Exact Location of Home

BOOK NEWS: September 12, 2017

It’s Patriot Day in the United States today. If you are looking for books for kids/teens that talk about the events of September 11, 2001, I can recommend America Is Under Attack; Nine, Ten; and All We Have Left. You can also find more suggestions here.

There are lots of great books releasing this week. Let’s take a look:

Books for Kids


  

The Nutcracker: A BabyLit Dance Primer – I love that classic books and other works are being turned into board books for the youngest readers. This one comes out just in time for the holiday season.
Book of Gold – A boy looks for a special book that turns to gold and contains the answers to every question. I’m curious about this one.
Fly Guy’s Big Family – Book 17 in the Fly Guy series. I loved having these in the library at school because they were great stories that students enjoyed that were written at a fairly simple reading level.
His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story – This sibling rivalry tale takes a royal spin when the main character, who considers herself the princess in the family, loses her prime role to a new baby.
Imagine That: How Dr. Seuss Wrote the Cat in the Hat – A picture book biography of Dr. Seuss that specifically looks at the journey to publication for The Cat in the Hat. Two fabulous authors/illustrators put this one together; I think it will be excellent.
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library – A picture book biography about Arturo Schomburg, a man with a passion for African-American history whose personal book collection was the cornerstone of what has become the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. How cool! I can’t wait to read this one!
The Disastrous Magical Wishes of Classroom 13 – Book 2 in the Classroom 13 series. An unlucky teacher finds a genie in a lamp, and the genie offers each student one wish. What could go wrong with that?
The Great Troll Quest – Book 5 in the Ella and Owen series about twin dragons. These early chapter books are darling!
Hero Dog! – A new series from Branches based on a true story. These are written by a young girl who is a reporter in real life and the books are based on stories she wrote as a reporter. I am so excited about this new series!
Judy Moody Tooth Fairy – I am a huge Judy Moody fan. I love these full color short chapter books for young readers who aren’t yet ready for Judy and her brother Stink’s full books – or who just want shorter adventures with their favorite characters.
Just Dance – A girl takes over a newspaper column for the summer where she is supposed to report about anything exciting going on in town. This sounds like a sweet story.
Roar of the Thunder Dragon – Book 8 in the Dragon Masters series from Branches. Branches books are my favorite things to recommend for young readers branching out into short chapter books.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


Abby in Wonderland – Book 9 in the Whatever After series about Abby and her brother who have a habit of falling into fairy tales and changing the story. This is a cute series!
Caleb and Kit – A boy with cystic fibrosis meets a mysterious girl who changes his life but it’s not clear if she is changing it for the better or for the worse. This sounds terrific.
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole – A girl’s friendship with a lonely black hole helps her see her own loneliness. This is a unique premise, but the heart of the story sounds right up my alley. This is on my list.
Deadzone – Horizon, book 2. This particular book is by the spectacular Jennifer Nielsen. This series is about a group of kids who crash in what should be the arctic, but instead they find themselves in a secret jungle. This is the sort of series that has an overarching story arc, but each book is written by a different author. These have been super popular. The 39 Clues, Infinity Ring, The Voyagers series,  work like this. Very fun.
The Dragon of Fortune – First there was Geronimo Stilton, a mouse reporter. Then there were themed books like Journey Through Time and Cavemice . Then there was the Kingdom of Fantasy series. This is the second “Special Edition” in that series. My students couldn’t get enough of these books when I was teaching.
The Exact Location of Home – The latest from Kate Messner is a treat! I am reviewing this one tomorrow.
The Explorer – A group of kids must survive in the Amazon after their plane crashes. Books like this tend to stress me out, but my students always loved them. If you have kids who love survival/adventure novels, check this one out.
The Great Hibernation – All of the adults in a community fall into a deep sleep, and the kids are left to fend for themselves. This book was initially on my list because I love the author, Tara Dairman’s All Four Stars series. But the premise of this one is too good to pass up. This is high on my list for this week.
The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match – Book 2 in the Great Shelby Holmes series. I discovered I not only had a copy of book one on my TBR shelves, but I actually had two! I really, really wanted to read that book. I have popped this one up to the top of my pile. I’m really eager to check it out. I love middle grade mysteries.
In the Deep Blue Sea – Book 2 in the Jack and the Geniuses series about three foster kids who work with a scientist. Two of the kids are brilliantly smart. Jack is more street smart than book smart, and this time he is trying to solve a mysterious sabotage at an electricity plant that harvests energy from the ocean. I loved book one! Great for kids who love science!
The Journey Home – Book 2 in the Wilder Boys series. I wrote about book one last month. After traveling across the country to find their father, now the boys are trying to get home. This sounds like a terrific adventure series. It’s a reprint of a previously released book, now under the MAX line. I’d love to read both of these books.
Swing It Sunny – Sequel to Sunny Side Up. In this graphic novel, Sunny is back home after a summer with her grandfather in Florida, but nothing back at home is what she expected. I really enjoyed book one. Looking forward to this one.
Z on Location – From the folks at American Girl comes book 2 in the Z Yang series about an aspiring film maker. I missed book one, but this looks really cute. I know so many kids who want to do their own videos and films. A timely series.
Where is Easter Island?
Where is the Mississippi River?
The Final Spark – The 7th and final book in the Michael Vey series about a kid with electrical powers. I have book 1 on my TBR shelves. I need to get caught up on this one.
Lone Stars – A football coach who used to play for the Dallas Cowboys starts to show the side effects of numerous concussions, and his prize player wants to help him. I tear up just reading the description. I will definitely be reading this.
Slider – A kid decides to compete in a pizza-eating competition to win money to pay off what he put on his mom’s credit card. There are extra nuances to this story with an autistic younger brother and some friend issues. This is an older-middle grade/teen story that sounds great.
Warcross – Warcross is a video game that has become a way of life. A teen hacker works as a bounty hunter to find those who illegally bet on the game. She’s so good at what she does, she is invited to be a spy in this year’s international championships. Of course there is more going on in the game than anyone expects. This book has been at the top of my September wish list since I first heard about it. I have several Marie Lu books on my TBR shelves, but this one will likely get read before I even tackle any of her previous series. I have already requested this from the library.

Books for Adults


Asking for Truffle – First in the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series! Chocolate is definitely a “must buy” trigger for me. This book is on my wish list.
Body on Baker Street – Book 2 in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries. I have book one on my wish list – anything with a book store is automatically going to be on my reading list!
Cat Got Your Secrets – Book 3 in the Kitty Couture Mystery series about a pet boutique. I would love to try one of these soon.
Death at the Seaside – Book 8 an the Kate Shackleton mystery series. The covers of these books always catch my eye! I haven’t read any of the books, but I would love to try one out. These take place in 1920s England. If you are fan of English mysteries or historical mysteries, check this series out!
Doom with a View – Book 2 in the Merry Ghost Inn series about a woman and her grandmother who open a bed and breakfast with a ghost. I will be reviewing this book later this week.
Who Is the Black Panther? – A new novel based on the comic series from 2005. I prefer novels to comics (although, I do love comics), so I am looking forward to reading this one. Marvel is producing more of these (Planet Hulk will come out in October). I don’t know if the stories will line up with the new movies this fall/winter or if they are just capitalizing on popular characters due to the movies.
Anxious for Nothing – This is the cornerstone piece of Max Lucado’s latest batch of products, this time addressing anxiety, focusing specifically on Philippians 4:6-7. I love Lucado’s work, but on this particular topic, I am hesitant. I don’t know if this is looking at a more generalized anxiety that everyone experiences from time to time or if it is meant to address a clinical level of anxiety. I’d like to see this one in person.
Back and Forth: Using an Editor’s Mindset to Improve Student Writing – For writing teachers.
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone – The latest by Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, focuses on what it means to truly belong in our current culture. This is an author I buy automatically. I have pre-ordered this one, and I’m looking forward to digging into it.
Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done – My philosophy is that if Jon Acuff wrote it, I need to read it. I follow his social media, all of his many newsletters, and I have even gone to another state to see him at a signing. I have given up on most of the other “personalities” I followed because they seemed to only want to sell me something. Jon seems to want to help me. He provides a lot of free content that I can use. Then, when he does have something to sell, I am happy to shell out my money. I pre-ordered this one weeks ago (Jon offers lots of pre-order incentives), so I just have to wait by my mailbox for this one!
The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles that Reveal How to Make Your Life Better – This is the latest book from Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project). Since I enjoy her work and LOVE anything about personality type, this one is on my list.
Less Fret, More Faith: An 11-Week Action Plan to Overcome Anxiety – As I mentioned, Max Lucado has a new book and other materials out this week that look at anxiety. I am curious to see this particular piece – a “pass along booklet” – in person.
Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel (September 15th) – We are big Stan Lee fans in my family! We even met him several years ago at a convention. This is the sort of biography that our whole family would read.
Star Wars Cross Stitch – I used to do cross stitch quite a bit, but I have gotten away from that the last few years. But these fun patterns could get me to pick up a needle again.
Unshakable Trust: Finding the Joy of Trusting God at All Times in All Things – New from Joyce Meyer is a book on trust. I love Joyce’s teaching, but the last book I tried was not a good fit for me. I prefer the books that are a Bible study to the ones that are just anecdotes and general “self-help.” I’ll be checking this one out in person.

