Aug 16, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross (Warcross, #1)
Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  September 12, 2017

Why I Am Waiting:
This book has SO much hype! But I am really hoping it lives up to it and I think that that synopsis sounds amazing :)

Aug 14, 2017

Blog Blast: Excerpt & Giveaway! Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

About the Book

An inspiring tale of a fourth-grader who fights back when her favorite book is banned from the school library--by starting her own illegal locker library!

It all started the day Amy Anne Ollinger tried to check out her favorite book in the whole world, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, from the school library. That's when Mrs. Jones, the librarian, told her the bad news: her favorite book was banned! All because a classmate's mom thought the book wasn't appropriate for kids to read.

Amy Anne decides to fight back by starting a secret banned books library out of her locker. Soon, she finds herself on the front line of an unexpected battle over book banning, censorship, and who has the right to decide what she and her fellow students can read.

Reminiscent of the classic novel Frindle by Andrew Clements for its inspiring message, Ban This Book is a love letter to the written word and its power to give kids a voice.

Praise for BAN THIS BOOK
“Readers, librarians, and all those books that have drawn a challenge have a brand new hero in Amy Anne Ollinger. She's a true champion and testament to how doing a good thing is the first step in finding your own courage."―Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winning author of The Underneath

"Ban This Book is absolutely brilliant and belongs on the shelves of every library in the multiverse."―Lauren Myracle, author of the best-selling Internet Girls series, the most challenged books of 2009 and 2011

"A stout defense of the right to read." ―Kirkus Reviews

“Gratz delivers a book lover’s book that speaks volumes about kids’ power to effect change at a grassroots level." ―Publisher’s Weekly

The Mystery of the Missing Book
It all started the day my favorite book went missing from the library.
I didn’t know it was missing. Not yet. In my mind, it was still sitting there all alone on the shelf like a kid in the cafeteria waiting for her one and only friend to come and find her. Waiting for me to find her. All I wanted to do was run to the library and check out my favorite book before homeroom, but Rebecca, my one and only real-life friend, was still talking about trademarking our names.
“Have you ever thought about registering” Rebecca asked me.
“No, Rebecca, I have never thought about registering I am nine years old. Why in the world would I bother to register a Web site with my name on it when my parents won’t even let me use Facebook yet?”
That’s what I thought about saying. What I said instead was, “No.”
“You should,” Rebecca told me. “You’ve got a unique name, but even so, somebody could register it, and then what would you do? is already gone! I’m ten years old, and already my future intellectual property is being snapped up! Jay Z and Beyoncé trademarked their baby’s name less than a month after she was born. You’d think my parents would have known enough to do the same.”
Rebecca’s parents were both lawyers, and she wanted to be one too when she grew up. I couldn’t imagine a more boring job.
Instead I said, “Yeah.”
I was still itching to get to the library and check out my favorite book. I opened my locker to stuff my backpack inside and gave my mailbox a quick look. Nobody knows how it got started, but everybody at Shelbourne Elementary has these cardboard boxes taped to the inside door of their lockers, just below the little vents they put on there in case you get stuffed in your locker by a bully. If you want to leave a note for somebody you just slip the piece of paper in the slot and it falls right into the little cardboard box. It’s such a tradition that Mr. Crutchfield, the custodian, just leaves the boxes in the lockers from year to year.
As usual, my mailbox was empty. Which I’d expected. My one and only friend doesn’t believe in writing notes. “Never leave a paper trail,” Rebecca says. More advice from her lawyer parents.
“Did you hear about Morgan Freeman, the actor?” Rebecca asked. “Somebody who wasn’t named Morgan Freeman registered his name at, and he had to sue them to get it back! Now that’s an interesting case—”
“I can’t imagine anything less interesting, Rebecca! I don’t care anything about trademarks or registering domain names. I have to go check out my favorite book before somebody else does!”
That’s what I wanted to tell her. Instead I held up a handful of books like a shield and said, “I have to return these books to the library before class!” and backed away before she could tell me more about the court case. “I’ll see you in homeroom!” I called.
Normally I would already have my favorite book checked out and in my backpack, but our librarian, Mrs. Jones, has a rule that you can only renew a book two times in a row, and then it has to sit on the shelf for five whole school days before you can check it out again. She says it’s to make sure other people get a chance to read it, but I think she made that rule up just to make me read other books, which I would have done anyway.
I dumped last night’s books in the book return and waved good morning to Mrs. Jones on the way to the fiction shelves.
“Amy Anne,” Mrs. Jones called. “Honey, wait—”
“Just let me grab my book,” I called back. I turned into the H–N shelves and hurried to where I knew my favorite book would be waiting for me.
Only it wasn’t there.
I looked again. It still wasn’t there. I looked behind the books, in case it had gotten pushed back and was hidden behind the others like they sometimes do, but no. It really wasn’t there. But my favorite book was always on the shelf. Could somebody else really have checked it out?
I was about to go and ask Mrs. Jones when she turned down the row. Mrs. Jones is a big white lady with short brown hair and rhinestone granny glasses that hang around her neck on a chain when she isn’t reading. Today she was wearing a red dress with white polka dots. Polka dots are her thing.
“Where’s my book?” I asked her.
“That’s what I was trying to tell you, honey,” Mrs. Jones said. “I knew you’d come in for it first thing.”
“It’s been five days,” I told her. “I marked it down on my calendar. I get to check it out again after five days. You said so. Did somebody—did somebody else check it out?”
“No, Amy Anne. I had to take it off the shelf.”
I frowned. Take it off the shelf? What did she mean, take it off the shelf?
Mrs. Jones sighed and wrung her hands. She looked like she was about to tell me my dogs had died. “Because some parents got together and said they didn’t think it was appropriate for elementary school, and the school board agreed with them.”
“Wasn’t appropriate? What does that mean?”
“It means I can’t check it out to you, honey, or to anybody else. Not until I talk to the school board and get this nonsense overturned.
“It means, Amy Anne, that your favorite book was banned from the school library.”

