Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Amulet:: Escape from Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet, Vol. 6: Escape From Lucien (Amulet, #6)Amulet, Vol. 6: Escape From Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've read and loved the first in this series, and I was surprised my young children did too! When I saw this was up, I grabbed it!

This can't be read as a stand-alone, and it can't be read out of order. It was really REALLY difficult to read if you aren't up to date on the series. My kids and I have read the first 2, and we grabbed the 4th from the library, but unfortunately unless you've read all the books, you will be completely confused.

Now, I've given it a 4 because I can gather from the first couple books that I like what's happened between books 2 and 6. That being said, my daughter didn't finish it because she was confused, and while my son did read it, he said the same, that he didn't know what was going on.

We're trying to track down the other books, and between the library and the book store, I'm sure we can catch up.

***ARC courtesy of the publisher via netgalley

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Mutts Diaries by Patrick McDonnell

The Mutts DiariesThe Mutts Diaries by Patrick McDonnell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is a comic book, like the Big Nate books. I liked this more than I thought I would. I think it deserves 5 stars because it made me laugh. I like the cat Mooch, and the dog Earl. I didn't want to read about Sourpuss at first, but he turned out to be funny too. He really hates Mondays. I don’t know why he hates Mondays, it’s not like he has to go to school or work, but it’s really funny.

The jokes about the Marvel heroes were funny. A squirrel dropped a hard nut on Iron Man on the head and he got knocked out. And then Spiderman fell for it too! The exact same thing! It was so funny! This was nice because I don’t see the Mutts in my Sunday comics in the newspaper anymore.

There’s another character who’s a little crab and he hates the sun and says bad words like this-> @#$%
He’s crabby. LOL

I would tell people to buy this book because it’s pretty funny.

***copy provided by the publisher via netgalley

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Batman The Joker's Dozen

What a fun idea! It's really for younger readers, but you might have to explain the choose your own aspect. My second grader thought the writing was too easy, but had trouble with choosing which direction to go. He kept wanting to turn the page directly and not understanding why he'd have to flip forward to another page.

There are about a dozen different choices here, which may be a bit much for this age group. Again, definitely for the younger crowd. I'd suggest first graders.

But it's still a neat and different type of book. If you have a Batman lover, or a graphic novel reader, this would be a great idea for you.

***ARC courtesy of the publisher via netgalley

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Doll BonesDoll Bones by Holly Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was so cool! I checked it out from my school library and I loved it. The librarian told me it would be too hard for me, but I knew I could read it. I proved her wrong and I loved this book.

To begin with, Poppy, Zach, and Alice played with dolls together. One day, Zach told them, “I am too old to play with dolls.”Then his friends were stunned that he said that. That night Poppy woke up, but she thought that she was still dreaming. She wasn’t. Then Poppy saw a doll that told her if she didn’t bury it, she and her friends would be sorry.

Secondly, Poppy told them that she had the weirdest dream ever. Then Poppy told them that a doll told her to bury her. Zach and Alice told Poppy it must have been a dream. But Poppy told them it felt like the doll was trying to tell her something.

To end with, they went into the tree house and brought the doll with them. Poppy told Alice and Zach the tale of Eleanor Keacher .Then they take the doll’s head off and look inside the doll. They found a piece of paper saying, Liverville .That is when Poppy, Alice, and Zach take an adventure across the deep blue to get to the cemetery to bury the doll so Eleanor wouldn’t haunt them.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Katfish by Obert Skye

Katfish (The Creature from My Closet)Katfish by Obert Skye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 Rob Burnside’s life is in ruins. After his escapades with Pinocula and his resulting outrageous lies, everyone is fed up with him. In this Creature from My Closet book by Obert Skye, Rob needs help. And his science laboratory closet is there to give him a hand. Meet Katfish, a mashup of Katniss from the Hunger Games and the Little Mermaid. This girl is strong as nails and sports a tail. Everyone at Rob's school is excited about an upcoming riff on the Hunger Games created by Principal Smelt: the Fun-ger Games. Rob is less excited because the principal and his mom have roped him into participating. But Katfish is sticking around to help Rob out with girl advice, Fun-ger Games tips, and how to get people to stop hating him. What could go wrong?

I saw this at the library and the cover looked cool. This was funny. The pictures are more like comics, but there's a story too, not just like a graphic novel or comic book. It has paragraphs and a story, but with comics added in. I loved it.

It's really about this guy named Rob and the book is his diary. It kind of reminds me of Dork Diaries, but I think it's funnier. But I also think this is for younger kids than Dork Diaries is. It has more humor, and it's more 4th grade level.

This is his life. Every chapter is a day, and funny stuff happens to him. But Rob and his brother one time went to Rob's friend Rex's house, his mom made him put on homemade sunblock and then Rob's like "is it supposed to stink?" and so they jumped into the pool to wash it off. But it was yellow so it looked like they peed, and a girl was watching them and Rob said, "I bet this looks bad." She said, "You bet right." LOL

One day his dad got him a weird door at a garage sale. It had a brass doorknob with a bearded guy on it that Rob calls Beardy. He thinks Beardy is alive and is bringing to life all the characters from the books in his closet (he never reads, so he hides his books in his closet). That's how Katfish comes to life. I think Beardy invited her.

She helped Rob have a better life and went back into his closet at the end, and then Rob finished Catching Fire. Her advice to him was "Keep Reading."

