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Showing posts from September, 2018

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Float by Laura Martin

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FLOAT by Laura Martin Harper, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-06-280376-4 Source: purchased Middle grade speculative (fantasy) Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

From the critically acclaimed author of the Edge of Extinction series comes this fast-paced, action-packed, and heartfelt adventure about a group of kids with uncontrollable abilities, perfect for fans of Gordon Korman, Lisa McMann, and Dan Gutman!

Emerson can float…he just can’t do it very well.

His uncontrollable floating is his RISK factor, which means that he deals with Reoccurring Incidents of the Strange Kind. The last place Emerson wants to be is at a government-mandated summer camp for RISK kids like him, so he’s shocked when he actually starts having fun at camp—and he even makes some new friends.

But it’s not all canoeing and capture the flag at Camp Outlier. The summer of fun takes a serious turn when Emerson and his friends discover that one of their own is hiding a deadly secret that puts all of …

SERIES THURSDAY: The Adventurer's Guide to... by Wade Albert White

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THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White, illustrations by Mariano Epelbaum Little, Brown and Company, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-316-30528-0 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 Middle grade speculative (fantasy)/humor All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes--or face the horrible consequences.

REVIEW

If you enjoy snarky comments and plenty of humor, this enjoyable fantasy novel is for you.  I'm a fan of snarky comments and humor so I really enjoyed this book.  Anne has spent her entire life at St. Lupin's I…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: The Lizard Lady/Dear Komodo Dragon

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THE LIZARD LADY by Jennifer Keats Curtis and Dr. Nicole F. Angeli,  illustrated by Veronica V. Jones Arbordale Publishing, 2018 ISBN: 9781607180913 Source: publisher for review Picture book nonfiction Ages 6-10 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Join the Lizard Lady as she cuts her way through thick Caribbean forests searching for critically endangered St. Croix ground lizards. Hunted to extinction on the island of St. Croix by invasive species brought by colonizing farmers, these lizards are now only found on surrounding islands in the US Virgin Islands. Readers learn that scientists can be women and that the day in a life of a scientist can be anything but boring. Co-author Nicole F. Angeli IS the Lizard Lady--can she help save these animals?

REVIEW

This brief book takes a look at the scientific work of Dr. Nicole Angeli as she strives to help save the endangered St. Croix ground lizards.  Dr. Angeli is one of the co-authors of the book and adds a legitimacy to the …

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Pluto is Peeved!/Look at Me!

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PLUTO IS PEEVED! An Ex-Planet Searches for Answers by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Dave Roman Seagrass Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-63322-461-2 Ages 4-8 Picture book nonfiction All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Pluto is peeved. And who can blame him? He was once considered one of the Solar System’s nine planets but was unceremoniously demoted. “Why do scientists think it is all right to change things?” Is just one question Pluto asks as he roams the science museum in search of answers.

Pluto Is Peeved!, a comic-book-style picture book, takes you on a scientific journey side-by-side with Pluto, who speaks with other museum inhabitants -- such as a dinosaur, a germ, and the Earth -- and learns what exactly scientists are interested in. The answer is: everything, including him!

REVIEW

The animated comic format picture book addresses Pluto's feelings about being rejected as a planet.  He doesn't understand why he was downgraded and goes searching through the mus…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Monsters for Sale/When the Ground Shakes/Don't Ever Look Behind Door 32

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MONSTERS FOR SALE Meg O'Keefe, illustrated by LaMont Russ Lanier Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-61005-734-9 Ages 4-8 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

"Each day came and went with no child to take them home. The monsters decided it was time to make a plan of their own." Joy and contentment soon lead to worry as three toy monsters realize their plan to find the love of a child is falling apart. Will she return them? Will she give them away? Or maybe-just maybe-she will help them to discover that simply being themselves is always enough.

REVIEW

This is a cute story about the importance about being yourself.  While it felt a bit didactic in its delivery of that message, the illustrations are cute enough to overlook that.  Here we have three monsters who are afraid that no child will ever want them the way they are, too many children have walked away.  So they put together a plan and hide as much of themselves as they can behind clot…

MIDDLE GRADE REVIEW: Captain Superlative! by J.S. Puller

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CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE! by J.S. Puller Disney Hyperion, 2018 ISBN: 978-136800427-5 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 Middle grade contemporary All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

"Have no fear, citizens! Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!"

