Thursday, December 25, 2008


Christmas was good here - a little more low-key, but good. Mom woke Andrew and I up about about 8am, well Andrew was awake waiting for me. It's hard getting up at 7am! (hehe) From Santa I received some new luggage and it was greatly appreciated. My old luggage is from my high school graduation and it's splitting apart from the mission and from my trip to Taiwan. My new ones are really nice! I'm excited to use them for my trip to Canada next month. Did I mention that I'm visiting my friend, Jocelyn, in Canada for my birthday? Happy birthday to me! I wanted to do something different for my 30th birthday, this will be great!
Anyway, back to Christmas. Andrew got a pull-up bar and some workout DVDs that will make him really buff and ripped. He was excited about that. Later we went out to Grammy's and played games. A group of us cousins played Apples to Apples and it was hilarious! We didn't stay too late because Grammy was getting tired, also Mom and Dad needed to get ready for their trip to Arizona.
That's Christmas - not much else to it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For the person who has Everything

BANANA GUARD - Protect Your Banana!

Are you fed up with bringing bananas to work or school only to find them bruised and squashed? Banana Guard allows you to safely transport and store individual bananas letting you enjoy perfect bananas any time, anywhere.


Lock Cup - Anti-Theft Coffee Cup. Are you tired of others stealing your coffee cup? Well now there's a solution. The Lock - Cup has a hole which prevents most people from using it. Only the
owner of the cup can use his/hers shaped key to close the hole.


You love toast, but you always burn it? Than, this invention us for you. This transparent toaster allows you to see the bread while it is toasting so you just have to take it out when the colour is right. This idea is based on a transparent heating glass technology.


One Click Butter Cutter controls your portion as an important part of staying healthy. This ingenious butter cutter delivers one standard pat with each click of the handle.


Never lose your remote again! With giant buttons, this extra-large remote is easy to use and impossible to lose. It's a 6-in-1 remote so you can use it to control your TV, VCR, DVD player, satellite, cable and auxiliary A/V device. It even features glow-in-the-dark buttons, so you can easily find the remote in the dark.


What day is today? You don't know? Then you need a Day Clock. It's uniquely designed to keep track of weekly events like your golf day, card night, movie night, and so much more. It's ideal for vacations and cruises when it's easy to lose track of the day.


Chalk outline crime scene beach towel - be the coolest person on the beach!


Laser Scissors Cutting a straight line has never been easier. Just aim the pin-point laser and follow the line. The scissor blades are stainless steel and cut very clean with a micro edge.


'Who left the Toilet Seat up?' The Peace Maker will end the battle of the toilet seat. Merely step on the pedal to activate the lifting mechanism. When finished, remove your foot from the pedal and the seat gently comes to a rest where it started.


Do you get up at night to drink water, go to the toilet... Do you wish you could see in the dark? Remarkably bright LED lights are triggered by your footsteps and light up the floor 30 feet in front of you; ultra-soft plush style are extra comfortable and cozy warm.


The Zaky is an ergonomic infant pillow designed by a mum to mimic the size, weight, touch, and feel of her hand and forearm to help her baby with comfort, support, protection, and development.. The Zaky can help calm your baby and help your baby sleep better through the night.


If you are traveling a lot and don't always know the language of the country you are visiting, then this T-shirt is for you. It has a phrase book printed on it so just point a finger at the pictogram you need and then point it twice at the question mark, which means, 'Where is it?' and in no time you have found what you were looking for.


Whether you want to sit on the sun or in the shade, near the river or under the tree... Now you have your movable bench, to sit wherever you like.

Monday, December 22, 2008

You're A Bad Man, Mr. Gum

What a funny book! I was chuckling throughout this silly story. It's about this mean old man, Mr. Gumm, who has to maintain his garden or an angry fairy will appear and whack his head with a
frying pan. A loveable large dog starts to romp around his garden and Mr. Gumm has to think of a way to gid rid of this dog, to help stop the fairy from whacking him with the pan! It's a short fast read and very funny!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Every Soul a Star

