Orbiting Jupiter

by Gary D Schmidt

 

 

I’ve been seeing this book at my library for a few years now, and I’ve grabbed it many times but never read it before returning it. Well I finally grabbed it and sat down and read it in one sitting. Oh my gosh this book wrecked me! I had so many feels while reading this heartwarming and heartbreaking book!! I hope it wins many book awards because they would all be very well deserved. I was immediately drawn into the characters and felt like I had known them for a long time. Jack telling the story of his foster-brother Joseph and how Joseph’s only real goal was to find his daughter Jupiter was what intrigued me about this book. It is told by a 12-year-old boy  about a 14-year-old boy. That right there I’m not sure has ever been done, add the fact that they are just babies themselves. Joseph had a bad home life, heck he had the worse home life and got put into foster care. After a few tumbles he ended up with a loving opening family that ended up being his forever home. He wasn’t going to settle down till he got Jupiter back even if it meant doing it on his own. The book takes a drastic turn and I pretty much bawled through the last half of the book. Grab a copy of Orbiting Jupiter you will not be disappointed!!

About the Book: 

Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.

Awards & Honors: Capitol Choices 2016
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2015, Middle Grade
Booklist Best Young Adult Books of 2015
ALA Notable Books for Children 2016, Older Readers
VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2015; 2016 Winner, Notable Books for a Global Society
CCBC Choices 2016, Fiction for Young Adults
2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Young Adult Fiction
ILA Young Adults’ Choices, 2016 Reading List
YALSA 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of 2016, Coming of Age

Addie Bell’s ShortCut to Growing Up

by Jessica Brody

 

 

Oh my gosh this book is simply precious! I loved every minute of this cute book! I reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies: 13 Going on 30.  Lucky for  Addie Bell doesn’t skip all those years and head straight to 30 she just skips those wonderful awkward tween years. In doing so she has altered everything she thought high school was going to be like. She soon see’s popularity comes with a price and she wants everything to go back to the way it was before she made that wish. So many times kids want to grow up to fast or think if only I was older things would be so much better. This book represents those feelings so well. I simply can not recommend it enough. This book will be gifted to every tween girl reader I know. I think this is a great summer read for girls entering middle school for the first time or even high school for the first time. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Addie Bell’s ShortCut to Growing Up – this book was my first 5 star read of 2017!!!

summary: Seventh grader Addie Bell can’t wait to be in high school, where everything seems cooler and more fun. What if there was a way to be older . . . right now?

Addie’s parents won’t let her have her own phone, she doesn’t have any curves, and her best friend, Grace, isn’t at all interested in makeup or boys. Then, on the night of her twelfth birthday, Addie makes a wish on a magic jewelry box to be sixteen . . . and wakes up to find that her life has been fast-forwarded four years! Suddenly she has everything she’s always wanted (like a driver’s license and a closet full of cool clothes). But Addie soon discovers that a lot more has changed than she expected—including her friendship with Grace. Can Addie turn back time and take back her wish . . . or has she lost the chance to experience what could have been the best years of her life?

Thank you so very much Jessica Brody and Delacorte for allowing me to read Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Don’t Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel

by R.L. Stine

Don't Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine

My kids have always been big R.L. Stine fans. I think we have owned every Goosebumps and watched every episode and movie over the years. My oldest still enjoys a good scary book and so I knew I had to grab her a copy. Little did I know we would all read it and love it. It was like our own little book club and it was fun! R.L. Stine has a great series for kids who are out of elementary school and into the bigger books and bigger scares. Fear Street is for middle and high school readers. I love a good scary books as much as my girls and R.L. Stine is a master storyteller right up there with Stephen King in my book. Now we just wish the Fear Street Relaunch would launch into a series like his fabulous book series Goosebumps! 🙂 Wishful thinking we know but hey maybe one day…

Don’t Stay Up Late had me grabbing minutes here and there so I could finish it. I had to know if I was right about what was going on. Don’t Stay Up Late will keep you staying up late just to finish it. R.L. Stine is the master at writing creepy scary books that are real page turners but not so scary they cause nightmares! Grab a copy and block out a chunk of time because you will not want to put this down! Now we are off to read The Lost Girl, and Can You Keep A Secret before My Dead Boyfriend comes out September 27.

summary: Ever since a car accident killed her father and gave her a severe concussion, high school junior Lisa’s been plagued by nightmares and hallucinations, and when she accepts a babysitting job in hopes it will banish the disturbing images, she faces new terror as she begins to question exactly who–or what–she’s babysitting.