Red mask, blue wig, silver swimsuit, rubber gloves, torn tights, high top sneakers and . . . a cape? Who would run through the halls of Deerwood Park Middle School dressed like this? And why?

Janey-quick to stay in the shadows-can't resist the urge to uncover the truth behind the mask. The answer pulls invisible Janey into the spotlight and leads her to an unexpected friendship with a superhero like no other. Fearless even in the face of school bully extraordinaire, Dagmar Hagen, no good deed is too small for the incomparable Captain Superlative and her new sidekick, Janey.

But superheroes hold secrets and Captain Superlative is no exception. When Janey unearths what's truly at stake, she's f…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery by Allison Rushby

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THE TURNKEY OF HIGHGATE CEMETERY by Allison Rushby Candlewick Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9685-6 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 9-12 Middle grade speculative (fantasy) All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Twelve-year-old Flossie is no ordinary ghost — she’s the caretaker of every soul in Highgate Cemetery. And during World War II, even the ghosts are unsafe.
Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London’s Highgate Cemetery. As Turnkey, it’s Flossie’s job to ensure that all the souls buried in the cemetery stay at rest. Not an easy job for a young ghost, but a task made especially difficult by World War II: London is being attacked every night by enemy bombers, and even the dead are unsettled. When Flossie encounters the ghost of a German soldier carrying a mysterious object that seems to exist in both the living and spirit worlds, she becomes suspicious — what is the officer up to? Before long, Flossie uncovers a sinister plot that could destroy not only her ce…

SERIES THURSDAY: Survivor Diaries #1, 2, & 3 by Terry Lynn Johnson

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OVERBOARD! Survivor Diaries #1 by Terry Lynn Johnson Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-544-97010-6 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 Middle grade contemporary/adventure/survival All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

A high-stakes adventure series perfect for fans of the I Survived series and Hatchet. Eleven-year-old Travis and his family are on a whale watch off the coast of Washington when disaster strikes. The boat capsizes, throwing everyone into the ice-cold chaotic waves. Separated from their families and struggling to stay afloat, Travis and twelve-year-old Marina must use all of their grit and knowledge to survive.

With seventeen years of hands-on experience and training in remote areas, survival expert Terry Lynn Johnson (Ice Dogs; Sled Dog School) creates on-the-edge-of-your-seat storytelling featuring the real skills that kids need to survive a disaster. This book includes Coast Guard-approved cold-water survival tips; you may have a better chance of surviving …

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Thank You, Earth/Warbler Wave

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THANK YOU, EARTH A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre Greenwillow Books, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-06-269734-9 Source: purchased Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Water, air, light.
Patterns, curves, shapes, colors.
Things that crawl, fly, float, run, bloom, ripen. 
Think of everything Earth gives us.
What are you most thankful for?
REVIEW
This beautifully illustrate book offers an ode to the many things that our earth gives us.  Trees, water, air, and mountains, things big and small, simple and fancy, sights and sounds, are mentioned and appreciated.  This would be a great book to use on Earth Day to remember the planet that is our home.  The photographs are gorgeous, both the close-up and far away shots.  The end of the book gives suggestions for how to expand the reach of the book, including ideas for how children can help our planet.  A great educational and artistic endeavor, this book provides a powerful reminder of the fact that life would not be poss…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Alma and How She Got Her Name/I Am A BIrd/Julian is a Mermaid

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ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME by Juana Martinez-Neal Candlewick Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9355-8 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

REVIEW

This cute book focuses on the family members from whom Alma gets her name.  As her father explains to her about each of t…

MIDDLE GRADE REVIEW: The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

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THE MISCALCULATIONS OF LIGHTNING GIRL by Stacy McAnulty Random House, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-5247-6757-0 Source: purchased Ages 9-14 Middle grade contemporary All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test — middle school!

Lucy's grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that's not a math textbook!). Lucy's not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation?

A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnul…