Sunday, November 30, 2014

Taking Stock - November

Total posts: 14

Total books this month: 31

Total books this year: 318


Audio: 7/63

Debut: 0/8

Picture books: 13/86

The Good:  Went to the weekend of NCTE and then the ALAN workshop. Got a ton of books and arc that will send the tbr into the stratosphere. I read a lot but posted only two reviews.

The Bad:  Way, way, way behind in my reviews! Need to get a few more debuts read before year's end.

The Books:
288. El Deafo by Cece Bell (11/2)*
289. Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood (11/4)
290. Firefly July: a year of very short poems by Paul B. Janeczko (11/4)
291. My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown (11/4)
292. Quest by Aaron Becker (11/4)
293. The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee (11/4)
294. Sparky! by Jenny Offill & Chris Applehaus (11/4)
295. Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell (11/5)
296. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross (11/7)
297. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (11/8)
298. Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle (11/9)*
299. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy (11/9)
300. Wall by Tom Clohosy Cole (11/9)
301. The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney (11/11)
302. Beautiful Moon: a child's prayer by Tonya Bolden (11/13)
303. The Swift Boys and Me by Kody Keplinger (11/16)
304. Popular: a memoir, vintage wisdom for a modern geek by Maya Van Wegenen (11/17)*
305. Poisoned Apples: poems for you, my pretty by Christine Heppermann (11/18)*
306. Santa Clauses: short poems from the North Pole by Bob Raczka (11/19)
307.Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman (11/19)
308. The Iron Trials by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare (11/21)*
309. Lost in Babylon by Peter Lerangis (Seven Wonders #2) 11/21
310. Honey by Sarah Weeks (11/23)*
311. The Categorical Universe of Candace McPhee by Barry Jonsberg (11/23)*
312. The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (11/24)*
313. Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown (11/28)
314. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (11/29)
315. Glamourpuss by Sarah Weeks (11/29)
316. Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony (11/29)
317. Should You Be a River: a poem about love by Ed Young (11/30)

What's New? Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

I attended NCTE and the ALAN workshop last weekend through Monday and Tuesday. I didn't take many arcs on the display floor at NCTE partly because I knew there'd be a box to contend with from ALAN. There was quite a big box and I'm still sorting through and sort of contending with this embarrassment of riches. I packed a bag filled with titles that were decidedly high school up for my librarian sister. I put a few that I am particularly interested in reading for my tbr pile and may feature some of the others during dry weeks or as I get to them.

I attended the Scholastic Brunch and enjoyed six authors performing readers' theaters of selections from their newest work. I am so looking forward to reading these:

The Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood. 192 p. Scholastic Inc., January 6, 2015. 9780545538244.

Publisher synopsis: From the author of the acclaimed GLORY BE, a novel that celebrates baseball, fast piano, and small-town living in the wake of the Vietnam War. 
When Theo gets off a bus in Destiny, Florida, he's left behind the only life he's ever known. Now he's got to live with Uncle Raymond, a Vietnam War vet and a loner who wants nothing to do with this long-lost nephew. Thank goodness for Miss Sister Grandersole's Boarding House and Dance School. The piano that sits in Miss Sister's dance hall calls to Theo. He can't wait to play those ivory keys. When Anabel arrives things get even more enticing.  This feisty girl, a baseball fanatic, invites Theo on her quest to uncover the town's connection to old-time ball players rumored to have lived there years before. A mystery, an adventure, and a musical exploration unfold as this town called Destiny lives up to its name.

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart. 224 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc. January 27, 2015. 9780545665766.

Publisher synopsis: The debut of a phenomenal new middle-grade talent.
In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He's got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day.
But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from.
So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier--even if it's the last thing he ever does.
The Honest Truth is a rare and extraordinary novel about big questions, small moments, and the incredible journey of the human spirit.

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen. 339 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., February 24, 2015. 9780545561549.

Publisher synopsis: When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for.
Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.
In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.
Honey by Saray Weeks. 152 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., January 27, 2015. 9780545465571.

Publisher synopsis: For a girl like Melody and a dog like Mo, life can be both sticky and sweet.
Melody has lived in Royal, Indiana, for as long as she can remember. It’s been just her and her father, and she’s been okay with that. But then she overhears him calling someone Honey -- and suddenly it feels like everyone in Royal has a secret. It’s up to Melody and her best friend, Nick, to piece together the clues and discover why Honey is being hidden.
Meanwhile, a dog named Mo is new to Royal. He doesn’t remember much from when he was a puppy . . . but he keeps having dreams of a girl he is bound to meet someday. This girl, he’s sure, will change everything.

