Showing posts with label middle grade books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label middle grade books. Show all posts
April 4, 2014

Easter Gift Guide: Middle School: Ultimate Showdown



Middle School: Ultimate Showdown
By James Patterson and Julia Bergen
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub. Date: March 31, 2014
Retail: $13.99
ISBN: 978-0316322119
Pages: 256

Buy Link:

Book Description: 

Readers get a chance to participate in James Patterson's wildly successful Middle School series in this interactive book featuring more than 80 hilarious anecdotes from dueling siblings Rafe and Georgia Khatchadorian--plus dozens of fun-filled activities!

The Khatchadorian kids are an opinionated duo, and as readers of the Middle School stories know, they don't exactly see eye to eye. But when wild-card Rafe and mostly-straight-laced Georgia go at it, the only thing more fun than their ranting is getting to join in! Their back-and-forth banter on a range of topics--from bullying to cafeteria food to school dress codes--introduces more than 40 writing and drawing prompts and other games, along with room for readers to share their own points of view. (Includes over 200 illustrations.)

Review:

March 31, 2014

Review - Scooby-Doo!: The Secret of the Sea Creature

Scooby-Doo! The Secret of the Sea Creature
Written by Laurie S. Sutton
Illustrated by Scott Neely
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Pub. Date: April 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-1434279255
Pages: 112 pages

Review:

Back in the late '70s thru to the late '90s, Choose Your Own Adventure type books were popular with middle-graders and young adults. In these stories, the character's fate is in the readers' hands, as they must decide where to go, what to do and which page to turn to.

Though these types of books are nearly extinct for young adults, there are several chapter book series for ages 7-12 being written with a "Choose Your Own Adventure" theme, like the new You Choose Stories starring those loveable Mystery Inc. Gang.

Scooby-Doo!: The Secret of the Sea Creature finds Fred Jones Jr., Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo arriving at the Wild-World Beach for a much needed R&R. The gang splits up upon arriving, as Fed wants to go snorkeling, Daphne wants to go kite-surfing, Daphne wants to go hunting for shells and Shaggy and Scooby-Doo just want to find something eat.

March 19, 2014

Review - Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Thirteenth Mystery

Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Thirteenth Mystery
By Michael Dahl
Illustrator: Lisa K. Weber
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Pub. Date: March 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-1434265098
Pages: 214

Review:

Arriving in bookstores earlier this month is the third and final book in the Hocus Pocus Hotel trilogy.  I enjoyed reading the first two books in the series, so I was eager to read third installment from author Michael Dahl.


Charlie Hitchcock is pulled out of class by his so-called friend, Tyler Yu, because the magician, Abracadabra, is missing. Abracadabra, or as his friends call him, Brack, is a famous magician that owns the Abracadabra Hotel, and occasionally he does have a habit of faking his death.

Tyler Yu, along with his parents, lives and works at the hotel. Though he isn't exactly friends with Charlie Hitchcock, they do get together to solve the strange mysteries hidden in the hotel. And once again Tyler needs Charlie's help in finding out what happened to Brack.

February 26, 2014

Review - Goosebumps Most Wanted: Creature Teacher: The Final Exam

Goosebumps Most Wanted - Creature Teacher: The Final Exam
By R.L. Stine
Publisher: Scholastic
Pub. Date: February 25, 2014
List Price: $6.99
ASIN: 978-0545627733
Pages: 160
Buy Links: Paperback, Kindle

Review:

Author R.L. Stine has been scaring kids with his Goosebumps books since 1992. The creepy book series was inspired by the Twilight Zone, in which both usually had a shocking ending, but course Stine's stories involved kids as the main characters. A television series of the same name aired from 1995 to 1998, which most of the episodes have crawled their way onto DVDs over the last several years. The books were so popular that several spin-off series were created, Give Yourself Goosebumps, Tales to Give You Goosebumps and Goosebumps Presents and Goosebumps Series 2000. Stine took a slight break from the Goosebumps world, but returned in 2008 with a brand-new series Goosebumps Horrorland and later followed by Goosebumps Hall of Horrors.

