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Otto Runs for President- Rosemary Wells

Just  in time for the upcoming presidential election, here is a great read for children.

A great children’s book about elections and what really matters

It is election time at Barkadelphia School and the competition is fierce.  Tiffany a brown poodle is the prettiest and most popular girl, and she wants to win the election, but Charles the bulldog, is the captain of all the sports teams and her biggest competition.

Meanwhile, Otto with the help of his friend Melanie, decides that he wants to run for class president as well. While Tiffany and Charles are busy promoting themselves, Otto talks to all of the students at Barkadelphia School and asks them what they really want.  They desire blankets for nap time, watermelon in the cafeteria, and bigger towels in the gym. Not hairspray and mirrors like Tiffany wants or more meat at lunch and skateboards in the hall like Charles.

Throughout the book, Tiffany and Charles campaign throughout their school until a simple election turns into a contest of insults and smears between the two, while Otto continues talking to his classmates. When the time for voting comes, who will win?

Perfect for the young reader, Otto Runs for President explores the voting process and shows that a good president cannot be won by insults and lies, but by listening to the voters and meeting their needs.

Recommended for readers age 4-8.

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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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Clifford the Big Red Dog- Pumpkin!!!

 

One of the pumpkins I did this year…yay!

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Books, Halloween, Random

 

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Happy Halloween!!!!

Happy Halloween to all! Be safe and get lots of candy!

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Books, Events, Halloween, Random

 

The Casual Vacancy- J.K. Rowling

Dark, unexpected, and vivid

In the small English town of Pagford, everyone knows everyone else’s business and privacy is a luxury. When Barry Fairbrother unexpectedly dies, the town is left with much unanticipated circumstances. A casual vacancy, as it is known on the town’s Parish Council.   The town has been going through a long term political struggle over who is responsible for the costs of supporting the poverty stricken area, the Fields. Fairbrother was an ally of those who wanted to maintain support for the Fields, and with his death, the two opposing sides square off. The politics of the Parish Council only set the stage for the book. The turmoil is the stage for the real story about the variety of people who call the town home and their daily struggle in life.

When the isolated town’s main source of gossip, the Parish Council message board begins to receive anonymous posting revealing some of the characters deepest and darkest personal secrets, a town already struggling with the death of one of their biggest personalities must reconcile their own places in Pagford.  There are a multitude of characters in this book and at times it is hard to follow, but through the course of the book their diverse personalities, personal hardships, familial loyalty, and relationships are explored. What follows is a well told story that reaches the underbelly of society and the dark truth of its residents. Abuse, drugs, rape, teenage hormones, and sexual affairs are some of the few topics explored in the interwoven stories of the characters.

This book was a struggle for me to start and I am still undecided about the end. The book really seems to not have a point to the plot, other than an exploration into the lives of the town’s residents, but I cannot declare that I did or did not enjoy the book. Overall I am still undecided, and I think readers will also be torn. If you are seeking another Harry Potter phenomenon, you will be highly disappointed. This is a book for adults and the topics inappropriate for young adults and children.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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Gamers- Thomas K. Carpenter

LifeGame is more than a game; it’s a matter of life and death

In Thomas K. Carpenter first dystopian novel Gamers, in the Gamers Trilogy, he has created a futuristic society where LifeGame is all that matters. LifeGame is an ultra-realistic virtual reality video game where players score points for doing regular things, like brushing teeth and cleaning their room, to higher points for passing tests and solving complicated mathematical and physics problems. The top 15 boys and girls will make it to the University and get good jobs, but those whose scores fall below the line must settle for the jobs that no one wants.

Gabby DeCorte is a naturally skilled gamer. Her life revolves around trying to keep her LifeGame score up to guarantee her place at the University and dealing with typical high school drama. Everything from mean girls, controlling parents,  and boys, to insuring her best friend Zaela makes University with her. Unfortunately, Zaela lacks the natural ability of her best friend, so Gabby must constantly use her natural gaming talent as well as her extraordinary hacking skills and to insure her best friend’s success.

In this re-envisioned society, the Greater States of America (GSA) is competing to stay a prominent world power, and the future of society depends upon developing the best students, the LifeGame winners.  Gabby soon finds herself paired with a group known as the Frags. A group determined to undermine the GSA, and prove that those who don’t make it to University, don’t get undesirable jobs, but permanently disappear. The Frags need Gabby’s help, but with all the new revelations, Gabby is not so sure what is the truth and what is virtual reality, or who to trust.

Carpenter does a great job of setting the stage and creating characters that readers can relate to. Gamers is a fast read, with a creative plot, unexpected twists, and an intriguing premise. Readers not familiar with phrases such as noob, and DoT, may miss some of the humor, but it does not distract from the storyline. Overall, Gamers was a surprising good read, despite the bland cover art.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the author.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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100 Books and Counting

 

Woohoo!!!… I have reached my goal of reading 100 titles this year!!!

Now to keep on reading…

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Books, Events, Random

 

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Press Here- Herve Tullet

Simple yet fascinating

Giggles will accompany both parents and children alike in this whimsical book. Begin by pressing the yellow dot, and then follow the instructions. By pressing, shaking, tilting, and blowing on the pages, readers will embark on an imaginative journey filled with color.

Although very simple, Press Here is not only fun, but educational, using repeated words, children can practice following instructions and learn directions like left and right.

Recommended for readers age 2-5.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Book Review, Books

 

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