Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief - Wendelin Van Draanen

I’ve heard people talk about Sammy Keyes before and what fun she is, and we have several Sammy Keyes mysteries in the library, so I decided it was time I read one. See, I told you I’d been reading a bunch of grown-up books and now I was going to read some more kid stuff, and here I am delivering on my promise. This is the third book I’ve written about tonight already, and I have four more I’ll have to write about later. Seven books in just over a week. That’s pretty good!

OK, back to Sammy. Sammy is a young woman who’s pretty gutsy but who doesn’t always make the best choices. For example, when she sees a criminal stealing something from a hotel room across from her grandmother’s apartment through her binoculars, she waves at him. And when a bully at school pokes her with a pin, she punches her right in the nose. Things like this lead Sammy into some bad situations. But they make for great reading, I will say that.

Sammy is funny and spunky, and smart enough not to get herself into anything TOO dangerous, just dangerous enough to keep you reading more. I’m looking forward to reading more of Sammy Keyes’s adventures in the future.

As soon as I get my copy of this book to Mrs. Carney it will be available at our WOMS library, or you can pick up other Sammy Keyes novels there now.

P.S. Flipped by the same author is a really great book, too!

Betrayal: Booke the Second - Patricia Finney

This is the second (booke, yes, it's really spelled that way in the book)of the Lady Grace mysteries I’ve read and it was as much fun as the first. Lady Grace, if you’ll remember, is a Maid in the court of Queen Elizabeth the First. Her mother was one of the Queen’s Ladies in Waiting who was accidentally murdered by a drink meant for the queen, so she’s a special favorite of the queen and she gets special favors, like being allowed to investigate mysteries. And this mystery had a bit of the pirate in it because Grace ends up stowed away on a ship, so it’s jolly good fun. (BTW, did you know the new Johnny Depp movie comes out THIS WEEKEND???!!! I can barely contain my excitement!) The ship she stows away on turns out to be the completely wrong ship, but in the end it all turns out right…although not without some stress along the way.

There’s lots of action, suspense and adventure in this novel, and it’s another I think both boy and girl readers would enjoy. We don’t have this one in our library yet, I got it from Multnomah County, but I do plan to buy it, so you can look for it in the fall!

Rules - Cynthia Lord

Rules – Cynthia Lord

This book was Newbery Honor winner this year and it is laugh out loud funny and get me the box of Kleenex sad all at once. Catherine is a twelve-year old girl who just wants, like most teenagers, to be like everyone else. But Catherine has a little brother who’s autistic. Which leads her to have to make some RULES. For example, “A boy can take off his shirt to swim, but not his shorts.” This book does give good insight into the difficulties someone faces when living with someone who has disabilities. And it also has good insight as to what a person with disabilities goes through. More importantly, however, this book gives good insight into what someone with disabilities has to offer even though they might be different and how someone with disabilities really is just a person like everyone else who wants to be cared about.

I really, really loved this story, even though I was crying my eyes out at the end. I would highly recommend it to both girls and boys, kids and grown-ups. It’s a fabulous read!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

13 Little Blue Envelopes - Maureen Johnson

This is one of those crossover books - an adult book some teen readers might enjoy. But honestly, after all the hype about this book, I expected a little more. This is what happens when you set your expectations too high. I should know better. It's not that it was a bad book. I didn't quit reading it, and I really did want to know what would happen next, but it just didn't thrill me.

The premise of the book is this: Ginny (of unknown age but old enough to travel Europe alone without her parents completely freaking out) has an eccentric aunt. Or she had an eccentric aunt, but the aunt died. Now she's sending Ginny on a quest, via a packet of 13 Little Blue Envelopes. At each stop on her journey, Ginny opens the next envelope and it has instructions about where to go, what to see, who to look for. Sort of, if it works out. This structure, if the 13 envelopes with instructions is what I enjoyed most about this novel. As a reader, I really wanted to know what was coming next. An although I was never thrilled with an installment, I always hoped the next installment would be better.

There is a trace of romance in the novel, definitely some adventure, for sure more questions than answers. The book is interesting and a bit of a psychological study of the dead aunt, but it fell short of my expectations, so I could recommend it as what I call a "beach book" - one with not so much substance but an okay way to pass the time.

been reading grown up books of late...

So I haven't been making many posts, but I'm ready to read some more YA titles, so look out...I'm sure to be burning up the blog in the next few weeks. Stay tuned...