The latest series is titled Goosebumps Most Wanted, where Stine's favorite villains return to haunt a new generation of readers. The newest installment, Creature Teacher: The Final Exam, hit bookshelves yesterday; which is a sequel to 1998's Goosebumps Series 2000: Creature Teacher.

This terrifying tale centers on twelve-year-old Tommy Farrelly, who is not looking forward to spending the rest of his summer at Winner Island Camp, a camp that teaches you how to become a winner. The camp's tag-line is: Winners Are Always Winners. His parents are winners at everything, as well as his younger sister, so he is being sent to a strange camp to learn how to be like them.

Upon arriving at Winner's Island Camp a few days late, Tommy meets Ricardo and Sophie and learns of the camp's terrible secret. Each kid will leave the camp a winner, well, except for one loser - who will be eaten by the "teacher" Mrs. Maaargh, and Tommy happens to be on the bottom of the winners' list.

December 3, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Treasure Hunters by James Patterson




Treasure Hunters
An Illustrated Novel
By James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein with Mark Shulman
Illustrator: Juliana Neufeld
Publisher: Little, Brown And Company
Pub. Date: September 16, 2013
ISBN: 978-0316207560
Pages: 480


Purchase Links:



Book Description from Amazon.com:

The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents disappear n the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They'll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit of an evil treasure hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents--and find out if they're still alive.


Billy's Review:

November 21, 2013

Review - Path of the Templar

Path of the Templar
Book Two of The Jumper Chronicles
By W.C.Peever
Publisher: Savant Books & Pubications
Pub. Date: December 19, 2012
ISBN: 978-0985250638
Pages: 320

Review: 

On a rare occasion I get a random book in the mail, a book I don't remember signing up to review. I never get upset over this, as I do love getting a new book in the mail, but when I have other books I already agreed to review, those random books get shoved aside. Which is exactly what happen to the book Path of the Templar by W.C. Peever, book two of The Jumper Chronicles. No, I don't recall agreeing to review it, nor do I remember reading the first book. Therefore the book has been collecting dust for eleven months that is until I picked it up a few days ago.

From my understanding the first book, The Quest for Merlin's Map, was about a boy named Charlie and his three friends - Bailey, Tillie and Mick, whom stumble upon a map that was created by Merlin! The second book brings the readers back to the twelve-year-old Charlie and his three friends, just as they are ending their school year. They are all eagerly excited about the summer vacation, but none of them were prepared to go on a quest to find the lost Babel Stones that will help decode Merlin's map!

July 23, 2013

Review - A Big Year for Lily

A Big Year for Lily
The Adventures of Lily Lapp
Book 3
By Mary Ann Kinsinger & Suzanne Woods Fisher
Publisher: Revell
Pub. Date: July 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0800721343
Pages: 272
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/mVlq1
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/sfisher
 
Review:

There are countless Amish fiction books for adults in the bookstores. It is nice to see a new series aimed for middle graders. I read the first book in The Adventures of Lily Lapp series last year, but I missed out on the second book. Litfuse Publicity Group and Revell nicely sent me a free copy of the third book, A Big Year for Lily, in exchange for my honest review.

Lily Lapp is an imaginative nine-year-old Amish girl, who, along with her cousin, has adventures around her Amish community. Life isn't exactly easy for Lilly as she has to deal with some school bullying from Effie Kauffman and a particular boy who likes to pick on her. It will take the love of her family and her faith in the Lord to help her make it to her tenth birthday.

June 19, 2013

ARC Review - The Man of Steel: Superman vs. the Doomsday Army

The Man of Steel: Superman vs. the Doomsday Army
By: Laurie S Sutton
Illustrator: Luciano Vecchio
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Pub. Date: August 1, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1434248275
Pages: 88

Review: 

The recent Superman movie "Man of Steel" broke the June box-office opening weekend record. Stone Arch Books, along with DC Comics, are releasing superhero chapter books for a whole new generation.

