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

Secret Coders: Paths & Portals - Gene Luen Yang, Mike Holmes


This is book two in the Secret Coders series. 


Hopper, Eni, and Josh meet Professor Bee, founder of the Bee School, which has been mostly demolished and replaced by Stately Academy (the school all three friends attend). Professor Bee teaches them to code (program a robot turtle to follow specific paths). But Principal Dean and the rugby team are following them and trying to discover a secret.


The Secret Coders series follows the friends as they learn coding and try to solve the mystery of Stately Academy. Gene Luen Yang, along with being a “graphic novel superstar” taught high school computer programming.


The website ( offers videos, activities, information, and coding lessons for interested readers.


This book is fun to read and kids could learn something too. 

Red is a smart & fun heroine

Red's Planet: Book 1: A World Away from Home - Eddie Pittman



Red is a spunky 10-year old girl who runs away from her foster home, looking for a place to belong and ends up abducted by an alien spaceship. When the spaceship crashes on an alien planet, Red is stuck with a crazy bunch of aliens that she must learn to live with. The artwork is gorgeous, bright, and colorful and adds to the humor of the story.


I really liked this one. Red is smart and headstrong. The other aliens are funny, including two that look like the man-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors, and a cute gray alien with huge eyes. 


Kids will enjoy this adventure.

Booklikes-opoly status update

This game has been so much fun, but this is my last Booklikes-opoly post. I have a final paper due Sunday, so I won't have time to read another book by the 31st. :( 

I am sad it's over, but I LOVED playing. Thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue. You guys are so creative!!


Bank: $92.00



July 27th

Finished Niceville by Carsten Stroud (4th of July extra)

450 pages = $10.00


Finished Drowned City by Don Brown (Free read Friday)

96 pages = $2.00



Bank: $80.00


July 2nd

Finished The Island by Clarissa Johal (Book with water on the cover)

210 pages = $6.00


Still reading

Niceville by Carsten Stroud (4th of July extra)

Drowned City by Don Brown (Free read Friday)



Bank: $74.00


July 2nd

Finished Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp & Mike Cavallaro (1st Free Read Friday)

200 pages = $4.00


Finished Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter (Author's name has "Tesla" letters)

282 pages = $6.00 (not counting because of user error)


Finished The Nest by Kenneth Oppel (2nd Free Read Friday)

272 pages = $6.00


Roll: 9

Landed on Water Works (a book with water on the cover or where someone cries)

Book: The Island by Clarissa Johal




Bank: $64.00


June 26th

Finished The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (Talking animals)

277 pages = $6.00


Free Read Friday

Book: Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp & Mike Cavallaro


Roll: 9

Landed on Electric Company

Book: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter





Bank: $58.00


June 18th

Finished The Big Fear by Andrew Case (Main character knows how to handle a gun)

274 pages = $3.00

(Memorial Day Extra Roll 2)


Finished Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve (Steampunk) 

325 pages = $3.00

(Memorial Day Extra Roll 1)


Roll: 5

Landed on Fantasyland 7

Book: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (Talking animals)




Bank: $52.00


June 4th

Finished Lost Boy Lost Girl by Peter Straub (Ghost story)

304 pages  = $3.00



Memorial Day Extra Roll 1: 10

Landed on Paradise Pier 28

Book: Fever Crumb by Phillip Reeve (Steampunk)


Memorial Day Extra Roll 2: 11

Landed on Frontierland 2

Book: The Big Fear by Andrew Case (Main character knows how to handle a gun)



Bank: $49.00


May 25th

Finished Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (author born before 1955)

228 pages  = $3.00


Roll: 9

Landed on New Orleans Square 19

Book: Lost Boy Lost Girl by Peter Straub (Ghost story)


Bank: $46.00


May 22nd

Finished Lamentation by Joe Clifford (Wintry scene on cover)

202 pages  = $3.00


Roll: 6

Landed on Main Street USA 11

Book: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (author born before 1955)


Bank: $43.00


May 16th

Finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (from the GO space)

320 pages (according to Amazon) = $3.00


Roll: 7

Landed on Fantasyland 6

Book: Lamentation by Joe Clifford




Bank: $40.00


May 7th

Finished Twilight Eyes

451 pages (according to Amazon) = $5.00


Roll: 6

Landed on GO, free read

Book: The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood




Bank: $35.00


April 24th

Finished Beastly Bones

305 pages = $3.00


Roll: 7

Landed on Paradise Pier (31)

Book: Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz



Bank: $32.00


April 19th



Bonus $10 from The better to see you, my dear

Nice Luck! Thanks!