Ally, Bree, and Jack meet at the one place the Great Eclipse can be seen in totality, each carrying the burden of their own problems, which become dim when compared to the task they embark upon and the friendship they find.
I really enjoyed this book! It's told by 3 different teenagers and their coming together at this camp to view a solar eclipse. Their new friendships help them deal with what's going on in their lives and changes that are forced upon them. Then the eclipse comes and changes them all for the good! I liked how well it flowed with the three narrators and it was neat seeing different perspectives and thoughts. I also learned more about astronomy! Cute book!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Bound to her father's second wife and daughter after Xing Xing's father has passed away. Bound to a life of servitude as a young girl in ancient China, where the life of a woman is valued less than that of livestock. Bound to be alone and unmarried, with no parents to arrange for a suitable husband. Dubbed "Lazy One" by her stepmother, Xing Xing spends her days taking care of her half sister, Wei Ping, who cannot walk because of her foot bindings, the painful but compulsory tradition for girls who are fit to be married. Even so, Xing Xing is content, for now, to practice her gift for poetry and calligraphy, to tend to the mysterious but beautiful carp in her garden, and to dream of a life unbound by the laws of family and society.
But all of this is about to change as the time for the village's annual festival draws near, and Stepmother, who has spent nearly all of the family's money, grows desperate to find a husband for Wei Ping. Xing Xing soon realizes that this greed and desperation may threaten not only her memories of the past, but also her dreams for the future.

This was a quick read, but very interesting. It's a Cinderella story and it takes place in ancient China, when the women would bind their feet to look "beautiful" and attract husbands. It's interesting learning about these ancient beliefs and customs in China - the author did her research well!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

I enjoyed this book, especially after hearing the author speak at a conference. Each chapter is kind of a short story, and I think some are based on the author's childhood. It is very well written - Christopher Paul Curtis is a really good storyteller. When the main character sees some racial violence, when in Alabama in 1963, his reaction is realistic and touching and I can't explain it well, you'll just have to read it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rapuzel's Revenge

Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.
Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.
And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.
Cute adventuresome graphic novel version of the traditional story with fun illustrations. This is a great damsel-in-distress fights back story. I love how Rapunzel uses her long braids as a lasso, or a a whip, etc. Very creative! I enjoyed it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Underneath

The Underneath is a such an interesting book. There are two separate stories going on, but yet they are intertwined and meet up in the end. One story is about this chained up dog, Ranger, who lives underneath the porch of his master's house. A pregnant cat, Calico, hears his lonely cries and comes to live with him and gives birth to her little twin kittens. For a time things are good and Ranger and Calico find love again in this new family. The other story is about this magical creature, in snake form, that is sealed up in a jar, buried beneath a tree. She is waiting for her revenge. Long ago she had a daughter that fell in love, shed her snake form and became human went off with this man. This made this snake very jealous and angry. Intertwined in these two stories is an angry scarred man, Gar Face, and his hunt for the large thousand-year old Alligator King. I really enjoyed this book for it's intriguing story and how the characters endeared themselves to the reader. I was worried at how the story would end, but I loved the ending for what it was.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Skulduggery Pleasant

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant
Ace detectiveSnappy dresserRazor—tongued witCrackerjack sorcererandwalking, talking, fire-throwing skeleton
As well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgely, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.
These two alone stand in the way of an all-consuming ancient evil.

I love a book that grabs me from the first chapter. This is an excellent example. Stephanie, the main character, is thrown into a magical world she didn't know existed - but she has the help of her deceased uncle's best friend, Skulduggery Pleasant. He's a talented sorceror, and a living skeleton. Skulduggery is very witty, and a sharp dresser - and he helps protect and teach Stephanie. This is a start of a new series and I'm eager to read more!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Puppetry Training

I'm going to be on a team that does a puppet show next month. I'm excited, and a little scared! This is good experience - all Children's Librarian should have puppet show skills. One of the team members is from Argentina and she's worried about her thick accent, so we're doing a "Caliente" story theme with stories from the south! We're still in the planning stages, but it should be really funny. I'm in charge of a story, called "Don't Touch My Hat", that's about this cowboy sheriff that accidentally takes his wife's fancy hat one night to do his sheriff duties, etc. It'll be great. I'm sure I'll have more to say on that next month.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My One Hundred Adventures

Jane is 12 years old, and she is ready for adventures, to move beyond the world of her siblings and single mother and their house by the sea, and step into the “know-not what.” And, over the summer, adventures do seem to find Jane, whether it’s a thrilling ride in a hot-air balloon, the appearances of a slew of possible fathers, or a weird new friendship with a preacher and psychic wannabe. Most important, there’s Jane’s discovery of what lies at the heart of all great adventures: that it’s not what happens to you that matters, but what you learn about yourself.