In The Man of Steel: Superman vs. the Doomsday Army, an alien race of snails (yes, I said snails!) from the planet Mullvooska are commanding a feet of spaceships to invade Earth and take control of its natural resources. Superman is the only one that can stop the invasion, but he is in for a major surprise. The snails have an army of armored soldiers.
June 11, 2013

Review - The Boxcar Children: The Boardwalk Mystery

The Boxcar Children: The Boardwalk Mystery
Created By: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Written By: Tim Jessell
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Pub. Date: March 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0807508039
Pages: 144 

Review:

Who doesn't remember reading The Boxcar Children when they were in elementary school? The original book by Gertrude Chandler Warner was published in 1924 and was reissued in 1942. The second book wasn't published until 1949. The author wrote a total of nineteen books until her death in 1979. The series continued in 1991 with a variety of ghostwriters writing new addictions and specials.

Recently, I had a chance to review book #131, The Boardwalk Mystery, from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I remember reading the original 19 books during my early elementary years and I was excited when the new books were released. I still own several of the books.

The Alden children (Henry, Violet, Jessie and Benny) are traveling with their grandfather to Oceanside, New Jersey on a business trip. The kids are excited about playing in the sand, exploring the boardwalk, and seeing all the attractions at Hanson's Amusements, which is owned by their grandfather's business friend, Mr. Hanson.

May 24, 2013

Review - The Man of Steel: Superman and the Poisoned Planet

The Man of Steel: Superman and the Poisoned Planet
By: Matthew K. Mannin
Illustrator: Mike Cavallaro
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Pub. Date: January 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1434242242
Pages: 88

Review: 

Superman will be returning to the skies this summer in the highly anticipated reboot Man of Steel. Before then, kids can read about the flying hero in the new chapter book from Stone Arch Books, which I received a free copy of The Man of Steel: Superman and the Poisoned Planet in exchange for my honest review.

Even though I didn't grow up reading comic books, I was aware of whom Superman was through the Christopher Reeve's movies. I missed out on the Superman animated series, but I did watch the underrated Superman Returns. The advertisements for the Man of Steel look interesting, so I was looking forward to reading Superman and the Poisoned Planet.

The plot involves Batman's enemy, Poison Ivy, discovering a rare glowing vine made from Kryptonite. Superman captures Parasite and returns to the Daily News to resume his identity as Clark Kent. But he is in for a big surprise as Poison Ivy and her goons have taken the newspaper office hostage. She is demanding the Daily News to print their newspapers on recycled paper to help save the environment.
April 23, 2013

Review - The Magic Pumpkin

The Magic Pumpkin
By Benji Alexander Palus
Publisher: iUniverse
Pub. Date: January 10, 2013
ISBN: 978-1475970487
ASIN: B00B0VJTM8
Pages: 316

Review:

Five-year-old Owen adores his younger brother Oliver and is saddened when Oliver becomes ill. Mysteriously, a magical portal appears and the brothers go through it, transporting them to a magical land. There in this land, Oliver is well and can play games with Owen.

They like to fly on the magical pumpkin and explore the land, but there is a dark force hiding there. Owen and Oliver use the magical pumpkin to protect them at night. They love to play in this land, but they miss their parents deeply. If they go back though the portal, Owen and Oliver may never get to play together again.

Review - Patalosh: The Time Travelers

Patalosh: The Time Travelers
By Z. Altug and Tracy Gensler
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pub. Date: February 29, 2012
ISBN: 978-1463521332
ASIN: B007KLJWL0
Pages: 360

Review: 

Authors Z. Altug  and Tracy Gensler have created an entirely new world in Patalosh: The Time Travelers. The ancient civilization of the Taloshians live on the island of Patalosh on the planet Lumina, where they built the HMS Exploricus airship that can time-travel through portals. They arrived at Earth and settle in Antarctica.

Ten-year-old Orion Spence lives aboard the airship. One day he wakes up to find that his dad (the captain) and his mother (science officer) have been kidnapped by the villain Emperor Daaggerd, who wants control of the HMS Exploricus and the Orion's family book titled Ancient Book of Spells.

