Book Review – A Shadow Bright And Burning

Hello! Katie again! Today we are going to talk about A Shadow  Bright And Burning by Jessica Cluess. Henrietta Howel works at a school as a teacher. She knows that she is a witch. Witches are burned in this world for a crime of letting in the Ancients. Henrietta is trying to hide the fact that she is a witch. She can burst into flames with ought hurting herself. Then a sorcerer named Agrippa says he is looking for a child with magical abilities. She tries her best to control her anger so she doesn’t flare up she goes for a stroll with Root. Agrippa has already left and they are walking when familiars come riding towards them! Familiars are creatures that work for the Ancients. They try to take Root and Henrietta is furious. She lets herself go on fire. Agrippa turned up to save them exactly as she goes on fire. What is going to happen to her? Read to find out.

A Shadow Bright And Burning is a wonderful book and like almost all the books I have read recently has all A’s. Here is a question I have. How is it that Henrietta can burst in to flame and not only not hurt herself but not burn her clothes?  I felt while reading this  book that I was the character. I don’t feel in this book that I’m a outsider that is watching the story and that is good. After I read this book, and how a couple boys are so annoying, I think that some real life boys are more annoying then they used to be. No offense boys. It is amazing!!! If I had known that there is another book coming out I would not have read this book the suspense is killing me! This book has five stars! That’s hard to get from me sort of. That’s all for now!




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Book Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp


Have you ever picked up a book and wished it came with a warning label?   Well this is one of them.

Warning: Do not read if you will be interrupted.  May cause anxiety and tears.  If you think your heart is racing, it probably is.  If you are a parent be aware that you will suddenly have an overwhelming urge to hug your child.  Please enjoy responsibly.
This is a very well written novel but isn’t something you pick up for light reading.  It will linger in your mind for quite a while after reading it.  And that’s no bad thing.  As a society we need to think on this issue more.  While the characters weren’t as well developed as I wanted, I was able to inject some life into them with very little effort.  The book does what I think it was intended to do…. make us think.  Whether people like it or not it will be one that we are talking about.  I recommend it particularly for young people ages 13-21.  Parents be ready when they put this one down.  Whether people like it or not it will be one that we are talking about.

I grew up during the Columbine days and remember all to well the felling of gut wrenching fear that this is a real thing.  Now 17 years later, and the feeling is still there.  Not towards me of course(yes I escaped school to become and “adult”) but because I am a parent of a school age child.  While I wish she could stay small and innocent forever I know that’s just not a reality.  We have had to have serious conversations about what to do in case of an active shooter.  For those of you that are fans of Katie’s reviews, I’m sorry to disappoint you this time.  I’ve put it on the shelf for “maybe when you are older”.  Let’s let her stay young a little while longer.  OK rant done  Steps off soapbox – Amanda – Mom age.

From the book jacket

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won’t open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

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Book Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

517o5Dxi7YL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_All I can say about this one is wow!  It is the first I picked up out of my bookcon/bookexpo haul and doesn’t disappoint.  Cluess has written one of the most compelling female leads I have read in a while.  Henrietta is abruptly thrust into the forefront of a society that she has only read about and she handles it without wilting under the pressure to be a “typical” girl.  While deftly handling gender role issues, this book has it all from monsters to magic and a bit of romance it is sure to keep you turning the page well past the “just one more chapter” point.  I have only two wishes.  One I would have liked to hear more from and about Rook.  And two how soon can I get my hands on the next one!?!  The bummer about reading books before they are released is that you have to wait and wait for the next part.   I recommend it for fans of Harry Potter, Cassandra Claire, Sarah J. Maas, and Tamora Pierce.


From the book jacket

I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess’s spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal.

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Book Review: A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

714569Hi! Katie here! Today were talking about A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson.  Anna Daughter of Countess Grazinsky, in Russia after the Russian revolution her life turns upside down. Her family is forced to flee, and her father dies. They flee to England. The family, (or whats left of it) does not have a lot of money. Anna goes in search of a job. She finds one to work as a servant in the house hold in the esteemed Westerholme family. Anna is close to being overwhelmed by her new duties. It doesn’t help that she has a immediate crush on Rupert, the handsome Earl of Westerholme.  There is also the matter of Rupert’s beautiful but very nasty Fiancee.

