Saturday, December 27, 2014

Far North by Will Hobbs

If you love the Hatchet series, try this and you will find a new author who you will love. Gabe is in boarding school in Northwest Territories of Canada to be closer to his only parent, his dad. His roommate Raymond is one of the First Nation people but comes to school with an electric guitar and a hockey stick.  When Raymond's great uncle Johnny Ravin leaves the hospital to go home, the boys join him on the plane. When the pilot decides to show the boys some of the beauty of the wild country without letting air traffic controllers know, the trouble begins. It will be up to the boys to get themselves and the other survivor out, but being modern teens do they even know how? Johnny Ravin's worries about how the old ways are being lost may be right - how do you survive if you have lived your life dependent on others to supply all your needs? How many ways are there to die in the wilderness of Canada? Read this and you will learn about too many.

Friday, November 28, 2014

How to catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks

Your life must have been hard if you think you have it made if you are used as bait to catch supernatural demons that eat children. Birdie is an orphan who thinks she has it made because she isn't in the workhouse, begging, or stealing for a living. Alfred makes a living as a Bogle catcher and Birdie's special talent makes a good living for both of them. When Miss Eames, a rich society lady, learns of their activities, she wants to learn more about how they work. She also wants to give Birdie a better life but Birdie is loyal to the man who found her after her mother died and gave her a home. When some pickpockets come up missing, the trail leads to one of the most evil men in London and this man will kill to keep his "experiments" a secret! As Birdie, Alfred, and Miss Eames get closer, the more danger everyone is in. Will Birdie's new friend come in time? And if she does, will Birdie take the path that leads to a better life if she lives to do it? If you like fast paced mysteries with lots of clues, you will love this.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Call of the Klondike: a True Gold Rush Adventure by David Meissner & Kim, Richardson

What would make sane men suddenly leave and travel to the cold up north at a time when our modern warm clothes did not exist even in their dreams? Was it the economy that was even worse than a few year ago? Or was it gold fever that seems to strike out of the blue? In their own words, Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond tell about how they got their fathers to foot the bill so they could find their fortunes. Both were college educated and had mining backgrounds so they were able to get to the Klondike in northern Canada ahead of those who also watched miners bring a ship full of riches to Seattle. Real pictures from the time help you understand what really happened and the dangers they faced. What supplies did they need to survive and how hard was it getting there in the first place? Maybe part of the trail leading to the gold fields called Dead Horse may tell you part of the story. Can cold really freeze your nose and how could you not even know it? How did the book Call of the Wild get involved in all of this? Did they get rich? The bigger question is why sometimes you really need to lie to your mother and have to get away with it or else. If you are ready for a real life adventure where life and death get too close, enjoy this one.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Colonel Theordore Roosevelt by David A. Adler

If you saw the PBS documentary by Ken Burns about the Roosevelt family and want to find out more about one of the most unique characters that even Hollywood could not have thought up, you will enjoy this. Maybe I am a little biased since after watching the PBS show, my husband agrees that I am too much like him. What would cause his daughter Alice to say that her father "wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral?" Why would a senator be clearly upset enough to say "Now look, that damned cowboy is president of the United States?" Whatever he was, our country would be much different without him. If he was alive today, he would be still fighting some the same battles he fought years ago because he started most of them. But to really understand him,  you need to understand what made him the way he was. To do that, please read this book. To see why he is responsible for our way of life, click on the Biography label to find the other biography about him on this blog. I told you I had a little bias about him.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School Book the First) by Gail Carriger

You think your parents don't understand you. Sophronia doesn't want to be like all the other young ladies in her world of 1851 England (if you watch Downton Abbey you may understand). When she finally gets her mother so angry, she is shipped off to a finishing school -Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Qualities. That is the last place she wants to be, or so she thinks, but on her way she learns from her travel companions it is not your "normal" finishing school and she is what they call a covert recruit. As she is trying to find out what that is, the stagecoach is attacked by something you will not find in our history of England. This is only the start of surprises and quickly she learns that she may fit in more than she thought. If you think your teachers are weird, you have not met the faculty of this place. I would fit in easily. But there is a more pressing problem than learning how to curtsy and teatime manners while knowing how to hide the knife in your dress. Something has turned up missing and if the school doesn't hand it over, it might not be around much longer and its students may go with it. If you love a fast paced story full of the unexpected and humorous twists, this is for you. All I know is I want the pet dog she hides in her suite at school. I know I am a cat person, but I think that dog is the coolest dog in any book I have ever read. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Suggestions on how to use and why I limit the amount of books

Five years ago, I started this book blog to help users find a good book to read. I looked at other book blogs and found too many were hard to use. They were just titles and authors, or had hundreds of books that could overwhelm. While this year, this blog will cross the 100 book mark, I choose to add only 11 books a year so it will grow slowly. I have a list of subjects that will allow users a way to call up only the books they are interested in reading. When you do, don't start at the top -- please go to the bottom where the 1st books listed will be found. Those are the ones I have given students for many years. That is why you see older books on this; once Scholastic moves on to new books, the ones which were loved can be forgotten. But some of the newest ones have made my top 25 list of my favorites. When you have been a librarian for over 28 years, you cannot have just a top ten. Those who know me from the small school district will tell you that long hair and hair dye hides my age very well.  All my other users, maybe some day we will meet.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Siver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause

