Showing posts from October, 2019

CYBILS SENIOR HIGH NONFICTION NOMINEES: Dissenter on the Bench/Glimmer of Hope

DISSENTER ON THE BENCH: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Life and Work By Victoria Ortiz Clarion Books, 2019 Source: eBook through public library Ages 14 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own.

The life and career of the fiercely principled Supreme Court Justice, now a popular icon, with dramatic accounts of her landmark cases that moved the needle on legal protection of human rights, illustrated with b/w archival photographs.

Dramatically narrated case histories from Justice Ginsburg's stellar career are interwoven with an account of RBG’s life—childhood, family, beliefs, education, marriage, legal and judicial career, children, and achievements—and her many-faceted personality is captured. The cases described, many involving young people, demonstrate her passionate concern for gender equality, fairness, and our constitutional rights. Notes, bibliography, index. REVIEW
Ruth Bader Ginsburg made for an interesting subject.  The incredible amount of hard work she&#…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS : Skulls! / Give Me Back My Bones!

SKULLS! By Blair Thornburgh and Scott Campbell Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-5344-1400-6 Ages 4-8 Picture book nonfiction Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Debut picture book author Blair Thornburgh and award-winning illustrator Scott Campbell put their heads together to celebrate one of the most important bones in your body: the skull!

You probably don’t think much about skulls.
So what’s the big deal about them?

Well, every head
of every person
you’ve ever seen
has a skull inside.

And that includes YOU!

This smart, skull-positive story cheerfully dispels any fears kids might have about their skeletons, flipping our view of skulls from a spooky symbol to a fascinating, cool, and crucial part of our bodies.


Skulls have long been used to frighten people.  But in this delightful new book, Blair Thornburgh and Scott Campbell show readers why skulls don't need to be frightening and in fact are vitally important.  &…

CYBILS 2019 SENIOR HIGH NONFICTION NOMINEES: High : Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction/Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

HIGH Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction by David and Nic Sheff Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019 ISBN: 978054644342 Source: eBook from public library Ages 14-18 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Just Say Know! With drug education for children more important than ever, this nonfiction book draws on the experiences of the NY Times bestselling father/son team of David and Nic Sheff to provide all the information teens and tweens need to know about drugs, alcohol, and addiction.

From David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy (2008), and Nic Sheff, author of Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines (2008), comes the ultimate resource for learning about the realities of drugs and alcohol for middle grade readers.
     This book tells it as it is, with testimonials from peers who have been there and families who have lived through the addiction of a loved one, along with the cold, hard facts about what drugs and alcohol do to our bodies. From how to n…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Alice and Greta/Clever Little Witch

A Tale of Two Witches
by Steven J. Simmons, illustrated by Cyd Moore Charlesbridge, 1997 ISBN: 978-1-62354-110-1 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Alice is a good witch. And Greta... well, Greta and trouble are never far apart. Alice spends her time helping others by weaving her enchanting spells. All Greta does is wreak havoc. But when a forgotten spell comes back to haunt her, Greta's stuck learning something she should have learned long ago. REVIEW Alice and Greta are as different as can be.  Alice loves to help others, whereas, Greta loves to torment them.  Even when they were in school together their different choices shone in their actions. And while they learned the same spells, they choose to use them quite differently.  One day when they face off though, it seems Greta's nastiness will win the day, until Alice reminds her of a lesson from school that she seems to have missed.  The sweet tale of the …

MMGM: Dead Voices by Katherine Arden

DEAD VOICES by Katherine Arden G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2019 ISBN: 978-0-525-51505-0 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 Middle grade speculative/scary/horror All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Having survived sinister scarecrows and the malevolent smiling man in Small Spaces, newly minted best friends Ollie, Coco, and Brian are ready to spend a relaxing winter break skiing together with their parents at Mount Hemlock Resort. But when a snowstorm sets in, causing the power to flicker out and the cold to creep closer and closer, the three are forced to settle for hot chocolate and board games by the fire.

Ollie, Coco, and Brian are determined to make the best of being snowed in, but odd things keep happening. Coco is convinced she has seen a ghost, and Ollie is having nightmares about frostbitten girls pleading for help. Then Mr. Voland, a mysterious ghost hunter, arrives in the midst of the storm to investigate the hauntings at Hemlock Lodge. Ollie, Coco, and Brian want…

CYBILS REVIEWS JUNIOR HIGH NONFICTION: Secret Soldiers/1919: The Year That Changed America

SECRET SOLDIERS: How the U.S Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis by Paul B. Janeczko Candlewick Press, 2019 ISBN: 978-7636-8153-1 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 12 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own.

What do set design, sound effects, and showmanship have to do with winning World War II? Meet the Ghost Army that played a surprising role in helping to deceive -- and defeat -- the Nazis.

