September 28, 2012

Review: Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita the Spacegirl returns in this sequel. She is still with Piper, who continues to exploit her, but longs to just get away. When a robot mimics her, she gets the perfect chance to slip away from being on display. Mouse follows after her, and we learn a bit about his background. This story focuses on fewer characters than the first novel, and so is stronger. I always look forward to more Zita! It's great to have a good girl role model in books.  The illustrations are just as wonderful, maybe even a bit less cluttered than the first book. Highly recommended! This review is based on a publisher supplied electronic copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

September 26, 2012

Review: mockingbird

mockingbird by Kathryn Erskin

I don't know what goes on in the mind of a child with Asperger Syndrom, but this book certainly made me think about it a lot. It's the story of Caitlin, who has Asperger's and is dealing with the loss of her brother, Devon, who watched out for her and helped her deal with the world around her. It is a very touching book, but really makes you think as well. I loved the way her mind worked, and couldn't put this book down, mostly because I wanted to see what Caitlin would do or say next. Highly recommended for the empathy it draws out of the reader. This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

September 25, 2012

Early Reading Literacy

I've given talks, workshops, and seminars on the importance of early reading and book exposure.  My own kids have access to books in the car, in the family room, and even in the garage!

I was delighted when I read this post, tilted Never Too Young to Be a Booklover! on a blog about picture books.  The suggestions are easy and fun. I sure hope, as we move to a digital world, that the magic of picture books isn't lost.

Enjoy reading it and please feel free to share your own ideas for fostering literacy with little ones by commenting below.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

September 18, 2012


The CYBILS, or Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards is a yearly book award given by the blogging community to deserving books and authors.  This year I will be a round one judge.  I'm pretty excited, as I will be judging middle grade fiction books.  Could I have gotten a better category?  I think not!

As you can tell, I'm a little excited.  I've read about these awards before, but only recently applied to judge. Here are my co-judges:
Round 1:
Art Spencer (Me!)
Book Voyages
Round Two:
Michael Gettel-Gilmartin
Middle Grade Mafioso
Jennifer Donovan
5 Minutes for Books
Cameron Kelly Rosenblum
Feeding the Flashlight
Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

September 17, 2012

I Thought So!

Here is an interesting article on who is buying "Young Adult" books.  I've read and enjoyed a lot of YA books myself.

New Study: 55% of YA Books Bought by Adults

I suspected this may have been the case.  Most of the people I talk about YA titles with are adults.  I do find some MS/HS students who talk about them, but not as many.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

September 3, 2012

Review: Amulet Book 5: Prince of Elves

Amulet #5: Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi

The Amulet saga continues on in book 5, Prince of Elves. This book takes us away from Emily and focuses more on Max. There is a lot of back story and history given in this book that helps to set up the coming war with the elves. This was a great addition to the series, and I felt as if there was more narrative in this title when compared to other books in the series. The addition of a map to the back of the book was a big help in determining where things were located in relation to each other. Kibuishi's illustrations are fantastically detailed and engaging. My students love this series, and I can understand why.

This review is based on a publisher supplied electronic copy. 

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!