28 October 2010

Black Dragon Codex

Black Dragon Codex-Book 3.  Satia is an orphan and a thief.  Septimus is a black "evil" dragon who just wants to prove`himself.  When the two collide, Satia will have to use her wit to survive, and Septimus will learn that being evil doesn't mean you can't make a friend.  In the end they both are set free.

Grade level-2-6 grade

26 October 2010

Bronze Dragon Codex

One dragon who HATES humans.  One human who HATES dragons.  When a spell unites the two so that they loose their personal magic and can feel one another's pain, how will they ever survive.  Taetlyn's sorrow over her brother's death by the hands of a possessed "good" dragon, has twisted her fear into a boiling hatred.  She wishes to cast all dragons from Krynn.  Simle, deceived by evil humans, losses all her sibling's while they are still in their eggs.  She sets out to set things right.  Her own shame twisted into hate.  But can one hate what one truly understands? 

Book two in the series. 

Genre: Fantasy-Dragons

Green Dragon Codex

So I had to hop into the series (this  being book 5) because I had to have this particular book read by tonight for my Children's Lit class.  I was so hoping to be able to read the whole series up to this book before tonight, but with everything else we had to read, it was a no go.  Thankfully, although a series, these stories are pretty stand on their own.  However, as I have read the first two in the series (I finished number 2 tonight), I have found it's nice to read them in series, in that you learn things about each color dragon that helps to enhance each story.  They work best altogether.

Well--for this particular book--
Scamp is the scrawny always gets into trouble, why won't my big brother help me, man I need to get out of this little town and have a great adventure, kid.  One day while hiding from some serious bullies, he has a dragon fall out of the sky.  When the mess clears, there is a chest.  The chest leads to his quest at last.  Within the chest an egg.  An egg that becomes a Green dragon wyrmling.  This young dragon and Scamp are wonderful mirrors of one another, and it is through their belief and love of one another that they both become more than what everyone else always "knew" they would be.

Genre-Fantasy: Dragons.

24 October 2010

Red Dragon Codex

In order to save a friend, Mudd must go on a dangerous quest.  He must learn to trust others, to allow people into his heart even when letting them in means risking their loss.  He learns who his real enemies are and who is real friends are.  He learns what he can be with quality people at his side.  A great quest story with Dragons. And I love Dragons!!

Age level--10-15 years old.  Fantasy. 

23 October 2010

Along Came Spider

Along Came Spider, by James Preller.

Trey is "special" but to a bunch of fifth graders he's just plain weird.  Actually Trey is most likely autistic.  Spider has been his neighbor and friend since infancy, but it's hard to be accepted when you are friends with the weird kid.  Trey  must learn to make new friends and to accept Spider for how he is, just as Spider must learn that friendship runs far deeper than what the "cool" kids think. 

I think we have all run along Trey at some point in our lives, perhaps we are even raising him.  I am so saddened by how kids treat other kids.  I don't believe we are born with these prejudices in us, and I cringe to think about the things that go on at school.  I remember very well how horrible other people can be.  I just hope that we all can remember that it doesn't matter how we are different, each us brings flavor to life.

Grade Level--2 to 5th Grade.

22 October 2010

Seer of Shadows

Seer of Shadows by Avi. 

Horace is apprenticed to a photographer, and when a very wealthy woman walks in and asks for a photograph his whole world gets turned upside down.  Horace is asked to help in swindling this wealthy woman into believing the ghost of her daughter is haunting her.  However, what Horace's boss doesn't know, is that life can truly imitate art, and when Horace starts taking pictures for the first time, he discovers his "gift".  Through his pictures, Horace accidentally releases a ghost bent on revenge.  Now he must learn more about this "gift" and how to save the innocent caught in the cross hairs. 

Reading Age Level-- 9 to 12 years old.  Paranormal Fiction.

21 October 2010

Island of the Blue Dolphins

This book was one of my absolute favorites as a child.  In fact, my original copy is falling apart, so I bought a new hard cover, not that it held up well when Emma borrowed (that being my 6 year old daughter).  However, it did handle her assault better than my old copy. 

This is a wonderful based on true story, female Robinson Crusoe book.  An island off the coast of California, only inhabited by a native tribe, and annihilated by Russian hunters and the need to never again witness death, a young woman of the tribe flees back when her little brother is left behind.  Her brother does not last long with the wild dogs on the island, and the girl is left alone on the island waiting for the "white men" to come and save her and fearing the return of the Aleuts who had massacred her people before.  She finds companionship among many of the animals of the island, including the leader of the dog pack that had murdered her brother.  She finds a peace in this existence, but does eventually leave when after many years, white men come again.  This is a wonderful story of survival through solitude and the need of all men and women to have someone to talk to, even if it is only the dogs that run wild and the birds in the trees. 

