Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Picture Book Review: Lost in the Library

One morning Fortitude worries that Patience isn't back on the stone before the sun rises. He worries what will happen if New York wakes up to discover only one lion in front of the library. So, he does something he's never done before - he goes looking for Patience in the library.
My Thoughts: Of course I loved this one! It's about the lions in front of NYPL. It's about friendship and stories and discovering new places. It's an adorable book.

Library Recommendations: A must have book for public and school libraries.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Books

This week's topic is Halloween books. Here are some cute Halloween books I've read this year. I'm not much for creepy/horror books. But I've read some cute picture books and a fun vampire graphic novel and a couple YA books, and one adult mystery.

Picture Books
Sammy's Spooktacular HalloweenI Want to Be a WitchStar Wars: Are You Scared, Darth Vader?Hubble Bubble, Granny TroubleMonster Boogie
A Werewolf Named Oliver James

Fake Blood by Whitney GardnerA Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry ThomasSpill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

Currently Reading:
Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee

Monday, October 29, 2018

Review: Your Destination is on the Left

Your Destination Is on the Left

Dessa and her family are nomads, they travel the country with a caravan of family and friends. They vote together on their destinations. But Dessa's tired of not having roots. She desperately wants to go to college for art. Unfortunately, she's been rejected at every art school she applied to.

When an unexpected internship falls into her lap, she jumps at the chance to learn. She wants to prove herself to her new boss and to herself. Can she make a living being an artist? Can she see a future for herself beyond traveling with her family?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I liked the closeness of the family - including the family they made with the caravan. I liked the romance of the book. I enjoyed the moments where Dessa tried to figure out her future and if she was good enough. But most of all, I loved the moments about art - the creation, the learning, the talking about it all. It made me itch to do something crafty after reading this book.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A great read for creative people wondering about college.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Review: When We Found Home

When We Found Home
Malcolm grew up with the wealth and privilege of his father's family. But when his father died, he discovered that he has two half sisters. His grandfather wants to bring them into the family fold. His youngest sister is twelve. Malcolm has no idea how to communicate with her. Callie is closer to him in age. Both sisters have struggled in life - Callie's served a jail sentence for a crime in her youth.

Callie and Kiera both struggle with their new family. After being placed in so many homes, Kiera's doesn't believe her good fortune. She's sure that she will be asked to leave - it's only just a matter of time. Together they find common ground.

Malcolm tries to understand, but he struggles in learning how to be a brother. Can the three of them make their new family work?
My Thoughts: I really liked this book about family drama, romance, and friendship. I loved how Callie and Kiera both adjusted to their new life and their new family. I loved their relationship with each other and how they both helped Malcolm understand how to be a brother. I loved Lizzie the kitten, Kiera's stubborn streak, Grandfather's love, and learning more about the family business. I love the Callie didn't sugarcoat her past and how she wanted to work towards bettering her future. I liked the romantic ties in the book. Another great read from Susan Mallery.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your public libraries.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Review: Catwoman

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3)
When the Bat's away, the Cat will play. It's time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.
Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing's undoing. (publisher summary)

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. Here's a list of reason why:
Cover stories
Back stories
Plot Twists
More of Gotham City

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Grab this series for your teen section

Thursday, October 25, 2018

On Your Radar (16)

Title:  Even If I Fall

Even If I Fall

Author:  Abigail Johnson

Publisher: Inkyard Press 

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why it Should be on Your Radar:
* Incarcerated family member
* Friendship
* Ice Skating
* Family Grieving
* Forbidden Romance
* Prison visits
* Uncovering the truth

*  Reviewed for Voya

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Picture Book Review: Good Rosie

Rosie learns how to make friends at the dog park.

A really cute picture book about friendship with a sweet message how friends come in all sizes. Great illustrations. The format of this picture book resembles a graphic novel. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Villains

This week's topic is all about books with great villains. I wrote about this one here. This week I'll use characters from the books I've read so far this year. 

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. MaasThe Forest Queen by Betsy CornwellA Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry ThomasThe Phantom Tower by Keir GraffThe Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Shelter in Place by Nora RobertsShot in the Dark by Cleo CoyleNot If I Save You First by Ally Carterv

The Duchess Deal by Tessa DareRestart by Gordon KormanThe Big Bad Fox by Benjamin  Renner

Monday, October 22, 2018

Romance Review: What a Difference A Duke Makes

What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)

* First in a new series *
Mari Perkins doesn't know what to do with herself  - her luggage was stolen. She's late for a job interview and thrown out. She has no money and no prospects.

