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5 Mythology Books I Really Think You Should Read / B.I.R.T.Y.S.R. Volume 21

19 Feb


Mythology Books (Background from Miss Tiina…because nothing says mythology like rainbows and hearts, am I right?)

Happy Thursday! I spent my day hanging out with friends, sewing, and watching one of my favorite animated movies, The Aristocats. I also realized this morning that I hadn’t posted this month’s Books I Really Think You Should Read, so here we are! This month’s theme is mythology, because I figured, why not? Happy reading!

Pegasus1 >> Pegasus Series by Kate O’Hearn / Read my review here.

First up we have Kate O’Hearns Pegasus series! I absolutely adore these books and finished the series in only a couple of weeks. The minute you open the front cover you’ll instantly find yourself caught up in Emily and Pegasus’s world of Roman gods and goddesses, blood-thirsty monsters, magic, myths, powers, and mysterious scientists…and you’ll LOVE it! This entire series is a must-read for any book lover, but I must warn you: be ready for some serious reading marathons.

Loki's Wolves2 >> The Blackwell Pages by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Although I did mention The Blackwell Pages series in my last Books I Really Think You Should Read post, I couldn’t help but feature this fabulous series again! It’s a perfect combination of suspense, adventure, and friendship, with a good dose of Norse mythology thrown in. The books have a terrible tendency to end in cliffhangers though, (you can read my thoughts on those here.) which may leave you terribly annoyed when you find out the next installment isn’t being released until March. *Sigh* :)

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods3 >> Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

While I would recommend the entire Percy Jackson series to well, everyone, I thought Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods would be the perfect choice for this list! It’s a collection of the Greek myths told from the point of view of everyone’s favorite demigod, filled with loads of laughs and great writing, along with amazing full-page illustrations. It’s size does make it a bit hard to carry around, I can assure you that it’s worth it! Now I just have to wait for the sequel…

The Pharaoh' Secret 4 >> The Pharaoh’s Secret by Marissa Moss

This book is a great read for fans of Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles series! It follows the adventures of Talibah and her younger brother Adam as they travel to Egypt with their father and end up getting caught up in a world of tales and mysteries…which also makes it the perfect read for a rainy afternoon. :) Marissa Moss’s writing flows together very nicely and you’ll definitely find yourself finishing this book in one sitting. I’m actually about to start one of her other books, Bombs Over London…expect a Purple Panda Points review soon!

Goddess Girls5 >> Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

This series is a great introduction to Greek mythology for anyone who isn’t quite ready for the books above! The series (which already has fifteen books and another one coming out in the spring!) revolves around young Greek gods and goddesses and their adventures in their mythical boarding school. Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams did a great job of reworking the myths to fit in a modern middle school setting, while still not losing the original story lines. A quick and recommended read for any mythology lover!

What are your favorite mythology books?


15 Books Coming Out in 2015 I Really Think You Should Read / B.I.R.T.Y.S.R. Volume 20

19 Jan


15 Books Coming Out in 2015It’s time for this month’s Books I Really Think You Should Read (B.I.R.T.Y.S.R)! Like it is every January, this month’s theme is books coming out this year, and let me just say that there are a lot of them. I actually had to change this post from being 10 books to 15. They all look too good. :) Not surprisingly, this list is made up entirely of fantasy, mystery, historical fiction, magical realism, and mythology books (I’m so not a realistic fiction person! :) ), but I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that appeals to you, whether it’s a magic-filled fractured fairy tale or haunted historical mansion mystery. Let’s get reading, shall we?

*The release dates listed for these books may change, so it’s probably a good idea to check their Goodreads pages (links below) for the most recent info. 
The Last Ever After1>> The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani  / Release Date: July 21

Teehee. There’s no way the third School for Good and Evil would not be on this list. I mean, really, I’ve actually included this series on the B.I.R.T.Y.S.R. feature 6+ times. (It is chocolate cookies and cream ice cream all the way though. :) ) The summary and cover of the third book haven’t been released yet, but I’m sure they will live up to the standards of the previous books.

Silver in The Blood2>> Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George / Release Date: July 7

Oh. My. Gumdrops. Look at that amazing cover! And not only that, but look at the author! Yes, it is the oh-so amazing Jessica Day George (AKA: the author of the oh-so amazing books, Princess in the Silver Woods and Tuesdays in the Castle.) Her new book, Silver in the Blood, is about two society girls from New York City in 1890 who travel to Romania to learn more about their family’s (magical shape-shifting!) roots. Sounds cool, right? Now, all we have to do is wait until July. Anyone have a time machine?

