Monday, May 18, 2015

Our First Review From Mighty Micah!

Hey, reader guys everywhere. Have I got something exciting for you--our first review from Micah, the newest member of our very fun Boys Read and Write Club. If you remember, he picked three books to read and write about. And here's his reaction to the first one, The Roar by Emma Clayton. Let's hear what Micah (aka Mighty Micah) has to say:

The Roar is a fictional story placed in future London where the world is divided into two parts, over the wall, where poisonous dust and gas rule the Earth (or so they say), and behind the wall, which is further divided into two subdivisions,  the Shadows, the home of the poor, and the Golden Turrets, the home of the rich.   I liked The Roar because of the excitement throughout the book.  The Roar also contains hope directed toward a better life. 

Mika Smith was born in The Shadows and has lived there his entire life.  Ever since his sister Ellie disappeared one year ago, Mika has been hoping for a chance at a better life and that time is now.

Meanwhile, up in orbit aboard the space Station, The Queen of the North, Mal Gorman, a 108 year old walking zombie has finally struck gold, but what will he do with it. 


Pod Fighter, the tie between Mika and Mal Gorman has come out and now it is time for them to meet.

Thanks, Micah! (Hey--did you notice that the guy in the book is also named Mika?  Of course you did!) I enjoyed this book a whole, whole lot. And I wasn't the only one--that book got more comments than any other ever reviewed on this blog. It has excitement to the max along with thrilling pod fights, a thoroughly despicable villain and a deeply-held secret. Take a look at my original review and all the comments here.

View full imageThe library system has plenty of copies of The Roar. And we also have copies of The Whisper, the sequel, which I haven't read. I haven't heard of Pod Fighter, though, Micah. Is that a new book? I heard Emma Clayton was going to make this a trilogy but I haven't found out anything about a new book. If you know, Micah, or if any of you reader guys know, please tell me in the Comment section below this post. And if you've read The Roar or The Whisper, let me know that too!

BTW, Micah, any time a guy writes in his first review, he gets a free book from our ultra-cool prize box. Come in any time and claim your book!

Monday, May 11, 2015

What Am I Reading? (Or About to Start Reading)

Hey, guys, it's Monday. "Well, great big duhhh," you might say, "we already knew that!" The reason I'm telling you is because this is It's Monday! What Are You Reading? day. A very nice kidlit blogger named Jen hosts this every Monday so other kidlit bloggers can write about what they are reading. I thought I'd jump on board that train today and tell you about a couple of things I'm about to start reading and am very excited about.

One is the new book from the great and hilarious Dave Barry, who writes some of the funniest stuff you'll ever belly laugh to. He wrote Science Fair, which has always been a guy favorite. This newest book is  The Worst Class Trip Ever and it's about an 8th grade class going on a trip to Washington, DC. Does that sound familiar to anyone? I know a school that sends its eight-graders there every year. Anyway, I've read the first couple of pages and have laughed out loud three times. This ought to be fun! (ps--our good friend Ms. Yingling wrote about how that book was like real life and how also about meeting Dave Barry!)
The other will be fun in a different way. This is The Serpent's Curse, the newest installment of The Copernicus Files by the outstanding Tony Abbott. I've posted recently about another book in this series, so take a look here and see why I'm so happy to get this one.

I'm also going to start on a couple of mythology books by Vicky Shecter, an author who contacted me about her books several months ago. One is called Anubis Speaks! and the other is Hades Speaks!. I've felt bad about never getting around to her books, so, in true MANLY MAN fashion, I'm going to tackle my procrastination and wrestle to the ground! I'm also into a book on my old Nook. Even though I'm reading it on an e-reader, the he library has  copies of the actual book and e-copies as well. This book has been around long enough to be a classic. Now I know a lot of boys groan who they hear that word because they think "classic" means old and boring. And, yeah, sometimes that's the case but often a book is a classic because it's still exciting after all these years. Like this one--King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard. Boys have been thrilling to this for many years and I'm enjoying it a lot. It hasn't gotten to the really good parts yet but it's coming--and even the build-up has been fun!

So that's what the Iron Guy is reading--what about YOU? Write in and tell us what you're reading these days. Can't wait to hear from you!

Monday, May 4, 2015

May the 4th Be With You--and With the Boys Read and Write Club!

Hey, all you super-cool reader guys out there, you probably don't need me to tell you what today is--but I'll tell you anyway! It's May the 4th, Star Wars Day. That's because we can say, "May the 4th be with you." Clever, huh? Anyway, guys everywhere love Star Wars and the library has a truly great new book, Ultimate Star Wars by Patricia Barr, Adam Bray, Daniel Wallace and Ryder Windham. It's amazing--it covers all the movies and animated series and has stunning photos and scenes. You GOTTA check this one out!! While we're at it, let me show you the trailer for the NEW Star Wars movie:


Doesn't that look exciting? And it's good to see Hans Solo and Chewbacca again.

