Welcome to our blog.

This is our new Mother-Son blog. I am Donna, (Mom), and Lucas is my 13 year old 7th grader. We both love to read and decided to create this blog to write about the books we enjoy. Lucas is very interested in science cannot wait to share his insights about the books he's reading and 7th grade.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

OK everyone--We have decided to post the 5 top kids' books Lucas liked for 2011.  One or two of these books were written prior to 2011, but Lucas 'discovered' them this year and decided to include them.  We hope to make this an annual blog list.
The list and blurbs are provided by Lucas.

5. One of our favorite books of 2011.  It has everything in it, action, adventure and an amazing new hero. This book features new friendships, old friendships and a lot of fun.

4. Nate Rocks The World--What a great book.  One of the best of 2011.  I love reading about other kids close to my age.  Especially kids who don't like sports (like me) and do things their own way.

3. Wow Wow Wow, what a book.  Fantastic! Proof that you can overcome what others would see as a handicap and do anything!  Amazing book.

2. Don't let the title fool you.  Secret Files is not a book just about girls.  There are some awesome boys in this book, a haunted house, bagpipes, old secrets....all around FUN book to read.  

1.  This book was written well before 2011- but this is the book that started it all for me.  I wasn't much of a reader until Mr. Riordan started writing about Greek Gods/ demigods and all the fun and adventures they have.

Here you have it, my top 5 books of the past year.  Most of them can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow is the exception, but you can read the first 7 chapters on Fairday's blog at a special site 
here and the authors are always
having book giveaways-- just follow the blogsite or the facebook page for info.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

We are proud to be part of the NOAH ZARC book blog tour.
An excerpt of the book is included along with information about the author 
and where to purchase the book.


Personally, I LOVED this story.  A fantastic adventure.  12 year old paraplegic Noah Zarc lives in both the future and the past.  Being a lover of physics and cosmology, this was fascinating to me.  Also fascinating was the way Noah didn't allow his handicap to hold him back.  Handicap? No Way!! Noah had a really cool mag chair to help him zip around.  
Noah and his family, the Zarc's go through time collecting animals to protect them from extinction, (get it--Noah Zarc---Noah's Arc)  They use a space/time ship called ARC, Animal Rescue Cruiser.  Their goal is to reintroduce these animals on Earth.  Of course, there are bad guys, The Haon, who kidnap Mrs. Zarc and Noah has to save her.  
This book is full of action, adventure and fun.  I think anybody would love this story, especially kids that like books about space and time travel. Oh, by the way, watch the book trailer included below- the ship is sooo cool.

My Review
(written by Mom)
I agree with Lucas, this is an amazing story.  The author was able to address many social issues of today, especially how we are destroying our planet.  His main character is a handicapped 12 year old boy who doesn't allow his handicap to hold him back.  The science of the story can be a bit confusing, but don't let that stop you from reading this excellent book.  I think it is perfect for middle grade students.  Mr. Pease has created an incredible storyline for kids.  Even if the science is over their heads, it's also over the head of most of the characters in the book.  The characters in the story are well defined and easy to relate to.  Kids will understand and appreciate Noah's relationship with his siblings.  All in all, a wonderful read.  Not just for the kids, for the adults, too!

Blog Tour Notes

Noah Zarc: Mammoth TroubleOVERVIEW
Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth's animals from extinction.
Life couldn't be better.
But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth... for the second time.
Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com (available in paperback or as an eBook) or the online retailer of your choice (more links below).
Guess what? You could win a $50 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $50 too by having the most comments. So tell your friends to stop by and comment on this post too!
Win 1 of 5 copies of the paperback version of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by entering the giveaway on GoodReads.
D. Robert PeaseTHE AUTHOR
D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn't been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer's Sirens. It's not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters.
Discover ways to connect with the author by visiting his site at www.drobertpease.com

THANK YOU! for visiting. And don't forget to comment below for that chance to win the $50 Amazon gift card. And of course head on over to your favorite online book store and buy a copy of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, for you or for the kids in your life.
Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple iBookstore | Smashwords | Diesel eBook Store | CreateSpace Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon France | Amazon Germany