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

The Paper Bag Princess

I like the paper bag princess, but it would be better if it was a chapter book. When I read it that is what I thought it was, but it’s a picture book meant for little kids. But I liked when the dragon burned off all her clothes and she could only find a paper bag to wear.

I like the fact that she’s smarter than the prince, and the dragon. She doesn’t need a prince to save her, especially a dumb prince like Ronald who only cares about being rich and having a “real” princess to marry.

Elizabeth calls him a bum. That’s the best part!

Girls don’t need a boy to save them. We save ourselves.

Then she runs off into the sunset in her paper bag.

***Review Copy courtesy of the publisher via netgalley

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Big Nate: The Crowd Goes Wild

Big Nate: The Crowd Goes Wild!Big Nate: The Crowd Goes Wild! by Lincoln Peirce
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review from my 7 year old:

I like Big Nate, because it is funny and I like his friends. I like Big Nate. It made me laugh. You should read Big Nate.

Review from my 9 year old:

I like reading Big Nate books, because after school it's nice to have something fun that puts you in a better mood than reading school books. The drawings are really good and their expressions are so funny. I always like when Nate flips out, and I like the part where they make it look like Charlie Brown.

A couple of years ago, my daughter was having trouble finding things to read she liked, and my mother-in-law bought a couple Big Nate books. They sort of sat around until recently. This summer my son discovered the Big Nate books and he has read every single one we could get our hands on. I've bought them, borrowed from the library, borrowed from friends, you get the picture. We like Big Nate in our house.

I was really excited to share this with the kids.

***Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Rose and the Lost Princess by Holly Webb

Cross posted from Got Fiction? Book Blog:
I know we rarely review YA or MG here at Got Fiction? but with my kids getting older, I don't really know what's appropriate for them to read. I've taken a couple chances lately, and found some great books! Rose and the Lost Princess was one of them.

My 9 year old daughter and I read this one together, so it's only fair that we review it together.
I'll go first. I loved the storyline. For someone who doesn't typically read YA, I found this book surprisingly good. Not only was Rose an easy character to relate to, but she was a great heroine. I had no problem imagining my younger self as Rose. In fact, if I had had this book as a child, I would have loved it, no doubt.

Rose has been taken from an orphanage in London to become a servant in a magician's house. She never once takes her position for granted and is incredibly happy to be earning her own way. She's maybe 10 or so, and in the first book, she uses her magic to save some children from a witch. So now the household staff are very wary of her. The public is starting to get a little nervous at the thought of magicians having so much power. It almost turns into full-scale riots at one point.

The national treasure is a princess, a 7 year old girl named Jane. After a botched kidnapping by magical means,Rose's master goes into a tizzy. He has to prove to the king, and to the people, that not all magicians are like the witch from book 1. At the same time he has to find out who tried to kidnap Princess Jane.
But of course, it's Rose who solves the mystery, while at the same time endangering her own life. She wants to help.

The writing was fabulous. It was easy enough for my third grader, but it was also challenging enough to keep her interest. Books that are "too easy" are "baby books" to her. From an adult standpoint, I never felt as if I were reading a children's book. The language and descriptions were flawless. I loved this book.

My daughter:
I loved Rose, but I loved her talking cat Gus more. He was funny and I have a cat who I wish could talk like Gus.
I also loved Rose's friend Freddie even though he was sometimes mean, and Bella was cool too.
The bad guy wasn't caught though and I want to know what happens to him. And I also want my mom to buy the first book so I can see how Rose defeated the bad witch.
The best part was when Rose figured out how to bring Jane back.
I think it ended too fast though. It felt like there should be more where the bad guy was caught and put in jail.

So there you have it, talking cat, magicians and princesses. What more could a nine year old want?
***ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Kids

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous BoyOphelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

KK's mom here, my daughter and I read this together and neither one of us really liked it. It's a Did Not Finish (DNF) for us both.

That being said, a lot of what I didn't care for was the author's voice.

My daughter was bored with it. She didn't want to read it after the first chapter. So I started to read to her, which we do every night after silent reading. Even that didn't entice her. Since neither of us enjoyed it, we decided to move on.

I'd like to say she's too young for this book, but she's enjoyed Julie Kagawa's Winter's Passage which is for an older audience. I'm not really sure why this didn't work for her, unless like me, the writing and author's voice didn't work for her.

In fact, she actually didn't feel comfortable writing a less-than-favorable review, which is why I am.

***ARC courtesy of Random House Children's via netgalley

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble

Bad Kitty Drawn to TroubleBad Kitty Drawn to Trouble by Nick Bruel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Today is World Literacy Day and I bought this book at my school Book Fair.

It's really funny because Kitty is hilarious. This time the author was in it. Nick Bruel got scratched up by Kitty. On my favorite page he's like AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

Nick Bruel made Kitty fat, and made her eat turnips, and he was like "You have to eat a better diet, Kitty."

Then he wrote 3 stories about her that were fake and they were to show Kitty that she had to eat better. At the end of the book is a turnip recipe that says kids better have an adult supervising. Maybe because it'll explode? I don't know but my mom says we can cook a turnip with that recipe this week.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin

I like picture books. This one rhymes and the pictures are really pretty. It was nice to hear at bedtime.

***ARC courtesy of edelweiss and Random House