Copyright © 2017 by Alan Grantz
Reader’s guide copyright © 2017 by Tor Books
About the Author

Alan Gratz‘s first novel, Samurai Shortstop, was named one of the ALA’s 2007
Photo Credit: Wes Stitt
Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults. His second novel, Something Rotten, was a 2008 ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Readers, and was followed by a sequel, Something Wicked, in October 2008. His first middle grade novel, The Brooklyn Nine, was one of the ALA’s Top Ten Sports Books for Youth and Top Ten Historical Books for Youth, and his middle grade Holocaust novel Prisoner B-3087 was one of YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Readers and has won seven state awards. His latest novels are the YA thriller Code of Honor, a YALSA 2016 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and The Monster War, the third book in his middle grade steampunk League of Seven trilogy.

Alan’s short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, online at, and in the anthologies Half-Minute Horrors and Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction, which benefitted victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

As the first Artist in Residence at the American School in Japan in 2010, Alan spent six weeks teaching historical fiction-writing to middle school students in Tokyo, and he was the Thurber House Children’s Writer in Residence in 2011, living and writing in James Thurber’s attic for a month while working with young writers from all around the Columbus, Ohio area.

In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and a few episodes of A&E’s City Confidential, Alan has taught catapult-building to middle-schoolers, written more than 6,000 radio commercials, sold other people’s books, lectured at a Czech university, and traveled the galaxy as a space ranger. (One of these, it should be pointed out, is not true.)
Alan was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the 1982 World’s Fair. After a carefree but humid childhood, Alan attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing, and, later, a Master’s degree in English education. He now lives with his wife Wendi and his daughter Jo in the high country of Western North Carolina, where he enjoys playing games, eating pizza, and, perhaps not too surprisingly, reading books.

Find the Author
Website / Twitter / Goodreads   Facebook

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 10 Winners will receive a Copy of BAN THIS BOOK by Alan Gratz
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Aug 13, 2017

Building the Book Pile #156

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Another week gone... it is starting to feel a little cooler here and there were three yellow leaves in my yard the other day.... FALL IS COMING!!!!! So excited... sorry to those of you that love summer... it is not my jam.

This week was pretty chill, we drove home on Monday from MD and then Tuesday we did chores and errands then worked the rest of the week - nothing too exciting, but we had a crab feast while on vacation and it was so good, we also had a great time seeing and spending time with family. 

Here are some random cute pictures.

Yesterday... I spent more time painting the dining room, the 1st coat on everything is done and all the wainscoting is up it looks SO GOOD, I'm excited.
How was your week?

I can't wait until FALL....Andy and I have been making all sorts of hats for the shop for colder months... going to put them up very soon.