Noah Zarc
Mammoth Trouble

D. Robert Pease
D. Robert Pease

Fire roared beneath me even as the ever-thinning air grew colder. The thrusters on my boots shuddered. The thermsuit popped and rattled, and I felt sure it would disintegrate before I tore free of Earth’s gravity.
And if it didn’t, my sister would kill me.
The blue sky darkened. I didn’t dare look down. Turning my head could send me careening off course, plummeting toward the surface fifty kilometers below. A blip on my heads-up display beeped. I’d pulled away from the assassin-bots, but I knew they were still there, watching me rocket toward the cold depths of space.
Hamilton had said the suit would never hold up if I left Earth in it, but I figured my big brother just wanted to keep me from trying.
“You’d most likely lose control and burn up on reentry,” he said. “Then we’d have to tell Mom and Dad why their youngest son is nothing but an ash cloud drifting over the Atlantic.”
“Then why’s the suit retrofitted with a second-stage booster?” I asked.
“Because,” my sister Sam said, “someday we might need it in an emergency.”
Well, if outrunning a half-dozen killer robots wasn’t an emergency, I didn’t know what was.
An alarm sounded in my ear. Initiate second-stage scrolled across the visor.
“Let’s just hope this thing works. Fire second-stage boosters.” For a second nothing happened, then just before panic set in, the rockets ignited. My head snapped forward when fire roared behind me. For a heartbeat, I wobbled. Then straightened my head, thrust my open hands downward, and stabilized myself. Once more, I shot heavenward. Ice that had formed on my suit in the lower atmosphere shattered and fell toward Earth. Within moments the sky above lost nearly all its blue.
Thirty-seconds to engine shutdown.
I strained against the forces buffeting me. Just a few more seconds.
The beeping stopped. I was home free.
Ten seconds to engine shutdown.
Billions of stars sparkled against the darkness of space.
Main booster shutdown.
Switching to navigation thrusters only.
For a moment I coasted in space enjoying the view. The Milky Way, with its wide bands of blue, red, yellow, and white stars, cut across my vision. I looked toward Earth, the shimmering blue horizon receding below me. Green and brown patches crisscrossed with roads, small towns, and cities covered the southeastern United States. A swirl of clouds churned over the Atlantic. The earth is so alive during the twenty-first century—unlike my own time, nearly a thousand years in the future.
Someday it’ll look like this again.
I winced when a sharp pain tore at my abdomen. The two little black-tufted marmosets, rescued from certain extinction and now tucked safely inside my suit, were getting restless. One dug its claws into my stomach.
“All right, all right, calm down. We’ll be there soon.” I looked back toward the heavens and up at the giant, cratered moon. “Time to go home.”

