Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Amy Reviews The Ripper by Stefan Petrucha

Panic grips the city! 
There is a killer loose in New York City, and Carver Young is the only one who sees the startling connection between the recent string of murders and the most famous serial killer in history: Jack the Ripper. Time is winding down until the killer claims another victim, but Carver soon sees that, to The Ripper, this is all a game that he may be destined to lose. 
The Ripper
by Stefan Petrucha

Genre: Fiction
Content: Some  violence
Publisher:  Speak
Release date: April 4, 2013
 Number of Pages:  432

My Opinion:
Murder mystery crime solving at its best.  I don't have a lot of experience with this genre, but this was exciting with its twists and turns and unexpected events.  It starts out a little slow, but it is fun to read along as the young detectives put together the clues and work to solve the mystery.  The people seem very human and full of mistakes and mistrust.  It is very easy to relate to them and get sucked right into the story.  The ending was shocking and perfect for the rest of the book.  Try it out, it's a fun read!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

And our very Lucky Winner is...

Congratulations Kelsey!
You're the lucky winner of a
$10 Amazon gift card!
It's on the way!
Be sure to keep checking back for more
fun book reviews and

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review of The Beetle and the Berry by Eve Heidi Bine-Stock

One day, tiny Arthur the Beetle finds a large, juicy berry, big enough to feed him for a week. Excited by his discovery, he begins pushing it home, planning how much he is going to like eating the berry. Then suddenly, his berry gets stuck, and Arthur the Beetle has to figure out how to free it. Sometimes approaching a problem straight ahead just will not work. There are times when a problem can only be resolved by backing off, and approaching it from a new direction. This is a difficult life lesson for most children to learn, but "The Beetle and the Berry" makes this concept easy for children to understand. Appropriate for ages 3-6. (Cindy Penn contributed to this description.)

Children will root for the tiny beetle, and, without knowing it, will be learning problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This story is based on a true event witnessed in nature.
The Beetle and the Berry
by Eve Heidi Bine-Stock

What I liked about this book:

The illustrations are simple, bright, and colorful.
It is short enough for younger children's short attention spans. Also short enough on those nights when you're stretched for time but love to read bed-time stories to your wee ones.
The words are simple enough and big enough that an older child (ages 8-10) could read it to a sibling (ages 3-6).

It demonstrates problem solving skills. What a great alternative to anger and frustration.
I give it

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review of Balloon ABCs by Tracy Sabin

Balloons are the theme for this ABC book. The colorful, quirky illustrations are animated with sound. This allows the author the ability to convey more abstract concepts like air, create, help, need, etc. I found it "E for Enchanting". I gave it

The youngest of readers will delight in making the noises themselves as they tap the page.
We don't have a cover to show you but here is the
This book lives in the iBookstore.
Balloon ABC takes the alphabet book into new territory. Organized into couplets, the letters of the alphabet are employed to tell 12 droll mini-stories with animation and sound.  The humor tends toward slapstick, a mode of wit preferred by tots I have on good authority (grandkids). In addition, one plot line spans most of the book and features a bulldog hanging desperately to a runaway balloon and a hedgehog caught in an uncontrolled ricochet. Giggles are guaranteed or your money back.

About the author / illustrator / animator

Since 1973, Tracy Sabin has crafted illustration for a wide variety of clients. He has illustrated over 500 logos. His skills include animation, package design, paper engineering and mosaic design for public spaces. He has illustrated a number of children's books, including the New York Times bestselling popup book, "Castle." His work has been featured in Graphis, Print Magazine, Communication Arts, the Society of Illustrators, and in books and articles about contemporary  graphic design and illustration. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Quote of the Day

"The man who does not read is no better
than the man who can't."
~Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review of The Haunting of Springett Hall by E. B. Wheeler

Eighteen-year-old Lucy doesn't know how she became a ghost, but the more she remembers of her life in Victorian England, the more she wants to forget. Her only hope of changing the mistakes of her past is to enlist the help of a servant named Philip - the one living person who can see her. This impossible romance story is filled with delightful period detail and plenty of mystery.
The Haunting of Springett Hall
by E. B. Wheeler

I don't usually go in for paranormal anything, but this caught my interest. It is a delicious ghost story with a twist. It's so much more than the typical haunting. It is told from Lucy's point of view and we learn what happened as she learns. It has mystery, suspense, romance, and a dab of the occult, which is dealt with a very light hand. That's the part I'm usually uncomfortable with,
and I did squirm a little.

It is a well written tale--we find out the whys and wherefores of all the seemingly little details, and it follows a logical sequence. It all makes sense in the end.

Happy ending? You'll have to read it and find out! I give it

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Recommendations from Granddaughter 1.3

Granddaughter 1.3

Granddaughter 1.3 loves to play the piano. She loves to sing. She likes most sports. She really loves to read. Here is her list of favorites:

She has recently finished this book. No surprises there. Who doesn't love the Harry Potter series?

1.3 said she liked this book because she really liked the main character, Seth. She said the book has funny parts and some danger.

And the Ever After High Collection by Shannon Hale.
This series will keep her busy for a while.

Granddaughter 1.3 also still enjoys The Berenstain Bears books. Here favorites are The Bike LessonGo On Vacation, The Big Honey Hunt and The Bears' Picnic.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Quote of the Day

"Fill your house with stacks of books, in all
the crannies, in all the nooks."
~Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review of The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters by Frank L. Cole

There I stood, hiding next to the vending machines, disguised as a potted plant. I brushed the plastic leaves from my face and stared down the hallway toward the front double doors. Snow Cone always said one day this ridiculous costume would come in handy. Fifteen minutes had passed since the last student left for the buses, but I wasn't about to take any chances. Not with my life hanging in the balance. Leaning forward, I peered around the corner just as the sound of footsteps echoed down the hallway. Was this it? Could this be him? Was I about to be pulverized by Hambone while wearing an emergency disguise I had just pulled from my locker? Hashbrown Winters and his treehouse club of buddies are well known around Pordunce Elementary, especially after Hashbrown's seminar last year on how to give the best show and tell performances... er, presentations. But when Hashbrown accidentally crosses Hambone Oxcart, the death dealer of Pordunce, he'll need more than just the support of his friends to survive Hambone's wrath. Join Hashbrown, Snow Cone, Whiz, and the rest of the gang in Frank Cole's hilarious debut novel of the trials and tragedies of fifth grade life. The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters will keep kids and parents alike laughing out loud, groaning in sympathy, and turning pages until well past bedtime.

What did I think?

Over-the-top hilarious. This book is full of fun and danger with crazy, playground social structure and riotous antics. The characters are larger than life and totally unique. They each come with their own fitting nickname. After all, "if you don't have a nickname you're nobody." Even the elementary school has a silly name--"Pordunce".

This is a fun-for-all-ages kind of book. I can hardly wait to see what my grandkids think of this book.

for outrageous fun.