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Showing posts from October, 2016

MMGM: Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

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PAPER WISHES by Lois Sepahban Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-374-30216-0 Middle Grade historical fiction Ages 9-12 Source: school library All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

A moving debut novel about a girl whose family is relocated to a Japanese internment camp during World War II--and the dog she has to leave behind.

Ten-year-old Manami did not realize how peaceful her family's life on Bainbridge Island was until the day it all changed. It's 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert. Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat, but she is caught and forced to abandon him. She is devastated but clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find…

BLOG TOUR with 2 GIVEAWAYS! Impyrium by Henry H. Neff

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Welcome to Day #5 of the Impyrium Blog Tour! To celebrate the release of Imyprium by Henry H. Neff (10/4/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Henry and 10 chances to win a SIGNED copy of Impyrium, as well as a Grand Prize Giveaway!

From Ashes to Empire: Building IMPYRIUMby Henry H. Neff

IMPYRIUM is a fantasy story set 3,000 years in the future, after an event called the Cataclysm fractured major landmasses and ushered in a new age. The world changed, and not just physically. The Cataclysm coincided with a war in which mankind fought for its survival, and I was curious how things might play out over time. What kind of civilization would emerge from the ashes of this great conflict? Fortunately, I had some tools to help me organize my thoughts and lay the groundwork for what would become IMPYRIUM. When I was a history teacher, I came across a term called S.P.R.I.T.E., which was a helpful way of thinking about a civilization or people at a particular point in ti…

SERIES THURSDAY: Super Happy Party Bears by Marcie Colleen

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GNAWING AROUND Super Happy Party Bears #1 by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Steve James Imprint, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-250-09807-8 Early chapter book Ages 6-9 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The first book in a funny chapter book series filled with full color illustrations and adorable animals!

To the Super Happy Party Bears, everything is a good thing. Their entire attitude can be summed up in one word: YAY! They love doughnuts, dancing, and above all else—a good party. Not so for the rest of the animals living in the Grumpy Woods. They find the bears terribly annoying.

When a few beavers come to town, the Grumpy Woods are even grumpier than usual. These beavers are drying up their river with their dam . . . the beavers are ruining everything! They must leave—it is decreed!

But the Super Happy Party Bears just love the beavers! As the Grumpy Woods scheme to unwelcome them, the Super Happy Party Bears throw them a housewarming party that will prove dancing…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Atlas of Animal Adventures by Rachel Williams and Emily Hawkins

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ATLAS OF ANIMAL ADVENTURES A collection of nature's most unmissable events, epic migrations, and extraordinary behaviors illustrated by Lucy Letherland, written by Rachel Williams and Emily Hawkins Wide Eyed Editions, 2016 ISBN: 9781847808417 Ages 9-12 Middle grade nonfiction
Source: publisher for review (Thanks!)
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the team behind the best-selling Atlas of Adventures. Head off on a journey of discovery, with this book that collects together nature’s most unmissable events from between the two poles, including epic migrations, extraordinary behaviors, and Herculean habits. Find hundreds of things to spot and learn new facts about every animal.

REVIEW

Wide-Eyed Editions has created a rather delightful atlas that works well for reading straight through or for just browsing.  Not only is the book crammed with fascinating information about various animals around the world, but the illustrator clearly meant the illustrations to be enjoy…

BLOG TOUR: Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern by Seth Adam Smith

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RIP VAN WINKLE AND THE PUMPKIN LANTERN by Seth Adam Smith Self-published, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-9975111-6-1 Middle grade speculative (fantasy) Ages 9-12 Source: author for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Chased by a vengeful witch, hunted by an undead corpse, and guided by a secretive preacher, a boy must protect a magical lantern that can either save Boston . . . or destroy it.

In October of 1730, young Rip Van Winkle sneaks into a graveyard and comes face-to-face with the ghost of William Blaxton, the first settler of Boston. Warning Rip that the city is in danger, Blaxton gives him a mysterious gift: a pumpkin lantern with power over life and death. Before fading into midnight, the ghost tells Rip to take the lantern to Feathertop, a mythical pumpkin-headed scarecrow.

