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Showing posts from September, 2011

221. The Clockwork Girl by Sean O'Reilly

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The Clockwork Girl by Sean O' Reilly* & Kevin Hanna (US) - (Canada)

Pages: 128
Ages: ALL AGES
Finished: Sept. 27, 2011
First Published: July 12, 2011
Publisher: Harper Design
Genre: graphic novel, science fiction, steampunk, romance
Rating: 5/5



First sentence:
In a land far, far away, these fantastic castles were built as monuments to two very different and very important sciences.Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading:  I've enjoyed other books by Sean O'Reilly and this one sounded wonderful, plus I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie (which doesn't have a release date as of yet).

First of all, an absolutely beautiful book.  Illustrations are gorgeous and the book is just pleasure for the eyes to read.  It's book like this I'd never trade for an ereader.  The story centres around two scientists who live next door to each other, one who is a technical scientist building robots and automatons, whilst the ot…

220. Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs by Marcia Williams

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Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs by Marcia Williams (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 48
Ages: 8+
Finished: Sept. 26, 2011
First Published: Sept. 13, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, graphic novel, mythology, Ancient Egypt
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:
In the beginning, there was only the deep, dark water of Nun.Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: I love mythology, Egyptian Mythology, and this series of books by Marcia Williams.

Typical of Marcia Williams' books this is set up in a comic strip format with the narrative told underneath the strips and funny, comical asides coming from the characters depicted in the cartoons.  The most popular tales are told here in a fairly linear order so that one story leads onto the next with the exception of jumping many years to Cleopatra at the end.  The book begins with the mythology of Ra, Isis, Thoth, etc and goes on to tell the tales of famous pharaohs Hatsheput, Thutmose, Tut, Cleopatra,…

219. Construction Zone by Cheryl Willis Hudson

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Construction Zone by Cheryl Willis Hudson. Photography by Richard Sobol.  (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 32
Ages: 5+
Finished: Sept. 26, 2011
First Published: 2006
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, non-fiction, photo-essay, architecture
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

What do you see at the construction zone?
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from my library.

Reason for Reading: I am reading Richard Sobol's entire backlist with my son and discussing the life of a photographer/photojournalist as a career option while doing so.

Construction Zone is the only one of Richard Sobol's children's books which he did not write himself.  Sobol spent 3 years documenting the building of MIT's Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences.  Much of that work can be found in a book published by MIT itself.  This book includes photos Sobol took during that assignment.  The writing itself is written for a younger child than Sobol's own books and describes the work on a cons…

217. Graphic Classics: Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery

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Graphic Classics: Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery edited by Tom Pomplun (US) - (Canada)
Graphic Classics, Volume 21

Pages: 144
Ages: 12-Adult
Finished: Sept. 24, 2011
First Published: Sept. 13, 2011
Publisher: Eureka Productions
Genre: graphic novel, short stories, poetry
Rating: 3/5

Acquired: Received a review copy from Eureka Productions.

Reason for Reading: I read every new volume that comes out.

First sentence:

Residing in Paris during the spring of 1882, I became acquainted with a Monsieur Auguste Dupin.A graphic anthology of short stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe.  This is the second volume in the series to feature Poe as Volume 1 did as well.  The crowning glory of this volume is the adaptation of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Antonella Caputo and Reno Maniquis.  Very much in keeping with the original story, they have brought the classic story to a new medium and shown this first detective story in all its gruesome delight.  I also enjoyed "The Fact…

216. Breakfast in the Rainforest by Richard Sobol

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Breakfast in the Rainforest: A Visit with Mountain Gorillas by Richard Sobol. Afterward by Leonardo DiCaprio (Canada) - (US)
Traveling Photographer series

Pages: 44
Ages: 9+
Finished: Sept. 24, 2011
First Published: 2008
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, non-fiction, photo-essay, travel, gorillas,  Africa
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:



Getting close enough to photograph some of the few mountain gorillas alive on our planet today is a real challenge.

Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Reason for Reading: I am reading the author's entire backlist with my son and discussing the life of a photographer/photojournalist as a career option while doing so.

