You Asked, We Answered: Mythology and Adventure

November 26th, 2017 by

On November 17, 2017, an anonymous Kidsmomo reader asked us for a book recommendation:

i’m looking for mythology or adventure books. I have read a lot of them, so I need new ideas

Thanks for sending your question, anonymous reader! Mythology or adventure books are very popular and very plentiful, so finding a good one to read is always a QUEST in itself! And narrowing down a list can be quite the adventure:

*WE* are going on an adventure, anonymous reader!

 

Newer Books You Might Enjoy:

  • The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
  • Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
  • The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress

Some Old-School Picks:

  • Dragon’s Milk (The Dragon Chronicles) by Susan Fletcher
  • Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles) by Patricia C. Wrede
  • The Will of the Empress (Circle Reforged series) by Tamora Pierce
  • The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix
  • Quicksilver by Stephanie Spinner
  • The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

And last but never least, the Usual Suspects:

  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • Any and all books by Rick Riordan
  • The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer
  • Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland
  • School for Good and Evil series by by Soman Chainani
  • The Brotherband series by John Flanagan
  • Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
  • Spirit Animals series (various authors)
  • His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
  • Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

Note: Just the list above is 100+ books! But… winter break is just around the corner…

Are you looking to add to your reading list, but not sure what to read? Ask Kidsmomo a question in the form below!

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In A Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

November 24th, 2017 by

in-a-glass-grimmlySubmitted by Kamryn, Age 11 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This book is about a girl named Jill and a boy named Jack and all of there journeys to try to find the seeing glass. At sometimes it can be grousome but it is a really amazing book. So you really should read it.

Wonder Movie: Yup, It’s Wonderful

November 19th, 2017 by

wonder-movie-posterOkay, I’m going to keep this short because lately Kidsmomo has been all Wonder, all of the time. First, I posted the movie trailer. Then, I posted some clips. Now, it’s time for the verdict:

This movie is great — dare I say, even wonderful! Although Auggie’s physical appearance in the movie is not nearly as pronounced as described in the book, that really doesn’t matter. That was a big concern of mine beforehand, but as you watch the movie you still see the reactions of everyone around him and you still experience his pain at feeling like an outsider.

But even more than that, the movie does a really good job at showing how the people in Auggie’s world are affected, especially his parents and his older sister (Via). Even though she has chapters dedicated to her in the book, via-photoI didn’t expect Via’s storyline to be so prominent in the film, and I’m really glad that we get so much time to see things from her perspective.

Usually, Kidsmomo gives out smiley faces to the movies that we like. In this case, I think Wonder deserves both a smiley face and a sobbing face — because boy did I cry a bunch during this movie. Thank goodness I planned ahead and brought tissues!

So I give Wonder a 🙂 and a 😭 — but what about you? If you’ve seen the movie, leave a comment with your thoughts!

— Karen

Now that she’s seen Wonder, Karen is looking ahead to the movie adaptations of Wonderstruck and A Wrinkle in Time. They look sooooooo good! 😍

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Wonder Movie: In Theaters This Friday!

November 16th, 2017 by

OMG OMG OMG, it’s almost time! The Wonder movie comes out this Friday! And I’m going to see it on opening night! Yes yes yes yes! YES!

Anyone else planning to see the film? I assume the answer is, well, YES — assuming you’re a fan of the original book by R.J Palacio.

As I said when the trailer was released, I’m a little skeptical about the way Auggie is portrayed in the movie — and that in turn makes me wonder if they’re going to make a lot of changes from the book. But despite my concerns, I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. And let’s face it, I loved the book so much that as long as the film gets the main parts right, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. I’m already pretty psyched, based on these clips:

Are you as excited about the new Wonder movie as I am? Leave a comment about what you expect it to be like!

— Karen

To be honest, Karen cried at that first clip. So please wish the best of luck to the people who are planning to watch this movie with Karen. They’ll need it. Plus, lots of tissues. And maybe hearing aids so they can make out the movie audio over Karen’s loud weeping.

More about Karen »

Some Spectacular Spoooooooky Books

October 31st, 2017 by

Happy Halloween!

What’s the most fun thing to do after a night of trick-or-treating? Well, sorting through all your candy, obviously.

But what’s the second most fun activity? Curling up under the covers with a creepy, bone-chilling book!

If you’re not sure which terrifying tale to choose, then check out these recommendations:

 

The Witches by Roald Dahl:

 

The Monsters of Morley Manor by Bruce Coville:

Do YOU have any can’t-miss spine-tingling books you want to share? Leave a comment below with your scary story recommendations!

