Monday, July 20, 2015

The False Prince

By: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Sage has lived a tough life as an orphan - he is used to stealing, fighting, and outwitting to stay alive.  Without warning, Sage is kidnapped along with three other orphans.  They soon
learn that their captor, Conner, plans to overtake the kingdom by claiming that one of them is the lost prince.  Conner makes it clear that any disobedience will be punished, and those who are not chosen will be disposed of.  Sage finds himself competing to be a false prince and just to stay alive.

Mrs. Senechal says:
What a great read!  Sage and the other orphans are all likeable and make their dilemna seem even more difficult.  And, Conner is truly cruel and masterful villain.  If you like adventurous and exciting stories, you will definitely like this book.  The final twist at the end of the story caught me completely by surprise - I love that!

The Island of Dr. Libris

By: Chris Grabenstein

Billy is NOT excited about spending the summer at a cabin with his mother.  During the first day, he breaks his iPhone and has a run-in with bullies.  In desperation, Billy explores the
library - quite an amazing place compared to the rest of the cabin.  As he begins to read the books, he thinks his imagination is running wild - he can hear the characters and feel the ground shake!  Billy looks outside at an island in the middle of the lake, and is shocked that he can even see the characters from the books.  Billy rows to the island to investigate and then the adventure really begins.

Mrs. Senechal says:
If you like to read, you will love this book!  If you don't like to read, this book might convince you that books are more exciting than you realize.  The author weaves famous literary characters into an exciting and modern story.  I think it would be awesome to be in the worlds and meet characters from my favorite books.  I highly recommend this book!


By: Sage Blackwood

Jinx's life has a tragic beginning - losing both parents and living with stepparents who only see him as an extra mouth to feed.  Finally, Jinx's stepfather takes him out into the Urwald,
the forest filled with horrible, frightening creatures.  Jinx is rescued by Simon, a wizard.  At first, Jinx just does chores for Simon.  But, he has a warm home and good food.  Soon, Simon is teaching Jinx magic and eventually Simon puts a spell on Jinx - one that Jinx desperately wants reversed.

Mrs. Senechal says:
Filled with good and evil and characters to love and hate, I think you will really like the book, Jinx!  The author kept me turning pages by constantly changing which characters to trust.  The detailed descriptions helped me picture this magical setting.  The author is not afraid to use challenging vocabulary - I learned a few great new words, too!

The Scavengers

By: Michael Perry

 Maggie, a.k.a. Ford Falcon, lives "outbubble".  That means her family chose to survive on their own without the assistance and safety the government promised.  That means that
Ford's family raises and grows their own food and scavenges for items to use or trade.  Add to these challenges solar bears, unpredictable weather, and GreyDevils.  Ford and her family rely on the expert help of their neighbors to survive.  One day, Ford's mom and dad disappear.  Suddenly, Ford must take all that she has learned and rescue her family.

Mrs. Senechal says:
I loved this book!  The author has created unique characters who you will love getting to know.  The setting of a world where you choose safety and prosperity OR freedom is very intriguing.  I enjoyed reading about all the accommodations that helped the characters to protect their belongings and provide for their needs.  The end of the story left a lot of questions, so I hope there will be a sequel with more adventures!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Blackthorn Key

By: Kevin Sands

Christopher grew up in an orphanage in London in the 1660's.  While this was difficult, it was safer than being on the street.  He often worked in the kitchen and had a real knack
for cooking.  When members of the apothecary's guild visited, one apothecary noticed Christopher's skills and suggested he pursue joining their guild.  This was a big honor - Christopher studied diligently and was accepted.  He began an apprenticeship with Master Blackthorn.  Christopher was treated well, learned the recipes, codes, and secrets of an apothecary, and made friends.  All was going well until apothecaries around the city were being murdered.

Mrs. Senechal says:
This book will be available to the public in September of 2015.  It was fun to preview a book!  This story is filled with suspense and mystery.  The author creates a variety of great characters who draw you into the story.  I love the historical information about what it would have been like to be an apprentice or an apothecary at that time.  The mystery takes many unexpected turns.  Also, this will be a series!

The Missing: Books 1-3

By: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Jonah has always known he was adopted.  His parents love he and his sister very much!  One summer, he receives a strange message in the mail: You are one of the missing.  Jonah, his
sister, Katherine, and new neighbor, Chip, laugh it off as a silly junior high prank.  But the Chip also receives the same message.  This causes an argument with his parents through which he finds out he is also adopted.  Within days, the FBI, vanishing janitors, lists of witnesses and survivors make them realize something very strange is going on.  The friends agree to figure this mystery out together, but they have no idea what they will uncover next!

Mrs. Senechal says:
Wow!  This series starts with a bang - I actually read Book 1 in one day!  While this is a science fiction series, there is also a lot of historical fiction mixed in.  The imaginative futuristic technology is exciting and thinking about how one tiny thing could cause a huge change in history will keep you reading.  So far, there are four more books in this series, and I fully intend to read them all!