About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. HolmThe Fourteenth Goldfish
Jennifer Holm
Random House Children’s
Published August 26, 2014

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For eleven year-old Ellie, sixth grade brings new and uncomfortable changes. Her best friend seems to have left her behind. Her goldfish has died. And her mother brings home a strange, fussy teenage boy who claims to be her grandfather.

Grandpa Melvin claims to have discovered the secrets of eternal youth. Now that he’s a teenager, though, no one will take him seriously. With the help of Ellie and another student, he hopes to complete his research and finally win that Nobel prize.

Her grandfather’s passion … Continue reading

Review: Through the Balustrade by M B Dahl

Through the Balustrade by M. B. DahlThrough the Balustrade
M. B. Dahl
Taberah Publishing
Published May 1, 2013

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For the first time in her life, Roxan has a home of her very own. Safety. Control of her own space. Yet trouble isn’t far behind her. A shadowy figure threatens her from the window. Her new boss seems bent on punishing her. When a peddler offers her answers for the relentless persecution, she reluctantly agrees to follow him to a forbidden area. The journey jolts free memories which have been trapped in Roxan’s mind, but she wants nothing to do with the promises or responsibilities … Continue reading

Review: Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne

Stay Where You Are and Then LeaveStay Where You Are and Then Leave
John Boyne
Henry Holt & Co/MacMillan
Published September 26, 2013

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When Alfie’s dad left for war, everyone said he’d be home by Christmas. That was four years ago. Now his father doesn’t write or contact the family at all. Alfie’s mother says it’s because he’s on a secret mission for the government, but Alfie knows she’s lying. His father is dead, and no one wants to tell him the truth.

To help support his mother and without her knowledge, Alfie begins a secret mission of his own. Three days a week, … Continue reading

Review: It’s Addicting by Laura L. Smith

It's Addicting by Laura L. SmithIt’s Addicting
Laura L. Smith
Status Updates
Published April 23, 2014

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Palmer, Hannah, Claire and Kat begin the spring semester ready for any challenge. Kinda. Palmer wants to be among the elite writers of the university magazine, but she can’t seem to break into the group. That is, without a glass of Moscato in her hand. After years of being the supportive best friend to the girl who could have any guy, Hannah finally has a boyfriend of her own. When a chance to see Germany with her guy arises, Hannah really wants to go, even if it means … Continue reading

Review: Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

Word Changers by Ashlee WillisWord Changers
Ashlee Willis
Conquest Publishers
Published January 1, 2014

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In an attempt to escape from the turmoil of her home, Posy hides in the library. She begins reading and wakes to find herself trapped within a story. The king and queen treat her as their daughter, but the king’s advisor and the prince know she is an imposter. Posy simply wants to return home, and the only way to do that is to find the real princess and bring her home.

Posy embarks on the journey to find Princess Evanthe, but she soon learns that treachery runs deep within … Continue reading

Review: Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanCounting by 7s
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Group
Published August 29, 2013

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A car accident changes everything for Willow, a twelve year-old prodigy. Her family is gone and she is at the mercy of the state’s resources for childcare. As she pulls together the paths of her life that have led her to this tragedy, she reaches out to the only friend she has: a young Vietnamese girl whose brother shares the same guidance counselor as Willow does.

Mai convinces her mother to care for the girl and fight for long-term custody. At first, … Continue reading

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 … 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 … 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 … 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. … Continue reading

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