This is the first book in the author's "Traveling Photographer" series and the one we least enjoyed.  For a book about gorillas it takes until well past the middle of the book for a gorilla to be seen.  This caused my son to loose interest in the narrative, which I found to be interesting b…

215. Small Pig by Arnold Lobel

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Small Pig by Arnold Lobel (Canada) - (US)
I Can Read Books (Level 2)

Pages: 64
Ages: 6+
Finished: Sept. 19, 2011
First Published: 1969
Publisher: Harper Trophy
Genre: children, easy reader
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

The small pig lives in a pigpen on a farm.
Acquired:  Purchased a used copy via a book/garage sale or thrift shop.

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

Even though labeled a Level 2 this reader is very easy to read.  I find the "Levels" are very inconsistent with this series anyway.  A really cute story of a small pig who lives on a farm where the farmer and his wife love him very much and think he is the best pig in the world.  Pig loves to wallow in mud of course, but one day Mrs. Farmer is fed up with the mess of the farm and she cleans up the whole thing including small pig's mud puddle.  He can't stand the cleanliness and runs away.  He finds several muddy, dirty places to settle down but none work out until he finds the perfect pl…

I Have a New Weight Loss Blog

I've had plans to start a new blog for some time now, but I've been waiting for the right moment.  The time has come and I'd like to invite you to join me as I chronicle my journey of weight-loss surgery which I will undergo Oct. 31st, though I have been in the program for the last 11 months.  Here is my new blog:

Weight Loss Surgery & Me

213-214. Grandma's Attic Books 3 & 4

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Grandma's Attic Series by Arleta Richardson

Publisher: David C Cook

Publication Date: originally published in the eighties. These editions are re-published Aug. 2011 with new illustrations by Patrice Barton.

Acquired: Received review copies from the books' publicist.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

Ages: 7+

#213. Book Three: Still More Stories from Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson (Canada) - (US) 1980. 2011. 159 pgs. - Continuing along in the same format as the first two books, Arleta is living with her Grandmother and Uncle Roy.  Each chapter is an individual story which starts off with Arleta in the present and her grandmother ends up telling her a tale of when she was a little girl in the 1880's.  The time frame has moved ahead a little bit from the previous two books though Mabel (Grandma) does go back as far as being six years old; she is mostly 12/13 and the majority of the stories involve her and her best friend Sarah Jane and their life in rural Michi…

212. Jeannie Out of the Bottle by Barbara Eden

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Jeannie Out of the Bottle by Barbara Eden with Wendy Leigh (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 263 +index
Ages: 18+
Finished: Sept. 19, 2011
First Published: Apr. 5, 2011
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Genre: non-fiction, memoir, television, entertainment
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:

Whenever I hear the blare of a foghorn or see a picture of a mermaid or a young couple madly in love, I feel as if I've been Jeannie-blinked back into my childhood, happy and secure.Acquired:  Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: I loved "I Dream of Jeannie" as a kid and really knew nothing else about Barbara Eden, other than the Harper Valley, PTA movie and brief series.  I enjoy actor's memoirs from the '70s on back in time and was intrigued to see what Barbara Eden had to say for herself.

Barbara Eden comes off as a very classy, non-Hollywood-type, of lady who has lived a rich and rewarding career, meeting many famous celebrities and enjoying enough success to satisf…

211. The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan

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The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan (Canada) only

Pages: 192
Ages: 9+
Finished: Sept. 18, 2011
First Published: Sept. 1, 2011 (Canada)
Publisher: Dancing Cat Books
Genre: juvenile, realistic fiction, India, Bombay
Rating: 5/5



First sentence:

April 1982


My dearest A,
I'm so scared!  You have to meet me tonight...


Anahita stared at the note.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Cormorant Books.

Reason for Reading:  I am a fan of the author.

The city of Bombay, India has a 150 year old tradition of delivering hot lunches to business workers in metal tins called tiffins.  This is a complicated business and yet it has a reputation of losing only one box per every six million.  The opening chapter is a flashback to a story of one such lost box and the rest of the book comes back to the present to show the consequences that lost lunch had for one person.  Kunal, who was left with the Seths as a baby, has been raised as their slave working in their restaurant with no wages, beat by the owner an…

210. Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin (Graphic Novel)

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Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin. Adapted by Daniel Abraham. Illustrated by Rafa Lopez (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 256
Ages: 18+
Finished: Sept. 17, 2011
First Published: Aug. 9, 2011
Publisher: Avatar Press
Genre: graphic novel, horror, vampires
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

April 1857
St. Louis


Why Cap'n Marsh!
Acquired:  Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: I received a review copy in the mail and while I hadn't requested it; it was a gorgeous looking book and I'm always up for a good vampire story.

