--> Saving page now... https://www.bookreviewsandmore.ca/search/label/GregLeitichSmith As it appears live September 28, 2020 2:53:06 PM UTC

Showing posts with label GregLeitichSmith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GregLeitichSmith. Show all posts

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Borrowed Time - Greg Leitich Smith - Chronal Engine Book 2

Borrowed Time
Chronal Engine Book 2
Greg Leitich Smith (Author)
Leigh Walls (Illustrator)

Clarion Books an imprint of
Haughton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 9780544237117

eISBN 9780544236660
ASIN B00QPHNV3K



I first discovered Greg Leitich Smith in an anthology, Geektastic, about 6 years ago.  From that anthology I have read books by many of the contributors, but Greg and his wife Cynthia are among my favourite contributors. At that time a few of Greg's older books were out of print, but he had new books in development. I have read all of his books and enjoyed them greatly. And thankfully they are all back in print now.

In this book Max and his friend Petra travel back in time to the Cretaceous period. While there they encounter Max's uncles Brady and Nate. This book is a little different than the first one in the series. In part because all of the family members are aware that time travel is not only possible, but it is also something that many of them have done. Also in this book we end us with multiple loops in the time line. With some surprising twists. A big dilemma faced this time is faced by the children is what to do with knowledge about when Uncle Brady died and how. Another interesting twist is the children spending a few days in the past with their uncles when they are much younger than they ever knew them to be. 

It was very interesting watching the various characters from different times interact in a place and time well before their own. The loops in the timeline and repeat trips do get a little confusing. But overall the story is very well written.

As stated I have read all of Greg's books. This one in my opinion is not his best, but it is still a very good read. I wonder what Greg would do with some of the other characters we only encounter for short periods. I also wonder what read we will get next from Greg. A good book but make sure you read book 1, Chronal Engine first.

Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (2014)

Chronal Engine Series:

Chronal Engine (2012)
Borrowed Time (2015)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)


Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith






Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014

Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014

First I must state the last few years have seen serious changes in my reading habits and volume, but it did pick up again this quarter. Some of the changes if that now I have three children ages 8, 6 and 3. Some if it is ever new and expanding responsibilities at work and the volume of training involved with that. This quarter I only read 29 books and all but one was fiction. You can see the list of all books read here, and favourite books here. There is even a favourite list of authors each year here

Fiction:
1. Blood of my Blood - I Hunt Killers #3 - Barry Lyga
2. Stone in the Sky - Cecil Castellucci - Tin Star Book 2
3. The Iron Trial - Magisterium Book 1 - Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
4. The I Hunt Killers Short Stories - Barry Lyga
Lucky Day - Career Day - Neutral Mask - Blood Boy
5. We Have Always Lived on Mars - Cecil Castellucci

7. Brother Prince Snake - Cecil Castellucci
8. Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White - An Incrementalist Short Story
9. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami - Goddess War 0.5 - Kendare Blake
10. Wee Danny - Gerard Brennan


Non-Fiction
6. The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life - Tony Horton

So another good 3 months and some great books. Four of these authors contributed to Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd an anthology I read a few years back. I have since read books by almost all the contributors and almost all of the books by some of them. It was an amazing collection and will introduce you to some incredible authors. The books I read this quarter were, Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga's Page the final book in the Jasper Dent series and it was incredible. The Second book I read The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black it is the first book in a new series Magisterium and if the next 4 are as good it will be another great series. The final book I am currently read was Stone in the Sky the sequel to Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci also an incredible read it is weeks later and I am still mulling it over. But it all stemed from reading Geektastic. The other contributors to that collection are:
Tracy Lynn
Scott Westerfeld
M.T. Anderson
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Greg Leitich Smith
David Levithan
Garth Nix
Lisa Yee
Kelly Link
John Green
Sara Zarrm
Wendy Mass
Libba Bray.



Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More  

Statistics Books Read By Year:

92 - 2014 - January-September
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996









Thursday, 29 May 2014

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn - Greg Leitich Smith and Andrew Arnold

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn
Greg Leitich Smith (Author)
Andrew Arnold (Illustrator)
Roaring Brook Press
A division of Holtzbrinck Publishing
ISBN 9781596438354
ASIN B00H6EOJ78


With each new book published by Greg Leitich Smith I am more impressed with his writing. This book was a great fun story. It was humorous, entertaining and a little silly, but that being said it is a book kids will love. Greg is the author of the Chronal Engine and also the two books set at the Preshtigo School in Chicago: Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo and Tofu and T. Rex. This book set in Cocoa Beach in South Florida is a mash up of Beach culture, UFO enthusiast, and Space Flight fanatics around the Cape.

