Wednesday, March 13, 2019

K10: The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling


The Kidliterati Ten is an interview series with young readers. We ask them about a favorite book and hope that you enjoy their answers.

Tell us a little about yourself: what is your first name, how old are you, and what is your favorite flavor of ice cream? My first name is Abraham, I’m 10, and my favorite flavor is vanilla.

What book did you read and why did you choose it?
I chose Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, and I chose it because it was interesting and the way Mrs. Thayer (my 5th grade teacher) read it made it better.

Can you describe this book in one word? Magical

What was your favorite part of this story? The chess match.

If you had a problem similar to the main character's problem, what would you do? I would make sacrifices even if it hurt me.

What would you say to your best friend to convince them to read this book? I would say “The friendship in it will make you want to be there.”

What do you think about the book's cover? I think it shows a little idea of what will happen.

Would you want to read another book about these characters? Why or why not?
I would because I would like to see more powerful friendships.

Can you name another book that reminds you of this one? Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, because Harry tried his best to defeat Voldemort, and Brian tried his best to get out of the woods.

If you could ask the author one question about this book what would it be? How did you get this idea of Harry Potter?


Here's some information on how Ms. Rowling came up with the character, Harry Potter. https://harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk/jk-rowling-biography/

Thank you, Abraham! It's so cool that your teacher, Mrs. Thayer, reads to your class! She sounds like an awesome teacher!




Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Congrats Jessika on Beware the Night

Congratulations, Jessika Fleck!
Everyone must Beware the Night.


When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice...even if it costs her the boy she loves.

On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful--as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe.

But when Veda's grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun's favor, she starts to see that the safety she's been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below.

With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real--or dangerous lies.

Get your copy here:
 

Your Kidliterati friends are so happy for you, Jessika. 
Enjoy your special day.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Review: Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

DamselDamsel by Elana K. Arnold
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The way of the world has never changed. Before a prince can become king, he must slay a dragon and rescue the damsel who will become his bride. Prince Emory is like his father and his father's father before him.

Ama awakes in Emory's arms with no memory of her rescue. It is now her fate to be the queen of Harding and the wife of Emory after his coronation. As she adjusts to life in the castle, Ama begins to suspect that there is much more to the tales of kings and dragons than she has been told.

“That is the way of being a woman, to carve away at herself, to fit herself to the task, but, also, to be able to carve herself in a different way, when a different shape is needed.”

Arnold's Damsel is a remarkable story. It takes the reader directly to the fiery heart of the issues while framing them as a dark, ancient fairy tale. This story is quite raw. It will not be for every young reader. But for the young women who are trying to make space in the world for themselves, I hope this book helps them find their power.

[CW: Sexual violence and suicide]

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Monday, March 4, 2019

Book Review: Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo


Charlie Hernández and the League of ShadowsCharlie Hernández and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an ARC for an honest review.

Charlie Hernández’s parents are gone. While waiting at child services for placement, he discovers tiny horns sprouting from his head and recalls the stories his abuela told him night after night, especially those about the Morphling, the myth about a young hero who always defeats his nemesis—an evil twice-cursed witch—by manifesting some kind of an animal trait.

But those were just made up stories.

No longer sleeping at the police station, he’s placed temporarily with the elderly doll collector, Mrs. Wilson, and just when life begins to feel normal again, feathers sprout up all over his body—at middle school! Thinking fast, Charlie ditches into the office and finds a long-sleeve sparkly snow jacket in the lost and found. Wearing a ski jacket during the afternoon in Miami shouldn’t bring any unwanted attention.

Then he runs into Alice-the-Terrible, 6-foot-tall-fastball-crushing all-state softball player—and she wants the locket he’s wearing. The one thing he has left of his mother’s.

Not while Violet Rey is around—super-sleuth-school-newspaper-reporter—with the megawatt smile stops Alice in her tracks. The same girl he’s crushed on since first grade. Turns out, Violet has admired Charlie’s father, the animal geneticist, ever since his presentation on the harm in breeding dogs, she even used it for the school paper. Violet is very curious about his mother’s locket and knows it’s an antique (her father owns a pawn shop). Is there anything Violet doesn’t know? But it’s locked and Charlie’s unable to open it. Violet has a look and it clicks open in seconds. Inside, they find a miniature map, with the same horns and feather insignia Charlie now sees everywhere.

Together, they make an unlikely team, and go underground with the map, in search of answers to where Charlie’s parents are, and they come face to face with supernatural villains, myths and folklore from all over the Spanish-speaking world. Conversations with a calaca, and La Llorona, the weeping woman, after following the glowing orbs of La Luz Mala deep into the woods. Charlie discovers the stories his abuela told him were true. Was she preparing him?

An exciting, fast-paced Middle-Grade adventure! With friends standing up for each other and working together. I loved Violet’s character and the skills she has when they’re needed and Charlie’s self-deprecating humor. Rich in cultural mythology, and so much fun! For further study of these fascinating tales, the glossary of Spanish folklore is a good starting point. Perfect for fans of Percy Jackson, or anyone who loves magic, adventure, and tracking down a mystery.






