Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mutt's Promise by Julie Salamon, Jill Weber (Illustrated by)

She's been on her own for a while now and is traveling past the farm when she hears an animal fight going on.  It's a hen being attacked by some weaselly looking thing and she goes to the hen's rescue.  When the attacker has run off, the owner comes out and checks over the chicken.  He needs to tend its wounds, so he gives the dog a pat and goes in the house with the chicken.  When the dog doesn't leave, he feeds her.  And he calls her Mutt.

Dial Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 8th.

If you have had dogs or like dogs, this book will appeal to you.  Mutt is pregnant but doesn't know it.  She finds out when birthing time is near.  She has four puppies.  The young son of the transient workers loves Mutt and thinks all her puppies are special.  He even names them.  His favorite is the runt of the litter; he calls her Luna.  But transients move on.  The owner of the farm can't afford to feed them all, so he offers the puppies for free once they are old enough.  

One little girl is taken with the two almost matching female puppies.  Her parents said one but they change to two after discussion.  They're both named Happy, one in English and the other in Spanish.  The little girl knows both languages and she's very happy with her new playmates.

The remaining puppies don't have such a good time.  The man that comes after them isn't kind, he's not even nice.  The owner wants them gone, so he lets him take them.  Then he worries after the fact.  So does Mutt.  She didn't like that man.

The pups have many more adventures before they finally settle down.  Life is tough when you're on the run.  You can't trust everybody.  But you can be lucky...

One Wish by Michelle Harrison

Tanya can see fairies.  Nobody believes her, not even her mother.  But she can.  And they aren't nice to her.  They are supposed to be her guardians but if she does something they disapprove of, they punish her.  Since no one believes her, she knows it would do no good to complain or ask for help.  Poor Tanya!

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 8th.

Ms. Harrison always writes books filled with magic and makes them interesting and exciting.  She's got a great imagination and just draws me in and fills me up with her tale.  This one is very good and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Tanya sees a fairy stealing things at the local restaurant.  She chases her and finds out that there is a young boy that protects the fairy.  He can see them, too!  She tries to be friends with him but he's a bit standoffish.  She persists and he invites to come to his place.  It's a trailer in the woods where he lives with his dad.  His dad is gone at the moment and she visits and chats about various things.  The fairy comes over and plays with her hair and bites her neck.  She decides to leave.  When she does, she has trouble remembering anything about him and their time together.  But she decides to return the next day and see if she can find him again.

She does.  She also sees a lot more than she wants to.  Her life changes when she gets involved in an old grudge with magical overtones.  Hers was not the only stolen memory.

There are madcap characters in this story.  There's a hag in the water on the way to the castle that would like to eat you.  There's a shadow running at large.  There are two insane old ladies that live in another world.  There's a crazy man trying to raise the dead.  And the boy's dad is now a frog.  With all the excitement going on, you're sure not to be bored.

This was a great read!

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier

She just wants to run her bakery but it's not to be.  The Timekeeper has come looking for her.  Her father has died and it's time for the magic to move on to another.  She knew this was possible but was sure one of her three stepbrothers would be the chosen one.  It was not and they are not happy about that.  She's just a female and a young one at that.  But she's the chosen one and will now be the Lady with the power.

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 8th.

It starts a bit slow while Keri learns her new role and how to be a leader.  She has to go through the appointment process, try to make her stepbrothers her allies rather than her enemies, and she has trouble that she never even knew existed.  Their protective mist that keeps their country safe from the warring factions around them is coming undone.  Soon, they will be visible.  That can't happen or they will lose their peace and some of them their lives.

The only advantage that Keri has is that the Doorkeeper and the Bookkeeper who are her assistants are her very good friends.  They all have a touch of magic and they will have to learn how to use that to keep their home safe.

With magic, wizards, dragons, warriors and treachery from within as well as outside, Keri has her work cut out for her.  The tale takes a bit to get going but it's then "off to the races".  Most of the time Keri is winging it and hoping she's making the right decisions.  I've been there in life.  I just wish I'd had some of her magic.  Or maybe not.

It takes hard work on all sides by her supporting characters to overcome a direct attack from the wizard next door.  It's a good thing they got the King's attention because he corrects the wizard, but it's bad thing because the King comes after them!

