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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Jenn Bertman
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Stacy, Have you read Conrad Wesselhoeft? His latest is DIRT BIKES, DRONES, AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY. Matt de la Pena? Chris Crutcher and Walter Dean Myers? Ned Vizzini? I've also heard good things about ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE. KING DORK by Frank Portman.
#781 - April 18, 2014, 02:32 PM
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 02:37 PM by J-Bert »
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
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I am now reading FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE! by Tim Federle. It's a really funny MG book about a kid from a small town who's moved to New York to understudy a major role in his first ever broadway show. (It's the sequel to BETTER NATE THAN EVER.) Sooo fun for anyone who likes books with theater-obsessed main characters!
#782 - April 19, 2014, 09:50 AM
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 10:24 AM by Lwrites »

Reading Paper Towns right now - so good! :)
#783 - April 20, 2014, 12:12 AM
Robin

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I've read a bunch of alternate world books lately, which has been fun:

TANDEM, by Anna Jarzab. Two parallel worlds, one ours, one an alternate version of North America. The princess has disappeared (been taken by terrorists) and they're trying to hide that fact. So a guy gets sent to our world to bring her analog back to play the princess, just for a week until things settle down with a neighboring enemy nation. So, scifi thriller intrigue.

THROUGH TO YOU, Emily Hainsworth. Cam's girlfriend Nina was killed in an accident, and Cam's a mess without her. But then he finds a way through to an alternate world at the site of the accident--and in that world, Viv is alive. But things aren't *exactly* as they seem, as a girl named Nina, a friend of that world Cam but unknown to him in our world, is trying to tell him.

CRACKS IN THE KINGDOM, Jaclyn Moriarty (sequel to A CORNER OF WHITE). Probably my favorite of the group, but very strange. The first book is sort of slow at the beginning, and then suddenly you realize you're hooked. And the second book keeps on in the same strange but captivating way. In this one, there's the Kingdom of Cello, where a well liked farm boy named Elliot Baranski lives, and there's the World, where Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England. Both have missing fathers (his to terrorists, hers to alcoholism). They find a crack between the worlds accidentally and start exchanging letters. So there's a large epistolary element to it. But then (hm, how to not spoil book 1??) Elliot needs Madeleine's help to find some people lost in the World who belong in Cello. If you are tired of dystopia or just want to cleanse the palate for a few hundred pages, this is a good antidote--it's sort of the exact opposite, while still having some scifi elements.

And then these two that aren't parallel world books, but are still scifi:

AVALON, Mindee Arnett. Bermuda triangles in space. Rogue scientists. Government conspiracies. And fast space ships. Fun. :)

TESLA'S ATTIC, Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman. I have a low tolerance level for overly! quirky! middle grade! Love fantasy, but it's definitely possible to over-quirk your characters in any genre. So I really liked this one because it has just enough quirk and doesn't go overboard. Nick and his family move into their great aunt's house and the attic is full of junk--so they have a garage sale and get rid of it all. Only...it's not actually junk. It all DOES stuff--cool, strange stuff--and it turns out it was invented by Nikola Tesla himself. But bad guys--the Accelerati--are after it all, and Nick and his friends have to outwit them.
#784 - April 24, 2014, 07:50 AM

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I just finished BUD, NOT BUDDY by Christopher Paul Curtis. I loved it. So well-written.

I started A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd last night. I've heard such great things about it, and I really like the voice so far.
#785 - April 29, 2014, 08:40 AM

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Olmue, I also have a bad reaction to overly whimsical, quirky MG. I do like Neil Shusterman and crazy inventions though.

Right now, I'm reading ROOFTOPPERS by Katherine Rundell, gorgeous voice and writing. After being rescued from a shipwreck as an infant floating in a cello case, a 12-year-old and her distracted, scholarly guardian flee to indeterminate historical Paris looking for her mother. I know MysteryRobin is a fan too.
#786 - April 29, 2014, 09:22 AM
Kell Andrews
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THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, October 2, 2018
MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE, Sterling, 2016

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I liked Rooftoppers, too! And I just started A Snicker of Magic. I stayed up last night to finish Cynthia Lord's latest book, Half a Chance, which I enjoyed. And I'm impatiently waiting on my daughter's book order to come in so I can finish Jennifer Nielsen's False Prince series, plus an Amazon order (hey, I had to buy some replacement razor parts for my son! And of course I had to fill in the order to get free shipping with SOMETHING...) that includes Jennifer Duddy Gill's The Secret of Ferrell Savage, which I have a feeling might make for a fun read aloud.

(I blame the book habit on a genetic disorder, by the way. Photos of my great grandfather circa 1900 show the whole house overtaken by books, and supposedly he bought books like other people do alcohol when given a little extra money.)
#787 - April 29, 2014, 09:32 AM

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Oh, I also liked ROOFTOPPERS! It was the star of the children's sections of all the bookstores in England and Scotland (where we drove all the way from Paris for Easter vacation) (driving so we could take our Border Collie to see her ancestral home) ( :) ), and it had an Eiffel Tower on the cover, so really, how could I resist?


In a benevolent version of the universe, ROOFTOPPERS would make everybody want to read more more more books set in a slightly fantastical Paris! Perhaps I should have put CABINET OF EARTHS/BOX OF GARGOYLES bookmarks in all those lovely ROOFTOPPERS. -- but my guerrilla actions always remain imaginary.


I left my e-reader in England, very unfortunately, so I'm scouring the apartment for books to read while I walk the dog. Now rereading Sherlock Holmes with great pleasure. I think that explains my long-winded syntax today. Sorry!!
#788 - April 30, 2014, 04:04 AM
THE CABINET OF EARTHS -- HarperCollins, 2012
A BOX OF GARGOYLES -- HC, 2013
THE WRINKLED CROWN -- HC, 2015
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Just finished The Secret of Ferrell Savage by our own J. Duddy Gill. Loved it! A great read for a MG girl or boy.
#789 - May 01, 2014, 03:38 PM

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I just got (and read) Ferrell Savage today, too. Can't wait to read it aloud to my kids. They'll love it. :)

I also read volume 3 of The Dreamer, by Lora Innes. Love that comic. (Modern girl in Boston falls asleep and dreams she's in the Revolutionary War...or is it only a dream?) Meticulous research and a fun premise, plus I'm always blown away by the pretty artwork. One of those people where you sigh and admire and wish you were half as good at visual storytelling as she is.

Earlier I reread Bird by Bird, which I enjoyed even more than the first time I read it. Sometimes it's nice to hear someone else describe the frustrations of writing and know you're not alone. (Especially since she's so FUNNY when she describes it!)
#790 - May 01, 2014, 05:31 PM

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I've been reading like crazy this week! I just read BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE for the first time. What a great book! And I just reread JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH because I couldn't quite remember how it went. I fell in love with that story all over again. I started BIGGER THAN A BREAD BOX last night, and I really like the voice and pacing so far.
#791 - May 13, 2014, 05:00 AM

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Just read e. lockhart's WE WERE LIARS, which is making a big splash. Because I loved THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS so much, I was really looking forward to this one, but while I enjoyed it, I'll admit to a little disappointment and to feeling manipulated. Good, and clever, but not great.

In adult fiction, Adichie's AMERICANAH was brilliant, the kind of book I keep forcing on people so they'll read it and discuss it with me.
#792 - May 13, 2014, 07:11 AM

Jenn Bertman
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I'm finishing up a new middle grade called STEERING TOWARD NORMAL by Rebecca Petruck. Really wonderful read. The main character is in 4-H and his main goal is to raise a champion steer until a classmate is dumped off at his house out of the blue, shaking up everything he thought he knew about his life.
#793 - May 13, 2014, 01:03 PM
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 06:42 PM by J-Bert »
BOOK SCAVENGER, Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt 
THE UNBREAKABLE CODE, April 2017
UNLOCK THE ROCK, 2018
jenniferchamblissbertman.com

I'm finally getting around to Moby-Dick -- I started two weeks ago, and I'm already 40 chapters in (only 95 more to go). Some amusing moments so far, but Lordy, this is going to be a tough slog...




#794 - May 16, 2014, 02:29 PM
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 02:32 PM by G.R. »
"This is your life and you be what you want to be.
Just don't hurt nobody, 'less of course they ask you."

XTC, "Garden of Earthly Delights" (1989)

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GR, keep going with M-D -- it's totally worth it. And you will never again see 2 police cars stopped near one another without thinking, "They're having a gam" (or, if you live in snow country) seeing an ice spade w/o thinking of a flensing knife!
#795 - May 16, 2014, 07:50 PM

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Just read Last Ape Standing, by Chip Walter. The end of the book has a lot more speculation and a lot fewer solid facts, but most of the book is quite fascinating--about all the different kinds of "human" bones we've found, where they lived, what they were like, and how they interacted with other groups. Plus a lot of fascinating facts about H. sapiens. Did you know that you have as many neurons in your head as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy? Or how about the fact that 40-85% of a baby/small child's standing metabolism is taken up with brain development? Compared to most other animals, we're born premature, with a lot of development left to be done outside the womb, most of which is braaaaaaains. Then there were the researchers who traced the migration and connection between a group of H. sapiens and another, extinct, kind of "human"--all because of head lice (the hominids died out, but we got their head lice in addition to our own). Or how about mitochondria, which apparently you inherit only from your mother (hence the mitochondrial DNA studies that can trace you only on your matrilineal lines)--I knew about this, but I didn't realize that mitochondria apparently used to be separate one-celled organisms? They have their own DNA, anyway. They can't survive on their own, but they aren't exactly 100% us, either.

