DNF: The Battle for Oz by Jeyna Grace

25629089Publication September 2015 by Inkshares

Fantasy, Middle-Grade, Children’s, Retelling

eARC provided by Netgalley

No Rating Due to DNF

GoodreadsThe Battle For Oz reimagines L. Frank Baum’s canonical classic while also taking a page (and character or two) out of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

When a new queen endeavors to take over the city of Oz once again, Dorothy Gale and Alice Liddel must come together to fight off the wicked magic. With help from Toto and the Tin Man, Scarecrow and The Mad Hatter, the young women travel to earth and back and face impossible circumstances. In all the chaos and commotion, while Alice and Dorothy struggle to discover the key to saving the city, along the way they find themselves discovering the meaning of friendship.

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Gone Crazy In Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

22864816Release Date: April 21st 2015

Publisher: Harper Collins/ Amistad

Series: Gaither Sisters #3

Reviewed In Series: One Crazy Summer 

P.S. Be Eleven

Genres: Juvenile/ Young-Adult/ Historical/ Cultural/ Realistic-Fiction/ African-American/ Coming-of-Age

Format: Digital ARC

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

My Rating: 5 Stars

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters, who are about to learn what it’s like to be fish out of water as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

Powerful and humorous, this companion to the award-winning One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven will be enjoyed by fans of the first two books as well as by readers meeting these memorable sisters for the first time.

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Review: P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia

Release Date: May 21st 2013

Publisher: Amistad

Series: Gaither Sisters #2

Review: One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters #1)

Genres: Juvenile Fiction/ Historical/ Cultural/ Realistic/ African-American

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

My Rating: 5 Stars

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In this exquisite sequel to the New York Times bestseller One Crazy Summer, the Gaither sisters return to Brooklyn and find that changes large and small have come to their home.

After spending the summer in Oakland with their mother and the Black Panthers, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern arrive home with a newfound streak of independence, and the sisters aren’t the only ones who have changed. Now Pa has a girlfriend. Uncle Darnell returns from Vietnam a different man. But Big Ma still expects Delphine to keep her sisters in line. That’s much harder now that Vonetta and Fern refuse to be bossed around. Besides her sisters, Delphine’s got plenty of other things to worry about-like starting sixth grade, being the tallest girl in her class, and dreading the upcoming school dance (her first). The one person she confides in is her mother, Cecile. Through letters, Delphine pours her heart out and receives some constant advice: to be eleven while she can.

The sequel to the Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award winner One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven stands on its own as a funny, moving story of three sisters coming of age in the turbulent 1960s.

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Review: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

6609764Published: January 26th 2010

Publisher: Harper Collins/ Amistad

Series: Gaither Sisters #1

Genres: Juvenile/ Young-Adult /Historical-Fiction/ Cultural/ Realistic-Fiction

Format: Paperback (224 pages)

Source: Purchased

My Rating: 4 Stars

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

In a humorous and breakout book by Williams-Garcia, the Penderwicks meet the Black Panthers.

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{Review} Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales

17310066Authors: Melissa Marr, Tim Pratt, Neil Gaiman, Carrie Ryan, Gene Wolfe, Kelly Armstrong, Rick Yancey, Kami Garcia, Holly Black, Garth Nix, Margaret Stohl, Saladin Ahmed

Published: October 22nd 2013

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young-Adult/  Fairy Tale/ Retellings/ Short Stories/ Anthology/ Classic/ Fantasy/ Paranormal

Format: Hardcover

Source: Won

My Rating: 4 Stars

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

From Sir Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen to E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” literature is filled with sexy, deadly, and downright twisted tales. In this collection, award-winning and bestselling authors reimagine their favorite classic stories, the ones that have inspired, awed, and enraged them, the ones that have become ingrained in modern culture, and the ones that have been too long overlooked. They take these stories and boil them down to their bones, and then reassemble them for a new generation of young adult readers.

Written from a twenty-first century perspective and set within the realms of science fiction, dystopian fiction, fantasy and realistic fiction, these short stories are as moving and thought provoking as their originators. They pay homage to groundbreaking literary achievements of the past while celebrating each author’s unique perception and innovative style.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Tree of Water by Elizabeth Haydon #TheTreeOfWaterTour @torteen @torbooks @PRbytheBook

Welcome To my stop on The Tree of Water blog tour. Today I have a great Q&A and excerpt to share with you all. Also, don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway at the bottom before you leave!

Tree of WaterTitle: The Tree of Water

Series: The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme #4

Author: Elizabeth Haydon

Publisher: Starscape/ Tor Books

Genres: Middle Grade/ Teen
Fantasy

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 

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Interview with Elizabeth Haydon,

documentarian, archanologist and translator of Ven’s

journals, including The Tree of Water

 

  • Dr. Haydon, can you give us a brief summary of The Tree of Water?

