#stayathomenandread Zatanna and the House of Secrets (arc review)

Zatanna and the House of Secrets by Matthew Cody

Published by   DC Comics (February 18, 2020)

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure, graphic novel/comic

Pages: 160

Format: arc

Source: publisher

2020 challenge: 2020 book/arc

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I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Welcome to the magical, mystical, topsy-turvy world of the House of Secrets, where Zatanna embarks on a journey of self-discovery and adventure … all with her pet rabbit, Pocus, at her side

Zatanna and her stage magician father live in a special house, the House of Secrets, which is full of magic, puzzles, mysterious doors, and storybook creatures–it’s the house everyone in the neighborhood talks about but avoids.

At school one day, Zatanna stands up to a bully and everything changes–including her friends. Suddenly, Zatanna isn’t so sure about her place in the world, and when she returns home to tell her father, he’s gone missing, lost within their own home. 

With thrilling twists from writer Matthew Cody and dazzling artwork by Yoshi Yoshitani, Zatanna and the House of Secrets will delight readers at the turn of every page–and the opening of every door!

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. I loved both the diversity of this read but also the plot. I loved the setting of this book so much and found the mansion full of secrets to be so fun. I also also normally a big fan of animal as a sidekick and loved this bunny so much. I also loved the characters in this read and love how this book fleshed out. I thought the end of the story was a bit rushed but really hope we get more books in this series in the future. I really loved the main character.

#Stayathomeandread Voyage of the Frostheart

Voyage of the Frostheart by Jamie Littler

Published by   Viking Books for Young Readers on November 5, 2019

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure

Pages: 448

Format: Hardback

Source: Library read

2020 challenge: 2019 read

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I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

The whimsy of Nevermoor meets the mythical world-building of Neil Gaiman in this unlikely hero’s quest to find his parents–and find the home he’s always longed for.

In a snow-covered land where monsters rule the icy tundra, only song weavers hold the power to control these vicious giants. But for centuries song weavers have been the subject of suspicion–how can those who hold so much power be trusted?

Ever since his parents were lost on a pathfinding expedition, Ash has spent his life as an outcast. As a budding song weaver, his village marked him as a potential threat, even though all he wants to do is protect them. Eager to find his place in the world, he and his cantankerous yeti caretaker seek passage on the Frostheart: a ship-like sleigh whose mission is to explore faraway lands.

There he meets a fast-talking, spunky navigator, a walrus captain with a peg leg who runs a tight sleigh, and a mysterious traveler who encourages him to hone his song. But can Ash’s song weaving save the Frostheart from the monsters hiding under the ice? Or will his untamed powers put his newfound friends in jeopardy?

Chockfull of heart and humor, as well as Jamie Littler’s irresistable illustrations, the journey of the Frostheart will win over readers and gatekeepers looking for a rich, gateway fantasy read.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. I loved the setting in this read. I thought some of the moments/twists in this book were predictable but still the way it was done was super fun. I thought this book had such a unique setting that was mix of both ship and sea adventure and then like snowy world. I really loved the song weaver mythology that was created. I also really liked the rag tag mix of creaw that came together for this read, it warmed my heart. I am def excited for book 2.

#Stayathomeandread Aru Shaw and the end of time

Aru Shaw and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi 

Published by   Disney Hyperion on March 27, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure

Pages: 366

Format: Hardback

Source: Owl Crate Junior book

2020 challenge: BTBLC

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I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

My Thoughts:

I really like this read overall. I am not familiar wit the myths but found it to be super fun read that was super fast pace. I also really liked the two girl main characters were at the heart of the novel. I like how this book had a clear quest that they had to follow but also had so many smaller moments the really fleshed out this world. I thought some of plots twists were not predictable in the novel but just predicable for me as a YA reader. I really am am excited to keep reading this series.

#STAYATHOMEANDREAD Keeper Of the Lost Cities: FlashBack

Keeper Of the Lost Cities: Flashback by Shannon Messenger

Published by: Aladdin; Reprint edition (November 6, 2018)

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure

Pages: 800

Format: Hardback

Source: Personally Bought

2020 challenge: BTBLC

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I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

In this unforgettable seventh book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must let the past and present blur together, because the deadliest secrets are always the ones that get erased.

Sophie Foster doesn’t know what—or whom—to believe. And in a game with this many players, the worst mistake can be focusing on the wrong threat.

But when the Neverseen prove that Sophie’s far more vulnerable than she ever imagined, she realizes it’s time to change the rules. Her powerful abilities can only protect her so far. To face down ruthless enemies, she must learn to fight.

Unfortunately, battle training can’t help a beloved friend who’s facing a whole different danger—where the only solution involves one of the biggest risks Sophie and her friends have ever taken. And the distraction might be exactly what the villains have been waiting for.

My Thoughts:

I thought this book was a really important read in this series but not the favorite read in the series. I really would equate this book to book 6 in harry potter this book really focused a lot on exploring backstory and really was a different set up to the previous books in the series. This book was super long and i really did struggled with the pacing throughout. I also missed some of my favorite characters in this read. I also struggled with the romance entagantments in this books because it just not my ship but it is proving intreasting. I found this read to be important in this series and the end piqued my love for sure.

