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The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid

Carter and Sadie are brother and sister. They see each other once a year. Since their Mom died Sadie lives in London with their Grandparents. Carter travels around the world with their Dad, a famous Egyptologist. The kids don’t like each other much and the Grandparents don’t really seem to care much for the Dad. I mean, they’re civil, but they only see each other once year. Mostly, they just get through the visit and move on, waiting it out until the next year.

On Christmas Eve Carter and his Dad are in London to spend their one day of the year with Sadie. Dr. Kane takes the kids to the British Museum. Yawn. As if they haven’t done THAT before. What they really haven’t done is watch their Dad get trapped inside a golden sarcophagus after calling from the dead an Egyptian god determined to destroy the world.

Why would their Dad do that? HOW did their Dad do that? And who is this Uncle Amos that shows up to save them and take them to New York? Why New York? And why do Sadie and Carter have to be together? Another action packed adventure from Rick Riordan. Lots of monsters, lots of figuring out who to trust, lots of previously unknown powers. The action really is non-stop. Once you read this one, let us all know what you think. How does it compare to Percy Jackson and the Olympians? This one is quite a doorstop weighing in at over 500 pages. Not as bad as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at over 700 pages, but still, it’s a big book. The last 100 pages were the best for me and I’m looking forward to The Kane Chronicles #2. I hope it will reveal more about the characters. Author: Rick Riordan Series: The Kane Chronicles

Kane Chronicles Series:

#1: The Red Pyramid on CD Downloadable eBook or eAudio
#2: The Throne of Fire on CD, Downloadable eAudio


If you like this sort of action packed mythological adventure don’t miss Rick Riordan’s first series about Percy Jackson and Greek Mythology. Book 1 is The Lightning Thief. If you haven’t read it ask all your friends about it, chances are one of them has read it. If you like Ancient Egypt, try Theodosia or The Egypt Game.
The Lightning Thief Exploring Ancient Egypt The Egypt Game Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos
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Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be Melody. Melody lives in a wheelchair. But that’s not all.

I can’t talk. I can’t walk. I can’t feed myself or take myself to the bathroom. Big bummer. (page 3)

What’s worse is that nobody knows that there is a smart mind inside the body that won’t work. And that mind isn’t just regular smart, it’s brilliant. Melody has a photographic memory for words. She is so full of thoughts she’s about to explode.

In fifth grade Melody’s school finally has inclusion classes and she is able to join her classmates in a “regular” classroom.

They’d probably be surprised to know that I knew all their names. I’ve watched them on the playground at lunch and at recess for years. (page 93)

That part about rips my heart out actually. Up to this point, Melody points to cards attached to her wheelchair to try to communicate. That sure wouldn’t be very many words. That’s like being eleven and only being able to use the number of words that 2 year olds can use. So, say you’re Melody and you’re looking at a clothes magazine with your mom and all you can do is point and say “pretty” if you like something. You can’t say, “that shirt is cool, can I get the blue one? Nikki had one like that on yesterday and I really liked it.” Not the same at all!!!

When a classmate brings in a new laptop Melody dreams of a computer adapted so that she can use it. Melody discovers there IS a computer designed for people like her and when that computer comes into her life and into her classroom, it’s a whole new world for Melody, her parents, her sister and for her classmates too. It is time for all of them to meet Melody, the real Melody. The real Melody is a big surprise, especially to some of the kids in her class.

I’m not trying to be mean – honest – but it just never occurred to me that Melody had thoughts in her head. (page 143)

This book is just plain terrific. I love a book that shows me a character I have never met before, a character I want to know about. How does it feel to be so underestimated? How does it feel to be constantly left out? How does it feel to be talked about in front of your face like you are deaf or can’t understand? Since being like Melody is hard for me to imagine myself, I loved having Melody herself tell me what that’s like.

And I also just liked Melody. She’s strong and stubborn and has a wicked sense of humor. One thing she is NOT, is helpless. It was terrific to meet her. Author: Sharon Draper

If you liked reading about Melody I think you’ll also like Jason in Anything But Typical. Jason writes his own story too. He writes about what it feels like to have autism. Miss Spitfire is about Helen Keller and She Touched the World is about Laura Bridgman. Both of these women were deaf AND blind…but learned to communicate through finger spelling. Both these women learned to read and write and were able to write books to tell other people what it feels like to be a person trapped inside a body that won’t work.
Anything But Typical Miss Spitfire She Touched the World
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Kid Review: The Second Siege

Kid Review: The Second Siege

The Second Siege

Twelve-year-old Max and his allies risk much as they seek to acquire the Book of Origins, an artifact of unimaginable power, in hopes of halting the ancient evil that is bringing the world to its knees. Series: The Tapestry Author: Henry H. Neff

Here’s what Samantha has to say about The Second Siege:

This book is amazing! I absolutely loved reading it. At dinner I got yelled at for reading at the table, I couldn’t put that thing down! Henry H. Neff is an awesome author and if you liked the Harry Potter series then you will find these books highly appealing. But BEWARE Henry has only written two of these and is in the process of writing the third. He left the story a cliff hanger and you won’t wanna miss the first two.

