Magic Misfits

BOOK NEWS: November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving week is here. I have so much to be thankful for – including you, my faithful readers. I hope The Neverending TBR has helped you find great books for yourself and for your family and friends.

If you are looking for book recommendations for your holiday shopping, come back this afternoon to see my 2017 Holiday Hint List. Lots of terrific books on the list this year.

It’s a small release week, so I’ll just display them in one grouping. Here are some of the new books coming out this week, just in time for the long weekend.

Books for Everyone!

Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates – Goldilocks with Pirates – what else do you need to know?! If I was still teaching, I would definitely be adding this one to my Fractured Fairy Tale unit.
My Lazy Cat – A little girl who is ALWAYS on the move decides to take a page from her cat’s book and have a do-nothing, lazy day. Sounds adorable! Looking forward to reading this one.
Zoey and Sassafras Caterflies and Ice – Book 4 in the Zoey and Sassafras early chapter book fantasy series about a scientifically-minded girl and her pet cat. These look adorable! Terrific for kids branching out into short chapter books.
Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners – Two girls, prepared to turn their middle school project into a cook book, run into trouble when they are paired with other people instead of with each other. This will be especially hard on Ana as her new partner doesn’t understand her “quirks” like her best friend does. This sounds like a terrific middle grade read!
The Magic Misfits – Actor Neil Patrick Harris tries his hand at writing for kids with this middle grade series debut. A group of young illusionists and magicians take on a criminal group of carnies. This is at the top of my list for this week! Early reviews have been very positive. I can’t wait to read this one!
My Life Is a Joke – The latest middle grade novel from James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein (Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library). When Jacky takes on extra responsibilities for home, she wonders where she could find the time for her love: performing in front of a crowd.
Pixar: A Pop-Up Celebration – This small but intricate book celebrates the magic of Pixar movies.
Not Now, Not Ever – This new book for teens and young adults centers on a girl who sneaks off to genius camp for a chance to win a scholarship to the one school she wants to go to. I LOVED this one and reviewed it last week. You can check that review out here.
Faith Journaling for the Inspired Artist – This Bible Art Journaling book is by Stephanie Ackerman, an artist I have followed for years. I have been reading about this for ages as she has compiled it; I can’t wait to see it in person.

End Game

BOOK NEWS: November 14, 2017

Thanksgiving is so close that I can almost taste the apple pie. Here are some new books to get you through until it’s Turkey Day!

Books for Kids

Here We Are: Notes for Living On Planet Earth – A guide to life on Earth for kids and families from the author of The Day the Crayons Quit. I am looking forward to reading this one!
Bad Guy Is a Two-Word Word – Book 2 in the Recess Warriors graphic novel series for younger and mid-elementary readers. This may also appeal to middle grade readers.  A villain has released vampires werewolves and other creatures to take over recess. This series looks like so much fun!
Galaxy Zack Cosmic Black Out – Book 16 in the awesome Galaxy Zack science fiction series for readers ready for chapter books. I have loved this series since book one, and it was always very popular with my students.
Piper Morgan Plans a Party – Book 5 in the Piper Morgan series. This time, Piper is trying to help her mom plan a party for an ungrateful, spoiled little girl. This series looks fantastic.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults

Dolls of War – Book 3 in the Friendship Dolls series based on a true story about 12,000 dolls sent from the US to Japan in the 1920s in the hope of preventing a future war and 58 dolls sent back to the US from Japan. This series has always caught my eye in the book store, and it is on my TBR list. This new book is about the impact of the 1926 Friendship Doll exchange when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor during 1941.
Penelope March Is Melting – A bookish outcast and her younger brother are drawn into a mystery about their chilly home, Glacier Cove. I’m eager to check this one out.
Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo (e-book novella) – Percy Jackson and his pal Grover are on the hunt for a missing automaton loose in New York. I have already pre-ordered this.
The Road to Ever After – An orphan and a stray dog connect at Christmas and get pulled into an adventure with an elderly woman they meet at a mysterious museum. This is at the top of my wish list for the week!
Good and Gone – A road trip to find a missing rock star helps a trio of teens re-examine recent events in their lives.  This is from an author I already have on my TBR list; I’m curious to check out this new book for teens/young adults.

Books for Adults


Death in the Stacks – Book 8 in the Library Lovers mystery series – one of my favorite cozy series. In this book, the new library board president is killed and one of Lindsey’s friends is the prime suspect. I adore the characters in this series. I’m so looking forward to reading this one! You can read my review of book 7 here.
End Game – Book 5 in the Will Robie series. In this book, Robie’s handler, Blue Man, has gone missing. But when Robie goes to investigate, things are even more serious than just a missing operative. I really enjoyed the first book in this series. And my husband reads almost anything Baldacci writes. We are big fans and will certainly have this book in our home by the end of the year.
Star Trek Discovery: Official Collector’s Edition – A behind-the-scenes look at the new Star Trek series, available through CBS online.
Star Wars Captain Phasma – Graphic Novel collecting Journey to Star Wars The Last Jedi Captain Phasma issues 1-4. This is not a comic book line I have followed, but I am interested in check it out in advance of the new movie in December.
Art of Thor – We are HUGE fans of these “Art of” books at our house. It’s a great visual treat to celebrate a favorite movie. And Thor is a favorite for our family. These coffee-table books are lovely gift-quality items.
Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose – Vice President Biden shares the story of the last Thanksgiving his family celebrated with his son, Beau, who had been diagnosed with a malignant tumor and the year that followed. It is a glimpse into one man’s life as Vice President of the United States and also as a father losing his son. This will be an emotional read, but I would like to read it, nonetheless.

Mr Gedrick and Me

BOOK NEWS: November 7, 2017

Wimpy Kid. Maze Runner. Fantastic Beasts. Christmas. Supergirl. Teen Titans. What a week in books! Here are some of the books releasing this week.

Books for Kids


The Santa Thief – A boy takes his Christmas into his own hands by stealing Santa’s identity. I can’t wait to read this one!
Duck, Duck Dinosaur: Snowy Surprise –  A cute early reader just in time for winter.
Teen Titans Go!: Ninja Party! – The Teen Titans have their own line of early readers. In this one, Beast Boy tries to learn to be a stealthy ninja.
Ella and Owen: Dragon Spies! – Book 6 in this early chapter book series. This time the dragon twins are mistaken for spies.
Ordinary People Sticker Activity Book – A sticker activity book starring the characters of the Ordinary People Change the World biography picture book series.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults

