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October 7, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

gerties-leap-to-greatness

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley • October 4, 2016 • Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she’ll be leaving behind. There’s just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.

From debut author Kate Beasley, and with illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist Jillian Tamaki, comes a classic tale of hope and homecoming that will empty your heart, then fill it back up again–one laugh at a time.

myreview

I received this book for free from Macmillan for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “The bullfrog was only half dead, which was perfect.”

Gertie Reece Foy is on a mission. It’s a two step process: One, she’s going to become the best fifth grade in the world (by giving the best summer speech of her entire class). Two, she’s gonna show her absent mother, who is planning to move away from their small town, that she, Gertie, does not need her. For Gertie, everything will look up once her mission is complete, but an obstacle in the form of the seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey threatens her mission. This new girl cannot sabotage Gertie. Absolutely not. If Gertie has to postpone her mission and sort out her competition, she’ll do it, but at what cost?

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September 21, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano •  September 13, 2016 • Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn’t much like to be around other people. He’d rather be a purring cat or a wolf stalking the woods.

Marybeth is a nice girl. She doesn’t need to be told to comb her hair or brush her teeth, and she’s kind to everyone at the orphanage . . . Lionel most of all.

Different though they are, Lionel and Marybeth are best friends in a world that has forgotten about them. So when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth—and starts to take control—they know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.

myreview

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “Lionel was a wild boy.”

Meet Lionel, a boy who acts more like an animal than a human, and Marybeth, a girl who is amiable and follows every direction given to her. You wouldn’t expect these complete opposites to get along, but they do. At this orphanage, they have nothing but each other.

In The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart, Marybeth becomes possessed by a mysterious blue spirit who is wary of everybody and keeps acting out. Lionel and Marybeth set out to figure out what has gotten ahold of Marybeth and how they can keep Marybeth from fading away.

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September 14, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

the-courage-test

The Courage Test by James Preller •  September 13, 2016 • Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
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Will has no choice. His father drags him along on a wilderness adventure in the footsteps of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark–whether he likes it or not. All the while, Will senses that something about this trip isn’t quite right.

Along the journey, Will meets fascinating strangers and experiences new thrills, including mountain cliffs, whitewater rapids, and a heart-hammering bear encounter.

It is a journey into the soul of America’s past, and the meaning of family in the future. In the end, Will must face his own, life-changing test of courage.

A father-and-son journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail–from Fort Mandan to the shining sea–offers readers a genre-bending blend of American history, thrilling action, and personal discovery.

myreview

I received this book for free from Macmillan for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “My name is William Meriwether Miller. “

What better way for a father and a son to bond than to take the same journey that Lewis and Clark did? Well, it’s not what William Meriwether Miller wants to do. (Yes, he was named after the great Lewis and Clark.) He’d rather be home with his mom, playing in the All-Star baseball team, but yet, he is forced to go on a trip with his father.

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August 11, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill • August 9, 2016 • Algonquin Young Readers
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Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

myreview

I received this book for free from Algonquin Young Readers for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “Yes. There is a witch in the woods. There has always been a witch.”

My heart is filled with so much love for The Girl Who Drank the Moon!

SO. MUCH. LOVE.

In the Protectorate, there’s a yearly tradition where the people leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. Nobody questions why; they do it out of fear of this evil witch who is said to do horrible things to them if they don’t. However, this witch in the forest named Xan is nobody to be feared; she is a sweet old woman who actually does a lot of good, delivering the babies to a loving home when she finds them. Xan’s life changes when she accidentally feeds an abandoned baby moonlight and decides to raise the enmagicked child, Luna, with a Swamp Monster and a tiny dragon. Not only do Xan’s life changes with this baby, but also the lives of the people who live in the Protectorate, where a young man there can no longer stand the threat of the witch and heads into the forest to kill the Witch.

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August 9, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

Supergirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee • July 5, 2016 • Random House Books for Young Readers
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Get your cape on with the DC Super Hero Girls™—the unprecedented new Super Hero universe especially for girls! Readers of all ages can fly high with the all-new adventures of Wonder Woman™, Supergirl™, Batgirl™, and some of the world’s most iconic female super heroes as high schoolers!

Supergirl is the new girl in school—and she just also happens to be the most powerful teenager in the galaxy!

After losing her home planet of Krypton and everyone she knows, Supergirl has made a new home on Earth, but she’s isn’t so sure that Super Hero High School is the right place for her. Wonder Woman, other new friends, and a kindly librarian make her feel welcome, but breached inter-dimensional portals, invading alien armies, and bad dreams shake her confidence. It’s not easy being a super hero and a high school student all at once!

The wonderful folks at Random House asked me if I wanted to take part in a blog tour for Supergirl at Super Hero High, and I was absolutely thrilled because it’s Supergirl! Another awesome female superhero that everybody should get to know.

myreview

I received this book for free from Random House for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “Wonder Woman!” Principal Waller bellowed.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s Supergirl first time at school!

In this sequel to the Super Hero High series, the Kents have decided that it’s time that Supergirl enroll into Super Hero High to take control of her powers and hone them. However, Supergirl is really unsure that going to Super Hero High is a good idea. The school is hard (another rival school doesn’t do exams), and she keeps making tons of mistakes that could be unavoidable if she isn’t Supergirl (aka clumsy). In Supergirl at Super Hero High, Supergirl has to deal with the mounting pressure of being a superhero, her insecurities of not being worthy enough, trying to fit in, her grief over the death of her parents and Krypton, various threatening incidents involving the Boom Tubes, and much more.

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July 28, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

The Trouble with Twins

The Trouble with Twins by Kathryn Siebel • August 9, 2016 • Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)
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Imagine two twin sisters, Arabella and Henrietta—nearly identical yet with nothing in common. They’re the best of friends . . . until one day they aren’t. Plain and quiet Henrietta has a secret plan to settle the score, and she does something outrageous and she can’t take it back.

When the deed is discovered, Henrietta is quickly banished—sent to live with her eccentric great-aunt Priscilla on Chillington Lane, where black cats roam the dark rooms and tonight’s menu is fish-head stew! Suddenly life with pretty, popular Arabella doesn’t seem so awful.

And, though she’s been grievously wronged, Arabella longs for her sister, too. So she hatches a plan of her own and embarks on an unexpected journey to reunite with her other half.

myreview

I received this book for free from Random House for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “And so it begins in front of the fire, the story of two twin sisters.”

Identical, but opposites, that’s the type of twins Arabella and Henrietta are. While Arabella’s pretty, loved more, and is a social butterfly with a lot of friends, Henrietta’s not as pretty, ignored more, and is a loner who doesn’t have friends. Arabella is the “good” child, and Henrietta is the “bad” child by their parents. Because Henrietta has been treated awfully, she does something that sets all the craziness in The Trouble with Twins in motion.

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