Sunday, August 29, 2010

Once Upon a Royal Superbaby

Once Upon a Royal Superbaby

By Kevin O’Malley, Carol Heyer, and Scott Goto

Genre: Children

Pages: Hardcover 32 pages
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers (August 31, 2010)

For any kid who wondered what happened to the Dude and his fair maiden once they lived happily ever after, the wait is over. When their teacher requests a new story, a boy and a girl once again have different ideas of how it should evolve. Can they agree on the fate of the beautiful queen, the awesome king, and their royal superbaby when they are captured by an evil wizard?

From the team behind Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude---an award-winning favorite among kids and teachers---comes another gender role-defying twist on the average fairy tale, and this time it's a royal superbaby who saves the day.

This book was great. Kylie and I loved reading it. The story is told from two points of view because the children were given a storytelling assignment and they both had their own ideas as to how the story should go. They both had ideas as to how the story should go and in the end they were able to weave their ideas together. The illustrations were individualized for each story and then intertwined for the conclusion, which were wonderfully done. This is a great, easy read and one that we will continue to enjoy in our house and even in my classroom!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Decatur Book Festival FAQs

Who is going to the DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL? I am!!!! There are a few things that you should know about going (that I didn't know until I got wind of them). Thanks Vania at Reverie Book Reviews for posting this! I just wanted to pass along the info just in case you are going to be there next weekend... I am and so are Chris and Kylie. We are taking her for a little adventure all to her self because Llama Llama Red Pajama is going to be there and she gets to be in the parade! She is super pumped!!

So, here is what Vania has to tell us...

*Ok so yesterday I mentioned on twitter that in order to get Cassandra Clare's CLOCKWORK ANGEL signed you MUST buy it from Little Shop of Stories. Don't panic. You can buy it AT the event/panel from the book store and get it signed. You can also bring backlist books for signing too. As far as I know there's no limit on books but be reasonable. After all, you don't want to carry 50 books around with you all day.

*Like I already mentioned, the books will be sold at the events. Imagine, brand spankin new book from your favorite author, signed!

*Photography is allowed but don't be distracting. This is more of a pointer for me since I'll be there taking pictures and getting all overly excited. If you want your picture taken let me know your name when you see me and preferably an email so I can email it to you.

* If you're coming let me know. I am planning a meet up and would love to meet you!
So you excited to meet these awesome authors? I AM!

If you have any questions, let me know. Also check their site, Decatur Book Festival, for information as well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dust Till Dawn Challenge #1... Show off your read!

Alrighty... the challenge is on people! I decided to take on Jami at YA Addict's challenge for today and that is to show off my read! So here you have it... me with The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson...

(yes... I am hiding! I have already washed my face and might scare you... it is for your own good!)

Happy reading everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

Thanks as always goes to Jill at Breaking the Spine for WoW!! Here are some great reads heading our way in September that I am super excited about...

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory's magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe, but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon she'll discover the shocking truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Pheobe's ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn't been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself?

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

A terrible secret. A terrible fate. When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world fal
ls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but. As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Happy reading everyone!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dusk Till Dawn Read-A-Thon

With the start of school, the mass amounts of paperwork, and more lurking around the corner... what did I decide to do? Take on my very first read-a-thon. Yes, you read that right! I am challenging myself to do even more over the course of the next five days and am actually pretty excited :) The Dusk Till Dawn Read-A-Thon is being hosted by the lovely Book Crazy and YA Addict. It goes like this:

It starts August 25th, until August 29thfrom the hours of 8 PM until 8 AM each day.
But we can sleep too! Well, 8 pm is early enough that I should be able to get some reading done (taking a break from paperwork that is).

The books I plan to read are:

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

from there... I have no clue since my TBR pile continues to grow! Happy reading everyone :)


Happy release day to us all with this much anticipated release...

As a gentle, loving reminder... please don't post any spoilers anywhere for those who have to wait to read it or are slower readers. I know it will be hard but sit on your hands and tape your mouth if needed (not really, but you know what I mean).

Happy reading!!

Trailer Tuesday (23)

In honor of its release this week, I present to you a wonderful trailer created by Vania at VLC Productions (gah... her amazingness just keeps coming!!).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Skip a Starbucks and Bring a little girl home!!

