Posts Categorized: middle grade books

Book Review- Albrek’s Tomb

22 Aug, 2012 by in M L Forman, middle grade books, Shadow Mountain 3 comments

Albrek’s Tomb (Adventurers Wanted #3)

by M L Forman
Hardcover, 504 pages
Published January 24, 2012
by Shadow Mountain
ISBN: 1609088921
Book Source: Publisher
5 stars
Book Summary from Goodreads: Two thousand years ago, the dwarf Albrek went looking for new mines in the land of Thraxon in the hopes of becoming rich. No one knows if he ever succeeded, though, as all trace of Albrek and his followers simply vanished from history. Now, however, the dwarves must find the magical talisman that Albrek carried with him before their mines run dry, which would threaten the livelihood of the entire dwarf realm. And so the newly named wizard Alexander Taylor joins a familiar company of adventurers on a quest to discover what happened to Albrek, find his mythical tomb, and locate the lost talisman. Discovering Albrek s fate, however, may be the least of the adventurers problems when they cross paths with an ancient, wandering paladin who has a taste for confrontation and a paranoid belief that some great evil is working in all of the known lands. Alex and his friends must travel through the shadow of an empty oracle s tower, where a whispered legend is about to come true, and strike out for the distant parts of Thraxon that are only spoken of in old tales and half-forgotten myths. Join Alex and his brave companions on an adventure that will test their courage beyond their limits.

Cathy’s review: Alex has a lot of new choices to make in this book, choices about adventures to go on, and most importantly where he will make his home. He knows that he is welcome to stay with his step-father Mr. Roberts for as long as he would like, but he also knows that he would like to stay with his friends, maybe in the land of Alusia. He knows that the choices will need to be made, but first things first, is he ready for a new adventure? His friend and mentor Whalen has recommended him for a new adventure as a wizard, but first Alex must go meet the leader at Mr. Clutter’s adventure shop. He’s very surprised to see that the leader of the adventure is none other than his friend Trang. Trang has been asked by the king of Thraxon to find the tomb of a dwarf adventurer named Albrek. Albrek and the dwarves he took with him simply vanished and nothing was ever heard from them again. The king of Thraxon needs a special ring that Albrek carried that was most likely put in his tomb when he died. Several things don’t really add up for Alex though, the first thing being that Mr. Clutter had mentioned a second secret expedition in Thraxon at the same time. Alex decides to join the company and is happy about going on the adventure with several of his old friends and several new ones to, but this mission will tax Alex in ways that he could never even imagine.

This is such a fun series! I started reading this series just a few days ago, it really sucks you into the story and makes you want to read more and more. Alex is such a fun character, he is so strong in his beliefs of right and wrong. There is one part of the story where they find a great evil and Alex knows that no matter how close they are to finishing their adventure, he must fight this great evil and destroy it if he can, even if it means his own death. I love how Alex learns more about himself and his family history in this book. The other adventurers that he journeys with are true people of character as well. I love how this series shows that you can be a person of character and still have many great and wonderful adventures! This book is full of adventure and tons of creatures that I’ve never heard of, let alone thought of. It’s definitely a fun series for boys or girls, young or old!
Content: Clean

About the author: M L Forman was born and raised in Utah and now resides in the foothills of the western Rockies. He tries to write as much as possible when he’s not working as a systems administrator and attending to his many other hobbies, such as fishing, camping, hiking and almost anything that will allow him to enjoy the magic of nature.

Find out more about M L Foreman: Goodreads/ Website/ Facebook

The Kindling Book Preview and Giveaway

05 Jul, 2012 by in middle grade books 7 comments

The Kindling
by Braden Bell
Paperback, 304 pages
Expected Publication Date: July 10, 2012
by Cedar Fort, Inc
ISBN: 9781462110278
Book Source: Publisher
5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: All thirteen-year-old Conner Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens. He didn’t mean to set anyone’s gym shorts on fire or make school lunches explode. But now that the strange powers inside him have been ignited, Conner’s normal teenage life is about to go up in flames! 

