Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Accomplishments

These are a few of my favorite 'first' lines read in March 2010.

I hadn't figured out a way to stop time, join the circus, or make myself invisible.

Once upon a time there was a city. In the city there was a square. In the square there was a house.

It was not Miss Penelope Lumley's first journey on a train, but it was the first one she had taken alone.

The story goes that even after the Return they tried to keep the roller coasters going.

On the morning this story begins, Isabelle Bean was convinced she was teetering on the edge of the universe.

Eleven-year-old Lovie Lane would never be certain what actually woke her the night she learned her life was to become a living hell.


March's Top Six:

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling. Maryrose Wood.
Wishing for Tomorrow: The Sequel to A Little Princess. By Hilary McKay.
Cosmic. Frank Cottrell Boyce.
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick.
Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles.
The Dead-Tossed Waves. Carrie Ryan.

Number of Board Books: 9

Curious George: Curious Baby Counting "by" H.A. Rey. 2009. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 12 pages.
Who Do You See? By Will Grace. 2009. Scholastic. 6 pages.
What Does Baby Say? A Lift the Flap Book by Karen Katz. 2004. Simon & Schuster. (Little Simon). 16 pages.
Bedtime Bunny. Sandra Magsamen. 2009. [January 2009] Little Brown. 20 pages.
Hop! Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Holly Meade. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 16 pages.
Quack! Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Holly Meade. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 16 pages.
Here Comes Easter. Caroline Jayne Church. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 14 pages.
Clifford's First Easter. Norman Bridwell. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 14 pages.
Ten Little Easter Eggs. By Lily Karr. 2009. February 2009. Scholastic. 8 pages.

Number of Picture Books: 11

I Don't Want A Cool Cat! By Emma Dodd. 2010. [August 2010] Little Brown Young Readers. 32 pages.
Whose Mouse Are You? By Robert Kraus. Illustrations by Jose Aruego. 1970. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.
Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. Mo Willems. 2007. Hyperion. 48 pages.
Scaredy Squirrel. Melanie Watt. 2008. Kids Can Press. 42 pages.
Scaredy Squirrel At The Beach. Melanie Watt. 2008. Kids Can Press. 32 pages.
Young Zeus By G. Brian Karas. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 48 pages.
I Love My Little Storybook. By Anita Jeram. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 32 pages.
Thirsty Thursday. by Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Helen Craig. 2009. August 2009. Candlewick Press. 24 pages.
Maggie's Monkeys. Linda Sanders-Wells. Illustrated by Abby Carter. 2009. April 2009. Candlewick Press. 32 pages.
Hot Rod Hamster. Cynthia Lord. Illustrated by Derek Anderson. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 40 pages.
Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love. By Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Illustrated by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer. 2009. October 2009. HarperCollins. 40 pages.

Number of Children's Books: 17

Today I Will Fly (An Elephant & Piggie Book). Mo Willems. 2007. Hyperion. 64 pages.
My Friend is Sad. (An Elephant & Piggie Book) Mo Willems. 2007. Hyperion. 64 pages.
I Am Invited To A Party. (An Elephant and Piggie Book). Mo Willems. 2007. Hyperion. 64 pages.
I Love My New Toy (An Elephant & Piggie Book) Mo Willems. 2008. Hyperion. 64 pages.
There Is A Bird On Your Head! (An Elephant & Piggie Book) By Mo Willems. 2007. Hyperion. 64 pages.
Are You Ready to Play Outside? (An Elephant and Piggie Book) Mo Willems. 2008. Hyperion. 64 pages.
Watch Me Throw the Ball. (An Elephant and Piggie Book). Mo Willems. 2009. Hyperion. 64 pages.
Pigs Make Me Sneeze! An Elephant & Piggie Book. Mo Willems. 2009. Hyperion. 64 pages.
The Dancing Pancake. Eileen Spinelli. Illlustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. 2010. [May 2010] Random House. 256 pages.
Emily's Fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. 2010. [June 2010] Random House. 160 pages.
Clementine, Friend of the Week. Sara Pennypacker. Illustrations by Marla Frazee. 2010. July 2010. Hyperion. 176 pages.
Leprechaun in Late Winter. Mary Pope Osborne. 2010. Random House. 128 pages.
Mercy Watson to the Rescue. Kate DiCamillo. 2005. Candlewick Press. 80 pages.
Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride. Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 2006. Candlewick Press. 80 pages.
Mercy Watson Fights Crime. Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 2006. Candlewick. 80 pages.
Mercy Watson Princess in Disguise. Kate DiCamillo. 2007. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 73 pages.
Mercy Watson Something Wonky This Way Comes. Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 2009. Candlewick Press. 96 pages.

Number of Middle Grade: 8

The Total Tragedy of A Girl Named Hamlet. Erin Dionne. 2010. [January 2010] Penguin. 304 pages.
Wishing for Tomorrow: The Sequel to A Little Princess. By Hilary McKay. 2010. Illustrations by Nick Maland. Simon & Schuster. 273 pages.
Cosmic. Frank Cottrell Boyce. 2010. [January 2010]. HarperCollins. 313 pages.
11 Birthdays. Wendy Mass. 2009. Scholastic. 272 pages. (Newly Available in Paperback).
Olive's Ocean. Kevin Henkes. 2003. HarperCollins. 224 pages.
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 272 pages.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling. Maryrose Wood. 2010. February 2010. HarperCollins. 267 pages.
Falling In. Frances O'Roark Dowell. 2010. [March 2010] Simon & Schuster. 245 pages.

Number of YA: 11

Cracker! The Best Dog In Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata. 2007. Simon & Schuster. 320 pages.
Mare's War. Tanita S. Davis. 2009. Random House. 352 pages.
Tangled. Carolyn Mackler. 2009. [December 2009]. 308 pages.
The Dead-Tossed Waves. Carrie Ryan. 2010. [March 2010] Random House. 416 pages.
Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer. 2010. [April 2010] Harcourt. 420 pages.
Saving Maddie. Varian Johnson. 2010. March 2010. Random House. 240 pages.
My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions. Becca Wilhite. 2010. March 2010. Shadow Mountain. 176 pages.
Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? Louise Rennison. 2009. [October 2009]. HarperCollins. 320 pages.
When Mike Kissed Emma. Christine Marciniak. 2009. [July 2009] Wild Rose Press. 176 pages.
Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles. 2008. [December 2008] Walker & Company (Bloomsbury). 368 pages.
You Are So Undead To Me. Stacey Jay. 2009. [January 2009]. Penguin. 272 pages.

