Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Girl Who Owned A City by O.T. Nelson & Dan Jolley (YA Graphic Novel Review)


The Girl Who Owned A City
Written by O.T. Nelson
Adapted by Dan Jolley
Illustrated by Joelle Jones
Published by Graphic Universe
on January 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Post Apocalyptic
Length: 125 pages
Ages: 10 - 17 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

A deadly virus killed every adult on earth, leaving only us kids behind.
My parents are gone, so I'm responsible for my little brother, Todd. I have to make sure we stay alive. Many kids are sick or starving, and fierce gangs are stealing and destroying everything they find. Lots of people have given up, but here on Grand Avenue, some of us are surviving, because of me. I figured out how to give the kids on Grand Avenue food, homes, and protection against the gangs. But Tom Logan and his army are determined to take away what we've built and rule the streets themselves. How long can we keep fighting them? 
In a world like this, someone has to take charge. 

My Thoughts:

Lisa and her little brother, Todd, are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where a deadly virus wiped out everyone over the age of twelve. Lisa uses her wits to find supplies to live on but a local children's gang is quick to steal from them, leading Lisa to gather the neighborhood kids together to form their own militia. As Lisa's city grows and grows, the outlying gangs become more and more desperate for their supplies. Can Lisa build an army big enough to protect her city from attack?

This middle-grade graphic novel is based on the original novel with the same title that was published in 1975. It's not one I'd heard of or seen before but I needed a graphic novel to read to keep up with my one-per-month goal and this was what was available.  

This graphic depiction is an interesting look at how children and groups of children would react and survive in such a situation. I think the age of the original novel makes the content a little predictable with all the post-apocalyptic and/or zombie media that has been rather popular in the past decade, but the illustrations definitely made this worth the read anyway. 
There's tons of emotion, attitude, and even body language with proportional and life-like characters and the coloring was amazing as well!

I would definitely recommend to young readers that enjoy dystopian or post-apocalyptic reads. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (Monsterstreet #1) by J.H. Reynolds (MG Book Review)



The Boy Who Cried Werewolf


[Monsterstreet #1]
by J.H. Reynolds

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
[Monsterstreet #1]
by J.H. Reynolds
Published by Kathering Tegan Books

on July 2, 2019
Genre: Children's / MG, Horror
Length: 176 pages
Ages: 8 - 12 years

The Monsterstreet series kicks off with this chilling tale about a boy who discovers his father was killed by a legendary werewolf. 

My Thoughts:

Max's mom takes him to stay with the grandparents he hasn't seen since his father died when he was a baby. They promise they have a surprise for him on his last day there, but in the meantime, they warn him to stay out of the forest and to avoid all of the neighbors. But after a daring dog rescue that leads him into the forest, he soon learns that there is more to the story about his father's death than he was told! 

This is a really fun first book to the Monsterstreet series! 
We get a clear idea of what we are going into thanks to the cover art by Chris Finoglio but are met with a mystery that only starts to unravel once Max sets foot in the forbidden forest. 

I was absolutely expecting something similar to Goosebumps when I went into this but was pleasantly surprised by the new twist on a classic horror trope. It's a quick read but a lot of fun with a very mysterious setting and plot. 

I really enjoyed reading this during the 'Spooky Season' before Halloween! I absolutely recommend this to young readers that enjoy monsters, mystery, and / or spooky reads! 


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter by Brea Grant & Yishan Lee (YA Horror Graphic Novel Review)

 I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Mary:The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter
Written by Brea Grant
Illustrated by Yishan Lee
Published by Six Foot Press
on October 6, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Horror
Length: 144 pages
Ages: 12 - 18 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Angsty teenager Mary Shelley is not interested in carrying on her family's celebrated legacy of being a great writer, but she soon discovers that she has a the not-so-celebrated (and super-secret) Shelley power to heal monsters, just like her famous ancestor, and those monsters are not going to let her ignore her true calling anytime soon. 

My Thoughts:

In this fun YA horror/sci-fi graphic novel, we are introduced to a present-day great-granddaughter of the infamous author, Mary Shelley. Teenage Mary comes from a long line of women authors but she isn't sure she can fill the shoes set before her. As her family harps her about what she could write, Mary is busy with the onslaught of strange occurances and ghoulish beings that seem to pop up out of nowhere looking for her help, all while dealing with typical teenage issues like school and cute boys.

This was a really fun read, with fictional descendants of Mary Shelley that take the stage and have a special (and secret) talent that seems to attract all sorts of monsters! I loved the illustrations, some of which were rather horrific, and the unique band of side characters!

Young readers will love the angsty teenage MC, who isn't quite sure what she wants to do with her life, but ends up kicking butt at everything that is thrown her way.

Frankenstein was one of my first favorite 'dark' classics and first sci-fi reads as well. It was a brilliant book and has never left me, nor has Mary's personal life story. I enjoyed revisiting a little of it in this modern monster story featuring strong female characters! 


