Shelf Life Blog

04/28/2016 - 3:59am
Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert; illustrated by Lisa Brown

Deep within the solitary, stone pyramids of Egypt, a lonely, mummified cat roams the ancient hallways searching for his young, royal owner Queen Hat-shup-set in Mummy Cat. Reminiscing, Mummy Cat shares the simplicity of living life with a queen, going through his days playing by the Nile riverbank, portrait drawing, and game playing. But one day, he and the queen were attacked by a scorpion! And two small bodies were laid to rest. Now, Mummy Cat waits for his Queen to appear after 3,000 years—will tonight be the night she finally returns?

04/21/2016 - 3:55am
Princeless by Jeremy Whitley

When Princess Adrienne’s parents lock her in a tower guarded by the fiercest dragon in the kingdom, they expect her to wait patiently for rescue by a handsome prince. But Adrienne would rather be Princeless than helpless . . . and she can save herself, thank you very much.

04/18/2016 - 10:23am
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Finley Jayne, The Girl in the Steel Corset, could not have known that her wretched night, indeed her wretched life, was about to take a turn for the better. Whilst fleeing the scene of an assault—which she did not start but did finish—she encounters a gentleman of a very different caliber. She discovers Griffin, the young Duke of Greythorne, is a person to be trusted. Like Finley, he has secrets, though, which will either draw them together or rip them apart—perhaps literally.

04/14/2016 - 3:50am
I Don't Like Koala by Sean Ferrell and Charles Santoso

"I Don't Like Koala," declares young Adam upon opening his stuffed present. Who can blame him? The marsupial's eerie yellow eyes seem to follow his owner wherever he goes.

This is often the case with stuffed animals. What may be cute and cuddly to one person comes off as creepy to another. Koala's looks are just the beginning, though. Adam tries to hide his toy around the house. Every morning he wakes up to find the creature . . . right next to him.

04/13/2016 - 12:51pm
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Voyage of the U.S.S. Jeannette by Hampton Sides

It’s 1879, and Captain De Long and his 32 men receive quite the send-off on their way to explore the Arctic. Financed by an eccentric playboy newspaper publisher, they are as prepared as possible for the grueling years of making camp on ice floes, as well as winters of darkness and aching loneliness. Hampton Sides’ In the Kingdom of Ice sets down their story of trying to be the first to reach the North Pole—which they and much of the scientific community believe to be a warm sea.

04/06/2016 - 3:45am
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King

A chance encounter with the legendary Sherlock Holmes alters the life trajectory of fifteen-year-old Mary Russell. In The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie R. King, Mary literally bumps into Holmes while roaming the hills near her cottage. After the initial awkward run-in, the two are immediately drawn to each other’s insatiable curiosity and superior intellect. As both of Mary’s parents died in a horrific accident, her friendship with Holmes is a welcome respite from her days with a cold, disapproving aunt.

04/05/2016 - 3:45am
My Brilliant Friend: Childhood, Adolescence by Elena Ferrante

I started listing adjectives to describe My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante: visceral; violent; passionate. This is the first in a series of four Neapolitan Novels by an elusive Italian author who writes under a pseudonym. Elena and Lila’s friendship is full of envy and love as they claw their way out childhood into adolescence in a poverty-stricken quarter of Naples in the 1950s.

03/31/2016 - 3:42am
Frankencrayon by Michael Hall

If the crayons can’t stop the scribble monster, then this picture book might be cancelled!

Wait.

How can a picture book be cancelled?

03/30/2016 - 7:46am
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier

Her sister’s young twins came to Luce after a hard patch. Which is to say, having their mother meet her end most violently at the hands of their stepfather. They were odd children, quiet to the point of not speaking and not looking people in the eye. Ever. They had some disturbing habits, too, which spoke of far more having been done to their small selves than they would fess to. Not that they were fessing to anything, encased as they were in their eerie, shared silence. In Charles Frazier’s Nightwoods, their eccentric Aunt Luce and the North Carolina mountain she calls home promise nothing to them, yet they do provide a haven—for a while.

03/21/2016 - 3:35am
Code Name Verity

Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity starts with something different and unexpected, a story’s protagonist, or hero, not being very heroic. Our protagonist, a young female British spy, is being held hostage in an aristocratic hotel in Nazi-occupied France. While other spies would withstand any amount of torture in order to protect their friends, family, and country, Code Name Verity’s protagonist, whose name and identity are a secret, begins by making a deal with the Gestapo. She will give them anything and everything they want to know, including writing the story of how she arrived in Nazi-occupied France, and, in return, they will feed her, clothe her, stop torturing her, and they will not kill her—for now.

Pages

Subscribe to Shelf Life Blog