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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Covered: Hardcover to Paperback Redesigns (2)

Check out these Hardcover to Paperback Redesigns. Which do you prefer?

 A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

I adored the hardcover version of A Mad, Wicked Folly, but I actually think the paperback cover is more fitting. Either way I love this book and urge you to read it if you missed it last year!

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

At first glace, I liked the paperback version better, but I think that was just my love of purple taking over. After more careful consideration, I think the original cover is more striking. I prefer the title treatment of the hardcover and I think the dancer is more prominent. On the paperback cover, the dancer isn't as vibrant for some reason...

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Sheesh... this is a hard one. You can't deny that the original cover of Grasshopper Jungle has star power. It's bright green yet super simple, plus the pages were highlighter yellow. It's impossible to ignore that cover. But I really dig this new version. I like both, but, in the end, I'm glad that the paperback is different. It mixes things up and makes my hardcover version feel special.

Like No Other by Una LaMarche

This is an example of a paperback cover that seems like it would to a different demographic than the hardcover. The paperback cover has a contemporary YA romance vibe, in my opinion... and it feels younger for some reason. I think I prefer the hardcover version, though I appreciate that the paperback will likely broaden the appeal.

Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke

I'll be honest - I don't really love either of these. Granted, I haven't read the book yet, so maybe one of them is really fitting and I'm just out of the loop. If forced to choose, I'd go with the paperback.

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

No... just, no. I really, seriously, passionately dislike the new paperback cover. It just feels super cheesy. I don't necessarily love the hardcover version either, but it was much, much better than this new cover design.

The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

Awww, I loved this book and I love both of these covers too. I think the paperback version has one me over though... I'm love the typography choices. I think this new cover pops in a way the hardcover didn't

The End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis

While I don't hate the paperback cover, I do prefer the hardcover. The hardcover is cute and it would (and has) prompted me to flip open the cover and read the description. With the paperback, I don't like that the title is so spread out. And I have to remind myself to include the "or" because it's easy to overlook on the ladder like that.

Popular: A Memoir by Maya Van Wagenen

Another hard one... I love the concept of the hardcover, but I like the tagline on the paperback. In the end, the tagline wins me over, so I prefer the paperback of Popular.

Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley

This hardcover of Call Me By My Name is entirely too busy, in my opinion. I much prefer the paperback version, especially the color choices!

Chantress Trilogy by Amy Butler Greenfield

I really liked the hardcover version of Chantress, but disliked the Chantress Alchemy design, so I'm happy to see this trilogy get a makeover. I would prefer a design that didn't show a model's face, but these new paperback covers are quite pretty and whimsical. In the end, I'm happy for the redesign.

Tell me which covers you prefer in the comments!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Storytime: New and Notable Picture Books (11)

Storytime is a new(ish) feature at The Hiding Spot in which I share some of my favorite new, old, & overlooked picture books.
Not a parent, teacher, or librarian? Picture books make fantastic gifts, from baby showers to birthdays and holidays. As bookworms, we all know how important books are – be the one who hands that special kid in your life the book that will make them fall in love with the magic of reading!

New & Notable
Emmanuel's Dream
Written by Laurie Ann Thompson; Illustrated by Sean Qualls

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
Emmanuel's Dream tells the story of a young boy born in Ghana who overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to prove that disabled does not mean unable. In Ghana, individuals who are differently abled are often seen as useless or cursed, but Emmanuel never let that stand in his way. Despite having only one leg, he attended school, hopping two miles each way, earned money to support his family, without having to beg, and bicycled 400 miles in just ten days in an attempt to change the conversation about disabilities in Ghana. Emmanuel's Dream is an inspirational story about a young man who recognized injustice and set out to fix it, refusing to take no for an answer.

