Author Archives: Elysse F.

November 20, 2013

Floors Trilogy Book 3

Posted by at 1:29 am in Reads | Permalink

Floors3_130Floors Book #3: The Field of Wacky Inventions by Patrick Carman

When the Whippet Hotel owner, the beloved Merganzer Whippet, takes Leo and Remi away with him on a “little adventure” for a week, Remi’s mother thinks nothing of it. “It’s Merganzer. How dangerous could it be?”

Boy, she had no clue! Remi and Leo were whisked away by a flying blimp which carried them to the top of the hotel to Merganzer’s headquarters – a field of wacky inventions. Merganzer has decided to combine his six hotels into one, and must appoint an “Emperor of all Whippet Hotels.” So he sets up a series of trials and puzzles inside the mysterious floors of the hotels to weed out the unworthy.floors3

Who will come out on top? And who is secretly working for Ms. Sparks, the woman who is trying to take over the Whippet Hotel? Read and find out!

In an adventure full of magic and surprise (There may or may not be live mini-dinosaurs and gravity-defying puzzle arenas!), Leo and Remi explore the wonderful inventions of Merganzer’s mind come to life! What do you think of the conclusion to the Floors trilogy? Read the first chapter and let us know!

–Elysse, STACKS Writer

November 13, 2013

Byrd & Igloo: A Polar Adventure

Posted by at 1:35 am in Reads | Permalink

byrd130Byrd & Igloo: A Polar Adventure by Samantha Seiple

Richard E. Byrd always dreamed of living an exciting life. In fact, he started his world-wide adventures at age 13; in 1901 he took a trip all around the world by himself! As his mother said, “Richard was born an adventurer and explorer, absolutely without fear.”

Byrd’s worldwide trip ignited a love for navigation and further travel. He set out to be the first person to fly over the North and South Poles with his right-hand man, pilot Floyd Bennett. Byrd never expected that he would be taking a four-legged friend with him.

Maris Boggs saw Byrd’s story in the newspaper and thought the puppy she found would be a good companion for the adventurous man. Byrd reluctantly took the dog, named Igloo, abroad. The dog took to life at sea naturally and became a favorite among the crew. The time spent preparing for these polar adventures formed a friendship between Byrd and Igloo that was unbreakable.

This is an incredible story of the bond a man and a dog share. Through good times and bad, this duo stuck together as they traveled the world. If you love biographies, adventures, or dogs, this book is loaded with interesting information (and cool pictures!)! You won’t want to put this down!

Read a sample chapter and tell us what you think in the Comments.

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

November 7, 2013

The Pet War Book Review

Posted by at 1:36 am in Reads | Permalink

PetWars130The Pet War by Allan Woodrow

“There are two types of people in the world: dog people and cat people. Dog people are clever, friendly, good-looking, funny and overall fantastically wonderful. Cat people, on the other hand, are ugly, boring, and smell bad. I’m not making that up – those are the facts.”

Otto is a dog person. His older sister Lexi is a cat person. They both want a pet. Their mother petwaragrees if Otto and Lexi can prove their responsibility. They must earn $500 towards their pet by the month’s end, keep their grades up, do chores around the house, and take care of the winning pet. Sounds easy, right?

Well, responsibility isn’t Otto’s middle name. Right off the bat, Lexi has charts, posters, and tutoring positions to rake in the cash. Otto has a little more trouble figuring out how he can earn money. Becoming a magician? Selling apples? Working at a grocery store? Nothing pans out the way Otto hoped, and time is running out! He has to think of something, anything, fast – or else he’ll be living with a new addition to the family not of his choosing.

Who will win this war, the cat-lover or the dog-lover? Read a sample chapter and let us know in the Comments what you think . . . and if you are a cat-lover or a dog-lover!!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

October 16, 2013

Killer Species

Posted by at 1:47 am in Reads | Permalink

killerspecies130Killer Species: Menace from the Deep by Michael P. Spradlin

As an aviary specialist, Emmet’s dad, Dr. Doyle, gets sent to do environmental work all around the country, so Emmet has no choice but to go along. Emmet is not happy to leave his beloved Montana for hot, humid, and mildew-scented Florida.