  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

Coming up on the Blog

#TheReadingQuest BEGINS!
Blog Blast: Excerpt and Giveaway! Ban this Book by Alan Gratz (MG)
Waiting on Wednesday
Recent Reads: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (YA)

Books Received this Week 

Ban This Book Giant Pumpkin Suite

Giant Pumpkin Suite by Melanie Heuiser Hall from Librarything Early Reviewers Program and Candlewick Press for review

Have you missed anything lately?

Week of August 6  - August 12
Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!

Aug 10, 2017

#TheReadingQuest Sign Up, TBR and Progress

I was reading blogs today and came across this adorable reading quest/ game and I am swooning over it and SO excited to be signing up to play. 

It is called #TheReadingQuest and you pick a character and follow a path to read/earn experience points from August 13-Sept 10.

Sign ups close on the 13th so get over there and sign up! 

Reading Quest Board

I have chosen the Mage path, First Down: 
"MAGE: As wielders of spells and witchcraft, these players will conjure and summon their way through the First Down path on the quest. Their tomes contain magic and whispers of alternate lands."

 There are also Side Quests:
"Along with the separate Character Class quest levels (Purple Squares), the centre of the Quest Board is a conglomeration of Side Quests (Blue Squares)! Complete these challenges to earn extra points and bonus experience for your character."
Here is my Character Card, art compliments of CW of Read, Think, Ponder. Isn't this so cute! I am loving this SO much!


Mage Path:
  • The First Book of a Series:  
    • Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
  • A Book Set in a Different World:  
    • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • A Book Based on Mythology: 
    • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  • A Book that Contains Magic: 
    • Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  • A Book with a One Word Title:  
    • Transgression by Jannette Fuller

Side Quests (may change/ TBD):
  • Potions:
  • Multiplayer:
  • Grind:  
    • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (557 pages)
  • Time Warp:
  • Open World: 
    • Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone
  • Respawn:
  • Expansion:
  • Mini-Game:
  • Animal Companion:

Aug 9, 2017

Early Reader Review: Harley's Little Black Book by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

Source: From Netgalley and DC Comics in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Harley's Little Black BookHarley's Little Black Book by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Series: Volume 1
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date:  August 8, 2017

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
It's the sensational debut of a massive team-up series in which Harley meets (and almost certainly annoys) the greatest heroes and villains of the DC Universe! Harley is pairing up with the greatest heroes of all time, featuring adventures with Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and more! But can she keep up with superheroes of this caliber?
Celebrated Harley co-writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti take on this monumental series, spinning off of the best-selling HARLEY QUINN series. Collects HARLEY'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK #1-6.

I missed the first few issues of this series in comic form so I figured I would just wait for the graphic novel to come out and the New 52 was slowly getting more eh in my opinion. I still read them but they weren't my favorite. This volume collects issues 1-6 of the little black book series and they are all one-offs so I could have jumped in wherever but I didn't realize that.

The series is like diary entries by Harley, many are in flashback format and they all can be read in any order. They each feature a different guest appearance - like Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern, and they are don't but a variety of artists.

I think my favorite issue in the bunch was the Green Lantern one, Harley is her evil self again, not trying to save anything, and the lantern rings are a very cool addition for a Harley Quinn comic. The one I liked the least was the last one and the story wasn't bad, but I sadly did not enjoy the artist on that issue.

Many of these issues had a lot of sexual innuendo  and some had it right out there, so these are definitely adult comics/ graphic novels. I felt like there was actually more sex themes than violence - it was not what I expected, but don't get me wrong there was still a lot of violence as well. 

I am happy to have read the series to this point, I think if you enjoyed the New 52 Harley series and enjoy guests popping in, these are issues for you.

Aug 8, 2017

Early Reader Review: Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis by Charise Mericle Harper

Source: From Netgalley and First Second in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.
Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis (Crafty Cat, #2)
Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis by Charise Mericle Harper
Series: Crafty Cat #2
Publisher: First Second Books
Publication Date:  August 15, 2017

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Second grade isn't always a breeze for Birdie. There are just so many opportunities to embarrass herself! But Birdie's got a secret weapon that nobody knows about--her alter-ego, Crafty Cat! Birdie can become Crafty Cat without anyone noticing, and she always manages to get herself out of a jam using her awesome crafting skills! When Birdie goes to a day-camp for crafting, she knows she's going to have a great time and be the best in the group. But when things go wrong, can Crafty Cat help Birdie set them right?

