Grandfather said she would become guardian of this katana at age 16, as Yamatos have done for over 500 years.
Surely it’s okay if Mio takes the ancient sword from its hiding place a little early, while Mom and Dad are away…
Monsters and gods, worlds of humans and spirits, from Japan to London to the depths of despair to first love – the katana connects them all to Mio as she struggles to master herself and the legendary blade’s powers.
Glide into Mio’s no longer boring life by reading the first chapter here free (courtesy of the publisher). Yes, all 3 books of the trilogy are available in the US!
Family secrets – what to share?
Book info: Name of the Blade (Name of the Blade trilogy, book 1) / Zoe Marriott. Candlewick Press, 2014. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Confined to sealed, sterile room.
no chance to ever leave the hospital – ever!
or is there??
The world knows Joe through the reality tv show that has filmed his battle with SCID since he was little, but the immunodeficiency disease means that he’ll never get to see the world beyond the view through his hospital window.
Read the first chapter here free, courtesy of the publisher.
Four walls, one window – this book was first published in the UK as The Bubble Boy – which title is better?
Book info: Bubble / Stewart Foster. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author Facebook] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Forever trapped in his London hospital room, Joe dreams of leaving this sterile zone of safety, like fellow no-immunities ‘bubble boy’ Henry in the US will soon do with NASA’s help – perhaps the 11 year old has his own superhero, just waiting to take him out!
Not fair than any common germ could kill him, that big sister Beth must go away to university, that the car wreck left them orphaned.
But Joe does talk to Henry on the computer every day (between school lessons) and watches movies and waits for the next visit by the TV crew who’s been documenting his life in the bubble since he was a baby.
This new nurse Amir might be a little crazy, talking about aliens and getting 607 channels of satellite TV into Joe’s hospital room somehow… and making a spacesuit for Joe, like the one NASA built for Henry.
What’s making Joe’s white blood cell count go wonky now?
Will Beth choose a medical school far from London?
Can Amir really help Joe get beyond the airlock door of his hospital room?
Joe hasn’t breathed outside air since he was a tiny infant, but perhaps he actually can venture out and look up into the entire sky….
Such a fancy new department store!
How lucky that Sophie landed a job there in Ladies’ Hats!
How dreadful that the prized Clockwork Sparrow was stolen…and that Sophie is a suspect!
And how very fortunate that orphaned Sophie finds allies in the store who help her solve the mystery and are willing to risk crossing paths with the evil Baron of 1900s London’s crime underworld!
The author introduces her Sinclair’s Mysteries in this video (love listening to her British accent!) and takes us to real-life London locales which inspired them.
How do you stand by your friends in difficult times?
Book info: Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow (Sinclair’s Mysteries, book 1) / Katherine Woodfine. Kane Miller Books, 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Locked-room mystery, mysterious strangers, and even stranger deliveries make Sinclair’s Department Store of London an intriguing place to work in the early 1900s, but teens Sophie (Ladies’ Hats, recently orphaned) and Lillian (dress model, between acting jobs) discover that a missing clockwork bird holds dangerous secrets within its jeweled feathers.
How can apprentice porter Billy help the police?
Is the Clockwork Sparrow more than a beautiful music box?
Why is underworld crime boss The Baron involved?
First in the series featuring our determined young ladies and their friends in high places and low neighborhoods as they deal with ciphers, codes, churlish villains, and social class.
Book info: Girl on a Plane / Miriam Moss. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Flying back to boarding school from her father’s Army posting in Bahrain, Anna’s 1970 journey becomes a death watch as Palestinians hijack the BOAC plane headed for England!
At 15, Anna is old enough to fly on her own passport, young enough to be seated with other kids returning to school, routine travel for them all.
Suddenly, men in the cabin flourish guns, forcing the captain to fly far into the Jordanian desert where the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine guerillas await.
Explosives are loaded onto the plane, food is not. With the engines off, their plane becomes a sweltering prison – Anna wonders if she, David, and young Tim with his pet turtle will ever get to school, will live to see another day…
Based on the author’s experiences as a teen, this gripping story is a glimpse into the tension-filled history of the Middle East and the passion of those who’d risk anything and everything for their cause.
Grandfather didn’t really teach her magic, Dragons don’t really eat lovely young ladies,
Kids can’t really go to the Otherworld or Underworld…
These are just a few of the wrong, wrong, and very wrong things that “everyone knows” in Effie’s post-Worldquake England, with its throttled-down technology and disdain for magical arts.
Perhaps she and her friends from the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled, and Strange can use the ring, spectacles, and other objects that Grandfather left to Effie in their search for answers that someone or something is trying to hide from them!
