Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Dads

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & The Bookish. The above image was taken and created by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

Today’s topic is all about the dads! But I’m going to add a bit of a twist. I’m going to list a few of my fave book dads first, and some of my least fave dads.

The Good:

The Hate U Give Ι Angie Thomas

I personally loved Star’s dad. He was definitely tough, through and through, but he loved his family unconditionally.

Wild Swans Ι Jessica Spotswood

Okay, so this isn’t about a dad, but rather a granddad. While Ivy’s granddad was tough on her, he did love her. He was there for her when her parents weren’t. And even though it was hard to see, he supported Ivy whole-heartedly.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Ι Jenny Han

Lara Jean’s father is awesome! It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book, but the one thing I really remember is how much I liked him. He was simply a good dad, one who loved his girls to the moon and back. I also loved the relationship between him and his daughters.

The Not So Good:

I Hunt Killers Ι Barry Lyga

Jasper Dent’s father is a convicted serial killer.  But even though he wasn’t a great dad, he does manage to teach Jasper more than the family business. He teaches Jasper about who he is and who he wants to be.

All in Pieces Ι Suzanne Young

I read young’s book in one sitting late one night while I couldn’t sleep. It was a gripping novel with a main character, Savvy, that I truly loved and sympathized for. But one character I didn’t like was her father. He was just … mean.

The Serpent King Ι Jeff Zentner

Dill’s dad is just … crazy. Enough said.

(All the cover images from Goodreads)

Middle Grade Monday: A Road Trip Themed Booklist

Middle

Hello Readers!

I’ve posted booklists here on the blog before, but it’s dawned on me that I haven’t created and/or posted a themed booklist for middle grade books. So, for today’s Middle Grade Monday post I’m sharing with you a booklist I put together, with one of my favorite themes: road trips!

So without further adieu …

Popularity Papers: The Rocky Road Trip by Amy Ignatow

It’s summertime, and Julie and Lydia are going on a road trip! After all the ups and downs of their first year in junior high, they’re looking forward to seeing the sights and getting some new perspective on their quest for popularity. Papa Dad and Daddy will provide the transportation, and they’ll provide the entertainment.

At first Julie and Lydia use their Powers of Observation to catalog the traditions and oddities of each new location they visit, but soon their attention turns to parents and family and negotiating sensitive family dynamics. By the time the duo hits familiar streets again, they may have to accept some uncomfortable truths, but their journey is infused with the humor, heart, and truthfulness that Amy Ignatow is known for.”

Road Trip by Jim Paulsen

Dad and Ben haven’t been getting along recently and Dad hopes a road trip to rescue a border collie will help them reconnect. But Ben is on to Dad’s plan and invites  Ben’s thuggish buddy, Theo. The family dog, Atticus, comes along too and the story is told by Ben and Atticus. When their truck breaks down, they commandeer an old school bus, along with its mechanic, Gus. Next, they pick up Mia, a waitress escaping a tense situation. Only sharp-eyed Atticus realizes that Theo is on the run—and someone is following them.

Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip by Henry Winkler

Hank’s dad has decided to enter a crossword-puzzle tournament, and he wants to make a family road trip of it! So the family piles into the car along with Frankie and Katherine the iguana (Hank and Emily each get to bring a friend). When they reach their destination, they’ll get to spend the day at a roller-coaster park during Hank’s dad’s tournament! The only caveat is that Hank has a homework packet to finish before they get there . . . which he somehow manages to lose at a stop along the way. Suddenly, Hank doesn’t feel so good . . . Can Hank and Frankie rescue the lost packet and get Hank on a roller coaster?”

From Texas With Love by Dan Gutman

The wackiest road trip in history continues in book four of the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series, following twins Coke and Pepsi as they dodge villains and visit weird-but-true landmarks from Texas all the way to Roswell, New Mexico! With the real-kid humor that has earned him millions of readers around the world, and featuring all new weird-but-true locations around America, this fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series is absolutely batty!

After their explosive escape at Graceland, twins Coke and Pepsi are ready to resume their trip across America—only now in a convertible instead of the RV. They travel through Arkansas and Oklahoma, visiting weird-but-true tourist stops along the way, and finally end up in Texas, home of the Weird Capital of the Country, Austin. The twins’ many enemies—the bowler dudes, Mrs. Higgins, and Dr. Warsaw—all swear that they’re done chasing Coke and Pepsi for good. But when the twins start receiving more codes and ciphers from a mysterious robotic voice, they know someone‘s after them. They just have to figure out who before the mystery villain finds them first.”

