Karin's Book Nook
Make Me Read It! Readathon


While I was catching up on my Twitter feed today I saw the word READATHON and had to see what it was about. I love challenging myself to read a certain number of books or pages or types, etc. Anyway, this one has a fun feature that I haven't seen before - community interaction. In addition to connecting readers, this readathon also encourages people to read the books that have been on their TBR piles for a long time.


You can read about the readathon on Val's post here. You'll also register your participation on this post as well. If you decide to participate, you have about a month to get your books figured out and your poll created so people can start voting.


Basically, you get to decide what I'll read during the readathon week - July 9th to the 16th. I need you to vote on the books you think I should read during the week. The books that receive the most votes will be the ones I'll read. The one with the most votes will be the first book I'll read. The book in second place will be the second book and so on and so forth until the week ends. I plan to read at least 3 books during the week.


You can vote for up to 3 books, but if you really want me to read it you can come back every day and vote for another three. So let’s see how this goes shall we? I can't wait to see what you want me to read.


Survey Maker

Make Me Read It!
ILLUMINAE by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys
NIL UNLOCKED by Lynne Matson
ZERO DAY by Jan Sangsei


KarinLibrarian's Top 15 of 2015 - Children's Edition

I didn't read as many children's books as the others so I didn't have a ton to choose from, but nevertheless, here are my favorites from 2015. 


KarinLibrarian's Top 15 of 2015 - YA Edition

Here are my favs of the year.


KarinLibrarian's Top 15 of 2015 - Non-YA Edition

As you'll be able to see, I cheated when I created this list. I combined authors/series for some of my top spots. I couldn't help it. 

5 Stars
Wicked Restless (Harper Boys Book 2) - Ginger Scott


Another winner for Ginger Scott.

WICKED RESTLESS features Owen Harper's brother(Wild Reckless) Andrew. While it isn't necessary to read WILD RECKLESS first, it will add to the overall story - making it a richer experience.

Andrew was kind of sheltered from the Harper family drama when he grew up. He was too young when his father died (under total tragic and gossip-worthy circumstances) and when his oldest brother died, his other brother, Owen, was mostly involved. While he does feel the stigma of the "Troublemaker Harper Boys," it isn't something that has plagued him.

Andrew is SUPER smart. He has been enrolled in a special program for highly gifted students for years. BUT, he is lacking one class to graduate that he can't get through Excel - a P.E. credit. So, Andrew is forced to attend P.E. at the local high school. It's there that he meets Emma and is completely blown away. It is love at first sight for him and he'll do anything to spend some time with her. Eventually, they go out and the connection they feel is amazing and mutual. Andrew is happy and sees nothing but blue skies ahead as long as Emma is in his life. BUT, tragedy strikes, tearing apart both Andrew's and Emma's worlds.

In order to save Emma from the consequences of a terrible accident, Andrew takes the blame. He never expected his punishment to be so severe though. He is sent to a juvenile detention facility and the only thing that keeps him going is his thoughts and memories of Emma. He writes her all the time telling her about his experiences there and how desperate he is to hear from her, but Emma never writes back. Eventually, Andrew is left bitter and betrayed and his love for Emma turns to hate.

Fast forward several years. Andrew is in college and attempting to make a life for himself. He has anger issues that he resolves by fighting in illegal boxing matches. Not only does the violence and pain ground him, he makes a lot of money which allows him to attend college and afford daily expenses.

Andrew isn't a great guy - meaning he uses women. He and his roommate have this thing where they bet each other whether or not they can pick up certain girls or not. The night Andrew's life changes is the night he is dared to pick out a girl to make his target. He has a system. He walks by a bar table and looks for a driver's license or university ID sticking out to pick up. Later he approaches the girl to return it and then makes his move. This particular night the ID he steals belongs to none other than Emma! He is angry that she is there acting like she is having the time of her life when he suffered so much for her in the past. He soon devices a plan for revenge. Instead of targeting Emma he decides to hit on her best friend/roommate and torture her with his presence. The problem is, the time he spends with the best friend only makes him want Emma all over again.

Will he be able to put his anger aside and forgive Emma? Will they be able to build a relationship again? Can they even be friends? Why did Emma not respond to him all those years ago?

Ginger Scott writes so that your heart breaks for Andrew. You feel his anger and sadness. You feel the betrayal. You sympathize with all he had to go through to protect Emma. You root for them to get together and pick up where they left off in high school.

If you like edgy, dark, young adult/new adult romance you'll definitely want to put this one on your tbr.


Here is my sketchnote for the book.


Wicked Restless sketchnote



5 Stars
Dreams of Freedom: In Words and Pictures - in association with Amnesty International UK - Amnesty International, Various


Put together by Amnesty International, DREAMS OF FREEDOM is a picture book filled with beautiful quotes from some of our biggest champions of freedom today and from history.  Quotes from Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, and the Dalai Lama are illustrated by artists like Chris Riddell, Peter Sis, and Mordicai Gerstein. 


The final pages of the book include thumbnails of all the illustrated quotes along with biographies of both the freedom champion as well as the artist. 


The beautiful cover is was created by the adorable Oliver Jeffers.



Surviving in a World Without Books - BLOOD, INK, & FIRE by Ashley Mansour

In a world without books, the power of a story has never been greater...

In the future, reading is rare and forbidden. Books have been eliminated by the controlling power known as Fell. The printed past has been forgotten.

But The Nine of the Rising made plans.
Plans to help future generations remember.

On the night before her seventeenth birthday, Noelle Hartley’s secret penchant for words leads her to a mysterious volume linked to an underworld of rebel book lovers known as The Nine of the Rising. With the help of the Risers, Noelle realizes that the words are precious clues to the earlier time, and as a child of their bookless age, she might be the very last reader.

