Thursday, January 27, 2011

Board Book Review- I Love You Always & Forever

By Joanthan Emmett
Illustrated by Daniel Howarth
Published by Scholastic
Released on Janurary 1st, 2011
Ages- 2 yrs & up
Source- the publisher
5 stars- A Book We Read Over & Over Again

In this endearing story about a father and his child, Longtail is always so much faster than Littletail. He's also so much cleverer. But that won't be forever, Longtail tells Littletail. At the end of a busy day, as Littletail curls up in their nest, Longtail reminds her of the one thing that will stay the same--always and forever (quoted from Goodreads).

This is a fantastic board book, as not only is it a story about a father mouse and his young daughter, but it's a beautiful story that no matter how children grow, their parents will always love them. As a parent, I loved that power message. Jonathan Emmett does a fantastic job at expressing the ways the father will always love his young daughter, no matter what she can or can't do.

This is story is a hit with my children, as the illustrations are great, the story is powerful and fun, and it's a book that makes them think, and ask questions similar to the ones Littletail asks her father, Longtail. I Love You Always & Forever is a great book to add to your bedtime book collection and one I definitely recommend picking this book up.

Picture Book Review- Tony Baloney

By Pam Munoz Ryan
Illustrated By Edwin Fotheringham
Published by Scholastic
Released on January 1st, 2011
Age- I would recommend it for 4-7yr olds
Source- Scholastic
3 stars- It's A Good Read

Tony Baloney is a macaroni penguin. He loves fish tacos, Little Green Walrus Guys, his stuffed animal, Dandelion, and anything with wheels. He does not love trouble . . . but trouble loves him. Sometimes, when he is tired of Bossy Big Sister Baloney and exasperated with the Bothersome Babies Baloney, Dandelion behaves badly. And then, Tony must say he is sorry, which is not always easy for him.

For all middle children, mischief makers, and boys in a girls' world, Tony Baloney is sure to become a new hero! (quoted from Goodreads).

Tony Baloney has bright, fun illustrations that quickly captured my attention and that of my children. Tony himself is a fun character to read about. His story is one about sibling relationships and his feelings with being the middle child. This cute Macaroni Penguin has to deal with an older sister who bosses him around and two twin babies who get into his things.

Tony is a typical little boy who enjoys playing and pretending, and some times his best intentions lead him into trouble. With the help of his stuffed animal Dandelion, he's able to share his feelings with his family. Tony Baloney is a good read and one I'd recommend to older kids, pre-K to elementary school aged, as I think they'd take more out of the story than the younger kids.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Review- The False Princess

By Eilis O'Neal
Published by Egmont USA
Released on January 25th, 2011
Ages- 10 & Up
Source- The Teen Book Scene Blog Tours
4.5 Stars- It's A Great Read

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever (quoted from Goodreads).

The False Princess is a wonderful debut book by Eilis O'Neal. It's a story that is part fairy tale, part adventure, mixed with magic and given a nice romantic undertone. I really enjoyed the characters, Sinda and Kiernan, though Kiernanwas by far my favorite character. He is so loyal and has this fun adventurous side to him. I really admired Sinda'sdetermination. She's a strong willed character whom I sympathized with a few times, as her world is turned completely upside down more than once.

The False Princess's characters aren't in-depth characters, which is what I enjoyed the most about them. Each of them gave an added element to this delightful story. Aside from Sinda and Kiernan, I really enjoyed getting to know the wizard Philantha and Mika. Philantha is fabulous wizard who minds her own business and I wanted to know more about her. Kiernan and Philantha added the right touch of humor to the story. I liked that Kiernan, Philantha and Mika give Sinda a sense of belonging and accepted her for who she is. When you read her story, you'll know what I'm talking about. I'd say more about them, but I can't without giving away spoilers.

Sinda is a great character who deals with a lot of unfortunate events in a short amount time, which causes her to grow up more becoming a more defiant and independent person. I'll admit, she did annoy me a few times with her questioning Kiernan's feelings for her, when it was obvious how he felt. Over all, the plot twists, the well written magic that Sinda has to learn to control, and the settle romance make this a fun, engaging, clean cut read.

