Karin's Book Nook
Review
5 Stars
HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT by Deborah Underwood
Here Comes the Easter Cat - Claudia Rueda, Deborah Underwood

 

When Cat tries to replace the Easter Bunny, he soon learns that the job is much harder than he expected-and does not allow time for naps.

 

Cat doesn't say a word in this book. The reader is the one talking to the cat.  The cat communicates by using body language and holding up signs. It is hysterical! Cat is very unhappy because Easter is coming up and the Easter Bunny gets all the attention. When the reader asks why Cat doesn't just start delivering Easter Eggs he gets very excited.  Cat never thought of that before. But, when he finds out he can't take several naps a day, all his excitement goes out the window.

When Cat is visited by the Easter Bunny though, he gets an idea for a way he can get involved in all the action.

This book screams read aloud!

 

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Review
5 Stars
CURED by Bethany Wiggins - Q & A and GIVEAWAY
Cured - Bethany Wiggins

Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way--until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.

CURED is the sequel to STUNG and it would be best to read it before you jump into this one. Wiggins has created a complex world where the population has been devastated by the chain of events started when the honeybee population collapsed.  A worldwide pandemic followed and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. The cure didn't work. In fact, it had even worse consequences. The vaccinations turn the recipients into ferocious, deadly monsters. STUNG follows Fiona as she tries to find her brother and survive in the dangerous world outside the protection of the walled city.

 

CURED adds a few new characters to the story by introducing Jacqui, a girl who has been masquerading as a boy (Jack) ever since the disaster, and Kevin, a knowledgeable survivor that lends a hand.

 

Jack is determined to find her brother who has never returned from a trip to a rumored safe zone and enlists Fiona and Bowen to help. Along the way they pick up Kevin, who provides shelter and safety from the dangerous bands of raiders who are always on the look out for women, but will take anything else they find, too. Jack immediately feels an attraction to Kevin, but still maintains her "boy" facade, unwilling to completely trust him with her biggest secret.

 

Oh goodness, I loved Kevin! I wanted to live in his underground bunker with him forever. But, it was sooooo hard to trust him.  Wiggins does a wonderful job of putting the reader in Jack's head. Like her, we want so badly to trust, but some things were just "off." The ending is jam packed with emotion and action. I didn't want it to end.

 

 

Q & A with Bethany Wiggins

 

1) If you were stuck in a post-apocalyptic world, which ONE thing would you miss from life before the disaster?

 

Clean, hot running water! I hate camping. Why? The lack of running water. I can't stand not being able to wash my hands after eating sticky s'mores, or not being able to take a shower after a long hike. I would despise life without hot running water.


2) What is the title of the last YA book you read? 

 

ELEVATED by Elana Johnson

 

3) Talk about you writing process. Do you outline or let the story free flow? Do you compose on paper before typing? Do you need quiet to write or do you need music/tv on in the background? Are you a Mac or a PC?

 

I start seeing a story in my head for several weeks or months before I start writing it, and sort of know where the plot is going to go, but I have never ever plotted a book out before I have written it. When it is ready to come out, I go right for the computer (PC), turn on i-tunes, and let the story choose how it wants to come out.

 

4) Do you work in a writing group to edit your draft or do you just work with your editor to fine then the book?

 

Typically I start out alone. I will write the whole book, edit it myself, have my husband and a couple of friends read it, and then my editor gets it.

 

5) Do you already have plans for another book after the STUNG series is finished?

 

Right now there are several ideas swimming around in my head, but none of them have reached the writing point. I'm not getting a lot of sleep lately (thanks to the birth of my fifth child) and lack of sleep seems to be a big factor in my level of creativity. Hopefully soon I will get more sleep and more creative!

 

I am so happy to be able to be a part of the Blog Tour because I absolutely love both STUNG and CURED. I'd like to say thank you to Bethany for answering my questions and I want to tell you, my readers, to go now and get these books. You'll get sucked in to this barbaric world and won't want to leave. 

 

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the drawing for a finished copy of CURED. You have one week to get in as many entries as you can. Giveaway closes on March 12th at 11:59 PM.