Polly Horvath has a great writing style and she's a good storyteller. I also really enjoyed her book Everything on a Waffle. This story, My One Hundred Adventures, is about a young girl, Jane, who wants to experience life and prays for one hundred adventures. She only has 14 in this story, but boy does she have some interesting experiences! Some of the characters were a bit frustrating, i.e. the preacher Nellie Phipps and the crazy mother Mrs. Goard, but that is part of the adventure I guess! This is sort-of coming of age story and I felt good about the ending. Cute book!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Small Little Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a smaller affair this year. We, my parents and brother, just had a low-key thanksgiving at my Grandma's house. Grammy is bedridden right now, so we just went over to spend the day with her. My mom prepared a small meal, just the right size for four of us and she did a great job. We sat around Grammy's bed and ate and talked until she started getting sleepy. She sleeps a lot more now. We then went out to the living room and watched a movie. That's about it! It was a good day! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book Review Overload!

I'm sorry for all so many books! Whoa! I'm finally caught up to what I'm reading right now - so this long list will not happen again! This is just what I've been reading over the last six months - not in November alone. Just in case you were wondering!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children-two boys and two girls-succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they'll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you're gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.

What a great book! This was a page turner from the first chapter! It was thrilling, funny and the story was very clever. It's about these 4 amazingly smart/resourceful kids who help spy at a a learning institute, where questionable things are going on. They have to be very resourceful to learn answers and sneak around without getting caught. I want to say more, I can't do it justice! I loved it!

The Magic Thief

In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery's pocket and touched the wizard's locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who—or what—is stealing the city of Wellmet's magic.
This is about a young pick-pocket theif who gets involved with a wizard and the magic crisis in this fictional town. I'm guessing that this might be the start of a series. It was a good book and I enjoyed it for the most part. It did have a slow start, but I kept on reading to see what would happen. I felt pretty good about it, even though it's not one of my favorites.

Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale

This was a fascinating book and a good story. It takes place during the reign of the Vikings. Melkorka, an Irish princess, gets kidnapped by Russian slave traders. She takes a vow of silence and it saves her life. She is observant and learns from her captors and from her surroundings and helps her fellow slaves. In the end she learns to trust again. I learned in the epilogue that this book is based off a real person.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crimson Thread: A Retelling of Rumpelstiltskin

The year is 1880, and Bertie, having just arrived in New York with her family, is grateful to be given work as a seamstress in the home of textile tycoon J. P. Wellington. When the Wellington family fortune is threatened, Bertie's father boasts that Bertie will save the business, that she is so skillful she can "practically spin straw into gold."
Amazingly, in the course of one night, Bertie creates exquisite evening gowns -- with the help of Ray Stalls, a man from her tenement who uses an old spinning wheel to create dresses that are woven with crimson thread and look as though they are spun with real gold. Indebted to Ray, Bertie asks how she can repay him. When Ray asks for her firstborn child, Bertie agrees, never dreaming that he is serious....

Rumpelstiltskin isn't my usually my favorite fairytale, but this retelling was pretty good. I like this "Once Upon a Time" series because they take a common fairytale and put into a certain historical time period and it's fun trying to guess where the traditional story will come out. This one was put during the early 1900's in New York and Bridget/Bertie and her family are Irish immigrants. I liked it and it had a cute ending - what more can I ask for?

Found (Missing Series #1)

Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he's never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who's also adoped, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, "You are one of the missing." The second one says, "Beware! They're coming back to get you."
Jonah, Chip, and Jonah's sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere — and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip's lives.
Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying?

What an interesting story! What's more, it left you hanging at the end! How long until the next book! It starts out with a mystery plane from nowhere filled with babies. Then, 13 years later these mystery children are starting to get notes that say, "You're one of the missing". The story is gripping and I'm anxious to see how it will all work out!