Once there, Dr. Geaux takes them to killerspecies1the Everglades lab, where she is the park superintendent, because they have found something unusual: an alligator with aviary qualities the likes of which would have been found in prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the earth. How did this animal get here and why?

It turns out that someone is dead set on restoring the Everglades to its natural state – going to the extreme of breeding snake-killing pterogators. But are the pterogators going to help the environment, or kill everything in it?

This story will leave you with your skin tingling from excitement. If you are an adventure-lover who enjoys a bit of science-fiction on the side, this book is for you! Read a sample chapter, and tell us how you like this book!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

October 2, 2013

Scare Scape

Posted by at 1:05 am in Reads | Permalink

scarescape130Scare Scape by Sam Fisher

After Morton’s mother dies, his father decides to take a job as an astronomer and make a new start in a town called Dimvale. Morton is less than excited about the move, (which includes sixteen-year-old Melissa and thirteen-year-old James), but his mood quickly turns around once he sees their new home. To Melissa’s dismay, the house is “ghastly, creepy, and almost certainly haunted. In fact, it’s like something right out of that horrid comic you read all the time.” Little did she know how right she would be.scarescape

The mansion’s previous owner mysteriously disappeared and was presumed dead. The children don’t think much of it until weird things start happening. It begins with finding a statue of a gargoyle. Then Morton’s beloved toys based on his Scare Scape comics come to life. Melissa gets a bigger and infinitely deeper closet. James undergoes a strange transformation, and no one can figure out why all of this is happening! Lastly, they discover that the former owner of the house is Scare Scape illustrator John King. After a few days living in this house, the siblings believe that maybe he wasn’t so crazy after all . . .

If you want to see how Morton and his family and friends deal with this creepy infestation, read this book! This chilling and thrilling tale is a fun read for those who love comic books and adventure! Read a sample chapter!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

September 25, 2013

The Wolf Princess

Posted by at 1:02 am in Reads | Permalink

wolfprinces130The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable (for ages 10 and up)

Sent away by her penny-pinching guardian, orphaned Sophie Smith attends a drab, old boarding school in London. Sophie wishes there were more adventure in life, like in fairy tales, so she is thrilled to be going on a trip to St. Petersburg with her roommates for her school holidays.

However, they never make it to St. Petersburg. The three girls are abandoned and are thrown off the train in the middle of a blizzard! They are rescued by Ivan, who works for the beautiful and enthralling Princess Anna Volkonskaya. She enchants them with tales of lost diamonds and murder and wolves that are almost too crazy to believe!WolfPrincessjpg

Strangely, Sophie feels a connection to the place, even though she is sure she has never been to Russia before. Then, even though the wolves are supposed to be long gone, Sophie thinks she sees something prowling the edges of the forest. Is she imagining things in the magical Volkonsky palace?

You cannot help but be pulled into this fantastical tale, a modern re-telling of Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia’s life. (Think the Disney movie Anastasia!)

Read a sample chapter and share your thoughts in the Comments below!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

September 19, 2013

Duke by Kirby Larson

Posted by at 1:07 am in Reads | Permalink

duke130Duke by Kirby Larson

It is 1944, in the midst of World War II. Eleven-year-old Hobie Hansen desperately misses his father, a pilot flying for Uncle Sam overseas.

Hobie and his dog, Duke, are as close to each other as dog and boy can be. They do everything together: play fetch, eat, go to the grocer, listen to Hop Harrigan’s show and even sleep together! Then a Mr. Rasmussen appears, and asks Hobie to “loan” Duke to the Army for a program called “Dogs for Defense.” After thinking long and hard, Hobie decides to “DO everything he can” for his country and lets Duke go.

Hobie feels lost without Duke at his side. A new boy named Max arrives at school, but can he fill the void his father and Duke left behind?