Cici’s Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training – Graphic novel about a girl learning to be a writer who stumbles onto someone’s secret. This sounds fantastic! I love books about writing and this one seems to have a mystery element to it. Perfection!
Digging for Trouble – Book 2 in the Devlin Quick mystery series. This time Devlin finds a mystery on an archaeological dig in Montana.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway – Book 12 in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Illustrated) – JK Rowling’s little book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has been turned into a movie series. Now it gets an illustrated version. This book is NOT illustrated by the same person doing the Harry Potter books. I’m curious to see this one in person.
Mr. Gedrick and Me – When a family loses their father/husband, Mr. Gedrick appears. And like Mary Poppins, he is just what the family needs. I have been excited about this one since the author, Patrick Carmen, first mentioned it! This is at the top of my wish list for this week!
Raid of No Return – Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales takes on a World War II story in this graphic novel series that introduces kids to historic figures and events. I had this series in the library when I was teaching, and my students read them until they disintegrated. Such a great series!
The Real McCoys – “The world’s greatest fourth grade detective.” That’s all I had to read before I put this one on my list! Moxie’s crime-busting partner and best friend has moved away, so she has to investigate the disappearance of the school mascot on her own.
The Relic War – Book 1 in the new Daniel Coldstar series about a boy with amnesia who works to find relics  and finds one that could change his life – and save the universe. A new science-fiction series for older kids and teens.
Supergirl: Age of Atlantis – The folks at DC released a middle grade novel about The Flash last month, and now they have one about Supergirl. In this original story, Kara Danvers tries to find where a mysterious sea creature has come from and why ordinary citizens are displaying superpowers. I have the Flash book on my TBR; I have high hopes that the books will be as fun as the TV shows.
The Death Cure (Graphic Novel Prelude) – An original Maze Runner story set immediately before the events of The Death Cure. My older students LOVED the Maze Runner series. I’d love to show them this new addition to the series.
Follow Me – Book 2 in The Amateurs series by the author of Pretty Little Liars. A kidnapping victim looks exactly like a girl who died 5 years ago. This suspenseful series for teens sounds terrific.
Kat and Meg Conquer the World – Two girls are thrown together in a year-long science project. In each other, they might just find what they need to deal with the struggles they face on their own – and build a friendship they both need. This sounds awesome!
Now Is Everything – A family’s dark secrets  are at risk of exposure when Hadley tries to commit suicide and everyone wants to know why. This sounds mysterious and intense. This would be one I would have to stay up reading until I finished.
Renegades – The author of the Lunar Chronicles launches a new series this week – a superhero story! I am so excited to read this one!
Twelve (e-novella) – A new novella in the world of The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I pre-ordered this the minute I saw it was available. My teen and I are excited to read this. We both are huge fans of the original series. I reviewed the final book in that series here.

Books for Adults

A Fatal Collection – Book one in this new series about a young woman who inherits a music box store in Keepsake Cove.  I’ll be reviewing this one on Wednesday this week.
A Late Frost – Book 11 in the Orchard mystery series about an apple orchard. I’ve not tried any of these yet, but it looks like a series I would enjoy.
Assault and Buttery – Book 3 in the Popcorn Shop mystery series. I have the first two books on my TBR shelf, but I haven’t gotten to them yet. But I love the whole idea of a popcorn shop series.
Canal Days Calamity – Book 2 in the Dog Days mystery series. I reviewed this one here. I loved it and I’ve added book one to my TBR!
A Deadly Eclair – First in the French Bistro mystery series. I have enjoyed the author’s other work, and I’m looking forward to reading this mystery about a bistro owner suspected of murder.
Eaves of Destruction – Book 5 in the Fixer Upper series which is the basis of some great Hallmark movies. (Although the books are always better, the movies are quite fun). In this book, a building inspector is found dead at one of Shannon’s job sites.
Every Breath You Take – Book 5 in Mary Higgins Clark’s Under Suspicion series about a TV show that looks into cold cases. I haven’t read any of these, but the description of this one pushed me to put the whole series on my wish list.
In This Moment – The latest in the Baxter Family series. I have only read one book in the series, but several of my friends love every book in the line. This book focuses on an Indianapolis high school principal who starts a Bible study at his school and ends up in a lawsuit. I’m intrigued by the story and might give this one a try.
Much Ado About Murder – Book 3 in the Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery series about a resort and theater company that runs into trouble while staging Much Ado About Nothing. I’ll be reviewing this one next Wednesday.
Sorcerer’s Appendix – Fourth in the Brother’s Grimm mystery series staring Gretel (yes, that Gretel) as a private investigator. These sound fun. The description reminds me of the Nursery Crimes series by Jasper Fforde, which I loved.
Twice Upon a Christmas (kindle) – When a woman can’t decide what path to take in her life, she ends up living every day in December twice, one following each path. Shanna Swendson is an author I really like, When I saw that she had a holiday ebook, I pre-ordered it right away. I’m eager to read this holiday story.
Obama: An Intimate Portrait – Several years ago our family went on a tour of the White House. I was enthralled by the pictures that line every hallway.  I would love to see this book in person and see if it reflects what I experienced on that tour.
Search for Spock – A geeky version of Where’s Waldo. This is TOTALLY on my Christmas list!!
What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism – A collection of essays by Dan Rather that considers our national identity. I have appreciated some of Dan Rather’s writing over the last year. I’m curious to check this one out.

Girl Who Saved Christmas

BOOK NEWS: October 31, 2017

Happy almost Halloween for those of you who celebrate. Lots of fun books coming out this week to add to your To Be Read list! Let’s take a look.

Books for Kids

ET The Extra-Terrestrial – Picture book based on the famous 80s movie. A great way for adults to relive a part of their childhood and introduce these characters to their children.
The Koala Who Could – A koala tries to deal with change when he prefers things stay the same. The illustrator for this one is a favorite of mine. I’m looking forward to seeing this one in person.
Ara’s Rocky Road to White Belt – Book 1 in the Team Taekwondo graphic novel series about a turtle who wants to be part of the team but isn’t sure he has what it takes. This looks adorable – great for kids studying martial arts as well as any kid who needs a story about perseverance.
Bear on the Loose – Book 2 in the Branches series Hilde Cracks the Case about a young journalist. I can’t say enough how much I love Branches books for kids ready to stretch their reading skills into short chapter books.
Jake – Puppy Place book #47
Safari Pug: The Dog Who Walked on the Wild Side – Book 3 in the Adventures of Pug series. This looks absolutely adorable! Great for fans of animal books.
Super Rabbit Racers – Book 3 in the Branches series Press Here with a video game feel.
The Wildwood Bakery – Book 7 in the awesome Owl Diaries series from Branches. These books are adorable and my students went crazy for every new addition to the series.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults

