Sunday, December 25, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!! Travel safe and enjoy the day!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hello Again!

Wow! It's been a while and I apologize. I had to take some time to reorganize, but hopefully there will be some more posts beginning to pop up. New posts not only on the book store, but also Pottery at South River Colony across the street. Did you know that our illustrious leader, Ken Kennedy, owns both? Well he does and if you haven't visited the pottery shop, then go have a look. It's pretty cool.

My daughter, Alexa, is helping out Mr. Ken and created a YouTube channel, Potter At South River Colony, for the pottery shop. Take a look! It shows some really cool things that you'll find in the shop. As you scroll through the book posts, remember you can click on the titles to order them.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Maryland Black-Eye Susan 2015-16 Award Winners

Here are this year's BES award winners!

Picture Book
Dog vs Cat by Chris Gall

Grades 4-6
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm

Graphic Novel
El Deafo by CeCe Bell

Grades 6-9
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

High School
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Here Are Few Book Suggestions For The Week!


By Kwame Alexander

Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
can’t nobody cop you…
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER,  soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.  
This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!

By Ally Condie

It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. 

Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching middle grade debut from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series, that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.

The Girl In The Well Is Me
By Karen Rivers

Longing to be one of the popular girls in her new town, Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into their club. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, counting the hours, waiting to be rescued. (The Girls have gone for help, haven’t they?)

As hours pass, Kammie’s real-life predicament mixes with memories of the best and worst moments of her life so far, including the awful reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to feel hungry and thirsty and light-headed, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies.

Karen Rivers has created a unique narrator with an authentic, sympathetic, sharp, funny voice who will have readers laughing and crying and laugh-crying over the course of physically and emotionally suspenseful, utterly believable events.

Roller Girl
By Victoria Jamieson

For fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby. 

Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid's life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole...and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl.

Breakaway Beyond The Goal
By Alex Morgan

Get inspired to be your best in sports and in life with this uplifting memoir from star soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan that includes eight pages of full-color photos as well as book jacket that doubles as a poster!

As a talented and successful female athlete, Alex Morgan is a role model to thousands of girls who want to be their best, not just in soccer, but in other sports and in life. The story of her path to success, from playing in the 2011 Women's World Cup, to winning gold in the 2012 London Olympics, to ranking as one of the National Team's top scorers, will inspire everyone who reads it.

From her beginnings with the American Youth Soccer Organization to her key role in the 2015 Women's World Cup, Alex shares the details that made her who she is today: a fantastic role model and athlete who proudly rocks a pink headband.


The Night Gardener
By Terry and Eric Fan

One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.

Listen To Our World
By Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson

A celebration of the animals all around us!

Squawk! Hiss! Grr! Roar!

Big, small, black, brown—all kinds of animals make their home in our world. From the jungle to the mountains to your own backyard, listen and you just might hear the sounds they make!

By Hyewon Yum

One rainy day, a little boy is upset because he can't go out and play. His mom comes up with a way to keep him entertained--by drawing a picture of herself and him going outside, playing in the rain, and splashing in a giant puddle. They have so much fun drawing themselves that they decide to venture out and make the most of the rainy weather.

This Moose Belongs To Me
By Oliver Jeffers

Wilfred owned a moose. He hadn't always owned a moose. The moose came to him a while ago and he knew, just KNEW, that it was meant to be his. He thought he would call him Marcel. 

Most of the time Marcel is very obedient, abiding by the many rules of How to Be a Good Pet. But imagine Wilfred's surprise when one dark day, while deep in the woods, someone else claims the moose as their own...

If I Had A Raptor
By George O'Connor

A spunky and imaginative little girl dreams of the best pet ever — a fuzzy baby raptor to snuggle. 

Our heroine can’t think of anything better than bringing home a baby raptor — all teensy and tiny, fluffy and funny. It would cuddle and play, stalk birds and dust bunnies, and curl up on laps. In short, it would be the perfect pet! Readers may notice striking similarities between the raptor’s behavior and that of a more common house pet. But whether their first love is dinosaurs or kittens, little people with big imaginations will definitely warm to this perfect picture book.

Mr. Lemoncello Is Back!

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics
By Chris Grabenstein

Welcome, boys and girls, readers of all ages, to the first-ever Library Olympiad! Kyle and his teammates are back, and the world-famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, is at it again! 

This time Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first ever LIBRARY OLYMPICS. Will it be fun? Like the commercials say. . . HELLO? It’s a Lemoncello! But something suspicious is going on . . . books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. Is someone trying to CENSOR what the kids are reading?! In between figuring out mind-boggling challenges, the kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Now it’s not just a game—can Mr. Lemoncello find the real defenders of books and champions of libraries?