I have not read the original novel which this graphic has been adapted from nor have I actually read anything by the author, George R.R. Martin, so this was new territory for me.  A unique story set in 1857 along the Mississippi River during the heyday of the huge passenger steamboats.  A down-on-his-luck, though widely respected captain, is met by a stranger who offers him a deal he cannot pass up.  The man will give him the money to build the fines…

209. Monster in the Mountains by Shane Peacock

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Monster in the Mountains by Shane Peacock (Canada) - (US) (Out Of Print)
A Dylan Maples Adventure, #4

Pages: 207
Ages: 9+
Finished: Sept. 17, 2011
First Published: 2003
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Genre: children, adventure
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:

Walter Middy tossed and turned.
Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

After the terrifying incident in the last book instead of taking Dylan home to Toronto his parents decide to take him to a resort in the BC wilderness to wind down and relax. He is introduced to his Great-Uncle Walter Middy, who used to be an all around circus performer but whose specialty was tight-rope walking. Dylan becomes fascinated with the Sasquatch tales and being in Sasquatch Provincial Park only flames his fires. The next thing he knows he, his Uncle and his new found friend Alice have sighted one up close. They decide to track it and the uncle brings along a video recorder to get the evidence on tape. Of…

208. The Life of Rice by Richard Sobol

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The Life of Rice: From Seedling to Supper by Richard Sobol (Canada) - (US)
Traveling Photographer series

Pages: 37
Ages: 7+
Finished: Sept. 16, 2011
First Published: Sept. 28, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, non-fiction, photo-essay, travel, agriculture, Thailand
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

My life as a photographer involves a lot of fast-paced travel followed by slower times at home as I review and edit my photographs.
Acquired:  Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Reason for Reading: I was so impressed with Sobol's photography and writing style when reading his newest book "The Mysteries of Angkor Wat" that I decided to read his entire backlist with my son and discuss the life of a photographer/photojournalist as a career option while doing so.

The author had previously been to Thailand on assignments but this time he received an official invitation to the "Royal Plowing Ceremony" from the King of Thailand and decided that while there …

207. Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the U.F.O. by David Adler

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Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the U.F.O. by David Adler. Illustrated by Susanna Natti (Canada) - (US)
Cam Jansen, Book 2

Pages: 58
Ages: 7+
Finished: Sept. 14, 2011
First Published: 1980
Publisher: Puffin Books
Genre: children, early chapter books, mystery
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

One cold November afternoon Cam Jansen and her friend Eric Shelton were walking through town.Acquired: Purchased a used copy for a garage/book sale or thrift shop.

Reason for Reading:  Ds read aloud to me.  This is a more harder book than he's used to and I had him read it as a challenge while being there to readily help him along so he wouldn't get frustrated.

This was both my son's and my first Cam Jansen book.  I had expected Cam to be a boy and so was of course surprised and delighted with the story of how Jennifer came to be known as "Cam".  Cam and her friend Eric are interesting, bright and responsible fifth-graders whom I enjoyed reading about.  Eric is trying to enter a photog…

206. Hamlet & Ophelia by John Marsden

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Hamlet & Ophelia by John Marsden (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 228
Ages: 14+
Finished: Sept. 14, 2011
First Published: 2008 Australia (Aug.2009 US)(Sept. 2009 CAN)
Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Genre: YA, ghost story, tragedy
Rating: 2/5



First sentence:

"Do you believe in ghosts?" Horatio asked him.


Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading:  I enjoy Shakespeare retellings and Hamlet is probably my favourite Shakespeare.

The book tells the story of Shakespeare's Hamlet.  The plot is there and all the major points are present.  The author uses some of the original language while modernizing it yet keeping all the most famous quotes such as "to be or not to be".  So to read this book one does get the plot of Shakespeare's Hamlet without having to read or experience the original.  But I was not impressed with this retelling at all.