I admit that it wasn’t what I expected, because it was mostly romance(not a genre that I read a lot of). But that’s maybe why I like it. I also like it because it was’t dragons, and magical powers! It was Count, and countess. No magic involved, or mysterious creatures.   The fact that this could actually have happened was fuel for my imagination.  This book has an A in my reviews, which is the second best. Eva Ibbotson is a good writer.  This book isn’t really my taste because it’s romance but it still got me entranced right from the start.

That’s all for now! -Katie

Although I haven’t read this one yet I like that it got Katie out of her comfort zone.  I am trying(and not really succeeding) to get her to broaden the types of books that she reads.  We are going to try for a nonfiction next….Gasp! I will update this review once I have finished the book. – Amanda, Mom age.

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Three Day Quote Challenge: Day 1

We have been challenged to the 3 day quote challenge by Judith at ReadandReview2016.  As with most else on this blog we will all be doing it.  So for Katie’s Day 1 quote she has chosen……

“Someday I must read this scholar, Everyone. He seems to have written so much–all of it wrong.”  – Daine, Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce

Juliet: I don’t really get this one. – Juliet, age 5

Katie: This is inspires me to think for myself and not just do whatever is cool or what others are doing but to just do what is right.  – Katie J, age 10

Amanda: I love that Katie chose a quote right away that shows the value of thinking and acting for yourself. – Amanda, Mom age.

For Juliet’s Day 1 quote she has chosen……

“You can’t say no to a bunny, can you?” – Pigeon, Don’t let the Pigeon Stay up late by Mo Williams.

Juliet: I like it because the Pigeon is so funny.  And then he falls asleep anyway.  Just like me.

Katie: I like it because it’s a the end of a long rant.

Amanda: I like that they like it.

And for my first one I had to go with Harry Potter…

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

Juliet: I think all people are good.  What are differences?

Katie:  This quote is inspiring because it means that we should look past all the little differences and work together to achieve great things.

Amanda: Although not one of the best known quotes from the books it is one of my favorites.  I think it’s important to remind people that as long as we have a common goal there is no reason that we can’t work together.





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Book Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel_Book_CoverHi!  Katie here, today we are going to talk about Sabriel by Garth Nix.  Sabriel is in school in the new kingdom of Ancelstierre.  The Abhorsen(her dad) has to make sure the dead stay dead and Sabriel will take over for him.  Anyway she gets her daily visit from dad to start her training.  Well one day he never comes.  What could have happened to him in the Old Kingdom to keep him from her?!

This book has a A+(the best score you can get)  Obviously, I loved it!  The only sad thing is now I can’t stop reading this book series…… oh wait that’s not bad at all.  Thanks mom for not giving me these until he had a good start to the series, I think the suspense would have killed me. – Katie, Age 10.

Hello again.  This was another fantastic series that I received from a family friend when I was a young girl.  Like Katie I read through the first three pretty much in one massive binge.   And then I had to wait….and wait….and for a change of pace wait some more.   Now she has the first 4 and some novellas to enjoy!  Warning this is an incredibly detailed fantasy world.  You will get caught up in the suspense, horror, and drama, while enjoying some sly comedy.  Don’t start them until you have time to read all 4.   If you are a fantasy fan and need a change of pace from dragons and elves and the such these books are perfect.  I recommend them for advanced readers age 10-12.  And for everyone 13 and up.  Also of note, the Audiobooks are amazing and narrated by Tim Curry! – Amanda, Mom Age.

From the book description:

” Dark Secrets, Deep Love, and Dangerous Magic

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories.

As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny. “

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Book Review: Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Williams


Hi everyone, it’s Jules.  I LOVE the little duckling and how he says that he’s never eaten a hot dog but then asks for mustard.  He’s such a little trickster.  This book is so funny!  That is all. – Juliet, age 5.



It’s mom time.  I loved reading this book to Juliet.  It gives lots of opportunity for funny voices and reminded me of old time Looney Toons.  After we were done laughing, I asked her if she thought that it was good for the duck to trick pigeon.  She said it wasn’t really nice, but it did work.  It lead to an interesting discussion about the difference between persuasion and manipulation.  If you don’t want to read so deep into it just enjoy the giggles from the story and the great illustrations. – Amanda, mom age.