In HONEY, Sarah Weeks introduces two characters -- one a girl, one a dog-- who are reaching back further than their memories in order to figure out where they came from and where they’re going. It’s a total treat from beginning to end.
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. 315 p. HarperCollins Publishers, April 21,2015. 9780061134111.

Publisher synopsis: Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.
A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today's most admired writers for teens.

Hit Count by Chris Lynch. 362 p. Algonquin Young Readers, May 19, 2015. 9781616202507.

Publisher synopsis: “I hit him so hard, the clash of helmets and pads sounded like a gunshot across the field. I crushed him with the hit, held on to him, and crushed him again when I slammed him into the ground . . . I had arrived.”

Arlo Brodie loves being on the football field, getting hit hard and hitting back harder. That’s where he belongs, leading his team to championships, becoming “Starlo” on his way to the top. Arlo’s dad cheers him on, but his mother quotes head injury statistics and refuses to watch. Arlo’s girlfriend tries to make him see  the danger; when that doesn’t work, she calls time-out on their relationship. Even Arlo’s coaches begin to track his hit count, almost ready to pull him off the field. But Arlo’s not worried about collisions. The cheering crowds and the adrenaline rush convince Arlo that everything is OK--in spite of the pain, pounding, dizziness, and confusion.

In Hit Count, Chris Lynch explores the American love affair with contact sports and our attempts to come to terms with clear evidence of real danger.:

That's what's new with me. What's new with you? Leave a link in the comment section.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Planet Girl

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, in which we share the titles whose release we are eagerly anticipating.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Planet Girl by Tommy Greenwald. Charlie Joe Jackson series. 208 p. Roaring Brook Press, August 25, 2015. 

I saw the cover on Tommy Greenwald's Faebook page. It's not yet up on BN and the Amazon page contains no description. But really, do we need one? The title says it all and the fact that it's a new CJJ book is enough for me. There's a big empty space where the books reside in my library. The kids are going to go wild when they hear there's another. Is that not a great cover?

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

The theme of this week's TTT over at Broke and Bookish is books on the winter tbr pile. I am already dipping into 2015 titles but really want to read as many Newbery buzz books as possible before the announcements on February 1. I am woefully behind with many more than ten of the books getting some buzz, but these are my top ten. 

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier.

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm.

Revolution by Deborah Wiles.

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff.

Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner.

Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson.

Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington.

West of the Moon by Margie Preus.

Port Chicago 50: disaster, mutiny and the fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin.

The Family Romanov: murder, rebellion and the fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming.

Leave a link to your TTT in the comments.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Swift Boys and Me by Kody Keplinger

The Swift Boys and Me by Kody Keplinger. 265 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc. May, 2014. 9780545562003. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher)

Twelve-year-old Nola Sutton lives with her mom in one side of a duplex and the Swift boys live with their parents on the other. Nola is good friends with all of them but best friends with Canaan. That is, until she sees Mr. Swift drive off one evening and doesn't return. Then, the boys, but especially Canaan, distance themselves from a bewildered Nola. She had the summer all planned out. She and Canaan were going to work odd jobs around the neighborhood and save up to go to the circus in August.

Told from Nola's POV with flashbacks filling in the depth of the friendship between her and the boys, this is a gentle coming of age story filled with betrayal, bewilderment and resilience. Nola is loved (I especially loved her relationship with her mom and Richard) and lives in a small community where folks tend to one another. There are a few false notes though as Nola investigates where Mr. Swift might have taken off to and the rather unsatisfying subplot involving her cranky maternal grandmother. The timeline also seemed a bit rushed. Still, the resolution, with the friendship that is cracked and will never be the same resonates.

I also take the cover to task, which, while adorable does not really portray the story accurately. I can forgive the fence. It's metaphorical. What bugs me is the fact that Nola admits to being on the chubby side and is bullied and called fat by a couple of thugs, yet the girl on the cover is no where near chubby and the girl on the back, who doesn't even look like the same girl, looks even skinnier (though, it could be the angle).

Still, I just know who I'm giving this book first and I'm sure there'll be a line after her. 