The darkness, brooding atmosphere of the original is missing.  The time period is vague, it c…

205. Nola's Worlds Trilogy #3: Even for a Dreamer Like Me

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Even For a Dreamer Like Me by Mathieu Mariolle. Art by Minikim. Translated from the French by Erica Olsen Jeffrey & Carol Klio Burrell (Canada) - (USA)
Nola's Worlds trilogy, #3

Pages: 136
Ages: 12+
Finished: Sept. 11, 2011
First Published: 2009 France (Nov, 2010 English trans.)
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Genre: Graphic novel, manga, YA, fantasy
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

All my life, people have never stopped telling me...

"You daydream too much, Nola."
Acquired:  Purchased a new copy via an online retailer.

Reason for Reading: Next & last in the series.

Wow.  A fantastic ending to this charming, whimsical trilogy!  I'm not going to give away too much on plot but previous events have lead to Alta Donna being in serious risk of survival and Nola finds out that her daydreaming has lead her to become a good storyteller thus the one who may be able to save not Alta Donna but the world where her friends Damiano and Ines have come from as well.  I'm still not …

204. Nola's World Trilogy #2: Ferrets and Ferreting Out

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Ferrets and Ferreting Out by Mathieu Mariolle. Art by Minikim. Translated from the French by Erica Olsen Jeffrey & Carol Klio Burrell (Canada) - (USA)
Nola's Worlds trilogy, #2

Pages: 128
Ages: 12+
Finished: Sept. 9, 2011
First Published: 2009 France (Nov. 1, 2010 English trans.)
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Genre: Graphic novel, manga, YA,fantasy
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

You'd think I'd have had enough...
but why do I always get myself into these kinds of situations?
Acquired:  Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

Reason for Reading: Next in the trilogy.

Nola was right about the new kids, Damiano and Ines.  There is definitely something strange going on with them and now they have started to avoid her and she is determined to find out just what is going on.  Otherwise Nola continues to live her ordinary hectic life, being late for school all the time, living with a mother who is never home, a workaholic, and acting like a teenager, while Nola keeps getting h…

203. Shimmer by Alyson Noel

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Shimmer by Alyson Noel (Canada) - (US)
Riley Bloom, Book 2

Pages: 176
Ages: 9+
Finished: Sept. 9, 2011
First Published: Mar. 15, 2011
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: children, paranormal, ghost story
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

"Go on, Buttercup - go get it boy!"
Acquired: Received a review copy from Macmillan for Kids.

Reason for Reading:  Next in the series.

Riley and her guide, Bodhi, are enjoying a vacation after their first mission of leading a soul home in book 1.  While playing with her own dog, Buttercup, she comes across a Hellhound and is determined to find it and send it home but what she finds is much more than she expected.  She meets the ghost Rebecca, who is very angry for having been murdered during a slave revolt in the early 1700's.  She has created a bubble in which she has captured all the other souls who died after her where each one relives there most frightening moment during life over and over.  Against Bodhi's wishes, Riley uses her own free will…

202. Canada, Our History: An Album Through Time by Rick Archbold

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Canada, Our History: An Album Through Time by Rick Archbold. Introduction by Christopher Moore (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 155
Ages: 8+
Finished: Sept. 8, 2011
First Published: 2000
Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Out of Print)
Genre: children, non-fiction, Canadian history
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

Tomorrow we land in Canada, at the great port city of Quebec.
Acquired: Bought a new copy from a book store probably back in 2000.

Reason for Reading:  I've been reading a chapter here and there out of this book out loud to ds all year long as we studied 20th century North American history.

This is a fabulous book, which unfortunately didn't stay in print for very long.  Starting with a chapter about an immigrant arriving in Canada in 1903 and ending with the Y2K Millennium this book presents various events from Canadian 20th century history as seen through the eyes of young Canadians (ages 10-17).  The narrators themselves are fictional but the events they describe are factual.  Each cha…

201. The Floor of Heaven by Howard Blum

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The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush by Howard Blum (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 426
Ages: 18+
Finished: Sept. 8, 2011
First Published: Apr. 26, 2011
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Genre: non-fiction, history, 1890s, gold rush, Alaska
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

As the millionaire's steamboat chugged north against the current, up the Yukon River, and sidled past the distant Mackenzie Mountains that late-summer day in 1882, the river remained smooth and wide, easy to navigate, but the water had suddenly turned gray and opaque.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Crown Publishers.

Reason for Reading: I've never consciously thought about this before but I do seem to have a penchant for reading about the Klondike/Yukon gold rush.  I'm even reading aloud a fiction book to my son on the topic at this moment!  This was a must read for me.

