Bookscoops

The Scoop on Children & Adolescent Literature

Archive for January, 2011

A True Princess by Diane Zahler

Posted by hollybookscoops on January 29, 2011

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Review of A True Princess

I have just returned spell-bound from Diane Zahler’s new novel A True Princess. Such beautiful stories are often described as enchanting, but I am seeking for a word more rich and lovely. Mesmerized. I have been mesmerized by the Elf King and have shivered in fear as Odin and his deadly hunters thundered through Bitra forest. Zahler has proven herself a master weaver of retold fairy tales. Her stories are truly magical, deeply engaging, and surprisingly full of twists and elements of heroism- or rather, ‘heroine-ism’. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, based on the oft told Princess and the pea, yet full of more than pitiful princess wanna-bes standing in line to prove their pedigree.

Lilia is a shepherdess living off the kindness of the family who rescued her as a baby from a basket in a river. Rather Moses-like, I know, but strangely satisfactory. Initially, I was thinking Unsinkable Molly Brown meets Moses, both lovable stories, but I was pleased to find something or, rather someone even more enchanting. Lilia has beautiful dark hair and violet eyes, which is perfect because I have become a little weary of trite heroines with blonde or chestnut locks and blue or green eyes. Lilia’s classic beauty makes for beautiful cover art and the book is just as visually appealing on the outside as it is satisfying inside.

Kudos to Harper Collins for uncovering yet another outstanding story weaver. Thank you to Ms. Zahler and her publicist for the ARC! I look forward to the release of A True Princess February 1, 2011. Perfect timing for Valentine’s presents and Easter baskets! Readers can look forward to a spell-binding read. Zahler’s second novel does not disappoint!

Come back and visit us soon, as we here at Bookscoops are participating in Diane Zahler’s Blog Tour in conjunction with the release of  A True Princess. We will have an author interview and Book Giveaway, courtesy of Harper Collins, on February 12th 2011!  Don’t miss this great opportunity to get an inside look at Diane Zahler and enter for a chance to win a hard-bound copy of her wonderful book! Mark your calendars for Saturday February 12th- only two weeks away!

Posted in Author Interviews, Books for Girls, Giveaways, Young Adult Fiction | 10 Comments »

We Made Out Like Bandits!

Posted by hollybookscoops on January 24, 2011

It’s been a busy new year, and before January is officially over, I wanted to mention how much we loved the books we got for Christmas! My family and I love books. We love to give them and get them. Well, except for my husband, who mostly loves to give them to me. After the wrapping paper was stuffed into bulging garbage bags, and we had a moment to breathe, I took an inventory: 31 Books! We had a Dragon book, a Flat Stanley book, 3 Star Wars sticker books, 4 Animorph series, some Beverly Lewis Amish books, and a few other adult books including Austenland, by Shannon Hale. Let’s see, what else? I knew I should have made a list. You can read about some of our very favorites below: Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth.

This one has been loved on as much as any little baby could love it. Literally! A few days ago, my little one was opening it and closing it, turning it upside down, trying to pull the ladybugs off one by one. And finally? I had to laugh when I saw him toss it on the ground and crawl across it, licking each ladybug to see how they tasted! Yes, I admit, he’s still under one, but this is some great hands on baby-lovin’ book reading! My 4-year-old  actually loves this book too, but he insists on reading it backwards, because he doesn’t think it’s proper to count backwards from 10. Never mind, that when the words say a ladybug ‘disappears’, and we turn back a page, one automatically appears. It’s almost like magic! I’ve tried changing the words, but it’s very hard to make them still go along with the pictures. Ahh! The challenge of reading to young minds who are determined to see the world their way. I highly recommend Gerth’s fun contribution to children’s literature. It’s definitely a top ‘flavor’ scoop at our house.

The really popular book with my 10-year-old was the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid

My two oldest boys were also thrilled to find that Santa Claus had given them each an LED flexible arm book reading light. I now have to confiscate them at night or else I end up finding out my little rascals didn’t go to sleep. Some nights I beg to borrow their lights so that I can read while I lay down by little brother to help him fall asleep. So far, my boys have been generous to share with me.

What books did you get for Christmas?

Posted in Board Books, Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Children's Literature, Juvenile Fiction, Middle Readers, News, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Cowboy & Octopus by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith

Posted by hollybookscoops on January 19, 2011

This book is funny the same way that Napolean Dynamite is funny. All the jokes are dead-pan come-again type. The kind that kids love. We read this book over and over and over. A fun companion to those cowboy boots your little one is asking for and a little leg up on telling jokes, although the authors don’t seem to ever have gone much past the 4-5 year old joke stage.

Posted in Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Picture Books, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Posted by hollybookscoops on January 10, 2011

I recently enjoyed this poignant coming of age story about Lucia who grows up during the 1961 Communist Revolution in Cuba. Lucia’s innocent naivete is shredded bit by bit when soldiers come to her small town. Lucia and Frankie believe  their parents are being unreasonable in their demands that their two children stay home where they can be safe from the insanity that seems to have overtaken their beloved country.

Lucia’s best friend Ivette and her family fall hook line and sinker for the propoganda of the new Cuba, and Lucia struggles to find a balance between pleasing her parents and being a normal teenager who wants to hang with her friends and meet boys. Ultimately, Lucia and Frankie’s parents take drastic steps to save their children from the brainwashing that the government is performing on all young minds.

Readers will enjoy learning about this volatile time in Cuba’s history. I was very intrigued by the chapter headlines- each one is taken from a newspaper headline during that time period, adding significance and detail to Gonzalez’s first novel. I am impressed and look forward to what Ms. Gonzalez brings us next!

Posted in Books for Girls, Books for teaching history, Juvenile Fiction | Leave a Comment »

 
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