This fast-paced novel is non-stop fun for kids and parents alike. With characters you can’t help but root for, a plot that keeps you guessing, and plenty of humor, it’s a guaranteed thrill ride from cover to cover!
Cathy’s Review: Thirteen-year-olds, Conner and Lexa Dell and their friend Melanie Stephens thought that they were normal teenagers, then strange things started happening. Things like middle school bullies pants starting on fire in the middle of gym class and the lights flickering on and off when they are upset or excited. These things seemed a little strange, but then Conner, Lexa and Melanie started noticing other things. There was a huge storm one night and Lexa and Melanie saw a strange man dressed in black, but no one else seemed to and that man in black seemed to have killed all the dogs in the neighborhood…at exactly the same time. Then there are their teachers at school, one of them is always around, even for things like trips to the office for a band-aid or to the bathroom. Weird! Then one day, everything seems to go wrong, each of the three friends earn 7 demerits in one day and all receive detention, which makes their parents furious. None of the three want to attend detention, so they decide to make a run for it and ditch detention…really bad plan. As they are trying to ditch detention in two different places, the kids are attacked by more people dressed in black, luckily they are being pursued by their teachers and the teachers are able to protect them. But they quickly learn that they have “Kindled” they are Magi, able to use light to fight darkness, but they’re only kids. How can they be normal kids and also Magi?

This book was amazing. I loved the engaging plot. I wanted to find out just what was going to happen next and the plot kept me guessing too. I enjoyed the characters, they seemed real to me, and I cared about what happened to them. I love this book, I think that this book will be an amazing book for kids to read, I can’t wait to read more of this series!

Content: Clean

About the author: Braden Bell earned  a Ph.D. in educational theatre from New York University. He and his family live on a quiet, wooded lot in Tennessee, where he teaches theatre and music at a private middle school–the world described in The Kindling (whether his evenings and weekends are spent fighting evil is something he cannot disclose). An experienced performer, Braden enjoys singing, acting, reading, gardening,  and long walks with the dog. 
Learn more about author Braden Bell: Goodreads/ facebook/ Website 
Click here to view the book trailers and here to get a special price on The Kindling at 9.99
The Giveaway: Fire and Ice is giving away one copy of The Kindling by Braden Bell courtesy of the author and publisher, Cedar Fort Books. Entries are optional, choose your options below in the rafflecopter form and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review- Radiance

04 Jun, 2012 by in middle grade books, radiance 2 comments

By Alyson Noel
Paperback, 178 pages
Published August 31,2010
by Square Fish
ISBN 978-0-545-34095-3
Book Source: Bought
2 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .

Alacia’s Review: Riley has just passed on into the Here & Now with her mom and dad, and is more than slightly disappointed to be there. Upon arrival she spends most of her time spying on her sister who is still on Earth, manifesting new outfits and avoiding going to class. When her parents are able to convince her to go to class, she is amazed at the her glowing peers and is eager to get her glow as well. However, her disappointment quickly returns when she meets her guide, Bodhi, whom she deems “Nerdy Guy.” Her disappointment in Here continues to grow as she meets The Council and watches the replay of her life. After defending herself to The Council, she is informed that she need not fret about her past life, they merely needed to review it in order to “place” her, and that her place is that of a Soul Catcher. She is elated after getting this news as it means she will return to Earth to bring spirits across to Here. As she and Bodhi set off, she is positive she will bring The Radiant Boy across without any problems even though hundreds of other Soul Catchers have failed. Once she reaches the castle where the Radiant Boy haunts, she convinces him to move on and returns to Earth with Bodhi as he attempts to bring his own assignment home. 
I did not care for this book. The synopsis makes it sound like the story lies within Riley bringing The Radiant Boy across, when that actually takes place in 2 pages and moves on to Bodhi’s assignment, and quickly ends with her deciding being dead is not so bad after all. The first half of the book is literally her whining about being dead, trying to decide what to wear, and watching her sister who is still on Earth. I thought this book had awesome potential but was sad it let me down. However, if you are looking for a quick read it will definitely give you that as it is just over 100 pages. So if you are not looking for anything with a serious plot, you may enjoy this book. 

