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Showing posts from August, 2011

190. Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 4

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The 88 Demons of Shikoku by Hiroshi Shiibashi (Canada) - (US)
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 4

Pages: 203
Ages:13+
Finished: Aug. 26, 2011
First Published:  Aug 2, 2011
Publisher: viz media
Genre: YA, manga, fantasy
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

On a certain mountain in Kagawa Prefecture.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon and Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

Once again Nura's turf is being challenged.  This time seven mysterious travellers arrive to take over Riku's new position and the whole Nura clan.  They infiltrate Riku's school and plan to take him down without a care to any human casualties.  Riku will have to call upon his entire Yokai Clan to fight this battle.

While the majority of this volume is dedicated to the one plot, there is a side story which introduces us to another type of being that also makes up a yokai clan.  There are the yokai themselves but there are also tochigami's which are creatures that inhabit shrines, t…

189. Tegami Bachi, Volume 6

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The Lighthouse in the Wasteland by Hiroyuki Asada (Canada) - (US)
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, Volume 7

Pages: 124
Ages: 12+
Finished: Aug. 25, 2011
First Published: Aug. 2, 2011
Publisher: viz media
Genre: graphic novel, YA, fantasy, science fiction
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:
No luck with your letter?Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

Lag is in the process of writing a letter bullet which will hopefully connect his heart to Gauche and help him recover his own heart which he has lost.  We get  flashbacks to see exactly what happened to Gauche that made him lose not only his memories but his heart and become Noir the Marauder.  In the meantime Lag goes about some of us his regular letter bee duties where he learns more about how hearts can be connected to  each other and especially helps Sylvette to help someone make right something she was unable to do in her own past.  Lag meets up with the legendary Jiggy Pepper on …

188. The War of the Worlds Graphic Novel

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H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds by Ryan Foley. Illustrated by Bhupendra Ahluwalia. (Canada) - (US)
Campfire Classics

Pages: 71
Ages: 10+
Finished: Aug. 24, 2011
First Published: Jul. 5, 2011
Publisher: Campfire Graphic Novels
Genre: Children, graphic novel, classic, science fiction
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:
No one would have believed that his world was being watched keenly and closely, by intelligences greater than man's in the last years of the nineteenth century.Acquired: Received a review copy from Steerforth Books.

Reason for Reading:  I enjoy graphic adaptations of the classics. 

It's been a few decades since I've read this original book and about time for a reread and this graphic adaptation makes me want to revisit the original.  As all Campfire Classics the book is set up in the same format with a brief bio of the original author, then a main charachters page, followed by the book and ending with a two page spread with further info on the topic and time peri…

187. Space Race Graphic Novel

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Space Race by C.E.L. Welsh. Illustrated by K.L. Jones (Canada) - (US)
Campfire Originals

Pages: 67
Ages: 9+
Finished: Aug. 22, 2011
First Published: July 12, 2011
Publisher: Campfire Graphic Novels
Genre: children, graphic novel, science fiction/fact, non-fiction
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

Many years in the future.
Acquired:  Received a review copy from Steelforth Press.

Reason for Reading:  Ds is finishing up his study of the 20th century with a space exploration unit and I pre-read this to see if it would be more satisfying the the previous "Space Race" book we had read, and it was.

A unique combination of science fiction and fact.  We are presented with the factual story of the US/USSR Space Race from the early days of simply sending a satellite into orbit, to sending animals into space, then men and so forth until the ultimate landing of men on the moon is reached.  This non-fiction story is framed within a science fiction story which takes place "many years in the f…

186. Sita: Daughter of the Earth Graphic Novel

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Sita: Daughter of the Earth by Saraswati Nagpal. Illustrated by Manikandan (Canada) - (US)
Campfire Mythology

Pages: 95
Ages: 10+
Finished: Aug. 21, 2011
First Published: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Campfire Graphic Novels
Genre: children, adventure, Hindu myth, India
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:
Thousands of years ago, in the time cycle called Treta Yuga, gods and demons walked the earth alongside mortals.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Steerforth Press.

Reason for Reading: I love mythology and I love graphic novels.  Hindu mythology is new to me.