Number of Adult: 7

Mr. Knightley's Diary. Amanda Grange. 2007. Penguin. 294 pages.
Emma Brown: A Novel From the Unfinished Manuscript by Charlotte Bronte. Clare Boylan. 2005. Penguin. 464 pages.
The Toll Gate. Georgette Heyer. 1954. Harlequin. 304 pages.
The Wives of Henry Oades. Johanna Moran. 2010. [February 2010] Random House. 384 pages.
The Stolen Crown. Susan Higginbotham. 2010. [March 2010] SourceBooks. 400 pages.
Young Bess by Margaret Irwin. 1944/2010. [March 2010] SourceBooks. 400 pages.
Sprig Muslin. Georgette Heyer. 1956/2009. Harlequin. 288 pages.

Number of Christian: 13

The Screwtape Letters. C.S. Lewis. 1942. HarperCollins. 224 pages.
The Secret Providence of God by John Calvin. Edited by Paul Helm. 2010. Crossway Publishers. 128 pages.
Somewhere to Belong. Judith Miller. 2010. [March 2010] Bethany House. 368 pages.
Hearts Awakening. Delia Parr. 2010. [March 2010] Bethany House. 352 pages.
The Centurion's Wife. Davis Bunn. Janette Oke. 2009. Bethany House. 384 pages.
A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin. 2010. [March 2010] Revell. 432 pages.
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Deluxe Edition. Sally Lloyd-Jones. 2009. Zonderkidz. 352 pages.
Here Burns My Candle. Liz Curtis Higgs. 2010. March 2010. WaterBrook Multnomah. 480 pages.
Ruth: Under the Wings of God. John Piper. 2010. February 2010. Crossway Publishers. 96 pages.
Heart of Stone. Jill Marie Landis. 2010. [February 2010] Zondervan. 320 pages.
All Things Bright and Beautiful. Based on Work by Cecil F. Alexander. Illustrated by Ashley Bryan. 2010. January 2010. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.
Love Finds You In Homestead, Iowa. Melanie Dobson. 2010. March 2010. Summerside Press. 320 pages.
Be Still, My Soul: Embracing God's Purpose & Provision in Suffering. Edited by Nancy Guthrie. 2010. February 2010. Crossway Books. 176 pages.


Number of Nonfiction: 7

Shake, Rattle, & Turn That Noise Down! How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me and Mom
. by Mark Alan Stamaty. Random House. 40 pages.
An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. By Jim Murphy. 2003. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 176 pages.
The Frog Scientist. By Pamela S. Turner. 2009. [July 2009] Houghton Mifflin. 64 pages.
The Fabulous Feud of Gilbert & Sullivan. By Jonah Winter. Illustrated by Richard Egielski. Scholastic. 40 pages.
Mermaid Queen. Shana Corey. Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. 2009. [April 2009]. Scholastic. 48 pages.
Leprechauns and Irish Folklore. Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce. 2010. Random House. 128 pages.
Girl in the Know. Your Inside-and-Out Guide to Growing Up. By Anne Katz, R.N., Ph.D. Illustrated by Monika Melnychuk. 2010. March 2010. Kids Can Press. 112 pages.

Number of Graphic Novels: 0

Number of Poetry: 3

Everybody Was A Baby Once: And Other Poems. By Allan Ahlberg. 2010. [March 2010] Illustrated by Bruce Ingman. Candlewick. 64 pages
Too Much Kissing: And Other Silly Dilly Songs About Parents. Written by Alan Katz. Illustrated by David Catrow. 2009. [December 2009] Simon & Schuster. 30 pages.
The Wonder Book. Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Illustrations by Paul Schmid. 2010. [February 2010] HarperCollins. 79 pages.


Number of Short Story Collections/Anthologies: 0

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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You Are So Undead To Me (YA)


You Are So Undead To Me. Stacey Jay. 2009. [January 2009]. Penguin. 272 pages.

The cold wind swept across the hill, whistling through the headstones that poked from the ground like dozens of crooked baby teeth. In the sky, a sickly yellow-moon transformed the graveyard's bare trees into guardians made of old, white bone, and somewhere in the distance, an animal screamed.

Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler. Zombies come to her--usually at night--restless, seeking closure. By finding out what is making them so restless, so unhappy--you know, besides the fact that they're dead--she's able to give them peace and send them back to the grave. The grave is then sealed. And all is well with the world, right? Well. Megan's life is about to get messier than that. As if having zombies interrupt your date night wasn't bad enough. Someone is out to get Megan. Someone practicing black magic or black arts. Can Megan find out who this someone is in time? Or is the Homecoming Dance doomed to a bloody end?

For those interested in anything and everything supernatural. Especially those who can't get enough supernatural romances, You Are So Undead to Me is a good choice. It's a quick read, a light one.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sprig Muslin


Sprig Muslin. Georgette Heyer. 1956/2009. Harlequin. 288 pages.

Mrs. Wetherby was delighted to receive a morning call from her only surviving brother, but for the first half hour of his visit she was granted no opportunity to do more than exchange a few commonplaces with him over the heads of her vociferous offspring.

Sprig Muslin is an enjoyable Georgette Heyer novel. It's easily accessible, which isn't always the case, and it's a quick action-packed read. What kind of action? Well, more comedy than drama. And by action, I don't mean explosions.

The hero of Sprig Muslin is Sir Gareth Ludlow. Gareth is the brother who is visiting his sister, Mrs. Wetherby. He's there to say that he's going to propose marriage to a woman, Lady Hester. It's all planned out. He's gotten the father's permission, etc. But his sister is shocked. Her brother could have anybody, anybody. Why would he seek out a spinster (she's in her late twenties) who's so boring? (From his sister's position that is. Gareth doesn't find her boring at all. He finds her smart.) His sister thinks the match is unfair. Unfair to him. She knows that her brother has never quite recovered from the death of his fiancee seven years (is it seven?) before. But he's convinced that the time is right, that the girl is right.

However, somewhere along the way--on his way to visit the girls' family on their estate in the country--he happens to "rescue" a young damsel in distress, Amanda. Amanda "Smith." Her stories and tall tales outnumber the hairs on her head. He knows she's under seventeen. He knows that she is running away from home. But he doesn't know who she belongs to...(her name, her home, her situation, etc.) or what to do with her. She's determined to find employment--a chambermaid, a maid, a dairy maid, a governess, etc. All this in an attempt to prove she's "mature" and ready to get married to her soldier-love, Neil.

So he takes her with him. He brings this strange girl with a mind all her own with him on his journey to propose to Lady Hester. Her family is more than a little confused and unsettled about the affair. They think it is an affair--that he's brought his mistress along with him. A Mr. Fabian Theale is Hester's uncle, I believe. It is his notion that the young miss is Ludlow's mistress. That she is that sort sort of "lady." That she is his for the taking if he can steal her right out from under Gareth.

Amanda doesn't know much about Theale except that he's old and a bit fat. But she does see him as serving her immediate needs. She needs transportation and a way to sneak out of this new situation. And Theale is more than willing to oblige. Of course, he hasn't any idea that she's good at manipulating and bamboozling those around her. A girl fond of novels. A girl with a vivid imagination. A silly, very gullible, unthinking girl.

He does propose. And she does listen to him calmly. But she knows that he is not in love with her. And while for many spinsters of that age, the thought of marrying anyone, of having a chance to have a home of their own and children of their own, might tempt them to marry for convenience or companionship...she's not ready to settle for that yet. She doesn't want to be a convenient companion. She knows he likes her. As a friend. As a listener. As a sympathetic, angelic companion. But he doesn't love her. Doesn't want her. Doesn't need her as a soul mate, as a lover.

The morning after the proposal, Sir Gareth wakes up to find that Amanda has given him the slip. That she is off with Theale. And he knows that Theale is not a proper companion for a young girl. That he's a very improper one. So off he goes to give them chase. He must "rescue" Amanda.

Amanda doesn't need rescuing so much from others as from herself. She's prone to getting in and out and in and out and in and out of trouble and messes galore. And no one is EVER going to boss her around.

This is a funny, fast-paced, never-ending chase to the altar. But just who will end up saying I do....

Please visit others on the Georgette Heyer Tour (for The Classics Circuit.)


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Love Finds You In Homestead, Iowa


Love Finds You In Homestead, Iowa. Melanie Dobson. 2010. March 2010. Summerside Press. 320 pages.

The morning fog lingered in the alleyways and draped over the iron palings that fortified the row of saloons along Harrison Street.

Another book set in the Amana Colonies. (The other being Somewhere To Belong by Judith Miller.) Jacob Hirsch, one of our narrators, is a desperate father when we first meet him. His daughter, Cassie, is very sick. The two were meant to be heading East. But the Pullman strike and the economic depression (1890s) have altered his plans. It's a miracle that the two were able to make their way out of Chicago in the back of a freight train. The two make an unexpected stop in Iowa. Liesel, our other narrator, appears as an angel (of sorts) to the delirious Cassie. She's a young woman living in one of the Amana villages. Her willingness to help a stranger sets in motion a chain of events that have long-lasting implications. Jacob's daughter is seriously ill--diphtheria--and she shares close quarters with father and daughter during their quarantine. Tending to Cassie like she was her own. But is she becoming too close to this Outsider? What will the future hold for them all?

I liked this one. But I didn't love it. Personally, I found it a bit too dramatic.


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Nonfiction Monday: Girl in the Know (MG)


Girl in the Know. Your Inside-and-Out Guide to Growing Up. By Anne Katz, R.N., Ph.D. Illustrated by Monika Melnychuk. 2010. March 2010. Kids Can Press. 112 pages.

You're growing up, and that means lots of first -- first period, first bra, first kiss, just to name a few.

What you see is what you get. Girl in the Know is a book about puberty. This one doesn't just focus on the physical, however, it also addresses emotional issues as well. Family. Friends. Crushes. Bullies. Eating disorders. So if you're looking for a book about health, hygiene, diet, and exercise, then this might be just right for you (or someone you love).

I don't love the illustrations. But. I can see how this would be difficult to get just right either way. Because if you use photographs, then the book becomes dated even more quickly.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Perfect Chemistry (YA)


Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles. 2008. [December 2008] Walker & Company (Bloomsbury). 368 pages.

Everyone knows I'm perfect. My life is perfect. My clothes are perfect. Even my family is perfect.

Brittany looks like she has the perfect life. A life that includes the perfect boyfriend. But. Appearances can be deceiving. Brittany is keeping more than a few secrets. Not wanting anyone at school to know how her home life really is. She doesn't want anyone to see the real her. Brittany has a role to play, control to maintain.

Alex, our other narrator, doesn't even pretend to have the perfect life. (Though that doesn't mean he's not pretending about other things.) There are thousands of rumors going round about him at school. And some of them are true. Not all of them, mind you. But some of them. Like the fact that he's a gang member. Like the fact that he's been arrested.

Destiny steps in when the chemistry teacher pairs these two (from opposite sides of town) as lab partners. These two teens have nothing in common (so they think) and don't want anything to do with each other. At first. Brittany just doesn't know what to make of Alex, his teasing, his charisma. Does he really like her? Does he really understand her more than Colin?
Is she brave enough to go there?

I loved this one. It's not that I think it's the most perfect book I've ever read. It's not. But it's satisfying. Really satisfying. I really enjoyed these characters. I loved the development of this relationship.

