Happy Hallows Eve!

31 October 2009

Happy Halloween everyone! Have a spooky and fun night tonight. I will NOT be going trick-or-treating because all the kids in my neighborhood are ages 5-7 and there are no teens my age. I'll be handing out candy at the door and will be attending a few Halloween parties!


Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds to-night,-
In the wan moon's silver ray
Thrives their helter-skelter play.

Fond of cellar, barn,or stack,
True unto the almanac,
They present to credulous eyes
Strange hobgoblin mysteries.

Cabbage-stomps-straws wet with dew-
Apple-skins, and chestnuts too,
And a mirror for some lass,
Show what wonders come to pass.

Doors they move, and gates they hide,
Mischiefs that on moon-beams ride
Are their deeds, and, by their spells,
Love records its oracles.

Don't we all, of long ago,
By the ruddy fireplace glow,
In the kitchen and the hall,
Those queer, coofllke pranks recall?

Eery shadows were they then-
But to-night they come again;
Were we once more but sixteen,
Precious would be Halloween.

-Joel Benton

Red Moon at Sharpsburg

Title: Red Moon at Sharpsburg
Author: Rosemary Wells
Stars: 4.5
Summary by Book Flap
Review by Kirthi

When the Civil War breaks out in the year 1861, everything changes: schools close, families flee, and young men head off to battle. India Moody's mama and pa send her for tutoring with their neighbor Emory Trimble, a brilliant young scientist who teaches the eager India chemistry and biology rather than the scriptures and handwriting young ladies are expected to learn.
But as the powerful Union army advances toward northern Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, India and her family realize they may get caught in the crossfire. When India's ailing pa returns to the front, India must summon the courage she didn't know she had to plunge into one of the war's most tragic and terrifying events: The Battle of Sharpsburg
As she struggles for survival, India gets an education in love and loss, the senseless devastation of war, and the triumph of hope in the face of despair.

My thoughts:
This is a very detailed historical fiction that, unlike some historical fiction, spends a lot of time on the history rather than the fiction part. India is a character with personality, and easy to love. Her relationship with Emory is "vague" but the fact that she wants to be a somebody rather than a nobody wearing corsets and giggling about young men. I like it, she's strong and believes she is as good as any other man. Even though she's a fiction character, I really believe she has a life.
I recommend this book to all history fiction readers!

Old Books

30 October 2009

From this old record book I kept, which I dug out of the junkyard that is my closet. I'm going to re-read mostly all of them and post a load of reviews. So you know what's coming up:

Reading Chart of August 2008
The Salamander Spell- E.D. Baker
Catherine Called Birdy- Karen Cushman

September 2008
Battle of the Labrynth- Rick Riordan
Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming- David/ Gorden
Once Upon a Marigold- Jean Ferris
No Place for Magic- E.D. Baker
Airman- Eoin Colfer
Dave at Night- Gail Carson Levine
Nobody's Princess- Esther Friesner
Enna Burning- Shannon Hale
Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox- Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code- Eoin Colfer
Princess Ben- Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Ever- Gail Carson Levine
Song of the Sparrow- Lisa Ann Sandell
The Artemis Fowl Files- Eoin Colfer
Duchessina- Carolyn Meyer
East- Edith Pattou
Brisngr- Christopher Paolini
Book of a Thousand Days- Shannon Hale

October 2008
Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony- Eoin Colfer
Mythology- Edith Hamilton
What the Moon Saw- Laura Resau
Leonardo's Shadow- Christopher Grey
Dragons Egg- Sarah L. Thompson
Lock and Key- Sarah Dessen
The Princess and the Hound- Mette Ive Harrison
Red Glass- Laura Resau
Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident- Eoin Colfer

November 2008
Tithe- Holly Black
Amazing Grace- Megan Shull
Achilles- Elizabeth Cook
Sirena- Donna Jo Napoli
The Legend of the Wandering King
Hush- Donna Jo Napoli
Brida- Paulo Coelho
Valiant- Holly Black
The Golden Compass- Phillip Pullman
Spinners- Donna Jo Napoli
The Runaway Princess- Kate Coombes
Zel- Donna Jo Napoli
Falconers Knot- Mary Hoffman
Twice Upon a Marigold- Jean Ferris

December 2008
Ironside- Holly Block
Aquamarine- Alice Hoffman
The Subtle Knife- Phillip Pullman
Found- Margaret Peterson Haddix
Inkspell- Cornelia Funke
Tales from the Hood- Michael Buckley
Inkdeath- Cornelia Funke

