Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Blast From the Past--Fangbone!

Greetings, reader guys all across the reading world. Every once in a while, when things are really busy, I like to write a post that features something I read some time before. I call it a Blast From the Past and today I'm going to feature a graphic novel series that I really enjoyed and I have no doubt that you'll like them too. It's called FANGBONE! THIRD GRADE BARBARIAN by Michael Rex.

Now, come on, guys--how could you NOT want to read something with that title?? Just look at that cover and tell me you don't want to run to your local library and check out a copy! And that's just the first one. There are two more--The Egg of Misery and The Birthday Party of Dread. This series has it all--an evil wizard (the story revolves around his evil big toe), razor dragons, science fair projects, monsters at birthday parties, school bullies, friendships--and hot wings! So what is this series about? Well, the best way to find out would be to read my original review. Then, as I said, head over to your local library and find a copy. We have plenty! I could guarantee that you WILL have a great time reading these. So what are you waiting for? Go forth, eager ones, and check out FANGBONE!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Just Checking In

Hey, all you reading fans, this is the Iron Guy checking in with you. Normally, I would give you a review about now but things have been so busy here at the library that I haven't had a chance to finish what I'm reading. Plus, I have a question and a reminder. So with all that going on, let me ask my question, remind you of what needs reminding and let you know what I'm reading and enjoying.

First, do you guys like the new background? Looks pretty cool to me but there are a few others I could use if you don't like this one.

Second, let me remind you that I'm giving away door hangers to any boy who sends in a review of a Beverly Cleary book or audiobook. Got that, guys? Especially you, Gram! and Reid! And Jude!

And when the Iron Guy isn't lifting boxcars to maintain his MANLY MAN physique, he's reading cool books. I've got a good one going now--Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick Samphire. It was a little slow getting started but, man, is it good now! Part steampunk, part old school sci-fi, it has kicked into high-gear action! I think I'm really going to like this one.

I've also started my first Big Nate book. I'm sure a lot of you already know about Big Nate because I see those books and graphic novels get checked out all the time. "If they're so popular, they must be good," I keep thinking to myself. Right now I'm halfway through Mr. Popularity and I've liked it. How about you, boys? Have YOU read any Big Nate? What did you think? Let us know in the "Comments" section under this post.

Finally, I know that a lot of guys are fans of the "Who Was" and "Where Is" series of nonfiction books. These books also get checked out a lot. Right now I have three checked out--Who Was Julius Caesar?, Where is the Great Wall? and Where is the Brooklyn Bridge?

How about you, reader guys? What are YOU reading? All of us want to know. Don't keep us waiting--put something in that "Comments" section the first chance you get! There's probably a lot of good reads that we don't know about yet and we await your reviews as eagerly as a race horse waits the starting bell! As intensely as the First Order searches for an escaped droid! As hungrily as a schoolboy awaits a pizza buffet! As---well, you get the idea. Let us hear from you!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Another Review from Gram!

Let me take a break from all of the celebrating for Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday and share the latest review from our good friend Gram. This was originally going to be for the March Madness of Reading Contest but things didn't work out. That's OK--we'd rather hear from Gram later than not at all! Let's hear what he has to say:

The Throne of Fire book 2
Written by: Gram Chambers
Book By: Rick Riordan

The Throne of Fire is about Carter and Sadie two young magicians following the path of the Egyptian Gods. The chaos snake Apophis is going to break free of his prison in the Duat a magical realm. But the Only God that can stop him is Ra the old sun god who was weak and retired even deeper in the Duat. Carter and Sadie have to search the world to find the book of returning Ra and then travel deep into the Duat and search for him and battle many monsters and gods who do not want him to come back. I like this book because it is full of adventure and action.

Thanks, Gram! If you like action and adventure (and what guy doesn't!), this is the book for you. Monstrous villains, dangerous travels though magical realms, with lots of humor thrown in--this series is really worth your time. 

But don't take just my word for it. This book has been recommended by a BOY, just like YOU! 
Our friend GRAM
So, not only did the Iron Guy like it but so did one of your fellow boys. A book enjoyed by a MANLY MAN like the Iron Guy and guy like Gram--what better recommendation could you ask for? That means that The Throne of Fire truly is--

Guy Tested--GUY APPROVED!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Beverly Cleary's 100th Birthday!