This is a graphic retelling of the "Ramayana", which from my best research I gather is an epic poetic text that is vital to Hinduism.  Thus being epic, it is very detailed and a complicated story involving all sorts of adventures and crises, telling the story of the life of Rama, part god, part human and heir of the kingdom and that of his wife Sita, adopted daughter of a king but real daughter of a goddess.  The story involves a…

185. Bone Beds of the Badlands by Shane Peacock

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Bone Beds of the Badlands by Shane Peacock (Canada) - (US) (Out Of Print)
A Dylan Maples Adventure, #3

Pages: 195
Ages: 9+
Finished: Aug. 19, 2011
First Published: 2001
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Genre: children, mystery, adventure
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:
Early June, Calgary, Alberta, under a blistering urban sun.Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series and book three brings forth the best of the series by far.   Peacock has written a true thriller that will keep kids on the edge of their seats.  Certainly much more scarier than the previous two and as a reader I can see a bit of the author's talent for the gripping "Boy Sherlock Holmes" series starting to shine through in this book.  Once again Peacock totally changes the scenery and cast of characters to bring a fresh new story for Dylan making sure this series never suffers from "series sameness".…

184. Defiance by Carla Jablonski

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Defiance by Carla Jablonski. Art by Leland Purvis (Canada) - (US)
Resistance Trilogy, Book 2

Pages: 124
Ages: 12+
Finished: Aug. 17, 2011
First Published: Jul. 19, 2011
Publisher: First Second Books
Genre: graphic novel, YA, historical fiction, WWII, France
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

Paul!  Have any ration tickets to trade?
Acquired: Received a review copy from First Second Books.

Reason for Reading:  next in the series

 Continuing on from the second book, Paul and his older sister continue to work for the Resistance unbeknownst to their mother who has given up her part in the shady dealings to keep her family safe.  The eldest girl's boyfriend is deeply involved with the movement causing her to wonder whether he really likes her or is just using her to get information from the Germans.  Paul is working independently putting irreverent drawings around town of the Germans which are starting to cause a fuss.  At this time in the history of the occupation we learn of the French police…

183. Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory by George O'Connor

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Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory by George O'Connor. (Canada) - (US)
The Olympians, Vol. 3

Pages: 77
Ages: 12+
Finished: Aug. 16, 2011
First Published: Jul. 19, 2011
Publisher: First Second Books
Genre: Children, graphic novel, Greek mythology
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

In all the cosmos, there is only one being that Zeus, the King of the gods, is afraid of ...
Acquired: Received a review copy from First Second Books.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

This much awaited 3rd volume in The Olympians series was quickly read up.  I'm quite familiar with the contents of this one and enjoyed the author's presentation of events.  There are many stories and versions the author had his pick of which way he could go with these characters and he's chosen an age appropriate story and one which connects Hera and Heracles together perfectly.  While the book does tell the story of Hera, there does come a point went it becomes the story of Heracles (ie. Hercules) whose name "H…

Charlotte's Web: Wilbur's Prize by Jennifer Frantz

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Charlotte's Web: Wilbur's Prize by Jennifer Frantz. Illustrated by Aleksey & Olga Ivanov. (Canada) - (US)
I Can Read Book, Level 2

Pages: 32
Ages: 6+
Finished: Aug. 15, 2011
First Published: 2006
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: children, easy reader, based on a movie
Rating: 3/5


First sentence:

It was the first day of the County Fair!
Acquired: Purchased a used copy from a thrift store.

Reason for Reading:ds read aloud as his reader.

This easy reader is based on the more recent live action movie, rather than the book, there fore there are a few dissimilarities between it's events and those of the original book.  This easy reader covers the time period between when the Zuckerman's pack everything up for the County Fair and Wilbur, Templeton & Charlotte arrive.  Wilbur find's he has competition in Uncle next door and Charlotte spins the word "HUMBLE" for Wilbur.  Wilbur is not really concerned with winning at this point as he is happy he has such goo…

182. Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace by Eric Wight

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Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace by Eric Wight (Canada) - (US)
Frankie Pickle, #3

Pages: 90
Ages: 7+
Finished: Aug. 15, 2011
First Published: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Genre: children, adventure, humour, text/graphic hybrid
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Frankie stared at the first question on his math quiz, and wrote down the number 23.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading:  next in the series.

I'll be frank.  I'm usually not fond of stories about math.  They start out with some kid either hating or having a hard time with math and then they are shown how math is used in the real world and just how relevant it is in everyday life.  Usually something especially fun the kid enjoys is used to entice him/her and in the end the kid either likes math, is good at math or thinks it *is* fun.  Well, Frankie Pickle and the Mathematical Menace is no exception when it comes to plot, but I thoroughly enjoyed…

181. Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

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Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier (Canada) - (US)

Pages:381
Ages: 9+
Finished: Aug. 14, 2011
First Published: Aug. 1, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Genre: children, fantasy, steampunk
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin Canada.

