Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America 
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
illustrated by Brian Pinkney 
NonFiction Disney-Hyperion
243 pages
October 2012 

Book Jacket Summary
HAND IN HAND presents the stories of ten men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day. The stories are accessible, fully-drawn narratives offering the subjects' childhood influences, the time and place in which they lived, their accomplishments and motivations, and the legacies they left for future generations as links in the "freedom chain." This book will be the definitive family volume on the subject, punctuated with dynamic full color portraits and spot illustrations by two-time Caldecott Honor winner and multiple Coretta Scott King Book Award recipient Brian Pinkney. Backmatter includes a civil rights timeline, sources, and further reading.

My Thoughts
I am going to go ahead and say that this should be on every Middle School reading list because I learned more from this book than from my history classes. This book highlights ten African Americans that helped shape the world we live in today. I mean I never heard of Benjamin Banneker and his almanac or knew so much about the life of Barack Obama II. I only knew what I heard on the news or his own speeches. I am going to have to go back and read Dreams of My Father and Of Thee I Sings: A Letter to My Daughters. It is a shame that it took me this long to know so much about these men even with Black History Month every year in school. 
The men are talked about in chronological order and build off each other as history marches on. The ten men are: Benjamin Banneker, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, A. Philip Randolph, Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Barack H. Obama II.
 It is easy to see why this book won the Coretta Scott King Award for Author in 2013.

Book Pairings
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson 
Women Who Broke the Rules: Coretta Scott King by Kathleen Krull
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WOW: Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal

 Forest of Memory
by Mary Robinette Kowal
March 8th 2016 by

Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people’s lives have value, after all.

But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world.

The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I. and made her his unwilling guest.

There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya’s story of what happened in the forest. You’ll just have to believe her…


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1
by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos
Marvel Comic
November 25th 2015
25 pages

Book Jacket Summary
Lunella Lafayette is a preteen super genius who wants to change the world- but learned the hard way that it takes more than just big brains. Fearful of the monstrous Inhuman genes inside her, life is turned upside down when a savage, red-scaled tyrant is teleported from prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call today. The pair is many things, and together the most amazing Marvel Team-Up. Marvel presents...Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur!
My Thoughts
I am rediscovering my love of comics through new series like this one! They have geeky girls who end up having superpowers and really cool adventures. Lunella is obsessed with the moon but all her classmates see is a huge dork who knows more about science than the teacher. The teacher even calls her "little miss know it all" in front of everyone. Way to degrade a student. I'm just glad this does not dampen her love of learning. I do have to say I was a little confused while reading this first issue but I am sure things will be cleared up as the story continues. Du to this, I am probably going to hold off reading the rest of this series until the actual graphic novel comes out instead of buying the individual comics. It breaks up the story too much and then I get distracted by other new shiny things.
This series looks amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens next to Lunella aka Moon Girl!

Book Pairings
Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett and Dan Santat
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand by Gail Carson Levine

Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand
(Disney Fairies #2) 
by Gail Carson Levine
read by Rosalyn Landor

Book Jacket Summary
“Beware a mermaid’s wrath!”

The mermaid Soop has sent a flood to Fairy Haven! Water-talent fairy Rani must bring Soop a wand or the Home Tree and all the Never fairies will be swept away. But wise Mother Dove isn’t sure which is worse, a wand or a flood. Wand wishes, tantalizing wand wishes, are risky. The most innocent wish can cause untold trouble. And not even Mother Dove knows that wands have hearts and minds–kind hearts or cruel hearts, sympathetic minds or minds filled with spite and mischief.

Rani, Tinker Bell, and Ree, queen of the Never fairies, set out on a perilous quest for a wand, a journey that takes them across an ocean to the palace of the terrifying Great Wanded fairies. Many obstacles stand between the questers and success: Tink’s disappearance, a mermaid’s magical song, wand madness, and even Never Land itself. Meanwhile, the floodwaters are rising. . . .

In this thrilling sequel to Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, Newbery Honor—winning author Gail Carson Levine has spun a riveting fairy tale about the dangers of dreams coming true.

My Thoughts
 Taking place right after Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, Rani must make good on her promise to the mermaid Soop to find a magic wand. Without the wand Soop will flood Fairy Haven and all the fairies with it. Setting out with Ticker Bell and the Queen Ree they go to seek the Great Wanded Fairies. However, when they receive a wand they are overcome with wand madness and start making their own wishes. These wishes cause a lot of damage to those around them and again the book is darker than you think. However, it is less dark than the previous one and has a bit more hope surrounding it. Fairies make mistakes and wishes that cause trouble but you know somehow it will be corrected. I think the series is getting better and the world building expanding with another section fairies to compare with the Never fairies. It is cool to see the fairies with wands and how they control their magic.
I really like this series as an audiobook but I also wish I had the physical copies because they are illustrated beautifully- from what I've seen online. I may have to amend these reviews later on the add my impressions on how the change my viewing of the story. One more book to go!

Book Pairings
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg (Disney Fairies #1) by Gail Carson Levine
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Philippa Fisher's Fairy Godsister by Liz Kessler


Monday, February 1, 2016

The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories by Agatha Christie

The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories 
by Agatha Christie
Read by

 The first story, "The Edge", revolves around a jealous friend and a cheating wife. Could blackmail ruin a life? My favorite was "The Lonely God" and the love story that made me tear up. It is just lovely and so beautifully told. I would love to see a movie made from it! So many of her other short stories have movies or episodes! Why not this one?

 "Manx Gold" is a good old fashioned treasure hunt with murder on one hunters mind. Parts of "Within a Wall" made goosebumps crawl up my skin. I forget just how well Christie can craft a story! Her characters can leap of the page and make you just wonder what in the world is going to happen next. Poirot joins the fray with "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest" and is a great mystery? Can you guess who the killer is? I've not read any of the Harley Quinn stories before and was surprised by the almost paranormal nature of "The Harlequin Tea Set".

I highly recommend either reading or listening to this collection! Hugh Fraser is an old pro at Agatha Christie because he played Captain Hastings in the Poirot TV series. Simon Vance and Isla Blair are also great narrators. I am a very big fan and I know I will be listening to more in the future! 
Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

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