Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Double Book Review Day

Well, I'm back from a week in Chicagoland where we spent the holidays with my soon to be in-laws. The holidays were great and it was fun to be with family.

But now I'm treating you all to a double dose of book reviews today!:) And be sure to stay tuned for a big contest I'll be having all though January-you gotta start the year off right with books!!! Details to come Jan. 1!

Sisters 8: Annie's Adventures by Lauren Baratz-Logsted with Greg and Jackie Logsted


Rating: 4/5 Stars

About the Book: Annie, Durinda, Georgia, Jackie, Marcia, Petal, Rebecca, and Zinnia are octuplets. They were born on August 8th and will be celebrating their 8th birthday and they have eight cats. On New Year's Eve, Mommy went to get eggnog, and Daddy went to get firewood, but they didn’t come back.

The Sisters 8 find an anonymous note that says each girl has a power and a gift. Each sister must discover her power and find her gift in order to learn what happened to Mommy and Daddy. But with no Mommy and Daddy around, the girls have more than a mystery to solve. Who will cook them food? Or drive them to school? And how will they pay the bills? The adventures for these octuplets are just beginning!

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: ANNIE’S ADVENTURES is the start to a great new series by authors Lauren Baratz-Logsted and Greg Logsted, along with their daughter, Jackie. The entire family helped write the story and come up with ideas, and there’s definitely something in the story for everyone. The writing was very witty and full of jokes for all ages.

Each of the Sisters 8 has a unique personality and each one is clever and funny. I can’t wait to find out what each of their powers will turn out to be! THE SISTERS 8 would make a great read-aloud for families to share together. The first two books are out now, with more books to be released next year. Readers of all ages will enjoy the mystery mixed with humor and will be eagerly waiting to read about the next sister in line. (I know I am!)


Kissing Booth by Lexie Hill

About the Book: Lisi is an NBK - she’s never been kissed. Lisi would really like to be kissed by her crush, Brett, who also happens to be the most popular guy in school. She doesn’t think her chances are very high, since Lisi in not in the "in" crowd.

Springtime at Northside High means planning for the famous Spring Carnival. Spring Carnival is a huge deal, and this year the stakes are high for having the winning booth. Whichever booth sells the most tickets wins a trip to New York City. When planning for the school’s Spring Carnival starts, Lisi gets the inspiration for a kissing booth. Lisi is secretly hoping she will finally get her first kiss from handsome Brett, but Lisi’s not the only one with secrets.

After the popular fly girls make the Kissing Booth their main target for competition, rumors start to fly and the kissing booth crew just might have gotten themselves in too deep. And Lisi just might be falling for the wrong guy.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for romances, and I couldn’t resist the adorable red and white cover for this one! I loved the idea of an old-fashioned kissing booth and wished I could go to the Spring Carnival with Lisi and her friends. Even though the story is mainly a romance, there’s also a sub-plot on friends growing up and growing apart that I thought added some depth to the story. I liked each of the characters and thought they were all well drawn-even the popular crowd was somewhat likeable.

KISSING BOOTH felt like it could have been a script for a great romantic comedy (which I also love), and was a perfect feel-good book that left me smiling. I would recommend for readers who like light romantic fiction.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Audio Book Friday

Since I not only read a lot of books, but I listen to tons of audiobooks as well, I decided I'd start reviewing some of the audiobooks I've listened to! I've found that some books I absolutely love as an audiobook and some just don't work for me (partly the story and partly the narrator) But I love popping one in while I'm driving or when I'm in my office at work. Anyone else a fan of audio books?

So today's featured audiobook:




A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
Narrated by Tai Alexandra Ricci
Rating: 4/5 Stars

From the Book: Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has perfect piano dreams. She can practically feel the keys under her flying fingers; she can hear the audience's applause. All she needs is a baby grand so she can start her lessons, and then she'll be well on her way to Carnegie Hall.
But when Dad ventures to the music store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe's dreams hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just isn't the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn't the only part of Zoe's life that's off-kilter, what with Mom constantly at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs, following her home from school every day.
Yet when Zoe enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life is full of surprises—and that perfection may be even better when it's just a little off center.

