Monday, August 26, 2013

PB's Picks!

I know you've all been waiting in anticipation to see what Princess Buttercup recommends from this year's reading lists.  It won't surprise you to learn that two of the books are about rescuing animals.  Princess Buttercup came to me through an animal rescue program, Purr Paws, and we will both be forever grateful to them for bringing us together!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Kira has always been different.  With her yellow eyes and unique ability to sense the demons hiding inside the bodies of those around her, the people have developed a fear and loathing for the body guard of the prince.  It doesn't help that her uncle, the king, has forbidden anyone to reveal the presence of demons in their midst for fear the people will panic.

Despite her outcast status, Kira is determined to keep the kingdom and especially her young nephew, Prince Taejo safe from the demon threat.  Everything changes when enemy forces, lead by demon possessed rulers sweep through the seven kingdoms destroying everything in their path.  Now that these Yamato warriors are at the gate of her beloved Hansong, Kira must do everything she can to help the prince escape the violence.

All seems lost until the monks remind everyone of an ancient prophecy at a Dragon Musado, a great warrior with will unite the seven kingdoms and destroy the demon threat once and for all.  Could this prophecy have something to do with Kira and Prince Taejo?

Ellen Oh's debut novel is set in a fantasy version of ancient Korea and mixes history and fantasy to tell this fast paced adventure tale!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Family for the War

Ziska Mangold is not really Jewish.  Yes, her ancestors were, but her grandparents converted to Christianity years ago, so she has grown up as a Christian.  None of this matters when things start to get bad in Germany.  She faces the same persecution as the orthodox Jews in the neighborhood.

By the time things become dire for Ziska's family, it's almost impossible to leave the country.  She doesn't understand why the Nazis won't let the Jews leave if they hate them so much.  This is when Ziska's mother learns about the kindertransport.  Jewish children are loaded on trains and sent to live with foster families in England for the duration of the war.

Ziska is horrified that her mother wants to send her away.  How can she be safe and happy if her family has abandoned her?

My Family for the War is Ziska's story of growing up and coming to terms with a new life and family forced on her by Hitler and the Nazi party.  She will discover new struggles and fears in this life, but she will also find friendship and love.  As painful as her struggles can sometimes be, the happy times are bittersweet as she remembers those she left behind in Nazi occupied Europe.

Anne C. Voorhoeve's novel gives the reader a window into life for Jews in England during the war and the far reaching and painful effects of conflict.

To learn more about the kindertransports, watch this video:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Poison Most Vial

Ruby Rose has a problem.  Well, she has several problems.  She and her father have moved from her beloved home in rural Arkansas to the city where she has to attend the DeWitt school which is full of snobby super smart kids; Ruby's dad is a janitor at the college.

Now on top of everything, the famous Dr. Ramachandran, head of forensics in the college has been murdered.  And who do you think the prime suspect is?  That's right, Ruby's dad.

Ruby is desperate to prove her father's innocence, and it doesn't seem like the police are looking any further.  With the help of her best friend, Rex, a Jamaican boy with a large appetite and a larger sense of humor, Ruby begins to investigate.  She's making progress on her own, but when she connects with a reclusive former forensic pathologist, things really get going.

As Ruby works to prove her father's innocence, she may also discover that her new life isn't as terrible and lonely as she once thought.  Read Benedict Carey's new mystery to find out if Ruby can solve the case and clear her father's name.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Perfect Scoundrels

Let me just start by saying I love this series!  Globe-trotting adventure, romance, intricate heists, crazy characters--what's not to love?  This is the third installment of Ally Carter's Heist Society series, and it delivers on everything I've come to expect.

Katarina Bishop is no stranger to difficult situations and intricate plots, but this time is different.  This time it's about Hale.  His grandmother, head of Hale Industries, has died, and Hale seems more distant than ever.  He's been named the heir with a trustee until he comes of age, and Kat is beginning to wonder if her relationship with Hale and his connection to her family of thieves and grifters was just a vacation from reality.

To make matters worse, Kat gets a tip off that the will is fake.  Is Hale really the mark in an elaborate plot?  Will Kat be able to uncover the truth and salvage Hale's dignity and their relationship at the same time?

Kat will need all her wits and her entire team from every corner of the globe to pull of her biggest Heist yet!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily began life as an abandoned infant taken in by Tik Tok, the Shaman of the Sky Eaters.  Her status as an abandoned child means many in the tribe have always found it is easy to bully and demean her, but she has always been strong and independent.

That strength is what draws Tinker Bell to her.  Fairies don't generally stray far from home, but Tinker Bell is intrigued by this girl who barely acknowledges her existence.

The tribe has an uneasy alliance with the pirates, a dark and dangerous group, but there is one other the Sky Eaters fear even more.  This enemy is so dangerous, none of the people ever ventures even close to his lands.  According to all accounts, he is murderous, heartless, and ruthless.  His name is Peter Pan.

After a chance encounter, Tiger Lily seeks him out, and she quickly falls in love.  Her life now has two distinct halves.  During the days, she lives her normal life in the village, plagued by heartbreak and worrying changes.  At night, she goes to the burrow to the life of the lost boys.  It is a life of play and exhilarating danger.

But Tiger Lily has lived a life of pain and rejection, and she is terrified to express her true feelings.  Can she really trust Peter Pan?  And is her dual life distracting her from dangerous changes in her own village?

Jodi Lynn Anderson's Neverland is a magical but dark place filled with heartbreak and pain, but there is also a chance for happiness if Tiger Lily and the others can recognize the truth in front of them.

Bad Girls

From Delilah to Bonnie Parker, this book is a collection of mini biographies about bad girls throughout history.  Each lady has a two or three page biography with an illustration followed by an argument between our two our two authors about how bad that lady actually was.  These discussions are presented in graphic novel format as an ongoing discussion between the mother/daughter author team.

There is nothing really in depth about the women in the book, but it's strength is really in encouraging readers to view the women in their historical context and to reserve judgement.

This quick and fun read by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple should encourage readers to find out more about the women so they can get the facts and draw their own conclusions.

Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls

It's the last day of Nora's junior year of high school in 1956, and she has planned a long summer of parties, swimming, and relaxation with her friends.  Little does she know this is the day that will change her life and the lives of everyone else in her town.

No one really thought anything of it when Cheryl and Bobbi Jo didn't show up for the last day of school.  It's not until Nora and her best friend, Ellie, are headed home that they realize something terrible has happened.  Cheryl and Bobbi Jo are dead, shot and left in the woods.
Everyone is sure Buddy is killer.  He's Cheryl's ex, and everyone knows he's been stalking her since the breakup.  It's obvious he killed them...but what if he didn't?

Nora can't seem to shake out of the fear and anger over the deaths.  She spends all her time in bed questioning everything, especially once everyone else finds a reason to leave for the summer.

Based on a real life murder that has haunted author, Mary Downing Hahn, since she was in high school, this is a powerful story about all the victims of a murder, the living and the dead, and the lasting effects of tragedy.

Warning to usual fans of the author:  This book is much heavier and more mature than Hahn's other stories.  It's a real tragedy rather than a ghost story.