Dogs: From Predator to Protector Graphic Novel – Nonfiction graphic novel about dogs. Great science series for kids.
Dream Jumper – Curse of the Harvester (Graphic Novel) – Book two in this graphic novel series about a boy who can jump into other people’s dreams.
The Fourth Ruby – Book 2 in the Section 13 series about two friends who have been framed for a major theft. I have book one on my TBR shelves. I need to get to it soon so I can can catch up.
The Girl Who Saved Christmas – From the author of The Boy Called Christmas comes this new Christmas story about the girl who received the very first Christmas present but now she is losing her Christmas spirit. This sounds delightful, and I am looking forward to reading it!
Have Sword Will Travel – Two kids uncover an ancient talking sword and set off on an adventure to save their kingdom. Sounds like my kind of middle grade fantasy!
The Legends of Luke Skywalker – A collection of Luke Skywalker stories. Could they all be true or are they tall tales and legends? As we get closer to the release of the next Star Wars film, I am getting more excited. This is a perfect time to dive into some of the stories that will set up the the next film.
Little Bigfoot Big City – Book 2 in the Littlest Bigfoot series about a girl in search of her past and a small Bigfoot who wants to break free from the expectations of her tribe. This series sounds terrific. I have added them to my list!
My Life Is a Joke – The latest middle grade book from James Patterson starring Jacky Hart who wants to act and sing all summer while her parents have other plans for her – like finding a job.
Race to the Finish – Book 2 in the Girls Who Code series. This looks like a fun book about friendship and coding with a diverse cast of characters.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow – Book 1 in the Nevermoor series. A cursed girl finds herself in a magical world competing for a chance to stay in Nevermoor and avoid her fate in our world. This sounds fantastic, and that cover is absolutely gorgeous. This is certainly on my list for this week!
Undercover Princess – A princess and a scholarship student attending the same school decide to swap identities but someone knows what they are up to. I’m curious to find out more about this one. It has a promising premise! First in a new series.
Kid Chef Bakes – Includes recipes as well as how-tos for common baking tasks like separating eggs. This looks like a fantastic reference for the budding chefs in your life! Targeted to kids 8 to 13.
The Empress – Sequel to The Diabolic. Nemesis is trying to settle into her new role as Empress, but the ruling class wants no part of the new world order. Can Nemesis prove to the Empire that she is not the killing machine she was created to be?
My New Crush Gave to Me – A girl rigs the Secret Santa at the school paper in order to get her crush, but she will have to trust his annoying cousin to help her pick the perfect gift. This is at the top of my Christmas book list!
Otherworld – From actor and kids’ author Jason Segel comes this virtual reality tale. Can technology give us everything we think we want? And is it worth the price we would have to pay? This sounds like a thriller along the lines of Warcross, but with more danger and tension. I am intrigued by this. It’s on my library list.
A Teen’s Guide to Getting Stuff Done – Helps teens determine their procrastination type and then figure out strategies to use it to their advantage.

Books for Adults

Blackberry Burial – Book 2 in the Berry Basket Mystery series about a shop owner who finds remains that could belong to a person who went missing twenty years ago. This series looks fantastic, and I have added it to my list.
Cremains of the Day – First in a new series. Tallie thought her marriage was her ticket out of a life of dead bodies at the family funeral home, but when her marriage falls apart and she starts cleaning houses for money, she stumbles onto a dead body anyway. This sounds like a fun new mystery series!
Deck the Halls with Fudge (Kindle novella) – For e-book readers comes a novella in the Candy-coated mystery series. Secondary characters in the series get to be the stars this time as they look into a murder while Allie, the usual sleuth, is busy with holiday orders at her Fudge shop. I am woefully behind on this series, but this story makes me want to get caught up asap so I can enjoy this one!
The Engagement Plot – He broke her heart on national television, but now they need each other, so a sham engagement seems to be the smart solution. This sounds cute.
Knit to Kill – First book in the new Black Sheep & Co series about a group of knitters who head out for a wedding, but a murder interrupts the festivities. Looks like the author has a previous Black Sheep Knitting mystery series. I’m not sure how this spin off fits in, but I am curious to check it out.
The Quiche and the Dead – Book 1 in a new Pie Town mystery series about the pie shop owner and her 70 year old assistant looking into a murder to save the business. I love checking out new mystery series. This is on my library list.
Ring in the Year with Murder – Book 4 in the Otter Lake Mystery series takes place at a Great Gatsby-themed New Year’s party. I’m not familiar with this series, but the set up for this particular book sounds terrific.
The Secret, Book and Scone Society – First in a new series. Guests who come to Miracle Springs looking for something to cure their ills usually find their way to Miracle Books where the owner uses her special skills to help each guest find a book that will help whatever ails them. After finding a dead body, Nora pulls together a group to help her investigate. This sounds fascinating!
Slay Bells Ring – Book 7 in the Caprice De Luca series about an interior decorator.  When a Vietnam Vet who plays Santa at Christmas is found dead, Caprice is sleuthing again. Look at that cover! It makes me want to snuggle under the covers and start reading!
Thread the Halls – Book 6 in the Mainely Needlepoint Series. Another gorgeous Christmas cover, this time for a book about famous guests coming to town for the holidays – and murder on the menu. I’m not familiar with this series, but I’d love to give this Christmas cozy a try.
Be the Gift: Let Your Broken Be Turned into Abundance – The latest from Ann Voskamp challenges readers to find a way to be a gift to others every day.
How We Eat with our Eyes and Think with Our Stomachs: The Hidden Influences that Shape Your Eating Habits – 40 Questions to help readers zero in on WHY they make the food choices they do.
Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter – This book leaves politics behind and looks at the HOW of Donald Trump’s campaign and election win and how business people can use similar techniques. It works for those who want to persuade as well as those who want to be able to recognize and resist the techniques. I find this book’s premise intriguing. I don’t know if I’ll read it – or like it – but it is fascinating to think about.

Die Hard Christmas

BOOK NEWS: October 24, 2017

With five Tuesdays in October, this is the “slow” week, although there are still plenty of things to add to my TBR list!

Books for Kids


12 Sleighs of Christmas – Santa’s sleigh needs an upgrade and the elves get creative. This looks adorable and perfect for reading in the coming months.
Living in South Korea – Early Reader describing life in South Korea.
Journey to Crystal Cave – Book 12 in the Adventures of Sophie Mouse series for new chapter book readers. When Sophie discovers a crystal cave during a game of hide and seek, her friends don’t believe her. I think this series is absolutely darling! Highly recommended for kids in first through third grade as well as some older readers.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults

Anne of Green Gables (Graphic Novel) – Full color graphic novel of this classic story that has been a favorite of readers for years. Great to introduce new readers to the story but also for those who want to revisit Anne in a new format.
Bodyguard: Ambush AND Survival – Books 5 and 6 in this adventure series about a kid who becomes a bodyguard for the President’s daughter and other important figures . I zoomed through book 1, and book 2 is on my TBR pile. In books 5 and 6, Connor is on his third mission as a teen bodyguard, this time for a French diplomat’s family on safari in Africa. Originally each mission was one book, but in the American release, the publisher split each story into two books, so you likely want to get both at once so you don’t have to deal with a cliffhanger.
Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library – Book 2 in the Fairday Morrow series about a girl and her friends who solve mysteries. In this book, a librarian is in trouble and books are changing. This series is on my wish list from the library.
Reign of Outlaws – Book 3 in the Robyn Hoodlum series, a new take on the Robin Hood stories. Book one is on my TBR shelves. I’m looking forward to digging into this series.
Ryan Quinn and the Lion’s Claw – Book 2 in the Ryan Quinn series about a teen turned spy. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and I’m eager to see what happens next for Ryan!
Time Jumper – Book 5 in the Five Kingdoms fantasy series. This is the final book in this series about a kid who follows a portal to another world in order to save his friends. My teen has enjoyed the first couple books in this series.
Expelled – Two teens who have been expelled for crimes they didn’t commit team up to find out who set them up. I haven’t read any James Patterson books for teens or adults – just ones for kids. I am intrigued by this story and will be requesting it from the library.
Long Way Down – The latest from Jason Reynolds focuses on a span of 60 seconds when a teen travels in an elevator trying to decide if he is going to kill the guy who killed his brother. At each floor a different person enters the elevator who has a connection to the teen and his brother, and each has a question to ask before the elevator reaches the bottom. The format for this is so clever, and the story is irresistible. I have to read this one. This is top of my list for this week.
Meant to Be – The names of “soul mates” appear on the skin of eighteen-year-olds in this fantasy about love and fate. This is on my library list, too.