Grade level--2nd through 6th, although if your kid is a strong reader, as young as 6.  This tale is more peaceful and less "dramatic" than many written today.  I still love the story but am very aware that the calmness of the story may not appeal to "today's"  children.

20 October 2010

Bridge to Terabithia

This is one of those books that I read as a child, then again as an adult (right about the time the movie came out), and then now for class.  I love the book, but it's a story that rips my heart to shreds.  I cannot read it over and over again because it makes me cry each and every time.  Some books I can numb myself too, like when Dumbledore dies.  After the tenth time, I'm sad but I no longer cry.  However, there is something about a young child so very full of like who leaves this world doing something so very ordinary that just breaks me.  Now it's even worse, since I have children of my own.  You read this and then don't want your kids to ever leave your site.  It simply hurts too much to be the one left behind, which is ultimately what Jesse Aarons realizes.  Leslie will live forever, in the trees of Terabithia, in his mind, but to be left behind is the true tragedy of death.

Age level claims to be 10 and up and although if we are talking purely on length and vocabulary, that is about right.  However, the emotionality of this book should always be considered when handing it to your child.

19 October 2010

The Magic Half

 The Magic Half by Annie Barrows.  Miri is the odd one out in her family.  A single child stuck between two sets of twins, but with a new house and a bit of magic, she gets the twin she always meant to have.  When time messes with your destiny, you mess with time.  I read this book because I had to for a class, and am so thankful for the choosing.  I absolutely loved it!!  Time travel doesn't mess me up.  However, I do have to say that someone like my husband, who absolutely HATES time travel or loops, this book would drive someone like that to absolute conniption.  However, if you're like me who doesn't mind time being messed with even when, let's face it you dissect time too much and it really doesn't make much logical sense, you will enjoy this book.  Just like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, certain things must happen in the past in order to secure the right future.  I love it!!

Grade Level--5 through 9.  Time travel fiction-Science Fiction genre. 

18 October 2010

The Scorch Trials (Book 2)

This is book 2 in The Maze Runner series. The first was amazing, and I loved the way it ended.  Dashner has a way of taking you to the mountaintop and then throwing you off and still making you want to do it all over again.  We go on the journey with Thomas and his friends again, and you feel yourself on this emotional roller coaster through the entire book.  Just as Thomas by the end has no idea who to trust or who to believe, neither do you.  I can't wait to see where the series goes from here.  Are we going to get any real answers?  In the end, will we trust anything or anyone? 

This is survival fiction--science fiction genre wise. Grade level-Young Adult or 9-12th grade (it really depends on your emotional maturity)  Some images may be hard on some young kids.  Other series by this author (also great)--The 13th Reality Series.

17 October 2010

Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The War of the Ember

Book 15 and the final book in the series.  Know your history??  The Battle of Thermopylae?  You know that one with Gerard Butler looking all hot?  The inspiration for the final battle comes from this legend, and as we all can feel with at least a part of ourselves, legends can be true. 

As with all series, I feel a loss when they are over, even if they are 15 books long.  No story every ends, an author simply chooses to stop telling it.  These books leave me with one thought--fight on.  Each day, simply choosing to get out of bed and live a good life, can be a great battle for some of us (for all of us some days).  Live a life worth living!!

15 October 2010

Guardians of Ga'Hoole: Exile

Number 14 in the series. Out of all the books this is indeed one of my absolute favorites. Largely because the author used Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury as her inspiration and that particular book is one of my absolute favorites. The series ultimately boils down into one of my favorite themes and that is the tragedy of censorship. To censor a book is to censor someone's mind, and when we do that we assume control over another's mind. You may not agree and that is your prerogative, but it is truth. Through reading we gain knowledge. Through knowledge we gain freedom. Through freedom we have the ability to change the world, even if it is only the small realm in which we alone reside.

"To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves."
- Claude Adrien Helvetius

I firmly believe this quote!!! To tell someone that they should not read a book is to tell them that they are too stupid to have a choice or to make sure they don't read it in order to keep them towing whatever line you are selling. Freedom to read!!! In fact, I encourage everyone to read at least one banned or challenged book a year, at the very least (and some of you will be surprised at the list, perhaps some of your favorites that you would never even think of are on that list)


I have so very many, but just to name on series that almost everyone I know loves--Harry Potter!!

There is a letter I wish to share enclosed within this particular book from one owl to her family when she is marked for extermination for hoarding books.

