Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Book Focus: Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians

Nick, age 11, Jaded Son of Bookstore Owner writes:

What if you found out that there are more than seven continents on the earth? Or if you knew that dinosaurs still existed today? Or if you knew that there was an evil cult of librarians trying to take over the world? Well, if you don't, read Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson. In this book, foster teenager Alcatraz, a boy cursed to break everything he touches and the same name as an infamous U.S prison, receives a bag of sand for his thirteenth birthday. Little does he know that this bag of sand will soon lead him to infiltrating a library, fighting monsters made of romance novels, becoming an Oculator, meeting British dinosaurs, discovering his Smedry Talent, befriending a 12 year old knight, and of course, breaking stuff. He will also find that his bag of sand is much more than he thinks. But of course, I can't tell you what it really is. You'll have to read the book. 306 Pages. Fiction

Editor's Note: A bunch of us at Little Shop- both staff and customers- are currently reading this book and loving it- it is clever, irreverent and very MT Andersonish.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Book Focus: Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It is the diary of Miranda, a teenager who writes of typical things: conflicts with her parents, struggles in school, and the changing dynamics of her friendships. But then an asteroid hits the moon and shifts it enough to change things like tides and weather, causing everything Miranda knows to transform. Her Pennsylvania town experiences food and gas shortages, extreme weather, and information blackout. Miranda and her family must struggle through it all to hold on to what's important.

This is how much I loved Life as We Knew It: as soon as I finished this book, I sent an email to the author, Susan Beth Pfeffer. I was in a feverish haze to talk to somebody, anybody about this book. It's that good. This book is so good, so emotionally lyrical, honest and immersive, I want to recommend it to everyone I meet. As soon as I finished it I wanted to run out into the streets and pull people aside and shove a copy into their hands.

This book is so gripping, every time you look up from its pages you will double-check your wood pile and water stores for the winter, and you will eat less while reading this book just to conserve food for Miranda and her family.

It's that consuming, I swear.

Oh, and the upshot of my email? I got a witty, warm, and generous response from Ms. Pfeffer. Want to check out how cool she is? Go check out her blog at (she’s currently running a series on writing, including theme and story so far. Next is an entry on characters!).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Series Focus: Percy Jackton and the Olympians

Thank the gods for Percy Jackston!

From Bridget, age 11

One book I loved was The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. (And The Sea of Monsters and Titan's Curse, also by Rick Riordan). I think that it is cool because we were some of the first people to read the book and now it is world wide. I liked it because it wove Ancient Greek and the present together to make one amazing, action filled story. I also like it because it is about kids my age, so I can kind of relate to what they are going through. (Though I must admit, no matter how much I wish I was, I'm not a demi-god). I liked that we got to see Rick Riordan for ourselves. He was really nice and it is cool how it all started with bedtime stories. Now that I know him, I am re-reading the books with a whole different perspective.

This year in school I am studying Ancient Greek. Re-reading these books has helped alot with my study of Ancient Greek because all of the stories about the gods and monsters are true. It just goes to show you how much research goes into making a great book like this.

Some people have compared Rick Riordan's books to the Harry Potter series. I think that in some ways the two series are very much alike and in some ways they are so different it is like they came from different sides of the universe. I could give you a thousand reasons either way. I think it just depends on how you look at it.

Editor's Note: Rick Riordan has a fan base at Little Shop of Stories that borders on stalking. Our Kids and Companions Book Group read him for the first time last year, and since then, we can't keep his books stocked. Rick visited us this past Labor Day for the Decatur Book Festival and we learned that the Percy Jackson stories began at bedtime in the Riordan household. For more information about this great series, go to

Friday, September 7, 2007

It's a Blog!

Welcome to our Blog!

What you'll find here:

  • Kid generated reviews of new and not so new books for kids and teens
  • Book suggestions from our well read and good looking staff of booksellers
  • Interviews with some of our favorite authors and illustrators
  • Answers to life's most pertinent questions, including:

Why should you read our blog?

Answer: Unless someone tells us differently, our blog is the only one of its kind, offered by a bookseller, that incorporates kids' reviews. These books are written for kids, after all- shouldn't they be reviewed by them?

And even if someone does tell us differently, we still think we will be the smackdown of book blogs for kids.

Prepare for liftoff.