Sam the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World

BOOK NEWS: September 5, 2017

Disney Animation! Property Brothers! Mo Willems! It’s a great week for reading.

Happy Labor Day! Hope you and your family are getting to enjoy some relaxation over this long weekend. Here are the books coming out this week:

Books for Kids


      

Come with Me – A girl wonders what she can do to help when it seems the world is full of hurt and fear. Sounds like a timely story.
A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale – A young chef bakes some fairy tale components like an apple and a handful of beans into something yummy. I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile.
Give Me Back My Book – Friends fight over a book. I’m curious to see this one in person and see what happens.
Joey and the Shining Star/Twitch and the Invisible Wind – The Owlegories Christian video series now has books that look at how nature teaches us about God.
The King of Too Many Things – This is the sort of book that catches my attention with the illustrations, but keeps it with a great title and premise. I long to be more of a minimalist, but I am more like this king. I can’t wait to read this one.
La Princesa and the Pea – A Latino twist on the classic tale of the Princess and the Pea. This is definitely the week for some great fractured fairy tales! Keep on reading for several more.
The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABCs (the Hard Way) – Poor little red cat gets chased all the way through the alphabet in this darling picture book.
Pickwick’s Picnic – I can’t wait to see this counting book in person. Doesn’t it look adorable?!
The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully Bully Shark – The Pout-Pout Fish series takes on the subject of bullying. This sounds like a great way to talk about bullying with younger kids.
Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole Universe – Companion book to the outstanding Leonardo the Terrible Monster. I have been waiting for this book for months! I am so glad it’s finally time for its release.
Twinderella, A Fractioned Fairy Tale – A twist on Cinderella from the fabulous author of The Three Ninja Pigs.
Pete and the Lost Tooth – Early Reader for fans of Pete the Cat
Showdown in Space – A new DC Super Hero Girls Early Reader/Leveled Reader about Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Miss Martian on an outer space adventure.
Little Legends: The Magic Looking Glass – Book 4 in this fractured fairy tale transitional chapter book series.
Phone-Y Friends – Book 4 in the Project Droid series about a boy and his robot “cousin.” These are written by the author of the Magic Bone series, which I adored. I’d like to check out one of these early chapter books for younger elementary school readers.
Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate – Book 5 in the amazing Princess in Black series. This time, the princess is on a playdate when a monster strikes. I can’t wait to read this one. I adore this early chapter book series.
Audrey Hepburn/Rosa Parks (Sept 7) – Little People Big Dreams series  of biographies. The illustrations for these immediately grabbed my attention.
We Are in an Art-ivity Book – Activity book for kids starring Piggie and Gerald.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


 

Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (And Why They Keep Biting Me) – Book 2 in the Adventurer’s Guide series about adventurers who get a new quest to kill the Dragon Queen – except they don’t want to kill her at all! This sounds like an awesome series; I’d like to check out the first book and see what it’s like.
Alex Rider Scorpia Graphic Novel – A graphic novel version of the Alex Rider story, Scorpia.
All’s Faire in Middle School – New graphic novel from the author of Roller Girl about a girl who transitions from homeschool to public school where her Renaissance Faire upbringing gets her more attention than she bargained for. I love stories like this and will certainly be checking this one out.
Assassin’s Curse – Book 3 in the Blackthorn Key series about an apothecary’s apprentice who solves puzzles and codes. I have book one on my TBR shelves.
Click’d – A girl’s coding project goes viral, but then she finds a dangerous glitch. This sounds so fun! This is on my list for sure.
Elsie Mae Has Something to Say – A girl hopes to save her home in the Okefenokee Swamp by sending a letter to President Roosevelt and stopping local bandits, but her cousin may ruin all her plans.
The Glass Town Game – The Brontë sisters have invented a game called Glass Town and one day when they are expecting the worst for their family, the four girls are whisked away to their imaginary town. This seems like a mix of fantasy and history (Napoleon).
Halfway Normal – A young cancer survivor tries to settle back into middle school. I have a feeling this will be both emotional and inspirational. It’s on my list!
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus – A girl without arms moves with her family to a rundown theme park in Arizona where she finds not only a friend who really understands her, but also a mystery. This book has been wildly popular among early readers on Twitter.
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King – Book 2 in this graphic novel series that’s a twist on Jack and the Beanstalk. This time, Jack’s autistic little sister has been taken by an ogre and he’s off to get her back.
Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won’t-Walk-the-Dog Cure – Book 2 in this series that is an updated re-boot of the classic Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series I read as a kid.
One Mixed-Up Night – Best friends run away to spend the night in IKEA. This has the feel of The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler to it. This is at the top of my wish list for this week!
Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon –  Rapunzel is back at the castle after the adventures of Tangled. Now, she and a lady-in-waiting stumble on a mystery together. This sounds terrific.
Shadow of a Pug – Book 2 in the  Howard Wallace PI series. I loved book one in this series, and I am looking forward to reading book 2.
The Book of Massively Epic Engineering Disasters – A book of “great” engineering disasters. This would be a fun addition to a science classroom or school library.
Harley Quinn’s Brain Squeezers – An activity book for fans of the DC Super Hero Girls
Genuine Fraud – A new story from the supremely popular author of We Were Liars. This was a dark story, and the format is unusual – it starts at the present and then works backwards. A very interesting way to tell a story.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass – This re-imagining of Snow White has a young woman with a glass heart and her step-daughter who was magicked out of snow. I love re-worked fairy tales! This sounds terrific.
I Hate Everyone But You – Best friends exchange emails and texts as they head to different colleges for their freshman year.
If There’s No Tomorrow – One moment changes everything for a girl who was looking forward to her senior year. I have no idea what happens to change things – which means I’ll have to read this to find out!
Nothing – A girl who is convinced that real life is nothing like the books she reads decides to write down the things that happen to her during her sophomore year and finds it’s not so different after all.
Running Full Tilt – A young man turns to cross country and running to escape a difficult family situation with his out of control brother. I’m going to max out my library wish list this week!
They Both Die at the End – Two boys meet through an app that puts you in touch with others who are going to die on the same day. What a fascinating idea! A little dark, but I am curious to see what happens.
Things with Feathers – Emily goes from homeschooling with her mom and her seizure therapy dog to high school. She lives in fear that she will have a seizure at school.
Tower of Dawn – The next book in the Throne of Glass series. I would love to read this series some time soon. [So many books, so little time]
Wild Bird – A girl spends 8 weeks at a survivalist/wilderness therapy camp. This sounds fantastic. I have this on my list.

Books for Adults


    

Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard – I have the James T. Kirk autobiography, but I haven’t had a chance to read it. I am even more eager to read this one as Jean-Luc was “my” captain.
Bringing Maggie Home – An elderly woman carries the guilt of a lost sister for 70 years. Can her granddaughter, a cold-case agent, help her solve the mystery and ease the guilt that has impacted the family for generations.
A Christmas Peril – First in a new mystery series staring a former cop managing a community theater group. I enjoyed this one; I’ll be reviewing it in a couple weeks.
Conspiracy in Belgravia -Book 2 in the Lady Sherlock Historical Mystery series. I haven’t gotten to book one yet, but I am eager to check out this series.
Dead in the Water – Denise Swanson has launched a new series set in Scumble River and starring Skye Denison. I read many books from the earlier series and enjoyed them.
Essence of Malice – Book 4 of the Amory Ames Mystery series, this one about a perfumier in Paris. I haven’t read any of these, but the covers are gorgeous and catch my eye every time. I’d love to read one.
March of Crime – Book 11 in the Murder-By-Month series. I read the first couple books in this series, but I’ve fallen behind. I’d like to pick back up on this one.
Pudding Up with Murder – Book 3 in the Undercover Dish Mystery series about secret chef who cooks amazing casseroles that her clients can pass off as their own. I have yet to read one of the books, but they are definitely on my list. But I’d like to know where I can find a service like this in my town!
Tale of Two Kitties – Book 9 in the Magical Cats mystery series. I have several of the early books on my TBR shelves. I love mysteries with cats in them – dogs, too.
Trouble is Brewing – An ebook novella that bridges the Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander with her new series about a brewmaster. I have already pre-ordered this one. This seems like a brilliant way to introduce your fans to your new series. I can’t wait to read this.
Armed and Dangerous: The Ultimate Battle Plan for Targeting and Defeating the Enemy – A new look at spiritual warfare.
Art of Star Trek The Next Generation – 178 posters featuring art for my favorite iteration of Star Trek, The Next Generation.
Blood Sweat and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made – My teen would probably love this one as video games are a big part of his life. I know many adults who would find this interesting, too. Sounds like a great history of technology book.
Education à la Carte – Dr. Kevin Lehman’s (The Birth Order Book) new book looks at the educational options available to families today and offers advice for navigating your choices. I’m looking forward to this one. I love Lehman’s work.
Forever Letter: Writing What We Believe for Those We Love – A guide book for writing letters that pass on your real treasures – your values, beliefs and love.
Ink and Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation – Get the behind-the-scenes story on the women who worked for Disney Animation.
It Takes Two – The Property Brothers tell their own story in this memoir. I love watching these guys on TV. Hopefully their terrific chemistry will translate well in book form.
The Last Arrow – How to live a life that leaves nothing undone at the end. This sounds inspiring. It’s on my library wish list.
Picturing Heaven – Adult coloring book for fans of Randy Alcorn’s writing. I tend to start adult coloring books but never finish them. But I am excited to see this one up close. I am interested in the devotions that go with the pictures.
The Suffragents (Sept 1) – Looks at the men who were part of the movement to get women the right to vote. This sounds like a terrific look at history.

SW Phasma sept1

BOOK NEWS: August 29, 2017

Star Wars! Wonder Woman! Cookies! Dr Who! Dog Man! Just in time for the upcoming long holiday weekend, we have TONS of new books coming out this week! Let’s take a look:

Books for Kids


Dr. Ninth – I love the look of this adorable series for young – and older – Doctor Who fans.
Bad Seed – This seed has been bad for as long as he can remember – bad attitude, bad temper, and bad manners. I can’t wait to read this one and find out about this bad seed.
BB-8 on the Run – BB-8’s journey across Jakku after he is separated from Poe. You can tell that the Star Wars folks are really amping up for the fall with all the releases this week!
Little Elliot, Fall Friends – Two friends vacation in the countryside for fall.
Mary McScarey – Mary loves to scare everyone, but the one person she can’t scare – her cousin Harry – is the one she wants to scare the most.
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures – A picture book biography of Dr. Temple Grandin, an amazing scientist diagnosed with autism as a child.
God’s Very Good Idea – A book about diversity and how all people are valuable to God.
What if You Had Animal Eyes? – The latest in a fantastic series of nonfiction books about animals!
A Leader Named Leia – An Early Reader about Princess Leia
Adventures of Caveboy/Caveboy is Bored – The first two books in a new series about a Caveboy. Part of the Read and Bloom line of early chapter books.
The Bad Guys in the Attack of the Zittens – Book 4 in the Bad Guys series. I haven’t been able to read one of these yet, but they look fantastic!
Tales of Two Kitties – Book 3 in the Dog Man series by the author of Captain Underpants. I haven’t read one of these yet, but they are wildly popular.
King and Kayla and the Case of the Mysterious Mouse – Book 2 in this series about a girl and her dog who solve mysteries.
Long Way Home – Book 2 of the Adventures of Henry Whiskers early chapter book series about a mouse family that lives in Queen Mary’s dollhouse at Windsor Castle. This sounds – and looks – so fun!
Stone Cold Age – Book 2 in the Lucy and Andy Neanderthal series about cave kids – from the author of the original Jedi Academy series. Great graphic novel series.
Science Comics: Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield – I love this nonfiction graphic novel series that explores science for kids.
Art of Coloring Journey to Star Wars  The Last Jedi – I really enjoy this style of art for Star Wars. This looks like a darling coloring book for kids and adults alike.
Star Wars Made Easy – A friend of ours recently confessed that he has never seen a Star Wars movie. This would be the perfect book for him to get an introduction to the series. Everything a novice might want to know about Star Wars can be found here.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


                           

Angel – Book 46 in the Puppy Place series.
Auma’s Long Run – A girl in a Kenyan village is an amazing runner. Her skills could get her out of her village, but her father comes down with a new illness that is sweeping the village – AIDS – and Auma is torn between responsibility to her family and home and her hopes to find answers about this disease. This sounds like a heavy story, but an important one, too.
Ban this Book – A quiet fourth grader fights back when her favorite book is banned at school. This is at the top of my list!
Big Nate Good Old-Fashioned Wedgie – The latest Big Nate comics collection. My students adored these!
Boy Seeking Band (Sept 1) – When 8th grade bass player, Terence, moves from a performing arts school to a regular public school, he tries to put together a rock band as a way to make friends.
Emma Moves In – Book 1 in the American Girls Like Sisters series. Emma’s family is moving into an old family home with their relatives to start a bed and breakfast. While Emma is excited to be with her cousins, she’s not sure she is ready for all the changes coming with the move.
Guardians of Gryphon’s Claw – I’ll be reviewing this fun adventure about mythological creatures here on the blog tomorrow. Come check it out!
I Survived the American Revolution – Book 15 in this hugely popular historical fiction series for kids. Every one of these I have read was a winner!
Laugh out Loud – A kid starts a book company for kids run BY kids. This sounds fantastic and I love Chris Grabenstein’s work. I have this on my list.
Patina – Book 2 in Jason Reynolds’ middle grade Track series about four kids chosen for an elite track team. I enjoyed the first book in the series. Great addition for homes and classrooms looking to add stories with diverse characters.
The Secret Sheriff of 6th Grade – A boy carries a toy sheriff’s badge from his father as a reminder to try to make school a better place for everyone. This has been getting a lot of positive response on Twitter this summer. I can’t wait to read this!
Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood’s Revenge – An electronics whiz in a souped-up wheelchair takes on a haunted house and an online campaign against her grandfather. I want to read this one because of the cool protagonist. She sounds awesome and spunky!
Star Wars The Force Awakens Graphic Novel – Back in April I posted about a graphic novel that covered all three of the Star Wars prequels. Now we have a stand alone for The Force Awakens. I absolutely adore the art style in these. If you have Star Wars fans in your home or your classroom or library, I think these would be great fun for them. Terrific birthday or holiday gifts, too.
Tumble and Blue – A magic gator, rumored to bring good luck to anyone who finds him, meets two people at once and the luck is split. Some descendants enjoy great luck while others are devastated by bad luck. Two kids in those families are determined to change their luck by finding the gator again. This isn’t my usual style of book, but there’s something about this that reminds me of Holes, and I am curious to see how the story turns out.
The Van Gogh Deception – A boy is found in the National Gallery, and no one has any idea who he is or where he came from. I can’t wait to tell you about this awesome mystery that includes some cool information and features about art. I’l be reviewing it next week.
Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories – A book on writing for the middle grade crowd. If I was still teaching, I would have put a copy of this in the library. It looks like a great resource for kids who love to write.
All Rights Reserved – New dystopian about a society that charges people for every word spoken or gesture made and a girl who chooses to remain silent. This sounds fascinating and maybe a little on the dark side. I’ll be putting this one on my library list to check out.
The Big F – When Danielle fails senior English, she loses her one college acceptance, too. Now she’s off to reclaim her trajectory by heading to community college. This sounds so fun, I’ve already requested it from the library!
Dazzling Heights – Book 2 in the Thousandth Floor series about 22nd century New York and a thousand-story super tower and five teenagers who call it home. I have had book one on my library wish list for awhile now. At least now when I get around to reading it, I can jump right two book two when I finish.
Wonder Woman Warbringer – Did you see the Wonder Woman movie this summer? I loved the character! This new YA novel is first in the DC Icons series (Don’t even get me started on the Batman book, Nightwalker! I am so excited! I don’t usually even like Batman.) starring Diana as a young woman who breaks Amazon law to rescue someone (not Steve Trevor yet) and the fall out from her choices. This one is getting a lot of positive buzz already. It’s on my list for certain.
You Don’t Know Me But I Know You – A girl who knows she is adopted, but who doesn’t feel ready to read a letter from her birth mother finds herself pregnant. This sounds fantastic.