Red Girl Blue Boy

If Only Series #5

by Lauren Baratz Logsted

red girl blue boy

 

Red Girl Blue Boy is a sweet  clean romance that YA reading girls will enjoy. I enjoyed the characters and banter they had throughout the book. Although I will say I enjoyed the less uptight Katie to the beginning mini politician Katie. Drew was likable from the very beginning and always stayed true to himself. Drew was the kinda boy all the girls would want to be friends with. He was an honest boy and didn’t change who he was just to fit his mom’s presidential bid campaign.  The book was written with alternating view points every other chapter, it flowed well and didn’t mess you up while reading. Red Girl Blue Boy is perfect reading right now with all the politics and campaigning going on. I think this would be fine for middle school through high school. It is a clean sweet book that might not appeal to all high school aged YA readers but if they are looking for a fun fluffy chick lit book than this is for them. The If Only series is a perfect introduction to the fluffy  fun young chick lit is all about with out the  adult situations of course. I know many middle grade age girls have read these and while it might not be a book I’d gift to them they are innocent enough that you can feel OK with your middle school aged girl reading them as well. This one had a kissing scene and then they talked about kissing more  but that was as heavy as it got. All in all  I’d give  Red Girl Blue Boy 3 stars it was a fun light-hearted book to read.

summary: Sixteen-year-old Katie and Drew really shouldn’t get along. After all, her father is the Republican nominee for President of the United States while his mother is at the top of the Democratic ticket. But when Katie and Drew are thrown together in a joint interview on a morning talk show, they can’t ignore the chemistry between them. With an entire nation tuned into and taking sides in your parents’ fight, and the knowledge that–ultimately–someone has to lose, how can you fall in love with the one person you’re supposed to hate?

Autumn Wish

Autumn Falls trilogy book 3

by Bella Thorne

Autumn Wish by Bella Thorne

 

Autumn Falls trilogy  has been a yearly event in this house. My middle grade reader has enjoyed them and is a big Bella Thorne fan. This one is a bit different from the other two books since this involves a special gift from her dad.  I know your thinking but each book is about a special gift from her dad. Yes that is true but I have to agree with my middle grade reader in the fact that this is best one by far. Are you ready for it, Time Travel! I mean you have a YA book that has time travel and you will hook the reader. I know these books are geared more towards the YA genre but many of her fans are middle grade and read these books as well. Bella Thorne did a great job with the final book. She keeps the reader flipping the pages and fans of the books will love reading all about their senior year. The ending was a solid ending that was realistic and while we are sad to see this series end we are hoping she continues her writing and publishes more books.

summary: Senior year is here, and everyone has a plan—except Autumn Falls. So many crazy-important decisions lie ahead, and she’s scared to make the wrong one. So when she receives a magical locket that enables her to travel through time (!!!), Autumn hopes she can correct all her past mistakes—with her friends, with boys—and maybe even prevent her dad from dying. But the locket doesn’t work that way. Instead, Autumn discovers that she’s only able to visit the future—and she doesn’t like what she sees. Autumn can change her destiny . . . but what does she really want?

thank you Delcorte Books for Young Readers, Random House and Bella Thorne for allowing us to read and review Autumn Wishes. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

The rest in the series:

Autumn Falls (our review)

Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne

 

 

summary: With her fiery red hair, new-girl outsider status, and tendency to be a total klutz, Autumn Falls definitely isn’t flying below the radar at Aventura High. Luckily, she makes some genuine friends who take her under their wing. But she also manages to get on the wrong side of the school’s queen bee, and then finds out the guy she’s started to like, funny and sweet Sean, hangs with the mean crowd. Now her rep and her potential love life are at stake.

When Autumn vents her feelings in a journal that belonged to her late father, suddenly her wildest wishes start coming true. Is it coincidence? Or can writing in the journal solve all her problems? And if the journal doesn’t work that way,  is there a bigger purpose for it—and for her?