This is a second book in a series by Chris Grabenstein. The first book was Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library and it was not only a great read, but really fun. Grabenstein has a good wit about him and the Dewey Decimal puzzles were very creative. Give this first book a first read to get to know the characters and Mr. Lemoncello.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

And The Winners Are!!!

You know it's getting closer to the end of the year when the winners of the 2015-2016 MD Black-Eyed Susan are announced!! Without further delay... here are your winners!

Picture Books
Dog vs Cat by Chris Gall

Grades 4-6
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm

Graphic Novels Grades 4-6
El Deafo by CeCe Bell

Grades 6-9
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

High School
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Yes, the new list is out! Check the above pages to see who is nominated for next school year!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Summer Reading Lists

I love reading lists!!! I love to read the MD Black-Eyed Susan books because I KNOW that they are going to be great. AACPS comes out with summer reading lists every year... eventually. The books on those lists are good reads too. But sometimes, you're just looking for a list that is catered to YOU. This year I have been so busy reading books for a purpose that I haven't been able to read books that I want to read. With the summer coming up though, I have decided to write down those books that I have come across that look good and save them for my OWN summer reading list! How about you? What would be on your list? Maybe we'll put it on ours!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Greenglass House (Greenglass House, #1)Greenglass House by Kate Milford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**2015-2016 MD Black-Eyed Susan Nominee

Ben, Nora and Milo Pine, the Pine family, were looking forward to a quiet, low-key holiday at Greenglass House. Their usual clientele of smugglers dropped during the holidays which left the Inn virtually empty for the small family to enjoy the break together. But this stopped being the average holiday as soon as the bell began to ring signaling the Whilforber Whirlwind's ascent up the steep slope carrying their fist guest with many others to follow. Soon the family found their smuggler's Inn bustling with strangers and Mrs. Pine called in the Inn's chef, Mrs. Caraway, and her daughter Lizzie. They also brought Lizzie's younger sister, Meddy, who was all for occupying Milo's time. Milo and Meddy decided to play a role-playing game and together they realized that each guest has an agenda for being at the Inn. When items begin to go missing, the missing items aren't the only things that turn up. Down every hallway and behind every door, the secrets of Greenglass House beckon to Milo and Meddy and dare them to explore.

First, I have to say, I'm not a mystery girl. I couldn't really tell you why, but when I found out I had to read this book and that it was a mystery, I wasn't too thrilled. The cover I thought was gorgeous, but a mystery? I reluctantly started the book and right away was impressed with the writing. It was like someone telling a story with full, rich details. I wasn't too intrigued, but drifted along until THE part came when my stomach totally dropped. There was a moment that I did not see, but had been there all along that took Greenglass House from an okay book to one of my favorites! The storyline was brilliant and so neatly tied itself up at the end. I really can't recommend this book enough. If you're looking for an amazing read, then look no further...Greenglass House by Kate Milford.

View all my reviews

Monday, March 28, 2016

New Kid Books

Here are a few books that are due out soon for kids!

Mission Mumbai: A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes and Stolen Toilets
by Mahtab Narsimhan
Published: 29 March

  Travel to the colorful and chaotic streets of India from the comfort of your home in this hilarious and heartfelt story about friendship and family. 

When aspiring photographer Dylan Moore is invited to join his best friend, Rohit Lal, on a family trip to India, he jumps at the chance to embark on an exciting journey just like their Lord of the Rings heroes, Frodo and Sam. But each boy comes to the trip with a problem: Rohit is desperate to convince his parents not to leave him behind in Mumbai to finish school, and Dylan is desperate to stay in India to prove himself as a photographer and to avoid his parents' constant fighting. Keeping their struggles to themselves threatens to tear the boys apart. But when disaster strikes, Dylan and Rohit realize they have to set aside their differences to navigate India safely, confront their family issues, and salvage their friendship.

by Alison Cherry
Published: 29 March

  Twelve-year-old AJ dreads spending an entire month living with her strict Grandma Jo. Not only does her grandmother dictate how she walks, what she eats, and which rooms she can enter, she fills all AJ's free time with boring sewing lessons. Grandma Jo wants nothing more than to transform her adventurous, fun-loving granddaughter into a prim and proper lady.

But AJ’s dull summer takes a sharp turn when she discovers that her grandmother's "bridge group" is actually a heist club. When Grandma Jo offers to let AJ learn lock-picking instead of embroidery in exchange for help with a few capers, AJ is happy to join her grandmother's madcap band of thieves, who claim to steal only for ethical reasons. But even the most respectable ladies can hide truly surprising secrets, and AJ finds she must decide for herself what it means to be one of the good guys.

by Mary Amato
Published: 31 March

  It all begins when Alexander H. Gory Jr. passes around a notebook in which he reveals a tantalizing secret: he has proof that their teacher, Mrs. Penrose, is a vampire. Soon the entire class is speculating and adding their opinions to the notebook until . . . it lands in Mrs. Penrose s hands. It turns out that Mrs. Penrose has been keeping a secret: she is expecting a baby. But since the notebook is encouraging her students to write and improving their spelling and grammar, Mrs. Penrose allows it to continue circulating.