I recommend picking up The False Princess, which you can now find on book store shelves. Be sure to stop by Mundie Moms today as we have an interview with Eilie O'Neal.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review- Secondhand Charm

By Julie Berry
Published Bloomsbury Teens
Released on October 12th, 2010
Source- Bloomsbury
Ages- I Recommend It for Ages 10 & up
5 Stars- It's a Book I'll Be Reading Again

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . . (quoted from Goodreads)

I adore Secondhand Charm and the wonderful journey it took me on. Julie Berry wrote a fabulous story with fantasy, romance, and love. I loved being whisked away on Evie's journey as she learns the truth in who she is and power that lies within her. Julie's serpentina myth and the leviathan creatures that she introduces are what gave the the story it's unique appeal.

I really enjoyed getting to know Evie, as she is one of those all around wonderful characters who's compassionate, smart, sweet, intelligent and lives with her Grandfather. She is following in her father's footsteps and is practicing medicine, even though she's young. She accepts the gift of a life time when the King invites her to leave behind her simple life in her small village and study at the University.

It's on Evie's journey there that she discovers who she really is. One of the things I enjoyed about Secondhand Charm is that I was pleasantly surprised by all the little things that kept happening to Evie, as characters she meets a long the way turn up later on in the story's plot twists. Normally this is the part of my review where I rave about the love interest, and don't get me wrong, I do love Aiden, as he's the boy Evie grew up with and he accompanies her on her journey, but my favorite characters from the story are Evie and her leviathan, Clair. I absolutely love the unique element that Julie added to her story with the serpentina's and their bonds with the leviathan. Evie & Clair's love and bond they have for one another is beautifully written, and romantic in the chivalry kind of way. I really enjoyed reading Clair and Evie's scenes together.

Secondhand Charm is a refreshing story, as it has a wonderful mythology, a beautiful, setting as it's both in a coastal community and on the sea, and great characters. It's a story that I would definitely recommend to tweens, ya readers and adults. While I love where the story left off, I'm hoping Julie will have a sequel for Secondhand Charm, as I'm not ready to leave this world behind. Really I want to read more of Evie and Clair and get to know more of their story together. I recommend picking up Secondhand Charm, as I adore this story as much as I adore Shannon Hale's Goosegirl series.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Book Review- Lost on Spirit River

By Tommy Batchelor
Published by Mirror Publishing
Released on November 8th, 2010
Source- Tommy Batchelor (for the Mundie Moms blog tour)
4 Stars- It's A Great Read

Thirteen-year-old Tony's parents are in the middle of divorce, his mother sends him to his Grandpa's along the banks of the Flint River in Southwestern Georgia. With his younger cousin Kathryn, they set out to look for a Christmas tree for the holidays, along with Grandpa's aging beagle, Sally. The three become lost in a snowstorm, which has not hit Georgia in three hundred years. Finding shelter in a hidden cave, stumbling upon Native American art. Now the adventure begins...(quoted from Goodreads).

Tommy Batchelor did a splendid job at mixing together Native American lore, adventure and self discovery, set in the beautiful outdoors of Georgia in his story Lost on Spirit River, the first book in his new series.

Lost on Spirit River follows Tony and his cousin Kathryn as they go in search of the right Christmas tree in the woods behind their Grandfather's home. A freak snow storm strands them and they find themselves in a cave full of Native American history. It's the history of their ancestors, the Upper Creek Indians. Lucky for them two of their ancient ancestor's spirits are there to protect them from the darker shadows who want to harm them.

I completely fell in love with the setting and the Native American lore. Tommy and Kathryn were fun characters to get to know, and I liked seeing how much Tommy changed through the course of this fun read. Tommy puts on a tough guy act, but in the course of being guided by the spirit his Native American ancestors, he discovers the warrior within himself, which causes him to change.

I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this series. I think Lost on Spirit River is an appealing read for tween readers ages 8-12 and would be a perfect book to add to any middle school classroom. The story is one that has adventure, history, lore and will leave your awaiting the next book in this series.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review- Chicks Run Wild

By Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Illustrated by Ward Jenkins
Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
To Be Released on January 25th, 2011
Source- The Publisher
5 Stars- It's A Must Have

When it's time for bed, these little chicks can't sleep and!

