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Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez ARC {5 Stars}

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez ARC {5 Stars}

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Moving Target #2)
Published by Scholastic Press on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 214 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The thrilling sequel to Moving Target! When a young girl can determine the destiny of the world, the wrong choice could lead to disaster . . .

Cassie Arroyo has found the long-lost Spear of Destiny -- only to have it stolen right out from under her!

In Return Fire, Cassie and Asher must regain the spear. This time, however, it's not enough just to find it: Cassie realizes that when she used the spear, she sent the world down a path that could eventually lead to serious trouble. Can she find a way to stop the terrible chain of events that she set into motion?

As she tries to reshape her own destiny, Cassie takes off on a breathless adventure across Italy, leading her to a forest outside Rome, a Caravaggio painting full of clues, and a villa by the sea. There, in the ultimate showdown, Cassie has to decide who she can truly trust. And when the chance to use the spear presents itself again, she has to figure out if she can even trust herself.

Kids will be clamoring for this sequel after finishing Moving Target, and this has even more thrills, riddles, and page-turning excitement!

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of RETURN FIRE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Note: I received an advanced copy of DEFENDER OF THE REALM from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler {Just Hatched}

Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler (Defender of the Realm #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on March 28, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 306 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

For hundreds of years the United Kingdom has been protected by a mysterious guardian known as the Defender. Part myth, part superhero, few truly believed the Defender existed . . . until now.

Alfie thinks he knows his destiny. As Prince Alfred, heir to the throne of Great Britain, he's fated to become the most disappointing king in the nation's history. Alfie longs for a way to prove himself, but little does he realize that with the throne of England comes an ancient secret. He who wears the crown must protect the country as the legendary hero -- the Defender of the Realm.

Hayley is an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life. She certainly never believed in the mysterious superhero, the Defender. Then, after witnessing a very public battle at the Tower of London, everything is different, and Hayley is left with no doubt. The Defender is real.

Two kids with two very different lives are about to get caught up in a centuries-long battle for the fate of a nation. Monsters and criminals, villains and dragons, together Hayley and Alfie must protect their home at all costs.

3 Stars

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Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson ARC {4.5 Stars}

Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson ARC {4.5 Stars}

Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson (Audacity Jones #2)
Published by Scholastic Press on January 31, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 176 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Audacity Jones and her best friend, Bimmy, are setting off from Miss Maisie's School for Wayward Girls on an extraordinary adventure! In the glittering city of New York, the girls meet Harry Houdini, the world's most famous magician, as he prepares a new spectacle: Houdini plans to make an elephant disappear from a crowded theater.

But Audacity and Bimmy discover a nefarious plot that puts Houdini's illusion in jeopardy. Who could be trying to sabotage the master magician? Audie will need all her smarts, the help of friends new and old, and even her best juggling skills to solve this mystery. Will she manage to save the show in time?

Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings readers a magical romp of a mystery that will delight and thrill to the very last page.

4.5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of AUDACITY JONES STEALS THE SHOW from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White ARC {4 Stars}

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White  ARC {4 Stars}

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White
Published by Little Brown on September 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG, Sci-fi
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes--or face the horrible consequences.

Packed with action, humor, and endless heart, this debut novel marks the first volume in an irresistible and original fantasy series.

4 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent ARC {5 Stars}

Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent  ARC {5 Stars}

Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent (Alfie Bloom #1)
Published by Scholastic on October 25th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Alfie Bloom's life is dull. Dull and lonely, and this summer is set to be the most boring yet. All of that changes when he is summoned to the bizarre offices of mysterious solicitor, Caspian Bone, where he discovers he has inherited a castle full of wonders that has been sealed for centuries. Alfie is astounded to learn he was born in that very castle six hundred years ago during a magical timeslip. There, Orin Hopcraft, the last of the druids hid an ancient magic inside him, which others seek but should never be used. With the help of his cousins Madeleine and Robin, and Artan the flying bearskin rug, Alfie must keep the magic from terrifying adversaries and ensure that the secrets of Hexbridge castle stay secret, forever!

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of ALFIE BLOOM AND THE SECRETS OF HEXBRIDGE CASTLE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter … or four. Check out the announcement post for more information.

This whimsical fantasy hits just the right notes as a light-hearted fantasy adventure suitable for middle-graders to read as they curl up with a cup of hot chocolate on some of these dark, winter nights.

Note: I received an advanced copy of ENTER A GLOSSY WEB from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush {Just Hatched}

Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Twelve-year-old George has no idea what to expect when she’s sent to stay with eccentric relatives following the disappearance of her brother. Soon after her arrival, she learns that Uncle Constantine has been kidnapped. George sets off to recover him and is joined by two orphaned boys along the way and Cavendish, a talking map. Together they visit magical worlds full of monsters, witches, and dragons as they attempt to find Constantine--the Timekeeper--a man of great significance. If he’s not rescued, events will cease to happen at their designated times, disrupting the unfolding of the universe. Can this ragtag crew save the future before being outwitted by evil captors?