 

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review
2 Stars
PRETTY MINNIE IN PARIS by Danielle Steel
Pretty Minnie in Paris - Kristi Valiant, Danielle Steel

 

Inspired by the adorable adventures of bestselling author Danielle Steel's own teacup Chihuahua, Pretty Minnie in Paris is the stylish, ooh la la tale of a fashionable Parisian pup out on the town. Lost backstage during a noisy, crowded fashion show, tiny Minnie is separated from her owner, the girl she loves best. Quel désastre! But chaos turns to couture when Minnie unexpectedly finds herself the star of the runway. With a dreamy Paris backdrop and an atelier full of adorable outfits, Pretty Minnie in Paris is sure to be in vogue as the season's must-have tale for little girls-and Danielle Steel fans of all ages-who love clothing, glamour, glitter, and all things à la mode.

 

Danielle Steel has entered the world of children's book publishing with PRETTY MINNIE IN PARIS. Now, for the people that know me, you know I love my little Chihuahua so I love that Danielle based this story on her own little dog. Unfortunately, my love of Chihuahuas didn't make me enjoy the story very much. The illustrations are cute, but the story itself isn't anything to write home about. There isn't enough to grab the reader and make them care about the characters very much. Basically, it's just blah.

This book will be released on October 28, 2014.

 

 

 

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Review
5 Stars
MARLENE, MARLENE, QUEEN OF MEAN by Jane Lynch

 

Marlene is the self-appointed queen of the playground, the sidewalk, and the school. She is small but mighty…intimidating! Known for her cruel ways, the little Queen of Mean has kids cowering in fear-until big Freddy stands up to her and says what everyone has been too fearful to say. In Seussian rhyme, actress Jane Lynch, clinical psychologist Lara Embry, and former children's book editor A. E. Mikesell gently and comically depict the undoing of a bully and her efforts to reform. Tricia Tusa's charming illustrations make the story an even more accessible conversation starter for all ages.

 

I'm not usually a fan of celebrity-written picture books, but....this one is really great! Jane Lynch does a fantastic job in the rhythm and rhyme of the story. It isn't just simple rhyming couplets. In addition to the wonderful style, the story is also a good one. Of course, we have Marlene is the bully of the class and has everyone afraid of her. Finally, one person stands up and makes the case that the class shouldn't be afraid of her. Once the other students refuse to let themselves be bothered by her, Marlene loses her power and breaks out of her bully routine. Marlene has to become a different person so she chooses to be nice, most of the time.

Most of the time. That is something else I like about this book. Marlene still slips up and has some meanness come out, but she keeps trying and for the most part is doing a good job being nice.

This is definitely one you'll want for your collection and it will pair wonderfully with The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill.

 

 

Preorder NOW. The book comes out September 23, 2014.

 

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Review
5 Stars
ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE by Gail Carriger
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger

 

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

E & E is just flat out a fun, enjoyable read. The absurdity of young girls attending a school to teach them the art of information gathering and killing by using their feminine wiles cracked me up. (Although, spys probably have to learn this stuff, huh?) Oh well.  It was funny anyway. For instance, one night their homework was to do 6 sets of 100 eyelash flutters. HA!

 

Poor Sophronia. She just doesn't have a girly bone in her body. She really had to put a lot of work into her curtsy especially. In addition to not being very feminine, she doesn't come from the wealthiest family and she is a covert recruit - meaning she didn't know the truth behind Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality when she arrived. 

 

Even though she was thrust into a new world of deception, vampires, werewolves, and danger, Sophronia handled it all like a lady. I can't wait to see what happens in her second year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

 

 

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Review
4 Stars
F THIS TEST by Richard Benson
F this Test: Even More of the Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers - Richard Benson

From the same hilarious wellspring of failure as the bestselling F in Exams and F for Effort comes this all-new collection of inventively wrong—yet totally real—test responses by students who don't know the answer, but come up with something better instead. Featuring crucial academic subjects including English (Q: Name a key theme in Madame Bovary; A: Cows), Geography (Q: Where can you find the Andes?; A: Google Earth), Science (Q: Describe the properties of a meteor; A: An animal that only eats meat) and more, F this Test rounds out the curriculum with an extra-credit section for those tricky elective courses, and demonstrates that it's more fun to laugh when faced with an absolute fail.