Chicks Run Wild is a fabulous addition to any bed time book collection. The rhyming words, the illustrations and the silly things the chicks do, make this book one both kids and parents will enjoy. As a parent, any book that captures my children's attention and is engaging for them is a huge success.

I really enjoyed the mother hen. Not only did I relate to her in her numerous attempts to get her kids to stay in bed, but I liked her gentle reminder that it's okay to break your own rules and play with the kids for a few minutes, tiring them out more before putting them back into bed.

This is a delightful read and I'm looking forward to reading countless times before bedtime, and the laughs that will ensue from it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review -Invasion & Author Interview with Jon S. Lewis

By Jon S. Lewis
Published by Thomas Nelson
Released on January 4th, 2011
Ages: 12 & UP
Source- The Publisher
4 stars- I Really Liked It

Colt McAllister is drawn into a war against things he thought only existed in comic books.After a car wreck takes the lives of his parents, Colt moves to Arizona to stay with his grandfather. There, an informant tells him that his parents were actually murdered because his mom, a journalist, was getting ready to write a story exposing Trident Industries. Along with Oz and Danielle, his new comrades at Chandler High, Colt vows to uncover the truth. But the more they learn, the more bizarre reality becomes. Mind control, jet packs, and flying motorcycles only scratch the surface of what they discover. Colt is recruited by a secret organization called the Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural. But the battle isn't just against an out-of-control giant corporation. A gateway to another world is opening, and the invasion has already begun (quoted from Goodreads).

Jon S. Lewis has done a fantastic job at introducing a new Sci-Fi book that both YA and adult readers will enjoy. I've never read anything quite like this before, as Invasion is a really fun read with it's shape shifting aliens, mind control technology, a secret government agency, flying jet packs, flying motorcycles, out of this world adventures, danger and even a little romance.

Invasion took me by surprise as I really enjoyed all that happens on this wild ride. There's so much I'd like to say, but I don't want to risk giving away any spoilers. I enjoyed how the plot twists are uncovered and the characters. Sixteen year old Colt McAlister is a very intelligent teen, who hails from a highly respected family, who's also part of a secret government agency.
When Colt's parents are killed, Colt is sent to live with his Grandfather in AZ and if dealing with his life being turned upside down wasn't hard enough, Colt's quest for truth will lead him on adventure of his life as uncovers the clues into what and who killed his parents.

Mixed into this sci-fi adventure are to sidekicks and friends Colt relies on to help him. Dani, whom he grew up and Oz, someone he knows is familiar, but can't remember from where. I really liked the three of them, as they are all very realistic, relatable teens living in a brilliantly creative, yet real world. Each of them offers something different to the story- Oz is the good looking fearless, secretive know it all (I mean that in a good way) who knows everyone, and everything. Colt is the typical surfer boy from CA who's a little bit more laid back, and who has intelligence to possibly be the next leader of C.H.A.O.S., and help rid the world of killer aliens. Dani is the brains of the group, and there isn't anything she can't hack into. She's also the only one of the group who doesn't know about CHAOS, the secret government agency, and I love that she can be all girly and yet still act like one of the guys. The romance was written perfectly for the book, as Lily and Colt's chemistry is great. Lily is a beautiful student he meets on his first day at his new school. No, there's no kissy scenes, just a sweet romance that will hopefully grow into something more in the sequel.

I liked how Jon brings a bit of WWII history via a great war hero in Colt's grandfather, and put his own spin on what many thought/think were secret government cover ups. He brings to life comic book heros from the story, mixes that with aliens, gateways, and adds in some pretty amazing characters, high tech gadgets, cover ups, secrets and a lot of adventure. What I enjoyed most about reading Invasion, was how engaging it is. I really enjoyed being apart of a world where everything going on seemed believable. I credit that to Jon's writing and being able to mold together a unique Sci-Fi story with a realistic setting and main characters.

Invasion is a book I recommend picking up if you're a fan of adventure, Sci-Fi or just want to enjoy reading a fun, fast paced, engaging story. I'm looking forward to reading more this series, when Jon's sequel is released next year.

