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Review – The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet

July 11, 2014

The Yeti Files

The Yeti family goes to great extremes to stay hidden away.

We have all taken a powerful oath to never be seen by the outside world.  The secrecy keeps magic and mystery in the minds of humans.  And we all know how important that is.

George Vanquist has different ideas, though.  He’s says yetis do exist and he’ll do anything to prove it.  When the Yeti family plans a reunion, they think they have all the bases covered but Vanquist manages to snap some photos.  The Yetis have got to figure out a way to stop him before he does too much damage.

The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet by Kevin Sherry is a fun book for early independent readers.  The story line is cute enough to keep them interested and there are appealing illustrations on every page.  It’s just silly enough to tickle their funny bones too.

The ending of the book leads me to believe The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet is the first in a new series that’s sure to be a hit with early readers!

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Scholastic. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: The Hollow Ground

July 10, 2014

The Hollow Ground

When fire burns in underground coal mines in the early 1960s, young Brigid Howley and her family are forced to move.  They have nowhere else to go so they move in with their grandparents.  Life has been hard on them – Daddy was injured in the mines and can’t work and both Gram and Ma are bitter and mean.

Brigid can feel the tension even though she doesn’t always understand it.  Still she longs for a solid foundation and strives to keep her family together.  As family secrets begin to unravel, it all seems like too much for an eleven year old to absorb.

The Hollow Ground but Natalie S. Harnett is a deeply atmospheric, beautifully written book.  I’m not sure if it was a matter of timing but I didn’t love this book the way I had hoped to.  There is much to like in it, though, and I did like it a great deal.

Rich in historical detail and inspired by real events, Harnett takes readers to central Pennsylvania with her gorgeous writing.  Times were tough and people were in danger and the tension is palpable.  Almost every member of the Howley family has a secret and Brigid unearths something that may bring them all to light.

The story is told mostly from Brigid’s point of view so she’s the most fully developed character.  My heart ached for her as she struggled to navigate the troubled waters of her family.

The Hollow Ground is getting a lot of well deserved praise.  I think it’s well worth reading, even if I didn’t love it as much as everyone else has.

Review copy provided by Get Red PR.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 9, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I only found two words last week, but they’re good ones.  My first word is from The Accidental Book Club by Jennifer Scott. (This is actually a quote from a book the book club read.)

1. vellicate – “She’d been hooking since she was thirteen, stuffing her grand, vellicating thighs into clothes three times too small, counting on her meth addiction to keep her thin, to keep her pretty, too blind to realize how not thin and not pretty she already was.”

Vellicate means to twitch, pluck, or pinch.  In this case, I’m sure the author meant twitch.


My second word came from Season to Taste by Natalie Young.

2. clobber – “Everything from the drawer full of paper clips and batteries, old receipts and other clobber went in the bin.”

I knew clobber can mean to hit something but that didn’t fit this sentence so I did a little research.  According to Urban Dictionary, clobber also means clothes and personal belongings which makes perfect sense in the context of the book.



What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Love Life

July 8, 2014

Love Life

Rob Lowe is back with Love Life, another memoir of sorts.  This time, it’s not a straight-forward telling of events from his life but rather snapshots or vignettes that show readers just what his life is like and why he loves it.  Sure, parts of his life are glamorous by most standards, but much of it is ordinary.

A few of the stories are from Lowe’s early days in show business but the stories that truly stood out to me are the ones about Lowe’s family.  He writes from the heart when he writes about them and I was moved to tears as I read about the love he has for his wife and the loss he felt as his older son left home for college.   It’s those stories that most people will be able to relate to and they made the book for me.

Once again, Lowe does an outstanding job narrating the audio version of his book.  Listening to it was like sitting back, hearing an old friend talk about his life.  His narration definitely enhanced the book so I recommend experiencing Love Life on audio.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

July 7, 2014

Mailbox Monday July 7

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   Last week was so busy it’s all kind of a blur.  Our nephew, Adam is visiting and the store celebrated it’s second anniversary.  Things were so busy, we even put Adam to work.  He didn’t complain, though.  Here are the books that showed up in my mailbox last week:




What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review – Toto Trouble: Back to Crass

July 5, 2014

Toto Trouble

Toto Trouble: Back to Crass by Thierry Coppée is the first in a series of graphic novels translated from French.  Each page is a separate comic but the action always revolves around a young, mischievous boy named Toto.  Quite a few of the jokes in this book are humorous and I admit I chuckled a time or two while I was reading the book but, in my opinion, many of them are too crude for the suggested age range of 7 to 9 years old.   I’m not sure youngsters will understand all of them, but one of them is about circumcision and I’m sure every boy will get it – I’m not sure it’s a conversation parents want to have with young girls, though.  To be honest, I’m not sure I would recommend this book to older children either.

The illustrations in this book are delightful and the fact that they’re in full color enhances the book but it wasn’t enough to save it for me.  The subtitle of Toto Trouble: Back to Crass sums the book up perfectly.

Toto Trouble interior

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Papercutz.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: Stuff Every American Should Know

July 4, 2014

Stuff Every American Should Know

Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese have complied a list of things they think everyone should know in a handy little pocket sized book titled Stuff Every American Should Know.  It’s a fun little book, even if you don’t agree with all of the authors’ choices.  As a matter of fact, they really don’t expect you to.

This book, which purports to be about stuff every American should know, is admittedly selective, idiosyncratic, and likely to touch off arguments.

As you would expect, I agreed with many of the things they included, like “What does the Bill of Rights allow me to do?” and “What’s a bicameral congross?”  There were quite a few things that I thought were fun but not things that are necessary to know like “Ten Things You Can Make with a Bandana” and “Who invented blue jeans?” I was dismayed to see that I’ve only read two of the books on their list of “Ten Books Every American Should Read”:

  1. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
  2. The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
  3. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  4. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  5. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  6. The Grapes of Wrath by John Stienbeck
  7. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  9. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  10. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

The last section of the book explains that in order to become a U. S. Citizen, immigrants must pass a test on U. S. history and government.   Tests are made up of 10 random questions out of a pool of 100, and applicants must answer 6 correctly to pass.  Kiernan and D’Agnese include 10 of the questions and answers and I had fun quizzing everyone I know – needless to say, most people did not score that well.  Stuff Every American Should Know is a quick, fun read that would make a great gift.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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