Showing posts from March, 2013

BLOG TOUR/GIVEAWAY: Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

First, I must apologize, I was supposed to have a review up today and I just didn't get the book read. I will be reading and posting a review in the next week though. So today I've included an excerpt for your enjoyment.

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.

If only it were as simple as being in love.

Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Heming…

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK REVIEW: Zeke Meeks vs. The Big Blah-rific Birthday by D.L. Green

by D.L. Green, illustrations by Josh Alves
Picture Window Books, 2013
ISBN13: 9781404876378
Grades 1-3
Primary Humor (Early Chapter Book)
Reviewed from e-galley provided by publisher through NetGalley.


When Zeke's birthday party falls near Grace Chang's and Owen Leech's big bashes, he decides to cancel his party. After all, even he would rather go to their over-the-top parties than his simple celebration. But Zeke and his classmates are in for a surprise. Bigger doesn't always mean better.


As an elementary librarian I am always on the lookout for fun books to recommend to my students who are still learning to read (K-2).  There are a ton of books available but some have more kid appeal than others.  The series I'm talking about today has a ton of kid appeal, especially for boys who are reluctant readers. 

Zeke Meeks hates bugs, loves bloody, gory video games, and is terrified of Grace Chang and her fingernai…

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: Parenting with Spiritual Power by Julie K. Nelson

PARENTING WITH SPIRITUAL POWER by Julie K. Nelson Cedar Fort, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-4621-1168-8 LDS Nonfiction Book received from publisher in return for honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

"I wish children came with an instruction manual!"

How many times have we heard this lament by a frustrated or overwhelmed parent? Perhaps we have said these words ourselves.  There are "how-to" manuals for practically anything: installing a new faucet, building a remote control car, baking an apple pie, refinishing an antique chair, or assembling a bicycle.  Is there a formula or a perfect manual for raising children? Yes! The scriptures.

In Parenting With Spiritual Power, Julie Nelson examines the lives of mothers and fathers in the scriptures (the best instruction manual) and the parenting principles we can learn from them.  Discover powerful parenting examples from Adam and Eve, Moses, the brother of Jared, and Captain Moroni, along with suggestions …

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Mosey's Field by Barbara Lockhart

by Barbara Lockhart, illustrated by Heather Crow
Schiffer Publishing, 2013
ISBN: 9780764343889
Grades K-5
Picture Book Animal
Reviewed from e-copy provided by publisher through NetGalley.


Mosey, a long-legged, lumbering kind of dog, has a napping place in the middle of a corn field, but when the plow comes through, followed later by the planter, Mosey can no longer find his spot. As the corn grows, Mosey's adventures in the field include exploring tunnels in the corn rows, chasing rabbits, finding relief from the summers heat, and, at the end of the season, experiencing the terrifying (to him) appearance of a combine. Mosey's Field illuminates the beauty of the rural landscape, the change in seasons, and the progression of agricultural methods. While Mosey continues the search for his special place, children are not only connected to the environment, but the important concept of where food comes from. 


Mosey the dog is an appealing char…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Isabella, Star of the Story by Jennifer Fosberry

by Jennifer Fosberry, pictures by Mike Litwin
Sourcebooks, 2013
ISBN: 9781402279362
Picture Book Contemporary
Grades K-5
Reviewed from copy provided by publisher through NetGalley.


Every day's an adventure with Isabella!

Isabella checks out the library, and steals the spotlight from some of the most memorable children's book characters. She's Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole. No, now she's Peter Pan, flying off to Never Never Land. And when it's finally time to follow the yellow brick road home, she decides she's happy just being Isabella, the little purple-haired girl with a lot of books and even more imagination.


There were a lot of things that I loved about this book.  I loved Isabella and her love of books and the library (natural since I'm a librarian).  I loved her eagerness to use her imagination in enjoying the books she chose.  The illustrations are delightful and imaginative and match the story to a…

NetGalley Challenge 2013

For numerous reasons, I've decided not to participate in many challenges this year. I prefer to just read what I feel like reading. But since I have so many NetGalley books to read I thought I might as well participate in this one.

I'm going to go for the Gold Star--30+ NetGalley Books this year.  I currently have four that I have read.

MIDDLE GRADE BOOK REVIEW: Starring Jules (as herself) by Beth Ain

by Beth Ain, illustrated by Anne Keenan Higgins
Scholastic Press, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-44352-4
Grades 2-5
Middle Grade Contemporary
Reviewed from purchased copy.


Lights! Camera! Action! A hilarious chapter book debut from a fabulous new talent!

Things to Know About Me

by Jules Bloom

1. I am a scrambled-eggs-and-chocolate-milk type person.

2. I have an audition for a TV commercial (which would be great if I were a tall-icy-drink type person.)

3. I am in between best friends right now.

4. I am worried that the audition will be a disaster. (See #1 and #3!)

Jules doesn't want to ruin THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME, and she's willing to turn to anyone for help--even her know-it-all ex-best friend! If only that lovely new girl in class would turn out to be the new best friend of her dreams, maybe, just maybe, Jules will be ready for her close-up....


I'm always on the lookout for fun early chapter books that I can recommend to readers.  Starr…

MIDDLE GRADE BOOK REVIEW: Hashbrown Winters and the Phantom of Pordunce by Frank L. Cole

by Frank L. Cole Bonneville, 2010 ISBN: 9781599553986 Middle Grade Adventure/Fantasy Grades 3-5
E-ARC provided by author for blog tour. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Life at Pordunce is back to normal - well, as normal as ever in the three-ring circus that passes for Hashbrown's elementary school. But everything changes when a ghostly presence starts roaming the halls. And even worse, Hashbrown's club may be about to lose one of its founding members. Can Hashbrown save the day? This snort-worthy, fun-filled roller-coaster ride of a book is guaranteed to get you giggling - assuming you can pry it away from your kids long enough to read it yourself.