Aiden lives and works at his parent’s hotel on the Space Coast, the Mercury Inn. His best friend Louis also works at the hotel and is definitely a UFO enthusiast, who swears he saw a UFO two years ago during the accident in which he lost his leg. The Mercury Inn is known for throwing huge parties during any space launches. And Aiden and Louis have seen a lot of weird stuff working at the hotel but things have just got a whole lot weirder. An actual UFO appears during a scheduled space launch and caused life for all at the inn to get even crazier.

What young reader would not enjoy a story with aliens, UFO’s, government cover-up’s, weird scientists, exuberant media personalities, and a couple of guys just trying to figure out the lengths that friendships can go, especially if one of the new friends ends up being a little less than human. This book is a great entertaining read, humorous, quirky and full of surprises. So give it a try and see where Greg will take your imagination!

Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (2014)

Chronal Engine Series:

Chronal Engine (2012)
Borrowed Time (2015)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)



Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014

Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014

First I must state the last few years have seen serious changes in my reading habits and volume. Some of the changes if that now I have three children ages 7,6 and 3. Some if it is ever new and expanding responsibilities at work and the volume of training involved with that. This quarter I only read 23 books and of those 23 only 5 were fiction books. You can see the list of all books read here, and favourite books here. There is even a favourite list of authors each year here

Fiction:
1. Lucky Day - I Hunt Killers Prequel - Barry Lyga

2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

3. Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn - Greg Leitich Smith and Andrew Arnold

Non-Fiction
1. Saints Alive - Andrew M. Seddon
Volume I Saints of Empire - Volume II Celtic Paths

2. Books of Prayer - Stormie Omartian
Prayer Warrior Book Of Prayers 
The Power of A Praying Husband Book Of Prayers
The Power of A Praying Parent Book Of Prayers

3. Be A Prayer Warrior - Glenn Langohr

4. The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience - Stormie Omartian

5. 7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting & Prayer - Bill Bright

6. The Road We Must Travel - Francis Chan, Eugene Paterson, Bill Hybels, and many more

7. Pope John XXIII The Good Pope - Wyatt North


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More 

Statistics Books Read By Year:

23 - 2014 - January-March
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Saturday, 31 March 2012

Top 10 Fiction Books of the 1st Quarter 2012

Top 10 Fiction Books of the 1st Quarter 2012

1. I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga
2. Firegirl - Tony Abbott
3. Brookdale High Books - Barry Lyga
Hero-Type - Boy Toy
4.
Gregor and the Marks of Secret - Underland Chronicles Book 4 - Suzanne Collins
5.
Judy Moody Books & Stink Moody Books - Megan McDonald & Peter H. Reynolds
6. Into the Gauntlet - 39 Clues Book 10 - Margaret Peterson Haddix
7. Alienation - CHAOS Book 2 - Jon S. Lewis
8. The Sisters Club - Megan McDonald
The Sisters Club - The Rule of Three - Cloudy With A Chance Of Boys
9. Zebrafish - Peter H. Reynolds, Sharon Emerson and Renee Kurilla
10. The Chronal Engine - Greg Leitich Smith

 

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year: 
66 - 2012 January to March
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Friday, 23 March 2012

Greg Leitich Smith - Author Profile

Greg Leitich Smith is a lawyer by day and YA author by night. That makes for a busy life. Combine that with the fact that his wife Cynthia Leitich Smith also a wonderful and prolific writer and you have a very creative home. Greg was born and raised in Chicago but now calls Texas home. His latest book the Chronal Engine is set in Texas. He took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for the readers here at Book Reviews and More.

1. If you had not become a writer what do you think you would be doing for a living?

I would be a patent attorney, which is what I do now, at least during the day. It's a nice combination of logical thinking, writing, and learning about new technologies.

2. How do you balance your time between writing and practicing law?

It tends to go in cycles, but broadly speaking, if I have a project, I get up early and write a lot on weekends. Usually, I'll try to do at least an hour of writing in the morning and then go to work. After dinner, Cynthia will usually put in at least another hour - it helps to have another writer in the family, so we tend to be understanding with each other about writing deadlines and demands.

3. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you nurture that dream?

I was always a strong and avid reader and I remember thinking sometime in grade school that it would be neat to write novels for a living. I even started one or two, but I was a lousy typist and the idea of writing things out longhand was just a bit too much. (Ironically, though, I wrote a complete draft of CHRONAL ENGINE by hand, using four or five legal pads).

Eventually I followed my interest in math and the sciences, but also sort of vaguely held onto the idea of maybe writing a novel. Someday. So when Cynthia started writing, it all came together again and I started writing right about the time she sold her first book.

4. What authors influenced your writing style and format?

I don't know about style, but CHRONAL ENGINE was essentially originally conceived as Swiss Family Robinson but with dinosaurs and a bit of Jules Verne. Which means, if you want to go all the way back, Johann Wyss and Daniel Defoe and Edgar Rice Burroughs and Arthur Conan Doyle and, well, Jules Verne.

5. What advice do you wish an artist had passed on to you early in your career, which you only learned through experience?

Hmm. I don't know that this is anything I didn't know at the beginning, but I think writing is a bit like engineering: no matter how much analysis you do (and however necessary that might be), ultimately it comes down to synthesis. If you want to be published, you have to finish projects. Regardless of other temptations, whether it's reading groups or workshopping or writer conferencing, ultimately you have to put the time in on the actual writing.

6. What does your writing process look like? Takes us through the steps from idea to publishing?

Every novel seems to be different, but I generally try to have a similar process. I get a lot of ideas, but very few seem to have enough there to become a full-fledged novel (Sometimes, I'll combine ideas…). Once the idea gels, I try to come up with a character who would be suitable. Along with the character, I try to get voice and the rudiments of a plot. With CHRONAL ENGINE, of course, the idea of going back to the time of the dinosaurs is great, but it's not a story. There has to be something and someone driving it.

Once I get those, I'll begin a preliminary draft. This usually is only about seventy-five pages long - it's just to get a feel for the character and where the story is going. I'll also make notes on what I need to research.

After that, I'll make a five-column table, assign one cell per chapter/scene, and write a brief description in each cell of what happens in the corresponding chapter/scene. If I put it down to 8 point type, I can see the entire novel on one page, which helps to see character arc, where things slow down, and if it makes any sense at all. It's kind of an outline in that I'll insert scenes as necessary but I don't necessarily stick to it on subsequent drafts. And then I'll get back to writing and will usually go through another five or six (at least) drafts before I send it to my agent.

It usually goes through at least one round of editorial, which can involve a major revision (not just "polishing").

7. Do you use a playlist when writing? Are certain books written while predominantly listing to the same music?

I usually try to pick something period or thematically appropriate. With CHRONAL ENGINE, naturally enough, I listened to the soundtrack from "Jurassic Park." With TOFU AND T.REX, centered around a delicatessen in Chicago owned by a German-Polish family, I listened to a lot of polka music. With NINJAS, PIRANHAS, AND GALILEO, which involved a family named Brandenburg, I listened to a lot of Bach. I'm currently working on a novel set in the 1930s, so I'm listening to Cab Calloway, Cole Porter, and Benny Goodman, among others.

8. I once heard Madeleine L'Engle state that her characters were real to her and almost an extended part of her family, she said once that at the dinner table she sat up and stated "Meg just finished her PhD." Are your characters real to you, do you ever get glimpses of what they are up to now, or once you finish a book is that it?

They do feel real. I don't typically get glimpses of what they're up to now, but every once in a while wonder what they might be doing….

Actually, Hans-Peter, from TOFU AND T.REX, almost made a cameo in CHRONAL ENGINE. I figure since he was so into dinosaurs, he might be majoring in paleontology by now, perhaps as a grad student for Prof. Pierson-Takahashi…

9. One of the greatest strengths in your books are the characters, they are so solid and believable. The characters you create, are they reflections of people you know, composites of different people you know or entirely your creations?

Thank you. I like to think that the characters are entirely my own creation, although I'm not sure that that is quite true.

If there's one thing that ties them all together is that they are all extreme in at least one, and in many cases, more than one way. They also tend to be relatively smart.

I think most of my friends and the people I knew as I was growing up (and even today) fit into the same demographic. So I guess I would say that they're inspired by, but not based on, the people I hang out with. I'd also have to say, though, that there's probably a little of me in each of them, as well (including the rat-finks)…

10. What is your favorite character that you have created and why?

I tend to like all my protagonists as I'm working on them.