Roll: 8 (doubles)

Landed on the Ring square

Roll again: 11

Landed on Chance (25)

Reading: Beastly Bones



Bank: $22.00


April 15th

Roll: 8

Landed on Chance (8)

Book: City of Ember, Graphic Novel

144 pages = $2.00



Bank: $20.00



Great way to learn about historical events

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans - Don  Brown



I read this book for my graphic novel class and for a free read Friday. It is very well done. I learned a lot about the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina in New Orleans, details I wasn't aware of before. Don Brown does a great job of presenting facts without a lot of bias. He uses facts and quotes to present the information. The illustrations are sepia toned and provide emotional details not given in the text. The faces are very expressive and even the way Brown draws the bodies shows how devastating the events were for the people of New Orleans.


Free Friday Read

96 pages = $2.00

Niceville is quite the misnomer...

Niceville - Carsten Stroud


... when it came to Missing Persons, Niceville had a stranger abduction rate five times higher than the national average.

- page 8


"One should not be required to know of events over which one could have no hope of influence."

- page 50


Niceville is a town touched by evil. It is located in the deep south in the looming shadow of Tallulah's Wall, a huge limestone cliff so wide and so tall that parts of the town are kept in its shadow until way past noon. On top of the cliff, inside an ancient forest is a large sinkhole called Crater Sink. No one knows how deep the cold, black water goes, and people stay away from it because it gives off evil vibes. There are 


This book is fun and creepy. There are several storylines that intersect in ways I didn't expect. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say I'm hooked. There are mysteries that aren't solved in the first book and I have the second book waiting, once I get past the final project for my graphic novel class.


I read this book for my 4th of July extra read for Main Street, a book set in a small town.

450 pages = $10.00



Why is everything on our island sinking?

The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Mud-Slinging Moles - Maxwell Eaton III


Must be the moles.


This is a cute story about two beaver brothers who try figure out why things on the island are sinking into the mud, and then trying to stop it. The illustrations are simple and use orange, gray and white colors. The characters are cute and in the end they learn that they need to work together to succeed.


Kids will enjoy this one.

What does the last day of summer look like?

Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! - Scott Mccormick, R. H. Lazzell


For Mr. Pants, the last day of summer means laser-tag, but he hasn't cleaned his room, his sister is going to the Fairy Princess Dream Factory, and his mom needs to take them shopping for school. 


This is a cute story that kids will relate to. Feeling like your siblings get to do what they want, but you never do. Wanting to play with your sister's new toy. And wondering why Fairy Princess dolls don't have anything to defend themselves with. And rushing to make sure they have time for laser-tag - will it be as much fun as Mr. Pants thinks?


Bright, colorful illustrations make this a fun book for kids.

Catstronauts, Cosmocats, MEOW, and COOKIE

CatStronauts: Race to Mars - Drew Brockington


With all these different cat space programs to keep track of, this one was a little annoying. I found it hard to remember who was who. Also, they all seemed so angry all the time. I didn't find a lot to redeem this story. In the end, they all realize that cooperation is the best way to succeed, but meh. I know it's for kids, but I've seen a lot better.

Cute Graphic Novel for Early Readers

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book) - Ben Clanton



In Unicorn of the Sea, there are three separate stories: 1) Narwhal meets Jelly, 2) Narwhal forms a pod, and 3) Narwhal shows Jelly the best book ever. In between the stories, Clanton provides facts about narwhals and jellyfish. In the third story (my favorite), Narwhal shows Jelly his favorite book, which has blank pages, and he teaches Jelly how to use his imagination. The illustrations are bright and simple, with just a few panels per page or full-page illustrations, making it perfect for young readers on their first journey with sequential art.


