Book Review: The Astounding Broccoli Boy

The Astounding Broccoli Boy

by Frank Cottrell Boyce




Sometimes you just need to laugh.  And when you do,  this is the perfect kind of book.  It’s just silly enough to entertain with just enough depth to keep the reader engaged.

Poor Rory is always looking over his should for the evil Tommy-Lee.  When the two boys suddenly turn bright green they are locked into a hospital ward – together.  Hilarity, danger, and friendship ensue.

Get ready for some British humor and slang.  You might even add some expressions to your vocabulary!

Source:  Public Library ebook

Audience:  middle school  grades 6-8



Review: Curious Minds (Knight and Moon#1)

Curious Minds (Knight and Moon #1)

By Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton


YES!  A new series from JE and it is great!  OK, I will stop with the exclamation points.  But it really is that good.  I flew through it in just 2 days and I can’t wait for the next one.

While I enjoy the madcap antics of Stephanie Plum, sometimes I wish she would stop making her own life so challenging.  Riley Moon is adventurous and funny like Stephanie, but also really clever and insightful.  Her partner in all of the adventures is Emerson Knight, a reclusive billionaire with all sorts of handy skills.

if this first book is anything to go by, it’s going to be a fun ride with these two!


Source:  ARC from publisher

Audience:  adults


Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling


I gave this audio book high marks because I would read it, or listen to it, again. This collection of essays is funny and compelling.  Many celebrity memoirs have a rambling sections, a sense that the subject is struggling to fill the pages.  Happily, that is not the case with this collection.  Yes it is a memoir, but it’s also a collection of Mindy’s ideas about comedy, working, and Hollywood.


Source:  public library audiobook downloaded to my phone for FREE!

Audience:  adults

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella


Love, love, love this book. Teenage Audrey is trapped in her home, hiding behind dark glasses, unable to overcome her crippling anxiety. Three things I loved:
1. Audrey is funny, despite her terrible situation
2. The descriptions of panic attacks, therapy and anxiety feel honest
3. A stellar supporting cast or family and friends


Source:  Audiobook from the public library – downloaded to my phone, how convenient

Audience:  grade 7 and up


Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham



Just what I love in a mystery: a wise cracking lead, a complicated puzzle to solve, and a sense of setting that adds to the plot. It took some getting used to, but I also really enjoyed the narrator’s near-constant use of similes: “She was tall and blond and white as marble, with clothes that matched her skin and a face like a cemetery angel.” 
Excellent pick for grades 7-12
This review is based on an ARC provided to me by the publisher

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson


Stop what you are doing right now and go check out The Bloggess.  I’ll wait.

Seriously, how long did you spend on that awesome site?  I don’t do twitter, but if I did I would follow Jenny Lawless.    Read this hysterical feed.

Don’t get lost on Buzzfeed while you are there.  Come back!

Thank you Jenny Lawson. You made me laugh, cry and sit in the driveway listening to one more chapter. I really wish I had found your books before your tour ended.  I would have gone to see you, and maybe tried to find a taxidermied  (I know that is a word.  Go away spell check!) animal to wave at you with.  I love that you love yourself and that you share your struggle in such detail  It’s time to take the stigma away from mental illness and book and blogs like yours will do a lot to move us forward.

I highly recommend this as an audiobook. The author read her story at just the right inflection with a great sense of timing.
 Source:  digital audiobook from my fabulous public library, downloaded to my fancy new phone.
Audience:  adults, mature teens, people who like to laugh, anybody having a hard tim getting through the day

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness


So much fun in such a thoughtful package.
I’ve read so many books starring the hero of the crisis. Patrick Ness gives us an excellent view from the other side of the scene. While the heroes are running around saving the world, the rest of us just live here. But if all the regular people aren’t there to witness the crisis, how would we know about the heroic actions?

Patrick Ness has a great website, and a some excellent you tube work too.


Click here to visit the author’s site.

Click here to listen to Patrick Ness reading from this book.


Source:  ebook from the public library

Audience:  middle school and high school

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnsom


What a captivating story! Smart, capable Alice is thrown completely off her game when she is sent to be a minder of sorts for a reclusive writer and her son, Frank. Be Frank Wth Me shows just how challenging it is to deal with genius in it’s everyday form. As writer Mimi struggles to finish a book under contract, Alice struggles to manage Mimi’s flamboyant movie-obsessed son. I found my self slowing down to make the story last, always a good sign.

Source:  ARC from the publisher

Audience: adults

Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen

For his 14th summer, Finn is determined to give his brain a rest from people. He plans to sit on his front

steps and read a pile of books. Life has a way of changing your plans. When his dog arrives with a note,

“You’re not as ugly as you think,” the change begins. As Finn opens himself to risk and change, he builds

a family for himself. The last note from the dog, “Family is who you find.” sums up this sweet book


Lexile 760

Grades:  5-8

Date finished:   3-22-15

Source:  personal copy

Read harder:  book by a male author, YA

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for the Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen


I want to buy this book for all the teenage girls in my family.  It is sweet, funny and nerdy all at once.  No perfect ending, just a memoir of growing up and being the best person you can be.  Maya decides to live her entire 8th grade year according to the rules of a book written for teens in the 1950’s.  Her wonderfully imperfect family supports her as best they can as Maya sets out to be Popular.

Visit the Author’s very fun website and get some tips!

Date finished: 12/10/2014

Lexile : 730

Interest:  grades 7 and up

Source:  public library

Publication date: 4/15/2014