January 2009
I'd Tell You I love You but then I'd Have to Kill You- Ally Carter
Loving Will Shakespeare- Carolyn Meyer
Odysseus and the Serpent Maze- Yolen/Harris
Nightsong- Michael Cadnum
That Summer- Sarah Dessen
Life as we Knew It- Susan Beth Pffefer
The Adoration of Jenna Fox- Mary E. Pearson
The Fellowship of the Ring- J.R.R. Tolkein
Double Identity- Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Garden of Eve- K.L Going
The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood- Hulman
The Year of the Rat- Grace Lin
Heartbeat- Sharon Creech
Atalanta and the Acadian Beas- Yolen/Harris
Hippolyta and the curse of the Amazons- Yolen/ Harris
Julie- Jean George
Julie's Wolf Pack- Jean George
Tuck Everlasting- Natalie Babbit
Quiver- Stephanie Spinner
Beauty- Robin McKinley
I, Coriander- Sally Gardner

February 2009
I am Rembrandt's Daughter- Lynn Cullen
Nine Days a Queen- Ann Rinaldi
The Alchemyst- Michael Scott
Tiger, Tiger- Lynne Reif Banks
The disruptable history of Frankie....- E. Lockhart
The Tales of Beedle the Bard- J.K. Rowling
Tallulah Falls- Christine Fletcher
Wicked Lovely- Melissa Marr
Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet

October 2009
Crispin the Cross of Lead- Avi
Song of the Buffalo Boy- Sherry Garland
The Boy in Striped Pajamas- John Boyne
kira-kira- Cynthia Kadahota

I stopped recording after February 2009, I just added October just now. I remember everything about all these books, good old memories. I remember Junie B. Jones and Geronimo Stilton. I wish I had started to record all the books I read since I first learned how to read. Now all I have to do is add ALL OF THESE to my Shelfari and Goodreads. Yea, good luck with that. :D

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

29 October 2009

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Author: John Boyne
Stars: 4.8
Summary by book browse.com
Review by Kirthi

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

My thoughts:
This book was devastatingly sad. It brought the harsh reality of the Holocaust to life, the climax rose and crashed down with a mortifying ending. The innocence of Bruno and "the boy of the other side of the fence" touched me, and only made the impact of the ending harder. I loved this book, but degraded it a few points because of the ending, which I thought was cruel.
 It has nothing to do with the amazing literature though, John Boyne is truly a satisfying, quenching author and I hope I can read some more young adult books of his.

my title

Hi guys, I need your opinion on my title for my blog. Which one looks much better?

The one with the unicorn (A) or (B) the one with 2 unicorns, two vines, and a griffin, or (C) the one with 3 blue unicorns?

Dark the Were and Golden Eyed

27 October 2009

Title: Dark they were and Golden Eyed
Author: Ray Bradbury
Stars: 5
Summary by Wikipedia (and Kirthi)
Reveiw by Kirthi
(Note: this is a science fiction short story)

An atomic war on Earth has caused the Bittering family — Harry, Cora, and their children Tim, Laura, and David — to flee via a rocket ship, joining the small population of humans who have colonized Mars. Shortly after their arrival, an atom bomb hits New York City destroying the ships, leaving the Bitterings stranded on Mars. Uneasily settling into their new environment, Harry begins to notice subtle changes first to the plants and animals, then to himself and his family. Mr. Bittering is scared of Mars, eating only food from the family's freezer, and is trying to make a rocket to bring him home. Soon though, the family cow grows a third horn, the grass becomes violet, the plants they are growing start to change, and so do the families. Tim wants to be called a Martian name, and Harry slowly stops resisting. What will happen?

My thoughts (written in Language Arts class)
I'm in LA, and my teacher, Mrs. Garcia, isn't in. She's pregnant and had this mix-up about doctors and appointments this morning and had to leave. I have this weird substitute now, Mr. Gust. Last time he subbed for us, he was trying too hard to be liked by the class.
with my exceptionally fantastic reading skills, I've finished while the rest of the class is still on page 2. Ha, ha. Now my REAL thoughts on this sci-fi peice.

My real thoughts:
This story deserved more than 5 stars. The setting, Mars, was mysterious and unknown and the slow haunting mood and tone scared me. I thought that it was amazing, and it reminded me of The Veldt. The Veldt was this short story I read last year in Language Arts, and surprisingly when I looked it up, it was also by Ray Bradbury. I noticed the writing style, they are both the same.
I think Bradbury leaves a lot out. He writes vague and allows the reader's mind to stray and imagine. It was a rich suspensful, and exciting story. I love Ray Bradbury's stories.

