Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bookaday Challenge

(I thought I had lost this post! It was typed several days ago and then disappeared. I was too devastated to redo it at the time. Now...here it is!)

As many of you know, I am participating in a book-a-day challenge with other teachers and book-loving people at Twitter-land. I've been having a lot of fun reading and staying in touch with others who are reading over the holiday break.

To update you on my progress...with seven days expired so far, I have read:

Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi

"In the third installment of the thrilling Amulet series, Emily, Navin, and their crew of resistance fighters charter an airship and set off in search of Cielis, a mythical city believed to be located on an island high above the clouds. The mysterious Leon Redbeard is their guide, and there's a surprising new addition to the crew: the Elf King's son, Trellis. But is he ally or enemy? And will Emily ever be able to trust the voice of the Amulet?"

I LOVE this series as do my students. The graphics are so crisp and colorful! I love the style. While reading this book, I was reminded of snippets from the plot of Star Wars. The author does say that the story is heavily influenced by the original Star Wars trilogy.

Click HERE to read more about the characters in the series.

Click HERE to watch a book trailer for the first book in the Amulet series.

In the second book of the Amulet series, "Emily and Navin's mother is still in a coma from the arachnopod's poison, and there's only one place to find help: Kanalis, the bustling, beautiful city of waterfalls. But when Em, her brother, and Miskit and the rest of the robotic crew aboard the walking house reach the city, they quickly realize that seeking help is looking for trouble, dangerous trouble."

Click HERE to read about the first Amulet book on my blog.

Zeus: King of the Gods by George O'Connor

George O'Connor combines his knowledge of Greek mythology and his love of classic superhero comics to create the Olympians series. Planned for twelve books, this one about Zeus is the first. Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess was released this year as well. In July of 2011, look for Hera: The Goddess and her Glory.

Click HERE to visit the Olympians webpage. You can learn about the series as well as the author.

The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin

Here is a book I will definitely buy when it hits the bookstores on March 1, 2011. The Trouble With Chickens is a fantastically funny book with many laugh-out-loud moments. I even snorted once!

I read this as an egalley on my Nook. It is a quick read with lots of chicken humor! Great illustrations by Kevin Cornell.

I will posting a more detailed review on this book closer to the release date.

This book is a sweet, sweet read. As one of our books on the Mock Newbery list, I knew I wanted to read this one over the holiday break. I borrowed this book as an ebook and read it on my new Nook.

In 1935, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to her relatives in Key West, Florida, while her mom is working as a housekeeper for a lady who does not like children. Turtle meets her cousins who run the local Diaper Gang. She also spends time with a sponge fisherman and goes on an unexpected treasure hunt.

I loved this book even though I was secretly hoping for a resolution between two characters at the end of the book--can't tell you who without spoiling it for you! Perhaps the author will revisit Key West and Turtle's new life with a companion book one of these days!

"An amazing secret has tumbled off a freight train into Carter, Georgia, and Owen Jester is the only person who knows about it. If he can simply manage to evade his grandfather’s snappish housekeeper, organize his two best friends, and keep his nosy neighbor, Viola, at bay, he just might be in for the summer of a lifetime."

First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover. I knew I had to buy this book just as soon as I could visit a bookstore--which I did! I know my students will love reading this book. It is a good story, a quick read, and quite frankly, who wouldn't want to discover an amazing secret like Owen does and take it for the journey of a lifetime!

I love Barbara O'Connor's stories. Click HERE for the link to my post about How to Steal a Dog. Also check out some of her other books by clicking HERE to go to her website.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

"In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.

"Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after."

Bloody. Gory. Scary. Heads getting chopped off. READ IT!

And be sure to click on the author's name above. He has a very cool website and reading through his website is just about as much fun as reading his book--though much less horrifying!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T. :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze

"Lovable geek Milo Cruikshank finds reasons for frustration at every turn—like people who carve Halloween pumpkins way too soon in the season, or the fact that the girl of his dreams, Summer, barely acknowledges his existence while next-door neighbor Hilary won’t stop leaving notes in his locker.

"The truth is, ever since Milo’s mother died nothing has gone right. Now, instead of the kitchen being full of music, his whole house has been filled with fog. Nothing’s the same. Not his dad. Not his sister. And definitely not him." Through the help of a couple of true friends, Milo embarks on a mission to achieve healing.

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze
by Alan Silberberg is a gem of a book. I enjoyed the mix of illustrations and prose that told Milo’s story. It is a story that is funny but also serious and full of honest emotions.

Losing a loved one is unbearable. My mother passed away a year ago. I completely understand how Milo felt in a "fog" and can relate to Milo's desire to have "things" belonging to his mom. It is amazing how a book written for kids can still have an impact on someone much older like me!

I will be recommending this book to Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans, of course. But I feel that this book is so much more than a Greg Heffley story. Milo’s feelings are raw. Perhaps readers who have gone through their own personal loss might feel a sense of comfort after meeting Milo. I know I have.

Keep the tissues handy at the end of this book!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Lightning Thief Graphic Novel

This graphic novel is 'book candy' for my students. I don't have to plug this read. All I have to do is hold it in the air, move it slowly back and forth...back and forth. My students' eyes will follow as if in a trance, mouths open, drool pooling on their desks.

The names Rick Riordan and Percy Jackson are well-known among my sixth grade students. Most of my readers fall into the category of either 'starting the series', 'in the middle of the series', 'finished with the series', or 'finished with the series, read The Lost Hero, and waiting for Fall 2011 for the next book'!!

