Showing posts from March, 2018

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Wizard for Hire by Obert Skye

WIZARD FOR HIRE by Obert Skye Shadow Mountain, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-62972-412-6 Source: ARC from publisher Ages 9-12 Middle grade adventure/speculative All opinions expressed are solely my own.

What if there was a wizard in your hometown who offered his services to anyone in need? What if you were scared because your scientist parents had been kidnapped and you couldn't tell the police?

What if you stumbled across a classified ad in your local newspaper that read, "Wizard for Hire. Call 555-SPEL"? Would you call?

Fourteen-year-old Ozzy is desperate to find his parents, but he's not so sure about the ad....He's read about wizards in books like Harry Potter, but they couldn't actually exist in the world today, could they?

Enter Labryinth, aka "Rin," who dresses the part. Sort of. His bathrobe and high-top tennis shoes seem unorthodox. At least Rin acts like a wizard, but Ozzy has his doubts. Do real wizards write notes on their shoes and eat breakf…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW/GIVEAWAY: I am Famous by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie

I AM FAMOUS by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie, pictures by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff Albert Whitman & Company, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-8075-3440-3 Ages 3-6 Source: Blue Slip Media All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Kiely knows she is famous! The paparazzi (her parents) follow her every move, documenting with cameras. It’s exhausting being famous, but someone has to do it! She even gets to perform a big song at her grandfather’s birthday. When she messes it up, she’s worried she’s lost her audience forever, but it turns out that no one is as loyal as her fans who love her.


Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie are sisters. Tara previously owned a kids’ toy and book store in Atlanta. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and three sons. Becky was a casting producer for reality TV shows, including NBC’s America’s Got Talent, ABC’s Extreme Makeover, and E!’s The Simple Life in Los Angeles. She now lives in Chicago. To learn more about Tara and Becky, an…

NONFICTION MONDAY: 59 Hours by Johnny Kovatch

59 HOURS by Johnny Kovatch Simon Pulse, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-4814-7660-7 Source: purchased Ages 14 and up YA Nonfiction: True Crime All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Real stories. Real teens. Real consequences.

An innocent teen becomes a hostage stuck in the middle of a dangerous drug-fueled feud in this third book in the chilling Simon True series.

On Sunday, August 6, 2000, fifteen-year-old Nick Markowitz was grabbed off the street on the orders of a local drug dealer named Jesse James Hollywood. Nick was taken as collateral because his brother Ben owed Jesse money. He was an innocent victim who became a pawn in an increasingly high-stakes feud between the two that ended with Nick’s brutal murder.

A dozen or more people saw Nick over the course of the next fifty-nine hours, but no one stepped forward to say anything. No one thought to report the crime to the police. Some of them were scared of Hollywood, while others simply didn’t want to get involved.

When the news of Nick’s …

SERIES THURSDAY: Hamster Princess by Ursula Vernon

HARRIET THE INVINCIBLE Hamster Princess #1 by Ursula Vernon Scholastic, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-545-91343-0 Ages 9-12 Middle grade fantasy/animal/fairy tale Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sleeping Beauty gets a feisty, furry twist in this hilarious new comic series from the creator of Dragonbreath.

Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She may be quite stunning in the rodent realm (you'll have to trust her on this one), but she is not so great at trailing around the palace looking ethereal or sighing a lot. She finds the royal life rather . . . dull. One day, though, Harriet's parents tell her of the curse that a rat placed on her at birth, dooming her to prick her finger on a hamster wheel when she's twelve and fall into a deep sleep. For Harriet, this is most wonderful news: It means she's invincible until she's twelve! After all, no good curse goes to waste. And so begins a grand life of adventure with her trusty r…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW with GIVEAWAY: The Boo-Boos That Changed the World by Barry Wittenstein

THE BOO-BOOS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!) by Barry Wittenstein, illustrated by Chris Hsu Charlesbridge, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-58089-745-7 Source: Blue Slip Media Ages 6-9 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Did you know Band-Aids were invented by accident?! And that they weren't mass-produced until the Boy Scouts gave their seal of approval?

1920s cotton buyer Earle Dickson worked for Johnson & Johnson and had a klutzy wife who often cut herself. The son of a doctor, Earle set out to create an easier way for her to bandage her injuries. Band-Aids were born, but Earle's bosses at the pharmaceutical giant weren't convinced, and it wasn't until the Boy Scouts of America tested Earle's prototype that this ubiquitous household staple was made available to the public. Soon Band-Aids were selling like hotcakes, and the rest is boo-boo history.


