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PICTURE BOOK FICTION: Bird Count by Susan Edwards Richmond & Little Bro, Big Sis by Rocio Bonilla

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BIRD COUNT written by Susan Edwards Richmond, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman Peachtree Publishing, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-56145-954-4 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

A young girl eagerly identifies and counts the birds she observes around her town during the New England Christmas Bird Count.

Young Ava and her mother prepare to participate as "citizen scientists" in the Christmas Bird Count. She is excited when Big Al, the leader of their team, asks her to record the tally this year. Using her most important tools--her eyes and ears--and the birding ID techniques she's learned, Ava eagerly identifies and counts the birds they observe on their assigned route around the town. At the end of the day, they meet up with the other teams in the area for a Christmas Bird Count party, where they combine their totals and share stories about their observations.

This informative story by author Susan Edwards Richmond, co…

MIDDLE GRADE ADVENTURE FICTION: City Spies by James Ponti

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CITY SPIES by James Ponti Aladdin, 2020 ISBN: 9781534414914 Source: publisher for review (Thanks!)
Ages 9-12
All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI6 agency.

Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they’re not attending the local boarding school, they’re honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t.

Before she kn…

MIDDLE GRADE FANTASY/HORROR FICTION: Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian Heidicker

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SCARY STORIES FOR YOUNG FOXES by Christian Heidicker Henry Holt and Company, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-250-18142-8 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe.

When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.

Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen illustrations.

REVIEW

I'll admit, I've never read a book quite like this one. It's truly unique.  Seven young fox kits sneak out to visit the storyteller in Bog Cavern.  They believe they are ready for the tales she has to tell.  Each of the seven tales revolves around one of two …

PICTURE BOOK NONFICTION: Leave It to Abigail by Barb Rosenstock and Honeybee by Candice Fleming

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LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL! The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley Little, Brown and Company, 2020 ISBN: 978-0-316-41571-2 Source: purchased Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Everyone knew Abigail was different.

Instead of keeping quiet, she blurted out questions. Instead of settling down with a wealthy minister, she married a poor country lawyer named John Adams. Instead of running from the Revolutionary War, she managed a farm and fed hungry soldiers. Instead of leaving the governing to men, she insisted they “Remember the Ladies.” Instead of fearing Europe’s kings and queens, she boldly crossed the sea to represent her new country. And when John become President of the United States, Abigail became First Lady, and a powerful advisor.

Leave it to Abigail–an extraordinary woman who surprised the world.

REVIEW

I've long admired Abigail Adams.  Her intelligence and determination as well as her relationship w…

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION: The Wish and the Peacock by Wendy S. Swore

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THE WISH AND THE PEACOCK by Wendy S. Swore Shadow Mountain, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-62972-608-3 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Paige’s favorite family tradition on the farm is the annual bonfire where everyone tosses in a stone and makes a wish. This time, Paige’s specific wish is one she’s not sure can come true: Don’t let Mom and Grandpa sell the farm.

When Paige’s younger brother finds a wounded peacock in the barn, Paige is sure it’s a sign that if she can keep the bird safe, she’ll keep the farm safe too. Peacocks, after all, are known to be fierce protectors of territory and family.

With determination and hard work, Paige tries to prove she can save the farm on her own, but when a real estate agent stakes a “For Sale” sign at the end of the driveway and threatens everything Paige loves, she calls on her younger brother and her best friends, Mateo and Kimana, to help battle this new menace. They may not have str…

PICTURE BOOK NONFICTION: Dancing Hands by Margarita Engle & Honey: The Dog Who Saved Abe Lincoln by Shari Swanson

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DANCING HANDS: How Teresa Carreno Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-4814-8740-5 Source: publisher for review (Thanks!)
Ages 4-8
All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

As a little girl, Teresa CarreƱo loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War.

Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous as the talented Piano Girl who could play anything from a folk song to a sonata. So famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her t…

MIDDLE GRADE GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEWS : Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Le and Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn & Nicole Goux

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GREEN LANTERN : LEGACY by Minh Le and Andie Tong DC ZOOM, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-4012-8355-1 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Thirteen-year-old Tai Pham lives in the apartment above his grandmother's store, where his bedroom is crammed with sketchpads and comic books. But not even his most imaginative drawings could compare to the colorful adventure he's about to embark on.

When Tai inherits his grandmother's jade ring, he soon finds out it's more than it appears. Suddenly he's being inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns, his neighborhood is being overrun by some racist bullies, and every time he puts pen to paper, he's forced to confront that he might not be creative enough or strong enough to uphold his Ba's legacy.

Now Tai must decide what kind of hero he wants to be: will he learn to soar above his insecurities or will the past keep him grounded?

REVIEW

I was excited when I first dis…