Rick Riordan does not disappoint with this new addition to the Percy Jackson vault, The Lightning Thief Graphic Novel. This is a fun read and will please both old and new Percy Jackson fans.

Readers will notice deleted scenes from the original book. Click HERE to read one deleted scene. It's a favorite one of my daughter's...when Percy, Annabeth, and Grover visit Aunty Em's Garden Gnome Emporium.

If you like what you see in this first graphic novel, then hang in there...Editor Christian Trimmer says that The Sea of Monsters and The Titan’s Curse are currently in the works and are tentatively set for release dates in 2012.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Kneebone Boy

In which I was engaged by the characters, enchanted by the writing, and entertained by the experience.

Yes, that just about says it all. You mustmustmust read The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter.

From the book jacket..."Life in a small town can be pretty boring when everyone avoids you like the plague. But after their father unwittingly sends them to stay with an aunt who’s away on holiday, the Hardscrabble children take off on an adventure that begins in the seedy streets of London and ends in a peculiar sea village where legend has it a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal...

In this wickedly dark, unusual, and compelling novel, Ellen Potter masterfully tells the tale of one deliciously strange family and a secret that changes everything."

That's it. Yup. You're not getting any more details from me...no describing the quirky characters of Otto, Lucia, and Max (Loved these characters! And don't even get me started on Haddie because she was extreme-to-the-max quirky!)...no review of the delightfully fresh writing of Ellen Potter (Oh, if only I could write like her!)...I'm not saying anything more except...READ IT! And if you don't read it soon, I may just have to pick it up and read it aloud to you!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

P.P.S My favorite quote from the book..."People should have all their big adventures while they're still under the age of fourteen. If you don't, you start to lose your passion for big adventures. It just begins to fade away bit by bit and then you forget you ever wanted adventures in the first place...it's criminal the way that happens."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Magnificent 12: The Call (Book One)

You gotta see this book trailer...Click HERE.

And before you read any further, just remember..."...most heroes end up dead."

"Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boy's bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it's up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen's dangerous daughter, Ereskigal--also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn't want to be a hero. Will he answer the call?"

Michael Grant says he wrote this book because..."I want to make kids laugh. It's not very complicated. If I knew that some kid had read THE MAGNIFICENT 12 and laughed so hard they blew milk out of their nose? That would be the highest honor ever for me. I also want to get that sneaky late laugh, you know, where you're in class or at the doctor or at a funeral even, and you remember something from the books and you start laughing. Or even just grinning. That's what I want: I want kids grinning at inappropriate times. Inappropriate grins and the occasional milk snort, that's why I wrote THE MAGNIFICENT 12."

This is the first book in what I think will be a popular series among tweens. Action. Laughs. Adventure. Laughs. Villains. Heroes. Laughs.

Pick yourself up a copy of Michael Grant's latest. Come on. I dare you to be silent while reading this book. Get in the zone, and have some fun rolling on the floor...just be careful not to get milk on the carpet.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Scream Street: Fang of the Vampire

"Luke gazed into the zombie's milky eyes. The creature grinned at him, revealing a mouth crawling with worms and maggots. A cockroach scuttled out of a nostril and up into the zombie's left ear, dragging a trail of black snot behind it."

To say that middle school readers will like Scream Street: Fang of the Vampire may be a bit of an understatement. 'Fangs' to the Picnic Basket for this complimentary copy, I was able to roam Scream Street and meet vampires, zombies, werewolves, poltergeists, mummies, ghouls, goblins...

Luke Watson is a werewolf who has been sent packing to Scream Street, a community of various monsters. Luke's parents, however, are human and very scared of what they are encountering in this strange place.

Luke and his new friends, Resus (a wannabe vampire) and Cleo (a mummy), are on a mission to find Skipstone's Tales of Scream Street, a book that supposedly contains the way out of Scream Street. Luke would like nothing better than to take his parents back home.

Tommy Donbavand's book is an action-packed, monster-filled romp that will leave middle school readers 'screaming' for the next book...Blood of the Witch and the next book...Heart of the Mummy and the next book...Flesh of the Zombie and the next book...Skull of the Skeleton and the next book...Claw of the Werewolf and the next book...Invasion of the Normals and the next book...Attack of the Trolls and...

For more information on the author, visit his extensive website by clicking HERE. And click HERE to go to the series' website.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


"If you're looking for happily ever after, you've come to the wrong place."

Cornelia Funke is back! (And so am I...a new school year and new school building later, I am finally ready to share my reading with you again!)

I am in awe of the fantasy that Cornelia Funke creates. I was first mesmerized with Inkheart, one of my TOP TEN favorite books. Not only did I love the characters (Mo, Dustfinger, Elinor) and the dark world of villains (Capricorn) she wrote about, but I savored the references to reading and the book world she included in her story.

Now, I have Reckless to add to my list of great reads. In this gem, Cornelia Funke weaves in the world of fairy tales.

"Jacob Reckless, like his father before him, escapes into the Mirrorworld, and all is well until his younger brother, Will, follows him in and falls under the enchantment of the Dark Fairy. Through an injury, she turns him slowly into a Goyl, a person made of stone. Jacob is determined to rescue his brother and restore him to himself. Accompanied by his companion, a shape-shifter girl/vixen named Fox, and Will's girlfriend, Clara, Jacob journeys with Will to find the antidote to the spell. With a large cast, including a dwarf, powerful fairies born from water, deadly moths, man-eating sirens, unicorns, and the terrifying Tailor with fingers ending in blades and needles, the story includes multiple fairy-tale motifs as the characters grapple with fear and despair while on their seemingly hopeless quest." (- School Library Journal)

While at first I had a hard time grasping the Mirrorworld and the Goyl, a little bit of rereading was the trick to gain confidence in understanding this unique world. Once I had a firm grasp on this tale, I was able to sit back and let myself enjoy (sometimes with frequent nail-biting!) the world of Jacob Reckless.

