by Aimee Friedman – Kasie West – Melissa De La Cruz – Nic Stone
I said I’d never read a Christmas / Hanukkah / Winter themed YA compilation again after Let It Snow. I didn’t like that book at all. However I’m a sucker for sweet holiday themed stories so I knew if I saw there was a new compilation made I’d check it out from the library. I’m so glad I did I really liked these stories, some more than others but they were all great.
SNOW AND MISTLETOE by Kasie West: ( 4 stars ) The first story in the book and the best one! I really loved everything about this story from Amalie and Sawyer secretly crushing on each other to the great road trip that followed. The story was sweet and innocent and a great way to start off this book. This was my favorite of the four.
WORKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND by Aimee Friedman: ( 3 stars ) This story I guess was okay. I was happy to find out the main character Maxine was Jewish. There are so few Hanukkah books out there for teens. So I was excited to dive into it. However it didn’t really even touch Hanukkah this holiday and all the rich traditions that come with it. I guess in a way it did show us what’s it is like to have Christmas everywhere and very little Hanukkah anywhere.
THE MAGI’S GIFTS by Melissa De La Cruz: ( 2 stars ) I just didn’t click with this one. Nothing wrong with the story really just didn’t hook me like the first two. I mean come on you sell a family heirloom to buy a gift for a friend and not get in trouble really!
GROUNDED by Nic Stone: ( 3.75 stars ) I super sweet cute story. I really enjoyed the storyline and characters. This was a first for me to read Nic Stone but I think I need to read more. If Nic Stone can write such a fully developed story in so few pages I really need to read one of their books and ASAP.
by Raina Telgemeier
Ghosts is my first graphic novel that I can think of that I’ve read in its entirety without putting it aside. I didn’t want the story to end and was so bummed when I finished it. The kids at the school I work at have been begging me to read this one and I’m so glad I did! I loved the story line how it really dives into the day to day life with cystic fibrosis as a kid and how it affects not only the child that has it but the siblings and parents. I won’t go to in-depth on the description of the book since I’m sure I’m one of the last people to read it. 🙂 Catrina and her family move to upper California for her dad’s new job and they are hoping the change in climate helps her sister Maya have more good days with her cystic fibrosis. The town the move to Bahia De La Luna is rich is culture and tradition and has a huge festival every year for Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)! I have always loved all the culture – traditions – and decorations for Dia De Los Muertos. I would take that over Halloween any day. So I think between finding one of the rare few elementary and middle grade books that tackles cystic fibrosis and then includes Dia De Los Muertos I was sold one page one. The illustrations with bold and set the mood with each frame. They story line was well developed and hooked me instantly. I will be checking out her other books and might even dive into more graphic novels. Ghosts is a perfect book to read anytime of the year but would be great for a Spooktober book to read, it’s not scary but it is set in Spooktober season.
About the Book: Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.
by Lucy Strange
Publication Date: October 31,2017
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Where to buy: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Books A Million ( I am not an affiliate of these places I just liked the book very much and wanted to make it easy if you would like to buy a copy to enjoy as well.)
1919. Henry has moved to the countryside with her parents and her baby sister, Piglet – all still scarred by the death of her brother. Alone in her head, she begins to explore her surroundings, encouraged by her only friends – characters from her favourite books. Nobody much notices when she wanders into the woods at the bottom of the garden and meets Moth, a striking witch-like woman. Together they form a bond that could help Henry save her family.
This book turned out to be nothing like I expected. I was expecting a sweet little fairy tale like book. Don’t get me wrong it is a sweet fairy tale like book but it is also so much more. What I read was a sad haunting book that will stay with me. I loved every minute of this and wish I didn’t reading it all in one setting, I didn’t want it to end. Henry (Henrietta) was such a strong spunky girl who just wanted her family back to the way it was before the accident. Henry is lonely and has a very active imagination and curiosity. She ask questions, ones the adults don’t want to answer and think she is too young to understand or should be asking. Henry is a big believer in books and fairy tales, all my favorite children’s classics were mentioned through out this lovely book. She meets a “witch” in the woods, just like the books she reads. However Moth isn’t a witch at all just a sad grieving woman who befriends Henry and believes in her when no one else does. The two end up being just what each other needs to help them start healing from the past. The Abbott family has a long road to travel before they are all better but if they can get back together as a family they just might make it after all. This book tackles many issues from grief, family drama, wartime England, Hope and finding ones true self and voice in the face of despair. This book is for ages 10+ but I really think it will capture readers of all ages. This will be my number 1 book for 2017. I just can’t imagine reading anything I will enjoy more this year than The Secret of Nightingale Wood!
