Growing Bookworms Newsletter: Children's Book Week Edition
Friday Afternoon Visits: May 15

Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: May 12

Welcome to the latest edition of my recurring Reviews that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature, in which I highlight the posts from around the Kidlitosphere that inspire me to covet particular books. It's a relatively short list this time, but hopefully some of you will be inspired by these excellent reviews, too.

LiarJustine Larbalestier's upcoming book Liar has been on my radar for a while now. But Liz B. from Tea Cozy made me add it to my list with a recent teaser (a mini post about a book that won't be out for a while). She said: "this is a wonderful tale of suspense, with multiple mysteries, and a sense of foreboding and doom in the first half of the book that you can practically taste. It is not only being added to my Favorite Books Read in 2009 list; it's also going on my list of books I think are potential award winners." Given that Liz knows her award-worthy books (having been on the Printz committee and all), Liar is going on my must-read list, too.

The Brooklyn NineI'm not generally a fan of interconnected stories (I don't even like episodic television - I like one long story). However, Maureen from Confessions of a Bibliovore caught my attention with her recent review of The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz. She said: "I loved this book and I don't even like baseball... But the love that Alan Gratz, and his characters, have for the game shines through and even hooked this sports-hater. Some characters play, some characters spectate, some are merely passionate fans. At least one or two of the stories don't even include a game, but baseball is in there somewhere." Since I am a baseball fan, I think I'll have to check this one out.

Five Children and ItOK, this one isn't a review exactly, but a piece of news on Laurel Snyder's website inspired me to want a new edition of E. Nesbit's Five Children and It. You see, our very own Laurel wrote an introduction for this new edition. She says: "It’s true! For some reason I will never fully comprehend, I have been granted a wish. I have been given the opportunity to “introduce” my favorite Nesbit book to the world... If you haven’t read it, or if you have  a child who hasn’t read it... I must implore you... READ THIS BOOK! Nesbit is the person who invented the entire genre of backyard magic.  Without her, there would be no Harry Potter, no Spiderwick Chronicles, no Percy Jackson." This edition won't actually available until January, but it's on the list.

One Second AfterYou all know that I can't resist dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction. So, naturally enough, my interest was caught by Ben's recent Guys Lit Wire review of One Second After by William Forstchen. He says: "One Second After begins with a massive EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack on the United States that wipes out electronics across the country. It centers on the small town of Black Mountain, North Carolina ... and how the lives of everyone in town are affected." And that's enough for me. Bonus points for the technology angle.

SweetnessDoret sought me out recently, to draw my attention to one of her reviews, a title published for adults that she thought that I would like. She was apparently correct, because I had already starred said review in my reader. Anyway, Doret reviewed The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. "The writing's sharp, fun and well thought out. Bradley takes the time to give the history of the de Luce’s and their family dynamic. I truly enjoyed this novel from beginning to end. Every time I had to put it down, I looked forward to when I could pick it up again. Even though Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie will be shelved in mystery, I will put a few on the YA table."

WitnessI also starred a recent review from Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone, and then had it show up on my doorstep a few days later. Seems a bit like destiny to me (though Random House's reviewer lists might have something to do with this coincidence). Anyway, Sarah reviewed Caroline B. Cooney's new novel, If the Witness Lied. She started with: "I have been a Caroline B. Cooney fan since I read The Face on the Milk Carton back in elementary school. Cooney’s books are almost always edge-of-your-seat thrillers that are impossible to put down.  When I saw that she had a new novel coming out on May 12th, I immediately put it on my wishlist.  Her books are always big hits in my classroom and I knew If the Witness Lied would be just as popular. If the Witness Lied is a thriller through and through!" Now, I don't think I was in elementary school when The Face on the Milk Carton came out, but I'm definitely a long-time fan. I think that the new book is going on my 48 hour book challenge list.

Doomsday BookSherry from Semicolon recently reviewed Connie Willis' Doomsday Book, and made me wonder how I ever missed it. She said: "Kivrin, a history student at Oxford in 2048, travels through “the net” back in time to the fourteenth century. In the meantime, a virulent influenza virus puts Oxford and its environs under quarantine, and Badre, the tech who set up the program to send Kivrin back in time, is too ill to tell anyone exactly what’s gone wrong with the plan to send Kivrin back to medieval England and retrieve her in two weeks. But something has gone horribly wrong, and Kivrin’s professor, Dr. Dunworthy, is the only one who’s trying to get her back." And yeah, that's a book that I should read.