I think fantasy readers will enjoy this book, but I will caution some younger, more inexperienced fantasy readers about reading this one. A little bit of language in this book along with a complicated fantasy world with many references to fairy tales might make Reckless a tough read for some.

If you are looking for a new fantasy series (this is definitely NOT over at the end), check out Reckless by Cornelia Funke. For more information, visit the book's website by clicking HERE. For more information about the author, visit her website HERE.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Green Angel and Green Witch

Green Angel has sat on my school bookshelf for a couple of years. I always had the intention of reading this book. I simply never got around to picking it up and giving it a try. I am so glad that on a recent trip to the local library (YEA FOR LIBRARIES!), I glimpsed the YA librarian reshelving Green Witch, Alice Hoffman's follow-up to Green Angel. I knew that I needed to read both books!

Green Angel is about a fifteen-year-old girl named Green who suffers an unspeakable loss of her entire family due to a disastrous act of man. Green is overwhelmed by the loss of her family and her world as she has known it to be. She retreats and starts to destroy herself; she inks herself with dark images and tries to become a new person. Will Green ever learn to love again? What does the future hold for Green?

Beautiful writing here from Alice Hoffman. But it was the second book, Green Witch, that really captured me!

Green Witch continues the story of Green a year after the disaster that occurred in the first book. I loved this book so much more than the first--the story--the writing--the meaning that it held for me and the connections I made as I read this book.

Here are some passages that spoke to me...

"What you see, you can understand...But I had looked at the outside of things, not at the true, ever-changing heart. Look at a cloud and see how it becomes a swan, a rose, a lantern, a lion. That is the only way to understand that all clouds change...Not a single one can ever stay the same...That doesn't mean it's not still a cloud."


"...people tell lies. But a lie is not a story, it's simply a lie. Lies become bigger, and fatter, and meaner every time they're told. They eat air and inflate with each piece of gossip. They feel real, but when you touch them, they pop like a bubble. There's nothing inside."


"What you look for, you may find...Someone promised me this, but I shook my head...Surely, wanting more would only bring more despair...But desire can drive you for miles. It can lead you in ways you never would have imagined. A map can be written in ashes, earth, water, air. Take a step and keep walking. Don't be afraid to look back...In the end, every path you choose takes you closer to what you've been searching for all along."

I highly recommend that you read these two books by Alice Hoffman. What passages speak to you?

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sixth Grade Glommers, Norks, and Me

Sixth grade girls...here is a book for you! Ever feel like you are on top of the world with your best friend by your side...nothing can go wrong...best friends until the end of time? Right?

Only then you discover that the two of you don't seem to be hanging out as much. Your best friend discovers another friend. AGH! The world of ever-changing friendships!

As a sixth grade teacher, I see this dilemma played out time and time again. Each year, girls (and boys!) enter their new school year with established friendships that eventually twist and turn, changing monthly--weekly--sometimes daily--into a friendship drama-monster! I've been there...done that. Yet it is so hard to give advice. Perhaps this year, I can stick Sixth-Grade Glommers, Norks, and Me by Lisa Papademetriou into the hands of those girls seeking help. Maybe reading about Allie's sixth grade year will provide some guidance for those trying to figure out friendship troubles.

From the book jacket..."Allie Kimball and her best friend, Tamara Thompson, have been looking forward to starting sixth grade all summer. But sixth grade isn't turning out to be what Allie expected at all. She discovers that middle school is a different world, requiring a whole new vocabulary. The halls of middle school are full of strange new beasts, like glommers--girls who never go anywhere alone--and norks--a combination of a nerd and a dork. Now Allie has to define herself before she gets lost in the jungle of sixth grade. The question is, where does Allie fit in?"

A believable read that I will surely recommend to my sixth-graders this year.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


"This novel may be brief, but it leaves a big impact." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

I agree.

In Firegirl by Tony Abbott, seventh-grader Tom and his best friend Jeff are typical teens going through the hum-drum routine of school. Until Jessica Feeney arrives.

Jessica has been badly burned in an accident. Her "skin was all rough and uneven. It looked almost smeared and was stained all shades of pink and white and red. Her lips were swollen. They nearly filled the space between her nose and chin. Her eyes peeked out from behind skin that looked melted. Her hair was mostly short. Her arms were covered, except that the forearms were bare and blotchy. Her fingers were bent as if she were trying to grab something."

Even though Tom secretly wishes to catch the attention of another girl in class, Courtney, he finds himself thinking about Jessica. When Tom's teacher asks him to deliver some books and homework to Jessica's house, the unexpected chore turns into the beginning of a unique friendship between shy Tom and Jessica.

"Firegirl is a powerful book that shows readers that even the smallest of gestures can have a profound impact on someone's life."

I would certainly recommend this book. At only 149 pages, it is a quick read that won't soon be forgotten.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, July 19, 2010


"Meet the trickster, a crafty creature or being who disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself in the process. Whether a coyote or rabbit, raccoon or raven, tricksters use cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief."

I have just finished reading Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection by Matt Dembicki. What a fantastic collection of Native American trickster tales by various storytellers and illustrators.

I know this book will be appealing to a wide range of readers because it took FOUR DAYS to get my hands on this one! Thanks to The Picnic Basket, this gem came in the mail only to be grabbed by my eleven year-old daughter. She started reading it immediately, being the lover of graphic novels she is. I then saw this book in my husband's hands. He is drawn to anything Native American. When I finally asked for my chance to read through this book, I was intrigued.

