Review: Twinepathy by C. B. Cook

Twinepathy by C B CookTwinepathy
C. B. Cook
Available July 14, 2016

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Twins Albany and Brooklyn keep their telepathic connection a secret from everyone. After all, who would believe them anyway? But when a strange girl shows up on their doorstep with no memory of how she got there and an inexplicable power of her own, the twins begin to realize there may be more people with powers, and not all of them use them for good. They learn about an organization of people with abilities and a terrible plot to destroy it. At first committed to sit on the sidelines, Albany soon realizes she and Brooklyn might be the group’s only hope for survival. She and her sister … Continue reading

Review: Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

isle-of-the-lostIsle of the Lost
Melissa de la Cruz
Disney-Hyperion
Available May 5, 2015

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Mal, the daughter of Maleficent, and her best friend Jay, the son of Jafar, live on the Isle of the Lost, where their villainous parents were banished from the fairytale kingdom of Auradon twenty years ago. Surviving on leftovers shipped in from Auradon and prevented access to magic, the villains scrape by. But all long for the day when the magic returns and they can take revenge on those who imprisoned them. For Mal, that day comes when Carlos, Cruela de Vil’s son, creates an invention that sparks changes in the Isle, and the possibility of escape seems just within reach. Oh, also the … Continue reading

Review: The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan

friendship-experimentThe Friendship Experiment
Erin Teagan
HMH Books for Young Readers
Available November 1, 2016

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Middle school isn’t at all what Maddie hoped it would be. Not when her best friend has changed schools. Not without the calm, sure presence of her grandfather. If only friendships were as simple, as reliable as science. Though she finds herself surrounded by new potential friends, Maddie can’t help but think about all the reasons those students are wrong or annoying. To cope with her losses, she writes Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in her journal. When Maddie’s new would-be friends read some of the SOPs that features how to escape them, they feel hurt and betrayed. Maddie realizes that pushing people … 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: The Second Season by Heather Chapman

second-season-blog-toursecondseasoncoverThe Second Season
Heather Chapman
Cedar Fort
Available September 1, 2016

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About The Second Season

Eleanor Hopkins has lived in disappointment for far too long believing that her husband only married her for fortune, and she determines to protect her own daughters from such misery by scheming to secure offers for both Lucy and Caroline based on mutual rank and reputation. When Caroline finds that the handsome and reputable Lord Searly desires her as his wife, she finds that no amount of planning or pretending can convince her to accept him. Instead, she is confronted with … Continue reading

Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

one-and-only-ivanThe One and Only Ivan
Katherine Applegate
HarperCollins

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Ivan has a small life within the glass walls of his domain in the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He watches TV and spends time with Bob, a stray dog, and Stella, an elephant. He makes art using crayons and paper given to him by his owner, Mack. He doesn’t think of his early life or his far away home in the jungle. And then Ruby, a baby elephant comes to the Big Top Mall, and everything changes. The mall is the wrong place for Ruby, and it’s up to Ivan to make everyone see that. He must find a way to show the humans where he and Ruby … Continue reading

Review: The Doorway and the Deep by K E Ormsbee

The Doorway and the Deep by K E OrmsbeeThe Doorway and the Deep
K. E. Ormsbee
Chronicle Books
Available October 4, 2016

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Lottie struggles to learn how to use her gift of healing so she can save her best friend Eliot. She must hurry, because the longer Eliot stays in the land of Limn, the sicker he’ll become. When her hosts in the South make a bargain with the elusive Rebel Gem of the Northerly Kingdom, Lottie and her friends must travel north instead of returning Eliot home. A treacherous king’s servant, a powerful shape-shifter named Iolanthe pursues them, sending assassins after Lottie. To protect her, Lottie’s companions must make a dangerous journey to find the … Continue reading

Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

oneparissummerOne Paris Summer
Denise Grover Swank
Blink / Zondervan

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Anyone would be thrilled to spend the summer in Paris, but Sophie dreads it. Meeting her dad’s new wife and stepdaughter? Leaving her friends behind in the States? Not fun at all. When Sophie arrives, things only get worse. Her dad promised her a piano but never follows through. Her stepsister Camille torments her constantly, and even recruits her friends to help make Sophie miserable. Then one of Camille’s friends reaches out to Sophie. His charm and sweetness are the lifeline Sophie needs to get her through the difficult summer. The two grow closer, but if Camille finds out, she’ll do everything within her power to ruin Sophie’s happiness.

Continue reading

Review: Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder

Be Light Like a Bird by Monika SchröderBe Light Like a Bird
Monika Schröder
Capstone Young Readers

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After Wren’s father unexpectedly dies, her mother rips her away from her only home. Move after move takes Wren further and further across the country, and Wren can’t help but wonder what her mom is running from. Then Wren finds a beautiful pond to secret herself away to watch birds the way she and her father used to do. When Wren discovers the local landfill owner plans to demolish her sacred place, Wren vows to stop him.

The birdwatching elements felt very natural to me. I’m not an experienced birdwatcher by any means, but my daughter and I kept a journal … Continue reading

Review: Lightning by Bonnie Calhoun

lightningLightning
Bonnie Calhoun
Revell

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Selah has finally found her father only to lose the rest of her family. And with her transformation to novarium in process, the clock is ticking down to her destruction if she doesn’t complete the final phase in time. Answers will only be found by returning to the one place Selah least wants to go: the Mountain. She must gather the answers she needs, rescue her family, and bring her friends to safety before time runs out.

I think my first mistake was probably in reading this book without having read Thunder, the first book in the series. I never felt like I could fully grasp the storyworld elements critical to the tale. I’m still … Continue reading

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