Are you still having Twilight withdrawal? Long before Edward and his friends were created, there was Simon. Zoe's life is slowly coming apart. Her mother is sick, he dad is in his own world and her best friend is leaving. Simon is on a mission to end the life of the vampire that killed his mother centuries ago and made him a vampire. When this vampire almost gets her friend, Zoe's and Simon's worlds meet. Can Zoe help Simon end the evil in his life without losing hers? Can Simon fill the need of someone who loves you when Zoe needs someone to support her as her life crumbles? Can two hurt people find each other for a happy ending or does the relationship end without hope? To find out, enjoy this read. Is it better than than the better known book? Will I ruin another by helping you find a better written book again?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Savvy by Ingrid Law

You think your family is weird. Well, Mississippi Beaumont (called Mibs) has you beat and just by her name you know she can't be part of any normal family. She is turning 13 soon and this  can be a big problem in her family. When her older brother turned 13, his new talent caused her family to leave their beautiful gulf home in the south and move to Kansas. What would make a whole family leave because someone turns 13? You will not believe it. In Kansas, the family tries to lay low, but there is already talk. When Mibs learns that her father has been hurt in a car crash, she feels she has to get to him because maybe her special talent will save him. But taking off in a bus full of pink bibles to start the journey may not have been the best choice but that decision will change everyone involved including a few adults that get roped in to help the kids find their way to their very hurt father. Mibs may have it right that she can help her dad, but in a way no one expects. If you like to laugh, see people get what is coming to them, and love fantasies, you will love this.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Julia's Kitchen by Brenda Ferber

Why do I include sad books? Maybe it is because some of the best books are mostly sad, but help you learn how to handle the same problem if it ever happens to you. Or sometimes when you are junior high age, you enjoy sad books because you are glad it will never happen to you. I would not wish what happens to Cara even on my worst enemy. How can you go from being happy having a sleepover with your friend one minute to having the worst thing that could ever happen in the same night? Do you get mad at God, walk around too stunned to continue to live, or do you look for a lifeline from anywhere? Cara's Dad is no help and will not answer her questions. But finding something that makes you feel better is a start and Cara learns that doing something is better than sleepwalking through life which is her dad's choice -- or is it really her dad's choice? All I have left to say is why does the cat always get the blame when it was the human's choice?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dreadful Fates; What a Shocking way to go! by Tracey Turner

With chapters like Fatal Food, Animal Encounters, and Fatal Mistakes, you get the feeling that some of this could happen to you if you are not careful. Maybe you should read this to keep some of your more brain dead friends (aren't all teens at different times during the day?) from joining these unlucky souls. From some gruesome book covers that you can really see if you visit a more interesting library than ours to why some people really did have a worry about being buried alive, I would not want you to read this on a dark stormy night alone in your house. For those who love those Mythbusters - please don't try this at home: "How to mummify yourself" ideas from some experts. Just in case you think these are just old true tales, a few have happened in your lifetime even if you are only in junior high. But DON'T AND I REPEAT DON'T get ideas about using any of this stuff on your "favorite" teachers. It is not legal and it is not nice. You will get me in trouble again for giving you ideas. You know what happened the last time that happened, don't you?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery & avery Strange Adventures by Lissa Evans

Stuart Horten is not happy to move back to his father's home town. He had to leave his friends and a cool house to go to a small home with 3 noisy girls next door who like to write bad things about them in their "newspaper." But once he learns about the mysterious disappearance of his great uncle Tony, life gets more interesting. Turns out his dull father was left a clue to solve what really happened to Uncle Tony but didn't bother to do it. So Stuart sets off on the cold trail that leads to places where he will only get in trouble if he goes. On his quest, he doesn't know who he can trust, but he has to do something before they tear down Tony's abandoned house which might have the final clue to lead to the surprising ending. When he realizes that he is being followed, life gets more dangerous with every clue. If he does find the truth, will any of adults believe him? If you love a good mystery that is not easy to know where it is going, this book is for you.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman

Have your parents ever told you that you have a bad attitude, are mean, and say awful things? Then you may understand Meggy. Do you ever feel the world is out to get you? Then you do understand Meggy. Born to a mother who didn't really want her, she is sent to a father who she has never met after the one person who really loved her dies. There her life doesn't get much better. She has to make her own way and not expect much from him, but you will be shocked by how unloving his last behavior is toward her. Even with his attitude, she still doesn't know what to do when she learns of a plot he is involved with that could get him hanged. What she does will bring a surprising ending to those from whom she found kindness in this medieval world. If you don't know what alchemy is, don't look it up before you read this book. Why ruin the same surprise that Meggy had when she learned what her father was really up to.