Orion locates the first officer and the rest of the crew. He goes on a quest to rescue his parents from the evil Emperor's clutches.
April 8, 2013

Review: Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Return of Abracadabra

Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Return of Abracadabra
By Michael Dahl
Illustrator: Lisa K. Weber
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Pub. Date: February 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1434247216
Pages: 208

Review:

Charlie Hitchcock is back to solve another mystery in Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Return of Abracadabra. Everything starts out with Charlie helping the school bully Tyler (who he is secretly friends with) pass out flyers to the upcoming magic show at the Hocus Pocus Hotel. The hotel was once owned by the legendary Abracadabra, who disappeared fifty years ago. He didn't exactly disappear as the boys know his other identity. Abracadabra is hosting a show for amateur magicians which will lead to his return and retirement from the magician business.

The mystery begins when a fellow classmate of the boys goes missing while on stage with the magician Theopolis, who claims he gets his magic powers from demons. Charlie knows this is a lie. Both Tyler and he are determined to find out the truth, no matter what the costs.
April 3, 2013

Review - Arkeepers: Episode 4: Guardians

Arkeepers: Episode 4: Guardians
By W.J. Madsen
Publisher: little m books
Pub. Date: January 26, 2012
ISBN: 978-0983048732
ASIN: B007AUJALI
Pages: 248

Review:

When there is a strange mystery to be solved, you can bet the Inspector Moustachio and Inspector Girl is there to solve the case. The brother and sister detective duo is actually an eleven-year-old Jake Moustachio and his eight-year-old sister, Alexa, along with their cat, Rex, and guinea pig, Sandy. They are the Keepers of the Universe, AKA the Arkeepers, who solve the mysteries of universe and battle the evil forces of the Deminion Darkeepers.

It is Halloween Night and there is chaos in the Moustachio's home. Jake and his friends are having an online Sphynx-3 video game marathon, while the doorbell keeps ringing with each new trick-or-treaters arriving for some candy.  Luckily, Grandma Moustachio is there to help their mother with the trick-or-treaters. Sounds like a great Halloween night, but Jake and Alexa are the Arkeepers, so they must drop everything they are doing to investigate a strange voice that comes from the other side of the magical magnifying glass. Of course, Rex and Sandy come along for the ride.

Review - Arkeepers: Episode 3: Darkeepers

Arkeepers: Episode 3: Darkeepers
By W.J. Madsen
Publisher: little m books
Pub. Date: January 26,2012
ISBN: 978-0983048725
ASIN: B007AUJDI8
Pages: 220

Review:

Jake Moustachio and his younger sister Alexa are not your typically kids as they are the Arkeepers, the Keepers of the Universe, just like their grandfather. They are the ones that investigate the mysteries of the universe and try to stop the evil Deminion Darkeepers from taking over.

Jake and Alexa are summoned through the magical magnifying glass (made of Egyptian Crystals) to solve another mystery. Their cat Rex and Alexa's guinea pig, Sandy, come along for the journey, where they can speak English in the other world.

Awaiting them is Captain Snappy, who needs their help as his ship is in danger. It seems a wicked sea witch named Jezebel has been released from her seashell. She has unleashed her wrath onto the Seven Seas by swallowing the ships and dragging them to the Shipwreck Bottom.
December 19, 2012

ARC Review - Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine

Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine
By Sands Hetherington
Publisher:Dune Buggy Press
Pub. Date: February 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0984741724
Pages: 320

Review:

Earlier this year, I reviewed the delightful children's book titled Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare for a book tour, and last month, Bostick Communications and Dune Buggy Press nicely sent me an advanced copy of the sequel in exchange for my honest review.

Crosley, the red crocodile in a yellow jacket and his young friend John Degraffenreidt are back in Night Buddies: Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine. Picking up where the first left off, Crosley returns to John's house for their second Night Buddies program. Once again, time is almost still inside the Degraffenredit home, making it easier for John to leave for his new mission along with Crosley as when he returns only a few seconds would have gone by.

Crosley is in shock when he checks into the Night Buddies Headquarters as it seems he had already checked in earlier that night. How could this be? Did he forget that he already checked in?
October 25, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Tombstones: The Last Drop



Tombstones: The Last Drop
By John Peel
Publisher: Archway Publisher
ISBN: 978-0671535308
Pub. Date: December 1, 2005
Pages: 160

Review:

During the late 1980s to the middle 1990s, the horror genre was very popular in the middle grade and young adult market, many thanks to Point Horror, but there where other publishers that released horror books as well. Archway Paperbacks tried to release a new series titled "Tombstones", but only two books were brought out in 1995.

Jared Irving is determined to find out if the Full Moon Enterprises is dumping toxins into the local streams in Tombstones: The Last Drop. The Full Moon Enterprises is breaking federal laws by using deadly chemicals, but the town people seem to ignore it, or they just don't want to believe it as the company has brought in many new jobs for the area.

While getting samples at a nearby stream, Jared meets a creature of the night and it will be the last thing that he will ever see.
October 24, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Review - Shockers: Grave Doubts by John Peel



Shockers: Grave Doubts 
By John Peel
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
ISBN: 978-0448405285
Pub. Date: June 23, 1993
Pages: 160

Review: 

Grave Doubts is simply one of my favorite books from my childhood as it has always stuck in my mind after almost twenty-years later. I recall ordering many books from the Scholastic flyers when I was an elementary student. I was in the sixth grade (aka - the year I got glasses) when I read Grave Doubts during study hall.

In book three of the Shockers series, Matt Howard had blocked out the murder of his older sister, Penny, for ten years, but now those unwanted memories have resurfaced. A family friend, Mr. Ciprelli or known as Uncle Joey, went to a mental hospital shortly after Penny's brutal murder, but he has now returned and is moving into the house next door. Matt finds the man to be very odd as he is always watching him.

Matt doesn't have many memories about his sister, except for what people have told him about her. It seems that Penny was the perfect daughter and student. Matt gets into trouble at home and at school. He is told constantly from his parents and teachers that he was nothing like Penny and that she shouldn't have been the one to die.
October 19, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Review - Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask




Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask
By R. L. Stine
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 9780545417938
Pub. Date: July 1, 2012
Pages: 240

A few months ago R. L. Stine released a new book, Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask, in a rare hardback edition. The new sequel doesn't include the characters of Carly Beth and Sabrina, but focuses on two new kids, Lu-Ann Franklin and Devin O'Bannon.

The books begins at William's Mask Emporium, in which the owner and his dog, Hansel, get a late night visitor - his brother, Randolph, who happens to brought along a few creepy masks that were made from human flesh. William recognizes that the masks are nothing but pure evil. He plans on destroying the masks, but the masks may get him first.

The plot jumps forty years into the future, where twelve-year-old Lu-Ann and her friend Devin are dreading the upcoming annual Halloween party that is being hosted by their classmate Polly Martin. Every year the party gets more boring and if Lu-Ann has to attend, she is going to make it a frightening evening by pulling some pranks with her best-friend Devin. Her plan changes when she learns that Devin can't come to the party. She attends the party anyway and talks two other friends, Marcus and Brad, into following her to Polly's Attic while the other kids played a silly balloon game. They hear an unknown voice coming from a closet - a half skeleton, half human corpse holding the green haunted mask falls out of the closet when Lu-Ann yanked it open. It was the ugliest mask that Lu-Ann had ever seen and it would make the perfect prank, but once she slips the mask on, the mask becomes part of her flesh.
October 3, 2012

Review - Life with Lily

The Adventures of Lily Lapp: Book One - Life with Lily
By Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0800721329
Pub. Date: October 1, 2012
Pages: 288
Blog Tour Link:http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/life-with-lily-kindlenook-giveaway-1016-author-chat-party-with-suzanne-woods-fisher-and-mary-ann-kinsinger-and-blog-tour
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/e60PH

Review: 

Set in New York on a small Amish Farm, six-year-old Lily Lapp and her younger brother, Joseph, eagerly welcomes their new baby brother, Dannie, into their lives, even though she actually wanted a baby sister.

While her father is busy building up the farm and her mother is busy with her brothers, young Lily is starting school at a one-room schoolhouse, where she meets new friends like the ornery Misty Mast, who is nothing but trouble for Lily.

Giveaways

Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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