Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone!! Be careful if you're traveling and if you're not, then stay warm and enjoy time with friends and family!!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Vlogmas 2017 Day 2 | December TBR

Very good book vlogger if you're looking for a few Christmas books to read.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I Am Princess X

I Am Princess X
By Cherie Priest

I'm not sure why, but there are times I get a book pop up in my head and this morning I keep thinking about I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest. It's kinda a hybrid chapter/graphic novel. Such a good book though! If you have some time, then give it a read. Summary below.

Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen; illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure. 

Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.

Princess X? 

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon---her best friend, Libby, who lives.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Looking for a great Thanksgiving book? Check it out and have a GREAT Thanksgiving and safe travels.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wolf Hollow

Wolf HollowWolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Toby was quiet and kept to himself. He walked all over the land in a long coat carrying rifles on his back. Toby served in World War I and came back a different man. Annabelle’s mom won a camera and a lifetime supply of film and developing. Toby asked to borrow the camera and it more-or-less became his and accompanied him in all of his travels. Toby lived in an old smokehouse just beyond the borders of Annabelle’s family’s farm. One fateful day, a new girl came to Wolf Hollow. Her name was Betty Glengarry and from the start, she was trouble. After bullying Annabelle out of a penny and catching her brother on the forehead with a wire strung across a trail, Betty threw a rock at Mr. Ansel and hit Ruth in the face. Ruth lost her eye and never returned to school and Betty blamed it all on Toby. Annabelle fiercely believed that Toby was not responsible and she was determined to prove his innocence.

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk was an amazing book of friendship and faith. I loved that Annabelle was so trusting of Toby. She had an instinct saying that he was innocent and desperately tried to convince the adults in her life the same. I also loved how trusting in Annabelle her parents were. They believed their daughter and supported her when Betty was being mean to her and when she told them Toby was innocent. Betty was a perfect example of how some children can cause so much misery and manipulate the adults around them. She was also a good example of how bad things can happen to people when they are mean and dishonest. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk was a good book that I would definitely recommend.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

GhostsGhosts by Raina Telgemeier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ghosts by Raina Telgmeier is a graphic novel about embracing the memories of loved ones who have passed on. Cat is moving to Northern California with her parents and her little sister, Maya. Maya has Cystic Fibrosis which effects her breathing and digestion. The family moves into a house by the ocean and when Cat and Maya venture out, Cat realizes the whole town is ghost crazy. They deeply believe in ghosts and there’s a huge town celebration on the Day of the Dead (Dia de la Muertos) on 1 November. Carlos, a boy Cat met while exploring the town, introduces Cat to his 8-year old Uncle Jose at the party. Jose is ghost and with a bit of borrowed breath he can speak. Cat realizes that those who we love that have passed on still love us and we shoudn’t fear them.

Ghost by Raina Telgmeier is a wonderful novel about preserving the past and honoring loved ones we have lost. I love the underlying theme of breath. Maya has a hard time breathing because of her medical condition. The ghosts need a bit of breath to speak. Even Cat catches her breath at times. Maya knows she may not be around for a long time and it’s important to her that Cat not be afraid of ghosts. I highly recommend Ghost by Raina Telgmeier to everyone, but especially kids who have lost a loved one. Ghost may help them realize that our friends and family may be gone, but their love will always remain.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Just Thinking About - Book Talk

I have not posted in forever and for that, I apologize. I've been sick with multiple things, but I'm feeling better! All that's left is a S L O W L Y shrinking stye on my eye and occasionally achy new crown on my tooth. I have been reading and thinking of some older books that I have loved and missed and thought that it would be fun just to mention a few.

Currently, I am reading Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. I'm about a quarter way into it and it's not too bad. It's set in 1943 during WWII in Pennsylvania and a new girl has just moved to town. She is really mean and she is just beginning to threaten Annabelle (our heroine) and Annabelle's younger brothers. The girl is kinda scary. Wolf Hollow is a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Nominee for grades 6-9.

Don't You Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn. I got this as an Advanced Copy and it is one of my favorites! Just an insanely great book that I don't think has much of a following. It is very dystopian and takes a massive twist in the end that will just leave you speechless. If you like dystopian novels and very twisted and strange plots, then this is your book!

The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano. I won an autographed copy of this book by entering a picture of a neighborhood tree. Now every time I pass that tree (which is every time I drive home from somewhere) I think of the book! Ha! Great publicity!! The Suffering Tree was an awesome book, but I'm a little bias since Elle Cosimano is one of my favorite writers. She has also written Nearly Gone and Nearly Found which are just amazing books and Holding Smoke which I have not read yet...but will!!!

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. This was a very odd book and very...I'm not sure how to describe it...well, it was that a word? It was like a young girl telling her story about her fall from grace. Bittersweet mixed with vengeful, I guess. I really liked it!! I'm hoping there will be a part 2!!

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford. This is book #2 of the beautifully covered Greenglass House about a smugglers inn. This is a fascinating and very well-told story. I've met Kate Milford a couple times and she is a local here where I live. She is an amazing storyteller and it was so fun just to sit and listen to her. Greenglass House was a great story with a totally unexpected twist in the middle which totally made the whole book. I can't wait to pick up a copy of the sequel - Ghosts of Greenglass House - to read what happens next!!

Well, there are few little tidbits for ya! I think of books I've read a lot as I go through my day. The best books stay with you forever! Thank you to the authors who write them!!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

BES Group

Just a little FYI, I do have a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Nominee Goodreads group if anyone is interested! We read a book every month. I post a summary, a bit about the author and some discussion questions.

We just finished 23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde.

Next month, we'll be reading Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk.

Stop in and join us!

Nearly Found by Elle Cosimano

Nearly Found (Nearly Gone, #2)Nearly Found by Elle Cosimano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nearly Found by Elle Cosimano is the sequel to Nearly Gone which was a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Nominee for high school in 2015-2016 and, in my opinion, should have won. In the first book, we are introduced to Nearly Boswell, who at the time, was targeted by a serial killer. With the killer in jail, Nearly can now relax a bit and concentrate on her senior year of high school and an internship at the local crime lab. Thankfully, she is still with Reece, but that relationship is being strained a bit because Reece is now in a school across town and isn’t able to see Nearly as frequently as they have been. Also, he is getting pretty close to a girl at that school, but that’s what a narc is supposed to do…isn’t it? People in the hallways stare at Nearly as she walks through and her best friends, Jeremy and Anh, are not only not talking to her anymore, but now they are dating each other. This is Nearly’s new reality and one that gets shatter again with the first cryptic note left for her to find. Not only is she finding notes, but others are too and when they all get together, they realize that all of their fathers were in the same poker club together. Regardless of their feelings towards each other, this group of kids has to now work together before more people end up dead.

Nearly Found by Elle Cosimano is just as good as it’s predecessor, Nearly Gone. Again, I’m drawn into this crazy, twisted plot that just when you think you know what’s going on, things change. I love the endings of both of these books that brings everything together and leaves the reader with a ‘Oh! I get it now!’ feeling. It really makes you want to read the book over again just to pick out little things that you may have missed. Again, as in Nearly Gone, I love that Nearly is intelligent. There’s nothing more I love than a brainy girl! We definitely need more of that and I do love Nearly and Reece together. Elle Cosimano is a very consistent writer whereas if you like one of her books, then you’ll love her other books. She’s very good at weaving very complicated, well thought-out tales with great detail. I highly recommend Nearly Found by Elle Cosimano. You won’t be able to put it down until the very last word!!

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23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde

23 Minutes23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

** 2017-2018 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Nominee **

Zoe Mahar is a blue-haired, 15 year-old who lives in a group home. She has the amazing gift to be able to transport herself exactly 23 minutes back in time. There are rules to such a gift though as well as pros and cons. Zoe can only go back 23 minutes. After the 23 minutes, the story is played out and she can not go back. Also, she can only do this 10 times so she has to plan carefully. Zoe calls her time relapses “playbacks” and to rewind a 23 minute chunk of time, Zoe wraps her arms around herself and says aloud ‘playback’ and she starts again. Zoe can bring back information with her through all of the playbacks, but the people she meets remember nothing of her or what’s happening. The story begins with Zoe’s 23 minute bank robbery story. Over and over as Zoe playbacks back the robbery scene, she learns more and more about the people with the help of one consistent person, Daniel. In every scenario, Zoe learns more about Daniel who recognizes the robber and ends up getting shot and through multiple playbacks, she is able to string together missing pieces that ultimately save lives.

23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde is an interesting take on Ground Hog Day whereas a young girl replays the same 23 minutes over-and-over again. It is definitely a refreshingly different topic and one that Vande Velde pulls off pretty well. I enjoyed that the first 23 minutes set up the basic scene: Zoe, rain, bank, robber, shooting, blood and brain matter. Yes, it was a little graphic, but it’s not overdrawn. With every set of 23 minutes the reader learns more and more about the characters and who they are and how they relate to the scene that is constantly unfolding. It is really quite clever. By the end the book, the final pieces are put into place. The one thing I didn’t like about 23 Minutes is the relationship between Zoe and Daniel. Zoe is 15 and Daniel 25 and there just seemed to be something between them besides an age gap. It’s like I was waiting for a romantic element to come into play, but that would have been a little weird. I think it would have been better to adjust the ages for the romantic element to play through or ditch that element altogether. 23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde is an interesting teen take on time travel!