Reason for Reading: The plot sounded wonderful and the author is Canadian!

Peter Nimble doesn't really have a name but this is what he's called in the thieving world of a perhaps Victorian-like English town.  He's made his own way in the world since discovered floating in a basket with his eyes pecked out by a raven.  Now under the control of a wicked master who keeps him locked up and makes him thieve for his food Peter ventures upon a couple of strange men, Professor Cake and Mr. Pound who give him the adventure of his life.  Along with a case which includes three sets of fanta…

180. Everything Is Grace: The Life and Way of Therese of Lisieux

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Everything Is Grace: The Life and Way of Therese of Lisieux by Joseph F. Schmidt, FSC. Forward by Most Rev. Patrick V. Ahern. (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 330 + bib.&index
Ages: 18+
Finished: Aug. 13, 2011
First Published: 2007
Publisher: The Word Among Us Press
Genre: Catholic, non-fiction, biography, Saints, theology
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

The spirituality that St. Therese of Lisieux lived and taught is nothing other than the very heart of the gospel made convincing and accessible to modern people.
Acquired: Purchased a new copy through an online retailer.

Reason for Reading: After having read Story of a Soul, my priest (who is a Carmelite) recommended I read a book *about* her next to get a deeper understanding of Therese within the framework of her times.

This book is a biography of St. Therese's life starting with the background of her parents and how they met and married and ending with an Epilogue which tells us what happened to her other biological sisters and when they …

179. Bob and Shirley: A Tale of Two Lobsters by Harriet Ziefert

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Bob and Shirley: A Tale of Two Lobsters by Harriet Ziefert. Pictures by Mavis Smith. (Canada) - (US) Out of Print

Pages: 32
Ages: 7+
Finished: Aug. 12, 2011
First Published: 1991
Publisher: Puffin Books
Genre: children, easy reader, true story, science
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

Bob and Shirley were lobster friends.
Acquired: Purchased a used copy at a garage/book sale or thrift shop.

Reason for Reading: Ds read aloud to me as his reader.

This is a cute book we've had for quite some time.  I read it aloud to ds a few times when he was much younger and to older brother way back closer to the time when the book was originally published.  Finally it went into the pile of readers.  Based on a true story, this tells of how two lobsters from Maine, where laws protect lobsters over 25 pounds, were caught in a net and taken to Rhode Island.  Their travels took them through several states until they ended up in a Philadelphia window display.  When it was realized that the lobsters were fro…

178. Bone #6: Old Man's Cave by Jeff Smith

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Old Man's Cave by Jeff Smith (Canada) - (US)
Bone, Vol. 6

Pages: 118
Ages: 9+
Finished: Aug. 11, 2011
First Published: 1997 (2007 colourized edition)
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: graphic novel, children, fantasy, humour
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

URNF! Can ya see anything, Fone Bone?
Acquired: Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

We are right in the middle of all the action with this volume.  The battle has started and everyone steps up to the plate and shows their mettle.  Fone and Smiley are still lost in the woods from the previous book until they meet up with Thorn and continue the journey with her.  Gran'ma Ben has called everyone together at Old Man's Cave where they can put up a united stand against the rat creatures under the leadership of the Hooded One, whose identity we learn in this book.  Once again all the characters from the previous volumes are together again, some only making cameo appearances but it is a plea…

177: Marvin Redpost: Kidnapped at Birth? by Louis Sachar

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Marvin Redpost: Kidnapped at Birth? by Louis Sachar. Illustrated by Neal Hughes.(Canada) - (US)
Marvin Redpost, Book 1

Pages: 68
Ages: 6+
Finished: Aug. 9, 2011
First Published: 1992
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Children, easy reader chapter book, humour
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:
The End.Acquired: Purchased a used copy from a book/garage sale or thrift shop.

Reason for Reading: Son read aloud to me as his reader.  This was his very first proper chapter book with one b/w drawing per chapter.

