Saturday, May 16, 2015

Student Saturday: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Genre: Young Adult, Adult, Fantasy
Student Reviewer: Sarah F.

When I checked this book out, I had imagined it to have a different plot line. I thought that Gabi and Lia would have had to find a different way to travel back, or they would've gotten kidnapped, or something.

there were some very inactive parts of the book, too. I wouldn't go so far as to say they were boring, but in some chapters, not many things happened.

But, my favorite part was the battle at the end. That particular section was extremely action packed and kept you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

Overall, this was a very creative and fun to read book with humor and action, love and war. It also gives you an interesting insight of how the author imagined 14th century Italy to be like, If you ever get a chance to read this book, I definitely think you should.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Student Saturday: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Student Reviewer: Isaac C.

Michael, like all teenagers spends most of his time on electronics. However, he spends time in the VirtNet, a virtual universe wehre many nuisances in life are removed and everything is better, or is it? He meets a girl who explians a man named Kaine and about being trapped here, and Killsims, of course Michael shrugs it off thinking she's a lunatic. But, when the VirtNet Security kidnaps him, telling how they've been hunting Kaine for so long, he's with their coding skils. However, the the VirtNet, there are many mysterious things Micahel has yet to see.

I felt in the place of Micahel sometimes when he was overwhelmed when things would out of hand. I'd recommend this for readers into the futuristic setting and brain teasing plots. This is a great book by one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to read the sequel!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Night Buddies Go Sky High by Sands Heatherington

Genre: Children, Adventure, Fantasy
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Crosley the bright red crocodile, who is afraid of water is on another adventure with his best buddy John Degraffenreidt.  Crosley lives under John’s bed and absolutely loves pineapple cheesecakes.  However we learn that the iguana from the last book is actually repelled by the pineapple cheesecake.  This is good as we learn at the beginning of the book that John is about to be turned green by the Iguana. It is Crosley and his pineapple cheesecake to the rescue.
Crosley needs to replenish his supply cheesecakes and so they visit Big Mae and her cheesecake factory.  They find her lying on the floor studying a dot on her ceiling that is slowly moving.  Crosley’s brother, Crenwrinkle has also spotted this suspicious dot in the night sky.  So Crosley and John are off on another program (another way of saying adventure) to determine if this tiny moving speck is a threat or not.

Kids will really love the made up and non-formal language in this book. It makes it more interesting and fun to read.  This is the third book in the series and I have really enjoyed them all.  I am looking forward to the next installment in this series.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Student Saturday: The Comet's Curse by Dom Testa

Student Reviewer: Isaac

In the not so far future, a comet known as Bhaktul passes by the sun, leaving the remnants of the tail to be passsed by Earth. Normally this is a beautiful event. However, a deadly condition coincidentally occurs, leaving many to speculate that an unknown particle located in the tail is what causes this condition to shatter the healthiest human. There is an escape thoug, a respectable scientist, Dr. Zimmer, plans to send 251, fifteen and sixteen year olds due to the diseas not affecting teens below the age of 17 or 18, on humanities life saver Galahad. However, one of Zimmer's colleagues and close friends disagrees, so events could be bound to happen as Galahad travels to two planets light-years away.

I felt in the place of many characters because I can easily relate to their problems and how they react.
I would recommend this to any sci-fi fans who love to be on the edge of their seat and is always thinking about the plot and what's going to happen next.  This is an amazing and fascinating sci-fi book. What can I say?!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Guest Post: The Fascinating World of Greyhounds by Suzanne Burke

I recently had the privilege of reading and reviewing the book, Logan and the Mystical Collar: Adventures in Ancient Egypt by Suzanne Burke.  Her books have a greyhound for their main characters.  Today I am honored to have her as a guest on my blog speaking about greyhounds and her love for them.  Thank you Suzanne for being a guest on my blog and I look forward to reading more about Logan and sharing his stories with my students.

The greyhound became an inspiration to me one day in more ways than I could ever have imagined as I worked in my front yard. As I was tending my garden on Thanksgiving Day 2000, a greyhound suddenly raced by. At the time, I had no idea what rushed past until a young girl stopped in a car, obviously distressed that the dog she was dog sitting had escaped from its backyard. She told me it was a greyhound and his name was Zeus – what a mighty name I thought. I ran to the back alley looking for Zeus and at the far end I saw an incredibly elegant dog staring me down. I yelled his name and he raced to me at top speed grinning ear to ear. I was immediately smitten. I've never forgot that day and my first greyhound encounter!
Several years later I decided to adopt a “pound puppy” and I remembered Zeus. I did some research on the Internet and found a local adoption group, Greyhound Adoption League of Texas and met my first greyhound, Allie who I eventually adopted. After experiencing what a wonderfully docile breed this was I jumped into volunteering and fostering. Throughout the last 14 years I fostered and rescued greyhounds in dire circumstances, including one greyhound named Logan, and I learned what an incredible rich history they possess.
Did you know the greyhound breed goes back over 6,000 years? I bet you also didn’t know that they are the fastest land animal, second only to the cheetah, clocking in at speeds over 45 miles per hour during a sprint. For all of these centuries, their value was mostly for hunting. They were typically used in packs to hunt rabbits, wild boar, deer, and coyotes here in the U.S.