Book info: Dragon’s Green (Worldquake, book 1) / Scarlett Thomas. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] [book series website] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Magical thinking and bravery may help Effie and her school friends outwit the man who stole her grandfather’s magical library, but only the eleven-year-old herself can use his ring to travel to the Otherworld and solve the mystery of Dragon’s Green (and save the world).
Ever since the Worldquake five years ago disrupted the internets and made technology erratic (and perhaps killed Effie’s mother), grandfather Griffin has kept to himself. Of course, Effie’s father and stepmother know that magic is not real (except that it is, and Griffin had begun teaching it to Effie before his demise).
Effie learns more about the unscrupulous man who claims that Griffin’s priceless ancient books belong to him and glimpses what their true powers might be, as she begins to make friends with classmates at her unusual school.
Why are Maximilian and Wolf suddenly brave against their tyrannical teachers?
Who in the Otherworld would willingly become a dragon’s favorite meal?
How can someone be the last reader of a book?
Effie, Lexy, Raven, Maximilian, and Wolf each have to master their gift from the small bag left by Griffin – without letting the magical item master them – if their Realworld is to remain safe from the darkness of the Underworld in this first book of the Worldquake series.
WOW! It’s already AudioSYNC season, where audiobook publishers provide two FREE professionally narrated audiobooks through SYNC every week through August so you can read with your ears!
Note that these complete audiobooks are only available for free download from Thursday through Wednesday as noted. However, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device
Each week will feature a classic tale and a current one, related thematically. We begin with horror… just click on the link after each audiobook title and follow the easy download instructions.
Discovery of the diary of a girl who never existed reopens the decades-old case of that deadly fire at Elmbridge High school – five students died, Carly vanished, there was no Kaitlyn, where’s the truth?
Have you read either of these spooky titles before?
Mom is not dead?
Just trapped in the past,
One chance to rescue her…
Hope’s photographic memory is no fluke, but an essential part of her heritage as a Viator time traveler. And she’ll need it to complement her hasty training in knife-fighting and proper lady’s behavior before the team’s one-shot trip to 12th century England.
When Outlander author Diana Gabaldon praises a time travel book, you know it’s something special.
Read the first few chapters here courtesy of the publisher, and you’ll be hooked on Hope’s story – past and present. The sequel is due in May 2017, so start your journey Into the Dim now….
If you could travel into the past, where/when would you go?
Book info: Into the Dim / Janet B. Taylor. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Hope is relieved to discover that Mom didn’t die in that earthquake, startled to learn that her mother is trapped in the 12th century, and completely unprepared to time-travel back to Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court to rescue her!
After Mom is declared dead in an earthquake, her adoptive dad’s family in Arkansas wants to ‘stop this homeschool nonsense’ that allows Hope to edge past her crippling phobias and harness her photographic memory.
Luckily, her never-met Aunt Lucinda invites Hope to Scotland, where the teen learns of her Viator lineage which enables her aunt and others to travel – carefully, very carefully – back in time, as her mother did. But Mom missed the rendezvous and is stranded in the time of King Henry II.
Ley lines, costumes, computers, training in martial arts, languages, and customs – all necessary to make that single trip back to a certain time and place. One chance per Viator, that’s it.
Can Hope master enough skills to pass as a young lady traveling with chaperone?
What does handsome neighbor Bran Cameron suspect about her aunt and the Viators?
Why did Mom bolt back into time without telling her?
First in an exciting time-travel series where one false move could undo Hope’s sanity, the Viator secret, and the world’s history. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Matchmaking – so satisfying!
Seeing friends happy – so delightful!
Her own future so dull – oh, dear…
Emma is sure that her matchmaking will result in happy marriages for everyone in her social circle, but she will care for her elderly father instead of ever marrying. Of course, love has other plans, and secrets, too!
Especially interesting are the information sections about adapting the classic text (available in full here) for use with this graphic format and creating these manga characters as reflections of each personality.
Another in Udon Entertainment’s great Manga Classics series, like Pride and Prejudice (my review here) and The Scarlet Letter (my review here), that will help first-time readers and long-time fans alike become more familiar with the characters and plots of classic stories while reading each author’s original words – back to front, of course.
So, what matchmaking have you witnessed lately?
Book info: Emma / Jane Austen; adapted by Stacy King; art by Po Tse. Udon Entertainment, 2015. [series Facebook page] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Ensuring the happiness of her friends through matchmaking leaves Emma Woodhouse little time for dreaming of her own future through marriage, but secrets and changes add to the complexities of her social circle in the English countryside.
Why is Mr. Fairfax so changeable around Emma?
Who sent Jane a piano as a gift?
What if Emma’s friends all marry and leave her alone?
Jane Austen’s 1815 tale of matchmaking and misunderstandings gains graphic form through Po Tse’s manga art, while Stacy King selects just the right passages from the classic text as each character speaks and thinks.
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