I am a HUGE supporter of adoption so this, to me, is an amazing thing that we bloggers can have a major impact with. I read on Bree Despain's site about her friend CJ Redwine and her family's desire to adopt a little girl named Johanna Faith. They have been trying to bring her home for the past 5 years and are now running into more troubles... $8,000 worth of them! Read CJ's blog HERE to read more about their journey through adoption.

So how can you help? Check it out...

C.J. is hosting SKIP A STARBUCKS DAY in which a bunch of us bloggers and authors are asking our readers to skip they're daily (or weekly) indulgence (such as a trip to Starbucks or nightly Diet Cokes in my case) and donate the money you would have spent to helping the Redwine's bring their little girl home.

And in return, you get entered into contests to win many fabulous donated prizes!

C.J. is hosting the GRAND PRIZE giveaway!! (Holy junk... amazing stuff there too) Enter her contest by making a donation, and then you can go around to all the other bloggers who are also hosting giveaways (including me) and enter.

Bree Despain is also giving away some amazing things... check them out HERE.

ANDDDDDDDDDDDDD... since I believe in this so wholeheartedly I am adding my own prize pack to it all. So that makes at least 3 contests you could win!! Here is what I have up for grabs...

Book cover from OwlSay on etsy (check out her stuff HERE)
Prophecy of the Sisters/Guardian of the Gate bookmark
Shadowed Summer bookmark
Tell Me A Secret bookmark, button, and magnet
City of Bones postcard
Carrie Ryan swag (bookmark and sticker)
Twenty Boy Summer bookmark
Coffeehouse Angel postcard
Claire de Lune signed bookplate
White Cat patch (Wallingford)

And here's how to enter:

Visit C.J.'s blog and donate money to help bring baby Johanna home.

For every $5 you donate, you are eligible for 1 entry in my contest.***

You can earn 1 additional entry by promoting Skip A Starbucks Day fundraiser. (Only 1 extra entry total though. NOT 1 per time you promote.)

Come back here and tell me how many entries you qualify for. (Example: If you donate $10 to the cause and then promote the fundraiser you get 3 entries.)

You can either leave your entry number in the comments here on this blog, or if you're more comfortable (since this involves money) you can EMAIL your number of entries to me at:

Please title your email: Skip a Starbuck's Day

The contest runs until 12:00 EST on Wednesday, August 25th.
I will randomly draw a winner and announce it on August 28th

***Entries will be verified with C.J. Redwine's donation receipts, so please be honest!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Pages: Hardcover, 528 pages

Publisher: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Atheneum (August 31, 2010)

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

One of my favorite things to teach is anything by Edgar Allan Poe… I guess it is because it lets me know that even though he was so messed up, he still created great things so there is hope for the rest of us! All kidding aside, he was and is an American icon for literature so when this book came to my attention I had to read it. Creagh has taken the ultimate opposites (a goth and a cheerleader) and plunged them into a world where only these two could survive. I found myself frustrated with them equally and ready to move things along, but all the while enjoying the tension, angst, and mystery that was surrounding their story.

Creagh’s imaginative way of weaving Poe’s work into her novel was so well done in my eyes that I kept wondering where she was going to go next and which story she was going to pull pieces from next. It made me want to go back and reread Poe’s works and see what other clues she left within the pages for us. Poe was a genius in his own right and Creagh used that to work a mysterious, enlightening piece for her debut novel. The characters were well developed the plot was very well written. So many questions are still rolling around in my head for this one so I can only hope that she continues with this story.

Wonderful debut Kelly!! Visit Kelly here to find more goodies and make sure to get Nevermore on Friday!!

Happy reading

Shadow Hills is now avaliable on ebook!

Today is the release day for Shadow Hills ebook! So pumped for Anastasia and all the good things coming her way for her debut novel. Read my review of Shadow Hills here if you haven't done so already. If you've been holding off to get it on kindle or your ereader, the wait is over! Click away....

Shadow Hills

You can purchase the ebook through amazon for kindle. And Barnes and Noble for ebook.

They are only $9.99! So go buy it today!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Amazing Giveaway!

I love seeing what Fire and Ice have for us and they are definitely not disappointing with this giveaway! Check out this beautiful ring insipired by Rebecca Maizel's Infinite Days...

