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SHORT STORY COLLECTION: Hope Wins edited by Rose Brock

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HOPE WINS A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers edited by Rose Brock with cover art by Vashti Harrison Philomel Books, 2022 ISBN: 978-0-593-46393-2 Source: Blue Slip Books for review Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. Book cover & summary provided by Goodreads.com & publisher. ABOUT THE BOOK In a collection of personal stories and essays, award-winning and bestselling artists from Matt de la Pena and Veera Hiranandani to Max Brallier and R.L. Stine write about how hope always wins, even in the darkest of times. Where does hope live? In your family? In your community? In your school? In your heart? From a family restaurant to a hot-dog shaped car, from an empty road on a moonlight night to a classroom holiday celebration, this anthology of personal stories from award-winning and bestselling authors, shows that hope can live everywhere, even--or especially--during the darkest of times. No matter what happens: Hope wins. Contributors include: Tom Ang

FREE AT LAST: A Juneteenth Poem by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle & Alex Bostic

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 FREE AT LAST A Juneteenth Poem written by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, illustrated by Alex Bostic Sterling Children's Books, 2022 ISBN: 9781454943747 Source: ARC from publisher for review (Thanks!) Ages 6 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own. Book cover & summary provided by Goodreads.com & publisher. ABOUT THE BOOK This lyrical celebration of Juneteenth, deeply rooted in Black American history, spans centuries and reverberates loudly and proudly today. After 300 years of forced bondage; hands bound, descendants of Africa picked up their souls—all that they owned— leaving shackles where they fell on the ground, headed for the nearest resting place to be found. Deeply emotional, evocative free verse by poet and activist Sojourner Kincaid Rolle traces the solemnity and celebration of Juneteenth from its 1865 origins in Galveston, Texas to contemporary observances all over the United States. This is an ode to the strength of Black Americans and a call to remember and h

THURSDAY by Ann Bonwill: A heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful tale of a young girl facing divorce.

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THURSDAY by Ann Bonwill, illustrated by Kayla Harren Two Lions, 2022 ISBN: 978-1542032396 Source: Blue Slip Media & publisher Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own. Book cover & book summary provided by Blue Slip Media. ABOUT THE BOOK When a little girl learns about her parents’ divorce on a Thursday, it ruins her favorite day of the week. But her stuffed-unicorn friend steps in to help, taking her on adventures to cheer her up and staying by her side to comfort her when feelings are hard. Then, slowly, the little girl and her unicorn friend awaken to the natural world that surrounds them as life continues to shift and change…until the day that Thursday can become just Thursday again. Told with great sensitivity and beauty, this is a book of healing and hope for children experiencing divorce and a testament to the power of friendship in helping us to overcome life’s biggest obstacles. ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR Ann Bonwill grew up in Maryland surrounded by b

SKANDAR AND THE UNICORN THIEF by A.F. Steadman--an amazing tale of friendship, courage, and unicorns! Highly recommended.

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SKANDAR AND THE UNICORN THIEF by A.F. Steadman Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2022 ISBN: 978-1-6659-1273-0 Source: ARC from publisher for review (THANKS!) Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. Book cover & summary provided by Goodreads.com & publisher. ABOUT THE BOOK Soar into a breathtaking world of heroes and unicorns as you’ve never seen them before in this fantastical middle grade debut perfect for fans of the Percy Jackson and Eragon series! Skandar Smith has always yearned to leave the Mainland and escape to the secretive Island, where wild unicorns roam free. He’s spent years studying for his Hatchery exam, the annual test that selects a handful of Mainlander thirteen-year-olds to train to become unicorn riders. But on the day of Skandar’s exam, things go horribly wrong, and his hopes are shattered…until a mysterious figure knocks on his door at midnight, bearing a message: the Island is in peril and Skandar must answer its call. Skandar is t

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Swim, Jim by Kaz Windness & The Runaway Pea Washed Away by Kjartan Poskitt & Alex Willmore

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SWIM, JIM by Kaz Windness Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2022 ISBN: 978-1-5344-8343-9 Source: publisher for review (Thanks!) Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own. Book summary & book cover provided by Goodreads.com & publisher. ABOUT THE BOOK Jim the crocodile finds the courage to face his fear of swimming in this funny and charming debut picture book for fans of Jabari Jumps and Jean Reidy’s Truman! Jim the crocodile is scared of swimming—or rather, of sinking. His family’s swamp is just too deep, too dark, and too big. But maybe he could swim, if only there were a smaller swamp where he could try it on his own terms. Jim wiggle-waggles far and wide until he finds the perfect place. With the help of some floaties and his sisters, Jim just might find the courage to face his fear and show everyone—including himself—that Jim can swim! REVIEW There is something remarkable funny about a crocodile wearing floaties while attempting to stick a toe in the wa

EGGASAURUS by Jennifer Wagh & Hallie Bateman and SHERLOCK CHICK AND THE GIANT EGG MYSTERY by Robert Quackenbush

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EGGASAURUS written by Jennifer Wagh, illustrated by Hallie Bateman Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2022 ISBN: 978-1-5344-5006-6 Source: publisher for review (THANKS!) Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own. Book summary & cover provided by goodreads.com & the publisher. ABOUT THE BOOK In this funny and winsome epistolary picture book, a young boy who orders a dinosaur egg ends up with more than he—or his dad—bargained for! All Maximus wants is a pet dinosaur—is that really too much to ask? But when his dad tells him he must send the egg back to where it came from, a mysterious company called Eggasaurus, Inc, a hiccup in communication leads to Max getting more…and more…and MORE eggs! Can he and his dad find a compromise before the eggs hatch and the baby dinosaurs take over their home? REVIEW Eggasaurus presents readers with a series of letters written between a young boy, Maximus, and a company named Eggasaurus Inc.  Maximus ordered dinosaur eggs from t

MONSTERS IN THE MIST by Juliana Brandt--REVIEW & INTERVIEW

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MONSTERS IN THE MIST by Juliana Brandt Sourcebooks Young Readers, 2022 ISBN: 978-1-7282-4544-7 Source: publisher for review Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. Book cover & summary provided by Goodreads.com & publisher. ABOUT THE BOOK When Glennon McCue moves into a lighthouse on a mysterious island not found on any maps, he must figure out why those who visit are never heard from again before he and his family fall victim to the island's curse. When Glennon McCue's father takes an overseas position, Glennon finds himself relocated from Minneapolis to his Uncle's light house on Isle Philippeaux, smack dab in the middle of Lake Superior surrounded by nothing but black, ominous waters. The place is frightening and becomes even more so when a storm rocks the island and a ship wrecks outside the lighthouse. Even worse, the survivors are terrified to learn they've washed up on the phantom isle. There are many stories about Isle Philippeaux; sailors wa