Books for Adults


Die Hard Christmas – A picture book retelling of the first Die Hard movie? Yes, please!
How the Finch Stole Christmas – The latest Christmas mystery in the fun Meg Langslow series. I adore this mystery series and look forward to the Christmas book every year, in addition to the regular additions to the series.
The Rooster Bar – John Grisham’s latest legal thriller about a group of law students who discover they’ve been scammed and plot their revenge. I’m looking forward to reading this one soon!
The Usual Santas – A collection of Christmas mysteries from Soho Crime. Collections like this are a great way to test out new-to-you authors and see who you like. The Christmas theme is a terrific bonus!
365 Days of Cookies – To me, the holidays are a prime time to bake and share the spirit of the holidays. Cookies are small, and it’s easy to make an assortment to share with friends and neighbors. I will definitely be checking this out to see if I want to try some new recipes this year.
The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World – This biography looks at the role Truman played in the end of World War II when he suddenly found himself President of the United States after the death of FDR. I love the idea that this looks at just 120 days of his presidency. A crucial window of history.
Sisters First: Stories from our Wild and Wonderful Life – The Bush sisters, twin daughters of President George W. Bush,  share their story of growing up in a political dynasty and their years in the White House.
Star Wars Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor – An insider’s look at the evolution of the Stormtroopers in the Star Wars universe. Terrific for big Star Wars fans who enjoy the details behind the movies.
Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God – From Mark Batterson, the author of The Circle Maker, this book looks at the ways that God speaks. I have recently read some of Batterson’s work, and I really enjoyed it. I have this book, and several of his older books, on my Christmas list.

Dr Tenth Christmas Surprise

BOOK NEWS: October 17, 2017

We’re half way through October, and the holiday season is quickly approaching. I’m feeling ready for sweatshirt weather, soup, and crunchy leaves! Here are some new books releasing this week to enjoy as the season turns colder.

Books for Kids

Doctor Tenth: Christmas Surprise! – A Christmas story about Donna and the Tenth Doctor. I have yet to see this line in person, but I think the idea is adorable.
Malala’s Magic Pencil – Activist, Malala Yousafzai releases her story in picture book format to reach younger readers. This is going to be a powerful story! This would work in classroom settings, libraries and at home.
Merry Christmas, Peanut! – One of the things I love about this time of year is that Christmas books start releasing. In this book, a peanut has a yummy-looking adventure on his way to visit family for the holidays. The illustrations in these books are fantastic and clever. This is sure to be a hit!
Thanksgiving in the Woods – Based on the true story of a family who hosted their Thanksgiving celebration in the woods. As a teacher, I had a hard time finding great Thanksgiving stories to read in November. I would add this one to my repertoire if I was still teaching.
The Doctors Time and Space Collection – A collection of the first 8 books in this line (Includes Doctors 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12). Includes a poster. This is a great gift idea for Doctor Who fans who are also kids at heart!
Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Tales of Hope & Courage – Maz Kanata’s journal records the stories of 6 heroines of the Star Wars Saga.
Miss Tracy Is Spacey! – Book 9 in the My Weirdest School series by Dan Gutman. My students loved these short chapter books about a group of elementary school kids and their wacky school staff.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe – Book 12 in this super popular middle grade series with a diary format. This time, Nikki has a dilemma when a new boy has a crush on her.
Frank Einstein and the Bio-Action Gizmo – Book 5 in this great science fiction series starring fun, smart kids and quirky robots.
Harry Potter: A Journey through the History of Magic – Based on the new exhibition at the British Library. I can’t wait to see this one in person!
Kid Sherlock – Graphic novel about new kid, John Watson (who happens to be a dog) and Sherlock Holmes. This looks adorable!
The Legend of Shadow High – The kids of Monster High meet the ones from Ever After High in this new book by Shannon Hale. I’ll be reviewing this one on Thursday this week.
Open If You Dare – Three friends find a box labeled “Open if you dare” and now they are solving a forty-year-old mystery. This sounds right up my alley.
Paper Chains – Two friends from very different family situations work their way through strains at home and in their friendship. This sounds absolutely lovely. It is at the top of my wish list for this week!
The Phantom of the Opera (Muppets) – The Muppets put their special spin on the classic story, The Phantom of the Opera. I’d love to see this in person to see what the Muppet influence is on the story.
The Summer of Owen Todd – Owen and Sean have been best friends for ages, so it’s no surprise when Sean opens up to Owen about things going on with the new babysitter Sean’s mom hired to look after him for the summer.  The question becomes what Owen should do – does he stay quiet like Sean asks him to? Or is this too big to keep to himself? This sounds like a younger kids version of A List of Cages (which is one of my favorite books of 2017). This is going to be a difficult but important book to read. This is also at the top of my list for this week.
The Magic Storm – Book 6 in the Phoebe and her Unicorn series. I LOVE this quirky comic series about a girl and her unicorn best friend. I pre-ordered this MONTHS ago, and I will be stalking the mail carrier on Tuesday, waiting for my copy.
Who Is Ralph Lauren? – Latest in the Who Was series of biographies
36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You – Two kids join a psychology study at their university to see if love can be engineered. Told in IMs, sketches and texts, this sounds like a fun read for teens and young adults. This is on my wish list for the library.
Dear Martin – A young African American journals to Dr. King, wondering if his teachings still hold up today when the young man is caught in an altercation with a white police officer. This is a timely story which has received a LOT of positive buzz leading up to the release. This is on my library list, too.
What Was That All About? – A 20-year look at the Duncan family from the Zits comic strip. As the mom of a teenager, I adore this comic. I have this book on my Christmas list!