Waiting on Wednesday - Big Nate Lives It Up by Lincoln Peirce

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share the titles we are eagerly anticipating.

Big Nate Lives It Up by Lincoln Peirce. Big Nate series #7. 224 p. HarperCollins Publishers, March 10. 2015. 9780062111081.

Publisher synopsis: BIG NATE IS LIVING IT UP!
Principal Nichols wants Nate to be buddies with new kid Breckenridge Puffington III and show him around. But that’s no easy task when Breckenridge is a plant-doodling total fun-sponge. There’s also something strangely familiar about this guy. . . . What in the world could it be? 
Meet BIG NATE, Mr. Big-time Doodler and definitely NOT the teacher’s pet.

I haven't read all the books in this series because the series sells itself. There's usually a big space on the shelf for most of the school year. I just have to remember to check to see if there's a new one from time to time. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week's theme is "Sequels I'm looking forward to reading."

As a school librarian who only reads children and young adult literature, I try to read across genres and don't always have the time to read sequels or later books in many series. There are some that so capture my heart that I can't resist squeezing them in to my busy reading schedule. Some are already out and some are due out; half are YA and half are middle grade.

Winter by Marissa Meyer. I read Scarlet and Cress together (that's how far behind I got) this past summer thinking that the Lunar Chronicles were a trilogy. Imagine my surprise, then, as I was reaching the end and realized there was no resolution in sight! I love the world that Meyer has created. As you can see, there is no cover yet and it's not due to drop until November of 2015! In January, a prequel, Fairest: Levanna's Story is being released.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. I was so, so impressed by Hartman's debut, Seraphina back in 2012. So was the Morris Committee, as it won the Morris Award. Seraphina's sequel, Shadow Scale isn't due to drop until March though.

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers. The conclusion of His Fair Assassin trilogy focuses on Annith as she learns, to her horror, that the Mother Superior has no intention of sending her out of the convent on any missions, but expects her to become the next seeress.

The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud. Lockwood & Co., book 2 released this past September. I could've sworn that I ordered it for my library but just now realize that I did not and need to remedy that situation asap. I read The Screaming Staircase, one rip-roaring yarn with both my eyes and my ears. 

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. Raven Cycle #3. Oh my, but Maggie Stiefvater is such a world builder! 

On the middle grade side:

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia is due out in April of 2015. I just adore the Gaither girls and they're back in a third installment.

Fallen Soldiers by Chris Lynch. Vietnam book 5. The four best friends who made a promise to each other that if one got drafted to serve in Vietnam, they all would go, captured and broke my heart. I need to read this one for closure.

Smek for President by Adam Rex. I am so excited for this sequel to The True Meaning of Smek Day. I first read it with my ears and just laughed my way through it thanks to Bahni Turpin's brilliant narration.

The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde. Chronicles of Kazam #3. Love the voice and world building of these.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. Heroes of Olympus #5. I found the last book, The House of Hades, a bit bloated and was going to pass on the last installment. My kids love them and I need to buy two copies and there is usually a waiting list for any and all of the author's books. They assure me that the final volume is not to be missed, so I will most likely read it. Eventually. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What's New? Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got.

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan. 583 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., February 24, 2015. 9780545476505. 

Publisher synopsis: Music, magic, and a real-life miracle meld in this genre-defying masterpiece from storytelling maestro Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Lost and alone a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo. 
On Friday, I dropped by Books, Bytes and Beyond to pick up a box of books I ordered and to nose through their stock. Owner, Mary Brown asked if I had heard about Ryan's newest book. I had not. "You simply must read this!" was Mary's response and she pressed the weighty arc into my hands. Mary rarely errs in her recommendations. Muñoz is a Newbery winner and I've enjoyed much of her work.

I returned home to find a link to Scholastic's Spring Preview in my feed and my tbr list just ballooned. Click here to view.

That's what's new with me. What's new with you? Leave a link in the comments.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series #9. 217 p. Amulet Books/ Abrams, November 4, 2014. 9781419711893. (Finished copy courtesy of publisher for review.)

Well, it's finally here and, just about ten days after pub date, there are only 3 copies out of 186 available in my public library cooperative catalog. There's already a fairly long waiting list for the two copies my library will have available. So does this book really need to be reviewed? Even if Mr. Kinney dialed the book in, it's pretty much an automatic multiple-book purchase for most school and public libraries. While a bit more over-the-top than previous installments, this one was definitely not dialed in.

