Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Author: Chris Grabenstein
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Year: 2013
Audio Publisher: Listening Library (Penguin Random House)
Audio Year: 2014
Audio Reader :Jesse Bernstein
Audio Length: 6 hrs 20 mins
Genre: JUV Fiction
Age: JUV 8+
This book has been on my TBR list for years! I remember thinking how cool it was when I was a school librarian & then I just never got to it. I finally checked it out on audio & listened to it. I was not disappointed. It's perfect for book nerds, geeks, & library lovers everywhere of any age. I have the other 2 on hold & I plan on listening to them ASAP.

I also recently found out after reading this book that there was a TV movie made. I currently can't watch it but I'm trying to find out about getting a copy of it. 
 Our story begins with the three Keeley brothers, Mike the oldest, Curtis the middle child, & Kyle the youngest. They are racing around their house playing a game, Mr. Lemoncello's Indoor/Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. It's not long before they start destroying things & the fun has to come to an end. Mr. Lemoncello is a very important part of the story.

In the town of Alexandriaville, OH a new library has just been built. It's been under construction for five years & it's a big secret. The old library was closed down twelve years prior & the town is excite to see new library doors opening. To celebrate the grand opening Mr. Lemoncello, the financier for the library, created a contest where twelve twelve year old's are picked as winners after all the twelve year old's in town write an essay about why they are excited about the new library. Kyle goes out of his way to make sure his essay gets in & it's no surprise when he is one of the winners.

Once the grand opening is under way Kyle along with the eleven other kids chosen for the contest start their library lock-in. They play fun life-sized versions of Mr. Lemoncello's games, eat snacks, & explore the amazing new library. Along the way the new librarian Dr. Yanina Zinchenko is there to guide them. The next morning when they wake up that's when the real game begins. The kids are tasked with escaping from the library, the front doors have been sealed & there is clues all around them to help them get out.

The kids must answer questions about the dewey decimal system, use the card catalog, & work together to get out before time runs out. The winner who gets out first will get to be the new star for Mr. Lemoncello's TV commercials & game merchandise. The losers or cheaters get sent home. It's going to take more than luck to succeed & escape from the stacks!
Likes: This books is a book or library lovers dream! It's crawling with trivia & info.

It's so fun & there are some really hilarious moments. Perfect kids book!

It was short, less than seven hours on audio & less than 300 pages in book form.

This book gave me some great ideas for a possible program at my library.

I'm really excited to read the next ones since this one is so good.

Fast paced, entertaining, & educational!

Overall great story with relate-able characters & a library to die for!

There are lots of quotes, book references,  & book puns which is great.

I would say it's one of the best books I've ever read. Right up there with Matilda & Harry Potter. 



Monday, April 23, 2018

The Lost World by Michael Crichton

The Lost World

Author: Michael Crichton
Publisher: Ballantine Books (Random House)
Year: 1995
Audio Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Audio Reader: Scott Brick
Audio Year: 2007
Audio Length: 15:20:33
Genre: Sci-fi/Thriller
Age: Adult 18+
I've been listening to a lot of books on audio lately, I listen every chance I get. I had been waiting for this book for months, there was a long wait list. Finally got it unexpectedly but was happy about it. Just as good as the first one, I knew what to expect from Crichton this time around so I was ready. I'll include a movie comparison at the end of the review like I did with the first one.
First thing I realized from the beginning was that Malcolm was alive! He didn't perish on the island with so many others, he really became the main character of this sequel.

In this second story it's been several years since Jurassic Park. Ian Malcolm has recovered from his injuries but he is permanently maimed & must walk with a cane. He has teamed up with a man named Robert Levine to go & search for "Site B" to Jurassic Park which is located on the island of Isla Sorna, again off the coast of Costa Rica. The pair is alerted to a possible alternate site because there have once again been sightings of strange animals all over the coast.

