Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Book Review Club (May 2014)

Welcome to our May Book Review Club! Did you know that it used to be considered bad luck to get married in May. "Marry in May and you'll rue the day."* However, it's always been considered good luck to read our book reviews. We won't steer you wrong. That goes for any month! Enjoy!

 by Jody Feldman

This middle-grade novel by our very own Jody Feldman (click through for cute website) is a companion to the wildly successful THE GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES. By wildly successful, I mean it's on TWENTY-SIX state reading lists. I expect we'll see the same kind of love for THE GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES: THE NEW CHAMPION. Because it's that good.

In a nutshell (stolen from the Harper Collins website): 
The Golly Toy and Game Company's Gollywhopper Games was such a big success the first time, the company's executives have decided to host the competition again. Cameron and Spencer Schein have scored two highly sought-after slots in the regional round—will one of the Schein brothers make it all the way to the finals? Favorite characters from the first book make guest appearances, and a new cast of competitors, both boys and girls, get set to compete against (and with) Cameron and Spencer. There are twists and turns and complications in this page-turner of a race to the finish line!
What I loved:  the puzzles. They are seriously fun. Here are a couple of examples. 1. What is a normal decibel level for everyday conversation? Greater or less or equal to 85? 2. How many species of flightless birds are there? More or less or equal to 4? 3. What rhymes with a synonym for "more angry"? And the answers are... Ha! I am so not giving you the answers!

What else I loved: You definitely do not have to read the first book before reading this one. The author has written this companion in such a brilliant way that it works as a standalone. That said,  you'll want to read both books. Because once you find your way into the world of the Gollywhopper Games, you'll try to hang out there as long as you can.

What else I loved: You only think you figured out the ending!

An unexpected bonus: Okay, this is going to sound weird. But we're all friends. Plus, what gets posted on The Book Review Club, stays here.  Right?  Anyway, this middle-grade fiction actually made me stop and think, in an adult way, about sibling rivalry. What kinds of rivalries have gone on, are going with my own four kids? How well have I handled it over the years? How much sibling rivalry have I been unaware of? I don't expect a middle-grade novel to make me mull things over. But I love that this one did. Thank you, Jody Feldman!

 To the FCC: Jody Feldman is a friend of mine. In fact, we've broken bread together in two different states. At my request, Jody sent me an ARC of this book. But no one paid me or compensated me in any way for this review. I wouldn't have reviewed this book if I hadn't loved it. And Jody would've understood. Because that's the kind of awesome she is.

And now . . .  links to the rest of the reviews. Click through, kick back and enjoy!


Alyssa Goodnight: A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd (MG)

Jody Feldman: THE YEAR OF BILLY MILLER by Kevin Henkes (MG)

Linda McLaughlin: DIVERGENT trilogy by Veronica Roth (YA)



Patti Abbott:  ORDINARY PEOPLE by Judith Guest

Sarah Laurence: TEMPTING FATE by Jane Green


                                                  by Natasha Josefowitz

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!


Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Mine is here, Barrie!
Living Without the One You Cannot Live Without;
Hope and Healing after Loss

It's an adult poetry book!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

My son and his fiance wed this month, on their birthday, which falls all on the same day! May 19th!

Barrie said...

Jenn, Congratulations to your son and his fiancee! I added your link before I went to the gym. Which I'm feeling pretty virtuous about. Going to the gym, that is. :) And thank you for reviewing a book of poetry. That doesn't happen often!

Linda McLaughlin said...

Enjoyed your review, Barrie. Jody's books sound like loads of fun for middle graders.

Sarah Laurence said...

Congrats to Jody! I'm sure this one will be a big hit too. Thanks for hosting, Barrie.

Jen, congrats to your son!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

My son will absolutely want to read this--he loved The Gollywhopper Games. I did too! I love it when books have puzzles (and it love it even more when I get the answers right!) :)

Jody Feldman said...

Thanks so much, Barrie!

Barrie said...

Linda, glad you enjoyed the review. I just commented on your review of the Divergent trilogy.

Barrie said...

Sarah, you're more than welcome. And I think you're right; Jody's book will soar!

Barrie said...

Sarah, you're more than welcome. And I think you're right; Jody's book will soar!

Barrie said...

Alyssa, I know what you mean. The puzzles were great! Although....I didn't get them all right!

Barrie said...

Well, then, Jody, my job is done. :) Congrats again on a great book!