Thursday, March 29, 2012

This is Halloween

I know, I know, it is the wrong time of the year to be talking about Halloween. I should be posting about Easter books instead but sometimes you can't control what songs get stuck in your head.

"This is Halloween" from The Nightmare Before Christmas has been in my head all week.
Which is kind of appropriate because my boys just happened to also pick out some Halloween books at the library this week.

Here are a couple cute Halloween books we discovered.

 Spooky, Spooky, Spooky
by Cathy Maclennan

This is a very simple picture book, perfect for younger kids with short attention spans. The pictures are great and the rhymes are short and sweet. 

A Very Brave Witch
by Alison McGhee and Harry Bliss

This is a really cute story about a young witch who decides to face her fear of humans. Just because they are a little different doesn't mean they have to be scary! What a cute little message and the pictures are delightful. I need to remember this book when Halloween actually comes around.

Monday, March 26, 2012


by Becca Fitzpatrick

This book continues the struggle between Fallen Angels and Nephilim that Nora has found herself caught in.

I enjoyed book number three in the Hush, Hush Saga much more then the last book. It did not take me long to finish it. 

Here are a few reasons why I liked this book better.
Nora was much less annoying in this book. Although I thought she was crazy to do the things she did sometimes at least I didn't think she was acting irrationally this time around.
The story was much more interesting and there was plenty of action to keep my attention. 
There was more of the Patch I remembered and liked so much from book 1.

For some reason I was under the impression that this was the last book in the series. Not sure why I thought it was a trilogy. Maybe I have Hunger Games on the mind? I sure was surprised when it ended and it was clear that there must be another book to complete the story. Unfortunately, that book is not out yet so now I have to wait to find out how it ends.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Content Reviews

Have you every wanted to know what kind of language, sex or violence was in a book before you read it? Or read a book and then wished you would have know?

Here is a great website where you can get content reviews of books. Compass Book Ratings.

Compass Book Ratings
Check them out!

For those of you interested in this wonderful resource, I will keep the link to the website on the side bar of my blog for easier access.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


by Becca Fitzpatrick

This is the sequel to Hush, Hush that I read a while back and really enjoyed. 

Have you ever read a book where you become attached to a particular character? I really loved the character, Patch, in the last book so I was really excited to be reading more about him. 

I wish the story had focused more on him. There wasn't nearly enough of him in this book. I really think that his character added so much to the story of Hush, Hush and that was missing in this book for me. Although, the parts he was in made me remember why I was so drawn to his character in the first place. 

Not that I didn't like this book because I did enjoy reading it, but I definitely did not like it as much as the first. I found myself becoming annoyed with Nora's character through out the book. She was just so irrational and reckless. One minute she would be mopping about how she had to break up with Patch for his own good and the next minute she was making out with another guy to make him jealous. 

Luckily, by the end the story really picked up and helped remind me why I enjoyed the last book so much.  The ending was a real cliff hanger. Now I have to read the next book so I can find out what happens to them! 

I hope that Patch plays a bigger role in the next book.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


by Neal Shusterman

This is the second book in the Skinjacker Trilogy which follows a group of kids in Everlost, a place where kids go who die but for some reason don't make it to the light. This book contains many of the same characters from the first book but they have figured out their purpose for being in Everlost. One wants to keep all the children safely in Everlost and one wants to help all the children find their way to where they are going. They both feel like they are doing what is right and that the other person is doing a terrible wrong so they feel they must try to stop them.  I won't say much more for those who have not finished the first book yet.

Although this was not as good as the first book, I still really enjoyed it. It was fun seeing what the different characters do with their abilities. There were a couple kids I was excited to read more about, Nick and The McGill. I really liked them in the first book so I was happy to read what becomes of them. I kind of wished that there was more of them in this book. 

There were a couple twist that I didn't see coming which always makes for an interesting story. The idea that someone would be willing to do such terrible things because they believed so strongly that their cause was the right one was interesting. It definitely makes you think about the actions of people and how they can sometimes use "good" reasons to justify doing terrible things.

I am very interested to see how this trilogy comes to its conclusion. I know who I am rooting for. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What My Kids Like

Do you find with children's books sometimes your kids love a book more then you do? I know that my kids like certain books that I don't really enjoy reading that much. I read them anyway because I would never want to discourage their desire to read or be read to but I really don't  look forward to it.

This is true of Meet Mr. and Mrs. Green, by Keith Baker. It's not that I dislike the book, I'm just not that into it. It might be because it contains three stories so it takes too long to read or it might be that the stories just aren't that interesting to me.

