Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka (Abrams, August 2014) is a bizarre and amusing story about a boy scientist named Frank Einstein who, with his best friend sidekick and two intelligent robots, is determined to win his science fair project. Of course with a grandfather named Al Einstein (no, not that one but still…), Frank’s project is destined to be the best of them all! Or will it? His arch nemesis is determined to stop him. (more…)
Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers, June 2014) is a World War II historical fiction novel for teenagers with an amusing role reversal! Much like in stories like The Prince and the Pauper, in Love by the Morning Star, two girls get assigned to the wrong roles. When the attractive man takes interest, the crossed paths of the two girls confuses not only him but many others, leading to an amusing chain of events! (more…)
My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada (originally published 1993) is a thought-provoking story about a shy Hispanic girl growing up in the USA who finds herself in a new school. When her teacher decides to call her “Mary” instead of Maria Isabel, she misses opportunities and gets in trouble for not paying attention. In this brief collection of situations, reflections, and flashbacks, Maria Isabel’s story reflects on how important names and families are to our own personal identity. (more…)
When I was young, I loved Ann M. Martin’s books. Of course, I read The Baby-Sitter’s Club, but I also looked up everything else she wrote. The book I received for review consideration seemed eerily familiar as I read it, so I’m pretty sure I visited this once before.
Bummer Summer by Ann M. Martin (Open Road Media, April 2014) was originally published in 1983 and now it is being issued by Open Road Media as an ebook. This book is such a fun summer read. Kammy’s dad has just remarried a woman with a baby and a three-year-old girl, and her life is now turned upside down! She doesn’t want to lose her place in her house and her dad’s heart but they want her to spend the summer at Camp Arrowhead. Can she survive away from home? It is sure to be a bummer summer. (more…)
What is your favorite fairy tale? Mine has always been Beauty and the Beast; I loved the Disney movie when it first came out. I’ve always wondered, though, how the Beast became so beast-like so fast and that no one remembered him in that castle!
The Beast Within by Serena Valentino (Disney Book Group, July 2014) finally answers the questions we’ve had. It tells the story from the Beast’s point of view, showing through flashbacks how a family of witches came to curse him because he had slighted their younger sister. Finally, we can see the magic behind his enchantment! (more…)