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Monday, August 20, 2012

Belly Up

Stuart Gibb’s entertaining mystery, Belly Up, is on the Texas Lone Star Reading List 2012-13. Teddy Fitzroy is your typical mischievous boy who lives in a trailer on the grounds of a new African-modeled zoo and amusement park in Texas called Fun Jungle. Both of his parents work for the rich owner, J.J. McCracken. Although it has only been open for a few months, their popular mascot – an ornery hippo named Henry – is found dead in his water hole. How beloved was Henry? Think about what Mickey Mouse is to Disney…you get the picture. The visitors of the busy attraction are saddened over Henry’s death. Those that worked behind the scenes at the money-making amusement park were not going to miss Henry’s disturbing behavior especially his poop slinging. In fact, any one of them could be his murderer? But why kill him? While spying on Henry’s autopsy, Teddy hears Doc say that someone caused Henry’s death. He teams up with J.J.’s daughter, Summer, to conduct their own investigation and the two find themselves in dangerous situations. Twists throughout the book will keep the reader guessing all the way to the end! If you like this one, read Gibbs’ newest book, Spy School.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Rae Carson's debut fantay, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, is the first book in a trilogy and a finalist for the William C. Morris Debut Award for new authors of young adult literature. The beginning of this book was a little slow for me, but I am so happy that I stuck with it...after the first quarter of the book, it took off and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. Narrated by sixteen-year-old Elisa who doesn't have good self esteem despite bearing the Godstone - a special jeweled stone that she was born with in her belly button. Those that possess the Godstone are considered chosen by God and it only exists each century. Overweight Elisa cannot believe that she is being married to a handsome king named Alejandro when her older sister, Alodia, is the smart and pretty princess. Alejandro takes Elisa to his kingdom, but keeps it secret that she is his wife. Once she is noticed as having the Godstone, she is kidnapped by a band of rebels hoping to save their people from imminent war. Elisa grows under their captivity and soon learns her destiny. This fantasy has sorcery, love, adventure, and war in it - a real page turner! Can't wait for book two, The Crown of Embers, coming on September 18th. Watch the book trailer below to listen to the author tell you more about her trilogy.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Attack of the Vampire Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales

David Lubar's Weenies series appeals to a lot of kids, especially those that prefer to read entertaining short stories. Attack of the Vampire Weenies is a collection of thirty-three often dark, mostly humorous stories that will have the reader quickly turning the pages for more. What more could a kid ask for - vampires, ghosts, deathly situations, and the most unexpected events? Bizarre? You bet - just like his other books in the series: In the Land of the Lawn Weenies, Invasion of the Road Weenies, The Curse of the Campfire Weenies, The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies, and the newly released Beware the Ninja Weenies. Other great books by David Lubar include Kidzilla and other Tales, Hidden Talents, Dunk, Punished, True Talents, and My Rotten Life.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Way We Fall

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe is the first book in The Fallen World Trilogy. Sixteen-year-old Kaelyn narrates the story in journal format (which will appeal to reluctant readers) – she is writing to her former best friend, Leo, because she has regrets about how their friendship ended and not saying goodbye when he left their island community to live in New York. It is the beginning of the school year and Kaelyn pledges to Leo to become extroverted and make friends easier. Kaelyn’s father has been working long hours at the hospital because unusual things are happening. A few people on the island begin to have a spot on their skin that itches, then acquire a cough that doesn’t go away…they eventually become incoherent, say whatever is on their mind, and ultimately die. The problem is that they are contagious and this mysterious virus is spreading like wildfire on the island. Kaelyn’s school year abruptly comes to an end when schools and businesses are closed. When the government closes off all access to and from the island and sporadically drops off limited supplies, the people’s instinct to survive cause them to become hysterical and take matters into their own hands. It becomes a battle of time to find out how to stop the virus and keep the lawlessness under control. Kaelyn’s whole world is rocked as even her family cannot avoid the deadly virus. This science fiction novel is for teens – they will love it. Book Two, The Lives We Lost, will be available on February 12, 2013.


Heather Dixon's debut novel, Entwined, is for all of you who love fairytales. Azalea, the oldest daughter of eleven girls, loves to dance and has been prepared by her loving mother the Queen for her first ball hosted by her parents. Prior to attending the Christmas Eve ball, she visits her sick mother. The Queen gives her a special handkerchief and makes her promise to take care of her rambunctious younger sisters if anything should happen to her. Her pregnant mother dies during the night and the stern King is left to deal with his grief and another baby – his twelfth daughter. Each of the princesses’ names begins with the consecutive alphabet letter of their birth order beginning with Azalea and ending with the baby Lily. As is customary, the King declares the entire palace to be in mourning – no dancing, no courting, and only to wear black for an entire year. The princesses are consumed with grief not only with the loss of their beloved mother, but also for their love of dancing which has been taken away by their strict father. When the girls stumble upon a forbidden magical pavilion on the estate, they finally find a secret place to dance the night away while their father is at war. The handsome host of the mysterious ball calls himself Keeper. Although Azalea is no stranger to magic, the forces that are behind the Keeper and the pavilion are darker than any she has ever encountered. Will Azalea have the strength to save her sisters and her father when the consequences of their nightly dances become evident or will Keeper win at the last dance – entwined? If this sounds familiar to you, it should - it is a modern retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.