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Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

I will admit that I had trouble getting into Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children when I first checked it out from the library a couple of years ago. It just didn’t hold my interest, and then it had to go back. Too many books, not enough time. A couple of months ago, we found the graphic novel version of Miss Peregrine’s Home, and that was a much better experience. When I saw the audiobook version of the sequel- Hollow City- at the library, I picked it up. Please note: if you have not yet read Miss Peregrine’s Home, this review contains information that might be considered spoilers for that book. There are no spoilers for Hollow City. You really need to read Miss Peregrine’s Home before reading Hollow City. The Kindle version is currently on sale for $5.28, and is really worth picking up. Continue reading

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The Dark by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen

I found The Dark at my town library. I hadn’t heard anything about it, but how could I pass up a picture book written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen? I’ll admit that I never read the entire Unfortunate Events series, but Snicket’s The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming is a favorite holiday story of mine, and I think I Want My Hat Back is a modern classic.

The Dark is a story about Laszlo, a little boy who is afraid of the dark. They mostly keep away from each other, and the dark stays in the basement. But when Laszlo’s nightlight goes out, the dark comes to visit. The dark talks to him, and guides him into the basement. Laszlo learns that he doesn’t have to be afraid of the dark. Continue reading

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The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

As I attempted to prioritize my reading list by selecting the books that were due back to the library the soonest, I realized that I had two similar titles. The Chosen One and The 19th Wife had similar covers: both featured a single braid of hair, and both books centered around polygamist families. It was hard to choose which book to read first, but I started with The Chosen One.

The Chosen One was written by Carol Lynch Williams. This is the story of Kyra, a young girl living in an isolated polygamist community. Kyra is a fascinating protagonist, and once I started reading, I could not stop until I found out what happened to her. Continue reading

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Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck

I don’t remember how I first heard about Fallen Beauty. Usually I have a good memory when it comes to books, and I can remember whether a book was recommended on Amazon or if I read a book review in Entertainment Weekly. But I’m just drawing a blank when it comes to Fallen Beauty. Nevertheless, it was in my library pile, and its due date was quickly approaching, so I put it at the top of my to-read pile.

Fallen Beauty is a work of historical fiction written by Erika Robuck. This is her fourth novel, and her third to feature prominent 20th century American literary figures. I actually have her Call Me Zelda on my Kindle. I do believe that it was a Kindle deal of the day. No, I don’t think that there is a correlation between the Kindle deal and finding out about Fallen Beauty. Continue reading

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Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton) by Leila Rasheed

I have a great deal of love for my town library. They have a great selection of books, and they even have a large selection of books for sale for $1 apiece. Children’s books are 4 for $1! I have found tons of great books at the library. It’s hard to say no to cheap books. If there is anything that I cannot find, I can order them through the library network and they are delivered right to my town library. However, if there is something I see at a library in a nearby town, I will drive over and pick it up myself. Not only does this save resources, it also allows me to get the book I want instantly!

One of the libraries in a nearby town is very small. It shares a building with the police station and the town hall. Despite its small size, this library has been a treasure trove of amazing books. I came for a specific book, but then I found so many wonderful books that I didn’t know I needed.

One of the books that I found was Cinders & Sapphires. This is a young adult novel written by Leila Rasheed. The cover featured beautiful young people in opulent clothing, and a quote from Kirkus Review said that this would be perfect for fans of Downton Abbey. Sold! Continue reading

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This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

I found This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations at our town library. As a leafed though it, I thought that my daughters would like it, so I brought it home. We have another book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal called Cookies: Bite Size Life Lessons, and the girls have enjoyed that one. This Plus That was illustrated by Jen Corace.

The story is composed of a series of equations. The book combines English with math in ways that are quite clever: Continue reading

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Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past by Ransom Riggs

I first heard about Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past when I read a review of it on the now-defunct epinions.com. I enjoyed the review, and since I was familiar with Talking Picture’s author Ransom Riggs, I wanted to read the book for myself.

Ransom Riggs is best known for his young adult novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and its sequel Hollow City. The inspiration for Miss Peregrine’s Home was a series of old photographs that showed children doing fantastic things, like appearing to levitate. He crafted a wonderful story about these peculiar children and the lives that they led. Continue reading