Speaking of movies, I saw the new Avengers movie yesterday. I won't say much about since I'm sure
most of you will see it or may have seen it already because it has all the things GUYS love in a movie--superheroes, explosions and fights with killer robots. Anyway, one thing really stood out for me. Near the end of the movie, they show a scene of a family at home, waiting for the dad to arrive. There's a boy, curled up on a sofa. And what is that boy doing? Playing a video game? Staring at an hand-held device? No, he's reading a book! A Wimpy Kid book, no less. See, it does prove that boys read!

Mighty Micah and his books
Which brings me to the main point of this post. We held the second meeting of the Boys Read and Write Club last Saturday. Our two friends, Sharyq and Zarak, couldn't make it this time but we had a terrific new guy show up. His name is Micah (aka "Mighty Micah") and he was very excited to be there. Micah and I have talked before and I've recommended several books to him. But what really convinced me that he was a world-class reader guy was that he is a big fan of The Copernicus Files books!! Oh, yeah! So I was very glad to see him come to the meeting Saturday. We had a good time--we started out with some Nerf ball soccer. Micah, of course, is shorter and faster but I'm bigger and could block the  goal better. So we had an epic contest--Mighty Micah vs. the Iron Guy! We played a bit of regular soccer, then did something inventive--I got books off the shelves and put them up as "players." Micah and I had to avoid them when bringing the ball up the "field." In fact, Micah knocked one over and had to sit out a "penalty." But, in the end, youth and speed prevailed and Micah won, 3--2.
Then we talked about books we like. Micah reads a wide variety of stuff, including a YA book called Boundless. He liked it so much that he talked me into getting it. You'll see a review of it here one day. Micah doesn't like books that start out slowly; that's why he doesn't like The 39 Clues. He says The Maze of Bones begins slowly. (Hint--stick with it, Micah. It gets really good) After we talked, Micah picked out not just one, not just two but three books to read and review. You'll see them in the picture. One is Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pryon, one is The Roar by Emma Clayton and the other is the fabulous Wade and the Scorpion's Claw by Tony Abbott. Good choices! Of all the books I've ever reviewed, The Roar got the most comments from boys. And do I think that Wade and the Scorpion's Claw is good? Just look here.
OK, Micah, I can't wait to see your reviews! We are planing another meeting on Saturday, June 13 at 2:00. It will be a great time, just like the others. And we have plenty of room for new guys! Call me at 704-416-5800 to find out more.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wade and the Scorpion's Claw by Tony Abbott: A Really Terrific Book!

I ride the bus home from the library every day. So why am I telling you that? To let you know how dangerous it is to read any book in The Copernicus Legacy series while on public transportation. I was reading the latest book and got so into it that I completely missed my stop and didn't notice until a long time afterward! (Fortunately, I was able to ride back around and didn't have to go far) THAT is how thrilling and addictive these books are!!

This newest one, Wade and the Scorpion's Claw, is sort of an in-between book. That means the action takes place between the end of the first book, The Forbidden Stone, and the beginning of the second one, The Serpent's Curse. And what a lot of action there is!

Wait a minute--do you know about these awesome books? No? Then let me give you a little background. Wade Kaplan's father, astronomer Roald Kaplan, gets a mysterious message from Uncle Henry in Germany. When the family goes to investigate, they find Uncle Henry murdered! Then they find out that they are involved in something they couldn't have imagined--a world -wide search for hidden artifacts that could determine the destiny of the world. They learn that famous scientist Nicholas Copernicus invented a time-traveling device 400 years ago but the thoroughly evil Teutonic Order of Knights tried to get hold of it. To stop them, Copernicus dismantled the device and gave the twelve key components to Guardians to hide around the world. Wade and family and friends must travel the world to solve puzzles and clues to find the relics before the Order does.

"Hold on," you may be saying to yourselves, "A hunt for centuries-old relics? Solving puzzles to find them? World-wide adventures? To put together something that could destroy the world if it fell into the wrong hands? Doesn't this sound just like---The 39 Clues??"

Well--yes it does! But is it a rip-off? No! That's because of the truly terrific talents of Mr. Tony Abbott, a fantastic author. He gives us the same thrilling adventure, world travel and wise-cracking kids as The 39 Clues but makes things even more intense. The bad guys are creepier, their organization is more powerful and odds of success seem even longer and more difficult.

Just as in this book. Wade and company found the first relic in The Forbidden Stone but the mom was kidnapped at the end. They were flying back to the US, had an unexpected overnight stopover in San Francisco and learned that the second relic may be there. They have until 10:00 the next morning to find it. Not much time. And one of the Order is already there, a very creepy guy in a leather coat. He always seems to know where Wade and his family will be before they get there. So do a bunch of ninjas with throwing stars. Could the Kaplans possibly get by all this and find the relic? You have to read to find out! If you do, you'll get action, drama and surprises in plenty!

There are some series of books that really, really great and don't get the attention they deserve. This is one of those. I want as many guys as possible to read them. That means YOU! So go out right now and check them out. You'll be in for a really good time!