There's been something nagging at me all day. As long as I'm here with him, I might as well ask. "Did we kiss last night?"
"Yes."
"Well, it wasn't memorable because I have no recollection of it."
He laughs. "I was kiddin'. We didn't kiss." He leans in. "When we kiss you'll remember it. Forever."
Oh, God. I wish his words didn't leave my knees weak. I know I should be scared, alone with a gang member in a deserted place talking about kissing. But I'm not. Deep in my soul I know he wouldn't intentionally hurt me or force me to do anything. (142)*
If you enjoy romance, you'll probably enjoy this one. It's satisfying in the same way as 10 Things I Hate About You, Dirty Dancing, and How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days.

*All quotes are from an ARC. They might have been revised in the final edition.


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #13


Happy Sunday! Can you believe that it is almost April already? Almost Easter. And almost time for the 24 Hour Read-a-thon. I believe it starts at 8AM CST. If this Time Zone Converter works correctly. I have enjoyed participating in the past. But I haven't officially signed up yet. Have you?

I think Shelf Love makes a valid point in her Sunday Salon post. About pressure (from within and without) that can impact the fun of a read-a-thon. If the goal of the read-a-thon is to celebrate the joy of reading, to celebrate being part of a community of readers, then how is the best way to go about that? How much of a competition should this be? And is this perception that it is a competition a reflection of intentions.

Does it matter how many pages are read? How many books are read? How many hours are spent? I have always considered this a fun aspect of it. But always in a trivial, shallow kind of way. Not ever in a I'm-so-much-better-or-faster-than-you way. I don't think reading should be a place for apologies and guilt. I don't think fast(er) readers should make apologies for reading books quickly. And I don't think slow(er) readers should ever be made to feel less than. (I don't believe anyone should ever feel less than about anything, but especially about reading.) How much do numbers matter to you? If you've participated in the past, do you think of the read-a-thon as a competition? If I think of it as a competition (at all) then I'm more prone to compete against myself. I might set a goal for myself and try to achieve it. But that's about it.

I think the read-a-thon means a little something different to every participant. I think for some it's all about reading, reading, reading. And for others it's about reading and blogging. And for some it might be reading, blogging, twittering. I think some take the contests seriously, and others choose to focus on their own reading without having to check back in every hour or every other hour. I think it is a temptation of sorts if you check back too often to put yourself in a race with others. To get overwhelmed with what everyone else is doing.

Speaking of read-a-thons, don't forget the Clear Away the Clutter Read-a-thon. The challenge begins Monday, April 5, 2010. At 7AM. And ends Sunday, April 11, 2010, at 11PM. The host is Neverending Shelf.

Melissa is also having a fun discussion over at Book Nut. She's talking about how "involved" readers (can) get with books. I'm more like Melissa (probably not that big a surprise). I do think about what I read. Historical fiction actually excites me a bit more than other genres. In some ways. (For example, Scarlett and Rhett from Gone With The Wind. Or Anne and Gilbert from L.M. Montgomery's series.) I think in books where the author has to create a whole other world, it's a bit harder for me to stay connected, for my belief to remain suspended. One book that has changed the way I see the world, in a way, is Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It. I think about that one a lot.

I also enjoyed this guest piece at 5 Minutes for Books called "On Reading and Kids: I Don't Forbid, I Discuss."

And did you see Amanda's post on burnout? Here are my thoughts. (And I do try to practice what I preach.) I think comments are good things. I love getting comments. But comments are not everything. I promise. It's easy for bloggers to fall into the trap of feeling guilty because they are not leaving comments or not responding to comments. But is it worth the guilt?! NO!!! Comments are supposed to be fun, be natural. Not something to stress about! Same goes with keeping up with everything in google reader. It's not the end of the world if you don't read (or skim, because let's be honest here) every post on every blog that you follow. It reminds me of Digga Tunnah. (All we do is dig, so we can hide--hide so we can dig--dig).

What I've Reviewed This Week:

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions. Becca Wilhite. 2010. March 2010. Shadow Mountain. 176 pages.
Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? Louise Rennison. 2009. [October 2009]. HarperCollins. 320 pages.
When Mike Kissed Emma. Christine Marciniak. 2009. [July 2009] Wild Rose Press. 176 pages.
Falling In. Frances O'Roark Dowell. 2010. [March 2010] Simon & Schuster. 245 pages.
Young Bess by Margaret Irwin. 1944/2010. [March 2010] SourceBooks. 400 pages.
Heart of Stone. Jill Marie Landis. 2010. [February 2010] Zondervan. 320 pages.
Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles. 2008. [December 2008] Walker & Company (Bloomsbury). 368 pages.
All Things Bright and Beautiful. Based on Work by Cecil F. Alexander. Illustrated by Ashley Bryan. 2010. January 2010. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.
Thirsty Thursday. by Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Helen Craig. 2009. August 2009. Candlewick Press. 24 pages.
Maggie's Monkeys. Linda Sanders-Wells. Illustrated by Abby Carter. 2009. April 2009. Candlewick Press. 32 pages.
Hot Rod Hamster. Cynthia Lord. Illustrated by Derek Anderson. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 40 pages.
Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love. By Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Illustrated by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer. 2009. October 2009. HarperCollins. 40 pages.
Hop! Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Holly Meade. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 16 pages.
Quack! Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Holly Meade. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 16 pages.
Here Comes Easter. Caroline Jayne Church. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 14 pages.

Currently Reading:


The Lost Conspiracy. Frances Hardinge. 2009. September 2009. HarperCollins. 576 pages.


Scarlett Fever. Maureen Johnson. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 352 pages.


Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles. 2010. April 2010. Walker (Bloomsbury) 336 pages.

What I Hope To Begin/Finish Soon:


As Young As We Feel. Melody Carlson. 2010. March 2010. David C. Cook (Pub). 352 pages.



One Crazy Summer. Rita Williams-Garcia. 2010. [January 2010] HarperCollins. 218 pages.


Numbers. Rachel Ward. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 336 pages.


The Last Summer of the Death Warrior. Francisco Stork. 2010. March 2010. Scholastic. 352 pages.



© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

When Mike Kissed Emma (MG/YA)


When Mike Kissed Emma. Christine Marciniak. 2009. [July 2009] Wild Rose Press. 176 pages.