Princess in Disguise3>> Princess in Disguise by E.D. Baker / Release Date: March 31

E.D. Baker has always been one of my favorite authors, so you can imagine how happy I was to discover that there would be a fourth book coming out in The Wide Awake Princess series, (which I previously thought was going to be a trilogy.) The fourth installment in the series follows the adventures of Annie and Liam, who are planning (SPOILER WARNING! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!) their wedding, but a series of mishaps causes the event to be ruined. To save their special event, the two embark on a dangerous journey filled with magic, fairy godmothers, and all sorts of fairytale fun.

Thor's Serpants4>> Thor’s Serpents by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr / Release Date: March 1

I never actually got to review Loki’s Wolves on here (which I think just means that I should read the first two books again) but let me just say that the first two books are fantastic. They’re very Percy Jackson-esque, but revolve around Norse mythology. I prefer the second book more than the first, despite the fact that it ended on a cliffhanger (Evil cliffhangers. You ruin all my attempts of reading the end of the book first,) hence my excitement for the third story. March couldn’t come sooner!

The Sword of Summer5>> The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan / Release Date: Oct. 6

Yay! More Norse mythology for everyone! I’m a big fan of Rick Riordan’s other series, Percy Jackson and The Kane Chronicles, so I’m very excited for his new book to come out (only three days before my b-day. :) ) The summary sounds quite interesting: Magnus Chase, a teen from the streets of Boston, discovers a dangerous secret from his mysterious uncle: The Norse gods are real, and the doomsday, Ragnarok, is coming. And Magnus is the only one who can stop it. Sounds ominous, right? In other news, Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes  is coming out in August – hopefully it will be able to satisfy me until October.

Of Enemies and Endings6>> Of Enemies and Endings by Shelby Bach / Release Date: June 30

I adore the Ever Afters series by Shelby Bach. A fractured fairy tale taking place in modern times with plenty of magic and cool characters? Yes, please! I am having very mixed feelings about this book though: on one hand, I’m so excited to find out what happens next after that cliffhanger in book three (see my opinion on cliffhangers above), but on the other, I don’t want the series to end! Either way, it does sound like this book is going to be the best one yet! Oh, and let’s also all take a minute to acknowledge this gorgeous cover. It’s definitely my favorite of this entire post. I mean, just look at it! It’s so different than the others in the series, but still fits in the style of the first three books. I need this on my bookshelf! :)

Princess Academy #37>> The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale / Release Date: March 3

Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy has always been one of my favorite books (it first came out 10 years ago – who knew?), so I was oh-so happy to discover that she was coming out with a third installment in the series. The premise sounds quite fun, although I don’t remember much about the story, (I’m sure a rereading is in my future!) Oh well! I can’t wait to read this fabulous author’s next book.

Grounded8>> Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison / Release Date: April 28

While I was browsing Goodreads for books to add to this list, I came upon Grounded by Megan Morrison. The cover instantly interested me, (Hair! Lots of hair!) so I did a bit of investigating. It centers around a spoiled girl named Rapunzel (which I guessed…from all the hair) who has everything she wants, until one day, when a thief named Jack breaks into her tower. The two venture into the world outside her hidden home, and then, of course, magical adventure follows. Sounds like a fun read! And it’s a debut! And it has a fun cover! Hooray!

Story Thieves9>> Story Thieves by James Riley / Release Date: Jan. 20

I loved James Riley’s Half Upon A Time trilogy, so I’ve been looking forward to the release of this book for awhile. (It comes out tomorrow!) Everything sounds very appealing: the story revolves around a young boy named Owen, who dreams of becoming a hero in his own book series. The dream becomes a reality though, when he sees his classmate Bethany climbing out of a library book. Turns out Bethany is half-fictional character, and she’s been traveling throughout different stories to find her father. Together the two embark on a magical journey through the fictional world…but it doesn’t turn out exactly as planned. Now, if only I could travel into my favorite book…

Palace of Lies10>> Palace of Lies by Margaret Peterson Haddix / Release Date: April 7

I’m a bit late to the whole Just Ella series, (the first book was published 1999 – wow!) since I just read the two books a few months ago, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy them! I fell in love with the way the writing flowed together and really enjoyed how Margaret Peterson Haddix weaved the first two stories together. After I finished the books, my sister mentioned that the third one was coming out in April. After a quick Goodreads search, I was able to learn more about the third installment: Palace of Lies, which is told from the point of view of Princess Desmia, who was a secondary character in Palace of Mirrors. I’m very excited to find out what happens next in the story, and will definitely be purchasing it once it’s out.

