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Book Review: The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings

Alex, a young apprentice librarian, is trying to learn the secrets of the royal library. His master was killed by, what Alex believes, a dangerous book. The same book also tried to kill Alex. The royal librarian died in a similar manner and Alex soon impersonates his master to get the newly vacated royal librarian position. He discovers that the books are alive and are frightened by the dangerous books — the ones that killed the previous librarians. But the library isn’t Alex’s only problem. The new young queen, Kenneret, doesn’t trust him; after all, he is impersonating a dead librarian! Alex’s true identity is another secret he is keeping from the queen. When an incident happens with the books, Queen Kenneret comes around to believing Alex and tries to help him figure out who is controlling the dangerous books.
Two things attracted me to this book; first, it’s about a librarian and I am a children’s librarian. Second, the cover art shows Alex fighting off books with a sword. This reminded me of the TV movies “The Librarian,” which I very much enjoyed. This book is exciting, mysterious, and leaves you waiting for the inevitable sequel. The Lost Books will be a popular middle level series. I would definitely recommend it for grades 3-6.

#TheLostBooksTheScrollOfKings

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December Events

December is a very busy month here at the library. There was Winter Craft Night, Holiday Ornament Art, Preschool New Year’s Eve Bash, as well as the Cookbook Clubs, Babies Love Art, How Cool is That! (owl pellet dissection) and a visit from My Gym. Check out some photos from these events!

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Book Review: The Wild Lands

I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This story takes place in the not so distant future when climate change and loss of resources has decimated Alaska to the point where it is no longer a state. Most of the glaciers have melted, earthquakes have wrecked the coastline and interior, fires have destroyed much of what was left, and the annual salmon runs have ceased. Travis (17), Jess (10), and their parents tried to stick it out when most everyone else was evacuated. When Travis’s father finally realizes that they cannot survive in what was Fairbanks any longer, the family heads north, hoping to board a ship that will take them across the Arctic Ocean to Maine. Because of the lack of resources, lack of food, and all out lawlessness, Travis and Jess’s parents are killed. Following their instructions, the siblings head south. They meet up with some teenage girls to travel with — safety in numbers. They must always be alert for danger, try to ration their meager provisions, and try to make it to the southern coast.

Travis narrates this YA dystopian novel, describing the emotional toll the travel takes on him and his traveling companions. There are several plot twists, some predictable, some not. The book is mostly fast paced and will appeal to boys as well as girls. This is definitely a Young Adult book due to some of the content so I would recommend it for 8th grade and up.

#TheWildLands #NetGalley

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Book Review: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

I received this e-Arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The latest entry from Rick Riordan Presents surprisingly does not deal with mythology. It is more science fiction intertwined with Cuban American culture and middle school angst. Sal, an amateur magician, has the ability to break through universes bring things, or people, into his own. Usually he brings his mother, who had died in his universe but is alive in others. This can cause a cascade of problems until Sal can send her back. Sal almost gets caught when he pulls a dead chicken from another universe and puts it in Yasmany’s locker. It was for a good reason — Yasmany had been bullying him. Sal is sent to the principal’s office (again!) where he lays on the charm -a true magician never reveals his secrets. But Gabi, popular girl and head busybody, catches on to Sal’s tricks — well, most of them. Gabi’s baby brother, Iggy, is very sick and in the hospital. Sal’s antics are a welcome respite from the stress.

There is a lot going on in this fast-paced and humorous novel. There is a fair amount of Spanish and Spanglish in it but most of it is translated/explained for non-speakers. At some points, it was difficult to keep track of what was happening, especially with all of Gabi’s “Dads.” Again, too much to explain. While I had different expectations as to what the book was about, I did enjoy it very much and would definitely recommend it. This book series will be quite popular with readers in grades 3-7. This book will be available March 5, 2019.

#SalAndGabiBreakTheUniverse #NetGalley

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Book Review: Missing Mike

Mike is a rust-colored rescued mutt who is missing an eye and part of an ear. Mike lives with 11 year old Cara and her family in the wooded mountain town of Pine Grove in Alberta, Canada. Mike is always by Cara’s side until the day the wildfires came too close. As the family was preparing to evacuate, Mike disappears! Cara is devastated to leave without him. Cara’s family stays with a host family in the “safe zone” and meets Jewel, the host’s family’s foster daughter. Jewel helps Cara search for Mike online and then they try to return to Cara’s home. With each passing day, Cara’s sadness grows as she tries not to lose hope.
This very timely story is told in prose from Cara’s point of view. It also makes for fast reading, perfect for those reluctant readers. Because of the subject matter, I would recommend this novel for fourth grade and up.

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Book Review: Seafire

I received this ARC at #BEA2018. All opinions are my own.
This is a fantastic story about female empowerment! Caledonia Styx is the captain of the Mors Navis, the remains of her mother’s ship after it was destroyed by the brutal warlord Aric Athair. Caledonia’s loyal crew is entirely female with one mission – revenge! The girls have been blowing up Aric’s bale blossom barges, the flower from which Silt, a powerful and controlling drug, is made. All of Aric’s victims are addicted to Silt to keep them loyal and vicious. During one of their raids, Caledonia’s best friend and fellow survivor, Pisces, is captured. She escapes with the help of a Bullet. Is he really defecting or does he have an ulterior motive?
Book 1 in a trilogy, this is a great choice for fans of The Hunger Games. I would definitely recommend this book for readers in grade 6 and up.
#Seafire

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Book Review: Labyrinth Lost

Image result for labyrinth lost book

Not only is Alex a bruja, or witch, but she is an encantrix, the most powerful type of bruja. But Alex doesn’t want this power and is afraid of it. She decides that at her Deathday celebration, which is meant to focus her power through family blessing, she will get rid of it. Things do not go according to plan and Alex’s entire family is banished to Los Lagos, the Wonderland-like realm in-between. Alex realizes the terrible mistake she has made and travels to Los Lagos with her brujo guide Nova. They are soon joined by Alex’s BFF Rishi. Her family is being held by the Devourer, a very strong bruja who will feed upon their power at the next eclipse. Alex, Nova, and Rishi must travel through the wonders and dangers of Los Lagos to reach Alex’s family before it’s too late.

Labyrinth Lost immerses the reader in a variation of Latinx culture that many might not find familiar. As the book progresses, Alex learns to accept herself for who she is. Alex also finds herself in the center of a bisexual love triangle, which seems to develop naturally. This book is fast paced and the ending leaves you wanting more. Fortunately, the sequel Bruja Born, is now available. 

I would recommend this book for middle school readers sixth grade and up. This is one of the nominees for the Teen Nutmeg Book Award.