Levine & Malcolm were supposed to proceed to the island together but Levine lets his ego & enthusiasm get in the way & he takes off first leaving Malcolm behind. Levine had paid a team of people to make him specialized equipment & meet him at the island so Malcolm plans to do just that. The team includes Jack Thorne a field equipment expert & his assistant Eddy Car.

We also meet 2 kids that are taking a class that Levine was supposed to be teaching, they are Kelly & Arby. Levine has been communicating with them & they are helping with the class since he skipped out to Costa Rica.

Again the "bad guys" of the story are Dodgson & his team at Biosyn. We also meet Sarah Harding, she is the kinda girlfriend of Malcolm but she is studying predators in Africa.

Levine is in trouble on the island, there is some kind of attack, he sends a distress call to Thorne. So Thorne, Eddy, & Malcolm decide to go after him. The kids stowaway unknown to the team & Sarah is asked to join them. Once they are there it is very apparent what a lost world this island is.

The island still has power & they find out that it's really where the dinosaurs were being made then they were being transported to Jurassic Park.

Dodgson is tracking them on his own agenda to get the dinosaurs for his company. The plan is for Biosyn to steal some dinosaur eggs & take them back for research etc.

Malcolm's team finds Levine & he is ok but everyone else that came with him is dead. They have to wait until the next day to meet the chopper to get off the island. In the meantime they are trying to stay alive & study the dinosaurs the best they can.

Along the way Malcolm's team saves a baby t-rex that's been injured, the get attacked by the adult t-rexs, & they have to face their worst enemy yet...raptors. Once again just like at Jurassic Park the raptors are the main problem & they will all be lucky to get off the island alive.

In the end Malcolm s right again! While they are on the island he is working on his extinction theory. It turns out the island is a perfect lost world.This is because there are too many predators inhabiting it at once. The group believes this is because the scientists from Ingen were feeding the dinosaurs ground up sheep that had infections called prions, like mad cow disease. The dinosaurs got the disease called DX. Then they excreted it out in their poop that was eaten by the compys. Other dinosaurs eat the compys & it creates a giant circle of disease. This is the theory proposed for why the island collapsed.

In the end Eddy & Dodgson are eaten & everyone else makes it off the island alive.
Likes: This book was very similar to the first & it was also read by the same person which was good.

Also like the first book there is a lot that is left out in the movie but they are both still good.

There is a lot of info given about extinction & what happens to animal populations over time. They also talk about the theory of what happened to the dinosaurs.

It only took me about a week to listen to this book even though it is a little long.

Lots of suspense & action.



Book-Movie Comparison

I've always love the Jurassic Park movies & I am so excited for this next one to come out in a few months! After reading the books I still really like the movies despite then being drastically different from the books.

The movie starts out with a family on the beach & the little girl is attacked by compys. This is actually the way the first book Jurassic Park starts.

Malcolm is on the subway & gets noticed for his involvement in the Jurassic Park incident. In the book they all signed non-disclosure agreements & there is only "rumors" about what happened so he's not super famous.

Hammond has summoned Malcolm to his home to tell him about site B & that he is forming a team to go to Isla Sorna & study the dinosaurs. Obviously in the book Hammond is dead at the end of Jurassic Park.

The team Hammond has assembled is Sarah Harding who is Malcolm's fiance, a photographer named Nick who doesn't exist in the book, & Eddy Car, plus a very mad Malcolm. So the movie doesn't have Jack Thorne, Robert Levine, or Arby in it at all. It also doesn't include Dodgson or anything about Biosyn just as the first didn't.

In the movie Sarah is already on the island & the others are supposed to meet her there.

Kelly is in the movie but she is Malcolm's daughter from a previous marriage. In Jurassic Park he has been married & divorced several times.

In the movie Ingen comes with big helicopters & lots of equipment & they plan to take dinosaurs back to San Diego to create a zoo of sorts.

The guide that is with Ingen wants a t-rex for himself. They find a nest with a baby i it & set him up as bait while they round up several other dinosaurs.

