Friday, October 19, 2012

Cardboard, by Doug TenNapel (graphic novel) - living cardboard people, good and evil

book cover of Cardboard by Doug TenNapel published by Graphix
We've all played with cardboard boxes,
made forts and racecars and castles,
but we didn't use magic cardboard like Cam has!

Hopefully, we don't have evil neighbors like Marcus either... (stealing a guy's only birthday present, when it's just made with a cardboard box...sheesh!)

The creator of Earthworm Jim of video-game fame and the recent graphic novel hit Ghostopolis  (my review here) brings another fantasy world to life in full-color,  so find it now at your local library or independent bookstore.  

Cardboard  has already been optioned to become an animated feature film, but you'll have time to read it first... and keep an eye out for that Marcus.

Book info: Cardboard / Doug TenNapel. Graphix (Scholastic), 2012. [author's website] [publisher site] [video author interview]  [inside TenNapel's sketchbooks]

My Recommendation: Worst birthday gift ever: a cardboard box… but Cam’s widower dad took their last few cents to buy it from a strange fellow who gave them rules about how to use it. So the teen and his dad bend and cut the box into the shape of a man, a boxer who magically comes to life!

Bill the boxer-guy talks to them, will mow the lawn, wants to be a real friend to Cam – but his cardboard can’t withstand the water-cannons of neighborhood bully Marcus. Taking the leftover cardboard bits (despite the seller’s warnings), Cam creates a cardboard-making-machine that allows him to repair Bill… and tempts the very evil Marcus into wicked plans and plots that might destroy everything. 

TenNapel’s detailed drawings underscore the barely-hanging-on desperation of Cam and his depressed dad, the manic gleam in Marcus’s conniving eyes, and the contempt that the rampaging Cardboard  bad guys have for good-fellow Bill and the “fleshies” he tries to protect in this outstanding graphic novel from the creator of Ghostopolis.   (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Daylight Saving, by Edward Hogan (fiction) - swimming, mystery, time loops to break

book cover of Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan published by Candlewick
Cute girl in a swimsuit,
lovely lake in the woods.
Everyone can see the water,
but no one can see the girl struggling there...
except Daniel.

The days are growing shorter at the resort, giving him less and less time to solve the mystery of Lexi. Shouldn't injuries heal up over time, instead of getting worse? As the teens stay near each other through his vacation, Daniel awakens to find the same injuries on himself.

If Lexi is a ghost, why can he touch her? If Lexi is a girl, why is she at the resort alone... and how can they prevent terrible things from popping into the woods during that hour everyone relives when Daylight Saving Time ends and the clocks fall back?

Published in September 2012, you should be able to find Hogan's first YA book at your local library or independent bookstore now. Then find some uninterrupted reading time - you won't want to put it down!

Book info: Daylight Saving / Edward Hogan. Candlewick, 2012.  [author's writing room] [publisher site] [book trailer]  

My Recommendation:  An “active holiday” away with Dad…couch-potato Daniel can’t imagine a worse vacation. Bicycling through Leisure World’s well-manicured woods to avoid sports activities, the English teen spots a cute girl swimming in the fake lake. And she’ll even talk to him - about his parents’ divorce, Dad’s spiraling depression, but not herself.

Daniel wonders if Lexi is playing hard-to-get or hiding a dangerous secret. He only seems to see her at the lake, never at the pizza place or the pool. She says swimming is a good way to let your mind relax while your body works, so Dan hits the pool, huffing and puffing at first. The more he swims, the more he worries about Lexi.

How can a teenager be at this fancy resort by herself? Why can’t anyone else see her?  Why is her watch running backwards? What’s causing her wounds which seem larger each night?

As the autumn evening approaches when all Great Britain’s clocks turn back one hour, Lexi and Daniel try to find a way to stop a terrible past event from happening again. Part mystery, perhaps some ghost story, all thriller – will the night of Daylight Saving be too late?  (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette, by Bianca Turetsky (fiction) - glorious gowns in guillotine's shadow

book cover of Time Traveling Fashionista in the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky published by Poppy
It's a mysterious Monday, and fashion-lover Louise Lambert has received another invitation from the most exclusive vintage dress shop ever.

When Louise tries on an delicate blue gown for Brooke's fancy dress birthday party, she is suddenly sent back to young Marie Antoinette's court!

Weren't they just talking about the French Revolution in history class this morning? If Louise could just remember those important dates from her homework... but can she change what happens to the princess?

While you're getting this September 2012 release at your local library or independent bookstore, ask about book one, The Time-Traveling Fashionista  (my review here) so you can start Louise's adventures at the beginning and join her aboard the Titanic!

Hmmm... what other fantastic history-imbued frocks do mysterious shopkeepers Marla and Glenda have in their Traveling Fashionista Shop inventory?

Book info: The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette (Time Traveling Fashionista, book 2) / Bianca Turetsky. Poppy, 2012  [author's website] [publisher site] [book trailer]  

My Recommendation: Oh, no! Louise’s trip to Paris with her French class is cancelled when her dad loses his job, and history homework is building up. What she needs is some time with vintage fashion to take her mind off things. But trying on an antique gown sweeps her away from the tiny shop to the court of a French princess!

It’s a bit odd to speak old French with no effort and have courtiers calling her Mademoiselle Gabrielle, but Louise does pretty well at playing along. Soon she realizes that she’s part of the entourage of young Marie Antoinette – and that she might not be the only person at Versailles with a false identity…

The princess is never seen in the same ensemble twice and demands that her ladies-in-waiting follow that fashion as well. Somehow, Louise must keep her original gown hidden so that she can wear it and return to modern Connecticut safely.

So many different experiences - beautiful palace gardens and boring waits for royal arrivals, splendid gilded ballrooms and bitterly critical letters from Marie’s mother, stunning Paris-designed dresses and the stench of Parisian streets. As time passes, Louise remembers more details from history class and wonders if she should warn the princess about the perils ahead.

Who is spying for Marie’s mother, sending detailed reports back to the Empress? Can Louise make the princess understand the suffering outside the palace walls, before it’s too late? Most importantly, can she get back to her own time before France’s nobility start losing their heads in the Revolution?

The second book of the series puts this Time-Traveling Fashionista in as much danger as she faced on board the Titanic in book one. Where will Louise’s passion for vintage fashion take her next? (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.