Greg Heffley is looking forward to the freedom of summer vacation when dreams of doing nothing are dashed by his mother. Inspired by an article in Family Frolic magazine, Mrs. Heffley announces that the family will be going on a road trip. She wants the family to bond. Greg hopes that his dad will put the kibosh on the plans but no such luck. As quick as you can say, "Road trip!" hilarity and chaos ensue. The family sets out in a van packed to the gills, towing a leaky boat for fun and adventure misery and torture. 

I think I laughed out loud more while reading this one than all of the others combined. Don't get me wrong. I smiled a lot in earlier volumes, but rarely laughed. This one tickled my funny bone. There were quite a few familiar and relatable moments in all the mayhem. There's even a salute to another juggernaut author, Dav Pilkey, as well as an acknowledgement that with said fame, fans don't exactly get personal responses to fan letters (wink, wink).

I need to switch out of review mode and into editorial mode for a moment. I guess I've got the heart of a ten-year-old boy since I'm a sucker for a good (any) fart joke. In a previous job at a K-8 school, I read aloud Walter the Farting Dog to a kindergarten class to the subversive delight of the five and six year olds and the horror to the adults in the room. Indeed, I found myself defending my choice later. My libraries have always been stocked with books with appeal for reluctant readers. So if potty humor and hijinks are going to lure kids into reading, I'm all for it. Thank you, Jeff Kinney, for luring millions of kids into reading. Thank you Amulet Books, for providing the book for review.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - My Life as a Gamer by Janet Tashjian

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share the titles we are eagerly anticipating.

My Life as a Gamer by Janet Tashjian. Illustrated by Jake Tashjian. My Life series. 272 p. Henry Holt and Co., April 7, 2014. 9780805098518.

Publisher synopsis: Derek Fallon gets the chance of a lifetime—to participate in a gaming company focus group and to test out a new video game called "Arctic Ninja." Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek thinks his gaming talents will be showcased. But he soon realizes that everyone has got him beat, including whiz kid El Cid. On top of that, school reading tests have begun and Derek feels doubly off his game. Isn't there anything he's good at?

This series is quite popular at my school. It has wimp-appeal but also has substance so I'm happy to recommend it. I learned of this new release from a student!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What's New? Stacking the Shelves

StS is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

For review:

The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series #9. 224 p. Abrams/ Amulet, November 4, 2014. 9781419711893.

Publisher synopsis: A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

This arrived in my mailbox at school on Tuesday! 

Purchased: I picked these up for a student who read straight through the first five books. I hadn't been planning on buying the rest of the series because it's not as popular as I thought it might be. The few kids who read through the five were happy to get the rest from the public library. This student, alas, has no library card and really loved the books. I am such a softy.


Gladiator/ Mission and Clans by Darren Shan. Zom-B series #6, 7, & 8. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

And finally, a while ago, I pointed a student who wanted "action" to the first two Ash Mistry books, which came through my Junior Library Guild subscription though I hadn't read them. He raved about them and told me I really should read them, so I did. With my ears because he brought in a friend to check out the books. He was right. They are amazing and intense. Book two leaves the reader with a fairly intense twist and cliff-hanger ending. Research into when the third book was being released revealed that there were no plans "at this time" to bring the next volume to the US. There was nothing for it then. I ordered it in from the UK. It's a paperback and the cover doesn't match the US editions, but we NEED to know what happens to Ash! 

Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness by Sarwat Chadda. The Ash Mistry Chronicles #3. 320 p. HarperCollins Children's Books, July, 2013. 978-0007447350.                   
Publisher synopsis: Rick Riordan did it for Greece. Now Sarwat Chadda does it for India… Book three in the incredible action-adventure trilogy about Ash Mistry, reluctant hero and living weapon of the death goddess Kali.
Ash Mistry is in a world of pain. A parallel world in fact, where another version of him seems to be living his life, and the evil Lord Savage – now all-powerful and adored by the nation – is about to carry out a terrible plan.
Worse still, Ash’s superpowers, invested in him by the Death Goddess Kali, seem no longer to be working.
Without Kali, can Ash defeat Savage and save the world? 

That's what's new with me. What's new with you? Leave a link in the comments section. Happy reading!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - The Only Game by Mike Lupica

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share the titles whose release we are eagerly anticipating.

