Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Wright 3 by Blue Balliet

For my review of the first book in this series please click here: Chasing Vermeer.

Title: The Wright 3 (Sequel to Chasing Vermeer)
Author: Blue Balliet
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mid-Grade Fiction/Mystery
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "In the midst of a series of unexplained accidents and mysterious coincidences, sixth-graders Calder, Petra, and Tommy lead their classmates in an attempt to keep Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Robie House from being demolished." (King County Library System)
Opinions: The Wright 3 is a brilliantly written sequel to Chasing Vermeer. I love the difficulties and opportunities provided to Petra and Calder as Calder's friend Tommy returns to Hyde Park. The trio have to decide whether or not to work together as a group rather than the old friendship of Tommy and Calder fighting against the new friendship of Calder and Petra. I still love the eclectic characters and backgrounds. I love that this story revolves around the history of Frank Lloyd Wright and his work and making a mystery out of one of his creations. I even still love and admire Ms. Hussey's unusual technique of teaching school and getting the kids excited in what they are learning about. Overall, I highly recommend this book. If you loved Chasing Vermeer you will love The Wright 3.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Celia and the Fairies by Karen McQuestion

Title: Celia and the Fairies
Author: Karen McQuestion
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: When Celia Lovejoy's parents announce that her grandmother is coming to live with them, Celia is delighted. Now while her parents work at their toy company, she can spend time with Grammy instead of going to bossy Paul's house. When her grandmother tells stories about the fairies living in the woods behind Celia's house, her parents are quick to dismiss it. "Just a lot of nonsense," says her father with a wave of his hand. Her mother reminds her that a ten-year-old girl is too old to believe in magic. But if there are no fairies, how to explain the glimmers of light she sees from her balcony at night? And why does she dream of a fairy girl begging for help? All of the answers are in the woods, if only Celia is brave enough to find out.

Opinions: This is such a cute book. I love the sweetness of the story. Celia is a great character. I love that she feels real. She reads like an girl and not like an adult trying to sound like a girl. (Which is nice and a job well done for Karen McQuestion.) She is spunky and I liked her character.

It isn't a long book. I read it in less than 2 hours. But I enjoyed it. I liked that at the end I didn't have loose questions that hadn't been answered and I wasn't frustrated by the ending. I finished and was satisfied. (I love when I feel satisfied when I finish a book as opposed to frustrated and want to pull my hair out.)

I think my favorite aspect of the book was the relationship between Paul and Celia. It felt very real to me. I could see the tension of wanting to grow up and change and wanting to stay young. I felt the relationship was unique and appealing to me. (I think it reminded me of a friend from my childhood.)

Overall, it was a sweet and fun book. I loved that it felt like a book from my past and that it could have happened. It was beautifully written and had a magical feel to it that was grounded in childhood magic. I highly recommend this book and hope you take the opportunity to read it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet

Title: Chasing Vermeer
Author: Blue Balliet
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mid-Grade Fiction/Mystery
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "When strange and seemingly unrelated events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal."
Opinions: Stephanie recommended years ago that I read this book and I finally did, and once again I do not regret reading anything that Stephanie recommends. This is a fantastic mystery written for pre-teens that even I enjoyed. It was imaginative, intriguing, and was hard to put down from start to finish. I love the eclectic backgrounds that the author uses for each of the characters. I love the code Calder creates using pentominoes and the twists and turns of the plot. I also wish I had had a teacher like Ms. Hussey. This is a fun mystery that I highly recommend that you check out. I think you will thoroughly enjoy it (in fact I insisted that my husband read it before we have to return it to the library).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer L. Holm

Title: Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Junior/Mid-Grade Fiction
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "The first year of middle school can be exciting, or scary, just ask Ginny." (King County Library System)
Opinions: This is not your typical book. Instead of being written in paragraph form this book tells the story of Genevieve (Ginny) Davis and her year in 7th grade through post-it notes, lists, bank statements, etc. It was like learning about someone's life by reading through their bulletin board at home, or going through the contents of their desk. It was a highly unique method of telling the story. Through these glimpses of her life we learn about the struggles of losing a best friend, dealing with a parent getting remarried, and the struggles of having a delinquent teenager for a brother. Once you get over the different way the story is told, Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf becomes quite a fascinating tale of how to survive life in Middle School. Please give it a read and let me know what you think.

Friday, July 1, 2011


We have our winners! Aren't you so excited?!?!

So the winner of the book is.......CHERYL!

*****tosses confetti*****

We will send you a list of books to choose from.

The winner of the $5 gift card is..........ALISON!

******tosses confetti and blows horn*******

Congrats to our winners and thank you for the reviews we did got. We are excited to share them with you.

Have a wonderful day friends and happy reading!