About the Audio Book: This book is just so charming and sweet and the audio book made it even more so! Tai Alexandra Ricci sounds just like I think Zoe would sound and reads the book wonderfully. Zoe is such a great character and she captures her perfectly. The other voices may not be as distinct, but there is a charm to each of them and enough personality written into the story that big voice changes are not needed. I loved this story and would highly recommend this one on audio book format!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

3 Willows by Ann Brashares


Rating: 3/5 Stars

Also reviewed for TeensReadToo.com

About the Book: The Sisterhood may be grown up, but their legend lives on. Meet Polly, Jo, and Ama, three girls who are now entering the very same high school the legendary Sisterhood attended. The three have been friends since third grade, but now with high school approaching, they find themselves being drawn in separate ways and spending the summer apart.



Ama is all about academics, extra credit, and schoolwork. She’s signed up to spend the summer at a camp that will give her school credit. She’s hoping to be in the library all day, but instead finds herself signed up for the outdoor wilderness hike. Ama is not an outdoorsy girl and can’t imagine herself spending the summer hiking and sleeping in a tent.

Jo is spending the summer at her family beach house and working as a bus girl at a local restaurant. She’s hoping to make friends with the older girls from the "in" crowd so she can start high school in the right group. But a fling with a mysterious boy threatens to change all of Jo’s plans.

Polly is stuck at home babysitting until she gets the idea that she could be a model. She throws herself into the world of modeling camp and starts to lose herself - and only her friends can help bring her back.

A summer apart is just what these three friends need to bring their friendship back.

GreenBeanTeenQueenSays: One of Ann Brashares strengths is that she puts so much into her characters that readers can always find someone like them. The experiences the girls have never seem over the top or unrealistic, and their friendship will resonate with readers making the transition from middle school to high school.

Although reminiscent of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Polly, Ama, and Jo each bring something new to the story - and their stories are original. Fans will enjoy the appearances made by characters from the previous series, as well. 3 Willows is a great pick for readers looking for a wonderful, charming book about the challenges of friendship and growing up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

State Book Awards

As a librarian in Missouri, I promote our state book awards. Every year, students are given a list of books to read and if they read four or more titles they may vote for the awards in March and winners are announced in April. I make it my goal to try and read all the nominees between now and April since that's when I start school visits for Summer Reading. I'm hoping this year I can actually meet my goal of reading them all! This week the award nominees for 2009-2010 were announced, so I thought I'd share them with you. Have you read any of these titles? Do you think the books that got picked will be of interest to their readers?

2009-2010 Truman Award Nominations-Grades 6-8
Shark Girl. Kelly Bingham
Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. Vol. 1. Heather Brewer

Atherton: The House of Power. Patrick Carman
Diamonds in the Shadow. Caroline Cooney
Carpe Diem. Autumn Cornwell
Into the Wild. Sarah Beth Durst
Games. Carol Gorman
The One where the kid nearly jumps to his death and lands in CA. Mary Hershey
Cracker. Cynthia Kadohata
Tapestry: Hound of Rowan. Henry Neff
Zen and the Art of Faking It. Jordan Sonnenblick
First Light. Wendy Lamb. Rebecca Stead


2009-2010 Gateway Award Nominations-Grades 9-12
Twisted Laurie Halse Anderson
Thirteen Reasons Why Jay Asher
Beauty Shop for Rent -- : fully equipped, inquire within Laura Bowers
Billie Standish was here Nancy Crocker
Deadline Chris Crutcher
Tallgrass Sandra Dallas
November Blues Sharon Draper
Beastly Alex Flinn
Right Behind You Gail Giles
Wicked Lovely Melissa Marr
Unwind Neal Shusterman
Peak Roland Smith
First Shot Walter Sorrells
Boot Camp Todd Strasser
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac Gabrielle Zevin

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Want It Wednesday #2

I'm Still Here!!

I know I haven't been around in awhile. Right before Thanksgiving, I had to rush home for a family emergency, and spent the entire week off work and taking care of family. Then I got back to work and had a week full of catching up and programs and cleaning my office! I've finally emerged from my long catching up and cleaning projects and can get on the blog again-yay!!

I'm busy buying books for the holidays and am hoping to post a new wish list of upcoming books soon. There are so many and I'm hoping there are some Borders gift cards in my stocking this year!:)
 
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