Each Native American tale is told by a different storyteller. Each tale is illustrated by a different artist. Such an interesting collection of tales and styles of artwork! For a younger reader, this format will work well as they won't get 'stuck' in a story or a form of artwork that they do not enjoy. (See example pages below.)

My favorite tales were "Coyote and the Pebbles", "Azban and the Crayfish", "Rabbit and the Tug of War", and "Giddy Up, Wolfie".

Find a copy of Trickster and let me know which tales you enjoyed!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wild Girl

Patricia Reilly Giff's new novel, Wild Girl, is a must read for horse-lovers. This novel alternates between the story of a filly in Aiken, South Carolina, and the story of a girl in Jales, Brazil. Soon, these two stories become intertwined.

Lidie lives in Jules, Brazil, with Tio Paulo and Titia Luisa. Her father, Pai, and brother, Rafael, left her to go to America soon after her mother, Mamae, passed away. Lidie was seven years old.

Now, five years later, Lidie is on her way to America to join her father and brother who work at a horse farm. Her father trains horses while her brother is an aspiring jockey. Lidie speaks Portuguese and very little English. She finds it difficult to fit in at her new school in America. Lidie also finds it difficult to fit into her new 'family'. Her father and brother expect the seven year-old Lidie to arrive in America. not the older twelve year-old who comes with her own love of horses and riding.

The filly comes to the horse farm where she, with her own story of loneliness and heartbreak, befriends Lidie. Will the two of them be able to make it through the rough times? Will the filly find the family she needs? Will Lidie find the family she desires?

This is another good story from Patricia Reilly Giff. It is not only a horse story but also a story of family...a story that captures the feelings of immigrants coming to a new world...of adventure...of dreams.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Water Seeker

"Shoot dang!" If you are looking for one of the best historical fiction books written this year, look no further than The Water Seeker by Kimberly Willis Holt.

I have been thinking over twelve hours on this book...on just how to tell you about it so I could get it right. I even had a long conversation with my ten-year-old daughter about it in the pool this afternoon. I still can't put my thoughts together. I am in awe of the story!

Let me just say that it has been a while since I have read a book as heart-wrenching as this one. Amos, the main character, must endure so many trials that I truly felt this boy deep down in my bones. Perhaps it was my motherly instincts that kicked in and wanted to provide Amos with so much that he didn't have. More likely, it was Ms. Holt's storytelling that took me away to Amos's world in the 1800's.

The Water Seeker takes place over the course of twenty-six years beginning before Amos is even born in 1833. Once Amos comes into the story, the heartbreak begins, and Amos's story of misfortune and fortune is told.

I found the characters very real in this book. I am still thinking about Jake and Rebecca and Jameson and Blue Owl and Daisy and Homer and Finn and Rebecca..and yes, even Delilah. I met friends in this book and found some enemies as well. I felt as though I 'lived' a while with Amos.

All my ramblings aside, this is a fantastic story of love and loss, of the growing of a young boy into a man.

Please go get this one from the library...it is that good! Then come back and post some comments on what this post should really say about The Water Seeker!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I thought Keeper by Kathi Appelt would be the perfect summertime read, and I was right! What a "cooleoleo" story!

The main character in this story is ten-year-old Keeper, a resident of Oyster Ridge Road, "world unto itself", located on the Texas coast. Right from the beginning, the reader gets the sense that Keeper is in a world of trouble. There are problems with crabs, a precious wooden bowl, a well-loved ukulele, and pots of antique roses and night-blooming flowers. Keeper is at the center of all the misfortune.

"But she knows who can make things right again: Meggie Marie, her mermaid mother who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that's exactly where Keeper is headed--in a small boat, in the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and a seagull named Captain. When the riptide pulls at the boat, tugging her away from the shore and deep into the rough waters of the Gulf of Mexico, panic sets in, and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves."

I thought this book contained fantastic storytelling. I was mesmerized by the writing of Kathi Appelt. Not having read her New York Times bestseller, The Underneath, I didn't know what to expect from this author. I thought Keeper was reminiscent of Ingrid Law's writing...poetic, beautiful...the weaving of an intricate story...I almost felt it was Savvy-like.

I will be recommending this to readers who like mermaid stories...to those who like adventure...to animal lovers...to those who enjoy a bit of a mystery as I kept reading to find out if Meggie Marie, Keeper's mom, would truly 'hear' her daughter and come save her.

I believe this story is a "Keeper"!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Nathan Abercrombie - Dead Guy Spy and Goop Soup

I was first introduced to Nathan Abercrombie last fall. Since then, David Lubar has kept the books in this popular series rolling off the presses. I recently finished the second book, Dead Guy Spy, and the third book, Goop Soup.

In Dead Guy Spy..."Nathan is approached by the secret organization BUM—aka the Bureau of Useful Misadventures—which offers him a cure in exchange for his help. Nathan jumps at the chance to become the world’s first zombie spy, but soon discovers that BUM may not be quite what it seems. Can Nathan trust them? Or is BUM’s offer too good to be true?”

And in Goop Soup ..."Nathan is just getting started with his training for secret organization BUM--the Bureau of Useful Misadventures--when greasy green globs of goop start oozing from every faucet in town. Gross! BUM asks Nathan to investigate, but he's not so sure he's ready for his first mission. Things get even worse when Nathan's mother makes him a doctor's appointment. His doctor is sure to notice he's dead. Is Nathan's life as a half-dead zombie spy over before it has even begun?"

