Sunday, January 31, 2016

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet (MMGM)

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Title: This Journal Belongs to Ratchet
Author: Nancy J. Cavanaugh
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Publication date: 2013
Pages: 250 (ebook)

A debut middle grade novel about a girl named Ratchet and her quest to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal. Ratchet tells her story through the assignments in her homeschool journal.

If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook.
But it's not.

It's the first day of school for all the kids in the neighborhood. But not for me. I'm homeschooled. That means nothing new. No new book bag, no new clothes, and no friends – old or new. The best I've got is this notebook. I'm supposed to use it for my writing assignments, but my dad never checks. Here's what I'm really going to use it for:

Ratchet's Top Secret Plan
Project Goal: turn my old, recycled, freakish, friendless, motherless life into something shiny and new.

This year, I'm going make something change. ~ Goodreads

I honestly didn't think that I would like this book, kinda like how I thought that I wouldn't like Always, Abigail which is also by the same author. Do I see a pattern here? The book was actually very sweet and cool. The main characters I liked a lot and I really like Ratchet's dad. The story grew and definitely felt deeper than Always, Abigail. It had a lot of things going on at once so it was kind of like a very, very low key adventure book! And the characters were mostly realistic.

My complaints: One of the reasons I didn't think that I would like this book was because it seemed like it would be a ripoff to the Dear Dumb Diary and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Though it was definitely NOT. Also the beginning offended me a little because Ratchet seemed like the stereotypical homeschool kid, no friends or nice clothes. Especially since I am a homeschool kid.

Age recommendation: 9 

Fabulous quotes!

"the only thing 
That really needed to change
The way
I thought


"There was a young girl named Ratchet.
She had skill and no one could match it.
She wanted to be
More stylish and carefree,
But she couldn't give up her Ratchet."


"A Friend
You're happy to see, 
Who's happy to see you.
You like for who they are
Not just for what they can do for you."

And now it's time for...What Does the Cat Think? *crowd cheers*

Wait a second...which ratchet should 
I return this book to? I'm very distressed.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5! 

If you would like to go back to the fabulous Mrs. Messenger's blog, click here.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Always, Abigail (MMGM)

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Title: Always, Abigail
Author: Nancy J. Cavanaugh
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Publication date: 2014
Pages: 320 (I think, I got this on my kindle so it only showed what percentage I was at)

Discover Abigail's triumphant story of friendship told through heart-touching letters and lists

Abigail and her two best friends are poised for a life of pom-poms and popularity. But not only does Abigail end up in a different homeroom, she doesn't make the squad. Then everyone's least favorite teacher pairs Abigail up with the school's biggest outcast, Gabby Marco, for a year-long "Friendly Letter Assignment." Abigail can hardly believe her bad luck. As her so-called best friends and entire future of popularity seems to be slipping away, Abigail has to choose between the little bit of fame she has left or letting it go to be a true friend.
  ~ Goodreads

So the only reason I was going to read this was because of the cover. Then I read the plot description and was like Seriously? I could tell you the whole story just from that! And I almost didn't read it. But I'm glad I did, even though the story wasn't fresh or surprising, I actually got into the book and surprisingly liked the main character. Though she was a jerk, her character did grow so it was bearable, kind of.  And even though the story was told from lists and letters, it was surprisingly smooth and well written.

My complaints: The main character could have been a lot nicer.

Age recommendation: 10
Fabulous Quotes!   

"Three Reasons Why Being in the Pom Pom Yearbook Is One of the Best Parts of Being a Pom Pom Girl"


"Lists are so much cooler than, "Dear Diary, Blah, blah, blah..."


"The only problem was that there was nothing fun about the crazy mirror I was looking into right now. When I saw what I really looked like, there was nothing to laugh about."

And's the highlight of people day all across the globe, it's...What Does the Cat Think?

                 Oh no! Was it my turn to review?

I give this book 4 stars out of 5! 

If you would like to go back to the fabulous Mrs. Messenger's blog, click here.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

11 Birthdays (Willow Falls #1) (MMGM)

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Title: 11 Birthdays (Willow Falls #1)
Author: Wendy Mass
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: 2009
Pages: 267

GROUNDHOG DAY meets FLIPPED in this tale of a girl stuck in her birthday.

It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited -- after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, she wakes up happy for a new day. Or is it? Her birthday seems to be repeating iself. What is going on?! And how can she fix it? Only time, friendship, and a little luck will tell. . . ~ Goodreads 

Well, lets start off by saying that this book is not what I expected. It's probably because I didn't read the whole plot description, because of that error I was in for a ride. I haven't read many Sci-Fi books that are like this (time repeating itself etc.) so it was a "new" experience for me. The characters were likable with some surprise moments thrown in, and the mystery was very mystery like. It also made me wish that I could go to a birthday party just like Leo's...

My complaints: It left things unexplained that I feel like will be left unexplained, even though it is part of a series. And the problems seemed to be solved to easily.

Age recommendation: 8

Fabulous Quotes!  

