Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks

When his mom, Holly, buys a run down trailer that reeks like smelly gym socks and parks it at the dirty and crowded Diamond Beach, eleven year-old, Marcus discovers a hidden staircase leading to a cellar. Though he would rather be playing video games, he is drawn through magical cellar doors and finds a world which leads to a dream vacation for those who enter. Edison, the son of Holly's childhood friend, Coco, becomes the first trapped in his perfect holiday, a thrilling amusement park.

When Edison's teenage sister gets stuck in her dream,  a celebrity laden rock club, Marcus must enlist the help of grown ups in a frenetic race to save his new friends. Each dream vacation turns downright hostile to anybody who tries to leave. Like a roller coaster with dizzying twists and turns, the two families find the operator of their dreams during their struggle to escape. That operator, the sweet former owner of their trailer, Miss Molpe, is really a child-eating siren from Greek mythology. The story takes a an unpredictable twist when Miss Molpe turns dream vacations into nightmare trips that never seem to end.

Plenty of horror laced with humor and satire make THE PARADISE TRAP the perfect summer vacation read. Catharine Jinks brilliantly plots an imaginative fantasy that will have the reader laughing one minute while holding back a frightened breath the next. Recommended for ages 11-13 for those who love thrills and fantasy. With never a dull moment, The Paradise Trap is bound to be a summer favorite.

Publishing Information

  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (April 24, 2012)
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Pages: 352 hardcover
  • ISBN 978-1-60684-273-7 and 978-1-60684-283-6
Purchase this book from the following retailers:

Shop Indie Bookstores

**I received this book at no charge from the publisher to facilitate my review. No monetary compensation was received and I was not asked to give a positive review in exchange for a free book. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guys Read: Sports Pages Book Review and Giveaway

I have become a big fan of the Guys Read Short Story Series edited by Jon Scieszka. With ten authors writing ten different short stories, it's easy to find one that will appeal to any reader.

Guys Read: The Sports Pages hits a home run for it's mix of stories from great children's authors like Gordon Korman and Chris Rylander to real athletes like Dustin Brown and James Brown. It's not just a football book, The Sports Pages artfully weaves in stories from a full gamut of sports, like track and martial arts, to complement the basketball and football one would expect to find in a sports book.

Sometimes it's not always about the game. In The Choice, by James Brown, a real athlete recounts what happens when life gets in the way of the sport and how it can lead to a different course than what you expected. On the humorous side, Maximillan Funk convinces himself that his participation in tennis is too nerdy to be cool. In Max Swings for the Fence, by Anne Ursu, Max concocts a story he thinks will garner  respect. The consequences play out in a whopper of a strike that will have the reader snickering at Max's stupidity.

Dan Gutman, Tim Green, Jacqueline Woodsen, Chris Crutcher, and Joseph Bruchac add to the talented list of all stars. However, I couldn't help but choose a favorite. I Will Destroy You, Derek Jeter, by Chris Rylander hits it out of the stands for funny. When Wes becomes obsessed with humiliating a New York Yankee, he winds showing why a rookie doesn't always stack up against an all star. Just how far he will go to prove a point, ends up in the kind of witty and humorous tale Chris Rylander is so good at creating.  Highly Recommended for not only the boy who loves to play sports, but for those who sit on the sidelines as well.

Publishing Information

  • Publisher: Waldon Pond Press (July 10, 2012)
  • Pages: 272
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • ISBN:  978-0061963773

Find this book at the following retailers:

Shop Indie Bookstores

Contest Details: One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of GUYS READ: THE SPORTS PAGES supplied by the publisher. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge that you have read the terms on the form. Because this is a children's book, ages 13 and up are allowed to enter unless prohibited by law. Open to U.S. and Canada only. By entering, you agree to have your first name and last initial published as the winner. Ends 7/22/2012 at 11:59 EST.

**Disclosure: In accordance of FTC Guidelines, I received an ARC book from the publisher for review purposes. ARC books have no monetary value and a for media reviews. No monetary compensation was received. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway