Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is Eleanor Real?

Poppy, Alice, and Zach are in that tricky stage in between being a kid and being a teenager. Their favorite thing to do each afternoon is to play with figurines they've created “characters” for, with long elaborate histories. The Queen, a really old doll in Poppy’s mom’s china cabinet, is in charge of all the characters even though she can’t be touched (or Poppy’s mom would kill them). When Zach's father decides he's too old to be playing with toys and gets rid of the precious figurines, Zach is furious. He's so upset that he tells Alice and Poppy he doesn’t want to play with them anymore, and that he's outgrown their games. When Poppy and Alice wake Zach up one night to show him The Queen and tell him how she came to Poppy as a ghost named Eleanor, it's terrifying. Although he's scared, Zach knows he must go on the quest to bury her bones. They sneak out and take the bus to the cemetery to bury the bones of a girl who was never put to rest properly. On their quest they have ups and downs; there are hurdles that they could not imagine, and people who are just as creepy as the ghostly girl haunting their dreams. Will they make it back home by dinnertime? Will they ever find the place to bury Eleanor? Is Poppy telling the truth or has she made up the whole story about the ghost? You will have to read this adventure about growing up to find out how everything turns out! 

After I saw the picture on the cover, I was nervous to read Doll Bones by Holly Black. I have always found certain dolls to be a little creepy and scary. I liked that the characters in the book enjoyed using their imaginations and that they had such a good friendship, even though they were each so unique and different. When Zach's toys got thrown away my heart went out to him, and I kept wishing he would tell his friends why he didn't want to play with them anymore. Throughout the quest I kept wondering what was going to happen next, and if they would make it home safely. I think the characters did some things that are a little dangerous, and I know if I sneaked out in the middle of the night my parents would probably kill me! Still, I think this is a book that a lot of kids can relate to as they struggle between wanting to stay kids and needing to grow up. Because the book has its creepy, spooky moments, I would recommend it to kids in fourth grade and up who like ghost stories.

Has anyone else read Doll Bones? Or have you read another book by Holly Black? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Answer to Monday's Riddle: A Quest!

Excellent guessing Riddlers! This week, we're on a quest. Lizzy's review will take our bones on an adventure, and Friday Margo has a story to tell us about, so be sure to check back! See you all around the book block. ; ) ~ F

When there's something you must find, you'll set the thought inside your mind. Focusing on the prize, you'll follow clues to where it lies. Things will turn up here and there, challenges will make you dare. But, if you seek your desired goal, the adventure's bound to rock and roll! 

What am I referring to? Answer: A Quest! 

Make time to riddle and rhyme!
62 original riddles and illustrations 

Available in all e-book formats
Download for only .99¢ on Smashwords

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday's Riddle: Seek, and Ye Shall Find...

Hello Riddlers! Can you guess our theme this week? It's the way to the end, only to start again. ; ) ~ F

When there's something you must find, you'll set the thought inside your mind. Focusing on the prize, you'll follow clues to where it lies. Things will turn up here and there, challenges will make you dare. But, if you seek your desired goal, the adventure's bound to rock and roll! 

What am I referring to?

I gave you a clue! 

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Friday, October 17, 2014

A Gathering of Characters!

The DMS sits down with Linc...

Roundtable Feature: 
Double Vision: Code Name 711

We are so excited for this meeting of the Character Book Club! In attendance today are the current members of the Detective Mystery Squad, more commonly known as the DMS. Fairday, Lizzy, and Marcus are joined by Linc from the Double Vision Books by F.T. Bradley. We're happy for the chance to learn a little more about his story and find out what he thinks about things! So, without further ado, let the meeting commence...

Lizzy: Linc, it's so cool to have you here today. We have lots of questions ready for you. When Pandora needs your help, you don’t seem to have a choice. What is the best part about getting to work for a top secret government agency? What's the worst part?

Linc: It’s cool to be here! Don’t tell anyone I’m a Pandora kid spy though, okay? It’s top-secret…The best part about being a spy is that you can get into all kinds of trouble, but you never get grounded for it. But it is pretty dangerous, with these bad guys on my tail all the time.

The worst part is when my friends or family are in danger, like on this last mission in Los Angeles. You can read all about in Double Vision: The Alias Men. Stuff got pretty crazy and dangerous, so bad that I didn’t think I was going to make it out in one piece. Being a spy is pretty cool, but it’s serious business, too.

