Categories
Children

Caroline Carlson and The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates

I’m so excited to share this title with you: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. If you know anything about me you know I love pirates.

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates

Here’s a synopsis from Goodreads.com

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson’s hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society.

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson’s quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.

 

What’s not to love?

Arrgh!

Pirate Pame

Categories
Books Reviews Young Adult

Lea Nolan’s “Conjure”

I was drawn to Conjure by Lea Nolan because it sounded like a girl’s girl kind of book:

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

 

You know I love a book about a strong girl and girl power.  I don’t mind love stories so much as I need the girl to have a brain of her own even if she does like boys.  (I suppose somewhere I’m still 12.)  That’s where Emma Guthrie comes in.  She’s a young teenager with a twin brother.  Their best friend has grown into a hottie and she can’t stop her growing feelings for him.  So here’s where it gets fun; They live in South Carolina in the low country area that’s famed for its Gullah population.  The Gullahs were originally brought over as slaves and stayed in the area long after emancipation.  This culture is known for its belief in certain types of magic, called hoodoo, not to be confused with voodoo.

What’s so fun about Conjure is that she explores the Gullah and the hoodoo culture and we become experts on the subject while having fun! This book is rare because the African American characters drive the story and are not merely sidekicks.  I can already picture the stern but lovable Miss Delia in my mind’s eye.  She looks alot like Cicely Tyson from “Because of Winn Dixie.”

courtesy imdb

Miss Delia is a tough old broad and looks a little crazy but full of love.

So, not only does Nolan make Miss Delia a driving character, Maggie, who is Jack’s love interest, is also African American and none of that seems to make a bit of difference to anyone in the story.   I love it!

Another thing I love about the story is the use of the hoodoo. To be sure, I don’t like to be scared and one evil character, in particular, scared the wits out of me. It was Sabina and here’s how I pictured her to look:

courtesy The [email protected]

This nice lady here is an example of how the Gullah might have looked back in the day.  Now imagine her all angry and menacing and chanting spells.  She even scared a bunch of pirates!

Did I mention pirates? You gotta love a book that has pirates, right?

So no more blah blah blah from me.  Read the book and find out about Emma, her love interest and WHY the title is called Conjure.

And maybe sleep with one eye open.

Just in case a boo hag is coming to get you.

I give this book four paws not just because I’m scared of someone putting a curse on me but because of the full complement of African American characters in the book.

 

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

Forget Politics for a Minute and Look at Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz

Forget Politics for a Minute and Look at
Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz

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Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz is the follow up to the A to Z of rad women that she published last year. I can’t tell you enough how much I love this. If you ever feel like you don’t know enough about life outside your little US bubble, here’s a chance to learn about women all over the globe who are kicking ass.

The book opens with Frida Kahlo, who is an all time fave of mine. Do you know Kalpana Chawla? She was the first female Indian astronaut. Unfortunately, she perished in the tragic Colombia mission of 2003. There’s also Wangari Maathai who was the first East African women to get a PhD. Eventually she became the first environmentalist and the first African woman to win the Nobel peace Prize for sustainable development, democracy and peace.

The list of amazing women includes Maria Montessori, Venus and Serena Williams, Lili’Uokalani of Hawaii, Birute of Canada, and women from Japan, Australia, Burma, and Europe. Did I mention there’s a pirate in the book?

It’s so awesome. Let’s keep this up ladies!

Categories
Children

Remarkable by Lizzie K Foley and Pirates!

Remarkable

 

If you’ve been around here a minute you know that I love me some pirates. LOVE! Any book with, for, or about pirates and I’m ALL over it! If you look at the pic above and look to the left of the book, you’ll see two tiny pirate ships. That’s cuz I’m in Aruba and apparently pirates love the Caribbean.

As much as I love pirates, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the book I’m reading for my tween book club contained lots of pirates and pirate talk! Here’s a blurb about it:

In the mountain town of Remarkable, everyone is extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily gifted, or just plain extraordinary. Everyone, that is, except Jane Doe, the most average ten-year-old who ever lived. But everything changes when the mischievous, downright criminal Grimlet twins enroll in Jane’s school and a strange pirate captain appears in town.

Thus begins a series of adventures that put some of Remarkable’s most infamous inhabitants and their long-held secrets in danger. It’s up to Jane, in her own modest style, to come to the rescue and prove that she is capable of some rather exceptional things.

Yeah that. This book is a sleeper, y’all! One of my tweenies suggested it, I don’t know where she heard about it (prolly her school librarian, so YAY!) but I’m so glad she suggested it to us. Remarkable is so fun and the names of the characters are a hoot too.