#stayathomeandread We Could Be Heroes

We Could be Heroes by Margaret Finnegan

Published by  Atheneum Books for Young Readers on February 25, 2020

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure

Pages: 256

Format: arc

Source: publisher

2020 challenge: 2020 book

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I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

Shiloh meets Raymie Nightingale in this funny and heartwarming debut novel about a ten-year-old that finds himself in a whole mess of trouble when his new friend Maisie recruits him to save the dog next door.

Hank Hudson is in a bit of trouble. After an incident involving the boy’s bathroom and a terribly sad book his teacher is forcing them to read, Hank is left with a week’s suspension and a slightly charred hardcover—and, it turns out, the attention of new girl Maisie Huang.

Maisie has been on the lookout for a kid with the meatballs to help her with a very important mission: Saving her neighbor’s dog, Booler. Booler has seizures, and his owner, Mr. Jorgensen, keeps him tied to a tree all day and night because of them. It’s enough to make Hank even sadder than that book does—he has autism, and he knows what it’s like to be treated poorly because of something that makes you different.

But different is not less. And Hank is willing to get into even more trouble to prove it. Soon he and Maisie are lying, brown-nosing, baking, and cow milking all in the name of saving Booler—but not everything is as it seems. Booler might not be the only one who needs saving. And being a hero can look a lot like being a friend.

My Thoughts:

 thought this was a cute contempory themed middle grade novel. I like how this book had a unique premise but also tackled not common characters seen in books in both Hank and Maisie. I really liked how their friendship also developed throughout the book. I really also liked the mini adventure elements in this novel. I enjoyed how this book also focused on a relationship between children and dogs. I really enjoyed this read and would def read more by this author in the future. 

#stayathomeandread Keeper of the Lost Cities: Nightfall

Keeper of the Lost Cities: Nightfall by Shannon Messenger

Published by   Aladdin; Reprint edition on November 7, 2017

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure

Pages: 801

Format: Hardback

Source: Personally Bought

2020 challenge: BTBLC

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & NobleGoodreads

I would give this book 4.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

Sophie and her friends face battles unlike anything they’ve seen before in this thrilling sixth book of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is struggling. Grieving. Scrambling. But she knows one thing: she will not be defeated.

The Neverseen have had their victories—but the battle is far from over. It’s time to change tactics. Make sacrifices. Reexamine everything. Maybe even time for Sophie to trust her enemies.

All paths lead to Nightfall—an ominous door to an even more ominous place—and Sophie and her friends strike a dangerous bargain to get there. But nothing can prepare them for what they discover. The problems they’re facing stretch deep into their history. And with time running out, and mistakes catching up with them, Sophie and her allies must join forces in ways they never have before.

In this spectacular sixth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must uncover the truth about the Lost Cities’ insidious past, before it repeats itself and changes reality.

My Thoughts:

 really enjoyed diving back into this world. I thought this book was super compelling as well. I felt like this book had a to manage or navigate so many characters. I did at points wish some of the other characters had gotten a bit more focus. I am loving the balance between children characters and also the adults characters, I loved how shannon has crafted these relationships. It was super engaging plot that really focused on expanding the world. This book had some many OMG moments that were super compelling and i am dying to keep reading this series soon!

#Stayathomeandread Winterborne Home of Vengeance and Valor

Winterborne Home of Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter

Published by   HMH Books for Young Readers on March 3, 2020

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure

Pages: 336

Format: arc

Source: publisher

2020 challenge: 2020 read

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I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t the one who broke the vase. April didn’t ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don’t understand that April isn’t like them. After all, April’s mother is coming back for her someday very soon.

All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever.

My Thoughts:

I found this book to such a fun a adventure read. I think the summary really described this book perfecting it is basically annie meets Batman. I really was invested in the mystery that took place nd loved the setting and the world in this novel. I also really enjoyed the main character. I thought this book was also super fast pace and very engaging. I wish the side characters were developed throughout the whole book and not just towards the end. I did not feel the characters as a group until the very end and I misses that. Some of the smaller world builiding elements like smaller friendship moments and did not occur and I missed that in the start o the book. I really did enjoy this read and will def keep reading this series in the future.

The Mystery of the Moon Tower (Arc Review) finish

The Mystery of the Moon Tower (The Pathfinders Society) by Francesco Sedita,  Prescott Seraydarian and  Steve Hamaker 

Published by   Viking Books for Young Readers on April 21, 2020

Genres: Middle Grade , Graphic Novel

Pages: 176

Format: Arc

Source: Publisher

2019 challenge:2020 Books

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I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

Summer camp just became a whole lot more interesting when five curious kids accept a mysterious project: work together as a team to uncover a series of strange clues, reveal a secret path–and follow its twists and turns to a legendary treasure! 

Join in the fun in this lively, clever debut graphic novel sure to appeal to fans of the Last Kids on Earth and Lumberjanes series.

