April 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

In this installment of In My Mailbox, I have four new books to report from the bottom of the stack to the top. And without further ado, here it goes:
Big Nate: Boredom Buster by Lincoln Peirce: I haven't read the series, but when I found it in my Easter basket, why not? Here's a summary:

Class clown. Self-described genius. Mischief maker. Big Nate knows trouble. Nate may not be Joe Honor Roll, but he knows he's meant for BIG fun. He's always up for scribbling, games, jokes, laughs, and creating comics. And now YOU can join him!

For kids (and adults) who display Big Nate–like symptoms (uncontrolled doodling, wisecracking, and Cheez Doodle consumption, to name just a few), look no further. Big Nate Boredom Buster will blow your pants off! This paper-over-board activity book is filled to the brim with exciting activities for Nate fans of all ages. There is plenty of space for kids to get creative, and all the favorite characters from Nate's world are included—the know-it-all Gina, Nate's best buddies., Francis and Teddy, his rival, Artur, and his least favorite teacher, Mrs. Godfrey, aka Godzilla. With personality pop quizzes (which Big Nate character are you most like?), the fabulous fun 'o' meter, cosmic cookie fortunes, create your own comix, the "honor roll or not?" amazing maze, rock and roll rhymin', knockout knock-knock jokes, and much more, Nate's world pops off the pages with more than 500 black-and-white illustrations that you get to help create!

An awesome way to guarantee 100% relief from boredom—learn to doodle, draw, and write the Big Nate way!

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George: I really liked the book Julie of the Wolfs by this author and I hope it's good. Here's a summary:

Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude—and danger—of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.

On the Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George: And the sequel. Here's a summary:

Two years ago, Sam ran away from New York City to live in the Catskill Mountains. Now his younger sister Alice has joined him and is quietly living in a tree house of her own nearby. Their peaceful life is shattered when a conservation officer confiscates Sam's falcon, Frightful, and Alice suddenly vanishes. Sam leaves his home to search for Alice, hoping to find Frightful, too. But the trail to the far side of the mountain may lead Sam into great danger.

Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go by Dale E. Basye: After a recommendation from a friend [he also recommended me Fablehaven, so I trust him], and looking at it it looks like a great idea and a book I'm not going to be able to resist. Here's a summary:

When Milton and Marlo Fauster die in a marshmallow bear explosion, they get sent straight to Heck, an otherworldly reform school. Milton can understand why his kleptomaniac sister is here, but Milton is—or was—a model citizen. Has a mistake been made? Not according to Bea “Elsa” Bubb, the Principal of Darkness. She doesn’t make mistakes. She personally sees to it that Heck—whether it be home-ec class with Lizzie Borden, ethics with Richard Nixon, or gym with Blackbeard the Pirate—is especially, well, heckish for the Fausters. Will Milton and Marlo find a way to escape? Or are they stuck here for all eternity, or until they turn 18, whichever comes first?

So these are the books I've gotten over the past week or so, hope I enjoy them.

Thanks for Reading,


April 27, 2011

The 39 Clues: Vepsers Rising

This book is the crossover novel between the two series about the 39 Clues. Four great authors -- Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman and Jude Watson -- team up.
Summary: The Cahills thought they were the most powerful family the world had ever known. They thought they were the only ones who knew about Gideon Cahill and his Clues. The Cahills were wrong. Powerful enemies — the Vespers — have been waiting in the shadows. Now it’s their time to rise and the world will never be the same. In Vespers Rising, a brand new 39 Clues novel, bestselling authors Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman and Jude Watson take on the hidden history of the Cahills and the Vespers, and the last, terrible legacy Grace Cahill leaves for Amy and Dan.
I really liked this book, my main problem with it though is the writing style. The first two parts [by Rick Riodan and Peter Lerangis] were very blunt and boring, which is disappointing because I know that both of them [especially Riordan] are truly good writers. But the parts by Gordon Korman and Jude Watson were super exciting and fun. Amy and Dan have finally adjusted to their environment, and it's interesting to be with them when they aren't so clueless.
Though there is nothing special about this book, it does really make for a fun, exciting ride.

April 21, 2011

The 39 Clues: Into the Gauntlet

In the 10th and final book in the 39 Clues series, Marget Peterson Haddix, author of The Shadow Children series takes the helm.
Summary: Amy and Dan Cahill are in London on the last leg of the Clue hunt, investigating the lost years of William Shakespeare. But as they close in on a shocking discovery, all the rules change. Who is an enemy and who is a friend? With the fate of the world in their hands, Amy and Dan have to make devastating choices. A single mistake could lead to fatal consequences and an unthinkable end to the hunt.
This book was fascinating. Shakespeare is one of my favorite historical figures and I was really happy he was incorporated into the series. I thought all the characters were a lot better portrayed, showing the many parts of them, not just the ones they're best known for. I thought the plot was perfect [though at times it's very confusing]. I thought that the villain or villains were perfectly depicted, and it was very easy to believe that they truly did the deeds that took place. This book is a fun, fast-paced novel; Probably my favorite of the series.
P.S.: I just got this book, but was too excited to wait to post it in a "In My Mailbox." Sorry folks!

