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Review: The Missing Heir - Tracy Barrett

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The Missing Heir by Tracy Barrett Series: The Sherlock Files #4 Genre: Middle Grade, mystery, Sherlockian fiction Published on June 7, 2011 Published by Henry Holt and Co. Pages: 176 Read From: 12.9.11 - 12.10.11






SYNOPSIS Xena and Xander Holmes have just learned that their shy classmate, Alice, is heir to a royal throne. Then they discover that their ancestor Sherlock Holmes had his suspicions about the kidnapping and return of Alice's grandmother, the princess of Borogovia. Alice is to be crowned on her thirteen birthday. . . .but she goes missing days before the ceremony. Who

Review: Plain Kate - Erin Bow

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Plain Kate by Erin Bow Genre: YA, fantasy Published on September 1, 2010 Published by Scholastic Pages: 314











SYNOPSIS Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work its magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade" - a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

Pretty Prezzies!

I'm extremely sorry that I abandoned you on Christmas! Things just got so very busy, and before I knew it I was stuffed to my nose with candy and gingerbread, and every good thing; the very thought of getting up and retrieving the computer sent my stomach into spasms of pain. The good news, though, is that Shewsbury Cakes are not exclusively for Christmas, so I will be posting the recipe the day before New Year's!

Review: Legacy - Cayla Kluver

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Legacy by Cayla Kluver Series: Legacy #1 Genre: YA, fantasy, romance Published on August 18, 2011 Published by AmazonEncore Pages: 464













SYNOPSIS Obligated to wed her father's choice in successor to the throne, seventeen-year-old Princess Alera of Hytanica believes that she is being forced into the worst of all possible fates - a marriage to an arrogant and hot-tempered Steldor.

Review
When the attractive and mysterious Narian arrives from enemy lands bearing secrets and different ideas about women's roles in the world, Alera's private desires threaten to destroy the kingdom. The discovery of Narian's shocking past plunges Alera into a shadowy world of palace intrigue and ancient blood feuds, leaving her unsure of what to believe in, or whom to trust.In writing this review, I will try to keep the Author's youthfulness in mind, but I confess that even with that continuous fact, Legacy isn't a book I would recommend. Four hundred and sixty-two pages long, the book shouldn&#…

Review: A Curse Dark as Gold - Elizabeth C. Bunce

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A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Genre: YA, fairy tale retelling
Published on March 1, 2008
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books
Pages: 396












SYNOPSIS
The gold thread shimmers in the fading light. It promises Charlotte Miller a way out of debt, a chance to save her family's beloved wool mill. It promises a future for her sister, livelihood for her townsfolk, security against her sinuous and grasping uncle. It might even promise what she didn't know she needed: lasting hope and true love.

Review: The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson

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The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson Series: Shades of London #1 Genre: YA, mystery, paranormal Published on September 29, 2011 Published by Putnam Pages: 372 Read From: 12.2.11 - 12.1.11










SYNOPSIS The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city - gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific work of Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.

Review: The Secret of the Rose - Sarah L. Thomson

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The Secret of the Rose by Sarah L. Thomson Genre: YA, mystery, historical fiction Published on August 1, 2006 Published by Greenwillow Books Pages: 304 Read From: 11.28.11 - 12.1.11










SYNOPSIS Rosalind Archer has secrets. Her father is in jail. She and her brother, Robin, are in hiding. Desperate to survive, she cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy.

Review: Dark of the Moon - Tracy Barrett

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Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett Genre: YA, mythology retelling Published on September 20, 2011 Published by HMH Books Pages: 310 Read From: 11.24.11 - 11.25.11











SYNOPSIS Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother, Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety.

Review: Coraline - Neil Gaiman

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman Genre: Middle Grade, horror Published on August 4, 2002 Published by HarperCollins Pages: 162 Read From: 11.22.11 - 11.24.11













SYNOPSIS When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.
Review
I saw the movie before I read the book, and I'm neither happy nor unhappy that I did. I've rarely said this, but this story is one those where I liked aspects in the movie better, and I liked aspects of the book better. In many ways, the movie was more sinister, but in other ways, the book was darker. In any case, there is no denying that Coraline is creepy. So Neil Gaiman was successful in that instance, and I tip my hat to him. I wo…

Review: The Case That Time Forgot - Tracy Barrett

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The Case That Time Forgot by Tracy Barrett Series: The Sherlock Files #3 Genre: Middle Grade, mystery, Sherlockian fiction Published on April 27, 2010 Published by Henry Holt and Co. Pages: 160 Read From: 11.19.11 - 11.22.11










SYNOPSIS Xander's classmate Karim tells him about a famous amulet carved in the shape of Thoth, the Egyptian god of time. It as thought to be so powerful that it could turn back time one day every hundred years.

