Storm

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Calhoun, Bonnie S. Storm: Stone Braide Chronicles Series- Book 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

storm

SUMMARY:
Selah Rishon Chavez just celebrated her eighteenth birthday, and unbeknownst to her, begins a transformation that is linked to her heritage. The transformation requires leaving all things she knows and loves to join the group that is now hunted by her father and brothers. Needing to complete the Third Protocol while still sane, Selah and her alliances must rush across the country, push through enemy territory, and learn to trust while trusting no one. Full of fight scenes, continuous suspense and fantasy, this young adult dystopic novel, Storm, is sure to appeal…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though obviously author Bonnie Calhoun knows how to write, unfortunately, it is not my genre of reading. Neither connected to the characters nor the storyline, this book was not much to my liking; however, I feel it is purely a personal choice. Perhaps readers of fantasy, dystopia or mild violence may enjoy this book three in the Stone Braide Chronicles series, but I would advise reading the previous novels immediately before this one. Intriguing cover.

RATING:
3 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Storm from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Larger-Than-Life-Lara

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Mackall, Dandi Daley. Larger-Than-Life-Lara. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 2016.

largerthanlifelara

SUMMARY:
Laney Grafton has a difficult home life yet shines in her life. As a likeable person, Laney has friends in class but wonders why others protect their reputation against being with her. When Lara, an overweight new student in class, tries to befriend Laney, Laney finds herself considering the reversal in roles now. With bullying, jokes, tormenting and cruelty, Larger-Than-Life-Lara tackles feelings, thoughts, meanness and kindness through the eyes of middle-schoolers. Written in a manner which emphasizes, explains and practices the writing pattern of a story, this many faceted novel ponders many aspects of life…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though a simple book written mainly for middle school-age children, Larger-Than-Life-Lara shares such an important message, it should be read by all. Undertaking the cruelty and effects of bullying, author Dandi Daley Mackall writes a poignant, sometimes humorous, always complex, well-written novel. With lessons to be learned on bullying yet also the academic writing style of stories, each chapter coincides with an actual story (beginning, setting, villain, details, rising action, climax). As a two-fold book with several themes, it was interesting, heartbreaking, informational and would be perfect as a study unit for class.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Larger-Than-Life-Lara from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

The Looney Experiment

Reynolds, Luke. The Looney Experiment. Grand Rapids, MI: Blink/ Zondervan Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
LooneyJust trying to get through middle-school unnoticed, Atticus Hobart cannot seem to make it happen. With an overactive imagination, a crush on a cute girl in class, the brunt of many jokes and a weird name, Atticus needs some help. Enter substitute English teacher Mr. Looney who happens to have an unconventional manner of teaching but may be just what Atticus requires to find his courage…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a YA novel geared towards 11-14 year-olds, I thought The Looney Experiment was well written with a good message. With references to the book,How To Kill a Mockingbird, it is also very relevant and timely to that particular age group. Creative, humorous and entertaining, once accustomed to the style, this story just moved along with shorter chapters. As a seventh grade English teacher and writer of several other books, author Luke Reynolds is more than qualified to pen such an appealing YA novel.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Looney Experiment from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Trading Secrets

Carlson, Melody. Trading Secrets. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
tradeHaving been assigned as pen pals in fifth grade, Micah Knight and Zach Miller continue as pen pals then friends for many years while not actually meeting in person. Though from differing ways of life, Micah and Zach grow closer, eventually meeting each other; however, when an opportunity arises to share the truth, will it affect the friendship or their future?  Keeping a secret can have enormous consequences…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
What a fun premise for a story from one of my favorite authors! Filled with faith references, Amish tidbits, humor and charm, Trading Secrets is an enjoyable read. Though recognized as more of a Young Adult novel, I would recommend it for anyone looking for a quick, pleasurable book. As the author of many novels, Melody Carlson writes both Amish and contemporary story lines- combining both ingredients in this story. (I truly enjoyed and chuckled before the actual reveal, just imagining the possibilities.) Absolutely a book which deserves a sequel or perhaps even a movie!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Trading Secrets from Revell Publishing for my honest review*