 Either way, my kids love this book. My oldest ask me to read it to him every night. I've gotten to the point that I make him choose one of the three stories so that I don't have to read the entire book. He often choose the 100 Pancakes, where Mr. Green eats 100 pancakes. He thinks it is pretty funny.

I guess this just shows that kids like different things then adults and I am willing to respect their opinions. I don't want to be the type of mom who forces her kids to like only the things I like. So I guess that means  if my kids don't like soccer, I won't make them play. Or if they want to play baseball I will let them even though I'm not a fan. Wow, this applies to a lot more then books, I'll have to remember that. ;-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends
by Maeve Binchy

I was excited to read this book set in Dublin, Ireland in 1957. I really enjoy reading books set in a different place and time then I am familiar with. I feel like even though it is fictional I can still learn something new about history. I really love learning about our past and even considered majoring in History when I went to college.

This story follows two friends, from a small town outside of Dublin, as they begin their first year at the University in Dublin. It was interesting to read what their experience was like and how it was influenced by the people around them. Their circle of friends grow and change as the story unfolds and I thought that this book does a great job of showing how the various choices that people make can effect the other people around them.

I really loved the character of Benny. She was such a likable character and I found it easy to relate to her. The other character I really liked was Aidan. He was funny, a little bit of a clown, but sweet and understanding at the same time. I really liked his interactions with Eve and I was glad that he turned out to be such a nice guy since I have a little bit of an attachment to that name. ;) 

That can't be said about some of the other characters who I immediately disliked and knew that they were only going to be trouble later on. Of course a good novel has both likable and unlikable characters or it wouldn't be a very interesting story, would it?! 

I have to admit that it took me a long time to get through this story. I few things contributed to this. For one, life has been very busy which hasn't allowed me as much time to read. I have been coming home after a long day of work and just been to tired to pick up the book and read. Sometimes it is just easier to watch TV mindlessly.  Plus several other things on my to do list that I have felt pressure to get done in the past few weeks. You know it's bad when I make a to do list because I only make list when I'm feeling overwhelmed or particularly stressed. Maybe I would be more organized if I would make list more consistently!

That and the fact that my library loan ran out and my card expired at the same time and I didn't realize it until it was a day too late. I couldn't renew on-line since my card was expired and the library was closed.  I didn't want to get too much of a late fee so I returned the book to the outside return box with my book mark still inside, hoping I could go back another day and check it out again. When I finally had time to go back and renew my card, I didn't find the same copy I checked out before but lucky for me they had another copy of the book. sigh... I don't usually forget to return my books.

But I digress, I do think that it took a while for things to start happening in this book which could have contributed to the speed in which I read it. She also jumps between scenes, as the story is unfolding, so I really had to pay attention to what was going on. One minute she is describing a date, then she starts telling about someone else's outing and then back to the date. For the most part this type of story telling worked well for her story but at times it could also be a little distracting. Really, that was my only complaint about the story and in the long run it really wasn't much of an issue. Eventually the story picked up and I really liked how the story turned out. This was a fun read and I am glad I took time to read it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Downton Abbey

I know I am way behind everyone else, but I just recently discovered the show Downton Abbey and I am loving it. Actually I'm a little obsessed with it right now. I watch the first season in two days. It is only 7 episodes so that's not too bad, right?

I love the setting, the costumes and most importantly the story. There are so many good characters and I love seeing both sides of the manor, the Crawley family and their servants. They are the type of characters you become attached to and find yourself hoping that their hopes and aspirations come true. And of course there are the characters you love to hate. Really you need both types for a good story, don't you think?

Now I just need to find season 2, so I can watch it.

 Of course, I haven't gotten many books read recently. I promise I'll get back to reading so I can post something book related soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Library Finds

Here are our favorite books from the Library this week:

 No More Kissing
by Emma Chichester Clark

This is a really cute book about a monkey who is tired of all the kissing that goes on around him, especially when it involves him. The pictures and the story are adorable and my kids thought it was funny.
This is the second book of hers I have really loved. I talked about I Love You, Blue Kangaroo here.

10 Little Rubber Ducks
by Eric Carle

This story is based on a Newspaper report he read in July of 2003 about a shipment of 29,000 rubber bath toys that fell overboard from a ship and ended up in a variety of places. Like the story the rubber ducks go in all directions. Up, down, right, left, etc. As with all of his stories, the pictures are great and we all loved the story. What a fun idea for a book!