“Noah! Do you have any idea how stupid that was?” Sam glared at me from the doorway.
“But you’ve got to admit it was really cool.” I lay back on my bed, petting my dog Obadiah, waiting for my sister to finish chewing me out. I was twelve, but she treated me like a baby.
Sam stood with her hands on her hips, trying to look like Mom. They had the same sandy blond hair, but Sam’s was always in a ponytail, otherwise it’d be sticking up everywhere. She had a grease smudge on her cheek that matched the stains on her coveralls. Definitely not Mom no matter what she thought.
“I’m in charge while Mom and Dad are gone.” Sam jerked a thumb towards her chest. “Earth in the twenty-first century is dangerous enough! I should never have taken you down there—do you know what kind of trouble I’d be in if you got yourself killed? Do you even care?”
For the first time, I thought I might have gone just a bit too far.
“Just plain stupid, Noah!” She glared, her dark eyes boring into me. Everyone in my family had brown eyes, except for me—mine were blue. A freak of nature was the way my sister explained it, which is surprising considering my eye color was the least of my “deformities.”
Hamilton came into the room, huffing and puffing—probably ran all the way from the magsphere. At fourteen, he already had a hacker’s body, a little soft and pudgy. He looked around and wrinkled his nose, which made me smile. Hamilton normally steered clear of my room, calling it a putrid petri dish for staphyl-something and pseudo-something-else. Maybe he really was that smart, but he didn’t have to show off all the time by using words nobody understood.
Anyway, I absolutely knew there was no better place in the solar system than my room. It might be a mess, but it was my mess.
“So,” Sam said. “Did he damage the suit?”
Hamilton shook his head. “Of course the boosters have considerable carbon build-up and the fuel cells are depleted. But the gyro-servos are intact, and there doesn’t appear to be any significant wear on the memory polymer skin.” He frowned at me—Sam glares, Hamilton frowns. “Your actions were incredibly shortsighted.”
“So Sam was telling me.” I tried to look serious, but I hadn’t yet shaken off the exhilaration of that flight. I glanced at my magchair sitting in the corner. How do they expect me to react, when I spend most of my time in that thing?
I was born without the use of both of my legs—a paraplegic. The only time I feel free is when I’m piloting a ship. I realized I was smiling again, couldn’t help it. Now I could add flying in a thermsuit to the list. Hamilton and Sam just didn’t get it.
“You were supposed to signal us when you had the marmosets.” Sam calmed a bit while she paced, stepping over piles of clothes. “I could’ve been there in forty minutes to pick you up.”
“I told you, Haon was there. I couldn’t wait.”
“Did you actually see him?” Her brows scrunched up.
“Well, no.” My cheeks got hot. “I was a little distracted by the robots trying to kill me.”
“Noah…” Sam shook her head. “You wouldn’t remember what he looks like, anyway. You were only what, five when you met him?”
It was back on Mars. The Zarc family was the guest of honor at a benefit for the Earth 3000 Foundation. I was playing hide and seek with another boy—what was his name? Stevie? —when I ran right into a giant of a man.
“What have we here?” He said, lifting my chin with his finger. “One of the Zarc children. You must be so proud of your papa. He’s an interplanetary hero—off to save the animals.”
“Yes, sir,” I said. “My daddy’s going to let me have a pet ellerphlant.”
He loomed over me. “Your daddy has no business messing with the natural order of the universe!” I shivered as his face nearly touched mine. After all these years I could still smell his breath, like rotten meat.
“The animals died out for a reason. The earth was meant to be used for the good of mankind, not some zoo for ellerphlants!
His face got so red I was sure he was going to hit me. So I smashed into his shins and sped off. He was gone by the time I dragged Dad back, but I was sure it was Haon. I’d heard the stories about the man who’d dedicated his life to stopping the ARC project, and I’d built a picture of him in my head. This guy fit every detail.
“So you have no proof it was Haon you saw?” Sam put her fists on her hips.
“No,” I said. “But how do you explain the assassin-bots? Only Haon could have that technology in the twenty-first century.”
“It doesn’t prove Haon was there. No one is allowed to travel through time except us—”
“No one’s allowed,” I said. “Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it anyway.”
“He’d be risking life in prison if he did,” Hamilton said, “or worse. He could never return to Mars, or Venus—he’d be apprehended the moment he set foot on either planet.”
Every human born on Venus or Mars has their DNA sequenced and stored in the Poligarchy’s computer system. Time travel leaves trace markers in their DNA and regular searches would flag anyone who didn’t match their saved signature. I, along with the rest of my family, would set off all kinds of alarms if we weren’t designated as the only humans alive allowed to time travel.
“Well, I know what I saw.” I glared at both of them. “And just because it doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”
They glanced at each other. Hamilton shrugged. Sam rolled her eyes.
“Someday you’ll want me to believe you,” I said, “and I’m not going to. I know what I saw, he—”
“Nothing we can do about it now.” Sam shook her head. “I don’t understand why you have to be so stupid.”
“I’m not the one being stupid—”
“You need to grow up, Noah.” She turned to leave.
I fought the urge to stick my tongue out at her. Everything I did lately made her mad. Everything anybody did for that matter.
At the door Sam whipped around, her ponytail snapping behind her head.
“Help Ham get the suit cleaned up. Then move your butt down to pod 3794. We have to get the habitat ready.” Sam glared at me once more, then stormed out.
“Seems our sister’s none too happy.”
Hamilton smiled slightly as he watched her leave. When she was out of earshot, he turned to me.
“I can’t condone what you did, but…” He dropped his voice. “How’d the suit handle? Was it incredible?”
I grinned. “You should’ve seen the look on Haon’s face when I hit the magthrusters and launched right in front of him.”
Hamilton raised his eyebrows. “You really think it was Haon?”
“I do.” I saw a glimmer of excitement in my brother’s eyes. Haon was bent on destroying the ARC project, but some of what he said rang true for Hamilton—political stuff and the proper use of Earth. He and Dad got into huge fights about it.
“Well, he scrambled the assassin bots quick enough,” I said. “I lost them with the second stage boosters.” I massaged my neck. “About snapped my head off when the rockets fired, though. You should’ve warned me about that.”
“I told you not to use the thrusters at all.” Hamilton tried for a stern look but didn’t make it. “Nevertheless, I’m pleased. The suit exceeded even my best estimates.” He surveyed the room. “Were you able to retrieve the marmosets?”
I pointed to my desk, cluttered with this morning’s homework. A Brief History of Time Travel by Nowell Clark was still displayed on my holopad’s screen. Inside a clear box were two tiny monkeys about twenty centimeters long, with their signature black-tufted ears.
“I’m not sure they liked the ride up as much as I did. One of them grabbed onto my stomach for dear life.” I lifted my shirt and displayed dozens of red marks peppering my skin. “But I rescued them before Haon got there.”
Hamilton lifted the box from the desk. “We’ll need to get down to the infirmary and give them their shots.” One of the monkeys screeched when Hamilton set the box back down.
Of course Obadiah jumped off my bed and padded over. His nose twitched as he tried to figure out how to get on my desk for a closer look. The marmosets screeched again and started hopping around in their box.
Hamilton laughed when Obadiah turned his pleading hound-dog eyes my way.
“I don’t think they’re in the mood to play with your dog.” He looked at me for a minute. “Why don’t you take the marmosets down, then get something to eat. I’ll refurbish the thermsuit on my own. I’m quite certain I don’t want you anywhere near it ever again.” He headed for the door, then turned.
“The thrusters about snapped your head off, did they?” He shook his head. “Why is it I spend all my time designing technological marvels that I never get to use?”

I reached in and carefully lifted one of the marmosets from the box, avoiding its sharp teeth.
“Come on little guy, I won’t hurt you.” I held the monkey up. “Umm, sorry… little girl.” I could feel her heart racing. “Just a small pinch and you can go back in the box.” I held her tight and placed her little rump against the injector. She flinched when the machine clicked. “See, that wasn’t so bad.” She glared at me.
With one injection, the machine had given her all the vaccinations she needed and inserted a small tracking device so we’d always be able to find her in the rainforest habitat.
“Now for your boyfriend.”
He didn’t take it much better. In fact he got a good bite on my arm, and it took a while to coax him back in the box after his shot.
When I was little, I’d take it personally when animals bit me. But the more time I spent with them, the more I realized how hard what we were doing was on them. These two little monkeys were running around the forests of Brazil with no clue their species would be wiped out in a couple hundred years. And suddenly I show up, throw a net over them, and haul them off to a room on the moon—a room with sterile white walls, the smell of ozone in the artificially produced air, the hum of instruments in the infirmary—enough to scare any creature out of its wits.
Now I saw my scars as badges of honor. Every bite meant another animal would live. Rescuing these creatures, even if they didn’t know they needed rescuing, was what I was meant to do.
“Come on, you two. Let’s get you a little more comfortable.” I picked up the clear box and headed for the rainforest habitat—the one with none of the marmoset’s natural predators. “Living here does have its good points.”

