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Reviews
Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass
Dark Days by James Ponti
Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan
Doctor Who: The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Crazy Critter Race by Maxwell Eaton III
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu
Fred and Ted's Road Trip by Peter Eastman
Free Fall by David Wiesner
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Ghostbusters: Get Real by Erik Burnham
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 3: 1983-1984 by Ed Piskor
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper
The Master of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
Nothing Up My Sleeve by Diana López
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean
The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
The River by Alessandro Sanna
Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen
The Sleepover by Jen Malone
Threadbare by Monica Ferris
To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson
Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Miscellaneous
Diversity report for September 2016

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Nothing Up My Sleeve: 09/03/16

Nothing Up My Sleeve by Diana López

Nothing Up My Sleeve by Diana López is about three friends finding a new hobby, something that is theirs and theirs alone. They are Dominic, Loop, and Z and their hobby is magic.

In town there is a new (or new to them) magic shop that promises access to the Vault if a person either buys $100 worth of stuff or performs a magic trick for the store owner. Although one of the boys has access to infinite money because of a stepfather who is trying to buy his love, the other two don't. So they all opt for the perform a trick.

Access to the vault opens them up to the world of magic. There is enough variation in the art for each boy to find his niche. It also introduces them to Ariel, daughter of the store owner. She is already an accomplished magician well versed in the classics. She's also loud and proud of her skills, something the boys find very off putting.

The book is told from alternating points of view from the three boys. We see into their home life: the boy who is last in the family (even to the point of having the nickname "Z") and always gets hand-me-downs; the boy whose family is struggling to keep their business afloat and have little left for anything else; and the boy who has access to everything as long as he allows his stepfather to buy his love.

As Ariel was a big part of the story too, I would liked to get a few chapters from her perspective as well. How did she get into magic? What does she think of the three boys' chances? Does she do anything else besides help in the shop?

In the end it's a pretty by the numbers story of three underdogs making their way to a big regional competition. Whether they win or not isn't the point. The point is how the struggle to get there brings their families together and how the competition could threaten to break up the friendship.

Three stars

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