This is a true story told in narrative form which really reads like a novel and thus a quick page-turner.  The…

200. Nola's Worlds #1: Changing Moon

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Changing Moon by Mathieu Mariolle. Art by Minikim. Translated from the French by Erica Olsen Jeffrey & Carol Klio Burrell (Canada) - (USA)
Nola's Worlds trilogy, #1

This is a re-read for me and I'm not going to re-review it here.  My purpose in re-reading is that I am finally going to read the other two books in the trilogy and I read this again to refresh my memory and read all 3 books together.  I think I probably enjoyed this even more the second time around as I probably would have given it a rating of 5 this time instead of the 4 from last time.  It has not been quite a year since my first read and review.  You can read my review of this volume here:  My Review.

199. The Midnight Charter by David Whitley

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The Midnight Charter by David Whitley (Canada) - (US)
The Agora Trilogy, Book 1

Pages: 319
Ages: 11+
Finished: Sept. 6, 2011
First Published: Sept. 22, 2009
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Genre: YA, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5


First sentence:

Being dead was colder than Mark had expected.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: I was actually under the impression the story was dystopian however the plot itself was intriguing, dystopian or not.

While this book is labeled as dystopian on many book sites, there is no indication that this world is our future earth at all.  In fact, it is almost certain to be an alternate world somewhere, unless revelations are made in the following books I would label the story as fantasy or science fantasy.  Agora is a walled-in city, people are told that beyond Agora there is nothing and this is the excepted truth.  Agora is run on the barter and trade system where everything is available for trade including people's emoti…

198. The Mysteries of Angkor Wat by Richard Sobol

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The Mysteries of Angkor Wat: Exploring Cambodia's Ancient Temple by Richard Sobol (Canada) - (US)
Traveling Photographer series

Pages: 44
Ages: 7+
Finished: Sept. 4, 2011
First Published: Aug. 23, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: children, non-fiction, photo-essay, travel, ancient history
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:
Nestled within the steaming jungle and terraced rice fields of Cambodia is the largest religious monument in the world: the temple of Angkor Wat.Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: I am fascinated with architecture and this looked like it would be a beautiful book.

The author, a photo-journalist, takes a short trip to Cambodia to visit and take pictures of Angkor Wat.  While there he meets up with an excited group of local children who agree to be his guides and show him around the vast temple ruins which the children have literally grown up using as their backyard playground.  The author is quite confident that he is gettin…

197. After the Challenger by Robert Marsh

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After the Challenger: A Story of the Space Shuttle Disaster by Robert Marsh. Illustrated by Marcelo Baez. (Canada) - (US)
Graphic Flash

Pages: 53
Ages: 8+
Finished: Sept. 1, 2011
First Published: Jan. 2009
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Genre: children, historical fiction, space travel, astronauts, disasters
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:

Cocoa Beach, Florida.
January 28, 1986.


Hey guys! Sorry, I'm late.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Capstone Publishing.

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

Dustin is fascinated with space travel and spends all his time keeping up to date with the space program.  His father wishes he would spend more time with the family and show an interest in the family scallop boat.  Dustin goes with his class to watch the Space Shuttle Challenger launch and witnesses the following tragedy.  Later his dad gets a contract to look for debris and Dustin and his sister come along.

First this book is a cross between a graphic and textual no…

196. Vermonia, Volume 5 by Yoyo

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The Warrior's Trial by Yoyo (Canada) - (US)
Vermonia, Vol. 5

Pages: 208
Ages: 8+
Finished: Aug. 30, 2011
First Published: Aug. 9, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: manga, children, fantasy
Rating: 3/5


First sentence:

Jim, help me! I'm drowning.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: next in the series

Briefly, the warriors are attempting to protect the Pillar of Thunder in this volume.  They must face battle in the Lake of Wishes and finally against Uro's Henchman, the mighty Rodvel.  So what we have here is a battle scene that starts on page 1 and continues straight through until page 137.  The remainder of the book brings back some slight character development and moves the plot forward as we get to see what Mel is up to and Satorin is kidnapped.  We also get a flashback to the past learning more of the background story of the brothers and what created the fall of Vermonia in the first place.  Good information and intriguing story…

195. Sinking Deeper or My Questionable (Possibly Heroic) Decision to Invent a Sea Monster by Steve Vernon

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Sinking Deeper or My Questionable (Possibly Heroic) Decision to Invent a Sea Monster by Steve Vernon (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 160
Ages: 11+
Finished: Aug. 230, 2011
First Published: Apr. 15, 2011, Canada (Sep. 1, 2011, USA)
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Genre: YA, realistic fiction
Rating: 4/5


First sentence:

My first jailbreak began when a coarse-toothed mechanic's file crashed through the window of the Deeper Harbour Police Station at two in the morning.
Acquired: Received a review copy through Library Thing's ER Program.