After seeing the monkeys safely to their new home, I headed to the mess hall. Usually my magchair felt like an extension of my body—all I had to do was think where I wanted to move and how fast, and the chair would respond, thanks to the neuro-implant at the base of my skull. But today the chair stuttered and lumbered around the room as if mirroring my mood.
Even after spending my entire life in the chair, there were days, like today, when it felt alien. I couldn’t wait until I finished growing so I could be fitted with my permanent neuro-prosthetic legs, but for now the magchair would have to do.
“PB&J please,” I said. Our chef-bot came to life in the corner. “Oh, and a glass of milk.”
“As you wish, Master Noah.” It always cracked me up to hear the robot’s French accent. Whose idea was that, anyway?
Le Chef 9000 swiveled and passed through swinging doors into the galley.
I moved to the window overlooking the hydroponic gardens. Dozens of robots sped along the hanging plants, tending them and harvesting the fruits and vegetables that fed the hundreds of animals on board the ship. I could just hear Mom: “All this food and the only thing you eat is peanut butter and jelly.”
Obadiah came up beside me and sat down, oblivious to the view. I reached down and scratched behind his ears.
“If there’s food to be found, Obadiah’s around.”
The ARC, or Animal Rescue Cruiser, was docked in a crater on the far side of the moon in the year 2011. So far removed from where my family came from—nearly a thousand years in the future—but it was home. In fact it was all I really knew, since I’d only visited Mars a couple of times and didn’t remember much and I’d never been to Venus. My parents founded the ARC project before I was born—its mission to rescue Earth’s animals from extinction.
I hoped my parents were okay. Most of the time their missions only last a few seconds, at least from my perspective—thanks to the quirks of time-travel, even if they’ve spent weeks wherever they went, they can just come back to the moment they left.
But this time, something was keeping them.
Sam and Hamilton kept telling me everything would be fine, but I could tell they didn’t believe their own words. The main reason I’d gone on my little thermsuit excursion was that I couldn’t bear to sit around wondering where Mom and Dad were for another second. Or what century, for that matter.
The robot returned with a tray. I took the plate with my sandwich and a cold glass of milk.
“Thanks, LC.”
“You are most welcome, Master Noah. Will there be anything else?”
“This is all I need.” I gave the robot a weak smile. “Three PB&J’s a day keep the doctor away.” I scarfed down the sandwich, tossed the crust to Obadiah, and drank my milk down.
I’d stalled long enough. Time to help Sam with the habitat.