Books for Adults


Assaulted Caramel – First book in the new Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. Yeah! Another mystery that will make me hungry! I love Amanda Flower’s work, and I am excited to be reviewing this book here on the blog later this week.
A Catered Costume Party – It seems fitting that #13 in the Mystery with Recipes series be a Halloween themed book! In this book, the catering sisters are hired by the deceased to find out what happened to him. What a great twist right from the start! This makes me want to check out the whole series. I’ve requested this one from the library just on that fun, twisty, premise.
A Knit Before Dying – Book 2 in the Tangled Web Mystery series. This seems to be the week for crafty cozy mysteries! This series stars the owner of a yarn shop, and in this book she discovers another shop owner murdered. I’d like to check out the first book in this series, Yarned and Dangerous.
Macrame Murder – Book 3 of the Cora Crafts Mystery series. This book has the crew at a craft retreat at the beach. If I need a vacation this fall, I might just settle for this book and imagine I am at this crafting retreat myself – minus the murder, of course.
Murder Wears Mittens – First book in the new Seaside Knitters Society series. I’m so looking forward to this fall story about a group of crafters who band together to help two seemingly-abandoned kids as well as solve a crime. I am sad that many publishers have started to shift their new series to hardcover instead of mass market paperback. I know it is a good business decision for them in many ways, but I can get more bang for my buck when I get paperbacks. This one is on my library list for now.
Oh, Fudge – Book 5 in the Candy-Coated Mystery series. This is the sort of series that makes me crave our local candy shop. I’ve read the first couple books in the series and really enjoyed them.
Rubies in the Roses (kindle) – This kindle mystery is the second in the Cornish Castle Mystery series. I have book 1, Death Plays a Part, on my Kindle and I’m eager to read it. It looks terrific.
The Silver Gun – First in the Art Deco Mystery series, this sounds great for fans of historical fiction and mysteries. This series centers on an assistant to Mayor LaGuardia in New York City, 1936, and a past that is catching up to her.
Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars The Last Jedi: Phasma (September 1) – Captain Phasma of the First Order was a key character in the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now we get to find out more of her story! I met Delilah Dawson at Phoenix ComicCon several years ago. I loved her personality, but I had a hard time finding a book of hers to try that would fit my style as a reader. This is the book I have been waiting for! There’s lots of buzz and excitement around this one.  Our whole family is planning to read this!
Mom Set Free: Find Relief from the Pressure to Get it All Right – Wow, what a timely book. I don’t know about other moms out there, but my friend group struggles with this pressure all the time. We second guess our choices – or spend months trying to make a choice – because we feel the weight of this pressure to get things right for our children. This one is on my list, too.
The Perfect Cookie – Yum. What more needs to be said – a cookbook about cookies!
Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed -In a world that posts the smallest minutiae of life on the internet for all to see, so much of the nitty gritty – the real things of life – are left unseen. But maybe that is the way God meant it to be – so He would be the one to see and know us in all those real life details. I have this one on my list. It seems timely for some of the work God seems to be pointing me to lately.

Wedgie and Gizmo

BOOK NEWS: August 22, 2017

August is always a weird month here because while it is still technically summer, school has started, so it feels like summer is over. Thankfully, there are plenty of new books out this week to keep you busy whether you are still enjoying summer or you are back into school mode!

Books for Kids


 

Anne of Green Gables – Part of the Baby Lit line of board books, focusing on the people and places of Anne of Green Gables.
I’m Scared – Book 4 in this comic book/board book series by the creators of Babymouse. I have yet to see one of these in person, but I am on the look out because I love the art style of these!
Danza – This picture book biography focuses on dancer and choreographer Amalia Hernández. This is a perfect book to add to your collection of books about diverse individuals in history or for Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15).
Duck & Goose, Honk! Quack! Boo! – Best friends Duck and Goose are back in a new Halloween story. I have adored their previous books, first as a parent and then as a teacher/librarian. They are great fun to read aloud. I’m eager to read this new one.
Mermaid – The latest book from Jan Brett, the story is a unique version of Goldilocks. I loved using Jan Brett’s books in my fairy tale unit when I was teaching. This would have been a perfect addition to my collection!
Welcome to Super Hero High – This Early Reader focuses on the characters from Super Hero High including Wonder Woman. Great way to introduce younger kids to the characters so they can enjoy the other books as they develop as readers.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


American Girl – Growing Up with Aloha/Hula for the Home Front/Prints in the Sand – Three stories starring Nanea, the newest American Girl. The books take place around the events of Pearl Harbor and WWII. Prints in the Sand is a choose your own ending-style story.
Beast & Crown – A new middle grade fantasy about a boy trying to find a new life for himself and his friends by attending a magical ritual. I love middle grade fantasy! I’m going to be checking this one out.
First Rule of Punk – A girl tries to stay true to herself and gather other “misfits” to help them all find their place at school. I’m looking forward to this one.
Friendship Code – Book 1 in the Girls Who Code series. I can’t wait to read this series about a group of girls working on computers together. I started another series about coding for kids, and I found the first book disappointing. There wasn’t enough story to balance out the coding. I have HIGH hopes for this series to balance the STEM message with solid story telling!
Gregory and the Gargoyles – A boy is sent back in time to the 17th century when gargoyles and sorcerers and magical beings lived in harmony. Sounds like a fun new fantasy series.
Kat Green Comes Clean – A girl faces a boy-crazy best friend, the school play and her mom’s worsening OCD. I’m looking forward to reading this one.
Sidetracked – I loved this story about a boy with ADD and some anxiety who joins the cross country team at his school. I’ll be posting my review tomorrow, and I hope you will check it out!
Things that Surprise You – A girl entering middle school deals with a changing family, changing friends, and a sister battling an eating disorder. I love books like this that look at kids dealing with the transitions that come as they grow up. This one sounds great.
Vanished – Book 2 in the TOAST series by James Ponti. I reviewed this last week (I loved it!), and you can read my review here.
Warrior Princess of Pennyroyal Academy – Book 3 in the Pennyroyal Academy series about a training academy for princesses and knights that is under attack by witches and evil forces. I have the first book in my TBR pile.
Wedgie and Gizmo – It’s eager, barky dog vs evil genius guinea pig in this story about rival pets and schemes to take over the world. Sign me up for this one!
A Smart Girls Guide: Digital World – From the folks at American Girl, this shows upper elementary and middle school girls how to negotiate the online world including social media, cyber bullying, and online safety.
What Is Rock and Roll? – Covers the history and major influences in the development of Rock and Roll.
Who Was Fidel Castro? – biography
Going Viral – Third and final book in the Potion Diaries series. I enjoyed the first two books in the series – you can see my review here – and I’m excited to see where the story goes next!

Books for Adults


Y Is for Yesterday – Book 25 in the Kinsey Millhone mystery series. I read the first few of these but didn’t keep up with it. I’m curious to see how the author moves into these last couple letters of the alphabet and what that means for her characters. This book looks at a case of assault at a private prep school 10 years earlier.
Real Food Heals – I am fascinated (but overwhelmed) by the research of what real, whole foods can do for our health. I’m eager to take a look at this book and see if it is simple enough for everyday use.
Slow Down – A celebration of motherhood from Christian singer, Nichole Nordeman. Includes quotes from other writers as well as journaling space and practical tips.

