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Review: Peter Powers and His Not-So-Super Powers

September 30, 2016

peter-powers

Everyone in Peter Powers family has some type of super power – his dad can control fire, his mom can fly, his older brother can duplicate himself, his sister is very strong, and his baby brother can turn himself invisible.  Peter is self conscious because he thinks his power of making ice cubes with his fingertips is pretty lame.  Of course, his siblings remind him of their powers’ superiority all the time.

Captain Tornado comes to town, robbing banks and getting away with lots of cash.  Peter’s parents are busy but his siblings insist they can defeat Captain Tornado.  When they take off for the bank, Peter and his grandfather go after them.  When they arrive, Captain Tornado has Peter’s siblings trapped in tiny tornadoes so it’s up to Peter to stop him.  But, what can he do with his lousy powers?

PETER POWERS AND HIS NOT-SO-SUPER POWERS by Kent Clark and Brandon T. Snider is an adorable chapter book for the middle grade crowd.  Many young readers will be able to relate to Peter and his less than stellar powers. Peter is frustrated with his powers and, to make matters worse, his siblings rib him about them all the time.  I loved Peter and cheered for him as he learned it’s not the power you have but how you use it that counts.

Dave Bardin’s terrific illustrations add to this terrific book that is sure to be a hit with young readers.  I think the superhero angle will pull even the most reluctant readers in.  PETER POWERS AND HIS NOT-SO-SUPER POWERS is the first book in a new series and you won’t want to miss it!

Ikid konnection new 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.

Review copy provided by LB Kids. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: Today Will Be Different

September 29, 2016

Today Will Be Different

Eleanor’s life is out of control but she knows she’s can get a handle on things.  She just needs to take things one at a time to get her life in order and she’s going to start today.  But, her son says he’s sick, her husband is taking vacation and has failed to tell her, and she runs into someone from her past who reminds her of the graphic memoir she was supposed to write.

A few years ago, I read and adored WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE so I had high hopes for Maria Semple‘s new book, TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT.  I did enjoy her latest tome but,  for me, it didn’t have the charm of BERNADETTE and I’m not sure why – maybe my expectations were too high.

Eleanor is a great character and I’m sure many people will be able to relate to her, but I found her frustrating.  I felt like she should have gotten her act together a while ago – if not for herself, it least for her son.

I did enjoy Semple’s writing and I liked the way the story was told – it even includes a few pages from Eleanor’s graphic novel in the middle of the book.  Readers learn of Eleanor’s past even as they see how lost she is in the present.  I do think TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is worth reading but it won’t make my list of favorites for the year.

Review copy provided by Little, Brown. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

September 28, 2016

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!

My first word came from Burn by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.

1. narcocorrido – “The whole way back up the 101 to Laurel Canyon, I listened to the Mexican driver behind the wheel play a type of music called narcocorrido.”

Narco-cocorrido is a subgenre of the Mexican norteño-corrido music genre, a traditional folk music from northern Mexico.  You can go on YouTube and listen to examples of this.

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I found two words in Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky.

2. coper – “The North Sea fishermen of the time were being exploited by copers, floating entertainment centers providing alcohol and tobacco at exorbitant prices.”

Even though coper was defined in the sentence, I decided to look it up.  My dictionary defines a coper as a horse trader, especially a dishonest one but YourDictionary.com says that it means, “a floating grog shop supplying the North Sea fishing industry” in the UK.
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3. komatik – “Packing a komatik required skill.”

A komatik is a sled made by binding crossbars to wooden runners with rawhide, pulled by dogs.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The Last Good Girl

September 27, 2016

The Last Good Girl

After freshman Emily Shapiro is raped at a fraternity party, she’s frustrated by the way the university and her father, its president, have treated her.  She falls into a funk but works hard to get her act together.  Emily goes missing after meeting a friend at a bar and the last person to see her is Dylan Highsmith, the young man she’s accused of rape.  Dylan comes from a wealthy, politically connected family who will do anything to protect him.

Federal prosecutor Anna Curtis is brought in to solve Emily’s case and she discovers some horrible things about Dylan’s fraternity and the school’s efforts to cover up crimes.  She suspects Dylan in Emily’s disappearance but it’s hard to prove anything without a body.

After reading Missoula by Jon Krakauer and following the Brock Turner case, I’ve become very aware of what a serious problem rape is on college campuses – one in five women will be raped while they attend college – so I was happy to see Allison Leotta address the issue in her newest book, The Last Good Girl because I think fiction will reach a broader audience.  The Last Good Girl is the fifth book in the Anna Curtis series but I had no problems diving in and catching up with Anna’s personal life.  As a matter of fact, I was engrossed in this book from the very start.

Anna Curtis is a fantastic character – she’s strong, smart, driven, and passionate about justice.  I have a feeling Leotta got all the details of her job just right since she’s a former federal sex-crimes prosecutor herself.  I thought the mystery and the investigation were solid and I didn’t see the twists or the ending coming.

If you’re looking for a smart, well written mystery/thriller, look no further than The Last Good Girl.  I thought it was terrific and plan to look for more of the Anna Curtis books to read.

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

 

Mailbox Monday

September 26, 2016

mailbox-monday-september-26

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I’m back after a two week vacation.  I’ve got so much catching up to do but I’ve hit the ground running this morning with my annual physical, picking up new glasses, etc.  I found these goodies in my mailbox while I was gone:

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Moo

September 23, 2016

moo

When Reena’s parents lose their jobs they decide a change is in order and move their family from New York City to a small town in Maine.  Reena and her brother Luke adjust to their new lives fairly quickly.  They’re not too happy when their mother volunteers them to help Mrs. Falala, a grouchy widow who lives nearby.  Mrs. Falala has lots of animals and lots of work for the kids to do.  They fall into a rhythm, though, and find themselves enjoying their time at her farm.  Luke is teaching Mrs. Falala to draw and Reena is focusing on her cow Zora – preparing to enter her in the fair.

Moo by Sharon Creech is a sweet book about the power of kindess that is aimed at middle grade readers but could teach us all a thing or two.  With a combination of great characters and a great storyline, this gem of a book is sure to become a classic.

What makes this book really exceptional, is the way it’s told, though.  Creech combines standard prose with verse and the two together tell a powerful story.  Moo is engaging, smart, and funny and will hold broad appeal to middle grade readers on up.  You won’t want to miss this gem of a book.

Ikid konnection new 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.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: Come Rain or Come Shine

September 22, 2016

Come Rain or Come Shine

Dooley Kavanagh and Lace Harper are all grown up and on the eve of their marriage.  They’ve bought Doc Owen’s veterinary practice and Meadowgate and are working on it while planning their simple, country wedding.  They’ve got a big surprise in store for everyone and they pray everything will come together before their big day.

Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon is the latest in her Mitford series.  Just like the other books in the series, it’s quiet, sweet, and comforting.  Fans of the series will enjoy returning to beloved characters and places.  The book won’t mean as much, though, if you’re not familiar with the series.  I’ve been a fan of these books for years and thought Come Rain or Come Shine was a solid addition to the series.  I’m hoping the marriage means there will be more Mitford books with this new generation in the future.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.