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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn by Jon Land

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

From Goodreads:
The next adventure of The Seven Sins' Michael "The Tyrant" Tiranno, Jon Land's Black Scorpion is a pulse pounding action-thriller as he takes on a worldwide human trafficking cabal.

Five years have passed since Michael Tiranno saved the city of Las Vegas from a terrorist attack. And now a new enemy has surfaced in Eastern Europe in the form of an all-powerful organization called Black Scorpion. Once a victim of human trafficking himself, the shadowy group's crazed leader, Vladimir Dracu, has become the mastermind behind the scourge's infestation on a global scale. And now he's set his sights on Michael Tiranno for reasons birthed in a painful secret past that have scarred both men.

Already facing a myriad of problems, Michael once more must rise to the challenge of confronting an all-powerful enemy who is exploiting and ravaging innocents all across the globe and has set nothing less than all of America as its new victim. Black Scorpion has also taken the woman Michael loves hostage: Scarlett Swan, a beautiful archaeologist who was following the dangerous trail of the origins of the ancient relic that both defines and empowers Michael, a discovery that could change history and the perception of mankind's very origins.

With the deck and the odds stacked against him, Michael must come to learn and embrace his true destiny in becoming the Tyrant reborn as a dark knight to triumph over ultimate evil and stop the sting of Black Scorpion from undermining all of the United States and plunging Las Vegas into chaos and anarchy.

My Thoughts:

This was the first book I’d read by this author. I have to say the author is quite the writer.  Reading his book is like watching a major motion picture.  You are along for the ride of your life. It is fast paced and the adventures just keep going. To think all of this suspense is due to one small gold coin. Check out his book.  I will definitely be finding time this summer to read the first book in this series.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Auditory Viewpoint by Lilian R. Melendez

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

This was an excellent book.  I was intrigued by the idea that a blind person would be the one to step up to try to solve a crime.  When Gloria Rank interviewed Benjamin Taylor on her morning radio talk show she had no idea she would need his help.  Benjamin Taylor was an expert on identity theft.  Gloria’s younger sister Anna is a victim of identity theft.  That isn’t the only problem she has. A body has been dumped on Anna’s doorstep ad she has become the prime suspect.  It will be up to her and he sister to find out what is actually going on.

The reason this story intrigued me was because Gloria sets out to help those who are trying to solve this crime learn to use their other senses.  I was right there with her. I had to agree with her character that we don’t utilize our other senses.  About five years ago I had some severe eye problems and was actually losing my sight.  Thankfully several surgeries later and most of it has been restored.  The thing is, I had to learn to rely on my other senses.  I’m a teacher.  I used my hand to guide me down the hallway because it was so blurry.  I could no longer make out the faces of my students so I had to learn the sound of their voice, their walk, or their cologne.  When you can’t see what you are eating on your plate you learn to utilize your smell to find your food. 

This was a great approach to writing this story. It was unique and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through.  I would highly recommend this book to those who love mystery and intrigue.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Rise of Mallory by Roy Huff

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

From Goddreads:
As the epic journey continues, a victorious Owen Sage stands undefeated against his enemies. His last battle in Everville gave rise to a new insidious evil, Mallory; whose determination to defeat him opens and unexplored Pandora's box. Owen's search for truth will unveil the mystery and surprising insights surrounding himself and his friends at Easton Falls University. New creatures will be uncovered and the true value of friendship will be tested, as Owen embarks on yet another battle in Everville.

My Thoughts:
As always Roy Huff has done an excellent job with this third story in his series. In this third book we find Owen Sage, the hero trying to protect both his world and teh world of Everville from Mallory.  If he fails it could mean the destruction of people, animals and other creatures in both worlds. He is not alone in this effort.  He has the help of Zee and Anika.  Like his other books this book is fast paced filled with twists and turns. His world building as always is great.  He seems to be able to create our world and the world of Everville so they flow together.  If you haven't read this series yet I would suggest you begin it.  His next book will be out very soon.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Red Stick One by Kenneth Kirkeby

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

This is one of those stories that you can’t put down.  We have the main character Virgil who sets out to find the person who murdered Tom Jay Harding.  The story starts in Florida.  When Virgil kills a deer out of season, he finds himself doing community service to pay off the fine.  His mentor is Tom Harding. Tom becomes the father he never had.  He grows up and joins the marines and fights in Vietnam.  When he returns he becomes a warden like Tom.  When Tom is killed by a poacher then Virgil will go to all ends of the earth to catch his killer and bring him to justice. 