And then she overhears a governess vacating a position for a Duke. He's her last hope.

She marches to his house and tells him the agency sent her to fill the position.  He doesn't want to give it to her, but he finally does, on a trial basis.

He doesn't believe she has what it takes to manage the twins who have gotten rid of far too many governesses. He also doesn't want to be tempted by her. He's determined not to give in to lust - but she takes matters into her own hands.
My Thoughts: I really liked the start of this new series. I enjoyed the kids and their antics. I loved the Duke's sister and her philosophies from her pants to her ideas about women. Luckily the next book is all about her. I liked how Mari knew how the children were feeling, having grown up without parents herself. I enjoyed her search for her biological family and how that turned out. I enjoyed the Duke's interest in creating something useful and how he worked hard at it - and how that didn't work with societal views. I'm so looking forward to book 2!

Cover Thoughts:
Source: My Library

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Picture Book Review: Frankie Finds the Blues


When Frankie's grandmother invites him to a concert - a blues concert. He's not sure he's going to like the blues. But he does and it inspires him to play his guitar and learn.

A fun book about learning about music, the history of blues and hip hop, how everyone has a story, not judging people based on their appearance. It's a great book for elementary school readers.

* book sent for review

Friday, October 19, 2018

Review: Front Desk

Mia's parents work really hard, but they can't even seem to get ahead. Mia tries to help out as best she can, but after she gets fired from waitressing, her parents are at a loss. Then they hear about an opening in a motel. The could manage the hotel and live rent free. It seems too good to be true. 

And it is.

The owner of the hotel isn't nice. He goes back on his word. Mia watches the front desk while her parents spend their time cleaning the rooms. 

Mia hopes for a better life - one that doesn't rely on terrible bosses. One that allows her family to buy items that most kids have. She's struggling to fit in at school, but the weekly renters at the hotel adore her. 

Can she help her parents create a better life for their family?

My Thoughts: I loved this book - it tugged at my heartstrings. Mia and her family moved from China for a better life, but life isn't always better in America - or easy. She deals with racism, poverty, bullies, and a belief that she won't be able to make something of herself. She wants the American dream - for herself and her parents. I love how her parents helped those less fortunate - even when they didn't have much themselves. I love how Mia grew a relationship with the weekly renters. I love how she had ideas on how to make the hotel better. I loved her friendship with her new best friend. A wonderful book to share with readers to talk about injustices, equality, and living the American Dream. 

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have book for both school and public libraries.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: The Forest Queen

Sylvie doesn't believe her brother has what it takes to be a leader. She doesn't agree with most of his decisions. But as a lady, she can't change things but maybe she doesn't have to be a part of it.

Upset about everything, her friend offers her a way out. They could go live in the woods off the land. Sylvie isn't sure, but when they come across a girl in trouble, they act. Knowing she can't go back, Sylvie and Bird escape to the forest with Little Jane.

Together, the three of them form a pack. But surviving is harder than they think. They need supplies. They need help. And Sylvie knows just where to go - if only her brother doesn't find out.
My Thoughts: I loved the idea of Robin Hood being a Lady. I wish this book had been a little bit longer - a little bit more flushed out. But otherwise, it was great. I've always been a fan of the Robin Hood story. I liked matching up the characters from this story to the legend. I liked Sylvie coming into her own and learning about survival. I liked Little Jane - her news wasn't a surprise to me, but I liked the way she handled it. She was strong. I loved the strong women in this story. I loved how they fought for their freedom, for their happiness, and for a better life. Even if that made them outlaws. This book would make a great conversation starter about women in history, class distinction, and historical events.

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Recommended for both school and public libraries

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Picture Book Review: Corduroy Takes a Bow


Corduroy and Lisa got to the theater. Corduroy gets lost and ends up backstage, on stage, and taking a bow.

Corduroy was one of my favorite books as a child. I still have my teddy bear that resembles him. He wears overalls too. This new book by actress turned author Viola Davis gave me all the feels. I felt nostalgic for the first book. It made me so happy to read this one. I loved seeing the moments behind the stage and behind the scenes of the production. Of course, this one had a happy ending as the bear's reunited with Lisa.

Library Recommendation: A great picture book for the collection

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Havens to Visit

This week's topic is bookstores and libraries you'd like to visit. I'm quite lucky as I've been to lots of different libraries. I make it a point to stop by (if possible) when I'm on vacation. 