The notebook becomes a terrific place for jokes, poems, stories and the correspondence between the students and their favorite author. The notebook serves an even more important role when Mrs. Penrose s baby comes too soon, and she is replaced by a no-nonsense substitute. The students begin to express their fears for their teacher, their frustrations and their hopes. "

by Latricia Clifton
Published: 31 March

 When work takes Cassies mom abroad, Cassie is stuck living with her dad in his Winnebago in Palo Duro Canyon State Park for the summer. She loves her dad, but hes different since the divorce, and, for that matter, so is she. Shes gotten used to a different lifestyle thats not exactly compatible with the rougher living in the Canyon, where her dad is a handyman. She misses the conveniences of city living, and shes not too sure about the kids here. They seem awkward. Uncool. And, in the case of mysterious X, possibly dangerous.

by M. T. Anderson
Published: 8 March

 In Paris, at the turn of the twentieth century, when artists were experimenting with new ways of seeing things, Erik Satie had something new to say about music. Most people didn't understand his pieces; critics called his music surreal. But Erik Satie didn't care. He wanted to make music that followed no rules but its own. Satie's life was strange and wonderful, frenetic and lonely all at the same time. He was friends with Picasso, and with wizards and puppeteers; he scraped himself with a stone instead of bathing, and he once threw his acrobat girlfriend out a window. Now award-winning author M. T. Anderson tells the story of the irreverent French composer in a biography that is witty, accessible, and endlessly surprising, while Petra Mathers' fanciful illustrations capture all the vibrancy that was Erik Satie's topsy-turvy world.

New Teen Books!

We haven't done this in a while. Let's look at some teen books that are due to become available to the pubic this week!

Walk the Edge
by Kate McGarry
Published: 29 March

 Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life. 

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules. 

And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.
by Nick Healy
Published: 1 March

 More than 150 compelling photos and provocative writing prompts work together in this hybrid photo book/journal to inspire young adults to think, dream, create. Writers looking for inspiration and ideas will find what they need here. Image and Imagination is a repository of story starters, a practice space for fun and informal writing, and a turnkey to unlock the writer within. 

by Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhaus
Published: 29 March

  Jaap Sitters was only eight years old when his mother cut the yellow stars off his clothes and sent him, alone, on a fifteen-mile walk to hide with relatives. It was a terrifying night, one he would never forget. Before the end of the war, he would hide in secret rooms and behind walls. He would suffer from hunger, sickness, and the looming threat of Nazi raids. But he would live.

This is just one of the true stories told in Hidden Like Anne Frank, a collection of eye-opening first-person accounts that share the experience of going into hiding to escape the Holocaust. Some were just toddlers when they were hidden; some were teenagers. Some hid with neighbors or family, while many were with complete strangers. But all know the pain of losing their homes, their families, even their own names. They describe the secret network that kept them safe. And they share the coincidences and close calls that made all the difference.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


I just wanted to take a moment to apologize to everyone for my absence. I've been really sick these last couple months and it's been taking some time to catch up on everything that I have had to lay down. Thank you so much for your patience!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The CrossoverThe Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Jumping and dunking. Passing and free-throwing. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is a quick moving story written in poetry about twin brothers, Josh and Jordan, and a very important moment in their lives. The book begins with carefree basketball metaphors as the reader sinks in to the normal lives of the two boys before those normal lives turn upside-down. Dad is hypertensive and Mom balances the family between cautious worry and a strong demeanor. Meanwhile, Jordan breaks from the dynamic duo when he suddenly becomes interested in the new girl at school. This leaves Josh with some tender feelings when he is no longer in his brother's spotlight. When dark times enter the family...then through family you can find the light.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander was not my favorite. I had to groan and grumble through the basket ball jargon. I am not a basketball fan, BUT this book really does go much deeper than merely a sport. It's a book about the importance of family written through the eyes of a teenage boy and what an amazing perspective! Through the tough exterior comes a sensitive boy that worries about his Dad, respects his Mom and misses his twin brother. I highly recommend this book to boys. I feel it's someone they can relate to and it's hard finding books for boys. I do think everyone will enjoy it though.

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 3, 2016

January Reading Challenge

Happy New Year!!! Let's celebrate the New Year with a January Challenge!! This month's challenge is to read "new" books. This can be newly published or newly bought!! Also, it's a month of firsts so you can also read the first book of a series. Comment below on what you have been reading!!

Friday, January 1, 2016