Graceful11>> Graceful by Wendy Mass / Release Date: April 28

Wendy Mass is a great author! She’s written some amazing books like Pi in the Sky and The Candymakers, but my all time favorite series of hers is the Willow Falls series. The books are the perfect mix of fantasy, whimsy, mystery, and humor so you can imagine my disappointment when I heard that The Last Present was going to be the last book in the series. Luckily, it turns out I was wrong! The fifth book, Graceful, is coming out in April (so many books are coming out in April!) and by the looks of the cover, (Pizza!) it’s going to be a great read.

The Disappearance of Emily H. 12>> The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy / Release Date: May 12

A disappearance. Lying. Secrets. Mysteries. Memories. Supernatural powers. What does The Disappearance of Emily H. not have? Barrie Summy is a great mystery author (She wrote the I So Don’t Do…series, which is one of my favorite “main character can see/communicate with ghosts” series) so I’m sure it will have loads of suspense and wonder. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger.

The Island of Dr. Libris 13>> The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein / Release Date: March 24

Chris Grabenstein’s Mr. Lemoncello’s Library was a very fun book – a great blend of mystery and puzzles with lots of book trivia thrown in. His next book, The Island of Dr. Libris, seems just as interesting, but with its own personal twist. Even the summary sounds exciting: Billy is spending the summer on Dr. Libris’s island, where he is busy exploring the Dr’s lakeside cabin. There, he discovers a shelf of books that seem to come to life. But that’s impossible, isn’t it? Anything is possible Billy, anything.

Serafina and the Black Coat14>> Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty / Release Date: July 14

Serafina and her father have lived secretly in the basement of the Biltmore Estate for as long she can remember. She’s never disobeyed her father and also never had any reason to leave the safety of the estate’s basement. When the children of the estate begin to disappear however, Serafina must find the courage to venture into the nearby forest in order to save them, piecing together the puzzle one piece at a time. Doesn’t this book sound amazing? It combines all my favorite genres: fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. What could be better? (I mean, it might be, if you added a purple panda…)

Pirate's Code 15>> Pirate’s Code (Hook’s Revenge #2) by Heidi Schulz / Release Date: September 15

Technically I haven’t read the first Hook’s Revenge book yet…but it’s in my bedroom, sitting on top of my pile of books, and I have no idea why I wouldn’t love it. I mean, a Neverland-themed book from the point of view of Captain Hook’s daughter, who is a former society girl turned pirate? Just my cup of tea! (Or, as I prefer to call it, my scoop of ice cream.) The second book sounds quite good too, and I’m sure I’ll be counting down the days until it’s released.

What books are you looking forward to in 2015?

Lulu :)

7 School-Themed Books I Really Think You Should Read / B.I.R.T.Y.S.R. Volume 19

7 Oct


B.I.R.T.Y.S.R Volume 19I’m back! Since I was so busy with school starting and homework, and lots of other things, I missed two whole volumes of Books I Really Think You Should Read–eek! To make up for it, I will do two B.I.R.T.Y.S.R this month; one being the “September”-themed addition, and one creepy cool Halloween-themed one. Yay!!!

My September post was supposed to be about books that center around schools or academies the characters go to, which are always quite fun, so let’s go back in time to last month and get started…

Spy SchoolSpy School by Stuart Gibbs

I actually just finished Stuart Gibbs’ most recent novel, Space Case, (it was awesome. You should definitely check it out!) and am about to begin his other book Poached, so I naturally decided to feature his Spy School series on today’s post. In this hilarious series, the main character, Ben, is accepted into a school for training junior spies and he meets some of the most funny secondary characters you’ll find in a middle grade mystery. (Although Three Times Lucky’s townspeople are pretty cool too.)

The School For Good and EvilThe School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani / Read my review here.

Teehee. I think you all knew this would end up on the list one way or another. :) Seriously though, the school in this series is one of the most important elements of the book and I remember myself always flipping back to Sophie and Agatha’s schedules during my reading, as well as the map of the school. Reading about the characters’ classes always makes me laugh, (or get very worried, depending on what part you’re on…) and makes me want to go back and read this one again…for the fifth time.