From a purely craft standpoint, though, I think my favorite would have to be Tim, from NINJAS, PIRANHAS, AND GALILEO simply because he - a minor character in a book with three protagonists - tied all three threads together. And it came as a surprise to me (and the reader, I think) when he did.

It was one of the things that made me realize that everything you put in a book has to have a reason and that the solution to a plot problem might be just sitting there in an early draft.

11. Some of your earlier books are currently out of print, have you thought of rereleasing them as ebooks?

I am discussing possibilities with my agent for re-releasing them both as ebooks and paper books.

12. What books are currently in progress for you? Writing, researching, planning or even just ideas that you would like to work on?

I have a new semi-comedic science fiction book for which we've agreed to terms, but we haven't received paperwork yet, so we're waiting to make the official announcement. I expect to receive editorial comments next month, with publication tentatively planned for Fall 2013.

I'm also getting ready to send another science fiction project to my agent to shop.

13. The way the Chronal Engine is written is could have numerous spin off books. How many more books do you have planned in the Chronal Engine series? Do you have a time line for the releases?

This is another thing my agent and I are discussing…

14. The Chronal Engine is written in part in homage to a long tradition of adventure books. If you were to pick three or four in that genre to recommend what books would you suggest?

If we're talking classics, then I would have to recommend starting with Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.

15. Do you think we will see any more books set at the Peshtigo School in Chicago?

Perhaps. I'd have to come up with a suitable story that also fit the tone of the place. I sort of have a rudimentary idea in mind but I'd like to reissue the first two books before I commit to anything.

16. What were some of your favorite authors in your teen years who helped shape you?

I read a lot of science fiction and mysteries (as well as nonfiction) back then. Some of my favorite authors at the time were Guy Gavriel Kay, Anne Mcaffrey, Rex Stout, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Robert Heinlein. I also read most of Stephen R. Donaldson, Raymond Feist, Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, Orson Scott Card, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dick Francis, Robert Parker, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Barbara Hambly, R.A. McAvoy, and Katherine Kurtz. I also read every Star Trek novel that was published in the 1980s and still think that Diane Duane's were the best (she's also the author of the Young Wizards series).

As to nonfiction, I didn't really have favorite authors, although I read most of William Manchester and David McCullough. I loved (and still love) history and biography and the stories behind inventions and things that we don't think about that often.

17. What are some of your favorite books and authors now?

I have for too many favorite books and authors, a lot of which are discussed on my blog (http://greglsblog.blogspot.com). Authors whose next books I'm anxiously awaiting include Megan Whalen Turner, Kenneth Oppel, David Macinnis Gill, Brian Yansky, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Uma Krishnaswami.

18. I once had a university professor state that the true goal of a university education should be to teach one to learn how to think. What would you state should be the goal of higher education and why?

Hmm. I sort of think that one should know how to think prior to getting to college. But college does open up opportunities to think about and experience things one might not already be familiar with.

19. If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 10 books to read again and again, what books would you want with you?

I suppose HOW TO SURVIVE ON AND ESCAPE FROM A DESERT ISLAND would be a little too on the nose :. Not including my wife's novels (and yes, I'm cheating a little, but let's assume we're talking omnibus editions where necessary):

King James Bible
Complete Works of Shakespeare
The Lord of the Rings
Fionavar Tapestry
Ender's Game
The Thief series
The Enormous Egg
The Tantalize series (Really. I've read all of them in manuscript but never the final novels. Don't tell my wife).
The Westing Game
Any Introductory and Advanced Calculus text (provided I also have a pencil and paper).

20. What advice would you give to young aspiring authors and artists?

I would tell them to read and master the basics. You have to know the rules before you can break them.

Thanks Greg for taking some time to answer out questions and I look forward to many more books from you as time goes on.











Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (2014)

Chronal Engine Series:

Chronal Engine (2012)
Borrowed Time (2015)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)



Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith


Friday, 2 March 2012

Chronal Engine - Greg Leitich Smith

Chronal Engine
Greg Leitich Smith (Author)
Blake Henry (Illustrator)
Haughton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 9780545608495

This was the third novel by Greg Leitich Smith that I have read. Each has been a wonderful read. This story is written in a long tradition of Robinsonades. It is the story of time travel, dinosaurs and family. It was incredibly well written. I found it hard to put the book down the few times that I had to while reading it. The characters were amazing, and the loops in the story and the logic behind them was stunning. The way Greg has scripted this story sets it up for a number of wonderful reads in the same world.