I know middle-schoolers will continue reading this series once they start. Nathan and his friends Abigail and Mookie (yes, Mookie and his noxious gaseous self is back!) keep the ball rolling in these two books. Fun-filled and full of adventures and laughs, once you pick up the first Nathan Abercrombie book, you'll be hooked.

And believe it or not, David Lubar has the FOURTH book in the series coming out on August 31. The new book is called The Big Stink.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Out of My Mind


I’m surrounded by thousands of words. Maybe millions.

Cathedral. Mayonnaise. Pomegranate.
Mississippi. Neapolitan. Hippopotamus.
Silky. Terrifying. Iridescent.
Tickle. Sneeze. Wish. Worry.

Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes—each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands.

Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs.

From the time I was really little—maybe just a few months old—words were like sweet, liquid gifts, and I drank them like lemonade. I could almost taste them. They made my jumbled thoughts and feelings have substance. My parents have always blanketed me with conversation. They chattered and babbled. They verbalized and vocalized. My father sang to me. My mother whispered her strength into my ear.

Every word my parents spoke to me or about me I absorbed and kept and remembered. All of them.

I have no idea how I untangled the complicated process of words and thought, but it happened quickly and naturally. By the time I was two, all my memories had words, and all my words had meaning.

But only in my head.

I have never spoken one single word.

I am almost eleven years old."

Melody might not be able to speak but she certainly has a lot to say. Melody has cerebral palsy and Sharon Draper has captured this eleven year-old's thoughts and feelings perfectly.

In Out of My Mind, Melody struggles to be "normal" like the "regular" kids. Her world changes when she is given a computer that can 'talk' for her...all Melody has to do is type what she wants to say or hit a few programmed buttons.
This new computer allows Melody to compete for a spot on the fifth and sixth grade quiz team. She shows the teacher and her classmates that she, indeed, has superior knowledge and becomes the team's 'secret weapon'. Will the team, with Melody's help, win the competition in Washington D.C., collect their trophy, and be interviewed by Good Morning America?

This book is heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. I nearly cried along with Melody and her parents in the ending...not how I imagined the story would end up but certainly worth the read. For more book information, click HERE.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lawn Boy Returns

Happy Summer! There is no better way to start my summer reading! My first book this summer is Gary Paulsen's sequel to Lawn Boy...Lawn Boy Returns.

"The summer I was twelve, mowing lawns with Grandpa's old riding mower turned into big business. With advice from Arnold the stockbroker, I learned all about making money.

Six weeks and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, life got more complicated. You see, the prizefighter I sponsor, Joey Pow, won a big fight. And a TV interview made me famous. As Arnold says, "Capitalism plus publicity equals monster commerce." Even my best friends wanted a piece of the action. Meanwhile, some scary guys showed up at Joey's gym..."

Lawn Boy is a success! His business is growing and that creates a whole new set of problems for this twelve-year-old entrepreneur. Will Lawn Boy get control of his business empire or will it be the ruin of a young boy?

If you enjoyed Lawn Boy, you just can't pass up this short 101 page follow-up!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Friday, May 14, 2010

John Grogan Author Appearance

John Grogan visited Books and Company at The Greene in Beavercreek, Ohio, this evening. My oldest daughter was able to get Marley A Dog Like No Other signed. (I also had a copy signed for one of my students.) My son and youngest daughter were excited to get Bad Dog, Marley! and his newest book, Marley and the Kittens, signed. We also had a copy of Marley Goes to School signed.

The author was very nice and even offered to pose for a photo with the kids--I can't wait for my two youngest to get over their shyness! Taylor was the only one bold enough to pose!
Thanks to John Grogan for a wonderful visit. It was his last stop before he heads home to Pennsylvania for a much deserved break from touring.

If you are interested in learning more about his books, go visit his WEBSITE.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Unfinished Angel

"Sometimes a people needs an angel and sometimes an angel needs a people."

Hokay! Hokay! I am not a professional book reviewer. I am simply a teacher who loves reading and recommending the best books to her students in the hopes of instilling a lifelong love of reading in each of them. So let me tell you about a specialful book that may just do exactly that...

I am impressified by Sharon Creech's newest book, The Unfinished Angel. It is intrigueful!

High in the stone tower of Casa Rosa in the southern part of Switzerland lives a swishing angel. "Me, I am an angel. I am supposed to be having all the words in all the languages, but I am not. Many are missing."

The angel in Casa Rosa does not seem to have a special assignment. The angel thinks she (or he!) may be unfinished, an unfinished angel.

This all changes when Zola appears in the angel's tower. Zola is "skinny like a twig-tree, with hair chip-chopped in a startling way." Zola comes to the village with Mr. Pomodoro who wants to create a harmonious school for all nationalities of children.

Meanwhile, Zola asks the angel for help. There are children in an ancient barn--"skinny and hungry and dirty...extremely tragical." Zola wants the angel to DO something.

Sharon Creech is a master of playing with language. The mishmasheroni of delightfully poetic words in this story is a treasure! Is really!

My favorite chapter has to be "What is Time?" It is too funny! "...compulsive...propulsive...obsessive...seconds, pinutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, and sentries...tick-tock...whoosh there goes two seconds..." and the "creak creak creak crickle creak BURPLE BURP"! Everything is happening so quickful in this chapter that it not only makes the angel's mind spin but mine as well!

Then again, maybe my favorite chapter is "Lizards". As a mom, I can definitely relate to all the craziness going on in this chapter. After all, "It's just a normal night with childrens." HA!

