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Sunday, May 24, 2015

I Could Chew on This

"And Other Poems by Dogs"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
About - Dogs release their voices in this collection of poems that describe their joy, sorrow, and fears as they see them. Humor fills the pages as the dogs recount being left alone, running free, and playing games. See the world through your dogs eyes and appreciate them new.

Author - Francesco Marciuliano

Publisher - Chronicle Books

Personal Opinion - This collection of poems from a dog's point of view on various topics is charming and, at times, laugh out loud funny. They really get at the heart of the dog's brain and thought processes. Some of the funniness also comes from the dog not fully comprehending what is going on in the poem while the reader does. Even those who are not fond of poems could find these enjoyable. The only thing I did not like about these poems were to ones concerning sex. People who love dogs will be able to identify and enjoy these poems.  

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cover Reveal - A Wish Made of Glass by Ashlee Willis

Hey Bookworms,

Today, Ashlee Willis, author of The Word Changers (which is a fantasy and sounds really good so have to get it), is releasing the cover of her newest novella A Wish Made of Glass. Here is her bio: Ashlee Willis is the author of fantasy for young adults. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband and young son. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading and being a stay-at-home mom, she also finds time to enjoy forest rambles, photography, and playing the piano.

Below is the summary.


Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.
The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.
Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.




Beautiful, right? This sounds like a fun story and has a perfect cover. I will have to get this book when it becomes available which will be some time this summer! If you want to learn more about the book and author, take a look at these links.

Goodreads

 
While your here, please leave a note for the author in the comments on her upcoming novella.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dreamworks Dragons: Riders of Berk; Volumes 1-4


Bookworm's Ranking - 3.5 - 4 Worms
Storyline - Hiccup and his friends are defending Berk, fighting dragons, and meeting new enemies in this comic book series based off the TV show, Riders of Berk. In the series, we meet old and new enemies as the dragons and Vikings get in trouble a well as the heroes using their ingenuity to conquer their antagonists. Ride along with the dragons and riders as the work together and learn new lessons on their crazy adventures.

Publisher - Titan Comics

Age Group - 13 and up
 
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Hiccup tries to be a good leader but also disobeys his father from time to time. He is determined to protect his dragon and friends. Jealousy also comes into play. All the gang tries to work together and protect their home and dragons.

Personal Opinion - This series is fun and charming but I found some of the stories missing something. These stories are not recreations of the episodes on TV but their own adventures to add to the show which makes them new. That artwork was colorful and bright, bringing the story to life. The new enemies were interesting and challenging, requiring the dragon riders to use their famous ingenuity to win. Yet, something seemed to be missing from the books. For some, it might have been a sense of immediacy with the danger and the stories went fast. One of the comic's art was a bit strange but, I like this series and can't wait to see the rest of the stories.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

Hey Bookworms,

For Mother's Day, the review has been postponed until tomorrow. Have a great day and feel free to use the search engine above if you want to find a good book for Mom (or are planning to take her shopping and want some ideas).

Remember to chew on a good book today.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Very Good Lives

"The Fringe Benefits of Failure and
the Importance of Imagination"
 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms
 
About - In 2008, J. K. Rowling gave the commencement speech to Harvard graduates which is now reprinted in this book. In it, she tells them the importance of failing (and that they will) and how that can help you. With personal stories, she encourages them to face that failer as they also find success. Imagination will also see each person through those difficult times as they struggle to find their path. With accompanying art, the message of the speech comes alive on the page to pass along her advice to a whole new audience.

Author - J. K. Rowling

Publisher - Little, Brown and Company

Age Group - 15 and up

Personal Opinion - This book reproduces J. K. Rowling's Harvard commencement speech in book form with all her advice, personal lessons learned, and words along with pictures to deepen the message. I liked the advice she gave and the pictures just added to the thoughts presented in the speech. Each page had a small section of the speech and, while it was written in order, the book reminded me of a table top book that you can pick up and just read a page from. I think the only thing that got to me about the book was how much it cost for it being so short and only having one of her speeches. I guess I wish it was longer. But, this book would make a nice graduation gift for high school or college students but can also be enjoyed by who ever picks it up.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Other Reviews for this Author - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Looking Glass Wars - Book 1

(Picture from Goodreads)
 
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms
 
Storyline - Alyss is the princess of Wonderland until her family is destroyed by her own aunt, Redd, and she escapes into our world. Yet, no one believes her story. Then Alyss meets the one man who seemed to consider it true and then retells her tale incorrect, not even getting her name right. It seems the only way to survive is to forget. But Wonderland is deteriorating under Redd's control and the rebellious force is struggling to survive. When Alyss is finally found, will she have the strength to take back her throne after years of suppressing the memories?

