About Me

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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book List: My Comtemporary Teen Recommends


The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis
Foresenic Mystery series by Alane Ferguson (currently 4 in series)
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz (currently 8 in series)
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You series by Ally Carter (currently 3 in series)
Heist Society by Ally Carter

Monday, April 26, 2010

Book List: My Middle Grade Fantasy Recommends

The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins (5 in series)
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (currently 3 in series)
The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley (currently 7 in series)
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale (currently 2 in series)
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (currently 3 in series)
Hidden Talents by David Lubar (2 in series)
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (currently 6 in series)
Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan (currently 7 in series)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (5 in series)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book List: My Middle Grade Contemporary Recommends

Grades 4-6:


Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot (currently 4 in series)
Football Genius by Tim Green (currently 2 in series)
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (currently 3 in series)
Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters by Frank Cole (currently 2 in series)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Book List: My Chapter Book Recommends

Chapter Books (Grades 1-3):
Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows (currently 6 in series)
Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo (currently 6 in series)
Stink by Megan McDonald (currently 4 in series, with one Special Edition)
My Weird School by Dan Gutman (currently 21 in series)
Roscoe Riley Rules by Katherine Applegate (currently 7 in series)
Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy (currently 4 in series)

Magic School Bus Chapter Book Series by various authors
Beast Quest by Adam Blade (currently 13 in series, with one Special Edition)
Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo by Nancy Krulik (currently 32 in series, with 5 Super Specials)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book List: My Picture Book Recommends

Well, another six months have passed, which means it is once again time for the Barnes & Noble Educator Reception! If you're a pre-k through 12 teacher, librarian, or homeschooler, then you need to be at our reception at the Barnes & Noble in Orem at 6:00 TONIGHT! Carol Lynch Williams will be our guest speaker, discussing ways to inspire kids to read and write.

And most exciting about the Educator Reception is the fact that I get to update my recommend list! Today I'm sharing my favorite picture books of late. These are all books that you absolutely have to check out, because they're all amazing in one way or another.

Palazzo Inverso by D. B. Johnson
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
Pingo by Brandon Mull
Birdie’s Big Girl Shoes by Sujean Rim
Dinotrux by Chris Gall
Cat the Cat by Mo Willems
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
Just Me and 6,000 Rats: A Tale of Conjunctions by Rick Walton
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

P.S. And looking back at my list from six months ago, did I call it or did I call it on "The Lion and the Mouse?" I so called it. Palazzo Inverso is definitely one of my top contenders for next year's Caldecott, and the year's barely even started!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book List: If You Loved Hunger Games...

Thought I'd change it up a little and try to do a list of recommends instead of the normal book reviews. These are in no particular order.

If you like Hunger Games, you might also like...

1. Maze Runner by James Dashner
2. Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
3. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
4. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
5. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
6. The Giver by Lois Lowry
7. Unwind by Neal Schusterman
8. Gone by Michael Grant
9. Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
10. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
11. City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau

Any that I'm missing?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book Review: Cirque Du Freak #2: The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan

Shan, Darren. Cirque Du Freak #2: Vampire's Assistant. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2000.

“Come,” he said, standing. “The night is young. We will go find a rabbit or a fox for you.”
“You don’t mind me not drinking from him?” I asked.
Mr. Crepsley shook his head. “You will drink eventually,” he said. “When you are hungry enough.”
“No,” I said silently behind him, as he turned to walk away. “I won’t. Not from a human. I’ll never drink from a human. Never!”

Darren is slowly adjusting to life as a vampire's assistant. The hardest part isn't dealing with a cranky vampire or never being able to see his family again, though. The hardest part is having to live without any friends.

I liked this one even better than the first one. Lots of interesting ideas about the life that Darren is now forced into living. Still no improvement with the exclamation points, though. And this is the novel that starts to get really violent. I was shuddering all over the place.

For anyone 13 and over, it would probably be okay, but for the younger group, I recommend parents reading it first to see if it's appropriate for their child.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review: Cirque Du Freak #1 by Darren Shan

Shan, Darren. Cirque Du Freak #1: A Living Nightmare. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2000.

"Do you think the Cirque Du Freak is a real freak show?" I asked.

Mr. Dalton studied the flyer again, then shook his head.

"I doubt it," he said. "Probaby just a cruel hoax. Still," he added, "if it was real, I hope nobody here would dream of going."

"Oh, no, sir," we all said quickly.

"Because freak shows are terrible," he said. "They pretended to be like proper circuses but they were cesspits of evil. Anyody who went to one would be just as bad as the people running it."

"You'd have to be really twisted to want to go to one of those," Steve agreed. And then he looked at me, winked, and mouthed the words: "We're going!"

Darren Shan and his friends are just looking for a fun adventure, a forbidden circus held in the dead of night. But when Darren decides to steal a vampire's pet, he discovers the consequences could be eternal...

What a fun series. Really. I decided I needed to read this series when I saw that J.K. Rowling had a blurb for it (which I have never seen before or since...has anyone else?) And I am enjoying the series immensely. Fun characters, fun storylines, fun take on vampires. And in case you're confused, yes, Darren Shan is the name of the author and the main character, because it's a "true story."

On the other hand, it's no Harry Potter. I mean, you see J.K.'s recommendation, and you kind of assume it's going to be outstanding and phenomenal, the best of its kind....it's not. There are WAY too many exclamation points, which makes it feel almost like a younger reader, even though it's a YA. And don't make the mistake of giving it to someone that's too young. Even though the first book isn't bad at all, the next couple get fairly violent (someone's arms get ripped off, one character's stomach is eaten, etc.) It's in teen for a reason.

But if you're a horror seeker, this is definitely a book you'll have to check out. Boys will especially love it. I'm so excited for the future of horror!