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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

K10: History's All-Stars Rosa Parks by Kathleen Kudlinski, Illustrated by Meryl Henderson

The Kidliterati Ten is an interview series with young readers. We ask them about a favorite book and hope that you enjoy their answers.
Tell us a little about yourself: what is your first name, how old are you, and what is your favorite flavor of ice cream? My name is Allie. I am 11 years old and my favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate.

What book did you read and why did you choose it? I read History's All-Stars Rosa Parks, and I chose this book because I am learning about her in school.

Can you describe this book in one word?Adventurous.

What was your favorite part of this story? When she stood up for what she believed. She did this a lot in her life.

If you had a problem similar to the main character's problem, what would you do? I would chose to live with it because I would be arrested or beat up if I did not.

What would you say to your best friend to convince them to read this book? It is the best book ever.

What do you think about the book's cover? Interesting.

Would you want to read another book about these characters? Why or why not? Yes, because I like the story of how Black people overcome their challenges. It is interesting to me.

Can you name another book that reminds you of this one? Who was Martin Luther King Jr.?

If you could ask the author one question about this book what would it be? What made you write the book in Rosa’s perspective?

Thank you, Allie, for doing the interview! I love to read how people overcome challenges, too!
You can read more about History's All-Stars Rosa Parks here.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Review: The Windfall App by Teresa Richards

The Windfall AppThe Windfall App by Teresa Richards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marina Berghman is a classical piano prodigy with parents who’ve had her life mapped out since she was in diapers. But their plan leaves no room for her secret love of alternative rock, or Sean, the edgy guitarist who recently moved to town.

When Marina buys a lottery ticket on her eighteenth birthday via the new Windfall app, she expects it to be nothing more than a rite of passage. But she wins—the grand prize of five thousand dollars a day, for life. Suddenly given the means to break free from a life she never felt in control of, she’s quick to cut her family ties and turn her back on everything she knows.

But her lottery win was no lucky break. Her prize comes with strings attached, and Marina soon finds herself at the center of someone else’s life or death game. When she discovers evidence linking her dad to the intrigue, she turns to Sean for help. But he’s harboring secrets of his own. Now Marina must sort out who to trust and who’s pulling the strings, before her prize turns into a noose.


This book is a page-turner! I started to realize pretty quickly that all was not right with this lottery. While it's fun to read about how logical Marina spends her winnings, the underlying dread is what propels this story forward. Whether it's someone following Marina home one night or the flirty yet slightly creepy anonymous texts she gets, these were the little things that kept me from being able to put the book down.

The romance in the book is sweet and well-written. I also really loved the setting. San Francisco figures so prominently in the book that it made me want to visit. And Marina's best friend Darya is such a great character that I wish there was a spin-off novel that starred her! If you're looking for a fast-paced book with all the elements of a great YA, this is a perfect choice.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra


What the Woods KeepWhat the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hayden has just turned eighteen, and she's living on her own for the first time, when she gets a call about the will her mother left. Though her mother is technically missing, not dead.

My mother remains elusive, in the periphery of my vision—there and not-there, dead and alive, like Schrödinger’s theoretical cat, its state altering the moment I focus on it. It’s been a decade since I last heard Mom’s voice …”

The dreams of her wearing full body armor and riding a horse while leading an army through the fog and ravaged cities, crying We’ll rise again have returned, and what’s with the white ravens that keep appearing in her dreams and real life? Hayden has a lot of questions.

It’s suggested that she keep mum about the will and not mention anything to her father, which may not be difficult considering he’s a physicist with his head buried always in his work. Even though he’d lost his tenure, due to outrageous claims about Nibelungs and multi-dimensional pathways and string theory.

Thank goodness, for her roommate, Del Chauvet, French-Senegalese Brooklynite, and her constant determination to give her a makeover or find her a date, especially since the last one left Hayden stranded. But Del has something special planned for her 18th birthday.

Memories and whispers in a foreign tongue, and Hayden’s mother watching from behind the dark trees surrounding her childhood home wearing a sad smile, as if she knows what’s coming. Hayden’s therapist, Dr. Erich reminds Hayden that those memories are long gone. But Hayden needs answers.

Hiding the will from her father, Hayden and Del leave their Brooklyn apartment to visit her childhood home in Promise, Colorado, and search for the gifts her mother left with the cryptic message:
She needs to listen with her blood. My second condition is that Hayden uses my gifts to destroy my darkest secret—my hidden treasure, my heaviest burden.

When Hayden struggles to understand she interprets things using theoretical physics, and the author does this beautifully at the start of each chapter with musings of the metaphysical, the forces of gravity, and Murphy’s Law and how they relate to Hayden’s life.

My kind of genre-mash-up, that twists urban fantasy and science fiction with the creepy factor that comes with a dark woodland mystery along with a gripping pace and self-sacrificing friendships. Quite unlike anything I’ve read before. I’d probably recommend this book for mature YA readers.





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