Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coming Soon to Bookstores Near You!

I've been anxiously waiting the arrival of several books. Series such as The Mother Daughter Book Club, and The Moon Books always leave me excited for the next installment. Please remember that these are tentative release dates. They are subject to change. The following books are coming soon to shelves near you!

1. 13 Gifts, Wendy Mass - the sequel to 11 Birthdays and 12 Finally is to be released this coming Thursday, September 1st. Tara will soon be turning 13 and she figures this will be a good time to break out of her shell. Of course, nothing ever goes quite right in Willow Falls though...

2. Ashes, Laurie Halse Anderson - this novel is the sequel to Chains and Forge and will be released on October 1st. All three books take you back to the Revolutionary War era. Two young slaves are on the run from the rich families they were bound too. One has joined the patriot forces, and must help defend the country during these desperate times.

3. Home for the Holidays, Heather Vogel Fredrick - the fifth book in the Mother Daughter Book Club series is to be released in October 2011. On a holiday cruise with their families, the girls find themselves in many predicaments. From sledding injuries, to dashing captains, and family vacations the Mother Daughter Book Club has much in store!

4. The Shade of the Moon, Susan Beth Pfeffer - The Shade of the Moon is the the sequel to Life As We Knew It, The Dead and the Gone, as well as This World We Live In. The new book takes place several years after the meteor collides with the moon. Miranda, Alex and the rest of the family will take you on new adventures when it comes to shelves in September 2012.

By clicking on the authors names above, you can access their websites and find out more about their books. Pre-Order any of these books at Barnes and Noble here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If You Come Softly

I was drawn to this book, by it's unique title and the author. Previously, I had read several other books by Jacqueline Woodson including Feathers, Peace Locomotion, and Last Summer with Maizon. The following poem by Audre Lorde was her inspiration for this novel:
If you come softly,
as the wind within the trees.
You may hear what I hear.
See what sorrow sees.
Miah and Ellie both attend a private school in New York City where they first fall in love. Throughout their relationship, people whisper behind their backs and give them disapproving looks. Why? Ellie is a white, Jewish girl and Miah is black. Can their love survive high school and their parents reactions?

This story will break your heart and touch a chord. You might even shed a tear.

Here are a couple of quotes I felt inspiring from the story:

"You think it will always be like this, Miah?"..... "Think of it as rain - the people who got problems with us being together - let's call them and their problems rain." Ellie nodded. "Okay, they're rain." She smiled. "So now what?" "So, it's not always raining is it? But when it's not raining, we know the rain isn't gome forever."

Miah turned back to the window. Last Saturday, after they left the library, he and Ellie had been walking down fifth avenue holdin hands when these white boys started acting stupid - saying stuff like "jungle fever" and "who turned out the lights?" Miah had clenched his jaw and held tighter to Ellie's hand. "Walk through the rain" Ellie had said.

I leaned against his shoulder and smiled. "You know what, Miah?" "What?" "I'd marry you tomorrow. Isn't that crazy? How much...you know, how much I love you?"

"It’s pretty, that poem." I closed my eyes. Maybe people were always coming toward each other – from the beginning of their lives. Maybe Miah had always been coming toward me, to this moment, sitting in Central Park holding hands. Coming softly.

Once, I asked Miah if he ever forgot he was black. "No, I never forget." he said. "But sometimes it doesn't matter - like I just am." Then he asked me if I ever forgot I was white. "Sometimes" I said. "And when you forget, what color are you?" "No color" Then Miah looked away from me and said, "We're different that way."

Of course there are plenty more, but I hope this will give you a sense of the theme of this incredible story. If you want to learn more about Jacqueline Woodson, click here

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From Willa, With Love

Not five minutes ago, I turned the last page in this quality read. It was fantastic. From Willa, With Love by Coleen Murtagh Paratore is the 6th book in the Life of Willa Havisham series. It was released in July 2011. This book takes place in the fictional town of Bramble, Cape Cod in the height of summer vacation. Willa lives at her family's inn, The Bramblebriar Inn.

This story is geared for teenagers (age 12+) therefore, you can find this series in the Young Adult section of your library. From Willa, with Love is written in the first person narrative, which makes the reader feel as if they are there alongside Willa. Each chapter is started using a quote. These quotes introduce the chapter and are very inspiring.

At the end of each novel, you will find a "Willa's Pix List", which is a list of recommended reading material by Willa herself. These are books the character read in the story.

Overall, the author sets an exciting scene in all of the From the Life of Willa Havisham books and also draws you in with interesting characters and plot lines. Definitely a five-star read!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Last-Minute Summer Reads

With the summer winding down, I find myself scavenging for a good read. I've exausted my own collection, as well as the library's. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation though. Many of you might also be out of good book choices. The following is a list of short, but fantastic reads. Whether you are taking them to that last trip to the beach, your backyard pool, or your plane ride home, they will surely speak everything summer!

1. The Summer Before Boys, Nora Raleigh Baskin - two best friends struggle to stay together during their "summer before boys". One deals with changing a family, the other the idea of growing up. A touching novel about the power of friendship.

2. Turtle in Paradise, Jennifer L. Holm - visit Key West, Florida as you meet eleven-year-old Turtle and her interesting family. Staying with relitives she's never met, Turtle discovers the changes that 1935 brings to her life, and her summer.

3. The Penderwicks, Jeanne Birdsall - meet the Penderwick sisters, and their dog Hound as they go on an exciting adventure full of laughter, embarassment, love, and friendship. When they meet Jeffery, a young boy on their vacation to Arundrel their summer goes for an exciting twist.

4. The Best Last Days of Summer, Valerie Hobbs - a summer of baking cookies, making pottery, and canoeing awaits Lucy in this novel. The month of August means spending time with her Grandmother in her rustic lake house. But when Grams starts getting forgetful, Lucy wonders if her summers will ever be the same again.

5. Touch Blue, Cynthia Lord - Tess lives on a small island off the coast of Maine, and when the state plans to shut down her schoolhouse, the island comes together to come up with a plan to save it. Tess leaves her hope in the hands of luck, and a surprising new addition to their family.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Welcome to Off The Shelf!

I am new to blogging, but have been a follower of many for a long time. On this blog, you can find  reviews, organizational tips, upcoming releases, guest bloggers and much, much, more.

Reading is my favorite pastime. On the left hand corner of this blog, I will keep you updated as to what I'm currently reading. Need suggestions? Check out My Pix List, which will include favorite authors, series, and novels.

Feel free to comment, and I will happily reply!