Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Pat has read 0 books toward a goal of 100 books.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Pat (Get Kids to Read) has read 0 books toward his goal of 50 books.

October 16, 2014

Kingdom Keepers 3

4 stars.  A full review this weekend.

October 12, 2014

Review: Magician's Fire

The Magician's FireThe Magician's Fire by Simon Nicholson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Magician's Fire
by Simon Nicholson

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Middle Grade Grades 4-9.

The Magician's Fire is the first book in a new series by Simon Nicholson. The story follows a young Harry Houdini and his two friends Billie and Arthur. When a friend and mentor too young Harry Houdini disappears, Harry is determined to find out what happened to him. Will Harry be able to find his mentor before it is too late? Reading this book is the only way you will be able to find out.
Filled with action, humor and suspense, the trio of Harry, Billie, and Arthur work really well. Each character has their own strength but they are best as a team. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Harry is already a street magician when the story starts and he definitely has the potential to grow into the Houdini that the world knows from history. Readers will be begging for book two when they finish this book but will have to wait to continue the story.
This will definitely be popular with fans of Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson. This series would be a good pick for fans of Young Bond and Young Holmes looking for a new series to read.

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Review: Jump

JumpJump by Julia Dweck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Julia Dweck
Picture Ebook
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.  

Jump is the newest ebook picture book from Julia Dweck, Dweck has proved that she is an author to watch with a string of picture books that are sure to appeal to a wide variety of readers and children. In Jump, Jack, who is a Jack in the box is about to jump when his spring breaks. While looking for his box, he learns an important lesson about jumping to conclusions.
All of Julia Dweck's books have accessible text for beginning readers and have a rhyme scheme that is appealing as a read-a-loud. The pictures perfectly complement the text. Julia Dweck's books are available on kindle and other ebook formats. This is definitely a good pick for children ages 2-7.

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October 11, 2014

Book Review: Tunnels

Tunnels (Tunnels, #1)Tunnels by Roderick Gordon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
Chicken House 2008
First in a series
First Pick Avid Readers
Fantasy, Adventure
Grades 4-9

Will Burrows and his father love to dig tunnels and look for artifacts. Will's father is an archeologist and Will is the only other person in the family that inherited the interest in digging. When Mr. Burrows discovers a strange orb and starts a new secret tunnel, his disappearance cause Will and his only friend Chester to look for him. They discover that there is a secret tunnel in the basement that leads to a secret colony controlled by an army of people called the Styx. Readers will have to read this book and the subsequent sequels to find out if Will is able to rescue his father.
This book was very well done. It is exciting and funny, definitely a good book to recommend to avid and fluent readers. Clearly influenced from the classic serials, this series is one a reader will want to get in pairs. Two at a time is definitely the best way to devour this series since cliff hangers without the next volume are torturous.
This book is great for grades 4-9. Fans of series like City of Ember and Gregor and the Overlander will definitely enjoy this subterranean novel.

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Review: Toe Shoe Mouse

Toe Shoe MouseToe Shoe Mouse by Jan Carr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Toe Shoe Mouse
by Jan Carr
Picture Book
Ages 2-7
Quick Pick: Reluctant Girl Readers 2-7.

Toe Shoe Mouse is the story of a little mouse that finds shelter in an auditorium where there is a ballet being performed. After being chased all around the performing house, the little mouse finds comfort in the toe of a ballet shoe. When discovered the little mouse is afraid, but winds up making friends with the ballerina. This is an excellent picture book for little girls or boys who are interested in ballet. Put this on your list of quick picks for reluctant girl readers who like ballet.
This book should definitely be in classrooms and library collections for children 2-7 because of the high interest topic of ballet.

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Book Review: Beekle

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary FriendThe Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
by Dan Santat
Picture Book for ages 2-7

Beekle begins this story without his name. He is an imaginary friend waiting for his friend to imagine him up. After waiting a long time, he does the imaginable and leaves for the real world. The real world is not what he hoped but he eventually makes a friend, gets his name and does the unimaginable.
This is a great book for children who have imaginary friends, it has a great message about the power of the imagination. This is definitely a must have for children's library collections.

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Book Review: Shoe Dog

Shoe DogShoe Dog by Megan McDonald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shoe Dog
Megan MacDonald
Atheneum Books
Picture Book
Ages 2-7.

Shoe Dog is a story about a dog who loves to chew on shoes. He is adopted by a lady who owns a lot of shoes. When he chews up all her shoes, he gets in trouble and does not get the affection he wants from his master. Eventually the woman buys something for the dog, so the dog can become a good dog and sleep upstairs with her.
This book was cute and had very interesting illustrations. The fur was illustrated in a very interesting way so it looked almost like a scribble. This would be a good pick for children's library collection. It will be popular with children and families who have dogs or love dogs.

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Book Review: Naked

Naked!Naked! by Michael Ian Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Michael Ian Black
Simon & Schuster
Picture Book
Perfect for ages 2-7

Naked is an adorable picture book that is sure to cause giggle fits at bed time. What could be better than running around naked? Why being naked with a cape. A little boy discovers he loves running around naked but wants to be naked with his cape. After running nude all around the house, he discovers he is cold and puts on his pajamas and falls right to sleep.
This is the type of book that parents may not grab, but children will. It is sure to cause major fits of laughter that will simultaneously create memories and experiences with reading that just might shape the child into a life long reader. So parents don't be afraid of the giggle fits and read this book to your children.

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October 7, 2014

Release Day: The Magician's Fire

The Magician's FireThe Magician's Fire by Simon Nicholson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was very good.  It comes out Today!!! My full review will be up soon. 

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Tunnels (Tunnels, #1)Tunnels by Roderick Gordon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My full Review will be online soon.

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The Highway Rat

The Highway RatThe Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Highway Rat
Julia Donaldson
Picture Book, Poem.

The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson is an amusing picture book based on the poem The Highwaymen by Alfred Noyes. The book is generally amusing. The Highway Rat is stealing everybody's food. As the other animals that use the highway become thinner and hungrier, his antics become a problem. When he meets a duck with nothing he is about to eat her until he hears of her sister, living in a cave filled with delicious food. Greed and the problems it creates is definitely a theme in this book. This book was amusing. Some children might like it but it is not a must buy. This is a book to have within a library consortium.

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October 4, 2014

2 Picture Book Reviews

Adventure Annie Goes to KindergartenAdventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten
by Toni Buzzeo
Illustrated by Amy Wummer
Picture Book
Kindergarten Pick, September

Adventure Annie is the story of a very creative and adventurous little girl who can't wait to start Kindergarten. She experiences her entire world as an adventure and has quite the adventure on her first day. After adjusting to the rules of her Kindergarten class, it is up to Annie to save the day when two of her classmates are missing for a long time.
This is an excellent pick for early school year with Kindergarten. Toni Buzzeo is a former teacher and librarian herself and understands the anxieties and behaviors of this age group. Teachers should pick this book up to start the school year with an engaging character and both a fun and funny reading experience.

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Book Fair DayBook Fair Day by Lynn Plourde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Fair Day
Lynn Plourde
Illustrated by Thor Wickstrom
Picture Book PK-3
Just Awesome Book

Book Fair Day is about a little boy named Dewey Booker. He loves books and is looking forward to the once a year book fair. This year his class has to wait until the end of the day. This horrifies Dewey and he decides to do whatever he can to get to the book fair early. Dewey is so well read that when the class finally does get to go to the fair, he is the expert who can help his friends find a good book. This book was definitely a five star book for the content alone. It would be an excellent choice to read before /during the week of the Book Fair at any school.

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September 30, 2014

Review: Three Times Lucky

Three Times LuckyThree Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three Times Lucky
Sheila Turnage
Penguin Books
Newbery Honor 2012
Middle Grade 4-6
Mystery and Friendship

Three Times Lucky is a middle grade book that truly deserves the honor it received. It is about a little girl named Moses (Mo) who is an orphan and trying to find the mystery of who her mother is. Things get strange in town when a Police Detective from the big city shows up investigating a murder. Mo uses all her wits and helps to solve the mystery Mo is truly an engaging character. The reader can instantly become "book friends " with her and root for her to solve the mystery. There is a larger story here that includes her personal history and a story of friendship that moves this book closer to kin in titles like Love, Ruby Lavender and The Higher Power of Lucky than Nancy Drew.

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September 25, 2014

Review: Rainbow Fairies

The Rainbow Fairies (Scholastic Reader Level 2: Rainbow Magic)The Rainbow Fairies by Daisy Meadows
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meadows, Daisy. The Rainbow Fairies. Scholastic. 2010.
Grade level 1-2
Early Reader
Series: Rainbow Magic

This review and more can be found on Get Kids to Read:

While preparing for a grand feast, there is a tragic magic wand switch up. Each of the fairies produces food for the feast according to their color. But because of the wand mix up, they accidentaally created the food to be the wrong color like blue strawberries. Each of the fairies work together to fix the mix up and enjoy the feast.
The Rainbow Magic books have become increasingly popular with elementary age girls. The primary series is written as chapter books which is why the Early Reader series is great to have. This book is good for grades 1 and 2. There are 657 words. The Rainbow Magic series is very popular and this extra series written at the lower level is an excellent choice for every classroom and library.

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