Reason for Reading:  I love reading great new Canadian Kids' fiction and who could pass up a title like that!

14 yo Roland MacTavish has lived in the sleepy little Nova Scotian town of Deeper Harbour all his life.  His father is the police chief and his mother is the mayor and they've been getting divorced for the last two years.  He lives back and forth between the two of them, and also spends time with his two best friends: his grandfather, Angus MacT…

194. Crisis in Space: Apollo 13 by Mark Beyer

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Crisis in Space: Apollo 13 by Mark Beyer (Canada) - (US)
Survivor High Interest Books

Pages: 48
Ages: 10+
Finished: Aug. 29, 2011
First Published: 2002
Publisher: Children's Press
Genre: Children, non-fiction, space, space travel, tragedies
Rating: 3/5


First sentence:

Apollo 13 blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on April 11, 1970.
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from my local library.

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

This is an accounting of the infamous Apollo 13 mission from the weeks leading up to the launch until the final results of the investigation afterwards. There are plenty of photographs and diagrams and the book's graphical design is highly pleasing to the eye. Divided into chapters, these are also divided into subheadings with a distinct graphic feature. Since this is a hi-lo reader the book passes on all the features needed to grab the attention of an older (high school) reader who still read…

193. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

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Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 221
Ages: 14+
Finished: Aug. 28, 2011
First Published: Jun. 7, 2011
Publisher: First Second Books
Genre: YA, graphic novel, ghost story, paranormal
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:


What's for breakfast?

Acquired: Received a review copy from First Second Books.

Reason for Reading:   I love a good ghost story!

Brilliant creepy ghost story!  Anya is a Russian immigrant highschool student.  She's been in America since she was 5 so she's pretty much Americanized except for her name, but she doesn't see it that way.  She feels as though she has to struggle to fit in at school, that her mother and her Russian cooking and ways are embarrassing, that she's expected to be friends with the new Russian nerdy kid is beyond endurance, especially since she only has one friend herself who is also an outsider.  What with normal teen issues such as body image, a crush on the school's cutest guy and embarrassing herself in gym; i…

192. The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles

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The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles* (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 346 +bibliography
Ages: 18+
Finished: Aug. 28, 2011
First Published: Mar. 23, 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: historical fiction, biographical fiction, western, Texas history
Rating: 4/5



First sentence:

When they first came into the country it was wet and raining and if they had known of the droughts that lasted for seven years at a time they might never have stayed.
Acquired: Received a review copy Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: I love historical fiction that takes place in the late 1800's Wild West.  The Black man/Indian perspective was also intriguing.

This is the story of Britt Johnson, a true-life black man, and the story of his life just after the Civil War.  Britt was a freedman with a wife and 3 three children.  Not much is known of him in hard facts, though his story has lived on in oral tradition throughout the ages.  When he was off with the other men of his homestead area getting supplie…

191. MAOH: Juvenile Remix, Vol. 6

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MAOH: Juvenile Remix, Vol. 6 by Megumi Osuga (Canada) - (US)
MAOH: Juvenile Remix, Vol. 6

Pages: 192
Ages: 16+
Finished: Aug. 27, 2011
First Published: Aug. 9, 2011
Publisher: viz media
Genre: YA, manga, science fiction
Rating: 5/5


First sentence:
What's this?Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

This is a very exciting volume.  Things are building up to a vital showdown between Ando and Inukai.  The Grasshoppers have become widespread throughout the city now and Ando has very few people he can trust left.  Ando's life is in danger again as the enemy tries to take him out before Inukai's next public meeting with which he intends to take over the city.  This assassin is the worst he has had to face yet.

As said, an exciting volume.  The action is almost totally centred on Ando and his problems.  Inukai is only shown briefly as the force behind the secret plot that the Grasshopper's are setting up with th…