In Blood, Ink & Fire there are Nine Sovereigns, each with its own strategy for survival in a world controlled by Fell.


In Fair Verona they chose prudence.

In Ardenia they chose peace.

In Fault’s End they chose retribution.

In Fort Numb they chose pleasure.

In Killem they chose violence.

In Pedanta they chose knowledge.

In Stoneleigh they chose stoicism.

In Mount Memoria they chose to remember.


Which Sovereign would you choose to live in?


Me? My first instinct is to choose Fort Numb. Who wouldn't like to live in a world of pleasure? While others survive using violence, revenge, and knowledge, I'd be experiencing great feelings. However, being called Fort Numb does that imply that the people living there are numb to everything around them? Do they even know what is going on out in the world or are they only thinking of their pleasure? 


I can't wait for BLOOD, INK & FIRE to be released. I'm anxious to dive into this dark and dangerous world.

5 Stars
IF YOU PLANT A SEED by Kadir Nelson
If You Plant a Seed - Kadir Nelson, Kadir Nelson

Gorgeous illustrations as always from Kadir Nelson, but in addition to that, IF YOU PLANT A SEED has a wonderful message about sharing. There is one illustration of their birds looking at the mouse and rabbit that I love!! You can totally read their expression saying, "Hey, can we have some of that?" Definitely one to purchase. 


Cuddlebuggery’s The Last List Blog Hop

As some of you might know, Egmont USA has close its doors.  This has left their MG and YA authors in a bad situation.  Please consider helping all the Egmont authors promote their books and signed up for the Cuddlebuggery Last List Blog Hop.



4 Stars
DIRTY RAT? by Darrin P Lunde

Ever since I read Rats!: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 

I've loved nonfiction books about rats. This one is good because it has the more narrative text on one side and the scientific facts on the other. It gives facts about several types of rats. By the end of the book you'll almost feel sorry for rats. Most die before their first birthday. They live their whole lives being hated and feared. 3-yrs-old is just about as old as they get. Poor little rats.

5 Stars

Like most little boys, CJ is curious about many thing.  He wonders why he and his nana have to ride the bus instead of owning a car, he wonders why the man on the bus is blind, he wonders why the neighborhood is so dirty, but most of all, CJ wonders why they have to go to the soup kitchen to help every week after church. With great patience, nana answers every question. Her answers make CJ look at the world around him and see things differently. By the time they reach the LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, CJ is happy they made the trip.

This is the kind of story that gives you a warm feeling inside. You can feel the love between CJ and nana on every page. This is a great look at the importance of public transportation and volunteering.



Reblogged Video

Pretty funny!

Reblogged from Dawid Piaskowski
My Top 14 YA Books of 2014
My Top 14 YA Books of 2014


Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa. To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He's stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it's up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.

I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.


Would you try to change the world if you thought it had no future? Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities — but not for Glory, who has no plan for what's next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way... until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying. A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.


How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity. Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race. Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

CHAOS by Sarah Fine

With Juri in control and everything in absolute chaos, Lela plunges into the depths of hell to free Malachi from creatures that have waited decades to exact their revenge. But the Judge has her own way of doing things, and Lela must work with Ana, the new Captain, who has a very personal mission of her own. Together, they infiltrate the most horrifying realm either has yet encountered in the Shadowlands—the bitter landscape ruled by the Mazikin. The stakes could not be higher, and Lela must accept the help—and love—of people she barely knows or trusts. As alliances and loyalties shift and she realizes the soul she came to save isn’t the only one in need of rescue, can Lela summon the strength to see the fight through to the very end?


Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for. Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does… As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

CURED by 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.


Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.


She could save the world—or destroy it. Sixteen-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux. But she can't do either alone. With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can't totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him? Who can Evie trust? As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side.

PURE, FUSE, and BURN by Julianna Baggott

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . . Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run. Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . . There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her. When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.


It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School. Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

LAILAH by Nikki Kelly

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel. On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel. In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom? Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

What are some of your favorites from 2014?

5 Stars
DRAW! by Raul Colon
Draw! - Raúl Colón

 This is a great book about losing yourself in your imagination. A friend mentioned to me that this is a great companion or read-alike for WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Both stories start in the bedroom and end in the bedroom.  In between, the reader gets lost in an amazing adventure. DRAW! is set in Africa and follows a young artist as he draws his way across the country while he draws the beautiful animals that live there. The Colon's illustrations are gorgeous - the use of texture, superb. This is definitely a book to add to your collection.




5 Stars
Flora and the Penguin - Molly Idle

Amazing story telling in the wordless picture book. This one is even better that FLORA AND THE FLAMINGO. Librarians - don't let the flaps in the book stop you from putting this in your collection. This is a story your students need to enjoy. For older students, the amazing illustrations will give them so much to work with when writing their own narrative to the adorable interaction between FLORA AND THE PENGUIN.



0 Stars
THE FLAT RABBIT by Barour Oskarsson
The Flat Rabbit - Barour Oskarsson

This isn't the typical children's book. It deals with death in a dark and humorous way. Rat and Dog find their neighbor, Rabbit, dead on the street - flat as a pancake. They spend some time thinking about the best thing to do with Rabbit since they know they don't want to leave him on the street. Finally, with a decision made, Dog and Rat come up with a great way to take care of their friend.

This isn't a book for the young ones. They definitely won't get the humor.





P.S. THE FLAT RABBIT really brings to mind another darkly humorous animal tale.


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.

Gods and Monsters banner gif photo Godsandmonstersbanner.gif