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Featured Graphic Novel

This is the MD Black-Eyed Susan graphic novel of the month. I've started reading it and whoa! a lot of information in this book! The writing is REALLY small and there's quite a bit of it, but so far it's pretty good. Good book for the older dinosaur lover!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

WOW! It's Been a While!

So sorry about the lapse of time!! Man, time sure does slip away. Not much has been going on though. I'm not sure I mentioned, but I am reading Nearly Found by Elle Cosimano. It's the sequel to Nearly Gone which is one of my faves. Nearly Found is just as good and boy, do I miss Reece. Who wouldn't want a boyfriend like that?!  I would love to just live in a relationship like that for a couple days! After 20 years of marriage, I'm surprised my husband still remembers my name.

I'm going to finish that book up and then move into the school year's MD Black-Eyed Susan Nominees. Next on my list is 23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde. Honestly, I don't care much for Vivian Vande Velde, but she is a more popular author with the kids and it is on the list so I shall read it. It's about a girl named Zoe who can go back 23 minutes in time. One day she steps into a bank robbery gone wrong and has to keep going back in time to fix things, but her attempts are limited.

Also, I've chosen the graphic novel Science Comics Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers which doesn't look interesting at all. It has a lot of small print which is a quick turn off for me, but it's a Black Eye Susan my library so I'll help out.

So what are you reading?

Friday, July 14, 2017

HON - Loved

I am a HUGE House of Night Fan!! In fact...I'm such a big fan, I never finished reading the series. Yup. You heard it right. I do this and it is irritating. I didn't want the series to end so I didn't read the last book. But now I can!! Introducing...

New series with my favorite Nerd Herd!! Loved just came out on 11 July 2017! Can't wait to read it, but I'm thinking that maybe I should now finished the first series. 

Thanks Elle Cosimano!

So I entered The Suffering Tree #TweetATree contest.

First, Elle Cosimano is one of my favorite writers.
Second, the contest asked for a picture of a tree and I had the PERFECT tree.

I edited this a bit. I took out the houses and added tombstones, but the tree is untouched. Here's the original.

Yes, there is still some editing, but I can't find the true original. 😬

Third, I really like trees.

My computer

Fourth, I already read The Suffering Tree as an ARC from NetGalley and thought it was awesome.

And guess what?...


This was the package I won ~ an autographed copy of The Suffering Tree, a bookmark, a sticker and a handcrafted journal. Too cool! 👍

I've never won anything except for 21 Jumpstreet shoelaces and that was some VERY exciting the time.

Thank you Elle Cosimano!


...if you haven't read The Suffering Tree, then get a copy. While you're at it, pick up Nearly Gone and Nearly Found. They are just incredible! I'm halfway through Nearly Found and it's just as good as Nearly Gone. AND...there's one more...Holding Smoke! 

Ya gotta have something to read on the beach!!

Free Little Library Find!

I love our community's Free Little Library! It was given to me by a local book store that was moving off our peninsula. He couldn't take it with him and so asked if we could put it at our community beach. SURE! It has become such an asset! People drop off books and pick some up. It's perfect! We generally don't have too many issues although some teens did vandalize it about a month ago. They pulled the books our and ripped them up. Disgusting behavior! 😠

I was down there yesterday changing the bulletin board and what should I find?

I LOVE Anne Rice!! I'm not sure if I have the The Witching Hour. I think I do. I know I don't have The Body Thief. Also, Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf? Always up for a classic!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

New Trailer!

Woo hoo! I FINALLY uploaded a new book trailer! It's been forever and I am truly sorry. I have a whole bunch sketched out in my notebook and I have to sit down and just get them out. the meantime...enjoy!

This trailer is The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano which was the last ARC book that I reviewed. I decided to take a moment and read some books that I've been wanting to read. First and foremost is another Elle Cosimano book...Nearly Found. This is the sequel to Nearly Gone which I dearly loved! So far Nearly Found is just as good and it's so great to get back to Leigh and Reece although at the moment in the book they are not doing so well. Anyway, The Suffering Tree was a great end for ARC for the summer UNTIL I was handed another by a friend who owns a bookstore and was told I HAVE to read it...The Store by James Patterson. It's sounds a bit dystopian which is right up my alley and James Patterson is a madman! I do believe that he is chained up in someone's attic and forced to pump out book after book...adults, teens, doesn't matter...JUST WRITE!! I have to get the book back to my friend so I don't want to keep too long, so I'll read it next.

Anyway, enjoy the trailer and hopefully I'll get caught up this summer!

The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano (book trailer)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Summer Reading!!

Yes! It's almost here! IT'S...