SO interesting. The world is infinitely large and infinitely small--and infinitely fascinating!
#796 - May 17, 2014, 07:05 AM

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Listened to Darth Paper Strikes Back on my way home from a book festival. I love those books---so sweet (good always prevails over evil) and of course the Star Wars quotations are brilliant.
#797 - May 18, 2014, 06:28 PM

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THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY by Tracy Holczer.
Lyrical, lush, poetic and poignant. I predict awards for this wonderful book.
#798 - May 19, 2014, 07:35 AM
www.andriawarmflashrosenbaum.com
Twitter: @andriawrose
Trains Don't Sleep, HMH 2017
Big Sister, Little Monster, Scholastic Press, 2017

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Rose, that totally sounds like my kind of book!

I'm rereading (after, um, about 30 years) Paul Scott's RAJ QUARTET, beginning with THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN, about India's gaining of independence from Britain and set between 1942-1947. I'd forgotten how gripping and beautiful it is, and how timely a read it is in view of the diversity issues that have been discussed in the kidlit world over the last several weeks.
#799 - May 19, 2014, 09:13 AM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Recently read WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart, one of my favorite YA authors. It's gorgeously written, a bit creepy, and has a great twist. I loved it.
#800 - May 27, 2014, 08:08 AM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

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I just finished Terry Lynn Johnson's Ice Dogs and was in TEARS (in a good way) during the final chapters. Many thumbs up. Now I'm going to go back and try to figure out why it worked so well.
#801 - June 01, 2014, 05:54 PM

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I just finished THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate. It's inspired by the true story of a gorilla (Ivan) that spent 27 years in captivity as a mall attraction. The story is narrated by Ivan, who rethinks captivity after a baby elephant is added to the mall. I was in tears while reading the last several pages. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time and sits in my heart next to CHARLOTTE'S WEB.
#802 - June 02, 2014, 10:17 AM

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Okay, so I just burst into tears. I'm in the Whatcha reading thread on the Blueboards! A milestone (and thanks so much, Andi, for your kind words).

I'm reading I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson, which I don't think is out quite yet. AMAZING! I mean, I think I might be enjoying it more than THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE. And I'm also reading E. Lockhart's WE WERE LIARS. Oy. Again, so good!
#803 - June 02, 2014, 12:24 PM

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*passes out hankies all around*
#804 - June 02, 2014, 05:41 PM

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This time of the year, I read mostly adult (fiction and non), but I'm also reading one YA -- ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.  Adult books are DAWN LIGHT by Diane Ackerman (I love her nature writing) and ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doer. I just finished THE BEES, which is like WATERSHIP DOWN with bees.
#805 - June 02, 2014, 11:18 PM
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 11:22 PM by Betsy »
www.ellenjackson.net
PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

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The Thickety-    J. A. White   
Scary! but a good read.
#806 - June 03, 2014, 04:21 PM

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I love the title "THE THICKETY"!

I'm reading an ARC of Garth Nix's CLARIEL. Trying not to gobble it up too fast, but it's hard to resist!
#807 - June 04, 2014, 01:26 PM
THE CABINET OF EARTHS -- HarperCollins, 2012
A BOX OF GARGOYLES -- HC, 2013
THE WRINKLED CROWN -- HC, 2015
www.annenesbet.com

My oldest daughter is begging me to read Divergent. She won't see the movie with me unless I read the book first. Smart kid, huh? Any thoughts on the book?

Larry
#808 - June 04, 2014, 02:33 PM

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Just finished ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr--the best book I've read in years. I'm usually not a huge fan of historical novels, especially long ones, and especially if the historical period is WWII. (Hard for me because I lost members of my family during that war. And there have been so many books, what is there left to say?)

But this is a profound and beautiful book that had me hooked from the beginning. Don't believe me. Read the reviews on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/All-Light-We-Cannot-See-ebook/dp/B00DPM7TIG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

The story goes back and forth between two characters, a young boy conscripted (although willingly so) into the German military and a blind girl living in France during the occupation. It also goes back and forth between different time periods. Not YA, but the main characters are both teens.

There's just the hint of a supernatural element. Also love, and how people can create light in the midst of darkness, is a major theme. 
#809 - June 10, 2014, 10:44 AM
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 12:36 PM by Betsy »
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PICKY EATERS
OCTOPUSES ONE TO TEN
THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE
THE BALLAD OF BOOSTER BOGG
BEASTLY BABIES
TOOLING AROUND

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Just finished KEEPER by Kathi Appelt. I love her prose - simple words, used beautifully, to create a powerful impact. The short chapters kept the book moving, but I think it could have been tightened up. Too many of the 120 chapters repeated themselves. Still it was brilliantly crafted and beautifully written.
#810 - June 17, 2014, 11:15 AM

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