Tag Archives: fairy tales

Top Ten Tuesday:Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I’ve Read

17 Jan

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  1. Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
    A novel about what it’s like to want the best for someone else, but also feeling guilty for wanting something for yourself.
  2. The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan
    A historical fiction, mystery novel about the first female detective for the Pinkerton Agency in 1859 – she might even have the chance to save Lincoln’s life!
  3. The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
    The perfect book for those looking for adventure in a fun and quirky package!
  4. The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore
    Firefly Lane is the perfect utopian society until Ilana moves in, then the kids start asking questions…
  5. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
    Corinne’s story is rooted in Caribbean folklore – a great story for those who love fracture fairy tales and fairy tales re-done.
  6. Last in a Long Ling of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre
    Lou learns about her family’s past as she tries to save her family’s home from being condemned – a story that doesn’t shy away from slavery, racism and prejudice both in the past and in present time.
  7. The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
    A story that spans generations – this is a beautiful story of friendship among the most unlikely of people.
  8. Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit by Octavia Spencer
    Randi Rhodes is not only a ninja but also a detective and she’ll need all her wits about her to save the Founder’s Day Festival and her small town.
  9. The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey
    Another folktale-esque story of a peasant girl and a princess who are charged with a quest to cure Aon’s sadness, but prevent the fall of monarchy at the same time.
  10. The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
    Brine Seaborne (best name ever) has a past that she can’t remember, but with the help of an obnoxious apprentice, Peter, some pirates and a little bit of magic, she may discover who her parents are or they’ll be eaten by sea monsters – either one!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created byThe Broke and the Bookish

Book Review: When the Sea Turned To Silver

27 Dec

28449045I just finished When the Sea Turned To Silver by Grace Lin this morning.  And I’m not surprised at how lovely it is.  Grace does an amazing job at integrating Chinese folklore seamlessly into a tale all her own.  This is the third companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky. And what I like most about these novels is that you could easily read them as stand alone stories, but if you pay close attention they are all woven together with characters, stories and locations.

Pinmei’s grandmother is taken away by soldiers of the emperor and it is up to Pinmei and her friend, Yishan to save her because without her grandmother’s stories, Pinmei’s world is in a forever state of winter.  Pinmei and Yishan travel to the City of Bright Moonlight, to the Sea Bottom and to the Emperor’s palace to save her grandmother all the while folktales bring to light more of the story than you would know otherwise.  The beautiful and lyrical storytelling is brought to life by gorgeous illustrations that call to mind the ancient art of China.

This would be a beautiful series to share aloud as I can only imagine the stories would be amazing to listen to and as I said you can read each book individually or read them together for an even richer experience. What I also love is that Grace provides a bibliography of where she found her stories, which leads me to believe that this is not only a gorgeous book to discover, but that it is also historically and culturally accurate.

Twitter Booktalk (14o characters or less): It’s up to quiet, little mouse Pinmei to save her storytelling grandmother from the emperor in When the Sea Turned To Silver by @pacylin

Title: When the Sea Turned To Silver
Author: Grace Lin
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2016
Page Number: 370pgs.

Picture Book Month Theme: Fractured Folk & Fairy Tales

5 Nov

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You’ll be seeing a lot of picture books on my blog throughout the month of November as we celebrate Picture Book Month.  You’ll definitely want to check out the website as picture book authors and illustrators will be posting an essay each day about the importance of picture books!  Check back daily for some great pictures surrounding a specific theme!

  1. There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight  by Penny Parker Klostermann
  2. Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz
  3. Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger
  4. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
  5. Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox
  6. Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood
  7. Little Red Writing by Joan Holub
  8. Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer
  9. The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara
  10. Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins


Review: The Girl Who Drank the Moon

6 Jul

28110852.jpgI received a copy of The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill as an ARC from Workman Publishing with a note that said “This. Book. Is. Sooooo. Good!”  And I’m inclined to agree.  At 400 pages, it’s a rather lengthy middle grade fantasy novel, but it was so fun to read as the story unfolded in ways that I expected and in ways that completely surprised me.

It reminds me of a retelling of a fairy tale, although the book stands on its own, it’s definitely not a retelling.  On Goodreads, the description reads, “The acclaimed author of The Witch’s Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic.” A statement that I wholeheartedly agree with.

Each year, in a small village called the Protectorate, the townspeople leave a baby at the edge of the woods as an offering to the witch who lives in the trees.  Every year, a (benevolent) witch scoops up the baby left at the edge of the woods, wondering why the villagers leave these babies, taking them to the towns at the other side of the woods to be raised in loving families.  One year, the witch accidentally enmagicks a little girl with moonlight rather than starlight and decides to raise the baby herself.  Little does she know, that this little baby will change the course of history for the witch, the Protectorate and the neighboring towns on the far side of the forest.  The story is filled with a cast of characters from a truly enormous dragon (who fits in the little girl’s pocket), to a monster that lives in the swamp, to witches, to a mad woman locked away with grief, to a unlikely hero unafraid of the sacrifice he may give in the name of true love.

I adored this story – a somewhat science fiction setting where the town’s government believes what it wants and keeps the townspeople from questioning their choices, to the fantastical elements of the magic of the moonlight.  This is definitely one I’ll be putting in the hands of kids who love adventure, fairy tales and stories that are just so beautiful to read.

Twitter Booktalk (14o characters or less): The Girl Who Drank the Moon is the fairy tale adventure of Luna, whose magic knows no bounds and cast of characters that are affected by it.

Title: The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Page Number: 400 pgs.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/22/16

22 Feb

I read SO many books this week!  I, unfortunately, got the 24-hour bug as well which left me down-and-out (of work) for two days when all was said and done, but I definitely put the second day to good use, getting a lot of reading done!

This week I read:

  • Stonebird by Mike Revell
  • The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
  • Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson
  • How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied by Jess Keating
  • The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics by Edward Keenan
  • Symphony For the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson

It was truly a great week of reading!  I enjoyed all of these books and hope to get some reviews posted soon!  As for the upcoming week, I’ve got a lot on my hold list that I’m hoping will come in – Nest by Kenneth Oppel, The League of Seven by Alan Gratz, Alistair Grim’s Odditorium by Gregory Funaro, Jackaby by William Ritter, The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary, and I Don’t How the Story Ends by J.B. Cheaney.  What I really need to start doing is noting where I find these book recommendations, because I add them to my TBR list and they appear, but I’m not always sure the reason I wanted to read them in the first place!


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

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