This is the time that I can read whatever I want! LOL During the school year, I try to read books that the kids in my school read. My school reads the Maryland Black-Eye Susan Books so I generally like to cover the graphic novels while the librarian reads the chapter books. She can't stand graphic novels. 🙊 I didn't like them either until I volunteered to read them and make up questions last school year for our Jeopardy with the BES books. I decided they weren't too bad after all! I didn't read them this year because we didn't play Jeopardy since the school year ended earlier than usual. There were a few I would like to read though. Also, I volunteered in middle school book club so I had to read a book a month for that and I am a HORRIBLY slow reader. AND I read advance reader copies (ARCs) when I can, but concentrate on them mainly during the school year. Anyway! I can read what I want!

My number one goal? To read...To Kill A Mockingbird. NO! I have not read it and please quiet your disdain! Everywhere I turn I see this book. I can't get away from it and I figure that it must be destiny. I bought it last summer to read and didn't get to it. I'll try again this summer. I have the rest of my summer reading list on a page on the above menu.

So what are you reading this summer? Do you like lists? 

The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano

The Suffering TreeThe Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for a honest review.*

Tori’s dad passed away over a year ago and since then the family had lost their home. Thankfully and surprisingly, Tori’s mom was sent notice that the family was to receive property and a house on land in Chaptico, Maryland. With no other choices, the family moved to a very small town in southern Maryland. While out in the cemetery, by the giant dead oak, Tori cut herself and watched as the blood dripped from her arm and into the soil. As the ground shook, a hand reached out of the soil. Nathanial Bishop pulled himself out of the ground, reborn from a curse hundreds of years old. Tori lived on Slaughter land and the Slaughter’s history was long and wrought with secrets that both Tori and Nathaniel are twisted into. It is up to Tori to unravel that history and find out what brought Nathaniel back from the dead and who is trying to stop those secrets from coming back as well.

I am thankful that The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano was no disappointment and just as gripping as Nearly Gone. Written from multiple viewpoints, the reader gets dialog from Nathaniel and Emmeline’s time as the story unfolds in present time. Ms. Cosimano does a wonderful job at weaving a long family history involving a powerful land owner and two child indentured servants from England. I feel I must mention that the main character uses self-harm to maintain stress levels. I thought that this was pretty gutsy for a writer to have a main character involved in this, but it worked and it was fitting to the story. It was nice that, in the end, Tori felt like she didn’t have to do that anymore. I also have to mention that I thought it was really cool that the story took place not to far from where I live so seeing familiar cities and counties was pretty neat! Then there’s the end…the end. I truly loved the end and sat for a while afterwards and just let the tears flow. I’ll have this story in the back of mind for a while. I completely recommend The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano. Summer is coming and this book deserves to go vacation with you!!!

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 21, 2017

2017-18 MD Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominees!

I have just added the 2017-18 MD Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominees on the above pages! Exciting stuff! The Black-Eyed Susan's are Maryland's student and voted on by students! The books are truly excellent and I HIGHLY recommend parents read them with their children and follow up with discussion from the picture books straight up to the high school.

This year there are 2 categories for graphic novels which I LOVE considering graphic novels can be slightly inappropriate for elementary school aged children. It's nice to see them split. I have read I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark and love it! It's not surprising it's nominated this year. Lately there have been quite a few historical picture books. Last year there was Mesmerized and Gingerbread for Liberty and Jackrabbit McCabe. I think that they are very educational as well as entertaining. I don't know any of the books for grades 4-6, but Full Cicada Moon has a gorgeous cover and Towers Falling looks really good. Oh! Seven and a Half Tons of Steel in the picture books...can't wait to read! It doesn't surprise me that Ghosts in the grades 4-6 graphics is on the list. Raina Telgemeier has written Smile, Sisters and Drama and Ghosts is almost certain to please. Mighty Jack looks good too. I believe it's a twisted fairy tale and I do love my fairy tales! Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard is by Jonathan Auxier who wrote The Night Gardener that was on last year's list and what a great book that was!! Very creepy! I have A Night Divided in my personal collection and haven't read it yet. This may be a good time!! I don't know any of the grades 6-9 graphic novels, but Gotham Academy looks interesting. I don't know any of the high school's either which will make for great reading!! I love to read books that I have never heard of, but I KNOW will be good.

Happy reading!!

Saturday, April 29, 2017


WhenWhen by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maddie Fynn is a 16-year old with a remarkable gift. Maddie can see the day someone will die above their head. Everyone has a date in Maddie’s eyes. She can even see the date in photos. This gift was a source of income for Maddie and her alcoholic mother after her father was killed in the line of duty. People would pay Maddie to tell them when they would die until one day when Maddie told the death date of someone that her client wasn't suspecting. The date was coming up close and that wasn’t the only untimely death that Maddie noticed. Soon Maddie and her best friend Stubby are implicated in the suspected murders of these unexplained deaths. How can someone really know the death date of someone if they aren’t the one who is doing the killing? With the help of Maddie’s Uncle Donny, her Dad’s brother, they unravel the twisted plot of a serial killer who has a date with his own death very soon.

