Aesop’s Fables by John Cech

aesops fables
*learn wisdom with wit and style*

Such simple stores but such big lessons. These thirty-six, one page, restyled classics are easy to browse as well as they can be consumed with gusto. The folk art illustrations add that something extra.


Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

time cat
*cats are amazing but secretive creatures*

After a pretty rough day for Jason, he’s sent to his room and finds some comfort in sitting with his cat Gareth. When Gareth suddenly begins to speak, it turns out to not be the most surprising event that will occur that day. According to Gareth, cat’s don’t really have nine lives but they can choose a particular person to take to nine different places and times. This is how their adventure begins.

It’s like a little mini-history lesson hidden in the midst of how cats have been revered in various countries and time periods, with a devoted friendship to boot! Anything this author has ever written is worth reading.

Babymouse: The Musical by Jennifer L. Holm

babymouse the musical
*cartoon mice imagines great stage performance*

Babymouse is enchanted by the new student, a hedgehog named Henry Higgins from England. When he suggests they should both try out for the school musical, Babymouse agrees it sounds like a brilliant idea. But even with her very vivid imagination, the stage might not be just right spot for Babymouse to exhibit her talents.

With a never say die attitude, how can readers not love and root for Babymouse, no matter how unrealistic her goals might be? A fun series with great illustrations and references to related topics that could make for some interesting, teachable moments. Such as learning more about the real musical Phantom of the Opera after Babymouse meets the Phantom in her school locker…

Once Upon a Flock by Lauren Scheuer

once upon a flock
*AHHHH! chickens are awesomely interesting creatures*

Lauren and her family live in Upton, Massachusetts, a small rural town. So when Lauren decided to use her carpentry skills to make a hen house -and to get some chicks to live in the hen house- she had the land available to do just that. Randomly selecting four chicks, hoping none of them would turn out to be a boy who would grow into a problem causing rooster, the family doted on their new additions. Of course very little in life turns out to be so straightforward or simple, and Lauren’s grand chicken experiment was neither straightforward nor simple. More carpentry -some quite painful, a few dicey moments with Marky -the family dog, and scary unexpected changes in the health of  the different chickens are just a portion of the trauma and drama happening to this flock of loveable ladies.

How much do I love the book? So much! I love the story, I love the illustrations, I love how sweet it is to find a message of compassion tucked into the funky feathers of a chicken! I laughed, I cried, and I would love to do it all over again. This is one to own!

Take a moment and check out Lauren’s Blog Scratch and Peck. You’ll be glad you did.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

just one day
*timid girl blossoms into adventurous spirit*

Allyson is a good girl; she is respectful of authority, does what is expected, and aims to never disappoint anyone. While on a Teen Tours! European vacation, a high school graduation gift from her parents -along with an uncomfortably large, heavy gold watch- Allyson and her best friend Melanie take the first stuttering steps toward change. Allyson’s small, almost unnoticeable, acts of rebellion are actually the exact moments that bring her to the place where she finds herself living the One Day that changes her life forever.

Loving this author’s previous titles: If I Stay and Where She Went, I was ready to be filled with joy, sorrow, happiness, and satisfaction of a story well told as I opened this book. I think I set the bar too high for my own enjoyment. As an adult reader -I wish Allyson hadn’t gone from 99% repressed to 100% independent. I’m pretty sure teens won’t be bothered by that hiccup. I did enjoy Allyson’s final relationship with her mother, her friend Dee -who should get his own book please!- and the ominous ending which left me curious to see what happens next.

A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

beautiful blue death
*murdering maid won’t keep dirty secrets*

Charles Lennox can’t refuse his dear friend Lady Jane Grey when she begs him to investigate the murder of housemaid, even though it occurred in another’s home. Prudence Smith had at one time been employed by Lady Jane and had only sought a new situation to be near her fiance, now she’s dead and Jane feels responsible for letting her go. Once Charles begins to look into matters, it’s clear that very little is what it had seemed to be and there’s a bigger mystery than who killed Prue.

There are clues that observant readers might put together for a good guess at the final solution but it’s much more fun to let Charles lead you along, step-by-step to the big reveal of whodunnit. A solid Victorian setting and details add to the charm of the mystery.

Relish: My life in the kitchen by Lucy Knisley

*tempting treats fold love into lifetime*

Using the graphic novel format, Lucy Knisley shares her journey from a small child into adulthood by showing how food made or changed the relationships in her life. There’s a wonderful amount of food knowledge packed onto each page and the recipes Lucy illustrates sound delicious, but the most unexpected part -for me- was how funny this was!

I laughed out loud (in a coffee shop) repeatedly -and I laughed just as much when I read it again. What’s not to enjoy in a book filled with descriptions of food, loving family/friends, interesting artwork, and a sense of humor? This would be one to own!

Dewey’s Read-a-Thon -the end (for now)!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I didn’t make it -boo! So the hour in which my eyelids won the war and shut the party down would be my most daunting -and that was around 4:20? Rats!
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I did not read them this weekend but I would suggest the Gone series by Michael Grant or the Gallagher series by Ally Carter for teen books or the Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn or Elinor Lipman books for adults.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I thought you all did a wonderful, wonderful job! So organized!
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I loved the pre-read-a-thon prep postings!
5. How many books did you read?
I finished one audio (started two more -home and car), one magazine, two graphic novels, and five books.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
In order: Between Shades of Gray, Babymouse: the Musical, Time Cat, Entertainment Weekly, Relish, Just One Day, A Beautiful Blue Death, Aesop’s Fables, Once Upon a Flock.
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Who can pick a favorite?
8. Which did you enjoy least?
I’d say there weren’t any bad books in my list. Each one of these books gave me something to consider.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
Not a cheerleader this year… maybe in the future?
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will! Each time I get a better idea of how to make this positive experience even more positive -I’ll be back as a participant for sure!

finished stack the completed reads!

Bonus: My favorite snack? S’mores Bark!

smores bark