I walked right into him. I didn't even seem him standing there until I bounced off his chest. Books went flying. Pencils and pens clattered across the black and white floor tiles. And I would have landed on the floor, too, if he hadn't grabbed my arms and steadied me. I looked up to thank him and saw the most gorgeous blue eyes. Really blue. I'd never seen anyone with eyes that blue. But then I saw who those eyes belonged to.
Biker Mike.


I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was great fun. At the same time, I know I would have really really loved this one if I'd read it as a young teen. (Back when I was absolutely in love with those Sunfire romance books that are oh-so-sadly out of print.)

When Mike Kissed Emma opens with a collision. Both "Biker Mike" and Emma are on their way to tryouts. Both are auditioning for the school's production of The Sound of Music. Emma is hoping for the role of Liesl. She's crossing her fingers that her boyfriend, Trevor, will get the role of Rolf. So he can serenade her with Sixteen going on Seventeen. On and off the stage. What she didn't expect was to be cast in the lead role of Maria, opposite Biker Mike. Oh the things she didn't expect: her sister to be cast opposite of her boyfriend, for Biker Mike to be a really good actor, for the chemistry between them to be oh-so-magical. Even off stage. At the school dance. Where she oh-so-accidentally kisses him. In front of everyone. What's a girl to do when the heart wants something that (supposedly) doesn't make any sense?! For Emma's friends--including her older brother--think Mike is bad news. And they'll say anything, do anything, to keep these two apart.


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Library Loot: Fourth Trip in March


Though there are still a few days to vote in my poll (on library habits), I'm a bit surprised at the results! It seems most people (at least the people who've taken the poll) think that one to three books is the 'just right' amount of books to check out at a time!

I did stick with that this week--by the way--I chose three books to come home with me this week.

New Loot:

Cassidy by Lori Wick
Sabrina by Lori Wick
Girl Stays In the Picture by Melissa de la Cruz

Leftover Loot:

Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan*
The Purple Emperor by Herbie Brennan
Ruler of the Realm by Herbie Brennan
Faerie Lord by Herbie Brennan
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
The Line by Teri Hall
The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge**
You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay
Where I'd Like To Be by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Dovey Coe by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Chicken Boy by Frances O'Roark Dowell

*Question. Have any of you read this series? Is it worth my time? I thought it would fit with Carl's Once Upon A Time challenge. But it's not like I don't have fifty books that would fit. Is it good? Should I read it?!

**I picked this one up because of School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books. This one has won two matches so far. (Lips Touch Three Times vs. The Lost Conspiracy. The Last Olympian vs. The Lost Conspiracy) The judges were Helen Frost and Angela Johnson. I'm about halfway through and I must admit I am enjoying it!

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Poetry Friday: The Wonder Book


The Wonder Book. Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Illustrations by Paul Schmid. 2010. [February 2010] HarperCollins. 79 pages.

I loved this poetry book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Did I love all the poems equally? Of course not! No one poetry book is that perfect, that good. Still I found myself enjoying this one. Some of the poems are quite clever. (I enjoyed her palindrome section of poetry!) Others quite funny. (I enjoyed "It Could Be Verse", "Clarification", and "One Of These Things Is Not Like the Other.") I think there's enough diversity in the humor that every reader will find something to love or laugh about. (Such as "A Rose By Any Other Name" or "Typical Day".)

So which poem should I share with you?! I think I'll go with Clarification.

Clarification

What you can't run with:

sharp pointy things
a lollipop in your mouth
Grandma's crystal swan
a truck full of scissors
a souffle
your shoes tied together
twin porcupines

What you can run with:

a bag of marshmallows
a purple sock
a napkin
a really small baby giraffe
a spoon
a kite
a friend

(18-19)

Definitely recommended!



© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Falling In (MG)


Falling In. Frances O'Roark Dowell. 2010. [March 2010] Simon & Schuster. 245 pages.

On the morning this story begins, Isabelle Bean was convinced she was teetering on the edge of the universe.

Isabelle Bean is such a lonely little girl. She's always felt out of place, like she just doesn't belong. True, Isabelle is a strange child, at times. But a strangely true child. True to herself, true to who she is.

You know her, of course. Isabelle Bean is the girl who sits in the back corner of the classroom near the pencil sharpener. She isn't invisible, exactly, but she might as well be. She hardly ever speaks unless spoken to (and then only in riddles), never makes eye contact, has bangs that hang down almost to her nose so even if somebody wanted to look her straight in the eye, they couldn't.
It goes without saying that very few people want to look Isabelle Bean straight in the eye.
It's not that she smells bad. She doesn't. She takes a bath every night. And it's not that she's dumb, although it's true she has a bad habit of not doing her homework except when she really feels like it, which is almost never.
And it's not that Isabelle Bean is a bully. She's never beaten anyone up or even made the smallest threat. No one is physically scared of her, except for a few of the very nice girls in Mrs. Sharpe's class, girls whose hair smells like apple blossoms and whose mothers still read them bedtime stories. These are the girls who sharpen their pencils at home so they never have to walk near Isabelle's desk. (13-14)
When we first meet Isabelle, she is getting in trouble. Again. She's soon on her way to see the Vice Principal. But she'll never get there. No, because some doors are magical. Some doors lead to other worlds. And Isabelle, our lonely little heroine, may just find herself falling in.

The world Isabelle finds herself in is strange. The children speak of a witch, not just any witch, but the witch. Someone who has been hunting and eating children for decades. There is great fear surrounding this woman, this creature. And Isabelle's quick appearance, and her red, pointy shoes lead to some distrust. Is she the witch? If she's not the witch, is she in league with the witch? It seems Isabelle has fallen into a mystery. Can Isabelle learn the truth, discover the real story?

I really loved elements of Falling In. I found the writing to be well done. I especially loved Dowell's descriptions. And I did love Isabelle Bean. But. It's not a perfect novel. I think it showed great promise in the beginning. (And it did keep me turning pages, which says something.) I just wish the ending had been slightly different. The last chapter didn't quite work for me. Overall, I did enjoy this one.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me?


Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? Louise Rennison. 2009. [October 2009]. HarperCollins. 320 pages.

Sunday, September 18th
9:00 a.m.
Why? oh why oh why?
9:02 a.m.
Why me?
9:03 a.m.
And I'll just say this. Why?


This is the tenth and final book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison. And it all comes down to this, of course, will she or won't she?! Will she or won't she what you ask??? Well, if you've read the books you can probably guess that the full question is will she or won't she end up with Dave the Laugh.

Georgia has had her fair share of boyfriends. And currently she's heartsick over Masimo. Heartsick because Masimo, being the jealous type, got angry when Georgia danced with Dave the Laugh. A crazy little dance, right? It didn't mean much, right? After all, if a little dance made him this jealous, just imagine if he knew about the kiss the two shared, a kiss that Georgia dare not mention to a soul.

Can her relationship with Masimo be mended? Does she really want it to? If she does love Masimo--really, really love him--why is she always thinking about Dave the Laugh?

Of course, this book isn't just about Georgia's indecisiveness when it comes to her love life. Georgia's friends enter into it, of course. This time they're all going crazy because of Romeo and Juliet. Their all-girl school is putting on a performance of this Shakespeare tragedy that is bound to bring great laughs.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Young Bess


Young Bess by Margaret Irwin. 1944/2010. [March 2010] SourceBooks. 400 pages.

She had been allowed to come out to the royal flagship, and had been eating cherries and strawberries dipped in wine.

Young Bess follows the adventures and misadventures of the Tudor family. The title leads you to believe the focus is on Elizabeth and Elizabeth alone. But that isn't quite the case. It is the story of some rather turbulent years (well, most years were turbulent with the Tudors I've found!) in English history.

This book will see the death of King Henry VIII, Catherine Parr (the former Queen), Tom and Edward Seymour, and Edward VI. It stars the two Seymour brothers battling for power, a young Jane Grey, a young Elizabeth (of course), and a not-so-young Mary. Edward VI does enter into it a tiny bit. But not all that often, whether that's because he had little to do with his sisters and cousins or if he just didn't do much of anything, I don't know.

Did I like this one? Mostly. There were places where it was cleverly and amusingly written. Where it was just fun to read. There were also a few places where it was a bit boring. I did think it was well-written. And I do think fans of historical fiction will probably like it. Especially those who love to read anything and everything written about the Tudors.

There will be two others in this series.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Heart of Stone


Heart of Stone. Jill Marie Landis. 2010. [February 2010] Zondervan. 320 pages.

Eleven-year-old Lovie Lane would never be certain what actually woke her the night she learned her life was to become a living hell.

After losing both parents, Lovie and her younger sister, Megan, meet the harshest of fates. A fate far worse than being sent to an orphanage. Their aunt and uncle, seeing a money-making opportunity, decide to sell the girls into prostitution, sell the girls into a brothel house. Lovie being just eleven, and Megan, even younger than that. After that first night, when Megan was actually sold to the highest bidder, the two sisters have not seen one another.

No doubt about it, Lovie's life was a living hell. But it was a hell she was determined to escape from.

Years later, Lovie, now living as Laura Foster, hopes that her past stays just that her past. She's moved to a small town in Texas. She's hoping that the folks in Glory, Texas, will never hear about her past. Because how can any woman overcome the prejudice, the hate, the shame if the truth were to become known?

No, living as Mrs. Laura Foster, a wealthy widow, is her only way to cling to respectability. She has rules for how to live her life. Rules that keep her safe. Her boardinghouse only accepts families, women, and children. No single men, ever. NO exceptions to the rule. She doesn't want any person to get the wrong idea about her.

Laura doesn't have room for love in her life. So she won't let any gentlemen come calling. Even if they're respectable. Because she knows that no man would ever want her if the truth was known.

Brand McCormick is the preacher in town. And he finds himself falling fast for this beautiful widow woman. Can he find a way to woo Laura? Find a way to win her heart?

Both Brand and Laura have things in their past that they're keeping hidden. Not only from each other, but from everyone in their lives. When these secrets come to light, will anything ever be the same again?

Historical fiction set in Texas in the 1870s.

I found this to be a quick and compelling read. A book about grace and forgiveness and unconditional love.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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My Ridiculous, Romantic, Obsessions (YA)


My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions. Becca Wilhite. 2010. March 2010. Shadow Mountain. 176 pages.

Mom pulls her new toy, a talking GPS directions-thingie up close to her eyes.

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions is just too much fun! Sarah, our heroine, can't see herself starring in her own romance, and there is the problem! When Sarah meets Ben, she swoons. He is wow-worthy. But everything she's picked up from reading romance tells her that Ben wouldn't, couldn't be interested in her. Yet he's there. Again and again and again, Ben is there for her. Will Sarah open up her eyes and realize the truth in time?

This one works because of the humor. And because it's such a light, satisfying read.


Walking home with Ben . . . (Time out. Let's just take a second to enjoy the novelty of that phrase. Walking home with Ben. As in I Am Walking Home with Ben. If this moment were in a book, I'd be willowy and graceful, and he'd be smitten with my charm and dismayed at my appropriate distance. Things like this do not happen to me. Ever. I am not the girl who walks home with Ben. Or with anyone else, really. But for right now, I'm going to act like that girl. Okay, ready?) Walking home with Ben, I wonder if he's going to keep up a steady stream of chatter all the way back to my place. No such luck. (25)
This moment could be from a romance novel. Except there's no heavy breathing. And I'm not wearing a corset. And Ben isn't a pirate or a prince in disguise or a wealthy European landowner or a dashing older gentleman with a crazy wife locked in a tower. (39)
There's no use pretending that I'm some fashionably waiflike girl who doesn't anything but celery and bean sprouts, so when Ben asks if I want to get another cone with him, I get all shivery with anticipation. For the ice cream, too. (47)
I recommend this one to those who love romance novels.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Centuries Reading Challenge Update #2

I hope you're enjoying the Centuries Reading Challenge so far! Have you read any good books for the challenge? Do you have any you'd want to recommend to other participants? Have you had to abandon any that just weren't-for-you? Feel free to start conversations in the comments about your progress (or lack of progress for that matter). If you have reviews for the second three months of the challenge, (mid-March through mid-May) this is the place to leave them. The third update post will be May 17, 2010.





© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Library Loot: Third Trip in March


As I mentioned in my Sunday Salon post, I *meant* to just check out six books. As you can see, things didn't quite go according to plan. Because. I have little (if any) self control. That's not quite true. I did talk myself into putting back three or four books. (True, they wouldn't fit in my bag. And my "will power" might have more to do with that than anything else. But still.)

Be sure to check out my poll in the left sidebar!

New Loot:


Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan
The Purple Emperor by Herbie Brennan
Ruler of the Realm by Herbie Brennan
Faerie Lord by Herbie Brennan


All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab


The Line by Teri Hall


The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge


You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay


Where I'd Like To Be by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Dovey Coe by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Chicken Boy by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #12


Happy Sunday! It's been a busy week for me. With a couple of challenges starting. Katrina's Spring Reading Thing 2010 and Carl's Once Upon A Time.

Plus I announced a challenge that I'm hosting. The It's The End of the World challenge. In previous years, I've had people excited to join up. But this year, so far, nothing. Perhaps just bad timing?! I can understand that. I mean, Carl's challenge is one of the most exciting things about spring. (It sure doesn't feel like spring here.) Or maybe people are burned out on challenges in general? I don't know. I'll keep reading apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction anyhow. I'd intended to host the It's The End of the World challenge again. Unlike some of the other challenges I host, this is one that actually still excites me. But both this year and last year's start dates have been prompted by me reading Carrie Ryan!

Expect a library loot post later in the day! I went to the library with good intentions this week. I wanted to keep to a strict six books only policy. You'll have to see if I stuck with that. What do you think? Do you think I was bad?

I've had great fun this week participating in the Spring Break Reading Challenge. I thought it was fun to have daily activities. And I think I participated in all but two. Today is the last day, by the way. So thank you, Karin for hosting such a great challenge!

I did read a great book this week that I wanted to call special attention to. I just love, love, loved The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood. I think this book deserves to be read (and adored!). So if you're looking for a very fun, very clever book with a great narrator...consider giving this one a try!

Have you read such a book lately? One that you love, love, love and want to recommend to everyone?! I'd love to hear from you! I'm always looking for suggestions.

What I've Reviewed This Week:

Olive's Ocean. Kevin Henkes. 2003. HarperCollins. 224 pages.
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 272 pages.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling. Maryrose Wood. 2010. February 2010. HarperCollins. 267 pages.
Tangled. Carolyn Mackler. 2009. [December 2009]. 308 pages.
The Dead-Tossed Waves. Carrie Ryan. 2010. [March 2010] Random House. 416 pages.
Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer. 2010. [April 2010] Harcourt. 420 pages.
Saving Maddie. Varian Johnson. 2010. March 2010. Random House. 240 pages.
Emily's Fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. 2010. [June 2010] Random House. 160 pages.
Clementine, Friend of the Week. Sara Pennypacker. Illustrations by Marla Frazee. 2010. July 2010. Hyperion. 176 pages.
Mermaid Queen. Shana Corey. Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. 2009. [April 2009]. Scholastic. 48 pages.
Leprechauns and Irish Folklore. Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce. 2010. Random House. 128 pages.
Leprechaun in Late Winter. Mary Pope Osborne. 2010. Random House. 128 pages.
Too Much Kissing: And Other Silly Dilly Songs About Parents. Written by Alan Katz. Illustrated by David Catrow. 2009. [December 2009] Simon & Schuster. 30 pages.
Mercy Watson to the Rescue. Kate DiCamillo. 2005. Candlewick Press. 80 pages.
Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride. Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 2006. Candlewick Press. 80 pages.
Mercy Watson Fights Crime. Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 2006. Candlewick. 80 pages.
Mercy Watson Princess in Disguise. Kate DiCamillo. 2007. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 73 pages.
Mercy Watson Something Wonky This Way Comes. Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. 2009. Candlewick Press. 96 pages.
Bedtime Bunny. Sandra Magsamen. 2009. [January 2009] Little Brown. 20 pages.
Young Zeus By G. Brian Karas. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 48 pages.
I Love My Little Storybook. By Anita Jeram. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 32 pages.
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Deluxe Edition. Sally Lloyd-Jones. 2009. Zonderkidz. 352 pages.
Here Burns My Candle. Liz Curtis Higgs. 2010. March 2010. WaterBrook Multnomah. 480 pages.
Ruth: Under the Wings of God. John Piper. 2010. February 2010. Crossway Publishers. 96 pages.

What I'm Currently Reading:


Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles. 2008. [December 2008] Walker & Company (Bloomsbury). 368 pages.


Catching Fire. Suzanne Collins. 2009. [September 2009] Scholastic. 400 pages.


Falling In. Frances O'Roark Dowell. 2010. [March 2010] Simon & Schuster. 245 pages.


When Mike Kissed Emma. Christine Marciniak. 2009. [July 2009] Wild Rose Press. 176 pages.


Heart of Stone. Jill Marie Landis. 2010. [February 2010] Zondervan. 320 pages.

What I Hope To Begin/Finish Soon:


One Crazy Summer. Rita Williams-Garcia. 2010. [January 2010] HarperCollins. 218 pages.



Scarlett Fever. Maureen Johnson. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 352 pages.



Venetia. Georgette Heyer. 1958/2009. Harlequin. 368 pages.

Challenges Joined This Week:

Spring Reading Thing
Once Upon A Time IV
It's the End of the World III
YA Romance

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling (MG)


The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling. Maryrose Wood. 2010. February 2010. HarperCollins. 267 pages.

It was not Miss Penelope Lumley's first journey on a train, but it was the first one she had taken alone.

It continues,

"As you may know, traveling alone is quite a different kettle of fish from traveling with companions. It tends to make people anxious, especially when enroute to a strange place, or a new home, or a job interview, or (as in the case of Miss Lumley) a job interview in a strange place that might very well end up being her new home" (1).
Miss Lumley is a young woman (just fifteen) who is about to become a governess to three young children. She discovers soon after she's hired that these three children have been living in the barn. Furthermore, they're naked and nameless! What's going on at Ashton Place?! What kind of mess did she get herself into! Fortunately, Miss Penelope Lumley is an optimist.

These three children--two boys, one girl--are soon given first and last names. Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia. As for a last name, well, they're Incorrigible. (The names being assigned not by Miss Penelope but by Lord Frederick Ashton. And how can a governess argue with her employer about such a thing?!) I should also mention, the three children are, soon after her arrival, given clothes (though they do have to be shown how to wear them) and permission to live in the house, in the nursery.

Where did these children come from? Well, Lord Frederick would just say 'Finders, Keepers' and stumble into his story. His story (and he is sticking to it) is that he found these three children in the woods on a hunting trip. His best guess is that these three 'savage' children were raised by wolves. He took them on as an experiment of sorts. He (much to his discredit) doesn't think of them as human, but rather thinks of them as wild, savage beasts. As for Lady Constance, she's not fond of her husband's pet project. And she wouldn't mind a bit if these three were turned over to an orphanage or sent back into the woods.

Miss Lumley definitely has quite a job before her! But if anyone can do it, Miss Penelope can! She isn't an ordinary governess after all. She's a graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. With steady perseverance, ever-present hope, and a lot of love, she's determined that these kids will succeed. And to her credit, they do seem eager to learn, eager to love.

This one features interior illustrations by Jon Klassen. I found these illustrations complemented the text quite well! I loved some of the captions!

I love, love, loved this book. I really, really loved it. I found it wonderfully quirky and oh-so-charming. The writing was clever and fun. I would definitely recommend this one! You can view the book trailer here.

Here are a few of my favorite passages:

One of Agatha Swanburne's sayings, which Penelope had often heard (you may think of her as Penelope from this point forward, for now you have made her acquaintance), was this: "All books are judged by their covers until they are read." (7)


As you probably know from personal experience, there are children who love to take baths, and there are children who absolutely do not. It took some trial and error, but Penelope soon discovered that Alexander would get in the tub only if the water was quite cool and perfectly still. Cassiopeia preferred hot water but was frightened of the soap. Once in, Beowulf could hardly be pried out of the bath; he would have soaked all day if permitted. (57)


If you have ever opened a can of worms, boxed yourself into a corner, ended up in hot water, or found yourself in a pretty pickle, you already know that life is rarely (if ever) just a bowl of cherries. It is far more likely to be a bowl of problems, worries, and difficulties. This is normal and you should not be alarmed. (119)


As you may have already had cause to discover, a statement can be both completely true and completely misleading at the same time. This is called "selective truth telling," and it is frequently used in political campaigns, toy advertisements, and other forms of propaganda. (166)


This practice of overstating the case is called hyperbole. Hyperbole is usually harmless, but in some cases it has been known to precipitate unnecessary wars as well as a painful gaseous condition called stock market bubbles. For safety's sake, then, hyperbole should be used with restraint and only by those with the proper literary training. (188-189)
This book just works really well. I find it very award-worthy!

Other reviews: Shelf Elf, Welcome to My Tweendom, Fuse #8, A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy, Life By Candlelight.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Spring Reading Thing 2010


Spring Reading Thing 2010
Host: Callapidder Days
Sign Up Post
Review Post (link coming soon)
When: March 20th to June 20th

The Pool of Books


The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott. Kelly O'Connor McNees. 2010. Penguin. 336 pages.
Within the Hollow Crown. Margaret Campbell Barnes.. 2010. (Reprint) April 2010. Sourcebooks. 368 pages.
The Darcy Cousins. Monica Fairview. 2010. April 2010. Sourcebooks. 432 pages.


The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James. 2007. HarperCollins. 352 pages.
Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange. 2008. Penguin. 304 pages.
Edmund Bertram's Diary by Amanda Grange. 2008. Penguin. 304 pages.


Scarlett Fever. Maureen Johnson. 2010. Scholastic. 352 pages.
Catching Fire. Suzanne Collins. 2009. Scholastic. 400 pages.
Fire. Kristin Cashore. 2009. Penguin. 480 pages.
The Mysterious Howling (Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place). By Maryrose Wood. 2010. HarperCollins. 267 pages.
Six Rules of Maybe. Deb Caletti. 2010. Simon & Schuster. 336 pages.
Wish. Alexandra Bullen. 2010. Scholastic. 336 pages.
Princess of Glass. Jessica Day George. 2010. Bloomsbury. 272 pages.
The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz. 2010. Candlewick Press. 128 pages.
Ice. Sarah Beth Durst. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 320 pages.


Gone. Lisa McMann. 2010. Simon & Schuster. 214 pages.
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 400 pages.
Bleeding Violet. Dia Reeves. 2010. Simon & Shuster. 454 pages.
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr. 2010. HarperCollins. 352 pages.
Finnikin of the Rock. Melina Marchetta. 2010. February 2010. Candlewick Press. 416 pages.
Splendor. Anna Godbersen. 2009. HarperCollins. 391 pages.
Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles. 2008. Bloomsbury (Walker). 368 pages.
Rules of Attraction. Simone Elkeles. 2010. Bloomsbury (Walker). 336 pages.
Numbers. Rachel Ward. 2010. Scholastic. 336 pages.

The Books I Read....

1. The Mysterious Howling (Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place). By Maryrose Wood
2. Scarlett Fever. Maureen Johnson.
3. Catching Fire. Suzanne Collins
4. Perfect Chemistry. Simone Elkeles
5. Rules of Attraction. Simone Elkeles
6. Gone. Lisa McMann.
7. The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz.
8. Bleeding Violet. Dia Reeves.
9. Splendor. Anna Godbersen.
10. Princess of Glass. Jessica Day George
11. The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott. Kelly O'Connor McNees.
12. Within the Hollow Crown. Margaret Campbell Barnes.
13. The Darcy Cousins. Monica Fairview.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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