Princess AcademyPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale / Read my review of the first book here and the second book here.

My fondness for Shannon Hale’s books has grown immensely over the past couple months after reading her Books of Bayern series, (although it was already quite high) so when I was compiling this post, I immediately thought of her wonderful Princess Academy stories. The first book is a delightful read for any fantasy lover because of its subtle magic elements, likable main character, and cast of secondary characters. Once you get hooked on the first book, you’ll be begging for the second one! :)

The Mysterious Case of the Allbright AcademyThe Mysterious Case of the Albright Academy by Diane Stanley

Evil brownies. Robot students. Creepy Clones. The Albright Academy is filled with a mystery that is so funny, it’s addictive. When the main character, Franny, is accepted into a elite boarding school it seems like a dream come true. After arriving, she starts to suspect that the other students at Albright Academy are all eerily perfect…in the most unnatural way, causing her to start investigating with s few of her peers. (Cue dramatic music!) Although I haven’t read this book in a while, I remember getting hooked and finishing it in just one afternoon, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

The Red Blazer GirlsThe Red Blazer Girls by Michael D. Beil / Read my review of the first three books here, here, and here.

I remember curling up under a blanket a couple years ago with the Red Blazer Girls books and just blasting through the series in a few short weeks. The mysteries are so complex and perfectly planned out that you’re filled with suspense and wonder up until the very last sentence. Michael D. Beil does such an awesome job of working the settings into the story, especially the girls’ school, that it was an obvious choice for this list.

Regarding the TreesRegarding the Trees by Kate Klise an M Sarah Klise

Kate Klise’s books are some of my all time favorites because of the ridiculously fun plot lines and M. Sarah Klise’s drawings. When you pair the two together, you get a wonderful story filled with settings and characters you can’t help but like. In my favorite book by them, Regarding the Trees, a group of kids work with an eccentric fountain designer to help recreate their middle school into something awesome.

Gilda JoyceGilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake by Jennifer Allison / Read my review of the third and fifth book in the series here and here.

Unlike most of the other schools in this post, where I chose them because of their quirkiness or likability, I chose to feature the school in the second Gilda Joyce book because of its creepy coolness. (I mean just look at the cover–oooh, scary!!! :) ) In this fast-paced mystery, psychic investigator Gilda Joyce starts attending a fancy academy and soon discovers a new mystery–only a few years ago, a young student drowned in the academy’s lake, and everyone assumed it was an accident, but Gilda suspects differently. Can she find out what really happened before it’s too late? (You’ll have to read it to find out! :) )

I’ll be back later this week with some book reviews and a birthday post!  :)


10 Book Pairs I Really Think You Should Read / B.I.R.T.Y.S.R Volume 18

31 Jul


Slide01(Background from Digital Design Essentials)

I hope you’ve all had a great week so far! I’ve been taking animation classes for the past two weeks, so I’ve been a bit busy, but I had just enough time to put together my bonus (make-up for missing June’s edition) July Books I Really Think You Should Read. For this month, I chose book pairs, (example: if you like this book, you’ll love this one…) so let’s get started right away, shall we?

Princess in the Opal Mask / The Goose Girl Princess In the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist and The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale / Read my review here.

Although Shannon Hale is one of my favorite authors, I hadn’t read her debut book, The Goose Girl, until very recently, and now I can happily say I’m eager to get my hands on the rest of the series! It seems like a perfect match with another book I’ve rambled on about quite a bit-Princess in the Opal Mask. Both have royal main characters who go into hiding before taking their thrones back, and are perfect for readers who like a mystical feel in a book, but not one that is riddled with curses and fairies like some of the other books I love to blog about…coughschoolforgoodandevilcough.

The Third Lucretia / The Red Blazer GirlsThe Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt and the Red Blazer Girls and the Ring of Rocomadour by Michael D. Beil / Read my review here.

I haven’t read either of these books in a while, but I remember them being so good that I could never possibly put them down. The Red Blazer Girls has a strong group of main characters that are entertaining and believable, while the Mystery of the Third Lucretia has a suspenseful mystery that makes you want to look ahead really, really, really (really) badly. (I, obviously, caved in and read the last chapter practically before I had finished the first. :) ) Both are great reads for any mystery lover!

Little Women / The PenderwicksLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott and The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall / Read my review (of the second Penderwicks book) here.

