Apr 20, 2018

Early Reader Review: The Key to Everything by Pat Schmatz

Source: From Netgalley and Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Key to Every Thing
The Key to Everything by Pat Schmatz
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Publication Date:  May 8, 2018



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Paperback ARC

Rating:


 


Goodreads Synopsis: 
For eleven-year-old Tash, Cap'n Jackie isn't just the elderly next-door neighbor — she's family. When she disappears, only Tash holds the key that might bring her back.

Tash didn't want to go to camp, didn't want to spend the summer with a bunch of strangers, didn't want to be separated from the only two people she has ever been able to count on: her uncle Kevin, who saved her from foster care, and Cap'n Jackie, who lives next door. Camp turns out to be pretty fun, actually, but when Tash returns home, Cap'n Jackie is gone. And Tash needs her — the made-up stories of dolphin-dragons, the warm cookies that made everything all right after a fight, the key Cap'n Jackie always insisted had magic in it. The Captain always said all Tash had to do was hold it tight and the magic would come. Was it true? Could the key bring Cap'n Jackie back? In a heartfelt and stunningly written story, Pat Schmatz introduces readers to a tenacious, fiercely loyal girl struggling to let go of the fantasies and fears of her childhood . . . and say yes to everything that lies ahead.

Review: 
The Key to Everything is a bout a young girl who is sent off to camp, when she returns her life is turned upside down when her neighbor Jackie is gone. There is so much more to this book though... and I don't want to spoil it.
 
It took me a few days to digest this book after reading it. It follows a girl named Tash who is still young and right now she is bitter about having to go to camp for the summer. The book is about 200 pages and it is a middle grade read so it was a quick one but it was also a very emotional one. It will bring back feelings of being a misunderstood 11 year old and hating everything or if you are 11 and reading it - you will completely understand where Tash is coming from. It is also sad. Tash is troubled to begin with but she has Jackie, their elderly neighbor, who stays with her during the day and they come up with these elaborate stories and magical worlds together. It sounds pretty great for Tash but not so good when something happens to Jackie. 

I really really don't want to go into too much detail about this plot because I think it adds to it not to know what is going to happen. Tash is learning to grow up in this book and sometimes it takes some hard-knocks to get there.

If you are looking for a contemporary read this was a good read, it is emotional though, so be prepared. I also think that all ages would do well reading this book it was beautiful.

Apr 19, 2018

Early Reader Review: Little Bear and His Chair by Claressa Swensen

 Source: From the Author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Little Bear and His Chair by Claressa Swensen 
 
Publication Date: 
returning to Kickstarter on May 1st


No links available at this time.

Format:  Ebook

Rating:


 




Synopsis: 

Little Bear has a favorite chair, and he doesn’t want anyone else to sit on it. When his stubbornness gets in the way of his friendships, Little Bear has to decide what’s more important to him. A short story that teaches the value of friendship, and the importance of sharing.
Review: 
Little Bear and His Chair is about a bear that has a favorite chair and doesn't want anyone messing it up. He does everything he can think of to keep others off if it. He tells them and puts up signs. When one of is friends doesn't respect this request Little Bear gets angry. His friends decide that he is not being very nice and choose to play without him.

This book has a lot of layers for a children's book. There is a sharing lesson to be learned, and about treating others and their things with respect. There is also a lesson here about being kind and friendship. 

I am an adult reading this book without a child, and I found it very cute. I read a few reviews before getting the book thus prompting me to read it to see it for myself how I felt about it. Some reviewers have noted aspects of bullying in this book - I can see where they are getting that but I do not believe that it is intentional. I think that may books with lessons of sharing and friendship have this element but because it is so in the spotlight right now we are more tuned into it. I can recall my siblings and myself (when I was much younger) having similar issues to Little Bear, sometime you have things you don't want to loan out and other kids get mad at you and one kid will almost always pass on this news. So, this book is not inaccurate and I don't feel like it was intentionally trying to show that bullying is ok.

This is a book that is trying to help parents and kids talk about sharing and friendship at its core - however, if you see fit as a parent to talk about bullying while reading it as well - that is completely up to you.