This was a good read.  It's a grand adventure and everyone has to pull together to make it work.  Keri has more work to do but at least the mist is working again.  Who knows what new adventures might come to her?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Maypop Kidnapping by C Surrisi

Quinnie enjoys living in the little town in Maine.  Her mom wears many hats here.  She's the police chief, the real estate agent, the post master and the chief of police.  Her father owns Gusty's where he serves Gusty burgers and you can get a side of lobster fries.  She gets privately tutored.  What could mess up her life?  A missing tutor, that's what.

Carolrhoda Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 1st.

When Quinnie tries to make her mom take a missing persons report, she tells her it's too soon to do so and the teacher probably just forgot her appointment with Quinnie.  Quinnie is not buying it.  She has decided that she must have been kidnapped.

This was an entertaining read because Quinnie is a determined detective.  She's willing to sneak around and do her own investigation (with the help of friends, of course).  She accuses one man and then another of kidnapping her because they had an interest in the missing woman.  While Quinnie is snooping and accusing, some odd folks have come into town.  They eat at her dad's restaurant but she doesn't trust them.

With gang-like members in town and two nuns speeding through, it really turns into quite a story.  I enjoyed the story and it has a sweet ending.  Quinnie makes a good detective even if she drives her parents nuts and was all wrong.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hinges Book 2: Paper Tigers by Meredith McClaren

Orio is back again with her buddy Bauble.  She still hasn't figured out what Bauble is but he is helping her.  She's found her calling with stitching and mending and life is going better now.  But it doesn't stay that way...

Image Comics sent me a copy of this story for review (thank you).  It's being published today and you can get a copy HERE.

Orio loses Bauble and tries to follow him.  What she finds is that there is wall around the town.  No one talks about it.  As she heads back home, the police take Bauble from her and tell her he's no odd.  She'll have to pick a new one.  She's not going to do that and she decides to approach the magistrate and ask for his return.  Instead, she steals him back.  And now she has to go out beyond the wall...

She and Bauble roam the wilderness hoping to find another town.  What she finds instead is Abernathy.  He's left his city behind and was trying to find hers.  She tells him it's not a good place to be and that's what he tells her about his town. When the paper tigers come to visit, they end up following them and find a forgotten city.  

This story had a bit more text to it and I understood it better than the first one.  I'm still not sure where the author is going with the story but I am sure I'll read the installment when it comes out.  The illustrations appeal to me and the story is magical.  I like it.

A Friend for Mole by Nancy Armo

Mole comes out of his hole to check things out and then can't find the hole again.  He decides to take a nap and doesn't wake up until it's dark outside.  Oh no, now he'll never find it!

Peach Tree Publishers and Net Galley allowed me to read this picture book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 1st.

This is a delightful story with cute creatures.  Mole is small and hairy and hid in some bushes for his nap.  When Mole comes out from behind the bushes and meets the night, he also meets Wolf.  He's a pup and he loves the night but he's afraid of the day.  Mole tells him the day is fine but he is afraid of the night.  They decide to be friends and agree to help each other face their fears.

The illustrations are luscious.  Wolf takes Mole home and tells him he's doesn't live far away.  They agree to get together and play in the future.  Everything is better with a little help.  This was a very cute story that touched my heart.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions: Gorilla Tactics by Sheila Grau

Runt always seems to get in trouble, even when he's trying to do something good.  He's working on being a good minion but seems to be lacking in the evil department.  He does have friends and he has a real concern, too.  He's been cursed and will die on his 16th birthday if the curse isn't lifted.  Of course, no one knows who laid the curse or why or how to fix it...

Amulet Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 1st and so you have time to read the first book in the series before it's published.

I enjoyed the first one and found this one even better to read.  Runt has settled down and doesn't think he's a werewolf anymore.  He doesn't know quite who he is, but he does know that.  Now he just has to adjust to being human.  That's not easy to do in Minion School.  

Ms. Grau throws in gorillas, an evil school principal, a secret library system, a fashion show and more in this story.  It's busy, has many layers, and I keep wondering when Runt is going to find out about his curse.  The tale rolls and rollicks across the pages and will keep even young readers' eyes on the pages.

The ending is well done and sets the stage for another in this series.  That's good; I'm ready to read the next one.