Book to Movie Spotlight: Mortal Engines


MORTAL ENGINES – In Theaters December 14

Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), emerges as the only one who can stop London — now a giant, predator city on wheels — from devouring everything in its path.  Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan), an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang (Jihae), a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.

Mortal Engines is the startling, new epic adventure directed by Oscar®-winning visual-effects artist Christian Rivers (King Kong).  Joining Rivers are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies three-time Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who have penned the screenplay.  Visual effects are created by a Weta Digital team led by Ken McGaugh, Kevin Smith, Luke Millar and Dennis Yoo.  The Universal and MRC adaptation is from the award-winning book series by Philip Reeve, published in 2001 by Scholastic. 

On board as producers are Zane Weiner (The Hobbit trilogy), Amanda Walker (The Hobbit trilogy) and Deborah Forte (Goosebumps), as well as Walsh and Jackson.  Ken Kamins (The Hobbit trilogy) joins Boyens as executive producer.  Universal will distribute the film worldwide.  www.mortalengines.com

Genre: 3D Epic Adventure
Cast: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide and Stephen Lang
Directed by: Christian Rivers
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Based on the Book by: Philip Reeve
Produced by: Zane Weiner, Amanda Walker, Deborah Forte, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson
Executive Producers: Ken Kamins, Philippa Boyens



Watch and share the new MORTAL ENGINES extended look.

#MortalEngines is in theaters December 14.

Facebook:

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/mortal_engines/status/1060336102169399296

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. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 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!)



Book Spotlight: Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

If you are in need of a quick classic tale, this is the collection for you! 

This is not a work of Dahl himself but a compilation of some of his favorite ghost stories (and authors). He read close to 800 stories in the late 1950's/early 60's and these are the few that made the cut. Each short story is unique and unexpected. I loved the classic feel of each authors writing-- although I did not love every one I read. 

 

Who better to investigate the literary spirit world than that supreme connoisseur of the unexpected, Roald Dahl? Of the many permutations of the macabre, Dahl was always especially fascinated by the classic ghost story. For this superbly disquieting collection, he selected fourteen of his favorite tales by such authors as E.F. Benson, Rosemary Timperley, and Edith Wharton

Includes:
"W.S." L.P. Hartley
"Harry" Rosemary Timperley
"The Corner Shop" Cynthia Asquith
"In the Tube" E.F. Benson
"Christmas Meeting" Rosemary Timperley
"Elias and the Draug" Jonas Lie
"Playmates" A.M. Burrage
"Ringing the Changes" Robert Aickman
"The Telephone" Mary Treadgold
"The Ghost of a Hand" J. Sheridan Le Fanu
"The Sweeper" A.M. Burrage
"Afterward" Edith Wharton
"On the Brighton Road" Richard Middleton
"The Upper Berth" F. Marion Crawford


Release Date: October 1984

Spoktacular Giveaway!

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Let's be honest, there isn't anything better than a gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
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BOOKtober Fest: Kindle Unlimited Spooky Stories for Beginner Readers


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Each book has been Monster tested and APPROVED!

{Click titles for KU link to download}
1. Arthur's Halloween by Marc Brown

2.  This Book is Haunted! by Haven Dexter
3. Halloween Hustle by

4. Sammy's Spooktacular Halloween by Mike Petrik

5. Go to School Little Monster by Helen Ketteman
>  Goodnight, Little Monster is also available o KU
6. There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a  Spider by Jennifer Ward 
>  I ended up purchasing a hard copy of this one because we HAD to add it to our "Somebody Swallowed Something" collection. It was less than 5 bucks and totally worth it!










Easy Character Costume: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie




I'm pretty sure reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a rite of passage in childhood; which makes this an easy sell to tweens/teens when trying to get them to dress up! The best part, it is so cheap and quick to throw together, I only had to buy a few supplies for about 10 bucks and BAM props & costume done.

What you need:
  •      Cookie
    • Cardboard box (poster board, old box, whatever you can find that is big enough to make the circle)
    • Light brown paint & dark brown paint (about 97 cents each)
    • Sheet black poster board (cut odd shaped "chocolate chips"
    • Large bowl (to trace perfect circle) 
    • Scissors
  •      Ears
    • Brown headband (I got a pack of three at Dollar Tree)
    • Dark brown felt (33 cents a sheet)
    • Light (or dark) pink felt
    • Craft glue
    • Ear template (the one I used is found HERE)
  • Outfit
    • Overalls
    • White tee
    • A pair of white shoes (Vans, Keds, really any slip-on will work- cheap Wal-Mart pair of Faded Glory will do the trick)
  • Face Paint
    • Black eye liner 




Happy Tricks & Treats Friends!