Sarah & Nick sneak into the camp & free all the dinosaurs causing a stampede. They then save the baby rex & take him back to the trailer. In the book Eddy discovers the baby is hurt & they decide to save him while they are chasing Dodgson.

Just as in the book the t-rex parents come after the baby & there is an incident with the trailer & Eddy gets killed.

But meanwhile in the book Levine, Kelly, & Arby are at the high hide (which is also in the movie) when raptors start attacking. This doesn't happen in the movie because Levine & Arby don't exist.Instead the Ingen people come to the rescue & they all trek across the island to get to a radio at the abandoned lab.There they run into the raptors.

In the book that is the end of the story. Levine, Malcolm, Kelly, Arby, & Sarah get off the island alive. But of course they had to do something crazy for the movie. That's where the t-rex loose in San Diego takes place.

I think overall he changes that were made in the movie support the story line from the first movie well.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

Remember Me?

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Dial Press
Year: 2008
Audio Reader: Rosalyn Landor
Publisher (Audio): Penguin Random House
Audio Length: 12:51:11
Genre: Chick Lit/Romance
Age: Adult 18+
A few months ago I put a bunch of this authors audiobooks on hold & recently many of them have been coming in.  This one came in & I was planning a trip so it worked out perfectly for me to finish it. I've read a few of her books now & they are always really funny & entertaining. This book was no exception.
Lexi Smart is just another normal girl struggling through life in her 20's. It's the year 2004 & she's been at her job at less than a year so she didn't get a bonus when all her friends did, she has a job title so long it seems made up, her dad's funeral is the next day, & her boyfriend that she affectionately calls Loser Dave has just stood her up. So what better way to celebrate life than a drunken night out on the town with her girlfriends. While hailing a cab Lexi takes a spill down the stairs. The next morning she wakes up in a hospital...

But it's not just the night after her fall, it's 2007!!! Lexi was in a car crash in her flashy Mercedes convertible 5 days prior. She's just woken up & has amnesia. She can't remember anything about the last 3 years. All she can remember is that night on the street 3 years ago when she was drunk & fell down the stairs. Since then she's changed her image, gotten skinnier & healthier, been on a reality TV show, gotten a promotion to big wig at her job, & married a gorgeous millionaire who owns a housing company that specializes in "loft style living". All Lexi wants to know is what the hell happened?!

Once she's out of the hospital she has a lot to figure out about her life. Of course she is hoping she'll get her memory back but there's no guarantee of that. Over the next several weeks she has to deal with reconnecting with her husband, she discovers he has some strange sexual fetishes. Saving her company that is going to fire everyone in her department because of bad sales & possibly Lexi as well. Plus her crazy family which includes her dog obsessed mother & her trouble maker little teenage sister. Then there is John, he's the architect of her husbands company & something is going on between him & Lexi but she can't remember. Is John lying to her just to get her into bed or do they really love each other?
Likes: This book was HILARIOUS! I listened to the audio & I was dying laughing through every page.

Lexi has the life that every girl dreams of including a sexy husband, a great job, & a fabulous house.

It was the same basic story line of all of her other books but that helps the story move along quickly.

I think it would make a great movie!



Monday, April 16, 2018

Picture Books I Read This Week (April 16th-20th)

These are the picture books I rad this week. Ive been off schedule the past few weeks & I'm going to be busy this week so I'm posting it kind of early. 

Xo, Ox by Adam Rex
This is one of our new books right now & it was adorable!
Ox is in love with Gazelle. He writes a love letter to her & she send back an automatic generic reply. But Ox doesn't understand that she didn't send him a letter on purpose so he keeps writing to her. She has many admirers & he is super proud to be one of them. But soon Gazelle gets frustrated that he keeps writing to her. Ox however doesn't take the hint. Eventually Gazelle comes around & she might be able to love a stupid smelly Ox after all...