Hmmm...I can't be making much sense here, but Sharon Creech makes perfect sense of all this in her story. Adulterinos and childrens will enjoy this read! Please go pick up the book and read it! I think you'll be gladful that you did.

As an author friend said to me recently, "I loaf this. I loaf this (book) very much!"

(Click HERE to go to the author's website.)

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T. :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, May 10, 2010

What a Surprisement!

The girls were smalling...what is the word?...smiling in a bigga way when they received a package from Sharon Creech in the mail! What a surprisement! A UK copy of Hate That Cat was enclosed and personally autographed to Taylor and Tessa by Sharon Creech...AND two small bookmarks were also personalized with "Hi Taylor!' and "Hi Tessa!" WOW! Sharon Creech knows how to treat her readers like royalty!

The girls were grinning from ear to ear as they played Show-and-Tell with their new treasures!

Molto thanks, Sharon Creech!

(Look for a blog post on The Unfinished Angel, her newest book, coming tomorrow!)

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Gone From These Woods

What a riveting first chapter! Donny Bailey Seagraves had me hooked from the beginning with her debut novel about an eleven year-old boy named Daniel. In Gone From These Woods, Daniel is rabbit hunting with his uncle in the woods near his home. Daniel is not interested in shooting a rabbit. He is simply going hunting in order to spend time with his favorite uncle.

Tragically, a hunting accident claims Uncle Clay's life. Daniel is devastated and cannot overcome his guilt.

"Mom tries to hold the family together. Mrs. Hardy, Daniel’s guidance counselor, tries to help Daniel after he loses his role model and best friend. Daniel’s alcoholic father just makes the situation worse. The memory of that cold morning will stay with Daniel forever. But somehow, he must find a way to go on . . . for Uncle Clay . . . and most of all, for himself." (from Amazon)

After reading the first chapter, I was blown away...but I was also asking myself the question, "Now what?" Was I going to wade through the next one hundred pages growing tiresome of hearing about Daniel's feelings of guilt?

I need not have been worried. Not only did the author develop the conflict between Daniel and his father but the author also created an unexpected twist for Daniel himself.

Make sure you read the appendix which provides statistics on gun violence and a list of sources to contact for more information.

I would highly recommend this to readers who enjoy the outdoors, who enjoy hunting, who are interested in reading a novel that explores a character's deepest emotions. This is one not to be missed.

(Click HERE to view the author's extensive website.)

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Patrick Carman is Cool!

I am not a huge music fan, but my favorite group is Bon Jovi. And I suppose if I would ever have a chance to meet the band, it would be a total rock star experience.

Meeting an admired author is much like a total rock star experience...

The kids and I had a great time visiting with Patrick Carman. (I am not sure which one of us was more excited!) Patrick had spent the day at two schools in the Dayton/Beavercreek area in addition to doing a radio interview and then made a stop at Books and Company at The Greene. I am so glad he took the time to do this as we thoroughly enjoyed hearing him speak. (It just happened to be my daughter's birthday as well! In fact, Patrick asked Tessa how old she was when talking about the intended audience for his new novel to which she responded, "Nine. I mean ten!")

Patrick was super cool and very easy to talk to. He booktalked his new book Thirteen Days to Midnight. It sounds like a thriller! Of course, we bought a copy of the book and had it signed. I'll begin reading as soon as I finish here!

He talked a little about his popular (and spooky) Skeleton Creek series, too. Can you believe he has received emails from parents saying, "Thanks a lot! My kid won't sleep in his own bed because of your book!"

After signing Skeleton Creek for our school library and our personal copy of Ghost in the Machine, Patrick invited our school to do a virtual author visit. Via the Internet and Skype, Patrick will visit with schools for free! Wow!

We feel very fortunate to have been able to meet Patrick Carman. What an experience to share with my kids (and my students back at school)!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Love, Aubrey

"I had everything I needed to run a household: a house, food, and a new family. From now on it would just be me and Sammy–the two of us, and no one else."

"A tragic accident has turned eleven-year-old Aubrey’s world upside down. Starting a new life all alone, Aubrey has everything she thinks she needs: SpaghettiOs and Sammy, her new pet fish. She cannot talk about what happened to her. Writing letters is the only thing that feels right to Aubrey, even if no one ever reads them."

I was amazed by Love, Aubrey. Suzanne LaFleur had me hooked in the first chapter. Aubrey's story was raw. It left my heart aching. But it was also a story of hope and humor and courageousness.

This read has been on my TBR list since I started to notice some of my favorite bloggers post their thoughts about it. Great recommendation! On my TBR list forever, this book did not let me down.

So far, two of my sixth graders have read it and have ranked it as one of their favorite books they have read this year! (And they have read a lot of books!)

Click HERE to visit Suzanne's website where you can both read and hear an excerpt from her book. You can also read some interesting facts about the author and read her writing tips for you.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Patrick Carman Author Visit

Skeleton Creek and The Ghost in the Machine have been two books that have been in readers' hands all year. Now is your chance to meet the author in person!

Patrick Carman will be visiting Books and Company at The Greene Shopping Center in Beavercreek on Wednesday, April 14. His visit begins at 4:30 in the afternoon.

He will introduce Thirteen Days to Midnight, his new young adult novel...Jacob has an astonishing gift: he is indestructible. He can withstand a beating from the high school bully without a scratch, walk through a burning building without so much as a singed eyebrow, and even transfer the power to another person. When his friend Ophelia suggests he could use the power to save other people who are at risk of death, they discover the power is linked to a curse that even the world’s greatest escape artist could not outrun. He has only thirteen days to figure out how to harness a power that may destroy the very person he wants to save.