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Book Review: Into the wild by Erin Hunter

220px-Warriorsbook1Hi! Katie here! Today we will be reading Into the Wild By:Erin Hunter.  Rusty a kittypet lives with his house folk. He kept dreaming, day dreaming, and wishing to be in the wild. One day he got tired of being in his house folks, and goes exploring even though one of his kittypet friends warns him not to. A wild cat named Graypaw caught him in his territory. Bluestar, the clan leader, asked him to join her clan because of a prophecy she had received. Fire will save the clan. She thought that he could be the fire because of his flame colored pelt, so his name became Firepaw and she mentored him and taught him the warrior code(The code of rules that they follow), about clanlife, and StarClan (were all the good dead cats go). But Firepaw has a suspicion about Tigerclaw, mentor of Ravenpaw. Firepaw  is so curious, and suspicious that goes to seek more information from Ravenpaw. Ravenpaw tells him that he saw who killed the last clan deputy Redtail. Can he trust Ravenpaw that he told the truth? Can he trust Tigerclaw?  Despite suspicion he has other problems such as trying to prove he is worthy……….

This book has my best reviews (A+). Written by the fantastic  Erin Hunter, once I started reading, and flipping the pages I couldn’t STOP!  I finished it in one day on a Saturday! I love the name Firepaw! I don’t know why but I just adore it!  Trust me you’ll like this book almost as much as I do and I love it better than chocolate!                                                                               That’s all for now folks!-Katie age 10

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Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland sword

zaria fierce 2Hi! It’s Katie! Sorry I haven’t been able to blog sooner! Hockey,school,and daily life has  took up my time. Anyways you don’t want to here excuses you want to see me blog! Today we will be reviewing  Zaria Fierce and the Drakeland Sword By: Kiera Gillett.  Zaria is at home waiting impatiently for her to be able to take action, and help Hart. Finally Hector comes to take them to trade with the Giants for transportation to Vadsø also an much needed introduction to the dwarvish courts of Jerndor. Will the Giants accept or reject? If they do reject how will Zaria save Hart? To make it all just a little bit harder… Zaria is still haunted by a presence in the shadows.

This book has my best reviews, and the series is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Kiera Gillett is a very good first person writer. I know that you will love this book as much as I do! Because Kiera Gillett is such a good writer you will want the third one quick. Keep in mind this is the second book not the first don’t read this one if you haven’t read the first book.  Also this book makes a great audiobook.  My mom let me listen to it when it got to dark to read in the car, but I couldn’t stand not knowing what was happening to Zaria.


Katie J.

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Book Review – The Women Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce

9781442427655_p0_v2_s192x300Hello my followers, it’s Katie here to give you a review of….The Women Who Rides Like a Man-by Tamora Pierce. Alanna is taking a rest at with the desert tribe of Bazhir after killing “Roger”…………………………..or so she thinks……….?

The Alanna series are good books for about everything. A chapter before bed read aloud? Or reading at night? How about a read aloud for school? Need a gift for a friend? Here’s a quick flash back………… My mom gave me my first Alanna book and a family friend named Cyndy gave my mom her first book so a shout out to Cyndy!!! I encourage kids and parents to read this book. Parents please read it first to make sure it’s appropriate for your kids.

Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                      Katie

I have to agree with Katie when it comes to Tamora Pierce.  She and I have had such good conversations during and after each book.  Topics have ranged from sexism, to puberty, bullies, and to how to properly block a staff from hitting you in the head.  These books continue to inspire Katie to dream big and then go for it. – Amanda

From the book description. “This third book in the Song of the Lioness quartet continues Alanna’s saga as she strikes out alone and discovers herself anew.

A knight at last, Alanna of Trebond heads out to seek adventure in the desert of Tortall. Captured by desert tribesmen, she is forced to prove herself in a magical duel to the death. But her real challenge doesn’t come until after she wins. As the first female shaman, Alanna must fight to change the ancient traditions of the stubborn desert tribes — for their own sake and for the sake of all Tortall.”

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