At a reading level of 1.9, this was a very good choice for my son's first chapter book.  He did very well with the reading and was not intimidated with the full pages of text or infrequent b/w drawings.  I have never read a Marvin Redpost book before and thought it was a fun story of a boy who reads in the paper that a King is coming to town searching for his lost son who was kidnapped at birth.  Marvin just happens to match all the physical descriptions and since he's the only redhead in…

176. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

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The Leopard by Jo Nesbo. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett.  (Canada) - (US)
Inspector Harry Hole, #8

Pages: 613
Ages: 18+
Finished: Aug. 10, 2011
First Published: 2011 Norway (English edition, Mar. 22, 2011) (US: Dec. 13, 2011)
Publisher: Random House Canada
Genre: mystery, thriller, suspense
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

She awoke.
Acquired:  Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: next in the series.

Harry Hole is in a personal mess after his last case and has hidden himself away in Hong Kong, but Norway seems to have a new serial killer in their midst and they are stumped.  FBI trained serial killer expert Harry Hole must be tracked down and persuaded to come home and a detective is sent to find and bring him back.  Hole does come back but only because his father is ill.  Not really wanting to get back into the police business he can't help himself when he finally reads the cases of the two women who have been killed by an ancient torture d…

175. Bone #5: Rock Jaw by Jeff Smith

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Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border by Jeff Smith (Canada) - (US)
Bone, Volume 5

Pages: 116
Ages: 9+
Finished: Aug. 8, 2011
First Published: 1997 (colourized edition 2007)
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: children, graphic novel, fantasy
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

Look! There! Do you see it?

Acquired: Purchased a new copy via an online retailer.

Reason for Reading: next in the series.

Time for a change of pace as this book focuses on Fone Bone and Smiley Bone as they go up into the mountains to release the baby rat creature cub that they found in the previous volume. Smiley has become attached to him and named him Bartelby. They meet lots of new & a few old characters and the two stupid rat creatures continue to try and catch them, Roque Ja takes them hostage and the young possums find their trail once again meeting up with a whole group of orphaned animals. Fone and Smiley meet up with every possible bad guy to date on this mini side-expedition bringing lots of excitement and …

174. Bone 4: The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smith

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The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smith (Canada) - (US)
Bone, Vol. 4

Pages: 168
Ages: 9+
Finished: Aug. 7, 2011
First Published: 1997 (2006 colourized edition)
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy, children, humour
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

"Okay, Mister! Here's your soup an' ale."
Acquired: Purchased a new copy through an online retailer.

Reason for Reading:  next in the series.

This volume was fabulous!  Maybe part of my sheer enjoyment was due to the little break I took between books 1-3 and this one. (I'm trying not to rush through them "too" fast) But while the break may have refreshed my zeal for these characters, this was still a top-notch story.  Things turn quite dark in this volume as we finally meet the bad guy and see him surrounded by his minions.  He wears a costume that hides his actual identity and it makes me wonder whether if and when his hood is lifted we might see a familiar face in the end.  Great story with some multiple plo…

173. Mother Teresa: In My Own Words

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Mother Teresa: In My Own Words by Mother Teresa. Compiled by Jose Luis Gonzalez-Balado. (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 109
Ages: All Ages
Finished: Aug. 1, 2011
First Published: 1997
Publisher: Gramercy Books
Genre: Catholic, inspirational, quotes, Christian, nuns, missions
Rating: 5/5



First sentence:



Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things.

Acquired: A wonderful lady at church, who admires Mother Teresa greatly, passed the book on to me.  Thank you, Frances!

Reason for Reading:  for inspiration.

A collection of mostly quotes, with some short stories, anecdotes and prayers that Mother Teresa has been recorded saying throughout her life either to the poor themselves, or the media.  These are awesomely uplifting, wise and true words of wisdom.  If everyone could only take Mother's words to heart and live them spiritually, world poverty would simply cease to exist.  The book begins with a short biography and introduction to this selfless woman who won the Nobel Peace Price in …

172. The Long Walk by Richard Bachman

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The Long Walk by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman (Canada) - (US)
Pages: 189
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jul. 30, 2011
First Published: 1979
Publisher: Signet
Genre: science fiction, dystopian
Rating: 5/5




First sentence:


An old blue Ford pulled into the guarded parking lot that morning, looking like a small, tired dog after a hard run.

Acquired: Purchased a used copy from a book/garage sale or thrift shop.

Reason for Reading:  I'm in the process of of re/reading all of Stephen King's works in chronological order.  This was the next book in line.

I originally read "The Long Walk" when King released his omnibus of "The Bachman Books" in 1985.  Of the four novels "The Long Walk" and "The Running Man" were my favourites and I was looking forward to this re-read.  Initially, the book struck a chord with me because even back in the eighties I could imagine a world where game shows had turned to life or death.  Of course, now, in the 21st century…

171. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

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Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Pictures by Garth Williams. Watercolor artwork by Rosemary Wells. (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 184
Ages: 8+
Finished: Jul. 29, 2011
First Published: 1952 (this colourized edition 1999)
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: children, animal fantasy
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:


"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.