The author did a wonderful job with description of the places across the country.  I live in Florida and can tell you that he was definitely spot on with his descriptions. You travelled along with Virgil and felt just like you were there.  One thing I liked was there was a small romance.  I don’t like reading major romances I a book, never have.  This author is a master of painting scenes with his words.  I am glad I was asked to review this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Benjamin Buckingham and the Nightmare's Nightmare by Gregory Gershwin

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

From the minute I opened this book I was hooked.  Benjamin Buckingham dreams each night that he is a hero in his dreams. He travels with a group of dinosaurs from his favorite show.  He helps save the world from a villain and he is the leader of the good guys. It is ironic that his teacher has given them dream journals to keep for a week.  When they share them out in class he realizes that his dreams are nothing like his classmates dreams.  When he reads his the class bully makes fun of him and the entire class laughs at him.  He goes home very disappointed.  That night he begins his dream again, only something is different.  He is being chased by a monster.  One of the dinosaurs from his dream saves him.  He wakes up to find the dinosaur in his room.  When the dinosaur  disappears through a hole in his floor, under his bed, he follows. He finds himself in the land where dreams are made.  Since he misses the portal to get back to his world, he is stuck there for a month.  He learns that the dream machine is broken. Things keep getting worse and when the King disappears and Benjamin is blamed.  Benjamin must save this world if he is to save the dreams in his own world.

The great thing about this book is that there are lessons tucked in throughout the book.  Benjamin learns to make friends, and learns to value himself.  He learns that only he can make himself feel different. The idea of how dreams are created in something like a movie theater, is just so creative.  I would have loved to have been in that world with Benjamin.  If you want to find out if he's successful then you really must read this book.  It is one of the best fantasies I've read this year. Since I read  an electronic version of this book I can only hope that the author creates a print book that I can add to my school shelves.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Student Saturday: The Green Dagger by Kelly Hess

Student Reviewer: Alexia
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

I would give Kelly Hess's books five stars because they are really good. The Green Dagger is about Beynn and Fritz, they are continuing the story on how Fritz has the Green Dagger and Beynn practicing being a Sorak. Well Fritz became addicted to the green dagger and evil, so the Queen Sorak wants the Green Dagger. Beynn is on a quest to get the green dagger back but then other colonies want the green dagger because they know the power. Humans just want to turn in the dagger to get money. While they are getting the dagger someone found the secret on how to control the green dagger. Is it over?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Good the Goblin Queen by Becket

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

This was a fun book to read.  First, you have a young girl who lives in a treehouse with her parents. Her parents just happen to be orangutans.  She has to hide her books because if not her parents will eat them. Can you imagine such a tragedy happening?  One night Good wishes upon a shooting star to have a different life.  She is turned into a Goblin.  From this point forward she goes from one adventure to another.  She learns how to deal with problems as they come up.  She learns to act wisely instead of just jumping in.  This is what makes her a wonderful Queen.  There are lessons all the way through to be learned.  They aren't forced.  Kids will be able to associate parts of their lives with these lessons.  The drawing inside are wonderful.  The cover is just a sample of what is help between the pages.  I proudly put this on my schools shelves.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bonners Fairy by Elizabeth A. Patterson

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

From Goodreads:
So far, life has been pretty ordinary and dull for fifteen-year-old twins Henry and Haley Miles. But after their father purchases a large estate in northwestern Idaho, they are thrilled to begin a new adventure in the mountains. Little do they know that their lives are about to change forever. As soon as Henry and Haley are introduced to the diverse group of mysterious characters that inhabit the small town of Bonners Ferry, they learn of a tragedy hundreds of years ago that spawned the kind of legend that has always kept the locals wary and suspicious. It is not long before the twins stumble upon a map and an unusual key that leads them through a portal to another time, and a world filled with mystical creatures. As a princess pleas with the teens to rescue an innocent family from a fate worse than death, they soon uncover not only the secrets of the past, but also the mission of evil beings determined to win at all cost.

In a strange world filled with magic, wonder and beauty, Henry and Haley must abandon their childlike innocence and demonstrate to everyone all the ways humans can overcome seemingly impossible odds.

My Thoughts:
This is a book that old and young will like.  We meet twins Hayley and Henry.  Their adventure starts when they find a map and a key. The key fits a portal into another world.  This was the point where I was hooked.  The world building is great.  It is a world you want to stay in. You have a set of fairies battling evil. Then you have characters that for the most part are believable and that you find you will like almost instantly. The fact that the story has that wonderful magical element to it makes it a book that you want to stay in. Sadly it ends leaving you hungry for what hopefully will be a second book. Since I've given my opinion on the book I will happily say I believe my middle school students will enjoy it as much as I did; especiall my fantasy lovers.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Student Saturday: The Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble

Student Reviewer: Amari B.
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction

This book is a historical fiction book.  It is about a girl named Abigail Faulkners. In the beginning Abigail is punished because she was racing. While she was running she was being inappropriate by making her skirt flap everywhere showing her legs. Then all of a sudden, her dad starts acting crazy and saying crazy things like someone was after him. This book felt very emotional to me because the family has to suffer because of the dad's actions. How would you feel if you had to deal with soemone like that? I would recommend this book to people who would want to sacrifice themselves for anyone or anything.