Sunday, December 25, 2016

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.

Phew! I usually post a "Stacking" on Saturday but yesterday was Christmas Eve and I always host my extended family on Christmas Eve. I was up super early preparing and running out in the rain for groceries (madhouse). Family came at one and left after seven. Then came the mountains of dishes before I collapsed into bed leaving gifts for wrapping in the early AM. It was tons of fun. I loved every second. I love to cook and bake. Seeing everyone was special, except for my crazy shepherd who attacked #1 son's dog. No biting, just fierce alpha dog barking and smashing. 

I did go a bit crazy purchasing this week. But I did get an audiobook to review. I came in the mail yesterday but didn't get to see it until this morning. So I got a breakfast gift to open.

For review:

Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood. Unabridged audiobook on four compact discs. 4 hours, 17 minutes. Read by Kate Simses and Todd Haberkorn. Scholastic Audiobooks, November, 2016. 9780

Publisher synopsis: Azalea is not happy about being dropped off to care for Grandmother Clark. Paris Junction is nothing like her Texas hometown. And now she's been thrown together with, troubled Willis DeLoach, gossipy Melinda Bowman, and Billy Wong, a Chinese-American boy who has his own troubles. Billy's parents own the Lucky Foods grocery store, where days are long, and folks aren't always friendly. Inspired by the true stories of Chinese immigrants who came to the American south during the civil rights era, this poignant story reminds us all that home is where our hearts reside, and that friends can come to us in the most unexpected ways. This brilliantly nuanced novel is delivering a unique literary format. The story is told from two points of view: Billy Wong is rendered in clipped verse narratives that are interspersed with Azalea's emotionally expressive prose.

I absolutely adored Ms. Scattergood's other books, Glory Be and The Way to Stay in Destiny. I've had the the arc on my tbr for quite a while so when I was asked if I'd like the audiobook for review, I was so psyched!

Went to BN to buy some gift certificates and couldn't do it without browsing the children's section.

Bounce by Megan Shull. 373 p. Katherine Tegan Books/ HarperCollins Publishers, September, 2016. 9780062311726.

Publisher synopsis: Seventh grader Frannie Hudson wonders what it would be like to trade in her family for a new one. Her big brother ignores her. Her mean older sister can’t stand her. And her parents have just announced they’re going on a last-minute vacation—without her.
When Frannie makes one desperate, crazy wish—BOOM!—she magically bounces into a whole new life, with a totally different family. And. It. Is. Amazing! There’s only one catch: waking up as someone else keeps happening. Plunged into lives and adventures she’s only imagined—from being a pop star to meeting one super-cute boy—Frannie finds courage in the unforgettable friends and families she meets along the way. But as her new life spins out of control, Frannie begins to worry if she’ll ever get back home.
A celebration of the power of love and connection, Megan Shull’s extraordinary new novel captures one girl’s journey to find her voice, heal her heart, and discover the joy of bouncing back.

I have The Swap in my library and it rarely spends time on the shelf. Every girl that takes it out tells me it's so-o-o good and I have to read it; but then it's hardly on the shelf for me to read! When I spied this, I knew I had to get it for those girls; but I'm going to read it first.

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. 215p. Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House Children's Books, October, 2016. 9780399553806.

Publisher synopsis: New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are back with a life-affirming Christmas romance starring Dash and Lily.
Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers first watched the couple fall in love. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition. 
With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic of New York City in December. 
Told in alternating chapters, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily reunites two beloved characters and is bound to be a Christmas favorite, season after season.

I absolutely adored Dash and Lily's Book of Dares and cannot wait to revisit them.

Bought online:

A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy. 73 p. Groundwood Books, August, 2016. 9781554989058.

Publisher synopsis: Evelyn is both aghast and fascinated when a new boy comes to grade five and tells everyone his name is Queen. Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club. His father plays weird loud music and has tattoos.
How will the class react? How will Evelyn?
Evelyn is an only child with a strict routine and an even stricter mother. And yet in her quiet way she notices things. She takes particular notice of this boy named Queen. The way the bullies don’t seem to faze him. The way he seems to live by his own rules. When it turns out that they take the same route home from school, Evelyn and Queen become friends, almost against Evelyn’s better judgment. She even finds Queen irritating at times. Why doesn’t he just shut up and stop attracting so much attention to himself?
Yet he is the most interesting person she has ever met. So when she receives a last-minute invitation to his birthday party, she knows she must somehow persuade her mother to let her go, even if it means ignoring the No Gifts request and shopping for what her mother considers to be an appropriate gift, appropriately wrapped with “boy” wrapping paper.
Her visit to Queen’s house opens Evelyn’s eyes to a whole new world, including an unconventional goody bag (leftover potato latkes wrapped in waxed paper and a pair of barely used red sneakers). And when it comes time for her to take something to school for Hype and Share, Evelyn suddenly looks at her chosen offering — her mother’s antique cream jug — and sees new and marvelous possibilities.

Flip the Bird by Kym Brunner. 357 p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November, 2016. 9780544800854.

Publisher synopsis: Mercer Buddie wants two things in this world: a girlfriend and the chance to prove to his master falconer father that he’s not a flake. With hunting season fast approaching, fourteen-year-old Mercer has only a short time to work with Flip, a red-tailed hawk he irreverently named to show his dad that falconers don’t have to be so serious all the time.
     When Mercer meets Lucy, he falls hard for her gorgeous looks and bubbly personality. He thinks his love life is about to take flight, until he discovers that Lucy and her family belong to a fanatical animal-rights organization called HALT—a group that believes imposing any sort of restrictions on animals is a form of cruelty. Mercer soon realizes that if he wants to keep seeing Lucy, he’ll need to keep his love of falconry and his family’s raptor rehabilitation center a secret from her, and Lucy’s involvement with HALT from his family.
     With humor and honesty, Mercer’s story shows how growing up means making difficult choices…and sometimes, being rewarded in unexpected ways.

Rise of the Wolf by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Unabridged audiobook on 8 compact discs. 8 hours, 38 minutes. Read by MacCleod Andrews. Scholastic Audio, January, 2016. 9780545910286.

Publisher synopsis: Nic may have escaped enslavement in the mines outside of Rome, but his troubles are far from over. The Praetor War -- the battle to destroy Rome from within -- is in full force, and Nic is caught in the crossfire. The secretive Praetors are determined to unlock a powerful amulet -- one sure to bring the empire to its knees. Worse, the Praetors believe Nic holds the key to finding this amulet, and they will stop at nothing to steal it, even if that means harming the people Nic holds most dear.
When the Praetors capture Nic's mother, Nic knows he must do anything to save her. He challenges the Praetors to a chariot race. If he wins, they will release his mother. But if he loses, he must hand over a magic that will certainly bring about the end of Rome as well as his own life. Can Nic once again harness his magic and gather the strength to defeat his enemies? Or will he lose his mother and bear witness to Rome's destruction?

I recently read book one, Mark of the Thief with my ears. MacCleod Andrews is one of my favorite audiobook actors. The story moved apace, but his performance made it a better book. 

Warren the 13th and the All-seeing Eye by Tania Del Rio. Read by Kevin T. Collins. Unabridged audiobook on one MP3-CD. 5 hours, 5 minutes. Brilliance Audio, November, 2016. 9781511322805.

Publisher synopsis: Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky…yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it!

That's what's new with me. What's new with you?

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