Dog Dish of Doom

BOOK NEWS: August 15, 2017

It’s a slow book release week for me, but what we lack in numbers we make up for in quality. Take a look at some great books coming out this week:

Books for Kids


 

Alexander Graham Bell Answers the Call – A new picture book biography of Alexander Graham Bell. I love that this one includes the things in Bell’s life that inspired his curiosity about sound and eventually led to the invention of the telephone.
Creepy Pair of Underwear – From the pair who brought us Creepy Carrots (a fun, slightly creepy story about vegetables) comes this slightly creepy story about glow-in-the-dark underwear.
The X-Files: Earth Children are Weird – Scully and Mulder (The X-Files) are kids in this picture book that wants to introduce the characters to a new, younger audience. My husband adores The X-Files, so we are pretty excited about seeing this book in person.
Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis – Book 2 in the Crafty Cat series. I’ve not read these, but the books look adorable, and I love crafting characters. I’d love to read these.
The Mouse House – The 11th book in the Adventures of Sophie Mouse series, a delightful early chapter book series starring a darling little mouse. I loved these when I was buying books for my students who were just venturing into chapter books.
Sydney and Simon: To the Moon – Book 3 in the Sydney and Simon series by Paul and Peter Reynolds. I adore Peter H. Reynolds‘ work so this grabbed my attention immediately. This is a STEAM story to help kids get excited about science, technology, engineering, etc.
Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects – I love the Iggy Peck/Ada Twist/Rosie Revere books and I’m thrilled that the author has put together some activity books for her readers. This one includes over 40 design/STEAM projects for kids to try themselves. SO cool! This would easily work for older readers, too, who are interested in design or STEAM.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


Best. Night. Ever. – Seven authors tell the story of a middle school dance from the perspective of seven different kids. I’ll be reviewing this one later this week.
Lucy and the Rocket Dog – A dog is accidentally launched into space in a craft made by her owner, Lucy, a young scientist. Both Lucy and her dog, Laika, tell the story of this adventure and Lucy’s efforts to rescue her best friend. This sounds great.
Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space:  The Darkness – Book four of six in this Star Wars series that takes place after Revenge of the Sith.
The Wild Ones: Great Escape – Book 3 in this series starring a raccoon hero. This time the animals are trying to break their friends out of the local zoo.
Percy Jackson Coloring Book – Adult coloring books are still on trend, and publishers continue to release books for different pop culture properties that are popular. My family is looking forward to this one.
The Voice, The Revolution and the Key – Book 7 in the Epic Order of the Seven series. This story centers on Patrick Henry and George Washington and the roles they will play in the creation of the United States. A great Christian fiction series for teens.

Books for Adults


Dog Dish of Doom – Book 1 in the Agent to the Paws series about a woman who is an agent for animals that work in show business. This is top of my wish list for this week!
Awaken: 90 Days with the God Who Speaks – Apparently this released a couple weeks ago and I had it on my list for this week instead. But I don’t want to miss talking about this, so I kept it in the list for this week. I don’t have a devotional I am doing right now. I’m just reading through different sections of the Bible. I don’t have a great track record with keeping up with daily devotionals. But I would like to take a closer look at this one because I like the author, Priscilla Shirer, so much.
Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks (Bible Study Book) – Looks like this might be a re-print of the author’s older material, but I have just recently started reading her work, so for me this is new material. I am looking forward to reading this one. I’m always on the look out for new study material, and this is an author I trust (Shirer, again).
Passionate Readers: The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child – I may not be teaching right now, but I am still passionate about education. I have followed the author, Pernille Ripp, online for awhile now, and I love her philosophy and her approach to education. This would be on my professional development TBR if I was still teaching.
The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore – From a journalist who covered the 2016 election cycle, this book looks at not just the election itself, but also the polarizing of our country in recent years that led to the election season we experienced. I have become more interested in politics and the news over the last 18 months, and this book sounds like an interesting look at the things going on in our nation.
Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life – A comic-style exploration of introversion. This looks like a fun read, even for an extrovert like me.
What Your Clutter Is Trying to Tell You – While focusing primarily on clutter in your physical space, this also addresses clutter in relationships and personal life and habits. I’m curious what my clutter – which I have been trying to tackle off and on for the last year – wants to tell me!

What are you adding to your TBR this week?

Here Comes Teacher Cat

BOOK NEWS: August 8, 2017

This August is a great time for book lovers! Lots of great books coming this month, including these releases for this week:

Books for Kids


Alice the Amber Fairy – I love the illustrations in this fairy series. I think they are eye-catching and a big hit with young readers.
Here Comes Teacher Cat – Fifth book in this collection of sparsely worded stories about a mischievous cat who this time finds himself serving as a substitute teacher. This is at the top of my list for this week. I have loved all of the previous books in this fun collection.
I Can Love Like Jesus – Lovely picture book looks at the ways Jesus showed love to others and encourages readers to do the same. I’d love to see this one in person, too.
Little Red Riding Sheep – Arnold the sheep is SO excited to star in his first book. Surely the author won’t mind a few suggestions. This is right up my alley. It reminds me a little of Don’t Read this Book which is a lot of fun to share with a class of students.
When a Wolf Is Hungry – A hungry wolf is mistaken for a helpful neighbor. I’d love to read this one. Sounds great.
You Must Bring a Hat – A boy meets an unusual collection of animals as they try to get into a party with a lot of rules. Looks darling!
Jigsaw Jones: The Case from Outer Space AND The Case of the Smelly Sneaker – Some of the first chapter books my teen read were the Jigsaw Jones mysteries. I LOVE that they are producing some new books in the series for today’s readers. Great mystery series for elementary readers.
Secret of of the Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning AND Race to the Ark – Two new Christian books for kids about a mysterious scroll that transports kids to Bible times. Sounds like a Christian version of Magic Tree House or a Bible-based Imagination Station. I’m curious to see these in person and see how they hold up both as an engaging story and in their ties to the Bible.
The Good Fight – A look at the Revolutionary War era for kids

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


    

Forever Court – Book 2 in the Knights of the Borrowed Dark series about an ancient order of knights that keep monsters at bay. Sounds like a great fantasy series.
Just Sayin’ – Kids in an almost-blended family try to figure out why their parents have broken up.  Looking forward to this Christian book for kids.
The Real Us – A pretty and perfect middle-schooler experiences her first pimple right before the big dance, and everything she thought she knew about herself, her friends, and her place in the social order starts to fall apart. I’ll be reviewing this book this week.
Wilder Boys – The latest MAX book from Aladdin, this is a reprint of an older title, and first in a series about two boys who discover a secret about their mother’s boyfriend and head off across the country on their own to find their father. Sounds like a great outdoors, survival sort of adventure story.
World’s Greatest Adventure Machine – Four lucky kids get to try out a new roller coaster adventure. Sounds like a fun adventure.
Who Are Venus and Serena Williams?
Who Is Pope Francis?
Who Was Andrew Jackson?
Bakersville Dozen – After a video goes viral, one by one the girls involved go missing and the police have no clue what happened to them. When one of the girls gets an invitation to a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s a cute surprise from her boyfriend, but it is something much more sinister as she starts to find the bodies of the missing girls. Sounds like an edge-of-your-seat, read-in-one-sitting kind of story!
In Some Other Life – A girl chooses her crush over her future, but when her crush betrays her she gets a chance to see what her life might have been like if she made a different choice. I LOVE stories like this where characters get to see the “other path.” Definitely on my list!
League of American Traitors – A teen discovers he is the last surviving descendant of Benedict Arnold, noted Revolutionary War spy. He also learns that the war between heroes and traitors has continued to the present day, and his only hope to avoid a duel to the death is to finish his father’s research and clear Benedict Arnold’s name.  Sounds like a terrific historical adventure!
Reunited – Book 3 in the Reawakened series tied to Egyptian mythology. Our family enjoyed the Rick Riordan Egyptian series so we might have to give this one a try.
This Is Not the End – Resurrection technology exists. After a fatal accident, a teen has the chance to save one person. Does she choose her best friend or her boyfriend? This sounds fantastic!