This was a very cute story that I really enjoyed. Another good selection for young readers.

Owly is just so adorable!

Owly, Vol. 3: Flying Lessons - Andy Runton



In Flying Lessons, Owly learns about acceptance and overcoming fears when he tries to make a new friend. Along with his friend, Wormy, Owly finds a strange new creature. When they try to find it in a book, they realize the creature is a flying squirrel and that its main predator is the owl. Owly is still determined to befriend the flying squirrel and Wormy tries to help.


The artwork is in black & white which allows the focus to be mainly on the character’s faces as they express complex emotions. Younger readers can appreciate the simple pictures and story, and older kids and adults will get the deeper meaning. The wordless stories leave room for children to come up with their own interpretations.


I loved this story, so cute, and so touching. This is a great graphic novel series, that should be part of every elementary school library.

Dark Tower V - audiobook review

Wolves of the Calla  - George Guidall, Stephen King


I've mentioned before how much I love the Dark Tower series. And while I keep asking myself why I waited so long to read it, I'm also glad I waited because I can go to the next book immediately. I was so wrapped up in the story, that I was surprised it ended. I bought the next audible book immediately and I'm already a couple chapters in. I cannot put these books down (I guess turn them off is more accurate). And that's a good thing because each book can be anywhere from 12 to 26 hours. This one was 26 hours and 20 minutes. But, I can't really find fault with the length or the storyline - I loved every minute of it!! (even the sad parts)


If you are a Stephen King fan, and for some reason haven't read this series yet, start now - you won't regret it. Especially if you liked The Stand or The Talisman. :)


Btw, I now know why the narrator changed from Frank Muller back to George Guidall. Frank Muller was in a motorcycle accident not too long before the book was ready to be recorded. Stephen King talks about it in the afterword.


If you are interested in more details USA today article

Rumors and superstition

The Island - Clarissa Johal


Emma's grandmother is missing and presumed dead, so now Emma has to clean out her house and get it ready for sale. The house is on a private island. The locals have plenty of gossip about the island and what happens there. But Emma doesn't believe in superstition until she spends some time on the island. It seems the rumors are more than just superstition.


I loved the cover of this book and was looking forward to a creepy island story. I was a bit disappointed. I was over halfway through the book, and still waiting for the scary part. When the creepy part did start, it was pretty thin and resolved too quickly. The characters weren't developed at all and the mc chatting with the demons was funny more than scary. Not one of my favorites. The idea was good, and I think the demons could have been very scary, but it just didn't come together for me. 


I read this book for the Water Works space, read a book with water on the cover. The book has 210 pages = $6.


My 3rd Free Read Friday - BLopoly

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans - Don  Brown


I'm reading this book as my third Free Read Friday. It was assigned for my graphic novel class. I started reading it today, so it qualifies for both.


It's a graphic novel about the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Man-eating Titans...

Attack on Titan, Volume 1 - Hajime Isayama


I read this manga for my grad school graphic novel class. This is my second manga (this past spring I read Orange). That was basically a teenage soap opera. This one was a sci-fi post-apocalyptic nightmare. The Titans are giant, man-eating, humanoid creatures who have taken over the world. Humans are forced to live in a walled area, for their own protection. In the first chapter, a Titan breaks through the wall and eats people. The drawings are in black & white, but still incredibly graphic. There are close-ups of the Titans biting people in half.


I didn't like this one much. I do enjoy post-apocalyptic stories, but this one was basically devoid of hope. I think this series is quite long, so maybe at one point, something hopeful happens.

BLopoly Fourth of July Special

Niceville - Carsten Stroud


In honor of U.S. Independence Day, everyone has the option of going to Main Street, U.S.A. tomorrow! You can read books from any of the Main Street Squares!


Thanks Moonlight Reader!





I'm going with a book that takes place in a small town in the USA.


Niceville by Carsten Stroud


This also means my next roll will start from Main Street 10





BLopoly Water Works Read

The Island - Clarissa Johal



Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event.


I'm going with a book with water on the cover.

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2017 Reading Challenge

Reading is my Escape has read 6 books toward her goal of 100 books.

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