Red Thread Sisters

red thread sisters

Hi Guys, Aidan here with a new book recommendation.

I was at Lissy’s house when I saw this book. She had just finished reading it and although it has a picture of two girls on the front she said I should read it and that I’d enjoy it. She was right.

The book is about an eleven-year-old Chinese girl named Wen who is adopted by an American family. Before leaving the orphanage Wen promises her best friend, Shu Ling, she will find her a home in America too. Of course, that’s not as easy as Wen might think.

One of the most heartbreaking parts of the book is Wen believing if she’s not well behaved her parents will send her back to her orphanage. When her father loses his job and they have to cut back on extras, Wen thinks the of herself as an extra and prepares to return to China.

Wen also finds it hard to attach to her new family, especially her mother. The guilt she feels over leaving Shu Ling behind makes it difficult to even make new friends.

Having two cousins who were adopted from China made this book even more special to me. The book really made me think about a lot of things I take for granted. From major things like knowing my parents love me and would never give me up, to more minor things like knowing presents I get are mine and won’t be given to other people. Seeing American culture through the eyes of someone new to our shores is also really interesting.

I highly recommend this book by Carol Antoinette Peacock to anyone interested in learning more about orphanages and China, but also those who enjoy books about friendship, love and trust.

Texas Bluebonnet List 2016-2017


Hi Guys, Aidan here!

Do you remember how much I raved about Echo earlier this year? Well, I just found out it made the Texas Bluebonnet list for 2016-2017. Congratulations to Pam Munoz Ryan and also to Austin writer, Chris Barton and illustrator, Don Tate, for their picture book, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, a fabulous book for younger readers.



EchoHey, guys! Aidan here. Lissy asked me to write a book review for a story I recently read: Echo By Pam Muñoz Ryan. I’ve read it – and it’s really cool! Sure, it’s a big book, but it has vivid characters and nice classical pieces, like Rhapsody in Blue (my aunt loves that piece). Set in World War II in Germany and America, the book follows Frederick, Mike, Ivy and a harmonica through different and difficult periods of history. I read it for my summer reading project, and it was perfect! I recommend it to those that have those kind of projects, once you start reading this- you can’t stop! Well, that’s all from me. Bye!

Summer Book Recommendations – Chained


Hi guys, Aidan here with the first of my summer reading recommendations.

Chained, sounds like it might be sad, especially when you see the picture of a young Indian boy standing by a small elephant on the cover, but it is a book about friendship, courage, kindness and not giving up.

We are introduced to ten-year-old Hastin when his sister is sick and his mother is forced to work for a family that is unkind to her. To free his mother Hastin takes a job far from his family as an elephant keeper.

I felt the author did a good job of bringing both the marketplace and the jungle to life and really liked the way she gave descriptions an Indian twist, like “it feels like a python is squeezing my chest” and “she grows smaller and smaller, her face just a dot of cinnamon.”

I also liked that the author gives you lots of interesting information about elephants. While we were in India we learned a lot about elephants, including their teeth wearing down and also, of course, all about the tiger trade. I think it’s great that there are books like Ms. Kelly’s who help bring these issues to the attention of children and do so in an entertaining way.

There are some chapters that are hard to read, but the relationship between Hastin and Nandita and Hastin and Ne Min made me want to keep reading. In fact, I read the entire book in one day, it was that good.

If I had any criticism, it would be that I kept wondering if this was set now or in the past as it was hard to tell. I also wish I knew what part of India Hastin came from originally – a part that had desert and camels. However, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in India, or anyone who enjoys a story about a boy and his elephant.

Top Ten Reasons Why Buying Books for Christmas Gifts is a Good Idea

CIA - Operation Tiger Paw

Hi Guys, Aidan here. The holidays are coming and I’m sure we are all giving serious thought on what to buy those loved ones on our shopping list. Here’s my top ten reasons why buying books as gifts for Christmas is a smart idea. Happy shopping everyone.

  1. It’s cheaper to send books through the mail than regular gifts.
  2. Books are easy to wrap.
  3. No one has to return a book because it’s the wrong size.
  4. Books smell good, plus they make you smart.
  5. No batteries required.
  6. Compared to other gifts, books are cheap.
  7. Books are easy to store.
  8. Books can be passed to others when you’re done.
  9. Books do not go out of fashion or have a use by date.
  10. You can get presents for everyone in just one store.

The Wish List


As you could probably tell from my post last month, I am REALLY into Eoin Colfer. So I was happy to discover that Mr. Colfer had written other books, including The Wish List. Okay, it is NOT Artemis Fowl, but it is GOOD. Here’s what happens.

Meg Finn is not really bad, she just acts that way. And she’s acting that way when she decides to break into pensioner Lowrie McCall’s apartment with local bad boy, Belch. Things quickly go horribly wrong when, after a freak accident, she finds herself flying down a passageway with two options at the end – heaven or hell.

But Meg is a conundrum – turns out she’s exactly 50% good and 50% bad – unheard of. And, before she knows it, Meg returns to earth in the form of a petulant teenage spirit, sent to help the man she has wronged.

Meg and Lowrie embark on a quest, a wish list, for the dying man. The question is, will they be able to finish it before time runs out?

Definitely worth the read, I’d say Mr. Colfer has done it again.

Artemis Fowl – Criminal Mastermind!

artemis eye acartemis with blue eye ac2

Hi Folks, Aidan here.

I think I may have mentioned that I love my local library and I love them even more for recommending the Artemis Fowl series by Mr. Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) which I started at the beginning of the summer and have barely put down.