Books for Adults


 

Any Dream Will Do – A young woman and a widowed pastor are both looking for a fresh start. And they may have found that in each other. But secrets from the past might destroy their second chance. Sounds like a great story just like you would expect from Debbie Macomber.
Emma in the Night – Two sisters go missing, but only one returns. A psychologist tries to get at the truth of what really happened to the girls. Sounds like a great psychological thriller.
Hollywood Homicide – First book in the Detective by Day mystery series about an actress who investigates the fatal hit-and-run she witnesses. This one is definitely on my list!
The Paris Spy – Book 7 in the Maggie Hope mystery series set in World War II. I’ve read one book in the series, but I have the rest on my TBR. Looking forward to getting to this one.
Star Wars: Heroes of the Force – Includes interviews from the cast. This will be a hugely popular book in my house as we are all big Star Wars fans, looking forward to the new movie this December. Best of articles from Star Wars Insider.
Identity Matters: Discovering Who You Are in Christ – Identity in Christ is a theme I have been working on this year, so this book is definitely on my list.
Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of this Wild and Glorious Life – Latest from Jen Hatmaker, includes essays and humor about day to day life. I enjoy Jen’s essays as well as her social media posts. I am hoping to get a special edition from Barnes and Noble this week when the book releases.
She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You – Christian Living title for women about rediscovering the life you’re meant to live. There’s going to be an online group going through this one, so I have already pre-ordered this. Looking forward to reading it.
The Wellness Revelation: Lose What Weighs You Down So You Can Love God, Yourself and Others – An eight week journey to health and fitness including Bible study and small group questions. I have this one on my list.
The Writing Revolution – A writing strategy for schools that could be used across the curriculum. I might check this one out for use at home for my teen who could use help in growing as a writer.

Gospel Centered Mom

BOOK NEWS: August 1, 2017

Welcome to the first post of new books coming this August. There are tons of things to get excited about this week including new Star Wars books for kids, new graphic novels, a Spider-Man book for teens, and several new Christian Living titles. Here they are:

Books for Kids


     

Confiscated – When two brothers keep fighting, Mama keeps taking things away until they have nothing left.
Dogosaurus Rex – This sounds a lot like Silly Doggy and Naughty Kitty, except this time the pet not quite behaving is a dinosaur instead of a dog.
Little Red Ruthie: A Hanukkah Tale – A new take on a classic favorite, Red Ridinghood gets a Hanukkah spin.
Ace!/Jumpa!/Krypto!/Streaky! – This series for young readers focuses on the pets of super heroes like Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Supergirl.
The Boy Who Cried Vampire/The Lion, The Mouse and the Invaders from Zurg/Robo Battle of Mega Tortoise vs. Hazard Hare/The Ugly Dino Hatching – Four new graphic novels in the Far Out Fabels series. I adore these fractured fairy tales! I bought some of the Far Out Fairy Tales series for the library when I was teaching, and my students loved them.
Secret Ninja Force – Early Reader focused on the story of the LEGO Ninjago Movie.
SW Forces of Destiny: Meet the Heroes – This Early Reader looks at the many female heroes of Star Wars.
SW Forces of Destiny, Volume 1 – Looks at the stories of Sabine, Rey and Padmé in this Early Reader format. Volume 2, out in October, will look at Jyn, Ahsoka and Leia.
Amazo and the Planetary Reboot – New addition to the Justice League series.
A Big Day for Baseball – Book 29 in the Magic Tree House series. Looks like Magic Tree House might be spinning off the Merlin Mission stories and picking up the regular series again with #29. This time Jack and Annie will get to be bat boys in 1947.
Bright Lights Big Kitty – Book 4 in the Animal Inn series for young readers about an animal spa.
Catwoman’s Purrfect Plot – A new Batman and Robin adventure.
Fishin’: Impossible – Book 8 in the Shark School series
Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench! – Book 10 in the Here’s Hank series, a younger reader’s version of the Hank Zipzer books.
The Missing Mola Lisa – New mystery series about 2nd grade crime solvers.
Baseball Fact Tracker – Nonfiction companion to the latest Magic Tree House book, A Big Day for Baseball.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


  

The Catacombs of Chaos/The Eagle of Rome – These are the first two books in the Lottie Lipton Adventures series. Lottie is an investigator who lives at the British Museum. I’ll be reviewing The Eagle of Rome next week here on the blog.
Confessions from the Principal’s Kid – During school she is an outsider because her mom is the principal, but after school she is part of the in-crowd of students whose parents are teachers. But what Allie really wants is to be on the popular math team so she can feel like an insider during the school day, too. As a former teacher, and a former teacher’s kid, I am looking forward to this one!
The Countdown Conspiracy – Six kids are chosen for a mission to Mars. When one of them starts receiving threats, the whole mission might be scrapped.
The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo – A kid who longs for adventure may just get his wish when his parents are kidnapped, and he bands together with his butler, his nemesis, and his pet cobra to save the day.
Dinosaur Empire – Book 1 in the Earth Before Us graphic novel series about a girl who travels back in time to learn about the dinosaurs before her big test.
Friday Barnes No Rules – Book 4 in the fantastic Friday Barnes mystery series. In this story, Friday is looking for a prankster who fired all the teachers. I’ve already pre-ordered this one, and I’m excited to dive in as soon as it gets here.
The Loser’s Club – The latest book from Andrew Clements focuses on a boy who starts a club at school so he has time to read without getting hassled. He expects to be the only club member, but he is in for a surprise. I have adored Clements’ earlier books like No Talking and Frindle. This one is near the top of my wish list for this week.
Royal Crush – Book 3 in the From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess series by Meg Cabot. This is a Princess Diaries series for younger readers. I loved the first two books in this series, and I’m excited to see what happens next for Princess Olivia (half-sister of Princess Mia).
Surfside Girls: Secret of Danger Point – Graphic novel – first in a new series – about a girl who starts seeing strange things after swimming through an underwater cave.
Tiny Tim – Book 11 in the Dog Diaries series
Zinnia and the Bees – A young girl’s older brother/best friend has disappeared and a hive of bees have found a home in her hair. What else could possibly happen? This book has been getting a lot of positive buzz (pardon the pun) online all summer. I’m looking forward to reading this.
A Kid’s Guide to the Names of God – A kid’s study resource or maybe devotional, looking into the names of God from the Bible.
Genius: The Con – Sequel to Genius: The Game. I will review this one later this week.
Just Friends – Two kids fool the whole school into believing that they have been best friends for years. But the ones they might be lying to the most are themselves. This sounds terrific.
Miles Morales, Spider-Man – Latest in an exciting series of original YA stories about various superheroes (Black Widow, Iron Man, with Wonder Woman and Batman coming later this year). In this story, Miles is starting to wonder if he should even be Spider-Man any more when he discovers a plot that puts his friends and his neighborhood at risk. I’m not much of a Spider-Man fan – although I loved the Spider-Man: Homecoming movie this summer – but this story sounds intriguing, and I want to give it a try.
The Secret History of Us – A young girl has lost four years of her memory after a car accident. I’ve noticed more of this memory-loss books lately. They are a great way of exploring identity.
Solo – A young man on the brink of finishing high school and starting college finds his world crumbling around him, leading him to Ghana, Africa to find himself. I reviewed this one last week.
Truthers – A teen is drawn into the world of conspiracy theorists who believe 9/11 was part of a government conspiracy.
#Truth: 365 Devotions for Teens Connecting Life and Faith – Each month has a different emphasis, from the TRUTH that God exists to the TRUTH about Christ’s return. Looks like a great resource for teens looking for a daily devotional.