Third Additions to Two Favorite Series

October 23rd, 2017 by

Halloween may be just around the corner, but this is no trick — two authors have decided to treat us all to new additions to their series!

Okay, all ghastly puns aside, October really did bring Book #3 in some series that we love. Check out the official descriptions from the publishers below:

mr-lemoncellos-great-library-raceMr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library #3)

On your marks. Get set. Lemon, cello, GO!

Everyone’s favorite game maker, Mr. Lemoncello, is testing out his new FABULOUS FACT-FINDING FRENZY game! If Kyle can make it through the first round, he and the other lucky finalists will go on a great race — by bicycle, bookmobile, and even Mr. Lemoncello’s corporate banana jet! — to find fascinating facts about famous Americans. The first to bring their facts back to the library will win spectacular prizes! But when a few surprising “facts” surface about Mr. Lemoncello, it might be GO TO JAIL and LOSE A TURN all at once! Could Kyle’s hero be a fraud? It’s winner take all, so Kyle and the other kids will have to dig deep to find out the truth before the GAME is OVER for Mr. Lemoncello and his entire fantastic empire!

Filled with brand-new puzzles and games (including a hidden bonus puzzle!), this fast-paced read will have gamers and readers alike racing to the finish line because, like Mr. Lemoncello’s commercials say, IS IT FUN? … HELLO! IT’S A LEMONCELLO!

magnus-chase-and-the-gods-of-asgard-the-ship-of-the-deadThe Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3)

Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin’s chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn’t naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Now Magnus faces his most dangerous trial yet. His cousin, Annabeth, recruits her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, to give Magnus some pointers, but will his training be enough

Loki is free from his chains. He’s readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It’s up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it’s ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. Magnus’s biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god?

We don’t know about you, but we’re really looking forward to learning Mr. Lemoncello’s secrets, and to seeing what kind of role Percy and Annabeth play in Magnus’ next adventure! What about you? Do you plan to read these latest installments in the Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Magnus Chase series?

Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry: Book Review

October 1st, 2017 by

walls-within-wallsA few weeks ago, I shared a list of books full of puzzles and riddles. Well, I have a new addition to that list: Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry.

The mystery begins when the Smithfork family moves from Brooklyn to Manhattan and the three kids (CJ, Brid, and Patrick) discover a strange painting. But it’s not inside their apartment — it’s on an original wall that still stands BEHIND the walls of their new home. Get it? Walls within walls!

Soon the siblings are sucked into an intriguing adventure as they try to track down a treasure supposedly hidden by their apartment’s original owner and never found. Along the way, they encounter multiple puzzles and coded messages — not to mention some unusual neighbors and a shadowy man who brings the threat of danger to their quest.

As a New Yorker, I especially loved following the Smithforks’ journey around the city during their treasure hunt. Through serendipity, I actually happened to read a scene where they visit the main New York Public Library as I was riding the subway to that very same place! But even if you’ve never been to New York City, I think you’ll still enjoy the very specific setting of the story. For those of you who don’t live here, reading this book will be like taking a brief trip to the city yourself!

Obviously, I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books with lots of codes and riddles. But I also suggest the book to fans of history- and art-related mysteries like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Chasing Vermeer, and Under the Egg.

And if you’re still not sure whether this is the book for you, check out these reviews from other Kidsmomo readers like you!

Do you have a favorite mystery book to recommend? Share it in the comments below!

— Karen

Karen wouldn’t mind exploring NYC in pursuit of a lost treasure — as long as it’s not too hot. No amount of moolah is worth sweating in the humid New York summer!

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I Spy a Silhouette… on a Book Cover!

September 25th, 2017 by

I love studying the artwork on book covers, and a theme I’ve noticed popping up once in a while is silhouettes: book characters represented by just a shape against the background.

The decision by publishers and/or authors to do this is sometimes very smart because it allows readers of all backgrounds to potentially identify with the book characters, and it often makes the book cover iconic. After all, most of us know who these guys are:

Check out some of my favorite book covers featuring silhouetted characters:

 

Do you have a style of book cover that you like a lot? Let me know in the comments below!

— Nancy

Nancy has a really big head, so if she were ever represented in silhouette, her head would look like… a watermelon.

Okay, that’s probably too harsh. She’d be a cantaloupe.

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Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer: Book Review

September 19th, 2017 by

unusual-chickens-for-the-exceptional-poultry-farmerRecently, I recommended Moo by Sharon Creech, which is about a city family that moves to the country and the kids get involved in caring for the cows on the farm. Well, this is another book about a city family moving to the country and the kid gets involved with caring for the animals on the farm — but this time it’s chickens. And also, as you might have guessed from the book title, these are not your typical chickens.

In Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, Sophie and her family inherit her Great-Uncle Jim’s land and everything that goes along with it. At first Sophie doesn’t realize this includes chickens, but then they start showing up one by one. And each chicken exhibits quite a peculiar (and sometimes alarming) skill.

Sophie is no chicken expert, especially when it comes to unusual chickens. So she turns to a nearby farm for advice — and what she learns is almost more confusing than the chickens’ behavior!

For example, why does the mailman think it’s strange that she keeps sending letters to this particular farm? And why does a neighbor keep sneaking around their property? I don’t want to spoil the mystery that unfolds over the course of this story, so I won’t say any more — but all will be revealed by the end of the book!

If you enjoyed Moo, I would definitely recommend this book for a different twist on the city-slicker-in-the-country theme. I’d also suggest this book if you like kind of wacky stories like Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis and A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup.

Do YOU have any pets or know any animals with remarkable skills? Tell us in the comments!

— Karen

Despite wishing for a dog as a kid, Karen has only ever had one pet, and it was a fish. Unsurprisingly, the fish did not have any particular talents worth mentioning.

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Five Books for This Fall

September 14th, 2017 by

School’s back in session, so I know you’re busy busy busy! You’ve got homework to finish, friends to catch up with, lockers to decorate… But in addition to the books assigned by your teacher, don’t forget to find time to read for FUN!

Here are some awesome new releases to add to your to-read pile, with descriptions from the publishers:

#1. Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone

Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. Click’d pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it’s a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about Click’d.

Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt — all before she steps on stage to present Click’d to the judges?

2. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all… even without arms.

#3. Littler Women: a modern retelling by Laura Schaefer

The March sisters encounter new friends, challenges, school dances, and more in this fresh, modern retelling of the perennial classic, Little Women.

Thirteen-year-old Meg March and her sisters Jo (12), Beth (10), and Amy (9) are a close-knit group who share in one another’s hopes and dreams, as well as struggles and frustrations. Over the course of one year they get to know their neighbors the Lawrences, attend school dances and sleepovers, have first crushes, and grow closer as sisters despite their differences.

#4. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente

Inside a small Yorkshire parsonage, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë have invented a game called Glass Town, where their toy soldiers fight Napoleon and no one dies. This make-believe land helps the four escape from a harsh reality: Charlotte and Emily are being sent away to a dangerous boarding school, a school they might not return from. But on this Beastliest Day, the day Anne and Branwell walk their sisters to the train station, something incredible happens: The train whisks them all away to a real Glass Town, and the children trade the moors for a wonderland all their own.

This is their Glass Town, exactly like they envisioned it… almost. They certainly never gave Napoleon a fire-breathing porcelain rooster instead of a horse. And their soldiers can die; wars are fought over the potion that raises the dead, a potion Anne would very much like to bring back to England. But when Anne and Branwell are kidnapped, Charlotte and Emily must find a way to save their siblings. Can two English girls stand against Napoleon’s armies, especially now that he has a new weapon from the real world? And if he escapes Glass Town, will England ever be safe again?

5. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, 800-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts to trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his afterlife without a side of eternal servitude, thanks. But with the help of his long-lost uncle, Barnabas, and his daughter, Nell, a witch-in-training, it seems like Prosper has at least a fighting chance of ridding himself of Alastor before the demon escapes and wreaks havoc on his family.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.


Okay, just kidding! I couldn’t help myself and must recommend another one (but “Six Books for This Fall” isn’t as cool of a title). Plus, we’re a fan of Cassie Beasley on Kidsmomo!

#6. Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley

When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp, legend says that the mysterious golden gator Munch will grant good luck to the poor soul foolish enough to face him.

But in 1817, when TWO fools reach him at the same time, the night’s fate is split. With disastrous consequences for both… and their descendants. Half of the descendants have great fates, and the other half have terrible ones.

Now, Tumble Wilson and Blue Montgomery are determined to fix their ancestors’ mistakes and banish the bad luck that’s followed them around for all of their lives. They’re going to face Munch the gator themselves, and they’re going to reclaim their destinies.

But what if the legend of Munch is nothing but a legend, after all?

Are you as excited about any of these books as I am? Leave a comment below!

— Nancy

Nancy has been reading grown-up books lately, but her reading list is getting revamped with these new releases!

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