Acquired: Purchased a copy through an online retailer.

Reason for Reading:   Read aloud to ds.

I'll keep this one short.  There must be thousand's of reviews already of this modern classic.  The edition that I have is the hardcover reprint with the gently colourized original illustration by Rosemary Wells, a beautiful book and a keeper for my personal library.  This was my first re-read since my original reading as a child and it struck me again as being a wonderful book so full of feeling, even though I'd seen the cartoon movie year after year as a child.  I was…

169. Spacebusters: The Race to the Moon

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Spacebusters: The Race to the Moon by Philip Wilkinson. (Canada) - (US)
DK Readers

Pages: 48
Ages: 8+
Finished: Jul. 28, 2011
First Published: 1998 (new edition Jan. 2012)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc.
Genre: easy reader, astronomy, space race
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

Three, two, one - blastoff!
Acquired:  Borrowed a copy through Inter Library Loan.

Reason for Reading: Read aloud to ds as part of our history curriculum.

This is the first time I've read a non-fiction book about space/astronauts to ds.  He's looked at space books before and shown no over enthusiasm towards the topic.  But he was absolutely riveted with this book!  He listened intently to every word I read.  I think he's really going to enjoy the rest of our little space unit.  This book focuses only on the US side of the space race thus including those words in the title is a misnomer as the book is only about the US space program.  It starts with the launching of Apollo 11 and tells the story of the first …

170. The Beginner's Bible

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The Beginner's Bible. illustrated by Kelly Pulley (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 511
Ages: 5+
Finished: Jul. 29, 2011
First Published: 2005
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Genre: Bible, Christian
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:


In the beginning, the world was empty.
Acquired: Purchased a copy through a homeschool retailer.

Reason for Reading:    Ds read to me over about the period of a year as his bible reading.  We had a schedule where on every Fri. I would put away our usual religious instruction materials and he would lead the lesson by reading for 20 minutes from this book and it would also cover his reader for the day, thus lightening Friday's load.  He started the book off managing to read one story per allotted time but by the New Testament he was reading three stories each sitting as a rule.  So we watched his reading improve over the course of this book.

This is a very nice first Bible reader for any child who is at that stage of reading and also would make a great read aloud to pre-schoole…

168. The Flight of Dragons by Vivian French

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The Flight of Dragons by Vivian French. Illustrated by Ross Collins. (Canada) - (US)
The Fourth Tale from the Five Kingdoms

Pages: 248
Ages: 8+
Finished: July 27, 2011
First Published: Jul. 12, 2011 (2010, UK)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, fantasy, humour
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

"Dragons?" Professor Scallio peered over the top of his spectacles.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: next in the series.

Book 4 in this series returns us to the original delight of Book 1, Robe of Skulls.  Books 2 and 3 were very enjoyable too, but both1 & 4 have that special something about them.  This time around dragons are seen flying around the borders of the Five Kingdoms.  They were banished 8o years ago and this brings concern when it is figured that they may be looking for a dragon egg getting ready to hatch.  Prince Marcus and Gracie Gillypot go on another adventure to find the egg and return it to the dragons but there is an…

RIP: William Sleator

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Oh, this is so sad! He was so young! He's one of my favourite kid's horror/sci-fi authors. I remember really enjoying The Boxes, The Beasties and Interstellar Pig, to name a few.


William Sleator, the author of more than 30 books for young people, died on Tuesday in Thailand. He was 66. Born in Maryland and raised just outside of St. Louis, Mo., he was known for his thought-provoking, often disturbing science fiction novels. His first book, The Angry Moon, illustrated by his friend Blair Lent, received a 1971 Caldecott Honor, but Sleator found even greater acclaim with his novel House of Stairs (1974), named one of the 100 Best Books for Teens by the American Library Association. He went on to publish many acclaimed novels, including Interstellar Pig (1984) and Singularity (1985), and in 1993, Oddballs, a collection of autobiographical stories about growing up outside St. Louis in a family of brilliant eccentrics. Sleator explored his fascination with Thai culture, and its em…

167. Photo Booth by Lewis Helfand

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Photo Booth by Lewis Helfand. Illustrated by Sachin Nagar (Canada) - (US)
Campfire Originals

Pages: 79
Ages: 15+
Finished: Jul. 26, 2011
First Published: Jun. 21, 2011
Publisher: Campfire
Genre: graphic novel, YA, crime, thriller, romance, magical realism
Rating: 5/5



First sentence:  Acquired: Received a review copy from Steerforth Press.