Perfect book for the reluctant reader. This is one you can pick up and skip around until you find something you think is particularly funny - some of the answers are funnier than others, of course. Basically, this is the perfect bathroom book. One you can read in short bursts of time.

F this Test includes silly test answers in the following categories: English, Science, Psychology and Sociology, Performing Arts, History, Math and Economics, Geography, and Extra Credit. Some of the answers are really clever! A few had me laughing out loud.

If you like this one, be sure to find the other two, F in Exams, and F is for Effort.

 

Here are a couple of my favs.

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February Book Total
February Book Total
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Well, here are the books I read in February. The most recent one is listed at the top. My first one of the month was PLUS ONE. My book count is no where near Teri Lesesne's, but it is better than January's count. I'm trying to work in more picture books so I can reach my goal of 300 books this year. But, sometimes my YA novels take a while to get through. For instance, DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS by Laini Taylor is almost 600 pages. I've been reading it for almost a week I think. I get sleepy at night when I read.

 

What are some of the books you've read this month? Any favorites? For me, I would have to say that GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by Alexander Smith is at the top of my list for this month. As for the picture books I'd say BUGS IN MY HAIR, WEASELS, OUTFOXED, and HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT (review coming soon) were my favs. 

 

Review
5 Stars
THE GREAT TROUBLE: by Deborah Hopkinson
The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel - Deborah Hopkinson

 

Eel has troubles of his own: As an orphan and a "mudlark," he spends his days in the filthy River Thames, searching for bits of things to sell. He's being hunted by Fisheye Bill Tyler, and a nastier man never walked the streets of London. And he's got a secret that costs him four precious shillings a week to keep safe. 

But even for Eel, things aren't so bad until that fateful August day in 1854—the day the Great Trouble begins. Mr. Griggs, the tailor, is the first to get sick, and soon it's clear that the deadly cholera—the "blue death"—has come to Broad Street. 

Everyone believes that cholera is spread through poisonous air. But one man, Dr. John Snow, has a different theory. As the epidemic surges, it's up to Eel and his best friend Florrie to gather evidence to prove Snow's theory before the entire neighborhood is wiped out.

Part medical mystery, part survival story, and part Dickensian adventure, Deborah Hopkinson's The Great Trouble is a celebration of a fascinating pioneer in public health and a gripping novel about the 1854 London cholera epidemic.

 

I am not usually a big reader of historical fiction, but I am so glad that I decided to listen to this one. Eel is a fantastic main character - a sweet young man working as hard as he can to take care of a younger brother and make a better life for himself. The problem? Not everyone is as honest as Eel. When Eel is accused of theft, he is forced to leave his steady job. Amazingly, one of the worst disasters in London gives Eel the best opportunity of his life.

 

When Cholera strikes the Soho district the people are under the common assumption that the miasma was the cause - meaning that the filthy air they breathed was the cause of the sickness. 

 

Take a look at this poster and some of the warnings it gives the people of London.

Eel watches the people around him fall ill and die. He finds himself working as the assistant to Dr. John Snow, a doctor who doesn't believe in the Miasma theory. Instead he believes the cholera is being spread by drinking contaminated water from the Broadstreet Pump.

 

This is the Broadstreet Pump with the handle broken off. In the background is a pub called The John Snow.

The town council doesn't believe Dr. Snow's theory and want proof before they will agree to take the handle off of the pump. They give Dr. Snow only a few days to gather the information he needs to prove the water is causing the deaths. Eel is a great help. He knows the people in the community and is trusted more than Dr. Snow.

