Saturday, April 27, 2013

Diary of a Penguin-napper by Sally Harris

Diary of a Penguin-napper.

 April 25th is considered World Penguin Day, who knew?  Not I,  but I did happen to be reading this lovely little book, Diary of a Penguin-napper so in my own way I must have been celebrating those adorable fluffy cute penguins.    The last book I read with penguins in the story was Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater. Who doesn't love penguins?  They are featured  in such films as Madagascar and The Pebble and the Penguin.  There just so cute and adorable.  

Diary of a Penguin-napper  begins with Marty sitting on a couch waiting for the police to arrive.  His mother has just discovered that the missing penguin from the zoo has been hidden in their upstairs bathroom by none other then her son.  Thinking it is the right thing to do, Marty's mom calls the police to turn him in.  As the police arrive and interrogate him, Marty slowly begins to tell the story of how he came in possession of the stolen penguin and why.   I think by having the police interrogate Marty it naturally leads into the details of the heist and why stealing a penguin was so important to him in the first place (for love of course).  I especially liked this technique.   I don't think I am giving to much away by saying all that.  The title kinda says it all.  The "trouble one little penguin can cause" well that is what makes the story so engaging.  That and the fact that Sally Harris seems to have a knack for capturing the voice of middle grader Marty very nicely.  Diary of a Penguin-napper also includes some hilarious illustrated diary entry pages which are both amusing and add beautifully to the story.  Overall, I really loved this book.  My hope is that Sally Harris will write some more fun stories about Marty and his friend Turds.  I can  just see them getting into all kinds of trouble and having further fun adventures together.  My review ebook was featured on March MG Madness at and was a giveaway from the author Sally Harris.  I big thank you to both. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

St. Vipers School for Super Villians: The Big Bank Burglary by Kim Donovan

Big Bank Burglary, theSt. Vipers School for Super Villains is a wonderful series by Kim Donovan.  I loved the idea of a school for super villains.  I mean they have to learn their skills somewhere right?  When I was contacted back in October by Kim Donovan to review book one "The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery," I jumped at the chance.  The Riotous Rocket Ship Robbery was everything a first book should be.  It introduced the main character of Demon Kid.  A villain in training, who desired to be like his father, the best villain that he could be.   There were details of Demon's training at St. Viper's School, an introduction to his vile, villainous teachers and Demon's plan to steal a rocket back from the head "baddy" at school began to unfold.   

So, when I was contacted to read the second in the series, I eagerly grabbed this one up too.  The action in The Big Bank Burglary begins from the get go and it's a fun ride.  The Big Bank Burglary,  begins with the super villains competing in a challenge to see who will be helping on a special assignment, the Syndicate has plans to steal all of the money from the banks and wreck havoc on the world .   Demon thinks that he is a shoe in to be selected.  Yet, the new kid (Copycat) is gaining more recognition  and having  the ability to change yourself into anything you want  seems to be a strong advantage for Copycat.  Demon is very suspicious of Copycat, but when the bank burglary begins it's all Demon can do to stay out of trouble and ensure himself a spot on the bank heist.    I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to the St. Vipers School for Super Villains series.   The action is fast paced and there are all the things I expect in my super villains, CLICK's, WHIR's, and THOP's.  I also enjoyed that although Demon was overly confident in the beginning of the story, he learned some valuable lessons by the end.  Overall, recommend for children seven years and up who enjoy super hero's or super villains in this case and a wonderful action packed, humorous story. Review copy provided by author in the format of an ebook. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Big Bank Burglary, theDiary of a Penguin-napper

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Albus Dumbledore

Sorry all I took a little unexpected time off.  I'll be back to blogging on Monday with first one being the second book in the St. Viper's School for Super Villians, followed by Diary of a Penguin-napper shortly thereafter.  Happy Weekend to all.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

The Cadet of Tildor

Thank you to the lovely Natalie Aguirre at for her ARC of The Cadet of Tildor.  It made for some pleasant reading over Spring Break, so thank you very much.  

There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right. (Excerpt and image from  Goodreads:). 

Alex Lidell has created some wonderful characters for this world of Tildor.  I especially liked sixteen year old Renee de Winter.  When her father gives her an ultimatum, leave the Academy or never be welcomed at their home again, she sticks to her convictions and returns to school.  You see, Renee has always dreamed of being a protector for Tildor, to be among the elite Champions trained to protect the King.   Renee is strong, determined and above all a fighter who early on thinks she has to beat the boys in battle to prove her worth.  Yet, as she trains with Commander Savoy, Renee learns that she doesn't have to prove she's as good as the boys, but just needs to prove she can kill them.  Although, I didn't always agree with Commander Savoy's training methods when it came to Renee, some of it seemed logical for the time period and given the Commander's own experiences at the school.  Which are nicely explained by the varying points of view.  Moving from Renee, to the commander and then to Renee's friend Alec.  Each shift is able to add some details and mystery about the characters past and moves the story along.   Although, Tildor and its new King are stuck in a battle between two opposing forces, The Viper's and the Family. I wish they were explained a little further but are more intrigue and as a plot point for the kidnapping.  I also would have loved to learn more about the mages and how they use their powers for either healing or harm.  Although there were some nice examples of both, I never understood why some mages registered and others choose not to.  Overall, this is a wonderful fantasy filled with political intrigue, mysterious conflicts and characters that will keep you surprised.  I hope Alex Lidell will write more books about Renee de Winter.