Pursued by Mistress Hibbins, a witch of terrifying power, and hunted by the nightmarish Midnight Minister, young Rip must rely on the aid of Jonathan Edwards, a stern and secretive preacher, and Nat…

BOARD BOOKS: Stanley's Shapes/Stanley's Colors by William Bee

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STANLEY'S COLORS by William Bee Peachtree Petite, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-56145-948-3 Ages 0-3
Source: publisher for review (Thanks!) All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Its another busy day for Stanley and friends. Stanley and Little Woo are learning about colors and vehicles. There's a red car, a yellow motorbike, and even a pink balloon!

REVIEW

Stanley is an adorable little hamster who actively travels around in his variously colored vehicles.  The colors are bright and appealing and sure to catch a youngster's eye.  The variety of vehicles provides another fun part of the story.  Stanley fixes his red car, delivers a flower in his orange truck, and loves riding his yellow motorcycle among other things.  There is much to talk about here with a young child providing an enjoyable reading experience that also helps children learn to start thinking and talking about what they read.  I loved the last page which shows all the different vehicles and colors and asks the chi…

MMGM: Took by Mary Downing Hahn

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TOOK by Mary Downing Hahn Clarion Books, 2015 ISBN: 9780544551534 Middle grade horror/speculative (fantasy) Ages 9-12 Source: school library All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

“Folks say Old Auntie takes a girl and keeps her fifty years—then lets her go and takes another one.”     Thirteen-year-old Daniel Anderson doesn’t believe Brody Mason’s crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid . . . a “stuck-up snot” from Connecticut. But Daniel’s seven-year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll. When she disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been “took”?

REVIEW

Mary Downing Hahn has become one of my go to authors for middle grade scary books.  I've found her books fit into the solidly middle ground in terms of scarines…

BLOG TOUR: The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock

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THE WISHING WORLD by Todd Fahnestock Starscape, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-7653-8588-8 Middle Grade Speculative (Fantasy) Ages 9-12 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

In the Wishing World, dreams are real. You can transform into your own hero, find wild and whimsical friends, and wield power as great as your imagination. But Lorelei doesn't know about any of that. All she knows is that a monster took her family.

It happened during a camping trip one year ago. Hiding inside the tent, she saw shadows, tentacles and a strange creature. By the time she got up the courage to crawl outside, the monster--and Lorelei's mom, dad, and brother--were gone.

Lorelei is determined to find her family. When she accidentally breaks into the Wishing World, she discovers a way. It's a land more wonderful than she could have imagined, a land of talking griffons, water princesses, and cities made of sand, where Lorelei is a Doolivanti--a wish-maker--who can writ…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Extreme Wildfire by Mark Thiessen

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EXTREME WILDFIRE by Mark Thiessen with Glen Phelan National Geographic Kids, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4263-2530-4 Middle grade nonfiction Ages 9-12 Source: publisher for review (Thanks!)All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

In one moment, there’s a simple spark, and then roaring flames surge 200 feet into the air, devouring forests. Trees, from root to canopy, are burned to the ground. Airtankers and helicopters hover above, executing an air attack. Brave firefighters, equipped with flame resistant suits, leap from helicopters onto the treetops and descend to the blazing forest floor.

In this book, young readers will learn about the ecological impacts of wildfires, the ins and outs of fire science including tactics for prevention and containment, cutting-edge technology used to track wildfires and predict fire behavior, and about the impressive skill, survival tactics, and bravery required to control a wildfire. Also included are expert tips, fun facts, and breathtaking p…

SERIES THURSDAY: Long Road to Freedom/Race to the South Pole by Kate Messner

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LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM Ranger in Time #3 by Kate Messner Scholastic Press, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-545-63921-7 Historical fiction/time travel Ages 8-10 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Ranger is a time-traveling golden retriever with search-and-rescue training. In this adventure, he goes to a Maryland plantation during the days of American slavery, where he meets a young girl named Sarah. When she learns that the owner has plans to sell her little brother, Jesse, to a plantation in the Deep South, it means they could be separated forever. Sarah takes their future into her own hands and decides there's only one way to run -- north.