We're excited to have Jon S. Lewis with us today here on Mundie Kids & on Mundie Moms. Jon's newest release for YA readers is Invasion, a fantastic Sci-Fi, adventure and just a little bit of romance (don't worry, there's no kissy scenes).

In two sentences or less, how would you describe Invasion?
Colt McAlister's parents weren't killed by a drunk driver, they were murdered by a corporation running a mind control program -- and they want to take over the world. Colt wants to find his parents' killers, but he gets wrapped up in a secret world filled with aliens, robots and advanced technology that can threaten our very existence.

I love reading a book that has little of everything in it- suspense, danger, action, romance, which Invasion has. What element did you enjoy writing the most?
Strangely, I found myself enjoying the romantic components between Colt and Lily, a girl who seems to have everything -- she's beautiful, her parents have money, and she's loved by everyone -- she's even dating the guy every girl wants. But we find out some important facts about Lily's past that draw her and Colt together.

Where did your draw your inspiration for the story from?
I spent a lot of summers with my grandma growing up, and every day for lunch she'd read me a story. It rotated between David & Goliath and Pinnocchio, and I always wanted to do something with David & Goliath, but I gave David a jet pack and Goliath is a giant robot.

Colt's a great character. In what ways do you find Colt relatable? Is he someone you would have been friends with growing up?
What I like about Colt is that he really has it all -- he's a good looking surfer from San Diego, but he's humble and he doesn't take himself too seriously. I suppose I'd have a streak of jealousy when I first met him, but he'd win me over.

We really like that recently there's been a selection of great releases from a male's point of view, which was some what absent from the YA scene a few years ago. What are some of your favorite books with a guys pov?
Lately it's been Scott Westerfeld's re-imagining of World War I with LEVIATHAN and BEHEMOTH, as well as Eoin Colfer's AIRMAN.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I enjoy the collaborative process of working with the editorial team to make my writing something it would have never been if I just wrote it and put it out there for the world to consume. I'm sure there are super talented writers out there who could get away with out it, but those individuals would be the rare exceptions.

Thank you Jon for being with us today!
Be sure to find out more about Jon's writing by visiting him on his site here
Following him on twitter here
To learn more about Invasion and the C.H.A.O.S. Novels, visit this site here

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Book Review- Unearthly

By Cynthia Hand
Published by Harper Teen
Released on January 4th, 2011
Ages 12 & up
Source- Harper Teen
5 stars- I Highly Recommend It

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart (quoted from Goodreads).

Every now and then I'll read a book that makes me savor every word on the page, and drink in every little detail about the setting and enjoy every moment of the plot. Cynthia Hand has done a brilliant job of doing just that with her debut book. Unearthly is a beautifully written story that merges it's unique Angel-lore with teenage reality. What I really liked about Cynthia's writtinh is how she patiently unravels bits and pieces of the plot and allows me to get to know her characters. At first I wanted the story to be rushed, but what I came to love about Unearthly is that it is not rushed or forceful, but well written and thought out.

I really enjoyed Clara's voice. She's someone who I felt was normal and a character who I felt really let me into her world. I felt apart of it and could relate to the awkwardness of being a teen and in high school. I'll admit, I envied her breathe taking view from her home. She's living in my dream state, surrounded by the things I miss doing. Okay, so maybe I become a little ( a lot) obsessed with the setting. Cynthia described WY and the out doors perfectly!! With the outdoors comes Tucker. Yes, he stole my heart! Tucker is a true outdoors man, rancher/rodeo guy, and a character I couldn't help but love. Not to mention I really love Wendy, Tucker's twin sister.

Tucker and Clara reminded me of how my husband and I were when we first met, in the way they both acted around each other. I loved how it wasn't love at first site with these two, and I really liked being able to watch their relationship really grow and bloom. It's such a beautiful love story and I think often times relationships can be too rushed in books. Clara and Tucker's story was beautiful written. That's not to say I don't like Christian. I know my heart is going to break for one of these guys, as Cynthia has written a wonderful love story. Tucker and Christian are complete opposites. Christian is the one we are first introduced to and the one I was originally rooting for (I can't say why, as it will give some of the plot away). He's the one all the girls fall over themselves for, but don't worry, he's not that full of himself. He's too nice and may be too good to be true.