Their origins date back to beyond Ancient Egypt, but most of the drawings and documentation of this phenomenal breed dates back to this fascinating time period. Dogs in Ancient Egypt were highly regarded, well treated, and protected from being killed. Any person found killing a dog would face the same fate. Because dogs were held in such high esteem in Egypt, there were only three types of work activities for dogs: assisting humans with hunting, assisting in war, and acting as temple guard dogs.
Greyhound dogs were held in especially high regard because of their swift speed, incredible beauty, and sacred association with the gods. Only royalty could own this breed. So important were they to royal families, that a greyhound’s birth was considered second in importance to the birth of a male child. When a family greyhound died, they were mourned in the same tradition as that of a human.
Greyhounds were eventually given as gifts to dignitaries from other lands, because they were valued so highly. Greyhounds would become valued as gifts in Greek and Roman societies later on. The most important legacy that the Egyptians gave to the greyhound was the prominence and royal stature of the breed to many future cultures.
Unfortunately, man found a way to exploit the greyhound for its swiftness. In the early 1920’s greyhounds were used for racing around an oval track for people to bet on the fastest greyhound. Enter the greyhound racing industry. For decades the tides turned on this breed and they were no longer protected from death. Many died at the hands of humans because they were slow by mere seconds.
In the mid 1980’s greyhound adoption groups started to spring up around the globe to save these ancient royal creatures from certain death following their racing careers. Today, there are greyhound adoption groups in almost every state and most European countries as well as Australia. Most states have outlawed greyhound racing, but there are still a few states where greyhound racing is still a business such as Florida, West Virginia, and Arizona.
In 2003 I met a very special greyhound named Logan. This greyhound changed my life in many ways, so much so that I was inspired to write about his incredible story and the lessons he taught me. I began to promote his positive message to others. Those lessons can be found in my first Greyhound Stories, book Logan’s Secret. Following positive reviews by children and adults, I was asked to continue writing about Logan and the Logan series was created to carry the greyhound through different historical ages where they held prominence.
Logan and the Mystical Collar, which was the second book in the series teaches not only lessons about bullying, but also historical facts about Ancient Egypt in an interesting and fun way for children. Book three in the series has just been completed and is expected to launch this summer. Logan and the Phoenix, set in the medieval period is an exciting adventure that includes a wizard, dragon and king who have to work together to save a kingdom from an evil black mist that has plagued their lands.
More stories are on the horizon to teach important life lessons and history for readers. Logan’s Secret and Logan and the Mystical Collar are available on To learn more about the greyhound’s history and about this breed as a pet, visit

Suzanne Burke, a native of Richmond, Virginia currently lives in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, with her retired racing greyhounds. She has more than ten years’ experience working with the greyhound breed as a volunteer for the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas. Suzanne also has more than 15 years’ experience in the information technology field in project management and technical writing.

Buy links:
Logan and the Mystical Collar

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Release Day Blitz - Stolen Art by Ruth Silver

Title: Stolen Art
Author: Ruth Silver
Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi Romance
  Stolen Art Sixteen-year-old Madeline has been living on the streets, biding her time until she's eighteen. With little to no money, she takes on a heist in hopes of making ends meet. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. Getting caught is just the beginning of Madeline's adventure as she meets Weston and discovers the secret of where she came from.   Fans of Orphan Black, The X-Files, and Fringe will fall head over heels for STOLEN ART. Recommended: 15+


I rush back up the dark stairwell, shoving the key into the doorknob. It takes a minute for the lock to click and I push myself inside the apartment, securing every lock and deadbolt. I can’t stay here in Hutchinson, Kansas any longer. Pulling my phone from my purse, I text Weston. Tatiana is here. It’s not safe for me. I grab the few belongings that have any value to me, sentimental or otherwise, and shove it into my shoulder bag, including the stolen silver necklace. It has value and if I’m forced on the run, I’ll need money to survive. I know. What did Weston mean he knew Tatiana is at the bar? Had he seen her? Is he there? What do you mean, you know? I type into the phone. If he saw her, why didn’t he warn me? I can’t go down out the front door and it’s only a matter of time until she finds me just a few feet away. I grow restless waiting for an answer. The phone buzzes and displays an incoming call from Weston. "Wes, tell me you’re here." The only thing to do is hop in his car and drive into the night, far from Kansas. A female’s voice bubbles with laughter. "Oh he’s coming darling, but you should know he won’t get here in time. Amazing how easy it is to clone a phone number and steal his service. The advancements Stem Tech has made is encouraging." teaser stolen art2    

