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BOOKtober: EERIE Non-Fiction that Middle Schoolers will Love!



They Lost Their Heads!: What Happened to Washington's Teeth, Einstein's Brain, and Other Famous Body Parts by Carlyn Beccia 

Summary: From the kidnapping of Einstein's brain to the horrifying end of Louis XIV's heart, the mysteries surrounding some of history's most famous body parts range from medical to macabre. Carlyn Beccia explores the misadventures of noteworthy body parts through history and springboards to exploring STEM topics such as forensics, DNA testing, brain science, organ donation, and cloning. The engaging tone, wonderfully creepy subject matter, and delightfully detailed art are sure to capture even the most reluctant readers.
The famous people and their body parts include:
     Galileo Galilei / Fingers
     Louis XIV / Heart
    George Washington / Teeth
    Franz Joseph Hadyn / Head
    Beethoven / Hair
   Abraham Lincoln / Body
   Chang and Eng Bunker / Liver
   Phineas Gage / Skull
  John Wilkes Booth / Neck vertebrae
  Sarah Bernhardt / Leg
  Vincent Van Gogh / Ear
 Mata Hari / Head
 Albert Einstein / Brain
 Elvis Presley / Wart
Thomas Edison / Last Breath

Release Date: April 2018
Age Group: Childrens, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction
Source: Purchased at a Book Fair
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:

Gross. 
Fascinating. 
Odd. 
Unbelievable. 

I READ EVERY WORD!

This book causes severe "googling" and really brought out my Southern drawl as I kept saying things like: "Oh no they didn't" or "Bless their hearts".

I have also lengthened my bucket list because you know I want to track down Elvis' mole. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I couldn't even type that without cracking up! Dang people are so weird!

If anyone wants my body parts and can sell them for millions, they are yours! I just request that you give my kids at least 33% (I don't want them getting too rich off my parts, they need to work!)



This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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Book to Movie Review: The House with the Clock in Its Walls


I am not sure where to begin... I'll start with two names: Jack Black & Eric Kripke. Now sprinkle in Eli Roth's debut into family entertainment and you have the oddest cocktail ever!

When you set out to scare, Eric Kripke is your man! One, glorious title Supernatural. Ahhhh, the Winchesters. Now combine Jack Black AND Kate Blanchet, pure magic!

I wasn't sure how in the world someone from the realm of Supernatural was going to hone it in for a "family" friendly scare but man did he deliver. The House with a Clock in Its Walls was everything!

Louis was weird and it was a celebration to watch. This movie was jam packed with themes: family loss, bullying, the underdog, persistence, believing in yourself and so on.

I left loving the color purple, wanting a ginormous fireplace, feeling the need to burn all dolls and a little afraid of Jack-o-Lanterns. It was G-R-E-A-T.

๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ
Scare factor according to The Mob

โœ”๏ธŽ Pre-teens: loved it.

โœ”๏ธŽ Middle schoolers: loved it.

๐„‚ 1st grader: had to sit in my seat and remind me he loved me and thought I "just needed a hug" right at that pumpkin filled moment. No crying. If your youngsters can't handle the Goosebumps flicks, you might want to wait until they are a bit older and desensitized.

๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ณ




THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS โ€“ In Theaters September 21

In the tradition of Amblin classics where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places, Jack Black and two-time Academy Awardยฎ winner Cate Blanchett star in The House with a Clock in Its Walls, from Amblin Entertainment.  The magical adventure tells the spine-tingling tale of 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart.  But his new townโ€™s sleepy faรงade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.

Based on the beloved childrenโ€™s classic written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is directed by master frightener Eli Roth and written by Eric Kripke (creator of TVโ€™s Supernatural).  Co-starring Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Renรฉe Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams, Lorenza Izzo and Sunny Suljic, it is produced by Mythology Entertainmentโ€™s Brad Fischer (Shutter Island) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac), as well as Kripke.

Executive produced by William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg, Laeta Kalogridis and Mark McNair, The House with a Clock in Its Walls will be released by Universal Pictures.  www.housewithaclock.com

Genre: Adventure
Cast: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renรฉe Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic and Kyle MacLachlan
Directed by: Eli Roth
Writer: Eric Kripke
Based on the Novel by: John Bellairs
Produced by: Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt, Eric Kripke
Executive Producers: William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg, Laeta Kalogridis, Mark McNair

This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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BOOKtober Fest: 5 Must-Read YA Thrillers ๐Ÿ‘€


__________________________________________________________________________

Read the Reviews if you must, but a thrill you will find come dusk!

{Click titles for reviews}
1. The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

2. Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

3. Missing by Kelley Armstrong

4. Need by Joelle-Charbonneau

5. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry









I'd sleep with the light on... and watch your back because you know someone is following you... just sayin' 


 

This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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Book Review: The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Summary: There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accidentโ€”two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monicaโ€™s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, itโ€™s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monicaโ€™s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdadโ€™s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isnโ€™t over. Some people in town know more than theyโ€™re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesnโ€™t mean anyone else is safe.