Fairday: You and your look alike, Ben Green, don’t seem to like each other. Do you think if you met under different circumstances you would be friends? 

Linc: Probably not, if we’re going to be honest. Ben is always ruining all the fun, with his junior secret agent spy manual and his silly rules. And he thinks he’s right about everything.

Don’t tell him I said this, but Ben is a pretty good kid spy. I sometimes wish I was as good at staying focused on the mission as Ben. But I swear: trouble just finds me.

Marcus: The cases you have worked on have taken you to some interesting places. Which was your favorite and why?

Linc: Washington, D.C. was my favorite—I mean, I got to meet the President of the United States, President Griffin herself! It doesn’t get any more spy-like than that, right? My first mission in Paris was cool too, although I had a hard time with all that French. But the pastries are the best.

My third mission was in Los Angeles, which was kind of weird, since my family has their annual reunion there. But I had no time to hang out with them—this top-secret operation had me running all over the city as part of a blockbuster movie cast. I’m a terrible actor, by the way.

Lizzy: You have helped take down some shady and creepy villains. Which one scared you the most? (I know this is hard without spoilers, but you can be vague).

Linc: My last mission (The Alias Men) had me chasing this dude named Ethan Melais. He’s an international thief of secrets, which doesn’t sound very scary, but we had no idea what he looked like. Let me tell you: that makes it really hard to catch a bad guy. Plus, it turned out he was right there on the movie set with Ben and me! That was not good. Ethan Melais is like a dangerous ghost of a bad guy.

Fairday: You were recently asked to star in a Hollywood movie.  Do you think acting is a career you’d like to pursue?

Linc: Oh no, never. First of all, my mom would never let me. It was hard enough to get past her to go on these missions! I had to kind of fudge the truth, and Mom is like a human lie detector. It’s better to tell her the truth, let me tell you.

Plus, I’m a terrible actor. Savannah, this cool kid actress who was also in the movie—now she’s really good at this Hollywood stuff. Me, I’d rather play videogames and hang out with my friends. 

Marcus: You have found out that some pieces of history have some unique characteristics (coats, hats, etc.). Any idea what else is out there that might have special powers?
Linc: I tried to get Agent Black to tell me, but he said that’s all top-secret, need to know only (and I don’t need to know, according to him). While I was on my mission in Los Angeles (The Alias Men), I did learn some things about Pandora and some of the other artifacts that might be out there. If you read the book, you’ll have to tell me what you think might be out there… 

Lizzy: You have gotten to use some pretty cool spy equipment thanks to your good friend, Henry. What is your favorite gadget you have used or seen?

Linc: Ruckus on a Roll was pretty cool. It’s this gadget that I used on the mission in Washington, D.C. that makes a ton of noise, and…  Well, let’s just say it worked really well in Double Vision: Code Name 711. Henry is a smart kid—plus, he’s a great friend. His gadgets are amazing.

Marcus: I know you always think things are over with Pandora. But, do you have a new adventures coming up? Or do you think you are really over this time?

Linc: I was about to tell you all about that, but then Albert Black (he’s the head honcho at Pandora) told me to be quiet.


Okay, so Agent Black went to get coffee. Quick: if you read the ending of The Alias Men, you’ll get the answer. Don’t tell him I told you!

Fairday: If you were granted three wishes, what would you wish for?

Linc: That would be cool… Uhm, first: finishing the whole Racing Mania videogame series with a perfect score. Second, perfect grades at school without trying, and third, a better hearing aid for Grandpa.

Never mind on that last one, he just takes it out when he doesn’t want to listen to you. Third: for Pandora to catch all the bad dudes, so everyone would be safe.

DMS: Okay Linc! Thanks so much for hanging out with us today. We can't wait to hear about your next cool adventure or reread some of our favorites. : )

The third book in this action-packed trilogy has just been released! Double Vision: The Alias Men is making its way around the book block this month, and you can enter to win signed hardcover copies of this series by visiting the book giveaway post. Don't forget to stop by our interview with F.T. Bradley to find out more about the story! 

We'll be heading over to F.T. Bradley's blog for the next CBC meeting where Linc will be sitting down with twins Lewis and Eva Hudson from Time Square: The Shift by S.W. Lothian. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to find out when the next character meeting is scheduled. It's sure to be a great time, and we hope to see you there! 

Happy reading! 
~ DMS  

Next Roundtable Feature:
Time Square: The Shift 

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