I love books. This is a blog of the books that I have read both past and present. Each book will receive a quick rundown that includes a rating suggested by me and anyone else in my family who has read the book. I use the school grading system, with A+ being the best, to score the books. If books use profanity or contain inappropriate content I will note this in my summary. Feel free to contact me anytime to talk books and if you live near me I am always willing to loan out my books! amyjcaz@hotmail.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stolen Children By Peg Kehret

Book Type: Young Adult
Amy's Rating: A
Anderson's Rating (14): C "Not scary enough, too young"
Recommended for: Grades 2-6
Genre: Action
Themes: Babysitting, Kidnapping, Survival
Main Character: Teen Girl
Annotation: After Amy and the young toddler she is babysitting are kidnapped she knows it is up to her to keep them safe. Peg Kehret always manages to get your heart beating but this book is definitely on a juvenile level. The kidnappers aren't super mean. They threaten the girls but not very roughly and although I enjoyed it this book is better suited for younger readers who want action without the scary stuff. I recommend anything from Peg Kehret who is actually from Washington state and that is most ofter the setting of her books.

A Girl Named Zippy By Haven Kimmel

Book Type: Adult Literature
Amy's Rating: A+
Amy's Mom's Rating: B
Alicia's Rating:B
Recommended For: Older Teens and Up for some language and adult themes
Genre: Memoir
Themes: Growing up in a small town, Family, Friends
Main Character: Haven Kimmel or Zippy
Annotation: If a book makes me laugh out loud I consider it a good one. If a book draws me in to the life of the character I love it all the more. This book does all that and more. It reads like the author is sitting with you and telling you the stories as they come to her. Don't let this get to you. She mostly stays in chronological order but often she slips in something that happened in the past. Just enjoy the book for the life that it has. I love Haven Kimmel's writing style, she really is a great story teller. Now how much is actually true and how much has been dressed up doesn't matter to me...it's that good.

A Year Down Yonder By Richard Peck

Book Type: Young Adult
Sequel To: A Long Way From Chicago
Amy's Rating: A+ I liked this one more than A Long Way From Chicago
Amy's Mom Rating: A+
Recommended For: All Ages 3rd Grade and Up
Genre: Comedy/Adventure
Themes: Family, Adventure, Small Town Life
Main Character: Teen Girl, Grandma
Annotation: When Mary-Alice returns to live with her Grandma for the entire year, more amazing adventures await her. Her extended visit is filled with escapades and moonlit outings, romance, and all kinds of people made to look foolish in front of Grandma Dowdel. A truly hilarious read, A Year Down Yonder is just as good as the first book (and I think even better)

A Long Way From Chicago By Richard Peck

Book Type: Young Adult
Amy's Rating: A+
Amy's mom's Rating: A+ She liked this one better than A Year Down Yonder
Recommended for: All Ages 3rd Grade and up
Genre: Adventure/ Comedy
Themes: Family, Small Town, Adventure
Main Characters: Grandma Dowdel, Teen Boy, Teen Girl
Annotation: When Joey and his sister Mary-Alice make summer visits to their Grandma's small town, the two city slickers are in for the adventures of a lifetime. You never know what Grandma will be up to next or what she might do at any given moment.
In 1929 they see their first corpse and "he isn't resting easy"
In 1930 Grandma takes care of the town hoodlums with a dead mouse and a bottle of milk
In 1931 the kids help grandma trespass, pinch property, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear and feed the hungry---all in one day.

A Season of Gifts By Richard Peck

Book Type: Young Adult/Holiday
Sequel To: A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder
Rating: A+
Recommended For: Reading Lever 3rd Grade and up but there are some more mature themes that are alluded to such as unwed pregnancy, severe bullying and sneaking out at night.
Genre: Adventure/Comedy
Themes: Growing Up, Small Town Life, Bullying, Service
Main Characters: Grandma Dowdel, Teen Boy
Annotation: Grandma Dowdel had me laughing out loud once again. Her grandchildren are full grown now with children of thier own. This story is told by a 12 year old preacher's son who moves into the house next to Grandma Dowdel. First suspected to be a witch Mrs. Dowdel quickly snags the hearts of everyone around her with her spicy ways and uncanny adventures. I loved this book. It is brand new and only in hardback but you catch yourself smiling as you are reading and even later when you think about reading it. Here is a small sample from the text
"It was the hunting season, at least in Mrs. Dowdel's mind. Any time before dark you were apt to hear the full voice of a twelve-gauge shotgun. Then something on the wing would stop short in the sky and drop like a rock. And whether it was actually pheasant season or not, it was too late to warn the pheasant."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hate That Cat By Sharon Creech

Book Type: Young Adult
Sequel To: Love That Dog
Rating: B+
Recommended For: Kids who like poetry & Kids that don't like poetry!
Genre: Real Life Drama
Themes: Poetry, School, Parents, Pets
Main Character: Male Teen
Annotation: Hate that Cat is the sequel to Love that Dog. Both are a fun, quick (and by quick I mean QUICK) read. The entire book is a glimpse into a young boys life as he writes letters and poetry assignments to his teacher. There are parts that made me chuckle as the young boy learns about life and poetry and pets. Whether you love poetry or hate it this book is a treat.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Princess Academy By Shannon Hale

Book Type: Young Adult
Rating: A+
Recommended For: Girls in Reading level 4th grade and up
Genre: Fantasy
Themes: Magic, Romance, Prince and Princesses, friendship
Main Character: Female Teen
Annotation: This is a delightful book. A young girl is sent to an academy where she and all her friends are trained how to be princesses so that the Prince can choose one of them for a wife. Shannon Hale does an excellent job of sharing a story with added depth and feeling. I didn't want it to end. She is also successful in weaving a bit of magic into the story and she keeps it believable. There is a touch of romance but nothing that isn't appropriate for the younger reader. If you are looking to purchase Princess Academy, be aware that it can be found in two different covers.