Books for Adults

Cold as Ice – Book 6 in the Country Club Murders series about an amateur sleuth socialite. The covers for this series are appealing to me, so I have this whole series on my library list.
Planet Hulk – Prose novel based on the comic series about the Incredible Hulk on the planet Sakaar where he is sold into slavery. The Hulk is one of my favorite Marvel characters, so this is on my Christmas list.
Thor Ragnarok Prelude – Graphic novel prelude to the movie releasing in November. Collects Prelude 1-4, Thor (1966) 361, and Hulk (2000) 95.
30 Days to Joy – A one month creative journal including quotes and prompts. Could be a great gift idea, or something to structure my desire to be crafty when I don’t know what I want to do.
Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff – For fans of the show Fixer Upper comes this book by Chip Gaines about some of the antics and ideas he has pursued and the things he has learned along the way.
Chasing Light – As a visual person, I am a sucker for a fantastic photograph. When our family toured the White House several years ago, I was struck by the gorgeous pictures that lined the walls. This looks like a lovely collection of photos of one of our First Ladies.
Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It – If you are trying to make more healthy choices in your diet, this book could be a resource to motivate you, looking at the impact of processed food on our health. This is on my library list.
Seeing the Unseen – A 90-day devotional by Randy Alcorn with a focus on eternity. Includes scripture references as well as quotes from Christian leaders.
Why the Vote Wasn’t Enough for Selma – Examines the impact of the right to vote on African Americans in the south, specifically in Selma, with regard to economic justice and true “citizenship.”

Mr Lemoncello's Great Library Race

BOOK NEWS: October 10, 2017

Peanuts! John Green! Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Schools around here are kicking off the fall break season. Some kids even get two whole weeks off this month to rest up for the second quarter of the school year! That’s a perfect time to pick up a new book or two to help fill the time. Here are some of the titles debuting this week:

Books for Kids

Everything Is Mama – Companion book to Jimmy Fallon’s Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada.
Last Laughs: Prehistoric  Epitaphs – Pithy poems about the demise of prehistoric creatures.
Me and Mr. Fluffernutter –  Her cat is her best friend, but what happens when a girl and her cat want to do different things? This looks adorable!
Ninja Claus! – A young ninja tries to catch a glimpse of Santa
The Wolf, The Duck and the Mouse – A mouse is eaten by a wolf and discovers a duck living comfortably in the wolf’s stomach. This is the latest from the team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Thor vs Hulk (Leveled Reader) – I don’t know that I have been this excited about a Marvel movie since the first Avengers came out. I can’t wait to see Thor Ragnarok in November.
Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package – This is the latest early chapter book in the Deckawoo Drive series. I loved the Mercy Watson books that started this series. And the book before this, Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?, is my absolute favorite. I’m looking forward to reading this one!
Louie in a Spin – Book 3 in the Unicorn in New York series about a unicorn who can’t dance but ends up in a dance competition.
Rabbit & Robot and Ribbit – Sequel to Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover. Now, two friends become three which leads to hurt feelings. This sounds cute.
Super Turbo Protects the World – The hamster sidekick from Captain Awesome tells his own story in this spin-off series.
Tug-of-War – Book 2 in the Chocolate Lab series. I read book one and it was adorable.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


Dog Day After School – Book 3 in the Crimebiters series about a group of crime-fighting kids and their pets. I read the first book in this delightful series a couple years ago. I’d love to read this one!
The Downward Spiral – Book two in the Lock and Key series which re-imagines the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty. I’d love to read this series!
Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Famous Writers – This explores the childhoods of popular authors like JK Rowling and Stan Lee.
The Kids Who Knew Too Little – Book 3 in the League of Unexceptional Children series about a pair of completely average kids who get to be spies. I have book 1 on my TBR list.
Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life – A girl’s family moves to Walnut Grove because her Laura Ingalls-obsessed mom is convinced the environment will help her write a book. I’m not even that into Little House, but I can’t wait to read this book!
The Magical Match – Book 4 in the Fairytale Matchmaker series. I read the first book in this series, and it’s a lot of fun. This is from the author of the Wide-Awake Princess series, which is one of my favorites.
Molly in the Middle – The latest in the MIX line from Aladdin is this story about a girl who is tired of always being in the middle so she decides to stand out. I love this line of books! This one sounds great.
Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race – Book three in the awesome Mr. Lemoncello series. This is at the top of my wish list for this week!
The Silver Mask – Book 4 in the Magisterium series about kids with magic powers and a magician who has hijacked the life of a young man. I read the first book in this series, and it was fascinating!
Snow and Rose – Snow White and Rose Red, reimagined.
Spy School Secret Service – Book 5 in the spy school series. I have these on my reading wish list. I love the graphic covers for this series. This time, Ben is assigned to stop a presidential assassination.
Thor Ragnarok Junior Novel – A kids’ introduction to the new Thor movie releasing in November.
What Are the Ten Commandments?
What Was the Ice Age?
What’s Wrong Dog Lips? – A collection of Snoopy comics
Gatekeepers – A trio of teens react to the suicide of a peer and to their own pressures and doubts. This is high on my list for this week, too.
Into the Garden – Earlier this year I reviewed a terrific YA book called Dividing Eden. This novella, set decades before the events of that book, releases this week for Kindle and other ebooks. I’ve already requested this one from the library!
Librarian of Auschwitz – Based on real-life people and events, this story focuses on a teen in Auschwitz who is the keeper of the 8 books the prisoners were able to sneak into the camp.
Turtles All the Way Down – John Green’s latest story is about a teen investigating the mystery of a fugitive billionaire. I am #42 on the waiting list at my local library. This one is going to be huge.

Books for Adults

Death Overdue – The first book in a new Haunted Library mystery series. A man who says he has information about a 15 year old cold case keels over at a library event. The events librarian will partner with the library ghost to solve the mystery.
Homicide For the Holidays – Book 2 in the Viv and Charlie mystery series is a holiday mystery set around a radio actress and private detective. I love the creative premise of this. This is on my list.
Perilous Poetry – Book 3 in the Book Barn Princess series. In this one, a new book app  brings a famous author to the Book Barn and a murder to the community. I’ll be reviewing this one next week.
Running Out of Time – Book 3 in the Dodie O’Dell  mystery series about a restaurant manager who finds a body at an adaptation of Our Town.
Twelve Slays of Christmas – The first book in a Christmas Tree farm mystery series. This sounds perfect – great cozy mystery and a Christmas story. This is the time of year I love to start reading holiday stories.
Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together – Journalist Van Jones weighs in on our current political culture in America. I have enjoyed some of Jones’ work over the last year and I’m looking forward to reading this.
Grant – Ron Chernow, renowned author of the Alexander Hamilton biography that led to the Broadway show, looks at the life of Ulysses S. Grant.
My Time with God – A new devotional from Christian speaker and Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer.
Norbert’s Little Lessons for a Big Life – Lessons from an adorable therapy dog.
Only Dead on the Inside – Twitter sensation, James Breakwell’s first book about surviving the zombie apocalypse with your family. Our whole family enjoys Breakwell’s humor on social media. I can’t wait to see what the book is like.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

BOOK NEWS: October 3, 2017

Star Wars. Humpty Dumpty. Harry Potter. Stick Cat. More Star Wars! The first Tuesday of the month always means a huge crop of new books! In fact, there are so many middle grade books, they get their own section this week! Here are some that I am looking at this week.

