade
Booklist Best Young Adult Books of 2015
ALA Notable Books for Children 2016, Older Readers
VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2015; 2016 Winner, Notable Books for a Global Society
CCBC Choices 2016, Fiction for Young Adults
2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Young Adult Fiction
ILA Young Adults’ Choices, 2016 Reading List
YALSA 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of 2016, Coming of Age

The Go Between

by Veronica Chambers

 

 

 

I don’t know I just wasn’t feeling this book. I guess it was the rich kids having rich kid problems that let’s face it I’ve never experienced that just threw me off. I didn’t really connect with the characters and just felt that it was an OK book but maybe one that just wasn’t for me. I’m sure there is a reader out there for this book and they would love it. As for me and my middle grade reader we liked it alright but both of us decided it wasn’t on our recommend list.

 

 

 

About the Book: 


She is the envy of every teenage girl in Mexico City. Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle Cammi to those who know her best.

When Cammi s mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly. Her mom s first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi s new friends assume she s a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic.

At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will be her way of teaching her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?

Thank you Delcorte Press for sending me a copy of The Go Between. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Addie Bell’s ShortCut to Growing Up

by Jessica Brody

 

 

Oh my gosh this book is simply precious! I loved every minute of this cute book! I reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies: 13 Going on 30.  Lucky for  Addie Bell doesn’t skip all those years and head straight to 30 she just skips those wonderful awkward tween years. In doing so she has altered everything she thought high school was going to be like. She soon see’s popularity comes with a price and she wants everything to go back to the way it was before she made that wish. So many times kids want to grow up to fast or think if only I was older things would be so much better. This book represents those feelings so well. I simply can not recommend it enough. This book will be gifted to every tween girl reader I know. I think this is a great summer read for girls entering middle school for the first time or even high school for the first time. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Addie Bell’s ShortCut to Growing Up – this book was my first 5 star read of 2017!!!

summary: Seventh grader Addie Bell can’t wait to be in high school, where everything seems cooler and more fun. What if there was a way to be older . . . right now?

Addie’s parents won’t let her have her own phone, she doesn’t have any curves, and her best friend, Grace, isn’t at all interested in makeup or boys. Then, on the night of her twelfth birthday, Addie makes a wish on a magic jewelry box to be sixteen . . . and wakes up to find that her life has been fast-forwarded four years! Suddenly she has everything she’s always wanted (like a driver’s license and a closet full of cool clothes). But Addie soon discovers that a lot more has changed than she expected—including her friendship with Grace. Can Addie turn back time and take back her wish . . . or has she lost the chance to experience what could have been the best years of her life?

Thank you so very much Jessica Brody and Delacorte for allowing me to read Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

A Boy Called Christmas

by Matt Haig

illustrations by Chris Mould

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A Boy Called Christmas  in a nutshell is AMAZING! This book captures all the magic of Christmas and being a kid and wrapped it up into a book. This book is for all ages and perfect to read this holiday season! I just felt so happy and so wrapped up in the Christmas spirit while reading this. It makes you really see Christmas and all the magic, joy and wonder of the season. There are some darker moments but nothing so scary that it isn’t suitable for young bookworms. This is a must READ and must BUY – it is perfect for reading aloud around the Christmas Tree with your family. You will be truly captivated and transported into the magical world that the author and illustrator created! I can not say enough great things about this book. It’s on my top 5 list of best books I read this year! Grab a copy for your family – gift copies to your family and friends. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this becomes a Christmas classic in years to come.

 

Summary: Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Elf in this warmhearted Christmas caper.
 
Eleven-year-old Nikolas—nicknamed “Christmas”—has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.

Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things—if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . . .

Thank you so very much Knopf Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of A Boy Called Christmas for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Wildings

by Eleanor Glewwe

wildings-by-eleanor-glewwe

 

 

Do your kids (and you) love the magic of Harry Potter, InkHeart, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe? Do they love fantasy fiction but have run out of books to read? I know my middle grade reader has read just about every fantasy book under the sun. I was happy to pass on Wildings to her after I read it, I know she is going to fall in love with this book. I had not read or heard of the book Sparkers so this was my first introduction to the magical world that Rivka, Arik and other Wildings live in. I will go back and read it this book was so good I didn’t want it to end. I loved that Rivka is a strong girl who doesn’t back down if she feels she is doing what is right! We need more books with good, positive girls. This book deals with the topic of racism within the magical world and Rivka doing everything she can to reunite and change the laws so other wildings can be reunited with their families. Grab a copy for your fellow bookworms and gift it this holiday season. I really hope this story line continues I would love to read more and see where they go from here.

summary: Rivka is one of the magical elite and the daughter of an important ambassador. But she harbors a deep secret: She once had a twin brother, Arik. When Arik failed to develop his own magical abilities, the government declared him a wilding, removed him from his home, placed him with non-magical adoptive parents, and forbade him any contact with his birth family. Now it is as if he never existed at all.

But Rivka refuses to forget her twin brother. Even though she knows she could lose everything—her father, her friends, even her freedom—she sets out to find Arik. She has nothing to go on except her still-new magical powers and her love for her brother. Can that possibly be enough to bring them together again, when all of society believes they belong apart?