Hey there, all you reader guys. The Iron Guy is very excited about a milestone birthday. On Tuesday, April 12, author Beverly Cleary will celebrate her 100th birthday!! Now just living to 100 is awesome enough but when you think about---

Wait a minute---

Did somebody out there say, "Who's Beverly Cleary?"

Oh, man, have I got something to tell you then!

Beverly Cleary has been one of the most popular authors for kids for a long time. Especially for guys. Her books have entertained guys for many, many years. They are still funny and kids still relate to them. After all, even if they were written way back in the day, they still deal with things kids are dealing with today. Adopting a dog. Seeing that dog go amok in the neighborhood. Finding ways to earn money. Bratty kids in the neighborhood. Families trying to find ways to get by.

Ramona the Pest
And, speaking of bratty kids in the neighborhood, just wait until you meet Ramona Quimby!! 

Yep, Ramona the Pest. Ramona the royal pain. Ramona, possibly the funniest kid in any book you'll ever read. 

But there are plenty of other memorable characters and situations in her books, so if you haven't read any of her books, though I bet several of you already have, I would love to know if you've read any of her books. Iwould really love it if you sent in reviews! And I'm going to give you some incentive. I've got some cool door hangers and I'll give one out to any boy who sends in a review of a Beverly Cleary book. That includes listening to a Beverly Cleary audiobook. (you could see a review of one here)

Yes, indeed, guys, one of these cool door hangers that says, "Discover new trails...Read!" could be yours! Just send me a review of a Beverly Cleary book or audiobook by--well, since her birthday is tomorrow, I'll give you two weeks to send them in. I'll give a door hanger for any review sent in through Saturday, April 23. Got that? Then start reading and reviewing. The Iron Guy and lots of other guys out there are waiting to hear from you!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

And the Winners Are---

OK, guys, we Carolina fans are disappointed after Monday night's game but we guy readers are not because the results are in from the March Madness of Reading Contest. What a great time we had this year! We heard from two old friends and one new friend and learned about some cool books. And now we have prizes waiting for the winners! This year we had prizes for first, second and third places so guess what? That means all the boys who participated this year are winners!

Here are the final standings:
REID-First Place with 10 points
GRAM--Second Place with 2 points
JUDE--Third Place with 1 point

WELL DONE, guys! Be sure to come by the Myers Park library and claim your prizes. (check out what the prizes are here)

And let us keep hearing from you! There are lots of cool books, graphic novels, biographies and nonfiction out there that other guys may not know about. The Iron Guy is counting on you to tell us about terrific reading!
The Iron Guy wants YOU to send us more cool book reviews!

PS--note to JUDE. Since this was your first review and, since every guy gets a free book the first time he sends in a review, you can claim a free book out of our ultra-cool prize box when you pick up your other prizes.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Reid Scores Even More Points--Including a Two-Pointer!

Man, oh, man, the excitement just keeps growing! The Iron Guy (that's me!) is thrilled to report that we have two more reviews from our friend Reid. Let's not waste any time but hear what he has to say:

Spy CampSpy Camp by Stuart Gibbs is about the same kid from my review of Spy School, Ben Ripley who goes to a camp that is survival training for agents attending Spy School. There the same organization tries to capture Ben. Ben tries to leave camp secretly but fails when SPYDER, the organization tracks him. He is saved by his girlfriend Erica and Erica's dad who is a spy that takes the credit of things awesome spies did so everyone thinks he is the best spy ever. Then Erica's grandpa comes in to save them but SPYDER revealed that they were going for Cyrus, the grandpa and captures Erica and Cyrus.
This book is fun because it keeps me guessing at every turn. It is exciting and always has my attention.
Read the book to find out if Ben can save his friends or if he will also be lured into the trap!

That's great, Reid! I asked the other day if you had read any other book in this series and it look like you have! Have you read Evil Spy School yet?

The Boys Start the WarThe Boys Start The War by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is about three boys that live in a house and have best friends that live in a next door house and then their best friends move to Georgia and have their house for rent the new family that moves in has three girls. The boys want their friends back so they start a war on the girls. The girls fight back when school comes. They play all sorts of tricks on each other. The book is intriguing and keeps me guessing at the turns. It is funny and hooks me onto the series. I love this book and I hope you do to if you read it.