The Trouble Begins at 8

"MARK TWAIN WAS BORN fully grown, with a cheap cigar clamped between his teeth." So begins Sid Fleischman's ramble-scramble biography of the great American author and wit, who started life in a Missouri village as a barefoot boy named Samuel Clemens.
Abandoning a career as a young steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River, Sam took a bumpy stagecoach to the Far West. In the gold and silver fields, he expected to get rich quick. Instead, he got poor fast, digging in the wrong places. His Stint as a sagebrush newspaperman led to a duel with pistols. Had he not survived, the world would never have heard of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn—or red-headed Mark Twain.
Samuel Clemens adopted his pen name in a hotel room in San Francisco and promptly made a jumping frog (and himself) famous. His celebrated novels followed at a liesurely place; his quips at jet speed. "Don't let schooling interfere with your reducation," he wrote.
Here, in high style, is the story of a wisecracking adventurer who came of age in the untamed West; an ink-stained rebel who surprised himself by becoming the most famous American of his time. Bountifully illustrated.

I don't usually read biographies, but this one came highly recommended and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The life of Mark Twain, or Samuel Clemens, is presented in an intesting and entertaining way. For example, Mark Twain did a series of lectures, or comic routines, and his posters read: "Doors open at 7 o'clock. The Trouble to begin at 8 o'clock.". The author, Sid Fleishman, did a good job and I'm curious to read more biographies that he's written!


Mibs Beaumont is about to turn thirteen, which in the Beaumont family means her "savvy"-her special power-is about to strike. Her brothers' savvies let them create hurricanes and spark electricity, but Mibs has yet to learn what her savvy is. Then, two days before her birthday, her father is in a terrible car accident. He is sent to a hospital two hours from their isolated small town, and Mibs determines that she must get there, adamant that her savvy is going to help save him. She ends up on a traveling bible salesman's pink bus with all her siblings and the preacher's children, including the preacher's son, Will, who has a crush on her. The story chronicles the ups and downs of their journey to the hospital-where, in the end, Mibs's savvy (she can hear the thoughts and feelings of people with ink on their skin) helps her hear Poppa's tattoo speak and, ultimately, save his life.

Savvy was a fun coming of age story. Everyone in Mibs' family inherits a special power, or savvy, on their 13th birthday. The day before Mibs' 13th bday her father is in a terrible car accident and it sets rolling a series of events that help the characters bond and realize what's important in life. This book got good reviews, and it was a clever story - but it wasn't my favorite.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village

Step back to an English village in 1255, where life plays out in dramatic vignettes illuminating twenty-two unforgettable characters.

Maidens, monks, and millers’ sons — in these pages, readers will meet them all. There’s Hugo, the lord’s nephew, forced to prove his manhood by hunting a wild boar; sharp-tongued Nelly, who supports her family by selling live eels; and the peasant’s daughter, Mogg, who gets a clever lesson in how to save a cow from a greedy landlord. There’s also mud-slinging Barbary (and her noble victim); Jack, the compassionate half-wit; Alice, the singing shepherdess; and many more. With a deep appreciation for the period and a grand affection for both characters and audience, Laura Amy Schlitz creates twenty-two riveting portraits and linguistic gems equally suited to silent reading or performance. Illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by Robert Byrd — inspired by the Munich-Nuremberg manuscript, an illuminated poem from thirteenth-century Germany — this witty, historically accurate, and utterly human collection forms an exquisite bridge to the people and places of medieval England.
This book is classroom amount of monologues from characters from a Medieval village. The different perspectives and voices were interesting and the historical facts were really helpful. It was a quick read and I learned much. It was the 2007 Newbery Winner!

The Willoughbys

Abandoned by their ill-humored parents to the care of an odious nanny, Tim, the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and their sister, Jane, attempt to fulfill their roles as good oldfashioned children. Following the models set in lauded tales from A Christmas Carol to Mary Poppins, the four Willoughbys hope to attain their proscribed happy ending too, or at least a satisfyingly maudlin one. However, it is an unquestionably ruthless act that sets in motion the transformations that lead to their salvation and to happy endings for not only the four children, but their nanny, an abandoned baby, a candy magnate, and his long-lost son too. Replete with a tongue-in-cheek glossary and bibliography, this hilarious and decidedly old-fashioned parody pays playful homage to classic works of children's literature.

Cute book and funny story! I liked how in attempts to be "old-fashioned" they made references to classic stories like Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables. I enjoyed it! Make sure you read the glossary!

The Westing Game

This brilliantly crafted, award-winning novel is an intriguing mystery that follows an eclectic group of characters as they struggle to be the first to solve the puzzle set forth Sam Westing's will-and, most importantly, lay claim to the Westing fortune.

