Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of Wonder - R.J. Palacio

August Pullman is an ordinary 5th grade boy with an extraordinary face - a face that scares little kids and causes others to stare and then quickly look away.  After being home schooled by his mom, he enters middle grade at a private school and slowly makes friends.  The author really captures the voices of 5th graders and others who become a part of Auggie's life.  This is a heartbreaking novel for all ages and it will bring a tear to your eye.  You can't help but root for this little boy as he faces more challenges than any person should ever have to bear.  Auggie is a wonder!  4 Elves -Highly Recommended

Friday, December 27, 2013

Eleanor & Park-Rainbow Rowell

Wow!  This book for older teens grabbed me from the moment I read the first page.  A tale of two misfits, the odds are against this couple in love, but you really want a happy ending for them.  This book is definitely for older teens, but anyone who reads it will be haunted by Eleanor & Park. 4 Elves- Highly Recommended

Just One Year-Gayle Forman

Her book, Just One Day, was told from Lulu's perspective; this book is Willem's voice.  After failing to come back to Lulu, we now find out just what happened to Willem.  For the first part of this book, his voice seems to whine - a lot - but it turns out to be a year of discovery for him.  By the end of the book, I was rooting for him and hoping he & Lulu would get back together again.  3 Elves - Recommended for teens.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Review of Counting by 7s-Holly Goldberg Sloan

Willow Chance is a strange child but you grow to really care about her.  When tragedy strikes, an odd assortment of people take her under their wing and become her family.  A wonderful novel about belonging and transformation.  4 Elves - highly recommended

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review of Winterling-Sarah Prineas

As the author of the Magic Thief series, Prineas has already proved that she can write wonderful fantasy for middle grade readers.  In the first book of her new series, she takes us to a wintry land and introduces us to a girl who doesn't fit in the human world.  Fer, short for Jennifer, makes her way to a new world, hoping to solve the mystery of her parents' death.  Influenced by folklore, this book has winning characters, thrilling action and a land full of wildlings.  I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Summerkin.  3 Elves - recommended

Review of The Infinite Moment of Us-Lauren Myracle

Wren has always been a model daughter, getting good grades throughout high school and never having a boyfriend to distract her from her studies or her parent's vision of her future.  But when she graduates from high school, she makes a bold decision about college and meets Charlie.  Charlie has had a tough life, unlike Wren, but slowly introduces her to her first love.  This is a sweet, touching novel but because of explicit sex scenes and some drinking, is suited for older teens.  4 Elves - highly recommended

Review of Flora & Ulysses-Kate DiCamillo

This is a great book for readers 7-12, with fun illustrations by K.G. Campbell.  Flora spends all her free time reading about a comic book superhero.  Her parents are split up and she's fairly sure that her mother loves an ugly shepherdess lamp more she loves her daughter.  Flora, a self-described cynic, finds her whole world turned around when she rescues a squirrel who has been sucked up by a vacuum cleaner.  Ulysses, the squirrel, just may be a superhero, plus he writes poetry.  Adventures galore in this lively tale! 4 Elves - highly recommended

Monday, December 16, 2013

Review of Through the Ever Night-Veronica Rossi

I really loved Under the Never Sky and was thrilled to find the sequel to be just as good.  Aria and Perry are reunited, only to be torn apart again.  As their Blood Lord, Perry must lead his tribe to safety while Aria goes on a mission to find answers about the Still Blue and find Perry's sister, Liv.  As her mission dissolves into tragedy, she finds out that she must go back to the Reverie to rescue Dwellers and Talon, Perry's beloved nephew.  They must find a way to the Still Blue to save them all.  Can't wait for the sequel, Into the Still Blue, coming out early next year.  4 Elves - Highly Recommended

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review of The Grimm Legacy-Polly Shulman

Elizabeth had moved to a new school and has no friends.  After the death of her mother, her father has remarried, and she now has a mean stepmother and two mean step sisters.  A teacher at school recommends her for a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository and after she takes a job there, she finds friends and even a boyfriend.  But the Repository is no ordinary library and after items start disappearing, she and her friends have to use magic and their wits to retrieve them. This was a fun book, with many connections to the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales, for ages 7-12. 4 Elves-Highly Recommended