Sunday, September 8, 2013

Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters
by James Patterson
and Chris Grabenstein

Publication Date: September 16, 2013

Ages 8-12

ARC ISBN: 978-0-316-25316-1.

Personal Ranking 4 out of 5

"Note to self: If I ever have a ship of my own, do not call it The Lost. Because that's exactly what (and where) we were: lost at sea.
I guess we should be glad Dad didn't name his boat The Sunk,
The Drowned,
or Titanic II."

The Kidd family spends their time treasure hunting! With parents that are famous treasure hunters, Tommy, Storm, Bick and Beck have only known life on board their parents boat, The Lost. But living at sea while being home schooled by mom and helping dad run a treasure hunting business isn't so bad. In fact, they wouldn't have it any other way. That is until mom and dad go missing and the foursome is left on their own. Since life at sea is all they know, they decide to continue on dad's last mission in the Cayman Islands. But at the end of the day, who can they trust and will they ever see their parents again?

This is going to be a great new middle grade series for tweens and teens! Between the short chapters, the fast pace and the great illustrations you feel like you are right there on The Lost with the Kidd kids. You cheer for them when they win, you want to parent them when they make mistakes, and you either wish they were your kids or you were one of their siblings. But maybe that's just me, I love adventure! I didn't pick up the Arc because it was a Patterson, I picked it up because of the ARC cover and the compass on it. I am all about compasses this year, and travel and discovery.

Each of the Kidds has their own unique skill; Tommy might as well be a human compass, Storm has a photographic memory and perfect recall, Beck can draw and Bick can write. Together they use their skills to set out to finish their dad's work. Thankfully, mom and dad left them enough clues to figure out as they stumble along their way. At the end of the day, because they stick together as a family, they show us all what kids can accomplish with family and a positive attitude.

Overall, I love the concept and the humor, and I can't wait for their next adventure!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hip hop workshop empowers Richmond youth to use their voice - - Richmond, VA News

Hip hop workshop empowers Richmond youth to use their voice - - Richmond, VA News

This was the Hip Hop Empowerment Workshop held at North Avenue Library on Tuesday, August 13, 2013. With 23 in attendance, it was really well done and a big success. Kerwyn Phillip does a great job of showing teens that tweens and teens can change the world! Hip Hop was started 40 years ago by teenagers.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Arclight by Josin L. McQuein
Publication Date 4/23/2013

Teen, 13+

ARC used for review.

Personal Ranking 3.5 out of 5

No one is safe when the lights go out. 

THE FIRST RULE OF ARCLIGHT: Light is safety. Light is life. No one is supposed to survive the dark, only Marina did, but at the loss of some lives and all her memories. Other than Anne-Marie, her only friend, her classmates hate and fear her. She, and only she has survived the dark and the Fade. Then, one night, after a security breach, alliances and rules seem to start changing all around them. When Marina and some of her peers take down a Fade, they begin to question if what they have been told is really the truth. What happens when the reality you think you live in, is only half of the story? Sometimes you have to step into the dark before you can see what is really in the light.

What a story from a new, fresh voice. I know a lot of reviewers say that "they just couldn't put it down," but it is so true. From the beginning, I was captivated and there are so many twists and turns that you really feel the frustration that Marina and the rest of her peers feel at being lied to and not knowing the truth. One harsh lesson that the adults try to teach them is that sometimes knowing the truth is worse than not knowing. But, teens are stronger than you think, they can handle the truth. What they can't handle is being blatantly lied to. In a period of all of these post-apocolyptic world stories, this one will leave you wanting more.