See You In The Cosmos by Jack Cheng

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy

Buckle up…

Lana and Cassie have met only once before, at the wedding of Lana’s Grandpa Howe and Cassie’s Grandma Tess two months ago. They didn’t exactly hit it off—in fact, depending on who you ask, that first meeting was either an embarrassment or a disaster—but they’re about to spend an entire week together, just the two of them and their honeymooning grandparents, road-tripping in Cassie’s grandmother’s Subaru.

Lana thinks a summer road trip sounds like fun, but the backseat is a crowded place for two tween girls with two huge secrets to hide, and this bumpy road to friendship is full of unexpected twists and turns. Like it or not, they’re in this together, full speed ahead on the adventure of a lifetime. ”

Sway by Amber McRee Turner

In this funny, moving novel, ten-year-old Cass takes a roadtrip with her dull-as-dirt dad, only to learn that he has a few surprises up his sleeve, including the power of Sway, a family secret that just might be magical.

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

Charlie wishes his life could be as predictable and simple as chicken nuggets.

And it usually is. He has his clean room, his carefully organized bird books and art supplies, his favorite foods, and comfortable routines.

But life has been unraveling since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan. And when Dad gets sent across country for medical treatment, Charlie must reluctantly travel to meet him. With his boy-crazy sister, unruly twin brothers, and a mysterious new family friend at the wheel, the journey looks anything but smooth.

So Charlie decides to try and spot all the birds that he and his dad had been hoping to see together in the wild. If he can complete the Someday Birds list for Dad, then maybe, just maybe, things will turn out okay…

Equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an unusual boy, and portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.”

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

Zip by Ellie Rollins

A girl discovers adventure at every highway turn in this effervescent debut that’s Savvy meets Little Miss Sunshine

After Lyssa’s mother dies, her kind but clueless new stepfather moves with her to the suburbs of Seattle in the hopes of making a fresh start. But Lyssa feels lost and adrift in the rainy Northwest without her mom. And when she finds out that her old house in Texas is about to be bulldozed, something snaps inside her. Fiercely determined, Lyssa climbs onto her scooter and sets off cross-country to save her home.”

If you would like to participate in this #middlegrademonday, please share you middle grade, road trip themed book on Twitter, using the above hashtag!

(All summaries from GoodReads)

Splash Into Summer Giveaway (#1)

Hello Readers!

Today I have something special in store for you. If you couldn’t guess, it’s a giveaway! And not just any giveaway, the first giveaway in a series of four that I will be hosting within the next few weeks.

I’m not going to waste any time here, I’m just going to jump right into it.

The Prize:

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic Sampler Prize Pack.

This prize pack includes:

  • A (advanced) sampler of Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
  • A set of four nail polishes that match the cover and the text color of The Language of Thorns sampler
  • An Owlcrate tote bag.

The fine print:

This giveaway is open to readers eighteen (18) years old and older, living in the United States only. It will run from today June 10th until 11:59 pm on June 16th. Winner will be notified via e-mail on June 17th, and will have forty-eight (48) hours to respond to e-mail with valid shipping address. If response is not received within that time frame, a new winner will be selected.

I’m hosting this giveaway through Rafflecopter, so please follow the prompts to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Good luck! And stay tuned for another giveaway soon!

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Hello Readers!

Welcome to my very first Freebie Friday post! Today, I’m sharing with you a short story of sorts. Before jumping into it, I want to offer a brief explanation.

As you may (or may not) know I am an aspiring writer. But writing comes in waves for me. Sometimes I can write and write and writer. And then there are the dry spell that lasts months upon months.

I always says that I’m going to write more, and than don’t. But than I remembered what one of my fave authors said to me when I met her. She said it’s not about the big goals, but the small goals. Keeping that in mind, while wondering around a Barnes and Noble with a friend I stumbled upon a book of writing prompts called “Complete the Story” . On a whim I bought it, and have found that I’m really enjoying this book.

So today, I’m going to share with you the story I wrote. Please note, that these prompts do have titles. or offer characters name, it simply offers a few sentences. So the title, the character names, and the main plot are all me.

The prompt: “Do you believe in ghosts? he asked her. He made it sound like a statement, not a question. She stayed quiet, hoping he’d continue on his own , and after a few moments, he said … ”

“A Ghost Story”

“Do you believe in ghosts?” he asked her. He made it sound like a statement, not a question. She stayed quiet, hoping he’d continue on his own, and after a few moments, he said “because I do.” Reed sounding serious, too serious for Ava. She had never heard him talk about things like this.

“Why do you believe in ghosts?” Ava asked, not really sure as to how to respond to his chilling omission.  Plainly, Reed answered “Because I saw one.”

