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YOUNG ADULT ADVENTURE FICTION : Ski Weekend by Rektok Ross

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SKI WEEKEND by Rektok Ross SparkPress, 2021 ISBN: 9781684631094 Source: NetGalley through publisher Ages 14 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK Six teens, one dog, a ski trip gone wrong . . . Sam is dreading senior ski weekend and having to watch after her brother and his best friend, Gavin, to make sure they don’t do anything stupid. Again. Gavin may be gorgeous, but he and Sam have never gotten along. Now they’re crammed into an SUV with three other classmates and Gavin’s dog, heading on a road trip that can’t go by fast enough. Then their SUV crashes into a snowbank, and Sam and her friends find themselves stranded in the mountains with cell phone coverage long gone and temperatures dropping. When the group gets sick of waiting for rescue, they venture outside to find help—only to have a wilderness accident leave Sam’s brother with a smashed leg and, soon, a raging fever. While the hours turn to days, Sam’s brother gets sicker and sicker, and their food a

EARLY READER GRAPHIC NOVEL: Cranky Chicken by Katherine Battersby

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  CRANKY CHICKEN by Katherine Battersby Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2021 ISBN: 978-1-5344-6988-4 Source: publisher for review Ages 6-9 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK Narwhal and Jelly meet The Bad Guys in this heartwarming, brightly illustrated, and downright hilarious chapter book about what happens when a very cranky chicken is befriended by a very cheerful worm. Cranky Chicken is, well, cranky. With one cranky eyebrow, cranky eyes, and even cranky, scratchy feet. But then one day, Cranky meets a very friendly worm named Speedy who wants nothing more than to be friends. Young readers will love seeing the mismatched friendship grow over the course of three charming and laugh-out-loud short adventures as Chicken and Speedy become BFFs (Best Feathered Friends) and Speedy shows Chicken how to look on the bright side. REVIEW This delightful graphic novel for early readers follows the friendship between a chicken and a worm.  Chicken is very cranky as demonstrate

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION : Susie B. Won't Back Down by Margaret Finnegan

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SUSIE B. WON'T BACK DOWN by Margaret Finnegan Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2021 ISBN: 978-1-5344-9863-1 Source: Blue Slip Media Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK Susie B. has a lot to say. Like how it’s not fair that she has to be called Susie B. instead of plain Susie. Or about how polar bears are endangered. Or how the Usual Geniuses are always getting picked for cool stuff over the kids like her with butterflies in their brain. And it’s because Susie B. has a lot to say about these very important things that she’s running for student council president! If she’s president, she can advocate for the underdogs just like her hero and fellow Susie B., Susan B. Anthony. (And, okay, maybe the chance to give big speeches to the whole school with a microphone is another perk.) But when the most usual of Usual Geniuses also enters the student council race, Susie realizes this may be a harder won fight than she thought. Even worse, Susie discovers that

MIDDLE GRADE REALISTIC FICTION: Ways to Make Sunshine & Ways to Grow Love by Renee Watson

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WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE by Renee Watson Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK Ryan Hart loves to spend time with her friends, loves to invent recipes, and has a lot on her mind—school, self-image, and family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means changes like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. Because Ryan is all about trying to see the best. Even when things aren’t all she would wish for—her brother is infuriating, her parents don’t understand, when her recipes don’t turn out right, and when the unexpected occurs—she can find a way forward, with wit and plenty of sunshine. REVIEW Renee Watson introduces readers to a delightful new character in Ways to Make Sunshine .  Ryan Hart tries to live up to the name her parents gave her (Ryan means 'king') to encourag

YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION : You can't say that! compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus

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YOU CAN'T SAY THAT!  13 Writers for young people talk about censorship, free expression, and the stories they have to tell compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus Candlewick Press, 2021 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9036-6 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 12 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK What happens when freedom of expression comes under threat? In frank and wide-ranging interviews, historian and critic Leonard S. Marcus probes the experience of thirteen leading authors of books for young people. A powerful photo essay on transgender teens is called anti-religious and anti-family. A meticulously researched primer on sex education stirs up accusations of pornography and child abuse. Picture books about two mommies (or two penguin daddies) set off a hue and cry. Two hugely popular children's series run afoul of would-be censors, one for its scatological humor, the other because it's deemed too scary. Kids' books that touch on race, sex, LG

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS : Mi Casa is My Home by Laurenne Sala & Ada and the Galaxies by Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv

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  MI CASA IS MY HOME words by Laurenne Sala, pictures by Zara Gonzalez Hoang Candlewick Press, 2021 ISBN: 978-1-5362-0943-3 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own. REVIEW This lovely book follows a young girl named Lucia as she shows the reader around her house.  The front porch, living room, kitchen, backyard, bathroom, brother's room, and her room are all explored.  Lucia explains the kind of activities that take place in each room with various family members and extended family and friends.  Games that are played, meals made and eaten, imaginations activated are all explored through the various locations.  Spanish words are scatter throughout the text.  Most of them can be understood in context, but I would still have liked to have a glossary and pronunciation guide to make it a bit easier to understand for those who don't read Spanish.  Overall, this book offers a delightful glimpse into the life and culture of a diverse young girl an

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Between the Lines by Lindsay Ward

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BETWEEN THE LINES by Lindsay Ward two lions, 2021 ISBN: 978-1542026901 Source: Blue Slip Media for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own. ABOUT THE BOOK With vibrant art that shifts to a colorless world and back again, this is a story of a community lost and rediscovered—and how one child’s actions can cascade into something that makes all the difference. A young boy who loves his community notices that as neighbors stop interacting, the colors around them slowly fade. Then a thunderstorm sweeps away the last hints of bluebird skies and lemon-Popsicle days and leaves a rift in the road that doesn’t get fixed. As the adults around him move on, the boy dreams of the way life once was. He decides that he doesn’t want to live in a world without color, so he sets out to change things… OTHER THOUGHTS “A vibrant neighborhood loses its color, literally, as the community becomes fractured.” —Kirkus Reviews “The illustrations…bring the atmosphere and ideas of the story to life