Review: The Harder the Fall by Lauren Barnholdt

The Harder the Fall (Girl Meets Ghost #2)
Lauren Barnholdt
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Published September 3, 2013

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Twelve year-old Kendall has a small problem: she sees ghosts, and she can’t tell anyone. Especially Brandon, whose mother has not only been haunting Kendall, but who begins pulling some creepy stunts in an effort to keep Kendall away from her son. So, there’s that. Kendall is also haunted by a girl named Lyra with an attitude whose flaky mom and flirtatious brother have opened a nail salon. Kendall and her bestie endure horrible manicures more than once while Kendall attempts to gather info on Lyra’s death so she can find out how to help Lyra … Continue reading

Review: The Four Seasons of Patrick by Susan Hughes

The Four Seasons of Patrick
Susan Hughes
Red Deer Press
Published March 15, 2014

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Nine year-old Patrick faces troubling changes in his home. Since his mom’s death, Patrick, his brother Trevor and his dad have been on their own. But now Dad’s friend Linda and her pesky daughter Claire keep coming to visit. Worse still, Patrick learns that Dad is going to marry Linda, and she and Claire are moving into the house with Patrick.

Frustrated and unsure, Patrick retreats, spending time away from the family with his best friend. Together they build a treehouse, a safe place to hide away from Claire the pest. But before long, Patrick suspects that Claire isn’t happy about her … Continue reading

Review: The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

The Mark of the Dragonfly
by Jaleigh Johnson
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published March 25, 2014

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Since her father’s death, Piper has lived by scavenging artifacts that fall from the sky in meteor showers. Nothing she’s found yet promises to be as valuable as Anna, the girl she stumbles upon who bears a tattoo of an intricate mechanical dragonfly. The tattoo indicates the girl is from the Dragonfly Territories and is protected by its king. If Piper can return the girl home, she will collect a reward that will buy her a new life away from the scrap towns forever.

With no memories to guide them, Anna depends on Piper to unearth clues about her … Continue reading

Review: Twice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Twice Upon a MarigoldTwice Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published May 1, 2008

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Months after the evil Queen Olympia disappeared downriver in the kingdom of Beaurivage, a bad energy seems to be stirring up trouble. King Christian and Queen Marigold, still newlyweds, suddenly have their first quarrel. Their five family dogs constantly squabble over one blue squeaky toy.

And far away in a tiny town, a woman who spent her last several months as the helpful and compassionate Angie, suddenly remembers her true identity. No longer the peaceful friendly lady the town has fallen in love with, Queen Olympia demands to be taken home to Beaurivage castle. Once there, her demands only escalate.

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Ten Books I Can’t Wait to Read

OutcastsOutcasts by Jill Williamson

Release date: 1/7/14

Three brothers and a young girl fight for survival within the towering walls of the Safe Lands. Despite its name, the city is ravaged with disease and infested with corruption. Each brother follows a mission: to find a cure for the sick; to free the captives; to take down the Safe Lands in a rebellion.

The second in her Safe Lands series, Outcasts is quickly earning a reputation as an intense story set in a captivating world. As a fan of Williamson’s fantasy series, Blood of Kings, I’ve been eager to get lost in another story by this worthy author.

The Captive MaidenThe Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Release date: 11/9/13

Lonely Gisela spends her days serving her stepmother … Continue reading

Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen FoxleeOphelia and the Marvelous Boy
Karen Foxlee
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published January 28, 2014

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Eleven year-old Ophelia’s father brings her and her older sister Alice to a magical museum in a city in which it always snows. When science-loving Ophelia wanders off to explore the museum in search of dinosaurs and fossils, she finds a boy locked in a small room. He tells an impossible story and asks for her help. Ophelia, who only believes things which can be scientifically proven, is torn about helping the boy, who says he must find a magical sword and … Continue reading

Review: The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby

The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby
Angela Castillo
CreateSpace Independent
Published October 17, 2013

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When an unknown Voice beckons to Toby to leave his home in the caves and seek others on the earth’s surface, Toby can’t help but obey. His caretakers, scientists who’ve created him from a melding of human and cat DNA, pack supplies for Toby and allow him to leave their care. Though the scientists have had no word from earth’s surface for a long time, they prepare him as best they can and respect his desire to choose his own path in life.

On his journey Toby meets many human survivors, many of whom are cruel or mentally damaged in some … Continue reading

Review: Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light by Jaimie Engle

When a mysterious arrow turns up in a dusty closet, Clifton Chase thinks he’s uncovered nothing but old worthless junk. The arrow, however, turns out to be so much more. With a flash of light, Clifton finds himself transported back to fifteenth century England, in a time when a ruthless ruler has seized power and locked away two young princes. Continue reading

Review: Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

Twelve-year-old Hope Toriella must save her town from the strange men who threaten them. In order to go for help, she will have to pass through the deadly Bomb’s Breath. Continue reading

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