The fastest way to get around on a ship the size of a large city was the magspheres. The series of tubes that crisscrossed the decks allowed the spheres to travel at extremely high speeds while keeping their passengers safe in gel-padded seats. It was annoying having to climb out of my magchair into the seats, but if I didn’t I’d probably end up plastered against the wall, ceiling, or floor as the sphere screamed down the twisting tunnels.
I held Obadiah firmly in my lap while we sped along toward deck thirty-seven. When the magsphere stopped, the hatch opened and Obadiah jumped down and ran out. I wriggled back into my chair and followed. Moments later I sat in front of pod ninety-four. A screen next to the door displayed “Arctic Habitat - Irish Deer.” Below, the word “Unoccupied” flashed in yellow lettering.
I opened the hatch and was hit with the rich smells of fir and fallen leaves. It reminded me of hiking with my dad in the forests of northwest America.
As massive as the ARC was, it was still a bit confining day after day. As soon as I could handle the magchair on my own, Dad took me on excursions to Earth. Down on the planet’s richly varied surface with the sky spread out above me, I never felt more alive. Dad said that was the reason he became a scientist in the first place—listening to stories growing up about what Earth was like before the Cataclysm.
Sometimes I wondered about the government’s edict that no human could live on Earth again. The Poligarchy decreed that the planet had to be saved for the animals we rescued from the past. It seemed wrong, somehow, to keep people from living on a world so perfectly suited for human life. Dad said it had to do with the guilt we felt for our role in the destruction of Earth. I wasn’t sure I felt responsible for something that happened hundreds of years ago, but I certainly agreed we should do what we could to bring the animals back. Besides, questioning the Poligarchy could have terrible repercussions, so Dad told me to just avoid the topic.
I shook my head clear. There were people a lot smarter than me working on the problems of the solar system.
The temperature in the arctic habitat was near freezing, so I pulled a warm parka off a hook just outside the door. I entered the pod and surveyed the room, if it could be called that. Already it looked like a pristine, subalpine forestland—I could barely make out the bulkhead above, and all the trees and undergrowth blocked out most of the walls.
An electric Jeep Dad brought back from one of his excursions to the late twenty-first century sat next to the hatch. Obadiah ran in circles, excited to go for a ride. I moved to the driver-side door, opened it, and pulled myself from my chair into the seat. Leaving the magchair by the hatch, I slammed the door. Obadiah scampered through the window to the seat next to me.
The Jeep was retrofitted with sensors for my neuro-implant, so I pressed the power button and imagined putting my foot on the accelerator. Of course my lifeless legs didn’t move a muscle, but the Jeep lurched forward. It wasn’t made for a twelve-year-old driver, so it was a little hard for me to see over the dashboard—but hey, if I could pilot spaceships, surely I could drive a clunky old car. I’m not sure why Dad likes these beaters so much. Give me a star-runner any day. Or a thermsuit.
We bounced through the woods on a dirt road, little more than a game trail. Obadiah kept his eyes out for squirrels or chipmunks in the undergrowth, but this was a new habitat. Aside from Sam, Obadiah, and me, there were no living creatures in the forest around us. Of course, he didn’t know that, so his whole body shook with excitement as he dashed back and forth between the open windows.
I laughed at him. “Life’s pretty great when you haven’t got a clue, Obadiah.”
His big pink tongue flopped around when he looked at me.”
“What am I saying? You get all the food you want. You sleep in a warm bed. The most you ever have to worry about is whether or not I’ll give you a crust off my PB&J. You’ve got it all figured out.”
Satisfied he’d put me in my place, he licked my face and went back to looking out the window. Frozen potholes cracked and splashed while the Jeep trundled along.
“Locate Sam.” The screen on the dashboard positioning system lit up, and after a few seconds, a small red dot appeared with little light rings pulsating around it. I whistled.
“How’d she get so far already?”
The Jeep rattled along for a quarter-hour. The heater didn’t work, and it wasn’t the same as rocketing through space, but I was having fun. Finally, up ahead, I saw Sam climbing over a stone ridge. Dozens of robots surrounded her: planters, sculptors, and dozers (my favorite).
She swiped her gloved fingers over her wrist-comm and the robots headed off down the trail. I brought the Jeep to a stop, looked around, then yelled out the window.
“This is amazing!”
She turned with a scowl on her face.
“What?” I said.
“Don’t try to suck up to me now, Noah. What took you so long?”
“Hey, a kid’s gotta eat.”
“You can eat when Mom and Dad get home.” She looked around at the forest. “This place is a mess. Help me get it cleaned up.”
“I think it looks great. Mom and Dad’ll love it.” I stayed seated in the Jeep.
“Get out here and help me pick up these tools?” She bent to retrieve a shovel, then realized I wasn’t moving.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t bring your chair.”
Uh oh, here it comes.
“I asked you to come down here and help! How are you going to do that if you can’t even get out of the car?” She stomped over and threw the shovel in the back of the Jeep. “Come on Noah, use your brain.”
“Don’t you think I know I can’t get out of the car?” I let my voice rise. “Don’t you think every day I wish I could just hop down and—”
“Oh, don’t play the poor helpless cripple card.” She finished loading the rest of the tools. “You handle yourself just fine, and you knew perfectly well I needed your help. You just use your shriveled legs as an excuse.”
I sat stunned. “I…”
She was right. I did try to get sympathy for being in a magchair, but she had no idea what it was like —always relying on someone else or some piece of technology just to move.
She saw the look on my face.
“I’m sorry, Noah.” Her face softened further as she looked around the habitat. “Do you think the deer will love it?”
“Of course they’ll love it. It’s just like home, except no wolves or lions to eat them.”
“Lions don’t live in the same environment as the Irish deer.” She smiled slightly. “They’ll be safe here. Nothing, and no one, will harm them.” I couldn’t tell by her face what she was thinking.
“Sam,” I said, “you’re not really worried about Mom and Dad, are you?”
“Of course not!” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Noah. I am a little worried, but they’ve been late before.”
She climbed into the passenger seat.
“You remember when they went after the blue whales? Dad said it would be a piece of cake and they’d be back before we had the habitat done. And if we didn’t hurry, he’d stick them in your bathtub.”
I laughed. “They had to go back four times before they finally got Jada corralled in the ship’s hold.”
“She was one stubborn whale,” Sam said.
It still didn’t sit right with me. With the whales, they hadn’t actually been late coming home—they just had to keep going back. But knowing I wasn’t the only one who was worried made me feel a little better.

THANK YOU! for visiting. And don't forget to comment below for that chance to win the $50 Amazon gift card. And of course head on over to your favorite online book store and buy a copy of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, for you or for the kids in your life.
Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple iBookstore | Smashwords | Diesel eBook Store | CreateSpace Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon France | Amazon Germany

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just Like You - book trailer

Just like you by 
Robert Kroupa
illustrated by Hannah E. Harrison
given by publisher for review
reviewed by Mom and Lucas

Just like you is a tale about tolerance. Two friends who are different than everyone else. They are laughed at by an intolerant community.  When push comes to shove and danger is abound, it is the two friends Boris and Harry who come to everyone's rescue.  Boris is a lame spider who only has use of 7 of his legs and Harry is a deaf field mouse.  They live in  Piney Forest.  
The book is told in rhyme form, making it easier to read.
The spectacular pictures are created by Hannah E. Harrison.  
We received a pdf form of this book.  We liked it so much we ordered the actual book for Christmas, one copy for ourselves and several for family members.

Please visit the just like you foundation to learn more about tolerance and acceptance.
 There is a wonderful youtube trailer for the book.

What a wonderful book.  A wonderful story to teach our children.  Tolerance and Acceptance, what could be more beautiful?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Librarian Book One: Little Boy Lost
by Eric Hobbs
received in ebook format from LibraryThings Members Giveaway

Wesley Bates thinks his life pretty much sucks. He's landed at the bottom of his school's popularity ladder, and bully Randy Stanford seems to be waiting around every corner.