About the Author:
Claressa Swensen resides in Northern Utah with her husband, baby girl, and her two dogs. She has written four children’s books, including Teensy the Littlest Fairy and Dino Dino Doing Homework. Her books are currently available in seven Barnes & Noble locations across Utah. Her work has been featured in Readers Favorite and over 10 different reading blogs. 

Find the Author

Apr 17, 2018

Early Reader Review: Deep Water by Watt Key

Source: From Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Deep WaterDeep Water by Watt Key
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date:  April 17, 2018 - TODAY!


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Paperback ARC

Rating:


 



 Goodreads Synopsis: 
A middle grade survival story about a scuba dive gone wrong and two enemies who must unite to survive.

It's the most important rule of scuba diving: If you don't feel right, don't go down.

So after her father falls ill, twelve-year-old Julie Sims must take over and lead two of his clients on a dive miles off the coast of Alabama while her father stays behind in the boat. When the clients, a reckless boy Julie's age and his equally foolhardy father, disregard Julie's instructions during the dive, she quickly realizes she's in over her head.

And once she surfaces, things only get worse: One of the clients is in serious condition, and their dive boat has vanished--along with Julie's father, the only person who knows their whereabouts. It's only a matter of time before they die of hypothermia, unless they become shark bait first. Though Julie may not like her clients, it's up to her to save them all.
 
Review: 
I am not a huge fan of more contemporary books, I normally stick with fantasy and the like - but this description had me interested. I am so glad I agreed to read it, because it was SO good! 

The book follows Julie as she goes on a dive that is destined for mishaps and she finds herself and her companions abandoned in the ocean. She has to work to keep herself and the others alive. 

While there wasn't a lot of character development in this book with the main character, but there was so much other stuff to keep the reader interested that it didn't matter (at least for me). There was character growth in the secondary character though - which was nice - mostly because you want to punch him for the first half of the book.

While they are stranded they go through so much, and Julie's character does so well trying to navigate and keep everyone safe - it was inspirational and a good take on the 'don't panic' style of things. I found the information that the book delivered to be both educational as well as made for a great story too. 

I read this book in about 2-3 sittings and really enjoyed it the whole way through. If you are looking for a more contemporary book, like the ocean, or survival stories, you are sure to enjoy this one.

Apr 16, 2018

Blog Blast: Excerpt and Givaway - An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann

 
Hello Readers!

Today I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt and giveaway from Kelly Wittmann the author of An Authentic Experience, which is a new contemporary Young Adult novel.

Enjoy! 


An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann
Publisher: Sara Camilli Literacy Agency
Publication Date:  February 13, 2018



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20


Synopsis: 
Fifteen-year-old Silver Abelli’s life has been as tumultuous as the punk rock she was raised on. Her divorced parents just don’t get along, even though they’re both musicians who stubbornly spurn the mainstream but secretly crave the limelight. Silver has always lived with her mom, Nicola, but when Nicola is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she must go to live with her obnoxious, hard-partying father, Renz. It’s a really bad time to fall in love, so you can pretty much bet that Silver will.

Enter Jake Sullivan…

 

 CHAPTER 1


Supposedly it’s against the body clock of a teenager to get up early in the morning, but Silver loved to rise before the sun to work with her grandfather at the family business, Tomasino’s Bakery. On these quiet mornings, they would roll out the dough together and bake the pastries that went on sale at 7:00 AM, under the supervision of Pope Francis, whose portrait hung on the wall. 

“Gramps, is it illegal for me to work here?”
“Of course not; don’t be ridiculous.”

“I’m only fifteen.”

“Only fifteen!” he scoffed. “You know what I was doing when I was fifteen?”

“What?” said Silver, sprinkling some flour on the dough. 

“Well… The same thing you’re doing right now. It wasn’t exactly breaking rocks with a pick ax, but my point is there’s nothing wrong with a little hard work. I pay you, don’t I?”

“Yes.”

“And it’s not illegal, as long as you’re family. I wouldn’t do that.” There were several other people working with them in the big kitchen in back of the store, and he turned to one of them and said, “Esther, we gotta get those cronuts going for that catering job.”

“I know,” the woman said, waving a hand in the air. “It’s all under control.”