Check out Fire and Ice's entry information here for your chance to win!

In My Mailbox (32)

First off... I am so sorry that I haven't posted within the last few days (okay more than that... hush). School has started back and it always takes me a while to get into the swing of things again and this year is completely kicking my tail. I am teaching a brand new curriculum and I have no air in my classroom. I am DYING! But I have amazing students who are pumped for this year and that makes it all worth the sweat.

I didn't post an IMM last week and for that I am sorry, but today is a good one so allow me to share. In My Mailbox shows you all of the wonderful things that I have gotten over the past week or so and gives you an idea as to what is to come on the blog. Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting this MME and make sure to head over there to see what everyone else has gotten! Happy reading everyone!

For Review:

Astra by Chris Platt
Suspect by Kristin Nitz
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Love Sucks by Melissa Francis

Dark Song by Gail Giles

(These were actually purchased at The Blue Bicycle Bookshop in Charleston, SC. Absolutely LOVED it!!)

The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War by Frederick Downs, Jr. (for research!!)
Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch


13 to Life by Shannon Delany swag from Fantastic Book Review

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (22)

Trailer Tuesday is where I feature amazing trailers for even more amazing books! This week's feature is...

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

When Lenah Beaudonte, a 500-year-old vampire queen, wakes up a human teenager at an ultra-cliquey prep school, she must choose between embracing the humanity she’s always craved and saving her new friends from her vicious coven. The first in a sizzling new YA series.

Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at
Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.

Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?

Run and get Infinite Days at a bookstore near you!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thumbing Through Thoreau by Kenny Luck

Pages: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Tribute Books (April 19, 2010)

On July 4, 1845, when Henry David Thoreau moved into his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond, he was probably unaware that his abode in the woods, and the impact and influence of that endeavor, would forever echo through time.

Thoreau was an uncompromising idealist; an ardent maverick who criticized his fellow man. He urged that men and women ought to live more simply, and more deliberately. “The mass of men,” he famously wrote, “lead lives of quite desperation.”

Yet the scope of Thoreau’s message is much wider than social criticism. He speaks of spiritual transcendence in Nature and the unbounded potential of the individual. Thoreau is a dreamer and he speaks to dreamers. In a word, shun dogmatism and demagoguery; see beyond the immediate conventional religious explanations to reap a higher understanding.

In our commodified contemporary American society, with the rise of religious intolerance and fundamentalism, materialism and mass consumerism, Thoreau’s message is needed now more than ever.

Author Kenny Luck has thumbed through Thoreau’s voluminous journals, correspondences and other publications to make this the most comprehensive collection of Thoreau aphorisms available.

Illustrators Jay Luke and Ren Adams lend their talents to artistically interpret Thoreau's vision. Each quote is accompanied by an original drawing.

A collaboration of three individuals breathes new life into the immortal words of Henry David Thoreau.

I love quotes and have one on my board every day for my students. This book was full of some of Thoreau's greatest quotes and had beautiful illustrations throughout. The collaborations within this book portray the beauty of words as well as the simplicity of nature at its best. This book will make a wonderful addition to a coffee table, classroom, bookshelf, or bedside table because it is one that you want to thumb through and take your time pondering what Thoreau had to say. Beautifully done!

Some samples can be viewed here.

Happy reading everyone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (21)

Trailer Tuesday is here to show you some of the amazing titles that are out there for you to enjoy! This week I bring you...

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sir Cumference and teh First Round Table: A Math Adventure

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table: A Math Adventure

by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan

Genre: Children’s Books

Pages: Hardcover, 32 pages

Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing (January 28, 1999)

King Arthur and his knights have a royal tangle of problems. Their rectangular table is too long and their triangular table is too pointy, but they so King Arthur and his knights have a royal tangle of problems. Their rectangular table is too long and their triangular table is too pointy, but they somehow must sit down and discuss the shape of the future. Join a knight named Sir Cumference, his wife, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius as they use different strategies to solve this quandary. Full-color illustrations.

I bought this book as a resource for vocabulary words and fell in love with it. Math is not my subject by any means but when you put a story to it, I am good!! This book puts a fun spin on the concept of circumference and understanding what it is. Math teachers would be wise to use these books (yes, there are more) in their classroom to teach concepts because some of us learn better through story!

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