Content: clean 

About the Author: Alyson Noel was born on December 3rd in Orange County, CA. She has lived in Manhattan and Mykonos but has returned to her hometown in the OC. She has been on the #1 New York Times Best Selling list several times and has got a perfect score singing Bon Jovi’s WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE on Rockband! If she was something other than an author, it would be an artist, specifically a painter, and loves The Office.
Learn more on Goodreads/ her website

Cobble Cavern Blog Tour

14 Mar, 2012 by in middle grade books Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is today’s stop on Eric Olsen’s Cobble Cavern Blog Tour. For a full ist of stops click here. Enjoy our review!

Cobble Cavern
by Erik Olsen
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected Publication Date: April 4, 2012
by Cedar Fort
ISBN: 9781462110094
Book Source: Net Galley
3 Stars

Book Summary: What starts out to be a fun field trip to Ireland for Flin and his school debate team, turns into a life changing adventure. Flin and his teammates get swallowed by an earthquake and become trapped under the ocean inside a clear dome where they discover an unknown civilization. Join Flin and his classmates on a journey of a lifetime in this thrilling adventure story.

Cathy’s Review: Flin is just turning 13 years old as part of his family’s tradition, when they turn 13 they receive a ring made by their great-grandfather. Only you don’t pick your ring, your ring picks you. Flin was very excited to receive his ring, as his family is very poor, it’s his only birthday present. He is also really excited to go on his school field trip the very next day. His school debate team is going to Ireland to watch international debate competitions. It will be Flin’s first flight and the first flight of anyone in his immediate family. The debate team gets more than it had bargained for when their bus is swallowed up by the earth during an earthquake. They must work together to find a way out. The adventure in this story was really fun. I enjoyed the story line quite a bit. I felt like the story was a bit disjointed though. I didn’t feel like it always made a lot of sense. The characters seemed real, and I liked how they were able to deal with the challenges that came their way. I think that the target audience for this book, elementary aged boys, will really love this one!

Content: There’s some moments of peril, and some bullying, but other than that really nothing.

About the author: Jon Erik Olsen lives in Sandy, Utah, where he enjoys the mountains and is surrounded by a great family and friends that have continued to support him throughout his writing quest. After having one of the world’s craziest dreams, he has written a series of five books detailing it called Flins Destiny, which is full of continuous action and adventure deep in the earth and keeps you wanting more.

Find out more about author Erik Olsen Website/ Goodreads/ Book Poster Page/

Book Review- Forever Four

13 Feb, 2012 by in middle grade books, penguin Leave a comment

Forever Four
by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 19th 2012
by Penguin Group USA, Inc
ISBN 044845548X
Book Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: 4 girls creating 1 voice . . . will anyone be heard?
Paulina, Miko, Tally, and Ivy are four extraordinarily different seventh-graders. Paulina is 100% Type A. Miko is a fashionista. Tally is a theater queen. And Ivy – well, Ivy’s the new girl at school. The four girls get tossed together to create a school magazine – by girls, for girls – in a competition to get funding for a new school program. But it seems like they’ll never agree on anything. And just when they begin to make headway, their biggest rival – the athletes – threatens their progress. As the four girls try to complete the first issue of their magazine, and create a corresponding blog, they start to wonder if they can get past their labels and give all the girls in school a way to speak up.

Crystal’s Review: I really loved the central idea of this book. Four different girls, Miko, Tally, Ivy and Paulina, thrown together to write a magazine for the girls of their school as part of a contest to win funding to start up an official school group for the magazine. The girls want the magazine to be written by girls for girls. Through the process of writing this magazine the girls learn that people are more then what they first appear to be and begin to question their original assumptions about the other members of the group. This book would be a great read for all girls making the transition from elementary school into middle school. The story is entertaining and would be a great tool for parents to use to introduce the lesson that one should not judge a book by its cover .
A great book with with a wonderful lesson to teach

I recommend this book for ages 9-13

About the author: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel was born in New York City, and grew up in Westchester County, and later Brussels, Belgium. From a very early age she was a zealous reader, buyer, and admirer of books. She attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York and Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.


Announcing Our Kids Site

13 Jan, 2012 by in middle grade books, sister site 2 comments

For several months I have been working on a sister site for Fire and Ice. With four children of my own and one on the way I am always looking for good book recommendations. So, I am happy to announce the birth of our baby site, Little Red Reads!

We will be reviewing titles from infant board books to middle grade. Come check us out here and be sure to follow us on twitter.