From Just Grace and Fashion Kitty author Charise Mericle Harper comes the next volume in a hilarious, charming, and sweet new graphic novel trilogy for elementary-age readers about a little girl who can craft her way out of any situation.
In this installment of Crafty Cat, we go with Birdie to craft camp held at her school. She is so excited to go but is surprised by some things that have her feeling disappointed and sad about the day.

Birdie must overcome her disappointment, learn to deal with a bully, and figure out how to see things from other people's perspectives during her camp experience. While talking with her friend (a cloud) she learns to be strong and stand up for herself, that it is ok to show emotion but also to talk it out and that she needs to be able to share other interests as well as her love of crafting.

This book, while a graphic novel, was on the longer side. Birdie has a lot of conflicts and I think that for younger readers these might have been better received if they had been broken up a bit. I also think that while Birdie does well in the end that she tends to be a little bossy and annoying at first and not a totally likable character - she is a bit rude sometimes. 

However a lot of this is made up for by the crafts and tutorials at the end of the book - they include supply lists and instructions and I think that parents and kids will really enjoy them. Most of them are paper crafts too so you won't need many things!

Aug 7, 2017

Recent Reads: Perspective in Action by David Chelsea

Source: From Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Perspective in Action: Creative Exercises for Depicting Spatial Representation from the Renaissance to the Digital AgePerspective in Action by David Chelsea
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Publication Date:   June 20, 2017

Format:  Paperback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Using the graphic novel format, Perspective in Action features 33easy-to-follow demonstrations to teach the major discoveries in perspective. Perspective is a fundamental element in the development of art and for understanding spatial relationships, but it is an underserved topic in the world of art instruction. Author and artist David Chelsea takes readers through the major perspective-related developments in history, teaching them how to re-create these same experiments by leading artists in all fields (including drawing, painting, and sculpture). Covering a wide-range of mediums (pen and ink, paint, chalk, digital art, woodwork, and more), Perspective in Action gives readers a more hands-on approach to perspective, as opposed to the usual theoretical presentations found in other books."
It has been a long time since I have been in an art class and I was excited to see this book as an option to review - I have been trying to get back into drawing lately and felt like a  refresher was due. I have always been pretty terrible with perspective if I am not actively using it in drawing and I understand the concept and have even been ok at it in the past after a lesson or two. This book, while it is a wonderful way of presenting the information might just have been past my level of comprehension. I understood a good amount of if but once I was lost, I was long-gone. However the book did make up for my lack of ability with some other fun things.

This art book is not like any I have used in the past, it is in a graphic novel format, so loads of pictures and instructions, it is also a history of sorts as well. The book breaks down a bunch of different ways older artists might have used perspective and the techniques they used to 'cheat the system'. I enjoyed reading about those and then seeing the modern adaptations of them. While I was not able to try any yet, I think they could be very fun to play with when I have the time and materials available.

Overall, this was a very interesting art book, there was a lot of great informative information but perspective is a hard one to fully grasp and sometimes it takes not only a book but a demonstration - art is hands on so that is what I think was missing for me here.

Aug 6, 2017

Building the Book Pile #155

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Oh my gosh... so much going on, I thought summer was a relaxing time... As you are reading this I am probably on my way to Maryland (after being in Virginia for a few days) and we should be back home tomorrow. We are just visiting family but I am excited to be away from work.

Over the week, I continued to clean my house because of the trip and someone staying over to pet-sit for us and we also decided on Sunday to start painting our dining room (great timing, I know), but it is looking SO GOOD. So here is a before of the wonderful floral wallpaper and then after with paint - the whole thing isn't done yet but we are SO excited!


Then on Monday evening... we went and got tattoos... the past year has been a rough on for us and to commemorate getting through it we both went and got adorable memorials. I got Red Fish and the hubby got Blue Fish from Dr. Seuss' One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.  Here is a pic :)

After those two day it was work and prepping to leave so not too much fun.
How was your week?

I can't wait until FALL....Andy and I have been making all sorts of hats for the shop for colder months... going to put them up very soon.

How was your week? Any book recommendations for me?

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: Perspective in Action by David Chelsea (NonFiction)
Early Reader Review: Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis (Crafty Cat #2) by Charise Mericle Harper (MG/ GN)
Early Reader Review: Harley's Little Black Book by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (GN)

No Books Received this Week 


Have you missed anything lately?

Week of July 30  - August 5
Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!