Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom
Leigh Bardugo
Orion Children’s Books
Available September 27, 2016

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About Crooked Kingdom

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on … Continue reading

Review: Counterpart by Hayley Stone

counterpartCounterpart
Hayley Stone
Hydra/Random House
Available October 11, 2016

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About Counterpart

The machines believed their extermination of the human race would be over as quickly as it began. They were wrong. As the war against extinction intensifies, people are beginning to gain the upper hand.

Commander Rhona Long understands survival better than most. Killed in combat, she was brought back to life using her DNA, and she’s forged a new, even more powerful identity. Now the leader of the resistance, she’s determined to ensure the machines are shut down for good.

But victory is elusive. The machines have a new technology designed to overcome humanity’s most advanced weaponry. Despite Rhona’s peacekeeping efforts, former nations are feuding … Continue reading

Review: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses
Kate DiCamillo
Candlewick Press

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When Flora saves a squirrel from a powerful vacuum cleaner, she discovers that he has super powers. She names him Ulysses and brings him home to teach him what it means to be a hero, and she watches and waits for his true superpowers to emerge. Ulysses’ powers do emerge: a deep love for Flora and the gift of poetry. Her desire to protect him and his power to communicate changes Flora’s life in unexpected ways.

My family and I listened to this as an audiobook on our vacation. I loved the comics that Flora reads and how they were a bond between her and her dad. Ulysses … Continue reading

Review: Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Irena's Children by Tilar J. MazzeoIrena’s Children: Young Readers Edition
Tilar J Mazzeo
Translated by Mary Cronk Farrell
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available September 27, 2016

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During World War II, Irena Sendler worked with an underground network to rescue 2,500 Jewish children from Nazi occupied Poland. Her unwavering commitment to human rights began long before the war, and endured through her own incarceration and torture. She worked tirelessly to save as many as she could, and through it all insisted that she was not a hero. She’d only done what any ordinary human would do.

Though it’s nonfiction, I could not put this book down. I was so captured by the life of this incredible woman … Continue reading

Review: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

This Adventure Ends by Emma MillsThis Adventure Ends
Emma Mills
Henry Holt & Co
Available October 4, 2016

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When Sloane’s family moves from New York to Florida before her senior year, she doesn’t feel she’s left much behind. A party brings her within the gravitational field of Vera, a social media starlet, and Gabe, her intensely serious twin brother with a justice complex. Without meaning to, Sloane falls into twins’ social circle, and ever deeper into their lives. When a beloved painting by their late mother goes missing, Sloane makes secret plans to bring it back. This is a problem she can fix, she knows it.

At home, Sloane’s family begins to feel more and more fractured, … Continue reading

Review: Pax by Sarah Pennypacker

Pax by Sarah PennypackerPax
Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Balzer + Bray

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From Goodreads

Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, … Continue reading

Review: Freedom’s Just Another Word by Caroline Stellings

Freedom's Just Another WordFreedom’s Just Another Word
Caroline Stellings
Second Story Press
Available September 6, 2016

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Summary (from Goodreads)

The year Louisiana – Easy for short – meets Janis Joplin is the year everything changes. Easy is a car mechanic in her dad’s shop, but she can sing the blues like someone twice her age. So when she hears that Janis Joplin is passing through her small town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Easy is there with her heart – and her voice – in hand. It’s 1970 and Janis Joplin is an electrifying blues-rock singer at the height of her fame – and of her addictions. Yet she recognizes Easy’s talent and asks her to meet her in Texas to sing. So Easy begins an unusual journey that … Continue reading

Review: Pirouette by Kenley Davidson

pirouettePirouette
Kenley Davidson
Page Nine Press

Amazon | Goodreads

When twelve princesses of Caelan refuse to dance as commanded by their father, he imprisons them in their pavilion and offers a challenge. Anyone who discovers the princesses’ secret will marry his pick among them and choose the fate of the others. Anyone who tries and fails will be stripped of land and title or life. But it’s the forgotten thirteenth princess who holds the key to the princesses’ rebellion. Ilani may be crippled, but she is by no means powerless.

Into this standoff comes Lord Kyril Seagrave and his companions from Andar. They hunt an exiled, dangerous prince and the truth about whether Caelan means to invade their home. Kyril is supposed to lead the expedition, but near … Continue reading

Spotlight on Freedom’s Just Another Word by Caroline Stellings

Freedom's Just Another WordFreedom’s Just Another Word
by Caroline Stellings
Second Story Press
Available September 1, 2016

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About Freedom’s Just Another Word

The year Louisiana – Easy for short – meets Janis Joplin is the year everything changes. Easy is a car mechanic in her dad’s shop, but she can sing the blues like someone twice her age. So when she hears that Janis Joplin is passing through her small town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Easy is there with her heart – and her voice – in hand. It’s 1970 and Janis Joplin is an electrifying blues-rock singer at the height of her fame – and of her addictions. Yet she recognizes Easy’s talent and asks her to meet her in Texas to sing. So Easy begins … Continue reading

Review: Goldheart by Kenley Davidson

goldheartGoldheart
Kenley Davidson
Page Nine Media
Available May 2016

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After recovering from a kidnapping, Elaine Westover wants nothing more than to live a quiet secluded life with her paints. But as her father’s home falls into disrepair and his business fails, she has little choice but to offer her services painting portraits. When a wealthy man hires her to paint an impossible portrait for a year’s income, Elaine considers accepting the job. At the interview, he makes it clear she has no choice but to accept, and he bundles her off to the attic against her will, promising to release and reward her when she completes his task. Her only friend and protector is Will, a young man … Continue reading

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