Apr 30, 2013

Review: Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz
April 9th, 2013 from Candlewick

When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. "If you’re going to do something, make sure you do it with excellence," Gran would say. That was when Gran was feeling talkative, and not brooding for days in her room — like she did after telling Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they know about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie tells stories, too, as she and Rew laze under the birches and oaks of Zebra Forest — stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent. But then something shocking happens to unravel all their stories: a rattling at the back door, an escapee from the prison holding them hostage in their own home, four lives that will never be the same.

Pretty powerful story in a short book! The opening chapter was absolutely captivating. We are immediately thrown into Annie and Rew's not so normal living situation. Mom ran out years ago, dad is dead, and their Gran isn't exactly all there every day. It becomes increasing clear that Annie is the main caregiver and provider. At eleven-years old, that's tough. When a man breaks out of prison and invades their home, Annie slowly realizes that she may have been living in a prison all this time as well.

Apr 16, 2013

Excerpt & Giveaway: Demons (Seers #2) by Heather Frost

Demons (Seers #2) by Heather Frost
September 11th 2012 by Cedar Fort Books

Kate's life is far from normal. She can see Auras, her boyfriend is immortal, and her powers make her a target. But now that the Demon Lord is hunting her, things are about to go from dangerous to truly deadly. Packed with action, mind-blowing plot twists, and characters you can't get enough of, this is a fast-paced, heart-pounding read from cover to cover.

I'm happy to have Heather Frost on the blog today with an excerpt and a giveaway! 

Apr 15, 2013

Interview: Oona Crate and Shawn Thomas Odyssey (The Wizard of Dark Street)


The Magician's Tower (Oona Crate Mystery #2) by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
July 26th, 2011 from EgmontUSA

Despite her extraordinary magical abilities and sleuthing skills, Oona Crate’s detective agency has failed to take off. But a new challenge captures her attention—The Magician’s Tower Contest.

Held every five years, no one has ever completed the array of dangerous tasks (such as racing on flying carpets or defeating a horde of angry apes). As the competition commences, a case emerges. A rare punchbowl—one with unparalleled magical powers—has disappeared from the carnival surrounding the Magician’s Tower. If Oona can find the culprit, she could use the bowl to answer her question about her mother’s and sister’s tragic deaths so many years ago—was she really at fault?

Apr 14, 2013

National Library Week 2013

Viva la libraries, it's National Library Week!
What is National Library Week? It's a seven day celebration of all things the library does for you, your family, and your community! Even though the face of libraries are changing, they are still vital and necessary. Libraries just don't simply hold all of the books. Yes, that's a super big plus - no one I know can afford to purchase thousands of books a month, but the library also has audio books, free ebooks, music, language materials, those fancy medical dictionaries that costs a mint, and also databases. I know, you aren't in school anymore and don't really care about finding a journal article about locus of control and cortisol levels (or do you?) Libraries purchase those scientific databases, but they also have others about genealogy, stocks, investments, language, and how to make a resume to get you out of that job where you serve fries. Yay, those databases are important and costly too. Take advantage of the ones your library has.

How can you celebrate? If you don't have millions of dollars in your trust fund to donate to your favorite library you can do some pretty easy things to celebrate.

Apr 10, 2013

Texas Library Association Conference & Meetup - 2013 #TXLA13

It's that time of year! In TWO weeks, the largest state-wide library conference will start. This year, we are all Fort Worth bound! Last October I gave a little sneak peak into some of the amazingness that will happen. Check it out HERE. I'll be presenting on Tuesday Texas Book Festival and on the same day Blogging and Social Media: Best Practices for Serving Youth. I'll also be moderating the YA Powerhouse panel on Saturday! Come see me!

This post will fill you in on everything you need to know. If you have any questions, ask below and I'll try to help! We hope you join us!

April 24 - 27th, 2013
Fort Worth Convention Center
Registration is still open
Exhibit Hall Pass for the week is $40 (online or at door)
No need to be a librarian to attend, although a TLA membership is super rad!

Apr 8, 2013

Cover & First Chapter Reveal: Scorched by Mari Mancusi

Scorched by Mari Mancusi
September 3rd, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire

Sixteen-year-old Trinity Brown is used to her grandfather's crazy stories, so she never believed the latest treasure he brought home was a real dragon's egg. Not until their home is invaded by soldiers trying to steal it and a strange boy who tells her the world as she knows it will be wiped out in a fiery dragon war—unless they work together to stop it. Meantime, there's a different voice whispering to Trinity, calling to her, telling her what to do...the dragon inside her egg is not ready to give up without a fight.


Add to Goodreads
Enter the Goodreads giveaway
You can find Mancusi at her website

A note from Mari!

Apr 5, 2013

Giveaway: A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
April 1st, 2013 from Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic)

A tale of two worlds, told in brilliant color.

Readers have loved bestselling author Jaclyn Moriarty since The Year of Secret Assignments. Now she gives them A Corner of White, the first in a suspenseful, funny, genre-busting trilogy that brings her fantastic characters, laugh-out-loud descriptions, and brilliant plotting to a fantasy setting.

Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge, England (in our world).

In another world, in the Kingdom of Cello, Elliot is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle Jon was found dead. The talk in the town is that Elliot's dad may have killed Jon and run away with the physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.

As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds — through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. On both sides of the gap, even greater mysteries are unfolding — with more than one life at stake.

Apr 3, 2013

Audio Review: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
February 12th, 2013 from Candlewick

What if the football hadn't gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn't want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell — who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn't bright — sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big...One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting.

What a weird little book! This one is hard to describe beyond the paragraph up above. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book. This one just may be a little hard to market. The cover and short chapters make it appear to be a middle grade book, but the eff words and a gruesome murder scene pulls away from that audience. I almost put it in the same category as Wonder by Palacio. Both wonderful books, but to me adults will like the heart-felt stories better than kids. Regardless, this book deserves to be heard.