Reading Outside The Box Wrap Up

The end of 2014 is here! Can you believe it? The big challenge around here was the Reading Outside The Box challenge.

reading outside the box

I challenged myself and you to read a wide variety of books this year. Some might be pretty normal for us; other books were really different types of books.

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Quick Thoughts: “Lawn to Lawn”

unnamed“Lawn to Lawn” by Dan Yaccarino

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture Book

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Not everyone loves lawn ornaments. But Pearl was different. Pearl was their friend—the only human who knew they were real.

So when Pearl’s family moves and (shockingly!) leaves their pink flamingo, deer, gnome, and lawn jockey behind, Flo, Betty, Norm, and Jack know what they must do. They must find Pearl no matter how long and perilous the journey.

Through cities and suburbs, over mountains and through swamps, the ornaments make their dangerous way. They survive storms and menacing gargoyles. They get directions from weather vanes and other statuary. And always, always, they must avoid the dreaded trash truck!

In this hysterical and quirky tale of toys-come-to-life, Dan Yaccarino reminds us that home is where the heart is and that no journey is too difficult when it leads to the one you love.

Book Review: “The Princess Diaries”

“The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1)” by Meg Cabot

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Other Princess Diaries books

Summary from Goodreads:

She’s just a New York City girl living with her artist mom…

News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that’s why a limo meets her at the airport!)

Downer: Dad can’t have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)

Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.

Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmére, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.

Well, her father can lecture her until he’s royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty–no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what’s a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?

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Book Review: “Mockingbird”

“Mockingbird” by Kathryn Erskine

Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction. Contemporary Fiction

Summary from Goodreads:

In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon’s dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white—the world is full of colors—messy and beautiful.

 

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Book Review: “Seraphina”

“Seraphina (Seraphina #1)” by Rachel Hartman

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy

GoodreadsSource: Library

Other Seraphina books

Summary from Goodreads:

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

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Book Review: “Shades of Grey”

“Shades of Grey (Shades of Grey #1)” by Jasper Fforde

Genre: Adult Fiction, Dystopia

GoodreadsOther Shades of Grey books

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Part social satire, part romance, part revolutionary thriller, Shades of Grey tells of a battle against overwhelming odds. In a society where the ability to see the higher end of the color spectrum denotes a better social standing, Eddie Russet belongs to the low-level House of Red and can see his own color—but no other. The sky, the grass, and everything in between are all just shades of grey, and must be colorized by artificial means.

Eddie’s world wasn’t always like this. There’s evidence of a never-discussed disaster and now, many years later, technology is poor, news sporadic, the notion of change abhorrent, and nighttime is terrifying: no one can see in the dark. Everyone abides by a bizarre regime of rules and regulations, a system of merits and demerits, where punishment can result in permanent expulsion.

Eddie, who works for the Color Control Agency, might well have lived out his rose-tinted life without a hitch. But that changes when he becomes smitten with Jane, a Grey Nightseer from the dark, unlit side of the village. She shows Eddie that all is not well with the world he thinks is just and good. Together, they engage in dangerous revolutionary talk.

Stunningly imaginative, very funny, tightly plotted, and with sly satirical digs at our own society, this novel is for those who loved Thursday Next but want to be transported somewhere equally wild, only darker; a world where the black and white of moral standpoints have been reduced to shades of grey

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Book Review: “Little Women”

“Little Women (Little Women #1)” by Louisa May Alcott

Genre: Children’s/Young Adult Fiction, Classic

GoodreadsOther Little Women books

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Meg is the eldest and on the brink of love. Then there’s tomboy Jo who longs to be a writer. Sweet-natured Beth always puts others first, and finally there’s Amy, the youngest and most precocious. Through sisterly squabbles, their happy times and sad ones too, the sisters discover that growing up is sometimes very hard to do.

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