 

This is a portion of Dr. Snow's original map. You can see the Pump labeled in the middle. Each black bar represents a death. See this linked article below the red box for some interesting information about this event. It turns out the pump was in the wrong location in this original map. Also, Dr. Snow's time in Soho was short because of other research he was doing. Rev. Whitehead is the one that discovered the actual cause of the outbreak.

 http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matnat/ifi/INF5761/v12/undervisningsmateriale/map_making_myth_making.pdf

 

Deborah Hopkinson has taken actual events from this terrible time in history and created a very interesting teen and tween novel. I feel like I learned so much while listening to this book.

 

Review
5 Stars
ERIC CARLE: THE FOOLISH TORTOISE by Richard Buckley - REVIEW
The Foolish Tortoise (The World of Eric Carle) - Richard Buckley

 

This 1985 book is being released as a lap-size board book. THE FOOLISH TORTOISE follows a unhappy tortoise as he makes his decision to take off his shell so he can be faster. He longs to run like the horses and dogs that he sees, but once he gets out and about without his shell, he realizes how dangerous the world can be. He sees snakes and birds that will be able to eat him.  The sun makes him hot and the rain makes him wet.  Finally, after the wind makes him cold, he decides that he is ready to go home and get inside his shell.

 

As with THE GREEDY PYTHON from a couple of days ago, Richard Buckley's rhyming couplets are a delight to read. Both books would be fun read alouds.

 

Review
1 Stars
PETE THE CAT: OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM by James Dean
Pete the Cat: Old MacDonald Had a Farm - James Dean

Very disappointing. Not only is it just the Old MacDonald song with Pete the Cat, it seems like it goes on forever with animals that don't normally appear in the song. It would be fine for the little ones, but really, I don't think they need pictures to prompt them with this song.

 

 

Reblogged
On Writing: Pics, Quotes and Tips

When it's not about reading, it's about writing. Discover author's know-how in pics, quotes and tips. Click image or link below to go to blog post.

 

 

On writing process:

About writing

 via Crickhollow Books - Reading Ideas from an Indie Perspective

 

 

I am writing

via Derrolyn Anderson

 

 

WritingWriter's woes - oh, yeah via Olga Godim

 

 

 

on writing

A little while back on BookLikes, I promised to do something of a series of posts on my writing process and methods which I use to influence/enhance that process as I move along.  This series is going to be equal parts reflection on my part and instruction, but I'll try to break it up into digestible sections so if there's a section you guys want to skip to or is more relevant to you, you can do so.  But if you read it in any capacity, I salute you. - via Rose's Jumping Into Writing #1: Putting the Pen to the Page

 

 

Writing tips:

 

writing tips

#1 Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils. Read Margaret Atwood’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction via A Libra's Libros 

 

 

Writing tip

via HUNGER FOR KNOWLEDGE

 

 

Guidelines for writers

Guidelines for writers via POCKET FULL OF MERMAIDS

 

 

WritingOn Writing via Derrolyn Anderson

 

 

 

Writer's fears:

 

Book adaptationBook to Screen via Themis-Athena's Garden of Books

 

 

Writer's life

Short Story via Dilettante

 

 

writer needs to write

Non-writing writer via Dilettante

 

 

 

On writer's life:

 

I am a writer

 via Bookloving writer

 

 

Relationship with a writer

 How to survive relationship with a writer via Bookloving author and publisher

 

 

Writer

 via HUNGER FOR KNOWLEDGE

 

 

read and writegood advice via Derrolyn Anderson

 

 

Am writing

via Rayne Hall, Fantasy and Horror Author

Reblogged from BookLikes
Review
5 Stars
WEASELS by Elys Dolan
Weasels - Elys Dolan

 

Absolutely hysterical!

 

Weasels are planning to take over the world. Don't fall for their cute little act.

 

They may seem harmless, but behind that cute little face the gears are always turning. WEASELS takes you inside the weasel lair so you can see their organization for yourself. With a lot of coffee and a lot of big machines, the weasels are set to let loose their plan on the world. But, will they be able to succeed after they suffer a major machine failure?

 

Cartoons fill each and every page spread and an observant eye will be able to solve the mystery of the computer malfunction before the other weasels figure it out. There are many laugh out loud funny moments in this short little book.

