Review: Season of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren

season-of-fireSeason of Fire
Lisa T. Bergren
Zondervan

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Andriana and her knight, Ronan, join a team of others set on rescuing the emperor’s twin brother from exile. A surprise attack places Andriana in the hands of her enemies: Sethos, a powerful sorcerer and Keallach, the emperor responsible for imprisoning the man Dri intends to rescue. When Dri witnesses Keallach’s powerful gift and his hunger for companionship with others of her kind, she becomes convinced he can be … Continue reading

A Brilliant Novel In Poetry: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

locomotionLocomotion
Jacqueline Woodson
Speak, Penguin Group

Lonnie Collins Motion learns to pour out memories and feelings in a poetry journal. He writes about the night his parents died. About his little sister, Lili. About his foster mom. About the teacher he admires who doesn’t understand what his life is really like. His story unfolds, poem by poem, packed with emotion and insight.

One of the most powerful things about a novel-in-poetry is the power of each line. The narrative has been distilled down to just a few words, yet … Continue reading

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

grave-mercyGrave Mercy
Robin LaFevers
HMH Books for Young Readers

A strange birthmark spares Ismae from an arranged marriage with a cruel man, but thrusts her into the power of the sisters at the convent of St. Mortain. There, Ismae discovers she’s been gifted with great power. To understand her potential, she must embrace the training offered by the mysterious sisters. If Ismae agrees, they will teach her the arts of murder and seduction, so that she can be sent out into the world to bring the justice of an … Continue reading

Review: When Did You See Her Last by Lemony Snicket

when-did-you-see-her-lastWhen Did You See Her Last?
Lemony Snicket
Little Brown

In an account of his second “wrong question,” detective’s apprentice Lemony Snicket investigates the disappearance of a young brilliant chemist. With the help of his wacky chaperone, an aspiring journalist and two boys who work together operating a taxi, Snicket uncovers a tangled plot stretching far beyond the simple disappearance of a girl. Far away, his sister faces her own trials, and Snicket laments not being able to help her. Could it all be connected to the vicious Hangfire … Continue reading

Review: Sold by Patricia McCormick

soldSold
Patricia McCormick
Disney-Hyperion

Beneath the oppressive rule of her stepfather, Lakshmi and her mother carve out a meager living in their remote village in the mountains of Nepal. They dream of a life of plenty: a tin roof, a jacket for the baby. Lakshmi dreams of the day she will marry the village boy to whom she is betrothed.

Monsoon rains and her stepfather’s gambling addiction destroy the family’s crops. Lakshmi learns of a job in the city. She can work as a maid and send money home … Continue reading

Review: The Merit Birds by Kelley Powell

merit-birdsThe Merit Birds
Kelley Powell
Dundurn Press

Furious. That’s how Cameron feels about leaving Canada during his senior year and missing his star spot on the basketball team. That’s how he feels about his dad being gone. And how he feels about living in Laos for a year with his mom.

Then Cam meets Somchai, who turns out to be a better friend than all of his friends at home combined. He meets Nok, the shy massage therapist who teaches him about doing good deeds for others. He begins … Continue reading

Review and Reminiscence: The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

thehidingplaceThe Hiding Place
Corrie Ten Boom with John Sherrill and Elizabeth Sherrill
Chosen Books

Nazi occupation during World War II changes watchmaker Corrie Ten Boom’s life. Her deep empathy and faith lead her to become a central participant in the underground movement to protect Jews and others on the run from the Nazi government. Corrie and her family know that at any time, they may be captured and sent to the very camps they work to save others from. Still, with every new challenge, Corrie and her sister Betsie … Continue reading

Review: The Waterborn by Greg Keyes

waterbornThe Waterborn
Greg Keyes
Open Road Media

Twelve year-old Hezhi longs to know the secret ways of her father’s kingdom. Something happens to her family members as they reach maturity, but no one can tell her what. She will brave dark tunnels through abandoned ruins and the savage dislike of the palace librarian to uncover the truth about her cousin’s disappearance. What she finds places her own life and the lives of the only people she loves in grave danger. Through a dream, she sends a call to a … Continue reading

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

snowlikeashesSnow Like Ashes
Sara Raasch
Balzer + Bray

Meira has spent her entire life under the shadow of the Spring kingdom’s oppression. Her own kingdom, Winter, has been decimated by Spring armies and most of her people enslaved. Only a handful of refugees live free, protecting the future king, waiting to execute the plan that will restore Winter’s magic. Only then can the other Winterians be set free and the kingdom restored.

All Meira wants is to fight for her people. Yet every time she tries, it seems someone … Continue reading

Review: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

red-queenThe Red Queen
Victoria Aveyard
HarperTeen

In a world where class means everything, seventeen year-old Mare and her family are Reds, lower class citizens forced to scratch out a living in the Stilts. They are ruled by Silvers, those with powerful gifts (think X-men but without costumes.) Tragedy forces Mare to venture into the world of Silvers to support her family as a servant in the castle. The last thing she expects to do is to masquerade as one of them. With threat of rebellion on the rise, Mare … Continue reading

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