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Showing posts from August, 2013

Black Spring by Allison Croggon Plus Giveaway

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars Genre: Gothic Horror/Suspense Release Date: 8/27/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: (From Goodreads)  In a savage land sustained by wizardry and ruled by vendetta, Lina is the enchanting but willful daughter of a village lord. She and her childhood companion, Damek, have grown up privileged and spoiled, and they’re devoted to each other to the point of obsession. But Lina’s violet eyes betray her for a witch, and witches are not tolerated in a brutally patriarchal society. Her rank protects her from persecution, but it cannot protect her from tragedy and heartbreak. An innocent visitor stands witness to the devastation that ensues as destructive longing unleashes Lina’s wrath, and with it her forbidden power. Whether drawn by the romantic, the magical, or the gothic, readers will be irresistibly compelled by the passion of this tragic tale. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: First off, let me confess something. I have never read Wuthering Heights . So I can'

So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Christopher Healy

Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom and it's sequel, The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle. You can find more about his books at First off, let me applaud you for even wanting to read middle-grade literature—because it does not sound appealing. It needs a new name. To the uninitiated, it can too easily sound like “mediocre literature.” Person: “So, what do you do for a living?” Me: “I’m a middle-grade author.” Person: “Hey, don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m sure you’re not so bad.” Pats on the back and overly sympathetic smiles follow. “Middle-grade” brings to mind gasoline that won’t make your car run at optimum quality, or maple syrup that’s thinner and less flavorful than the good stuff. So thank you for looking beyond the label.             And congratulations. Because you will be very happy with your decision to give MG a shot. Middle-grade fiction is exciting. And fun. And ful

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Mystery/Horror Release Date: 5/7/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book:  Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends for a long time, bonding over a game they play with various action figures and toys and telling stories about pirates, mermaids, and queens in their magical world. One of their characters is The Queen, a mysterious china doll they are told not to touch. One evening, Poppy appears and tells Zach and Alice that she is being haunted by The Queen and that the doll is made from human bone and holding the ash of a murdered girl. It is their quest to return The Queen to where she lived and bury her, or they will be cursed. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says:   It never fails that I have middle grade readers coming into my library on a regular basis looking for scary stories. Doll Bones is going to the top of my list of books I will hand over to those readers. Holly Black manages to create a spooky story about ghosts and dolls while also weaving in the har

So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Anne Ursu

Anne Ursu is the author of several middle grade books including Breadcrumbs, and the upcoming, The Real Boy.   You can find more about Anne and her books at her website: Earlier this summer, Katherine Applegate accepted the Newbery Medal for her stunning book THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. She deserved it—IVAN is one of those very special books, the kind that advances the field and changes the conversation about what books for middle grade readers can do. It is lovely, ambitious, inventive, elegant, heart-wrenching—and narrated entirely by a silverback gorilla. In her speech, Applegate said that she’s had scores of people tell her that even though they’ve always hated talking animal books, they loved IVAN. But, she went on to say, all these people have been adults; a child never said anything like that to her. I’m not surprised. Kids don’t have any preconceived notions about what stories are supposed to do; they aren't fazed by the idea of non-line

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Problem with Being Slightly Heroic by Uma Krishnaswami

Rating: 3/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary Release Date: 8/13/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Dini is back from India and excited to spend time with her best friend Maddie. Their favorite Bollywood star, and Dini's new friend, Dolly Singh, is hosting a movie premier at the Smithsonian and Dini and Maddie are going to do a special dance for the opening. But when things start to go wrong, important items go missing, and Dolly wants a parade and an elephant, the girls have their work cut out for them to ensure everything goes right. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says:   The Problem with Being Slightly Heroic is a sequel to The Grand Plan to Fix Everything , and while it's nice to have some backstory, the book for the most part stands pretty well on its own. There's an eccentric cast of characters and the madcap adventures are like one of Dolly's Bollywood films come to life. There is a lot happening in the story and the plot jumps from character to character which can

A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke

Rating: 3/5 Stars Genre: Non-Fiction/Animals Release Date: 3/5/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Get to know some of the rescued residents of the Aviarios del Caribe  sloth sanctuary with up close photos that are too adorable to resist. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Ok, let's be honest here. You're going to pick this book up for one reason and one reason only: the pictures of baby sloths are just too cute. I don't think anyone could look through the pages of this book without going "awwww" over the cuteness of the baby sloths. They're just so adorable! And looking at their photos is lots of fun. This book will easily sell itself without much booktalking. All you need to do is hold up the cover and readers will start squealing. What you're not going to pick this book up for is for high literary quality. There are some facts about sloths interspersed in the text. But I felt that the author was trying too hard to be cute and funny in the writing

Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

Rating 4/5 Stars Genre: Graphic Novel Release Date: 8/27/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Roan can't wait to attend pilot academy, just like his dad and his older brother. But when Roan isn't accepted to the school, he thinks maybe boring plants are in his future. Until he unexpectedly receives an acceptance letter to Jedi Academy, a school that typically recruits kids when they are very young. Sure, they use the force there and they have these cool things called lightsabers, but is Roan really meant to be a Jedi? GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: If the readers you work with are anything like the readers I see at my library, they ask for two things on a regular basis: Star Wars and books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid . Enter Jeffrey Brown to give kids exactly what they've been asking for and didn't know it-a graphic novel Wimpy Kid-esque Star Wars story. The book is told through Roan's journal entries, comic panels, homework, observations about teachers, sc

So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Karen Yingling

Karen Yingling is a middle school librarian who loves to post about middle grade books, especially books for boys, on her blog, Ms. Yingling Reads . On my blog, I try very hard to review brand new books. Students prefer them, and I don't want to get into a rut and keep recommending Paula Danziger or other books of my youth when there are so many fresh and innovative tomes available. When I thought about my "top ten" list for this post, I kept coming back to the books that I love to share. Since I have read all of the hardcover fiction in my library, I have deep emotional attachments to each and every book, but the following is a list of the books that would reduce me to tears if a student lost the last copy and I couldn't replace it. Not being able to share these books would be too sad.  Horowitz, Anthony.  Stormbreaker (Alex Rider #1)  2000 I have probably purchased twenty copies of this, and have at least ten in the collection at all times. Most books in my

Blog Tour: The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt and Author Interview

 I am so delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Kathi Appelt's latest novel, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp . This book is perfect for animal fans. I was also lucky enough to interview Ms. Appelt-check out the interview below! Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary/Animal Stories/Family Stories/Folklore Release Date: 7/23/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book:  Something is brewing in the Sugar Man Swamp. Two new scouts, Bingo and J'miah are on the lookout and they're curious about the mysterious rumbling that is happening. They think they should wake the Sugar Man-the legendary creature who rules the swamp and loves sugarcane-but no one has seen the Sugar Man in years. Chap Brayburn is looking for a way to save his mother's fried pie shop. It's on the beaten path, so customers are scarce. They need to give Sonny Boy a boat load of money or else world champion alligator wrestler Jaeger Stitch will get to turn the swamp into a alligator wr