The family dynamics were wonderful and I really liked the realism in Clara and her mother's relationship despite their "special" abilities. For me Unearthly is a 5 star book. Reading this was a breath of fresh air for. It's unique mythology, beautiful love story and it's perfectly added in twits and action left me feeling completely satisfied and wanting the next book. I highly recommend picking this book up!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Harper Collins The Dark Days of Supernatural Tour

Brace yourself for the Dark Days ahead. Paranormal thrillers. Supernatural romance. Otherworldly adventures. Discover new books from acclaimed authors Ellen Schreiber, Claudia Gray, and Kimberly Derting, as well as from debut authors Cynthia Hand and Courtney Allison Moulton, on tour this winter. Darkness falls this winter. Be prepared (quoted from TDDOS facebook page).

On sale 12/28/2010

On sale 1/4/2011

On sale 2/15/2011

On sale 2/15/2011

On Sale 3/8/2011

We are huge fans of Harper Collins upcoming and latest releases shown above. Now fans will have the chance to grab these books and meet their favorites authors as they're going on TOUR!! The Dark Days of Supernatural Tour kicks off TOMORROW in San Francisco!

Be sure to visit these links for more information:

* Become a fan on the Dark Days Facebook page

* See the list of upcoming events and tour stops on the events page

* Follow them on twitter @pitchdarkbooks & use their hash tag on your tweets #DarkDays

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review- The Dragon's of Noor

By Janet Lee Carey
Published by EgmontUSA
Released on September 28th, 2010
Ages 12 & Up
Source- Egmont
5 Stars- A Fantastic Fantasy

A dreamwalker who has lost her way. A shape shifter who fears his own dark power. A fire herd punished for his magic. Can these three teens keep the human world of Noor and the magical world of Oth from splitting apart?

The ancient trees of Noor are dying. If the blight kills the last azure trees whose deep roots bind the worlds, the bridge between Noor and Oth will split apart forever. Already as Hanna, Miles, and Taunier sail to the source of the blight, the rent between the worlds is widening, and magic is going out of Noor. The quest deepens when a strange wind blows across Noor stealing young children, and Hanna is powerless to protect her younger brother from the stealing wind. The Three journey east to the azure forests of Jarrosh. East to the dragon lands. East to the place where the wind-stolen children were taken. In Jarrosh, among dragons, the Three will be challenged to discover their hidden powers. Each of them must break beyond the boundaries of self to discover the ancient magic joining all to all (quoted from Goodreads).

I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book! While I've not read the first book in this series, The Beast of Noor, I had no problems reading The Dragons of Noor with out being lost at all in the story. It's a fantastic fantasy that both young readers and older readers a like will enjoy.

I really enjoyed the characters. Hanna has this amazing ability as a Dream Walker, Miles her brother is a shapeshifter and his best friend and wonderful love interest Taunier is a fire worker. Together the three of them are out to find their younger brother and find the rest of the missing children who have been swept away by the winds. The three will soon find out they are also the ones who will solve an ancient prophecy, with the help of The Dragons of Noor.

Not only is the adventure these three go on engaging and fun, but I really enjoyed watching how much each of their characters grow. I loved the family dynamics between Hanna and Miles who will do anything to protect each other and find their younger brother. I also enjoyed watching the romance between Hanna and Taunier grow from friends into something much more, as it's sweet, innocent romance. I really admired the fact that they both knew of each other's secrets and have been there to support one another long before they fell in love, and their acceptance of one another is something I loved.

The prophecies are a wonderful mix to their adventures to save the ancient lands and protect the magic that lies there, but it wouldn't be complete with out the dragons. I fell in love with the dragons, as each of their personalities and characters really shown through in the story as well. I'm picky when it comes to reading dragons stories, and I'll admit it wasn't hard to fall in love The Dragons of Noor. It's also the blend of other magical creatures that made the story, like the tree spirits from the waytrees. The waytrees in this story are also characters in their own rights, but I can't say more or it may spoil some of the plot.

Combing a fierce loyalty to the Queen of the dragons, Damausaun, and the bond forged from a close family, and friendship made for relatable characters with not only Hanna, Miles and Taunier, but also the Dragons. I adored the world that Janet created. Set in a beautiful land, with mythological creatures, magic and strong, the characters made this story I would highly recommend. I am looking forward to reading more of Janet's books and I'm hoping there will be more books in this series.

