Tag Archives: United States

The Elite by Kiera Cass


In the sequel to The Selection, America Singer is now one of 6 girls left competing for the affection of Prince Maxon and the title of Princess of Illéa, she is an Elite.

Though Prince Maxon has made his feelings for America obvious, she still is on the brink of deciding between wanting to be with Maxon, or her first love, Aspen. With Aspen now a guard both Maxon and Aspen, that make her indecision understandable, if not a little taxing on readers.

Like The Selection, the first book in the trilogy, The Elite offers a more in-depth look at the life of royalty in this dystopian society and Cass begins to reveal some of the history that led to the dissolution of the United States and the creation of Illéa. Of course since this is a competition we have cat-fighting and tension between the remaining girls and the invasion of rebels into the palace creates dramatic action and has America wondering what the rebels are really after.

Cass does a great job of setting the stage for the third book, and many surprises lay in store for readers, making them questions if they should root for Prince Maxon or Aspen to win America’s heart. The third installment will determine if this series has the staying power or will fall short of high expectations.

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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Book Review, Books


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Sirens- Janet Fox

Unexpectedly fantastic- an electrifying coming of age tale combined with a mesmerizing setting and studded with mystery and romance

With the captivating and beautiful background of New York during the roaring 20’s, Janet Fox’s new novel, Sirens, offers everything readers could want. Women have recently gained the right to vote, and with that independence the desire for more freedoms than they ever had before. Seventeen-year-old Josephine “Jo” Winters is about to graduate high school and has plans to attend college and make a name for herself as a writer. But her father has other plans, and suddenly sends her to live with her aunt and uncle in New York with the objective of finding a husband. Between her father’s mob involvement in a bootlegging operation, and her brother Teddy’s disappearance, Jo realizes that there is more to this sudden move than fatherly concern for Jo’s future.

Unfortunately, Jo’s aunt and uncles home may not be as safe as everyone thinks. Jo’s cousin Melody also has a secret, one she hides behind a “flapper” lifestyle of drinking and partying. Teddy, a war veteran has been gone for a year, suicide, or so everyone believes. Everyone that is, except Jo. She knows his secret, and when Jo gets ahold of Teddy’s journal, as the secrets it holds are revealed, the truth turns dangerous for Jo and everyone she loves.

Louise “Lou” O’Keefe, has fallen in love with mobster Danny Conner. From a life of poverty, as Danny’s “moll”, Lou suddenly has an upgrade in life. The newest clothes, a mansion to live in, all the money from his “bootlegging” operation a girl could desire, and the man she loves. Lou is determined to keep Danny and insure her lifestyle, even if it means eliminating any threats. When Lou and Jo’s path cross, their two lives become tangled in unexpected ways.

Written in alternating chapters from Jo and Lou’s perspective, the truth behind Teddy’s disappearance, a violent political bombing, and Jo’s cousin Melody’s secret slowly unfold. Readers will be enchanted by the brilliant 1920’s New York lifestyle and setting, captivated by the characters, and addicted to the ever twisting plot. Filled with love, loss, and loyalty and an impressive look into the worlds of “flappers” and “mobsters,” Fox weaves a fascinating coming of age tale that speaks to the ever changing role and rights of women during the early 1920’s.

Recommended for readers age 12 and up. Sirens is scheduled for release November  8, 2012.

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Book Review, Books, Not Yet Released


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Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman- Esme Raji Codell (Illustrator) Lynne Rae Perkins

A positive message told through the legend and legacy of Johnny Appleseed

In this book, the fast paced world we live in is put on hold to tell the tale of Johnny Appleseed. Using the life and examples that John “Appleseed” Chapman set in his travels across America planting apple trees, a wider moral story is told among the bright and uniquely illustrated pages.

Part fact, part fiction, the tale of Johnny Appleseed’s travels across the United States usually focuses solely on apples.  In Seed by Seed, a more in depth look at the man, John Chapman, provides a greater detailed account of his deeds and the influence he had on shaping the nation in his small way. Primarily by leaving five examples to follow: Use what you have, share what you have, respect nature, try to make peace where there is war, and you can reach your destination by taking small steps.

Codell uses these examples to highlight some of the lesser known details of what Chapman did during his lifetime. As she shifts the focus away from apples and towards the strong moral man he was, children learn of his love of nature and animals, his storytelling and books he shared, and his relationship between Native Americans and the pioneers.

Recommended for readers age 4-8.

The legend of Johnny Appleseed is known by many school children, although I believe that number is currently declining, and Codell does a great job of reviving his legend. The message is clear. Johnny Appleseed is not just a legend,but a real man who made a difference in the world seed by seed, and deed by deed.

Included are some fun apple inspiredactivities to celebrate the anniversary of John “Appleseed” Chapman and an apple pie recipe.

Check out this > video clip < of Johnny Appleseed, originally a sequence in Disney‘s Melody time in 1948, then independently released later, and also included on the DVD Disney’s American Legends in 2012.


Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Book Review, Books, Videos


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Banned Book Week 2012

Banned Books Week 2012 will be held September 30 – October 6.

Visit and for more information.

Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982.

Celebrate your freedom to read and pick up a book…what will you read?

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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Book Review, Books, Events, Random


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