Visit Patrick Carman's website for another future release, Trackers..."the follow up to Skeleton Creek and Ghost in the Machine. Think of TRACKERS as Skeleton Creek 2.0, a super-spy novel with more characters, more gadgets, and more cameras." Click HERE to see the promo video for this book.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All the Broken Pieces

"Matt Pin is haunted." He is airlifted out of Vietnam by an American helicopter during the Vietnam War. Matt's mom believes he will have a better life in America instead of war-ravaged Vietnam. Matt wonders why he has to leave his mother and little brother behind. Don't they love him?

Matt is adopted into an American family. His 'now mother' sings to him at night.

"You are safe, my precious child.
You are safe now, you are home.
We have found you and we love you.
You will never be alone."

His 'now father' plays catch with him, and Matt learns the game of baseball. Matt eve goes out for the team and makes it. But now Matt must confront other boys who do not treat him nicely because he is Vietnamese.

I had heard a lot about this book and had read some reviews. The one writing that really captured my attention, however, was a reading letter by one of my sixth graders. Brett wrote that this book was "...one of the best books I've read this year." Of course, I had to read it.

I enjoyed this story very much. I like to read novels written in verse, and this one did not disappoint. I felt for Matt and was saddened to hear his story, but I was also encouraged by the fact that at book's end, he seemed to find some healing for himself.

Author Ann E. Burg says, "Writing All the Broken Pieces was like listening and jotting things down, or sitting at a loom and weaving together the frayed, forgotten strands of history. Hoping to create something worthwhile, something like a healing quilt.

"Maybe that’s the best of what historical fiction does. Recreate a moment in history so that in remembering, we might find a way to heal the wounds."

Pick this one up. You won't be disappointed.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


This is a great book for middle-schoolers...Slob by Ellen Potter has been on my TBR list for a while. I was thrilled to see it arrive in our middle school library.

From the book jacket...

"Twelve-year-old Owen Birnbaum is the fattest kid in school.

"But he's also a genius who invents cool contraptions--like a TV that can show the past. There is something that happened two years ago that he needs to see if he ever hopes to unravel a dreadful mystery.

"But genius or not, there is much Owen can't outthink. Like how his Oreos keep disappearing from his lunch. Or why his sister suddenly wants to be called by a boy's name. Or why a diabolical, scar-faced thug at school seems to be on a mission to destroy him. He's sure that if he can only get the TV to work, things will start to make sense. But it will take a revelation, not a cool contraption, for Owen to see that the answer's not in the past, but the present. That no matter how large he is on the outside, he doesn't have to feel small on the inside."

I enjoyed this book very much. There were times when it reminded me of Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl and times when I felt like I was reading Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me.

This is a very real realistic fiction novel. Ellen Potter tells Owen's story with such honesty that at times I was cringing wondering if students are really treated this way in school. Not only do Owen's classmates treat him poorly, but so does his gym teacher, Mr. Wooly ("Mr. Hates Unathletic Kids and Enjoys Seeing Them Suffer").

There is a mystery in this book...something Owen is remembering and dealing with that is not revealed until later in the book. Ellen Potter weaved this into her story so delicately that I was surprised when I read it.

This is a great read for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

(By the way...Ellen Potter is sponsoring a writing contest. The deadline is June 15, 2010. Click HERE to view the details.)

Keep Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Killer Pizza = Killer Book!

I just finished reading Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor. I thought it was quite a 'tasty' read. Okay, I'll try not too get too 'cheesy' with food puns!

I think middle school readers are going to like this book. It's got pizza and monsters! What better combination could there be?

Toby is the main character who is having a boring summer. He watches Food Network and wishes to be a chef one day. Great news comes Toby's way when he learns he is hired by Killer Pizza, a local pizza joint. What a great way to combine some money-making with his career-to-be.

Toby meets his fellow crew workers, Annabel and Strobe. Together, the three of them survive the mania that comes with running the afternoon shift at Killer Pizza. They think they have things under control until they learn that Killer Pizza is more than just a local pizza eatery. It is actually a front for monster killers!

This book would be perfect for readers who wish to graduate from R.L. Stine. In fact, R.L. Stine says, "Greg Taylor serves up a hot slice of horror that I couldn't put down."

Check this one out if you want to read some monster slashing and let me know how you like it!

(Click HERE to go to the book's website.)

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Storm in the Barn

Winner of the 2010 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan has been on my TBR list for quite a while.

From the book jacket..."In 1937, eleven-year-old Jack Clark faces his share of ordinary challenges: local bullies, his father's failed expectations, a little sister with an eye for trouble. But he also has to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl, including the rising tensions in his small town and the spread of a shadowy illness. A case of the new "dust dementia" would certainly explain who (or what) Jack has glimpsed in the abandoned Talbot barn--a sinister figure with a face like rain. In a land where it never rains, it's hard to trust what you see with your own eyes--and harder still to take heart and be a hero when the time comes."

This fable is told in more pictures than text. With 201 pages, there is very little reading of words in this story. Take your time and soak in the pictures. If you do not take the time to tell yourself this story, you will miss a good one!

Click HERE to visit the author's website. Click HERE to visit the author's blog.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Movie News...

It seems lately that I have been posting about those things in the future that I am waiting for (and not very patiently I might add). Well, here is another 'in the future'...but interesting nonetheless...

The movie Legend of the Guardians will be based on the first three Guardians of Ga'Hoole books by Kathryn Lasky. The story follows Soren, a young barn owl who is kidnapped by the owls of the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, or St. Aggie's. The academy is supposed to be an orphanage, but instead it brainwashes its pupils into becoming soldiers who will ultimately clash with the wise, peaceful owls of Ga'Hoole.