 

Certainly. Ven Polypheme, who wrote the, er, Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, lived long ago in the Second Age of history, when magic was much more alive and visible in the world than it is now. His journals are very important finds, because they tell the story of ancient magic and where it still may be found in the world today.

In the first three journals we saw how Ven came to the mystical island of Serendair and was given the job of Royal Reporter by the king of the island, a young man named Vandemere. The Royal Reporter was supposed to find magic that was hiding in plain sight in the world and report back about it to the king. As you can imagine, this could be a fun but dangerous job, and at the beginning of The Tree of Water, we see that Ven and his friends are hiding from the evil Thief Queen, who is looking to find and kill him.

Amariel, a merrow [humans call these ‘mermaids,’ but we know that’s the wrong word] who saved Ven when the first ship he sailed on sank, has been asking Ven to come and explore the wonders of the Deep, her world in the sea. Deciding that this could be a great way to find hidden magic as well as hide from the evil Thief Queen, Ven and his best friend, Char, follow her into the Deep. The sea, as you know, is one of the most magical places in the world—but sometimes that magic, and that place, can be deadly.

The book tells of mysterious places, and interesting creatures, and wondrous things that have never been seen in the dry world, and tales from the very bottom of the sea.

 

 

  • The main character in The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme series is Charles Magnus “Ven” Polypheme. Tell us about him.

 

Ven was an interesting person, but he really didn’t think so. He and his family were of a different race than the humans who made up most of the population where he lived, the race of the Nain. Nain are an old race, a little shorter and stockier than most humans, with a tendency to be on the grumpy side. They live about four times as long as humans, are very proud of their beards, which they believe tell their life stories, don’t like to swim or travel, and prefer to live deep in the mountains.

Ven was nothing like the majority of Nain. He was very curious, loved to travel, could swim, and longed to see the world. He was actually a pretty nice kid most of the time. He had the equivalent of a baby face because only three whiskers of his beard had grown in by the time The Tree of Water took place, when he was fifty years old [around twelve in Nain years]. He had a great group of friends, including the merrow and Char, who were mentioned earlier. It is believed that his journals were the original research documents for two of the most important books of all time, The Book of All Human Knowledge and All the World’s Magic. The only copies of these two volumes were lost at sea centuries ago, so finding the Lost Journals is the only way to recover this important information.

 

 

  • What kind of research do you do for the series?

 

I go to places where Ven went and try to find relics he left behind. Usually this is with an expedition of archaeologists and historians. I am an expert in ancient magic [an archanologist] so I don’t usually lead the expeditions, I’m just a consultant. It gives me the chance to learn a lot about magic and lets me work on my suntan at the same time, so it’s good.

 

 

  • What is/are the most difficult part or parts of writing/restoring the Lost Journals?

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Review: Samantha Sanderson At The Movies by Robin Caroll

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Release Date: May 6, 2014

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Genre: Middle Grade/Teen Mystery

Format: Paperback (271 pages)

Source: Publisher via Booklook Bloggers

Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads|Amazon

 

From Goodreads: Sam Sanderson is an independent, resourceful, high-tech cheerleader. She dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, and so she s always looking for articles she can publish in her middle-school paper (where she secretly hopes to become editor). And with a police officer for a father, Sam is in no short supply for writing material. It seemed like the perfect opportunity. When an explosive device is found in the local theater, Sam gets the lead on this developing and controversial story—controversial because the movie theater has recently come under attack by a renowned, outspoken atheist for allowing a local church to show Christian movies. Sam’s police-officer father happens to be heading the investigation, and Sam can t resist doing some sleuthing of her own with the help of her best friend Makayla s techno-genius. But when Sam’s theories end up being printed in the school paper, she lands in big trouble—and danger!

 

Review: I absolutely love this book. It’s perfect for tweens and young adults alike. I planned on reading this with my cousin and we’d do a review together, but she had other pressing matters. I got dumped for choir practice and Bible study and I am not mad. However, I did pass the book along to her to read. I just know that she will love it! 

Samantha is one cool girl. She wants to be a journalist and what better way to start off than the school paper. She finds a hidden bomb at the movie theater and suddenly she becomes a detective, out to find out who planted the bomb and why. She also plans to show Aubrey, the paper’s editor, that she has what it takes to be on the paper. Can she balance all that she has to do and get the job done? 

Aside from tween girls loving this, I think that if you love to read, this book will be enjoyable as well. It  never bored me, and I couldn’t put it down until the end. This is part of the FaithGirlz Series and I intend to read the next one soon. A very good book and I’d recommend it to not just young readers, but bookworms all the same. 

4 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58