Sunday, November 16, 2014

Armchair Cybils -- Sharing Reviews #1

I am super-excited that Hope is The Word is hosting the Armchair Cybils Reading Challenge!!!

Come back here on the following dates to link up your Armchair Cybils posts:
  • October 15 — your “I’m participating!” post
  •  November 15–reviews
  •  December 15–reviews
  •  January 1–shortlist thoughts
  •  January 15– reviews and thoughts
  • February 14–reviews and thoughts about the winners
Elementary/MG Speculative Fiction

1) A Snicker of Magic. Natalie Lloyd.
2) Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle. George Hagen.
3) Greenglass House by Kate Milford (review coming in December)
4) Oliver and the Seawigs. Philip Reeve
5) Ophelia and the Marvelous Boys. Karen Foxlee.
6) Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy. Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
7) Seven Stories Up. Laurel Snyder.
8) Seven Wild Sisters: A Modern Fairy Tale. Charles de Lint.
9) Tesla's Attic by Neal Shusterman (review coming in January)
10) Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (review coming in January)
11) The Children of the King. Sonya Hartnett.
12) The Fourteenth Goldfish. Jennifer L. Holm.
13) The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage (review coming later in November)
14) The Glass Sentence. S.E. Grove
15) The Night Gardener. Jonathan Auxier.
16) The Orphan and the Mouse. Martha Freeman.
17) The Shadow Throne. Jennifer A. Nielsen.
18) Thursdays with the Crown. (Castle Glower #3) Jessica Day George.
19) Winterfrost by Michelle Houts (review coming in December)

11/15/14: My favorite in this category so far is...Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener. I loved it SO MUCH, I've read it TWICE!!! My second favorite would have to be Laurel Snyder's Seven Stories Up.

YA Speculative Fiction

1) A Creature of Moonlight. Rebecca Hahn.
2) Allegiant by Veronica Roth (reviewed in 2013)
3) Dangerous by Shannon Hale (reviewed in 2013)
4)Don't Even Think About It. Sarah Mlynowski.
5) Free to Fall. Lauren Miller.
6) The Glass Casket. McCormick Templeman.
7 Kiss of Deception. (The Remnant Chronicles #1) Mary E. Pearson.
8) The Living by Matt de La Pena
9) Independent Study. Joelle Charbonneau.
10) The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey (review coming in January)

11/15/14: My favorite in this category so far is... Lauren Miller's Free to Fall. My second pick would be either The Glass Casket or Kiss of Deception.

Middle Grade Fiction

1) Absolutely Almost. Lisa Graff.
2)Courage for Beginners. Karen Harrington.
3) Half A Chance. Cynthia Lord.
4) I Kill the Mockingbird. Paul Acampora.
5) My Friend the Enemy by Daniel Smith (review coming in December)
6) Tell Me. Joan Bauer.
7) The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher. Jessica Lawson.
8) The Madman of Piney Woods. Christopher Paul Curtis
9) The Magic Trap. (Lemonade War #5) Jacqueline Davies.
10) The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days. Michele Weber Hurwitz.
11) The Swift Boys & Me. Kody Keplinger.
12) West of the Moon. Margi Preus.
13) What the Moon Said. Gayle Rosengren.
14) Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell (review coming in January)
15) Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (review coming in January)
16) The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney (review coming in January)

11/15/14: My favorite in this category so far is... Lisa Graff's Absolutely Almost. My second pick would be either I Kill the Mockingbird or The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher.

12/15/14: Probably The Red Pencil is my favorite so far. 

YA Nonfiction

1) The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin
2) The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
3) Hidden Like Anne Frank by Marcel Prins
4) Boundaries by Sally M. Walker (review coming in December)

11/15/14: My favorite in this category so far is... Steve Sheinkin's The Port Chicago 50.

YA Fiction

1) A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman (review coming later in November)
2) Lady Thief. A.C. Gaughen.
3) Love by the Morning Star. Laura L. Sullivan.
4) The Chapel Wars. Lindsey Leavitt.
5) The Impossible Knife of Memory. Laurie Halse Anderson.
6) We Were Liars. E. Lockhart.

11/15/14: My favorite in this category so far is... A.C. Gaughen's Lady Thief. My second pick would be The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt.

Elementary/MG Nonfiction

1) A Home for Mr. Emerson by Barbara Kerley
2) Angel Island by Russell Freedman
3) Ivan the Remarkable True Story by Katherine Applegate (review coming in December)
4) Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell
5) Sniffer Dogs by Nancy Castaldo
6) Stand There by Susan Goldman Rubin (review coming later in November)
7) The Girl from the Tar Paper School by Teri Kanefield

11/15/14: My favorite in this category so far is... Katherine Applegate's Ivan The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla.

Picture Books

1) E-I-E-I-O by Judy Sierra
2) Frances Dean Who Loved To Dance by Birgitta Sif
3) Help! We Need A Title by Herve Tullet
4) I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz
5) I'm My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein
6) Max and the Won't Go To Bed Show
7) Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by Anne Isaacs
8)  The Book With No Pictures. B.J. Novak.
9) The Good Pie Party by Liz Garton Scanlon
10) Weasels by Elys Dolan
11) The Pigeon needs a bath by Mo Willems

11/15/14: My favorite in this category so far is... Mark Sperring's Max and the Won't Go To Bed Show. My second favorite is Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Amy @ Hope Is the Word 2:16 PM  

Wow! You've read a lot of Cybils titles! Thank you so much for organizing them and also for sharing your favorites. I will be coming back to your blog to read these reviews again and again, I know.

You're the second person to recommend The Night Gardener. I'm moving up in my TBR stack!

I'm SO glad you're participating in the Armchair Cybils!

Alice@Supratentorial 7:48 PM  

Wow! That's a lot of books! Cybils time is so much fun, isn't it?

Alysa Stewart 10:02 PM  

Wow, I am super impressed! Please tell me you read some of these before Oct 1 - haha! :D

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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