Tag Archives: magic

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/24/17

24 Jul

I’m not doing too bad with middle grade fiction lately!  Over the past week, I read Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder and Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk. I just started Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood yesterday, so I’m working my way through that story and have Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. edited by Betsy Bird, which I’m super excited to read. With family coming into town this weekend, I don’t expect I’ll have a lot of time to read, so anything else at this point is extra! I still have a bunch of ARCs from BookExpo America that I’d like to get to before the fall, so I might try and pick up another one of those, maybe bounce over to YA for a little while after the large amount of middle grade fiction I’ve been reading lately! Have a great week!


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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/27/17

27 Mar

finally finished Carmer and Grit: The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horowitz – it took me quite a while to finish and it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy reading it, for whatever reason it just took me some time. It’s the perfect book if you have a middle grade reader who likes fairies and magic but is also interested in adventure and science.

I also sat down over the weekend and read two other books that have been on my radar for awhile – Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate and Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan.  Home of the Brave is written in verse, making it a quick read, but a powerful one.  Kek travels from war-torn Sudan to America by himself to live with his aunt and cousin. He learns about snow, the grocery store and helps a number of friends along the way. It’s the story of growing up and holding on to hope. Amina’s Voice is a newly published novel from Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster that, “aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families, and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works.” And what I like most about this story, is that it truly is a diverse story, but at the same time it’s the story of a girl in middle school dealing with family, friends and school – things that absolutely everyone has to deal with. And although her family and her community come in contact with hatred that is all too familiar in this world, the basis of the story is a young girl finding her voice and that’s what makes this diverse read so perfect. Plus, I absolutely love how gorgeous the cover is!

This coming week I plan to read The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi and maybe even jump into some YA books – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge and The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis that I thought about reading last week, but didn’t get a chance to dive into.


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

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Wish Had More Magic

7 Feb


This Top Ten theme was sooooo hard for me to figure out!  It took me a long time to not only figure out what direction I wanted to go but also finding books that fit the theme. I spent a long time trying to decide if the books I was choosing would already have these elements in them or if they didn’t have anything to do with the theme but would be fun to read if they were different in some way. After thinking more about what I like in books, I decided to focus on magical realism, a sub-genre of fantasy/realistic fiction, so I chose books that either already include some magical realism aspects or others that I thought would be fun to see a little magic in them. Take these ideas with a grain of salt as I am not a writer and I already read these books and enjoyed them as is!

  1. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell
  2. Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
  3. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
  4. Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson
  5. Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
  6. A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder
  7. The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
  8. Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin
  9. Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu
  10. Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb

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

Level Up: Pairing Video Games with Children’s and YA Books (Skylanders)

14 Jul

Level Up- Video Game Book ListsEach Thursday this summer, I’ll be posting a video game and corresponding book list. This is just a fun, personal project that was actually the brainchild of my boyfriend who thought that A) it sounded awesome and B) that there are a lot of parents who would love to have some resources for those kids who would rather be in front of a screen than a book. I’m hoping these titles will appeal to both boys and girls who love gaming and who do love storytelling; they just need the right book to make them readers. Each list will include the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating for the game. I know that every family is different, but want to make sure this information is provided as I’ll be offering lists for games for younger kids as well as teens.

Skylanders (Everyone – Everyone 10+)

Skylanders_LogoSkylanders is a toys-to-life videogame similar to Disney Infinity.  The Skylanders characters live in a magical realm where they defend their worlds from a variety of threats.  The books chosen for this videogame include toys coming to life, the magical realm, and time travel.  These stories are perfect for boys and girls who like adventure with a little bit of fantasy thrown in for good measure.

The Doll People by Ann M. Martin

The Doll Family has lived together being passed down from generation to generation and nothing much has changed except for Auntie Sarah Doll going missing and the plastic Funcraft family moving in next door.  Annabelle Doll with the help of her new friend is going to find out what happened to Auntie Sarah at any costs.

The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop

Ten-year-old William has done the unthinkable – he has shrunken his nanny to the same size as his toy knight who lives in a castle handed down through the generations.  William now must shrink himself and go on a quest in order to save his nanny.  A coming-of-age story with just a bit of fantasy.

Knights of the Kitchen Table (The Time Warp Trio series) by Jon Scieszka

With a little help from “The Book” Joe, Fred and Sam are transported to King Arthur’s Britain and are mistaken for heroes when they defeat the Black Knight and trick a giant to fight a dragon.  Filled with humor that’s perfect for the age group this is a great series for early chapter book readers.

The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles series) by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

Jared, Simon and Mallory come across an old field guide in the mansion they’ve just moved into and realize that the magical realm is a very real place filled with creatures they have only ever dreamed about.

Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger

Stanley buys cute and cuddly Zombiekins at a neighbor’s yard sale, but doesn’t realize what he’s done until it’s too late!  When Zombiekins is exposed to moonlight he becomes a fearsome zombie-monster turning Stanley’s classmates into zombies as well.  Can Stanley find a way to save the day before he turns into a zombie himself?

Video Game Booklists:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/27/16

27 Jun

Summer reading means being busy all week and this weekend was packed with birthday parties, barbeques and graduation parties. That being said, I did get to do some reading – and some great stories at that! I read The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald, who also wrote Under the Egg. I love art history and seriously considered minoring in it in college, so these stories are right up my alley.  The Gallery is a story of kidnapping, hostage, poison, art and so much more. It’s a historical fiction piece with well formed characters and a plot that made me want to find out what would happen next. A perfect story for those looking for intrigue, history and art.

I also got my hands on a copy of The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner who has been discussing children’s literature and censorship ever since she was uninvited to a school visit because of the content of her book. And now that I’ve gotten a chance to read it, I don’t see anything wrong in her story for the age group. Granted, there may be some children who aren’t ready for this type of story or who are not interested and that’s fine. But, this story deals with a difficult topic that many families are dealing with and I think it’s important for kids to see that they’re not alone, especially when something difficult is happening and as a child you don’t really have any control about what’s going on around you. If you haven’t seen this book yet, I think it’s one that should be available in schools and public libraries alike as substance abuse and addiction are topics that some kids, are sadly, well aware of.

And this weekend I just started reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.  I received it as an ARC from the publisher and can’t wait to get back into the world. It’s filled with magic and fantasy and so many things, I can’t wait to finish it.

As for this week, I’ve got a couple things I want to get started reading:

  • It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas
  • A Tangle of Knots of Lisa Graff (reread)
  • A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff


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.

%d bloggers like this: