Thursday, February 19, 2015

Making the Team by J. Scott Savage

To read my review of the first book in the series, click here: Zombie Kid.


Title: Making The Team (Case Files 13 Series #2)
Author: J. Scott Savage
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mid-Grade Horror
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: Creepy Monsters that the kids fight in a humorous way
Premise: "A mysterious private school has opened in town and Nick, Carter, and Angelo join forces with their rivals Angie, Tiffany, and Dana to uncover the mystery behind the school's inhumanly good football team" (King County Library System).
Opinions: This is mild-mannered horror at its best. I love this series.  I usually shy away from horror, but this is mid-grade version of horror. This book is full of laughs, pranks, punchy references, bodily noises, and loads of laugh out loud moments. I love the inter-relationship between the two groups of kids as they are trying to work together and the fantastic relationship with Nick's parents. It is also a great story about learning to cope with change.  For parents: This book is amazing, but it does have monsters that could be scary for more sensitive kids. Keep in mind I'm a highly sensitive adult. I was crept out, but the humor and the kids' ability to work together to overcome obstacles made this all worth it.  So my suggestion is read the book out loud or with your kid to gauge their reactions as to whether or not they can handle it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ruins by Dan Wells

To read my reviews of the other books in this series, click here: Partials, Fragments.


Title: Ruins (Partials Series #3)
Author: Dan Wells
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: YA Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Swearing, Killing Associate With Battle
Premise: "As a war between the humans and the Partials looms, Samm finds himself trapped beyond a toxic wasteland, and Kira finds herself under the control of Dr. Morgan who is desperate to save the Partials" (King County Library System).
Opinions:  Two books in one week. I know. . . amazing.  Well, I'm sick so I get time to actually catch up on reading and reviewing.  Yeah!!!  Anyway, this series is FABULOUS.  The only reason I didn't give all the books in this series top notch ratings  is simply because of the death toll and some swearing. The premise, the characters, and the setting are brilliant. Dan Wells does an amazing job of bringing new twists and turns to this genre. I am completely fascinated by the moral and ethical dilemmas in this book, watching the choices that individuals made and why, and then contemplating whether or not I would do the same.  This is a fantastic book for discussion and an engaging read. Once the cover is opened it is hard to put down. For the whole series I either ignored my family or had to make sure I could read it when they weren't around because I was in it so deep it was hard to stop. So is this series good.  Yes.  Should your teen read it? Well, that's up to you. You know them better than anyone. But it would make a great discussion of right vs. wrong, points of views, self-value, ethics, and dealing with consequences of your choices.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Candy Experiments 2 by Loralee Leavitt

To read my review of the first book, click here: Candy Experiments.


Title:  Candy Experiments 2
Author: Loralee Leavitt
Reviewer: Karen
Genre:  Non-Fiction
Rating:  FABULOUS!!!!!
Alerts/Warnings:  None
Premise: "Following the success of the first Candy Experiments, this all-new collection presents more ways to destroy store-bought candy and learn some science in the process. Candy Experiments 2 delivers fun science facts from the perspective of a real mom in the kitchen doing crazy things with brand-name store-bought candy. Marshmallows, cotton candy, Pixy Stix, Jawbreakers, Pop Rocks, gummi candy, chocolate, and even soda provide good excuses to get destructive in the kitchen. Do Peeps dissolve when you drop them into very hot water? Can you make gummi candy disappear in water? What happens to cotton candy when you dip it in oil? Candy Experiments 2 is full of new ideas for learning science through candy. Each experiment includes basic explanations of the relevant science. The book is written for children between the ages of 7 and 10, though older and younger ages will enjoy it as well. "-- Publisher's website.
Opinions: Oh my gosh!!! I am SO excited to share this one. My daughter and I did the experiments in the first book and suddenly my daughter wanted to be a scientist.  When Loralee asked me to help beta-test some of her experiments for a second book I jumped at the chance. My daughter went nuts. We were doing experiments every other day. And now here is Loralee's new book out and ready for everyone to explore.  If you didn't love science when you were younger, try exploring this book with your kids and suddenly you'll find yourself loving it. More importantly you will be loving the time and connection you are making with your kids.  I made the "mistake" of handing out my copy of book two to a friend and my daughter is downright mad at me. She keeps asking if I've gotten the book back yet because she wants to do more science.  Now if that doesn't make a book special then I don't know what is.  These experiments let you explore what can happen to chocolate, pop rocks, gummy worms and all sorts of candy when you add a little scientific fun to them.  See what happens when you put them in water, or add a little heat, or in the freezer.   So is this book great?  Heck yeah!!!! Why haven't you gone out and gotten one yet?  Then tell me what kind of fun you and your motley crew have accomplished.