Dragons Beware! (Chronicles of Claudette, #2)

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Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Humor, Adventure, Dragons


BLURB:

Scrappy Claudette sets out once again with her pal Marie and her little brother Gaston to right wrongs and fight evil. And this time, it’s personal. Claudette is out to get the dragon who ate her father’s legs…and his legendary sword. But as usual, nothing is as simple as it seems, and Claudette is going to need Marie and Gaston’s help more than ever. Continue reading

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Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths

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Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: First Second
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Humor, Adventure, Friendship, Animals


BLURB:

Peter and Ernesto are sloths. Peter and Ernesto are friends. But Peter and Ernesto are nothing alike. Peter loves their tree and never wants to leave, while Ernesto loves the sky and wants to see it from every place on Earth. When Ernesto leaves to have a grand adventure, Peter stays behind and frets. The two friends grow even closer in separation, as Peter the homebody expands his horizons and Ernesto the wanderer learns the value of home. Continue reading

Not If I Save You First – Ally Carter

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Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: March 27th, 2018
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Adventure, Survival, Romance, Friendship


BLURB:

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.

No phone.
No Internet.
And not a single word from Logan.

Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full. Until Logan shows up six years later . . . And Maddie wants to kill him. Continue reading

Giants Beware! (Chronicles of Claudette #1)

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Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: 2012
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Super Fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Friendship, Adventure


BLURB:

Claudette’s fondest wish is to slay a giant. But her village is so safe and quiet! What’s a future giant slayer to do? With her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess), and her brother Gaston (a pastry-chef-to-be), Claudette embarks on a super-secret quest to find a giant—without parental permission. Can they find and defeat the giant before their parents find them and drag them back home? Continue reading

Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 29th, 2018
Publisher: Knopf
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fairytale Retellings, Adventure, Magic, Friendship, Betrayal


BLURB:

Ever since he was a dwarfling, Borlen (nicknamed “Grump”) has dreamed of visiting The Surface, so when opportunity knocks, he leaves his cavern home behind. At first, life aboveground is a dream come true. Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.) is the best friend Grump always wanted, feeding him all the rubies he can eat and allowing him to rule at her side in exchange for magic and information. But as time goes on, Grump starts to suspect that Queen E.V.I.L. may not be as nice as she seems. . . . When the queen commands him to carry out a horrible task against her stepdaughter Snow White, Grump is in over his head. He’s bound by magic to help the queen, but also to protect Snow White. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, the queen keeps bugging him for updates through her magic mirror! He’ll have to dig deep to find a way out of this pickle, and that’s enough to make any dwarf Grumpy indeed. Continue reading

Heist Society – Ally Carter

6574102Heist Society by Ally Carter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Published: February 9th, 2010
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Family History, Friendship, Scheming


BLURB:

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected. Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way. Continue reading

Aru Shah and the End of Time – Roshani Chokshi

36222611Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: March 27th, 2018
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Quest, Adventure, Mythology


BLURB:

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that? Continue reading