The troubled teen thinks he's found a way to escape his real-world problems when he stumbles upon strange doorways in Astoria's local library that seem to lead into the extraordinary worlds from all his favorite books. Oz, Neverland, Wonderland -- they're all a reality with Wesley's new discovery. Wesley teams with best friend Taylor Williams to embark on a great adventure, both ready to leave the drama of middle school behind.

But the two kids quickly find themselves embroiled in a centuries-old battle for the library and the magic hiding within. Now, fighting alongside the eccentric old man who's vowed to protect the building's power, the pair must help ward off an attack by a shadowy group with a strange tie to Wesley's nemesis, forcing Wesley to face the fears he's been dodging... and one of the most terrifying bullies of all time!

The Librarian is a thrilling new series that provides kids an opportunity to experience the world’s most beloved fantasy novels in a brand new way – through the eyes of children just like them. Designed to spark a love of reading in every child, The Librarian serves as a perfect gateway into the classics: The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and many, many more!

Additionally, Librarian author Eric Hobbs has teamed with The Sylvan Learning Center and BookAdventure.com to launch the “Librarian Book Club” in January 2012. Each copy of The Librarian contains an exclusive invitation to join. Open to students in grades K-8, the club will bring kids together from around the globe to compete in a monthly reading contest where they’ll have a chance to win exciting prizes: gift cards, autographed books, new toys, video games, DVDs, iPods…even a brand new Kindle Fire! The prizes will get better each month, and all kids have to do is answer questions about the books they’re currently reading! That’s it! It’s that easy!

Donna's review

What a wonderful, original, well written story! I was enthralled from the beginning. As a lover of reading, and a parent who reads to my child, this was an incredible book. I received it from LibraryThings Member giveaways but I will gladly pay for the next in the series. The author, Eric Hobbs, is masterful at telling a story. The main characters, Wes and Taylor, are easy to relate to and (smiling as I write this) just plain fun! I want to go to this Library!!! Reminded me somewhat of a movie I saw years ago, The Pagemaster, only this book is much better than any movie could be. I highly recommend this book. Eric Hobbs, you kept me entertained, and kept my attention from page one.

Friday, November 25, 2011

to all of our friends and followers:
Google will soon no longer use GFC, we
have decided to use Facebook instead for our followers.  You can find us at this page  it is a family friendly page where we post information about our reviews. Thank you

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Say Cheese, Medusa
by Kate McMullan
Published by Capstone
Publication date Aug 1,2011

reviewed by Lucas and Donna

(from Goodreads)

What a myth-o-maniac (that's old Greek-speak for "liar")! Zeus's version of the myths is completely wrong. It's time to set the record straight. For the first time ever, Hades, King of the Underworld, reveals the true story behind the myths.
That story about Perseus whacking the head off of the horrible snaky-haired Gorgon, Medusa? Oh, please. He got turned into a hunk of stinky cheese — gorgon-zola, of course!


I laughed and laughed throughout this book!  Greek myths told as they really happened from the viewpoint of Hades himself.  He corrects the misconceptions we all believe to be true because we heard the stories from his myth o maniac brother Zeus (the big fat liar).
Having a 10 year old son who is enthralled by Greek Mythology, we requested this book from NetGalley.  My son laughed all through the story.  "Hades is really a good guy after all, he tries to save Medusa."
We will be purchasing all the books in this series (this is number three).  Excellent story Ms. McMullan.  You made education fun.  I remember studying the old mythology books in school thinking "there must be some way to make these dry old stories fun".  You have found the way, you have the golden touch.   Love the stories!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse
by Rick Riordan

book report by Lucas

I decided to use Mr. Riordan's book for my latest book report.  I loved this book.  I love the entire series.  Rather than write a review, I've decided to just write out the report the way my English teacher wanted it done.  We did this project as a 'book cube'. Each side of the cube had a different piece of information.

Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse
by Rick Riordan
Illustrator John Rocco
report by Lucas

Side 1
Main Setting
San Francisco/ Mt. Tam

Main Character
Percy Jackson
In this book, Percy Jackson is a kind and brave demigod. A demigod is the son or daughter of a human and a god.  He has jet black hair, like his father Poseidon, and has deep green eyes.  Since his father is the god of the Seas, he can control water.  His fatal flaw is that he'll risk anything for his friends.

The conflict of the story is that Annabeth (friend of Percy's and daughter of Athena) is captured by the furry beastly Manticore, and the Goddess of the Hunt, Artemis is also captured.  Percy must rescue them both from a possibly dire ending. (If you know what I mean)

Percy, his friends Grover, Zoe and Thalia (daughter of Zeus) climb to the peak the green Mt. Tamalpais and fight Atlas.  Yes, Atlas- remember him from your mythology classes in school?  He's the titan that has to hold the Earth on his shoulders.  I'll bet all us people are quite heavy, even for a titan.  Atlas is the main general of the titan army.  He is also Zoe's dad.  Percy and his friends free Annabeth and Artemis from the  celestial bronze chains (they must be made of celestial bronze to be able to hold a god/demigod captive).  Atlas had tricked Artemis into holding up the world.  Percy tricks Atlas into taking the world from Artemis.  Titans may be big, but they are not too smart.  Atlas kills his daughter Zoe in battle.  Artemis realizes the sacrifice Zoe made by fighting her father and she creates a constellation in the sky in honor of Zoe

Side 4
My Recommendation
I think this is an amazing book.  It is quite suspenseful and interesting.  I learned a lot about ancient Greek Mythology.  I would definitely recommend this book to a friend.  I think you should read the books in the order they were written to understand the whole story.