My dear mate, my brother Coryn, and my little owlet,
You must understand, all of you, how deeply I regret endangering my own family. But in truth, every owl in every one of the five kingdoms is endangered, for we're not talking about losing our "vanities" here. We're talking about losing the right to think. Books can be burned. But the ideas and the knowledge in them cannot be killed. Owls can die, but books, never. Fear of ideas is the most extreme form of cowardice. I have love in my gizzard and heart; they only have hatred. I have inspiration from the books I have read; they only have terror from the lies they have chosen to believe. I have heroes, like Siv and King Hoole; Grank, the first collier; and Theo the peaceful blacksmith. They have no one but that twisted blue owl. So don't worry about me. These owls who hunt me are more cowardly and more defenseless than I am, for they have stopped thinking.

This letter sums up the book for me. I absolutely detest censorship and have no compassion for those who choose to impress their ideas of what is right on me. We are all endowed with will and to exercise that will is the highest law.

13 October 2010

Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The River of Wind

13th book in the series. I can just picture the blue owls and wow, are they beautiful. Another great addition to the series. You never know where the wind will take you. Life is a wheel, and if I wheel does nothing but turn around and around forever, what is the point? I thought this was an interesting thought. So fly wherever the wind may take you, and who knows, maybe you will fly to a whole new world, that will turn what you thought you always knew, all upside down.

12 October 2010

Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The Golden Tree

First of all I need to say that my commentary on each book I read begins as of today. At the end of this month, I will list everything I've read this month in list format, and if you have any questions the forum is open, but to go back and do book by book everything I have done this month so far would truly be too much for me. I will do my utmost from here on out to keep up though. I am a mother, a librarian, and a graduate student; all these come first for me, but this is an endeavor I feel passionately about. So, let the reading begin. . .

This book I finished this afternoon. I have read books 1-11 as well. I first noticed these on the shelves of the school library and put them on my to be read list. Then my Children's Library Materials course gave me the excuse to buy them. Yes, we were to read the first book and compare to the movie, but I can't just read the first book in a series. This is a lengthy series, so it will be a financial commitment to get them all. I personally think any book is worth it if it will be read.

This series is most suited for a 3rd-6th grade reading level. The action moves along a great pace. I love owls, they are one of my two favorite animals, so this series attracted me for merely that purpose. Second, I love the fantasy/science fiction genres, so that added another check mark for me. The author initially intended to write a nonfiction book about owls but went down another road instead. As a result there are many facts about owls in these books that some may find take away from the story. I personally find these facts only add to the books. It lends a sense of reality to the book. Plus, I find it personally fascinating. This particular book shows what happens when we focus our thoughts and actions on things or "people" that are not worthy of our devotion. We must be true to ourselves and place our faith and trust in one another, not objects. Honor and goodness are within each of us, not without. To find that within our own beings and to spread that charity and honor to all around us, is the ultimate goal.

"The time to read is any time: no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary. It is the only art which can be practised at any hour of the day or night, whenever the time and inclination comes, that is your time for reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness."
-Holbrook Jackson

**I encourage you all to set aside a time everyday to read something just for you. If you can do nothing else, read.

A New Adventure

Well, since I am a total putz when it comes to my family blog, you guessed it--I'm going to attempt to keep a blog solely on my reading. Each year for about two years, I have set reading goals for myself. Now, I love to read, so this really isn't any major challenge for me, other than to make myself accountable. However, when you read anywhere from 10-15 books in a month, you don't really have a lot of time to write down much detail about each book. It's just a counting and then I invite people to ask about what I am reading. Well, my family blog is private, due to certain types of people I have no desire looking at pictures of my kids, and as a result, I don't think too many people really pay attention to what I read. Well, this is an adventure. I want people to know, to ask questions, to engage in a dialogue, with something I am very passionate about. I love to read!! I will pretty much read anything, and usually, I enjoy everything I read. That doesn't mean everything I read is the best in the world, it just means that I love books for their own merits. I don't compare and contrast. Something doesn't have to be "great literature" to be loved and valued. Each of us is different. Each of us has different tastes. So if you want a recommendation, I may not be able to give it. What I love, you may hate, and that's okay. I ask that if you choose to comment on anything, you do it kindly. Reading is an opportunity to gain knowledge. Knowledge is freedom. I believe in freedom. I believe in choice. I believe in everyone's right to an opinion, but I also believe that in stating one's opinion, one can do so without being cruel. So let's come together and READ!!

"To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves."
- Claude Adrien Helvetius

“We read to know we are not alone.”
- C.S. Lewis

“When you sell a man a book you don't sell him just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life.”
- Christopher Morley