Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, released in North America on March 13, 2018, was perhaps one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. Despite my initial apprehension, I ended up loving Illuminae, then Gemina, unable to tear my eyes away from the video logs, journal entries, chat logs, hand drawn images, and visually stunning word art, I fell in love with the unique style I once thought I would find jarring, and I could not wait to dive into this unique world in Obsidio once again.

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

Image result for obsidio

Continue reading

Advertisements

TEACHER TUESDAY: How to Read a Story by Kate Messner

This week’s Teacher Tuesday post is all about How to Read a Story by accomplished storytellers Kate Messner (author) and Mark Siegel (illustrator) chronicle the process of becoming a reader: from pulling a book off the shelf and finding someone with whom to share a story, to reading aloud, predicting what will happen, and-finally-coming to The End. This picture book playfully and movingly illustrates the idea that the reader who discovers the love of reading finds, at the end, the beginning.

Related image

“Step One: Find a story (A good one). Step Two: Find a reading buddy. (Someone nice). Step Three: Find a reading spot (Couches are cozy).”

Image result for apple banner clipart

SUMMARY: Accomplished storytellers Kate Messner (author) and Mark Siegel (illustrator) chronicle the process of becoming a reader: from pulling a book off the shelf and finding someone with whom to share a story, to reading aloud, predicting what will happen, and-finally-coming to The End. This picture book playfully and movingly illustrates the idea that the reader who discovers the love of reading finds, at the end, the beginning, while also telling a story within a story that students will love – about a princess, a dragon, and a robot, who overcome their differences to be friends in The End.

RECOMMENDED AGES: 4 – 8 year olds (Grades K – 2).

Related image

MY THOUGHTS: How to Read a Book by Messner and illustrated by Siegel is an engaging, funny, and beautiful book that children will love (trust me – my students absolutely adored this book!). It is fun, simple, and the illustrations perfectly suit the tone of the writing, supporting the text and adding rich details to this unique picture book. This book has the potential to serve as a mentor text for younger students, whether its used to support the development of good reading practices in the classroom, or as a mentor text for a Procedural Writing Unit.

Continue reading

TEACHER TUESDAY: Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg

Hi Bookworms (and teachers)! If you’re reading this, it means that you have intentionally (or perhaps unintentionally) stumbled upon my newest feature – Teacher Tuesdays! This idea came to me as I was planning for an upcoming Language Arts unit, and realized that perhaps others could benefit from reviews of the children’s books I am using in with my class.

I have also decided to include potential lesson ideas and activity inspiration at the end of these posts (for those of you who are teachers, or who work/interact with children in some capacity). 

Each Teacher Tuesday review will contain a summary of the book, a recommended age range, my personal thought on the book, and potential classroom applications (linked to Ontario Curriculum). 

Image result for apple banner clipart

This week’s Teacher Tuesday post is all about Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg, which tells the tale of two ants who decide to leave the safety of the others to venture into a danger-laden kitchen.

Image result for two bad ants

SUMMARY: Accustomed to the orderly and uneventful life in the ant hole, all the ants enter the bizarre world of a kitchen in the search for sugar crystals for the queen. Two greedy ants stay behind in the sugar bowl, eating their fill and then falling asleep. Their slumbers end when a giant scoop drops them into a sea of boiling brown coffee. Further mishaps include a heated stay in the toaster, a hazardous swirl in the garbage disposal and a zap in an electrical outlet. When the ant troops return, the two bad ants gladly rejoin their friends and head for the safety of home.

RECOMMENDED AGES: 4 – 8 year olds (Grades K – 2). Older children may also enjoy reading Two Bad Ants independently.

MY THOUGHTS: Two Bad Ants has dazzling artwork that highlights the ants’ point of view, and children will be fascinated by the ant-eye view that Van Allsburg provides of common everyday items, such as sugar, coffee, and a toaster! Van Allsburg’s illustrations observe the world from unusual angles and perspectives as readers follow the ants on their journey. This book has the potential to serve as a mentor text for a variety of age groups and for a variety of topics, such as Voice (Point of View) and Descriptive Writing.

Continue reading

Isle of Blood and Stone (ARC) by Makiia Lucier

In Isle of Blood and Stone, Makiia Lucier explores the repercussions of a story eighteen years in the making, that began when two princes vanished. Now, eighteen years later, a riddle hidden on a recently uncovered mysterious map could chart a course towards the truth and the missing royals. Set to be released in North America on April 10, 2018, this historical fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Rachel Hartman and Tamora Pierce!

(I would like to thank Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Reader’s Copy of Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier in exchange for an honest review). 