The Fish Who Cried Wolf by Julia Donaldson
Tiddler was a plain fish but he told tall tales. Every day he was late & every day he had a different story. One day he really is late & he says it's because he got caught in a fish net, but no one believes him. So he follows his story back home & tells it to his writer friend who writes this book.

Those Darn Squirrels & the Cat Next Door by Adam Rubin
Apparently this is a series but this is the first book I've read.
Old Man Fookwire was a grump. In the winter he was even grumpier then usual. The only creatures in his yard during the winter were squirrels. If the squirrels were cold they would come inside but he would chase them away. Finally it was spring & Fookwire could go outside & paint all the beautiful birds. One day a loud noise disturbs his peace. Someone has moved in next door. She was Little Old Lady Hu & she had a cat named Muffins- he was a jerk! Muffins liked to be mean to the squirrels but they had a plan to get back at him. Old Man Fookwire never warmed up to Muffins or his neighbor but Little Old Lady Hu loved the squirrels & birds.

Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke
Drusilla, Rosalinda, & Isabella were real princesses. They had everything they wanted but Isabella was unhappy. She was bored & didn't want to be a princess anymore. Her dad the King wanted her to behave & because she wouldn't he sent her to the kitchens then outside to the pigsty. In the end she likes the pigs & being outside so her dad decides to let her do what so wants so everyone is happy.

There's a Lion in my Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson
If you save 100 coupons off the cornflake box & mail them in you get a free lion. Dan & his brother do that but everyone else gets their lions before them So the cereal company sends a grizzly bear, then a crocodile, & finally a gorilla. None of those workout very well so the company sends them a lifetime supply of cereal. The new animal to collect on the box is a tiger!

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Book Was Better Club April 2018: Murder on the Orient Express

Last night was the 3rd official meeting of The Book Was Better Club at my library. The book this month was Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.  We only had 3 attendees but that is better than none. The main goal of this book discussion group was to get working people involved in events at the library. That's the main reason why the group meets at night after working hours. Next month we are reading Matilda by Roald Dahl, my favorite book of all time! These are some of the main differences between the movie & the book from last night & the final outcome from the group. 

The movie starts off at the Waiting Wall in Jerusalem the year is 1934 & Poirot is there on holiday or maybe working on a case. As the scene progresses there is a robbery from a temple & he helps resolve that it was the guard who stole. 

Next they travel to Istanbul by boat, the Dr. & the Governess are on the boat as well. 

Bouc is in Istanbul with a prostitute when he runs into Poirot. 

In the book Poirot gets a telegram that he must return to London right away for a case. But in the movie a man from the consulate hand delivers the message. 

In the movie the compartment that is always reserved is the No 11 but in the book it's the back most one No 16. Just as in the book that one is not available & someone has not shown up so Poirot gets that compartment. 

Once on the train as is well until Ratchett approaches the detective for help. In the movie Ratchett (played by Johnny Depp) is much worse of a character. While trying to convince Poirot to take his case Ratchett pulls a gun on him, but just as in the book Poirot refuses. 

The movie overall was much more dramatic than the book. So that night the train is hit by an avalanche & is derailed over a long bridge over looking a lake before it reaches the Bouc station. 

Later that night is when the murder occurs. But there is no scream in the night as in the book. 

The next morning the valet brings breakfast to Ratchett's cabin & he doesn't answer, the door is opened by Poirot & the body is found. 

In the compartment with Ratchett's body they find drugs in his night time coffee-barbitol. They also find the watch, the handkerchief, & the pipe cleaner just as in the book. 

It is then that Poirot meets with everyone in the dining car to announce that Ratchett has been killed & begins interviewing everyone. 

By this time a message has been sent to the station & a crew is coming out to bail them out of the snow & get them back on the tracks. 

Also in the cabin the group finds a note similar to that in the book it reads, as a strong blood is on your hand you will die.