He had to be joking. Pulling her leg. Teasing her because he knew that she was afraid of nearly everything. Black cats sent chills up and down her spine. She was sixteen and still slept with a princess nightlight, in hopes that she’ll be about to see the boogeyman before he gobbles her up in her sleep.  “I don’t believe you,” she said, even though a part of her did. Reed was so earnest, it was hard NOT to believe him. “Ghosts aren’t real,” she said, almost challenging him.

“You don’t believe me?” he asked incredulously. ” I’ll prove it.”

“How?”

“I’ll take you there?”

“Where is there?” she questioned, confused.

“To the house on the frozen lake where I saw it.” He held out his hand. It was a bitterly cold day, but her palms were sweating. So much so that she was too aware of it.  She hesitantly took it, questioning whether or not she trusted Reed, truly and completely trusted him. But the moment  their palms met, she knew the answer: she did.

Up the forgotten dirt road, through a scarce forest of dead or decaying trees, they walked to the forgotten lake.  Within a few short minutes, they stood in front of the lake, just across from the house.  Ava stared across to the rickety, abandoned house where only mice and moths resided.  And the supposed ghost.

“So where’s the ghost?” Ava asked Reed.

“Look at the top right window. The only one with curtains. See it?”

She did see it.  She waited for something to happen, gripping Reeds hand as tight as her numb fingers would allow. She was just about to call his bluff when the curtain parted and revealed the ghost.

The ghost that looked frighteningly like Reed.

I Am Princess X

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

Once upon a time May and Libby were best friends. They spent almost every moment together drinking hot chocolate at their favorite cafe and creating Princess X – a story that Libby illustrated while May wrote.

But that was before. Before Libby and her mom died. It’s been three years since Libby’s death, three years since May has had a real friend. 

But that was before. Before Libby and her mom died. It’s been three years since Libby’s death, three years since May has had a real friend. 

Can it be? Is it possible?  Can Libby still be alive, and waiting for May to piece together the mystery of her supposed death? She has to, because if she doesn’t it will be her and Libby’s lives on the line! 

I Am Princess X, written by Cherie Priest, is a spirited mystery that will leave readers mouths agape and their minds reeling!

Priest’s writing is strong. Her story is full of unforeseen twists and turns that will capture readers from the very first page. Full with vivid descriptions readers will easily see the story unfold. 

What I loved most about I Am Princess X was main character May. She was quit possibly the strongest leading lady I‘ve met in a long time. She’s smart, feisty, and courageous in the face of danger. Above all else, she has a whole lot of heart. 

Besides May, who I would totally want to be bff’s with, I Am Princess X is filled with memorable characters that readers will love. There’s Patrick (aka Trick – I personally did NOT like that nickname) who is May’s equal in a lot of respects.

There’s May’s dad, who even though he doesn’t play the biggest role in the plot, but he reads as a genuine character who truly not only cares, but trusts May even if she doesn’t necessarily see it. 

And then there’s Libby. Her larger than life presence fleshed out this barely there character. Through May readers see that Libby is unique, strong and determined, and like May filled with a lot of heart. 

I Am Princess X has many refreshing qualities that make it a stand out book. One of those qualities is that there is no romance. There are no love interests. There are no love triangles. Instead it honestly portrays male/female friendships.

And still, another refreshing quality are the I Am Princess X comics that have been woven into the plot. Illustrated by Kali Ciesemier, these vivid purple and white comics, add a layer of depth into this book.

I truly enjoyed Priest’s first YA book.  But I didn’t necessarily love it. And the reason for that was the fact that the pacing felt off to me. At times it was fast paced and all-absorbing, other times it felt slow. As a reader that took me in and out of the plot. And bumped it from a five-star to a four star rating.

I‘m glad I (finally) picked up I Am Princess X. And you will be too if and when you decide to read it! 

(Cover Image from GoodReads)

Around the Web (#1)

(The above image was created by me, for the purpose of this post, via Canva)

Hello Readers!

Recently I’ve taken on a new position: children’s librarian. When my career as a librarian first started I was an intern in a children’s department. I had the chance to get to know children’s books first hand, learned what it was like to create programming for this age group, and interact with the cutest kids ever.

After my internship ended, I realized that yes, even though I loved children’s books, at the heart my heart still yearned to be a young adult librarian. Afterall, I love YA books so much (as you know). When a position opened at my current place of employ opened, I thankfully got the position, but quickly learned that being a YA librarian wasn’t as easy as I thought. I then transitioned into a position I like to call general librarian, a position which I feel truly has shaped me into the librarian I am today.

In this position, I was the main librarian at our secondary branch. I planned and executed programs for all ages – from birth to senior citizen. I had the chance to familiarize myself with various books across different age ranges and genres. I had the chance to grow and become confident in myself as a librarian.