Books for Kids


After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) – Tells the story of what happens AFTER Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall. I cannot wait to read this! I love Dan Santat’s artwork and I’ve been hearing about this story for months. This is at the top of my list for this week.
Alfie (The Turtle that Disappeared) – When Nia’s turtle, Alfie, goes missing, the story changes to Alfie’s point of view. This looks adorable, and I can’t wait to read it.
Dough Knights and Dragons – A knight and a dragon bond over a common passion, but discover they have to fight each other. This looks darling!
God’s Great Love for You – From the author of The Purpose Driven Life comes this picture book about God’s love being with us wherever we go. The cover really grabbed my attention on this one. The artwork looks terrific.
The Great Puppy Invasion – In a town where cuteness is forbidden, puppies appear. This sounds like a hoot!
I Am Gandhi AND I Am Sacagawea – From the Ordinary People Change the World series by Brad Meltzer. This has been a great series of picture book biographies that focus on the character qualities of the subject. Two new books in the series release this week.
Pigeon P.I. – A kids’ first “noir” detective book. I love the whole idea of this. Can’t wait to read it in person.
Pup and Bear – A lost wolf pup is raised by a polar bear. The cover of this one calls to me. This looks and sounds absolutely lovely.
Remembering Vera – A dog, found by some men in the Coast Guard, becomes a hero. This true story sounds perfect for every animal fan you know.
Roaring Rockets – My son ADORED the books in this things-that-go series when he was a toddler. Now they are available as board books!
That Is My Dream – An illustrated picture book of Langston Hughes’ poem, “Dream Variation.”
Amelia Bedelia on the Move – Early Reader Level 1 starring Amelia Bedelia. Now the earliest of readers can read along with Amelia Bedelia.
Heroes Who Risked Everything for Freedom: Civil War – Early Reader Level 3 acquaints kids with the heroes of the Civil War
Pinkalicious and the Babysitter – Early Reader Level 1 starring Pinkalicious and her little brother, Peter
How to Catch a Dino Thief – Book 4 in the Dino Riders series for kids branching out into chapter books. This series looks fantastic!
Star Wars Coding – Kids can learn and practice coding skills while enjoying their favorite characters from Star Wars

Middle Grade/Books for Older Kids


Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic (Timeless) – First book in a new fantasy series where the past, present and future collide.
Flash: Hocus Focus – Fans of the Flash TV show can enjoy an original story in the timeline where Flashpoint never took place. Our family loves the TV show; I hope the book lives up to that legacy.
Greetings from Witness Protection – This book was beyond fantastic, and I will be reviewing it on Thursday. Be sure you come back to read all about it!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Book 3 in the Harry Potter series is now illustrated. This is my favorite book in the series, and I am so excited to see what they have done with the illustrations for this.
Inferno in Tokyo – Book 20 in the Imagination Station series which is like a Christian take on Magic Tree House.
Max Tilt: Fire the Depths – First book in a new series that stars the great-great-great grandson of Jules Verne who finds an unpublished manuscript and clues that Verne’s science fiction writing was actually based on science FACT. This sounds like a terrific new adventure series!
The Midnight Peacock (October 5) – I’m not sure how I missed this series before now, but this is book 4 in a middle grade historical mystery series about two girls who solve mysteries at a departments store, a couple of balls, and one about a missing painting.
Mistress of All Evil – Part of the Villains series, this looks at the story of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. Great for Disney fans, especially those who love the villains.
Ms. Marvel’s Fists of Fury – Ms Marvel teams up with Thor to handle an inhuman bird infestation. Sounds great for kids who love original Marvel stories.
Mustaches for Maddie – A girl with a brain tumor faces bullying, the school play, and her medical issues with strength and bravery. This sounds amazing. This is definitely on my list.
Pashmina – A new graphic novel about a girl with questions about her culture and her family who finds a magical pashmina.
Past Times at Super Hero High – In the fourth graphic novel starring the kids from Super Hero High, time travel and one jealous choice change everything for the worse. I read this over the weekend. It’s a fun story.
Predator vs Prey – Book 2 in the Going Wild series about a group of kids with magical bracelets that give them the powers of animals. I have book 1 on my wish list right now.
Serpent’s Shadow GN – The final book in Rick Riordan’s Egyptian Mythology series gets the graphic novel treatment this week. While the graphic novels condense Riordan’s work in a lot of cases, the stories are still enjoyable in this visual format.
Ship of the Dead – Book 3 in the Magnus Chase series about Norse mythology. This is the book where Magnus meets Percy Jackson! For that reason alone, we will be reading this one at our house!
Sled Dog School – A boy who is struggling at school sets up a school for training sled dogs. That cover is adorable. I’m curious to check out this series.
Sven Carter & the Trashmouth Effect – The latest MAX book from the folks at Aladdin is about Sven Carter, a boy who is also part robot. Only, Sven didn’t know that about himself. He also didn’t know he’s part of a plot to destroy the human race.
The Perfect Score – When I was teaching, I fell in love with the Mr. Terupt series by Rob Buyea. This is the latest book by Buyea, the start of a new series. And it’s terrific! You can read my review here.
The Touchdown Kid – The latest from Tim Green is about a kid who gets a chance at a better life for himself thanks to his talent with a football. I enjoy these kinds of sports books by both Green and Mike Lupica. Check this one out for the sports lover in your life.
Two Catch a Thief – Book 3 in the Stick Cat series by the awesome Tom Watson. In this book, Stick Cat and Edith discover a burglar.
The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City – The gorgeous cover of this book gets me every time I see it! This book has been compared to Charlotte’s Web. It’s the story of a girl who lives in the city and tries to find a home for a rescued piglet.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street – The Vanderbeekers are in danger of losing their home on 141st Street. They have 11 days to convince their landlord to let them stay. The cover of this one is lovely, too. It calls to me to pick it up and dive right in.
The War I Finally Won – Sequel to the highly praised The War that Saved My Life about World War II. I don’t readily read much historical fiction, but several of my friends have recommended book one to me.
Wizards of Once – From the author of How to Train Your Dragon (the book series, not the movies) comes this new fantasy series about a kingdom of wizards and warriors at war. I’m eager to read this one!
Jesus Always for Kids – The bestselling author of Jesus Calling releases a new devotional for kids focusing on joy.
Master Chef Junior Cookbook: Bold Recipes and Essential Techniques to Inspire Young Cooks – Great first cook book for aspiring chefs.
Who Was Alexander Hamilton? AND Who Was Lewis Carroll? – The latest in the Who Was series.

Books for Teens/Young Adults

Everything Must Go – A girl gives up her city/prep school life for a “hippie” farm experience all for a guy – who doesn’t show up. I would love to read this one and find out how she picks up the pieces after her expectations were destroyed.
Remember Me Always – A girl who suffered through a major car accident enters treatment for anxiety that takes her memories of the accident away. But she starts to feel as though she lost something more.
Select – Romeo and Juliet with a supernatural twist. Yes, please! Looking forward to reading this one!
NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Teen Girls – Lovely new coloring Bible for teens.

