Tag Archives: magical realism

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

18 Apr
  1. Middle Grade
    Middle grade is definitely my wheel house, I love middle grade novels because they’re not afraid to address the “tough topics”, but I like the underlying layer of hope.  YA sometimes is too dark for me!
  2. Historical Fiction
    I grew up devouring historical fiction – I loved Caddy Woodlawn, Little House on the Prairie, all the American Girls books and pretty much anything else. I’m not even particular about what period in history, I love it all!
  3. Diverse Characters
    Find me a book that discusses a culture, religion, disability, race, etc. and I’m happy. I think diversity is so important and I’m enjoying so many of the books that are becoming available that are diverse, but not about diversity.
  4. Magical Realism
    I love books with just a little bit of magic, in a very real world atmosphere. I always say that when a book starts with a map and ends with a glossary of words (usually in a made up language), I’m done!
  5. Realistic Fiction
    I really enjoy realistic fiction middle grade novels – I’m not sure exactly what it is about this specific genre, but I love them. I think I like that kids can see themselves in these novels and relate to these characters or be able to understand their friends and classmates. These books are powerful in creating a safe space for kids to learn.
  6. Fairytale Re-telling
    Tell me a story is a fairytale re-telling and I’ll pick it up right away. I love fractured fairy tales, retellings and everything in between. I think it’s because I already have a familiarity with the story so I get to enjoy the story that much more. It’s like visiting an old friend and not even needing to say anything, but just start up where you last left off.
  7. Coming-of-Age
    I enjoy coming-of-age novels because you can see so much growth in the protagonist. I lean more toward the younger side of coming-of-age and definitely more recently published books over the classics, but it’s a story arc that I enjoy and am always looking out for.
  8. Novels in Verse
    I didn’t read novels in verse as a child, but I really enjoy them as an adult (still in the middle grade age range), because they use language in such a strong way. You have to try really hard to create a novel in verse that is both powerful and accessible and those are my favorite.
  9. Mysteries
    I love mysteries – I grew up reading The Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, the usuals. I think the anticipation of trying to solve the crime and the adventure that is involved it what makes this genre work for me.
  10. Art
    I seriously considered an art history minor in college – I love art of all types, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, whatever you can find. If a book incorporates art (usually in a mystery), it will automatically get added to my TBR list.

    Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Book

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’d Love to Meet

28 Mar


I’ve been so lucky to meet some of my favorite authors already (conferences, BEA, festivals, etc.) But I wanted to create a list of authors that I haven’t yet met that I’d really love to meet in person!

  1. Anna McQuinn – Her Lola & Leo series is one of my favorite read alouds for toddler storytime not only because they’re all adorable, but it “about diveristy” without being “about diversity” – a family going about their day-to-day life who also happen to be Black. Love the series, would love to meet this Irish author!
  2. Salina Yoon – Have you ever seen a cuter penguin in your entire life?!?!?! These adorable stories of friendship just make me want to give their creator a great big hug!
  3. Kate DiCamillo – Everything this woman writes is pure genius and I would love to talk with her about where she finds her ideas (especially the names of her characters) and really just sit down and chat with her on the front porch (because I feel like she’d be the type of person who would love that!)
  4. Natalie Lloyd – Because an author who can stop a very quick reader in her tracks and pause because the words are so beautiful to read, that’s a person I have to meet!
  5. R.J. Palacio – I loved Wonder and appreciate the diversity in this story so much. I grew up helping my parents at programs for people with disabilities and learned at a very young age that a disability/deformity doesn’t necessarily stop you, you just have to be a little more creative. I love that so many kids have read this book and love it as much as I do!
  6. Katherine Applegate – Another prolific author, although I didn’t read the Animorphs series, I really enjoyed Home of the BraveThe One and Only Ivan and Crenshaw. I really appreciate authors who aren’t afraid to tackle the “tough” stuff for kids!
  7. Ann M. Martin – An author who I read growing up (almost all the Babysitter Club books) to the books she continues to write that touch my heart – she would be someone I would LOVE to get a chance to talk with!
  8. Nicola Yoon – I got The Sun Is Also a Star as a Christmas gift and it was one of those stories that sucked me up right away and I didn’t want to leave, so now I’ve got to find time to read Everything, Everything and if it’s as great as The Sun then I feel like we need to hang out and talk!
  9. E. Lockhart – A book that completely blindsides me is an amazing experience and that’s what I got when I read We Were Liars – to learn about how Lockhart came up with that idea would be so cool!
  10. Heidi Heilig – A newer book I got a chance to read – I loved the concept of time travel with a pirate ship and the possibility of alternate dimensions through stories – it was awesome!  Definitely an author I’d love to meet!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Book

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

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Read For the First Time in 2016

6 Dec

top ten- new authors.pngSome of these authors are new to me because they’re new to the publishing world (and I can’t to read more!)

  1. Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
  2. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
  3. A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
  4. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  5. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  6. The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
  7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  8. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  9. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten
  10. Mrs. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson

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

Book Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison

20 Oct

25810644Last week I tweeted, “I’ve got hives from working in my garden… or is it from reading ‘A Fierce and Subtle Poison’ by ” but in all actuality I ended up with a fairly severe case of poison ivy (which I’ve never had before) and let me tell you, it is majorly uncomfortable!  But, I’m laughing to myself because I just finished A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry last week and my poison ivy fits right into the story line.

Lucas spends the majority of his time on the mainland of the  U.S. going to school, but during the summer months he lives in one of his father’s hotels on Puerto Rico.  Lucas grew up listening to the señoras stories of the house surrounded by walls and wild plants growing all around. They say Isabel, a young girl with green skin and grass for hair lives there tending to the poisonous plants that surround the home.  Lucas has heard stories of wished granted and of death if she touches you.  And when a few girls around the island start disappearing, including his girlfriend, Lucas must confront Isabel to learn the truth in the stories and learn what really happened to his girlfriend.

I really enjoyed this story, with a magical realism that permeates the stories told by the señoras and the story surrounding the mysterious house.  I also really liked the relationships between Lucas and the islanders – even though Lucas is biracial, he “looks” white and with an affluent father who can get him out of trouble by paying people off, Lucas finds himself at the heart of the investigation surrounding his girlfriend’s mysterious disappearance.  Although very different in nature, the story reminds me a little of The Jumbies with fantasy wrapped in island culture and stories.

Twitter Booktalk (14o characters or less): Stories about the girl surrounded by walls living with poisonous plants invade Lucas’s dreams until he meets her and learns the truth.

Title: A Fierce and Subtle Posion
Author: Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: 2016
Page Number: 288 pgs.

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