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review 2020-06-19 02:50
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Passage - Justin Cronin

Audience: Adult

Format: eBook/Library Copy


Before she became the Girl from Nowhere -- the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years -- she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy.

- opening sentence



This book is amazing. I bought it several years ago for some reason that I can't remember. Maybe it was the comparisons to Stephen King or maybe it was King's own words, "a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction." Then, last year, a tv show called The Passage aired, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Agent Wolgast. I enjoyed the show and when I saw The Passage on my kindle, I decided to read it.


The action in this story occurs all around the United States (in Philadelphia, Colorado, Oregon, California, Texas, etc.) and across a hundred years and I loved every minute of it. I couldn't put the book down and immediately started book 2 when I finished (at 897 pages that's saying something). A government agency scientist is exploring an ancient virus he discovered and using it on death row inmates. Of course, the government loses control, and the Virals (basically vampires) escape ending the world. We don't get to see too many details but later the book resumes after 100 years passes. I was surprised by the time jump, but it works and it ends up all tying together which was very satisfying.


Highly recommended! 

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review 2020-02-12 02:44
Rebel by Marie Lu
Rebel - Marie Lu


If you asked me to tell you about myself, I'd say first that I like to understand things.

- first sentence


Audience: Middle Grade

Format:  Kindle/Owned


I loved the Legend trilogy and couldn't wait to read this one. This book mostly focuses on Eden Wing (Day's little brother). It delves into his relationship with his brother and how they try to get on with their lives after the events of the Legend trilogy. They are living in Antarctica, a nation with a points system that determines your success and standard of living. The inequities of the system are gradually leading to a rebellion. Day is now known as Daniel and works with the government law enforcement agency. Eden is a star at his university and has a bright future in the Republic. But Eden is drawn to the darker side of Antarctica and finds himself crossing paths with the biggest mob boss in the city.


I loved seeing how Eden grew up and tried to distance himself from Daniel while at the same time maintaining the values they shared. The best part of this story was getting a chance for closure between June and Day (it was left unresolved at the end of the trilogy).


I highly recommend this to fans of the Legend trilogy.

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review 2019-10-10 03:27
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
City of Ghosts - Victoria Schwab



Audience: Middle Grade

Format: Kindle/Owned


People think that ghosts only come out at night, or on Halloween, when the world is dark and the walls are thin.

-First sentence


When Cassidy was drowning, she was saved by a ghost named Jacob. Ever since then, she can pull back the Veil and enter the spirit world. She can also see ghosts, and Jacob is her best friend. Her parents write books about spirits and they are going to host a TV show about the world's most haunted places. They all travel to Edinburgh, Scotland where graveyards, castles, and passageways are filled with all types of ghosts. At the hotel, Cass meets a girl like her who can also see ghosts.


Cass is a strong, brave girl and Jacob is loyal and brave. I love their interactions and how her parents think Jacob is her invisible friend. Overall, the story moves quickly, is a little scary and has a lot of heart. I enjoyed reading this one and I think middle-grade readers will love it. It has a few scary parts, but nothing that will be too much for the middle-grade audience.


I'm looking forward to reading the sequel and finding out more about Jacob, Cassidy, and the next haunted place.


I read this for the Ghost Stories space.

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review 2019-08-23 02:50
Better than Carrots or Sticks
Better Than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management - Dominique Smith,Nancy Frey,Douglas Fisher

Audience: Adult

Format: Kindle/Owned



This book has some great material. I love the restorative practices for classroom management approach. The basic idea is to create a respectful classroom environment and teach students how to work through issues and resolve conflicts. Classrooms should be welcoming, constructive environments built on mutual respect and focused on encouraging student achievement.


The authors provide practical suggestions for how to implement the suggested practices and strategies. There is a lot of focus on building relationships: students to students & student to teacher.


This book is a must-read for any teacher - we must focus on developing compassion, relationship skills, and empathy in our students. We want them to learn more than just reading, writing & arithmetic (and tech skills). We want to help develop thoughtful, respectful, and intuitive adults.

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review 2019-08-18 04:23
Carmela Full of Wishes
Carmela Full of Wishes - Matt de la Pena,Christian Robinson

Audience: Elementary

Format: Kindle/Owned


This picture book is too much for preschoolers and even kindergarteners. The themes of hope and perseverance are lost in a story that is hard for young children to follow or enjoy. The illustrations are well-done and the brother and sister's faces are very expressive. I think this book is meant to promote diversity and understanding. Maybe it could be used with older elementary children. I just found it a bit boring.

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