Books for Adults


Death on Tap – First in a new series by Ellie Alexander about a woman about brewing beer. I have the novella where the main character for this book meets the main character of the Bakeshop mystery series. I’m looking forward to reading that teaser and then checking out this new series.
Fatal Masquerade – Book 4 in this Kindle series. In this book there is a death at a masked ball. While I don’t generally seek out historical mysteries, I love the covers of these.
Fixing to Die – Book 4 in the Southern Ladies mystery series is a ghost story. I’ll be reviewing this one on Wednesday this week!
The Force Doth Awaken – The 7th Star Wars movie gets the Shakespeare treatment. I love these!
Lydia, Woman of Philippi – A fictionalized account of the woman, Lydia, from the Bible (Acts 16). I have done some work on this passage of scripture and have loved her story every since. I’d like to see what the author did with this story.
Merry and Bright – The latest from Debbie Macomber focuses on a young woman whose family sets her up for an online dating service. Her best match turns out to the be last person she wanted it to be. I LOVE to read holiday stories at this time of year, so this is on my library list.
A Room with a Brew – Book 3 in the Brewing Trouble series about a brewpub owner who solves mysteries.
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck – The author of steamy romance novels becomes a Christian, but she is still under contract to write books that would make the church folks blush. I absolutely HAVE to read this book. I hope it lives up to my expectations because I think this sounds terrific.
Star Wars from a Certain Point of View – Forty short stories about iconic Star Wars scenes, told from the perspective of a secondary character. Our whole family is looking forward to reading this one! All proceeds from this book support the charity, First Book.
Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces that Make Up a Life – The fourth book from author Melanie Shankle tackles the subject of the small, seemingly insignificant parts of our days that truly make up the core of our lives. I have read a little of her work before and found her writing style to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to this one.
The Daily Question – A five-year journal with a spiritual flavor, this book poses a question every day for you to answer. Then you can look back at what you wrote in previous years. I am looking at getting this book when my current five-year journal wraps up.
Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful – One woman’s story can inspire readers to see God as good in all the ups and downs of life. Sounds amazing.
Divine Encounter with the Holy Spirit – This book digs into the person of the Holy Spirit. This looks great!
Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not About You. – If you are looking for a bigger life that than the one you are living that centers on you and you alone, check this book out.
A Life Beyond Amazing: 9 Decisions that Will Transform Your Life Today – Titles like this get me every time. What are the 9 decisions? How many have I made?! I will have to check this one out to be sure I’m not missing out!
The Midlife Kitchen: Health-Boosting Recipes for Midlife and Beyond – The older I get, the more I wonder about the long term impact of what my family is eating. I’d love to check this one out.
A Moment to Breathe – A delightful devotional from the folks at (in)courage. I will be posting a BONUS review tomorrow morning of this book.
Real American – From the author of How to Raise an Adult (which is awesome) comes this memoir about being a bi-racial black woman in America. Considering the current culture in our country, and how much I loved the author’s first book, this is on my list.
Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World – Peace-making strategies for Christ-followers. Sign me up for this one. I think this would make a great group discussion book.

So many books – what will you add to your TBR this week? 

Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying oct1

BOOK NEWS: September 26, 2017

Christmas books, biographies, mysteries and a chicken! It’s the final week of September. Here are some of the new books coming this week.

Books for Kids

Bruce’s Big Move – The stars of Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce are back! I adore these characters and can’t wait to read this!
The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes – Part of the Amazing Scientists line of books. This is a picture book biography of Dr. Patricia Bath, a scientist who developed a revolutionary treatment for cataracts.
I Want to Go First – From the author of This Book Just Ate My Dog! comes this book about a little elephant who is tired of always going last.
Pig the Elf – Pig the Pug gets a Christmas story! This series is adorable and I can’t wait to read this Christmas story.
Tyrannosaurus Rex Vs Edna The Very First Chicken – It’s T Rex vs. Chicken in this new picture book. I want to read this one so badly! It looks awesome.
Christmas in Cooperstown – A second special edition from the Ballpark Mystery series, this Christmas book takes place at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Awesome for baseball fans! Great early chapter book series.
The Last Firehawk: The Ember Stone – A new Branches series kicks off with this book about three small friends trying to defeat an evil vulture who wants to conquer the world with dark magic.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


Day Dreams and Movie Screens – Book 2 in the Faithgirlz series Lena in the Spotlight. You can see my review of book one here. In this book, Lena’s movie debuts, and she has to deal with her new found fame.
Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying (Sept 30) – This is one of my favorite books in 2017! I will be reviewing this mystery tomorrow here on the blog. Come back and read all about it.
Nutcracked – A magical take on the story of the Nutcracker! Perfect for the holiday season.
Ordinary Mishaps and Incredible Catastrophes – Book 2 in the Frazzled graphic novel series about navigating middle school.
Pick the Plot – Book 4 in the Story Thieves series. I really need to bump this series up on my TBR list because every time a new book releases, I remember how much I want to read it!
Who Killed Darius Drake? – A bully and a genius orphan team up to to find the truth behind the mystery of a long-lost diamond necklace. I love a great middle grade mystery so this is on my list.
Wishtree – Katherine Applegate is the author of The One and Only Ivan and Crenshaw. Her new book, about a tree that sees the wishes of the people in its neighborhood, is getting a LOT of buzz.
The Short History of the Girl Next Door – A teen can’t seem to  tell his best friend how he really feels about her. Real life is just not like the movies. And when tragedy strikes, Matt is left reeling. I have already requested this one from the library.

Books for Adults

Barking Up the Wrong Tree – Book 2 in a romance trio by mystery great, Jenn McKinlay. You can read my review of book one here. I’m looking forward to reading this one.
Dead and Ganache – Book 4 in the Chocolate Whisperer Mystery series. They had me at chocolate on this one. I have this series on my TBR list!
Death by Eggnog – Book 5 in the Bookstore Cafe Mystery series. I haven’t read any of these, but the whole series looks darling. This is on my TBR, too.
Dial Meow for Murder – Book 2 in the Lucky Paws Mystery series. You can read my review of book one here. I really enjoyed the first book, so I want to be sure to read this one.
Holly and Ivy – A lonely widow meets a young girl with a great gift in this holiday story. I can’t get enough of Christmas books in the fall. This is definitely on my list for this year’s reading.
Mousse, Moscato & Murder – Book 3 in the Willa Friday Food and Wine Cozy Mystery series. I haven’t read the other books in this series yet, but the cover of this one grabbed my attention.
The Persian Always Meows Twice – This is the first book in the Cat Groomer mystery series about a cat groomer who gets caught up in a murder. A second book is scheduled for a spring 2018 release.
Purring Around the Christmas Tree – Book 6 in the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series about the owner of an organic pet food store. I love the idea of this series and the fact that this particular one has a Christmas slant to it. I hope to get to this one this fall.
Sleep Like a Baby – Book 10 in the Aurora Teagarden mystery series. I haven’t read any of these, but I have enjoyed the movies on the Hallmark Channel. I’d like to try one of the books to see how it holds up with the the movies.
Star Trek Discovery: Desperate Hours – An original novel based on the new CBS All Access show. Of all the fandoms I adore, Star Trek is at the top of my list. I have high hopes for the new series, but I am not sure if we will subscribe in order to check it out.  I may just read the book instead. The book’s author is a long-time Star Trek author, so I have a lot of confidence that the story will be terrific.
Star Trek Deep Space 9 Gamma: Original Sin – Captain Sisko and the crew of the USS Robinson are exploring the Gamma Quadrant. This book picks up 3 months into their mission when they encounter their first alien species.
Sugar Pine Trail – Book 7 in the Haven Point series. A librarian finds herself taking care of two young boys at Christmas time. And her handsome neighbor pitches in. This is on my list of holiday books to read this fall!
Binge Parenting – The Baby Blues series of comics are hilarious. While this book would work for kids, some of the content would be much funnier for parents. One of the authors also does work on the Zits comic strip.
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies – This biography looks at a World War I and World War II code breaker, Elizebeth Smith. This is a story I’ve never heard before and it sounds fascinating!

