Sunday, August 28, 2011


A book I have had for a number of years is Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson. This is the first in of a trilogy and one prequel. Having read Dragon Keeper, I think I will order the other books!

The story is set in China in the year 141 B.C.E, the first year of Emperor Wudi's reign. A slave girl, who eventually finds out that her name is Ping, helps an aging dragon named Long Danzi. At the beginning, she is stuck taking care of the last two imperial dragons, a job that was really cruel master, but that she ends up having to do. One day, she finds that one of the dragons has died. She feels sorry for the remaining dragon and saves him when the imperial "dragon keeper", her cruel master, decides to sell the remaining dragon to a dragon hunter. Ping and Long Danzi journey to the ocean, where Long Danzi wants to go. They are barely one step ahead of the dragon hunter, trying to keep safe the mysterious dragon stone.

It's a great book!

Tomorrow I'll tell you a little about Hidden Treasures by Leigh Keno and Leslie Keno, the brothers featured on Antiques Roadshow. I will also tell you a little about the author Cassandra Clare.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Today's recommendation is a series by one of my favorite authors, Margaret Peterson Haddix. The books pictured above are not in order, but it gives you the titles of all in the series. You must start with Among the Hidden if you want to get a good understanding of what happens throughout the books.

In this futuristic society, there food shortages have occurred due to drought. In response to this dire situation, the government puts in place laws that are to help relieve the food shortages. One of those laws is to control population growth by limiting each family to having a maximum of two children. The Population Police is formed to enforce this law. If found, the third (or more) child is put into prison or given a death sentence. As parents of these children tried to keep them safe and hidden, they became known as Shadow Children.

Luke Garner was one of those shadow children. His family lived out in the country and so he was allowed to go out during certain times of the day. He was able to spend some time in the nearby woods. However, one day, bulldozers came and tour down some of the woods in order to build homes that belonged to the Barons, an upper class society, many who had ties with the government. Luke no longer could go outside, mostly because one of the houses was very close to his family's. Things looked bleak until Luke sees another shadow child in the house next door. Thus begins the journey to free all families and their shadow children from oppression, Luke being one of the key players.....

Read one; read them all. The books are fast paced, interesting, and full of tension...LOVE IT!

Tomorrow's review will be Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Last year, I encouraged my 6th grade students to read Dark Life by Kat Falls. It was one of the books featured in the Scholastic Book Clubs. I LOVED the book because it was so different from the sci-fi books I read. Needless to say, I was thrilled when Rip Tide was released.

These books are set in the ocean at some future time. The rising oceans and earthquakes make living on what land is left, very difficult. Fifteen year old Ty was born in the ocean, his parents being one of the pioneer families to take on living in the ocean. Ty meets Gemma, a topsider looking for her brother, a brother who Gemma does not know is an outlaw who belongs to a deadly gang of pirates. The Commonwealth Government wants the subsea dwellers to capture this gang! Complicating things is the fact that Ty was dark gifts which he wants to keep secret from others.

Kat Falls says she wanted to combine the sci-fi and western genres. Well, she succeeded!

Tomorrow's review will be the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I must be drawn to Catherine Fisher's books. This series is just two books: Incarceron and Sapphique. I LOVED both of the books: each is as strong as the other. It certainly is on the top of my MUST READ BOOKS!

Instead of writing my own review, I happened to come across the following synopsis when visiting Catherine Fisher's website. It is short and to the point, really describing both books, not just Incarceron. Also, as an FYI, I found out that Taylor Lautner (wolf Jacob Black in the Twilight series), is said be portraying Finn (one of the main characters in Incarceron). Hopefully, the movie will come to fruition.

"Imagine a living prison so vast that it contains corridors and forests, cities and seas. Imagine a prisoner with no memory, who is sure he came from Outside, even though the prison has been sealed for centuries and only one man, half real, half legend, has ever escaped.

Imagine a girl in a manor house in a society where time has been forbidden, where everyone is held in a seventeenth century world run by computers, doomed to an arranged marriage that appalls her, tangled in an assassination plot she both dreads and desires.

One inside, one outside. But both imprisoned.

Imagine a war that has hollowed the moon, seven skull rings that contain souls, a flying ship and a wall at the world’s end. Imagine the unimaginable. Imagine Incarceron."

Read them and tell me what you think!

Tomorrow's review will be the Dark Life series by Kat Falls.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Authors choose their book titles very carefully. Sometimes the title is very obvious and sometimes not! I love trying to figure out what is the meaning behind the title of whatever book I am reading. In yesterday's post about Divergent, I mentioned that Tris had a secret ability. If you think about what the word "divergent" means, you'll get an understanding of why she must keep her ability secret throughout the book. The meaning of the title of the following book is a little bit more obvious.

Today's books I'm encouraging you to read is the Relic Master, a series of 4 books by Catherine Fisher. This series was first published in England in 1998! The first publishing in the US was in May of this year. I LOVED the fact that the publishing company chose to release each of the 4 books, one month apart! I didn't have to wait four years to read the whole thing. I'm actually awaiting the arrive of the fourth book, as it was just published last week.

In the Relic Master, the world of Anara is literally crumbling. Forests are dieing, winter is prolonged, and the "stars" are beginning to fall! Notice that I put "stars" in quotation marks. The fate of this world lies on the Relic Master (Galen) and his apprentice (Raffi). Relic Masters were a society of people who sought out powerful, mysterious, ancient relics. They collected them and hid them from the Watch, the opposing faction. Think of GOOD versus EVIL. Galen and Raffi seek the one powerful relic that could save their world. It is a dangerous journey, but they manage to get help from unusual places. There are those who will stop at nothing to prevent Galen and Raffi from finding the relic!

Tomorrow's review will be the Incarceron books by Catherine Fisher.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Well, I was going to title this blog entry "Summer Reading", but since we begin the new school year in two weeks, it would be better if I just said you NEED to read these books!

As many of my students know, I have a passion for sci-fi/fantasy books. Thus, most of the books I will be reviewing are in those two genres. I believe that young adult and teen sci-fi/fantasy genres have really come into their own. Everywhere you look, you see sci-fi/fantasy books. The wonderful thing is that these books are being read not only by the targeted audience, but also by adults! The other wonderful thing is that a number of them are being made into movies.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent is the break out novel for this author. The Divergent series is a planned trilogy. Divergent is also going to be made into a movie!

The setting is in a future Chicago. People live in a repressed or controlled society (dystopian society). The population is divided into five groups, each group representing a specific virtue: the honest (Candor), the brave (Dauntless), the peaceful (Amity), the intelligent (Erudite), and the selfless (Abnegation). At the age of 16, Beatrice (Tris), along with other kids her age, must chose one of the groups or factions to which she will belong for the rest of her life. Tris is torn between staying with her family or being true to herself. Once she has chosen, she begins to find that her "perfect society" is not really perfect at all. Tris also learns that she has a secret ability, one that could help with the conflict in the society or one that could destroy those she loves. LOVED IT!!!

Insurgent is the next book in the series.

Tomorrow, The Relic Master series by Catherine Fisher.