The Only Game by Mike Lupica. 320 p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, February 17, 2015. 9781481409957.

Publisher synopsis: Can a young baseball star maintain his love of the game after the loss of his brother? Find out in this start to the Home Team series about a small town with high hopes, from New York Times bestselling author and sportswriting legend Mike Lupica.
Jack Callahan is the star of his baseball team and sixth grade is supposed to be his year. Undefeated season. Records shattered. Little League World Series. The works. That is, until he up and quits.
Jack’s best friend Gus can’t understand how Jack could leave a game that means more to them than anything else. But Jack is done. It’s a year of change. Jack’s brother has passed away, and though his family and friends and the whole town of Walton thinks baseball is just the thing he needs to move on, Jack feels it’s anything but.
In comes Cassie Bennett, star softball player, and the only person who seems to think Jack shouldn’t play if he doesn’t want to. As Jack and Cassie’s friendship deepens, their circle expands to include Teddy, a guy who’s been picked on because of his weight.
Time spent with these new friends unlocks something within Jack, and with their help and the support of his family and his old friends, Jack discovers sometimes it’s more than just the love of the game that keeps us moving—and he might just be able to find his way back to The Only Game.
Sadly, I don't have the time to read every new title by established authors. Sometimes I stop reading authors who don't need me to promote their books because his or her popularity among kids ensures that the shelf is nearly always empty. Lupica is one of these authors. I will make time to read this one though.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Want to Reread

Today's TTT topic is, Books I Want to Reread. I'm not much of a re-reader because my tbr pile is unmanageable as it is. Every so often though, a book touches my heart and I make time to reread it, often with my ears (or eyes if I read it with my ears first. 

When I do re-read in a different format, I wish Goodreads would let me count it.


The Chronicles of Kazam series by Jasper Fforde.

I've only recently read The Song of the Quarkbeast and have yet to read #3, The Eye of Zoltar. The writing is so rich and lovely and the worldbuilding is quite vivid that part of me wants to re-read the first two before reading the third.

Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan. I read this recently and marked it a 2014 favorite. When I learned that it had been made into an audiobook, I promptly ordered it. I'm looking forward to hearing it in an Irish accent. 

Secret Hum of Daisy by Tracy Holczer. This lyrical debut has stuck with me since I read the arc. When I see the book in my library, I often open to a random page and start reading.

Jellico Road by Melina Marchetta. I've already read this one twice and would love to read it (and every one of Marchetta's books) again.

The Boy on a Wooden Box: how the impossible became possible on Schindler's List by Leon Leyson. 

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O'Connor. Regular readers of this blog know about my admiration for Barbara O'Connor's books.

We Were Here by Matt de la Peña. Regular readers also know about how much I love Matt's books. I recently re-read this all-time favorite of mine with my ears.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This is the only book that I have re-read more than once. I can't tell you how many times but I've read it with both my eyes and ears more than once and I've cried each time. I heard that there was a sequel in the works but that was a few years ago. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What's New? Stacking the Shelves

StS is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

For review:

The Name of the Blade by Zoe Marriott. 358 p. Candlewick Press, November 11, 2014. 9780763669577.

Publisher synopsis: Ancient Japanese gods and monsters are unleashed on modern-day London in this first book of an epic trilogy from acclaimed fantasy writer Zoë Marriott.
When Mio sneaks the family’s katana — a priceless ancestral sword —from her parents’ attic, she just wants to spice up a costume. But the katana is much more than a dusty antique. Awakening the power within the sword unleashes a terrible, ancient evil onto the streets of unsuspecting London. But it also releases Shinobu, a fearless warrior boy, from the depths of time. He helps to protect Mio — and steals her heart. With creatures straight out of Japanese myths stalking her and her friends, Mio realizes that if she cannot keep the sword safe and learn to control its legendary powers, she will lose not only her own life . . . but the love of a lifetime.


Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. Raven Cycle #3. Unabridged audiobook on 9 compact discs, 10 hours, 3minutes. Narrated by Will Patton. Scholastic Audiobooks, October 21, 2014. 9780545649070. 

Publisher synopsis: Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.
I adore this series. Read the first with my ears and the second with my eyes. I can't wait. 

That's what's new with me, what's new with you? Leave a link to your haul in the comments. Happy reading!