This book wins a 5+ Ice Cream Cone rating!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kali and the Geekettes
by Ellie Greene
available now
received from LibraryThing Early Reviewers for review
reviewed by Donna

synopsis from Amazon.com
Kali's not your typical fifteen-year-old girl. She cares more about astrophysics than the latest fashions, and her friends Roxanne and Phillippa are just as geeky. After Kali's breakup with the cute, funny, artistic Mark Wallace, she and her friends decide none of their hearts will ever be broken again. The Plan? Become larger than life instead of trying to blend in. When Kali gets the chance to date Aiden, one of the most popular guys in school, she thinks she doesn't need any stupid Plan to get her life together. Dating Aiden will solve all her problems. The only catch is that to make it work, she'll have to turn her back on the other two geekettes.

Being a geek myself, I was enchanted by the title of this book. I was not disappointed. This is a spectacular story about friendship and peer pressure. Ellie Greene has captured the high school hierarchy to a T. I loved the wonderful characters she created with this book. We all know or have known the A listers like Aiden and Shari. I was so very happy to see the geekettes come into their own. I LOVED the ending of this book. I don't want to spoil it for other readers, but I love it when the good Karma hits the right people. The book started out a little slowly, but once I got into the story, I couldn't stop until I finished! 5 stars for Ms. Greene and her awesome story.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ok, I know this is a book blog, but every now and then something comes around that I have to mention.
The new ABC tv show ONCE UPON A TIME.

If you like fractured fairy tales you have to watch this show.  It is on Sunday nights on ABC at 8pm.  Lucas and I don't miss it-I know, only three episodes available, but we haven't missed one!  If you do miss an episode and have video on demand, the episodes are available.  They are also on ABC tv webpage.

Synopsis provided by Wikipedia
On the wedding day of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Joshua Dallas), the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) arrives and delivers an ominous threat about a powerful curse she intends to release upon them. Some time later, a pregnant Snow White is worried about the curse and visits Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) who issues a prophecy that the Queen's curse will take them all someplace terrible where there will be no happy endings. He also reveals that Snow White's unborn daughter, Emma, will return when she is 28 years old to rescue them, thus beginning the final battle with the Queen. On advice from the Blue Fairy, Geppetto (Tony Amendola) and Pinocchio fashion a wardrobe from a magical tree which will allow one person to escape the Queen's curse. Prince Charming intends for Snow White and their unborn daughter to use the magic tree to escape the curse, but Snow White goes into labor and gives birth to Emma just as the wardrobe is about to be completed. On the day Snow White gives birth to her daughter, the Queen's curse strikes. Prince Charming places their daughter in the magic wardrobe, but is grievously wounded battling the Queen's henchmen. The Queen stands triumphantly over Snow White and Prince Charming as the curse takes them to "someplace horrible."
In present day Boston, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) lives a lonely existence working as a bail bondsman and bounty hunter. On her 28th birthday, Emma is approached by a ten year old boy who identifies himself as her son, Henry, whom Emma had given up for adoption as a baby. Not wanting a relationship with him, Emma agrees to drive him back to his home in Storybrooke, Maine. Along the way, Henry shows her a large book of fairy tales, insisting that all of the stories in it are real. When they arrive in Storybrooke, Henry informs her that everyone in town is in reality a fairy tale character, exiled by the curse and with no memory of their real identities. This includes his therapist, who is really Jiminy Cricket, and his teacher Mary Margaret Blanchard, who is really Snow White. He claims that time is frozen in Storybrooke and the people are unable to leave, but that the curse will be broken by Emma. A skeptical Emma returns Henry to his adopted mother, the town's mayor who is really the Evil Queen. When Henry soon runs away again, Emma finds him and decides to stay in Storybrooke temporarily. This decision causes the hands of the town clock, previously frozen, to begin moving again.

I recommend this TV show for both parents and children.  At a time when there in not much worth watching on TV, this show is a surprising winner.  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kevin's Point of View
by Del Shannon

Book Description (from Amazon.com)

Kevin Tobin is a relatively ordinary 12-year-old dealing with the aftermath of his father's death in a mountain biking accident near their home in Boulder, Colorado. To escape from his emotional turmoil, Kevin has developed his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes his sister through his superhero antics on an average Wednesday morning, his ability to escape inside a character's head become critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father's death. A mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted down by a ruthless villain set upon world domination, and after enlisting Kevin's teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the secret of Kevin's whole existence is revealed to him by a source we never expected. Del Shannon's imaginative story, appreciation for the powers of family and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it, and fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style make this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.

My review:

A wonderful and fast paced book. Aimed for a middle grader target audience. This book was a rollercoaster ride full of twists and turns. The end (which I will not reveal) was unexpected. I think most 10-14 year old boys will relate to Kevin. I just love his imagination! 
I recommend this book for all kids that like sci-fi, humor and wild crazy adventures. 
I want to thank Del Shannon for allowing me to read and review this book. Please, let there be more adventures for Kevin!!!