About the Author

Ruth Silver Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing multiple series under her name as well as the pen name Ravyn Rayne. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. Follow Ruth here Blog- Facebook- Twitter- Looking for a steamier read? Check her out here Blog- Facebook- Twitter- book series  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chances Choice Changes Death by Connie Knight

Genre:  Adult, Mystery
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
Myra Cade is a single mother, living with her father, Doug, and raising her son, Scott. She mostly keeps to herself and really has no time for anyone else. But shortly after serving paternity papers to Danny, the suspected father of Scott, she’s found dead at the side of the road in the country. Caroline and her cousin Janet, who are taking Western riding lessons at the nearby Robinson Ranch, find themselves drawn into the murder investigation and looking for the missing boy and the murderer.

My Thoughts:

Talk about a book gluing you to your seat until you finish it, this book is it.  When Myra is found dead and her son is missing my first concern was not with who killed Myra, but with who took Scott and why.  Throw into all of this the fact that Myra’s father is very ill and you have a mystery to keep you turning pages.  Of course Danny is the first one you suspect.  But, this author is good at throwing out little bread crumb clues and leading you to think one thing only to throw out another bread crumb that leads you down another path. You, the reader, find yourself right there along with Caroline and her cousin Janet trying to solve this mystery.  I’ve not read the first book by this author, “Cemetery Whites”, but it is on my list to read. As a reader/teacher who reads predominantly books for kids and teens, it is refreshing to find a new author who can keep my attention and make me want to read more of their work.  Great job Connie Knight.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Into the Aether by T.C. Pearce

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Mystery
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
A scared teenager, Lara must battle her own inner demons … while being stalked in her nightmares by an all-too-real monster. She has only two options: run or succumb. 

A courageous woman, Cybil is doing her best to piece together a new life free of her abusive husband. She is cursed with confused glimpses into future events she may not be able to change—including her own death. 

An honorable warrior, and the reluctant leader of her people, August must undertake the familial obligation of protecting a seemingly ordinary high school teacher. If she shirks her duty, then the world will fall to a preternatural tyrant in search of a long-lost weapon of immense power.

Their stories weave together to reveal a mysterious supernatural world that hides just beneath our own. As chaos swirls among and around them, the three women must put aside their differences and act together, or watch two worlds collide in a deluge of fire and blood.

My Thoughts:
 If you are looking for a great fantasy with a mystery mixed in then this is the book for you.  The author is very adept at weaving all of the characters stories into one great plot.  The book is full of twists and turns. You think you have things all figure out and then there is another twist.  One thing that really intrigued me was Lara's ability to enter into other people's dreams.  I don't know why this is so fascinating to me but it is an idea I have always loved.  Check this one out and then prepare for the second book out in May.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Logan and the Mystical Collar: Adventures in Ancient Egypt by Suzanne Burke

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

There is so much to love about this book. I have to admit that my husband raised grey hounds for years and I knew nothing about this breed. My husband worked for the dog track in Sarasota, Florida. He was always telling me what great dogs they are.

In this story we meet Logan a golden greyhound who wakes up in ancient Egypt. There he meets Cleopatra and her greyhounds.  He doesn't know how or why he is there.  Zeus is Cleopatra's body guard and doesn't like Logan at all. Logan will play a major part and be declared a hero before the story is done.  There is also the underlying message about bullying that children will definitely be able to relate to.

I enjoyed not only the story, but the valuable information found at the back of the book.  I didn't know that there were penalties for killing dogs in ancient Egypt. I also didn't know that only royalty could own greyhounds. As an adult I loved this book and I'm sure my students will love it just as much.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Student Saturday: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Student Reviewer: Alexia
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Flipped is about a boy named Bryce. His family is new to the neighborhood. While they were putting their furniture in their new home, this girl named Juliana couldn't wait to meet the new family that's moving in. Juliana liked Bryce and Bryce didn't like Juliana. But, then over the years Juliana liked Bryce les and Bryce liked Juliana more.

I really liked this book because I think it is a good book on how the author describe the characters in tehbook and about how school drama goes. I liked Juliana and her family, Bryce, Grandpa and all the free spirits. They don't realy care what people think of them and I liked how they handle family situation.  I liked how they said "the choices you choose now will affect you in the future." I really liked this quote