The Fowl books are an adventure series with a twist. First meet twelve year old Artemis Fowl II (teenage criminal mastermind) and his six foot plus Eurasian bodyguard, Butler. Second, meet Holly Short of the LEPrecon, Foaly the centaur and my favorite character, Mulch Diggums – a kleptomaniac dwarf with a really bad, erm, flatulence problem. Then throw them all together in a series of high-stakes adventures both around the world and under it.

While I was reading the books I Googled some of the reviews. Amazon says  – “You will never think of leprechauns the same way again. Rip roaring, 21st century romp of the highest order.” And I have to say, I agree. Another review said “Think of Die Hard, but with fairies.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Basically, if you like twelve year old masterminds and fairies with quick wit and a tendency towards sarcasm – run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore or library and pick up the Artemis Fowl series. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Drawings by Tess.


6449Hey guys, Aidan here with my latest review on one of the many books I read over the summer.

So, if you’d like to be able to tell your alvarezsaur from your crested hadrosaur, pick up this book – and don’t put it down, as  you realize early on that author, Mr. Greg Leitich-Smith totally knows his stuff and by stuff I mean dinosaurs.

For me, I had no idea there were so many different types of dinosaurs. Sure, I knew my T-Rex from my brontosaurus, but my hadrosaur from my microraptor? Not so much. But the book is not a reference book by any means. What it is, is a rip-roaring adventure through the cretaceous period and all the danger you can imagine that entails.

When Max and his older twin siblings, Kyle and Emma, get dumped at their reclusive grandpa’s house (I’m feeling a connection here) while their mother heads to a remote corner of Mongolia to dig for feathered dinosaurs (even more of a connection), the three Austin siblings are not exactly pleased. Yes there’s a legendary creek bed on the ranch property, containing fossilized dinosaur tracks that Max, a keen amateur paleontologist, is dying to see, but for his older siblings the summer is looking bleak.

Things start to look up when they meet Petra, their Grandfather’s house-keeper’s daughter, but quickly take a turn for the bizarre when their grandfather predicts his own heart-attack, leaving the four with a parting message – go to the creek bed before 8am the following day.

Go they do, becoming instantly plunged into a plot of kidnapping and intrigue as they follow the kidnapper back to the cretaceous period in, of all things, a VW bug using their great-great-grandfather’s time machine.

If you enjoyed Jurassic Park then pick up Chronal Engine for some late summer reading – you won’t be disappointed. Grrrrr!6413

The Great Greene Heist

Hey guys, Aidan here.

I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this fun-packed story, the perks of having an aunt who writes books, and devoured it in a couple of days. See below for, what I hope will be, the first of many reviews, this summer.

“Now wasn’t a time to be normal. Now was a time to be infamous,” states the clever and mischievous Jackson Greene, and so he goes on to prove in Varian Johnson’s new summer read, The Great Greene Heist.

Jackson Greene, an eighth grade pupil at Maplewood Middle School, is far from your ordinary student. With past misdemeanors, such as “ Blitz at the Fritz”, “Shakedown at Shimmering Hill” and “Mid-day PDA” we can only guess at some of the scrapes Greene has previously instigated, as well as wish we all had such a prankster at our school.

However, Jackson is a really likable character and, with his trademark red tie and a penchant for the good things in life, he cuts a dashing figure around campus. In fact, his mistrust of the cafeteria food is one of the standing jokes that run through the book.

We learn early that Greene has left his life of crime behind, but when Gaby de la Cruz’s run for student council president is derailed by the highly irregular, last minute nomination of Keith Sinclair, Jackson’s curiosity is raised.

Whereas Gaby is interested in having more computers, boosting spirit week participation and acquiring a larger selection of organic food,  it seems Sinclair has no platform of his own, and is only running in order to slash the budget to such organizations as the botany and tech club. When it looks like even the principal is  bent on deception, Jackson realizes it is time to come out of “retirement” and lend a helping hand.

The Great Greene Heist is a fabulous romp of a book with a wonderful diverse cast of characters, and not only the main protagonists, but also with references to peripheral characters such as Mrs Kai, Naomi, Marcelo and Manuel. I know from my cousins how important it is to read books where you can identify with the main characters, and I think this is one such book that will happily appeal to many.

This is a really fun summer read from a local Austin writer. Looking forward to the sequel if for no other reason than finding out what Greene’s father, brother and grand-father have been up to – allegedly.

Happy reading, folks.

Aidan Puddleton



Hi Guys! This is Aidan. As you all know I like to read. In fact I go through books so fast that my mom and dad have stopped buying them for me as we have run out of space.  This could be a problem if it wasn’t for the awesome library that is just at the top of my road.

The library is amazing. It’s not stuffy or old. No-one yells at you for talking too loud and they have all kinds of fun activities and author events. As you can imagine – I spend a LOT of time at the library!

Anyhow, Lissy asked if I would like to be part of her blog and so, of course, the natural thing for me to do is to recommend and  tell you about some of the books I’ve read lately. I’m going to start with my favorite from last summer – Wonder by R J Palacio.

This book is really amazing. I thought I wasn’t going to like it because the main character is a little different – well, a lot different really. But that’s the whole point of the book.

August, that’s the name of the main character, he doesn’t look like you and me, but it turns out it doesn’t matter because it’s what’s inside that counts.

August is finally going to school after being homeschooled all his life. As if that isn’t scary enough, but when you look like August its got to be terrifying. Anyhow, August is really brave and although there are a few false starts he finally finds some true friends.

I won’t spoil it for you, but you should really get this book. There are some really funny bits (little Tushies) and there are some sad bits as well, but by the end you are really routing for August and his friends. I think, really, it’s a book about kindness and acceptance – go read it and find out yourself. Feel free to drop me a line and tell me what you think below.