The Armstrong kidnapping & murder case is the main drive behind the murder in both the book & the movie. 

Once the interviews start taking place they find the red kimono in Poirot's suitcase but in the book they never find it. The conductor's uniform is also found in the suitcase of the Princess's maid. 

Building up the drama, in the middle of the interviews MacQueen tries to run down the bridge after burning Ratchett's business ledger because he has been stealing from him. Poirot & Bouc run after in then interview him a second time.  

One of the biggest changes is that there is no Italian man in the movie but he has been replaced by a Latin man named Marquez. Also the Dr. is Arbuthnot & there is no Colonel. The Dr. is the only one on the train who smokes a pipe. In addition Hardman is pretending to be a professor not a salesman. 

Once the interviews are complete the passengers are still waiting to get righted & back on their route when "someone" tries to dispose of the murder weapon, a big knife, & they stab Mrs. Hubbard with it "on accident" while getting rid of it. But the Dr. is the one that stabs her because he is part of the plan. 

Poirot is meeting with the governess Mary when she confesses to the murder but the Dr. is there & he doesn't want her to take the blame so he also confesses after he shoots Poirot & they get in to a fight over hanging the bridge out the side of the train car. Bouc stops them. 

In the end the 2 different outcomes are presented as in the book. A mystery person that left the train is the first & is also presented to the police. But the 2nd is where all the passengers were connected to the Armstrong family so they enact revenge on Ratchett, whose real name is Cassetti. We get to see how the murder went down, Linda Arden was the organizer & she is pretending to be Mrs. Hubbard. When they all confess their story Poirot insists that they kill him because he will not lie to the police. So Mrs. Hubbard/Linda Arden takes then gun & instead tries to shoot herself from guilt but it is empty. 

They get back on the tracks & make it to the station where a man is waiting for Poirot & he must go to Egypt right away on another case. 

Overall the movie followed the same basic story of the book & it was a good movie, very well done. But they made it much more dramatic than the book so the big screen. 

At the end the group decided that the book was better!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Picture Books I Read This Week (April 9th-13th)

This week since it is National Library Week I decided to read books that were all about libraries!

Our Library by Eve Bunting
This book was really cute & it had nice pictures. But I will say that after I read it I feel like the overall story is a little bit heavy for children. The kids all want to do everything they can to save their library & help out which I think is great but it's the way they do it that threw me off. Also the Librarian is a little bit forward with the kids & I don't think that's realistic. 

Miss Goose the Librarian tells the kids the library is going to close forever because it needs a new roof & new paint. So the kids checkout some books to see if they can help. The next day they laid a new roof & painted the library a beautiful yellow with blue trim & a green door. But it also takes a lot of money to run the library according to Miss Goose. So the kids think they can help with that by having a bake sale. Finally the land the library is on is owned by Goat & he wants it back. So the kids go to Old beaver who owns Buttercup Meadow to see if they can move the library there. He only agrees after they convince him that all the kids need the library to grow up & be intelligent including his grandchild. In the end everyone gets what they want & the library stays open. 

L is for Library by Sonya Terry
This is an alphabet book & all the letters have something to do with the library!
You can tell the true age of this book from some of the references. 

A- Author
B- Biography
C- Caldecott
D- Dewey Decimal System
E- Encylopedia
F- Fiction
G- Guide Words
H- Historical Fiction
I- Illustrator
J- Jacket
K- Keyword Search
L- Library
M- Magazines
N- Nonfiction Books
O- Overdue
P- Parts of a Book
Q- Quiet
R- Reference
S- Shelf Marker
T- Thesaurus
V- Volunteer
W- World Wide Web
X- Xerox Machine
Y- Your Interests
Z- Catching ZZZ's

The Library Doors by Toni Buzzeo
This book would be perfect for storytime preschool, & kinder. It is read to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus". Some example of the words include The Library doors swing open & shut open & shut open & shut, The Librarian says hear a tale hear a tale hear a tale... 

