Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains

I sort of discovered this book by accident. See, I saw the name “Snyder” on the spine at the library, and I mistook the author to be Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Imagine my surprise when I saw Laurel Snyder on the cover later. But I’m glad I made that mistake, because then I might not have taken it off the shelf in the first place. Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains tells the story of Lucy, just a peasant girl who’s friends with a prince and more than slightly mischievous. When Wynston (the prince) must start to look for a princess to marry, he can’t spend as much time with Lucy as he used to. So, with all this free time on her hands, Lucy sets off to climb the Scratchy Mountains, the land of her mysterious mother’s birth. Wynston doggedly follows her up, and they encounter many problems along the way. I really liked this book for its creative plot and the interesting, delightful setting. So, when you get a chance, I strongly recommend you take a look at the nearest library or bookstore for this tale.

The Crowfield Curse

Written by Pat Walsh, The Crowfield Curse is a chilling and haunting tale. Maybe not as enthralling as other books I have read, but it is a creative and interesting thing to read. The main character is William, an orphaned boy who is servant to the monks at Crowfield Abbey. When Will rescues a hobgoblin, he learns more about the world of the fay, and the Dark King who used to terrorize it. And things only get more complicated when two very peculiar and strange persons show up at the abbey, a Jacobus Bone and his manservant, Shadlock. Things aren’t always as they seem, William learns, and sometimes these things can be very dangerous. Especially when he discovers a mythical creature lies buried in the forest, and Jacobus Bone and Shadlock seem far too interested. As I said, the book was not as absorbing as others, but the characters and plot are of good quality. So next time you’re at the library, I recommend you take a look.

A Warning (But a Good One)

I just wanted to give you a little heads-up. Be on the lookout for an author interview! The subject is Deborah Wiles, creator of Countdown (see review). I’m very excited to be given the chance to actually talk on the phone with her, and I’m also very excited to be able to share it with you. So, anyway, just be checking for the interview! I’ll try to find out a date, and get it out in public as soon as possible.

The Art of Book Packing

Hello, all. It just so happens, I’m in NYC! And, while we were preparing this morning, my dad mentioned how he didn’t want to take his big heavy book on a one-and-a-half-day trip. So, he was looking for something light. I thought I’d do this post, just for any novices in the ancient and sacred Art of Book Packing. Let’s get started.

1) Weight. No way can you take too many heavy books, especially if you’re going on a plane. Do you really want to pay extra because you absolutely had to have your hardback copy of The Three Musketeers with you? I didn’t think so. So, just remember, light and thin is better.

2) Whether it’s hardback or paperback. Not only are paperbacks lighter, but they are not as pretty as hardbacks. Sorry. Your hardback books will just get banged up, torn covers, squished corners, etc. Your paperbacks might get a little wear and tear, it’s unavoidable, but they’re better to take than those hardbacks. Don’t forget that.

3) How many books you bring. If you’re going on a trip that lasts a couple of days, this isn’t a super big rule to follow. Just consider how much time you will have to read, and whether or not you will finish your one book before you get home. Then you can always bring one more, just to be safe. But say you’re going on a weeklong trip. Before you take about ten paperbacks, figure out where the nearest library is to where you’re staying. Perhaps you can use a relative’s card to get seven books when you arrive, and only bring three others. This also reduces the weight of your suitcase, so bonus!

You might want to try out these rules of the Art of Book Packing on a Christmas getaway or something, and I hope they’re helpful! This is your NYC Book Blogger, signing off.

Sweet Treats

Do you enjoy cooking? Are you a kid? Well, even if you’re not, I think you just might enjoy the book this review is focused on. Specifically for children, Sweet Treats (written by Carolyn Beth Weil, and part of the William-Sonoma cookbook collection) is a very tasty and fun book. There are tons of recipes, all desserts, and it’s lots of fun to follow along and create some of these. A few are Easy Cheesy Pie, Black Bottom Cupcakes, and Strawberry Shortcakes. I have made Thumbprint Cookies, and Truffle Mint Ice Cream Cake. Both are delicious, and so are the Lemon Bars. The little chef of your life will most likely love to create these delicious dishes, and might love eating them more! There is, of course, the sense of pride to know you made it yourself to make it even better. I really like baking, and this was a great gift for me from my grandmother for Christmas. It’s a lot of fun! So at least take a look, okay?