The Year My Sister Got Lucky

26 October 2009

Title: The Year My Sister Got Lucky
Author: Aimee Friedman
Stars: 4.9

Some Girls Have All The Luck.
Katie and Michaela Wilder are sisters, best friends, and born-and-bred New York City girls. Katie loves the feel of concrete beneath her feet, the roar of the subway, and the glamour of her world-class dance school. And her older sister Michaela feels the same way.
But the Wilder sisters' luck is about to change. The girls are uprooted from the city the summer before Katie's freshman year and planted in rural Fir Lake, a town full of overalls, cows, and mountains. In other words, Katie's worst nightmare. While Katie suffers through shopping withdrawal, Michaela transforms into a small town social firefly, flirting with the hot quarterback and soaking up nature with her new hick-town friends. As in, people who think comping is fun. Does Katie even know her sister anymore? And after Michaela hides a jaw-dropping secret from her, does Katie even want to?

My thoughts:
I thought this book was AMAZING!! I love sister-sister relationships, and I like to see how two sisters, with an iron-bonded closeness, defeat the enemies that try to break it and become closer than ever! Michaela and Katie are realistic and sweet, and totally normal. Easy to relate to. It's recommended to everyone!

Heir Apparent

Title: Heir Apparent
Author: Vivian Vande Velde
Stars: 2.9
Reveiw by Kirthi
Summary by Book Flap

In Heir Apparent there are as many ways to win as there are to get killed.
Giannine (Janine) can testify to how many ways there aer to die--it's about all she's been to do since she started playing. Now all she has to do is
  • get the magic ring
  • find the stolen reasure
  • answer the dwarf's dumb riddles
  • come with a poem for the
  • head-chopping statue
  • cope with the army of ghosts
  • outmaneuver her half brothers
  • and defeat the man-eating dragon.

If she can do all of that, why, she just might save her own life! (note: Heir Apparent is an interactive video game in which she gets stuck in)

My thoughts:
I thought this game was really annoying because if you get killed in the game, then it starts over and over until the player wins. It was repetitive but extremly interesting to see how Janine learns from her mistakes and overcomes video game obstacles.

Shadowland Book Trailer!

25 October 2009

My thoughts:
As much as I hated Blue Moon, I can't wait to read Shadowland. I hope ever chooses Damen, I don't want this other interfering green-eyed guy busting their relationship! In the end, EVER WILL BE LOYAL TO DAMEN!! (I hope)


I missed my blog anniversary! My first post was October 15, 2008! I've been blogging for only a year, and I hope I can continue many more years of reading!

Blog Award!!!

I received my first blog award for Sheer Awesomeness by Priya, who has an amazing book blog, Book Crumbs . Thank you sooo much Priya!

I now award the Sheer Awesomeness Award to

1. Sherry Salach of Flipping Pages for All Ages
2. Maura from Monster of Books
3. Em from Em's Bookshelf
4. Amanda Lee from The Storyteller

I would also like to award the I Love Your Blog award to

1. Bookworm from Bookworm Readers
2. The Book Spot
3. Erin from Miss Erin
4. Priya from Book Crumbs

Nominate your recipients on your blog by copying and pasting these awards!
I've enjoyed giving out these awards, hope you do too!


23 October 2009

Title: kira-kira
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Stars: 5+
Reveiw by Kirthi
Summary by book.

kira-kira (kee ra kee ra): glittering; shining

Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering --kira-kira-- in the future.

My thoughts:
This book made my cry, especially at the end. It touched me so much, the harsh reality of being poor in the U.S. in what I guess is in the 1800's. I love how Katie adores her older sister, how much Lynn means to her. Their sisterhood goes through difficulty, but in the end they stitch it back up. The cover. was. absolutely. touching.
The models were so amazing, how little Katie looks up to Lynn, the look of love on Lynn and Katies' face. They are like two halves in a whole. Their clothing is gorgeous and speaks volumes. I LOVE THIS COVER!!!

Losing Louisa

14 October 2009

Title: Losing Lousia
Author: Judith Caseley
Stars :3.9
Review by Kirthi
Summary by Book Flap

When Lacey Monroe Levine hears noises coming from the basement one night, she doesn't realize that her family's life is about to change. As if it hasn't changed enough already. She's the teenager, yet it's her divorced mother who is wearing tight jeans and going out on dates, while her father is about to become a father again with his new wife as the mother. Her parents have love lives, but Lacey doesn't, unless you count her crush on David, who shows every sign of becoming a jerk. And then there's Lacey's older sister, Rosie, smart Rosie, cheerleader Rosie, Rosie with the angelic singing voice. What if Rosie isn't as perfect as everyone seems to think?

