About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

Review: Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip ReeveOliver and the Seawigs
Philip Reeve
Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
Random House BFYR
Available September 5, 2013

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When Oliver’s parents disappear along with some islands in the bay outside his home, he decides to follow them. Raised by world-renowned explorers, Oliver isn’t daunted when the islands turn out to be living, migrating creatures or when a nearsighted mermaid blunders into his expedition. Oliver befriends the island and mer-girl and together they set off to rescue his parents.

Each character in the story faces an obstacle which requires courage to overcome. Oliver, who grew up simply wishing for a normal life, learns the value of his wilderness education … Continue reading

Review: Fire Wish by Amber Lough

Fire Wish by Amber LoughFire Wish (The Jinni Wars #1)
Amber Lough
Random House Books for Young Readers
Published July 22, 2014

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When Zayele is promised to the prince against her will, she vows to escape her fate and return home to her family. The perfect opportunity arises when a curious jinni who wanders too close. Zayele seizes the girl and forces the jinni to take her place.

The jinni girl, Najwa, indeed takes Zayele’s place. Instead of returning home as she asked, Zayele finds herself trapped in the jinni world, where she is mistaken for Najwa. There she learns not all the rumors she’s grown … Continue reading

Review: 8 Notes to a Nobody by Cynthia Toney

8 Notes to a Nobody (Bird Face #1)
Cynthia T. Toney
Write Integrity Press
Published September 1, 2015

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A cruel comment from a classmate sends thirteen year-old Wendy into a spiral of self-doubt. What can she expect when even her own father barely takes an interest in her life? Mysterious notes from “AFREND” help Wendy see there’s still hope. Who could the notes be from? A cute boy perhaps? When the nasty comments continue to wear her down, Wendy is forced to take drastic measures. She tries changing who she is, hoping it will be enough put the taunting behind her.

This story delves into the … Continue reading

Review: Reap by Casey Bond

Reap by Casey BondReap
Casey Bond
Published by Casey Bond
Published 2014

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Abby and the other Lessers in her small village rush to bring in the apple harvest for shipment to the Greaters in their vast, advanced cities. At the end of the harvest the village’s betrothed couples will wed in a group ceremony. Abby’s best friend Kyan will stand among them with his wife-to-be. The village leader’s son tries to bully Abby into marrying him, but she refuses, captivated instead by a handsome stranger who is more than he seems. Abby soon discovers dangerous secrets swirling beneath the surface of her simple life. Secrets … Continue reading

Review: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord by Cornelia FunkeThe Thief Lord
Cornelia Funke
Scholastic, Inc.
Published January 1, 2000

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The adventure begins when an apparently grief-stricken couple hire detective Victor Getz to track down their missing nephews: Prosper, age twelve and Bo, age five. Instead of languishing in the chill of the Venice streets as their aunt fears, Prosper and Bo have allied themselves with a band of urchins led by a boy who calls himself the Thief Lord.

When a shop owner whispers to the group of a special task for the Thief Lord worth an enormous amount of money, the kids are quick to relay the … Continue reading

Review: Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon HaleBook of a Thousand Days
Shannon Hale
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published September 1, 2007

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Dashti, a mucker maid, follows her lady into imprisonment in a lonely tower. Lady Saren’s father vows to lock her up for seven years after her refusal to marry the powerfuls but vile Lord Khasar. When Lady Saren’s love, Khan Tegis visits the tower, she begs Dashti to woo him in her place. Dashti complies, unwillingly at first, until the kindness and good humor of the gentle prince stir her own heart. Lord Khasar also visits the tower, demanding that Lady Saren emerge and … Continue reading

Favorite Reads of 2014 (Part 1)

BestBooks2014_Jan-June

With summer in full swing, hopefully you’ve found yourself with some extra reading time. Out of over 70 books I’ve read since January 1, 2014, these are the top ten best. If you’re looking for a hot summer read, check these out.

We Are the GoldensWe Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt The emotional intensity. The slow, dramatic build-up. These are things I love about this story.From my review: “Reading this novel is like taking that first ride on a roller coaster and feeling the adrenaline and rush building over each tick-tick-tick as the coaster inches up to the top of its track until its riders can look out … Continue reading

Review: All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

All the Truth That’s In Me
Julie Berry
Viking Children’s/Penguin Group
Published September 26, 2013

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Judith returns to her small Puritan community at Roswell Station after a two year disappearance. She remains unable to speak, since her captor removed half her tongue. Her mother grudgingly allows her to live in her home, but rumors about Judith are whispered along the edges of her hearing. No one seems able to believe that she returned with her virtue intact.

Despite the murmurs and dirty looks, Judith tries her best to be kind to the townspeople, especially to her childhood friend Lucas. When an attack by Homelanders threatens … Continue reading

Review: The Enchanted Harp by Clinton Festa

The Enchanted Harp by Clinton FestaThe Enchanted Harp
Clinton Festa
SynergEbooks
Published March 20, 2014

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On an errand for the king, Lillian discovers two things: a handsome boy and an unusual harp. The boy helps her bring the harp home where she examines it more closely. The harp, which has the power to play beautifully on its own, communicates with Lilly. Her mother, whom Lilly lost when she was very young, speaks to her through the notes on the strings.

Overjoyed, Lilly loses no time reconnecting with her mother and beginning the arduous process of learning to play the harp. But the harp, it seems, … Continue reading

Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. SmithThe Geography of You and Me
Jennifer E Smith
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published April 15, 2014

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On a hot summer night, the lights go out on the east coast, dropping Manhattan into an unfamiliar blackness. Sixteen year-old Lucy and seventeen year-old Owen, strangers who live in the same building, share a few moments trapped in an elevator which blossoms into hours spent talking under the night sky.

Just as the two begin to connect, their lives propel them apart: Owen to the west coast and his father’s unending job hunt and Lucy to the Europe she’s … Continue reading

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