REVIEW

Ranger is such an appealing hero, especially since he doesn't know he is one.  As a dog, all he knows is that when his time traveling first aid kit hums, its time to go help someone.  Messner has created an appealing historical fiction series that draws kids in with it's time traveling dog as the main character.…

BOARD BOOK REVIEWS: My First Book of Animal Hugs and Kisses/My First Book of Animal Opposites

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MY FIRST BOOK OF ANIMAL HUGS AND KISSES by National Wildlife Federation Imagine, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-62354-061-6 Ages 0-3 Source: publisher for review (Thanks!)All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Charming photos of wildlife combined with adorable comments offer a heartwarming look at creatures from around the world. Any toddler will love this vibrant book—as will adults sharing it with little ones.

REVIEW

There are several things that I look for when I review board books.  Bright colorful illustrations are a must for a board book. There needs to be things to attract young eyes.  This book definitely has that quality with gorgeous photographs of animals 'hugging' and 'kissing'.  The variety in the size of the picture provides a nice contrast for young eyes.  Board books don't necessarily need text but when they have text it needs to be short enough not to bog down the reading.  The youngest listeners need practice listening and interacting over books so …

MMGM: Endangered by Eliot Schrefer

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ENDANGERED Ape Quartet #1 by Eliot Schrefer Scholastic Press, 2012 ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1 MG/YA Contemporary (Diverse) Ages 12 and up Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos--and herself--from a violent coup.

The Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.

When one girl has to follow her mother to her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. It's her mother's passion, and she'd rather have nothing to do with it. But when revolution breaks out and their sanctuary is attacked, she must rescue the bonobos and hide in the jungle. Together, they will fight to keep safe, to eat, and to survive.

Eliot Schrefer asks readers what safety means, how one sacrifices to help others, and what it means to be human in this new compelling adventure.

REVIEW

Schrefer has crafted a story that is both eye-opening and touching.  A story that seems historical but…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Sword in the Stacks by Jen Swann Downey

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SWORD IN THE STACKS The Ninja Librarians #2 by Jen Swann Downey Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4022-8773-2 Middle Grade Speculative (Fantasy) Ages 8-12 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Now official apprentices of the Lybrariad, Dorris and Marcus have joined Ebba in the immense time-folding labyrinth known as Petrarch's Library for the Summer Quarter.

Dorrie is eager to do well at her practicums, and prove her worth as an apprentice, but before she can choose between "Spears, Axes, and Cats: Throwing Objects with Precision and Flair” and "First and Last Aid: When No One Else Is Coming", mistakes made by Dorrie in the past cause trouble for the lybrarians.

The Foundation, once nearly destroyed by the Lybrariad, now has the means to rise from its ashes, and disappear reading and writing from the world. To make sure it succeeds, the Foundation sets in motion a dark plan to increase the power of a cruel figure from t…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Science of Fun Stuff To Go!

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SCIENCE OF FUN STUFF TO GO! including: The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks,The Innings and Outs of Baseball; Pulling Back the Curtain on Magic!; The Cool Story Behind Snow; The Sugary Secrets Behind Candy; How Airplanes Get from Here...to There! by Various Simon Spotlight, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4814-6868-8 Ages 6-10 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Become an expert on your favorite sports, treats, magic tricks, and more in this fact-tastic boxed set of six nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read books that are part of a series about the science of fun stuff!

Full of engaging science and quirky facts, this incredible Science of Fun Stuff collection will teach Level 3 readers everything they want to know about the behind-the-scenes physics, chemistry, and technology of baseball, amusement parks, magic, snow, candy, and airplanes! A special section at the back of each book includes Common Core–vetted extras on subjects like history, social studies, geography, an…