Books for Adults


The Assault – Book 2 in the Harbringer series which pulls together 4 renowned Christian authors writing about a group of strangers drawn together to fight a dark force. Book one was a bit much for me, but readers who like their fiction a little spookier might enjoy this series.
Cat About Town – First in the Cat Cafe mystery series about a town newcomer who finds a stray cat who in turn finds a dead body. Sounds like a fun start to a series.
Chime and Punishment – Book 3 in the Clock Shop mystery series. I have book 1 on my TBR shelves.
Dressed to Confess – Book 3 in the Costume Shop mystery series about a crime-solving costume shop owner. I’ve not read any of these, but the description of this story (murder at a board game-themed festival) makes me want to run out and grab book 1, A Disguise to Die For, to get caught up!
Gone Gull – Book 21 in the fabulous Meg Langslow mystery series. This is one of my favorite cozy mysteries. I absolutely adore the main character and her family. I’ve had this one on hold from the library for weeks already.
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service – Book 11 in the Royal Spyness mystery series. I read the early books in this series and really enjoyed them. In this book, Lady Georgiana is on a spy mission for the queen while she checks in on a pregnant friend.
A Tangled Yarn – Book 5 in the Yarn Retreat mystery series about a baker running a crafting retreat.
All in All Journaling Devotional: Loving God Wherever You Are – 100 devotions with journaling prompts. This sounds great.
Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience – A creative study of 10 Psalms of Hope. I’m eager to see this in person.
The Gospel Centered Mom:The Freeing Truth about what Your Kids Really Need – This one is on my list, too! This will join a pile of other books on my TBR about recognizing that you don’t have to be everything  because Christ is enough.
He’s Not Lazy: Empowering Your Son to Believe in Himself – Your “lazy” teen boy may actually be conflicted and afraid to fail. I’m eager to read this one.

Thanks Obama

BOOK NEWS: July 25, 2017

Final week of the month means LOTS of new books. Here are some of the books that caught my eye for this week:

Books for Kids


     

I Am Truly – Princess Truly celebrates that she can be anything!
Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat – New book about Pug and Pig, this time with a Halloween theme.  This looks darling!
Ninja in the Kitchen – Early reader about a ninja who makes pizza.
Ariel Makes Waves – A new early chapter book series starring a young Ariel, the Little Mermaid.
Ella and Owen – The Evil Pumpkin Pie Fight – Book 4 in this series about two dragons, this time with a Halloween theme with pumpkin kings and witches.
Rider Woofsen – The Big Bad Wolf – Book 8 in this fun detective series for new chapter book readers.
Secret Agents Jack and Max Stalwart – Former spy Jack Stalwart and his older brother hunt down thieves while on family vacation. In book 2 they are looking for a missing scientist. My son read the original Jack Stalwart books when he was in elementary school and we loved them. The vocabulary was challenging while the story was perfect for his age. Great series. I’m eager to see what this new iteration is like.
Stick Dog Craves Candy – Book 7 in the Stick Dog series, this time with a focus on Halloween.
Hero Dogs! – True stories of animal heroes!

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


Almost Paradise – When Ruby ‘s mother is wrongly jailed for assisting in a robbery, Ruby and her pet pig have to move in with her estranged aunt (who happens to be a nun).
Darkness of Dragons – Book 10 in the Wings of Fire series. I have had this book pre-ordered for months! This is the culmination of the latest 5 book set of this series. Qibli may be Pyrrhia’s last chance to defeat a powerful animus dragon who wants to destroy those who hoped to control him. For me, this is a “drop everything” book. When this hits my mailbox, I will drop everything to dive in!
The Force Oversleeps – Book 5 in the Jedi Academy series (the first three books were done by Jeffrey Brown and this new set is done by Jarrett Krosoczka). Victor is struggling to get to class on time, there are rumors that his sister is a Sith, and he didn’t get the part in the school musical that he wanted. This is a fun series that combines typical school things with a great Star Wars setting. The format resembles a Diary of a Wimpy Kid style with both text and illustrations that seem to be hand drawn by the character.
Ghost of a Chance – Book 2 in the 100 Dresses series about an enchanted castle and a closet of dresses that make the perfect disguise for a girl named Darling. This sounds like a fun series!
Refugee – Three kids from different times (1930s, 1994, 2015) and places (Nazi Germany, Cuba, Syria) are searching for safety and refuge. This book is getting a LOT of positive buzz already. Timely story.
Five Elements – The Shadow City – Book 2 in this series about four kids who are magically connected to the elements who are trying to destroy a parallel dimension. This series sounds perfect for kids who love mystical fantasy stories!
Wandmaker’s Apprentice – Book 2 in the Wandmaker’s series about a boy descended from wandmakers who inherits magical powers. In this book, Henry hopes to to be chosen as the Wand Master’s apprentice.
16 Ways to Break a Heart – A couple gets together with extreme chemistry and witty banter. Their break up is just as feisty. Then Natalie leaves Dan 16 letters, hidden in places only he would find, that  detail their relationship and break up in ways he never expected.
Everything All At Once – When Lottie’s Aunt Helen, famous mystery writer – dies, she leaves Lottie a series of letters and tasks to get her to a take a risk. Not an unusual premise, but I love the writing/literary piece in this one, so this is definitely on my TBR list.
First We Were IV – A quartet of teens forms a secret society to right wrongs and pay back debts, but things start to spiral out of control. Sounds like a suspenseful thriller!
In 27 Days – Death offers a teen the chance to go back 27 days in time to try to prevent the suicide of a classmate. I am so looking forward to reading this one!
The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash – Two teens make a connection but a tragedy threatens to pull them apart. This sounds like a pretty basic teen story, but the description of the characters and their “nerdy banter” makes it a high priority on my TBR list.
Lucky in Love – A girl wins the lottery and watches everything around her change – and not all for the better. This reminds me of the book Windfall, except the main character in this book is the winner instead of an outside observer.
Solo – A new novel in verse (and music lyrics) by Kwame Alexander about musician Blade and his search for himself both at home and in Africa. I’ll be reviewing this book later this week. (Some sources have this releasing on August 1)
Grades, Girls and God: How to Survive and Thrive in High School as a Christian Man (July 28) – Really looking forward to reading this book that talks to high school boys about becoming and staying men of God in high school. As I have a teen, I am hoping this is a great resource for him.

Books for Adults


A Toast to Murder – Book 5 in the Mack’s Bar mystery series about a group of “barstool detectives.” I’ve read positive reviews for this series. Book one, Murder on the Rocks, is on my TBR list.
Come Helen High Water – Book 4 in the River Road Mystery series about sleuth Helen Evans who searches for the missing head of the Historical Society. I loved Susan McBride’s Debutante Dropout series, but I haven’t had a chance to check out this series yet, but it is on my list!
Deadfall – Book 19 in the Alexandra Cooper series about an Assistant DA  and two NYPD detectives who hunt for an assassin.
Gather the Daughters – A dystopian story about a community that colonized on an island after a national disaster. The children run wild while the men run the island and the women serve as wives and mothers until they die. When one of the children sees something horrifying, one of the teen girls who is resisting her future decides to investigate the mysteries of the island. I am fascinated by this concept and can’t wait to read the book.
Knot What You Think – Book 5 in the Quilting Mystery series about a quilting circle that looks into local mysteries. I’ve read the first book in the series, and I enjoyed it.
Muffin to Fear – Book 5 in the Merry Muffin Mystery series about a muffin baker who inherits a castle. In this particular book, a ghost-hunting TV crew comes to investigate the castle.
Murder at Chateau sur Mer – Book 5 in the Guilded Newport Mystery series about a society report in the 19th century in Rhode Island. I’m not familiar with this series, but I’d like to read book 1, Murder at the Breakers.
Wrong Side of the Paw – Book 6 in the Bookmobile Cat mystery series. I love this series about a librarian who runs a bookmobile to the remote areas of her community and her charming cat, Eddie.
Star Trek: Boldly Go, Vol 1 – Graphic novel collecting issues 1-6 of the comic Boldy Go. I have been collecting this comic since the first issue, and I love it! If I didn’t already have the comics, I would be getting this collection so I could have these issues all together.
Sacred Mundane: How to Find Freedom, Purpose and Joy – Finding God in the everyday spaces of life. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

Thanks Obama

BOOK NEWS: July 18, 2017

This summer is zooming by! Here are some of the new books releasing this week:

Books for Kids


    