“Whoa!" she says as I plow into her. " What are you DOING? Get off me!" I hang on tight. "Can't a girl just hug her big sister?" She stops fighting me. "Are you dying? Am I dying? Did Grandma die?"  


“Nothing nice you ever do for anyone is for no reason.”  


"As soon as I turn off the alarm clock that I knew would ring,"

And now it's time for *announcer voice cue* What Does the Cat Think?

    Living the same day over and over again must exhaust you!

And I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5!

If you would like to go back to the fabulous Mrs. Messenger's blog, click here.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Game Changer (MMGM)

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Title: Game Changer
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Publication date: 2012
Pages: 247

Athletics are everything for eighth-grader KT Sutton. She’s a softball star, and she’s on track to get a college scholarship and achieve international fame. Then one day during a championship game—in the middle of an important play—she suddenly blacks out.

When she wakes up, she’s in a different world. One where school is class after class of athletic drills, and after-school sports are replaced by popular academic competitions. One where KT is despised for her talent, and where her parents are fixated on her brother’s future mathletics career rather than KT’s softball hopes.

KT is desperate to get back to reality as she knew it, but bits and pieces of disturbing memories and dreams make her wonder if something truly awful happened there. What if she’s lost something a lot more important than a softball game?
 ~ Goodreads

So I've read some of Haddix's other books, and loved them. So when I searched her name in my library's catalog and this book popped up. I had to read it. I had never thought about what would happen if sports could be school and school for sports. Egad! The effort, you would be sore all the time! KT changed throughout the book, in a good way, which I really appreciated. Because she was a tadpole annoying (tadpoles grow, so she got more annoying. Pretty clever, am I right?) The story was very realistic...well, when it is all explained of course. It explores problems that are in real life. And her speech at the end was pretty darn cool. 

My complaints (yes I have them): At first it was a little hard to get into the book, but that changed as went on. And it was a little slow paced and felt weird compared to her other books. But overall, it was amazing! As always.

Age recommendation: 10 years because it was kind of, deep. And it deals with some metal health stuff.

Fabulous Quotes! 

“Because," he said in an even voice, "you're used to winning, so you don't even think about how, every time there's a game, both sides get that 'rah, rah, team' speech from their coaches both sides hear 'you're the best!' 'You've got to win!' 'You're the greatest!' But half of the people playing that game are going to walk away losers. Half!” 


"Was it possible that the real world contained all sorts of hidden alternate worlds within its boundaries - and that real people did too?" 


" 'no matter what life gives you, don't treat other people like lemons' " 

Unicorns bow down at this moment! It's...What Does the Cat Think?

Ugh, she works out sooo much. All that effort.  

As you can see, me and Ilovecupcakes agree on this one.

I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5!

If you would like to go back to the fabulous Mrs. Messenger's blog, click here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer! With super awesome surprise reviewer!! (MMGM)

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Title: Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
Author: Kelly Jones
Illustrator: (yes, there are pictures) Katie Kath
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date: 2015
Pages: 212

Fans of Polly Horvath or Roald Dahl will love this quirky story of a determined girl, and some extraordinary chickens.

Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to the farm they’ve inherited from a great-uncle. But farm life gets more interesting when a cranky chicken appears and Sophie discovers the hen can move objects with the power of her little chicken brain: jam jars, the latch to her henhouse, the entire henhouse....

And then more of her great-uncle’s unusual chickens come home to roost. Determined, resourceful Sophie learns to care for her flock, earning money for chicken feed, collecting eggs. But when a respected local farmer tries to steal them, Sophie must find a way to keep them (and their superpowers) safe.

Told in letters to Sophie’s abuela, quizzes, a chicken-care correspondence course, to-do lists, and more, Unusual Chickens is a quirky, clucky classic in the making. 
 ~ Goodreads

I just love this book! Not just because I have 12 chickens (yes, you read that right...12) But also because telling the story through letters was so clever! Oh, uh...whoops! I mean through letters like snail mail/post office. Though, when it first started off as letters, I was a little skeptical, but I got used to it. I just adore how the chickens have superpowers! Sometimes when a middle grade book adds pictures, it makes me feel like I'm reading a book made for younger kids. But the pictures in this book really help pull it together, because imagining a chicken with superpowers is not so easy to do. Another thing was that inside the book were instructions on how to take care of chickens in real life, but they kept that it wouldn't be boring and it wasn't really a necessary part of the book. 

My complaints: I have nothing to complain about! Why do authors have to be so awesome these days?

Age Recommendation: 10

Fabulous quotes

"You know that chicken I told you about? It can use the Force."  


"Sorry I thought your farm was boring before. I didn't know that there were going to be chicken thieves."


"if people are doing something unfair, it's part of our job to remind them what's fair, even if sometimes it still doesn't turn out the way we want it to."

I know you're all so anxious to find out about who is the super awesome guest reviewer! And because we all know that a cat's judgement would be biased on this book...introducing...

                      Little Chickie! (aka Rock)
                                            Hey!! Why don't I have superpowers?

I give this book...

5 stars out of 5!

If you would like to go back to the fabulous Mrs. Messenger's blog, click here.