Hades, Lord of the Dead
The Olympians
by George O'Connor

Published by First Second
publication date 1/31/12
received from NetGalley for review

What a great idea!  Graphic novels about Greek mythology.  I was unaware of this series until I saw the Hades book on NetGalley.  I read this book with my son (age 10) in less than an hour.  Due to the current climate of mythology in children's books, he has become fascinated with the Greek Pantheon.  This is a wonderful, action packed, retelling of the classic Hades-Persephone-Demeter myth.  Unlike the books I has to read in school, this book is far from boring.  It is fast paced, has wonderful pictures, and is a great retelling of the myth.  There is nothing objectionable in this book, Hades looks like the Lord of the Underworld but does not look frightening, nor is he mean or evil towards Persephone.  My son's response when we finished, "Mom, can we get the other books?  You know I love this stuff."  I highly recommend this book, as well as others in the series, for anyone who enjoys mythology.  It is a wonderfully exciting way for children to learn about the stories of the the ancients.

Ode to Icky
by Maranda Russell
available now

review by Donna and Lucas

(Lucas laughed throughout the entire book)

A cute and imaginative tale by the very talented Ms. Maranda Russell.  The story is about a young girl, named Candy, with a very lazy smelly cat, named Icky.  Candy has an imaginative money making scheme and uses Icky's awful smelling fur to create a 'super French perfume.  Ode De Iche". Unfortunately, to bottle this stuff she empties out her mothers bottles of REAL French perfume.  Well, in addition to the entire female population of the school smelling like Icky, Candy has to face her mother with the truth of her actions.  Imagine having an expensive bottle of perfume from France, imagine having your kid empty it out and use the bottle.  What would you do?  This is a story about leaning a lesson.  A great story for parents to read to their children.  The kids will learn, but laugh while learning.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Magic Elizabeth by 
Norma Kassirer

The other side of the mirror...
It looks like it's going to be a bad summer for Sally: She's got to stay with her creepy Aunt Sarah while her parents are away. Trapped in a spooky old house and stalked by an unfriendly cat, Sally begins to explore. She sneaks upstairs and discovers the attic, where she finds herself drawn toward an old mirror. When she looks into it something magical happens...
Sally finds herself in the past on the other side of the mirror where another little girl--also names Sally--has lot a beloved doll, Elizabeth. Sally searches and searches, but the doll seems to have vanished. Can the two help each other across time?

This is the book that did it for me.  I was in the second grade.  Came home from school with one of those Scholastic Book Club order forms.  My mom said "Donna, pick a book. You need to read more."  I chose this book.  I was hooked. To this day I still have a copy of this book.  When I feel nostalgic, I re-read the story.  It brings back wonderful memories of my childhood.

Moon Coin
Gibbering Gnome Press, a division of Ingenious Inventions Run Amok
published August 25, 2011
review by Donna

OH MY GOSH!  What an amazing book!  The worlds' (moons) of the Moon Realm come to life for us!  At first I was a little confused by all the names, but shortly after arriving in Barreth, the names were like second nature to me.  The illustrations by Carolyn Arcabascio were just amazing.  I read the book on my Kindle, but soon switched to the Kindle app on my Ipad to see the illustrations in color.  They truly add to Mr. Due's wonderful story, or is it a tale?
This is one book that will surely be made into a movie sometime in the future, much like the Harry Potter or Narnia series.  I loved the characters of Lilly and Jasper, both genders were represented and I think both boys and girls will love this story.  I anxiously await the second in the series.  I could not put this book down!  It is sure to become a favorite of children and parents alike!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Waiting for the Magic
by Patricia MacLachlan
illustrations by Amy June Bates
Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
on sale 9/13/11

What an incredible book.  A heartwarming story about a family coming together.  Papa Joe leaves his wife and two children to 'find himself' and write. Waiting for the Magic.
Mom takes the children and adopts 4 dogs and a cat.  They become a family.  
Joe learns that the magic is at home with his now expanding family. 
A very poignant story.  I loved the characters.  Found myself laughing out loud at the animals and at young Elinor.  The ending was as I expected, but nonetheless, brought warmth and heartfelt smiles.
I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a great warm hearted story.

As someone who loves to read, I cannot imagine having no books available,

Please read about Christopher and if you can, please help.

A struggling mother reached out to us via I Love Books; this was what she wrote.

I have a 12 year old son that has a disability that loves to read and lost almost all of his books due to hurricane Irene. I have tried everywhere to get him some more, done dumpster driving, recycling but due to my cancer and recent surgery I am not able to do this for him now. Any resources would be great. I have signes up for every possible help and hove gotten none as of yet.  ~ Nora 

We will be donating books to her son, Christopher and sending them out the second week of November. Some of the books that he loves: 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
Middle Grade/ Science Fiction
If you would like to help, please contact us via email ljldml@gmail.com and we will fill you in on the details.

So many people were hit hard by Hurricane Irene, and it's sad to hear that a boy who loves to read has lost all his books. Thanks to all who lend a helping hand.

picture is of Christopher with his two brothers.  Christopher is in the middle.

Thank you so much for reading this post, and thank you for any help you can provide.
Donna and Lucas