‘The Girl He Used to Know’ by Tracey Garvis Graves is lovely and thought-provoking

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With the title “The Girl He Used to Know,” author Tracey Garvis Graves doesn’t give the reader a hint about what to expect. The reader won’t expect two main characters who are compelling and who will be indelibly etched on their minds. They won’t expect a love story between two people who in some ways are worlds apart, yet who just might be destined for each other. They won’t expect a story that hooks the reader from the start, but just keeps getting better and better until the final 40 pages, at which point it’s simply impossible to put the book down. Continue reading

‘Crucible’ by James Rollins is a rollercoaster ride of thrills and thoughts of a frightening future

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“Crucible” by James Rollins is a thrilling story about the Sigma Force characters fans have grown to know and appreciate, Gray Pierce and Monk Kokkalis and their families, and what happens when a young woman creates an artificial intelligence (AI) being whose intelligence and ability far surpass anything created previously.

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‘We’re Not From Here’ by Geoff Rodkey is a thrilling, action-filled, middle grade scifi novel

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“We’re Not From Here” by Geoff Rodkey is a fantastic story that could be dystopian, except for the humor-filled pages that seem to be anything but dystopia-like, in spite of the novel’s destruction of Earth and the possible extermination of the human race thing going on. Lan, the narrator, and Lan’s sister and parents are living on Mars after Earth is destroyed by a nuclear apocalypse. But things are not great on Mars. Food and water are running out, clothes are turning to rags, and the air processors are failing so everyone is always tired.

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7 picture books with quirky animal characters are a great choice for young readers

Here are seven fabulous picture books with quirky animals – have fun!

There is no such thing as too many picture books on the bookshelf. They are created to bring joy to young and old because often, adults or older readers are the ones sharing the picture books by reading them aloud. Wonderful authors and illustrators work to make books that will be enjoyed by everyone.

hoo hoo who“Hoo Hoo Who” by Mary Maier and Lauren Horton is not just an adorable picture book about an owl whose glasses are broken. He can’t see who is coming to Mouse’s birthday party, so he asks, “Hoo hoo are you?” The hints include yellow feathers, splashy feet and the phrase, “Quack quack with their smiling little beak.” This picture book has lovely illustrations and clever text that will encourage expressive language in young children. Speech pathologist and author Lauren Horton also provides materials on the publisher’s website and blog.  (Building Block Press)

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‘The Girl from Berlin’ by Ronald H. Balson is another legal mystery/historical fiction fabulous novel

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“The Girl from Berlin” is another wonderful novel by Ronald H. Balson in which he continues with Catherine and Liam, his attorney/detective main character couple, who take cases in which the reader gets to travel back in time to see the background of those cases, as Catherine and Liam are learning about those events. The stories are especially riveting because of Balson’s ability to create the dual story, cutting off each story at a cliffhanger moment, making the reader continue reading to find out what happens next, until before the reader looks up, the day has gone by and the book is read.

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‘Freefall’ by Jessica Barry is a thriller about the hidden strength in a mother and daughter

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“Freefall” by Jessica Barry is an action-filled thriller that is about a daughter who has left home, lost her job, lost her compass, and in the process of becoming a hero is also in huge danger. While Ally is literally running for her life, her mother, halfway across the country, is mourning her daughter’s supposed death and also investigating who her estranged daughter had somehow become.

Between Ally and Maggie’s alternating first-person narratives, the reader learns the story of the past and what happened to estrange the mother and daughter, and the present. The present is that Ally is supposedly dead in a plane crash that killed her and her fiancé, but the reader knows Ally is really on the run after surviving the plane crash. Through Ally’s narrative, the reader learns about Ally’s inner strength and her determination to survive.

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