It comes to theaters on September 24, 2010, in 3D by the producers of Happy Feet.

Fans of the Warrior series by Erin Hunter would perhaps enjoy this series. You may want to check out the series now!

Click HERE to see the trailer.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gotta Keep Reading!

LOVE this song and video! What a great job by the students at Ocoee Middle School in Florida.

This video was inspired by the Flash Mob Dance on the Oprah Winfrey Show performed by the Black Eyed Peas and several thousand of Oprah's fans.

Thanks to Ingrid Law who posted the video on her website.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!
(Gotta Keep Reading and Reading and Reading..)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yet Another One I'm Looking Forward To...

RICK RIORDAN! Need I say any more? Fans of Percy Jackson, get ready! On May 4, 2010, a new series is being released. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am! It is The Kane Chronicles with Book One, The Red Pyramid.

Here is what Amazon says about the book..."Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

"One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a 'research experiment' at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

"Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs."

Click HERE to read the first chapter of the book!

Rick Riordan has a great website to visit. Click HERE. I enjoy following his blog which is just a click away when you visit his website.

And take a look at this SUPER COOL poster over to the right. MUST HAVE this for the classroom!

Thank you, Mr. Riordan, for writing these awesome adventures! You have created a lot of excitement for reading with your books!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

From Cressida Cowell's website..."Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was an awesome sword-fighter, a dragon-whisperer and the greatest Viking Hero who ever lived. But it wasn't always like that.

In fact, in the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you'd ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast; not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport and CERTAINLY not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet... It's time for Hiccup to learn how to be a Hero."

How to Train Your Dragon is the first in a series of eight books. And now...a movie! It is being released on March 26. Click HERE to go to the movie's website and view the trailer.

Click HERE to visit the author's website (and read her thoughts on the new movie). LOTS of cool stuff can be found there!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Can't Wait!

, the sequel to Savvy, is being released August 24. What a great 'Welcome Back to School' reward! Here is a blurb about the book from Ingrid Law's website:

"Nine years after Mibs’s Savvy journey, her cousin Ledge has just turned thirteen...

Ledger Kale’s savvy is a total dud—all he does is make little things fall apart. So his parents decide it’s safe to head to Wyoming for a family wedding, where it’s soon revealed that Ledge’s savvy is much more powerful than anyone thought. Worse, his savvy disaster has an outside witness: Sarah Jane Cabot, reporter wannabe and daughter of a local business man. Just like that, Ledge’s beloved normal life is over. Now, he has to keep Sarah from turning family secrets into headlines, stop her father from foreclosing on Uncle Autry’s ranch, and scumble his savvy into control so that, someday, he can go home.

Starring a cast both fresh and familiar, Scumble melds heart and humor with the legendary Wild West."

The paperback version of Savvy is coming out on March 23. In the back of this paperback edition, Ingrid Law will provide the first chapter of Scumble for interested readers.

I can't wait!

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Woods Runner

My mind is still reeling from this book. My breath is shallow, and I feel as though every sense in me is heightened. I am wired. I have just finished reading Gary Paulsen's new book Woods Runner. It has been a while since I have read a book so real, so heartbreaking, so disturbing. I have chosen to post the following blurb from Amazon as I tried and tried myself to put words to this story. However, I either found myself at a loss for words--still feeling the story--or found myself wanting to tell you the entire story of Samuel.

"Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston.

But the war comes to them. British soldiers and Iroquois attack. Samuel’s parents are taken away, prisoners. Samuel follows, hiding, moving silently, determined to find a way to rescue them. Each day he confronts the enemy, and the tragedy and horror of this war. But he also discovers allies, men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory to find his parents: all the way to the British headquarters, New York City."

I was enthralled by Samuel's story. I could not put this book down even for a second! I know that this book will be loved by readers who like the outdoors, who like to hunt, who have knowledge of firearms, who have an interest in historical fiction and war stories.

Gary Paulsen writes this novel alternating the fiction with historical segments that he feels are essential for the reader to know. For example, before the chapter when Samuel's family is visited by a man carrying a slip of paper with news about the war, Paulsen gives a page of information about 'Communication' in the year of 1776. There are other historical segments such as 'Frontier Life', 'Weapons', 'War Orphans', and 'Civilian Intelligence'.

Don't pass this one up if you are looking for a riveting book that will keep you turning the pages and which will most certainly leave you haunted with the horrific realities of war.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Odd and the Frost Giants

Here is a quick fun read! Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman is a story about a boy named Odd. Odd is unlucky. His dad died while on a Viking expedition, and one of Odd's legs is shattered while trying to take his father's place as a woodcutter. His mother has remarried to an awful man who mistreats Odd. Still, Odd keeps smiling.

Odd strikes out on his own to his father's old woodcutting hut where he meets a fox, a bear, and an eagle--three animals that have a very 'odd' story of their own to tell.

Odd sets off with the fox, the bear, and the eagle to save Asgard, city of the gods. Odd must outwit the Frost Giants to help the gods reclaim what is rightfully theirs and to restore the season of spring since winter has taken hold of the world that Odd knows.

With only 117 pages, this is a story that will be over before you know it. I enjoyed the beginning and middle of this book but found the ending particularly satisfying. I appreciated Odd's wit and wisdom as he talked to the Frost Giant, and I felt happy for Odd in the ending...which of course, I cannot give away!

You will enjoy reading this if you like mythology and folklore with a good bit of adventure. It is a fast-paced book that will keep you reading until the end.

Click HERE for the book trailer that I showed you in class.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!