Oh look, my time travel pairing! I chose one classic book, (Little Women! Yay!) and a modern one, (the Penderwicks are so awesome.) with similar themes to make a perfect pair. Both stories show how the sisters in the two books are best friends, and feature some of their funniest and most entertaining adventures. Plus, in one of them there’s an adorable six-year-old with fairy wings and bunnies, so now you just want to read it, don’t you?

Way Down Deep / Three Times LuckyWay Down Deep by Ruth White and Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage / Read my reviews here and here.

First let me just say how pretty I think Way Down Deep‘s cover is….I mean it’s pretty awesome. (Just look at it for a second….) Okay, back to the pairing-I chose to put these two together because although Way Down Deep takes place years before Three Times Lucky (I think. I really have no idea what year it is in Tupelo Landing, but it manages to feel timeless) they both have similar small towns filled with casts of wacky, but lovable characters, and those are the best kind, right?

The Mysterious Benedict Society / Mr. Lemoncello's Library The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart / Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein / Read my review here.

A library designed like a giant board game and a secret society filled with evil twins and genius toddlers are great on their own, but when you pair them together, you’re left with an amazing book pairing. I love all of the Mysterious Benedict Society books (Trenton Lee Stewart is a great author!), but Mr. Lemoncello’s Library was the first book by Chris Grabenstein I’ve read, and it got me hooked! :) You’ll be so caught up in the puzzles and story that you’ll end up reading these both in just a few of sittings.

Gilda Joyce / Molly Moon The Gilda Joyce books by Jennifer Allison and the Molly Moon Series by Georgia Byng / Read my Gilda Joyce and Molly Moon reviews here, here, here, and here.

Molly Moon and Gilda Joyce just seem like they would be the best of friends to me. :) (If only Gilda had an adorable puppy side-kick too!) Both are spunky and likable main characters, who each go on different, but exciting adventures. Pictured above are my favorites from both series, where Gilda Joyce gets a job at a spy museum and does everything espionage style, while Molly Moon (and Petula the Pug!) go to Hollywood to investigate the mysterious kidnapping of a Broadway child star. Cool, right?

The Teashop Girls / My Life In Pink and Green The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaffer and My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald / Read my review here.

There were lots of middle grade books about girls saving their family businesses that came out all around the same time a couple of years ago, (I can think of three more off the top of my head right now besides the two pictured), but these books do it really well, and a tiny bit better than the others. Not only do both have surprisingly coordinating covers, but they also show the M.C. doing more than just saving her Tea Shop or family store (which happens by turning it into a spa, which is super awesome by the way,) like her friendships and family relationships, and it keeps the story interesting and helps it avoid becoming predictable.

The Doll People / Toys Go OutThe Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Toys Go Out by Emily Jensen / Read my review here.

Toy-themed books are always a fun adventure filled with cute characters that make you laugh and plots to make you smile, and the Doll People and Toys Go Out are no exceptions to this rule. They both follow the stories of house hold toys and what they do when they’re owners aren’t watching or how everyday experiences to us feel to them. It’s quite fun and are perfect for when you want a light-hearted, cheerful read.

The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons / Kat IncorrigibleThe Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons and Kat Incorrigible (Titled A Most Improper Magick in the UK) by Stephanie Burgis / Read my reviews here and here.

Most of you know how good I think the Kat Incorrigible books are, (and their full covers are pure greatness. :) ) because of her adventurous spirit and knack for getting trouble (maybe I’m just biased when it comes to characters named Cat!), but I haven’t talked about the Lucy P. Simmons books much. Her story flows along gently, but still has plenty of suspense and magic. I haven’t read the second book yet, but writing about how much I liked the first book reminded me to search for it on our next trip to the library!

Hamlet / LynnvisibleThe Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne and Lynn Visible by Julia Devillers

I think these two book covers and their fun leggings were destined to be paired together, don’t you? The story lines of these two fantastic books (part of my small collection of realistic fiction reading) are quite different, with one revolving around the everyday life of a middle school girl with some eccentric Shakespeare plots thrown in and another filled with unusual and trendy fashion. The feel of the books seem similar to me though, and felt like an automatic pairing for this post. (Even if it was just because I wanted to put those shoes side-by-side! :) )

What are your favorite book pairs?


Red, White, and Blue Books I Really Think You Should Read-B.I.R.T.Y.S.R Volume 17

4 Jul


How do you like the new blog design? You can see some more updates on all the pages and on the side of the home screen!

