Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ready, Set, Read!

School's out for the summer, but that doesn't mean children should stop working those brains! Yes, summer means later bedtimes (hopefully sleeping in also) and spontaneous days, but there are sneaky ways of incorporating learning into each day. The easiest way is taking a trip to your local library.
My boys love library trips and if they had their way, we would go at least 2 or 3 times a week. During the school year, in partnership with their teachers, I would check the A.R. level on each book they checked out. A.R. Bookfinder is a great website to check a book's reading level (they even have an app). I am more lenient now for break because any reading is better than no reading, right?
The library is only one of many summer reading programs this year. Check out the following list!
  • Scholastic Books   Reading is logged online and the time spent reading goes toward rewards and you can set it up so the minutes go toward your child's school total where they can win an appearance from an author.
  • Barnes & Noble Read any 8 books and fill out the reading log and then turn it in for a free book (from a group of books)!
  • BOOK IT! Read 5 books and fill out the online form for a chance to win prizes!
  • Chuck E. Cheese Read each day for 2 weeks to fill out the chart. Turn chart in at a participating location for 10 free tokens!
  • Showcase Cinemas If you live on the east coast, your child can watch a free select movie on Wednesdays at Showcase Cinemas. Print out the book report form and fill it out for free admission starting July 8th! 
  • Books-A-Million Check locations first (no locations in CA, WA, OR, ID, name a few). If you do have a Books-A-Million near you, your child can print out the journal, read 4 books from a specified list, and then turn in for Percy Jackson tote bag.
  • Half Price Books Again, check locations first (I am lucky to have one near me). They have 2 different programs: one for kids 8th grade & under, and for teens. The end result is the same: $5 gift card  to the bookstore.      
  • HEB This program is only available for children residing in Texas, ages 3-12. Read 10 books, fill out and send form to receive a free shirt.
  • DOGO Books Read and review 3 books from a specified list, get a free book! This looks to be nationwide and online-based.
  • TD Bank Check locations for one near you. After reading 10 books, your child can earn $10 in a new or existing Young Saver bank account.
These programs are for children, but there are adult summer reading programs at local libraries, so don't get discouraged! ;)  Do you know of another reading program I can add to this list?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Upcoming Free Screenings For Home!

When Earth is taken over by the overly-confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated, while all Boov get busy reorganizing the planet. But when one resourceful girl, Tip (Rihanna), manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons). The two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime.
Home is rated PG and will be out in theaters March 27th, but there are a few free early screenings in the Seattle area this month! They are as follows:
Screening Date:  Saturday, March 7
Screening Time:  10:00AM
Location: AMC Loews Alderwood
Passes:  Enter Code:  ZFHEq63352
Screening Date:  Saturday, March 14
Screening Time:  10:00AM
Location:  Lincoln Square Theater

Passes:  Enter Code:  QnQUw78505
Screening Date:  Thursday, March 19  
Screening Time:  7:00PM
Location:  AMC Southcenter

Passes:  Enter Code: qtPSH85980
Screening Date:  Saturday, March 21
Screening Time:  10:00AM
Location: Regal Thornton

Passes:  Enter Code: IAxnU85939
Screening Date:  Tuesday, March 24
Screening Time:  7:00PM
Location:  Regal Meridian

Passes:  Enter Code: dhYaW90028
Enjoy, readers! Maybe I will see you at one of the screenings! ;)


Blog Tour & Giveaway: Fingers in the Mist

Disclaimer: I did receive a free e-copy of the book in order to facilitate an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Check out the rest of the tour here.
About the Book
Title: Fingers in the Mist
Publication date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Author: O'Dell Hutchison
Sixteen-year-old Caitlyn Foster never believed in the legend of the Redeemers. That was before the trees started to whisper her name. Before a murder of crows attacked the town. Before she and her family came home to find a bloody handprint on their front door, marking one of them as a sacrifice. As Caitlyn’s friends are ripped from their homes, she knows it’s only a matter of time before the Redeemers come for her. Caitlyn has the power to stop the terror, but she’ll have to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice herself to save those she loves.
Fingers in the Mist started with a bang....seriously. From the start, it's very fast-paced. I actually would have liked it better if it had been just a little bit slower. I found myself very confused in the beginning until we learned more backstory on Caitlyn and her friends. I did enjoy her attitude and felt myself smirking a lot at her comments to others.
The story was a little far-fetched toward the end for me. Energy balls being thrown? I don't know about all that. It's a great story, but I'm not a big fan of too much fantasy. The ending left it open for a sequel at the very least. I'm looking forward to finding out if certain characters actually survived the final showdown, and I'm curious about Jonah.
If you like suspense or fantasy books, definitely check this one out. I am very looking forward to reading more from this author!
3.5 out of 5 stars

About the Author

O’Dell was born in a small rural town in Idaho. There were no Redeemers living there (that he knows of). After attending college in the Pacific Northwest, he found his way to the Houston area. By day, he is a Business Systems Analyst and at night you can either find him sitting at home, dreaming of random super powers he wishes he had, or directing plays and musicals at various theaters around Houston.
Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter Facebook Goodreads

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book Review: Summer House with Swimming Pool

Disclaimer: I did receive a fee copy of the book in order to facilitate an honest review. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
When a medical mistake goes horribly wrong and Ralph Meier, a famous actor, winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser is forced to conceal the error from his patients and family. After all, reputation is everything in this business. But the weight of carrying such a secret lies heavily on his mind, and he can't keep hiding from the truth…or the Board of Medical Examiners.

The problem is that the real truth is a bit worse than a simple slipup. Marc played a role in Ralph's death, and he's not exactly upset that the man is gone. Still haunted by his eldest daughter's rape during their stay at Ralph's extravagant Mediterranean summerhouse-one they shared with Ralph and his enticing wife, Judith, film director Stanley Forbes and his far younger girlfriend, Emmanuelle, and Judith's mother-Marc has had it on his mind that the perpetrator of the rape could be either Ralph or Stanley. Stanley's guilt seems obvious, bearing in mind his uncomfortable fixation on the prospect of Marc's daughter's fashion career, but Marc's reasons for wanting Ralph dead become increasingly compelling as events unravel. There is damning evidence against Marc, but he isn't alone in his loathing of the star-studded director.
My Review:
Well, I had never heard of Herman Koch before this book, but I'm hooked. I plan on reading more of his works soon! Dr. Schlosser is really something else in this book. I normally don't like books where I despise the main character, but I have to say, he kept things very interesting. I found myself fascinated with his blatant disregard for his patients. This book was a great page-turner and I was surprised with the ending. If you don't mind despicable characters, try this one out!
4 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
Herman Koch is known as a television producer and a writer. The book 'Het diner', published in 2009, was his breakthrough in the Netherlands. It was published in 17 countries. It was partly based on a true story involving a homeless woman named, María del Rosario Endrinal Petit, in Barcelona (Spain), in December 2005.

Koch was born in Arnhem, and later moved to Amsterdam. He studied Russian for some months, and lived in Finland for a while. Nowadays he is married to the Spanish Amalia, and has a son, Pablo.