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Showing posts from October, 2018

CYBILS JUNIOR/SENIOR NONFICTION REVIEWS: Roses and Radicals/Votes for Women

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ROSES AND RADICALS The Epic Story of How American Women Won the Right to Vote by Susan Zimet Viking, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-451-47754-5 Source: purchased Ages 12 and up YA nonfiction All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The United States of America is almost 250 years old, but American women won the right to vote less than a hundred years ago.

And when the controversial nineteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution - the one granting suffrage to women - was finally ratified in 1920, it passed by a mere one-vote margin.

The amendment only succeeded because a group of women had been relentlessly demanding the right to vote for more than seventy years. The leaders of the suffrage movement were fearless in the face of ridicule, arrest, imprisonment, and even torture. Many of them devoted themselves to a cause knowing they wouldn't live to cast a ballot. This is their story.

REVIEW

In a relatively short number of pages, Zimet manages to tell seventy years of history relating t…

MMGM: Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

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SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT by Derek Landy HarperCollins Children's Books, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-00-824878-9 Ages 9-12 Middle grade speculative/fantasy/horror Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

She’s twelve. He’s dead. But together they’re going to save the world. Hopefully.

The iconic first book in the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series.

Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead sorcerer…

REVIEW

With a new book in the series coming out, the Skulduggery Pleasant series is being reprinted with new covers.  Not having read the series when it first came out, I was interested in reading it this time.  And I was not disappointed.  In fact if anything, I was pleasantly surprised at how compelling and…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Sun! One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty

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SUN! One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Stevie Lewis Henry Holt & Company, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-250-19932-4 Source: publisher for review Picture book All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Meet Sun: He's a star! And not just any star—he's one in a billion. He lights up our solar system and makes life possible. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Sun in this next celestial "autobiography." Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully illustrated, this is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years

REVIEW

SUN! combines darling illustrations with a fun, informative text.  Sun is, of course, telling his own story.  He wants to make sure that the reader knows just how important he is.  This would come across as obnoxious if he weren't so friendly looking in the illustrations.  The information is blended beautifully with the story leaving the reader almost unaware he/…

CYBILS JUNIOR NONFICTION REVIEW: Voices from the Second World War

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VOICES FROM THE SECOND WORLD WAR Stories of War as Told to Children of Today Candlewick Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9492-0 Source: ARC from publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The Second World War was the most devastating war in history. Up to eighty million people died, and the map of the world was redrawn. More than seventy years after peace was declared, children interviewed family and community members to learn about the war from people who were there, to record their memories before they were lost forever. Now, in a unique collection, RAF pilots, evacuees, resistance fighters, Land Girls, U.S. Navy sailors, and survivors of the Holocaust and the Hiroshima bombing all tell their stories, passing on the lessons learned to a new generation. Featuring many vintage photographs, this moving volume also offers an index of contributors and a glossary.

REVIEW

With more and more people who survived World War II dying, it's become all the more importa…

MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY: Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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RESISTANCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen Scholastic Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-338-14847-3 Middle grade historical fiction Ages 10-14 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people.

Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis' supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya's network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Duck on a Disco Ball by Jeff Mack

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DUCK ON A DISCO BALL by Jeff Mack two lions, 2018 ISBN: 978-1503902923 Source: Blue Slip Media All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Bedtime has never been so silly!

Every night it’s the same old story. A boy wants to stay up late, but his parents won’t let him. But sometimes in the morning, he notices things look a little off—like when he sees a disco ball in the kitchen…with his toy duck on it. So one night he decides to stay up. And that’s when the fun really begins.

Silliness builds with each page of this high-energy, pun-filled companion to Duck in the Fridge until the moment when sleep eventually takes hold and morning arrives once more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jeff Mack is the award-winning author and illustrator of Duck in the Fridge; Mine!; Ah Ha!; Good News, Bad News; and the Hippo and Rabbit series. He has also illustrated many books, including If My Love Were a Fire Truck by Luke Reynolds. His books have been awarded the Texas 2x2, a Junior Library Guild award, a Color…

CYBILS JUNIOR NONFICTION REVIEWS: Fly Girls/Capsized

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FLY GIRLS The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII by P. O'Connell Pearson Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-5344-0410-6 Ages 12 and up Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

It the tradition of Hidden Figures, debut author Patricia Pearson offers a beautifully written account of the remarkable but often forgotten group of female fighter pilots who answered their country’s call in its time of need during World War II.