When by Victoria Laurie is a great mystery with a twisted plot that will keep you guessing up to the end. When I first started the story, I was a little put off by the talk of death. It’s an uncomfortable subject and who would be comfortable knowing when everyone in their life was going to kick off! As the story played on, the death date seeing became less prevalent and the story began to take over. I think the story was well written and very original. I liked how Stubby changed when he was released. His time in prison wasn’t detailed (it didn’t have to be), but his demeanor really pulled at my heartstrings for a seemingly naive child to have to face what Stubby went through.There were some issues that I did have with the book. Uncle Donny seemed way too convenient to bail Maddie out all the time. I was able to see past that though because he was very likable and hey, who wouldn’t want an ‘Uncle Donny’ in their lives! I also had a hard time with the explanation of the serial killer about why he did what he did. I get the fact that he was dying anyway so why not, but the ‘cravings’ and ‘bliss’ of killing seemed like it was right out of a documentary on the Investigation Discovery channel. I still liked the book and I do recommend When by Victoria Laurie for mid to older teens.

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The Thing About Jellyfish

The Thing About JellyfishThe Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Suzy Swanson and Franny Jackson have been friends since they met in a swimming class when they were in Kindergarten. That first smile was the beginning of wonderful friendship that lasted until the summer after sixth grade when Suzy’s mom gave her the fateful news that Franny had drowned while swimming at a beach in Maryland. But Suzy and Franny’s friendship had been strained over the past year and Franny’s death left Suzy feeling both grief and guilt. To cope with the loss, Suzy retreated into a world of silence. Silence opened up different routes to understanding and the world of jellyfish opened up possibilities.

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin is truly a multifaceted book. There are so many things swirling in this book that it is hard to pinpoint one main focus. The interesting part is that there is a tragic death of a child and that seems to be the least pivotal moment. Middle school is hard. Middle school is really hard. It is a rough age and this is a time when kids are changing and morphing in to creatures totally different than what they were in elementary school. Some make dramatic changes while others take their time and I think that is where Franny and Suzy where. Franny was able to enter that world of the ‘popular girls’ which required one sacrifice…Suzy. Suzy was awkward and still not letting go of childhood. That difference torn the girls apart and Suzy struggled to let her friend know there was a problem and she was hurt. After Franny’s death, Suzy stopped talking. She didn’t do it consciously, but just came to a realization that there is too much noise around and that people talk to fill a silent void. Suzy realized that a lot could be heard in the silence. The Thing About Jellyfish was a quick read and pretty good. It wasn’t my favorite, but was a good story about friendship, loss and resilience.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Expanding My Horizons!

I am happy to announce that The Library Larvae is now on Facebook!! Yay!! I have seen so many things on Facebook that I have wanted to share and now I have a place to move them on over! So go to my Facebook page and like it!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It's Voting Time!!!

In Maryland, we have the Black-Eyed Susan Award in which the winner is picked by the kids. The books are insanely good and most of the public schools in my area participate in the program. Well...most of the elementary schools. We tend to lose our middle and high schoolers. The kids have to read at least 3 in order to vote.

In the elementary school I work at, we were able to read about 10-12 of the picture books with the kids. A good number of 4th and 5th graders were able to read the novel and graphics and about 13 have read all 10 novels and all 10 graphic novels!!

I volunteer at the public library with a middle school book club and we have read 10 of the grades 6-9 books. The only ones we weren't able to get to were the Book Scavenger and Nightbird.

I thought it would be fun to put the poll out to all of you! For my poll though, you can be any age and vote in any category or vote in all! You have until 30 April. 

At the beginning of May, I'll announce the winners for The Library Larvae's poll and who won the Black-Eyed Susan Award. I'll also post next year's nominees!


Thursday, March 30, 2017


We have a newsletter now too! So many changes, but all for the good!

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

New Website!!!!

Hey everyone!
The new website is up, but isn't entirely populated yet. It does have some stuff on it though so hop on over and take a look and see how you like it!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Background Change!

