Thursday, October 17, 2013

Five Ancestors- Jeff Stone

The Five Ancestors is a Young Reader series written by Jeff Stone about five, young Chinese warrior monks who are the only survivors of the destruction and raid of their home, Cangzhen Temple. Each of the warriors specializes in an animal kung fu and possesses a Cantonese animal name: Fu (Tiger), Malao (Monkey), Seh (Snake), Hok (Crane), and Long (Dragon). The warriors must seek their past and fight their former brother Ying (Eagle) and others that bring harm. Each monk will begin to uncover their own past and learn surprising facts about themselves. Betrayal, trust, friendship, and skills along the way between the monks' families, friends, and among themselves. The seven books in the series are: Tiger, Monkey, Snake, Crane, Eagle, Mouse and Dragon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sophia's War, A Tale of Revolution by Avi

Lexile Level 730

I loved this historical fiction.  It was a riveting picture of how Manhattan transformed as the British occupied it during the American Revolution.   Sophia, a girl of 12, is forever changed when she sees an American Patriot hung.  She believes strongly in the American cause and wants to be of some help.  How can a meer girl help the patriotic endevor when her own parents can't seem to assist? 
Avi's writing is beautiful and vivid.  I loved the descriptions and the inner workings of Sophia's mind.  You will learn a lot of the American struggle to win independence through an excellent story. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson

   ***There is also a graphic novel of Witch and Wizard available.

Witch & Wizard
Reading grade level 4.9
Interest level Middle school

James Patterson is known for writing adult mystery stories, but he is also gathering A LOT of attention in the teen world too!  His series Witch and Wizard is action packed and the reading is reachable for all readers. 
   The story starts right out with a bang!  The siblings are awoken in the middle of the night to be arrested for using witchcraft.  Yet, they have no idea what is going on or why they are being wanted.  Wisty and Whit find themselves against the New Order with only an empty book and a drum stick to help them. 
    I loved this fast-pasted story.  The brother and sister relationship was so strong. I rooted for the duo the entire story and can't wait to read the next book. 
Witch and Wizard: The Manga, Vol. 2
*There is also a graphic novel of this story. 

For a sample of the story, see James Patterson's web site

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Aimee Carter, The Goddess Series


At first, this series irritated me.  Nothing was as it should be.  The Greek gods were using different names.  I was completed confused.  I realized I was reading the series out of order.  After I changed to the first book, The Goddess Test, I was very intrigued.  Aimee Carter gives the Greek gods an updated look for this new modern era.  The main character, Kate, moves back to her childhood home with her dying mother.  As Kate tries to cope with losing her mother, she is befriended by Henry.  This dark and moody guy claims to be Hades, Greek god of the Underworld.  He promises her that if she can pass his seven tests, he will keep her mother alive.  Does Kate dare to make this promise..can she even believe him?  Her next step will take her on a journey no mere mortal can endure.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Frog Princess

The Frog Princess
ED Baker
Lexile Level: 710

One of my students recommended I read this book.  Anna, it took me awhile, but here is my review:

I loved this book!  I am fairly sure Disney took this idea for their movie. 
Once upon a time, in a fairy tale, a princess finds an enchantanted frog.  Emma is not an ordinary princess.  She doesn't laugh, walk, talk, or dress like a princess should- at least according to her mother.  One day when she escapes the castle to get away from a pesty prince, she meets another sort of prince.  This prince has been cursed.  He convinces Emma that she needs to kiss him to change him back.  The kiss does not go as planned.  Emma finds herself now on the bottom of the food chain, smacking down insects, and kind of falling for the frog prince.  
E.D. Baker writes a fun tale of adventure and friendship.  I highly enjoyed this story and am planning to read more of the Frog Princess Tales. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Juniper Berry, by M. P. Kozlowsky

Juniper Berry
Juniper Berry
Lexile Level: 700

I am not a fan of spooky, creepy books that make my skin crawl....but plenty of my readers are!  So, I recommend Juniper Berry to all of you that like books that linger with you in uncomfortable ways.  Juniper is a child of famous movie star actors.  They are a very close family, at least they were BEFORE they found acclaimed fame.  Now they forget Juniper even exists.  Lonely, Juniper sees the world out of her spy glasses.  She desperately wants to be apart of the world, but is locked away from it.  One day, she comes across a thin, wisp of a boy who is also looking for belonging.  Juniper and Giles find their answer, but it turns out to be more costly than they ever thought it could. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bitterblue, By Kristin Cashore

Sequel to Gracling
see previous post

I was fascinated by Cashore's strong characters in Graceling, so I was hoping I would find that kind of strength and smartness in Bitterblue.  I am slightly disappointed.  Bitterblue had moments where I was beginning to care about her and rooting for her, but mostly I was spending my energy hoping she would get a clue.  Gracling had so much action and passion, that Bitterblue seems dull in comparison.  You get glimpses of Katsa and Po's continued story- but you are watching from afar, so it loses it's impact- like watching a silent movie.  I gave the story 3 stars, because it is not all bad.  The plot is very developed and will keep you guessing.  There is a brief escapade that provides action and a touch of passion.  Not horrible, just not Gracling.