Book of the Week: Fanny

Book of the Week, Children's

Fanny by Holly Hobbie

Published:  Little Brown Books for Young Readers 2005

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose this book as Book of the Week:

Fanny is very elf-like. She’s adorable, and wears the cutest oval-shaped glasses.

Fanny is determined, resourceful, and creative.

Fanny is a relatable character. No matter of the age, girls can relate to her wants every little girl dreams of a superstar-esque doll (I wanted a Jem doll … or all the Jem dolls).

The book shows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s okay if you think something is beautiful even though everyone else laughs at it and calls it ugly or “unprofessional”.

Fanny is extremely talented and puts her talents to good use.

It’s funny.

The color scheme used within the book complete suit the story being told – girly, charming, and soft.

Fanny is a strong character, she really sets a good example to all young girls out there (girl power!)

The writing is strong yet simple.

I love the cover of this book.

The illustrations are fun and have an almost whimsical feel to them.

I love that Fanny loves to sew – it seems like a hobby that so many girls have forgotten about. It’s a very vintage hobby.

I think this book could inspire some readers/girls to learn how to sew (it inspired me at least)

Even though it’s a story about a girl and her doll, it isn’t the typical doll or a typical story.

I understand why Fanny’s mother doesn’t like the “look” of the Connie doll Fanny so desperately wants. There are a lot of dolls on the toy shelves today, and quite frankly they are ugly.

Fanny’s doll is as much a part of her as she is of her doll, and it shows that that’s important to any doll owners.

It made me think of my own favorite doll – Sam (whom I’ve had since I was a month old. Like Fanny’s doll she has hair made of yarn!)

I like how it showed how every doll is unique and has its own personality – just like their owners.

Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix


Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix by R.L. LaFevers

For as long as he could remember Nathaniel “Nate” Fludd’s parents have been on an adventure. An adventure that he was too young for, he’s to wait until he’s eight years old and when they send for him. Problem is, he’s ten and his parents have yet to send word.
Maybe it’s because he’s different from his fellow Fludd’s. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t found his adventurous side yet. Or because being ten years old is still too young to go off and do … whatever it is his parents do.
But when he finds out his parents have been declared ‘lost at sea’ he knows his whole life is about to change – but for the good or the bad? Sent to live with Phil A. Fludd, Nate is a bit apprehensive. This Phil person lives in, what looks to Nate, and eerie old house, risking the possibility of bumping into a few bats. Nate isn’t looking forward to this. Until he meets Phil, who by surprise, is actually a woman (short for Philomena).
Together, they travel in a rickety plane (which Nate isn’t sure will make it) to set up camp in a desert where they will wait to see the Phoenix rise from the ashes. Nate didn’t realize that Phoenix’s were real, but after meeting, saving, and befriending a gremlin who is he to judge such things of this nature? It’s not like he’s a real beastologist…or is he. Through action-packed adventure Nate comes to terms with who he is, and finds that missing link that will forever tie him to his family and his lost at sea parents.
R. L. LaFevers has created a highly imaginative and lovable story from start to finish, and has paved the way and set standards high for other titles in the Nathaniel Fludd series. Charming and humorous, LaFevers has written strong characters full of wit and gumption – a mix not seen too often.  Quick – paced and action packed, Nathaniel Fludd starts out feeling like a Lemony Snickett book, but readers will soon realize this book is far less dismal than A Series of Unfortunate Events. 
LaFevers has easily captured readers and will keep them coming back looking for more Beastologist adventures.Full of endearing illustrations, Nathaniel Fludd is full of the unimaginable – fuel guzzling gremlins and beautifully rare phoenix’s. The illustrations bring these things (and more) to life, making it easy to believe.  As if this book couldn’t get better than what it already is, it’s topped off with a Glossary full of Beastologist terms that every Beastologist and want-to-be Beastologist will have to know. 



Book of the Week: The Clouds Above

Book of the Week, Young Adult

The Clouds Above by Jordan Crane

Published: 2008 Fantagraphics Books

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

It’s an imaginative  story that will make readers think.

There’s a lot of pink featured in this book.

Even though pink is one of the primary colors used, it’s a book that both girls and guys can enjoy.

The characters are unique. Simon is a curious little boy, and Jack is “afraidy” cat.

Even though both Simon and Jack are scared at one point or another, they are courageous and continue on with their adventure.

They aren’t only characters, they are friends. When their friendship is put to the test, neither will let the other down.

It’s short and sweet – great for any reluctant readers.

Even though this book may be classified as a Young Adult book, it’s a suitable story for any age. In fact, I think a younger audience would really appreciate it.

It shows the lengths kids will go to get out of going to school. It also shows how a bad and/or miserable teacher could negatively affect a child’s life and school life.

Neither the back or inside cover has a brief summary of what the plot was. I like how this let readers guess at what was going to happen within the pages. It allows the reader to have some control over the plot, even if what they think will happen doesn’t.

Allows readers to judge books by their covers.

The illustrations are simple yet creative, and because this book isn’t dialog heavy, the illustrations really move the plot along.

Each character has his own voice, and that the dialog reflected that.



Yummy by G. Neri illustrated by Randy DuBurke

In 1994 Robert “Yummy” Sandifer was making a name for himself on the streets of Chicago. But, it wasn’t a good name. For those who knew Yummy knew he was as sweet as those candy treats he loved so much (hence the nickname). But for those who didn’t know him personally knew him as nothing more than a gangster thug, and a dangerous one.

