For readers around the globe. :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Look at The Forbidden Wish

NetGalley approved me for a sneak peek of The Forbidden Wish! In this retelling of a classic tale, Jessica Khoury changes the dynamics of Aladdin. He is a boy, a thief. But the jinni, Zahra, is a girl with a dark past, expected to spend eternity trapped in her lamp. But when Aladdin is hired to steal a ring, it begins leading him to the ruins of the Zahra's city. He meets the one and only being who brought down an entire civilization leaving no survivors. At least that's what was thought until Aladdin is kidnapped by the one lone survivor, the daughter of the Queen. 
This sneak peek was less than 90 pages, but it definitely leaves the reader wanting more! At first I was skeptical, Aladdin being one of my favorites, but Jessica Khoury may be able to get away with something like this! 

Mark your calendars, The Forbidden Wish hits shelves February 23!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Auggie & Me

Auggie & Me, the companion novel to Wonder is told in 3 separate points of view. Julian, the bully; Chris, the childhood best friend; and Charlotte, the goody two shoes. 
The Julian Chapter: We get Julian's story, his background, his insight as to why he's so mean to Auggie. Julian has nightmares, horrible, horrible nightmares about Auggie and that's something he can't control. But what he can control is how he treats the people he's afraid of. His mother babies him excessively. She photoshops Auggie out of the class picture to calm Julian, but he never thought she'd pass them out to his classmates. At the end, Julian does make a turning point and email Mr. Browne with his precept: Sometimes, it's good to start over.
Pluto:Chris has known Auggie's family since FOREVER. He's totally changed into full middle-schooler mode. He forgets his homework, his instruments, his old friends. But when his mom is in a car accident, his views start changing back. Should he call his old friend? Should they video chat? Auggie and his family has always been there for Chris, why shouldn't he be there for Auggie when Daisy dies?
 Shingaling: Charlotte was asked to be Auggie's welcome buddy to Beecher Prep. She was too good to say no. She organized the coat drive and was more than likely to be given a medal for it at the end of the year. But Ms. Antanabi brings 3 unlikely girls together to do the Shingaling at the end of the year. Ximena, Summer, and Charlotte become fast friends and teach each other many lessons. Ximena is beyond popular. She's never been mean to Auggie, but she's never been nice either. Summer is the definition of kindness. She became Auggie's friend just because she wanted to, not because she had to. Charlotte, was Auggie's welcome buddy, but never really took that too seriously. She changed the way she acted around teachers and students. 
 Auggie & Me was not nearly as good as Wonder. Nothing will compare to the story that started kindness. While I enjoyed seeing these kids' background and learning of their stories, this companion novel was completely unnecessary. If you enjoyed Wonder as much as I did, you may want to avoid this one.  

Looking for the hit, Wonder
Looking for the storybook, We're All Wonders?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Orange is the New Black

Let me start by saying this: If you like the show, do not under any circumstances read this book. It is completely different. However, if you have not watched the show but would love hearing of Piper Kerman's year spent in a women's prison, this is the book for you! Piper was brought in on an 11 year old drug trafficking charge for carrying a suitcase full of drug money for her girlfriend. She was fresh out of college and looking for an adventure. Nora gave her that adventure and it ended in prison. Piper was an upper-middle class white girl with nothing to lose. Until she got the call saying someone had turned her in. How do you tell your family that when you were in your 20's that you helped carry drug money for your girlfriend? How do you tell that to your coworkers? How do you tell that to your fiance? This novel takes us through the ups and downs of prison and how Piper coped with losing all of her freedom. But the most important part of the book is how the other women in Danbury Federal Prison joined together and actually helped one and other. There was really no talk of fighting, violence, feuds, nothing like that. It was compassion, talk of kids and boyfriends, their release dates, and how they were holding up after being incarcerated. 

Looking for Cleary Wolters' book?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

"They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken-down toolhouse." The Herdman's are the worst kids in town. They don't have respect for anyone. They couldn't care less about the consequences of their actions. Yet, they always passed on to the next grade in school. No teacher would want more than one of the six Herdman's in class at the same time! When the Herdman's hear about auditions for a Christmas play, they assume there will be snacks. They show up as auditions are starting when Imogene decides she want's to be Mary. None of the other kids want to go up against Imogene.... And that is how the Herdman's became the star cast of the play. They create one of the most hilarious and wondrous tellings of what Christmas is all about. They learn the story of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. They leave behind their rotten antics and put on a memorable show for the awestruck members of the church. 

This is by far my favorite Christmas story to read. If you're looking for a quick story for your kids, this is it!