“What is it with the cronuts?” he said as he turned back to Silver. “I talked to a guy I know in New York who’s in the business a couple months ago and he said ‘Get ready for the cronuts. They’re coming your way.’ You know, I talk to these bakers in New York and it never fails, they can always tell me what the next trend is going to be. Used to always take almost exactly two years to get to Milwaukee. Always. But then came the internet and now everyone knows what people are eating in New York. So now it’s more like two months until it gets here!” Once upon a time, Gramps had resisted the internet with all his might, but now he loved it. He said it made doing business so much easier.
There's more keep reading...

Apr 15, 2018

Building the Book Pile #250

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy Sunday! 

This week Vermont had some rain, some snow flurries, and some sun... I am SO ready for spring to actually happen but it has stayed on the colder side here (sad face). I finished some non-essential reading (of course) but it is better than nothing... and it was a pretty chill week at work. This upcoming week will be busy again but I was happy for a bit of a break. 

Oh on another note - have you heard of Webtoons? it is a site online to read online comics and the authors/creators load them weekly - I am addicted to a few of them now and binge read a few and am caught up... so many, SO GOOD!. Loving this as a work -break outlet. My love started with "Let's Play" - it is drama and some romance it is so fun. You should go and find something awesome!

I am also excited that the next season of Series of Unfortunate Events is on Netflix - I need to check out the next book from the library so I can read it before I start watching. Did you like my comparison reviews? I don't know if I will still do them but it was fun for me - so you might get them anyway...

Now that I have officially rambled at you... I will move on to the bloggy things...


BUT ALSO - How has your week been so far?
Share about your week with me in the comments below!
 

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

https://cover2coverblog.blogspot.com/2018/04/blog-blast-summer-of-broken-things-by.html


Coming up on the Blog

Blog Blast: Excerpt and Giveaway! An Authentic Experience by Kelly Whittman (YA)
Early Reader Review: Deep Water by Watt Key (YA)
Early Reader Review: Little Bear and His Chair by Claressa Swensen (Youth)
Early Reader Review: Key to Everything by Pat Schmatz (MG)

 

Books Received this Week

The Helm of Darkness (War on the Gods, #1)

Thief of Happy Endings by Kristen Chandler - from Publicist and Penguin Young Readers for review. 

The Helm of Darkness by A.P. Mobley - from the author for review. 

Have you missed anything lately?


Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!

Apr 12, 2018

Blog Blast: The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/03/nerd-blast-summer-of-broken-things-by.html


About the Book

From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.



About the Author
Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois.

She has since written more than 40 books for kids and teens, including Running Out of Time; Double Identity; Uprising; The Always War; the Shadow Children series; the Missing series; the Children of Exile series; the Under Their Skin duology; and The Palace Chronicles. She also wrote Into the Gauntlet, the tenth book in the 39 Clues series. Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and numerous state reader’s choice awards. They have also been translated into more than twenty different languages.

Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio. They are the parents of two grown kids.

PHOTO CONTENT FROM MARGARET PETERSON HADDIX
Find the Author




Giveaway is open to International | Must be 13+ to Enter
ENDS: APRIL 30, 2018

5 Winners will receive a  Copy of THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 10, 2018

Recent Reads: Saga Volume 5 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples


Saga, Vol. 5 (Saga, #5)
Saga Volume 5 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Series: Saga, Collecting Issues 25-30.
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date:  September 9. 2015



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend


Rating:


 






Goodreads Synopsis: 
Multiple storylines collide in this cosmos-spanning new volume. While Gwendolyn and Lying Cat risk everything to find a cure for The Will, Marko makes an uneasy alliance with Prince Robot IV to find their missing children, who are trapped on a strange world with terrifying new enemies.

Collecting: Saga 25-30



Review: 
I like this series, it is easy to read and I enjoy most of the characters... and my friend let me borrow up to Volume 8. I feel obligated to read them because I have them, but as we progress I am not as excited to read them - that might be why the ratings aren't spectacular. Anywho, in volume 5 there were so many heart wrenching parts! I was thrown all over the place emotionally.

Alana and Marko are trying to get back to each other, Prince Robot IV is doing his best to be cooperative but is looking for his kid, and Gwen is still trying to help The Will. Every storyline in this volume had an emotional part - I was completely thrown off by how deep this got and it was a little depressing overall. 