One Dark Throne

BOOK NEWS: September 19, 2017

Happy Blogiversary to me!

One year ago this week, I kicked off The Neverending TBR, and I’ve had so much fun tracking new releases and reviewing amazing books. I hope you have found some great treasures as you spent time here in the last year.

On to the new releases for this week!

Books for Kids

Her Right Foot – This ingenious nonfiction book looks at the Statue of Liberty from the perspective of her foot, sculpted in motion. I can’t wait to read this one!
It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk – The Jack in this story has NO interest in following the narrator’s instructions to sell his cow and climb a beanstalk! This time Jack is taking his story into his own hands. This reminds me of one of my favorite fractured fairy tales, Don’t Read this Book! I can’t wait to check this one out!
Read! Read! Read! – Twenty-three poems about reading!
JoJo and Daddy Bake a Cake – Fancy Nancy’s little sister gets her own Early Readers, including this story about baking with her dad.
Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker – This early chapter book stars Beatrice Zinker, a girl who has a unique perspective on the world – she prefers to look at it upside down. This makes her a very creative thinker. I’ll be reviewing this book tomorrow!
Jada Jones Rock Star AND Jada Jones Class Act – New transitional chapter book series. Book one focuses on Jada’s love of science and rocks and minerals, as well as some social issues at school. Book two focuses on her desire to be class representative and her fear of public speaking. This looks like a darling series!
Lark and the Diamond Caper – Book 2 in this series starring junior detectives searching for a missing pair of diamond earrings. I love mysteries for any age reader!

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults

Falcon Wild – A girl who longs to be a certified falconer has to use all of her knowledge and skill to survive an accident and get help for her injured and trapped family.
No Place Like Home – A girl who has lived most of her life on the move with her dad for his job gets the chance to settle in for a little while, go to public school, and make some friends. Figuring they will be moving on soon, though, she decides to take some risks instead of playing everything safe. I love the whole line of MIX books from Aladdin, and this book sounds like my style of story.
Quests for Glory – Book 4 in the School for Good and Evil series. The students embark on their required fourth year quests where some are trying to return Camelot to its former glory and others find themselves in over their heads. Fans of this series will love to hear that there’s a fourth book to devour!
Renegades – Book 3 in the Randoms series. Poor Zeke seems to be in more trouble than ever. Whatever he does to save the galaxy (and get the girl) only seems to get him in more trouble. And this time, he doesn’t have any of his usual allies to help him. Our whole family has enjoyed the first two books in this series, and we will most definitely be reading book 3!
Saving Marty – A boy adopts a runty pig as his pet. The pig thinks he’s a dog, and acts accordingly, but when he reaches 350 lbs, it’s hard to pretend he’s a normal pet. This is described as “heart-wrenching” which makes me nervous about the pig’s future, but I HAVE to know what happens in this story.
The Way to Bea – A girl facing monumental changes writes haiku in invisible ink in a secret spot. Then someone writes back. I have wanted to read this since I first saw the cover. This is exactly the sort of book that I love!
Trolled – Book 3 in the Enchanted Files. Ned the Troll knows he is supposed to despise humans. But Ned just can’t do that; his heart is full of LOVE. This sounds fantastic! I will be putting the first two books on my library list asap so I can check out this fun fantasy series.
Rainy Day Unicorn Fun – A puzzle book from the Phoebe and her Unicorn folks. I ADORE the graphic novel books in this series – in fact the next one releases in October. I’m looking forward to checking out this activity book. It might be just what I need to keep in the car or in my purse for when I am waiting for an appointment, and I don’t want to bring along a book.
Jane Unlimited – A grieving teen accepts an invitation to the mysterious island Tu Reviens where she will have the chance to make different choices for her life. This author wrote the wildly popular Graceling (which of course is on my TBR shelves), so this is getting a lot of buzz.
Moxie: A Novel – A high schooler, fed up with the double standard, starts a feminist zine that becomes more popular than she could have ever imagined. This is probably at the top of my wish list for the week. This sounds like a terrific, girl-power sort of story, and I love to read those.
Murder, Magic and What We Wore – A young woman discovers her father is dead and his money is missing so she becomes a spy and learns that she has a magical affinity for sewing glamours. This is a hard story to summarize. Come back on Thursday when I will be reviewing this one and you can find out a little more. It’s terrific!
One Dark Throne – EEEEK! Okay, I was wrong – THIS will be top of my list for the week (Moxie is a close second). I absolutely loved Three Dark Crowns last fall – you can read my review here. After a long wait, the sequel is arriving this week. By the time I get it from the library, I hope to have re-read book one so I am fresh and ready to enjoy book 2.
The Victoria in My Head – A girl daydreams of being a rock star, but her very real life and insecurities make that dream almost impossible. I love this idea of throwing caution to the wind and just running after your dream. I do not have that sort of personality, so I am happy to enjoy it vicariously through books.

Books for Adults

13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do – Morin takes her original premise from 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do and applies it this time to parenting. I have her first book, and would love to read this one as well!
Bean to Bar Chocolate – I have no idea what the “American craft chocolate revolution” is, but I don’t even care. This is about chocolate. I’d love to read it. Includes recipes.
Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That’s In You for Your Family and Your Faith – Helping moms grow strong in their faith and their identity in Christ so they can pass that strength onto their children. If I wasn’t so overloaded on Bible Studies and self-improvement books right now, I would have this on my list immediately. I love the whole idea of this – especially the Bible Study piece. This is one I may revisit in another season of life.
Becoming MomStrong Bible Study – Six week Bible study based on the book. There’s also a matching journal so you can keep your notes and thoughts together as you go through the material.
Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult – Parenting a teen is hard work. I am always in the market for a book that will give me new insights and strategies to make these the best years as a family. This isn’t just for parents, either. This works for any adult committed to a strong relationship with a teen – youth workers, mentors, teachers, pastors.
Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything – If you find personality differences and types and strengths and such fascinating – and I DO! – you’ll want to check this one out.
Sally’s Cookie Addiction – I’m not much for cooking. It seems like standing in the kitchen forever for something my family will finish in less than 20 minutes. I could use that time to read! But I generally enjoy baking. So a book like this – with lots of baking suggestions – would be a lot of fun for me. Cookies are great treats – small, easy to share, and they make great gifts for teachers, friends, pitch-ins, etc.
Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years – Former speechwriter for President Obama shares stories of his time in the White House.