Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality!

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 

 

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Omega City

Omega City - Diana Peterfreund

 

Some secrets are small -- the size of a battery, or a button, or a scrap of paper. Other secrets are so big they can bury a man alive, or tear apart a family ... or even destroy the world. Omega City was both.

 

Gillian's dad is a historian who specializes in Cold War conspiracies and wrote a book about Aloysius Underberg, a brilliant Cold War engineer. But Dr. Underberg is missing and Gillian's dad has been discredited. When Gillian is faced with an opportunity to solve Underberg's greatest mystery and prove her dad right, she can't resist. She enlists the help of her brother Eric, best friend Savannah, a NASA obsessed boy from school (Howard), and Howard's brother Nate. Others are searching for Underberg's secrets too, and they will stop at nothing to get them first.

 

This is an adventurous mystery with a strong female protagonist. Gillian's team faces life-threatening situations, including nerve gas in an elevator, goons with guns, and scuba diving in unknown waters. I think middle-grade readers will enjoy this thrilling adventure. (for fans of Luck Uglies or City of Ember). Grades 5-8

 

I am using this book to play a guess for Red Game victim: Lydia Bennet

 

Kill Your Darling: Clue or Red Herring?

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:

RED GAME ONLY

 

The image of the front and back of a business card found tucked into the door frame of Mrs. Oliver's flat by Hercule Poirot's very efficient secretary, Miss Lemon, when she arrived there for a prearranged tea party on Monday afternoon.

 

 

Reading for Kill Your Darlings - Red Game

Omega City - Diana Peterfreund

 

 I'm reading this one for the Kill Your Darlings game and for my Sunshine State challenge.

 

 

Kill Your Darlings!

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:

Game Status Check

 

Red Game

 

Players:

 

Obsidian Blue
Team Tannat/Familiar Diversions
Jennifer's Books
Reading is my ESCAPE

 

Suspect: Unknown

Victim: Unknown

Cause of Death: Unknown

Crime Scene: Unknown

 

 

 

Green Game

 

Players:

 

Debbie's Spurts
Tea, Rain, Books
Team Themis/MBD & Lillelara
Night Time Reading Center

 

Suspect: Unknown

Victim: Unknown

Cause of Death: Unknown

Crime Scene: Unknown

 

 

Yellow Game

 

Players:

 

BrokenTune
Isanythingopen
Darth Pony
Emerjas
Hooked On Books
Witty Little Knitter

 

Suspect: Unknown

Victim: Unknown

Cause of Death: Unknown

Crime Scene: Unknown

 

 

Round 1 closes Saturday, March 3 at 5:00!

 

It's not too late to sign up through Friday, March 2. Additional sign-ups may necessitate adding another game and/or shuffling players.

 

Brave - Svetlana Chmakova

 

Brave is the sequel to Awkwardan amazing graphic novel about navigating middle school life. Brave follows the same basic group of kids, with a different main character. In Brave, Jensen (the art club kid from Awkward who is obsessed with sunspots) learns about bullying. He doesn't think he is a victim at first, but he gradually begins to understand what being bullied really means. He compares his school day to a video game, a constant struggle to avoid the "bad guys" and traps; making it through the day is a struggle for "survival."

 

This book has a bit more mature content compared with Awkward. There is no sex or serious violence, but the bullies call Jensen "fatso" and "stupid" and Jensen uses the phrase "makes my life a living hell." Compared to the overall message in this book, these are tiny considerations. But, as a parent, you should know what you are getting into. Many of our 3rd graders read Awkward and their parents might not think they are ready for this one.

 

Overall, this is a great book that describes realities of middle school, bullying, feeling alone, making friends, and standing up for yourself. I highly recommend it to 4th grade and up. 

Kill Your Darlings: The Suspect Files

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

The Slippery Slope

The Slippery Slope - Michael Kupperman, Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist

 

The tenth book in this outrageous publishing effort features more than the usual dose of distressing details, such as snow gnats, an organised troupe of youngsters, an evil villain with a dastardly plan, a secret headquarters and some dangerous antics you should not try at home. With the weather turning colder, this is one chilling book you would be better off without. (From Amazon)

 

The title of this book refers not only to the mountain the Baudelaire children find themselves on but also to the slippery slope that could lead them to become villains. The Baudelaires are challenged to save their sister and find out the secrets of VFD without comprising their principles.