The story follows three youngsters who travel back in time to rescue a fourth. Their great, great, great grandfather supposedly created a time machine. Now they must use it and go on an adventure of their own into prehistoric Texas. Kyle and Emma, the twins, and their younger brother Max have come to their grandfather's ranch to spend the summer while their mother is on an archeological dig in Asia. Petra is the daughter of the housekeeper and together with Max and Kyle needs to head back in time to rescue Emma.

Greg did amazing research and he presents life in the ancient past with stunning detail and up-to-date science. This story was incredible and I can only hope we get a follow-up quickly. I cannot wait to find out what adventures they get into next. I give this book the highest recommendation I can. It is a book I will read to my children when they are older!


Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (2014)

Chronal Engine Series:

Chronal Engine (2012)
Borrowed Time (2015)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)


Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith





Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tofu and T Rex - Greg Leitich Smith

Tofu and T Rex
Greg Leitich Smith
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 9780316777223


This is the second story by Greg Leitich Smith set in and around the Preshtigo School in Chicago. The main characters in this story are Freddie, a young militant vegan, Hans-Peter, her cousin, and Opa their grandfather. Some of the same characters from Greg's earlier book Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo are back again as well.
Freddie has been sent to spend the school year at her grandfather's after being suspended for having burned down the football field back in Texas. Soon there are problems in Chicago and it appears as though Freddie is back to her old tricks. But things are not always what they appear. The story is told back and forth between Hans-Peter's and Freddie's perspectives. They are two family members who are very different but still family, and who learn to be there for each other.

I have to be honest - I love these books and wish that Greg would write more of them. They are great stories that are wonderful to read. And I would rather visit the Preshtigo School than Hogwarts any day!

Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (2014)

Chronal Engine Series:

Chronal Engine (2012)
Borrowed Time (2015)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)



Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith


Saturday, 11 December 2010

Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo - Greg Leitich Smith

Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo
Greg Leitich Smith

Little Brown Kids

an imprint of Penguin

ISBN 9780316011815

This story is told in short chapters from the perspective of each of the three characters, Elias, Honoria, Shohei. The three attend the Preshtigo School in Chicago. They have been best friends for nearly as long as they can remember but now some cracks are showing in their friendships. Honoria likes Shohei, Elias likes Honoria. But that is not all their problems; Shohei has been allowed to duplicate Elias's science fair project to verify the results. But he is not holding up his end of the bargain.

This is a story with boa constrictors, piranhas, and science fairs gone awry. It is also a story about friendships, forgiveness and learning to make things right. Written in a way that will make you laugh, make you smile and maybe learn a little science along the way. It is a wonderful novel and won the Parent's Choice Gold Award. It was a great, fun read.


Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (2014)

Chronal Engine Series:

Chronal Engine (2012)
Borrowed Time (2015)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)


Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Santa Knows - Greg & Cynthia Leitich Smith, Steve Bjorkman

Santa Knows
Cynthia Leitich Smith (Author)

Greg Leitich Smith (Author)

Steve Bjorkman (Illustrator

Duttons Children's Books
an imprint of Penguin

ISBN 9780525477570

Alfie F. Snorklepuss is really a sour puss. He has decided Santa is not real, and is doing everything he can to convince the whole world. He is writing letters, making billboards, going on the TV and radio to proclaim his new found beliefs. But on Christmas Eve he has the biggest surprise of his life. The story by Greg and Cynthia is very funny and the illustrations by Steve Bjorkman bright, vibrant and very engaging.

Books by Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Young Adult Books:
Tantalize
Eternal
Blessed
Cat Calls - Short Story
Tantalize Kierens Story - Graphic Novel
Haunted Love - Short Story
Diabolical

Books for Kids:
Holler Loudly
Santa Knows
Indian Shoes
Rain Is Not My Indian Name
Jingle Dancer

Author Profile Interview with Cynthia Leitch Smith


Books by Greg Leitich Smith:
Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo (2003)
Tofu and T. Rex (2005)

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn (2014)

Chronal Engine Series:

Chronal Engine (2012)
Borrowed Time (2015)

With Cynthia Leitich Smith:
Santa Knows (2006)



Author Profile and Interview with Greg Leitich Smith