From the start, Hobie and Duke will wiggle their way into your heart. Dog owners (and pet lovers), and especially World War II history buffs will enjoy this story of epic bravery. Kirby Larson really knows her stuff, and you will be transported back in time to 1944!

 Read a sample chapter and share your thoughts in the Comments below!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

September 11, 2013

Seeing Red

Posted by at 9:57 am in Reads | Permalink

seeingred130Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine (for ages 10 and up)

Fredrick “Red” Porter is beside himself when his beloved father dies. His mother has fallen apart; his younger brother J is acting out, and his best friend Thomas won’t speak to him anymore. It is up to Red to keep the spirit of his father’s family business (car shop, gas station and “What-U-Want” convenience store) alive. But at twelve years old, there is only so much he can do.

When Red’s mother decides to move the family to Ohio, Red tries everything to stop his house from being sold, including acts of vandalism, and skipping school. There are boys his age who peer-pressure Red into doing things he knows are wrong, but poor Red is at a loss as to what to think.

This captivating historical fiction novel deals with heavy topics such as racism, abuse, and death in a way that makes you think about injustices in this world. In the end, Kathryn Erskine’s work gives a profound feeling of hope for the future.

Read a sample chapter and give us the skinny on what you think of this book in the Comments below.

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

September 4, 2013


Posted by at 10:55 am in Reads | Permalink

goblins130Goblins by Philip Reeve

“There had been a time when all goblins had been servants of the same great sorcerer, the Lych Lord, who had raised Clovenstone and ruled the whole world from his Stone Throne.”

Skarper is different than other goblins. Sure, he likes his fair share of shiny things and loves spider soup. He can read and he is clever, qualities which result in him being catapulted out of the goblins’ home! Separated from his books and the secret Stenoryon’s map, Skarper will do anything to steal back his treasure.goblins

Henwyn is a “softling” who has a knack for getting into trouble. Banished from his hometown of Adherak, due to an unfortunate incident with a cheese monster, Henwyn decides to follow his dreams and become a hero. Armed with a blunt sword and high hopes, Henwyn sets out to rescue Princess Eluned, only to find quite the surprise.

Magic is brewing deep within the bowels of Clovenstone, ready to explode! Many will fight to harness this power, but only one can rule on the Stone Throne. A human, goblin, troll, giant, or three sorcerers – who will it be?

Philip Reeve presents a hilarious fantasy tale, packed with adventure and magical creatures. Do you think you have what it takes to go on this quest? Give this book a chance! Read a sample chapter. Then leave a Comment below!

—Elysse, STACKS Writer

August 21, 2013

Claws, a Book for Cat Lovers

Posted by at 10:51 am in Reads | Permalink

claws130Claws by Mike and Rachel Grinti

“Emma only knew a little about cats, but what she knew wasn’t exactly comforting. They could talk, but they rarely bothered to talk to humans. They could change their size and become huge, the size of lions or bigger. And they’d been known to hunt humans, though there hadn’t been any incidents in a long time. That anyone knew about.”

When Emma’s sister Helena went missing, Emma had no idea how much it would turn her world clawsupside-down. Emma’s parents spent all of their savings, leaving no stone unturned in the search for their oldest daughter. After losing their restaurant, Emma and her parents moved into a trailer park in a dangerous neighborhood filled with crags, a.k.a. magical beings. Coatl, dwarves, trolls, fairies, hags, harpies, ratters, and centaurs are just a few of the creatures that moved into Emma’s world at the same time as the forest magically grew over Old Downtown. Oh yeah, and then there’s the cats.

Jack is the cat who lives in Emma’s trailer because he has been kicked out his pride. Emma would do anything to find her sister, so when Jack offers her the “Pride-Heart,” Emma accepts the cat magic even though it’s dangerous. Although nearly unheard of, this human turned Pride-Heart must trust that Jack will guide and protect her on this perilous journey.

Cat lovers, this book is a must-read! Actually, anyone who likes fantasy should read this book. Are you excited to read this book? Tell us in the Comments below.

—Elysse, STACKS Writer