 

The performance of Tim Curry (who reads the story) is flawless - to the point where I forget who I'm listening to. His portrayal of Count Olaf is deliciously evil.

Reblog; please comment & like on the original post. :)

Announcing: Kill Your Darlings - a booklikes murder mystery reading game

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:

 

Ever since Tigus mentioned his old Murder Mystery Game, I've been wracking my brains for a way to adapt it to a Booklikes Reading Game.

 

And By George, I think I've got it.

 

What this game is:

 

A fun-filled opportunity to solve a crime - by reading books!

A game that can be played either individually, or in teams!

 

What this game is not:

 

A game where you must read mysteries. Multi-genre play is absolutely available!

 

Game play will begin as close to March 1 as I can get the game ready. Rules and game ephemera forthcoming!

 

 

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

Awkward - Svetlana Chmakova

 

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don't get noticed by the mean kids.

 

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

 

Penelope Torres (Peppi) is thinking of these rules as she starts a new school. When a boy (Jaime) tries to help her pick up all her stuff, the mean kids start calling her Nerder Girlfriend. Embarrassed, Peppi pushes Jaime and runs away. She feels guilty and spends most of her time trying to figure out how to apologize. When a rivalry heats up between Peppi's art club and Jaime's science club, things become even more awkward.

 

This is a charming middle school story that kids will enjoy. It is age appropriate for 3rd grade and up - no violence or bad words - just a sweet story with a hopeful ending. The graphics are expressive and fun, a highly recommended graphic novel.

# 7, 8, 9 in The Series of Unfortunate Events

The Vile Village - Lemony Snicket The Hostile Hospital - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket The Carnivorous Carnival - Lemony Snicket

In The Vile Village, an entire village decides to adopt the Baudelaire orphans. But, instead of taking care of them, the villagers just put them to work. Nothing goes easy for the Baudelaires but they pull together to survive and protect each other. 

 

From Amazon re: The Hostile Hospital.

In Lemony Snicket's eighth ghastly installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events, I'm sorry to say that the Baudelaire orphans will spend time in a hospital where they risk encountering a misleading newspaper headline, unnecessary surgery, an intercom system, anesthesia, heart-shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire.

From Amazon re: The Carnivorous Carnival.

A carnival is a place for good family fun—as long as one has a family, that is. For the Baudelaire orphans, their time at the carnival turns out to be yet another episode in a now unbearable series of unfortunate events. In fact, in this appalling ninth installment in Lemony Snicket's serial, the siblings must confront a terrible lie, a caravan, and Chabo the wolf baby.

 

Throughout the three books, the Baudelaires find more clues about the initials VFD and what happened to their parents. Then again, everything they learn only leads to more questions. Count Olaf continues his villanous behavior and efforts to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune. The warnings from Snicket to stop reading still make me laugh as do his explanations of what words mean (always set in the context of the story).

 

# 4, 5, 6 in The Series of Unfortunate Events

The Miserable Mill - Lemony Snicket The Austere Academy - Michael Kupperman, Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist The Ersatz Elevator - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket, Michael Kupperman

The Miserable Mill and The Austere Academy are books 4 & 5 in the series. Both involve the same plotline as books 2 & 3... No one ever recognizes Count Olaf in his ridiculous costumes except the Baudelaires, and no one ever believes them. And in the end, when Count Olaf is finally discovered, he escapes. In the Miserable Mill, the children are forced to work in a lumber mill, and the Austere Academy takes place in a boarding school. At the school, the Baudelaires finally meet some friends their own age who believe them.

 

In the Ersatz Elevator, the formula finally changes. The Baudelaires are adopted by a wealthy family near where their home burned down. As the back of the book says,

"Even though their new home in the city is fancy, and the children are clever and charming, I'm sorry to say that still, the unlucky orphans will encounter more disaster and woe. In fact, in this sixth book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, the children will experience a darkened staircase, a red herring, an auction, parsley soda, some friends in a dire situation, a secret passageway, and pinstripe suits."

 

I was thrilled at a change and having someone else to root for and someone else to hate. The characters are quirky and outlandish, but fun to read about.

