Turtle in Paradise


This summer I read Turtle in Paradise, and it turned out to be the perfect summer story. I loved that it had a bit of history to it; it is about a little girl during the Great Depression. Her mother needs work and gets a job as a housekeeper. There is a catch,The lady she works for does not like children. So, Turtle is shipped off to live in Key West with her aunt and cousins. It was a sweet story about making the best of a situation and finding out that things will be okay! The book was a Newberry Honor book last year. Happy Reading!



The Clockwork Three

The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby was a complicated story of three children. The three kids have some problems, big problems. One supports her family financial, and the other two are orphans, eventually their stories intertwine and they solve a mystery… 
The book is a tough read, but I definitely recommend it for someone looking for an interesting challenge.
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The Mystery of the Autographed Copy

Last week we came upon a mystery, I ordered the The Celestial Globe (Part II after Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski) from Amazon and it came signed! So, I decided to do a little investigating!  The rest can be told from the email train below….


Meg Pickert

to Marie

show details Jan 16 (7 days ago)

I’m a 4th grade teacher in Houston, TX and I was introduced to The Cabinet of Wonders by a student. Now, many of my students have read it. My kiddos and I were very excited to get The Celestial Globe. I ordered it from Amazon, and it came signed. I tried to find a copy of your signature on the internet (to see if it was real), but it just seemed strange that it came signed! Could you, would you, be able to help my students and I solve this mystery?
Thank You!

Meg Pickert


Marie Rutkoski

to me

show details Jan 19 (5 days ago)
Dear Meg,
I’m so glad to know your students enjoy my books! As for the signature, that’s a little strange that Amazon has a signed copy, but not impossible. I’ve signed a lot of books, and my publisher might have sent some signed copies to Amazon. I guess I could try to send you images of my signature to compare, but the way I sign my name can vary a great deal; I have my sloppy “I’ve got to sign a ton of these fast!” signature, and I have my careful “Even though my penmanship sucks, I’m trying hard for this to look nice,” one. If you send me an image of the signature you have, I can tell you whether it’s mine or not.

Does that help?


Meg Pickert

to Marie

show details Jan 20 (3 days ago)

I told my kids all about the new development in our mystery today. Now that they know an author may write back, they want to look up every book they’ve ever loved and email the author. It is highly entertaining. Thank you for writing back. We really do appreciate it!
Attached is a photo of the signature. Let me know!
Take care,



Marie Rutkoski

to me

show details Jan 22 (1 day ago)

Dear Meg,

How wonderful that your kids are now eager to email authors! I loved writing to authors when I was a kid, and was so excited when Beverly Cleary sent me a postcard in response. I still remember every word she wrote (not hard, since it was just “Dear Marie, I’m glad to know you enjoy my books!”).
That signature is mine!



Watching children get excited about reading is one of my favorite things about being a teacher. Corresponding with an author over a mystery involving a book brought a lot of excitement to my classroom (and to me). Thank you so much Marie Rutkoski for writing such an awesome series and for helping us solve the mystery of the autographed copy.

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Guardians of Ga’Hoole

This book took me awhile to get into. I found it hard to remember that the owl was talking, feeling, and thinking. I suppose that makes me an old lady. Once I got into the mind of Soren (the main character), I was ready to go along for the ride. This is the first book in the series, so there is a lot of set up for the later books. Soren is snatched as a young owl and brought to an orphanage. But, Soren is not actually an orphan. At St. Aggies (the orphanage), they are brainwashing young owls and training them to do certain tasks, and most never learn to fly. Soren meets Gylfie and together they know they most escape, and they must learn to fly. They meet a few friends along the way and the adventure is hard to steer away from. I look forward to reading the rest of the series!

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The Cabinet of Wonders

The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski was an absolute joy to read. The book is about a little girl named Petra. Her father has a magical ability, he can create magnificent things out of metal. He makes metal animals that grow, communicate, and befriend humans. Astrophil is a metal spider that is Petra’s constant companion. Her father goes to the capital to create something amazing for Prince Rodolfo, but he takes something from Petra’s father. Petra is determined to retrieve her father’s _________ (sorry, can’t ruin the book). 

 Her journey is thrilling and complicated. This was definitely hard to put down. I cannot wait for the other books in the series, and I’m curious to see how the storyline will continue one.

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Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Soctt O’Dell was one of my favorite books in elementary school. One of our literature circle groups is currently reading it, and I had to take it home and finish it IMMEDIATELY. This is one of those books that just gives you a feeling of a world you would never know, or expect to know. I find it difficult to describe without giving away to much, but the book it phenomenal. I have several copies of this book, so if you have interest in borrowing, let me know.

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11 Birthdays

“11 Birthdays” is a Bluebonnet award nominee, and the book was a gift from my friend Alexis. It is a really cute read. The storyline is pretty similar to the movie “Groundhog Day,” but in this story an eleven year old girl has her birthday repeatedly. The birthday repeats until she can figure out what she is doing wrong. She has some help along the way, but if I tell you about that, it will give away a secret about the story.

The Red Pyramid

I recently read “The Red Pyramid,” the first book in “The Kane Chronicles,” Rick Riordan’s new series. It is told by a brother and a sister who have spent most of their childhood living apart. They soon realize that the “blood of the pharaohs” is a very real thing. In the world created by Riordan, the Egyptian world continues on, and is the foundation for today’s society. A parent disappears, prompting introductions to ancient characters and travels to otherworldly places. There are battles with evil forces and a looming deadline by which the children must complete a mission, and if they don’t, well chaos will take over.  

It is VERY similar to “Percy Jackson.” The thing is, I loved  “Percy Jackson.” I am an absolute sucker for a story that pulls you into another world.  This book was a fun adventure, but it doesn’t come near Riordan’s orignal (Percy). Read it, tell me what you think, and we will have a nice book talk. The size of the book may pose a challenge, but I think most of you should be able to tackle it. If you ask nicely, I may just let you borrow my copy of the book (thanks Matthew)!

Percy Jackson and The Olympians – The Series

Recently, I read the entire Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. I’d heard good things and I definitely needed to see for myself what all the fuss was about! I quickly finished the first book and then found myself reading a Percy Jackson book every weekend. The books pack in a lot of adventure and also provide a characters that you can identify with. Percy, like many young male heroes, is an outcast. He has problems at every school he attends, and because of this, he attends MANY schools. He doesn’t know his father when the series starts out, and as the first book develops he finds he has an unexpected family history on his father’s side.

The series takes the reader on an adventure in a world where the Greek Gods are real and their family lines still continue. If you find that you are someone who loves to get pulled into a completely new world, then you need to read all the Percy Jackson books!

What do you think? Did you have a favorite book in the series?

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Sparrow Girl – A book review by Darshana

Have you read SPARROW GIRL? Well, if you haven’t…you should! This is a wonderful book about a war declared in China. The Chinese people had to kill the sparrows because they ate too much grain. BUT…A girl named Ming-li loved sparrows…. Get the book and find out what happened (because if I told you the whole story it won’t be much fun!) The last thing I want to say is…Get It, Read It, LOVE IT!

– Darshana

PS:This is a BLUEBONNET book!