Red, White, and Blue Books

(Background from Wishing Well Creations)

Happy early Fourth of July everyone! Since I was so busy with school and other events last month, I wasn’t able to post a Books I Really Think You Should Read post, so I’m going to do two this month. Yay! Anyways, for this post’s theme, I chose ten books with fun red, white, and blue covers to help you get into the Fourth of July spirit. Enjoy!


Revolution: Book 2 in the Sixties Trilogy by Deborah Wiles

Right now I’m in the midst of reading Deborah Wiles’ wonderful first book in her Sixties Trilogy, Countdown, which follows the life of an eleven year-old girl named Franny, who’s growing up during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s a pretty great read, and you should totally check it out. Although I haven’t started the sequel, Revolution, yet, the plot sounds promising and it has a fantastic cover (that just happened to match this post’s theme) along with old advertisements and photos sprinkled throughout the pages. I’ll be reading it right away!

Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag by Kate Messener

What happens when the original Star Spangled Banner gets stolen and you’re a junior member of a secret society dedicated to protecting treasures and artifacts? Anna, Jose, and Henry find out when they’re all trapped together in an airport along with the person who stole the gigantic flag! I love Kate Messener’s Silver Jaguar Mysteries; they’re always so fast-paced and exciting! This one is my favorite out of the first two, but that might change once I get a chance to read the latest book, Manhunt, that came out just a few days ago!


Remarkable by Lizzie K. Foley

Before I ramble on about how remarkable Remarkable is, let us all just acknowledge the awesomeness of that cover. Done acknowledging? Okay! In Lizzie K. Foley’s debut novel, the whole town of Remarkable is filled with remarkable people who do remarkable things, (as the cover tells you), except for Jane who seems to not be able to do anything remarkable at all, (as the cover also tells you. See how awesome the cover is?) There’s tons of fun throughout the book including loads of quirky characters, a very secret sea monster, and lots of sugary jelly that shouldn’t be missed!

Spy School

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

This is one of my more recent reads, and I have to say that I’m hooked! I mean, how much more could you ask for than a prestigious CIA school dedicated to training future spies, a cast of funny and interesting characters, and a likable and relatable main character who’s just as much out of his element in spy school as I would be, but does it in a hilarious and entreating way? Enough said, I’ll definitely be reading the rest of Stuart Gibbs’ books soon.

Molly Saves The Day

Molly Saves the Day by Valerie Tripp

For a bit easier red, white, and blue read this summer, I recommend the American Girl book Molly Saves the Day, along with the rest of the historical doll novels too, of course! The plot of this one is fairly simple, (Eleven year old Molly heads to summer camp in 1944, and ends up becoming a leader for Color War. She tries to help her team to victory, while still being a true friend) but there’s lots of camp fun and it screams summer to me! Don’t forget to check out the “Look Into the Past” section in the very back. It’s always my favorite part of the book!

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M. M. Blume

Some of the best things about summer reads to me is that they always seem to be able to make me smile and laugh, involve traveling somewhere I’ve never gone, and have a cast of quirky and lovable characters. Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters does all those things, and even more! Along with a very smart girl who can say dictionary-length words to describe every situation and a very adorable French bulldog (named Mister Kinyatta! How cool is that?), this is a read you’ll end up finishing in just one sitting.

The Hidden Staircase

The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene

Now we must take another moment to acknowledge the awesomeness of this lovely cover. Okay, we’re acknowledging…acknowledging…okay, done! So now I can start rambling (mostly about how awesome I think this cover is): The first four books in the original wonderful Nancy Drew series got all new covers recently at Penguin Book publishing, and I have to say I love them! Hopefully the updated look will attract new readers to the books, WHICH HAVE SUPER COOL COVERS, and I can say they definitely caught my eyes when I saw them at the Blue Bunny bookstore last month:) (Especially the one for the Mystery at Lilac Inn-it’s purple and one of my favorite ND mysteries! What could be better?)

Cat Among The Pigeons

Cat Among The Pigeons by Julia Golding / Read my reviews of the first four books in the series here, here, here, and here.

Being one of my ultimate favorite series of all time, I usually try to work a Cat Royal Book into one of these posts:) Seriously though, these are pretty awesome books for anyone who likes mysteries, historical fiction, or plain old great stories…(I may be a little biased, but who cares?!) The second book, (shown above) follows the adventures of Cat Royal: an English orphan who lives in the attic of a popular theatre and has a tendency to get into trouble. This time around she ends up being on the run from the police, having to disguise herself as a boy, and help save her best buddy Pedro from his old slave master. See, now you really want to read it, don’t you?