April 17, 2011

The 39 Clues: Storm Warning

In the ninth installment of the 39 Clues, Storm Warning is the first in the series written by Linda Sue Park, author of the Newbery Award winning novel A Single Shard . Throughout the hunt for the 39 Clues, Amy and Dan have encountered some of the darkest aspects of history . . . and had to deal with the role their family played. But are they ready for the truth? In this thrilling book, Amy and Dan hit the high seas as they follow the trail of some infamous ancestors to track down a long lost treasure. However, the real prize isn't hidden in a chest. It's the discovery of the Madrigals' most dangerous secret and, even more shockingly, the true identity of the mysterious man in black.
The 39 Clues have changed a lot throughout the series. Mostly because each author brings his or her own style to the novel. But the series has also evolved. The authors have learned what works and what doesn't. My main problem is the 2-d personalities of the characters; they all seem so fake. But there are a few characters I liked. And just the plot makes the book worth reading. Linda Sue Park has really brought her own style to the books -- very gritty, edgy, and matter of fact. It's the kind of book I cannot stop reading.I felt like some of the other authors failed to bring their own style into the books, which resulted in a boring collection of purely dialogue and unexciting sequences of action. This was one of my favorite books in the series, a fun, plot-twisting ride.

April 16, 2011

In my Mailbox (3)

Okay, so in this installment of In My Mailbox, I have six books to report, the books are pretty mixed in terms of genres. Here it goes [from bottom of the stack to top]:
The Chronicles of Nick: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon: This book has been on my radar for a while, it looks really good and exiting, I just hope it's not another one of those vampire novels. Here's a summary:
At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends... until the night his best friend tries to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills then Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.
Nick quickly learns that the human world is one a veil for a much larger and dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.
But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh-eating zombies- and he's next on the menu.
As if starting High School isn't hard enough... now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?
How to Be A Pirate by Cressida Cowell: The first book in the How to Train your Dragon series was pretty good and super funny so I decided to get the second. I hope this one lives up to the standards started by the first. Here's a summary:
Following the further adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as his Viking training continues and his father leads a stranger and the Hairy Hooligans to the Isle of Skullions in search of a pirate's treasure.
How to Speak Dragonese by Cressida Cowell: The third in the How to Train Your Dragon series, once again, I hope these two books are as good as the first. Here's a summary:
In this rollicking sequel to How to Train Your Dragon and How to Be a Pirate, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III's loyal dragon Toothless has been captured. The nanodragon is about to be gobbled and Sharkworms are on the loose. With the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans in disarray, it's up to Hiccup to prove himself a Viking Hero.

A fast paced plot, slapstick humor, witty dialogue and imaginative black and white illustrations enhance this exciting tale.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson: My mom bought this book for me and I'm really excited. I loved Fever 1793 [by this author] and think I'm going to love this book. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and the Revolutionary War is my favorite period in history. I think I'm going to love it! Here's a summary:

If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.

The 39 Clues: Vespers Rising by Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman, Jude Watson: The cross-over novel that connects the first series of the 39 Clues to the second, this book looks great and I think I'm going to love it. But I have to read the 10th book in this series before I can start it. Here's a summary:

The Clue hunt is over, but Amy and Dan's adventure has just begun. The Cahills' secret enemy, the Vespers, have emerged from the shadows and are planning a deadly attack.

VESPERS RISING contains four explosive stories that trace the dangerous rivalry throughout history, from the act of sabotage that killed Gideon Cahill and tore his family apart, to the founding of the Madrigal branch, to thirteen-year-old Grace's first mission. The last story follows Amy and Dan after they've returned home to Boston and discover that Grace had one last secret-a reveal that changes everything they thought they knew about their family.

The 39 Clues: Agent Handbook: One of the two companion novels to the 39 Clues, which you might of guessed is one of my favorite series. Here's a summary:

The Cahills are the most powerful family in the world, but the source of their power has been lost -- scattered around the globe in the form of 39 Clues. The hunt for the Clues has begun and now is YOUR chance to shape history. But, beware -- the Clues are in some of the most dangerous locations on earth, hidden by the most famous (and sneakiest) figures of the past 500 years. This Agent Handbook is your secret weapon-it contains all the information your rivals don't want you to know about the Cahills and the Clues. Just make sure it doesn't fall into enemy hands . . .

This handbook has everything you need on the hunt:

Get never-seen-before intel about the Cahill branches, including a whole section on the Madrigals! Discover insider information about key players. Track hidden branch strongholds on your own Agent Map. Protect your secrets with 18 pages of codes. Forge documents to confuse rival Clue hunters.