Frank L. Cole has lived in such exotic places as the Philippines and Kentucky, and currently lives with his wife and three children out west. While he strived for years to earn his publishing credits, Frank considers sharing h…

NONFICTION MONDAY: Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough

MISS MOORE THOUGHT OTHERWISE How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough, illustrated by Debby Atwell Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-547-47105-1 Picture Book Nonfiction Grades K-5 Reviewed from purchased copy.

Once upon a time, American children couldn’t borrow library books. Reading wasn’t all that important for children, many thought. Luckily Miss Anne Carroll Moore thought otherwise! This is the true story of how Miss Moore created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library, a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world’s best children’s books in many different languages.


Being an elementary school librarian, I have a special appreciation for those who've paved the way for me to share books with children.  Anne Carroll Moore was one of those people.  I really enjoyed reading about her efforts to help open public libraries to c…


Welcome to the 12th Kid Lit Blog Hop. We did it! We hit 100 links once again! Thanks to all of YOU, we are developing a thriving community of bloggers and authors who love to share their favorite kids books. Last time, there were so many links to fantastic posts about children's books, literacy, and favorites lists. Lots of variety!  Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!
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Suggestions For How to Participate: 1. Although not mandatory, we ask that you kindly follow your hostesses and co-hostesses. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), bu…

WISDOM TALES PRESS GIVEAWAY: The Conference of the Birds by Alexis York Lumbard

Retold by Alexis York Lumbard, illustrated by Demi
Wisdom Tales Press, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-937786-02-1
Picture Book Folktale
K and up
Reviewed from copy provided by publisher for review.
All opinions expressed are my own.


Late one moonless night in a far corner of the world there gathered a large flock of birds.  They gathered in sorrow, since they had been, for so very long, deprived of a king.

Thus beings the magical adventure of these wayfaring birds.  With encouragement from their wise guide, the hoopoe bird, they overcome fears, physical hardships, and their own inner weakness in order to reach the hieghts of the mountain to meet their King.

Children and adults alike will relate to this inspiring tale about conquering one's faults and practicing the virtues of humility, patience, detachment from worldly goods, and courage.

Lavishly illustrated and based on an 800 year old classical tale, this fascinating and beautiful book will delight children…

NONFICTION MONDAY: Women Explorers by Julie Cummins

by Julie Cummins, illustrated by Cheryl Harness
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3713-6
Collective biography
Grades 2-5
Reviewed from purchased copy.


Meet ten inspiring women whose passions for exploration made them push the boundaries

Though most people have heard of explorers like Henry Hudson and Christopher Columbus, few have heard names like Nellie Cashman and Annie Smith Peck. Unfortunately, most of the brave women explorers have never made it into history books because they lived in times when it was taboo for women to go off on their own. Luckily, the daring women in this book didn't let those taboos slow them down as they climbed treacherous mountains, studied Aboriginal cultures, and lived with Pygmy tribes!

With engaging text and bold illustrations, Women Explorers will finally properly introduce these adventurous women to the world.


I found it rather telling that I had never heard of any of these women before rea…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: The Invisible Tower by Nils Johnson-Shelton

THE INVISIBLE TOWER Otherworld Chronicles #1 by Nils Johnson-Shelton Harper, 2012 ISBN:  9780062070869 Middle Grade Fantasy Grades 3-6

Part of the spell has already been broken.

The first stones have begun to crumble.

In Artie Kingfisher'’s world, wizards named Merlin, fire-breathing dragons, and swords called Excalibur exist only in legends and lore—until the day his video game Otherworld springs to life.

You are special, Arthur,

Says the mysterious message in his game.

In one week’s time you will come to me at the it.

Cryptic clues lead Artie to a strange place called the Invisible Tower, where he discovers that nothing in his life is as it seems. Artie is none other than King Arthur, brought to life in the twenty-first century. Artie has won the battle in the virtual Otherworld—now the key to saving the real Otherworld lies in his hands as well.

Green dragons, hungry wolves, powerful sorcerers—suddenly Artie must battle them all as he wields Excalibur and…

BLOG TOUR; Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud by Jon Thomason

Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud

Max has anger management issues. But she has a secret, too. She can make things happen. Like magic. She almost killed a loser skate punk and nearly used it on her stuck up older sister. The question is, can she do anything other than blow things up? Can she learn to control it? And is it really possible that an obscure teenage girl is the key to keeping all of humanity safe?

Philip just got his ring back. He got it taken away for messing with his teacher’s mind so he can cheat on a test. Now that he has his ring, he thinks he should be able to use his power to make his life better. A lot better. The problem is that people want him to be responsible. But if you could do magic, wouldn’t you use it to escape work in any way possible?

Aaron wants to be a soldier. He knows there are lots of people who would try to take over, and he’s determined to stop them. The problem is that there’s this new girl. And she might not be on the right side of things. She…


I haven't been reviewing picture books as much as I used to, but I'm going to try to change that.  So here are a couple of fun picture books perfect for sharing with preschoolers and kindergartners.

by Ethan Long
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-25611-0
Picture Book
Reviewed from purchased copy.


Three side-splitting stories in one great picture book!

In three laugh-out-loud situations, an irresistible cast of colorful birds illustrate the concepts of "up," "tall" and "high." First, a short peacock proves that he may not be tall, but he definitely isn't small. Then, a resourceful bird helps his penguin friend find a way to fly. Finally, two birds want to live in the same tree, but what goes up must come down! Each short story features a flap that reveals a surprise twist.

With fun fold-outs, easy-to-read text, and a hilarious cast of characters, these stor…