Thanks, Reid! You have really scored big, not only on the game but also with me. The Boys vs Girls series are one of my all-time favorites and I hope you read all of them. You will smile, laugh and keep guessing a lot. If you'd like to see what I've said about them, click on the "Boys vs Girls"  tab under this post. Ms Reynolds was also nice enough to give me an interview and answer some questions about those books--check out that interview here.

Right. Let's check the new standings:
REID--10 points
GRAM--2 points
JUDE--1 point

Look at that! Reid just keeps burning them in like Steph Curry! Is there any stopping him? Well, there is still time to send in more reviews, boys! Got some more, Gram? Jude? Reid? Anyone else? The final NCAA Tournament game is tonight  (GO CAROLINA!) but you have until midnight tomorrow night, that's April 5, to send more reviews and earn more points. We deserve to have an epic finish to the March Madness of Reading Contest!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

More Shots (including a Three-Pointer) and A New Friend! The Excitements Builds!

Hey, guys, this is me, Iron Guy Carl, back to post the latest results for the March Madness of Reading Contest. Sorry this took me so long but I was gone for a week for Spring Break vacation. Now I'm back and am exited to share these new reviews with you.

The first is from our friend Reid. He has been lighting up the boards like Michael Jordan in his prime

Spy SchoolSpy School by Stuart Gibbs is about a kid named Ben Ripley who goes into CIA school and is trained to be a spy. He is taught to do all sorts of things. He makes a friend named Murray. But then a mole is in the school. The mole tries to kill Ben but fails when hiring an assassin. The crook tries and tries. Then Ben makes a girlfriend who helps him from the danger.
I love this book because it keeps me on the edge of my seat and guessing at the turns. Also it has a lot to do with friendships. I like how the author in this book describes it very very well so it is like I am the character.
But do you think Ben and his girlfriend, Erica can catch the mole fast enough before one of them gets captured? Read the book to see!!

Thanks, Reid! I've heard some good things about this book, especially from our good friend, Ms. Yingling. This book is a series now--I'd love to hear what you think about the other two.

But wait--there's more! Reid sent us another review--and it's of one of my favorites

Big Bad Ironclad by Nathan Hale is about the history of the Civil War and how the South and the North battled. I like it because it is a fun retelling of part of the Civil War. Also it is surprisingly a fiction story. They turn it into a fun comic so it is not so long and boring. In this book I learned to be persistent and have hope in bad times and you will end up on top. That is why I think this is a great book that you should read too. It is one of my favorites because it not only has one of my favorite lessons it is also funny. Also I learned a lot about the Civil War that I never knew about before. This book makes me want to read more in the series. I hope you read it too.

Oh, yeah! Oh,yeah! Thanks a bunch, Reid. I absolutely LOVE these Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales graphic novels. (see my review here) They are fun, exciting and a good way to learn stories from history. (guess what, Reid--this story's not fiction! It really happened! The author just found a fun way to tell it) There are a least four books in this series, so, as the author says, read them all--if you dare!

Danger Down the NileBut wait--there's even more!! We have a new review from a new friend. His name is Jude and he goes to Charlotte Lab school along with Gram. Let's see what Jude has read and liked:

My book is Treasure Hunters, Danger Down The Nile by James Patterson. This book is about these two twins and their big sister and brother on a journey to find their missing parents. Their last name was Kidds. Through the journey they realize that their parents went missing on purpose. The kidds have enemies along the way like this dude named Nathan Collier. In the end the Kidds are in China to talk the Chinese people to give them the treasure. The Kidds found treasure that belonged to the Chinese culture to free their mom and find their dad. The Kidds are famous because there father was a famous treasure hunter. I like the book because it has adventure. 

Thanks, Jude! James Patterson writes really exciting books and guys enjoy them. To be honest, the Iron Guy has not read any of them but that may have to change.

OK--let's update the standings. But before I do, let me point something out. If you go back to the rules of this contest, you'll see that a review of any of the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales graphic novels are worth three points. So, in light of that, here are the new standings:
GRAM--2 points
JUDE--1 point

Right now Reid has a commanding lead but that could change at any time. After all, Kansas got upset in the NCAA tournament and some people expected them to win it all. So, will Reid hold on to his lead or will Gram burn in a few more and change the score? Or will Ladd come up from behind? Oh, the excitement mounts! Remember that you have through April 5. That means Tuesday. I'll accept reviews all through that day, which is the day after the final game of the tourney. Plenty of time for more excitement! The Final Four is on tonight but the thrills of the March Madness of Reading Contest continues for three more days!