And pirates!

I can’t wait to hear what my tweens think of it in book club. I’ll report back…

Categories
Books Tea Parties

Bookish Tea Party Fun: Fancy Nancy Games!

During our bookish tea parties, we play games! Nothing is cuter than seeing a gaggle of beribboned and bedazzled little princesses (and sometimes pirates) running around the bookstore on a scavenger hunt.  Here are some fun games we played recently.
findthebutterfly.jpg
Leah is super tricky as she hides the butterfly under the cups and then shuffles the cups around.  The party goers have to decide what cup is the right one.
findbutterfly2.jpg
SCORE!! The partygoer (BIRTHDAY GIRL) chooses the right cup!
Next is our famous scavenger hunt. Can you find the missing clothes for Fancy Nancy’s recital?
finddress.jpg
Where could it be???
You know what the extra fun bit about this game is? Whenever there are customers looking at books near these shelves, they instantly want to help the partygoers find the missing items. It’s SO cute!
What party games do you like to play with your guests aged approx 5-9?
Categories
Tea Parties

Bookish Tea Party Fun: Neverland and Peter Pan

I’m featuring tea parties this month!

neverland

This party was a Neverland Party! We dressed as fairies, (I was the Fairy Godmother), pirates, and there was even ONE tic toc croc.

Too fun!

Categories
Books Young Adult

Book Review: Allure by @Lea_Nolan @HeatherRiccio

Allue Lea Nolan

You many not know this, but PammyPam is part of an elite street ninja team called the Apprentices.  We are handpicked for our ingenious skills by our leader, author and head ninja, Lea Nolan.  As part of this elite squad of ninjas, we get to hear the latest news about Lea’s writings.  Lea’s first book, Conjure:

Be careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends–are lost forever.

 

I loved Conjure so much! It’s so refreshing to read a YA book that’s not too mushy and is appropriate for the younger YAs, 12-14.  Here’s my review.  You can imagine I was over the moon when, through a little hoodoo magic, I conjured up an advanced copy of Allure, the sequel to Conjure! Here’s the blurb:

Worst. Summer. Ever.

Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.

Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Face with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.

 

Allure is just as good as Conjure, but maybe just a tad better. You know why?  If you were wondering what boo hags looked like after reading Conjure, you’ll find out in Allure.  And believe me, boo hags are the stuff of nightmares.  I can see why Delia didn’t want the kids to run into any. Scary stuff! Lea Nolan shares her hoodoo knowledge and makes me feel like I’m reading Delia’s book of spells myself!  There are only a few points of contention in the book, which I’ll not share for fear of spoiling, but let’s just say, that the boo hags aren’t the only things that will upset you.  Nolan introduces new characters and eliminates old ones; you’ll be conflicted.  But in a good way.

I can’t wait for the rest of the world to get their hands on Allure so they can love it like I do!

I give Allure 4 paws due to the multi ethnic portrayals and easy relationships.  Add these two titles to your collection.  Girls of all colors will appreciate it!

Unconventional Librarian 4paws

Categories
Children

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates by Caroline Carlson

If you know anything about me you know I love pirates.  That’s why I’m so excited to share this title with you: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates

Here’s a synopsis from Goodreads.com

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson’s hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society.

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson’s quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.

 

What’s not to love?

Arrgh!

Pirate Pame

Categories
Books

Here’s Why I Love Deadweather and Sunrise: The Chronicles of Egg by Geoff Radkey

You may remember last week or so I mentioned that I was behind on my review of Deadweather and Sunrise: The Chronicles of Egg by Geoff Radkey. I’m glad to report that I finished it and LOVED IT!!

deadweather sunrise

You had me at pirate.

Here’s my video review.

My only beef with the story is that while the author tried to include multicultural characters, they were little people.  Or a little person.  Surely some of these pirates in future books could be of other ethnicities?  Historically pirates have been all manner of race; it’s kinda like the only time there is integration: stealing and pillaging.  But I digress.

p.s. Hey Geoff,  any room for a librarian? Egg’s gonna need a new tutor…

Four paws!

Unconventional Librarian 4paws

Categories
Books

The Chronicles of Egg Series

I’m a little behind on my reviews right now but I wanted to give you a sneaky peeky at what I’m currently working on…

deadweather sunrise

Naturally there are pirates in it!

Stay tuned.

ARGH.

Pirate Pam An Unconventional Librarian