We're Going on a Book Hunt by Pat Miller
There a some noises & actions that could go with this book for storytime etc. 

It's library day for a group of bears & they go through all the motions of going to the library, checking out a book, & then reading it & bringing it back. Everyone in the book is reading from the birds to the bookworms. There is also a repeated phrase: We're going on a book hunt, We're going to find a good one, We know how, Not too easy, Not too hard, But just right. 

B is for Bookworm by Anita Prieto
This is another alphabet library book. But unlike the other one this one has a lot of really good info in it in the side panel & includes interesting facts. I didn't even know all of this stuff!

A- Author
B- Bookworm
C- Library Card
D- Dewey
E- Early Books
H- Historic
I- Illustrations
J- Juvenile Books
K- Knowing
L- Library of Congress
M- Media Center
N- Call #
O- Online
P- Presidential Libraries
Q- Quest
R- Reference
S- Story Telling
T- Traveling Libraries
U- Useful Parts of a Book
V- Vocabulary
W- Winner
X- Xylograph
Y- Yellow
Z- Zestful

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express

Author: Agatha Christie
Publisher: Bantam Books
Year: 1934
Genre: Mystery
Age: Adult 18+
This was our book for this month's The Book Was Better Club. I've never read an Agatha Christie book before & I have yet to see the movie for this book. We'll be watching it on Thursday night during the meeting. I have to say that this book as far as a murder mystery was very different from the mysteries of today. Overall it wasn't a bad read & it was short. I also got the audio book & I will say it is a little bit hard to follow because the man reading has an accent (which is fitting but hard to listen too).
The Characters:
The Inspector- Hercule Poirot
The Director- M. Bouc
The Conductor- Pierre Michel
The Doctor- Dr. Constantine
The Governess- Mary Debenham
Colonel Arbuthnot
The Secretary- Hector MacQueen
The Victim- M. Ratchett
The Italian- Antonio Foscarelli
The Valet- Edward Henry Masterman
The Salesman- Cyrus Hardman
Princess Dragomiroff
The Swedish Nurse- Greta Ohlsson
Obnoxious American- Mrs. Hubbard
The Maid- Hildegarde Schmidt
Count & Countess Andrenyi

Our story begins in Syria on a train platform & we are introduced to Poirot. From there the train crosses into Turkey & he arrives at the Tokatlian Hotel. Once at the hotel Poirot receives an urgent telegram asking him to return home because there has been a development in his case. It is then that he gets a seat on the Simplon Orient, the Orient Express.

The train is surprisingly full for that time of year & it is a miracle he is able to come aboard. It will take the train 3 days to cross Europe. On the first night Poirot is approached by a man named Ratchett, he has a new case for the detective but Poirot refuses to take it saying he has enough money to keep him happy & things to occupy his time already. It seems Ratchett is having threatening letters sent to him & he thinks he might be in danger. That night Poirot hears a scream in the middle of the night. The next morning the train has come to a stop as it has hit a snow drift & Ratchett has been murdered.

From there the investigation begins. The only clues they have are a few burnt matches, a pipe cleaner, a handkerchief, a half burnt scrap of paper, & a different story from everyone aboard. Poirot interviews all of the people on the train, he looks at the body, & he examines the passenger's luggage. After all of the evidence has been presented he makes his final conclusion in 2 parts. But which one is true?
Likes: This book was very short, less than 300 pages so it was a quick read.

The audiobook is also short less than 7 hours but the reader is speaking in a French accent which although appropriate is hard to follow in my opinion.

The story spaced out well & was presented in a straight forward way. Since I haven't read any of the other books in this Poirot series I'm guessing that they may all be set up in that fashion but I'm not sure.

I wasn't quite sure which of the conclusions was the true one until I stopped at the end to think about it.

I'm only giving it a 3 out of 5 star rating because it wasn't exactly my style of book but it wasn't a bad story either.

Dislikes: -