Since we are expecting snow here in Maryland, I changed the background to snow! Snow, hot tea and a book! Woo hoo! Looking forward to it! (even though it is March)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Bone Witch Book Trailer

The Bone Witch is out today!! Check it out at your local book store!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I Will Always Write Back

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two LivesI Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Caitlin was in the 7th grade, her English teacher had the class pick a country and compose a pen pal letter. Caitlin wanted to pick a radically different culture and thought that Zimbabwe sound exotic and faraway. In Africa, Martin’s class received 10 letters and only the top of the 50 kids in his class were able to receive one. Martin was one of those kids and was handed Caitlin’s letter from the United States. Martin wrote back. Caitlin wrote back. The two continued to write back about daily life. It wasn’t until Caitlin finally understood how Martin was living that it all turned around and sealed their friendship forever. Martin didn’t want to bother Caitlin with the burden of his living conditions or his country’s economic conditions becoming worse or his father getting laid off from his job, but when Martin’s education was being threaten, he felt he had no other alternative to let Caitlin and her family inside his world. Without a hint or hesitation, Caitlin and her mom funded Martin’s education in Zimbabwe and did the necessary footwork to find him a scholarship to get him to the U.S. to reach his dreams. Throughout everything, Martin and Caitlin remained the best of friends.

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda is an amazing story of two incredibly different people who crossed each other’s path and changed their destinies forever. Caitlin’s family saved Martin and his family from the deteriorating conditions in Zimbabwe and kept them all alive. Martin saved Caitlin by letting her see that the world is much bigger than a $100 pair of jeans or another trip to the mall. I highly recommend I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda to every pre-teen and teenager. It really gives the reader a sense of the things that are truly important.

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Received as an ARC from NetGalley.

Tea was no different than many girls growing up except for her voracious thirst for reading and learning. Her sisters were witches in ‘good standing’ and her brother, Fox, left to join the army when Tea was 10 years old. Fox was returned home in a small, pine box and it was at his wake that Tea found out who she really was. In bed sick, Lady Mykaela came to Tea to help her recover and move on to a world where she could learn and a world where she could be watched and controlled. Tea moved into the Valerian where all asha go to become properly trained. But she was different. She was a dark asha. She was a bone witch. She was dangerous.

The one word I could use for The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco is ‘intriguing’. It’s written basically in two parts. There is Tea, where she stands now, and a wanderer has asked to hear her story as to why she is in exile. The second part is Tea’s story that she is telling the traveler. The two stories are very complimentary and separate, but intertwine with perfect timing. I am not a fan of fantasy worlds that have been made up by the author. I find words that I can’t pronounce distracting from the story, but the further I read into The Bone Witch, then the less that mattered. After Tea raises her brother from the dead, she is taken to the Valerian to begin her journey to become asha. The asha are a group of highly received women who are trained in dancing and singing and are hired out of their respectable houses to parties to entertain nobility and the affluent. The description of the asha women are unmistakably Geisha-esque. Yes, there is a common theme of poor little girl who is destined for greatness, but there is an undertone of a sadness. Somehow that ‘greatness’ is what everyone is protecting her from because it is more of a self-sacrifice than anything and that is what puts a twist on the mundane. In the beginning of the book I was intrigued and by the end of the book I was fully vested.

There are a couple things that pop out for me with really good books. One are ‘eye-poppers’. Eye-poppers are books that you read so hard that you feel like your eyes are going to pop out of your head. Another are ‘ghosts’. Ghosts are when you are going about your daily lives and images of the book begins to linger into your head. It’s really strange, but the book is still very much around even when you are not reading it and will linger days after you are finished. The Bone Witch is a ‘ghost’ to me. The characters and their world is so richly developed and the story is so intriguing that it just lingers in your mind. I highly recommend The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

His stories are dear to everyone hearts. My favorite? Yertle the Turtle, the Lorax and Horton Sees A Who...because a person is a person no matter how small! 😉 What's your favorite?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Summer Reading List

I'm not sure I explained my summer reading list. During the school year I work as an assistant librarian at an elementary school. My school reads the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Nominees every year and at the end of the year we play a Jeopardy like game at our local library. I read the graphic novels and help to make up the questions. I also volunteer at our local library with the middle school MD Black-Eyed Susans so I have to read them too and I review picture books for a local bookstore and write the blog for them. Finally, I pick a few advanced reader copies out to review throughout the year. There's a lot of work reading throughout the school year. I put together a summer reading list in hope that I'll have time during the summer to read for no other reason than to read and enjoy! Sometimes that doesn't happen. Maybe I should call my reading list - The Summer Reading List of Hope! LOL

Do you keep a reading list? Feel free to look over mine!

The Hate U Give

I am SO curious about this book!! It was just published yesterday and I'm intrigued. It is definitely going on this year's summer reading list! If you've read it already, then leave a comment of what you thought below.

The Hate U Give
By Angie Thomas

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN Official Trailer (2016)

I don't generally read adult novels, but I was intrigued with the book and then I saw the movie trailer and now I am super intrigued! This definitely goes on my summer reading list. If you have seen the movie AND read the book, then comment below!!