BOOKtober Fest: 5 Must-Read YA Thrillers πŸ‘€


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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' 


 

BOOKtober Fest: You've Been BOO'ed! πŸ‘»


As my 7 year old said to me today, Happy Halloween First

{And tomorrow Happy Halloween Second... you get the idea here- we are pretty excited.}
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A fun Halloween family tradition that I have shared before is Boo'ing and today you have officially been "BOO'ed" πŸ‘».

You are IT and you must join in the fun! People are counting on you. 
🚨 AND DON'T GET CAUGHT! 🚨

To get a better idea of what Boo'ing entails visit last years post HERE. Honestly, my digital images last year were pretty lame. You can do a quick search on Pinterest and get a lot of fancy (better) printable options. In my defense-- last year we Boo'ed about 30 people and  the monsters even had the unique (and unforgettable) experience of having a gun pulled on them (only once-- good times).

To get the printout for the ghost you have been Boo'ed with click HERE. Caravan Shoppe is one of my absolute favorite digital sites. There are several freebies and this kit is one so hurry over and download all the goodies.
Visit Caravanshoppe.com to download a copy!


Happy Haunting!



Book Review: Freedom Trials by Meredith Tate

Summary: Evelyn Summers is imprisoned for a crime that was wiped from her memory.

In order for Evelyn to be released, she―along with other “reformed” prisoners―must pass seven mental, physical, and virtual challenges known as the Freedom Trials. One mistake means execution and, with her history of being a snitch, her fellow inmates will do everything they can to get revenge.

When new prisoner Alex Martinez arrives, armed with secrets about Evelyn’s missing memories, she must make a choice. She can follow the rules to win and walk free, or covertly uncover details of the crime that sent her there. But competing in the trials and dredging up her erased past may cost Evelyn the one thing more valuable than freedom: her life.









Release Date: October 2018
Age Group: YA, Dystopian
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
Freedom Trials has a very familiar and identifiable feel to it. It is undeniably the offspring of The Maze Runner & Divergent with maybe The Last Girl as its aunt. YA fans of the dystopian genre are going to either fall in love or outright resent this one. The world and plot are so relatable that you are either going to dive in and be excited to re-enter a familiar world or you are going to just not be interested in a re-run.

With that said, I really enjoyed the ride! The story pace is fast and had a very easy flow to it. I liked piecing things together with Evelyn and the feelings of uncertainty & confusion; the slang took me a bit of time to figure out because there wasn't a lot of explanation to it (hacks, slingers, etc) but it worked out.

Because this is a first in the series there is a lot we just don't know {yet}.
I don't know:
  • how I feel about Evelyn. I hope she gets a bit more Katniss-y.
  • if I like the love interest. Really needs to be fleshed out in the next book with either their history or some serious dialogue. Make me either love him or hate him! Right now I think he is a really cool GI JOE but I don't trust him.
  • who are the "good/bad" guys.
There is a lot of build-up for book two. It is either going to set this series apart from its predecessors or its simply not. I think Freedom Trials is off to a good start. Welcome the Dystopian Family Ms. Tate! Bring the fire in book two, we can take the heat!
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I would recommend this to reluctant teen readers. The style of writing is easy to follow. There are a lot of characters in the prison but forgetting one will not hurt in following the story plot.

πŸ‘‡πŸ½ I would also recommend Freedom Trials to teens who enjoyed the books listed below.πŸ‘‡πŸ½ 

Perfected by Kate Javik Birch {trilogy}
Branded by Abi Ketner {trilogy}
Ignite by Danielle Rogland
Ordinary by Lindy Zart {trilogy}

Book Review: The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

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

First there was the car accident—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. Monica’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, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’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 baggage🚨) telling her mom she was pregnant (by someone other than her boyfriend 🚨) and that her mom didn't need to know or worry about "him" 🚨. Followed by said teen making a "quick" decision before she could "think" about it 🚨. WHAT!?!?! Red flags for dayyysssss. 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 #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.