by Lisa Schroeder
I’m all about fairy tales and retellings. Many will say this is a retelling of Rapunzel however I think it is better. This book has some similarities but that is where it ends. Lisa Schroeder is a wonderful story-teller and we have enjoyed many of her books. The Girl in the Tower was a delightful book and we enjoyed every minute of reading this book. You will be rooting for Violet and wishing the story doesn’t end. We would love to read more books about Violet. The character and world building is so vivid and descriptive that you really feel that you are in that fairy tale right along with the characters. This book is geared towards middle grade and upper elementary but I just about any one who loves a great fairy tale. The art work is by one of favorites Nicoletta Ceccoli, her illustrations are simply amazing and so perfect for this story. The Girl in the Tower is delightful in every way. Add it your you elementary and middle school readers summer reading and enjoy some magic.
summary: Ever since she could remember, Violet and her mother have been locked away in a tower by the evil Queen Bogdana, who has the kingdom under her spell. The queen has all she wants except one thing-beauty. Violet possesses this beauty. She also has a secret: though she is very small, both her spirit and her heart are mighty.
When Violet is summoned by Bogdana to start training to become a real princess, it seems like her life might be taking a turn for the better. But hope quickly fades when Violet’s mother is expelled from the castle and they’re forbidden to see each other ever again. With everyone’s lives in the balance, it’s up to Violet to break the spell and reunite her family.
thank you MacMillan Children’s Publishing, Lisa Schroeder and netgalley for allowing us to read The Girl in the Tower. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.
By Marina Cohen
Publication Date: March 22, 2016
The Inn Between is a quirky book that has a bit of eery suspense, while the reader is trying to figure out what is going on at the inn. Quinn is going through a lot, more than any kid should have to go through. She has a lot of quilt over a tragedy that happened in her family and this little vacation is her time to get away from it all. However this place doesn’t make that easy, add the fact that her best friend Kara’s family is slowly disappearing and a man is chasing them down and you got 2 scary tweens. I guessed the main background of the book half way through maybe before but I don’t think a middle school or upper elementary aged reader would. The ending wasn’t really what I expected or wanted it was so fast. The Inn Between is a great book that I’m not sure I’ve read before in middle grade books. The author did a great job at presenting the story without being so scary. There is 1 pretty creepy section that some kids might find pretty scary but is probably not much different from a R.L. Stine book like fear street. Overall I’d let my middle grade reader read this one. The ARC copy had 2 drawing that I really don’t think were really needed but gave the reader a glimpse of what the author envisioned the scene to be like. Overall I would have been fine with out them, but they don’t detract from the book either.
summary: 11-year old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned.
When Quinn’s best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara’s parents, and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lucking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara’s family before it’s too late?
thank you MacMillan Children’s Publishing, Roaring Book Press and Marina Cohen for allowing me to review The Inn Between. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.
by Nigel Quinlan
MacMillan Children’s Publishing
Neil and Liz measure their lives by the regularity of the seasons, until one year when autumn doesn’t arrive and all-weather breaks loose.
Neil and Liz Maloney have a secret: Their father is the keeper of the Weatherbox, a magical phone booth that rings four times a year, signaling the changing of the seasons. But this summer when the family gathers to send off the season, the phone doesn’t ring and autumn does not arrive. Instead a mysterious tourist of magic shows up at their doorstep, along with two nonsensical hags and one cat-shaped bog beast. The only one not taken by surprise is their neighbor Mrs. Fitzgerald, who seems to be able to make the elements of weather itself do her bidding.
Now it’s up to Neil and Liz to discover the source of Mrs. Fitzgerald’s power and restore order to the climate.
This book had me at magical phone box. We are all about magic phone boxes since we discovered Doctor Who. So I was ready to jump into this book. So happy I did. I think the Irish country side setting made it even more magical and a delight to read. The book goes back and forth between characters smoothly and gives you a whole fully developed story. The Maloney’s are an interesting family full of fun, magic and quirks that make them even more like-able. The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox is full of fantasy and action that will keep the reader whether it’s a boy or girl interested. This book would also make for a great read aloud either at home, the classroom or even over many library hours at school. This book is a great fit for so many readers, whether they enjoy fantasy, action, or weather related stories. There is a bit of something for everyone in this charming little book. This book is full of many layers to the story and I hope I get to travel on more adventures with the magical Maloney’s!
thank you netgalley and MacMillan Children’s Publishing for allowing me to read and review The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.
by S.A Booden
published by Macmillan Children’s Publishing
I knew I had to read and review this book as soon as I saw it was written by S.A. Booden. I loved the raft so much and have the rest of her published books on my tbr pile.
Shipwreck Island starts off with a blended family finally meeting for the first time. See Sarah’s mom passed away about 6 years ago and until now it’s always been Sarah and her dad. Well dad (John) meet a nice woman online and they dated off and on and got married. Sarah just learned of this and is meeting her new step mom and 2 brothers for the first time. Needless to say she is not a happy girl, Marco is not a happy boy and Nacho he loves that he got a new sibling. So 1 out of 3 kids is thrilled with the new arrangement those are not great odds right? Well to make the situation even more intense they are all going on vacation together! Wow that is going to be 1 fun vacation, trust me I speak from experience.
So the whole gang travels together and hits some obstacles since originally this trip was supposed to be a honeymoon for 2 and now its a family vacation for 5. They just have to make do with the circumstances they have before them. I mean once they get on the island and can relax, get to know each other and have fun everything will be alright? Right!?
What they didn’t count on was the boat they were taken to the island has seen better days, I mean really that picture on the brochure must be ancient. They also hadn’t counting on hit a massive, scary storm while on the ocean. While the family takes cover below deck along with the captain’s dog the boat is battered and torn. The lose the captain in the sea and it’s just them now. Can they find a way to all get along? Can they survive on an island till they are rescued? What is this island and why is so many scary, strange things happening? At least they still have Ahab the captain’s dog with them, he alerts them of any and all trouble before it happens.
Now if they can survive what they’ve named Shipwreck Island and become a family this vacation just might not be a total disaster!
Shipwreck Island is a wonderful book that middle school and upper elementary will love! It has suspense, action, and drama. This book is for boys and girls and might just hook that reluctant reader!