At the height of World War II, the US Army Airforce faced a desperate need for skilled pilots—but only men were allowed in military airplanes, even if the expert pilots who were training them to fly were women. Through grit and pure determination, 1,100 of these female pilots—who had to prove their worth time and time again—were finally allowed to ferry planes from factories to bases, to tow targets for live ammunition artillery training, to test repaired planes and new equipment, and more.

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: There's a Dragon in Your Book/The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight/ Be Kind

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THERE'S A DRAGON IN YOUR BOOK by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Greg Abbott Random House, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-5247-6638-2 Source: purchased Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

OH NO! There's a dragon in this picture book by bestselling author, YouTube star, and musician Tom Fletcher--author of There's a Monster in Your Book!

First, there's an egg in your book. Then the cutest baby dragon you've ever seen hatches from it. But don't tickle its nose, and whatever you do, don't let it sneeze! ACHOO! OH MY!

Tom Fletcher's infectious read-aloud invites kids to use their powers of imagination--along with some stamping, blowing, and flapping--to save their book from an adorable little dragon's flammable sneezes! Children will be delighted to participate in this satisfying tale, a sequel to There's a Monster in Your Book.

REVIEW

This cute interactive book revolves around an egg that hatches into an adorable little dragon.  But as anyo…

CYBILS SENIOR HIGH NONFICTION: Unpunished Murder by Lawrence Goldstone

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UNPUNISHED MURDER Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice by Lawrence Goldstone Scholastic Focus, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-338-23945-4 Source: purchased YA Nonfiction Ages 14 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

On Easter Sunday of 1873, just eight years after the Civil War ended, a band of white supremacists marched into Grant Parish, Louisiana, and massacred over one hundred unarmed African Americans. The court case that followed reached the highest court in the land. Yet, following one of the most ghastly incidents of mass murder in American history, not one person was convicted.

The opinion issued by the Supreme Court in US v. Cruikshank set in motion a process that would help create a society in which black Americans were oppressed and denied basic human rights -- legally, according to the courts. These injustices paved the way for Jim Crow and would last for the next hundred years. Many continue to exist to this day.

In this thoroughly researched volume fo…

CYBILS JUNIOR HIGH NONFICTION REVIEW: D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed History by Deborah Hopkinson

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D-DAY The World War II Invasion That Changed History by Deborah Hopkinson Scholastic, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-545-68248-0 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 12-18 YA Nonfiction All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The WWII invasion known as D-Day was the largest military endeavor in history. By June 6, 1944, Hitler and his allies had a strong grip on the European continent, where Nazi Germany was engaged in the mass extermination of the Jewish people. The goal of D-Day was the total defeat of Hitler's regime, and the defense of free democracies everywhere. Knowing they had to breach the French coast, the US, Great Britain, and Canada planned for the impossible.

D-Day was an invasion not for conquest, but liberation, and required years to plan and total secrecy to keep the advantage of surprise. Once deployed, Operation Overlord involved soldiers, sailors, paratroopers, and specialists. Acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the contributions of not…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell

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HOW TO TRICK THE TOOTH FAIRY by Erin Danielle Russell Aladdin, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-4814-6732-2 Source: Media Masters Publicity Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster!

But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!

REVIEW

I am not a huge fan of pulling pranks.  I think that it can be very unkind and mean. But the consequences of pulling pranks is seen in this story as Kaylee and the tooth fairy face off.  Kaylee loves to prank and so when she loses a tooth she naturally turns the tooth fairy's visit into…

CYBILS 2018!

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I am happy to announce that it is Cybils time once again.  For those who aren't familiar with this award, here is the description right from their website:

The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.

I am pleased to say that once again I have the privilege of serving as a judge.  I will be serving as a Round One panelist for the Junior High/Senior High Nonfiction category as I did last year.

The description for my category is as follows:

Novels may get all the glory, but we know that truth is stranger than fiction any day of the week.

We’re currently in a golden age of nonfiction. Forget the dry stuff they used to read in school to help with homework–today’s authors understand how…