Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I Meant to Read

This is in participation with a weekly meme from The Broke and the Bookish.

Under the Egg

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

“When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.

With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo’s search for answers takes her all … Continue reading

Review: The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Park Davis

Map to Everywhere by Ryan and DavisThe Map to Everywhere
Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Published November 4, 2014

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Master Thief Fin is used to being forgettable. Moments after meeting him, no one remembers who he is. Until he meets Marrill, that is. Danger lurks around every turn when the two are swept up in a daring quest to find the missing pieces to assemble the Map to Everywhere. Fin hopes the key will lead him to his mother. Marrill simply wants to escape the fickle Pirate Stream and get back to her blessedly normal Arizona home. In order … Continue reading

Review: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Rain Reign by Ann M. MartinRain Reign
Ann M. Martin
Feiwel & Friends
Published October 7, 2014

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Rose finds comfort in two things: homonyms and her dog Rain. When a fierce storm rips through her sleepy northern town, her dog disappears. Rose enacts a plan to find her missing companion, but along the way she learns about empathy for others in her community who’ve lost homes and family in the hurricane.

It’s difficult not to compare this novel with others with a similar narrator. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime particularly came to mind. Martin’s tale is a lot more kid friendly. The plot is simpler … Continue reading

Review: Nest by Esther Ehrlich

Nest by Esther EhrlichNest
Esther Ehrlich
Random House Children’s
Published September 9, 2014

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Chirp begins fifth grade looking forward to another year of beloved family traditions: dancing with her mother, bird-watching hikes, and impromptu performances with her older sister Rachel. But something is different in the Orenstein house. Rachel hushes Chirp when she asks questions or wants to show her mother some new dance steps. Chirp can’t understand how these things could make her mother sad like Rachel says.

Then comes her mother’s devastating diagnosis. There will be no more dancing. As her mother’s health deteriorates, Chirp’s family unravels. Even her father’s ever-positive, talk-about-it outlook can make this okay. … Continue reading

Review: Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle by George HagenGabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle (Gabriel Finley #1)
George Hagen
Random House Children’s/Schwartz and Wade Publishing
Published August 26, 2014

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In a world in which men have all but forgotten their friendship with ravens, one twelve year-old boy rediscovers an ancient tradition. Gabriel’s adventure begins the day he rescues a young raven and answers its riddle. With the help of Gabriel’s friends, he and his raven will embark on a dangerous journey. They must battle evil creatures to save Gabriel’s missing father.

There are some slightly dark elements in the story surrounding the evil valravens, or … Continue reading

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 ignites … 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

Review: Pie by Sarah Weeks

Pie by Sarah WeeksPIE
Sarah Weeks
Scholastic
Published October 1, 2011

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Beloved Aunt Polly’s death leaves Alice miserable and the small town of Ipswitch floundering. Her world-famous restaurant serving free pies must close, but as the will is settled, everyone wonders who will get Polly’s award-winning pie crust recipe? No one is more surprised than Alice when Aunt Polly’s attorney presents her with Lardo, her aunt’s grumpy cat and sole inheritor of the coveted recipe. News ricochets through town. In its wake a mysterious villain vandalizes Polly’s shop and catnaps Lardo (in case the rumors that the recipe is tattooed on the feline’s enormous belly … Continue reading

Review: Who Could It Be at This Hour by Lemony Snicket

Who Could It Be at This Hour by Lemony SnicketWho Could It Be At This Hour?
Lemony Snicket
Little, Brown and Company
Published October 24, 2012

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Thirteen year-old Lemony Snicket is ready to begin a thrilling adventure as an apprentice to a detective. His first assignment leads him and his confident companion to the small town of Stan’d-by-the-Sea. Snicket soon discovers the object he’s been hired to recover is part of a complex plot which will risk more than his apprenticeship to solve.

As Snicket works to uncover clues with the aid of his bungling mentor, he often finds himself asking the wrong questions, and … Continue reading

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