Autumn’s Kiss (our review)

Autumn's Kiss by Bella Thorne

 

 

summary: Everyone knows how crazy junior year is, but Autumn Falls never imagined it would be so flirty. The wish-granting diary her father left her stopped working, leaving Autumn to decode what’s going on with her and Sean on her own. He seems into her…and he also seems into Reenzie. But when J.J. steps up and tells Autumn he’s the one she should be with if she wants someone who really cares about her, and a pop star makes a major play for her, Autumn is totally confused. Her friends have Big Drama issues going on, too, and Autumn wants to be there for them. Then something mind-blowing happens. She’s suddenly given an incredible, crazy-fun opportunity: a map that takes her anyplace she wants to go. At first it seems like an amazing gift. But showing up IRL where you’re least expected has life-changing consequences. Is Autumn ready to handle the fallout?

thank you Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Random House and Bella Thorne for allowing us to read and review The Autumn Falls trilogy as the books were published. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free books.

Free Verse

by Sarah Dooley

Free Verse by Sarah Dooley

 

Free Verse is an amazing little gem of a book. I was hooked from page one and it was a roller coaster ride. This book is a pendulum of emotions it has major heartbreak, more heartbreak than any kid should have to face along with some humor to make the reader laugh. The characters are very believable and ones you would enjoy knowing in real life. The story line is very well written and easy to read, I liked that while it was a book to read with a regular fiction book writing style. The author does include the poetry that Sasha writes to work through all that she has gone through and the raw emotions come through. Free Verse takes on death, the foster system, feeling lost in the great big world at a young age but does so that even tender-hearted readers  will fall in love with this story, I know mine did. She said it made her sad at times but she had faith in Sasha and that she would find her happy ever after. Free Verse was such a raw emotional read but also so inspiring and uplifting. This story has stayed with me long after I have finishing it and it was such a beautiful middle grade book that would captivate a teen reader and adult just as much as the age group it was written for. Add Free Verse to your must read of 2016 book list. Free Verse will be in my top 10 reads of 2016 and one I will recommend and gift this year.

summary: When her brother dies in a fire, Sasha Harless has no one left, and nowhere to turn. After her father died in the mines and her mother ran off, he was her last caretaker. They’d always dreamed of leaving Caboose, West Virginia together someday, but instead she’s in foster care, feeling more stuck and broken than ever.

But then Sasha discovers family she didn’t know she had, and she finally has something to hold onto, especially sweet little Mikey, who’s just as broken as she is. Sasha even makes her first friend at school, and is slowly learning to cope with her brother’s death through writing poetry, finding a new way to express herself when spoken words just won’t do. But when tragedy strikes the mine her cousin works in, Sasha fears the worst and takes Mikey and runs, with no plans to return. In this sensitive and poignant portrayal, Sarah Dooley shows us that life, like poetry, doesn’t always take the form you intend. 

thank you so much Penguin Young Readers, Sarah Dooley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers for allowing us to read Free Verse. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Into the Dim

by Janet B Taylor

Publication Date: March 1 2016

Into the Dim by Janet B Taylor

 

Can I give this book more than 5 stars, please! I loved each and every minute I read this book. Into the Dim is a wonderful time traveling, action – adventure, mystery, historical, and love story all rolled into one. I was on the edge of my seat and sneaking moments here and there to read more of it. I was so sad to see the story end. I love the world building and there was a lot and the author did a fabulous job. The characters were great and many times she took you on such a roller coaster ride. I didn’t know which way this was going to end. I know this is book 1 so there will be a book to and I hope I don’t have to wait long for it to come out. Into the Dim is fine for readers as young as middle grade all the way through YA and adults. I can now say enough about this book. This will be at the top of my list of books I loved in 2016. It comes out March 1st and while I’ve already read this book I will buy a hardback copy and I know it will be one of my go to re-read books.

summary: “Seventy-two hours, then we have to be back at the clearing. Sunrise on the third day.”

Being “the homeschooled girl,” in a small town, Hope Walton’s crippling phobias and photographic memory don’t help her fit in with her adoptive dad’s perfectly blonde Southern family. But when her mother is killed in a natural disaster thousands of miles from home, Hope’s secluded world crumbles. After an aunt she’s never met invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic. She’s a member of a secret society of time travelers, and is actually trapped in the twelfth century in the age of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Now Hope must conquer her numerous fears and travel back in time to help rescue her mother before she’s lost for good. Along the way, she’ll discover more family secrets, and a mysterious boy who could be vital to setting her mother free… or the key to Hope’s undoing.

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

Thank you Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group for allowing me to read Into the Dim. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.