Everything, Everything Trailer 2017 Movie - Official [HD]

So I was watching this trailer the other day and thought to, this looks so good! Then the title came up...Everything, Everything. That's a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee!! It's in the high school category so I haven't read it, but if it's nominated for a Black-Eyed Susan, then it HAS to be good! Haven't come across a bad one yet. Unfortunately, I am not a movie person, but after I read the book, I may be tempted to see the movie.

If you have seen the movie (I can't remember when it's due out), then please comment below and let me know how it was!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lunch Snoop

I was snooping through Goodreads at lunch the other day and found some pretty spiffy news.

The third and final installment of Gordon Korman's Masterminds will be published 7 March. I'm notorious for reading the first book in a series and leaving it at that and I'm totally guilty of it once again. Masterminds #1 was incredible. I can only describe it as children's dystopia. Basically, it's about a group of kids who find out that they were cloned from a group of criminal masterminds and raised in a "perfect" community to see if environment has more of play than genetics in determine how someone develops. Brilliant plot!

Also, coming out 14 March is Dragonwatch which is the 6th book in Brandon Mulls' Fablehaven series. The last book was published in 2010! Yes, I read the first book and it was really good. Fablehaven is about two kids who are forced to stay with a grandfather that they don't really know and then they find out that he lives on a magical farm/reserve. It's a great book if you like fantasy and I especially appreciate that the magical creatures are not you're sing-song Disney characters. It's very much like the Spiderwick Chronicles, but longer and more in depth. If you like fantasy, then I 100% recommend the Fablehaven series!

March looks like an exciting month!!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Exciting Stuff!

Very exciting news. I just started (well, it's been since last year) reviewing advanced copies from the online source NetGalley. Before that I was getting ARCs from my friend's book shop. He doesn't really get many anymore so I went looking for another place to get advanced copies and I found NetGalley! It's a neat little website that I really like for many reasons. The first being I enjoy reading and try to make time which is difficult with two kids. Second, since I read and review children and teen books, I see a lot of them hit the shelves where I work. I work in an elementary school library and I volunteer with a teen book club. Both of these places I enjoy talking about the advance copies I read and recommend them to the main librarians. Third, I get to read some really great books! Well, last week I put in to review the new book, The Suffering Tree, from Elle Casimano and I was accepted!! I was so stoked! Elle Casimano wrote the book Nearly Gone which I fell in love with. OMG!! What a book!! If you haven't read it, then you just have to! It was one of those books that just really stuck in my mind and I couldn't stop thinking about it. There is a sequel, Nearly Found, that I haven't read yet. It's on my summer reading list. My job requires a certain amount of reading so I read what I like during the summers when I'm off.

Right now, I'm reading the ARC for The Bone Witch so I'll start The Suffering Tree after that, but I am too excited!!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Unicorn On A Roll by Dana Simpson

Unicorn on a Roll (Heavenly Nostrils, #2)Unicorn on a Roll by Dana Simpson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unicorn On A Roll is another installment by Dana Simpson of the Heavenly Nostrils series. Phoebe and her unicorn stroll through another school year that’s filled with friendship, sarcasm and new knowledge of unicorns. In Unicorn On A Roll we begin with reminiscing to when Phoebe met her unicorn a little less than a year ago. The book carries on in diary fashion as Phoebe begins school. She enters a spelling bee and gets the lead in the school play much to the chagrin of her rival, Dakota. Phoebe also gets to attend the birthday party of Lord Splendid Humility. In the end, Phoebe is happy to decree - SUMMER!!!

I am trying my hardest to like graphic novels and the Phoebe And Her Unicorn books by Dana Simpson are really helping. The unicorn’s sarcasm gets me laughing out loud and my family just gives me strange looks. They are truly just fun and entertaining books to read. Kids will love them, but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest them for adults too. Why can’t we have a little fun and EVERYONE can use a little levity once in while. So pick up your copy of Unicorn On A Roll by Dana Simpson and kick your feet up and just enjoy a good laugh!

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Young Adult books vs Adult books

I don't adult well. It's been a long time since I've adulted. The last adult books I read were the Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan series and I LOVED them. I didn't mean to stop reading adult books, it's just that there are more young adult novels that I find interesting than adult novels. And you know what...there's nothing wrong with that.

Do you like young adult novels and you're adult? That's okay. There really is a growing number of us. Like I tell my kids...all I had growing up with Judy Blume!!! Nothing against Judy. She got me through. But wow! many more great choices now.

So, if you don't like adulting any more than I do, then take a scroll down memory lane...actually, more like my blog posts, and pick out a great read. I promise you won't be carded! 😉

Just Have To Say...

My current book club book is I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda. I'm about halfway through and had to mention that this book is REALLY good! You know, this book club year has been kinda weird.

