Posted in Adventure, Book Review, Grades 6-8, Sunshine State 17-18

Moving Target



There should have been some sort of warning.

– First Sentence

“Everything is part of the same painting,” as my dad liked to say. “But we are each the artist of our own life. We choose what colors to use.”

– Chapter 1

Cassie is an eighth grader living with her father in Rome, having an ordinary, boring life (except for the fact that she is an American girl living in Rome). One day, Cassie’s father comes to school and yanks her into the car, speeding through the city, blabbering about how much he loves her, how he is going to fix things, and how he should have told her when she was younger. He finally tells Cassie that the Hastati are after her. Cassie has no idea what that means and she thinks he might be crazy, but then a motorcycle pulls up and the rider starts shooting at them. When her dad gets shot, Cassie takes him to the hospital, but he insists she must run to find Brother Gregorio for help. Cassie is terrified and runs to the only place she thinks might be safe, her friend Simone’s house. But when the danger follows her even there, Cassie and Simone must find Brother Gregorio and find out what all of this means.

In her dad’s notebook, Cassie finds this message:

The Guardian will be bound for life once the spearhead is used.

It turns out the Hastati are a two thousand-year-old organization entrusted with one important duty – protect the spear (The Spear of Destiny). The spear can shape destiny, but only certain people can use the power – and Cassie is the last of that bloodline.

I was just an average girl. Things like this were not supposed to happen to people like me. The palette of my life’s painting was gray or maybe a boring variety of beige, not psychedelic neon.

Well, this book starts off running and doesn’t slow down. Cassie is constantly trying to figure out who to trust and how to keep Simone and herself safe. They are racing to find the spear, but they aren’t the only ones. They must figure out baffling clues at every turn and stay ahead of the two factions fighting each other for control of the spear.

This is an edge of your seat adventure that will keep readers guessing until the end. I highly recommend it to kids in grades 4-8 who enjoy mysterious adventure stories with strong female heroines.


Original post:

Posted in Adventure, Book Review, Grades 6-8, Middle Grade, Mystery, Sunshine State 17-18

Omega City


owlowlowlowl half

Some secrets are small — the size of a battery, or a button, or a scrap of paper. Other secrets are so big they can bury a man alive, or tear apart a family … or even destroy the world. Omega City was both.

Gillian’s dad is a historian who specializes in Cold War conspiracies and wrote a book about Aloysius Underberg, a brilliant Cold War engineer. But Dr. Underberg is missing and Gillian’s dad has been discredited. When Gillian is faced with an opportunity to solve Underberg’s greatest mystery and prove her dad right, she can’t resist. She enlists the help of her brother Eric, best friend Savannah, a NASA obsessed boy from school (Howard), and Howard’s brother Nate. Others are searching for Underberg’s secrets too, and they will stop at nothing to get them first.

This is an adventurous mystery with a strong female protagonist. Gillian’s team faces life-threatening situations, including nerve gas in an elevator, goons with guns, and scuba diving in unknown waters. I think middle-grade readers will enjoy this thrilling adventure. (for fans of Luck Uglies or City of Ember). Grades 5-8


Original post:

Posted in Adult, Adventure, Book Review, Classic, Serial Reader App

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas


An adventurous tale of a hot-headed young man who finds true friends, faces violent enemies, falls for a few women, and escapes from danger many times, all while trying to realize his dream of becoming a musketeer like his father.

I found this to be an enjoyable read though a bit slow at times and while I was anxious to see how the action turned out, it was somewhat bogged down by the old language and lengthy descriptions.