Hot Pursuit – The Joker and Lex Luthor team up against the DC Super Friends. Great for the super hero lovers in your life.
Marigold Bakes a Cake – Marigold the cat bakes cakes on Mondays, but today things get a little out of hand.
Stay: A Girl, A Dog, A Bucket List – A girl makes a bucket list for her aging dog so they can spend quality time together
Whobert Whover Owl Detective – I think this is one of the most adorable book covers I’ve seen in a long time! I can’t wait to read this picture book mystery about an owl detective who tries to find out what happened to Perry the possum.
Wow!: The Good News in Four Words – A child-friendly presentation of the Gospel. I’d love to take a look at this in person – sounds great.
You Should Meet Katherine Johnson – New early reader about one of the women at the center of the movie, Hidden Figures. Great way to introduce younger readers to this figure in American History.
The Dragonsitter – Trick or Treat? – Book 7 in the Dragonsitter series told entirely in emails. Cute series for new chapter book readers.
Next Best Junior Chef – Lights, Camera, Cook – First book in a series about tweens in a TV cooking competition.  This sounds great for budding chefs in your life or classroom. Also for fans of  books like  All Four Stars or World’s Greatest Chocolate Covered Pork Chops.
Once Upon a Twist – Rosabella and the Three Bears – Book 3 in this Ever After High series for new chapter book readers about fairy tale characters who find themselves in the wrong stories.
The Secret Rescuers – The Baby Firebird – Book 3 in this transitional chapter book series about animal rescuers

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


 

Princesses, Inc. – New book in the MIX line by Aladdin about a group of girls who open up a service of princesses and pirates to babysit neighborhood kids.  I’ll be reviewing this this week.
The Ends of the World – Book 3 in the Conspiracy of Us series. I enjoyed book 1 of this series about ancient secrets and conspiracies. I’m hoping to catch up with this series soon.
No Good Deed – A new twist on the Robin Hood tale centered on an Olympic archer who travels back in time to medieval England. This is on my list as well.
Wesley James Ruined My Life – When ex-friend Wesley James comes to town and gets a job at the same restaurant as Quinn, she will have to decide how much she wants revenge – or if she even still wants it at all. I have this one on my list – sounds great!

Books for Adults


Collared – Book 15 in my new favorite mystery series starring Andy Carpenter. This time, Andy and his team are investigating a missing child case. I will be reviewing this later this week.
Killer Party – Book 9 in the Tourist Trap Mystery series. I’ve read the first couple books in this series and I enjoyed them. The series focuses on a coffee-and-book-store owner and the murders she stumbles across.
Planting the Heavens: Releasing the Authority of the Heavens Through your Words, Prayers and Declarations – Learn to pray with authority, confidence and expectation.

Thanks Obama

BOOK NEWS: July 11, 2017

I’m having a hard time believing that summer vacation is almost over. A month from now we will be back in school! Thankfully, there are still plenty of carefree summer days to do lots of reading! Here are some new books coming out this week:

Books for Kids


 

Black Belt Bunny – A bunny who is a pro at martial arts has to make… a salad. This sounds so quirky, I have to read it. Might be a great story for the kids in your life who love martial arts.
Murphy’s Ticket (July 15) – A picture book story of the Cubs curse and their World Series win in 2016.
Mitzi Tulane, Preschool Detective in The Secret Ingredient – Two preschoolers investigate their muffins for “dodgy” ingredients. How can anyone NOT want to read this book? A preschool detective!! The book blurb uses the word “dodgy.” I have to read this book! Second book in the series.
There Is No Dragon in this Story (July 13) – I cannot wait to read this book about a dragon who can’t find a story that will take him.
Brave Batgirl – This early reader shares the backstory of one of my favorite heroes, Batgirl. For older readers, look into the Scholastic DC Backstories series. They have a Batgirl book that was well done.
Living in Egypt – An early reader about living in Egypt. Part of a series which has already covered India, Australia, China and other countries.
Disney Princess Dot-to-Dot – I’ve noticed that intricate dot-to-dot books are starting to join adult coloring books in stores.
Star Wars Dot-to-Dot

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults


A Dash of Dragon – A teen chef tries to find her way with a new restaurant, a lone shark, magic creatures, and a snooty rival chef. This sounds like the perfect blend of fantasy and cooking story.
It All Comes Down to This – The new girl in a mostly -white neighborhood – and a black girl at that – Sophie just wants to do her usual thing. She wants to write and hang out with her friends. But in 1965 Los Angeles, during the Watts riots, her life is more complicated than that. This sounds like a great addition to stories for kids that look honestly at race in America.
Kid Normal (July 13) – A normal kid is mistakenly enrolled in a school for superheroes. This sounds right up my alley – sign me up!
Land of Stories Worlds Collide – The sixth and final book in the wildly popular Land of Stories series by actor Chris Colfer about a brother and sister who fall into a fairy tale world. I read the first book in this series – The Wishing Spell – ages ago, but I think I’d like to read it again and see how the whole series comes together.
Multiple Mayhem – Book 3 in the Gabby Duran series about a girl who babysits for aliens. This sounds like a cute series. Book one is Gabby Duran and the Unsittables.
Pennybaker School Is Headed for Disaster – A beloved statue goes missing from the Pennybaker School, and Thomas is everyone’s prime suspect. I’ll be reviewing this book tomorrow.
Queen Red Riding Hood’s Guide to Royalty – Tie-in material for the Land of Stories series.
The Sands of Shark Island – Book 2 in the School Ship Tobermory series by acclaimed author, Alexander McCall Smith. The stories focus on a pair of twins who go to school on the ship, Tobermory, to learn to be sailors and about life on the sea. This action/adventure mystery sounds like a great series to share with kids!
The Wild Bunch – Three boys head off on a wilderness adventure to find a local Bigfoot-like legendary creature. Part of the MAX line from Aladdin publishing. I have read (and loved) several books from the MIX line, which focuses on female characters. I have several MAX books on my TBR list right now – including this one.
You May Already Be a Winner – A girl tries to hold things together on her own – watching her little sister, writing letters to her absent father, looking for things to do in their trailer park for entertainment – but it’s a lot for one 12-year-old to manage. This is definitely on my list for this week!
Learn to Draw Star Wars – Learn to Draw books make great gifts and terrific additions to school and classroom libraries. My students couldn’t get enough of these.
Ash and Quill – Book 3 in the Great Library series about the Library of Alexandria in an alternate reality where the Library, and those who control it, wield power over books and information. I have book one, Ink and Bone, on my library wish list.
The Carnelian Crow – Book 4 in the Stoker (as in Bram Stoker, Dracula) and Holmes (Sherlock) series about Stoker’s sister and Holmes’ niece who team up to hunt vampires and solve mysteries. I’m not much of a vampire fan, but I might have to check out book one in this series, The Clockwork Scarab, to see if the story and characters click for me. This sounds like a fun team up!
I See London, I See France – Author of the middle grade Whatever After series publishes a YA novel this week about two teens traveling through Europe and negotiating exes and romance and family drama. I’m looking forward to this one, too!
The Lake Effect – Rising college freshman is spending the summer at Lake Michigan, working as a personal assistant. And nothing goes the way he expected. This is on my list for sure!
Waste of Space – A reality show where the teens are shot into space and have to survive. Sounds great, except it is all fake. I’ll be posting a review of this one later this week.
What to Say Next – Two unexpected friends join forces to try and figure out what killed Kit’s father.

Books for Adults


 

30 Second Death – Book 2 in the Tobi Tobias mystery series about a woman who starts her own advertising agency and tends to stumble across dead bodies. This time, she has to find out who killed the diva before her friend goes to jail.
Hello, Sunshine – Culinary star gets hacked and the world discovers everything is a lie. Now she has to retreat and reconstruct her life.
Ten Dead Comedians – Like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, a group of comedians gathers on a remote island where one by one they start to die. I’ll be reviewing this one later this week.
The Writing Desk – Two women, decades apart, share a writing desk and the stories of their lives. I requested this from the library a month ago! I can’t wait to read it.
The Darkening Web – Looks at the power and dangers of cyberspace.
I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool – Another collection of funny and true stories from this mother and daughter team. I have yet to read any of their books, but I would like to check this one out.
Reading with Patrick – The author shares her story of working with Patrick – first as a mentor and teacher to the teenager and then a few years later as he sits in a cell awaiting trial for murder. Sounds like a powerful memoir.
Remarkable Faith – Tells the story of the people with remarkable faith that claimed Jesus’ notice. Sounds like this could be a good book for group study.
Star Trek: The Klingon Empire – A travel guide to the Klingon Empire
The Strength Switch – Advocates for a parenting model based on drawing out the strengths of your children. Sounds great. Might work in a classroom setting as well as for parents.

 

So, what’s going on your TBR this week?