First, I'm not sure if I've explained, but I volunteer at my public library with the middle school book club. We read the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominees and they are incredible books. I can always trust that the books on the list are amazing, but sometimes I'm not too jazzed about them at first. Personally, I LOVE this! I love to HAVE to read a book and reluctantly begin to read only to be pulled into the pages. This is one of those books.

I Will Always Write Back is about pen pals, one in the U.S. and one in Zimbabwe, and how their lives change through their pen pal letters back and forth. Sounds exciting huh? I have a hard time putting the book down! The book is written in chapters that go back and forth between Caitlin and Martin. Yes, those are the authors! It's a true story!

So far, it really is an amazing read. I just had to mention it because it was quite a surprise. If you have a chance, then pick up a copy!

I Will Always Write Back
By Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

Saturday, January 14, 2017

January is...

How appropriate for Book Blitz month to start in January since this is the first month of the new year and folks are ready to get those resolutions going! You can celebrate Book Blitz by simply READING!! Maybe start a local book club or write a review or make a To Read list...the choice is up to you as long as you celebrate with a good book. Comment below on how YOU are celebrating Book Blitz month.

What Do You Do With An Idea?

What Do You Do with an Idea?What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada is about a little boy who has an amazing idea. At first he doesn’t know what to do with the idea and tries to ignore it. Some people think it’s strange or weird, but eventually the little boy decides to take the idea under his wing and nurture it. He takes care of it and gives it a lot of attention. When the little boy’s idea grows up, it becomes a part of everything and changes the world.

What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada is an amazing book for both young and old readers. Young readers will learn that even though ideas can be strange and new, embrace them for being yours. Older readers will learn if you take care of and nurture your idea then they will turn into something great. What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada is a great conversation starter. I highly recommend it to everyone.

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Orbiting Jupiter

Orbiting JupiterOrbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Hurd family had a new member coming. His name was Joseph and social services thought that they would be a good family for Joseph to spend some time with. Joseph was 13, but not like your everyday 13-year old. Joseph was a father to a daughter named Jupiter. When Joseph arrived he was quiet and protective. He backed up to walls and didn’t say much. Jack, the Hurd’s son, was a couple years younger than Joseph. He was curious about Joseph and throughout Joseph’s stay, they became friends and Jack always ‘had his back’. One night by an icy pond that the family had enjoyed ice skating on, in the freezing cold, Joseph opened up to the family and told them his story. For Christmas, they gave him their promise that they would help him find Jupiter. Joseph’s life became difficult when his father entered the picture again looking to get custody of Joseph as well as Jupiter. Through a tragic ending, Joseph gave his daughter the one thing he always wanted for her - a home.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt was a cry fest! A cry fest for all the right reasons though. It was sadness mixed with sorrow that left me just a mess and thankful no one was around to witness it! This is truly a book I think that everyone should read including adults. Orbiting Jupiter is a short read and rather “light” (using that word carefully) which, I think, may help younger readers with the subject matters that are presented in the book. It is reviewed for grade 6 and up and I think that’s appropriate, but probably not any younger. I highly recommend Orbiting Jupiter and believe that parents should read this book too and open up a dialogue.

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House Arrest

House ArrestHouse Arrest by K.A. Holt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Timothy Davidson is on house arrest because of one bad decision. He took a credit card that a man had set down and charged a whole month of his brother’s medication on it. $1,445.32. His baby brother, Levi, was born with subglottic stenosis which is a narrowing of the windpipe and requires him to have a trach tube. His Dad couldn’t handle his brother’s illness and left their Mom to struggle to raise the family on her own. Timothy does all he can to help her, but now he is on house arrest and his mobility is limited. Things became harder still when his Mom lost her job, but family, friends and workers that were assigned to Timothy’s case came together to help the little family get through. Timothy did some research on his own and found a doctor in Cincinnati that could help Levi, but that would require money. A local fundraiser at his school could help with those funds, but his mom would have to accept that she needs help. Right when things started looking up for the family, Levi stopped breathing while Timothy was watching him and in the madness of the afternoon, Timothy ended up in juvenile detention. Sometimes you end up in the wrong place for all the right reasons.

House Arrest by K. A. Holt was written in journal form which made for an easy and quick read. The idea of making a teen boy keep a journal for a year is quite a concept. Many times Timothy wrote what he thought about his case workers which could be comical. Other times Timothy really opened up his heart showing his love for his little brother and that, despite all of his medical problems and that life and the world had to revolve around this little one, Timothy understood and felt very protective. Although the story didn’t quite end up well for Timothy, as in the beginning of the story, he made a bad decision for the right reason and had to pay the price. I get the feeling he doesn’t mind considering the outcome. I got the feeling, at the end of this story, that the family was going to be alright which made it a really good book for me. I recommend House Arrest to preteen and tween readers.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy 2017! May your shelves be filled with great books and your cup be filled with hot tea!!