To find out more about this series and Janet's writing, follow her on her blog here

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Book Review- Emily the Strange: Dark Times (Book #3)

By Rob Reger
Illustrated by Buzz Parker
Published by Harper Collins
Released on January 1st, 2011
Source- The Publisher
Ages 12 & up
3 stars- It's A Good Read

Emily's uniquely strange homeschool syllabus includes:

1. Time Travel 101
2. Advanced Spy Photography
3. Bonnet Basics
4. Great Aunts Through the Ages
5. Intro to Germ Theory
6. Care and Feeding of 'Squito Fish
7. Fundamentals of Black Rock
8. Spiderweb Embroidery
9. Historical & Contemporary Felines
10. Pop Quizzes
11. Foodstuffs of the 1780s
12. Thwarting Ancestral Enemies
13. Techniques in Parallel
(quoted from Goodreads)

This is the third book in the Emily The Strange Novels, and my first book to read in the series. Emily is a fun character to read about, as her unique voice is witty, sassy and at times humorous which made for an enjoyable read.

This tween isn't a fan of school and decides to take on homeschooling by herself, as her mother isn't much of a help to her. To better understand her, take a look at her syllabus:

1. Time Travel 101

2. Advanced Spy Photography

3. Bonnet Basics

4. Great Aunts Through the Ages

5. Intro to Germ Theory

6. Care and Feeding of 'Squito Fish

7. Fundamentals of Black Rock

8. Spiderweb Embroidery

9. Historical & Contemporary Felines

10. Pop Quizzes

11. Foodstuffs of the 1780s

12. Thwarting Ancestral Enemies

13. Techniques in Parallel

In her class, "Great Aunts through the Ages," Emily time travels all the back to the 1790's. Emily is on a quest to stop the death of one of her great aunts, but she must do this with out changing history, and while finding out what exactly causes her death in the first place. Her quest is of course not one that is with out danger.

Emily's adventure is documented in her journal, via her unique blend of writing, drawings and notes on each page will engage fans and reluctant readers a like. Emily the Strange is a fun story that has the balance of supernatural, mystery, historical fiction and touched with a little of science fiction. I recommend picking it up. My only caution would be to read the first two books before reading this one, as I at times felt lost on what was happening, as it's explained in the previous two books in the series.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Review- The Boy Who Howled

By Timothy Power
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Released on October 26th, 2010
Ages 8 & up
Source- Bloomsbury
4 Stars- I Really Liked This Book, Go Pick It Up

As far back as Callum can really remember, he's been living in the Wild as the furless mascot of a wolf pack. But when his pack sends him back to live with his own kind—humans—fitting in is quite a challenge. He doesn't remember English very well, so he accidentally says his name is "Clam." He's spent most of his life eating fresh-killed elk, so dining with vegetarians is tricky. And when he tries to impress the Alpha student in the school cafeteria by stealing food, people seem offended!

A mix of wildness and humor, Timothy Power's inventive writing makes him a debut author to watch. And Callum's quest to find his place in a strange world will have readers rooting for him—when they're not howling with laughter (quoted from Goodreads).

The Boy Who Howled is a fabulous middle grade debut book by Timothy Power. It's one that will encourage younger readers to read, especially boys, as the main character's voice is one boys will easily relate to. Callum has been living with a pack of wolves in the woods for a few years now. When he was younger he ventured off from his family and became lost, only to be taking in by the wolf family. One of the humorous things about the book is Callum's interaction with the wolves and his ability to understand what they're saying.

Callum has grown a lot and to keep the Alpha from killing him, as he seems him as a threat now, Callum is returned to live in the human world. This too turns out to be a humorous adventure for Callum, as he's wild, but trying to be more civilized. Callum is a fabulous character. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at some of his predicaments he finds himself in. Don't worry, this story has a happy ending.

Timothy's writing is enjoyable, as The Boy Who Howled is witty and fun, making it an engaging read for middle grade/tween readers. I highly recommend picking this book up. It's one I'm looking forward to having my son read when he's a little older.

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~