 

 

 

Review
5 Stars
PETE THE CAT AND HIS MAGIC SUNGLASSES by Kimberly and James Dean - REVIEW
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses - James Dean

 

For some reason Pete the Cat isn't feeling very happy. He's never been grumpy before so he doesn't know what to do. When Grumpy Toad drives up on his motorcycle, Pete is afraid things are only going to get worse. But, to his surprise, Grumpy Toad offers Pete some COOL, BLUE, MAGIC sunglasses and wouldn't you know, all of a sudden everything is great. "The birds are singing. The sky is bright. The sun is shining. I'm feeling alright."

 

Pete feels awesome and begins to ride his skateboard.  He comes across many other animals that aren't in very good moods. Pete always stops to help and when the animals put on the COOL, BLUE, MAGIC sunglasses things get better for them, too. But, disaster strikes when Pete falls off of his skateboard and breaks the COOL, BLUE, MAGIC sunglasses. How in the world will he ever be happy again? Thankfully, the Wise Old Owl is around to set him straight.  Pete doesn't need the glasses.  He just needs to remember to look for the good in every day. The advice does the trick and Pete the Cat is happy again.

 

This is another great Pete the Cat book. One to definitely add to your collection.

 

Review
5 Stars
OUTFOXED by Mike Twohy - REVIEW
Outfoxed - Mike Twohy

 

Hysterical!!!  I love the writing style in this book. For example,

 

"A dark night. Fox breaks into a hen house. He reaches in.  He grabs a chicken!!!"

 

The short, stilted sentences add to the humor of this story. Poor Fox, he goes through so much just for a chicken dinner - only to find that he mistakenly grabbed a duck instead of a chicken. Oh well, whatcha gonna do? Duck will have to do. But, Duck has other ideas. He says, "You are mistaken, sir. I am NOT a duck! I am a dog!" Duck proceeds to try and convince Fox of his doggie-ness. He pees on the carpet, chews holes in Fox's clothes, and wakes Fox up with wet kisses. Well, Fox has to take Duck back to the farm because Foxes don't eat dogs and they don't keep pets. Fox is lonely when he gets back home though. He thinks about all the things he'll miss about Duck. Then, he sees something that Duck left behind - an egg!

 

This book is adorable!

 

Review
5 Stars
UNBREAKABLE by Kami Garcia
Unbreakable - Kami Garcia

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

 

Coming home from a night out with your best friend and finding your mother dead is bad enough, but to then find out that, apparently, you have to take her place in a secret organization dedicated to fight and destroy demons is even worse. Especially since she didn't know anything about it. Being saved by sexy Lukas and Jared and whisked away to the Legion's lair leaves Kennedy's head spinning. At first she thinks the others are crazy, but after witnessing the spirits for herself she begins to feel like she belongs.

 

Let me tell ya! This is a creepy book. Also, it proved to me that my dislike for cats is totally valid.

The ghosts get creepier and creepier as the story progresses, ending with a frightening confrontation with many angry spirits that reside in an abandoned prison. Kennedy uses her special ability of a photographic memory to get them out of trouble, but even though they think they are doing the right thing, they might be making things worse. 

 

I can't wait for the sequel, UNMARKED, which comes out October 7, 2014.

 

 

 

Review
5 Stars
ERIC CARLE: THE GREEDY PYTHON by Richard Buckley - Review
The Greedy Python: Lap Edition - Richard Buckley, Eric Carle

 

This 1985 book is being released as a lap-size board book. The Greedy Python follows a very hungry python as he eats his way through a wide range of animals.  He starts with a little mouse and goes all the way up to a huge elephant. But, when all the animals get together in his stomach they team up and kick until the python spits them back up. Unfortunately, the python doesn't learn his lesson.  He heads straight for his next victim and beings to eat - too bad it's the end of his tail he sees.

 

Buckley's rhyming couplets are an ease to read. Little ones will love to read along with you.

 

Dr. Karin Perry is an Assistant Professor of Library Science at Sam Houston State University. She loves reading YA and Children's Literature. Follow her reading on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/kperry.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Karin has read 26 books toward her goal of 300 books.
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