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Very Last Leaf by Stef Wade & Jennifer Davison (Children's Picture Book Review)

I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The Very Last Leaf
by Stef Wade
Illustrated by Jennifer Davison
Published by Capstone Editions
on September 1, 2020
Genre: Children's, Picture Books
Length: 34 pages
Ages: 5 - 7 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Lance Cottonwood is the best and brightest of the leaves, but even the top students on the tree have worries. Can Lance conquer his fear of falling and just let go when the time comes for his final exam, or will he let his worries take over? In this funny and encouraging picture book, best-selling author Stef Wade (A Place for Pluto) tells an engaging story and deftly addresses social and emotional struggles many kids encounter each day... feeling anxious, wanting to be perfect, facing fears, etc. These themes combined with illustrator Jennifer Davison's delightful characters and rich autumnal colors make The Very Last Leaf a perfect book for the start of a new year, the arrival of autumn, or any period of transition in life. 

Our Thoughts:

Lance Cottonwood is a bright young leaf breezing through his lessons and into Autumn, but there's one thing that Lance isn't quite ready to jump into feet first; falling. While all of his treemates eagerly fall to the ground, Lance is left wondering how long he can hang on. Will Lance Cottonwood conquer his fears and jump?

This is a wonderful story about a leaf that is afraid to do exactly what he was meant to! Because of this, he goes from being the brightest leaf to the very last one on his cottonwood tree. He questions his purpose and needs extra encouragement from his teacher and peers, but eventually, he makes the leap! 

The Very Last Leaf is gorgeously illustrated in lovely Autumn tones and is the perfect story for this time of year! There's also extra information about the tree terms used in this story (such as photosynthesis) at the back of the book so it also makes a great book for kids to learn about the tree lifecycle and the changing seasons! 


Friday, October 2, 2020

Kiki's Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono (MG Fantasy Book Review)


Kiki's Delivery Service
by Eiko Kadono

Translated by Emily Balistrieri
Published by Delacorte Press
on July 7, 2020
(first published in 1985)
Genre: MG / YA, Fantasy
Length: 193 pages
Ages: 10 - 12 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Nostalgic fans of the Miyazaki film and newcomers alike--soar into the modern classic about a young witch and her clever cat that started it all! 

Half-witch Kiki never runs from a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she's eager to follow a witch's tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year.

Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places. 

Blending fantasy with the charm of everyday life, this enchanting new translation will inspire both new readers and dedicated fans. 

My Thoughts:

Newly translated for an American audience, Kiki's Delivery Service is the beloved story of a young girl and her cat, Jiji, both of which go off into the world to choose a town and start her own business to survive her first year as a witch.   

Kiki chooses to become a witch and learn her mother's craft at the age of ten. Once she turns thirteen she is destined to set off out into the world in search of a town in need of a helpful witch. She finds a big town by the sea and, with the help of a kind woman, sets up her very own delivery service! 

This is such a charming story!
It's been years since I last saw the film adaptation so my memory of it was vague but this ended up being a super cute and nostalgic read! It's a very family-friendly story and makes a great read aloud! 

I definitely recommend to young readers or anyone that wants a non-spooky story for the Halloween season, or just any time!
Fans of the film will love this beautiful hardcover edition! 


Thursday, October 1, 2020

October 2020 Spooky TBR & Goals

 Hello October!

I'm going to let you readers in on a little secret that isn't really a secret:
I love Spooky Season.
There's just something about the change of the seasons (even if it doesn't really happen here) and the promise of ghost stories and slasher flicks that gets me motivated. I want to craft all the things. I want to watch all the things. I want to read all the things.
I also want to air out the house and do some deep cleaning and prepare for the holidays and the new year and... maybe you get the point. I get ahead of myself.

So, without further ado, here are my Spooky TBR & To-Watch lists!


For Review

I love spooky movies, guys. The family-friendly ones and the super horror gore ones. And thank goodness for our habit of collecting our faves before streaming was a thing because none of my faves seem to be on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+! 

I'm going to add to and cross these off as we go! 

Hocus Pocus                Sleepy Hollow
   Igor                             Beetlejuice
          Coraline                Edward Scissorhands 
Hotel Transylvania              Evil Dead     
 The Addams Family            Pet Sematary 
      Paranorman                    Halloween   
          Corpse Bride                   Friday the 13th        

Do you have any spooky books on your October tbr?


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September 2020 Reading WrapUp

Goodbye September! 

Wow, this month has flown by!
I discovered that Blogger is working correctly for me again recently so I'm playing cach up on reviews and posts here but otherwise had a great month. I prioritized reading more over writing in September but I also had a busy home life and quite a few socially distanced adventtures. 

Books I Read in September

Chapter Books I Read To My Daughter

Started But Haven't Finished

Challenge Progress

ABC Challenge
Aug: 16/26
Sept: +2

K - Kiki's Delivery Service
G - The Girl Who Owned A City

Beat the Backlist / Tackle My TBR
Aug: +1
Sept: +4

The Witch of Blackbird Pond
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
The Girl Who Owned A City

New Release Challenge
Aug: +4
Sept: +5

Home Before Dark
War Is Over
The Time of Green Magic
Kiki's Delivery Service
The Last Book on the Left

PopSugar Challenge
Aug: 13/50  +4
Sept: +0

Read Harder Challenge
Aug: 9/25  +4
Sept: +0

1001 Children's Books To Read Before You Grow Up
Aug: 160 / 1001
Sept: +5

Old Bear by Jane Hissey
Madlenka by Peter Sis
Millions of Cats
The Story of Babar
Matilda (reread)
My Father's Dragon

What was your favorite read of the month?
(Mine was Home Before Dark!)

Are you excited for the Spooky Season? Have any good horror / thriller reads on your tbr for October? 
I'd love to hear what you're looking forward to! 

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