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat
Written by Emily Jenkins; Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
In A Fine Dessert readers follow the evolution of blackberry fool through four centuries, from 1710 to 2010. In each century, readers explore how the dessert was prepared, by whom, and for who - three elements that chronicle vast changes in culture and society. This title will be best for slightly older readers, perhaps 6 through 10, and can easily be used as a starting point when discussing technological advancements (especially in relation to foodstuffs), changes in social and class structure, and more.

A Poem in Your Pocket
Written by Margaret McNamara; Illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
Elinor can't wait to meet Emmy Crane, a visiting poet, but her excitement wanes when she has trouble writing the perfect poem. A Poem in Your Pocket is a wonderful story about poetry and creativity in which one student must learn to let go of perfection to find the poem in her heart. This read aloud will fit seamlessly into Poetry Month lesson plans and discussion, but its themes about creativity make it appropriate for any time of year!

Sick Simon
Written & Illustrated by Dan Krall

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
Blech, the pictures in this book just make me cringe - just like they're supposed to! Simon loves going to school, but he does not love covering his mouth when he coughs, washing his hands, or resting when he's ill. We all know what's bound to happen next. Germs loooove Simon; he's the perfect way for them to take over the world!

This funny and undeniably gross picture book is sure to be an effective way to talk about germs and preventing the spread of illness. I highly recommend this one for the classroom!

I Am Jackie Robinson
Written by Brad Meltzer; Illustrated by Chris Eliopoulos

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
These are all so well done. The big themes in this one? Acceptance and bravery. There were moments that I found myself getting a little teary when reading this one, but it could have been because I read it on the heels of a story about one of the first African American basketball players and his experiences. This one did have a bit more text than I remember the others in the series having, but I would need to go back and reread to be 100% sure. Regardless, Jackie Robinson is a fantastic addition to the series. Next up? Lucille Ball!

Love any of the books featured this week? Want to see a certain theme, author, or illustrator explored in an upcoming Story Time post? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up (16)

The last time I wrote a Weekly Wrap Up post, I was getting ready to move to Traverse City - now I've been here for 8 months. Sheesh! Time flies, I guess. Next week I'm heading to ALA Midwinter in Chicago, which promises to be quite the adventure. I hope to see some of you there!

This week on the blog:
  • Saturday I featured a few of my recently read favorites with quick recommendation blurbs - Recently Read: Upcoming Reads to Add to Your TBR Pile
  • Monday I reviewed Marion Jensen's newest MG novel Searching for Super, which is the hilarious follow-up to Almost Super - Review
  • Tuesday presented a roundup of some of my favorite cover designs for upcoming reads, including new titles by Jennifer Lynn Barnes & Jo Knowles, as well as some great looking debuts - Cover Reveals  
Current Giveaways:
  • Win a finished copy of The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski - here
  • Nab two great reads before they're published - We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach and The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver - here 
  • Here's your chance to win 4 Candlewick titles featured on TIME'S 100 Best Picture Books list - here 
  • As always, don't miss out on the season Kids' Next List Challenge and Giveaway - here  
Read this week:

All Fall Down by Ally Carter (Buy It / Goodreads)
Dove Arising by Karen Bao (Preorder / Goodreads)
Audacity by Melanie Crowder (Buy It / Goodreads)
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre (Preorder / Goodreads)
The Prey by Tom Isbell (Buy It / Goodreads)

My Grandma's a Ninja by Todd Tarpley & Danny Chatzikonstantinou (Preorder / Goodreads)
Help, I Don't Want a Babysitter by Anke Wagner & Ann-Kathrin Behl (Preorder / Goodreads)
Goose by Laura Wall (Preorder / Goodreads)
Dinosaur vs. Mommy by Bob Shea (Preorder / Goodreads)

Odds & Ends
  • Order a copy of Marissa Meyer's Fairest (out 1/27/15) from Brilliant Books and receive a limited edition poster & a hidden message pocket mirror. Free shipping anywhere in the US! Check it out here
  • Signed copies of John Green's 10th Anniversary edition of Looking for Alaska are also available from Brilliant Books! Check it out here.