The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart / Read my review of the first book here and the third book here.

Who wouldn’t want to join the Mysterious Benedict Society? When the brilliant Mr. Benedict sends his four young society members, Kate, Sticky, Reynie, and Constance on a scavenger hunt across the country, the kids suddenly realize that Mr. Benedict’s evil twin (evil twins are always in cool books :) ) Mr. Curtain and his workers are trailing them. Soon they’re embarking on a dangerous mission that requires their unique talents in order to be a success. This fast-paced and (very!) suspenseful book will keep you wondering what will happen next! (And the feeling might be so strong that you’re required to take a quick peek at the last chapter before you get there…I’m just speaking from experience.)

Regarding the Fountain

Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

I adore Kate and Sarah Klise’s books! The Regarding the…series is one of my very favorites because of the great drawings and silly, but entertaining plot. The whole series is written in letters, newspapers, journals. etc. giving it a unique feel that keeps the story moving along nicely. If you end up liking these, you should definitely check out their hilarious Dying to Meet You series too!

Have a great 4th of July!


The Return Of The Fantasy Books-Books I Really Think You Should Read / Volume 16

19 May



It’s time for another Books I Really Think You Should Read! And guess what? This month I decided to feature my favorite genre of all: FANTASY…again! I tried not to feature any authors or series I did in my fantasy post last year, (it was so hard not to feature my favorite Jessica Day George and E.D. Baker books again!), so I have lots of new and awesome suggestions for you. Yay!

A World Without Princes

The School For Good and Evil Trilogy by Soman Chainani / Read my review of the first book here.

I’m pretty sure most of you know about my love for the School for Good and Evil books, (it’s not like I’ve read the first book five times or anything:) ) so you can probably imagine my excitement when the second book, (the one shown above) was released last month! Both books are so suspenseful and interesting, and now I’m dying to know what happens to the two main characters, Agatha and Sophie! Oh, they’re both just too awesome to describe, so I guess you’ll just have to go and read them yourself…

my Fair godmother

The My Fair Godmother Books by Janette Rallison / Read my review of the second book here.

What happens when you put a high-heel wearing, pink-haired, “fair” godmother in charge of granting a teenage girl three wishes and end up traveling back to the middle ages? Well, an amazing book series! Janette Rallison does a wonderful job of blending all the fairy tales into one without it being too confusing, and leaves you with a cast of hilarious characters, a fun plot, and plenty of magic and adventure.


The Twice Upon A Time series by Wendy Mass / Read my review of the books here, here, and here.

This is a bit of a shorter series, but I still laughed and enjoyed it just as much as I did with the other series on this month’s list. In each one of the Twice Upon a Time books, Wendy Mass takes a classic fairytale and tells you the “real” story by having both main characters tell it. My favorite would have to be a tie between Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, but they’re all loads of fairytale fun!


The Ever After High Trilogy by Shannon Hale

I know I said I wasn’t going to repeat any authors or series from my fantasy post last year, but I received the second book in the Ever After High trilogy for Easter, and since it was written by the always fabulous Shannon Hale, has a purple cover, and is about the characters from one of my favorite doll lines (Oh, Ever After High…) I simply couldn’t resist! The book follows the stories of the sons and daughters of famous fairytale characters, who all go to a boarding school together. Fun, right?


The Kat Incorrigible Trilogy by Stephanie Burgis (The UK edition is titled A Most Improper Magick) / Read my reviews of the first two books here and here.

What could be better than a book about the adventures of a girl living in the 1800 in England who has magical powers and gets into loads of mischief? Not only do I love the Kat Incorrigible trilogy’s covers (have any of you noticed how many trilogies there are in the Fantasy genre? Half go the books on here are part of one!) but I also love the wide array of characters, from funny and brave Kat to her ladylike sister Elissa! I’ll definitely be rereading these sometime this summer.

Half upon A Time

The Half Upon A Time Trilogy by James Riley / Read my reviews of the first two books here and here.

Ooh, I love these books, (even if I do say that about all the books in this post…) They follow the story of the awkward peasant Jack, May: a modern girl who accidentally finds herself in Jack’s world, and the courageous Prince Phillip, as they travel to free May’s grandmother who may (or may not!) be Snow White! It’s lots of fun and has plenty of plot twists I hadn’t seen coming, so yeah. You should read these. Cool.

Once upon A Marigold

The Once Upon A Marigold Trilogy by Jean Ferris / Read my review of the first book here.