Eighteen years ago two princes of the island kingdom of St. John del Mar were kidnapped and murdered, a deadly plot by the rival kingdom of Mondrago. Everyone knows the story, but for Elias, Mercedes, and Ulises, the aftermath of that tragic day is deeply personal. Elias grew up without his father, who was killed trying to protect the princes. Mercedes is half-Mondragan, leaving her to grow up in the shadow of del Mar’s hate. And Ulises, as the youngest and only remaining prince, inherited the throne meant for his older brothers. Now, the three friends just want to move on with their lives. But when two maps surface—each with the same hidden riddle—troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young princes? And why do the maps look like they were drawn by Elias’s father, whose body was never found?  To discover what really happened that fateful day, Elias, Mercedes, and Ulises must follow the clues hidden in the maps, uncovering long-held secrets and unimaginable betrayals along the way. But the truth is dangerous, and not everyone wants it to come out. 

Image result for isle of blood and stone

Continue reading

April 2018 TBR List

I am going to try and keep this month’s list short (even as I type this I know it will undoubtedly get out of control once I start adding books to this list – but it’s the thought that counts, right?). April is without a doubt going to be a crazy busy month for me – I will be entering my final practicum as a pre-service teacher! Crazy, right? But practicum means a busy schedule of teaching, volunteering, and lesson planning, and in my previous experience, this really does cut into my reading time.

That being said, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that my reading time is important – because “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” (Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele). Research has shown that curling up with a good book is not only enjoyable, it can positively impact your mental and emotional health. Reading books, particularly fiction, fully engages the mind and imagination – and transports the reader to a world away, resulting in lower stress levels. And that, in truth, has always been my experience when it comes to reading for pleasure. So while I may be busy with finishing up my final term of post-secondary, I know I’ll find a way to sneak in some reading time!

 

So what’s on this month’s list? Once again, this month’s list is a collection of books being released in April 2018, some upcoming releases I’ve been lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of, and previously released books that I hope to find the time to (finally) read this month!

  1. Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Release Date: January 16, 2018)
  2. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Release Date: March 6, 2018)
  3. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Release Date: April 2, 2018)
  4. Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Release Date: April 3, 2018)
  5. Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier (Release Date: April 10, 2018)
  6. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (Release Date: April 10, 2018)
  7. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (Release Date: April 24, 2018)
  8. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (Release Date: April 24, 2018)
  9. From the Earth to the Shadows (ARC) by Amanda Hocking (Release Date: April 24, 2018)
  10. Song of Blood & Stone (ARC) by L. Penelope (Release Date: May 2, 2018)

 

This month I am undoubtedly most excited for Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (Release Date: April 10, 2018) and Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (Release Date: April 24, 2018) – I’ve included a synopsis of the two books below!

Continue reading

SERIES REVIEW: Rebel of the Sands Trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton

In this Series Review, I have amalgamated my previous reviews for Rebel of the Sands, Traitor to the Throne, and Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton, so that my readers can find all the information regarding this series quickly and easily in one place.

I have also included a brief review of the series as an entity at the end (following the three individual book reviews), and I must remind readers of this – while the individual book reviews are (generally speaking) free of any major spoilers, the later books will include potential spoilers from the earlier ones.

Image result for rebel of the sands trilogy

Continue reading

MINI MONDAY: Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

Following the success of Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton, the third and final book in the trilogy, Hero at the Fall, was released in North America on March 6, 2018, and promises to be a breathless finale to the New York Times bestselling Rebel of the Sands series. It will have readers on the edge of their seats until the dust from the final battle clears!

When gunslinging Amani Al’Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she’d join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn’t have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn’t exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.

Related image

Continue reading

MINI MONDAY: Between the Blade and the Heart (ARC) by Amanda Hocking

Released in North America on January 2, 2018, Between the Blade and the Heart by New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking is the first book in a brilliant new young adult fantasy duology inspired by Norse mythology that is sure to be popular with fans of Riordan’s Percy Jackson.

(NOTE: I would like to thank St.Martin’s Press for providing me with an electronic copy of Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking in exchange for an honest review) 

When the fate of the world is at stake, loyalties will be tested. As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. The balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos. As Malin wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought, she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue-eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. Malin, along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend, must decide where her loyalties lie…and whether helping Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and to her heart.

Image result for between the blade and the heart

Continue reading

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

It has been called the biggest fantasy debut novel of 2018 – and after reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi for myself, I can certainly understand why. Released in North America on March 6, 2018, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is the first in the Legacy of Orïsha #1. Children of Blood and Bone tells the story of Zelie, a young girl from a fictional West African kingdom who is fighting to restore magic to her people, after it’s been banned by a ruthless king. The novel has deep roots in Adeyemi’s own Nigerian culture, and this shines through in the heartfelt and powerful tale that Adeyemi weaves.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy. 

Children Of Blood And Bone: The Orïsha Legacy by Tomi Adeyemi

Continue reading