My thoughts:
I didn't pick this book out! My friend insisted we read a book together, so at the school library, she picked this out.
"I know your going to read it one day (which I did), we're still gonna read it", she told me. So I checked it out anddd what do you know?! I finished it. It was a sort of book like a Sarah Dessen book I read...forgot the title. Anyone know? ANYWAY, I thought the romance between Lacey and MYSTERY BOY was so cute! It warmed me until I got that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Lacey was so lovable! I'm afraid, however, she didn't have much character. I mean, it was just like Bella Cullen in Twilight, Bella had no character! She was just totally lovesick and her personality was based on Edward. she was sooo boring! I don't get how Edward liked her!
CONTINUING, I still liked Lacey though, but only so little. Judith, my dear author, you need improvement.

The Swan Kingdom

13 October 2009

Title: The Swan Kingdom
Author: Zoe Marriott
Stars: 5
Review by Kirthi
Summary by Book Flap

Shadows have fallen across the beautiful and lush Kingdom. The queen was attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her. Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger- a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving her banished to a barren land unlike her own.
Alexandra has more gifts than even she realizes as she is confronted with magic, murder, and the strongest of evil forces. She is unflinchingly brave abd clever as she struggles to reclaum what she knows is rightfully hers.

My thoughts:
Another strong heroine! Fantastically lovable and gorgeously woven character, Alexandra is another wonderful heroine that I love. The romance was sweet, and unlike the original fairy tale version, Alexandra actually spoke and fell in love with her love BEFORE she lost her voice. Some random guy didn't come up to her and ask her to marry him, "Hmm, strange mute maiden, I'll ask her to marry me". Alexandra got to KNOW her guy before going for him. The antagonist was splendid, I hated her with all by guts! That stupid, selfish, ugly villian! 5 stars! I think I give away too many stars and give more credit than I should....but still. 5 stars!!

The Shadow Thieves

Title: The Shadow Thieves
Author: Anne Ursa
Stars: 4.9
Review by Kirthi
Summary by Simon and Schuster

Something extraordinary is about to happen to Charlotte Mielswetzski.

It's not the very cute kitten that appears out of nowhere. It's not the arrival of her cousin Zee, who believes he's the cause of a mysterious sickness that has struck his friends back in England. And it's not the white-faced, yellow-eyed men in tuxedos who follow Charlotte everywhere. What's so extraordinary is not any one of these things. It's all of them.

When Charlotte's friends start to get sick, Charlotte and Zee set out to find a cure. Their quest leads them to a not-so-mythical Underworld, where they face Harpies that love to rhyme, gods with personnel problems, and ghosts with a thirst for blood.

Charlotte and Zee learn that in a world overrun by Nightmares, Pain, and Death, the really dangerous character is a guy named Phil. And then they discover that the fate of every person -- living and dead -- is in their hands.

My thoughts:

WOW! I couldn't put this book down! Which was not a good thing when you're in class, in the middle of a Science lecture. It was a little fast paced and vague, but the way Ursa wrote it, vague and fast was GOOD. The Greek Mythology was great too, but I guess you'd have to know a little background info on it though. Zee was a totally lovable character, and in my opinion was PERFECT! Charlotte was a fierce headstrong red-head, and I especially love heroines like her. She's a perfect example of a GREAT (my opinion) CHARACTER! Bravo, Anne Ursa, BRAVO!! I shake you warmly by the hand and congratulate you!

Chinese Cinderella

09 October 2009

Title: Chinese Cinderella
Author: Adeline Yen Mah
Stars: 4.1
Reveiw by Kirthi
Summary by back of the book.

A Chinese poverb says "Falling leaves return to their roots". In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to paint an authentic portrait of twentieth century China as well as to tell the story of her painful childhood and her courage and ultimate triumph over despair.
After her mother dies giving birth to her, Edline's affluent, powerful family considers her bad lcuk. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to their stepmother's disdain, while her half brother and half sister are thoroughly spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not what she really yearns for--the love and understanding of her family.

My thoughts: The was a terribly true and sad "true story of an unwanted daughter". While reading this book, I cried and felt as if I was Adeline in the story. In her childhood, she was a praised writer (as said in the book) and won many awards. I'm not surprised! Its a great book for all ages.

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