It’s Monday! What are you reading? #IMWAYR 12/30/13

IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Ahhh! It’s the middle of winter break, and man have I been reading up a storm! I could get used to this.

Here’s what I read:

(Click on the book covers to add these titles to your Goodreads TBR piles)

ill be there

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
2012
YA Contemporary Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I picked this up at the Scholastic Warehouse sale because it was priced at two bucks. I then noticed that it was written by Holly Goldberg Sloan, who wrote one of my 2013 favorites Counting By 7’s (see my review  here). I had no idea she had other books, and this one is so good! It reminds me a little of How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr and involves a mysterious boy and seventeen year old Emily Bell who believes she was destined to meet him. I almost read this one straight through. Highly recommend!

a mutiny in time

Infinity Ring, Book One: A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner
2012
MG Science Fiction / Adventure
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
Infinity Ring is a pretty hot series right now, with various and very popular kidlit authors writing each book. I definitely see the kid appeal – high action, relatable characters and after the book is read, there is a code you can use to continue the adventure online (a la 39 Clues). All things kids like in a series, right? This may be picky – but I couldn’t stand the way that the kids talked to each other and were always arguing and calling each other out. I also hated that the female character kept saying “For the love of mincemeat!”, and it became pretty annoying. Not sure if the other books in the series are like this since they all have different authors, but this book just didn’t wow me.

dirty little secrets

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
2011
YA Contemporary Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
This title came highly recommended from one of our school’s ROTO tutors, so I was thrilled to find it for a great price at the Scholastic Warehouse. It centers around a teenage girl who lives alone with her mom, because her older siblings have moved away and her dad has recently left to start a new life. Lucy’s mom is a hoarder and it has taken a toll on the family. I really felt for Lucy as I read her story and was shocked and saddened at how her mother treated her. This is an excellent book and the ending left me wide eyed and wowed.

aesops secret

Aesop’s Secret by Claudia White
2013
MG Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
I was sent this book by the author for a possible review. Isn’t the cover cool? Turns out that I really liked this curious little book! You can read my review from 12/29 here.

breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
2011
MG Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
My Goodreads review of this book only needed one word – perfection. This book is magical and I couldn’t put it down. It would make an excellent read aloud for upper middle grades, even if it is a little bit over 300 pages. Such a masterfully written story about a brave little girl named Hazel who is having trouble surviving fifth grade, but finds herself trying to save her best friend from an evil witch who lives in a world that is just beyond the woods by their homes. Cannot say enough about this one. Great book!

Here’s what I plan to read next: (Click on the cover for more info from Goodreads)

city of bones eye of minds siege and storm perfect scoundrels

I would love to get to City of Bones and The Eye of Minds before school starts up again. I am nervous about starting City of Bones because there are SO MANY books in this series!  The other two books were Christmas presents and I have been dying to read both of them. Love both of these series so much!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Aesop’s Secret by Claudia White

aesops secret

Details:

Hardcover, 128 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by MP Publishing
ISBN 1849822301 (ISBN13: 9781849822305)

From Goodreads:

Melinda and Felix Hutton are just an ordinary pair of siblings, until their parents confess that they have all inherited the talent of metamorphosis, a revelation that begins to unravel the children’s world. Ten-year-old Melinda embraces her Athenite heritage, but her efforts often end up leaving her freckled face attached to feathered body with a twitching rat’s tail. Her older brother Felix doesn’t greet this new reality as something to celebrate. Wishing he were normal, Felix resents becoming parts of the myths and fables he’s read. But there’s a threat rising just as the children are learning of their talents, and a powerful enemy will use every trick and tool he has to keep the family from letting slip the secret of their gifts. With only the help of Melinda’s pet rabbit Aesop, who has begun acting awfully strange lately, Felix and Melinda determinedly fight back against the suffocating grasp of those who want to drive the Huttons and their kind back underground.

My thoughts…

The first thing that grabs your attention about this book is its cover. No, really! Talk about unique and interesting! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this little book, and was very pleasantly sucked into the storyline of Melinda, Felix and their family’s unique abilities. It has somewhat of a Chronicles of Narnia vibe and is a little reminiscent of the beginning of The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe (without the wardrobe, obviously). When Melinda and her brother Felix are told that their family has the unique ability to morph into animals and they are called Athenites their worlds are turned upside down. How would they respond to this revelation? I loved how carefree and fun loving Melinda embraces her new found magic and tries to perfect changing into animals, while Felix, the more serious and analytical of the two siblings, wants nothing to do with his family’s legacy. Felix escapes to France to study abroad, but things are not as they seem in his new surroundings. The best part to me was to see the two siblings come together in the end and work together to try and save their family against an evil power hungry villain, who reminded me a lot of a sneaky Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events. The story flows well and kept me entertained.

Bottom Line…

Middle Grade readers will be intrigued by the cover of Aesop’s Secrets, and hooked by its storyline. A mix of magic, a little science, and great cast of characters makes this a nice little book. I could see it be used as a successful read aloud too!

Disclaimer – I was sent this book by the author. I was not compensated for this review.