Author - Frank Beddor

Publisher - Scholastic

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Lots of killing and blood spurting. Some characters search for revenge for what Redd has done. Alyss is determined to remember her true home but has trouble believing when everyone doubts her in our world. The characters are determined to save Wonderland and bring back White Imagination; staying faithful to their cause when things get tough.

Personal Opinion - While this book has an interesting take on the Alice in Wonderland story, I'm afraid I found it long and slow. Alyss's story is fun and the changes were creative from the story we know and the story that is presented here. The story is also heartfelt and makes one think what is right and wrong as it presents the White and Black Imagination that becomes a center of the struggle. Yet, I found the author spent a bit of time and description that wasn't needed and then on instances where I would have liked to see the events happen they were summarized. This made it long. The reader too was irritating sometimes so I can't tell if my dislike for the story was because it was read to me or the story itself. Anyone who really likes the original tale might enjoy this book the most.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Breadcrumbs

"Once Upon a Time"
 
 
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms
 
Storyline - Through her imagination and her best friend Jack who she has lived next door to most her life, Hazel survives the demands of school, the dislike of her peers, and her mother's pleas to grow up. But when Jack is suddenly no longer her friend, ignoring and insulting her, her world begins to fall apart. When Jack disappears, should she believe the reasonable answers given to her and remain in the real world or believe in a magical winter witch who took him to an enchanted world that is more dangerous than what she has read in her books?

Author - Anne Ursu

Publisher - Waldon Pond Press; an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

Age Group - 13 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* A creepy woman cuts Hazel's cheek. Hazel throws a pencil case at someone. Parental figures have no idea what is going on. Hazel makes sacrifices to help others even when it might hurt her. She loves her mom and wants to please her. She stands by her best friend even when he has turned his back on her. Hazel doesn't give up even when the journey becomes difficult.

Personal Opinion - Breadcrumbs retells the fairy tale The Snow Queen while mixing real life with fantasy and the struggles of growing up. Being let into Hazel's life, her family struggles, the loss of a friend, and being expected to grow up, was done perfectly and beautifully to reveal the change that overcomes someone when it seems they are leaving a part of themselves behind. Mixing the fairy tale elements to mirror this struggle, made it that much more insightful. The determination of standing by her friend when he was in trouble and facing the difficult journey is a positive one for others to learn to keep going and learn and discover what they should do even when things go wrong. While Hazel wasn't perfect, she tried to do the right thing and do what she thought was she should, even if it meant stop being herself. One thing that was interesting was, in the real world, she turned to fantasy to thrive; but, in the enchanted world, she turned to the real world to strengthen herself.

The ending was a bit confusing. I couldn't tell if she found a boundary between being her imaginative self and living in reality or if one won out over the other. Besides that, there were a few things I personally felt uncomfortable with. Some of the people Hazel meets on her journey are just creepy and she wasn't always respectful of authority figures but it is hard to be respectful when someone wants you to fit into a mold. While this novel is mostly based off The Snow Queen fairy tale, a couple other Hans Christian Anderson tales where also mixed in. This was interesting but almost had too much happening, especially when so much already happens in the main fairy tale. The last thing that made me uncomfortable, and this is purely personal, was the reference to The Golden Compass only because I have an issue with that book.

All and all, this story beautifully wove reality and fantasy together to reveal the struggles of growing up and being yourself as well as helping your friends and making sacrifices.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Awards - Publishers Weekly Best Book
               School Library Journal Best Book
              Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
              Chicago Public Library Best of the Best
              NPR Backseat Book Club Selection
             
To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Fish