What did you read this week? I love recommendations! Have you read any of my new reads this week - what did you think?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cover Reveals (That Made Me Swoon) Part XIII

Wonders of the Invisible by Christopher Barzak
Aidan Lockwood feels like he’s been sleepwalking through life, each day as hazy and unremarkable as the one before it. But when his former best friend, Jarrod, suddenly moves back to town, the veil that has clouded Aidan’s mind begins to lift. Yet what Aidan discovers is that his world is haunted by stories of the past; stories that he has somehow been prevented from remembering.

But visions from the past come to him unbidden, starting with an old apple tree—a gnarled, dead thing—that haunts Aidan’s sleep, and seems to beckon to him from across his family’s orchard. And then there are the dreams that show him people and places he’s only heard of in family stories: a great-grandfather on the field of battle; his own father, stumbling upon an unspeakable tragedy; and a mysterious young boy whose whispered words may be at the heart of the curse that now holds Aidan’s family in its grip.

But there’s another presence lurking within this invisible world—someone who has been waiting to collect on a debt set into motion generations ago. As the lines between the past and the present, stories and truths, friends and lovers begin to blur, Aidan will be forced to spin a story of his own to protect those he loves, and keep the invisible world at bay.
The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

When 14-year-old Arthur T. Owens throws a brick at an old trash picker known as the Junk Man, he is forced to work for the victim as punishment. As Arthur searches for the things on the Junk Man's assigned list of Seven Most Important Things, he comes closer to uncovering the Junk Man's secret project and closer to understanding how redemption can be found in the unlikeliest of places.
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
Stay Tonight. Stay Forever.
Thanks to a bully in gym class, unpopular Nate suffers a broken finger—the middle one, splinted to flip off the world. It won’t be the last time a middle finger is raised on this day. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy cafĂ©, filling a journal, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a "big girl," she fits in. A group of boys scam drivers for beer money without remorse—or so it seems. Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town. They resonate in a gritty and unflinching portrayal of a day like any other, with ordinary traumas, heartbreak, and revenge. But on any given day, the line where presentation and perception meet is a tenuous one, so hard to discern. Unless, of course, one looks a little closer—and reads between the lines.

Down from the Mountain by Elizabeth Fixmer
Eva just wants to be a good disciple of Righteous Path. She grew up knowing that she's among the chosen few to be saved from Armageddon. Lately, though, being saved feels awfully treacherous. Ever since they moved to the compound in Colorado, their food supplies have dwindled even while their leader, Ezekiel, has stockpiled weapons. The only money comes from the jewelry Eva makes and sells down in Boulder--a purpose she'll serve until she becomes one of Ezekiel's wives. But a college student named Trevor and the other "heathens" she meets on her trips beyond the compound are far different from what she's been led to believe. Now Eva doesn't know which is more dangerous--the outside world, or Brother Ezekiel's plans.
The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather's ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess's classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of five teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy - only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace...
...until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.
But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn't exist Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?
The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.
The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.
Which new covers are your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Searching for Super by Marion Jensen

Goodreads / Buy It
Title: Searching for Super
Author: Marion Jensen
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub. Date: January 20, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade
Rec. Age Level: 8-12
Pages: 256
More by this author: Almost Super

Rafter and Benny Bailey are back in this laugh-out-loud follow-up to Almost Super, which Kirkus Reviews called "fluent, funny, and eminently sequel-worthy," perfect for fans of Pixar's The Incredibles.

The superheroes of Split Rock are hunkering down, which is really just a fancy way of saying they're hiding. Ever since those supervillainous Joneses took away their real powers, the Baileys and the Johnsons have been living in fear. But Rafter has had a taste of what saving the day feels like, and now he's desperate to do something important.

So when he gets an opportunity to fight with a real superpower--as long as he promises not to tell his parents--he is going to take it, no questions asked. With the help of his brother Benny, his cousin Thimon, and his best friend, Juanita, Rafter Bailey is searching for super.