And here’s more from Samantha about The Hound of Roman:

The Tapestry series are great! This book was fabulous! So, sit back as thrilling main characters take you on an adventure you’ll never forget! The sequel to this book is The Second Siege. Don’t miss this thrilling novel and check it out at your local library!


The Tapestry Series:

#1: The Hound of Rowan Available on CD
#2: The Second Siege
#3: The Fiend and the Forge Available on CD
#4: The Maelstrom
#5: The Red Winter Available Fall 2013

Here is the first Tapestry book, The Hound of Rowan, plus two more adventures in worlds where monsters, trolls & demons are alive and well:
The Hound of Rowan The Beyonders The Ring of Solomon
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A Conspiracy of Kings

A Conspiracy of Kings

A Conspiracy of Kings

Author Turner started this complex adventure in The Thief, and continued it in The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. I had not read any of these before reading A Conspiracy of Kings. I still really liked it, but I think I would have liked it even more if I had read the other ones first. A lot of the plot has to do with political strategy, enemies, alliances, agreements & betrayals. When you can keep it straight, the brilliance of the strategizing is really fun.

Think of it as the TV show Survivor…only the players are real queens and kings and countries are at stake. They really are just trying to outwit, outplay & outlast each other. But in this game, if your torch goes out, you’re dead and your country is invaded.

In this one, the future King of Sounis is Sophos. He’s a teenager. I read that he made a kind of clumsy, whiny appearance in the other books. The very last thing he wants is to be King. There are actually a lot of other people who don’t look forward to him being King either. His own father has hidden him away with his books and his tutors – out of sight, out of mind.power-match-game

When Sophos is kidnapped in a surprise attack and sold into slavery, he oddly finds relief from the pressure of having to face his future. As a slave, he has certain doable tasks to perform. He doesn’t have to make any decisions. He makes friends. What he  doesn’t expect is all the information he can get when he isn’t living as the protected prince. He finds himself unable to ignore the battles that are taking place that imperil his country, his family and his friends. He also discovers that the the things he has been learning in books really can help him in his real life. He also discovers that having people think you are capable of very little, can be a pretty powerful tool.  He plots a daring escape, manages an unlikely rescue and begins planning a complex series of alliances and maneuvers that show he really has the stuff of which leaders are made. Play the Power Match Game to see if you are clever enough to be King. Author: Megan Whelan Turner

#1: The Thief on CD
#2: The Queen of Attolia on CD
#3: The King of Attolia on CD
#4: A Conspiracy of Kings on Downloadable eBook

Here are links to the other books in the series. If you like these, also try The Ranger’s Apprentice series.
The Thief The Queen of Attolia The King of Attolia The Ruins of Gorlan
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Leaving Gee’s Bend

Leaving Gee’s Bend

Leaving Gee's Bend Gee’s Bend is a tiny little place in Alabama on the bend of a river. It isn’t even a town really, just a place with a name. It’s the place where Ludelphia Bennett lives with her family and a few neighbors who are also sharecroppers for Mr. Cobb. Old Mr. Cobb owns the land around Gee’s Bend. The Bennetts and the other familes work the farm and pay their rent with a “share” of the harvest.  It’s 1932 and times are really hard. It is the Great Depression and times are tough for everyone, especially those who are alreay dirt poor to begin with, people like the Bennetts and their neighbors.

Ludelphia’s courage starts to shine the day her mom goes into labor. Ludelphia helps her mom deliver the baby. After the birth, Ludelphia’s mom is very, very sick. Her only hope is Doc Nelson, the only doctor around and he’s 40 miles away in Camden. Ludelphia’s only ten but she sets out alone anyway on a dangerous journey for a girl of her time. It’s no small thing for a black child to set out travelling alone, but Ludelphia loves her mama and will do anything to save her.

On her journey Ludelphia meets people outside of Gee’s Bend for the very first time. She sees the wealth and modern ways of a big city. She confronts the difference between superstitian and modern medicine. And she experiences both the kindness and racism of total strangers – strangers whose help she needs in order to save her mother. Author: Irene Latham

Irene Latham Official Website

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