In his third book about deception during war, Paul B. Janeczko focuses his lens on World War II and the operations carried out by the Twenty-Third Headquarters Special Troops, aka the Ghost Army. This remarkable unit included actors, camouflage experts, sound engineers, painters, and set designers who used their skills to secretly and systematically replace fighting units -- fooling the Nazi army into believing what their eyes and ears told them, even though the sights and sounds of tanks and war machines and troops were entirely fabricated. Follow the T…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: The Right One for Roderic/The Most Terrible of All/Pick a Pumpkin

THE RIGHT ONE FOR RODERIC by Violeta Noy Templar Books, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-5362-0572-5 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

What happens when one little ghost wants to stand out?

All ghosts wear white sheets. That’s just what ghosts do. White sheets are good for haunting people, and they make the ghosts feel like part of one big family. But one little ghost named Roderic wants to wear something different. He tries all sorts of things: a bag, a rug, a boot. Can he find the right one for him? Find out in this colorful picture book from debut author-illustrator Violeta Noy.


Roderic, a young ghost, comes from a large family, so large in fact that he isn't even the first Roderic.  He's tired of feeling invisible and overlooked by his relatives who all wear white sheets.  So he starts looking for different ways to express himself.  He tries hats and scarves and rugs, but nothing feels quite right.  And after his family tells …

MMGM: The Last Dragon (The Revenge of Magic #2) by James Riley

THE LAST DRAGON The Revenge of Magic #2 by James Riley Aladdin, 2019 ISBN: 9781534425729 Source: ARC from publisher for review Middle grade fantasy/speculative fiction Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Fort Fitzgerald can’t stop having nightmares about the day his father was taken from him in an attack on Washington, DC. In these dreams, an Old One, an evil beyond comprehension, demands the location of the last dragon. But other than some dragon skeletons dug up with the books of magic on Discovery Day, Fort has never seen a dragon before. Could there still be one left alive?

And weirdly, Fort’s not the only one at the Oppenheimer School having these nightmares. His new roommate, Gabriel, seems to know more than he’s letting on about this dragon as well. And why does everyone at the school seem to do whatever Gabriel says? What’s his secret?

Fort’s going to need the help of his friends Cyrus, Jia, and Rachel, if he’s going to have any chance of keeping …

SERIES THURSDAY : Junior Monsters Scouts #1 The Monster Squad & #2 Crash! Bang! Boo!

THE MONSTER SQUAD Junior Monster Scouts #1 by Joe McGee, illustrated by Ethan Long Aladdin, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-5344-3677-0 Source: publisher for review Middle grade fantasy (Speculative) Ages 6-10 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Wolfy, Franky, and Vampyra—the children of the classic monsters—are Junior Monster Scouts. And even though ‘monster’ is their middle name, these funny fiends just want to help anybody in need, earn their Junior Monster Scout merit badges, and make friends. But, their good deeds are always foiled by Baron Von Grump, a cranky schemer who doesn’t like noise, doesn’t like kids, and most of all doesn’t like the Junior Monster Scouts.

Peter Piper’s kitten Shadow is lost deep in The Gloomy Forest, and the Scouts want to help their new friend. But today is also the Village Cheese Festival and all of the celebrating has Baron Von Grump at wits’ end. How can he play his violin in peace if the villagers are making such a racket? He hatches a cheesy plan tha…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Doggy Defenders series by National Geographic Kids

TIGER, THE POLICE DOG Doggy Defenders by Lisa M. Gerry, photographs by Lori Epstein National Geographic Kids, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-4263-3297-5 Source: Media Masters Publicity Ages 4-8 Picture book nonfiction All opinions expressed are solely my own.

In this endearing read-aloud picture book, readers meet courageous canine Tiger and follow him as he spends an exciting day with the police in our nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Gorgeous photography depicts brave Tiger's role as a police dog, and simple, lyrical text lets readers journey along as Tiger visits a police academy, trains to sniff out important items, patrols famous landmarks, and keeps us all safe. Young readers will fall in love with the witty tale, daring story of heroism, and aww-worthy photographs. Good dog, Tiger!
DOLLEY, THE FIRE DOG Doggy Defenders by Lisa M. Gerry, photographs by Lori Epstein National Geographic Kids, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-4263-3299-9 Source: Media Masters Publicity Ages 4-8 Picture book nonfiction All…

BLOG TOUR : Smarter Than a Monster: A Survival Guide by Brandon Mull

SMARTER THAN A MONSTER A Survival Guide by Brandon Mull, illustrated by Mike Walton Shadow Mountain, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-62972-610-6 Source: publisher for review Picture book Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

No monster wants you to read this book. The more you know about monsters, the more you will know how to defeat them.

Little kids have big fears, which they often imagine to be scary creatures, like monsters. But this book helps explain how knowing "Monster Facts" can help kids outwit them.

Want to avoid monsters?

Fact: Monsters love dirt and grime, so when faced with two kids, the monster will choose the dirty one every time.

And if toys and clothes are all over the floor, you may get ambushed by a mess-loving monster.

Survival Tip: Take baths and keep your room clean.

Smarter Than a Monster will arm young readers with practical advice in this innovative and imaginative parenting tool that teaches common sense and positive and healthy habits.