These books are just oh-so silly and made me laugh out loud so many times! The plot is just funny and the storyline of the commoner Christian his impossible crush on Princess Marigold is so cute:) It’s just impossible not to be happy when you’re reading any of the books in the trilogy.


The Silver Bowl Trilogy by Diane Stanley

I adored this trilogy, and got sucked into the storyline so easily:) The adventurous plot and quick-witted heroine (and a magical silver bowl full of one hundred curses!) keep the book moving along nicely and there’s one suspenseful surprise after another to keep you reading, (I couldn’t put it down!)


The Ever Afters Series by Shelby Bach

Before I even start talking about how much I love this series, (and how I can’t wait for the third book to come out in the summer!) I just want to say how cool the covers are. When you open them it turns into a full image and the drawings are just so fun! Anyways, how could you possibly not want to read a book about kids who go to a fairy tale themed after school class to prepare for being in their own fairytale? Seriously, it’s just so good.

The Princess in the Opal Mask

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist / Read my review here.

This is one of those books I really don’t know how to categorize; what do you call a book that takes place in a made up kingdom, but nothing magical really happens? I guess you could call it historical fiction, but that really doesn’t seem right to me. Oh well! It’s still an amazing retelling of the fairytale, The Prince and the Pauper, and I’m desperately waiting to find out what happens to Elara and Willa in the sequel!

What are some of your favorite fantasy books?


6 Time Traveling Book Adventures I Really Think You Should Go On-B.I.R.T.Y.S.R Volume 15

14 Apr



It’s time for April’s roundup of Books I Really Think You Should Read! This month’s theme is about books where the characters time travel to the future or the past; yay! I have plenty of great reads that I can’t wait to share with you…

Titanic Cover

The Time Traveling Fashionista Series by Bianca Turetsky / Read my review of the third book here.

Not only are there plenty of beautiful full color drawings throughout this fashion-savvy series, there’s also lots of adventure and history hidden in the pages. Join 12-year-old Louise Lambert as she time travels to all sorts of places from the Titanic to the set of a Hollywood movie; all because of gorgeous fashions she finds at the mysterious Time Traveling Fashionista sale! What could be better?

A Year Without Autumn

A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler / Read my review here.

I just adore Liz Kessler’s wonderful use of fantasy and magic in her other series Emily Windsnap and Phillipa Fisher, but for this post I wanted to feature her book: A Year Without Autumn. In this wonderful novel, the main character Jenni accidentally transports herself a year later than her own time when exploring a vacation resort. Now her family has gotten one person larger, her best friend’s family is suffering a tragedy, and Jenni can’t find a way to get back to her own time!!! And if you want more time traveling excitement, try reading Liz Kessler’s other adventure: North Of Nowhere!

The magic half

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows

This is a shorter read than the other books featured on this post, but it still has plenty of great time traveling fun! When Miri Gill finds a magical piece of glass in her attic bedroom…she’s suddenly not in her bedroom. It’s still the same room of course, but it’s not even the same time period…Miri soon discovers she’s traveled to the year 1935, where she meets a girl named Molly who insists she needs rescuing. Can Miri help Molly and get back to her own time period?


The Mira’s Diary Series by Marissa Moss

I’m actually reading a book by Marissa Moss right now, so maybe I’ve just been thinking about her books lately, but when I decided I was going to write a post about Time Traveling books, this was the first thing that popped into my head! The Mira’s Dairy series is about a teenage girl named Mira, who while on a trip to Paris, discovers she can time travel when visiting certain places. The books are decorated with amazing drawings and the writing is just as fun and entertaining; you should definitely check these out!

Listening for Lucca

Listening For Lucca by Suzanne Lafleur

This book may not qualify exactly as time traveling, but it is still pretty awesome:) The main character, Siena moves to an old beach house with her parents and younger brother Lucca, who has stopped talking. When Siena is exploring the house, she finds an old pen that belonged to a girl her age over fifty years ago, and when she writes with it, Siena is able to see into the past! Cool, right?

The wells bequest

The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman

Polly Shulman is an amazing author, and I loved reading her fairy-tales themed book, The Grimm Legacy. I quickly started the companion book, The Wells Bequest, almost immediately, and I was so interested in the complicated time machines and ideas from all sorts of different books…plus I just like the setting of the New York Circulating Material Repository:) But seriously, you should read this.

What are your favorite time-traveling reads?