Review: Shelter - Harlan Coben

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Shelter by Harlan Coben Series: Mickey Bolitar #1 Genre: Young Adult, mystery, suspense Published on September 6, 2011 Published by Putnam Pages: 304 Read From: 11.17.11 - 11.19.11












SYNOPSIS A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey's train wreck of a life is finally improving - until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that

Review: City of Orphans - Avi

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City of Orphans by Avi Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction Published on September 6, 2011 Published by Atheneum Pages: 368 Read In: November 2011













SYNOPSIS The streets of 1893 New York are full of life: crowded, filthy, and dangerous. If you are a newsboy like thirteen-year-old Maks Geless, you need to watch out for Bruno, leader of the Plug Ugly Gang, whose shadowy, sinister boss is plotting to take control of all the newsies of the Lower East Side. 

Review: Lavinia - Ursula K. Le Guin

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Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin
Genre: YA, mythology retelling
Published on April 21, 2008
Published by Harcourt, Inc.
Pages: 279
Read From: 11.4.11 - 11.17.11













SYNOPSIS
In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavina, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavina herself never speaks a word in the poem. Now Ursula K. Le Guin gives her a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills. Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Her mother demands that she marry

Review: The Beast of Blackslope - Tracy Barrett

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The Beast of Blackslope by Tracy Barrett Series: The Sherlock Files #2 Genre: Middle Grade, mystery, Sherlockian fiction Published on May 12, 2009 Published by Henry Holt and Co. Pages: 176 Read From: 11.5.11. - 11.6.11











SYNOPSIS Xena and Xander Holmes have been looking forward to their vacation in the peaceful country village of Blackslope. But when a huge monster begins to terrorize the town, the young detectives are faced with a mystery that seems impossible to solve.

Review: The Son of Neptune - Rick Riordan

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The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #2
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on October 4, 2011
Published by Hyperion
Pages: 513
Read From: 11.4.11 - 11.5.11










SYNOPSIS
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Review: The Outcasts - John Flanagan

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The Outcasts by John Flanagan Series: Brotherband Chronicles #1 Genre: Young Adult, adventure Published on November 1, 2011 Published by Philomel Pages: 434 Read From: 11.2.11 - 11.4.11












SYNOPSIS Hal never knew his father. A Skandian warrior, he died in battle when Hal was a young boy, but his reputation lives on long after death.Hal, unlike his esteemed father, is an outcast. In a country that values physical strength over intellect, Hal's ingenuity, and the fact that his mother was an Araluen slave, only serves to set him apart from the other boys his age.

Review: Inheritance - Christopher Paolini

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Inheritance by Christopher Paolini Series: The Inheritance Cycle #4 Genre: YA, fantasy Published on November 8, 2011 Published by Knopf Pages: 849 Read From: 11.10.11 - 11.16.11










SYNOPSIS Not so very long ago, Eragon - Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider - was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Review: Ten Cents a Dance - Christine Fletcher

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Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher Genre: YA, historical fiction, romance Published on April 1, 2008 Published by Bloomsbury Pages: 356 Read In: October 2011











SYNOPSIS Chicago, 1941

Author Visit: Rick Riordan

My goodness, I am so sorry it has taken me this long to post about this exciting event, but the week following Sunday has just been absolutely crazy. But now I can report about Rick Riordan's visit to Olympia, Washington!

An Ever-Expanding Collection

Tuesday was quite a treat: I went down to Powell's City of Books - the world's best bookstore, in my opinion; it takes up a whole block and has seven floors!!! Lucky for me, I had washed the cars for some lettuce (money) prior, plus I had a good $15 in change, which I was able to trade for hard cash. I had tons of fun - more fun than one person ought to be allowed to have (I cannot imagine how Christmas is going to be when I go there!) Three hours of browsing resulted in my pockets being completely emptied of cash and two bags full of books. What did I get? Well, of course I won't hide it from you!!! My library now contains:

My New Project

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I was so bored yesterday (my current book is barely holding my attention; it's really slow in the beginning), but I felt guilty about just sitting around watching television when it was so nice out. So I finally buckled down and finished a project! Below is a picture of the fancy book-light I got for my birthday in April. It's like a clear page you lay on top of the actual one and there's lights along the side. It never runs out of batteries or bulbs - you just charge it with a USB port! And it lasts up to 15 hours before you have to charge it again.

Review: The Hidden Gallery - Maryrose Wood

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The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood
Series: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #2
Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction, mystery
Published on March 1, 2011
Published by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 313











SYNOPSIS
Thanks to the efforts of their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia are much more like children than wolf cubs now. They are accustomed to wearing clothes. They hardly ever howl at the moon. And for the most part, they resist the urge to chase squirrels up trees.

Review: The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan

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The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on October 12, 2010
Published by Hyperion
Pages: 576











SYNOPSIS
Jason has a problem. He doesn't remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and his best friend is a guy named Leo. They're all students at the Wilderness School, a boarding school for "bad kids," as Leo puts it. What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? Jason doesn't know anything - except that everything seems very wrong.

A Library Greeting

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Some of you will recognize this as a quote from Inkheart. It is the same quote that is on the door of Mo's workshop in the farmhouse he and Meggie live in before they have to flee to Elinor's house: "Some books should be tasted; some devoured, but only a few should be chewed & digested thoroughly."
In truth, this is a "redone" version of one of Francis Bacon's sayings, his going like this:
"Some books are to be tasted; Others to be swallowed; and some few to be chewed and digested."