48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages
Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise- 144 pages
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale- 314 pages
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson- 250 pages


Total Pages Read- 2664
Total Time Reading- 16 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 12

The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

I am a little late reviewing this one. But I figured I could get in some of the Newbery winners that I missed over the years, and Princess Academy by Shannon Hale was my first choice.

I admit it- I always assumed Princess Academy was another one of the “princessy-fairy tales-giggling girls” books. Boy, was I ever wrong! A small mountain village, whose only export is the stones they mine from their quarry is chosen by the Chief Priests as the place the young Prince will find his bride. Thus, a Princess Academy is built and run by a seemingly miserable woman. All the girls between the ages of 12 and 17 are taken from the village to live at the Academy where they are trained for a year to learn the ways of a Princess. Some of the girls are dying to become the princess and leave their miserable mountain while others are dying to escape and live their lives of freedom on their beautiful mountain.

I don’t think a simple summary can do this book justice (which is part of the reason I was never convinced to read this before- it seemed blah). Any summary will include spoilers of the small twists and turns that make this book magical. All I can say is I loved it, and I completely understand the medal on its cover!

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages
Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise- 144 pages
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale- 314 pages


Total Pages Read- 2414
Total Time Reading- 14.5 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 11

Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise

Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise is a multigenre book told through letters, memos, newspaper articles, and other forms of correspondence. NJ included Regarding the Fountain (Regarding the…) as a Battle Book this year, so I was already familiar with the cast of characters- Principal Walter Russ, Florence Waters, the townspeople, and the middle schoolers.

In this adventure, Principal Russ is hosting the SPA conference for principals at Geyser Creek Middle School. His problem? The bathrooms in the basement are gross! He enlists the help of the amazing Florence Waters once again, while the students are involved in various summer school initiatives. Criminal cases are solved by the students, the newspaper is being run by a student, and convicts break out of jail! Puns and potty humor abound, while Klise also includes plenty of historical information about baths and bathrooms, from Ancient Greece and Rome.

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages
Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise- 144 pages


Total Pages Read- 2100
Total Time Reading- 12.5 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 10

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume

Lesley M.M. Blume is fast becoming one of my new favorite authors. Her books are all so different, but all amazing. I was excited to have Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters on my reading pile for the 48 Hour Book Challenge because I knew I just had to read it.  I was not disappointed and it may well be my favorite book of the challenge so far!

Cornelia is a lonely little girl, the daughter of two famous concert pianists, whose father abandoned the family when she was a baby and whose mother spends all her time traveling the world and giving concerts.  Cornelia spends all her time reading.  Her favorite books are dictionaries and words are her first line of defense against her classmates, adults who want to use her to get to her mother, and her annoying housekeeper.  However, everything changes when her elusive new neighbor moves in next door.  Cornelia sees exotic belongings being moved in, items that are rarely seen in Greenwich Village apartments. When her new neighbor’s French bulldog escapes and Cornelia is able to coral him with Magnolia cupcakes, she is invited in and meets Virginia Somerset.

Virginia is the last of the Audacious Somerset sisters, the family of four who traveled the world in search of adventure.  Cornelia quickly grows to love her and even Mr. Kinyatta, the crazy bulldog.  Virginia shares her adventures with Cornelia, all while writing a secret book.  This friendship with Virginia and her “butler”, Patel, helps Cornelia to open up and begin seeing her life in a new light.

This was a wonderful book, which I will highly recommend.  I loved all of the characters, and Blume does a wonderful job of making the setting, Greenwich Village, into a character, it seems.  I didn’t want to put this book down!  It captures the bookish 11-year old girl perfectly (I should know, I was one!), and the adventures of the Somerset sisters had me laughing out loud!  A beautiful book, and Blume is a new favorite of mine!

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages


Total Pages Read- 1956
Total Time Reading- 12 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 9

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