Disconnect from the network.
Head for the hills!
The robots are coming?
Will what’s hidden in Mammoth Cave help or harm them? Only one way for a blended family forced off the grid in future USA to find out – tell their four teens not to go there under any circumstances…
Happy April 11th book birthday to In Over Their Heads!
For maximum enjoyment, read book 1, Under Their Skin first (my no-spoiler recommendation here).
I was really excited to read this one, but writing about a sequel without spoilers for the first book is hard, y’all…
What makes a family, anyway?
Book info: In Over Their Heads (Under Their Skin, book 2) / Margaret Peterson Haddix. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Hidden in Mammoth Cave is a key to their past or maybe hope for their future, but if teen twins Nick and Eryn can’t get their stepsiblings Jackson and Ava to help follow local girl Lida Mae into the cave, their blended family may be doomed in this future America of robotics, peace, and mysterious gaps in their history books.
Locked bedrooms, stepsiblings they can’t ever meet,
of course they must investigate!
Moving to a new house when Mom remarries, Nick and Eryn don’t understand why their new stepsister and stepbrother only come over when they aren’t there… very strange that Jackson and Ava don’t go to their school either. In a city this small, it shouldn’t be too hard to find out why Mom and Michael are hiding them…
Book info: Under Their Skin (Under Their Skin, book 1) / Margaret Peterson Haddix. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: After Mom’s remarriage, Nick and Eryn discover strange things about the new stepsiblings they’ll never meet, even though they live in the same town. But as the 12 year old twins start trying to find Ava and Jackson (who should go to their school, but don’t), they discover unsettling truths about what they’ve learned in school (like history being not true) and their parents (not exactly flesh and blood relatives) and the whole world (they exist because of what??!?).
Why are Mom and Michael keeping Jackson and Ava away from Nick and Eryn?
What is so secret that Mom can only tell them inside a snow fort during a blizzard?
Is every adult in the world keeping secrets from the younger generation?
So if robots or androids or cyborgs could cry and love and imagine, wouldn’t they be human, theoretically speaking of course… First in a duology about humanity’s hope for survival. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
To keep the peace,
no price is too high –
if children are the hostages.
Four hundred years from now, the artificial intelligence Talis ensures world peace by holding rulers’ heirs as hostages – attack another country for its water, and your heir is executed on the spot.
A new alliance brings a new boy to the remote Canadian prairie where princess Greta has spent a decade lived for years as schoolchild hostage, and he doesn’t plan on staying there quietly…
Happy book birthday to The Scorpion Rules – fittingly, yesterday (21 Sept.) was International Peace Day.
Erin Bow also wrote mystical Plain Kate (my no-spoilers review here), and her tale-spinning of a former time works well in this too-possible future narrative.
A bitter and breathtaking view of world peace at great cost.
Book info: The Scorpion Rules / Erin Bow. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2015. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Hostage princess Greta prays that her country stays at peace so she stays alive, but a new Child of Peace is ready to gamble away his life in this water-poor future where omniscient AI Talis holds all the cards.
Humanity can no longer wage war from a distance, 400 years after nearly nuking itself extinct, as Talis holds rulers’ heirs hostage throughout childhood, executing any whose home country attacks another.
Yet newly arrived teen Elian doesn’t care to follow Talis’ strict rules, and Greta gradually begins to question the generations-old method of peacekeeping too.
She’s spent years at this remote Canadian location with other royal youth, learning from AI tutors and working to raise their own food – how can Elian become part of their group so quickly?
Her roommate and first love Xie counsels patience as Elian’s foolish remarks (and threats to Talis) earn him terrible scorpion shocks from their proctors and raise new feelings in Greta.
Surely Greta will survive these last few months until her 18th birthday and return to the palace in Halifax – unless the new confederacy that sent Elian as hostage is a threat to her mother’s kingdom…
Elian’s favorite historical person is Spartacus, Talis decides to communicate directly with Greta, and long-quiet concerns suddenly flare to life – nothing for the Children of Peace will never be the same. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Researching urban otters instead of making fake robots,
Working with cute Rocky for the science fair,
Solving a mystery in snow-bound Minneapolis –
all great until something or someone attacks them!
The ‘keep out’ signs at the abandoned site are there for a reason, Jim, but staying out won’t keep the mysterious whatevers inside the fence!
Scaletta wrote about the deadly snake that Linus encountered at Mamba Point – is this new snow-cloaked peril even more dangerous?
Book info: The Winter of the Robots / Kurtis Scaletta. Alfred Knopf, 2013. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Metal skritching, big clawprints in the snow – the abandoned tech site hides something scarier than Jim and his friends can imagine…and it’s ready to escape!
Maybe it awoke when Jim decided not to be genius Oliver’s sidekick for the 7th grade science fair. Or when their new partners’ ideas got Dmitri kidnapped and Rochelle stuck in the junkyard fence looking for otters. Or when the security cameras they borrowed from Jim’s dad spotted something moving way too fast in the Minneapolis snow to be an otter.
After the creatures chase them out of the old Half Street research site, Jim and Rocky decide to send in robots with cameras to figure out what’s going on, even if Oliver won’t help.
Robot competitions, school closed for snow days, pocket burgers – here’s Jim’s chance to impress Rocky, to uncover whatever is haunting Half Street, and to show Oliver that he can build robots, too…if the things don’t attack the science fair partners first! (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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