Thank you so very much Chicken House books and Scholastic for sending me this amazing book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free copy of The Secret of Nightingale Wood.
by Kieran Scott
Point Publishing, an imprint of Scholastic
What Waits In The Woods is a real edge our seat thriller that will keep you guessing. The author has a great catchy writing style and builds a great story with likable characters. I enjoyed her Shadowlands trilogy that she wrote under the pen name Kate Brian. So it was no surprise that I enjoyed What Waits In the Woods.
I don’t really want to say much about the book for fear I might give away spoilers. If you love spooky thrillers than grab a copy of What Waits In The Woods you won’t be disappointed!
summary: It’s a beautiful, sunny day. Callie Velasquez holds hands with her boyfriend Jeremy as they follow Callie’s new BFFs Penelope and Lissa up the trail. The four friends are embarking on a camping trip — a trip that immediately goes awry. They lose their way on the trail, and encounter a charismatic stranger with questionable motives. And when Callie stumbles upon a dead body, it becomes clear that the danger that lies in the woods is deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Tensions mount and friendships are tested as these teenagers try to survive the most sinister of circumstances.
by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
I grabbed this one through one of my libraries (yes, I am lucky and can have 2 different library system cards so lots and lots of books to pick from). Faceless was one of those books that got under my skin and has stayed with me. I finished a few weeks ago and finally sat down to write the review. The cover is what grabbed my attention, the summary is what made me click checkout and download the book to read.
Let me start by staying Faceless was very moving, and you will be cheering Maisie along from the sidelines. You will laugh, cry, be mad and go through just about every emotion possible. This book was so much more than I ever expected. The big message through out the book is about loving yourself and accepting yourself. Many of claimed it to be the Wonder for the YA crowd and yes I think that is a great description. The author was very graphic in describing Maisie’s accident and the extent of her injuries but please don’t let that stop you from reading it. You really need to have this in her to understand everything she is going to through in the healing and acceptance process.
summary: When Maisie gets into a terrible accident, her face is partially destroyed. She’s lucky enough to get a face transplant–but how do you live your life when you can’t even recognize yourself anymore?
She was a runner, a girlfriend, a good student…a normal girl. Now all that has changed. As Maisie discovers how much her looks did–and didn’t–shape her relationship to the world, she has to redefine her own identity, and figure out what “lucky” really means.
by Lauren Tarshis
published by Scholastic
5 out of 5 stars
The I survived series is very popular with the elementary readers. They are fiction stories but they learn a little about history at the same time.My youngest really enjoyed the whole series and says this one is by far her favorite
I enjoyed the story of George and Phoebes story. I liked that even though they could afford and were staying in a expensive suite, they became friends with immigrant passengers. George is just your regular everyday mischievous boy. Aunt Daisy is on a journey to heal and honoring her late husband who wanted to travel on the Titanic. She ask her niece and nephew if they would like to join her journey. George likes to explore and gets in trouble but is likeable sweet kid. Phoebe is his little sister that loves him so much and fears his trouble making ways will get him sent to military school. That is the least of their worries while aboard the Titanic. However thanks to Georges exploring the ship and memory of what Mr Burrow’s said about secret passage the workers used to get to the different levels, he just might save the day
Does Aunt Daisy, Phoebe, George, Enzo and Marco escape the Titanic together? Do they get separated? Does being on the Titanic bond these 5 people beyond the Titanic?
by Marlane Kennedy
Published by: Scholastic
Wyatt lives on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma where you closest neighbor is the next ranch about 7 miles or more away. He is lucky that neighbor is also his friends Joshua and Jackson, they are just the distraction he needs since his girly girl cousin Alison is visiting from New York. All she is interested in is the cute animals on the ranch. So is not to happy to have to take her along with him when him and his friends head off to the lake to go fishing while his mom and dad are busy doing other things.
They are all having fun fishing and hanging out even with Alison there. Wyatt starts to notice a change in the sky. Big huge wall cloud is near them and it’s got a sickly green tint to it. That isn’t good, anyone who lives in tornado alley knows that means tornado! My girls know that and have ever since they are little tots. The kids race to get home and to the root cellar before the monster tornado bares down on them. However city girl Alison doesn’t want to get into the storm cellar till she gets her friend Wyatt’s dog in there with them. So she runs off to get him, leaving Wyatt to run after her, leaving Joshua and Jackson in the root cellar hoping their friends are safe.
While Wyatt and Alison ride out the storm in the barn with the spooked animals. The tornado is tearing apart the ranch and other ranches close by. Are Wyatt’s mom and dad OK since they are out and about in this storm? Is Joshua and Jackson’s parents and home OK?
This book is a fast read that is entertaining and has a bit of suspense in it. At the end of the story the author includes some interesting tornado facts as well as some great tips on what to do if you find yourself in the middle of a tornado’s path. The Disaster Strikes series is sure to become a favorite with boys and girls and would be a great addition to any home, classroom or school library!