Release Date: July 2018
Age Group: YA, Dark Thriller
Source: Review Copy from NetGalley
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I read The Cheerleaders about a month ago and I 've been sitting on the review because I was left uneasy. With that said, it was a good YA thriller filled with mystery and murder but there were two reoccurring issues that were pretty heavy-- suicide & abortion. I wasn't sure how I felt about it when it all ended but now I do and I hated it.
I am a victim, whether or not I feel like one.
It's not that I don't think these two topics are appropriate for YA literature, as a matter of fact, I've read a few that addressed hard issues beautifully: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe, The Girl Next Door or Ryan's Bed.

I do believe if you are going to bring the tough stuff in you better take the time to work through each and every detail, really dive into the characters' emotional processes and specifically identify instances that are wrong... DO NOT LEAVE GREY AREA for teens to read and walk away doubting they were victimized.

I never felt any closer, yes the mystery and sleuthing was original and clever but again, there was this whole situation that just kept getting but on the back burner. The continued thoughts of the victim constantly blaming herself for what should have been identified as statutory rape was just sad. Only to be followed by zero parental involvement in the decision of an abortion and not because the mom wasn't present.

It was basically a girl (with a lot of baggage๐Ÿšจ) telling her mom she was pregnant (by someone other than her boyfriend ๐Ÿšจ) and that her mom didn't need to know or worry about "him" ๐Ÿšจ. Followed by said teen making a "quick" decision before she could "think" about it ๐Ÿšจ. WHAT!?!?! Red flags for dayyysssss. ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ #redALERT

In all honesty, this story would have been better if the abortion was left out, yes it stung hard but it wasn't the real punch to the gut in the overall story arch and it actually caused more harm than awareness. The phrase "less is more" comes to mind.

As far as a dark thriller goes, the mystery was great and unpredictable. There were several plot twists that kept me going and it definitely flowed like an episode of Riverdale. I hung in there until the end but it did feel a bit flat at the conclusion, very anticlimactic. I really wanted it to be so much more.




This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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Book Review: Uncharted by Erin Cashman

Summary: 
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and paintings to realityโ€”because in reality, her mom is dead, and it was all her fault. When she accompanies her father to the funeral of some family friends who drowned, sheโ€™s surprised to find her grief reflected in the face of Griffin Bradford, the son of the couple who died. Griffin is nothing like the carefree boy she once knew. Now heโ€™s irritable, removed, and heโ€™s under police investigation for his parentsโ€™ deaths.

One night following the memorial service, Annabethโ€™s dad goes missing in the woods, and she suspects Griffin knows more about the disappearance than heโ€™s letting on. He refuses to answer her questions, particularly those related to the mysterious โ€œexpeditionโ€ his parents took to Ireland, where they went missing for seven months.

Annabeth fears her father isnโ€™t lost, but rather a victim of something sinister. She launches her own investigation, tracing clues that whisper of myth and legend and death, until she stumbles upon a secret. One that some would die to protect, others would kill to exposeโ€”and which twists Annabethโ€™s fantasy and reality together in deadly new ways.

Release Date: September 2018
Age Group: YA, Mystery, Folklore
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I loved Uncharted right from the prologue! It was a unique storyline that did a great job of blending several genres, I actually had a hard time deciding where to "shelve" it. 

The Mystery.
Right from the start my mind was coming up with all sorts of theories, all of which were wrong. I've read enough dystopian and paranormal books that it takes all of 5 seconds for me to turn any character suspicious. Sometimes I feel like I'm re-reading a story plot, like running in a circle, but Uncharted was fresh and new. I kept thinking of mystery islands, every TV show I'd ever watched as a kid that had a treasure map and referenced my crime show toolbox too (I'll always have a little Nancy Drew in me)!

Character Development.
It's rare in a standalone book that I feel like I was adequately introduced to all the characters. But Cashman doesn't waste time and lets you know enough about each person to leave you feeling something-- suspicion, regret, loss, sadness, hope. 

Annabeth was raw and real. I felt for her, was sad for her, cheered for her bravery and was hopeful for her. That's a lot of emotions for one character in 400 pages! I really enjoyed her growth and development; she wasn't perfect and she knew it.

Griffin. He will be a book boyfriend of every teen girl that picks up Uncharted. He was good looking, broody with a tender side and tortured. Just how we like them, right girls?! I would love to read a novella of his back story. *cough, cough hint to Cashman*

Love.
You know I need a little love interest, always. I'm happy to report there was no love triangle or instalove. It was subtle and obvious from the outside looking in but it didn't take away from all the mystery or thrill.

Parents.
I LOVE that this book had two sets of parents that loved their children. They weren't absent or totally aloof to what their kids were doing. There was a protectiveness that I related to with almost all the adults attached to Griffin and Annabeth.

More Please.
So the big question... will there be a book two... or three?! I'm intrigued. I'm invested. I hope it gets weird(er). I want to experience the mystery.



This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading