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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

I haven’t done one of these in awhile!  This will cover a few weeks.  A very diverse range here!

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and lets bloggers share what books they’ve received, bought, or borrowed this week.  You can find more information here, if you’d like to participate.

I went a reading festival and met the following authors, and bought their books for autographs. I’m looking forward to reading them.


The Camel  Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton

Fiona Sweeney wants to do something that matters, and she chooses to make her mark in the arid bush of northeastern Kenya. By helping to start a traveling library, she hopes to bring the words of Homer, Hemingway, and Dr. Seuss to far-flung tiny communities where people live daily with drought, hunger, and disease. Her intentions are honorable, and her rules are firm: due to the limited number of donated books, if any one of them is not returned, the bookmobile will not return.  (2008, Harper Perennial)

Read the story behind this book, it’s fascinating!

Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy

Mildred is a very focused eleven-year-old. Very focused on giant pumpkins. She’s growing the giants for her mother, who never got a chance to enter the Circleville, Ohio, Pumpkin Show weigh-off herself. After four disastrous growing seasons, Mildred is hoping to finally have a flawless pumpkin to enter in the contest. As long as busybody Aunt Arlene doesn’t interfere too much…and Daddy doesn’t need too much help at his veterinary practice…and her best friend Jacob can pitch in with some last-minute help…and the dogs don’t trample the seedlings…and the weather cooperates. (2009 paperback, Greenwillow)

Ray in Reverse by Daniel Wallace (I’ve read this before, I just wanted my own copy!)

Beginning when a dead Ray Williams arrives in Heaven, the novel unfolds as the deceased proceeds to tell his life story backwards. As dodgy and shiftless in the afterlife as he was on Earth, Ray finds himself in Heaven’s popular Last Words discussion group, where, for dramatic effect, he lies about his final utterances. A series of flashbacks reveals Ray’s defining moments, including his real last words and what they meant, in a funny, poignant narrative that moves with the clarity of a fable and the complexity of modern psychology. Ray spent his life hiding from the demands of marriage and fatherhood; from his fears of sexual ambiguityAand each chapter riffs on his signature confusion about reality.  (2001, Penguin)

Will Jesus Buy me a Doublewide? (Cause I Need Room for my New Plasma TV) by Karen Spears Zacharias

Karen Spears Zacharias believes Christians have been paying good money for a false doctrine: the Cash and Cadillac Gospel. With humor and wit in Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?, Zacharias unpacks story after story of those who use the name of God as a means to living their own good life, as well as some unlikely folks whose genuine faith has led them to a different understanding of wealth. (March 2010, Zondervan)

For Review

The Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire

Darina’s year goes from bad to worse when her boyfriend, Phoenix, is killed in a knife fight, making him the fourth student from their high school to die that year. She’s certain that she’s going crazy when she sees him and the others in an abandoned barn, but when Phoenix kisses her, she’s convinced he’s come back… to life?

Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and Phoenix have been brought back from limbo by the enigmatic and sometimes frightening Hunter, and are allowed to remain in the world of the living for one year in order to set right a wrong linked to their deaths. In exchange for being allowed to see Phoenix, Darina agrees to help the undead teens find justice, starting with Jonas… whose year is nearly up.

Darina must discover who is behind Jonas’s fatal motorcycle accident… without becoming a victim herself… and keep the Beautiful Dead a secret. She would sacrifice anything to help her beloved Phoenix, but setting him free might mean losing him forever. (March 2010, Sourcebooks Fire)

I also bought The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. I’ve been so putting off reading the end of the Percy Jackson series, but I think it’s finally time.   Also Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein and The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty.


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