Kyle is a new kid in town who likes to draw. Vic is a cool cheerleader who’s secretly a math whiz. Quiet Beth is a history buff, while goofball Harry likes performing magic tricks, with the help of his patient wingman, Nate. Five kids unlikely to form a team, for sure. 

But then they’re thrown together at summer camp, where they watch a grainy old movie about the history of their town, Windrose, and one of its illustrious citizens of a bygone era: the intrepid explorer-inventor Henry Merriweather. He’s the one who established their camp. Merriweather’s Camp Pathfinders’ motto? Plus Ultra: more beyond!

The five kids soon find there is indeed “more beyond” in their pokey town with its weird weather and sudden geysers of smelly air. Deciphering a route of historical markers leads them to Merriweather’s old castle, which is lined with ornate, beautiful tiles in hallways that lead to secret rooms full of odd objects–and where time itself is warped

Kyle, Vic, Beth, Harry, and Nate witness scenes from Merriweather’s past and realize his experiments and eccentricities are pointing toward a path–that could lead to the rumored lost treasure of Windrose. 

This is the path our heroes are meant to follow, on a journey that will take them back and forth through time, through woods, and across waterways revealed by moonlight, right up to the looming Moon Tower itself–which holds Merriweather’s secret . . . and the treasure!

My Thoughts:

I found this to such a fast pace read. I really enjoyed the wide cast of characters and also the setting the the mystery that was at the heart of this novel. I really think that the finished copy of this book will have such a fun and easy to read/ and love art style. I think the plot had some pacing issues, but I am hopeful the future books in this series will get stronger and stronger. I think if your enjoy fast pace adventure stories, this would be the prefect read for you!

The Unmapped Chronicles (book 1) (non-spoiler review)

Tunnel Of Bones by Abi Elphinstone

Published by   Aladdin (January 7, 2020)

Genres: Middle Grade , Adventure

Pages: 304

Format: arc

Source: publisher

2020 challenge: 2020 book

I would give this book 5 for a review.

Summary!!!

From bestselling author Abi Elphinstone comes a wondrous new series about four secret unmapped kingdoms hidden in our own world! 

Casper Tock hates risks and is allergic to adventures. So it comes as a nasty shock to him one day when he hides from bullies in an ancient grandfather clock—and ends up finding an entire world inside.

Casper discovers that this sky kingdom of Rumblestar is one of the four Unmapped Kingdoms in charge of controlling the weather in Casper’s own world. What’s more, Casper is now stuck in Rumblestar, and the only person there who doesn’t think he’s a demon spy is a strange girl named Utterly, who hates rules and is allergic to behaving.

All Casper wants is to find his way home, but Rumblestar is in trouble. An evil harpy called Morg is trying to steal the magic of the Unmapped Kingdoms. And if these kingdoms fall, Casper’s world will be destroyed as well.

And so, together with Utterly and her miniature dragon, Arlo, Casper embarks on a quest full of cloud giants, storm ogres, and drizzle hags. Can he, Utterly, and Arlo—the unlikeliest of heroes—save both their worlds from the clutches of Morg?

My Thoughts:

I really adored this book. From the first page I was hooked. I really love casper as a lead. I also adored how this world was crafted. This book was a pure adventure and i could not put it down. I loved how this book dealt with unique topics like friendship, being brave and compassion In a unique fantasy world. I thought casper was special hero that I loved reading from. I loved this world and really am so excited to read more in the future.

Anti/Hero (Arc Non-Spoiler Review)

Anti/Hero by Kate Karyus Quinn, Demitria Lunetta, Maca Gil (Illustrator)

Published by DC Comics on April 14, 2020

Genres: Middle Grade , graphic novel

Pages: 160

Format: arc

Source: publisher

2020 challenge: arc graphic novel

Buy on Amazon, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Piper Pájaro and Sloane MacBrute are two 13-year-old girls with very different lives but very similar secrets. Popular, outgoing Piper is strong. Like, ripping-the-doors-off-cards strong. She longs to be a superhero, even if she tends to leave massive messes in her wake. Snarky Sloane, on the other hand, is super smart. Like, evil-genius-smart. To help her family, she has to put those smarts to use for her villainous grandfather.

When a mission to steal an experimental technological device brings the two girls face to face with each other, the device sparks, and the two girls switch bodies! Now they must live in each other’s shoes as they figure out a way to switch back.

Anti/Hero is a story that explores what makes a hero, how one can find friendship where it’s unexpected, and what it means to walk in another person’s shoes…literally! 

Authors Kate Karyus Quinn (Another Little Piece, The Show Must Go On) and Demitria Lunetta (The Fade, Bad Blood) make their graphic novel and middle grade debut alongside artist Maca Gil to introduce two new and exciting characters to DC Comics!

My Thoughts:

I really loved the art style in this read. I loved how this novel took the gothem city myth in such a fun way. I also really liked how this book focused on both girls story and loved how the book was structured really comparing and contrasting the girls lives. I always like books/stories where characters have to talk a walk in each others shoes. I also really enjoyed the side characters in this story and really liked how this book focused on friendship and young heroes and the drama they face. I also really hope we get more books in this series in the future.