 

The mystery deepens...

#1, 2, 3 in The Series of Unfortunate Events

The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket The Reptile Room - Lemony Snicket The Wide Window - Lemony Snicket

 

 

I love the writing and the way "Snicket" breaks the fourth wall. Every book begins with the admonition that you would be better off doing pretty much anything else than reading this book. When the Baudelaire children lost their parents, it was a bad beginning, but it only gets worse from there. The only thing they can count on from Mr. Poe, the inept banker who is acting as their guardian, is that he coughs and he will fail them.

 

The first book introduces Count Olaf, a villain who is constantly trying to get his greedy hands on the Baudelaire fortune. The second two follow the same basic formula of the Baudelaires moving on, finding guardians who fail them, and facing Count Olaf. Violet is the oldest and ties her hair up in a ribbon any time she needs to invent something. Klaus is a bookworm and amazing researcher. Sunny is the youngest and has unusually sharp teeth which sometimes help the siblings get out of trouble.

 

The Bad Beginning

The Reptile Room

The Wide Window

 

I enjoyed the first three books, they are entertaining, easy reads. It only took me a few days to get through all three and I kept going...

"
Grief, a type of sadness that most often occurs when you have lost someone you love, is a sneaky thing, because it can disappear for a long time, and then pop back up when you least expect it."
The Carnivorous Carnival - Lemony Snicket

 

Grief...

"There are two reasons why a writer would end a sentence with the word "stop" written entirely in capital letters STOP. The first is if the writer were writing a telegram... But there is another reason why a writer would end a sentence with "stop" written entirely in capital letters, and that is to warn readers that the book they are reading is so utterly wretched that if they have begun reading it, the best thing to do would be to stop STOP."
The Hostile Hospital - Brett Helquist, Lemony Snicket

 

Opening Lines

 

Every morning we send our kids off to school and amidst all the chaos, frustration, running late, etc., we never think it might be the last time we see them. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the Marjory Douglas High shooting. 

 

 

The Nerdy Dozen

The Nerdy Dozen #1 - Jeff     Miller

 

The enemy fighter jets surged past Neil Andertol, soaring over desolate, sandy terrain.

- opening line

 

 

So, another 6-8 grade Sunshine State nominated book. I wasn't planning on reading this one because I didn't think I would like it. That's what I get for judging a book by its cover. Anyway, one of the 4th-grade students was really enjoying it and she asked me to read it with her. It's actually pretty good and I can't wait to talk to her about it tomorrow. Though I finished it and she is probably around halfway through.

 

Neil loves video games, like most 13-year old boys these days. He especially enjoys one called Chameleon. Chameleon, it turns out is a training tool used by the Air Force to teach pilots to fly an actual plane called the Chameleon that is capable of seeming invisible. Neil and a bunch of other kids get recruited by the Air Force to find a lost plane and save the day. I know, I know. Big suspension of disbelief here, but kids love that sort of thing.

 

Anyway, Neil ends up meeting a few people in real life that he only previously knew online. So, there are expected surprises there. And the kids make a couple of decisions that mess up something that Major Jones had planned, resulting in more unlikely situations. At least the kids don't make some half-assed decision based on their guts and end up being right over the Major who is an adult and should know better than them.

 

This is a fast-moving story that kids will devour. And now that there are 3 books in the series, it will keep the kids reading.

 

Good for 4th - 8th graders who enjoy video games, strong female characters, soldiers, edge of your seat adventures... it has something for everyone.

Currently reading

The Midnight Star (Young Elites Book 3)
Marie Lu
Alice
Christina Henry
The Rose Society
Marie Lu
Progress: 150/412 pages
The Iron Giant
Ted Hughes

Reading is my Escape's Read 2018 book montage

Unwind
The Man in the Iron Mask
Truly Madly Guilty
The Reptile Room
The Wide Window
UnWholly
The Miserable Mill
The Austere Academy
UnSouled
The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend
The Ersatz Elevator
The Vile Village
The Hostile Hospital
UnDivided
The Nerdy Dozen
The Carnivorous Carnival
The Iron Giant
Awkward
Brave
The Slippery Slope


Reading is my Escape's favorite books »

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
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