Showing posts from January, 2012

Review: Winnie's War - Jenny Moss

Winnie's War by Jenny Moss Genre: YA, historical fiction Published on February 3, 2009 Published by Walker Childrens Pages: 192 Read From: 1.17.12 - 1.18.12

SYNOPSIS Winnie can't imagine a life any different from the one she lives in her small town of Coward Creek, Texas. The world may be at war, but she's perfectly happy going to school, playing chess with Mr. Levy, and stealing a private moment with her sweetheart, Nolan, to avoid her testy grandmother. Plus, she has her hands full taking care of her younger sisters - because even though their mama loves them, her troubled past makes her unlike most other mothers.

Review: The Tale of Despereaux - Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Genre: Middle Grade, animal fiction
Published on August 25, 2003
Published by Candlewick Press
Pages: 272

This is the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in darkness but covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other's lives. And what happens then? Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

This was a strange little story that was rather horrifying in many ways - I always find stories about little animals murdering each other horrifying. But I liked it, for all of its strangeness and creepiness. Despereaux is an adorable little mouse hero, Roscuro a very sad and pitiable rat, and Miggery…

True Love's Foundation: A Sonnet

I had to write a sonnet for my Shakespeare class this week, and unsurprisingly the topic had to be love (oh joy, went my brain). I'll have you know, dear Readers, that poetry of any sort is not my strong point, and never has been. And of course, sonnets have to follow certain rules: 14 lines long, each line has to have 10 syllables, every other line ending has to rhyme with each other, and the last two lines have to be a rhyming couplet. Of course, as soon as I heard these rules, Genius instantly rebelled and started composing poetry that contradicted these rules at every turn. The only plus that I could initially see was that while the topic of was love, we were free to write about love in any manner we wished. It could be satirical, serious, or nonsense. And we didn't have to write about a person - we could write about an object, an idea, an animal - anything, so long as it somehow pertained to love.

Review: The Winter Pony - Iain Lawrence

The Winter Pony by Iain Lawrence Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction, animal fiction Published on November 8, 2011 Published by Delacorte Pages: 256 Read From: 1.7.12 - 1.8.12

SYNOPSIS In the forests of Siberia, in the first years of the twentieth century, a white pony runs free with his herd. But his life changes forever when he's captured by men. Years of hard work and cruelty wear him out. When he is chosen to be one of twenty ponies to accompany the Englishman Robert Falcon Scott on his quest to become the first to reach the South Pole, he doesn't know what to expect. But the men of Scott's expedition show him kindness, something he's never known before. They also give him a name - James Pigg.

Review: Belle's Song - K. M. Grant

Belle's Songby K. M. Grant Genre: YA, historical fiction, romance Published on November 22, 2011 Published by Walker Childrens Pages: 304 Read From: 1.1.12 - 1.5.12

SYNOPSIS Fifteen-year-old Belle is a dreamer with a sharp tongue and an aching burden: her father was crippled because of her fleeting moment of carelessness. After a chance meeting with bespectacled Luke, scribe to the poet Chaucer, impulsive Belle decides to join the pilgrimage to Canterbury, made famous by Chaucer's beloved tales. She hopes for a miracle - that her father will walk again. Befriending Chaucer and Walter, a handsome squire with a secret of his own, Belle is grateful for the company of her new friends.

Review: Tuesdays at the Castle - Jessica Day George

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Series: Castle Glower #1
Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy
Published on October 25, 2011
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 225
Read From: 1.6.12 - 1.7.12

Tuesdays at Castle Glower is Princess Celie's favorite day. That's when the Castle magically grows a new room, a turret, or sometimes an entire wing. No one knows how or why the Castle does it, and no one except Princess Celie has ever bothered to map out the Castle's many twists and turns.

Review: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction Published on February 16, 2005 Published by Thorndike Press Pages: 311 Read From: 1.17.12 - 1.18.12

SYNOPSIS The Seahawk looms against a darkening sky, black and sinister. Manned by an angry, motley crew at the mercy of a ruthless captain, the rat-infested ship reeks of squalor, despair. . . .and mutiny! It is no place for the lone

Review: Mutiny's Daughter - Ann Rinaldi

Mutiny's Daughterby Ann Rinaldi Genre: YA, historical fiction Published on February 1, 2004 Published by HarperCollins Pages: 218 Read From: 1.19.12 - 1.19.12

SYNOPSIS By leading the most famous mutiny in the world, aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789, Fletcher Christian risked being hanged. But what happened to him after the mutiny? There were stories that he survived a vicious massacre in the South Pacific and boarded a ship back to England. We know that he had several children by his Polynesian wife, including a daughter named Mary. Could he and Mary have reunited in England?

Review: The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Series: The Hunger Games #1 Genre: YA, dystopian Published on September 14, 2008 Published by Scholastic Pages: 374 Read From: 1.16.12 - 1.17.12

SYNOPSIS In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death.

Review: The Escape from Home - Avi

The Escape from Home by Avi
Series: Beyond the Western Sea #1
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on March 1, 1996
Published by Scholastic
Pages: 304
Read From: 12.31.11 - 1.1.12

It is 1851. Thousands are fleeing the Old World for the New, desperate to reach America.

Review: Princess Ben - Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Princess Benby Catherine Gilbert Murdock Genre: YA, fairy tale retelling Published on March 18, 2008 Published by HMH Books Pages: 344 Read From: 12.27.11 - 12.29.11

SYNOPSIS With her parents lost to assassins, Princess Ben ends up under the thumb of the conniving Queen Sophia. Starved and miserable, locked in the castle's highest tower, Ben stumbles upon a mysterious enchanted room. So begins

Review: The Wide-Awake Princess - E. D. Baker

The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D. Baker
Series: Wide-Awake Princess #1
Genre: Middle Grade, fairy tale retelling, comedy
Published on May 11, 2010
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 261
Read From: 12.20.11 - 12.21.11

When Princess Gwen (otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty) pricks her finger and sends herself and the whole castle to sleep for one hundred years, only her younger sister, Annie, is left awake. And only Annie - blessed (and cursed) with being resistant to magic - can venture beyond the rose-covered hedge to get help. She must find Gwen's true love to kiss her awake.

Review: Grape Thief - Kristine L. Franklin

Grape Thief by Kristine L. Franklin Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction Published on April 1, 2003 Published by Candlewick Press Pages: 304 Read From: 12.13.11 - 12.14.11

SYNOPSIS Most of the men in Roslyn, Washington have come from Europe to work in the coal mines. Twelve-year-old Slava Petrovich - called Cuss because he can swear in fourteen languages - is destined, like his older brothers, to

Raining Books - How 'Bout You?

Yesterday I went book shopping at my all-time favorite new-and-used bookstore. It was a good time to do that, too; I was feeling upset and all-around low because school started today and Christmas/New Year's is officially over. Time to go about the depressing business of pulling the decorations down . . .

Happy 2012!

Wishing you all the best of beginnings for a new year! According to some - including the Mayans, apparently - the world is supposed to end this year, right before Christmas Eve (23rd), so this would be the year of doing all those things you've been wanting to do, but never did because you realized that you would have to live with the consequences - or embarrassment, depending on what it is you did. But of course, if the all-knowing Mayans are wrong, perhaps you'd best not pull the trick on your bestest best friend that you have been planning since you were twelve. ;)