Showing posts with label Young Adult Adventure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Young Adult Adventure. Show all posts

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Where She Fell by Kaitlin Ward

Genre: Young Adult, Adventure
Source: I purchased a copy. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This was one of the stranger books I have read. I had actually started it last year and never finished it. Today was as good as any day to finish it.  Eliza is not very out-going. She and two of her friends go down near the swamp. When her friends leave her to take a picture outside a cave she walks on. Suddenly she finds herself falling through the earth.  Eliza is found by a group of people who have fallen down as well. They’ve not been able to find a way out so they have formed a colony.

Eliza learns many things about herself while she is underground. She learns to be more assertive. She learns what true friends are. The friends she had on the surface were not true friends. She learns you can’t just sit back and wait when things take a wrong or bad turn. Sometimes you have to step up and go for what you want or what you know you should do.

For me I felt the ending needed a bit more. It was like watching a movie build up to the end and then you want to know what happened next, but never find out.  I will still recommend this book to my students and others who like adventures and young adult books.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Remembrance by Carolyn Twede Frank Review and Blog Tour

Remembrance Book Blog Tour
December 1 Carolyn Twede Frank -
December 2 Sheila Staley -
December 3 Susan Tietjen -
December 4 Sandra Stile -
December 5 Christy Frazier -
December 6 Christy Monson -
December 7 Kathryn Olsen -
December 8 Donna K. Weaver -

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

It seems that Josh Sawyer finds him even when he is trying to do the right thing. Josh loves his drama class but hates that they are singing in the Christmas Gala. Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus has been sung as part of the Gala for decades.  This year they have been told they can’t sing the “Hallelujah Chorus”.  They have been given permission to choose another song that doesn’t have a religious meaning.  While joking around with the new kid Zane, Josh sarcastically declares they should sing the song he hates the most, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”  To his horror, Mrs. Kowalski agrees that is the song they will sing.  Then she takes her frustration out on the class by assigning them reports on classical musicians.
Josh’s girlfriend Ester invites him to use her Uncle’s Literary Loom to research the musician. I loved the idea of the literary loom Ester’s uncle invented a way to live a book, to travel through it through the character. This trip to learn about Handel is just the inspiration Josh needs to spur him into action to try to save the traditions of the school’s Christmas Gala. There are so many story lines throughout this book. We see a young man who is searching for the meaning of God.  We learn the secret Zane had been keeping. As Josh travels through the Literary Loom several times, he learns more about the meaning of Christmas. He questions why more people don’t celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.

This is a fabulous book to read at any time of year. It was perfect for right before Christmas. This book really hit home with me. I see more commercialism each year. I had a student ask me a couple of weeks back if we could have a Christmas party. I teach in a public school. I told him we didn’t have parties in middle school. He said, but it’s a Christmas party we need to celebrate Christmas. I told him we weren’t allowed to celebrate religious holidays in the classroom. He still didn’t get it. I told him we were not allowed to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  He said, “What does Jesus have to do with anything? I want to celebrate Santa.”  It is books like this that allow me to introduce kids to God’s messages.

I have not yet read the first two books in this series. I can assure you I will.  I will also be purchasing the series for my classroom library. It is difficult to find faith-based messages in books for classrooms.  I am looking forward to sharing this one with my students.  I just really wish the Literary Loom were real.  

Purchase on Amazon
Find out more about the author here

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Whizbang Machine by Danielle A. Vann

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

Synopsis from Goodreads:
After years of running from his tragic past, Jack Yale books a flight home. With him is a typewriter that is intended to be a gift for his granddaughter, Elizabeth. The minute Elizabeth’s fingers cradle the large black and cream keys the machine responses: popping, sizzling, and roaring to life with a Whiz-Whiz-BANG! Elizabeth quickly discovers the typewriter has powers beyond anything she has ever seen. The more she types, the more the machine spells out guarded secrets that need to be revealed in order to set history straight and remove a curse that has been on their family for centuries. To solve the mystery, Elizabeth Yale, alongside Jack, will have to crack the code of the Whizbang Machine. What they find challenges their most basic assumptions of their family, the history of the typewriter, and even Elizabeth’s father’s death. The ultimate goal is to remove the curse. The question is: will Jack and Elizabeth be able to carry out their mission?

My Thoughts:
Any time I can read a book that is so clean, yet so adventurous, it is a win-win situation. It is a win for me because I can recommend it to my students and parents. It is a win for my students because they are in for an adventure they won’t want to end. Most young kids have never seen or touched a typewriter. They may have seen pictures. They have so many different fonts available with computers today. The author used old typewriter font throughout the book so the reader knows when the typewriter is putting out a message.  This is what I call charming. One of my students thought it was cool because they had seen papers at their grandmother’s house that looked the same.

The adventures keep readers turning the pages. They are carried along on the adventure. The reader never feels like they are on the outside of the story reading along. It is more a feeling of traveling with Jack and Elizabeth as a third member.  It has a creepy, mysterious feel to it. These are all elements I love in a book.  I kept thinking about the dangerous aspects they find themselves in and if I would be the kind of grandparent to go on that adventure with a grandchild. I’d like to think I am adventurous enough I would, or that my grandchildren could persuade me to.  I definitely recommend this book to young and old alike. There are so many great things about it. You have a curse, a mystery, travel, history, and one adventure after another. I am definitely anxiously waiting for the next book by this author.

You can find out more about the author here:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Borrowed Names by Jeannine Atkins

Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult Biography
Source: I purchased a copy. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
As a child, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled across the prairie in a covered wagon. Her daughter, Rose, thought those stories might make a good book, and the two created the beloved Little House series.

Sara Breedlove, the daughter of former slaves, wanted everything to be different for her own daughter, A'Lelia. Together they built a million-dollar beauty empire for women of color. Marie Curie became the first person in history to win two Nobel prizes in science. Inspired by her mother, Irène too became a scientist and Nobel prize winner.

Borrowed Names is the story of these extraordinary mothers and daughters. 
From Goodreads:

My Thoughts:

Borrowed Names is a very unique book in many ways. First it is written in verse. I loved that. Many of my students have learned that they like books written in verse. There are three biographies  of three women and their children. The first is of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter. The second is Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter A’Lelia Walker. Finally we learn about Marie Curie and her daughter Irene Joliet-Curie.  Each of these biographies shoes how their relationships with their daughters were formed and developed over time. I found in all three, there was usually one particular thing that drew them together. They inspired each other in so many ways.  I loved learning so much about all of them and will definitely recommend this book to my students.