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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble

Interest Level: Young Adult
Reading Level: 4.6
Lexile: 760L
Genre: Fantasy

In the Llanfair Mountains lives Auntie who has fairy blood and therefore can not tell a lie. She lives with her two adopted 16 year old daughters: Maren, who arrived in a seashell and Clara, who was brought by a stork. Once scales start to appear beneath Maren's skin the girls must get her to the ocean before she dies. With their brother, their journey to the sea is full of adventure and danger.

Although it moves a little slow in spots, I recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasies and mermaids.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman

Interest Level: Young Adult

Lexile: 900L
Genre: Autobiography

Reading Level: 6.4

This is the story of two brothers, Vincent and Theo Van Gogh. Theo, the younger brother, is Vincent's protector, provider, and friend. The two brothers are so close they are practically one. Throughout their struggles, the brothers shared everything, stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions in the 658 plus letters Vincent wrote to Theo during his lifetime. A powerful tale of two great men and the trials they face. I do not usually read non-fiction, finding the style of writing slow and unimpressive. Perhaps, I knew enough about Vincent Van Gogh to keep me interested or maybe my love of history kept me involved. I do recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in history, art, or Vincent Van Gogh.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling

Interest Level: Adult
Reading Level: Adult
Lexile: NR
Genre: Autobiography

Mindy Kaling is an actress, a playwright, and a television comedy writer. This book takes the reader on a tour of Mindy's life and her opinions on romance, friendship, and show-business. Mindy is the girl next door; an obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, an actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers.

Mindy shares what she thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get into any trouble with the law).

This book was entertaining. I chuckled out loud a couple of times and smiled frequently. I listened to this as an audiobook while I walked. I am unsure if I would have been as successful in completing it in such a timely manner if I had read it instead of listened to it. Mindy herself read it and did an excellent job of it. In fact, her performance made the book for me.

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Interest Level: 5-8
Reading Level: 5.6
Lexile: 582L
Genre: Fantasy

This dystopian adventure has a steampunk and fantasy flair. Piper lives alone as a scapper in the Merrow Kingdom. Her father died in a factory in the Dragonfly territories. But the arrival of a mysterious girl sends 13 year old Piper and her new friend on a dangerous journey. 

I highly recommend this book. The plot has so many twists and turns. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. I am normally a slow reader but I finished this book in just over 2 weeks. I plan to read the next book in the series but have so many books that friends have given me as presents and they keep asking me if I have read them. This is why this book gets 4.5 stars instead of 5. If I simply had to read the next book, regardless of my friends, it would have gotten 5 stars.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Level: 5.4
Lexile: 530L
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Lucy Callahan is Lightning Girl. Struck by lightning when she was 8 years old,
she acquired crazy math skills. Homeschooled for 8 years until now, 12 years old. Lucy's guardian, her Nana, has decided Lucy needs to attend middle school. This young savant suffers from an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This story makes you fall in love with Lucy. You cry when she is bullied and cheer when she makes a friend. McAnulty ends the story perfectly. On those nights when I cannot fall asleep, I will continue to write Lucy's story until I do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Strays Like Us by Cecilia Galante

Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Level: 5.9
Lexile: 590L
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Fred (Winifred) comes to stay with a foster mother who lives nest to a neglect dog named Toby. Fred and Toby bond; and Fred discovers that they are not that different.  This story of loss, love, and courage is wonderfully written. I didn't want the story to end. I want to know what happens next for Fred, Delia, and Fred's mother. I love, love, love this book. I highly recommend it!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Death By Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe Mystery #3) by Alex Erickson

Interest Level: Adult
Reading Level: NR
Lexile: NR
Genre: Murder Mystery

A woman is found strangled to death in a room filled with ominous jack-o'-lanterns. All signs suggest a crime of passion but then it is discovered that the hostess's jewelry have disappeared. With the estate on lockdown and a killer roaming the halls, Krissy helps Officer Paul Dalton as he investigates. Krissy is not happy to discover her ex is at the party. 

This book was given to me because of the title. I am a huge fan of pumpkin spice goodies and the main character is a bookstore cafe owner. I was told it was right up my alley. The plot was interesting but took too long to build. It took a long time to get through but I am a bit curious as to whom Krissy will end up with Paul or Will.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Bodie on the Road by Belinda Jones

Interest Level: Adult
Reading Level: NR
Lexile: NR
Genre: Nonfiction

Belinda's heart is broken by the love of her life. She finds her solace in the heart of a mystery mix breed rescue. When her pup's best friend moves to Portland, Oregon. Belinda plans a 2,000 mile dog friendly road trip.
This book reads like a travel log. Many of the dog-friendly location that were mention sounded very cool. I found the book enjoyable even though it was a slow read.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Sword of Summer: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard 1 By Rick Riordan

Interest Level: 5-8
Reading Level: 4.9
Lexile: 630L
Genre: Fantasy

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an unbelievable secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god and that the gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Magnus begins a quest to prevent Ragnarok. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. But can the son of god die.

J.K. Rowling is often given credit for making it alright for adults to read young adult fiction. Rick Riordan's "Lightning Thief" came out seven years after "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". This book, the first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, joins Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, The Kane Chronicles, and The Trials of Apollo series to dethrone Rowling.  I highly recommend this book for middle school students and up.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Batgirl Robin Year One by Scott Beatty

Interest Level: YA
Reading Level: NR
Lexile: NR
Genre: Science Fiction

This book was originally published in single magazine form in "Batgirl: Year One 1-9", "Robin: Year One 1-4". Dick Grayson jumps into the thick of it as Robin. The Boy Wonder for the first time patrols the night by Batman's side. In his earliest adventures, Robin learns very quickly that what he thought would be fun is actually a matter of life and death. Barbara Gordon's transforms from average citizen into costumed super-heroine Batgirl.

I am not a huge graphic novel fan. I read them. I enjoy them. However, I miss the word play of a novel. I enjoy creating the pictures in my head using the words of the author. I love Batgirl. She is a librarian like me. I liked reading about how Barbara Gordon became Batgirl.  I recommend this book.