Barry Wittenstein has always been involved with…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Axolotl/Deadly Mine/Welcome to the Coral Reef/Ghastly Gothic Mansions

Axolotl Weirder and Cuter by Dawn Bluemel Oldfield Bearport, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-68402-261-8 Ages 6-9 Picture book nonfiction Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

What's that odd-looking salamander that never leaves the water? It's an axolotl! Beginning readers will learn all about these strange yet wonderful creatures in this delightful title. They will also learn basic information about axolotls, including what they eat and the story behind their long, feathery gills. Each 24-page book features controlled text with age-appropriate vocabulary and simple sentence construction. The lively text, colorful design, and eye-catching photos are sure to capture the interest of emergent readers.


Bearport does such a nice job with these short nonfiction books.  With gorgeous photos balancing out the straight-forward text, young readers can focus on the the information in the book rather than the book itself. Axolotl's are a kind of s…

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK: Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick & David Serlin

BABY MONKEY, PRIVATE EYE by Brian Selznick & David Serlin, illustrated by Brian Selznick Scholastic Press, 2018 ISBN: 9781338180619 Source: purchased Ages 5-9 Primary humor/fantasy All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Who is Baby Monkey?

He is a baby.

He is a monkey.

He has a job.

He is Baby Monkey, Private Eye!

Lost jewels?

Missing pizza?

Stolen spaceship?

Baby Monkey can help...

if he can put on his pants!

Baby Monkey's adventures come to life in a blend of picture book, beginning reader, and graphic novel.


Brian Selznick's done it again.  But this time, he's revolutionized the early chapter book genre.  While the book has 192 pages making it seem like a full length chapter book.  The text is actually pretty sparse.  This makes the illustrations the star of the show, which is awesome when the illustrator is as fabulous as Selznick.  Our main character here is a baby monkey who solves crimes.  In each of the five chapters in the book, Baby Monkey solve…

MMGM: The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE by Christopher Paul Curtis Scholastic Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-545-15666-0 Ages 9-12 Middle grade historical fiction Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis brings his trademark humor and heart to the story of a boy struggling to do right in the face of history's cruelest evils.

Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His dad just died, the share crops are dry, and the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, Cap’n Buck, says Charlie’s dad owed him a lot of money. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal to repay his father’s debt by accompanying Cap’n Buck to Detroit in pursuit of some folks who have stolen from him. It’s not too bad of a bargain for Charlie . . . until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers that they escaped slavery years ago and have been living free. Torn between his guilty conscience and his survival instinct, Charlie needs to figure ou…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Children of Exile/Children of Refuge by Margaret Peterson Haddix

CHILDREN OF EXILE by Margaret Peterson Haddix Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4424-5003-5 Source: Media Masters Publicity for Review Ages 9-12 Middle grade speculative All opinions expressed are solely my own.

For the past twelve years, adults called “Freds” have raised Rosi, her younger brother Bobo, and the other children of their town, saying it is too dangerous for them to stay with their parents, but now they are all being sent back. Since Rosi is the oldest, all the younger kids are looking to her with questions she doesn’t have the answers to. She’d always trusted the Freds completely, but now she’s not so sure.

And their home is nothing like she’d expected, like nothing the Freds had prepared them for. Will Rosi and the other kids be able to adjust to their new reality?


I'm not sure what I expected when I picked up this book, but it wasn't what I got.  Haddix has long been known for her science fiction/fantasy/dystopia…

SERIES THURSDAY: Detention of Doom/Hilo #3: Waking the Monsters/ Wedgie & Gizmo/Superfail

DETENTION OF DOOM DC Comics Secret Hero Society #3 by Derek Fridolfs, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen Scholastic, 2018 ISBN: 9781338033120 Ages 6-9 Graphic novel Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own. 

When Lex Luthor's family company, Lexcorp(TM), invites kids from all over the country to attend an honors ceremony, Clark Kent is happy to participate. That is, until his award trophy creates a portal to another dimension and sucks him in! Lucky for Clark, his old friends Bruce and Diana along with newer friends Barry (The Flash(TM)) and Ollie (Green Arrow(TM)) are on the case! They'll have to travel to an alternate dimension to free their friend from Lex Luthor's grasp (and the worst detention ever) in this all-new adventure from Eisner Award winner Dustin Nguyen and Eisner Award nominee Derek Fridolfs.


Having enjoyed the first two books in this series, I was eager to pick up the third book, Detention of Doom.  The book was fun as were …