But the more storytimes I held, the more my heart knew that I wanted to be a children’s librarian. So when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance. Even though I was nervous at first, I was excited.

I wasn’t nervous about the programming, I had that covered. I wasn’t worried about providing picture book or YA book recommendations. But what I was nervous about was books for that in between age, also known as middle grade books.

In the past I’ve found that, even though I really wanted to read middle grade books, I simply didn’t enjoy the ones I picked up. Panicked about having to talk about these books with actual middle graders just about terrified me. But I decided that I needed to conquer that fear. How so? By jumping in and reading what the kids in my library are reading. With the help of my friend, who just so happened to be the (now former) children’s librarian of my library, I checked out a stack of books and read. But I needed more. More suggestions, so I turned to my go to: Emma (aka Miss Print).

Of course she provided me with some great suggestions, but even better than the books she suggested was the website in which she told me about. A website that I have began to love, and turn to when I’m truly stuck.

www.readbrightly.com

This website, who’s tagline is “Helping parents grow lifelong readers” has been a savior in many ways for me. It’s chock full of great articles, and book lists for every reader. The website doesn’t only offer parenting advice, but it offers booklists (looking for some funny books? There’s a list for that! How about mystery books for tween? They got you covered!) There are articles about books and reading, there are suggestions for us “older” readers, and they offer tips that I feel won’t only help parents, but could help me as a librarian as well.

I feel like I could go on and on about this website, telling you the ins and outs. But I think you’ll benefit more if I don’t. Instead, I’ll let you discover it’s greatness on your own. Instead I’ll share with you the articles/lists that I have enjoyed and benefited from.

A part of my new position is that I do weekly school visits. Sometime I’m reading stories to first graders. Other times I’m talking databases with eighth graders. And still, sometimes I’m booktalking to a group of third, fourth, and fifth graders. Through these school visits I’ve learned that the kids I talk to love these three things: graphic novels, scary books, and of course humorous books. If you are like me, and don’t know what constitutes as humorous to this age group. And then I stumbled upon this article, that I have found so helpful: 10 Books Guaranteed to Make 4th, 5th, and 6th Graders Laugh.   If you’re looking for scary books, this article has a lot of great suggestions: Spooky, Semi-Scary Books For Middle Grade Readers.  (I also found this article about how scary books can help kids with their fears.)

 I read a lot of picture books. At least 10 a week between storytimes and school visits. In regards to school visits one of my most favorite picture books to read aloud is B.J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures. Going into it, all the kids think it’s going to be boring, but by the end I have them rolling around the floor in fits of laughter because of this genius book. Kids love to laugh, especially when adults are doing/saying silly things. They appreciate humor in a way us adults just can’t. Because of that sometimes I feel finding a picture book that is funny for both the adult and the child is often hard work. If you feel that way too, check out: 10 Legitimately Funny Books to Read Aloud With Your Kids.

Do dictionaries still matter? I can’t remember the last time I picked up a physical dictionary. In today’s world it’s much more simpler to Google the meaning of a word. I mean seriously, through Google, the world it at our fingertips. Even so, dictionaries are still functional, still important I think. What made me think about this, about dictionaries of all things? Well, an article I stumbled upon a few weeks back: Why Dictionaries Still Matter for Kids Today. It’s an interesting article with many valid points. And since reading it, a small smile appears on my face each and every time a young patron asks me for a dictionary.

Who remembers Little Golden Books? I used to love them. And today, there seems to be even more Little Gold Books for readers! There’s A Little Gold Book for That…

Are you a bookworm like me? If so, here are 12 Things All Bookworms Have Said At One Point or Another. I know I said one (or all of these things at some point or another in my bookish life).

To say the least, I love this website. And I think you will too! Check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added to My TBR List

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & The Bookish. The above image was taken and created by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

Even though I already have a ton of books on my TBR list – books I’m sure I may never (ever!) get to – it doesn’t stop me from adding more. I simply just can’t help myself. And if you love books as much as I do, you totally get it!

Today I’m going to share with you the top ten books I’ve recently added to my TBR list.

Ramona Blue Ι Julie Murphy

Odd & True Ι Cat Winters

When Dimple Met Rishi Ι Sandhya Menon

The Arsonist Ι Stephanie Oakes

The Possible Ι Tara Altebrando

The Ravenous Ι Amy Lukavics

Genuine Fraud Ι E. Lockhart

Love & Luck Ι Jenna Evans Welch

I Believe In A Thing Called Love Ι Maurene Goo

Jane Unlimited Ι Kristin Cashore

(All cover images from GoodReads)