The Westing Game kept my on my toes and still kept surprising me until the end. A rich man has died and has left a large fortune behind. Sam Westing didn't leave his money in an easy way, but set up a game with clues for his heirs to figure out - starting the Westing Game. It was very intriguing puzzle and kept me guessing through out the book! It deserved the 1979 Newbery award!

Magyk (Septimus Heap Series #1)

The seventh son of the seventh son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a new born girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this myster ious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?
The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart.
Engaging fantasy story with fun characters. Some things I predicted, but some things surprised me. I like a good surprise. I enjoyed it enough to want to read the next in the series!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hunger Games

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.

A friend lent me an advance copy of this book and I really enjoyed it. It's about this futuristic society, postwar, and the "Capitol" has each district submit two young adults to participate in Hunger Games similar to the gladiators. They fight to the death while everyone watches. Well, the main character, Katniss, is the selected girl from her district and this book is about her struggle to live and her conscience. It had a slow start, but I got reeled in and couldn't put it down!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Boys don't keep diaries-or do they?
The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to

It's a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you're ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley's star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend's newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, "Just don't expect me to be all 'Dear Diary' this and 'Dear Diary' that." Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won't do and what he actually does are two very different things.
This book was funny, I loved the illustrations. What I didn't like was that the main character, Greg, isn't always honest and tries to get out of doing what he needs to do. I guess this is an accurate depiction of a teenage boy! (hehe)

Criss Cross

She wished something would happen. Something good. To her.
Looking at the bright, fuzzy picture in the magazine, she thought,
Something like that.
Checking her wish for loopholes, she found one.
Hoping it wasn't too late, she thought the word

I enjoyed this story of group of teenagers and their new feelings of love and figuring out who they are - and how their lives have "criss crossed". Cute story!


Glittering. That’s how Katie Takeshima’s sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people’s eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it’s Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it’s Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering—kira-kira—in the future.
This was definitely an award winning book, and I agree. It was sad, but good. I loved the imagery the author uses - she's an excellent writer!

The Society of S

"If you ever want to hide from the world, live in a small city, where everyone seems anonymous."
That's the advice of twelve-year-old Ariella Montero, who lives with her father in Saratoga Springs, New York, in a house haunted more by secrets than by memories. The Society of S traces her journey south, to Asheville and Savannah, and on to Florida, as she learns that everything she knows about her family is a lie.
When she finds her mother, she learns the truth: Ariella is a fledgling member of the Society of S.

Ths book started out interesting (a girl finding out she's a vampire as well as her parents), but it took some interesting turns and I not sure how I felt about the ending. If you read it, give me your opinion!

Higher Power of Lucky

Lucky, age ten, can't wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has.
It's all Brigitte's fault -- for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she'll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won't be allowed. She'll have to lose her friends Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Just as bad, she'll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own -- and quick.
But she hadn't planned on a dust storm.
Or needing to lug the world's heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.

I enjoyed this cute story about an orphan who is worried that she will be abandoned - but entirely wrong. She lives in a small town and has a best friend who is fanatic about tying knots. The ending was cute and touching.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1)

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school . . . again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

Until the Minotaur chases him to summer camp.

Suddenly, mythical creatures seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. The gods of Mount Olympus, he's coming to realize, are very much alive in the twenty-first century. And worse, he's angered a few of them: Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.Now Percy has just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property, and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. On a daring road trip from their summer camp in New York to the gates of the Underworld in Los Angeles, Percy and his friends–one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena–will face a host of enemies determined to stop them. To succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of failure and betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I was hesitant to read this book - but the story snagged me in the first chapter and I was hooked! It's a great adventure mythology story about a boy who is half-god, also called a "hero". It's a fast read, very funny, and really enjoyable! Rick Riordan is a good writer!

White Darkness

Sym is not your average teenage girl. She is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates from Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole. In fact, Oates is the secret confidant to whom she spills all her hopes and fears.
But Sym's uncle Victor is even more obsessed--and when he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival that will challenge everything she knows and loves.

This book was fascinating, and really well written. I listened to the audio CD - the narrator was fantastic. This is a story in layers and with the main character you find out more information as she goes on her adventure to Antarctica. It keep me intrigued the last moment!