Filled with heart and humor, Searching for Super is a family adventure of heroic proportions.

The best thing about Marion Jensen's Super books? I always know that I'll spend most of the book laughing!

I was a huge fan of Almost Super, which released early in 2014, and was excited to hear that the Baileys and Johnsons would be returning to continue their battle with the supervillain Joneses in 2015. This second book picks up shortly after the events of book one, following a catastrophe that left the superhero families robbed of their superpowers. Needless to say, moral is low in the superhero camps. But Benny, Rafter, and Juanita know that real superheroes don't let adversity - or missing powers - stand in their way. So, instead of hunkering down, they think outside the box, finding an alternative solutions.

One of the driving forces behind these books is friendship and family. I love that the three main characters are the catalysts for change within their families and the superhero community, rather than the adults. And, even though they sometimes get into more trouble than they bargained for, they are willing to try new things and collaborate. 

While readers could probably start with this book and puzzle their way through any missing information from book 1, I'd recommend starting with Almost Super. This will prevent any plot holes and give readers a better understanding of the dynamics between the Baileys and Johnsons, an element I think really make these books shine.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Recently Read: Upcoming Titles to Add to Your TBR Pile (6)

If you follow me on Goodreads and Twitter, you might have noticed that I'm one of those lucky readers who sometimes receives review copies of upcoming novels early. I won't lie, there are many really great things about advanced reader copies, but there are also negatives... namely being unable to finish a book and go out and encourage others to read it immediately. So I've decided that the next best thing is to feature these titles here at The Hiding Spot, no matter how early I've read them. Then you can add these books to your ever expanding to-be-read pile.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Available February 3, 2015 from Feiwel & Friends

As the last descendent of the Van Helsing line, Micheline has a lot to live up to. She’s a tetrachromat, able to see the auras of the undead on the prismatic spectrum, and known for her skill in capturing the undead on her analog SLR camera. She and her crew – Oliver, Jude, and Ryder – are the best, but when an exorcism goes awry, the four friends are infected with a deadly soulchain curse. Disobeying direct orders, the team sets out to track down the powerful entity that infected them. Labeled renegade agents and dodging their own families, the team must face the most dangerous foe they’ve ever encountered or they won’t survive the week. Shutter offers readers a strong heroine, nonstop action, a dash of romance, and plenty of bumps in the night.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Available March 1, 2015 from HarperTeen
Goodreads / Preorder
Tori Spring has a bad attitude. She knows it and she doesn’t especially care. She’s surrounded by people she doesn’t like and would much rather spend her time solo, blogging or sleeping. Enter Michael Holden, a cheerful transfer student who is annoyingly determined to be Tori’s friend, despite the fact that she is clearly uninterested. Things get marginally more interesting when a group of hackers calling themselves Solitaire begin executing elaborate pranks that shake things up at school. But, as the pranks begin curiously connection to Tori and taking on a dangerous edge, she finds herself reevaluating some things about herself and her relationships with others, especially Michael. This debut from Alice Oseman may have an unbelievable premise, but the characters and feelings are devastatingly real. Many readers will see themselves in Tori and cheer for her happy ending.

Ms. Rapscott's Girls by Elise Primavera

Available March 10, 2015 from Penguin
Goodreads / Preorder

Welcome to Ms. Rapscott’s School for the Daughters of Busy Parents, a place where you will learn everything your parents are too busy to teach you. Students arrive in convenient self-addressed boxes, the weather is always horrible (just as Ms. Rapscott likes it!), Lewis and Clark, her steadfast corgis, are always there to lend a hand, and Ms. Rapscott herself is full of valuable advice and wisdom. The girls will be taught important lessons, including getting lost on purpose and how to find their way. Readers will surely fall madly in love with Ms. Rapscott and her curious school… and perhaps crave a slice of birthday cake for breakfast.

Are there any titles you're especially looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!