Yummy was the youngest member of Chicago’s notorious gang The Black Disciples, and due to his small stature he was able to get away with things that other members couldn’t pull off – like stealing luxury cars.

But when Yummy opened fire on a busy Chicago street, taking the life of an innocent girl – Shavon Dean – all eyes were on him.  But who will be the first to get their hands on him – the Chicago Police Department, or one of his fellow Disciples?

G. Neri, author of Yummy, has shed new light on an event long forgotten about. In graphic novel format this book speaks volumes to its audience. Neri has written not only about gang life, and the life of a troubled youth, but has written about the realities that may kids like Yummy have faced and still do.

Told through the eyes of a fictionalized character, Neri seems to have no problems with weaving fact with fiction. He does it so effortless readers will be able to read and understand this story as if it were being portrayed through their own eyes. But what really brings Yummy to life is Randy Duburke’s illustrations. Illustrated in black and white the artwork fully portrays the grittiness of gang life, of violence, and of Yummy himself.

As visual as this book is, Neri and Duburke do a great job at portraying the violence off page, leaving readers minds to fill in the gaps on its own, making for a more powerful story. Readers will know and understand what is coming, but will not actual see it portrayed within the book’s pages.

Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus

Food For Thought, Random
In the hustle and bustle of every day life we sometimes don’t realize when the holiday season is upon us. For me, it sneaks up so suddenly and I’m left running about trying to find the perfect gift for my loved ones.
But not this year. Things will be different. Why you ask? Because I just signed up for the Book Blogger Holiday Swap.

Good friend and fellow blogger, Miss Print mentioned on twitter how she too also signed up. Intrigued I looked into it, and was so excited about it that I too signed up for the swap, which will jump-start my holiday season!

So, are you a fellow blogger, and want in on the Book Blogger Holiday swap?

Quick and easy, all you have to do is fill out the provided google form. Beforehand though you may want to check out the detailed FAQ page to get all the basics. But hurry, the deadline for signing up is quickly approaching (November 14th).

So hurry over, sign up, and get ready to spread some Holiday cheer!

The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour


The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil

Sophie St. Pierre is destined to be a writer … or at least that’s what she’s told every single person she knows. But in order for her to be a writer she must have a story to tell, and she must finish the story. Up until now, she only has several half-finished short stories, and a mere three almost novels. The thing is, Sophie doesn’t have a story to tell, not yet. But that all changes when she and her fellow Red Blazer Girls Margaret and Rebecca meet Ms. Harriman – St. Veronica’s next door neighbor and the supposed ghost Sophie saw staring at her from the church window.

As of recently, this eccentric old gal known for her outlandish and outdated sense of style, has stumbled upon the first clue of a puzzle never solved and long forgotten. Many, many years ago (waaay before the Red Blazer Girls were even born) Ms. Harriman’s late father hid several mathematic and linguistic clues leading his beloved granddaughter Caroline to her fourteenth birthday present – the extremely valuable Ring of Rocamadour, the same ring that St. Veronica herself wore. Unfortunately, Caroline never found her birthday present. Mr. Harriman died just before taking the clues and the rings hiding place to the grave with him. Fifteen years have passed, and the case has been opened.

Sophie and company are intrigued, and are soon enlisted to solve this mysterious puzzle, find the ring, and return it to its rightful own.  This whirlwind scavenger hunt sends the Red Blazer Girls searching high and low throughout St. Veronica’s church and all of New York City. Bit by bit, clue by clue the girls move closer and closer to uncovering the ring’s location. The problem is, someone is hot on their trail, following the girl’s every move to lead them to the same coveted item the girl’s are looking for. But who? How? Why?

The girls know they have to solve the puzzle, and solve it quickly before the Ring of Rocamadour falls into the clutches of another.

Full of fun and mystery, Michael D. Beil’s The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour, will keep readers on their toes. Keeping them guessing, readers will solve the given clues as if they were one of the Red Blazer Girls. Beil’s writing is strong, and he writes a well-rounded story that any reader will enjoy.

Full of sass and wit, each of Beil’s characters have a voice and personality of her own. Especially leader Sophie who is a shining example of strong female leads. Sophie has a quick comeback for everything – typical New Yorker – that readers will not be able to resist laughing out loud to.

Book of the Week: Mostly Monsterly

Book of the Week, Children's

Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer

Published:2010  Simon & Schuster

Reasons why I liked, and chose this book as Book of the Week:

Bernadette is the cutest monster around … seriously.

She’s not typical. She thinks and acts outside of the monster box. For example, during Monster Moves class where everyone is practicing their best lurching skills, Bernadette suggests a group hug instead.

Any story that features sprinkled cupcakes gets an A+ in my book.

The name of Bernadette’s school is Monster Academy (I thought that was the nam of my high school on the first day of freshman year ha ha ha).

The pages of the book are different colors, and really set the mood for the story.

It shows it’s okay to be different, and that even though you are different you could still fit in.

It shows that making friends isn’t the easiest of all tasks, but with hard work and understanding, it is possible.

Ultimately, it sends the message of acceptance and understanding. Bernadette needed to understand her fellow monsters to fit in, just as they needed to understand her to accept her.

The writing is catchy, and at moments even rhymes.

The illustrations really draw readers in.

Each monster is unique, and they illustrate the point that they aren’t scary.

It’s a story with a classic message that has been reinvented and reimagined – making it uniquely one of a kind.

I like that Bernadette likes to pick flowers, and bake. She’s not one-dimensional.

It’s a well-rounded story featuring a well-rounded, relatable (and of course, loveable) character.

Bernadette is determined, and she has a lot of spunk.