Disaster Strikes: Tornado Alley book #2

by Marlane Kennedy
Published by: Scholastic


Wyatt lives on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma where you closest neighbor is the next ranch about 7 miles or more away. He is lucky that neighbor is also his friends Joshua and Jackson, they are just the distraction he needs since his girly girl cousin Alison is visiting from New York. All she is interested in is the cute animals on the ranch. So is not to happy to have to take her along with him when him and his friends head off to the lake to go fishing while his mom and dad are busy doing other things.

They are all having fun fishing and hanging out even with Alison there. Wyatt starts to notice a change in the sky. Big huge wall cloud is near them and it's got a sickly green tint to it. That isn't good, anyone who lives in tornado alley knows that means tornado! My girls know that and have ever since they are little tots. The kids race to get home and to the root cellar before the monster tornado bares down on them. However city girl Alison doesn't want to get into the storm cellar till she gets her friend Wyatt's dog in there with them. So she runs off to get him, leaving Wyatt to run after her, leaving Joshua and Jackson in the root cellar hoping their friends are safe.

While Wyatt and Alison ride out the storm in the barn with the spooked animals. The tornado is tearing apart the ranch and other ranches close by. Are Wyatt's mom and dad OK since they are out and about in this storm? Is Joshua and Jackson's parents and home OK?

This book is a fast read that is entertaining and has a bit of suspense in it. At the end of the story the author includes some interesting tornado facts as well as some great tips on what to do if you find yourself in the middle of a tornado's path. The Disaster Strikes series is sure to become a favorite with boys and girls and would be a great addition to any home, classroom or school library!

The Great Trouble

A Mystery of London, The Blue Death and A Boy Called Eel
by Deborah Hopkins
AR Reading Level: 4.6
Quiz Points: 7.0
Teachers Guide (Common Core Standards aligned) 

The Great Trouble is a historical fiction book for the  middle school reader. Eel as his friends call him has had a rough and tumble life. He looks through the muddy  river for treasures he can trade for money or if he is really lucky he finds money. He also works at the Lion, that is a blessing. Working at the Lion helps keep him off the streets, gives him food, shelter and clean drinking water. The real blessing of the Lion is they pay him. See Eel has a secret that he wants to keep, he is taking care of his little brother. Well some one else is raising him but Eel needs the money to pay for his brothers schooling, clothes, shoes, food and room and board expenses. Eel is a hard working boy who does lots of odd jobs around his part of town.

One day the tailor he works for falls ill, with in a few more days many more fall ill in Eel's neighborhood. The Blue Death as they call it has hit and no one knows why or how? Many in the neighborhood start passing away, many fall gravely ill but survive. Eel wants to help those in need and knows just who to ask for help. The best scientist he knows will help so Eel enlist the help of Dr. John Snow. Between Dr. Snow and Eel can they save all those that are left? What will happen to Dr Snow's research when Eel ends up getting kidnapped? Will cholera "the blue death" be the end to many in the neighborhood or will Dr Snow and Eel save the day?

The Great Trouble is full of action and adventure! Kids will enjoy this book and learn so much in the process. Eel is such a likable boy that has you cheering him on and wishing him the best. You really feel for this character. The book hooks you with in the first chapter, even if you are not a big time historical fiction reader you will enjoy this book!

 Deborah Hopkins has a authors note in the back full of all kinds of information on many key characters from the book: Dr John Snow, Rev. Henry Whitehead, Dr. William Farr, she explains Cholera to the reader and includes a timeline of the Broad Street Cholera Epidemic. She also includes websites, and books you can use to research more for those who are curious.

Shipwreck Island

by S.A Booden

published by Macmillan Children's Publishing

I knew I had to read and review this book as soon as I saw it was written by S.A. Booden. I loved the raft so much and have the rest of her published books on my tbr pile.

Shipwreck Island starts off with a blended family finally meeting for the first time. See Sarah's mom passed away about 6 years ago and until now it's always been Sarah and her dad. Well dad (John) meet a nice woman online and they dated off and on and got married. Sarah just learned of this and is meeting her new step mom and 2 brothers for the first time. Needless to say she is not a happy girl, Marco is not a happy boy and Nacho he loves that he got a new sibling. So 1 out of 3 kids is thrilled with the new arrangement those are not great odds right? Well to make the situation even more intense they are all going on vacation together! Wow that is going to be 1 fun vacation, trust me I speak from experience.

So the whole gang travels together and hits some obstacles since originally this trip was supposed to be a honeymoon for 2 and now its a family vacation for 5. They just have to make do with the circumstances they have before them. I mean once they get on the island and can relax, get to know each other and have fun everything will be alright? Right!?

What they didn't count on was the boat they were taken to the island has seen better days, I mean really that picture on the brochure must be ancient. They also hadn't counting on hit a massive, scary storm while on the ocean. While the family takes cover below deck along with the captain's dog the boat is battered and torn. The lose the captain in the sea and it's just them now. Can they find a way to all get along? Can they survive on an island till they are rescued? What is this island and why is so many scary, strange things happening? At least they still have Ahab the captain's dog with them, he alerts them of any and all trouble before it happens.

Now if they can survive what they've named Shipwreck Island and become a family  this vacation just might not be a total disaster!

Shipwreck Island is a wonderful book that middle school and upper elementary will love! It has suspense, action, and drama. This book is for boys and girls and might just hook that reluctant reader!

Paper Towns | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

My oldest and I are very excited the first trailer was released today for Paper Towns. It looks great and we can't wait till June! Have you guys read Paper Towns? Are you seeing the movie?

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