Cybils judging!

We're in! Since Alysa just had a baby, and I've got two little munchkins keeping me busy myself, and through a fortuitous twist of fate, Alysa and I (Ashley) are going to be co-judges this year on the first-round panel for Middle-Grade Fiction. Fun times ahead! Be sure to submit your nominations starting October 1 of your 2010 book favs at the Cybils website. Let the games begin!

My Name Is Not Isabella

Isabella is a spunky combination of contrarion (as my husband likes to call our two-year-old on occasion) and dreamer. Young readers will love her spirit as well as her smarts. Her name is not Isabella, as she tries to convince her mother over the course of the book. Instead it's Sally Ride, Marie Curie, and Rosa Parks, to name a few. I think Mommy is the real hero of the book. I love the way she takes her daughter's imagination into stride and supports her play with affirmation and love. This is a sweet little book for boys and girls alike from author Jennifer Fosberry. I love the book trailer below, which shows how the colorful illustrations came to be---a process I think is fascinating. So enjoy! And while you're at it, check out this book for your dreamer son or daughter. And reading the brief ending bios for the historic figures mentioned, you just might learn something too! I know I did! (And sorry about the video being super wide ... anyone know how to fix that?)

Horrid Henry winner!

The randomly selected winner of our Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman giveaway is ...

#5 Sarita

Please send your mailing address to everead@gmail.com.
Thanks for entering, everyone!

Four Thumbs Up for Mockingjay

Since the much-anticipated sequel has been out for weeks now, I feel an Everead review is perhaps overdue. And as usual, a post from me is very overdue, so here goes!

It was with much trepidation that I opened my pre-ordered Amazon.com package to reveal the frosty-blue hardback. So many series seem to end disappointingly, and quite frankly I was scared. Not for Katniss. Not for Peeta. For me. I was scared of a letdown.

As I turned the last few pages of the crisp, new-book-smelling novel, I berated myself for my lack of faith in Suzanne Collins. She'd already given me two subliminal reads, and it just seemed impossible for a third delivery, but she did it.

The page-turning action sequences were there. One thumb up. The no-loose-ends, nicely-packaged ending was there. Two thumbs up. The well-rounded, fault-filled, but lovable characters were there. Three thumbs up (yes, I do realize I don't have three thumbs, but work with me here). And to my delight, the satisfyingly surprising plot twists were there. That makes a grand total of four solid thumbs up.

That, my friends, is about all I can say without commenting on details, which would classify me as a spoiler. Wouldn't want to spoil your fun, so I'll just say: hats off to you Suzanne Collins!

Horrid Henry #3--a giveaway!

This is the third Horrid Henry book I've received from Sourcebooks to read and review on the blog. Just like the other two (Joke Book and Christmas), this latest Horrid Henry installment delivers hilarious, too-rude-for-grown-ups stories that kids, especially boys, ages 7-12-ish are sure to enjoy. In Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman's four stories, Henry first sets out to build the biggest snowman on the block in hopes of winning a year's supply of ice cream (and his snowman is way better than Moody Margaret's). Next, on a boring, rainy day, he decides to write his will, then writes wills for other people whose stuff he wants when they die. Then he skives his mother's makeup to give makeovers to the neighbor girls in hopes of making big bucks for his art. And finally, that crazy Henry gears up for a classroom visit from his most favorite author in the world.

I love how unapologetically bad Henry is. I keep thinking, even though this is the third of these books that I've read, that Henry will have some kind of final upswing, some kind of redeeming act of goodness to finish the story. But he doesn't. He's just plain Horrid. Heaven help me if I have a child like that! But he is fun to read about. :)

So post your comment here by noon on Monday, September 13th, for a chance to win Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman. It really is an amusing book. Winner will be chosen at random and announced by Tuesday. Happy (or Horrid) reading!
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