So that's what I've gotten; hope they're good.

Thanks for reading,


April 14, 2011

Sarny: A Life Remembered

Summary: The Civil War is over, and Sarny has been released from the shackles of slavery. She's free, but what does that mean? This sequel to Gary Paulsen's acclaimed novel, Nightjohn, follows Sarny as she searches for her children after the war. Hope comes from surprising places, and soon Sarny finds herself in New Orleans, working, teaching, and building her life anew. Though the war is over, hatred and danger lurk around every corner, threatening her efforts to teach others to read. In Sarny, Paulsen creates a character that sparkles with heart and courage. His descriptions of her first days of freedom--her first lavender-scented bath, the sweet taste of canned peaches on bread, this novel tells the remarkable story of a former slave's amazing journey.
This book has such good word choice, with perfect dialog and descriptive words that really paint a picture in your head. But beware that this book is very depressing, and not for the faint of heart. I think there was too much unnecessary suffering, you can have your character suffer, but do you have to have her suffer every five pages! I loved all the characters, so it's just so hard to see them suffer. This book was really good, with the perfect style for this time period. Not the best book ever, but a very good read.

April 10, 2011

Zombies vs Unicorns

Summary: It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
Okay, so I'll admit it; I'm was totally Team Zombie going into this so I was pretty hard on the Unicorns stories, at the end of the book I was still that way; but the both the unicorn and the zombie stories were very good. All of these authors are amazing and really perfected their stories; my only complaint was that there was only one really zombie-unicorn confrontation story which was disappointing because I wanted to see how a zombie would fare against a unicorn. The writing style was very good; each author using their own style but still every one of the stories connect. This book was very good, and finally settles the debate: Which is better the Zombie or the Unicorn? Go find out.

April 3, 2011

Lucky Cap [Pre-review]

For my first ever "pre-review" I was able to lay my hands on a copy of Patrick Jenning's newest masterpiece Lucky Cap, out April 26. The summer before Enzo enters the 6th grade, his dad takes a job with a company cooler than Nike, Timberland, and Marc Ecko. Even better, he gets to spend the summer traveling with his father and the CEO/designer/head of the company, a cross between Steve Jobs and Lance Armstrong. Working out all Summer, meeting new people, and growing up makes him come back a different kid - more confident and self-assured. But when all the other kids, especially the girls, start paying attention and treating him differently, he ascribes it all to his cool prototype lucky cap. Flirted with, more popular, invited onto the sports teams - it's all thanks to his Lucky Cap. And when it disappears, Enzo stops at nothing to get it back, so he won't lose his new-found status, only to sabotage himself.
This book was hilarious, hands down.it reminded me a lot of "Wimpy Kid" in a good way. The big issue for me on this book was the characters; most of which were conceited and almost all of them stayed that way the entire book. Come on, can't you at least have a few characters for the readers to look up to!
I really liked the plot; classic Patrick Jennings. The book cracked me up, and so did most of characters even if they were self-centered. All things considered the good qualities deeply outnumber the bad, a fun, goofy book about making the awkward transition from child to adolescence.
This book gets released April 26, pre-order it on Amazon .

April 1, 2011

Red Riding Hood

In the Gothic adaptation of the classic fairy tale, based on the screen play that inspired the new hit movie and written by Sarah Blakley-Cartwight. Valerie's sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.
After her sister's violent death, Valerie's world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But now no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them - it could be anyone in town.
It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of the creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moon wanes...or everyone she loves will die.
Okay, so a pretty scary version of the classic fairy tale we all say his babyish! I didn't have huge expectations for this book. I thought it was going to be one of those books without any writing style; just writing exactly everything that happens in the movie. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading it and found out that it was very personal, switching narration from five different characters; Each telling the story from their mind. The one thing was the fight scenes, which went on way to long and started getting really boring. Editing people! Another thing was the sort of 2-d that all the characters had except for Valerie, maybe the author was just trying to make the star shine by placing her in a 2-d setting. All in all, a fun, sorta-scary, Twilight style novel.

WAITING 2 READ- April 2011

Okay, so in this month's edition of WAITING 2 READ I gush about The Throne of Fire, book two in the best-selling Kane Chronicles by one of my favorite authors, Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series among others. This book looks really good, I already read chapter one [they have it posted on the Kane Chronicles website] so after reading that I pre-ordered it from Amazon. So I guess you're all tired of hearing me say how great this book is going to be, I'll just start telling you about the actual book:
Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians. And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family.
To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished. First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly?
Narrated in two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment in the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.
Okay so you're probably really exited and can't wait for this to come out. So how long do we have to wait for it? It comes out May 3rd; so just over a month. But it will be worth the wait [I hope]!
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