There have been thirteen murders in the last two weeks, and all of them are related to a new drug on the streets.
Reason for Reading:  This sounded intriguing and was something completely different from what I've read from the publisher so far.

Photo Booth is what might be classified as a romantic thriller and is for a slightly higher age group than all the previous books I've read by this publisher so far.  Though no age is given on the books, this is just a more mature story that I think older teens and adults are going to be the most interested audience.  New York City Interpol agent Praveer Rajani is part of a team investigating a drug ri…

166. In Defense of the Realm by Sanjay Deshpande

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In Defense of the Realm by Sanjay Deshpande. Illustrated by Lalit Kumar Sharma (Canada) - (US)
Campfire Originals

Pages: 103
Ages: 12+
Finished: Jul. 25, 2011
First Published: Jun. 14, 2011
Publisher: Campfire
Genre: graphic novel, YA, Historical fiction, ancient history
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

At Torana's ashram near Varanasi. 150BC


I wonder what Master Torana is going to teach us today?
Acquired: Received a review copy from Steerforth Press.

Reason for Reading: I enjoy ancient historical fiction and am a fan of this India-based publisher.

An epic historical tale told within the frame of an ancient (150BC) children's study class.  The book starts off with a two page spread of text explaining that very little is known of the actual people who lived in the Indus Valley in ancient times, but that much *is* known about how they lived and their way of life.  This story takes place in 2310BC in the Indus Valley with one real historically known person, Sargon, an Akkadian king.  Sa…

165. Surprise Island by Gertrude Chandler Warner

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Surprise Island by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Ilustrated by Mary Gehr (Canada) - (US)
The Alden Family Mysteries, #2

Pages: 178
Ages: 7+
Finished: Jul. 24, 2011
First Published: 1949
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Children, mystery
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:
"Now, tell us, Grandfather," cried Henry.  "We ran all the way home from school."
Acquired: Purchased a used copy from a book/garage sale of thrift shop.

Reason for Reading: This is another book from the Random Bookshelf that I am reading from this year.The Boxcar Children have played a big part in my and my children's lives. I intend to acquire a complete set of the first 19 books (the others hold no interest to me) and keep them as keepers on my juvenile shelves for my future grandchildren.

Book 2 is very similar to that of the first in the series.  First of all, there is no real mystery except for the hidden identity of a man on the island known only to them as "Joe".  However, the fisherm…

164. Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 4 by Tsugumi Ohba

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Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 4 by Tsugumi Ohba. Art by Takeshi Obata. (Canada) - (US)
Death Note, Vol. 7 & 8

Pages: 416
Ages: 16+
Finished: Jul. 24, 2011
First Published: July 5, 2011
Publisher: viz media
Genre: graphic novel, YA, manga, crime, paranormal
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

Ryuzaki, allow me to go.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading:  next in the series.

Amazing!  Honestly, I keep saying this, but each volume of Death Note just keeps getting better and better!  What a shocking plot twist happens in Volume 7 that then changes the whole dynamics of the story and the introduction of three new characters in Volume 8  take the plot off in a new direction.  I can't say much about plot here as it would spoil  your reading.  What I can say is that Light & Misa get their memories back, just as Light had planned and we are taken backwards a bit to see just how he had planned this brilliant move.  Getting that glimpse of Li…

163. Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen

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Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Translated from the Danish by Lisa Hartford (UK only)
Department Q, #1

Pages: 504
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jul. 23, 2011
First Published: 2008, Denmark, (May 20, 2011, UK)
Published in Canada and US under the Title "The Keeper of Lost Causes" on August 23, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: mystery, thriller, suspense
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

She scratched her fingertips on the smooth walls until they bled, and pounded her fists on the thick panes until she could no longer feel her hands.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin UK.

Reason for Reading:  The plot just screamed "read me!" and I'm a fan of Scandi Crime.

Outstanding!  The first chapter had me hooked on the case and the second chapter had me fascinated with the main character, Copenhagen detective Carl Morck.  Usually I'm into the serial killer type of crimes but this case involves a kidnapping/missing persons case that is incredibly taut and gripping.  Carl Morck …