Ripped Bodice
Poisoned Pen
Books of Wonder

Library of Congress
Chicago's U Media Center (Awesome teen center)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (Awesome teen center)
Bodleian Library (Oxford)

Fictional Bookstore:
Flourish and Blotts Bookseller
The Shop Around the Corner

Library No Longer Around:
Library of Alexandria 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Romance Review: No Earls Allowed

No Earls Allowed (The Survivors, #2)

* Book 2 in the Survivor series *
Major Neil Wraxell isn't thrilled to receive his father's summons. Usually that means a job  that he's not going to like. He's not wrong. His father requires him to look after Lady Juliana - the daughter of a friend. \

Lady Juliana would rather spend her days with orphans than with society. When her father requires it, she attends society events, but otherwise she spends her time with the children. They need attention as everything's falling apart.

When the Major arrives, it's a battle of wills. Neither of them is willing to back down. As long as Lady Juliana stays, the Major stays. Luckily the boys have taken to him and he's taken to giving them a schedule. The longer he stays, the more Lady Juliana realizes that the boys could use a good male role model. Could he be persuaded to stay?
My Thoughts: I really liked this story - for so many reasons. Firstly I loved Lady Juliana and how she cared for the boys. I loved the boys in the orphanage. They were charming, funny, and sweet. Of course they were also a handful. I loved their interactions with the Major and how they took to him. I found it interested that the Major was a virgin - that was unexpected. I loved the banter between Lady Juliana and the Major. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: I recommend this series for your public library romance section.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Faerie Houses

Last weekend,we hit up the Florence Griswold Museum where we viewed some faeries houses. All the faeries appeared to be on vacation, but their houses were super cute. Here is just a sampling of them.


A is for...

The thinker

Close up - they had a personal library here

Farmer's Market


The creatively blew me away. I wanted to try my hand at making once.
Maybe that would be a good library program...

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Blooper Photos

This month - my blog turned 10. Can you believe that?

 I celebrated by giving the pups some doggie ice cream and taking their pictures. Here are some funny photos out of that.

Ice cream!

We have to pose?

I hate wearing hats.

I must take it off!

Oh, ice cream!


Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: Breakout

Nora's looking forward to summer vacation; school is almost over for another year. Two more things happen before the end of school - their time capsule project and mile madness. Nora can't wait to win the mile race and throw water balloons at her principle.

Then two things happen - a new faster girl moves to town two weeks before the end of school and inmates escape from the prison. Now more than ever, Nora wants to work on her reporter skills because all of this will be relevant for the time capsule.

But life when changes when the inmates aren't caught immediately. As time drags on, Nora begins to understand more about her community and more about racial tension. Will things ever return to normal?
My Thoughts: I loved this book. It's written in reports, letters, text messages, recordings, and more. I liked how life changed for everyone in town. I liked the small town and how people knew everything about each other and how gossip spread  -especially about the inmates.  I loved how Nora starts looking at the world differently. I loved the poetry from Elidee. I loved how Elidee decided to be herself. I liked learning more about the manhunt - and how it was based on true events. I love how Elidee and Nora learned from each other. A wonderful book for discussion on many topics and levels.

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for both school and public libraries.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Blog Tour: Journey of the Pale Bear

About the Book:
The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England.

Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom?

My Thoughts: I really like this book. I felt so terrible for the bear. I loved the friendship between the bear and Arthur. I love how Arthur found his courage, his footing, and his sense of purpose. I like that he created a life for himself because his home life wasn't great. I enjoyed his interactions with the King. As a person of Welsh descent, I enjoyed the mentions of Wales and the use of the Welsh language. A tale that will tug at your heartstrings and make your heart race with the action. 

About the Author:
SUSAN FLETCHER is the acclaimed author of the Dragon Chronicles as well as the award-winning Alphabet of Dreams, Shadow Spinner, Walk Across the Sea, and Falcon in the Glass. Ms. Fletcher lives in Bryan, Texas. To read about the fascinating story behind the inspiration for Journey of the Pale Bear, visit her website,

Praise for Journey of the Pale Bear
★"A stupendous coming-of-age tale stuffed with adventure and laced with deeper questions."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Doesn't this book sound good?

You're in luck! One lucky winner will receive a copy of Journey of the Pale Bear, courtesy of Margaret K. McElderry Books (U.S. only please).