PS--This book is part of The Copernicus Archives series. There will be 6 of them and will take place between the main books, which are The Copernicus Files. These books will be shorter and each one will be told from the point of view of a different character. Find out more at The Copernicus Legacy website.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fun at the Alien Dude Author Visit

E. K. Smith
It was a great day at the Myers Park library last Saturday because the one and only E. K. Smith was here, author of the terrific Alien Dude series of books. What makes these books so terrific, other than they are fun and exciting? They are written for BOYS!! Ms. Smith had a boy of her own and, when he was starting to learn how to read and having a hard time, she looked around but couldn't find anything he, or any boy, would like. "Everything was babyish," she told me. So she took the situation into her own hand and wrote Alien Dude and The Attack of Wormzilla and Alien Dude: Mr. Evil Potato Man and the Food Fight. (good books--see my reviews here) So I was very excited for a long time about her visit.

Kenner and Ms. Smith
And it was a good time. She showed slides of her books, talked about writing them, how she got ideas from her son (!!) and how she worked with the illustrator. We had a small crowd--well, really small because it was only one guy (his name was Kenner) but we still had fun. In fact, Ms. Smith talked about some upcoming Alien Dude books and said our hero will get a sidekick. Kenner then suggested that the sidekick be a robot dinosaur and Ms. Smith liked that idea. So his idea may actually end up in a book! See what could happen when even one guy talks with an author!!

Ms. Smith, because of your outstanding workon behalf of boy readers, this blog is going to give you the highest honor it can possibly offer by making you an Honorary Guy!

That's right--you now have the right to make obnoxious noises at sporting events, crack all the goofball jokes you'd like and eat insane amounts of foods with no nutritional value. I'm sure you're amazed and overwhelmed at the awesome greatness of this exceptional honor but there's no need to thank us--you've earned it!!

All silliness aside, we truly appreciate your visit, Ms. Smith, and look forward to more terrific Alien Dude books!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

It Happened on a Train: A Great Audiobook for GUYS!

The terrific Arte Johnson
If you've followed this blog for a while, you'll know that I am a HUGE fan of the Brixton Brothers mystery series. They're funny, they're hip and they have some really good mysteries in them. And good action scenes too. So I was very, very glad to see the library get audiobook copies of them! And I was very, very, very glad to see that the great Arte Johnson was the person reading them!. Now you may or may not know who Arte Johnson is but guys who grew up when I did are very familiar with him and knew how funny he could be. He's the perfect guy for these audiobooks and he did a great job on this one.

And this one, It Happened on a Train, is my favorite of the four Brixton Bothers. (all of them written by the marvelously-talented Mac Barnett) It wold take too long to recount the plot, so if you want to see what this one is about, see my review of the book here. Just let me say that the story has lots of unexpected twists, characters who will surprise you, good laughs and suspense. Plus, Steve Brixton is the only guy who can be a hero and a goofball at the same time--as when he climbs on top of the train, as you see on the cover. Arte Johnson does a terrific job, pacing his reading to give you the maximum suspense and humor. Get this book next time you take a road trip or even if you if you're in a carpool. Especially if you're in a carpool. We've tried these books when driving kids to school and found that no one can fight, bicker or complain when they're laughing or trying to figure out the mystery.

One more note--don't forget that today is the day for the ALIEN DUDE author visit! See the post under this one for more info!
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Alien Dude Author Visit!

We've got a real treat coming up this Saturday at the Myers Park library. An author, who wrote a couple of books for BOYS is coming here at 2:00 pm. Her name is E. K. Smith and she wrote the Alien Dude books. Ever hear of them? Yes? No? If you haven't, here's the story:

E. K. Smith was a teacher who saw that there weren't enough good books for boys just beginning to learn to read. Yeah, there were a lot of cutesy books out there but what self-respecting boy would want one of those? So she took the matter into her own hands and, with illustrator Peter Grosshauser, created her own books, the Alien Dude series!

Alien Dude is awesome. He can fly. He can morph and do many other things. But he still has to attend school. In the first book, Alien Dude and the Attack of Wormzilla, the school is overrun with worms! Who else but the giant Wormzilla could be the cause of all this disgustingness? But what could Alien Dude do against all those worm minions? You'll be surprised and will laugh at what he thinks of!

In the second book, Alien Dude: Mr. Evil Potato Man and the Food Fight, the kids in school start turning into food! Alien Dude must morph into a potato peeler and do many other things to break Mr.Evil Potato Man's spell. This book, like the first one, is action-packed as well as full of the humor that guys will enjoy.

These books are great fun and a terrific way to get guys to start reading. If you're a younger reader guy or the parent of a just-learning-to-read boy, these are the books for you. And, as I said, the author will be here this Saturday, April 18, at 2:00 pm at the Myers Park library. I've met her and she's a delightful person, so  come on over and have a good time, especially if you're a boy between 6--11 years old. (And, yes, girls are welcome too. We boys are just awesome that way)
Call us at 704-416-5800 to register or we'll see you there!
(PS--there will be Alien Dude books for sale!)