3 Stars

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The Librarians and the Lost Lamp by Greg Cox ARC {3.5 Stars}

If you are a fan of the Librarian movie series (staring Noah Wyle) or the television series The Librarians, you should pick up a copy of this first book of a all-new trilogy.  Alternating perspectives, The Lost Lamp follows Flynn’s failed attempt to destroy Aladdin’s lamp, and the not-so-loveable Djinn emprisoned in it, and picks up when the next generation of Librarians encounters the lamp again …. and the group of thieves who want it for their own power-hungry ends.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Librarians and the Lost Lamp from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Librarians and the Lost Lamp by Greg Cox ARC {3.5 Stars}

The Librarians and the Lost Lamp by Greg Cox (The Librarians #1)
Published by Tor Books on October 11, 2016
Genres: MG, Urban Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 286 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

The story toggles between the past, as Flynn Carsen tries to find Aladdin’s Lamp before an ancient criminal organization known as the Forty Seals gets hold of it, and the future, when Eve Baird and a new group of Librarians — protectors of ancient artifacts like King Arthur’s sword Excalibur — stumble on a mystery in Las Vegas that seems to relate to the Lamp and the powerful djinn it can summon.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Reading Without Walls Blog Tour

Blog Tour Banner (1)

Secret Coders: Paths & Portals

Today it’s time for something a little bit different! Many of you know that I’m a graduate student (for one more year!) in computer science and biology. Therefore, when I was approached about joining in the Reading Without Walls blog tour, I couldn’t say no. I’ve been interested in Secret Coders for a while, but had never had the chance to read it. I’m really glad that I finally did, along with a couple more STEM comic books :D. If you have a kid in your life, I highly recommend these three great books!

Paths & Portals 1

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Darkstalker by Tui T. Sutherland {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Young fans of the Wings of Fire series will enjoy watching the history of the current series unfold as legendary dragons emerge from their eggs and start down the paths that lead to conflict within families and between the dragon nations.   Fans will enjoy knowing where the paths lead as they follow the tales of young heroes and villains, awkward and questioning as youngsters themselves, wondering if somehow all of the heartbreak could have been avoided with different choices.  But, as with classic Greek tragedy, we realize that some destinies cannot be avoided, even with the magical gift of foresight.

Note: I received an advanced copy of DARKSTALKER from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Darkstalker by Tui T. Sutherland {Just Hatched}

Darkstalker by Tui T. Sutherland (Wings of Fire - Legends #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on June 28, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Three dragons. One unavoidable, unpredictable destiny. This is the beginning... of the end.

In the SeaWing kingdom, a young prince learns he is an animus -- capable of wonderful magic that comes with a terrible price.

In the mind of a NightWing dragonet, a thousand futures unfold -- and almost all of them, she knows, lead to disaster and destruction.

And under three full moons and the watchful eyes of his NightWing mother and IceWing father, the most powerful dragon Pyrhhia will ever know is clawing his way out of his egg. Darkstalker, the dragon who will change the world forever.

Long before the SandWing war, lifetimes before the Dragonet Prophecy... darkness is born.

2 Stars

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The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

The Left-Handed Fate blends historical fiction with a touch of middle-grade adventure fantasy.  The protagonists are all tweens and teens who step into adult roles alongside older family members during the war of 1812.  As people on both sides of the British-American and British-French conflicts strive to find the pieces of a mysterious magical object that will end the war, loyalties and friendships are challenged.

Note: I received an advanced copy of THE LEFT-HANDED FATE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford {Just Hatched}

The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on August 23, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, MG
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Lucy Bluecrowne and Maxwell Ault are on a mission: find the three pieces of a strange and arcane engine. They're not exactlysure what this machine does, but they have it on good authority that it will stop the war that's raging between their home country of England and Napoleon Bonaparte's France. Despite being followed by mysterious men dressed all in black, they're well on their way to finding everything they need when their ship, the famous Left-Handed Fate, is taken by the Americans.

And not just any Americans. The Fate (and with it, Lucy and Max) are put under the command of Oliver Dexter, who's only just turned twelve.

But Lucy and Max aren't the only ones trying to put the engine together, and if the pieces fall into the wrong hands, it could prove disastrous. Oliver is faced with a choice: help Lucy and Max and become a traitor to his country? Or follow orders and risk endangering that same country and many others at the same time--not to mention his friends?

3 Stars

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