I liked where it was going and still do, I am interested to see how reunions will change things for all the characters...

Apr 9, 2018

Early Reader Review: The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais

Source: From Netgalley and Lion Forge Comics in exchange for review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Lost Path
The Lost Path by Amélie Fréchais

Publisher: Lion Forge Comics
Publication Date:  April 10, 2018



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

Rating:


 





Goodreads Synopsis: 
Three young boys set off from Camp Happiness, map in hand, determined to be the first to find the treasure before anyone else. But the shortcut they take leads to something far more spectacular and sinister! All manner of magical beasties live in these woods, and the kids find themselves caught between warring Forest Spirits. Will the three boys find their way out of trouble? Get your map and ready, set, go! Amélie Fléchais's incredible artwork combines the best of French illustration with manga influences. A spooky new fairytale, for fans of Over the Garden Wall. 
Review: 
The Lost Path has a very intricate cover and that suits the story very well. This graphic novel caught my eye and the adventure it promise was alluring. It starts out with a short tale about the lore of the forest and then dives into some boys on a trek. They soon find themselves in the woods with some very strange creatures and evils trying to get them. It was cute, but the story kind of had me lost. There were magical creatures and a queen that was angry but it didn't really explain enough for me. I was also a bit thrown off by the coloring - some pages were full of color while others were completely black and while. When it first happened I thought it was a proof thing but then it went in and out of color so it might be an artistic choice that I didn't find appealing. 

I thought this graphic novel was nice but I have been reading a lot lately and this one fell a bit short for me.

Apr 8, 2018

Building the Book Pile #249

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

I have been getting so distracted lately - almost forgot another Book Pile post.

I got some reading done this week which was awesome but need to write up the reviews still. It was a busy week at work so blogging was a bit lacking. That is ok - sometimes non-internet life is more important.


How has your week been so far?
Share about your week with me in the comments below!
 

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

Another coming up this week


Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais (MG, GN)
Recent Reads: Saga Volume 5 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples (GN, Adult)
Blog Blast w/ giveaway: The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix (YA)
 

Books Received this Week

Damselfly 

Damselfly by Chandra Prasad from Scholastic Press and the Publicist for review.

Have you missed anything lately?


Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!

Apr 5, 2018

Early Reader Review: The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels

Source: From Librarything Early Reviewers and Tundra Books for review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Adventures of Miss PetitfourThe Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels with illustrations by Emma Blog
Publisher:  Tundra Books
Publication Date:  March 27. 2018



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Paperback ARC

Rating:


 




Goodreads Synopsis: 
The magical adventures of an eccentric Mary Poppins-esque heroine and her flying feline charges, sure to charm readers big and small. The first book for children by an internationally acclaimed novelist and poet.
 

Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are "just the right size - fitting into a single, magical day." She is an expert at baking and eating fancy iced cakes, and her favorite mode of travel is par avion. On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Cothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles. With the aid of her favorite tea party tablecloth as a makeshift balloon, Miss Petitfour and her charges fly over her village, having many little adventures along the way. Join Miss Petitfour and her equally eccentric felines on five magical outings -- a search for marmalade, to a spring jumble sale, on a quest for "birthday cheddar", the retrieval of a lost rare stamp and as they compete in the village's annual Festooning Festival. A whimsical, beautifully illustrated collection of tales that celebrates language, storytelling and small pleasures, especially the edible kind!
Review: 
Miss Petitfour is a woman that loves adventure but also knows that adventures can be found in normal daily activities. She lives with her 16 cats and her favorite mode of transportation is by wind and a tablecloth.  This small books included 5 stories and an introduction to her and her cats. It was all very cute. 

In each of the stories a fun adventure ensues and the cats are always included. Miss Petitfour seems like a lot of fun and is, like the synopsis says, a little like Mary Poppins. The book is whimsical in wonderful ways and it also takes the time to highlight words and phases for younger readers to help them learn about the words but also about home some books will use them.  It was a quick read and I think parts and their younger readers will really enjoy Miss Petitfour, and if you are a cat lover you have that added bonus.