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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? May 20th Edition


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Abi at 4 the Love of Books is hosting for the month of May. You can also view the touring blog list here for the upcoming months.

Current Giveaways:

Mira's Diary: Home Sweet Rome by Marissa Moss (Ends May 20 -today!)
The Happiness Handbook by Jenn Flaa (Ends May 21)

Review Books:

I got a few gems from Netgalley. The first two are a new middle-grade adventure series. As I'm always looking for good books that will appeal to my 9-year-old son, I decided to give these a try. I started reading the first book with my son and he loves it!

Travels With Gannon and Wyatt: Botswana by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet

When Gannon and Wyatt arrive in Botswana for an African safari, they find themselves tangled up in much more than a family vacation. After receiving word that a poacher has shot and wounded a lioness, they set off into the wild in the hopes of saving the mother and her cubs before the poacher finishes the job. While on this amazing journey, they encounter Africa's Big Five--elephants, rhinos, cape buffalos, leopards, and lions--only to discover that the most dangerous predator in the African bush is not the king of beasts, but man himself.

In the tradition of the historic journals kept by explorers such as Lewis and Clark, Dr. David Livingstone, and Captain James Cook comes the adventure series Travels with Gannon and Wyatt. From Africa to the South Pacific, these twin brothers have traveled the world. You never know what they will encounter as they venture into the wild, but one thing is certain--wherever Gannon and Wyatt go, adventure is their constant companion.


Travels With Gannon and Wyatt: Great Bear Rainforest by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet

Gannon and Wyatt can't wait to trek into the Great Bear Rainforest in search of the mythical spirit bear, but surviving in this unforgiving wilderness proves more challenging than they could have ever imagined. When members of the expedition go missing, the brothers bravely set out on a search-and-rescue mission. Soon they find themselves lost in a forest teeming with grizzlies, wolves and mysterious gunmen. Guided by the wisdom of the First Nation people, Gannon and Wyatt uncover a sinister plot and must risk everything to save those who are missing and restore balance to the Great Bear.

In the tradition of the historic journals kept by explorers such as Lewis and Clark, Dr. David Livingstone, and Captain James Cook comes the adventure series Travels with Gannon and Wyatt. From Africa to the South Pacific, these twin brothers have traveled the world. You never know what they will encounter as they venture into the wild, but one thing is certain--wherever Gannon and Wyatt go, adventure is their constant companion.


The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett

Kristine Barnett’s son Jacob has an IQ higher than Einstein’s, a photographic memory, and he taught himself calculus in two weeks. At nine he started working on an original theory in astrophysics that experts believe may someday put him in line for a Nobel Prize, and at age twelve he became a paid researcher in quantum physics. But the story of Kristine’s journey with Jake is all the more remarkable because his extraordinary mind was almost lost to autism. At age two, when Jake was diagnosed, Kristine was told he might never be able to tie his own shoes.

The Spark is a remarkable memoir of mother and son. Surrounded by “experts” at home and in special ed who tried to focus on Jake’s most basic skills and curtail his distracting interests—moving shadows on the wall, stars, plaid patterns on sofa fabric—Jake made no progress, withdrew more and more into his own world, and eventually stopped talking completely. Kristine knew in her heart that she had to make a change. Against the advice of her husband, Michael, and the developmental specialists, Kristine followed her instincts, pulled Jake out of special ed, and began preparing him for mainstream kindergarten on her own.

Relying on the insights she developed at the daycare center she runs out of the garage in her home, Kristine resolved to follow Jacob’s “spark”—his passionate interests. Why concentrate on what he couldn’t do? Why not focus on what he could? This basic philosophy, along with her belief in the power of ordinary childhood experiences (softball, picnics, s’mores around the campfire) and the importance of play, helped Kristine overcome huge odds.

The Barnetts were not wealthy people, and in addition to financial hardship, Kristine herself faced serious health issues. But through hard work and determination on behalf of Jake and his two younger brothers, as well as an undying faith in their community, friends, and family, Kristine and Michael prevailed. The results were beyond anything anyone could have imagined.

Dramatic, inspiring, and transformative, The Spark is about the power of love and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles, and the dazzling possibilities that can occur when we learn how to tap the true potential that lies within every child, and in all of us.

Free Kindle Book:

Intwine (Intwine Saga #1) by Christina Moss

What happens when a girl falls madly in love, only to discover her new beau hails from a planet on the other side of the galaxy? A modern day Star Wars with nonstop adventure as she learns the secrets of his world, and other planets far beyond the Solar System.

INTWINE introduces Juliette Greenmoss, a shy but endearingly sweet girl from Southern California who, before meeting Seth Morrison, had never even stepped out of California much less stepped off of the planet.

INTWINE takes place over the course of a summer. The story eases you into an all too familiar world, and then hurls you into unforeseen dangers as Juliette confronts new enemies, other beings, and space travel. She learns of super human powers and advanced health and mechanical technologies that Earth doctors and scientists would kill to discover — all of it carefully hidden from the small planet Earth. By the end of a summer, our unlikely heroine begins to discover who she really is.

Bought:

Mother Warriors by Jenny McCarthy (Audiobook)

Stories of hope and recovery from a nation of parents of autistic children by the high-profile bestselling author of Louder than Words

When Jenny McCarthy published the story of her successful efforts to save her son from autism, the response was tremendous, including a number-three rank on the New York Times bestseller list and an appearance on the cover of Peoplemagazine. What she hadn’t anticipated was the overwhelming response from other parents of autistic children who wanted to share their own stories of success.

No two autistic children heal in exactly the same way. And in her new book, Jenny expands her message to share recovery stories from parents across the country, showing how each parent fought to find her own child’s perfect “remedy of interventions.” Along the way, Jenny shares her own journey as an autism advocate and mother, as well as the continuing progress of her son, Evan. Emotional and genuinely practical, Mother Warriors will inspire a generation of parents with hope.

Audiobook for review:

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother--or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.



This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Read and reviewed:
Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff (another favorite!)
The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas (an epic tale)
Trauma Farm by Brian Brett (memoir in audiobook)
Bubble Tubbie by Epiphany Schwarz (awesome children's book)

Currently Reading:
Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Botswana by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet (with my son)
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
However Long the Night by Aimee Molloy

Finished Reading:
The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Namesake by Sue MacLeod

Hope you all have a great reading week!

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