Thank you Viking Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read Wildings. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom

I have 2 great little books perfect for the upper elementary through middle grade reading crowd. If you are looking for some somewhat spooky but not scary books for your kids who have already read every and all GooseBumps books than look no further.  Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom just might be what they are looking for.

First up or hands down favorite of the 2:

Curse of the Boggin (The Library #1) by D.J. McHale

curse-of-the-boggin-the-library-1-by-d-j-machale

 

This one was our favorite of the 2 books and we can’t wait for book 2. The book is perfect and we loved every creepy moment of it. The cover will have every kid that loves a good spooky book grabbing it off the shelves, it is perfect and really sums up the book. Curse of the Boggin has 2 stories with in this one. There is of course the main story that the book is based on but the back story as to why the Boggin wants the key so badly. This book is a bit more creepy and scary so not for the easily scared readers. Upper elementary through middle grade will devour this book and series – I even think some YA readers would enjoy this one. The kids are great and read like real kids. They are sarcastic – stick together – and jump feet first into the unknown world to save not only their families but their best friend. Marcus learns a lot in a very short time. First he learns that he is gifted or cursed depending on how you want to look at it with a gift. He learns he is adopted and that his parents didn’t pass away like he thought they did. Than he learns he is the keeper of this very special key and it can not – I repeat can not fall into the hands of the boggin or we are all doomed. Curse of the Boggin is a grand slam and sure to delight readers with the creepy supernatural elements,  friendships and both strong boy and girl main characters. Grab a copy of this one and add it to your middle grade spooktober reading list.

summary: There’s a place beyond this world, beyond the land of the living, where ghosts go to write their unfinished stories—stories that ended too soon. It’s a place for unexplained phenomena: mysteries that have never been solved, spirits that have never been laid to rest. And there’s only one way in or out.

It’s called the Library, and you can get there with a special key. But beware! Don’t start a story you can’t finish. Because in this library, the stories you can’t finish just might finish you.

Marcus O’Mara is a 13 year old guy at a crossroads. He constantly finds himself in trouble at school, with his friends, and with his adoptive parents. Marcus doesn’t believe things can get any worse for him…until they get worse.

Much worse.

He begins seeing strange and impossible visions; gets thrown into paranormal danger and is haunted by a mysterious ghost with a singular goal: to give him a key.

It’s a key that opens the door to a mysterious library. When that door opens, the incredible adventure for Marcus and his friends begins as they learn the truth about Marcus’ past and uncover the strange world of unfinished stories that are found on the shelves of the Library.

Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen

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This book was a small book and a quick read but not lacking it is a story that is packed full of mystery, fantasy and tween heroes. The tween kids are funny, sarcastic and not afraid of Dr Fell. They want to know what is up with him since something doesn’t seem right. This is a first book for my by David Neilsen and it was a delight to read his writing. He creates such a great enchanting book. I instantly fell into the book and didn’t want it to end. While it was a spooky book perfect for tween spooktober reading, it wasn’t I can’t sleep it was so scary. However if your child does scare easy than you might want to read it first just to make sure it would be OK. My tween reader has been reading spooky books for quite a while now and for her she said it wasn’t spooky enough – so definitely mildly spooky. The plot of the book is fast paced and will have your child reading all day long so they can find out how this book is going to end. Sadly the ending comes fast but is the perfect ending. Overall I really enjoyed this one and so did my middle grade reader (5th grader). The only thing she said she didn’t like was the cover. She said the cover would have her reaching for the book at the store or school library.

summary: When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids’ hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor’s spell.

Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor’s secret power without being captivated by his trickery.

Thank you so much Random House Books for Young Readers and Crown Books for Young Readers. We enjoyed Curse of the Boggin and Dr Fell and the Playground of Doom. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free books.

Don’t Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel

by R.L. Stine

Don't Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine

My kids have always been big R.L. Stine fans. I think we have owned every Goosebumps and watched every episode and movie over the years. My oldest still enjoys a good scary book and so I knew I had to grab her a copy. Little did I know we would all read it and love it. It was like our own little book club and it was fun! R.L. Stine has a great series for kids who are out of elementary school and into the bigger books and bigger scares. Fear Street is for middle and high school readers. I love a good scary books as much as my girls and R.L. Stine is a master storyteller right up there with Stephen King in my book. Now we just wish the Fear Street Relaunch would launch into a series like his fabulous book series Goosebumps! 🙂 Wishful thinking we know but hey maybe one day…

Don’t Stay Up Late had me grabbing minutes here and there so I could finish it. I had to know if I was right about what was going on. Don’t Stay Up Late will keep you staying up late just to finish it. R.L. Stine is the master at writing creepy scary books that are real page turners but not so scary they cause nightmares! Grab a copy and block out a chunk of time because you will not want to put this down! Now we are off to read The Lost Girl, and Can You Keep A Secret before My Dead Boyfriend comes out September 27.

summary: Ever since a car accident killed her father and gave her a severe concussion, high school junior Lisa’s been plagued by nightmares and hallucinations, and when she accepts a babysitting job in hopes it will banish the disturbing images, she faces new terror as she begins to question exactly who–or what–she’s babysitting.