Way Down Deep

Although Ruby seemed to just appear out of thin air on the steps of the courthouse on the first day of summer in 1944, no one in Way Down Deep, West Virginia, ever worried too much about where the toddler came from. They figured that if Ruby’s people were dumb enough to lose something as valuable as a child, then that was their problem. So even though Ruby can’t help but wonder where she came from, she has led a joyful and carefree life in Way Down Deep, loved and watched over by Miss Arbutus – proprietor of The Roost, the local boardinghouse – the residents of The Roost, and the rest of the town. But when Ruby is twelve, a new family moves to Way Down Deep, and they inadvertently provide enough clues about Ruby’s past that she is able to find her own people. Ruby travels from Way Down Deep to the top of Yonder Mountain to learn who she really is – only to find that she is bound to Way Down Deep by something even stronger than family ties: love.

With a touch of fairy-tale magic and a lot of heart, Ruth White explores just what it is that makes a place truly home.

Such a cute children's novel - and it takes place in West Virginia. (Where I served my mission) It shows this quirky town and how they raise this orphan girl and all come to love her - and when she has to leave they all rally together to get her back. It's a heart-warming story and I really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Host

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

I enjoyed this book and not for the sci-fi aspect. I loved the human relationships this alien has and how she bonds with her host. Of course I loved the romance as well! The ending was not expected and I was glad of the outcome!

Rachel and Leah: Women of Genesis

Leah was so young when her sister Rachel was born that she could not remember a time when Rachel was not the darling of the family—pretty, clever, and cute, whereas Leah plugged along being obedient, hard-working, and responsible. Then one day a good-looking marriageable kinsman named Jacob showed up, looking for a haven from his brother's rage, and Leah fell in love at once. It didn't surprise her at all that Jacob saw only Rachel. But surely, as the two sisters worked and lived alongside Jacob for seven years, he would come to realize that Leah was the one he ought to marry...

Orson Scott Card has given life to these women from the Old Testament. I was intrigued by how he chose to portray different characters and it had me going back to the Bible to read about them more. I've enjoyed the "Women of Genesis" series. This is the third in the series. Other books included: Sarah, Rebekah.

Wednesday Wars

Seventh grader Holling Hoodhood has a tough year ahead of him. First of all, his teacher Mrs. baker, keeps giving him the evil eye. Second of all, the class bully keeps threatening to do Number 167 (and you don't even want to know what Number 167 is). Third of all, his father keeps calling him the Son Who is Going to Inherit Hoodhood and Associates. But things are changing, and while reciting his favorite curses from Shakespeare's plays, Holling might just find the true meaning of his own story.

Wednesday Wars was such a great book! I really loved this book! I loved how Holling, a 7th grader, developed an awesome friendship with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, and through reading Shakespeare he learned about life and the people around him. I laughed and cried reading this book. I've actually had the opportunity to hear the author, Gary D. Schmidt, speak at a conference and now I appreciate this book even more. I recommend this to anyone - and it's a Newbery honor book! Check it out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Susanna Clarke’s brilliant first novel is an utterly compelling epic tale of nineteenth-century England and the two very different magicians who, as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history.

This book is like a Harry Potter for adults. It was really enjoyable. It's the adventure of these two wizards in the Regency period - and they even help fight the Napoleonic Wars. It's written like it's a real story - with footnotes and everything. The book is long, but as soon I got into it I couldn't put it down.

Everything on a Waffle

Haven’t you ever just known something deep in your heart without reason?
Eleven-year-old Primrose living in a small fishing village in British Columbia recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea.

This is such a cute quirky story about having hope. The main character's parents are missing at sea and but she never gives up that they are still alive. The town members are great - including the local restaurant that serves "everything on a waffle" - really! It's funny and heart-warming and I loved it!

Book Reviews

I'm going to start posting my attempts at reviews. I have been doing this on my GoodReads account a little bit, but I thought I would use this blog as well! I'd welcome any comments on these books! We'll see how this goes!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sweet Emilia

This is my niece, Emilia. These are her 18th month pictures and I feel they are just too cute not to share!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baman and Piderman

My cousin, Vanessa, just told me about this video. It's random and that's why it's funny! Check it out!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Book overdue for 61 years

Blinkx Video: Book overdue for 61 years returned in Tulsa, OK

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Arizona Pictures

Here are pictures from my trip to Arizona last month! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween to the Rescue!

The Superheroes of the Children's Department

Robin and Batgirl

Bibliogirl, Catbrarian, Robin, Supergirl and Batgirl

Captain Underpants, Xlibris

Bibliogirl, Robin, Catbrarian, Supergirl, Captain Underpants, Xlibris and Super Book Witch